Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm smarter at 4am

Figured out blogger for the iPad! Thankfully you all no longer have to suffer through 375-word blog titles posing as posts.

I'm on vacation this week, so of course I woke up at 6am yesterday, and at 3:37am today. My inner clock is awesome like that.

Today we have a memorial mass for Mr. KK's grandmother, Helen. Today would have been her 92 birthday. I hope she approves of all the changes we're making to her house. I can hear her now, "An orange stove? Really?" (that would have been in italics, but I don't know where those are yet)

And tomorrow Mr. KK and I are headed for an overnight getaway to the casino. Since we are on our "saving money crusade" (and btw, it should really be called "spend no money crusade" because really, we're not saving shit between my reduced salary, renovating the house and how loosey-goosey we have to be with our credit cards (new toilets don't grow on trees!)

And speaking of new toilets, we bought one on Sunday. Have you ever shopped for a new toilet? H, there is little more thrilling than standing in the aisle at Home Depot discussing the flush pressure and seat height of ye old crapper. Should we get white, or white? Fascinating!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, December 18, 2010

let the Christmas rush begin

So here I am, just before dawn, sitting in the dark of my house, on the Saturday before Christmas. I'd like to say it's quiet, except Vito is sitting on the rug staring at my expectantly, emitting little cries that say "I'm hungry!" and "I have to poop!"

Today is officially my first day of my holiday vacation. I do not have to return to work until the Monday after Christmas.

What started out as a bunch of days seemingly filled with nothingness, has turned into a jam-packed week.

Today is our annual family cocktail party. We almost cancelled, due to the economy and the fact that I already packed away all of holiday serveware months ago with the prospect of moving. But it just didn't feel right to have a year go by and not have everyone over. We already didn't get a tree this year (it just makes the room look small...and we're trying to sell our house!), and I couldn't imagine skipping yet another holiday tradition.

On tonight's menu:

• roasted shrimp cocktail
• scallops wrapped in bacon
• beef empanadas
• mini blue cheese twice-baked potatoes
• pulled pork sliders
greek salad skewers
• cheese and olives

And the featured cocktail is the White Grapefruit Cosmopolitan – a delicious mixture of grapefruit vodka, triple sec, lime juice and white cranberry juice, garnished with a few floating cranberries. It's beautiful and festive.

Also on tap for this week:

• Vito's manicure at the vet. This should prove to be a fun day, considering my little pup HATES having his nails clipped. BONUS: we also have to work in time for a bath, since he inevitably poops himself (literally scares himself shitless) every time.

• seeing the third Focker installment with both families. Mr. KK took both sets of parents to see "Meet the Fockers" a few years ago, and the tradition will continue. "Meet the Parents" is still my favorite movie of all time. ('I have nipples, Greg. Can you milk me?')

• memorial mass for Mr. KK's grandmother on her birthday. A good time to tell her how much we miss her, and how different (and awesome!) her house looks.

• a little over-night getaway to the casino. We haven't been in almost a year, as we've been trying to not spend any money. But this little trip makes a perfect Christmas gift to each other, and a $69 hotel room doesn't hurt either.

• and, oh yeah, Christmas shopping. Probably about time I started doing some of that!

Off to get my pork butt in the crock pot!


Friday, December 10, 2010

procrastination

Right now I'm doing everything I can to procrastinate calling a candidate and telling him that I just found out today was his last day of work.

NOT the call you want to make on a Friday afternoon...or ever, for that matter.

Did I mention he has a newborn at home?

Good times.

(did I mention I'm procrastinating by drinking???)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

good-bye, november

Somehow, November always turns out to be an eventful month.

This year, we had A LOT going on with the new house. In fact, they just finished putting a third coat on our new hardwood floors, all of our gorgeous kitchen cabinets have been installed, and I've even started painting our new walls.

And then there's our current house.

Well, to quote myself in dire times, "It looks like we got porked again."

Not the best phrase, but the most appropriate. Read on, please.

Our buyers, with whom we were under contract, backed out of the deal. They had a hubbard clause that stated that they could back out in 45 days if they did not sell their house.

On the 45th day, they decided to back out of the deal. Their reason? They did not sell their house, or have any interest, offers or showing in the past or near future.

We offered them an extension on the hubbard, and they refused. 

We offered the extension with a price reduction to compensate for them reducing the price of their house, and they refused. I believe their exact words were, "No thanks."

Why would you say no to a price reduction and extension if it gave you more time to sell your house?

