Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
On a whim, I stopped by Target on my way home to grab some fresh eggs (I was inspired to bake chocolate chip cookies for Brad when he gets home from Vegas on Thursday). I needed eggs. Nothing. Else.
Now I know me pretty well, having been around myself for 20 some odd years. I know that Target = purchases (of the unnecessary variety). Therefore as I parked the car and began the walk into the store, I provided myself the following pep talk:
"You are here for eggs. Eggs. From a chicken. You don't need anything in this store unless it derives from a chicken and is packaged in a very fragile white membrane casing. Eggs, Kim. Eggs. Not Egg-O's. If memory serves, they are not from a chicken. Just eggs." As an extra precaution, I forwent the provided red grocery baskets to further discourage myself from superfluous purchases. Go me.
Surprisingly I found myself heading straight for the refrigerated section of the store. I selected my 18 eggs (I only need two for chocolate chip cookies. Target is the devil.) and headed back toward the front of the store.
I really wish I could tell you I ended up in the women's clothes section because it's directly adjacent to the egg department. Even more, I wish I could tell you that I arrived at the cash register with the exact same sweater I turned down on Thursday because I was planning a trip to Good Will to make a donation. But no, at the register I had in my possession: 18 eggs, one DVD, the sweater (that still wasn't on sale), cottage cheese, yogurt, and a Tide bleach pen. Further complicating matters, I was balancing all of these items in my rather uncoordinated arms. Because the basket encourages unnecessary shopping, you'll remember.
All wasn't lost though. At the last second, I grumbled at the cashier that I didn't really need the bleach pen or the sweater after all. This is the second time I have had that adorable sweater in my hands and put it back. I am the poster child for self control. As far as the other purchases rationale goes, the DVD was two movies in one case for only $9.00. They were giving that thing away. I need the cottage cheese to go with dinner, and everyone needs more yogurt in their diet. So, in the end, I came into Target for one thing, and left with four. One day at a time...
In the end we all went to my parents' neighborhood park and worked up a helluva sweat playing some basketball. I'm still sore. In a number of places.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Then today, I was stalking some blogs and ran across this one by a fellow KC dweller. She posted an article that literally made me cry for twenty minutes solid. How is this possible? How do people like this exist in the world? It's kind of a bummer way to start the weekend, but it forced me to do something I haven't in awhile. Think. This article makde me feel like a Grade A jackass. There are bigger issues in the world than my sweater collection. Maybe it's time I took a step back and thought about that.
I'd tell you to enjoy the article, but you won't. Unfortunately life isn't a fairy tale; sometimes you have to settle for "Decently Ever After".
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I could not believe a manual like this even exists, and yet, I feel better knowing there are people out there that share my exact same
For real? This is my new Bible.
This book has it all. It's organized by body part, then provides a graphically detailed description of symptoms. After shocking the bejeezus out of you with pictures and graphs, it conclusively informs you of what ailment you are clearly suffering from.
Examples: Are you trembling today? You may think that you overestimated your coffee intake for the morning. But if you had this book, you would know that you potentially have encountered Mercury Poisoning!
What about your voice? Is it a bit hoarse? You could have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis! Get yourself to an Endocrinologist, as the suffering level on this bad boy is a 3 out of 4. And you could die.
As a forewarning, this book has some icky graphic cartoons and isn't best if you have a weak stomach.
(Which, by the way, means you're suffering from Cholera)
My advice is to skip the pictures and just focus on the written word.
The best part about this book is the tidbits of information you'd never know otherwise. Now you can look smart and crazy at the exact same time!
For example, did you know that the common office desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat? If that doesn't make you want to run to Sam's and buy mass quantities of Purell, you are beyond my help.
The thing is, the book is obviously satirical. As is everything at Urban Outfitters. It's a conversation piece, if you will.
