Monday, April 30, 2012

What I Did On My Summer Vacation [which was neither a vacation or during the summer]

Hey, remember me?  I had/have a blog.  No fear, I'm back y'all.  And yes, I missed you too.

The last two weeks Fiance and I took off to Michigan, on what Fiance's company termed a "Home Trip." The basic purpose was to re-establish ourselves as American citizens.  We also took the opportunity to do some wedding planning, get me set up with a new laptop (hence the lack of blog posts) and some other stuff.  Of course, I chronicled in the sketchbook.

The day we left, I had the brilliant realization that I hadn't worn socks for... since the last time we were home really.  

As much as I gripped on here about the cold in the midst of winter, Mexico doesn't really seem to joke around with such silly concepts as spring.  It's easily 100 degrees here right now.  And even as that girl with poor circulation who always seems to be cold... I'm totally wishing the AC could turn down further.  

But anyway, listen.  Socks.  Socks and Sweatshirts.  That's all I wore for the basically the whole trip.  Not just because I really revel in the feeling of being "snuggly," but also because socks and sweatshirts are not generally dressy enough for me here in Mexico, and I was kinda pumped to be a slovenly rebel.  

Fiance and I went to Wal-Mart our first night home to pick up a few things, and we were both super amused that Wal-Mart in Michigan was a page out of People of Wal-Mart.  Instead of Mexico's Wal-Mart, which generally includes people wearing stiletto heels and gallons of very expensive cologne.

Also our first night in Michigan?  We had Subway sandwiches.  I don't quite know how to explain this, but while there are Subways in Mexico, they taste very different.  And thus, we ate Subway at least 6 different times in the course of two weeks.  And it was delicious, and yes don't judge me I got the exact same sandwich every single time.  You should try chips on your sandwich.  I promise it's excellent.

I don't know where else to fit this in the post, and I don't know how to really give it context.  Fiance's dad said this (why yes, Fiance's dad's caricature does bare a striking resemblance to Fiance's caricature.  That's because in real life they are related, and therefore resemble each other as people too).  I almost snorted milk out my nose because it caught me off guard.  I am now resolved to use this phrase in ever possible scenario, and maybe even some scenarios where it's not really applicable.


Of course, we took the opportunity to do some shopping too.  Because clothes are in fact, cheaper in the states.  I had a super love affair with Burlington coat factory.  Due largely in part to the fact that I am officially 2 pants sizes smaller than the last time I bought pants.  (Take THAT, Dreaded 29!)  I haven't worn this size jeans since I was a junior in College.  

So while I maybe went a little overboard in the "buying clothing" department, I feel like I should totally be commended on the basis that I showed remarkable restraint in not buying EVERY SINGLE PAIR OF PANTS in that size.  You're welcome, Fiance.

I did buy a few pairs of shoes though.  Without getting laughed at for my giant troll feet, thank you very much.


We really did have a check-list while we were in the states besides "BUY STUFF."  Including:

  • Order new contacts (which included an eye exam for me.)
Does anyone hate the puff test for glaucoma as much as I do?  
I know it's technically an irrational thing to hate, but I still hate it.  So much.  So, so much.
  • Get Fiance fitted for his tux.  Make sure we've got all the men in the wedding party set up in the tux place's system.  Swear minimally during this process.*
  • Meet with the wedding planner.  Have her tell me "you're ahead of schedule, so you can be chill for a bit."  Allow Fiance to spend the rest of the trip telling me "your wedding planner said you have to chill."  Continue to fantasize about wedding favors anyway.
  • Check on our house in Michigan (still standing), and get our mail.
  • Order a new phone for the idiot who may have washed hers a few months back.  Said idiot might be me. (sadly, it didn't come in before we had to head back to the states, but in theory it's getting fed-exed here.)
  • Go to a food tasting for our wedding cuisine.
  • Get a prescription for parasite preventatives filled for Mac and Bubba (preventative medicine for pets in Mexico does not exist).
  • Buy new Schmexy laptop for Kp (as mentioned above)
  • Go to first dress fitting**
  • Meet with our lawyer so Fiance could finish up some paperwork.
  • Fiance had to log some hours at the Michigan office of his company.
  • Visit the new lake-house that Fiance's parents bought the week we left for Mexico.

That Lake-House was lovely.  Fiance's parents are clearly super proud of the place, and they should be.  It's a really clean, spacious, and lake-side house, and they have big plans for future projects to turn it into their home after retirement.  It was a lot of fun to trek out there with them so they could show us the place.

