Monday, January 30, 2012

THIS is why I need to post stories about my mother on this blog.

setting: Saturday night. Dinner at my parents house.
attendees: the KKs, my parents, Mr. KK's parents, and Mr. KK's aunt and uncle.

We just sat down to dinner, and were passing plates around and filling them with stuffed pork roast, garlic mashed potatoes and artichoke casserole.

We were joking with Mr. KK's uncle, who doesn't like it when his food touches on the plate.

And then my mother said, "Well, maybe we should get you a separated dick."

((awkward silence))

And then, bursts of laughter. We just couldn't.help.ourselves.

"Dish!" my mom cries. "I meant separated dish!"

Too late.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

the secret to a happy marriage.

Mr. KK and I have found the key to marital bliss.

And I don't mean 'his and hers' sinks.

We discovered Command Picture Hanging Strips.
Go ahead. Laugh.

We do MANY home improvement projects together. We just renovated an entire house without killing each other.

We put up a cork backsplash.

We painted 8 rooms, and a gazillion feet of trim.

We laid a tile floor.

We're quite a team.

But when it comes to hanging stuff on the walls and actually making our house look lived in? Well, that's another story.

We've both blocked out the memories of decorating the walls in our last house. It was a beautiful 1930 Colonial with plaster walls. Have you ever tried to hang something in a plaster wall? You can't use nails. You need screws and plastic anchors and a broom to sweep the floor when a three-inch chunk of wall smashes onto the floor. And if you make a mistake? Oh, the horror! Then you have a series of holes in the plaster. As I said, we've blocked out most of those nights, having barely survived.

The walls in the new house are made of sheet rock.

But even then, the thought of us tackling the job of hanging items and putting holes in all the walls simply terrified me. We certainly didn't need a night of swearing and frustration, and the possible tossing of tools.

So when we saw these Command saviors in the store, we just had to try them.

We've used the hooks before all around our house - for hangers in my closet, to hold towels on the back of the bathroom door, and to secure dish towels in the kitchen cabinets.

We took a chance and hung three picture frames in our bedroom - in a straight line and symmetrical. Had we been using nails and screws, this job might have taken us hours and put us over the edge.

But with these little miracle workers, we were done in 10 minutes. So we tackled some frames in the hallway. 5 minutes. Then we put 2 pictures up in our bathroom. 7 minutes.

And the best part?

We didn't kill each other.

And the house looks great.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

west coast woes.

I'm traveling for work.

I'm on the West Coast for the week, attending client meetings and brand immersions. And missing Mr. KK and Vito.

But, the bright side, is that in-between meetings (which are inconveniently planned for Monday and Thursday, making it necessary that I stay for the WHOLE week), I'm visiting with Mr. KK's family, whom we don't see very often. Oh, and I'm saving a shit load of money on hotel expenses while I'm at it. (You're welcome, Agency X).

Oh, did I mention I was sick? Yep. Clogged ears. Tunnel hearing. Mucus. (yes, I went there.)

And I get up at 3:30am because my internal clock is on 'east coast' time. Which, to my body, is really 6:30am. So technically, I'm sleeping in.

Yesterday, though, I got a sweet little taste of home while riding the BART (the Bay Area's version of the subway. Except it's clean. And easy to navigate. And the enunciate each stop. And clean.). I hopped on to heard to Mr. KK's family house, which was 6 stops away.

There's a saying that goes something like this, "If you don't like the weather in New England, wait a minute."

I rode that rain for 20 minutes and witnessed the following weather:

When I got on: overcast, but bright
Stop 1: cloudy
Stop 2: clouds and wind
Stop 3: pouring rain
Stop 4: overcast
Stop 5: misting
Stop 6: bright and almost sunny

And the best part is, everyone who knows I'm here is asking, "how's sunny california??"

It seems California is confused and having an identity issue.

Friday, January 20, 2012

customer service FAIL.

If you haven't heard about the breach of security at zappos.com by now, you're either returning from a month-long hiatus at an ashram, or dusting your jeans off after crawling out from under that rock.

(if I've offended you and you really haven't heard what happened, you can read the gory details here)

I heard about the breach on Monday, and immediately changed my password. Then freaked out that my identity was going to be stolen. Then remembered how disappointed they'd be when they saw my bank account.

That was Monday.

On Wednesday, I got an email from Zappos telling me about the security breach. Did you catch that? WEDNESDAY.

Security breach news: Monday.
Security breach news from Zappos: Wednesday.

I was so appalled that I responded to their email.

It went something (exactly) like this:

"Wow. I can't believe I'm only getting this email now, TWO WHOLE DAYS after the story broke. I changed my password when I first read about what happened. For a company who boasts excellent customer service, I thought you'd be more on the ball."

(That was me being nice.)

((Also, I heard the founder of Zappos.com speak once, and the topic of the seminar was "Fabulous Customer Service". They may need a new speech writer.))

To Zappos.com's credit, I got a response. First I got the automated 'thanks for your email, you're important to us' email. (Though I'm starting to think they need to re-think this email a bit, as I don't feel very important with my secure information being hacked and all that...)