I however, want a copy for my car, bedroom, parent's house and I'm considering over-nighting one to my doctor. They can't be expected to remember everything they learned in medical school. This book could save a life! You can buy it here.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I'm ready for snuggly hoodies, comfy shmumfy Ugg boots (even though I don't have any), cute little scarfs wrapped around my neck, pumpkin scented candles, the colors orange and brown, and most importantly...tailgating. I love the crispness of the air in autumn, mixed together with hot dogs on the grill and a fresh beer in my hand. Wow, that sounded borderline white trash.
Fall is by far my most nostalgic time of year, so don't be surprised if you start seeing a lot of weepy "remember back in the day" posts from me in the coming weeks. Recently I went through a lot of old family photos, and they will most likely be appearing somewhere soon. I didn't say you had to like it, but there it is.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
This is a short post, but I really have to go. Father of the Bride I and II are both on today. Could this weekend get any better?
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Yummy yummy yummy. These shoes made my little heart get all bubbly the minute I saw them. For those of you that are fashion challenged, berry is the new color for the season. (I know that because I see it everywhere, not because I'm in some special fashion club loop.) Lipsticks, eye-shadow, clothes and shoes are looking berry, berry sweet this fall, and these Jasmine Mary Jane pumps from (wait for it) Target totally fit the bill. And they're $32.99! I can't go to Applebee's for less than $35!
The heel is completely substantial on this shoe, making it easier to wear throughout the day. And, of course, check out the heel on the shoe...same color as the body. This Mary Jane is mighty juicy and fulfills all my requirements. It will coordinate nicely with pants, skirts or capris and take you from day to night in the flash of an eye. My only issue with this shoe (would that be called an "ish-shoe?") is its creator, Issac Mizrahi. I find him incredibly annoying and don't thrill at the idea of putting money in his designer pockets. Guess I'll just tell myself that the money's going to the little factory workers he probably gropes on a regular basis.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I probably will not be rocking Bubble Boots this fall, but props to anyone who gives it a shot. Considering they're from Lacoste, I'd look for a relatively hefty price tag. And don't blame me when someone asks if you're headed to a Napoleon Dynamite look-alike contest.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
The house and community I lived in for my entire childhood holds more memories than I can even remember. Our home on Dawdy Drive was part of a neighborhood that prided itself on kind people and even better barbecues. The Arnold, Marolf and Boswell families held a friendship and camaraderie for over 20 years that no one else on the block could possibly comprehend. Just a few years back, my parents left that neighborhood for their dream house a few miles away. Then last year, the Marolf's followed suit and moved into their new home, too. The Boswell's remain the only family of our trifecta that is left on Dawdy. And last year, they got some bad news.
Jan Boswell (or my second mother as I grew up) was diagnosed with Leukemia 8 months ago. She has been battling ever since, and the Arnold's and Marolf's have been there every step of the way to offer support. It's been a very rough journey and it still isn't over. Then, a few days ago, I had an epiphany. To boost Jan's spirits and honor our family friendship, I wanted to make a photo memory book of all the good times we had on the block.
Last night my mom I went to the Marolf's new abode and sorted through hundreds of pictures in a search for snapshots of 4th of July parades, neighborhood Easter Egg hunts, trips on the school bus and camping extravaganza's. We ended up with more than enough shots, but still didn't have pictures of the three houses we all used to reside in. No problem. I had a camera phone.
This morning I headed over to the neighborhood armed with my camera phone and a sunny disposition. As I eased onto the street, I noticed the Dawdy street sign I once hit with my car.
(That's a great story I'll share another day.)
I had to get a picture.
I pulled to the edge of the road and exited the car to get a bit closer. As I was snapping the picture, a gentlemen on a motorcycle passed very slowly by. I waved politely all neighborly and continued snapping. He got about 20 yards from me and came to a complete halt, checking me out over his shoulder. At that time, another vehicle approached his bike and stopped as well. The two people inaudibly chatted and watched me intently. Feeling uncomfortable, I determined my presence wasn't welcome. I hopped back in the car and decided to come back in a few minutes for the house pictures.
