11–20 of 20 entries from the month of: April 2011

Organizing

April 16th

I have a lot of jewelry. I’d guess the sum total value of all of it is less than $200, but the sentimental value of the beads I traded for on the streets of Bamenda, the earrings I brought back from the Philippines, my grandmother’s turquoise bracelet — you get the idea.

You say toolbox, I say jewelry wrangler!

How to move these small items without causing a kinky, knotty nightmare?

You say toolbox, I say jewelry wrangler!

You say toolbox, I say jewelry wrangler!

It is far from glamourous, but a couple of these tool drill bit boxes from the local hardware store worked beautifully. Plus, they stack nicely and can slide under a bed if necessary.

This move is feeding the very type A, over-organized happy side of me. If I was a superhero, my scream for forward march would not be “Onward Ho!,” but “To the Container Store!”

~K

 

Posted in
Homebody, Journal, June Cleaver
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“I Will Miss Your Lectures”

April 15th

I came to work today to find my office door decorated with goodbyes:

Goodbye

My door

They included a hilarious and sweet mix of sentimental goodbyes, including my favorite — from Debbie: “I will miss your lectures about my over-consumption of gummy bears. Diabetics should not eat gummy bears.”

Lecture? Who, me? In all fairness, I have never seen an adult eat more candy. The woman loves it. And she’s diabetic. And it completely freaks me out she eats so much sugar. So, my “lecturing” was in love.

Notes

I also really like this note from Alma, who is recently back from maternity leave. It says (in highlighter) “We will miss you and the maternity policy!” I spent a good bit of time writing a paid maternity leave policy that ended up soon cancelled. Alma was one of the lucky few who was able to use it before it was revoked.

Snowflake

The door also included a fair number of Colorado, Africa and Arizona inspired images. The snowflake seemed like a particularly creative use of art supplies available in the office.

Welcome to wonderful colorado~

Fruit

Fruit

And because apparently my coworkers really do know me, I was presented with a going away bouquet of fruit in lieu of sheet cake. Because they’ve all heard me say more than once, ‘This office NEVER NEEDS ANOTHER SHEET CAKE.”

I learned so very much working in HR — namely how not to repeat secrets. I’m still not great at it, but I understand the importance of this trait in the workplace more than ever. I am thankful for the many things I learned in this job and will miss more than a few of my coworkers.

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Celebrate!
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A Tempe Afternoon

April 14th

 

Tempe

Daily Sass

happy hour in tempe

Patio, sunshine, breeze, cucumber water, sandals and lots of time to admire the mayhem that is Mill Avenue. Spring fever is in full effect at ASU. You need go no further than this central Tempe corridor to see bikinis, skateboarders, folks lollygagging on cruiser bikes and lots of mid-day drinking.

And to think, this is where I was specifically not allowed to spend time as a high school student! (Yet another moment of, “Oh. I guess my mom knew what she was talking about.”)

I am going to miss this boisterous college town.

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Celebrate!
Comments (3)

Point and Shoot

April 13th

I splurged on a point and shoot camera a couple weeks ago. It’s tiny, silver and fits in the pocket of most pants. I purchased this camera to take on hikes, long runs and to keep every day in my purse with the SLR is just too much to lug around.

And I’m so glad I did. While I shouldn’t be splurging on anything other than packing tape and giant Sharpies at the moment, I’ve already thoroughly enjoyed this new toy. Coincidentally, my running schedule has fallen off precipitously with three weeks left to move. My life has been a steady stream of WORK 11 HOURS, CRAM FACE WITH FOOD, SLEEEEEEEP. WAKE UP AND EAT. Rinse and repeat.

Cherry Cricket

So while I haven’t been doing much photographing while running, my little camera has become my CRAM FACE WITH FOOD companion. I will always see food as art.

Lunch with Charlie

And lunch yesterday with Charlie at the Cherry Cricket provided the perfect opportunity to mildly embarrass yet another friend by photographing our food.

Breakfast

If you are an SLR photographer and have an extra $100, I cannot recommend this camera highly enough. At Costco, I found the best deal.

{Also — the test and interview went really well. It has been a long time since I’ve been that nervous, but I think I did well. We’ll see!}

~K

 

Posted in
Journal, Photography
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Toward

April 11th

Red Velvet Valentine's Cake

I’ve mentioned before I’m writing a dating memoir — a collection of the more hilarious and bizarre moments I’ve had during the last ten years. Some are so painfully funny, they are hard to tell without crying in fits of laughter. Others are just painful. It’s a tricky tight rope of too personal vs. bland, boring, “who wants to read another self-involved essay from the over-share generation?” kinda stuff.

