Wednesday, December 31, 2008

another one bites the dust

Whoa.

Wasn't it, like, yesterday that I was (allegedly) drinking too much champagne, resolutioning off reality TV forever, and crooning Auld Lang Syne into Hubs' ear?


(And maybe nibbling on it, too. I do weird things when I've been drinking.)

Seriously, though, that expression about time flying while having fun? Complete malarkey. Time bolts out the window whether you're having fun, bawling your brains out or eating mass amounts of Bon Bon's on the couch for six hours straight.

(I'm not saying I do that. I was just using an interesting analogy. Ahem.)

Anwyays. I have also discovered that the number of days in 2008 are not at all relative to the amount of life changing moments I experienced in a year.

2008 has brought me more joy, fear, love, drama and unrelenting edge-of-my-seat thrills than I ever thought I could handle. In fact, I think I'm ready for my own reality show.

(Besides, I already imagine on a daily basis that I have cameras following me anyway. Like, sometimes when I'm in the car alone, I might just say out loud to the invisible camera in the passenger seat, "So...we're headed to the grocery store for dinner essentials. I'm feeling a little out of whack today, we'll see what happens.")

Anyways.

You all know I love lists, so let me give you a snapshot of what happened to me/the family over the glorious year of 2008.

2008 Year in Review


...I watched my best friend pack up and move to Dallas...eight hours away. But not so far that I can't still call her and have her ignore me. We text instead.

...Vampire's became the new Superman. Stephanie Meyer and her vivid imagination caused me to have some seriously naughty dreams about hot vampires.

...A few times I considered changing my name to Bella Cullen and straightening Hubs' hair. Just for kicks.

...I watched as Hubs summoned all his strength and officially kicked cigarettes. (He's past 10 weeks, people! You should buy him a drink. Except drinking makes him want to smoke. Maybe just buy him some ice cream.)

...I witnessed my oldest step-daughter's basketball game and cheered like a frenzied hyena as she made her very first basket.


...I said a very difficult good-bye to the woman I used to think of as a second mother.


...I celebrated the day I said "I do" to the most amazing man on the planet. (And then got a tattoo.)


...I was published in a magazine that wasn't for authors under the age of 12.

...I started my first novel, re-read the first six pages, and threw it away. (Maybe 2009 will be the year of the bestseller for me.)

...I finally learned to use my time wisel

...I started this blog and forgot how to use my time wisely.

...I locked myself out of the house. 2 times.

...I made the kick-assest "8" birthday cake in the history of kick-ass "8" birthday cakes.

...I didn't lock myself out of the car AT ALL. No, I'm serious. Not even once. There should be a parade in my honor.

...I turned 27 and managed not cry.

...I acquired, kept, then lost baby fever.

...I voted.

...I became very familiar with Southwest's flight schedule to and from Las Vegas.

...Great Wolfe Lodge became one of my top destination vacation spots.

...I fought the urge to being tight rolling my pants again. (This also happens to be my favorite blog post of 2008.)

...I gave up soda. For 4 days.

...I learned to maintain my appearance in forthcoming 2009. Hubs will call me on it if I let myself go.


________________________


There it is. It isn't perfection, it isn't Days of Our Lives...but it's mine. All mine.

I will say this for 2008. I will always remember the joy of sitting down at my computer in February to begin this blog. What started out as a way to keep family informed of goings on and important milestones has turned into a daily (okay,not always daily) journal of my life.

Through this blog, I have met new people, connected with old friends, and occasionally wondered, "Who IS this person in Chickasaw, Alabama that's on my blog eight times a day? SHOW YOURSELF!!!"

This year has blessed me in more ways than I could ever hope to count. I hope you all had a wonderful 2008, and are looking forward to 2009.

I'm off to watch reality TV. 2008's resolution didn't take. Clearly.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

this just happened...

Setting:

Me: sitting at kitchen table working quietly.
Hubs: in living room playing Golf on the Wii. Duh.
____________________________

Aaaaand action:

Hubs: (cursing at his double bogie) Babe, what are you doing in there? Come play golf with me.

Me: I'm blogging really quickly to say I won't be blogging for the next week. And I'm finishing up some emails.

Hubs: Or you're on Facebook.

Me: (screaming) I am NOT on Facebook. (quickly logging into Facebook and updating status.)

__________________________________

BANG, CLACK, CLICK, BANG BOOOOOM!
___________________________________

Me: (seeing that a knife that was balanced on the kitchen counter has fallen onto the floor. All by itself.) HOLY SHIT!

Hubs: What was that?

Me: (laughing) A knife!

Hubs: (Looking at me accusingly) Did you just THROW a knife across the kitchen?

Now hold on, let's back up the truck. Remember that I am SITTING IN A CHAIR while this is happening. I am a good 10 feet away from the kitchen. A loud noise occurs, and Hubs assumes I have taken a knife and THROWN IT.

Me: (sarcastically) Yes, Hubs. For no reason, I picked up a knife from a table where there is no silverware, and threw it across the kitchen. How ridiculous are you? I have to blog about this right now.

Hubs: Go right ahead. I'm sure your bloggers know all about your temper.

Me: I DO NOT HAVE A TEMPER! I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING!

______________

Anyways...this has nothing to do with anything. I just found it amusing.

And now Hubs is mad at me.

warm wishes

Hello, bloggies!

I didn't die, I didn't catch a disease, I didn't fall off the planet.

I became addicted to Ninento Wii.

(But we'll talk about that later.)