Not thirty seconds later, the car showed up in my rear view mirror. It was so close to my fender, I knew the driver had to be taking down my license plate. Fabulous.
I reached an intersection, and the car pulled beside me. I could hear the screaming before my window was even down.
I'll spare you the details of what I heard in the next few minutes, but it involves more profanity than Quentin Terrantino would be comfortable with. The driver demanded to know what I was doing taking pictures of her effing neighbors' homes. She was a member of the neighborhood watch (how terribly unfortunate for the neighborhood) and had my license plate number. She was just seconds away from calling the police to report my effing. trespassing.
My normal response would be to lose my temper and fight back with even louder profanities. But I could understand her concern. A strange person taking pictures of your street is a bit odd. And let's not forget, I am quite the sinister individual.
I took a deep breath and calmly tried to explain that I once lived on the street.
(She didn't effing care.)
I was trying to make a tribute album for the Boswell family who still reside on this street.
(She effing didn't effing care.)
Jan Boswell has cancer.
(She REALLY didn't effing care.)
I was simply trying to do something nice.
(Effing effing effity eff eff effing leave the neighborhood effing now.)
During her final string of profanities, I think the woman began to realize who i was. I caught a glimmer of recognition (or maybe it was constipation) cross her face, but she ignored it. She was in too deep now.
With a final huff, the driver pulled a U-turn and was gone in a classy cloud of exhaust, her tailpipe hanging on for dear life.
Afterword, I sat in my car for a good five minutes trying to wrap my brain around what had just happened. Ten years ago, if my mom had seen a 27 -year old girl in 3" designer heels snapping a few pictures on our street, would she have verbally attacked her and called the police? Or would she have simply inquired about the purpose of the pictures and then asked where to get her amazing shoes? I certainly hope the answer would be the latter.
All in all, I'm really quite distraught that my old neighborhood has people like this residing in it. The woman obviously knew the Boswell's and clearly didn't care about Jan's cancer, either. Are these the kind of people who have taken over Dawdy Drive? It pains me to think it and I can only hope that this woman is not the person residing in my childhood home.
The biggest problem is, I still have to go back for pictures of the three houses. I'm seriously tempted to dress in all black and a ski mask. Then I can explain to the man-lady that this is the kind of person you call the police on.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Need something to read this summer? How about four something's? Not to go all "Oprah's Book Club" on you, but I have the collection for you. My literature obsessed best buddy Judy just turned me on to the Stephanie Meyer's four book series known as "The Twilight Collection". When she first suggested them, I looked away and tried not to do my snort laugh. Here's the gist: Teenage girl meets boy. Boy is strange but likes teenage girl. Something is off. Boy is vampire. Aaaaand....scene!
Vampire love stories? This is where Judy lost me. I'm all for books with twists, but a vampire? Could we get a bit more hokey? (Plus you all remember I have issues with vampires anyway.) It all sounded very cult this and demon that for my taste. However, Judy assured me I was in for a treat. In fact, she was so confident that I would love the story, she told me to forgo the library and just buy the first novel. Apparently she knew I would be making a return trip the next day for the second book.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I wanted to do something extra special for M that didn't necessarily involve a gift. She'd be getting plenty of those this weekend from grandparents and parties. So, I thought back to my childhood and tried to remember my favorite birthdays. What did they all have in common? It wasn't the presents (can't even remember half of them. Except my Sweet Secrets, those were always amazing), and it wasn't the money and the cards. It was my family, gathered around our living room table, eagerly awaiting the reveal of the loot. And what did we center ourselves around at the gift table? The cake.
My mom always made the most adorable and thoughtful cakes for each of our birthdays. If we loved unicorns that year, you bet your sweet tukus the cake pictured a unicorn gracefully galloping/flying across a beautiful blue frosting sky. Mild obsession with race cars? How about a racetrack birthday cake to commemorate your day? These were no HyVee or Wal-Mart cookie cutter creations. They were one of a kind and special because Mommy made them, and she didn't have to.