  

It was a full house out there with Fiance and I, his parents, his brother and a friend, and one of Fiance's cousins, who brought along her 4 month old puppy named Brewski.  He's quite a ball of energy, and I had a great time playing with him all weekend.  Of course, Fiance's parents' dogs, Remmy (middle) and Bear Naked (right), came along too.  They were... less excited to play with little Brewski all weekend than I was.


Also awesome?  Lake-side house means fishing.  I love fishing.  I'm not a pro by any means, but I can happily whittle away hours and hours sitting on the end of a dock with a cheap pole, a bobber, and a hook with a worm.  (As I was asked this quite a bit, I feel compelled to clarify. I have no issues with a) putting a worm on a hook, b) taking a fish off a hook or c) cleaning a fish in order to cook it and put it in my belly.  I am woman hear me roar and such.)

The house was full and thus pretty loud for our stay, which hindered the ability to lure delicious fishes close enough to the dock for me to snag them, but I did manage one small perch.  Who himself managed to get off the hook and swim away between the point whence I caught him and when I got a bucket to put him in (in order to show him off to everyone in proof that I wasn't just BS-ing when I told them I liked to fish).  But next time my friends, there will be a perch dinner.  Mark. My. Words.


So check all those items off the to-do list (except the dress fitting... see below**), and that sees us two weeks later and on a plane headed back to Mexico.  Where we once again proved that I am an absolutely horrible flyer, even when Fiance manages to talk our way into a First-Class upgrade so I have an eye mask and pillow and blanket for my comfort.  This is apparently the same conversation that Fiance has with the flight attendant staff every time we've flown together.  Which makes me wonder: 
1.   Just how bad I snore, 
2.   How horrible I must look as I snore, and 
3.   Before I flew next to Fiance, what did the poor strangers seated next to me in coach think?

And now we're back to the daily grind we've grown accustomed to down here.  Fiance, I think, was having a hard time wrapping his brain around going back to the office this morning, so I drew him a lovely note for his day and thought it appropriate to share here.  Please see item number 2 in the Random Section time for more clarification on the bug impaled upon his sword.

*Swearing is super appropriate in just about every scenario in Mexico.  It’s not so much cussing to Mexicans as it is extra emphasis on the situation at hand.  Like the salt and pepper of language, if you will.  I have apparently grown accustomed to such.
When we got set up for tuxes at Men’s Warehouse, our sales associate informed me that if we had put our wedding party ladies through David’s Bridal, then I should have gotten a spiffy coupon for a significant discount on tuxes.  So we wandered to the David’s, I walked in, and politely said :

“Hi, we registered all our wedding party to come through David’s for their dresses, and I understand I was supposed to get a big-ass coupon for tuxes at Men’s Warehouse.  Could you help us out?”

And the nice lady there looked at me as if I had just pooped in the middle of the salon.  And then handed me a very awesome coupon.  And then we left David’s and I’ve been kind of embarrassed about that whole exchange ever since.  And then I found five dollars.

**There is no comic of the dress fitting here because the whole ordeal was pretty ugly.  Not in a "the dress is ugly" kind of way.  No, no friends.  In a "the reason we went to the states WHEN we went was specifically so I could attend my first scheduled dress fitting.  And then.  THEN.  The dress wasn't in yet. 


So it was ugly in that I may have pitched a bit of a fit.  I am not sure if I count this as me tipping to being a bridezilla or simply me being understandably upset for planning a very expensive trip (the company doesn't pay my ticket because we're not married yet!) and no one could have bothered to tell me the dress wouldn't be in when the appointment was made.  I'm still kind of grumbly about it if I'm honest.

Are you  or have you been married?  Did you have a Bridezilla or Groomzilla moment?  
I want to hear about it in the comments, perhaps it will make me feel better.



RANDOM SECTION TIME!
1.  I didn't really know where else to fit this in the post, but I'm returning to the States somewhere in the next month.  

For good.  

No worries, Fiance and I are doing well (though he will have to stay here for a few months more to complete his contract without me, and we're going to miss each other), and I will keep the blog going. 

But for many different reasons, this is the right move for me, for Mac and Bubba, and for Fiance and I.  Part of me thinks this could be a stand-alone post, but I think if I did that it would turn into a list of things that I hate about Mexico.  And that would be super unfair, because I DON'T hate Mexico, and I wouldn't trade the time I've spent here.  It's been a valuable experience and I've learned a lot that I'm grateful for.  Mexico is an awesome place, it's just not a place for me personally to be long-term.  

