Wednesday, August 27, 2008

under the gunn

I called it a month ago. Even before she added the Michael Stipe hat. Remember Katie Holmes new look (if you can call it that) to which I devoted an entire blog post? I am not alone in my opinons. Check it out. Tim Gunn agrees with me. Maybe I will replace Michael Kors as a judge on Project Runway after he he slips into his inevitable self-worship induced coma.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

personal ad

I snapped a phone pic of this ridiculous truck on I-70 today. It says: "Redneck in 'Da Hood. I Got Her Done."

SRNM* with big red truck and even redder neck seeks SRNF* or DSRNF*. Must be willing and able to cook frog legs. Ability to belch the alphabet not required, but preferred. I'm a lover of outdoor sports, so all NASCAR fans are welcome to apply. Extra points if you can hide Natty Light in your handbag when we go* to the races. Beer there is some kind of expensive.

Applicant must be able to recite works from the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White). You may be tested on our first date, so do some preparin' beforehand.

I'm a modern gentlemen and understand ladies these days need their independence. Our first and subsequent dates will therefore be dutch. If you prefer though, my Mama makes excellent fried chicken for free. Bein' as how she lives 'cross the street, it won't take much gas to get there. As you can see, I'm sensitive to the stressful economics of our time as well.

If you are interested in a quick look-see, please call 555-4833.
*SRNM- Single Red Neck Male
*SRNF- Single Red Neck Female
*DRNF- Divorced Red Neck Female
*Go- Win free tickets to

Monday, August 25, 2008

My name is Kim...and I'm a Target-aholic

Okay peeps, remember my epiphany a few days ago? Remember how I was going to really think about life, and how lucky I have it? I was determined to count my blessings, and be glad for all my fortunate-ness? Well, today Target ruined it all.

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...

rain that never came

What do you do when the weatherman predicts rain for the entire weekend? In our family, we make plans around it. On Saturday we took the girls to Topeka to visit my parents for the day, and though we all really wanted to take a trip to the swimming pool and have an outdoor picnic with Grandma and Grandpa, the inevitable weather issue changed our plans. So, we improvised a trip to the movies and lots of board games to fill the time while it was raining. But it never rained. Not even a drop. Go figure.

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.

Jacob and Taylor shootin' hoops.

Trying soooo hard!

Yeah, Mama's still got it...

...and I'm still a klutz. This is two seconds after a ball hit me in the face.
Thanks for snapping that pic, Dad.

Brad (Air) Antisdel...on a 6' goal.

Daddy's still got it, too!

Friday, August 22, 2008

i don't have words...

Last night as the hub and I mulled around Target, I found a sweater that I had to have. It was a bit pricey (even for Target) so I didn't end up buying it, and spent a good five minutes (or an hour) sulking about it. I really wanted that sweater, and it was just my luck that it would be too expensive. Life was so unfair.

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

thursday shoes

Dear Restricted Button Boots,

You are beautiful. Just look at you. That oh-so-soft and feminine suede contrasted with a tough, masculine patent cap toe. It's a thing that makes me go "mmmm". 

And let's just discuss how clever you are. Your unique and intricate button detail implies you might prove difficult to put on. But in fact, your inner leg zipper makes getting you on my feet deceptively simple.

You will be easy to take off and hug. Possibly in public.

I'm not sure I've ever fallen for a pair of footwear so quickly before. So smitten am I that this afternoon I actually scoured the internet for a pair of skinny jeans to tuck into you. You are "Little House on the Prairie" meets Fashion Week, and even can't beat that pairing.

I'm not positive I am worthy of wearing you.

You do have a downside though, and in the interest of my readers I must bring it to light.  Though it isn't your fault, your sticker price is a bit daunting, coming in at $140.00 retail.

(Let's not be silly, though.  I'll still buy you, I just wanted to complain for a moment.)

You know, Button Boots, there's a saying that preaches "You Can't Take it With You". Fortunately for me, I don't plan on taking you, I'm going to wear you. All over this town. 

