Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Shouting Out

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JoRo!!! We love you and miss you!!!

Unexpected reward from checking out the website of a Three Year Old's favorite musician - hearing an emerging artist who is just too awesome for words. Her name is Charlie Faye, she's moved to Austin from New York City, so the odds are much better that I will be able to see her in concert. The Tour of Texas trip is still in the planning stages, and Austin is *definitely* one of the cities we will be visiting, to see our friends S.A.S. and Mosalish and S-bling-bling.

So, here's the link - go there and listen to "The Last Kids in the Bar", at least - I promise you will NOT regret it:

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cluttered House on the Prairie

When I was a little girl, I read all of the "Little House on the Prairie" books, and longed to be exactly like Laura Ingalls Wilder. All things Laura were what I decided to be. I wore my very long hair in braids. When I bought 3 cent grape bubble gum at Skaggs Alpha Beta, I pretended it was penny horehound (even though I didn't know what horehound candy was). During the early 80's, it wasn't that hard to pretend to be Laura - there were only a certain number of TV channels, and cloth dolls and long dresses were in easy supply. I clearly remember telling my mother that instead of my regular allowance, which was up to $4 per week depending on the chores I completed, I wished instead to max out at 50 cents. This was a king's ransom to Laura, and I thought that I should live as she did, in order to make the cloning process complete. Mom gently explained the concept of inflation to me, and advised that I not make it a practice of asking for pay cuts in the future. She used words like responsibility and reward, and advised that Laura didn't use electricity either, so I might want to choose carefully where I decided to align my situation with that of the Ingalls'.

The one area of my life that has never aligned with Laura's is the arena of material possessions. The Ingalls' packed up everything their family of five owned, loaded it into a covered wagon, and took off across the country to find a home. If my family of three had to load up our material possessions, it would take a 21' truck, two cars, and some creative wedging. This isn't an estimation, it's a fact.

Today, I live a mile away from the neighborhood where I grew up. A lot of things have changed, but the one constant is that a ranch style house can become an obstacle course of strewn toys in a matter of minutes. I am an organization fanatic - I can't stand disorder, it gives me a headache and makes me generally cranky. My next step is to rent a dumpster and give myself 2 hours to fill it up. Where does all this stuff come from? I cringe to think about how much landfill space I'm personally responsible for.

Am I alone here? I really don't think so...there are those who are much better than I at maintaining an acceptable level of clutter, but overall I think it's part of life now - for every necessity item, there's a free sample; for every kid's meal, there's a toy; for every DVD rental, there's a pile of receipts and coupons a mile high. Not that I'm blameless, here. I don't come home empty-handed every day. So, what's the answer? I honestly don't know. There are shows on home design channels about this exact issue.

I'm calling Necie Nash. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It is What it Is

Just about every situation can be boiled down to the above statement - It is What it Is. This is a phrase I repeat daily at work, at home, and when talking myself out of embarking on a tri-state killing spree (just kidding, but it feels great to say). It helps me to remember that no matter the possible implications of the words or actions of myself or others, I can only consider the face of it. For an OCD person such as I, contemplating the ramifications of a situation (usually focusing on my own failure in perception, statement, or deed) can spiral to the point where my own thoughts would be unrecognizable if I were in the right frame of mind. I'm a creative person, so I can conceive of possible outcomes to different situations until the end of time, and stopping that process is akin to derailing an Amtrak with a paperclip and a Happy Meal toy.

So, I've added the KT Corollary to the statement, and it's become - It is What it Is, Nothing More and Nothing Less. The first part of the addition is to remind me not to entertain myself by thinking up ways that my world could end, leaving me unemployed, despised, and afflicted by adult-onset acne. Part two is to keep me from blocking it out completely to avoid unpleasant thoughts entirely - there has to be a lesson learned.

I found this statement to be helpful this weekend when taking a stroll through the Coach store. Ahh, heaven. So many beautiful bags. Such design, such quality. Generous and understanding Dave has bestowed many handbags upon me, including two beautiful red Coach shoulder bags. As I perused the fall selection, I noticed that red is a popular color this year - and there were many opportunities to purchase lovely accessory items to complement my red bags. Suddenly, I was transformed by the notion of owning these accessory items, and imagined how glamorous I would be if only I could figure out a way to make them mine. I picked up one small item to examine it, and checked the pricetag. Oh. My. God. What was I thinking? The phrase came to mind, and I used it to come back to reality - it's just an accessory, nothing more and nothing less. The cost of that item would pay for a vacation. My heart rate returned to normal, my breathing slowed, and I didn't even want it anymore.

One victory down, hopefully an indication of more to come...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


My first child was a kitty named Tasha Pretty Kitty, who spelled phonetically and plotted world domination. She was with us for 17 years. I wear her initials around my neck every day, and I miss her all the time. She returned to Kittor to regain her rightful place in the Tricateral Commission, and assured us that when the revolution came, we would be spared. When confronting a new idea or situation, she would have to "groom on that", and she wrote songs in her spare time. When she wasn't planning world domination, that is.

She would have loved this:

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Shock and Awe

As stated in a previous post, my uniform for work is a pair of black boot cut pants, some top, and 2" heels. This is something I believed to be true in the same way that the sky is up, grass is green, and I will only find the perfect accessory when I am broke. Tonight, I learned that I have been wrong...shocking, yes...but true.