2.  We've talked about cockroaches here on the blog before.  I do hate them.  Quite frankly, if you disagree with me, you're just wrong.  Roaches here are larger than you'd see up north, because there isn't any point where freezing happens or food is scarce to keep them from growing.  They also fly, which is information I kind of wish could be scrubbed  out of my head.  

But particularly noteworthy is that we've entered the part of the year where the heat has driven the cockroaches indoors.  Through drainage systems.  Regardless of how clean your home is, your shower drains and sinks are no longer safe.  We've seen a few in the house since we've been back, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit here that I am now terrified to use the shower without a can of raid and/or Fiance within yelling distance so I can screech something to the affect of:
OH GOD PLEASE COME KILL IT AND TAKE IT FAR AWAY FROM ME.
He saved my life multiple times this weekend.  True story.  I'm so proud of him I could just stand up and shit.


3.  My homepage got hacked.  Super boo.  Super silver-lining?  My server caught it and sent a list of how we (read: Fiance) can go in and fix it all so it's back up and running and is no longer used as a back-alley for buying and selling illegal drugs.  Oh yes, that's how it was hacked.  That is a true story.  Does that make me a pusher?  Anywhoozle, stay tuned for that.  He's working on it, I'll let you know when it's back up.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Good News/ Bad News? Shall we? Sure. Good news/ bad news.

Good News:  We just got the green light to make our trek to the states!  We fly Thursday, Mac and Bub are set up at a Pet hotel, and I'm making a list of stuff to accomplish while stateside.
Bad News:  It's a short trip, and it's already jam-packed with stuff that has to get done.  Not a lot left over for relaxing or not getting sick.  Oh well.

Good News:  I'll be getting a new phone AND a new computer while we're there!
Bad News:  This is because BOTH the phone and the Mac laptop are now dead.  I've been writing posts from Fiance's computer for three weeks now, without a way to design anything fun or profitable, and I think both he and I are going insane from our poor ability to share.



Good News:  I get to speak English and generally understand 100% of what's being said around me.
Bad News:  I won't be able to tell you all about that in English until we get back probably.  Which is the end of the month. 

Good News:  I am making a list of other fun things for you to read and laugh at while we're away.
Bad News:  There is no bad news here - these are darned god blogs people.

So without further ado...


 The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee
This is a blog about a woman who volunteers for the Humane Society, fostering litters of kittens.  She takes pictures of them and tells their adorable adoption tales. 



The Bloggess
This woman is insane, in a really hilarious way.  She collects taxidermied animals.  That should totally be sufficient in luring you into clicking that link.


Rants from Mommyland
These parents write stuff that has actually made me howl with laughter about their children.  Including this one, which I link here specifically for my pregnant friends.


Kalamazoo Foodies
I used to write for this site!  Until I moved out of Kalamazoo.  Good Friend Kate still posts occasionally, and if you are ever looking for a delicious recipe, youuuuuu should check here first.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Audience Participation Friday (9)

Welcome, welcome, welcome, to another delightful year of the Hunger Games** Audience Participation Friday
I have no reason for this week's topic.  Actually wait, yes I do.  Somehow the theme song has been stuck in my head on loop for DAYS now.
And thus: CARE BEARS.

Ready to find out what your little bear in the clouds is named? Here are the rules-

  1. Go here (for a sassy bear name). Or Here (for a tamer name and a shot at being a care bear COUSIN.)
  2. Discover your Care Bear's name (or your kid's Care Bear's name, or your pet's Care Bear's name.  I don't care, have fun with it).  Try not to weep in joy at how perfectly this simple exercise embodies your personality and existence into one beautifully described magical heart-obsessed beast.  
  3. Post your Care Bear's full name in the comments. 
  4. I'll read the comment, and create masterful pieces of art*
  5. You return to this post later and I will have added a portrait of the mystical rainbow shooting bear which represents the very essence of your soul.
  6. You have until Saturday at midnight central time to make the above 6 steps happen.


*Example of aforementioned Masterful pieces of art created by moi:

*ahem*  This here is Bitch-A-Lot Bear.  That's a dog head inside a heart-shaped female symbol on her tummy.  If you would like a closeup shot of your bear's tummy symbol, let me know in the comments.