I promise after this weekend to up-date you on all the comings and goings in my life.

Cuz you're dying to hear about it.

Or not.

I wish you all the happiest of happy Christmases. When I return, I will have the following lists to share with you:

...Why I loved 2008

...Why I despised 2008

...A list of my fave posts from 2008 (feel free to nominate your faves.)

...What I got for Christmas

(I could technically post that list right now. Hubs and I already opened presents, which is subsequently Reason #4464 it is soooo cool to be an adult. Waiting until December 25th to open my loot? Hells no.)

Anydoodle, I hope you all have a merry Christmas and drink lots of spiked eggnog. If you need me, I'll be passed out under the Christmas tree in my new comfy warm robe, muttering sweet nothings about Robert Pattinson.

(Seriously, though. Hubs did so awesome picking out my robe. I want to wear it out in public. Like, to dinner. People wear their pants around their ankles and look like flaming jackasses, so who says I can't wear my robe? As long as I wear my heels, I think I'll go relatively unnoticed.)

(Reason #3535 to love being married: Hubs will still love me when I go off the reservation and wear my robe to dinner in public.)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Friday, December 19, 2008

happy posting!

I forgot to mention that yesterday was my 200th post. Wheee!

(This hasn't been a great week for me, so any good news is worth celebrating.)

That's all. This post is basically about nothing. Not feeling it today. I suppose that happens from time to time.

(Sorry, sometimes writers have bad days, kiddos.)

I'm hoping the weekend will recharge my batteries and get me back to a happy place.

Oohhhhmmmm....oohhhmmmm....


Oh, but on a happy note, my first magazine article is being mailed to me today. I'll get to see my by-line in just a few short days. Now that's something worth celebrating.

Where's the vodka?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

don we now our gay apparrel

For real.

There were many ridiculous sweaters at the party last night, but I feel quite confident in saying that mine took the cheesy taco.


Are you going to argue with me on this? The thing LIT UP. My sweater actually had a BATTERY PACK in it. What if it rained? Would I have been electrocuted?


(You too can own a battery pack lime green catastrophe for $14.99 at your local JC Penney outlet store.)


(If those things sell out tomorrow, I should make Penney's give me a portion of the proceeds for pimping it.)



If you really do love my sweater, but don't want to buy it, I am willing to rent it to you for a mere $5.00 per night. But no copying! The brilliant design and pattern are Copyrighted. So much so that the company felt it necessary to make this disclaimer on the tag.


(Because, you know, so many people are DYING to copy this pattern.)


Anyways.


Alissa put on a fabulous party and we had loads of fun playing games and exchanging tacky ornaments. I never knew such horrible Christmas decorations could be manufactured. It's just plain scary.

Enjoy the pics from the party. I must go. Lots of work to do today.

(Or catching up on the Real Housewives of Orange County to do. Either one.)




Playing "Pictionary Movie Phone". (I made up that name, so don't Google it. You won't get anywhere.) Such a fun game, perfect for a group of designers who should know how to draw.



Concentrating on drawing...



Alissa and a beautiful drawing of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"



Showing off the results of Pictionary Movie Phone.








You're probably all wondering what in the blazes of Christmas this game is that we are playing. Maybe I will get bored tonight and create a post for how to play. It is literally the funniest game on the planet.

(Contrary to the pictures, it is not necessary to have alcohol to play.)

(Although it certainly doesn't hurt.)









The tacky ornament I won in the exchange. Keep in mind I had to drive home all alone with this thing starting at me in the dark. Halfway home I tossed it in the back seat so I didn't have to look at it.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

the winner's circle

It's official. For the Christmas party at Alissa's tomorrow, I have the single greatest Ugly Sweater this world has ever seen.

I'm so proud of it that I won't even tell you where I found it. Can't risk you buying it.

(There's only one thing worse than an ugly christmas sweater. And that is having the same sweater as someone else. It's as bad as wearing a couture gown twice in the same decade.)

When I saw this monstrosity in the store, I literally stopped in my tracks and felt my stomach surge. It's tacky, commercial, and most importantly, polyester.

Now I just need a horrible Christmas ornament for the ornament exchange.

Surely K-Mart has one. Or fifty.

Pictures tomorrow!

my stork can take a very, very long detour


First things first...

Baby Lisbona has arrived! Bryan and Kristin don't have the picture up yet, but I can assure you that she is one of the cutest little bambino's I have ever seen.

(Yes, I say this about every single newborn baby I come in contact with.)

You would think that due to this new arrival I would be all OVER Hubs about "when can we have one" and "the IKEA cribs are so cute!" and "I promise to clean all the vomit up myself!".

And I would be saying those things....if a certain conversation hadn't happened about a week ago that knocked me on my ass. It went something like this.

*********
Walking through Target looking at Christmas decorations:

Me: Ahh, Hubs. Our Mexican vacation in paradise is only a few months away. (Light bulb goes on over head.) Damn. I really need to get on the treadmill.

Hubs: (rolling eyes dramatically) We're going with family. Who are you needing to impress?

Me: (looking at a glossy entertainment magazine showing a post-baby Jessica Alba in all her toned glory) No one. I mean, obviously I'm not going to pick up on anyone in Mexico. But I'll be standing next to Nicole (sister-in-law) a lot and she runs marathons and is skinny minny! I have no excuse. I should start running 8 miles a day. Can we get this nativity set? It's on sale.

Hubs: (grunts) No. It's ugly. And I've gained 10 pounds since quitting smoking. I think I have more to lose than you.

