Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Work Is Totally Overrated

This is MUCH better.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Eve Went Something Like This

CAUTION: contains graphic content; not meant for weak stomachs.

4:00am: Knowing how much I had to do, my inner alarm clock wakes me up. We’re talking WIDE awake. Like, middle-of-the-day awake.

4:03am: Start wrapping presents.

4:47am: Still wrapping presents.

5:30am: Run out of scotch tape.

5:31am: Scream into a pillow.

5:32am: Frantically search house for more tape.

5:33am: Find another roll of scotch tape hiding in the bottom of the bow box.

5:34am: Resume wrapping.

6:07am: Wrap some more.

6:27am: Wrap. Wrap. Wrap.

6:44am: And still more wrapping.

7:00am: Finish wrapping. Take a 25 minute power nap.

8:00am: Head out to finish up shopping.

8:01am: Want to hide of embarrassment because this is the most behind I’ve ever been for Christmas.

10:30am: Take Vito to the vet for a long-overdue nail clipping.

10:32am: Listen to Vito cry and howl in fear, before they even take the clippers out.

Quote of the day:


Me: “Did he poop himself?”

Vet: “Nope.”

Phew!

Vet: “He just released his anal glands.”

11:00am: Give Vito bath.

11:20am: Throw anal-gland-juice-covered blanket and car seat cover in the wash.

11:30am: Wrap all the last-minute gifts.

1:00pm: Take much-needed two-and-a-half-hour nap.

4:00pm: Shower. Blow-dry hair. Get dressed.

5:00pm: Visit Aunt Mary in the convalescent home. Become completely depressed. Desperately need a drink.

6:00pm: Pack car with 5 shopping bags of presents plus one very clean dog.

6:30pm: FINALLY! Take first sip of a dirty martini.

Aaaahhh.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dear Mother Nature,

What's up, Mom?

Listen, do you think you could turn your snow machine off for, like, 5 minutes?*

How the hell am I supposed to get ANY Christmas shopping done in this weather?

Have some pity, I'm not even halfway done with my shopping, and Christmas is 4 days away.

Let me repeat that: FOUR DAYS AWAY.

I hardly doubt my mother-in-law will show unbridled joy when she opens up a box of Moose Munch and NO OTHER GIFTS. And while I'm sure while my grandfather will smile when he unwraps his "Brainteasers" book, there's a good chance he'll pick up the bottom piece of tissue paper and LOOK FOR THE REST OF HIS GIFT.

If you could attend to this request now, that would be great.

Thanks, Mother.

And I promise recycle my wine bottles.

Hugs,

kk

*And that doesn't mean replacing it with your "wintry mix" machine either.

Friday, December 19, 2008

One Extra For Dinner

The other night I had a client dinner at Carmine's Restaurant in New York City.

We were a loud, boisterous crowd of 24.

We were sharing our family-style appetizers, when a fellow employee went to stab a forkful of salad, and saw THIS on his plat
e:



















Yes, it was alive.

(No, I'm NOT kidding.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dear Santa, I've Been A Very Baaaaad Blogger

And by "bad" I mean "nowhere to be found".

CHRISTMAS, which seems to have come out of NOWHERE (yeah, I know it's usually about the same time every year, but I SWEAR that it came about faster this year), is vying for my attention with WORK (and lots of it! not to mention client meetings and dinners. seriously, I forgot what the inside of my house looks like).

So please forgive me while I'm buried under copy requests, ass kissing and tinsel.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Ugh.

5:43am
Fantasy
:

Getting up early to get a little online shopping done.

5:43am
Reality
:

Getting up early to vacuum the water in the basement.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Getting The Tree, 2008 Edition

Saturday was the first day so far that put me in the Christmas spirit and made me feel like my favorite holiday really was right around the corner.

After spending the morning on a Holiday House Tour, seeing how the other half lives (it should have been called a Merry Mansion Tour), I switched my stilettos for my snow boots and we headed out for the tree.

I’m kind of annoying (who, me?) when it comes to Christmas. I LOVE Christmas, and everything associated with it. And because I don’t have kids and macaroni ornaments and toys everywhere, Christmas in my house is more Martha Stewart than Mother of the Year.

I’m a big “traditions” kind of girl, so we always get our tree from the Boy Scouts in our town. They set up shop right around the corner from our house, they have a bunch of trees, and I feel like I’m supporting a good cause.

Unfortunately for the Boy Scouts, I’m not like every other tree-buyer that walks through the plastic orange make-shift fence. I’m looking for the perfect tree. And finding it could take a little bit of time. And I don’t like to rushed.

But the Boy Scouts, god bless them, are persistent.

So there I am, walking around the tree lot like the pied piper with a trail of Boy Scouts following behind me.

We immediately see a tree we like, but we’ve only been tree-searching for 3 minutes. I can’t just get the first tree I admire. What kind of girl would I be?

So we continue on.

If I even paused at a tree, or motioned to Mr. KK in the vague direction of a tree, one of the Boy Scouts would run up and pull the tree out for us to see.

It was sweet, really.

The first 26 times.

BOY SCOUT: “This one?
ME: “Too tall.”
BS: “This one?”
ME: “Too short.”
BS: “THIS one?”
ME: “Too fat.”
BS: “How about this one?”
ME: “Too naked.”
BS: “This?”
ME: “Too…ugly.”

So there we are, being all indecisive and stuff, when we see these two guys walk off with our original tree. The perfect tree. The tree I couldn’t commit to so early.

Sigh.

And then, I’m totally creeped out. We’re looking at tree #57 when this strange guy with a camera comes up to us.

SG: “Wow, you guys move fast…”
Um, who are you?
SG: “I’ve been following you around..”
Excuse me?
SG: “I’m with the (INSERT NAME OF A REALLY, REALLY, REALLY SMALL COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER THAT NO ONE HAS HEARD OF) and I just wanted to get a photo for the paper of you guys getting a tree.”
ME: “Oh, I thought you were the paparazzi.”