Then, on Sunday, as we were walking off a delicious brunch from The Cheesecake Factory (have you ever had their baja chicken hash from their brunch menu??? It's TO DIE), we got a text from our agent.

Our ex-buyers' house had gone under contract.

WTF?

Within 10 days of saying adios to us because they had "no offers", they were under contract? In this market?

I don't this so.

In true KK fashion, I fired back a quick, bitter email that said something like, "Really? Sounds fishy to ME!"

But the more I thought about it, the angrier I got.

They just wanted OUT of our house deal. The woman never felt comfortable after the inspection found higher levels of radon (now reduce, $1100 later, thank you very much...). They probably felt like they were over-paying.

How could they go from "zero interest" to "under contract" in that short amount of time? Even negotiating takes days.

So after seeing their house under contract, our real estate agent reached out to their agent. Surely, now that they had buyers, they'd want to go back under contract with us, right???

Riiiiiight.

"Sure, they're still interested, but they're looking at other properties," their agent told ours. "Today is the first day they are looking at houses again. They just LOVE the area!"

He signed off with a 'don't call us, we'll call you' mentality.

And that, my friends, is how you get porked.

Monday, November 29, 2010

the environment vs my sanity

There I was, wearing my flannel leopard-print pajamas, lugging a load of laundry down two flights of stairs, when the doorbell rang.

Of course, Vito went nuts. And there, smiling and waving at me through the glass french door, was an earthy-crunchy young girl, who was probably 22, but didn't look a day over 14.

She was wearing one of those knitted woolly caps with the ear flaps that they used to try and sell to you at college for $5, or in the parking lot of Grateful Dead concerts; the kind that smell like mishandled sheep when they get wet. She probably had a handbag made of hemp.

Little Mother Nature is still smiling and waving, so I put down the laundry and open up the door to the foyer.

Last year around this time, we had another Phish groupie come to our door, when Mr. KK was home. And  before I knew it, my dear sweet husband, who doesn't have a mean bone in his body, had invited this granola weirdo in to use our bathroom ("because it's cold! and he has to pee!).

But I wasn't answering without ammunition. So I picked up a severely barking 15-pound killer and cracked open the front door.

KK:  "Yes?"

VITO:  "BARK. BARK. BARKITY BARK."

TREE HUGGER (screaming through the storm door, above the barking lunatic):  "Hi! I'M....blah blah...ENVIRONMENT...blah blah....CLEAN AIR....yada yada...something."

KK:  "Now isn't really a good time for me."

VITO:  "BARK BARK I'M GONNA GNAW YOUR LEG OFF BARK BARK!"

TREE HUGGER:  "But I'm only in your neighborhood tonight."

Right. Vito is scratching the shit out of my side right now with his need-to-be-trimmed claws.

KK:  "As you can see...now? Is not the best time."

TREE HUGGER:  "But...but..."

KK:  "No thanks. No thank you. Good night."

VITO:  "BARK BARK, MUTHA-EFFING BARK!"

And I shut the door on a girl who probably hadn't showered in a week.

Had Mr. KK been here, she would have been sitting at our dinner table by now.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

finding thanks

I've missed two or three days of blogging this year for NaBloPoMo.

And while I'm sure the blog world is so busy in their own bloggy life they would barely realize whether or not I wrote a post, I'm really disappointed in myself. It's very rare I set goals for myself (I've been to only 2 out of 10 zumba classes, for heaven's sake!). So failing at the one goal you do hope to achieve can really bring you down in the dumps.

The other day when I was complaining what a failure I was, Mr. KK replied with the sweet and reassuring words with which every husband should comfort his wife: "Do you think anyone really noticed?"

Ah, true love.

In my book, 2010 was a less-than-spectacular year. But Mr. KK and I tackled each hurdle, mainly with with humor and alcohol. It's why we're great together.

So when the idea of what to be thankful for came up on Thanksgiving, I immediately blurted, "I'll be thankful when this year is O-V-E-R."

It's true, 2010. Let's just say, you've set the bar low for 2011.

Sure, there are things to be thankful for: 

A "normal" job. With "normal" hours. 
I'm an amazing dog-mom.
We have a beautiful house that's almost finished and waiting for us.
Goat cheese.

But for some reason I still can't get over the fact that I blew it with NaBlo.

And, while I've been enjoying Mr. KK's mother's Mac over the last 27 days, it's probably time I returned it to its rightful owner. Which means I'll be stuck with the crappy PC, that takes forever to turn on, erases all my work if I move the wrong way, and quits my work when I breathe too hard.