Me: It is so not ugly. It's quaint. And, baby, you quit smoking!! There's a REASON you are a little heavier. I'm just a lazy slob. Ooh! Am I crazy or is that wreath over there to die for?

Hubs: Whatever, Kim.

Me: (brooding silently and looking at ugly ornaments)

Hubs: (casually) Do you still want to try and have a baby in Mexico? Because if we did, it'd be a December baby.

Me: (turning to look at Hubs, mouth hanging open) Uhhh...uhhh....uhhhhh.

Hubs: I mean, I would think you'd want to get pregnant in late summer, because then when you're, er, getting bigger, it'd be winter and you can wear comfy clothes all the time.

Me: (beads of sweat breaking out over forehead) Ummm..uhhh....uhhhhh..um...welll....um...

Hubs: I'm just sayin'. I would think we'd want to try in like, July. Then we'd have an April spring baby. Wouldn't that be fun?

Me: (wiping sweaty palms on jeans and trying to smile convincingly) Um...well, yeah.

(My inner monologue: Ho. Ly. Shit. We're talking about trying for a baby. WE are. Not just me begging. Like, for real, we are talking about it. Right here, in this Target.

If we're going to try in July...that's only...carry the 1...SEVEN MONTHS away. Holy crap. In seven months we could be one of those awful couples who go to parties and say, "We're trying!" like we're talking about taking a poop. And if we're going to try then I can't drink any alcohol or have caffeine. For a very, very long time.

And if we're trying, that means after we've...you know...I will intentionally not be using birth control. How will I stop the knee jerk reaction of calling my friends and saying, "Last week we TOTALLY didn't use birth control! And my boobs really hurt. Do you think I'm preggers? WHAT WILL MY PARENTS SAY!!!?"

How will I stop myself from running to Walgreens at 2:00 in the morning and screaming at the pharmacist, "I NEED THE MORNING AFTER PILL. STAT!!!!"

What if I have the worse documented case ever of morning sickness? What if I get so fat my ankles explode? What if I wait too long for an epidural like in "Knocked Up" and I feel EVERYTHING. What if the baby comes out and immediately hates me? Where will we have our first Christmas with the baby? What if it has that weird syndrome where it has both boy and girl parts and we have to DECIDE WHAT GENDER IT WILL BE!!!????)

Hubs: Why are you making that face?

Me: What? Huh? Where am I?

Hubs: (smirking) Are you all right?

Me: Totally fine. I mean, yeah. Good. It's just....

Hubs: It's weird to talk about it for real, isn't it?

Me: I need a Dr. Pepper.

*****

I mean, in all seriousness, I knew this day would come. I knew that someday Hubs was going to open up the lines of communications about a baby. But I didn't think it would happen so fast. I mean, one second he's listing hundreds of reasons not to try, and then, voila, we're talking about what month to start trying!!

And by the way, what does it mean that I totally had a panic attack the second he brought it up?

(Am I like Carrie Bradshaw in that episode of SATC when she freaks out after trying on a wedding dress?)

(I love the idea that I could be anything like Carrie Bradshaw, by the way.)

All this time that I've been on Hubs about baby time, I've always known in the back of my head that he's not going to sign on, so I'm really quite safe oogling over onesies and car seats and baby bedding.

It's kind of like saying you're sick of your job and want a new one. In all honesty, you're pretty happy with your employer and you're probably not going to really go out there and look. It's just fun to bitch. But then, one day the economy takes a big fat dump and you find yourself wondering if you'll have a job tomorrow. Then your current job looks pretty darn appealing.

Same with babies. All this time I've been begging Hubs to consider expanding our family, I've known that we probably aren't really going to do it. And now...it's out there. The idea of trying. And we can't take it back.

I'm. Flat. Out. Panicking.

My good friend Bess has a theory. She says Hubs was so tired of hearing me ask for a baby that he decided to call my bluff, just to see what I'd do.

I mean, she could be right. I do talk about babies an awful lot. Maybe Hubs got sick of it and wanted to find out how I really feel about it.

I'm pretty sure my almost passing out in Target gave him his answer.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

making the cut?

I had a lot to say today about something, but couldn't summon the energy to write it all down. So it will have to wait.

Instead, I will simply inform you that I am considering cutting my hair.

(Ooooh! Aaaahhh! This is news why?)

(It isn't news, really. This is a total cop out post. But I thought you should know.)

But seriously, hair is not a huge deal. To a man.

(Wash, dry, apply gel, burp, leave the house.)

To women (and I'm assuming most of my readers are of this variety) getting a hair cut requires more thought, preparation and consideration than starting a business.

There are strict rules a woman must follow when deciding to cut her locks more than 1/2".


Rules for Considering a Significant Hair Cut/Style Change:

1. E-mail husband/boyfriend/lover/best friend/roommates/Mom that you are considering a hair cut. Request opinions about your current hairstyle.

(And waiting until the lunch hour to submit their feelings is too long. You need answers now. Work can wait.)

2. E-mail pictures of what you're considering doing to your hair. Label as "HIGH IMPORTANCE."

Subject line: Can I Pull This Off?

3. Pull hair back in pony tail and "puff" out some hair to examine a make-shift chin bob. (Or stick your hair down the back of your shirt and do the same thing. You know exactly what I'm talking about.)

4. Get significant other's opinion. "It'll look fine" is not an acceptable answer.

5. Wash hair and make sure you will not miss the feel of the length while conditioning it in the morning.

(I'm totally serious. I've had my hair cut before and cried when I felt the difference in the shower.)