So after looking at every tree, being stalked by the photojournalist and losing our favorite tree to someone else, we finally choose a tree.

We have our new BFF Boy Scout cut off the bottom (whose name is Angus we learn...don't meet many Anguses...), load it onto the truck and bring it home.

It’s in the living room in its stand in all its glory.

MR. KK: “I hate it.”
ME: “Me too.”

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How To Guarantee You'll Be Late For An Appointment

  1. Tell everyone at work that you MUST leave for an appointment at 5:30. FIVE THIRTY. 5-3-0.
  2. Call and confirm said appointment.
  3. Have completely insanely crazy day at work; stare incredulously at the clock that reads 5:25.
  4. At 5:43, still be at your desk.
  5. Finally leave. Forget computer cord and go back. Forget to shut light and go back.
  6. Seek an alternate route because your usual highway is shut down.
  7. Get caught behind the slowest driver in America as soon as you pull out of the parking lot.
  8. Somehow manage to find slowest driver in America's cousin on the highway. Follow him. Closely. Applaud when he moves over.
  9. Sit in ridiculous traffic due to accident re-route.
  10. Remember while driving that you don’t have any change for a tip. (Because the salon no longer allows you to put a tip on your credit card. WTF?)
  11. Scour the armrest for quarters.
  12. Emerge with only $1.50. Go back in for dimes.
  13. Debate calling and telling them you’re running late. Remember all the times they made YOU wait, and decide against it.
  14. Take the turn into the parking lot on two wheels. Park like an idiot.
  15. Smooth hair and walk in, head held high.
  16. Dump $4.00 in quarters, dimes and nickels on the counter and smile.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Oh, My, Michael!

Dear Michael Bublé,

Your concert on Wednesday night? WOW.

You were AMAZING.

You are also lucky that I didn't kidnap your sexy ass and take you home with me.

Hugs,
kk

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December's Top 10

The craziest/busiest/most expensive month of the year has just begun!

Here are 10 things I have to look forward to this month:

  1. Celebrating my good health. Four years ago today I was lying in a hospital bed, recuperating from major surgery, congratulating myself for beating cancer. The best Christmas gift ever.
  2. Gaining weight. It’s inevitable. And it’s not even from the cookies and desserts; it’s from the meals and martinis. I still haven’t lost the weight I gained LAST December. I'm pacing myself.
  3. Annual Christmas cookie making with Mom. This is a tradition we started last year. Being Year 2, and knowing how my mother is once she gets something in her head, I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was when she started asking in September what cookies I wanted to make this year.
  4. Client dinners. Last night was my first of the season, and I was a little nervous, as this same dinner had turned out disastrous last year. I suggest you click that link. It will make the fact that we had the SAME EXACT BUS DRIVER this year even more hilarious.
  5. Buying a gift for my mother. Before I even BUY her a gift, I know she will return it. Even if it’s something she’s asked for, she will STILL return it. And then she will want it two months later.
  6. Getting the tree! I LOVE getting the tree! Last year I thought it would be a good idea to bring Vito with us. Having him there made picking out a tree even easier, because we could rule out all the ones he peed on.
  7. New Year’s Eve. In a word: over-rated. To quote myself (every year): “THIS year we’re staying home.”
  8. Christmas Eve! My favorite eating holiday of the year! If I had to pick one reason why I love being Italian, December 24 is it! (Feasting on all those delicious fishes!)
  9. Those leggy Rockettes! Yes, I’m braving the crowds and going to see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City. It’s been years since I’ve been and I’m SO excited to be a total tourist: see the tree in Rock Center, eat a dirty water dog, get pushed around by mean New Yorkers.
  10. Getting sick. How could it not happen? I will be running myself ragged over the next 3 weeks…all play and no rest makes for a very tired KK.
Hope everyone has something wonderful to look forward to this month!

Monday, December 1, 2008

What? The Hills Isn't Really Real?

GASP!

Admittedly, I am a late-comer to this party. I know just about everyone who watches The Hills knows that this "reality" show is scripted.

And I knew this. Deep down, I agreed. But there was always a little part of me – call it silly hope, naivete or too many martin
is – that needed to see proof with my own eyes to totally be convinced.

Consider me there.

These are shots from a recent episode when Lauren, Lo and Holly are standing around the kitchen island talking about how malicious Speidi kicked Holly out of their apartment. (I mean, who would want to live with them anyway? Do they leave the house, EVER? Does he work? What does he do all day? Perfect his evil eye?)

Do you remember the movie Pretty Woman? In the restaurant scene when the cup of sorbet kept appearing and reappearing in front of Richard Gere and Julia Roberts?

Check out this similar scene – with a wine glass and our deer-in-headlights friend, Lo – proving that this poignant scene, and the entire dramatic show, was w
ell crafted...in the editing room.













Here we see Lo (as we're reminded who she is!) sitting at the counter, without a glass of wine.














Next shot: Lo opens up to say something brilliant (such as "Yeah" or "Hey" or "Mmm-hmm") and miraculously there's a nice glass of red in front of her.













Wide shot: No glass in front of Little Lo. (Um, can we just take a moment to be jealous of that amazing kitchen that they never cook in???)













Lo and behold, the glass of vino is back!













Two points for consistency! Lo clutches her wine in suspense as Holly bad-mouths Spencer and his weird flesh-colored beard.











Shocked that Holly could be so mean-spirited, Lo completely forgets that she's supposed to be drinking a glass of wine. (She also forgets her name and where she is.)












Alas! We end the scene with a troubled Lo, who has found her wine glass but not her dignity.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday Recap: Pre-, During and Post-Bird

Usually when I have more than 2 days in a row off from work, I can never remember what day it is. Like right now, it feels like Sunday.