Because if that's the case, you may not see me until January.

Unless I can wrangle a new Mac out of Mr. KK.

That would, in fact, renew my faith in 2010.
(just a little)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

happy thanksgiving!

As cliché as it sounds, I can't believe the holidays are here. I also can't believe the radio stations are playing Christmas songs and I haven't even had my turkey yet, but that's another story for another time.

This Thanksgiving, we're celebrating with both families, and even have Mr. KK's family from California joining us. It's the first holiday they've been a part of in the 10 years that Mr. KK and I have been together. They're used to quiet holidays on the West Coast, no family, just the 3 of them. Boy are they in for a surprise. Wait until they see a 90-year-old man down 3 beers before dinner. Or see Mr. KK's other cousin's kabookies, which I'm sure will be hanging out and need their own seat at the dinner table. And wait until they see all the food. 

Oh, the food.

Even though the Thanksgiving First Course was ripped out from under me, I'm still making a yummy contribution this year. (I think my mother-in-law is allowing me to make so much as a consolation prize for not being able to host this year)

First, I'm making stuffing. This year I chose fig and pine nut stuffing. It's a little bready, but the flavor is pretty good.

Then I'm making my mini cornbread muffins. My secret is adding a can of creamed corn and shredded pepper jack cheese to the mix before baking.

For a veggie I'm cooking up brussel sprout hash with pancetta. I sauté the pancetta until it's crispy and then remove it from the pan. Then I take the sprouts, which I've halved and sliced very thin, and add them to the pan. Sauté them until tender, adding some chicken stock as needed. Then I throw the pancetta back in. So easy and delish.

Lastly, I baked my pumpkin cheesecake yesterday. If you follow this recipe to the letter, it will come out perfect every time, I guarantee it. (And if it doesn't, I will come to your house and make this cheesecake for you personally).

And, for that warm and fuzzy, I sent a generic "happy thanksgiving" email to 122 of my candidates at work. And I'll be a monkey's uncle, about 40 of them replied back and wished me the same.

Happy Thanksgiving, blog world!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm old-school like that

Last week I received not one, but two hand-written thank you notes from candidates.

Once I got past the idea that I received actual snail mail at the office, I opened up the envelopes to reveal two beautiful note cards – one Papyrus, one Kate Spade – from candidates thanking me for meeting with them.

Not finding them temp work.

Not getting them their dream job.

They sent me thank you notes for simply taking the time to meet with them.

And the notes could not have been more heart-felt.

I was touched. And it made me remember why this job is so much more rewarding than my last, even if the dollar signs pale in comparison.

Monday, November 22, 2010

and perhaps the BEST part of the weekend...

...was when my 90-year-old grandfather yelled out "tits!" at the Sunday dinner table.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

road warriors

I am lucky enough to have 3 grandparents still living.

My dad's mother is 89, and my mother's parents are 87 and 90.

They are neighbors in an "active adult community", where they run Bingo two nights a week, and my grandfather hustles the other tenants for quarters every Wednesday night playing poker.

And even at their ripe old ages, they are the epitome of health. In fact, two of them still drive.

Yes, they drive.

My 87-year-old grandmother – the spring chicken of the group – is the designated driver for my 89-year-old grandmother who never learned how to drive.

The two of them go everywhere together – to the hairdresser, to Target to "poke around", and even to McDonald's to split a filet o' fish on Fridays.

The other day, the two of them were heading home, and they decided to stop by the new house and visit, because they knew I'd be painting.

I never saw them.

Today I found out why.

GRANDMA 1:  "We were going to stop by when you were painting, but we couldn't find the house!"

GRANDMA 2:  "We got to the second bridge and I said, 'Rita, I think we went too far'."

KK:  "Did you know the house number?"

GRANDMA 1:  "No, we didn't know the number. But we sorta knew where it was. And I knew you had a black mailbox."

GRANDMA 2:  "There were sure a lot of black mailboxes!"

GRANDMA 1:  "Then we got to this crazy intersection, with cars going every which way. And I was worried because I didn't know where we were."

GRANDMA 2:  "I told her, 'Rita, you should turn around'."

GRANDMA 1:  "So I turned around in this BIG loopy driveway, and we went home."

KK:  "So now do you know where it is?"