6. Look at pictures from when your hair was different than it is now. Write down thoughts. In detail.

7. DO NOT go to the salon the day you first think you might want a haircut. Impromptu cuts always end badly.

(Unless you just got dumped. In which case, do whatever the hell you want.)

8. Try on your entire closet, including shoes. Will your new style make your toes look fat?

9. Buy ridiculous amounts of those glossy "HAIR!" magazines.

(Or just read them quickly in the Walgreen's magazine aisle. I'd rather be seen buying porn than teen hair magazines.)

10. Briefly consider bright red streaks of red through your new bob. Then (hopefully) change your mind.


After compiling this list, I realize I have only done 2 of the required rules.

Excuse me, I've got some shoes to try on. Must see if my toes will look chub-o.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

reason #212 to love being married


#212: Lots and Lots of Practice in Damage Control

(Last night, after work. Hubs enters front door.)

Hubs: Hey, babe.

Me: Hi, honey!

Hubs: So, I was kind of hurt by your blog today.

Me: (Acting shocked) Really?

Hubs: Yeah. It started really nice. I thought it was going to be about how I told you in the car that you looked super hot in your sunglasses and puffy jacket.

Me: (Wincing. He totally did do that. I am such a bitch.)

Hubs: And then I read the whole post.

Me: (inner monologue.) Shit.

Hubs: I'm okay with it, I just kind of think it makes me look bad.

Me: (looking for something to say that makes me look less like a jack ass.) I'm sorry! Everyone knows how great you are and that you always do nice things for me! I'll post a nice one about you tomorrow!

Hubs: (sighs) No, it's okay. I don't mind. I know it's just a blog. I'm here to provide material. I love you.

Me: (mentally adding the extra number of Christmas presents this damn blog is costing me.) I love you, too.

___________

So, based on last night, I feel compelled to share my awareness that 90% of the stories I post about Hubs make him totally sound selfish, unappreciative, ridiculous and stubborn. He is not any of those things.

(Except stubborn. He's like a donkey standing in molasses. I mean, seriously. We cannot have a Christmas wreath on the front door? But we can have Iowa State Cyclone twinkle lights lining the door frame instead? Whatever.)

(I am choosing not to talk about how stubborn I am. Let's just say my scenario would be a donkey nailed to the floor with his tail super-glued to the wall. And covered in molasses.)

Moving on...

My stories about Hubs really only showcase the way he acts about 3% of the time. Kind of like reality TV. The thing is, his actions during that small 3% of the time makes for AMAZING writing material. I just can't pass it up!

(And, let's face it. If I'm having writer's block about my own life stories, I'm going to default to the next best thing for inspiration. That's Hubs. It's in our pre-nup.)

(We don't actually have one. But if we did, I'd totally put in it: Husband allows wife to make fun of him on blog. Whenever she wants.)

In conclusion, let me remind you that Hubs is fantastic to me. Yes, I probably make him sound a little ridiculous at times, but it's all in good fun. Hubs is an amazing man, and he's seriously the one person that makes everything better in my life. Sooo, maybe in the future I'll try and be nicer.

If he lets me put up a Christmas wreath.

_________

And, you know, for the record, I say nice things about Hubs all the time.


Monday, December 8, 2008

reason #39 to love being married

Brutal Truth.

(Sitting at a stop-light. Saturday afternoon.)

Hubs: (Stares intently at me, glazed over look in his eyes.)

Me: (smiling and sticking neck out slightly.) What is it, babe?

Hubs: (squints heavily and leans toward me)

Me: (shocked at how Hubs is admiring me) What? What are you thinking about?

Hubs: (raises one eyebrow) It's been awhile since you've used that white upper lip cream, hasn't it? The hair on your lip sparkles in the sun.

Me: (rolling eyes) I'll get right on it.


...after one year and five months, the honeymoon's officially over.

Friday, December 5, 2008

the power of prayer

Remember the tree I wanted but couldn't afford? Well my friends, it could be mine tonight.

Lowe's decided to put the sucker on super crazy out of this world delicious sale.

(I'd like to think it's because they read my blog and were inspired to help a sistah out. Most likely though, no one was buying the effing trees at $300 a pop.)

For whatever reason, my perfect tree is now HALF price. Only $150 for a tall, green, gloriously fake Christmas cheer foilage.

(O Christmas tree, O Chrismtas tree...how lovely is thy discount!!!)

Problem is, Hubs and I went to purchase the thing last night, only to find our tree was already gone.

(Something tells me all the assisted living homes in KC bought them out yesterday morning. It's so unfair. Half the residents can't even see anyway...my home is more important!)

(I know I sound bitter, but really. Does there need to be a Christmas tree in every room at the rest homes? Aren't trees in the lobby, dining, and TV room adequate? The chapel, bathrooms and gaming areas are just fine sans tree.)

Therefore, this weekend will consist of hundreds of miles on the car as we journey to every Lowe's in the KC metro area.

But we'll have saved loads of money on the tree once we find it!

(Until I buy ornaments and lights and garland and tinsle. Shhh...don't tell Hubs. The less he knows, the better.)

will write for food...or money

A journalist (by definition) is someone who writes for a newspaper or magazine, or who continually writes in a diary.

I used to only consider myself a journalist because of the latter half of this definition.

Not anymore.

I just got paid for my first magazine gig. Awhile back I told you about this and was super pumped for it. Now it's all over and done with. I can officially look back and go over all the things I should have done differently.