And someday when I reach the Pearly Gates, I can't imagine anyone turning me down with you on my tootsies. After all, I'll be 3 1/2" taller...and fashionable to boot.

Pun intended.

I Think I Love You,


I knew I had a brain tumor

While in Vegas last week, Hubs stopped into an Urban Outfitters (because it's the best store ever)to browse around. He stumbled into the book section and found a book that screamed, "Buy this for your wife!"

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 brain malfunction paranoia.

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

is this beer that I have or is this wine?

Howdy partner! Jessica Simpson is the new spokesperson for a beer. Stampede Plus Light is a new brew to the market place and originates in Dallas, TX. The "Plus" being that it's loaded with lots of nutritious vitamins for the active lifestyler. So it's Michelob Ultra, with spurs. I gotta hand it to the Stampede Plus Light people, they're taking a pretty big risk. You never know what Jess is going to say, and I can easily picture her on Good Morning America touting, "It's super yummy, and the grapes give it great flavor. The hops were raised in a beautiful vineyard." Well, she didn't know Chicken of the Sea was tuna...

It's not a huge surprise that Jessica is taking on this new endeavor. Her newest album falls into the yee-ha genre, and becoming a spokesman for a Texas based beer will hopefully give her new CD some country cred. She hopes. Unfortunatley, she was booed during her first performance of the new CD in Wisconsin. Maybe the crowd just needed some Stampede Light Plus. Vitamins make you happy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

call me crazy

It's no secret that the weather has gotten significantly cooler in the last few weeks, and yesterday as I sat eating lunch with some of my clients, I heard a song that is usually played during the Christmas season. Preseason football has begun, college football is around the corner, and Brad has his fantasy football draft this weekend. I'm going to say it - consequences be damned. I'm ready for fall. I'm ready for this...

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

diamonds are a girl's best friend

It's finally here! The anniversary band of for my wedding ring arrived on Saturday morning. So, while Brad was out taking his motorcycle ridng classes, I stopped over at the store and picked it up. It fits perfectly and I think it looks great! What do you you all think?

Sometime in the next few weeks I'm going to get my engagement ring and the original wedding band cleaned and dipped, and then I'm going to have all three rings soldered together. Truthfully I really don't want to solder them, but with three separate rings on my finger that could all potentially fall off or be dropped (remember how unusually clumsy I am), I'd feel better knowing they were all together in the same place. I think I would have a heart attack if any of my gorgeous gifts from Brad were lost.

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

thursday shoes

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

wacky wednesday shoes

Calm down, Thursday shoes isn't going anywhere. I still need my weekly fix of new peep toes and wedges to polish off a rough week. However, today I was searching for tomorrow's shoe entry and ran across the apparent new hotness for the fall season. Bubble Boots. I can't promise that this trend will ever make it to Kansas (we're still struggling to get past polyester) but if it does, you can say you saw it here first.

These boots first made an appearance at New York's Fashion Week and it doesn't appear that they are available in stores yet. What I can tell you is that they are...unique. A morphing of Moon Boots and really fat grub worms. The best part? Due to the width of the boot, your legs will look slimmer. And deformed. I'm not sure what's going on with the model's legs, but she has so many layers they resemble bizarre Lego pieces.

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

...there goes the neighborhood

Long story, but I've got to get it out.

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.

The illegally snapped photo.

Monday, August 11, 2008

love at first bite

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.
So I did it. While shopping for Makayla's birthday presents, I reluctantly picked up the first book, "Twilight", and began to read on the way up to Iowa this weekend. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. This book is like a vortex from which you cannot escape. Who knew a vampire love story could be so - intriguing? On Sunday, I confessed to Jan (Brad's step-mom) that I was reading a book about teen vampires. Imagine my shock when a look of recognition passed over her face as she exclaimed, "I have them all! Do you want to borrow?" Christmas came early!!