**The Hunger Games movie was pretty boss.  If you've read the books, you'll likely enjoy it.  Says me.

Now, what're you waiting for!  Go find your bear name!  Care Bear Count Down 5-4-3-2-1!

EDIT: Here they come folks!
Amigo Bear* complete con Michelada
Gentle Heart Lamb*
 Scream-A-Lot Bear
Tender Heart Penguin*

 Whine-A-Lot Bear


*I didn't realize until I started drawing these that the link which gave you a care bear cousin name... gives you ACTUAL, already designed care bear names.  Sooooo.... don't sue me Care Bears.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Some Assembly Required: Easter Bunny Mask

Coming at you with another FREE downloadable KpQuePasa paper craft today folks!
Since Easter is right around the corner, and since Mexico does not associate Bunnies with Easter at ALL, I'm rebelling, and today, I've got a downloadable bunny mask for you to make.  That's right Mexico, what'chu gonna do about it?

Wanna make your own?  Of course you do.  Here's the low-down.
Firstly, you're going to need:


1.  Download and print the file.  Duh.

2. Color!  I'm all about artistic freedom, I made my bunny blue, because I've never seen a blue bunny.  (Actually scratch that, maybe I was just hungry for ice cream).  Pro tip: If you want a light pastel look, color lightly with colored pencils, then go back and swipe and eraser over the pigment.  It'll look quacktastic.



 3.  Cut out the mask pieces along the THICK SOLID lines.  Make sure when you are cutting around the nose, that you cut all the way up to where the black solid line meets with the second dotted line.



(don't forget the eye-holes)

4.  Carefully crease the mask at each of the dotted lines.  First the top of the nose...



...then the bottom of the nose.



This will make the mask both slightly 3-dimensional, and easier to keep it on your face without smashing your nose.

5.  Glue or tape your ears and teeth into place.  Personalize your bunny - do his/her ears stand straight up and perky, do they sit quizzically to the side?  Do you color both sides of the ears and fold them over to add attitude?  It's all up to you.



 6.  Glue or tape your stick or string to the back of the bunny mask.  I went with a stick, as pictured.

If you use a string, measure the way around the back of your head from temple to temple with something that's got a bit of stretch (yarn is excellent), then add an extra inch on to each end.  Use strong tape to stick the extra end inches of the string to the back of the mask just on the outsides of the eye-holes.  That'll keep the string at the right level to tuck  behind your ears comfortably, and will allow the bunny cheeks to stick out, giving the illusion of fluffy fur.




7.  Try it on and spread Easter love.


You might be reading this and being all, "what kind of application could this possibly have?"  To which I say "you are 0% fun."

But alright Mr./ Ms. Stick in the Mud. I see your penchant for ruining fun everywhere and I raise you some fun-inducing suggestions:
  • Hide Easter eggs whilst donning your mask.  Helps you stay in character.
  • Play "You're Sexy and You Know It" loudly on your stereo and insist that instead of wiggling, everyone in the room hop with you.  (or wiggle your imaginary cotton tail!)
  • Reenact any scene from Alice and Wonderland which includes either the White Rabbit or the March Hare (you might want to make longer ears for March Hare impersonations)
  • Throw an impromptu fancy costume party.  It doesn't have to be Halloween for you to be awesome.
  • Hide behind a door, pop out and yell "BUNNY ATTACK!" at your significant other when he enters a room.  
  • Pretend to be a Playboy bunny.  Feign indifference when someone is rude enough to point out the mask makes you look like the wrong kind of bunny. Insist they bring you a plate of tator tots while you jump on a giant trampoline just like if you really lived in the mansion.
  • Eat a carrot (or celery if don't like carrots), refuse to say anything to anyone other than "Eh, What's Up Doc?"
  • Play a more intense game of Chubby Bunny
Any awesome suggestions  I'm missing?  Let me know!

But.  If you read all that and you're still insisting this is only a craft for kids.  FINE.  FINE.  Be like that.  Here:  I scaled it down for little ones if you CLICK HERE.  That's right, your kiddo can make their OWN bunny mask and hop around the house now.

However you end up using your bunny mask, I wanna hear about it!  Let me know in the comments, or send me a quick picture at kristin@kpquepasa.com.  
And of course, Have a Hoppy Happy Easter!