In an effort to keep the much-loved tradition alive, I decided to attempt an "8" cake for our Mighty Miss M. Working against me were a lack of confectionery skills, zilch experience and even less talent. This did not prove to be enough to dissuade me. I, of course, consulted Mom endlessly on what to buy and how to approach my (to me) tricky idea. She was very helpful, but in the end I was the one who had the vision, and I had to try it on my own.
After several sketches, a few head scratches and a lot of "What is going on with you, you stupid &%*(@#) cake!?" obscenities, I completed my creation. I gotta say I'm relatively proud. Like Ferris Bueller once said, "Never had one lesson".
The cake was not pristine, nor was it professional. The craft was a notch or two below average. I didn't care. M really seemed to enjoy it, and that's all that mattered. Hopefully one day, she'll look back and remember her 8th birthday with just a little more nostalgia, knowing that her step-mom really tried to make it special. And while I didn't get M her first real cell phone (that's what completely oblivious step-fathers are for, apparently), I did make her a memory that will maybe last just a little longer than the others she experienced. Just maybe.
Below are pictures from M's fun filled 8-year old birthday weekend. Enjoy!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Thankfully, most of the "oops" recipes have remained quietly on the kitchen cutting room floor. On occasion though, a few have slipped through the cracks.
(Stroganoff. Tapioca pudding. Off-the-shoulder sweatshirts. Spandex. )
My friends, we can now add another to that list. I thought it was gone. I thought America had learned. But alas, the #1 fashion recipe blunder of all time is resurfacing this fall.
It will probably bring banana clips with it, tying in nicely with my food/recipe metaphor.
The Tight Roll
You will need:
1) 1 pair jeans, two sizes too big. Extra points for heavy acid wash.
2) Strong fingers. (Remember to stretch.)
3) An uncontrollable desire to look 15 pounds heavier. All in your ass.
Prep time: 2 minutes
Regret time: 30 years
Step into over sized jeans. Examine ass in mirror. Prepare for growth.
Bend at waist and grab excess fabric at ankles. Pinch denim cuff, and fold remaining cuff tightly around your ankle. Roll cuff two times up your ankle to secure.
A loss of blood to your feet should set in at this time. Do not panic, this is fashion.
Stand up. Examine ass in mirror. A three inch growth on each side should be prevalent. If you have a sudden craving to watch "Sixteen Candles", you've done it right.
Optional: Add a bangle bracelets and faded New Kids on the Block T-shirt to complete your look.
So what brought this tyrade of mine on? This afternoon I found an article about Katie Holmes and her new obsession with "Pegged Jeans". I took one look at the pictures and screamed, "THAT'S A TIGHT ROLL!" In the article they describe the look as "baggy" and "pegged". I call it "flaming" and "jackass". Oh well, now she looks as crazy as Tom.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Some people see a helicopter flying overhead and think, "Cool, some rich guy is taking a cruise in his aircraft." Mom and I think, "Holy shit, a homicidal maniac is clearly loose somewhere in our neighborhood. They're doing a silent once-over first to secure the area and then the door-to-door searching will begin."
You may see the beautiful rolling hills in Kansas and marvel at its magnificence. Mommy and me see the perfect location for underground nuclear weapons, cleverly hidden less than a mile from our quiet homes. That explains the cheap property tax this year!!!
So you get the picture, and now you understand why the long-running joke in our family is that Mom and I should both constantly wear helmets. (I think it's a great idea, it will keep aliens from reading our thoughts. Take that, suckas!) Last night, I joined my Mom and Dad and some of their good friends for dinner, and they had a spectacular surprise for Mom. Great gift, Beth and Rollie. I want one, too! See the picture below...