How do you write a book like this that you know may end up in the hands of your father? A father you love very much but who may not want to read about that one guy — the one who showed up with a sex survey and a couple bottles of wine for date #3? (True story) Or the one who got into my purse for my home address when I wasn’t looking on a first date? (Also true) Or the mildly famous one who tried choking me. (Seriously)

My run of dating luck is just so very strangely amusing — it is hard not to giggle.  I mean the time I was running late for a date, literally, down a shady major street only to feel a giant plop of bird poop land on my decolletage? Funny! Or, how about the time I flirted for months via email with that small town mayor who ended up in prison as a felon? Horrifying! Or the story of my very first boyfriend, who in an attempt to grab my hiney as I walked by instead ended up with a handful of granny panties and maxi-pad? Awful, funny, silly, and yet — I hope — wildly entertaining. Because for every bozo like the ass-grabber, there is the gorgeous Italian politician who made up names of constellations one starry night on the Puget Sound. A night that might have involved both a jacuzzi and far too much prosecco. (Jacuzzi is apparently Italian for “holy mother of God, I hope this guy is on the Facebook because my girlfriends are NEVER going to believe how gorgeous he is.”

Carob cake

He was. They did. Salut!

In sharing a few of these essays with those girlfriends — who are both my greatest promoters and protectors — I’ve heard: Share more! Share less! Don’t say that! Tell it like it is! Hide his name. Warn women everywhere. Have some pride! Let it all out!

Well.

Tomorrow, dear blog, I fly to Denver to take a final test for a public health job I would very much like to have. I am so dang happy to be in the final clump of people selected for interviewing. And I am so nervous. And I am so excited. And I’m so ready.

This weekend a man I love wildly asked me what I’m “running from by moving.” D and I have run circles around each other for years. I broke up with him. He broke up with me. We broke up after he said I was too goddamned domestic. We’ve said goodbye after too many martinis. We’ve said goodbye sober. I tried to go to Africa and not speak to him for my three weeks away and the silence lasted all of three days.

Of course I’ve dated other men. Really, really good men. Men who my mother would pinch me for not scooping up and putting in my pocket. And I’m sure D’s dated other women — although I’d rather sit down to a scrumptious bowl of glass and nails than let my mind linger on that reality.

So when he asked, “What are you running from,” he was saying in his own backward emotionally retarded gorgeous green eyed way: “Why are you leaving me?

Because passion alone does not a relationship make. It takes honesty, friendship, commitment and really, really great chocolate cake to celebrate both the ups and downs of every day life. It takes courageous love.

Men of Colorado: take note. You may end up as a chapter in a self-depricating memoir on courting. Then again, you may end up with a sweet and sarcastic slice of this domestic girl’s life.

Courageous love: it’s what I’m running toward.

~K

 

Posted in
Journal
Comments (23)

Weaver’s Needle

April 11th

Weaver's Needle HIke

Weaver's Needle HIke

Weaver's Needle HIke

Weaver's Needle HIke

Weaver's Needle HIke

Weaver's Needle HIke

Weaver's Needle HIke

Weaver's Needle Hike

Weaver's Needle HIke

Weaver's Needle HIke

Weaver's Needle HIke

Weaver's Needle HIkeSnow!

We’ve had crazy weather in Phoenix this spring, including uncharacteristically cool and rainy nights the last few days. After a lengthy hike on the Peralta Trail in the Superstitions, we reached Weaver’s Needle Sunday morning to find it dusted with snow. It isn’t every day you see cactus covered in snow. And it isn’t every day you get a chance to scoop up as much as possible and make ridiculously pathetically small desert snowballs for a quick fight.

It was such a beautiful day and relaxing adventure — I’m having a hard time focusing in the office today. I so wish I were back on the trail, babbling along with my girlfriends, breathing clean desert air and admiring my surroundings with complete love.

~k

Posted in
Arizona, Flora and Fauna, Happy Hippie
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Pre-Emptive Struck

April 7th

April 6, 2011

Homer!

Last night I met the bowling goon squad for an early spin on the lanes; we’re scheduled to bowl this weekend, but everyone is busy. I’ve spent four years bowling with this group one Saturday a month. What began as Adam’s passion became a great way for a large crew of friends to come together for dinner and goofing around once a month. I am so very glad he talked us into this.

Adam Mack

Rebs

Matador

Julez!

Best game

I won’t be here for our final round next month. So while I threatened to cry last night, after yet another couple hours of alley debauchery and shenanigans, I did not. Instead, we rocked out, ate delicious cup cakes and giggled at the seriousness other mid-week bowlers take to the “sport.”

Mind over batter

That reeces one was my fave.

Mind over batter

Mind over batter

Mind over batter

Mind over batter

What were we dancing to? Well. One inside joke to share — once upon a time Adam and I were discussing Mariah Carey during bowling. He took the stance that all women find it disgusting that men think MC is good looking. I couldn’t have agreed more. This spun into Adam making lurid remarks about his love affair for Mrs. Cannon anytime he wanted me to bowl better. Because, for whatever reason, the thought of Adam and Mariah Carey, makes me bowl strikes. Regularly.

