Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dear Graduate,

I know most of you are hung over, and some of you may not have even gone to bed yet. So I'll try and keep this short.

I'm not a celebrity. Or a Nobel Peace Prize winner. And I didn't even go to this college from which you're graduating.

So why am I talking to you?

Because I'm a real person, whose mind hasn't been clouded by Hollywood or zillions of dollars. I'm just a college graduate who entered the 'real world' and just went for it.

In other words, I'm you, twenty years from now.

As you embark on this big beginning, here's my advice to you:

Get a job.

I know it's not as fun as going to the beach, or having a root canal, but that's life.

And just so you know, your first job isn't going to be awesome. 

It might not even be in the field you studied. So look at this job – and every other job that follows – like this: as your stepping stone to your next job. 

Go in every day, work hard and learn as much as you can, so you can leave and get a better job. You'll learn something at every job you work, even if you're only pouring coffee at Starbucks.

With friends, less is more.

I know it was fun to go clubbing with 12 of your closest girlfriends, or play basketball with your 8 top buddies. But I'm going to be honest with you: no one has THAT many best friends.

Friends? Sure. 

Best friends? Probably not.

Best friends are those people you love and admire and respect, and who bring out the best in you. The ones who will tell you to your face that you're being an asshole. They aren't the people you just tolerate because they live there, only call when no one else is around, or who hands out back-handed compliments like, "I love how you don't have to work hard."

These people, they are just your friends. Meet them for cocktails, attend their weddings and send them holiday cards. But reserve the term "best friend" to those select few who actually earn the title.

Find your own 'cool'.

College – like high school – is filled with people wanting to be like other people. 

It's boring.

Outside these walls, people want to be different.

It's actually quite liberating to be yourself. 

Find what makes you you, and do it. Even if no one else is.

So, Graduates, congratulations and good luck.

Now take your young metabolism, ridiculously in-depth knowledge of technology, and perky boobs and get away from me.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dear Amazon Prime,

To me "guaranteed 2-day delivery" seems simple:

I order something, and in two days it arrives. I even pay extra for your Prime membership to make that happen.

So when we order something – oh, let's say a kegerator – for our picnic on Sunday, and we're told we're guaranteed to get it Saturday by 8pm, I kind of believe you.

Except you didn't deliver (literally, and figuratively).

Our friends at FedEx (who are actually doing the delivering of the package) have this to say:

Wednesday? That's sure a far cry from Saturday...

And, here it is Sunday morning, and you still have this to say to us:

Quite the discrepancy in delivery days. And with YOUR delivery day, we now have to travel back in time to get it (though we shouldn't, because as history will tell us, it's not going to be delivered on time. Fool me once and all that jazz…)

So while I appreciate the 2-Day Guaranteed shipping, Amazon, I appreciate it even more when it happens.

Amazon Prime, to quote my mother-in-law: "You STINK!"

Thirsty in CT,

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

19 kids, and all kinds of cray-cray

Oh, the Duggars.

You know them as the Bible-toting family with almost two dozen home-schooled children. They had a reality TV show "19 Kids and Counting". The title alone was enough to make me want to run for the hills.

At the doctor's office this morning, I was flipping through People Magazine, and came across an article about the Duggars…namely, two of their daughters.

It seems that two of the elder Duggar Daughters have discovered boys!

And apparently, after you discover boys, you enter into "Courting".

So adjust your chastity belts, folks, and take a look at "The Rules of Courting: Duggar-Style":

This is juicy stuff. Here are my favorite parts:

"Both parties, and both sets of parents, agree that the courtship is God's will before it moves forward." 

So…God sends an email? Comes to Mrs. Duggar in a dream? How can they be SURE God's onboard with this? I mean, he can be pretty vague.

"Communication is monitored by parents, and text messages are open for everyone to see."

Well, that's comfortable. I'm guessing phone conversations go something like this:



DUGGAR GIRL: "I think you're nice."

BOYFRIEND: "You looked really pretty today."

DUGGAR DAD: (interrupting) "Easy there, boy! That's my 8th born you're talking to."

"Physical boundaries are set by the couple: The Duggar girls and beaus have agreed to only "side hugs" pre-engagement and only hand-holding post-engagement. Their first kisses will be on their wedding days."

WTF is a side hug? And once engaged they can only hold hands? I've gone farther than that with a stranger in line at the grocery store. 