Overall, Thanksgiving was a success! Nine very happy, very full people left my house Thursday evening, with very empty hands. Which means I have a refrigerator-full of leftovers.

The last 3 days have been a blur – from getting everything ready on Wednesday, to executing Thanksgiving 2008 on Thursday, to braving the shopping crowds on Black Friday.

Here’s a mid-break recap so far:

Wednesday

  • Craziest thing I saw at the grocery store:
    A rather unkempt woman in her fifties, shopping with one of the grocery carts that has the big red plastic baby seat attached to the top of it…with no baby.

  • Weirdest thing that happened at the grocery store:
    Being hip-checked by a woman in the condiments aisle so she could grab for a jar of fire engine red, heavy, gelatinous ham glaze. (Gross.)

  • Number of times I zig-zagged in the grocery store because my list was organized by ingredients instead of store planogram: 11

Thursday

  • Biggest party foul:
    First Place:
    Yours Truly knocking over an entire glass of red wine on my brand new cream tablecloth.
    Runner-up:
    My dad giving the bar and living room hardwood floor a tonic bath.

  • Most popular dish:
    Appetizer:
    Roasted figs stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped in prosciutto and drizzled with honey.
    Main dish:
    Cornbread, sausage and apple stuffing.
    Dessert:
    Pumpkin cheesecake. (Thank you, The Cheesecake Factory!!!)

  • Most MacGuyver moment: My Grandfather’s homemade double-pie transporter, made from an empty wine box, tin foil and two hangers from the dry cleaners.

  • Number of pounds of our turkey breast: 18! (Um, what size was the whole turkey???)

Friday

  • Biggest Thanksgiving hangover: Yours Truly.
Actual conversation:

ME: “I only had 3 glasses of wine.”
MR. KK: ((raised eyebrows))
ME: “Granted, they chased an entire bottle of Prosecco...”

  • Weirdest thing that happened: a chardonnay-soaked high school classmate “petting” my hair.
  • First time eating leftovers: At 12:30am, post vodka night out.
  • Number of Christmas presents bought: 1.5
  • Number of shoppers out on Black Friday: all of them.

Hope you all had a yummy holiday!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Funny By Accident

Andy over at Wild ARS Chase, is featuring a "Getting To Know You" segment on his blog.
I promised I'd participate, so here goes!

I often tell my mother how lucky she is to have had me as a child.


I slept through the night at a very early age, I entertained myself and I provided comic relief.

As awesome as my memory is now, I feel like I don’t remember lots of things from my childhood. When I do remember things it’s because I’ve seen photographs. So I don’t know if I’m truly remembering an actual event, or looking at a photograph and that's serving as my memory

My mother, however, has a wonderful memory when it comes to my childhood. (I would be worried if she didn’t, since I was an only child, she only has only one set of “firsts” and memories to recall).

One of my mother’s favorite stories to tell is from when I was about 3 years old.

It is circa 1978 and we are driving on the parkway in her orange Gremlin. (NOTE: my grandfather, channeling his inner artiste, had painted black racing stripes on the sides of the car. Yeah. We were bad ass.)

It’s winter, so the road is a bit icy and has been covered in sand to help prevent slipping.

I am in the backseat of the Gremlin in my car seat (I’m sure if this was today, my mother would be breaking a million baby laws – ie, the car seat is in the wrong seat, I’m barely buckled in, I shouldn’t have Schnapps in my sippee cup, blah blah blah).

My mother takes the exit a little too fast (her lead foot MIGHT be hereditary), and the little Gremlin tires lose traction on the sandy ramp. The car skids sideways off the road into the guardrail. We hit with such force that we actually move the guardrail until we are pinned against it, teetering over an embankment.

My mother sucks in her breath (THIS is her trademark, I wish this blog had sound), gripping the wheel. She's scared we almost died. She's worried how we'll get home. She's scared my dad is going to kill her.

All is quiet in the back seat. She turns around to see if I'm okay.

I'm sitting there, staring at her, silent.

Finally, my little voice pipes up: “Mom, you broke the car.”


(See? Even back then, in stressful situations, I was calm, cool, and collected.)

Two Days From Now I'll Be Elbow Deep In Turkey Grease

In our families, Thanksgiving is usually the holiday that goes unclaimed (unlike Christmas Eve, which has people throwing their hats in the ring starting in September. This year, my mother invited everyone over in August.)

(I’m not kidding.)


So for the last few years, we’ve taken Thanksgiving.

I’m not a huge fan of turkey. I will eat two very small pieces, then fill up on all of the side dishes that grace the table. But I love to cook, so I’m happy inviting everyone over and feeding them a feast.

Last year we hosted 18 people, which bordered on the crazy side.

This year, we will be a modest 11 peeps.

Because of this, we can all sit at the adult table. I only have to make one casserole of each side dish instead of two. People do not have to eat in the living room.

Even though the crew will be drastically smaller this year, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

My dad was sweet enough to offer up his services.

DAD: “Are you off on Wednesday?”

ME:
“I’m ‘working from home’.” (insert air quotes)


DAD:
“Well, I’m off too, so let me know if you need help.”


ME:
Hmm. “Really?”


DAD: “Sure. If you need me to run errands or something…”


ME: “My house needs to be cleaned…”


DAD: ((silence))


Thanks, Dad.

That being said, I’m going to be a busy girl the next 48 hours.

So, for year 3 of Thanksgiving at KK's house, I thought I'd share the menu.