GRANDMA 1:  "Well, now we know where it isn't."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

i think my laughter woke up mr. kk

last night i couldn't sleep, so i came downstairs to watch some TV.

at 3:27am, the only thing on is porn.

scrolling through the guide i came across this movie: "The Hills Have Thighs".

better yet was the description: 'sex-crazed mutants have their way with a hitchhiker'.

the best part? it was listed as a comedy.



Friday, November 19, 2010

Ho Ho Oh No.

I heard a Christmas song on the radio on the way home today.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

on the job

I don't talk much about my new job, but as stress-free as it is compared to my last gig, I do have some very frustrating days.

I'm a creative and digital recruiter. I match people to jobs. I get people work. And, it's pretty rewarding.

And then, you get that one idiot.

ME:  "Hey, Mr. Unemployed, I sent over your resume and they'd like you to start on Monday as a temp for 3 months! Isn't that GREAT news??!!"

MR. U:  "How much are they going to pay me."

ME:  "$500 a week."

MR. U:  "I'm not sure if I'm going to take it."

ME:  "Are you kidding? You've been out of work looking for a job for 8 months. I found you a job, and now you're not going to take it???"

MR. U:  "Well, in my last job I got paid $650 a week."

ME:  "And how much are you getting paid now? ZERO dollars a week."

MR. U:  "I have my unemployment."

ME:  "How much is that a week?"

MR. U:  "$350 a week."

ME:  "So let me get this straight: you haven't worked in 8 months, and I'm offering you a job that pays you $150 a week than your unemployment, and you're saying 'no thank you'?"

MR. U:  "Well, as I said, I made more in my last job. That's not enough pay."

ME:  "BUT IT'S MORE THAN YOU'RE MAKING NOW. PLUS, IT'S A JOB WORKING EVERY DAY, DOING YOUR SKILL, KEEPING YOUR MIND SHARP."

MR. U:  "What if I say yes and then a better paying job comes along?"

((Need I remind him that he's been looking for a job for 8 months? And that his high-paying dream job was yet to fall into his lap?))

ME:  "Look at it like paid networking. You'll be getting paid while you look for a job."

MR U:  "Well, if you put it that way, then it makes sense. I'll take it."

Shoot me now.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Can we have one day that's just full of highs?

Well, that title sounds like college.

I made my morning pilgrimage to the job site today, only to see half of our beautiful new cabinets installed! And they look AMAZING. They're a rich, dark chocolate brown that really warms up the room.

Then Mr. KK got this text from our realtor: "The buyers are no longer moving forward with your house."

(but at least the cabinets look great, right???)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sometimes you have to bring in the bitch

If there's one thing I've learned from our home renovation project, it's that people suck.

We've had the hardest time just getting contractors to call us back.

Um, excuse me? Are we NOT in a recession? Do people NOT need customers during this trying time?

One of the biggest thorns in our side has been our granite counter tops. Every granite and marble place we go into, I have the uncanny ability of selecting THE MOST EXPENSIVE piece of stone in the joint. It's a gift, really.

After looking at what seemed like 8 billion pieces of stone, we FINALLY found the one. It's a beautiful creamy color with flecks of orangy and brown. It will be the perfect accent to our orange range and chocolate brown cabinets.

After two weeks, we are STILL waiting for pricing for our stone. It should take a day, max.

And this is Mr. KK's project. And I love Mr. KK to death, but he is just too nice.

And I'm...not.

So I have taken over the granite project.

And today, I unleashed Stern KK on her ass.

I said to her, "I'm having a really hard time getting people to call me back."

And she replied, "Oh, tell me about. People can be awful."

And I wanted to scream: I'M TALKING ABOUT YOU, IDIOT!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 14 NaBloPoMo AND...500 posts!

In honor of my 500th post, I thought I'd tell you 500 things about me that you didn't know.

Kidding.

Instead, I will give 5 ways to stick to a budget while renovating a house:

1.  Say no to the gorgeous basket-weave marble bathroom floor.
2.  Choose ONE thing/room to splurge on (for me, it was the stove...my 8-burner beauty)
3.  Repeat the mantra: "More expensive doesn't always mean better"
4.  Continue to fall in love with the most expensive granite in the place, just don't buy it
5.  Open a window, and throw said budget out

WHO am I kidding???

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shoot me now

setting: overheard in J. Crew dressing room

GIRL:  "Ugh. They're too big."

SALESWOMAN:  "Oh no. Well, we don't have anything smaller than a double zero petite."


Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm not a hypochondriac, I swear

Ever since starting the house project, I've been a mess.

