Friday, December 19, 2008


I got a call this afternoon from my brother, Bo.
He said, "so mom is getting ready to go into surgery."

I had no idea what he was talking about. Our mom?

She said her back hurt when I talked to her yesterday...what happened, what is wrong, do I need to get home (all went through my head).

Bo had little info: He was called at midnight last night to come home because mom was going to the hospital for something with her leg (what!?! is it an aneurysm? OMG! she has a clot!)

He had no other info but said that middle brother, Chops, was on his way.

I called Chops and miraculously he answered his phone and said that mom was having a problem in her lady parts like a cyst (WHAT!?! Please tell me she isn't having an ovary taken out or worse a hysterectomy!?!?!)

He had no other info.

I was at work frantically calling and texting my dad.

He called and put my mom on, who was so out of it I didn't know what she was saying.

I panicked...she is delusional!!!!

Finally, dad got on the phone and said that she was drugged up for surgery. It is not life threatening as far as they know but very is some sort of abscess in her groin area that they will find and drain.

He then said, "i think."

Bo then called me saying, "She is out of surgery and they drained something and she is in recovery...we can't see her for awhile. They might keep her sometime."

I called Chops with no new info and finally I talked to Mom a minute ago. She is in her room for overnight. She does not remember our conversation before at all.

I am so happy she is okay, for what I know, but there are so many things going on in my head.

I HATE being so far away from my family in emergencies
All I want to do is take care of her
Boys are no good at details
but they are good at being calm under pressure
We need to have a Standard Operating Procedure on how to react to emergencies including chain of information command.
They think I am ridiculous for "over reacting"
I said, "if you were in the hospital this is how I would react over you...I love you you idiot!!! How should I act about OUR MOTHER!?!"

KW is killing me trying to get "work" done before we leave...I NEED to be in ATL NOW!!!!

Maybe I just won't leave that way I can take care of everyone like I like to do.

With this new development and the holidays, I have no idea when i will post next. Please keep my mom and my travels in your prayers if you can.

God, I love my mom.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Killing Time and Brain Cells

Since I work at a law school, I am asked to proctor exams for finals. I generally like it. I get three hours to surf the internet, read a book, or catch up on my correspondence. Guess which one I did more of?

But this year it has been really fun. I am mainly proctoring 1Ls (first year students) and this is their first set of exams. I actually have gotten to proctor for the same group of 1Ls twice! So they know me and I know them. Makes things easier because the one constant thing with 1L finals is panic. It is slightly and sadistically funny to watch them panic and stress. But I also love trying to make them laugh a bit before the exam and put them at ease.

The whole point of proctoring is making sure they follow the rules, don't cheat, and to be a quiet witness of the exam taking process in the room. But that is what is hard for me...being quiet. Part of me wants to play music or videos to entertain myself, part of me wants to be purposefully obnoxious and do cardio step boxing in the corner, and part of me wants to cheer them on.

I will definitely be doing that on the one minute mark. Congratulating them on finishing their first last final of their first finals season.

On a side note, KW has not really gone into finals mode. He claims he "doesn't care anymore," which is so odd. He does everything 110% to the point of madness (on my part). At first I was concerned with this change of attitude but this morning he said, "it is nice putting some attention on you rather than my give it back!" Wow! never would have thought those words would come out of his mouth, esp. when he has one last final to go.

Need to pack and clean but hanging out with people is way more fun.

***Housekeeping Item***
Well I Do Declare, would please invite me to your oh-so-exclusive blog.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I got it on Etsy

Are you familiar with Etsy?

Etsy is an online shop to buy and sell all things handmade.

My soon to be sister-in-law sells her paintings on there, so I took a look at somethings and was blown away!

The people who have shops on here are really talented and sell some great things. So I decdided to do most of my Christmas shopping on Etsy.

I figured it was a great way to support some "local" artists and entreprenuers and have unique gifts for my family.

I will have to show you when I got after Christmas, because I don't want any nosey in-laws peeking!!!

However, I have also started browsing through Etsy in my spare time to see what is offered. Well I went into the Everything Else category and was blown away in a different sense. I saw things like inclusion rocks, dragon's blood oil, coffee cup sweaters and a dios del morte cross with realistic fake blood.
But here are somethings that are being sold on Etsy that I must share with you:

This is called a Prayer/Smudge Fan
This is a "Fan created using gray/brown peacock feathers as a base with accents of peacock eye feathers. Handle is cedar with hand stitched deer leather trimmed in badger fur." I'm not sure who wants a carcass fan or what is the smudge part about it. If it is gross, just let me be ignorant.

For the environmental jokester
handmade, organic poo. Claims to be a great stocking stuffer

This is a unique present for that special someone in your life who is impossible to buy for. I have been told it would be a great gift for military men either serving over seas or returning home (a welcome home gift). It is a pair of plush boobs in a patriotic themed bra, that can be attached to a steering wheel or the back of a chair (for lumbar support) with and adjustable elastic strap. Each boob is approximately the size of a standard CD.

Handmade bacon, just because he "had left over red and white yarn."

From weird to gross:
Yup, homemade tampons.

From gross to TRS's mind is in the Law & Order/24 gutter
What does this look like to you? You might say a rock, but when I first saw it, I thought it was a few lines of Coke (and not a-cola). But that is because it was above this:

Explosive Putty? no, it is peanut butter fudge. Stop trying to be Jack Bauer, TRS.

Now these are truly crazy, but I would recommend Etsy for some last minute gifts!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Buffalo Betty: Always Awesome, Now Famous

Anyone who knows me and my blog knows Buffalo Betty.

If you do not know about her, here is how to catch up:
Our history
The Birth of S-in-a-G
Just Random Betty Time

There is an instant attraction to Betty that everyone feels right away. Now, I am not talking just about boys and their below the belt type of attraction (although that is there too). I am talking about how everyone who meets her wants to know her better, wants to be her best friend, wants to get caught up in crazy fun-dance filled antics with her.