(drumroll, please…)

MENU

Appetizers:

Roasted figs stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped with prosciutto, drizzled with honey
Cheese (Baked brie? Goat cheese? I haven’t decided yet)
Veggies and dip (with dip served in hallowed out gourd, of course)

First Course:

Butternut squash and sage bisque

Main Course:

Turkey (the breast only, we’re bunch of white-meat lovers)
Cornbread, sausage and apple stuffing
Sweet potatoes (Aunt Carole’s famous for them!)
Mom’s mashed potatoes
Roasted fennel, onions and shallots
Sauteed swiss chard
Homemade cranberry sauce
Delicious (steaming hot) gravy

Intermezzo:

Warm and toasty chestnuts
Clementines

Dessert:

Pumpkin cheesecake
Chocolate cream pie
Lemon pie

WINE:

Pinot Noir
Beaujolais

LATE NIGHT:

Tums

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Dear NaNoWriMo,

I'm going to cut right to the chase:

Please stop sending me emails.

At first, I get excited that I have a personal email, or that someone has commented on this blog.

And then, disappointment.

Disappointment when I see that the email is from YOU.

Every "pep talk" email you send me, is a constant reminder that I have failed. It's like you are stabbing me over and over and over every time I see you in my Inbox.

One, two, three emails a week. Three emails telling from authors telling their "story" of how they overcame writer's block, or found that nugget of a story buried deep within themselves, or how without guidance, blah blah blah, they would have never made it (sorry, I don't really know the details, as I don't really read these emails.)

And the worst part? These are GENERIC emails. I feel like you don't even know me. Your emails say things like, "By now you're well on your way!" and "You'll have reached the 25,000 word mark as of yesterday" and "Don't you feel so good about yourself?".

What will it take? For you to Stop. Emailing. Me.

I will fully admit that I failed. F.A.I.L.E.D. I only uploaded 1600 words. I did not reach my goal.

(I think it's funny, though, that I've written 7000 words on my blog the month of November...)

That's all.

And if I see a generic "Congratulations! You did it!" email on December 1, I seriously might come after you.

NaNoWriMo, you're on notice.

Hugs,
kk

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cooking Like Crazy

For me, the best way to spend my weekend is cooking. Couple that with cooking for other people, and you have one happy KK.

This, just happens to be one of those weekends.

FRIDAY

Officially known as "catch up on all the TV we missed all week long" night. It was freezing out, so comfort food was the way to go.

Dinner:

Mini rigatonis with creamy pumpkin sauce.

That was paired with a few glasses of red wine.

SATURDAY

We had some friends over for dinner.

The menu:

Hot artichoke dip with pita chips

NY Strip with red wine reduction sauce
Cheddar and chive twice baked potatoes
Sauteed mushrooms with red wine

Gingerbread and pumpkin trifle (served up in individual martini glasses)

For me, the night started out with a hot and dirty martini, then ended with many glasses of yummy wines from Portugal.

SUNDAY

Today is my Grandmother's birthday, so I'm cooking her favorites for dinner with my mom.

We're making:

Mussels in white wine sauce

Calamari and shrimp in red sauce over angel hair

Cheesy garlic bread

With wine, wine and more wine.

MONDAY

Diet and detox!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Old School

Every year my company has a year-end meeting, where we showcase the work that we’ve done so that everyone in the company can see what everyone else has been working on.

This year they are doing things a little differently, and I have been asked to “help out” with the presentation. And by “help out”, they mean come up with a theme, organize all of the materials, and write the presentation. And this “helping out” must be done on top of all my other work.

Good times.

I’ve chosen a high school yearbook theme (lame, I know), which works as an easy way to showcase the work we’ve done for each “club” (client), plus it’s a good way to recognize outstanding “students” (coworkers) and “class trips” (company outings).

So I brought my high school yearbook in to give me some inspiration to create the presentation. Everyone got a good laugh at the funny hairstyles of the early 90s, as well as how little and goofy Yours Truly looked.

I started thinking about how my look has totally changed from high school (thankfully!); and wondering if who I was as a person had changed at all.

So I analyzed my yearbook profile to see how much I really have changed over the years:

NICKNAME: “K” (I’ve matured, so I’ve added a second “K”); Happy (yep), vivacious (hell yeah!), sincere (to the end);
LIKES: the beach at night (well, I can’t tell you the last time I was at the beach at night, except to maybe watch fireworks, but I suppose I would like it, when I wasn’t freaking out that a mass murder was lurking in the shadows to kill me – for more on this, see "being scared" below); red roses (probably my least favorite flower; KK’s favorite: gerber daisies and hydrangeas); sunsets (yes); going out to dinner (who knew I was a food snob way back when?);
DISLIKES: bad moods (check), rainy weekends (check); spiders (double check, especially when they find solace from the elements IN MY HOUSE); embarrassment (sure – who doesn’t? Not many people who would put this in the “LIKES” category); being scared (this is definitely still true. I torture myself when I’m home alone, freaking out about locked doors and home invasions); poppy seeds (I don’t mind them anymore, especially after Seinfeld made such a big deal about them);
SUPPRESSED DESIRE: to win the Good Housekeeping Award and live in the cleanest house in America with Dimitri (first of all, if you knew my attitude towards cleaning, you would know that there is no way in hell that I would ever win the GHA, let alone be a runner-up. It’s just not happening. Second, this was a shot at my mom, who is a clean freak, and tried to rub her cleaning madness off on me ((didn’t work)). And Dimitri was my stuffed animal, with whom I slept every night. I still have him. He sleeps in a drawer with my blankie)
((Don’t judge me)).


Hey – dig out YOUR high school yearbook – how much have YOU changed???

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reading Material

For those times when I want to get in touch with my inner hunter, but still feel feminine, there's only one magazine I turn to:














(hey, there's something for the chef in me, too!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm Not Ready





BRRR!

Winter is coming!

The Pros: I get to wear my most favorite winter coat, heated seats, flannel sheets.

The Cons: Frost on the car, drafty old windows, teary eyes from the cold that just freeze on your face.

Least favorite two winter words: wind chill.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Telltale Sign It's Fall In The KK House

Festive mantle and Vito curled up by a roaring fire.

Caught Dirty Handed

Rumor has it, there’s a certain male and a certain female at work who do NOT wash their hands after using the restroom.