Then I got this email from them:

"Hello,

Thank you for contacting the Zappos.com Customer Loyalty Team.

We sincerely apologize that you heard about this serious matter through media reports before you received the email from us. We are working through sending email notifications to 24 million customers and that takes roughly 24 hours to do.

Once again we would like to apologize for the inconvenience that this may have caused you. At Zappos.com, we understand the importance of the customer experience, which includes the website, customer service and support, security and peace of mind, as well as the actual fulfillment and timely delivery of your order. We sincerely hope you will give us the opportunity to prove our commitment to this in the future."

Hmmm. A few things, Zappos:

1. you're upset I heard about the news in the media before I heard it from you? well, you took TWO DAYS to send me an email.

2. you need 24 hours to send an email? really? in 2012?

3. apparently you're bad at customer service AND math, because you didn't send me an email until 48 hours after the breach.

Sorry, Zappos. We're on a break.

I'm a loyal Piperlime girl now.



Sunday, January 15, 2012

and this is where the bike veered off the road.


I just survived my second week back at Agency X. The old cliché holds true, it truly has been like riding a bike. I'm back in my comfort zone, I had a few of those, "I still GOT IT!" moments, and people are actually listening to me. The bike ride was going really well.

And then, this phone call happened.

It looks like I will be traveling for the first time at the end of the month. I'm headed to the West Coast for some 'brand immersion' meetings. (I LOVE when clients give meetings ridiculous names, like 'Operation Thunderbolt' and 'Meeting of the Minds'. I definitely missed that.)

I am attending these meetings with an account person from one of our other offices whom I've never met.

We were on a call and she was downloading me, and then things got weird.

KK: "So I'll book my flights and share my itinerary with you, and you do the same."

ACCOUNT PERSON: "Will do. I'm so happy you're going with me."

I thought this was nice, considering she's never met me. Perhaps she heard wonderful things?

(Pause)

AP: "So, you DO know I had a brain aneurysm in May, right?"

Oh, so that's how this conversation is going to go???

KK: "Oh! Um, wow. No! No, I didn't."

AP: "Yes. I almost died. I had a brain aneurysm, slipped into a coma and almost died. I just came back to work a few months ago."

KK: "Well, are YOU okay to fly?"

AR: "I don't know. We'll see. That's why I'm glad you're going to be there, just in case anything happens to me."

Hmm. Last I checked, during my hiatus from Agency X, I didn't obtain a medical degree.

I don't even watch Grey's Anatomy.

KK: "Sure thing! I'm great in emergency situations!"

I am? Since when??? I've never been in a emergency situation! (knock on wood)

If there was any part of me that didn't want to go on this trip before this conversation (and there was - I'll be gone for a week, I'm flying the red-eye home, I'm going by myself), it has only been magnified by this very conversation.

By a million.



Tuesday, January 10, 2012

open letters.

dear naked ladies at the gym,

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, can you please put some clothes on?

Or at least get a bikini wax?

Grossed out,
kk

**********

dear dryer,

When I put my jeans in you last night, it was to fluff them. Not make them suitable for Selena Gomez.

Barely breathing,
kk

PS: bonus points that they were the only pants I had to stuff myself into at the gym today for work.

PPS: extra credit that I will be attending a client dinner tonight looking like a sausage.

**********

dear one-finger charlie,

Driving a pick-up truck doesn't give you free reign to pick-out stuff from your nose.

Also, you are breaking the 'hands-free' law.

I'm watching you,
kk

**********

dear winter,

If you're going to snow all over us, go ahead and do it already.

If not, please go back to the 60 degrees we had on Saturday.

Much appreciated,
kk

**********

dear zumba,

I'm sorry. I just don't get all your hoopla.

It's not like you invented dancing.

Not seeing it,
kk


Monday, January 9, 2012

miscellaneous.

Well, we survived the bar crawl. And we were very respectful and didn't wake anyone up.

It was a lot of fun, and I was dressed perfectly. We even spent some time on the top deck of the ferry. It was 58 degrees, about 40 degrees warmer than it normally is this time of year. The day consisted of brews, bitchy bartenders and a bar that smelled like a toilet. So all in all, a good day.

**********************************
This morning marked the first day I got up and went to the gym before work. And it was jam-packed with resolutioners. Since I technically joined the gym before January 1, I don't consider myself in that category. It doesn't matter that today was my first day. I joined in January, bitches!

Yesterday I took the necessary time to make sure my bags were packed. I'll be right next to work, so too far to come home if I forgot something important, like underwear or shoes.

I got up before the alarm, and snuck out of the house without waking up Mr. KK and Vito.

I was 5 minutes down the road when I realized I forgot my computer. A quick turn-around and I was back on the road.

I was 20 minutes into my trip when I realized I forgot my coat. I was only wearing my fleece over my workout clothes. Oh well. Too late to turn back now.

It always takes some time adjusting to a new gym, especially when you're showering there. First off, I tried out 3 treadmills until I found one where the TV (and sound) was in working order. I ran my two miles (woo hoo!) and proceeded to locker room. This is usually where things take a turn for the worse.