I know this because as soon as I met her freshman year in college I thought, "This girl is so cool...I have got to be friends with her!"

More proof comes from McMommy. When we had our big IRL-meeting the second thing she said to me (the first being something about shoes, of course) was "Can we call Buffalo Betty!?!"

Further and the most telling is this: a post from ANOTHER BLOG about Buffalo Betty and her awesomeness. Go read it. She is "the blonde probably the size of (the blogger's) pinky" and "the originator of the spontaneous activity" who he described as leggy.
(that is her on the far right)
This is so Betty.

First off, she comes up with an incredibly fun game on the spot (typical Betty), then she is having so much fun everyone wants to join (typical Betty), she then invites everyone to join in (very-typical Betty), and then she leaves all these guys in her wake calling her tiny and leggy and hilarious (extremely typical Betty).

You would think that it would be easy to be jealous being friends with someone as magnetic as Betty, but that is the beauty of Buffalo Betty: while everyone in the room is focused on her she makes every single person feel like her best friend. And that is a good reason to be friends with someone for 10 years while only living in the same state for one and half of those years.

I can safely say, I blogged about her first but I obviously will not be the only one!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

New Office Friend

I mentioned on twitter a few days ago that I have made a new office friend.

She has been here for a few months, but with my travel we haven't really talked much. Then my friend (who works with her more closely) would have her talking in the hall and I would join them. Hilarity ensued.

Then I got the crazy idea to start visiting her office for a quick one liner or a was a bad idea because now I spend more time than I should "chewing the fat."

Let's just say that I see this a lot now:

It is a lot more fun than this:

but I look like this more now:

This is the cactus she inherited. I decorated it and named her Liza.

Here is some fun things about my new friend:
She is gigantic (even taller than me--which is RARE!)
She is one of three siblings (like me)
She is loud and expressive (completely different than me and my quiet, pensive self)
She is sarcastic (which, in case you didn't know, some people think I am as well)
She shares crazy fun stories about families (uh, my fav. thing to talk about)
She has great shoes
She drives a jeep
We both like Gilmore Girls, the Office, sports (she a bit more than me)

Needless to say I have a lot of fun hanging with her but I'm not sure if it is too soon to give her this:

But I did make her this:

and let me tell you...the idea to photoshop her cat wearing an eyepatch on her fake Christmas card came from her. And this, is why we get along.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Busy with HTML

As you can tell, I have been tinkering with the html code some I have not had time to give you the gloriously funny post that you deserve.

I also have made a new friend at work, and I have been spending a lot of my time and snark making fun of things with her. It is glorious but very unproductive.

But I can tell you about the new gloves I got this week:

I have been eyeing fingerless gloves since we got to Michigan, and I can not believe I waited this long to get them.

Hands...warm...fingers...agile. EXCELLENT!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Style Fyle: Chunky Shoes

The Chunky Shoe. Friend of yours truly in her 1990's angsty teens. Oh I loved me some Doc Martens. But like many trends in the 90's, they just don't flatter. The only people who currently rock this trend are Bratz dolls...
...or hookers. But really aren't they one in the same?

Chunky shoes draw the eye downward, which really serves no purpose...unless you need a paper bag over your head and none of my beautiful readers need that.

If you suffer from chubby calf syndrome (CCS), such as myself, then a chunky shoe really does have the advantage of giving an hour glass shape your lower legs. Aces! just what you wanted right?


Well, if you do suffer from CCS here are some shoes dos and don't I've picked up:

Ankle straps
Unlike this lithe model, when you have some width to your calf, you want to avoid any ankle-strap because they shorten your leg and highlight the width (esp. with a knee length skirt)

Pointy Toes
Yes, they may help elongate your leg and detract from CCS, but if you have extra long feet (like me-size 10.5!) they just make you look extra long...and for some reason I like people to say, "wow, I didn't realize your feet could be used as water skis!?! So I try to detract from their gargantuanesss. Also severe pointed shoes like this one creep me out. Personal preference on that one.

And finally, the reason we are here: Chunky Heels. These were more popular in the 90's, but now most large square heeled-high heels look dated and again draw attention to the calf.

Here is my ideal Maryjane!!!

No, not that!!!! That is Bratz territory. Speaking of, did you hear the good news: No more Bratz! I guess Happy Hour Sue is going to need to get honeys for Bathroom Gangsta some place else.

Now, for shoe perfection:

Nice heel, low strap, limited point!!! Love me some Piperlime!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Why I am the Way I am

Someone asked me the other day:

"TRS, Why are you so silly, so crazy, so out going, know?"

The funny thing is that I am not. I was not this way for the majority of my life. I have always been quiet...thoughtful....pensive...nervous..

Tonight, I thought of an answer of why I am different: K-dubs.

He is the reason I feel so secure to be the crazy silly and truly me.

and he drives me bananas.

I just thought you should know.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Style Fyle: Fashion Potholes

Tonight, my friend and I are playing "What not to Wear" with her closet. We are going to clean out her closet of things that don't fit well, are out of style or just aren't necessary. And then make a list of things that she should start looking for.

In preparation for the big event, I have been thinking about what are my crucial pieces of wardrobe.

Any good pop culture-diva worth her salt knows about Tim Gunn and his Essential List. So I am not going to over extol the virtues of black pants, white button down shirt, and black boots: you need 'em, get 'em, go quality if you can.