Fast forward a couple years when she gets married and is now pregnant with twins? Well. This week we were so blessed to see the ever so Klassy Mariah’s painted pregnant stomach on the web AND nude photos she’s posed for in her third trimester. I mean, if that doesn’t say sexy — what does?

Mariah

Of course Adam brought his iPod and a special Mariah Carey play list last night. Because my friends’ senses of humor are so very, very funny and spot on. And of course Matt and Rebecca took the opportunity to slow dance when possible.

Slow dancing to Mariah

Bowling. Baked goods. Great friends. And damn it, even a little Mariah Carey. Life doesn’t get better.

 

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Journal
Comments (4)

Lebensraum

April 5th

noun: Space required for living, growth, and development.

Peace Corps Letters

God bless the Germans for their command of language. Want romance? See French. Spiciness? Spanish. The language of literature — Shakespeare’s English. Poetry? Persian. But German? Like their cars, their shoes and their way of life — it is efficient. I admire such precision (and often lament, “Why isn’t there a word for this?”)

Peace Corps Letters

I subscribe to AWAD. Have you heard of this? An ex-boyfriend was a word junkie. He regularly kicked my chagrined butt at Scrabble. To cheer me up after yet another defeat one sad evening, he quietly subscribed me to AWAD. I couldn’t have been given a more thoughtful gift.

My favorite email of the week arrives Sunday when the word dorks around the world come together for the week’s compendium email. Each week has a theme. The Sunday review includes the craziest and wittiest emails Anu Garg — the creator — has received. At times there is a challenge or prize associated, but the real reward is the quirky multilingual views and opinions people about have about language.

In other words — word nerd heaven.

I’ve shared these compendium email several times with other friends to note the strange and interesting comments only to receive “what a bunch of pretentious asshats!” as a response.

Needless to say, these pretentious wordie asshats are my people.

Peace Corps Letters

A few weeks ago, the theme of AWAD was German words. This was yet another reminder of the fluidity of language — how English has been modified with time by the influence of other cultures. The words included lebensraum and:

  • Sitzfleisch noun: 1. The ability to sit through or tolerate something boring.2. The ability to endure or persist in a task.
  • ersatz adjective:  Serving as a substitute, especially of inferior quality; artificial.  noun: A substitute or imitation.
  • diktat  noun: 1. An order or decree imposed without popular consent. 2. A harsh settlement imposed upon a defeated party.
  • schwarmerei noun:  1. Extravagant enthusiasm.2. Excessive sentimentality.

Peace Corps Letters

With quite a bit of characteristic schwarmerei tucked in my pocket this weekend, I continued packing for my move. This included a giant shoe box of letters I’d stashed in the back of the hall closet. Not necessarily forgotten, but certainly years since being opened, I decided it was time to do something with the countless sentiments mailed around the world when I was in the Peace Corps.

The tiny bits of ephemera I saved was unbelievable. I had handwritten love letters from my Peace Corps boyfriend, my notice of early termination and plane tickets receipt, emails printed out from the one house in my training community that had Internet access (still a miracle, now that I think about it) and more.  Even more, I found letter after letter from family, my closest girlfriends, ministers and others who wanted to know I was supported and loved.

(Also mailed to Cameroon: the People magazine spread on Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s wedding; the notice of Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid’s divorce; gobs of photos of baby Bennett who will soon be 11!; and the hilarious and wickedly entertaining tomes of my closest girlfriends’ college romances. I was laughing as hard as I was crying while organizing.)

With time, I’ll scan these and make them into a book to be saved forever. For now, they are behind plastic sleeves and still very much cherished.

The greatest gift is that of lebensraum: noun: Space required for living, growth, and development.

~K

Posted in
Correspondence, Good to Great, Journal
Comments (8)

Pantry Redux

April 4th

apple pie

apple pie

Apple Pie

apple pie

Some aspects of cleaning up the pantry and using what I have are more fun than others. I put Finny’s Christmas gift — which included jam and this homemade pie filling — to good use this weekend.

~K

Posted in
CAOK, Domestic Art, Kitchen Talk
Comments (4)

An Afternoon Stroll

April 1st

DBG

DBG

DBG

DBG

DBG

DBG

DBG

DBG

DBG

A bit of time wandering the Desert Botanical Gardens as the sun set is exactly what I needed yesterday. And of course, with a wet winter, mild spring and warm weather upon us, the gardens couldn’t have put on a more vibrant show to welcome visitors. When people say the desert is so drab and olive, I wonder if they are really looking? The purple undertones of cactus, the coral orange edges of aloe, the fuchsia blooms, red poppies.

Yes, there is a lot of sage green. But no one wears camo to the prom. And the desert right now is dolled up, happy and looking like she’s about to be crowned belle of the ball.

~K

 

 

Posted in
Arizona, Flora and Fauna, Happy Hippie
Comments (9)