First, I hurt my ankle during our very first week of work, carrying sheet rock during demolition.

Then, there were the various splinters, cuts and bruises associated with lifting heavy stuff, bumping into huge pieces of granite and contorting my body to paint a very small mudroom.

A few weeks ago, I hurt my wrist while shopping at Home Depot for floor tile. We found some slate tiles that were beautiful. Mr. KK was on the ground grabbing the boxes from the bottom shelf. He went to hand one to me and said what could only be known as the understatement of the century: "This is heavy."

Heavy?

It weighed a ton.

I managed to not drop and break the entire box of tile, but in the process sprained/twisted/hurt my wrist.

And - what's even more embarrassing than hurting myself on the job - is hurting myself while I sleep. (Comedian Greg Bernhardt does a hilarious skit about this).

I woke up in pain the other morning.

I fell asleep on my back, and Vito must have fallen asleep on my legs, rendering me completely immobile. My head must have been turned to Mr. KK's side of the bed (I said it was because I fell asleep talking to him...it's my sweet story and I'm sticking to it), because I woke up and could not turn my head to the left.

Driving was fun, because I had to turn my ENTIRE BODY in order to see over my shoulder and change lanes.

I made an appointment with the chiropractor, who is friends with Mr. KK's family.

When the secretary was giving me a hard time about making an appointment after hours, Dr. Ralph said to her, "Look at that last name. Do you know who she is? All the KK's come here. She's not a patient, she's family."

It was very Godfather-esque.

All I needed was a secret handshake. And a fish in newspaper.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

NaBloPoMo FAIL

I didn't post yesterday.

But I had a good reason.

I was drunk.

(Not all day, but at night when I usually do my blogging.)

We got word that our house buyers want to back out because they can't sell their house. And because of the hubbard clause, they can do that.

So wine was in order.

Lots of it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

what's old is new again

As a self-diagnosed HGTV junkie, I've seen more than my share of people walking into houses that feature bedrooms and bathrooms filled with tacky wallpaper. And I've also watched them try and take the wallpaper down. Not a fun task.

However, I'm totally digging wallpaper for the new house. I'm not talking four walls of black and white toile that makes you want to throw up. There are some AWESOME wallpapers out there.

I'm thinking a cool wallpaper on just one wall of the bedroom and my study, and painting the other 3 walls a nice contrasting color.

Check out how cool wallpaper can be:







Monday, November 8, 2010

Thanksgiving traditions


For the last 4 years, we've hosted Thanksgiving. It's sort of "our thing". 

I love the challenge of feeding anywhere from 14-18 people out of one small oven. And it's especially challenging when the meal consists of yummy and warm roasted and oven-cooked food. 

Every year my mother-in-law brings the turkey breasts (and my father jokingly makes "how're your breasts doing?" jokes for at least a week to her), my mother makes her famous mashed potatoes. Rob's aunt makes her yummy sweet potatoes. My father brings the red wine. We get our favorite Viognier for the white. My grandfather brings beer, and then drinks half of it. And I surprise everyone with a new first course soup.

This year, however, we're breaking tradition. 

Back in July, when we started the renovation of the new house, that was my goal. To be in the house in time to host our first Thanksgiving there. Perhaps I should have mentioned this hope to the termites, that put us 2 weeks behind in our timeline. Or maybe I could have told all of the contractors that didn't call us back, "We have a deadline, people!" so we didn't wait a week for a phone call back.

In any case, it ain't happening.

So the natural thought would be to host Thanksgiving in our current house, which is under contract, waiting for buyers to sell their house, with no closing date in sight. That would have been a GREAT plan, except when we made an effort to eliminate clutter in the basement, all of my entertaining dishes, serve ware, etc was packed away and shipped off to my mother's house. Also, everyone keeps saying things like, "You have so much going on, you don't need to host Thanksgiving."

I know I don't need to host Thanksgiving.

But I want to.

So, we're having Thanksgiving at Mr. KK's parents' house.

Three years ago I made pumpkin and black bean soup, and we served it in hollowed-out gourds instead of bowls. Not only was the soup delicious, the presentation was something straight out of Martha Stewart. The year after that was a creamy butternut squash with freshly-toasted pumpkin seeds on top.

This year the soup would have to travel, but I like a challenge. I was already thinking of some new recipes to try. Maybe a parsnip soup?

And then, Mr. KK and I had this conversation on Friday night:

MR. KK:  "So...for Thanksgiving...I think my aunt is going to make soup."