I won't give further details about the books; that would cheat your enjoyment. The movie based on the first novel comes out December 12th, so you still have time to read before it's here. Trust me, read the book first. But if you're book incapacitated (my husband joins you in your plight) simply wait for December and see the movie. Just remember that movies have been known to do the books they derive from absolutely no justice. Is that a risk you really want to take?? I didn't think so.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

crazy eights and tricky cakes

I can't begin to fathom the number of people who got married, engaged, conceived children or witnessed the Olympics on Friday. It would be mind numbing. I can however, tell you how our family celebrated such an interesting date in time. M, our oldest daughter, turned 8 eight years old on Friday. For those of you not counting, that's four 8's in all. This was no golden birthday, it was more like platinum.

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!

The parts of cake I had to remove. I ate them.

The completed "8"cake. Voila!

Me and the girls!

M's first real Diary- with a lock and everything!

Camp Rock chair from Grandma Janette!

Rockin' new earrings from Grandpa Bill and Grandma Jan!

T on the bike with Daddy

M's turn (you can't tell but she's freaking out)

Our little Helmet Heads.

I love this picture!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

roll 'em up, move 'em out

Fashion is like concocting a killer new recipe. You must experiment with new ingredients (fabrics, textures, vegetables, spices) to get something forward and fresh. As with all innovation, there are bound to be mistakes along the way.

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

this little apple doesn't fall far from the tree

You can inherit many genes from your parents: eye color, height, weight - psychotic paranoia. The latter of these four I definitely got from my mama. Chicken Little ain't got nothin' on us Arnold/Antisdel women. The sky is falling? Whatever cheep cheep, for me and my mom, the whole galaxy is falling. In a new way every day. You just have to know where to look...

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...

Mom's new helmet, complete with optional bolts to tighten it down for when the paranoia really takes over.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

comic sans- the new batman?

Ever wonder how certain fonts get selected for various magazines and web-sites? No? Well, I do. And now I know...

Warning: Font Conference is probably only funny to people who understand there is life outisde Helevetica.

Thursday shoes, not on Thursday

Pretty sure I missed last week's Thursday shoes. Sorry, kids. I'm here to make it up to you, with a beautiful sandal from America's favorite airhead, Jessica Simpson. I found this little pepper on for $89.00. At that price, I think a trip to ebay might be necessary. You never know, it might be there! I love the shiny, fun look of this strappy sandal, and it fulfills my number one shoe rule; the heel matches the rest of the piece. So important.

tummy bug

Oy. Right when we thought we were done with being sick (headaches, fever, etc.), Brad and I both got nailed with the stomach flu yesterday. Neither of us is feeling on top of our game today, and we both literally slept for 16 hours yesterday. Brad returned to work this morning and I'll be making a few calls to clients as well, but if I can avoid passing this on to anyone else, I'm going to. This is without a doubt the "sickest" summer I've endured for a long time. Make sure to take your vitamins so you don't end up with the same thing.

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

boys, toys, movies and managers

This was a big weekend for Brad. Friday afternoon we drove to his Dad's house to pick up the new bike. When we pulled into the driveway, it was like Christmas morning. Brad was glowing as he walked up to the motorcycle, so thrilled to finally be seeing it in person. After doing a thorough once-over on the body, he hopped on the seat and was on the road for a quick "around the block" drive, beaming the whole way. I think he would have driven it all the way home if I had let him. Without a license or tags, though, that would have been a pretty dangerous gamble. So, the guys carefully loaded the bike into the truck (we're switching cars with Bill for the week) and went on our merry way. Brad's anniversary present is now home, tucked into the garage and just itching for Brad to get licensed and take her on a ride. We're still not sure what to name her. I'm going for Shirley, as in "Surely he isn't going to take Shirley for a ride every day?" Thoughts? Suggestions?

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.
Anyways, below are pics of Brad and Shirley. I'm calling her that until he comes up with something better...
Getting aquainted...

Talking softly...

off we go!

A happy boy and his long-awaited toy.