Because this was my first "real" assignment, I had some anxieties throughout the process. A few times (okay, the whole time) I felt like an amateur, over-caffeinated fish out of water.

Seriously, you should hear the tape from my interview. I sound:

a) nine. Apparently my voice jumps three octaves when I'm feeling less than confident.

b) ridiculously nervous. You can actually hear me chewing on my nails while I interviewed the article's subject. So professional. And hygenic.

(Oh, and at one point, I totally thought I had accidentally erased the entire interview. Talk about a gut check moment. Turned out I was just using the recorder completely incorrectly.)

Thankfully, despite all of my self-esteem issues and paranoia about screwing up, my darling Hubs was there to give pep talks and reassure me that, no matter what, I was pretty.

(That's really all a girl ever needs to hear, right?)

Overall, this was a fantastic experience. I've dreamed about getting a writing assignment for a newspaper/magazine since I could crawl. I used to sit in my room at my lap desk (greatest invention ever) and write story after story, hoping that someone would want to read them.

Now, my first magazine story (and hopefully not last!) has been submitted. It will appear in Shawnee Magazine sometime this month.
And the whole world will see it.

(By whole world, I mean the residents of Shawnee county that subscribe to the magazine. Just let me dream a little, here.)

AND...as extra gravy, I totally got paid for doing something I love to do anyway.

I would tell you that I maturely took my journalistic earnings and placed them in a secure Roth IRA a la Suzy Orman.

But I already spent it. On my new Coach bag. Three weeks ago.

(Hey, if I know money's coming, it's going to get spent. Quickly.)

So, here it is, my first ever check received for journalist services rendered.
I guess my lap desk desk dreams finally came true.


I don't know all the rules on what I can or can't show, so I just axed all indications of how much I was paid. Money isn't the point anyway.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

move over charlie brown, there's a new block head in town

It's possible that I have neglected this blog for the last week. What can I say? I had a holiday, I traveled all over with Hubs and the girls, and I got a little sidetracked.

But no need to fear, I have returned. And I am ready for full on bells-and-whistles holiday mode.

Except I don't have a Christmas tree.

Our country is officially in a recession (like, duh) and after seeing the killer Black Friday ads last week, I assumed that finding that holiest of holy Christmas items would be:

a) super easy
b) crazy cheap

(I trust I don't have to tell you what happens when I assume.)

Yes, my mother-in-law did graciously offer to give us her beautiful (and practically new) 7' artificial tree. But I just knew I could find one on my own.

(I'm really like a cave man. It's the thrill of the hunt. The splendor of finding the item you want, adding up all the discounts and bringing it home, slung over your shoulder like a prize deer. Ew. Never mind. I'm not like a cave man at all. Maybe just a screw-loose shopper who thinks like a cave man?)

I ignored Hubs' tree-shopping hesitations, forced him into his coat, and we were off.

And we found loads of trees ripe for the buying.

(Unfortunately they all vaguely resembled green caterpillars on a bad hair day.)

Truth be told, I probably could have settled for an ugly, cheap tree. But inside me beats one of the most idealistic (and unrealistic) hearts you'll ever see.

Our family Christmas tree simply cannot be sub par.

After all, the Christmas tree is where all of the magic happens!! It's where our daughters will receive their favorite gifts of all time. It's where our family will gather and grow and share memories each year.

(It's where my picture will be taken each time I try on my new diamond earrings/bracelet/necklace. I can't have ugliness behind me. It would ruin the moment.)

Ahem.

Anyways, after two hours and four stores, only one tree truly fulfilled my holiday desires. It was lush and green (and pre-lit. Yay!), tall and majestic, and somehow even somewhat familiar to me. Like I'd seen it before. Maybe in my dreams?!

(Too bad it came complete with a nightmare of a price tag.)

I could have my perfect family Christmas tree for $300.00.

Excuse me? Hell no.

I fervently attacked the display model. I sniffed around the tree like a drug dog, searching for the big tag that would break down my discounts in easy-to-understand mathematical pictures and phrases. Something like:

ORIGINALLY $299.99
In-store Rebate- $50.00
Mail-in Rebate- $30.00
Customer loyalty rebate- $40.00
"We're in a Recession" discount- $30.00
New Credit Line discount- $20.00 (I am more than willing to open a new credit card if I get savings. That's just good business.)

You pay: ONLY $129.99

I found no card. It was really $300.00.

FOR A FAKE TREE!

(Should I make a list of all the fabulous consumer goods I could buy with $300.00? Like, I could get a camcorder and record us (meaning Hubs) chopping down a for real tree...and have money left over! Granted, there would be pine needles all over our carpet, but I could use the left-over money to have the carpets cleaned...)

Anyways.

After my fruitless search for the discount tag ended, I admitted utter and complete defeat. But Hubs was there to console me. And to pick up the pieces of my sad, idealistic heart.

And also remind me that I had turned down his mother's offer to give us her Christmas tree 48- hours prior. And not just any tree.

The exact one I just picked out.

Then, Hubs graciously picked my jaw off the floor, placed it back on my face, and took me home.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

holiday flick list (that does not include twilight)

The weather outside is (getting) frightful and you need something to fill your Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

(Besides watching Twilight for the 8th time. And updating your Twitter.)

If you aren't thrilled at the idea of risking life and limb to buy me presents at the mall on Black Friday, I have a suggestion. Rent some Christmas movies!

Rahhh! Cheers! Happiness!