KK:  "WHAT???"

MR. KK:  "She kept asking my mother, and finally my mother just told her yes."

KK:  "But the soup is MY course. I make it every year."

MR.KK:  "I guess she's been making butternut squash soup a lot lately in her crock pot and it's come out really good, so she wants to make it for Thanksgiving."

KK:  "But your mother told me weeks ago that I could still make my first course. I've been thinking of new soups to make."

MR. KK:  "I'm sorry. You can bring something else! And it will be great!"

KK:  "I don't want to bring something else. I want to bring soup."

And yes, that's me acting like a 5-year old.

Because the soup is my tradition, dammit.



Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 7: NaBloPoMo - The "I hate people" edition

We've finally reached a turning point in our home renovation. It's finally starting to look like a home. There have been ups and downs (can you say severe termite damage?), but we've made it to a point where I can visualize us living in this place in about a month.

The most difficult thing has been dealing with people. When you deal with someone who is not yourself, you're easily disappointed because not everyone in the world has the same standards, common sense or sunny disposition that you do.

For example:

• The granite guy: for 3 Saturdays in a row we went looking at granite.  After looking at the 4 zillionth piece of stone (which, let's be honest, looked pretty much like the last 3 zillion), we picked 3 that we liked and had the names faxed over to our fabricator. We were scheduled to meet him at his stone yard Saturday at 12:30. When Mr. KK calls, he tells him he already left. WE HAD AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOU. So he tells us to come on Monday at 11am. You know, because I'm just hanging around on Mondays at 11am. I'm not at work or anything.

• The mason: He's a guy that Mr. KK works with at his job who's going to build our fireplace for us. It took him a week to call back. When he did, he apologizes and tells us not to go with anyone else, HE wants to help us. Awesome. We tell him the floors are going in on Tuesday. He hems and haws that the fireplace should be built BEFORE the floors. Well, if you called us back, you would have known that. And if it's that big of deal, COME TODAY.

• The contractor: He's Mr. KK's golf buddy, and he's very meticulous, but we just found paint splatters from when he painted the ceiling on our BRAND NEW Dacor hood. WTF? Why in God's name wouldn't you cover it with something???? That paint BETTER come off.

• The HVAC guy: while putting in the vent in the bathroom, he broke one of our new windows. THAT better be replaced.

So far, the only nice, helpful person we've dealt with is the fireplace insert guy. He was funny, knowledgeable, and he helped us save some money. Now THAT guy I liked!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Celebrate good times

A year ago this very minute Mr. KK and I were in boston celebrating my very last visit to my oncologist. We were all up in boston, including vito, for the big event.

Thie year, it's a little quieter. Jus me and Mr. KK enjoying a date night out.

(Althought it's 10:30 and I am ready for bed. Talk about a cheap date!)

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Friday, November 5, 2010

trashing the neighbors

I won't lie...one of the best thing about moving out of our house, is moving away from our ANNOYING neighbors.

It wasn't bad enough that right when we were going to put our house on the market they decide to put a huge eyesore addition on the back of their house. But now, they have a huge, over-flowing dumpster in their driveway. Not only does this prevent them from parking in their driveway, and parking their ugly-ass caravans in front of MY house, but it also allows them to throw their trash right into the dumpster, instead of bagging it and putting it in their trash cans.

And, because they're such imbeciles, their dumpster is over-flowing with old lamps, bags of garbage and pizza boxes.

And, of course we had the windiest days in the universe, and all of our neighbor's trash blew all over our yard.

Because nothing says "Buy my house!" like effing trash all over the property.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's still exercise

I'm not a big fan of exercising. I just don't get the thrill or rush that other people get after a good run, or after a challenging circuit of strength training.

I like exercise that doesn't feel like work. It's like how kids like medicine that tastes like candy. Because they're tricked and they don't know it's medicine. I'd like to be tricked by exercise. In fact, I'd liked to be tricked into losing 10 pounds.

So after hearing all of the hoopla, hearing my cousin and aunt rave about it, and watching a fad take over an entire exercise nation, I jumped on the Zumba bandwagon.

'It's not even exercise!' and 'It's just dancing!' were my first thoughts. Zumba was right up my alley. I danced for 13 years growing up. I've been known to shake my booty on the dance floor at clubs until they turned the lights on and kicked us out. And, hey, this white girl's got rhythm.

But this girl was not as infatuated with Zumba as she thought she'd be.