However, I do think it is a good thing to find a style that suits you. That make up your sense of style.
***I want to preface this by saying that only a few years ago my style was jeans and t-shirts. But thankfully I am the only girl to a mother who loves to play dress up, so I benefit from her hand me downs or shopping sprees. It is only within the last few years that I have been really finding what I like to/should wear***

So even if your style is casual and comfortable, I find that it is best to get pieces that flatter you and getting dressed in the morning is easier and faster (which means more sleep time!). If you know the majority of the things that you have look good on you, then it is harder to look bad. Now, that being said, it is easy to fall into certain potholes. I am hoping to explore in future posts certain potholes that everyone falls into fashion-wise. I know some that come to mind: Chunky shoes, being too matchy-match, ill-fitting clothes, following a trend that does your body shape no good. I have done these all and I am sure to fall into many more fashion potholes...

What are some fashion trends or potholes you would tell someone to steer clear of? or ones that you have fallen into yourself? If you have pictures, please share! Just know that I have many pictures documenting my fashion falls, but I delete almost all pictures of me as soon as I see them! It is a habit I picked up of my mother. I come by my neurosis honestly.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Extreme Blog Makeover: Audience Participation Edition

Leave it to McMommy to give me a great idea.
In the comments of the construction post, she started making "furniture requests." And since I am indecisive at best and lazy at worse, I would love to hear what you all would recommend for my old blog.

Think of it as watching HGTV and the people actually doing what you are yelling at them!

Although I worked my ass off on the banner (and learned a lot of new fun tricks!), K-dubs thought it wasn't as good as the one before. It is different, but I think it is his love of black and white photography and his hatred of change that makes him rebel against the new header.

So here are some "theme and color" (name that movie) ideas:

-Traveling/moving (we are getting ready to move again in 6 months)
-vintage ads (I love them and have them all over my house and office)
-and I am thinking of some old TV show amalgam (I may mock up something by the end of the day and have you all see what I am talking about).

I am open to ideas and would love to hear them. Do you have an application that you love (like Twitter, Shelfari, etc)? Do you see things on this blog or others that you hate!?!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Hard Hats Required

Okay, So I was trying to jazz up my design piece by piece and bit by bit.
So not to overwhelm you with awesomeness.

Well, now I have screwed up my old template beyond repair. So the old stand by template is going to have to do until I can figure out how to put old Humpty back together again....with sparkles.

Sorry about my mess.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I just got* brother drunk...awesome.

*He is it is kosher.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What Do/Would You Do?: Santa Claus

I have seen a few bloggers talking about how they handle Santa Claus with their children.

Do they go with the Santa Claus myth/lie?

Do they just celebrate it as the birth of Christ?

Do they do a combo of the two with some different traditions?

I know I don't have kids yet to do Christmas, but I would like to be prepared.
What do you do or plan to do?

I would love to hear your opinion.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yes, I am that big of a geek

When Typefaces are personified!

Each one perfectly played but Wingdings is by far the best

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I did it...check it out


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Short Story Long: Sex in a Glass

Yes, that is right...I have Sex in the title so I am now prey to spammers and weirdos alike. But this is a classic story with a classic refreshing twist. Sit down, children, and gather round.

A long, long time ago in a distant land of pretty girls and southern boys called Furman University lived our heroine, TRS. TRS was in a sorority with many good girls. However, there were some girls in the sorority that liked to shock the good girls with things like DRINKING! BOYS!!! and CAFFEINE!

Thus, paints the backdrop of my story: A sorority sister of mine (one of the bad ones) loved McDonald's fountain soft drinks so much that she often said that it was better than sex.

Shocked, scandalized but suspecting the full truth to this statement, a young, naive TRS told her friend and roommate, Buffalo Betty about the comment. During our weekly Friday-Happy-Meal run, Buffalo Betty cried "I want a Chicken Nugget meal with a Sex in a Glass!"

Thus the naming of Fountain Coke from McDonald's Sex in a Glass. And for my love, Diet Coke: Diet Sex in a Glass...often shortened to Diet Sex.

So much was our love of Sex and Diet Sex, that whenever we were sad a run for sex was always in order. Many times through the drive thru, I would say "2 Medium Diet Sex...I MEAN Diet Coke! Coke! (not sex)."

There is rumor that Coke gives McD's a different formula for fountain drinks, or they calibrate their syrup to soda ratio better...I don't care. I love it and will never stop calling it what it truly is: Sex in a Glass.

***K-Dubs would probably like a disclaimer that this name was formed before having sex, esp. with him***

Voodoo Chicken Enchiladas

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me making Voodoo Chicken Enchiladas two nights ago.

K-dubs and I had Voodoo Chicken Enchiladas while in Chicago because I did something I never do: I asked the waiter what he likes and GOT IT! I also LOVED IT!!! (I have a chronic disease of poor ordering.)

The Voodoo Chicken Enchiladas was so great that I tried to find a recipe, but alas Google failed me and I couldn't find one.

What I did find: Voodoo Chicken recipe and basic info on how to make enchiladas
Voodoo chicken recipe found on Recipezaar

1 cup honey
1 cup butter, melted (I would put a little less and used margarine)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 ounces Southern Comfort
1 lime juice
3 ounces balsamic vinegar
Dipping Sauce
1 cup chinese sweet chili sauce (or chili flakes)
2 ounces Southern Comfort
2 sprigs cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juice of
1 tablespoon hot sauce
3 ounces honey
1 ounce sesame oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

So I threw in most of those ingredients (subbing Jim Beam for So Co, cause I don't keep that junk in my house and added a bit of brown sugar)into a crock pot and cooked it for a lOOOOOOOooong time...till it was pull apart tender and awesome.

I filled the tortillas with the delicious chicken shreds rolled the tortillas tight and packed five of them in a 6x6 pan. Poured the reserve crock pot juice over the middle of the enchiladas and baked it off for 20 minutes at 350. I think sprinkled cheese over the middle and baked again till good and melty (yes melty). The goal for me was to make the ends of the tortillas crispy. It looked somewhat like this:
After one test try and photo was taken with the photo booth, sorry for the quality.