Imagine waiting years to have your first kiss with someone…then you have it, and it sucks. What if he uses the Hoover technique? Or she has over-active salivary glands? Doesn't matter! Because they're stuck with each other for life! Because if God doesn't approve of full-on frontal hugs, he sure as hell isn't going to tolerate divorce.

And my personal favorite:

"Accountability is important. If someone is feeling a temptation, it is prayed about and shared with parents."

DUGGAR GIRL: "Mom, there's something I need to tell you."

DUGGAR MOM: "What is it sweetie? God and I are listening."

DUGGAR GIRL: "Today, I thought about what my boyfriend might look like without a shirt on."

DUGGAR MOM: "Oh, sweet Jesus! Two Hail Marys, right now, young lady!"

Do you think Sex Ed was part of their home-schooling curriculum? 

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go give Rob a super-tight side hug!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Nature: 3 kk: 0

I hate nature.

I'm not an 'outdoorsy' kind of gal. I scream when I see a spider, I like to sleep and pee inside, and I could live the rest of my life without ever laying a finger on a lawn mower.

Mr. KK – on the other hand – is the epitome of a nature-lover. 

Dresser full of 'work clothes'? Check.

A garage and two sheds filled with every yard instrument known to man? Check.

The ability to walk over a dead animal carcass, pick up a bug with bare hands and move in closer to evaluate the danger of a found snake? You betcha!

So our house rule is this: I'll deal with the inside, Mr. KK deals with the outside.

This rule usually holds true until we're in dire straits, as was the case this past weekend. I was called in to help with 'the outside' to get our yard ready for our picnic next weekend. 

And when your 'outside' looks like 2 acres of this, you know it's serious:

(We're running a bit behind because we lost a weekend of working around the house due to a trip to Mexico to celebrate a certain someone's birthday, so I'm finding it rather selfish to do anything besides agree to help out.)

So this weekend I bit the bullet, put on my 'work clothes' (read: the pair on jeans in my closet I wear the least) and headed out.

Saturday went something like this:

setting: me planting herbs in the yard

MOTHER-IN-LAW: "What's that on your neck? You're bleeding."

And sure enough, I was bleeding. Because I was bitten by a mystery insect who left a welt that was swelling. It probably laid eggs in my neck, or injected me with malaria.

By Saturday night, the site of the bite was swollen, and all around my neck hurt. Miraculously, I avoided death and woke up Sunday morning.

My neck now looks like this:

I'll admit, it doesn't look that bad here. 
But it's BAD. And it hurts.

setting: sorting through dirt from our old planter.

ME: "This is a weird looking stick." (holding it up)

FATHER-IN-LAW: "That's because it's a bone. Probably from a rabbit."

item in question:

Um, seriously?

setting: the end of the day, after we finished up

MR. KK: "Something just bit me." (inspecting his chest) "It's a tick."


ME: "Let me get the vaseline." 

And I smothered the son of a bitch. (the tick, not Mr. KK)

from blogs to books, some of my favorites

What I love about blogs, and books by authors of blogs, is that it's real life (most of the time). A good majority of my favorite bloggers have made the jump into full-on book-dom. I'm jealous, and inspired*.

If you can translate your laid-back writing style into a book, then you have me hooked. I love that your book reads like a conversation with me. It's refreshing to see you use sentence fragments and start them with the word 'and'. And I'm intrigued how you write all that you do without royally pissing off family and friends (that is the true Holy Grail).

I wanted to share some of my favorite blogs, as well as their corresponding books. Some of these are new, some are not. But they're all fabulous.

Author: Jenny Lawson
Blog: The Bloggess
Book: "Let's Pretend This Never Happened"

Caution: you will laugh out loud (literally) while reading this book. Case in point: I was enjoying this particular read on a plane while traveling with Mr. KK. I got more than my fair share of "that girl is cray-cray" looks from fellow passengers. I was a fit of giggles the entire flight. There is drinking, animal carcasses and hilarity.

Author: Molly Wizenberg
Blog: Orangette
Book: "A Homemade Life: Stories from My Kitchen Table"

This book is a sweet combination of memoir and cookbook. As Molly tells the stories of her family and life, she weaves some of her favorite recipes that helped create those memories. Do not read this book hungry. Molly has a second book called "Delancey" about her and husband opening a restaurant that I have not yet read, but it's on the list!

Author: Jess Riley
Blog: Jess Riley
Book: Driving Sideways

Jess has a few books out, but her first one is still my favorite. Unlike other books born from blogs, this is a work of fiction. It's a sweet story about a girl channeling the stranger whose kidney she received, and then embarking on a mission to find him.