First off, I signed up for a class at a local gym through the high school's adult ed program. When the instructor (more on her later) asked, "Is it anyone's first time?" I was the only person who raised my hand. You mean to tell me that these middle-aged women wearing too-tight spandex were Zumba pros? I was the new girl? I was the youngest person in the class.

Second, the hour was filled with a bunch of 4- or 5-minute Zumba songs, each having it's own choreographed dance that went along with it. And everyone knew the dance moves! These women who didn't know who Gwen Stefani was, were Zumba pros! I impressed myself by keeping up with the instructor. However, I was surrounded by the whitest group of dancers on earth.

Third, I think these women believed they were in a Zumba video. One woman, who when someone asked what a certain smell was replied, "Maybe it's my Love's Baby Soft"*, deliriously thought she was the instructor; instead of wearing normal workout clothes, she was wearing cargo pants and a rimmed hat, tilted to the side, Marky Mark-style.

The instructor was great. Energetic and funky. She genuinely had FUN teaching the class. She was totally into it, dressed head to toe in Zumba-logo gear, singing along to the songs and teaching us spanish along the way. But she had the biggest set of kabookies I've ever seen. Her girls were so large, that she has to wear some sort of a contraption-type sports bra that has METAL on the straps to hold it up. I stood directly behind her, which probably wasn't the best idea, because she'd turn around and come at me shimmy-ing, and my life would flash before my eyes. And God help me, if the reason for my demise on this planet was a set of Triple D's, we'd have an issue.

And even though we were dancing and having fun, I remember looking at the clock and thinking, "Ugh. I have 37 more minutes of this shit."

It still felt like exercise. And I didn't sweat half as much as those people in the commercials. Or the woman wearing cargo pants.

*I'm sorry, but Love's Baby Soft? I haven't worn that since I was 11. I didn't even know CVS still carried it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 3: NaBloPoMo*

*They should call it "BlogNoMo" because at the end of 30 days, that's what you feel like.

Right now I'm sitting on my couch with Vito, typing away on my borrowed** Mac, and sipping a KK Special.***

**My mother-in-law felt SO badly for me that we only have Mr. KK's crappy computer that she lent me her MacBook for a few weeks. Okay, it was for one week, but the time has flown by and it's now been almost 3 weeks. I know, I know. I should give it back. Soon. Promise.

***Recipe for a KK Special: Tall glass with ice. Fill 3/4 of the way with club soda, fill 1/4 with pomegranate juice. Also delicious with vodka.

Imagine if I did an entire blog post that consisted of asterisks?****

****I won't, don't worry.

The big news today was that our radon elimination system was installed in our current house. In 2 days, they'll check the levels, which should be almost zero. So we'll stop dying slowly of lung cancer, which is cool.

What's not cool? The $1050 price tag that comes along with the mitigation system.

WTF? Mama was hoping for a manicure this month.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

a reason to love the rain

Check out this super cute owl umbrella stand. This will look perfect in the entry way in the new house.

it's hard to have dignity

when your mother dresses you like this:




Monday, November 1, 2010

trick or 'tinis

When you don't have kids, your Halloween fun consists of handing out candy to the neighborhood rug rats. And Mr. KK and I like to celebrate a little something we call "trick or 'tini", which basically means that we enjoy handing out candy while sipping martinis. (Hey, I don't judge your traditions!)

Here's my assessment of Halloween after this year: what the hell happened to 'normal' trick-or-treating? And since when did the little ghouls and monsters become brazen mini-adults?

What happened to the good, old-fashioned trick-or-treater? The child who is under 10, accompanied by an adult, dressed in an honest-to-god REAL costume, who says "trick or treat!" when I come to the door, "thank you" after I give them a piece of candy, and "happy halloween" as they're walking away. I LOVE this trick-or-treater. 100 more of them next year, please!

This year we kept Vito home with us, because we just enjoy incessant barking and watching our little dog charge strangers at the door SO MUCH. Mr. KK was on Vito duty - thankfully - picking him up and hiding trick-or-treaters from his view about 247 times last night.

I was on door duty. My job was to answer the door and hand out candy.

Um, since when do kids just STICK THEIR GRUBBY HANDS INTO MY CANDY BOWL LIKE THEY OWN THE JOINT??? I'm not what you'd call tall, but I was standing on the step inside, holding the candy bowl up high against my chest, and wouldn't you know that there were kids who grabbed at the bowl and pulled it down to inspect the contents before diving hand-first into my bowl of loot. Where did they learn this method of trick or treating? Do they go into the school cafeteria and rip food out of the workers' hands?