Surprisingly, the showers were all empty when it was time to get ready. I quickly learned who the exhibitionists are; those women who not only walk around naked, but talk to you while naked, blow dry their hair while naked, and put on their makeup while naked.

I got ready in record time (it's amazing how quickly you can get ready when there's not a puppy who's so cuddly he just begs you to give him belly rubs. And breakfast. And a walk.

***********************

Because it's January, and because my body got used to consuming ridiculous amounts of alcohol each week during the holidays, I'm back on the wagon. Not cold turkey like last year. More like, reducing the intake to only weekends.

My money's on me. Unless I have a bad day at work. Or there's a tap takeover at our favorite bar. Or it's a Tuesday...

***********************

Week 2 back in the old gig.

It's slowly coming back to me.

The bike isn't so bad.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

who invited the lunatic?



Today we're pretending we're 25 and going on a bar crawl!

This will either be super fun, or super disastrous.

Did I mention that we have to take a ferry to to get to the bar crawl? So in additional to consuming copious amounts of alcohol, we have to board a very large water vehicle.

Is it weird that this is only my second time on a ferry, but my 37th time on a bar crawl?
I didn't think so either!

And while a bar crawl is a twenty-something activity, I can't escape the fact that I'm a thirty-something.

I've already started to worry about what I'm going to drink. I know I have a long day ahead of me. So if I follow traditional bar crawl "rules", I should be ordering a drink at each bar. The safe way for me to go is beer, since history has proved that the progression from sober to sleeping is much slower and enjoyable to others. The downside: beer belly bloat. Blah!

Now, a second option is the hard stuff. I love me my martinis, but the last thing I want is to look like a Muffy*. And there isn't a 'mixed drink' that I like enough to drink all day. And to be quite honest, I'm not sure I should drink hard alcohol all day. Sure, I'm rather hilarious after 2, maybe 3, drinks, but you don't want to hang out with me after 4. Even Mr. KK might pretend he doesn't know who I am.

Then, there's the whole eating thing. Do I eat beforehand and provide a nice cushion for my drinks? Will I be too full? Do I have a light breakfast and then plan to eat mid-way through the crawl? Will that slow down my drinking? Will I get too drunk too fast? What if the places have shitty food? Then I'm wasting calories on food I don't even want to eat.

And we didn't even TALK about what I'm going to wear! Will I be cold on the ferry, but hot in the bars? Should I go casual, or wear heels because we're celebrating someone's birthday? Should I not wear my nice new wool coat, for fear of people spilling their drinks on me? Do I wear a hat? What if someone takes pictures? I don't want to be photographed with hat hair all day long.

If I think back to my 20s, and all the bar crawls we went on, I seem to remember just...going. We drank beer, because it was all we could afford. Did we eat? I can't remember. I'm sure we came home from the crawl and made a big pot of blue box macaroni and cheese, and ate the whole thing and didn't care or gain and ounce because our metabolism was friends with us. I doubt we wore jackets, even if it was 12 degrees. And it's very possible we got the call about the bar crawl only an hour before it started.

Seems when you get older, fun and spontaneity go right out the window.

Did I mention I have to run 2 miles today before we go?


*Muffy is a term my uncle uses to describe women who wear Chanel to a football game. Or who drink martinis on bar crawls.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

it's like riding a bike

I have a slight case of blog block.

I don't have a lot of news to share, since most of my waking moments have been filled with work and the new job.

I'm either:

- at work
- driving to/from work
- thinking about work
- answering the question, "how's work?"
- or sleeping (and probably dreaming about work)

But I have to say, it's all good.

Is it cliché to say I was welcomed back with open arms? Well, tough cookies. Because I was. And it feels pretty damn good. I haven't felt wanted and respected - when it comes to work - in a long time. It gives me the warm fuzzes.

Know what else? After an 18-month hibernation, it's time to wake up my shoe game again.

No more boring 'corporate' shoes! Down with the conservative pumps.

KK's back in her element - so you know what that means?

NEW SHOES.

I started today. Just one pair. To ease me back in.

And it. felt. great.

Monday, January 2, 2012

hello, 2012!

As far as years go, 2011 wasn't half bad.

We FINALLY sold our house, after multiple crazy buyers and nine months of agony:



We moved into Mr. KK's grandmother's house that we renovated, and I finally had the kitchen of my dreams:


I ran my first 5K:


We went on a family vacation to Napa, where we ate, drank, and relaxed for a whole week. If this whole East Coast thing doesn't work out, I know where I'm headed:


We had wonderful holidays in the new house. It was once again filled with family, good food, and laughter. Just what Mr. KK's grandmother would have wanted.


And there's already a LOT going on in 2012: I'm starting my new job tomorrow, I joined a gym (I will finally say good-bye to those 10 pounds!), I'm going to train for a 10K, and we'll focus on getting the outside of the house in shape for a huge garden and bocce courts.

Happy New Year, blog world! I have a good feeling about the next 365 days.




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