(Let’s have a moment of silence and let that disgusting news set in, shall we?)

Pretty much everyone in the office knows who the male is. He’s actually one of the Presidents of the company. I guess they don’t teach you basic hygiene on your way up the corporate ladder. Or maybe he’s used to having an assistant wash his hands for him.

Thanks to fellow male coworkers, word got out that Mr. President was called out by the COO (um, can you say embarrassing???) after emerging from a men’s room stall (yes, a stall. Repeat…a stall. READ: more than urination.)


I guess Mr. President was doing his usual routine: exit the stall, fix hair in the mirror, head out with dirty bathroom hands into the office to touch everything.

Apparently the COO was in the bathroom as well, at the sink washing his hands when Mr. President emerged. They chatted for a bit, then began to exit together. COO, spotting Mr. President’s complete disregard for everything clean and sanitary, says semi-laughing, “Hey, wash your hands!” (chuckle chuckle). Mr. President takes his chuckling as a joke and laughs along with him, still making his way towards the exit. COO stops Mr. President and says, “Dude, seriously. Wash your hands!”

Now, as a working adult, I guess there are a few things that you could expect to be reprimanded about when it comes to your job: missing a deadline, stealing millions of dollars in Post-It Notes from the company, spending too much time on Facebook. But how could you be forty-something (fifty-something? I don’t know, I’m awful with age) and need to be told by your boss to wash your hands after using the bathroom?

Unacceptable.

Ah, but there’s a female culprit, too.

Except we don’t know who it is.

I’m a rather astute lady. I watch and listen to people, I observe them. Because of this, I pretty much know everyone here by their voice, cough, cadence of their walk and shoes. So I usually know with whom I’m sharing the bathroom within two seconds of entering. (But I’m NOT one of those people who will talk to you while you are peeing. I HATE that. If I wanted to talk to you, I would have stopped by your desk. Leave. Me. Alone.)

So I’m always watching what the other ladies in the office do while spending time in the bathroom.

There’s the young girl who touches up her makeup at least four times a day. I mean, really? WHO are you going to see at work? (I highly doubt she's trying to impress someone, as my company is 95% female.) Then there are the teeth brushers. And the perfume sprayers. And the mirror starers. But what I haven’t noticed, is the woman who skips the sink.

But the super-sleuths around here are on the case! Someone has taken the master phone list, and each time they see a female wash her hands after using the rest room, they cross her name off the list.

Who ever is left, is the anonymous non-hand-washing bandit.

ME: “Wow, guilty by phone list. I like it!”

COWORKER: “I still have a long way to go.”

ME: “Well, you can cross ME off the list.”

COWORKER: “Well…”

ME: ?????

COWORKER: “I cross people off when I actually SEE them wash their hands.”

ME: “Well, I know how it works for everyone else. I’m just telling you that I know I wash my hands every time, so you can cross me off. Go ahead. I’ll watch you.”

Let the Womanhunt begin!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Vacuums, Burnt Tongues and Big Magazines

Boy did I have an exciting weekend! Yesiree! Mr. KK as away, so Vito and I had a fun girls’ weekend. (And I use the term “girls’ weekend” loosely, as Vito is a boy. And now, a boy with a complex.)

In no particular order:
  • I was a chore whore. I cleaned the entire house. We’re talking dusting, vacuuming, vacuuming the sofas, cleaning the bathrooms, washing the kitchen floor and doing a bunch of laundry.
  • Vito? Still not fond of baths. Remember those cartoons where someone would try to put the cat in an old tin bathtub (Tom & Jerry comes to mind), and the cat would spread out all four legs on the edge of the tub, and the person would be trying to push the cat into the tub, but the cat wouldn’t budge. Well, that was what Sunday morning was like. Except replace the cat with Vito. And replace the tin tub with my deep porcelain tub. And replace “the cat wouldn’t budge” with “Vito trying to hop out of the top every 2 seconds”.
  • Yes, Alanis, it IS ironic! Me, in a lighting store, uttering the words: “Good lord it’s so DARK in here!” (Seriously, can’t make it up)
  • From the “I’ll Never Learn My Lesson” file: I burned my tongue on Dunkin’ Donuts hot chocolate. AGAIN.
  • “Vito, we do NOT gnaw on the Dyson!” Phrase uttered considerably fewer times than normal, as Vito only attacked the vacuum 23 times, down from his usual 45.
  • “Wedding Crashers” was on TV again. So I watched it. Again. They had me at the opening credits. (Actually, they had me at the little digital TV guide, five minutes before it started.)
  • I indulged in a favorite kk-home-alone-favorite-pastime: reading a magazine while I’m eating! I know, sounds silly, but when you’re not dining alone, some people can find it rude if you sit at the table and READ and completely ignore them. So, being home alone, I read my big, beautiful InStyle while I enjoyed homemade chicken parmesan, completely ignoring a begging Vito.
  • Extended deadline? It seems they have extended the deadline to enter into The Next Food Network Star contest. (Read: my chances have gotten even smaller!) When I uploaded my video there were only 5 pages of videos. I actually thought, "Hey, I might have a shot!" Now? When I checked on Sunday there are THIRTEEN pages of videos. Aaah! (So of course I've been viewing my video incessantly like a crazy person...gotta keep up those views!)
Happy Monday!
(Where's my wine???)


Friday, November 14, 2008

When TV Execs Make Bad Decisions

I heard last night that Lipstick Jungle is getting the ax. Now, I’m not a fan of Lipstick Jungle (in fact, I’ve never even seen an episode).

Side note: Brooke Shields, you bug me. I’m sorry, but you do. You’re just so tall, and you’re always over-acting and you’re just so…tall. And your commercials for Volkswagen? Where you appear like a cult leader, talking about people having babies to get a bigger car? You’re not winning points with me with those, either.

I’m not sad over NBC’s decision, I’m pissed off.