And here is how good it tastes:

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Final Costume

Hey remember all those many moons ago, when I was posting my many Halloween outfits? Yeah, I forgot to show you the piece-du-resis...peace-de-risest...okay no French this early...the last one.

What are we?
Please in all Christian charity ignore the crap in the picture and do not say that I am a hooker, please?

Oh, and I so needed this make-up to finish off the look.
These are my girls that got ready with me: Southern Belle (get it, Belle-costume...althought I thought it was Cow Belle for a second), and my rocking out Avril Lavigne wanna be (you should have seen her faux hawk up close and personal).

So I am finally done with all my traveling (I think) and will be doing a huge post on travel tales and woes soon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Playing the Photo Album game

All the Mom Bloggers are playing it, so you know I'm game.

You take your sixth photo from your sixth album and talk about it.

Well, it just so happens that I had pictures from another Meme that someone else held ages ago and I forgot to participate.
It was show us your house, your junk drawer, your fav. jewelry, the place you blog:

So here is my every day jewelry: No earrings, no bracelet, wedding and engagement ring and my bean necklace. Please notice the pox, probably why this never got published.

I wear the bean necklace every day now, but I used to wear this:

This is the La Primavera cross, which the description says "combines Christian symbols with those of spring to express feelings of hope and love. The dove in the center of the cross is a sign of God's reconciliation with man, based on the story of Noah's Ark found in Genesis. It is also a symbol of purity and peace. The Ichthus at the very bottom of the cross is an ancient symbol for Christ, and the leaves, flower, and the sun on the arms and at the top of the cross relate to the warmth and new life of spring. The name, La Primavera, is Spanish for "the season of spring"."
I thought it was pretty and bought it for myself when I was 17. An acquaintance had received it as a gift from her sister, and I thought it was so pretty that I bought it for myself. It was the first piece of non-cartoon jewelry that I bought myself and I love it for that. My acquaintance didn't like it that I just bought her "special sister necklace," but I was happy to do something on my own, it didn't matter. (Yes, I was very sheltered and at 17 I got a taste of making my own decisions for the first time: getting my hair cut without my mom's approval, buying clothes or jewelry without her approval...having a car really does mean freedom at that age, huh? And now I just hope the car I have doesn't break down.)

Tangent over: The bean necklace is actually a gift from "my brothers" when I graduated high school. I say "my brothers" because my mom obviously picked it out and put their name on the card. This was made evident when Bo said, "hey what did we give you?" and Chops said, "Man, that is nice..we picked out something great...Thanks mom!" Still, it did its job, every time I wear it...I think of them. My mom said she picked the bean because my family calls me Binky...Bean-key. Silly family.

Still I love both of them and I think they will always be my stand-bys.
What is your favorite jewelry? Or do you want to play the photo album meme?

Friday, November 07, 2008

iPhoto Silliness

So, K-dubs says I don't have enough pictures in my here is nothing but a bunch of backlog pictures from my iPhoto booth:

A pic that I sent K-Dubs from my trip to Florida last year.

Me, jeering my Gator loving friend

K-dubs in his new glasses--man, I think he is good looking in those.

Me, being silly

family portrait

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Ode to Stick Bush

Our apartment does a nice job of landscaping around the apartments. Some people will take matters into their own hands and plant gardens and plants of their liking. However, K-Dubs and I are of the "don't invest your money in someone else's investment" persuasion. So when we moved into our apartment, there was a mound of dirt by our door that sported 3 very large sometimes flowering weeds. We didn't mind them, we didn't say anything about replacing them. But one late fall day, we came home from school and found this:

A bush or shrubbery with no leaves.
We thought, "Wow, can't wait to see the foliage on that in the spring!"

But spring came and the leaves never appeared. Thinking that maybe stick bush was a late bloomer, we just let him go. Then stick bush became our little mascot. Similar to the lions guarding the Art Institute of Chicago.

Last week we came home from work again and the stick bush was gone. GONE! With no warning and no ceremony. My stick bush was taken from me. I had plans for the stick bush! I was going to drape it in lights and tinsel for the holiday season, put festive ornaments on it. Make it my own Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I voiced my indignation to K-dubs and lamented my now thwarted plans. To which he said, "You never had those only made them up now that you have lost stick bush...and you are weird."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Dump Truck, Backing Up

Okay, I'll admit it. I am in a a bad mood...down in the dumps.
And for no real reason.

Is it the change in weather? Love the fall, hate trying to find room for my sweaters.

Is it my messy apartment which refuses to clean itself? Oh yeah, that is a mountain of pain.

Is it my daily battle with one of my bosses who is driving me nuts? Sure.

And maybe added all together would account for this funk.
Maybe it is just Ennuis. Or PMS. or a bad hair day.

So to get myself out of the dumps what did I do this morning:
-Prayed that God would give me a happy attitude when dealing with the boss
-Put on a pretty skirt and shiny high heels
-and hope that tonight's girls night will lighten my mood

Other mood altering options:
-Go for a run (if it light outside which only occurs from 9-5)
-Get a hair always makes me feel good.

Do you have any suggestions of what brightens your mood?

Called my hair dresser, Jennie, for an appointment and they told me she moved to Des Moines!!!! Des MOINES!!!! Now I have to find another hair dresser!?! BLERGH!!!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Things I Hate-Episode 1

I really hate when people think they are speaking the complete and utter truth because their mouth is open. That what they say is not only important, and not only valid but more important and more valid than what I am saying.

See the conversation below as an example:

TRS: I love fall tree colors. They make me happy
Person: The best colors are in the Northeast
TRS: oh, these are nice. And I've always loved the colors in SC/NC
Person: But they are nothing compared to New York and Connecticut
TRS: well, that is an opinion
Person: No, it really is better. I have seen them all. I know.
TRS: Well, I will always love Jones Gap, Stone Mountain, etc.
Person: yeah, but it is better.