Author: Stacey Ballis
Blog: The Polymath Chronicles
Book: "Out to Lunch", "Off the Menu" and "Spinster Sisters" (to name a few)

Love, love, love Stacey's style of writing. Her books are works of fiction, filled with classic 'chick lit' (and I mean that in a GOOD way) and tasty recipes. Easy reads you'll devour (yes, I went there).

Author: Heather Armstrong
Blog: Dooce
Book: "It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much-Needed Margarita"

Heather is such an engaging writer. I read this book a while ago, but it was funny and poignant. Funny story: Heather started her blog Dooce while working somewhere where she wasn't happy. She wrote about. Her company found out (and read it…all). She was fired. Her full-time blogging and writing career was born. Her book "It Sucked…" is about the pregnancy and birth of her first child, told a from a point of view they don't share on Parents.

Author: Justin Halpern
Twitter: @shitmydadsays
Book: "Sh*t My Dad Says"

So this one's not a blog, but it's social media, so it still counts in my mind. This book was popular a bunch of years ago, but I didn't get around to reading it until last year. In fact, I didn't even read it, I listened it it while driving to work – a great way to make a long commute fly by. I found myself driving more slowly or sitting in the garage so I could listen to just one more chapter. I'm not a big fan of audio books, but this one is GREAT on audio…right down to the voice of his father.

*I'll get there some day!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

the name game

In college, my friends and I would often give nicknames to our fellow classmates. Nicknames were given to people we knew, as well as those people we’d never even spoken to; we were equal opportunity name givers. This allowed us to talk about them freely wherever we were, including in their company.

Names were often derived from one of the following criteria:

 • a distinctive personality trait: Bitchy McBitchington

• what you were wearing the first time we laid eyes on you: Green Sweatshirt Man

 the level of your attractiveness: Stonehill Man

• an unfortunately feature: Big Head (I never said we were nice)

• if we knew you from class: Biology Man

• your on-campus activities: Easy Ride

Even after leaving college, the nicknaming continued. It was often very effective when we were out at bars dodging unworthy guys (Sweat Shop) and keeping eyes on prospects (Adonis).

I still nickname to this day. In fact, I did a little nicknaming while we were in Mexico, and I’m sure the girls would have been proud.

Our resort was boutique in size, with just 100 rooms. And while the resort was at capacity, we’d often find ourselves meandering the lit paths without seeing another sole, or sitting down to dinner as the only couple in the restaurant. 

When I’m on vacation, I’m not big into making friends. So the solitude totally worked for me. (And Mr. KK tends to be on the quieter side, and not a big fan of small talk, so he was content, too.)

When we DID see people, however, we often saw the same ones over and over, since there were only so many people there. During our week, there were two small wedding parties celebrating nuptials and staying at the hotel. Wedding parties by nature aren’t quiet, so wherever they traveled, they were the center of attention. Add alcohol and poolside music, and antics are sure to ensue.

The first wedding party we encountered was on the quieter side, and kept mostly to themselves. The only notable character was Guy Fieri (named by me, not the real Guy Fieri), who was a big dude with spikey blonde hair and ridiculously dark roots, mirrored sunglasses and covered in tattoos. His bathing suit had flames on it, and he had about 7 piercings between both ears. He was a Canadian who loved fruity drinks. He was loud and obnoxious and earned his name within 3 seconds of me setting eyes on him. He would have made the real Guy proud.

The second wedding party was another story. There were about 20 of them who took over the pool each afternoon, dancing and singing to music, spilling their daiquiris in the pool.

And then I saw her: Truck Stop.

She was in her late 40s, but could easily pass for a decade older. She was tall and thin, muscular from daily gym workouts to combat age and gravity. Her hair was a poker straight, a mix of yellow (not quite blonde…) and brown (she and Guy Fieri maybe had the same hairdresser?) Her deep, reddish tan and gravelly voice cued me in on her avid smoking habit. I never saw her without a drink in her hand, starting from 9am. She paraded around in bikinis straight out of a Girls Gone Wild video (think: fringe, strings and dangly colored beads).

My favorite Truck Stop moment was at the pool one afternoon. A DJ had set up to play some music for an hour or two, and he began spinning Pitbull. Truck Stop immediately whipped her head up, held up her pina colada and shouted, “Let’s Zumba!” and started doing one-armed moves (can’t put down the drink!) in the pool.

It was quite a sight.