C'mon, don't be a Grinch. Watching Santa films gives you a reason to:

1) ...buy copious amounts of eggnog. And spike it.

2) ...cry for hours about how amazing the Christmas Spirit is. And then drink Christmas Spirts. See #1.

3) ..cuddle with your lover/hubs/boyfriend or bff and reminisce about how you had a crush on some of the Christmas cartoons long ago. Or last year.

4) ...sing some awesomely bad Christmas songs at the top of your lungs. After you've had a lot of #1.

5) ...remove yourself from ridiculous conversations about sweaters with your Aunt Ethel.

Now, before you go out and start getting all crazy at Blockbuster, remember it is very important that you watch the right Christmas movies. This is essential. Throw a bad movie in your X-mas flick mix and you might just ruin the whole cinema extravaganza for years to come.

(Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, anyone? What is up with that Abominable Snowman?? Creepy Claymation-ville, USA.)

So here, because I love all of you, I made a list of the best holiday films. You aren't required to agree with me.

(Hubs has amazing amounts of practice at this.)

If I missed one of your faves, that's what comments are for! Delurk yourself and let me know what I missed. No one will yell at you.

(Except maybe me. Especially if you remember a good one that I forgot.)

(Oh, you will notice there are no black and white films on the list. I get that they're classics and all that, I just can't watch them. I need Technicolor and superior sound quality. Sorry.)

Anyhoo, enough anticipation.

The following are my top 16 (because I hate odd numbers) picks for Christmas/holiday movies to watch when you just need to chill out. Grab some popcorn (or Aunt Ethel's leftover fruit cake), put your feet up and pop one of these guys in.

Drum roll, please.

Kim's Must-See Christmas Movie List

16. Polar Express: This one almost didn't make it. I have loved the book (beautiful illustrations) since childhood and therefore struggled with the animation of the film. Tom Hanks looks a little....Botox-y and he doesn't translate well as a cartoon. The essence of the children's book does ring true, though, and the message of "Believe" has never been more convincing. This is a good one to watch with the kiddies. You might just find yourself hearing bells, too.

15. Funny Farm: The first of two Chevy Chase appearances on my list.


This time he stars as a novelist who takes his wife and moves to the country in an effort to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. They both soon realize the simple life is quite simply driving them mad.

Can the spirit of the holiday season set things right, or put them in an early grave? I've loved this movie since I was a kid and it gets better every time I see it. If you aren't sure what Mountain Oysters are, eat some first, then watch the movie.

14. Mickey's Christmas Carol: I've seen this cartoon so many times the tape is starting to fall apart. No summary needed. It's "A Christmas Carol" with beloved Disney characters. And it's fabulous. (Daisy Duck is such a dirty tramp. We would be bestest friends.)

13. Serendipity: Sap alert! John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, two of the most beautiful people on the planet, destined to be together if only they can find one another.


If you need a cuddle fest with your significant other (or your new favorite handbag) this is the movie to watch. For boys that aren't interested in swimming through sap, they can laugh at Jeremy Piven, who provides the much needed Alpha Male comic relief. Shocker.

12. Die Hard: What's Christmas without blazing guns, albino bad guys and Bruce Willis screaming horrific obscenities? The first film in a series that ironically won't die, "Die Hard" will always have a special place in my heart. Mostly because Alan Rickman's hotness is in it. Yippee-Ki-Yay!

11. The Santa Clause: Tim the Toolman Taylor takes a break from hammers and hack saws to fill some pretty big shoes - er, boots. Santa Claus's, that is.


Our daughters love this Christmas movie series (there's like, 30 of them) and you will, too. Tim Allen is a pretty believable as an unwilling Santa Claus replacement, and the movie has an overall heart of holiday gold.

10. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: You know the words. "Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse." Ehhhh- not so true.


This brilliant musical cartoon about a town of mice hoping for a visit from Santa may be hard to locate at the vid store, but it's totally worth the search. Kids and adults will love this one, as the music is phenomenal and has just the right amount of cheese. We are talking mice, after all.

9. Elf: You know a film is going to be good if Bob Newhart is in the credits...alongside Will Ferrell. The breakout SNL star doesn't disappoint either, as an accidental orphan elf searching for his true identity in the big city. Loads of one-liners abound in this Christmas comedy. Careful you don't laugh your yule tide off.


And no- Tina Fey does not appear as Sarah Palin in the film. Maybe in the re-make.

8. Scrooged: Bill Murray as a miserable grump executive who hates Christmas? Can that really work? You bet your sweet holiday nuts it can. Speaking of nuts, Murray's get punched in them a few times by the Ghost of Christmas Present in this holiday hoot with a heart.

7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon): Dr. Seuss always gets it right. This one also brings a tear to my eye, both from childhood nostalgia and from the crescendo of God-awful singing. (You know the words. Don't try and lie.)


"Ba Who FOR AY Ba Who DOR AY, WELCOME CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS DAY! "

On second thought, you might want to turn down the volume a notch or two. If you absolutely can't stand cartoons, the Jim Carrey version (2000) will do as a substitute. I suppose.

6. Home Alone: an 8-year-old kid accidentally left behind while his family takes a Christmas vacation to Paris? Burglars being booby-trapped left and right? This is the stuff of genius. Catherine O'Hara is an absolute stitch as Kevin's neurotic and irrational mom. I think I might be like her one day....

5. A Charlie Brown Christmas: "Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?"

Good question, Mr. Brown. Not many movies focus on the true reason we have a Christmas, and I'm glad there's still at least one that isn't afraid to tell the story. Snoopy's imitation of cracked-out farm animals is not to be missed, either.