See, what I am saying?!?! No concessions for what I am saying. That person is always right, and I am supposed to just say, "By George, you must be correct and I must be wrong!!!" Yeah, that is not happening.

Sorry to have a 'tude. But I don't like it when people always think they are right...that is my job.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Next Costume

What am I now?

This is for all you Catholics out there (and I'm supposed to be a guy.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Getting ready for Halloween

Here is my first costume of the day:

What am I?

Check out the bangs

And the leg warmers

Can you guess?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Rollin with McMommy

I know I should do my McMommy three part post in the correct sequential order, but I can't. I have decided to combine my "what did McMommy and TRS talk about/think about meeting?" with "Rollin with McMommy" (Please insert Clueless' "Rollin with the Hommies tune at your will).

Since our talking and drinking was interrupted by a minor thing like a child and a trip to the ER, McMommy graciously offered to have me come over in the morning and hang out at her McCasa.

Pictures taken while in the Er:

Btw: I love the fact that we took pictures of our shoes separately without telling the other! My feet are much more used to the abuse of my shoes from the night before...I wore them all week.

I'm trying to extract my other pic from the checking out my hair in my phone and getting the ATM in the background. Am I alone in associating ATMs with going out to bars or cabs in need of cash...not medical emergencies. But that is just me...I'm sure there is someone out there saying, "OH, crap, LurLinda...I just sliced my finger. Grab a cup of milk and my ATM card we are going to the ER."

So, we did the McMommy lifestyle right the next day. We had Dunkin' Donuts, discussed new trends in blogging, did a podcast that was only semi-successful, toured the house (which is so well decorated--she earns major CK Points for all the green paint), went and did lunch and errands, got to see the Target and the McMommy dream house.

All of this brought a bunch of realizations about McMommy:
1.) The Dream House is awesome. I drooled over the front door. We then took a tour of the neighborhood to see the other houses, commented on what we like, what we didn't like. (This is what my family calls "checking up"--my dad is a real estate developer, so every Sunday we would go around and check up what was new in the real estate market.) I love doing this with K-dubs, but it was extra fun with McMommy because we have similar but not identical tastes.

2.) Despite my fear of all the mini-vans, the McMiniVan is not bad. I could totally get the appeal...with two kids, video player, and the non-slamming doors (all for Carter) has some pluses. That being said, I am not ready to trade in my Jeep yet.

3.) We talked about a LOT of things...and half the time we would only get to half of the conversation before hurrying onto another topic...there was a lot to say and I had a blast trying to fit it all in.

4.) The kids: Oh my gosh I could fill 80 more blog posts about her kids. Seriously, the sweetest, most fun, and cutest two boys I've met since my truly wonderful nephews. Carter was calm and sweet in the ER the night before, so I was expecting some fussy grouchiness for the late night party boy. He was great though. He definitely took some while to take used to me and wanted extra love from McMommy, but she kept saying, "Oh, he is so grouchy, I'm sorry." But I couldn't see it. If this was him grouchy, he must be the most easy going kid ever! Of course, he smashed his finger another time while I was there...thankfully not the same finger and not nearly as bad as the last digit trauma. The only thing more fun than seeing Carter take a bite out of 10 munchkins and smash the other halves and laugh at his own silliness is seeing him and Matty together. They have such complimentary personalities. Matty not eating much at lunch and Carter finishing his full meal and everyone elses. Also hilarious: Carter's deep voice. He doesn't speak a ton but it is Barry White reminiscent. They both were well behaved, fun, gave me hugs goodbye and def. made me think more positively about having kids soon.

Okay there are a lot more like, how cute and tiny McMommy is, that she is even more fun in person, how not weird it was to hang out with her like old pals, and how glad I am that I made her be friends with me 7 months ago.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


So I am an IRL virgin. And McMommy was my first. Don’t worry, Mom. We were safe. There were speed dial calls and texts if she turned out to be a 60 year old man-perv, and an arsenal of butt kicking moves that I am sure I could have pulled out. It was a decision that was made with great thoughtfulness…we didn’t rush it…I swear.

Let me back up by saying that I have never had a remote chance of meeting a blog friend in real life before and I was okay with that. I was envious of people who had real friendships with bloggers, but I was wary. In this “To Catch a Predator” time, no one can be trusted, especially in my paranoid mind.

But McMommy and I started this Real Life affair slowly…almost to where I didn’t realize where I was until it was too late…she is crafty like that. We exchanged numerous emails before we had blog emails so we knew each others’ real names and work places right off the bat. Then came the challenge…

When I started losing the weight earlier this summer, McMommy was very encouraging and supportive. And then she started talking about losing 10 lbs, which if you’ve seen her in pictures you know it was UNNESSARY. Out of nowhere, we decided to see who could lose 10 lbs the fastest. A prize was decided. And this is where the phone calls and texts started.

Side note: McMommy may look nice, but let me tell you she is a tricky one when she wants to win. She would text me saying things like, “I’m going to eat some cake.” To which I would respond, “good, the prize is mine…and I don’t have to work out today.” Then 10 min. later I’d get a phone call: “PSYCH, I’m on the elliptical at the gym…you are going down!”

In our Not-So-Much-Biggest-Loser competition, we learned a lot about each other. Husbands’ names, the fact that they think we’re crazy, real life dramas…it was fun, but kept at a respectable distance so that ties could be severed if one of us turned into a 60 year old man-perv.

But now, it is too much…I’ve gone to far. She is too awesome and now a bond has been forged. Now she will have a hard time blog-divorcing me, ‘cause once you go McMommy…you don’t go back.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Going Baby-One more time

Leaving one more time, and I am not loving it.

However, I have a few more things to look forward to than just work. I am meeting with several friends in the area, so I am excited about that.