Last year, two similar show premiered on television: Cashmere Mafia (awesome!) and Lipstick Jungle (whatever). Both of these shows were rivals to attempt to fill the void that Sex And The City had left in so many of us. Each show featured 30-something career women (I don’t know about you, but they seemed WAY farther along in their career and wealth than the thirtysomethings that I know, Yours Truly included) who above and beyond everything else – lunatic bosses, cheating husbands, whiny kids – were best friends.

What did Cashmere Mafia have that Lipstick Jungle didn't? Well, Lucy Liu for starters. (I'm sorry, but she's just so damned cute!) And a heterosexual party girl-turned lesbian-turned back to heterosexual party girl. And a redheaded ice queen. And lots of martinis!

When last year’s TV season ended, it became “may the best 30-something-melodrama win!”.

Lipstick Jungle won.

Cashmere Mafia (With better women! And a hot “manny”!) did not.

So after only like 6 episodes, Cashmere Mafia went off the air. I never tuned into Lipstick Jungle this year. On principal, I wouldn’t watch it. (Sorry, Brooke, you totally ruined the show for me before it started.)

NOW, they are canceling Lipstick Jungle.

Perhaps you are rethinking your decision, executives?

Are you kinda wondering that maybe you made a mistake? Wish you could go back and undo things? Get down on your knees and beg forgiveness?

Hey, Cashmere Mafia, don’t be too proud! If they ask you to come back, DO IT!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Good, Weird And Sad – All At The Same Time

Background: I used to work in retail advertising in Boston with a group of awesome people. It was the kind of place you only work once, where you make friends for life, and every other place you work after that pales in comparison.

I left my happy cocoon of employment shortly after hearing that another retail giant was going to purchase the company. Mr. KK and I were headed back to Connecticut anyway, so I left right after the announcement. Some people took positions around the country with the new company. Many stayed on and worked until the doors closed.


Have you ever been to a high school reunion? Where you’re nervous and excited (well, mostly nervous), so much so that you have to pry your hand off of the car door handle? You fix your hair a thousand times, curse the frizz-causing misty weather, and apply another coat of lip gloss. You repeat, “You are being silly! You have nothing to be nervous about!” over and over to yourself. You flashback to all the faces you knew, do a quick mental tally of anyone you might have pissed off, and contemplate whether or not they might still hold a grudge against you.

(No? You don’t do that? Just me?)

That was last Friday night.

It was a night of mixed emotions.


The Good

It was great to see my friend Joss, with whom I share the awesome shopper gene. We haven’t seen each other in a while, so after the hugs and squeezes and squeals died down, we were on our way.

First, we met up with another former coworker, T, whom I was also excited to see. I could've stayed at the bar with just those two and my dirty martinis and my night would have been complete.

But, duty called.

After building up some liquid courage, we headed off to the reunion.

The Weird

The reunion was held in a “hall” (think: Knights Of Columbus or Sons Of Italy). Nothing says par-tay like paneling on the walls, worn brown carpet on the floor and two locals “tending” bar.

(Case in point: I ordered a vodka and club soda. The semi-toothless bartender hands it to me and says, “That was made with allota love.” I take a sip. Funny, it was also made incorrectly. I HATE tonic.)

I was hungry, but scared of the “hors d’oeuvres” that looked like they’d been sitting out since 1982. (Also, how is a hoagie an appetizer? Sure, there's nothing easier to eat than a 8 inch sandwich while you’re balancing a plastic cup cocktail and trying to have a cohesive conversation with someone you can vaguely put your finger on, while they rattle off details about you and your life that proves that they certainly remember YOU.)

I’m awful with names. Joss, who had worked at this company since she was 16, knew EVERYONE who worked in the building. So I created a little plan in the parking lot on the way in.

ME: “When you say ‘hi’ to someone, can you also say their name, so maybe I can remember who they are? And what department I would know them from? For example, ‘Hey, John from coats, good to see you! Is that Mary from costume jewelry over there?'”

The Sad

If you ever want to feel better about having a job you dislike, talk to people who don’t have a job at all.

I felt dirty and yucky for having spent so much time riding around in limos and eating filet mignon in the middle of the day while these ex-coworkers – with whom I had shared so many happy memories – STILL didn’t have jobs.

It was almost like they hadn’t recovered from the company takeover. They were loyal to the last minute, and then everything just ended. They were the last ones to leave the building. They actually shut the lights, like that poignant moment on a TV show. (But, they also took home all of the leftover office supplies – boxes and boxes of staples and paperclips. They joked they'd be writing on Post-It notes when they were eighty.)

They were SHOCKED that I still had the same job that I left them for three and a half years ago. (I’m shocked I still have the same job, too, but for far different reasons.)

The Unbelievable

But perhaps the WORST part of the weekend was having lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, and ordering the pumpkin cheesecake (my absolute FAVORITE), and for the second time in a row being told that they were out of it.

They only have pumpkin cheesecake two months a year. I go to two different restaurants, in two different states, at two different mealtimes, and they are both OUT?

(Hello, you are called 'The Cheesecake Factory'...shouldn't you be able to factorize more when you run out???


Grrr.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Well, the title says it all.

Thank you all SO much for checking out my Next Food Network Star video, and a super thank you to those that left a comment!

My friends are trying to get me onto the first page of the "most viewed" videos...and we're getting there! On page 3 now!

And thank you for all the well wishes – I'll keep you posted!

Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bestest Birthday Trip Ever

Next year, some of my besties and I will celebrate our 35th birthdays.

(How I feel about turning 35 will be posted separately. And require tissues.)


So over drinks a few weeks ago we started talking about taking a special birthday trip.

The conversation started like this:

ME: “I think we should try to find somewhere that’s not too expensive.”

DESI: “How about Europe?”