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
So yesterday I got a call from someone at Helzberg's, explaining that my ring is taking so long because it's a very small size and has to be recast. I totally get that. Look, creating custom jewelry takes time. Duh. That's not where I have a problem. What bothers me is that the gentlemen who sold us the ring said it wouldn't take any longer than 2 weeks. How difficult would it be to say that it could take as long as 4 times that, just so the customer doesn't have false hope?
Trust me, I'm not expecting anything I wouldn't expect of myself. I work in sales and always allow a cushion of time for delivery, so as not to disappoint any of my clients and to protect myself from looking like a liar. Besides, it doesn't benefit the customer to tell them what you think they want to hear. Secondly, anyone can make a mistake about a delivery date. However, when I make a mistake and disappoint someone, I certainly don't talk down to them and ask if they wish to cancel their sale. What a rotten way to do business. In addition, this particular salesman is working nearly every time we go in, and he constantly has a haughty attitude. He looks at us as though we are beneath him (which is hilarious considering we've given him a sale twice in one year) and is probably one of the pushiest salesman I've ever encountered.
Let me further clarify that I have no problem with Helzberg's as a company. They're based out of KC and I think their jewelry is beautiful. Maybe it's just this one particular gentlemen who needs to rethink how he treats his customers. What I do know is that when my rings sautered, that business will go straight to the House of Diamonds. They custom built my engagement ring and gave Brad exactly what they promised. They are kind, courteous and most importantly bend over backwards to make sure you are satisfied. That type of attitude pays off.
All right, enough preaching for today. Clearly I got on a tangent and couldn't get off of it. But, being negative never makes my day better, so I'm on to the positive. At least I can eat without heading straight to the bathroom like yesterday. That's worth its weight in 18 karat white gold.
Monday, August 4, 2008
I'm so glad that Brad's anniversary present has made it home...but what about mine? That's a whole other ball of wax. If you'll remember a few posts back, I shared that Brad bought me the anniversary side of my ring. I was beside myself with happiness when I got it, and bummed that it was a bit too large. We ordered the correctly sized ring and the manager looked me in the eye and said, "Two weeks and the new ring should be here." A blind man could see where this is going...
It has now been three weeks, and yesterday afternoon we took a trip over to Helzberg's on our way to the new Batman film (more on that later). I asked the smarmy manager whom we reluctantly purchased the ring from to please look up our order and determine why the ring had not arrived. He looked me up and down, tsk'd lightly and consulted his computer. Then he expertly wrung his fingers together in seemingly deep frustration and with a (practiced) bewildered look on his face said, "The ring is expected to arrive on September 1st." Cue the "Psycho" music.
Feeling Brad tense up (more because he was afraid of what I would do to this man than about the ring), I replied, "When were we going to receive a phone call explaining that the ring would be this late?" The manager stuck to his "Lost in Space" face and said, "The average time for an ordered ring is 2-8 weeks." Really? That's like a doctor telling me I could die anywhere from 28-97. I was clearly reaching my boiling point and told the gentlemen that it was preposterous for the ring to take this long when he himself had told us 2 weeks maximum. His response? A shoulder shrug and a flat, "Would you like to cancel the order?" Yes, that's exactly what I want to do. I want to not receive the gorgeous matching anniversary band that my husband bought me out of the goodness of his heart.
I expressed my disappointment (quite calmly I must say) in the situation and we headed for the movie theatre. Not 20 minutes later, while I was in the bathroom, Brad received a call from the Helzberg's manager. He expressed his "sincere" apologies and said he would call first thing Monday to see if he might speed up the process. I find it amusing that this man chose to call Brad's phone considering that "Kim's Cell" is listed as the main contact number. There's a phrase for this manager's tactics. It starts with "chicken" and ends with "shit".
So that's the ring debacle. Otherwise, we had a great weekend. The new Batman film was in a word: amazing. I know there's lots of talk that Heath Ledger will receive an Oscar for his performance, and I guess I'm okay with that. But more than anything, I just really liked the movie. In my opinion, Michael Cane is really the cream of the entire cast crop. He plays Alfred so well and is one of the most likable actors I've ever watched.