But I just hate leaving KW and Pens. I get so antsy. I want to soak up all the time I can with him. I pick fights with him and snuggle with him. Needless to say, I'm a mess.

Thought I would just let you all know...that I am a mess. News at 11.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Luggage Kharma

So, some comments from the Honeymoon of Horrors series said that my bad luck with luggage must of been used up with that trip.

Well, I wish that was true.

However, 6 months after our Honeymoon v.1.0, KW and I went down to Atlanta for Labor Day weekend. We got there fine, luggage arrived, and then we went to the lake:

My mom had rented some Ski-doos and forced me and KW to take them out together.
***sidenote*** This is ridiculous if you know me: I am a klutz, I have no need for fact speed scares me in an open vehicle. My brother's little battery-operated Jeep Kid Car would terrify me when at top speeds. I got lost in Yellowstone on a snowmobile excursion because I wouldn't go fast enough to keep up with the group***

This is all to say...I got scared in the middle of the lake, stopped the 'Doo and KW, who was jumping my wake, ran into me.

Thankfully, no damage done to me, but his 'Doo had some major scrapes.

KW was traumatized by the event: almost maiming his new wife and having to pay for the damage 'Doo. I'm not sure which hurt worst--but to be fair, it was like $1000 and we didn't have that lying around.

To top off the weekend, when we got back to Washington, my good old Vera Bradley luggage was not at baggage claim....and I left my purse at the gate in Atlanta. (I thought I had put it in my carry-on.) My bag had several of my favorite articles of clothing: jean jacket, green linen skirt, the one good bathing suit. Losing these items were unthinkable.

So in tears (because we had no cell phone, no cash, and no keys to our car parked in the lot), I ran to the airline office to do the paperwork on my luggage. Having no numbers to call friends, we were just scrambling on how to get home (bt-dubs, it was 1am). While filling in the paperwork:

Describe bag: black floral, cotton quilted: vera bradley duffel
size: largeish...not the biggest, one, but second biggest.
Tags: more VB floral

an angel masquerading as a flight attendant walks into the airline office holding my green purse out saying, "someone left this at the gate in Atlanta, we just took it down." I SCREAMED, "THAT'S MY PURSE!!! OH MY GOD! THANK YOU!!!!" She truly thought I was crazy: a.) forgetting bag in airport--after 9/11, it could have been blown up for a faux-bomb and b.) freaking out about getting back. But after the 'Doo accident, no luggage, and the lost purse, I figured I was cursed.

After kissing the feet of my angel turned flight attendant, we were not as surly about losing our luggage because we could get into our apartment where my other clothes lived. So after a few days of waiting for the luggage, the airline said I needed to fill a claim for all the items in my bag because it most likely wouldn't be coming back. Thankfully, I had not lost expensive pieces just ones I really liked. Heartbroken, I claimed everything and not even the thought of shopping for replacements with the new money cheered me. But ever the trooper, I moved on with my life, received my replacement check, and bought some things.

Fast forward 4 months later and I receive a call:
"Ma'am this is Sargent Salenzi from the Dover Airforce Base. We have your package."
Me: "uh, what package?"
SS: "Your luggage sent from Kuwait."
Me: "What luggage was in Kuwait?"
SS: "We have a bag from Air Tran that was sent to Kuwait with a group of solders, your information is on the bag, can we send it to you?"
Me: (laughing so hard, I couldn't breathe) "Uhm, yeah thanks!"

So my black floral Vera Bradley luggage was sent with the troops who were going through security behind me in the Atlanta Airport. Because nothing says, "I'm ready for battle" like a Vera Bradley duffel. Everything was in there, nothing moved around...however, my black Vera Bradley was now gray and tan where the hot, Kuwaiti sun was beating down on it on the tarmac...and yes, there was sand in the bottom of it.

A non-Mom request for a future Mom

My friend just announced she is pregnant.
Yes, it is my friend, not me.
And no, it is not my "friend" version of me.
Just my friend, I promise.

But she asked me about what books my Mom-Bloggers recommend for pregnancy.

So I put it to you all out there: what books could you not live without or could have thrown at a pile of dog poo? She is looking for any and all "good" information.

Please help, she is only 6 weeks along and nervous. And alas, I am of no help, whatsoever!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Honeymoon of Horrors--Part 3

So we left off here, but if you are new to this tale, start here.

When we left our sad-sacked honeymooners, they were in a great city, great hotel, but with no clothes. No problem, right? Run to your local Walmarts and grab some cheap replacements until the bags show up. Oh wait? They don't have Walmarts in Italy? What about Tarjay? It is fancy, they must have it in Italy? No, hmmm...what about a drug store with the 3 pack of Hanes undies and undershirts? CRAP, I miss America.

Okay, I never said any of those out loud, but I thought them.

Our lovely, English speaking hotel concierge would call the baggage handlers every 3 or 4 hours and would update us with, "It should be here in 3 to 4 hours." Now, you would think after 2 days, we would just say, "Oh let's just get some new clothes." But two things deterred us every time:
1.) Every time our concierge would say "3 to 4 hours," it was done with such passion and assurance and examples that he had assurances from people from the airport that it was on their way that we believed that it would be 3 or 4 hours for our luggage reunion. A couple of times it was the wrong luggage, that hurt worse than no luggage at all. I almost took someone else's luggage not caring if it fit at all, just to have something to wear.

2.) Italian shops are fancy and expensive and are scary to the two of us who stink of airplanes, McDonald's, and rain. We looked and smelled like wet dogs. It was not our most attractive moment. And I did not have the guts to walk in and ask for clothes in my broken Italian.

Related sidenote: If you have been to Rome, have you ever noticed that every other store is a racy lingerie store. You do realize that when you are walking past, in need of fresh underwear (sorry, it is the truth, people), and the pink lace thong in a size two holds no appeal to you. Esp. in the wet jeans you have been sporting for 4 days.