And then there was the picky trick-or-treater. It was a young girl, dressed as an elephant, and her sister. I dropped a nice Reese's Peanut Butter Cup into the little elephant's bag, and she looked at me and said, "I don't like peanut butter." I thought this was ironic, since she was dressed as an elephant, and elephants LOVE peanuts (Dumbo, anyone?). So I play along and tell the little pachyderm "Well the, let's trade that in for something else!" And I take back the candy and replace it with a Hershey bar. Just as I'm hanging the Plan B candy to my little elephant, another Peanut Butter cup comes flying back into my bowl. The elephant's sister had launched HER peanut butter cup back at me, saying, "I don't like peanut butter either", and then proceeded to pull down the bowl so she could stick her head - and hands - into it.

Then there was the trick-or-treater who yelled "Don't forget to vote!" after he got his candy and was running down the driveway.

Or the one who made my night by saying, "OHMYGOD this are my FAVORITE-EST candies!" when I handed over a package of Whoppers and Sour Patch Kids.

And that was all before I finished my first martini.

Hello, November!

Really?

November?

When did THAT happen?

November is an okay month as far as months go. It has Thanksgiving, which is my holiday to host every year (except this year, because we have no idea where we'll be living, and I've packed away all of my serving dishes). It also is home to Black Friday, which is always a nice excuse to get Mr. KK out of the house early to shop for stuff we don't need to buy with money we don't have to spend.

And November is also the month that I participate in NaBloPoMo. That's right, last year I posted every day for a month straight. And I'm doing it again this year. (Because I'm a masochist.) With a shit-ass computer, no blog access at work and no spare time, I'm going to commit to blogging for thirty straight days. Without a day off. 

Halfway into those 30 days, I'll reach 500 blog posts, so that's something to celebrate. I will have inflicted my ridiculous life on you all 500 different times.  And you're still here. That's impressive.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

an all-time low

Things have been tight around the KK household as of late. Between me making half my salary, and every last dime going towards house renovations, there is ZERO room for anything fun, like manicures, dinners out or name-brand cheese.

And just when I thought I couldn't be more pathetic, I sent THIS email to Mr. KK:

"I'm going to stop by the Goodwill on the way home to see if I can get a costume for the party. And guess what? I have a coupon!"


Monday, October 25, 2010

mish mash

I've been away. For a while.

But I have excuses.

And some of them are pretty good.

First, I have a bad case of the "poor me's".

Mr. KK and I received some bad news a little over a week ago (no, the Big C isn't back), so I went into semi-hibernation to cry without people questioning me, and heal from the inside out.

And let's not forget that we're trying to sell a house in a shitty economy! While we DID secure buyers - albeit ones with a house to sell and a Hubbard Clause in tow - guess what we also got as a bonus? A home inspection claiming high levels of RADON in our beautiful house. So this whole time I've been in love with my home's old-school charm, I have been slowly dying of lung cancer. Awesome.

This super-fun discovery almost cost us our buyers, because the female wasn't able to get past it. But we agreed to mitigate the issue (cha-ching! There's another $1000!) and she agreed to not worry and back out of the deal.

And while we're selling a house, we're also renovating a house! You know those people on HGTV who make a big deal out of their house renovation, and it takes over their lives and becomes a full-time job? Well, all of that's true. Except we Mr. KK and I have full-time jobs. So we research bathroom sconces at 11:30pm on a Tuesday. Communicate about backsplash options via text. And we're both forced to make decisions on our own. (My sincere apologies to all of you whom I made fun of, who did nothing but renovate a house 8 hours a day. Although I'd still like to know where you got your money that you can afford to renovate AND not work. Oh wait, that's what my annoying neighbors are doing!)

Don't even get me started on granite. They're all starting to look the same, and I hate them all.

On a better note, check out our house progress:


our new cabinets are in early...all 46 boxes of them!


the site of my future kitchen! BEFORE...

And AFTER!


take THAT termites! new window, new siding and new side of house.


As November approaches, I can't believe last year I participated in NaBloWriMo. I blogged every day for 30 days straight. I wish I could do it again. Perhaps I will set myself up for failure.

And to end with a chuckle, I wanted to share a resume that I got the other day. The top read:

OBJECTIVE: To obtain a job with XXXXXXXXX company.

I mean, really, people. A tiny bit of effort will really go a long way. And maybe even earn you a phone call.


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