Due to the recent acquisition of a new wardrobe (thanks, Mom!) I now have the ability to branch out into new clothing horizons, which include the implementation of pants in colors other than black. Nervous, but determined, I set out to shop online for the perfect pair of chocolate brown shoes to go with the adorable low-rise flare-leg Ann Taylor pants Mom gave me. I pondered the possibility of buying a pair of heeled loafers identical to a set I already own in black. They are darling - topstitched with a cutout over the toe and little metal accents. These shoes have served me well - so well, in fact, that I'm on my second pair of black ones - but I digress. I read the description of the shoes I already owned, agreeing with the statements regarding their style, versatility, and comfort. I reflected upon how I used these shoes as a benchmark of the heel height for any other shoes, as they are just perfect for work pants as well as jeans. At the end of the description, I saw something that shook me to the core. It read, simply:

3" stacked heel

I immediately sought a ruler and my shoes, to prove the description wrong (on this point alone). Upon measuring the height of the heel, I found that not only was I wrong about the height of this shoe, but also every other shoe that I own. Friends, I do not wear 2" heels. I wear 3" heels. Every. Single. Day.

Insert joke about women and perception of inches here - it doesn't work, but go ahead and try.

This has caused me to question my beliefs about myself in other areas. Are my pants really boot cut? Am I wearing a top? How tall am I, anyway? As a person who typically fact checks everything, it's rather odd that I missed this point, all things considered. Moreover, how many shoes have I passed over, erroneously thinking that the heels were too high?

I could ponder this all night, and probably will.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Very Good Things

No griping today - instead, I offer a list of 15 things that made me happy this weekend:

1. A 4 day weekend with Dave and Three Year Old. We *never* get to spend that much time together. It went by just right - not too fast, not so slow that we got bored. Just perfect. I am going to miss them both so badly tomorrow. Thankfully, it's a short week.
2. Visiting my Mom and Gaddy at their house, for the first time in well over a year. Mom made an awesome lunch, Three Year Old had a great time playing (and taking home a ton of new toys and books and and and), and we got to relax together for the first time in a long time. As a huge plus, Mom cleaned out her very nice closet - I just recently arrived back at the home base of size 8, and she gave me a new wardrobe. Much appreciated!
3. Another first time in a long time - visiting Dave's family. This was a particularly special visit because he and his parents, all of his siblings, all the nieces and nephews, basically everyone was there at the same time. Don't want to make another bullet point, but it's really amazing to realize that you've crossed the barrier of "his family" to "mine too". I'm very lucky to have married into the family that I did.
4. The amazing dinner Dave cooked for me, Three Year Old, and Dad and Sharon. Smoked brisket, olathe corn, pasta salad, Texas farm peaches and ice cream...I will be in starvation mode for a week in order to continue to fit into the aforementioned clothing. It was so amazingly good. We had such a great time. Big sigh of post consumption satisfaction.
5. Taking a nap on a pallet on the floor in front of the TV with a sleepy Three Year Old.
6. Watching "Battlestar Galactica" episodes on same pallet with not sleepy Dave.
7. Using the experience gained from a 14.5 year relationship which includes 10 years of marriage to plot course of action to exact revenge against those who have wronged either party. Neither of us is as dangerous as both of us.
8. The end of Summer! This week we are expecting highs in the 80's - bliss. I absolutely love Fall - the clothes, the colors, the crisp air, Octoberfest, and remembering so many of my favorite times that happened in the Fall.
9. Saving money and time by doing my own pedicure.
10. Breaking out my Fall bag - the much beloved Coach 2004 Limited Edition Vintage Soho Soft Duffle in bordeaux.
11. Thinking about my brother who is currently on a student exchange program in China - he really needs his own adventure series.
12. Being so fortunate to have my sister and her family close by - Three Year Old does not have foreseeable siblings, and it's awesome that he and his cousins get along so well and spend time together.
13. An empty hamper.
14. A full icebox.
15. Leftovers calling my name.

Big contented smile of is very, very, very good.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Throwing up the Blog Block

We just got home this evening from a visit to Dallas - it was delightful, we saw lots of family in record time and had much fun. Sadly, I re-injured my shoulder and upon the slightest unplanned movement experience shooting pains followed by numbness in my left arm. Fortunately, I am a right-handed fencer.

Item Identified for LGF:
Non-Dallas drivers in Dallas: After spending 9 plus years in Dallas, and living in a remote suburb of the city for 4 of those years, Dave and I revert right back to our carefully honed North Texas driving skills upon crossing the state line. It's a mix of assertiveness, sharp reflexes, and the ability to predict the future. In a way, it's a competitive sport, and I enjoy coming out of retirement every now and then to see if my game is still sharp (it is). What I find particularly annoying are those individuals who are visiting Dallas from other far-flung areas (i.e., nowhere in Texas or Oklahoma) and are laboring under the misconception that they will be escorted outside of city limits if they don't take out a family or five during their visit. One bastardly gentleman from Kentucky deliberately attempted to cause *three* accidents with us because we had the nerve to try and get over to avoid the wreck in the right lane. You, sir, are a prick who deserves to get the trots on your drive home. When visiting Dallas as a tourist, please remember - all the stories you hear are true, so just resign yourself to the fact that you will get beaten off the line by everyone with a TollTag. It's the price you pay for great shopping.

Gone but Not Forgotten:
My old job: I had sharp pangs of what could be homesickness whenever I passed the building (6 times) where I worked for almost 8 years. The company name is emblazoned on the side of the building, and if I had been in town during a work day, I would have trotted in to say hi to my old coworkers/friends. We're still in touch, but I really miss the atmosphere, the job, and the relationships I had when I worked there. I still feel like I haven't really left, and someday I'll find my security badge and walk right back in to my old office. I hope those chairs I inherited during the remodel are still there - I liked them a lot.

My new words to live by:
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

Have a great holiday.