We would go into stores while we were sightseeing but KW was sure our stuff would be there when we got back and with our luck, we knew as soon as we laid out over $100 worth of clothes...our luggage would be waiting for us. If we had known how long that would have been, $100 would not have been that much to pay.

By day 4 we were getting nervous, we were going to Florence for a day to visit my friend who was studying art up there. KW started his conference the day after that and he had to have a suit. That meant blowing a huge amount of money on a Italian suit that would probably not fit right, because we didn't have time for tailoring. Awesome.

Thankfully, the night before we left for Florence, KW's hanging bag showed up (just his hanging bag, btw). So we had his suits and a suit of mine that I couldn't wear because it was too long to wear with flats. Now, if you were me, you might say, "WHATEVS, wear the pants and let them drag." But I wanted to hold on to my dignity and the fact that we were newly married with not a lot of money, and this was a new suit...I couldn't be swayed. I did wear it around the hotel room and to dinner that night, where we had our first non-McDonalds meal. KW ended up giving me a piggy back ride after awhile to stop me from whining about my new pants.

With all of these trials, I was a whiner. I complained and cried and lamented the loss of all my cute clothes that I was wearing on our honeymoon. And on that last night after dinner (when I put back on my wet jeans after dinner), we went down to the Circus Maximus and KW had had enough.

My complaining and pouting were not to be deterred. He was making the most of the situation like the trooper he always is. This time in my fit-pitched induced hysteria, I did not notice that my ballet flats that were wet and worn for 5 non-stop tourist days were stretched so far that my feet were coming out of them. So, when I was trying to catch up to KW for one final fit, I slipped on a cobble stone and felt a pop.

Now, I was not down for the count but I was hurt. I started crying real tears at this point and hobbling behind my irritated husband because he thought I just found fresh tears from a new fit. I finally, eek out a small "KW." And he turns around, clearly frustrated and growls, "WHAT NOW!?!" (sidenote: he never raises his voice...KW-yelling is more of an attitude than volume.) I whimper: I think I twisted my ankle.

Instantly, his face softens. He looks around, points, and says, "Go in there and buy some shoes."

There is the Pollini shoe store. I don't say anything to him. I simple walk in request a shoe in the size I think I am in European sizes (thank God for growing up in the fad of Birkenstocks). The shoe fits, we buy it. All is right in the world. We have no idea how much we paid for them. And I didn't care.

They look kinda like this:
Except they say Pollini instead of Coach and are pink. I will take a picture of them shortly.

After that, we find a United Colors of Benetton and buy some shirts and weird cotton like underwear. I still could not find pants that would cover my ankles because I am tall and they were switching to spring wear.

While the rest of the trip was not picture perfect, it was smoother sailing.

We got up to Florence to see EB. She showed us around, went to the pharmacia with me to get an ace bandage, let me wash my jeans and lent me some PJ pants, and then came back and stayed with us while KW was in his conference. We had a lovely girlie time while he was working. It involved a lot of leisurely eating and drinking, which is my only goal when I vacation and something KW has never mastered on any trip.

My luggage? Oh, yes, it showed up the night before we left. I wore every single bit of clothing for those 6 hours. And it felt glorious.

It took me a little while to find the humor in the trip, but I hope that you are able to get a chuckle out of it.

The bright side: I learned a lot about me and my husband, which kind of the point of a honeymoon, right?
The very bright side: I think we will continue to make up for our Honeymoon Horror for the next 60 years.

Honeymoon v.2.0--Updated

Chicago was awesome.
KW did not even bring his books!!!

We got to talk, walk, see and do.
It was a great time.

Pictures to come...and the last installment of the Honeymoon of Horrors story.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Honeymoon of Horrors, Part 2

See Part 1, here.

So we were packing our bags and with me that is a big deal. I hem and haw and make lists, lists, and more lists. Since it was mid-winter and we both have a tendency to get sick when we are not wanting to (man, if I knew how true that was then...I would have invested in Nyquil), I packed my carry-on with a ton of cold medicine, books, and guides. I did not pack anything absorbent because I knew that my cough medicine would spill everywhere.

Well, there are only two things wrong with this picture:
1.) I had no socks or clothes to change into or keep warm with.
2.) Yes, it did spill...all over the place. All of our Italian guide books are still stuck together with green hardened gloop.

Before I realized all of the Nyquil spilling had happened, we had crossed the Atlantic with our friendly Washington Post reporter who was stuck in a cross-Atlantic parenting scheme (neither of us could remember his name but remember that his kid's name was/is Niko) and were trying to navigate the 9th circle of hell that is the Charles D. Gaulle Airport. Customs was boring but uneventful, finding a bathroom as interesting, as was finding food before our connecting flight.

But we, like all Americans, persevered. We came, we ate, we left. We also made fun of the mid-western families wearing Paris sweatshirts. Seriously, shouldn't that be an oxymoron: Paris Sweatshirt.

So, we traveled with our trans-Atlantic parent all the way to Italy. It was a good flight, and we were ready for some sleeping and sightseeing. We got down to the baggage claim area, and waited and waited and waited.

And you've guessed it, our luggage was lost.

This is where our trans-atlantic parent travel companion comes in handy. He helped us fill out our claim forms and figure out when our luggage would come back to us.

Assured that our luggage would be behind us on the next flight from Paris, we waved goodbye to Father-of-Niko, who was reunited with Niko at this point, and went off to the Hotel d'Inghilterra. Italian translation: Hotel English. Yes, they spoke English and it should have been our saving grace and a pacifier.

The Hotel D'Ingleterra is located near the Spanish steps over Prada and/or Gucci. They knew it was our honeymoon and had a bottle of champagne waiting for us, but we weren't sure if it was free and were too scared to drink it in case they charged us for it. Yes, we were that stupid and cheap. It was very nice and was a very safe place. But paranoid Alex was scared all the time of being mugged or looking stupid or being mugged while looking stupid: way to go, Alex!