Um…

So we kept thinking and drinking (twas the night of many Magners for me!), and as a result of that evening’s conversations, I sent this email:

To: Desi and Tracey
From: KK
Subject: 35th Birthday Trip

Conversation summary/trip rules:

1. this trip is to be taken some time in 2009.
2. the destination SHOULD BE a place that none of us have ever been to
3. OR it could be a place that the 3 of us HAVE been to...together.
4. this destination is NOT in Europe
5. taking into considering the sad state of the economy, consider a trip within driving distance
6. this trip is most likely a long weekend (think Wednesday to Sunday)
7. when on said trip, there is NO pressure to do a certain activity if you’re not interested
8. there will be no hard feelings if someone doesn’t want to do your activity
9. there will be many photos and a quote board on this trip
10. this trip will be fun!

So I gave the girls a homework assignment (hey, who called the Fun Police?!) to do a little research and come back with a list of 4-5 places they’d be interested in going and why (ie, I MUST get a cheesesteak in Philly; I want my photo with the Lincoln Memorial in DC; I want to hook up with a Latin man in Miami).

So that's where we are.

Hey – any of YOU have any suggestions for a fun place for our 35th birthday bash trip?

It Should Be Called "NaNoWri No Mo"

Last word count update: 472

Current word count update: 472

(anyone else starting to think I’m not going to make it???)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Help Me Not Look Like A Loser

Well, that might be a tall order, considering you didn't have anything to do with my actual video.

But, because I enjoy putting myself out there for hard-to-accomplish projects (can you say NaNoWriMo?), I'd like to share my latest act of insanity with you.

I've applied to be on The Next Food Network Star!

What are the chances that this little girl from Connecticut with no professional culinary training will make it? Who knows. But it was fun and, as usual, I'm hopeful!

So how can you help me not look like a loser?

You can view my video on the food network website so I can rack up some views!
(The video is just under 3 minutes. I know that's a lot to ask. But I'm making yummy risotto!)

And if you're feeling extra generous, you can even leave a comment! Like, "Wow, risotto never looked so easy!" or "I thought I was watching a TV show!" or "Give this girl a contract!".

(Or feel free to write something brilliant and complimentary on your own.)

How will you find me?

(I can't find a direct link...sorry for all the clicking!)

Click here.

Then click "most recent" above the videos.


I'm on page 2 (I think). My video looks like this:












Goofy, I know.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dirty Is Delicious!

If you read this blog, you know that I love me a martini.

I had posted about a week ago about this awesome martini I had, a Hot & Dirty Martini.

Eric over at Dirty Sue was kind enough to feed my vodka-soaked obsession and send me some super yummy Dirty Sue Dirty Martini Mix.

All I can say is: YUM!

If you're a dirty martini lover, you MUST check them out. If you've never had a dirty martini, you MUST try one. (Unless you don't like olives. But what crazy person doesn't like olives???)

Thanks, Eric!

Dear CareerBuilder,

First off, thank you for the weekly emails regarding jobs that are available to me in Connecticut. I don’t even remember asking you to do this, so kudos to you on your proactive – and very sweet – behavior.

And I love that these emails are personalized, too. You know my job criteria based on searches that I’ve done with you, and you send me these emails with jobs that are JUST FOR ME.


Now, I don’t want to sound ungrateful – because lord knows in this economy a girl could use all the help she could get to find a new gig – but I’m wondering what the hell you are thinking when you send me some of these jobs.

I mean, I feel like you don’t know me AT ALL.

I am a writer. I work in the advertising and marketing field. You know this. You've committed this to memory. You know what type of job I’m looking for.

So why is it, CareerBu
ilder, that you send me jobs like this:


I'm AWFUL at math, CB (don't you read this blog???)



Perhaps word has gotten out what an incredible room painter I am, how with my super-steady hand I don't even use that silly blue tape and how I cut-in like a pro. I don't, however, ever telling you I wanted it to be my career.


I'm a writer. I like words. Not formulas.


Um, I don't even know what this is.


And my personal favorite:

CareerBuilder, I didn't even go to medical school. And I'm pretty sure that would be listed under requirements.

Perhaps a little refocus on my skill set and interests.

Looking forward to the next email.

Hugs,
kk

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Things You Don't Hear Everyday

This is the conversation going on in the office next to mine:

COWORKER 1: "What are you going to do about the boob?"

COWORKER 2: "I'm not sure."

COWORKER 1: "Are you going to touch the boob?"

COWORKER 2: "I can't. I need permission before I can touch the boob."

(No, I don't work in Dr. 90210's office.)

Math Was Never My Strongsuit

So, if I'm supposed to write 50,000 for NaNoWriMo in 30 days, that computes (on my old school Texas Instruments calculator) to about 1,666.6666 words a day.

That means, that at the stroke of midnight tonight, I should have approximately 6,666 words written.

Actual number of words written: 472.

Don't need to be a math guru to know that those numbers don't match. Like, they're not even close.

Sigh.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Extra Hour Of Sleep MY ASS

I'm still hanging here at work. Outside, it looks like it's the middle of the night instead of 6:25pm.

I should be in my jammies instead of writing headlines.

Changing the clocks? Is overrated.

(Oh? And that extra hour? Translation: an extra hour to be wide awake and wishing you were still asleep.)

Or, Perhaps, I’m A Masochist

In a moment of weakness I signed up for NaNoWriMo.

That means, that I have agreed to (try and) write a novel in a month. At the end of the November I will hopefully have 50,000 words (!!!) written.

I’m not quite sure why I did this. Perhaps it’s because I am still mourning my 150-page novel that I lost during the Great Computer Debacle Of 2008.

If my mother knew about this, she’d say to me: “You’re a glutton for punishment.”

Either way, I’m two full days in and I’ve written ZERO words. I’m already behind.

The clock is ticking.

Wish me luck.