4. Love Actually: I actually love the British. They know how to pull every heart string I have clean out of its socket and then lovingly put it all back together again. This is the only holiday movie that Hubs voluntarily watches and even gets a little teary on. So, if you're going to make your macho macho man watch a holiday movie, this might be it.

Follow along as 8 love stories are unwrapped with hilarity, satire, loneliness and passion. There's plenty of Christmas eye-candy in it, too. Hugh Grant (sex on a sticky sugar-coated stick), Alan Rickman (mmmm), Colin Firth and Liam Neeson.

What else could you ask from Santa?

(Except maybe one of them naked in your living room. I'm just thinking outside the box, here.)

3. The Family Stone: Boy brings girl home to meet his family for Christmas. Simple right? Not so fast.

Fall in love with the Stone's, a family who isn't afraid to be themselves- no matter who they piss off in the process. An unconventional Christmas film, I think this one should be a classic. You will laugh out loud and bawl in your popcorn bowl. But in the end, it's just a darn good time.

(Starring SJP...you know I love it.)

2. A Christmas Story: This was my #1 pick until TNT thought it would be cute to run the movie 24 hours each Christmas. Regardless, I never tire of Ralphie and his mountains of Ovaltine.


And really, every home should have a big ol' leg lamp in its family room. "Electric sex gleaming in the window" adds character to every house.

1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: Love to laugh? Hang on tight. Christmas Vacation is a slap-stick roller coaster that teaches us the importance of Tylenol and ear plugs around the holidays.


(It also reminds me of my childhood because Clark Griswold is my father masquerading in Chevy Chase's body.)

With constant one-liners in every scene ("I don't know, Margo!"), Clark Griswold delivers an old fashioned family Christmas yule never forget.

________________________________________

So there you go, my movie recipe for holiday delight! Some fights for love, some fights for blood, a few cartoon animal, British chaps and a BB gun.

That's what Christmas is all about.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

a lesson in self control


To the Effing Retard Fat Man in Front of Me at the McDonald's Red Box Today:

Dear Sir:

Know what you want before you get here. Seriously. I understand the bright colors and lights and tons of cinematic gems are somewhat disorienting, but - could you stare later? Maybe when I'm not right behind you, credit card in hand, just trying to rent "Hancock" so I can unabashedly watch Will Smith as a super hero?

And really, there aren't that many movies worth renting. Yes, I'm sure you're torn between "The Christmas Shoes" and "Kung Fu Panda." It is rather difficult deciding between an aging Rob Lowe in the flesh or Angelina Jolie as a jujitsu cartoon cat. Just rent both. They're only a friggin' dollar.

(And I'll spare you the suspense. Jolie's cartoon cat thing doesn't get naked or do any sexual acrobatics in that panda movie. I'd go with Rob Lowe.)

Red Box was put on this earth to make my time at the video store faster. But because you stood there hem-hawing your way through the 'New Titles', I was subjected to the smell of fresh french fries. If I gain 2 pounds because I had enough time to purchase a cheeseburger, I'm coming after you.

Or at least coming after your inbox. Since you were stupid enough to leave your email address up on the screen.

Get ready for some serious spam, sucka.

Warmest Wishes For a Pleasant Thanksgiving,

kim

tag, you're it

My fab friend Alissa (with whom I will be doing something super exciting with in just a few weeks; stay tuned.) has tagged me. Wheee! Another reason to talk about myself! This tag requires me to tell you 6 random, boring, yet quirky things about myself. I've totally done this before on my own accord, but I'll do it again.

(Because really, there are way more than 6 quirky things about me. I mean, I could go all day if I really wanted to.)

Off we go:

1. I am horrible with remembering names. I will know someone's face even if I only saw them over eggplant's at the grocery store, but it takes me three or four times to remember a name. Not good considering my profession requires me to meet about 15 new people per week.

2. I have an inner need/desire to be liked by everyone. Seriously, everyone. If I get the impression that I am not liked, obsession for a valid reason will begin.

(Usually I chalk it up to, "the other person sucks." Because Hubs tells me to.)

3. I once asked my 5th grade boyfriend (via a note, of course) if he thought I was a good writer. He said yes, and added at the bottom of the note "I think we should break up."

(Perhaps why my writing career has never fully developed??)

4. I make a really awesome knock-off version of Chipotle's Veggy Burrito Bowl. Hubs wanted seconds. Rah rahhh!!!

5. I'm left-handed, but kick with my right foot. And I put my pants on with my right leg first.

6. I could spend all day in the pen section of Office Depot. Black ink? Purple gel? Uni-ball? Ball-point? Fountain? I especially love when the store leaves a little pad of paper to test out the pens.

(Apparently if you write your name to test it, you're self-centered.)

(I'm totally busted.)

__________________

I'm tagging everyone. If the mood hits you, do it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

my, your face is beautiful in this (twi)light


I have a crush.

Yes, I'm happily married to Hubs and ever continually fall deeper and deeper in love with him.

But...

Hubs can't:

a) climb trees at the blink of an eye with me on his back
b) protect me from evil vampires
c) hear the thoughts of my boss, parents, worst enemies or best friends
d) make his hair do the sticky-up thing

Therefore my crush is on Robert Pattinson. (Duh.) Or is it on Edward Cullen?

This is what I'm trying to figure out.

Robert, who plays Edward Cullen in "Twilight", is smokin' hot. (And he's over the age of 18, I looked it up.) But, he only plays the character. He is not the real Edward.