At this point of the trip is when I realized something very profound and telling about my husband: when in a new city, he is a tourist from HADES.

He must see and do and go and check things off of the lists that he has ever found about the city. Despite the fact that we had no luggage, no change of clothes, and no walking around cobblestone street worthy shoes, KW headed us into the direction of the Coliseum at a break neck pace. So at midnight in a foreign city, we go trapsing down the Via dei Fori Imperiali to see the Coliseum basked in moonlight. To say that I was in a foul mood would be an understatement. I had been to Rome before and did not have my husband's excitement to go around a strange city in our smelly clothes.

We did not get mugged if you thought this is where this story was going...but I spent many hours in panic that it would. Fear not, readers, my purse and KW's wallet was safe. We made it back to the Hotel, but not before stopping at the only open restaurant nearby: The nicest McDonald's in the world.

This would be our home away from home during our trip and where we would eat the majority of our meals.

Why? you ask, in the city and country with the most wonderful food would you be subjected to only McDonald's? Because, dear readers, our luggage was as elusive as the Pink Panther.

More to come, fallout with no clothes and not in the "ohhh, we're on a tropical island with no clothes kinda way" or "hey we are in the fashion district of Europe, let's shop" kind of don't go there. I did and was sorely disappointed.

The Honeymoon of Horrors, Part 1

***I caution this tale that I know people have had truly horrendous honeymoons: true famine, plague, pestilance, and death stuff, my tale does contain those things but in moderation that makes for a humorous tale...years later.***

I warned you that I would start this tale, so here it is:

Unlike many married couples, me and KW did not take our honeymoon right after the wedding day. No, what did we do right after the wedding day? Packed all of our belongings and moved 600 miles to Washington DC, where I started Graduate school the next day. We always said, we would take our honeymoon eventually. Probably the next summer. But summer came and went in a flurry of extra classes and extra jobs. Plus, we were just getting settled in, what is the hurry?

Fast forward a year after the wedding, KW is working for a man who does a lot of international travel and asked KW to help him organize a conference in Rome for the February after our one year anniversary. KW thought this would be the perfect opportunity for us to have our honeymoon. So we booked our arrival to Rome five days before his conference started, which gave us 8 days total in Italy.

To say we were excited is an understatement. We got one flight over for free and 4 nights of a really nice hotel(plus a few that his boss threw in).

So February of 2005 came upon us, and we could not have been more excited. We packed with meticulous care. We needed sightseeing clothes, going out clothes, work clothes, the works! I am not a light traveler usually, but I was determined to not go overboard. This would be the beginning of my undoing.

To know him is to love him-a stolen Meme

I have come across a fun and cute blog: Some Like it Hot. And she was doing a Meme about her hubs. Well, I haven't really done one of those, so I thought, "Why not? It will help them understand KW and the honeymoon story about to come." Thanks, SLIH, for letting me steal this? (Even though I asked permission to steal after, but that is sorta like asking, right?)
He will kill me for posting this picture, but it makes me smile when he is silly. The man will seriously do anything to make me laugh.

1. He is sitting in front of the TV, what is he watching? ESPN or Fox/MSNBC/CNN/CSPAN and maybe some Travel channel

2. You are out to eat, what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? If any, thousand island

3. Whats one food he doesn't like? Cheese, he likes it, but it doesn't like him...same with blueberries

4. You go out to a bar, what does he order? Something he never has tried before, something on special, or a Manhattan for special occasions. Mainly he drinks my drinks.

5. Where did he go to High School? St. Joseph's Catholic

6. What size shoe does he wear? I think an 11, but I don't know. It differs with types of shoes.

7. If he were to collect anything, what would it be? Crap. The boy makes Samford and his son look like true collectors. He loves getting things that he thinks people will cherish some day: newspapers from when someone died (ie. The pope), autographs of people before they were famous (ahem, if they become famous), antique odds and ends, pictures of quasi-famous people, autographed books (A TRUE FAVORITE!). All of these things he stores in his clothes dresser (cause I tell him, it needs to go somewhere), but now there is no room for his clothes.

8. What is his favorite sandwich? Subway meatball/sweet chicken teriyaki/seafood sensation (Gross on the last one, I know!)

9. What would he eat every day if he could? Meatloaf

10. What is his favorite cereal? Oatmeal...brown sugar with nuts added on top

11. What would he never wear? The uber preppy-button up with a tie and sweater with jeans.

12. What is his favorite sports team? NBA: The Kings and The Celtics (now that they have 2 SC boys on there!)

13. Who will he vote for? McCain

14. Who is his best friend? me, his brother, Bob, and Josh M. from law school

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do? Nag at him as much or ask him to walk Penny

16. How many states has he lived in? Cali, SC, VA, GA, MI

17. What is his heritage? German and Irish but he does not recognize his Irish (which would be the part I would embrace whole heartily: wear green, drink beer, and have a ready made excuse for a temper! Sign me up, Irish heritage!?!)

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday, what kind of cake is it? German Chocolate Cheese Cake (I have figured out a non-dairy version, but dairy is still his fav.)

19. Did he play sports in High School? Yes, he went to a small school(like graduated with 10 people, small), so he "had" to play everything. Basketball, Baseball, captain of soccer, and I'm sure there was some extreme badminton team.

20. What could he spend hours doing? Studying, reading NBA blogs (HoopsHype) and Drudge Report, and seeing things he has never seen before.
This is when KW dragged me to his "Weird Michigan" locations. This is in Hell, Michigan. And he was determined to get a picture with a snowball in hell.

And this is when we first got Penny. You can see KW's face stuck in there behind her. Classic.

So there in a nutshell is KW. I wonder how well I did? I'll have to ask?
How well do you know your significant other?