On my mark. Get set. Write!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Nightmare On My Street

Like every other year, I was dreading Halloween. Not because I hate the holiday itself, but because I have a (not-so-wonderfully-behaved) dog. Vito HATES Halloween.

Because I sometimes have a lapse in reality, every year I think to myself, “THIS year it’s going to be different. THIS year, Vito is NOT going to bark his head off until he becomes hoarse. THIS year, he will come to the door with me and greet the little monsters with a sniff. THIS year I will dress him up and he will LOVE Halloween.”

Or not.

We live in a neighborhood that produces many trick-or-treaters. On the big night if you look outside you will see swarms of costumed-kids toting pillowcases and a greedy ‘gimme candy’ attitude. Kids are actually brought in from other neighborhoods to go trick-or-treating up and down our streets. Big SUVs will pull up in front of the house, six or seven kids who are trying to pass off baggy jeans and hooded sweatshirts will get out and bombard the door, practically wipe out my candy bowl, then hop back into the car and DRIVE to the next house. Um, seriously? Can’t you put at least a little effort into it? And walk the 10 feet to the next house? I mean, really.
(And when did “kids” start sporting facial hair and a rack that would make The Girls Next Door jealous?)

So with all of this fun stuff on the horizon, I got myself ready for Halloween. I’ve been mentally preparing Vito for the big night for weeks. These motivating pep talks would go something like this:

ME: “Vito, it’s almost Halloween!”

VITO: (blank stare)

ME: “You know, when the kids in the neighborhood dress up, and then come to house, yell and scream on the doorstep…”

VITO: (blinking, head cocked to the side)

ME: “…and Mommy gives them candy…and Vito is a QUIET GOOD BOY who doesn’t say a peep?”

VITO: (sniffing his crotch)

ME: “Remember that holiday, V?”

It was a pretty good talk.

This Halloween was going to be fun. I had raced home from work (after stopping at the liquor store and picking up the biggest bottle of vodka known to the earth) and got there before it was dark. Only a few kids had started on their night out.

Because Halloween was on a Friday night this year, I knew we’d get a ton of kids. Plus, the weather was cooperating nicely, and kids could actually wear their costumes around the neighborhood. I remember being a kid and trick-or-treating when it was twenty degrees out. After a screaming and crying match at home about not wanting to wear my winter coat over my pretty ballerina costume, I would head out into the night. I’d be greeted with things like, “Happy Halloween! Look at you! Are you a skier?” Awful memories.

I had been buying candy for weeks, filling up the big bowl in the living room. (Mr. KK has a sweet tooth, so I had to keep replenishing the inventory.) The other night I sat down and made 52 goodie bags for the kids that had 3-4 pieces of candy in them. As always, I wanted to be the “cool” house on the block. What? Only a Milky Way from the neighbors? Here’s a whole bag filled with candy from ME!

When I got home Vito was gated at the top of the stairs. In the dark. Uh oh.

ME: “It’s not going so well, is it?”
MR. KK: “Not so much.”

Our doorbell has been broken for three years; it stopped working shortly after we moved in. Thanks to our laziness to fix it, Halloween is a little easier because Vito doesn’t ever hear the doorbell actually ringing. He can just see the kids running up to the doorstep.

6:18.

Mix up a martini.

Cue the incessant barking.

Let the madness begin!

Kids, kids and more kids! Most were wearing costumes, which was nice. Last year Shrek was the big costume. This year, I saw a few Hillarys, lots of Batmen and a few Harry Potters.

A martini definitely makes watching EVERY kid ring a doorbell that doesn’t work a little funnier.

7:00.

I was running out of treat bags! But it was so early! Where did all of these kids COME from???

Some kids were very sweet. I’d hand them their treat bag and they’d go running to their parents yelling, “Look! We get THE BAGS here!” Sure do, princess. Coolest house in the hood right here.

Some kids, however, not so nice.

GROUP OF KIDS: (skipping the unworking doorbell completely and going right for opening my front door) “Trick or treat!”

ME: “Hello!!! Happy Halloween!!!” (Martinis make Halloween FUN)

SUPERHERO: “What do you have in there?”

ME: “Candy.” I drop a Kit Kat into his plastic orange pumpkin.

SUPERHERO: “I already have a lot of those.”

ME: “Oh.” I peek into his pumpkin, which was filled with Kit Kats.

ME: “Wanna trade it in?”

SUPERHERO: (dumps his Kit Kat back into the bowl and takes TWO pieces of new candy. No wonder the kids graduating these days are making six figures. They have excellent negotiating skills.)

7:13

In a move of complete desperation, Mr. KK and I open the remaining six treat bags and dump them on top of the 40 or 50 other pieces of candy we have in the bowl. Great. Now I was just a house that handed out candy.

7:21

There are about 20 pieces of candy left in the bowl.

Vito is still barking. His voice is so hoarse I’m surprised his throat isn’t bleeding.

Another group of kids come to the door and stick their grubby hands in my candy bowl.

ME: “I can get that for you.”

KID WITH WEIRD FACE PAINT: “Ugh. That barking dog is annoying me.”

Excuse me?

7:50

We run out of candy.

We actually have two small pieces left, but if a group of six comes the door, I can only guarantee 33% of them won’t come back and harm my house.

I look around the house for something – anything – to give the kids. I come up with water crackers and broccoli rabe, neither of which I think they’d appreciate.

Embarrassingly, we go into lockdown mode. We shut off the front lights, and every light inside. We draw the curtains on the picture window. We shut the blinds in the sunroom. We stay out of view from the little goblins outside. We are prisoners in our own house.

Vito, however, loves that Halloween has ended early. He runs down the steps and jumps from one couch to the other, panting and barking.

I peek out the window and see MILLIONS of kids walking around the neighborhood.

We are THAT house. The one on the street who has their lights off and doesn’t hand out candy. I want to make a sign for the front door that says, “We DID have candy! I swear! But we ran out! Come back next year!”
There was an error in this gadget