So for a few days, you would often hear me saying things like, “Here comes Truck Stop!” or “Let’s find a chair more over that way away from Truck Stop” and “Good God when is Truck Stop hauling out of here?”

And don’t even get me started on Side Saddle, the guy who sat next to me on the plane on the way to Mexico, who sat sideways the entire trip with a good portion of his left cheek on my seat.

Monday, May 12, 2014

hola, reality

Today I spent the day coming down from my vacation high.

Rob – aka Mr. KK – surprised yours truly with a birthday spectacular gift like no other: a trip to Mexico.

I've been back from only 24 hours and I'm already going through withdrawal. So much so, that I made tacos for dinner tonight.

(true story)

My plan for vacation was simple: relax and do nothing. And eat guacamole every single day.

Mission accomplished on all fronts.

The resort was amazing. The weather was perfect. And the company…well, it didn't get any better. My only regret was that we weren't there longer. And that I didn't eat more guacamole.

Our days looked something like this:

 Why drank her weight in margaritas?
THIS girl!

Did I mention the guacamole???

 Our private patio and plunge pool.

I love the beach. But, man, do I hate sand.

 King-size pool bed? Gracias.

Number of books I read in Mexico: 6

Part of our 10-course Mexican breakfast.

 Can we stay here forever? Please and thank you.

 Mr. KK's pineapple drink, whom I affectionately named Blaine.
(I ate his pineapple nose)

Thank you for the best birthday trip ever.

That is sunRISE people, not sunset.
Yes, I'm even a morning person on vacation. 

Who's the best husband? THIS guy.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Follow me!


Quick blogging hiatus.

In the meantime, did you set up your email alerts so you're notified when I post something new?

Not yet?? What are you waiting for??

Simply add your email address to the right (if you're viewing on a computer. If you're viewing on your phone I have no idea) and you'll be sent an email alert about new posts. Crazy easy.

In the meantime, I'll leave you this pretty picture to look at. Back soon!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, May 5, 2014

That wouldn't happen at Target

I'm a Target girl.

However, each year, we make one pilgrimage to the the big blue box store (against my better judgement, kicking and screaming), where we stock up on supplies for our annual summer picnic. Is saving $1.00 on paper towels worth it? 

Jury's still out.

So there we were, shopping alongside people who were wearing pajamas at 5pm on a Sunday.

Halfway through the trip I went to the ladies' room. I was at the sink washing my hands for the third time (if I could have taken a shower I would have) when a woman, a little girl who couldn't have been more than 3 or 4, and a little boy who was probably 5 or 6 walk in. The woman plops the little girl onto the toilet in one of the stalls and stands in the open doorway.

The little girl is chattering away, as little girls do. I'm vigorously rubbing my hands under the dryer.

And then I hear this:

GIRL: "There's poopie on the floor!"


I turn to look (if you don't turn and look after hearing an exclamation like that you are made of stone, people), and there – on the floor next to the toilet – is a little poop nugget, about the size of an olive.

WOMAN: (matter-of-fact) "There is poopie on the floor." 
Because, hey, we see this stuff everyday, right?

GIRL: "That's MY poopie! It slipped out!"

At this point, my hands are dry, but I'm still standing there, staring at the dryer. Must. not. look. at. poop. or. crazy. family.

It was my cue to leave, and on the way out I hear this:

WOMAN: "That's your poopie? Oh, man, now we have to wipe your bum."

And, you know, clean up the poop on the floor.

Which I'm doubting happened.

Friday, May 2, 2014

HER + me = not always so good

I have a love/hate relationship with technology. 

There are things I couldn't live without, like my iPhone and social media, but there are those things that scare the crap out of me, like when I admire a pair of shoes online and then they immediately show up in my newsfeed on Facebook with a note that says, "Hey, KK, you liked these shoes right? Why didn't you buy them? C'mon, click here and buy them!".

I commute quite a distance to work every day, so I use the time to catch up with my family. And being the uber-conscientious driver that I am, I was using my friend Siri to help me.

"What can I help you with?" she graciously asks me.

ME: "Call Mom and Dad."


SIRI: "I'm sorry, KK, I didn't quite get that."

ME: "CALL MOM AND DAD!" (Screaming. Like an idiot.)

SIRI: "Did you say, 'Call Jen Smith?'"

ME: "NO."

SIRI: "Did you say, 'Call Boss At Home'?"



SIRI: "Calling Boss At Home."


SIRI: "Who would you like to call?"

ME: "Siri, are you crazy???"

SIRI: "Calling Paul's Pizza."