(Maybe that makes my crush less bad in Hub's eyes. Clearly Edward Cullen is not real, so Hubs can take comfort in the fact that I'm not going anywhere.)

Seriously, though. This entire nation (and maybe world) is obsessed with a fictitious person. Edward Cullen is not real. He is not flesh or blood. (Despite his desire to drink it.) Edward is a figment of Stephanie Meyer's imagination. He's a fantasy that she put together from years of experiences with boys, and how she wished they acted. She's removed the ego, the selfishness, the hot to trot libido, and made one perfect man.

(But he's created by a woman. Does that make me a lesbian? I'm just sayin'.)

And because of Ms. Meyer, in the past few months, I will admit to having full blown day dream fantasies about my someday encounter with Edward Cullen. Oh yes.

My fantasy is pretty standard. It's the one about "the boy" in high school. You know this one, yes?

You went to school only to see that one boy? The one boy that always smelled perfect, always had the right clothes and the right words to say? (Even if the right words were just, "Hey, Kim. Killer snow boots. It's cool your Mom wants to be sure your feet are warm.")

Each day you went to school thinking about him, and spent the majority of your academic day wishing you might see him. Hoping that me might ask you to pick up the croutons he just dropped on the cafeteria floor. Hoping that yours just might be the one picture in the year book he looks at before bed each night.

(I must say, for the record, that the real boy I fantasized and obsessed over in high school got bald, fat and is a total loser now. YES!)

In my fantasy, that boy has become Edward.

I envision that just one ordinary day, Edward passes me in the hall, but rather than doing that ridiculous "head-bob-hello" thing, he instead parts the stream of shuffling students like Moses and the Red Sea. He strides over, backs me against my locker and leans against me, kissing me passionately for 30 seconds (despite his friends watching and laughing) and slips a note into my pocket. (Which of course contains his phone number and secret coded message of love that only I understand.)

No? Just me, huh? Damn.

Anyways.

These high school fantasies (thankfully starring Edward instead of loser bald guy) have been plaguing me for about a month now. And I was feeling pretty guilty about them, seeing as how I'm happily married and all that. Until I realized something.

The characteristics and personality traits that I obsess over and love about Edward are really all elements and traits that my husband possesses. YAY! In fact, almost everything about Edward reminds me of Hubs.

(Although, I did tell Hubs to please grow out his hair, invest in a flat iron and get blonde highlights and gold contacts.)

So, in reality, when I'm getting all excited mooshy gooshy dreamy about Edward, I'm really getting excited about Hubs. By dreaming about Edward and his shenanigans with me, I'm rekindling the ever-glowing flame of love I have with the true man of my dreams.

(Yes, the face of Hubs might occasionally be replaced with Robert Pattinson's, but c'mon. Let's be honest. Like Hub's hasn't ever dreamt about Jessica Alba showing up at his front door... out of gas and soaking wet, looking for a place to stay the night. And let's not forget, Jessica's a real person. Edward Cullen is a figment of a friggin' girl's imagination.)

We win. Edward Cullen crushes are now officially allowed.

Dream on, girls. Dream on.

Friday, November 21, 2008

shameful, just shameful

I'm sure some of you are hoping for a movie review from my midnight viewing of "Twilight."

(As if I am important enough to deserve that kind of attention.)

You aren't going to get it.

Long story short, I was too tired.

(Let the old lady jabs begin. I'm ready for it.)

As I told you yesterday, I was out of town for work Wednesday and Thursday this week.

(I know, two whole days of work! However did I survive?)

Two days away from home may not sound too shabby if you're, say, sitting in a cushy conference room all day talking about TPS reports and adjourning to a lush hotel bed at night.

That was not my trip.

Driving back and forth all across an unfamiliar town and putting on my "God, I Am SO Happy To Be Here" face all day really takes it out of me.

Not to mention dragging 200 pounds of samples up and down 3 flights of stairs every half hour.

(Yes, I am exaggerating. But I want you to feel sorry for me, so there.)

Anyways. Last night at 8:00 pm after a three hour gab fest at a local restaurant with clients, I began the journey back home.

Despite my 40 oz bucket of fountain soda and Hub's gangsta rap CD (blaring at volume level 65), I still found myself yanking tufts of my hair out in an effort to prevent my vehicle from driving off the road and killing innocent deer, possum and raccoons. After 2.5 hours of toll ways, rest stops and pep talks, I pulled onto my street and seriously contemplated kissing the driveway.

I walked into the house, smelled fresh Febreeze (Hub's cleaned in my absence. Love him.) and instantly knew a trip to a movie theatre was not in my future.

I know. I'm a wimp.

Newsflash: "Twilight" isn't going anywhere. It will still be there tomorrow, and Edward will still be lovely.

(Besides, after I drive for long periods of time, I get super duper cranky. Attending a movie with hundreds of 17-year-olds within my immediate striking distance would have been a very bad idea. In fact, my absence probably kept a few squeaky sophomores from experiencing an ice cold Diet Pepsi dumped over their heads.)

(See? I'm thinking of other people. Always.)

I'm not terribly upset I missed the premiere. Yes, it would have been great fun (and awesome people watching), but waiting a few days for Edward isn't going to kill me.

After all, he waited over 100 years for Bella. And it was worth his wait.

I'm sure the movie will be, too.

____________

Any of you see it? Was it amazing and beautiful and everything you imagined in your mind? Tell me, tell me, tell me!