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Probably the Park

This weekend Fiance had a poker game guy's day.  He's been working some pretty long hours, so I could tell he was pretty geeked to have some friends over and just relax.  I was looking forward to having some good weekend time to take Mac-dog to the park and sit in the sun while our guests watched themselves get tromped by Fiance.  Because he's a rather good ruthless poker player, and everyone else is pretty much in the "learning how to play" stages of this whole poker shindig..

The park is the more important part of this story.  Mac really likes to go, and I like going on the weekends when there are more people around to watch.  So we piled into Dora with the big long 20' leash, some cookies, some water, and time to kill.  And Mac had an absolute blast.  I think mostly he likes the park so much because there's grass, which is kind of uncommon in Mexico.  So there was a lot of this:


[editors note: it is 11:30 and I have been trying to upload a video of Mac rolling in grass for the past HOUR.  it still hasn't finished.  so I'll put that here when it's up.  Okay thanks.]

A lot of that.  If he was any color other than black he would have been a big walking grass stain when we got home.  He also ran around in the big open space like he was a greyhound on speed.  And then he rolled in the grass some more.  All of this was lovely, until the wedding showed up.

There is a church just about a block from this park, and since it is in fact, a nice park, lots of people like to use the space for their photos.  This wedding party was no exception.  As usual, I took a moment to drink in the bride and groom: her dress was cute, I wasn't so sure about her colors (black white and scarlet red) this early in spring, but to each their own.  Her groom was fairly dapper too, and top hats always give me the impression that men have a good sense of humor about themselves (remind me sometime to tell you about my prom date), so that made me smile.

They walked around, and Mac and I watched, and they took a few shots.  And then the best man turned to me and started yelling something at us.  I'm pretty sure from the arm waving that we were sitting right where the bride and groom wanted to sit for their next picture.  So I moved with a "whoops, my bad, sorry" hand wave.  The bride smiled, the groom was totally not even paying attention to anything other than his bride's face (which I found sincerely adorable of course), and the best man just stared at Mac and scowled.

We went over to the big cement slide then.  I really have to get a video of this slide.  Mac LOVES it.  It's maybe 10 feet wide and is just a big slab of polished cement that you can slide down.  And because it's a good width for him, Mac will run to the top and slide down for cookies over, and over, and over.

Except we had apparently just gone from one space the bride and groom wanted to the next space the bride and groom wanted.  Whoops again.  Except the best man was not so nice this time when he yelled at us (not like yelling at us is really a nice thing to do to begin with...) He threw his arms up in exasperation as if Mac and I had come to the park with no other intention but to get in the way of when this bedraggled best man could FINALLY hit the open bar at the reception (I just think that's a funny joke to type, I highly doubt there was any booze at that reception.) 

Here's the thing: I don't' know this guy, and he's waving his arms and yelling and getting closer to us and is clearly angry.  Anyone else see where this is going?

Mac was having NONE of that.


He stepped in between me and the best man. I, seeing what was going down, started pulling in the slack from Mac's leash as quick as I could.
The best man, having no idea what was going down, just thought I was stalling more and so he yelled once more.  My "por favor, esperame un momento!" (please just a moment!) was drowned out by one very displeased sounding Roo-bug's growl.  The best man stopped in his tracks with a look of terror that indicated he was certain his death was imminent.

So then we left.  Very quickly.  But I did shout "felicidades!" (congrats!) over my shoulder to the bride, because she was awesome enough to give me a "oh sorry!" kind of look as we hustled back to Dora the Explorer.  Once in the car, I totally gave Mac a cookie for "protecting" me. 

Getting home, we pulled up to see that our friends had taken up Dora's usual parking space.  I decided to parallel park between another car and the telephone pole.



This telephone pole to be exact.




I'm not sure if I would be so bold to claim that the telephone pole is a bully.  I more like to think that Dora just figured the sun was very bright that day and so I needed a new pair of sunglasses.



In the end, I sheepishly had to take this fantastically shaped piece of tail light plastic (seriously, Kanye should invest in a pair.)  into the house and confess my ineptitude to Fiance and all his friends.  Though I got some light-hearted ribbing, it could have been worse.  I didn't damage the phone pole, Mac and I weren't hurt at all, I didn't hit any other cars, and the tail light still works.

But the lesson remains - Me and Parks of any kind:  They don't mix.

Do you have a stupid park story?  Parking your car or going to the park?  
I'd love to hear it in the comments!


Random Section Time!

1.  The downside of going off to Cancun was leaving my garden unattended for four days.  Apparently in Mexico that means that everything dies from lack of water.  Thankfully Fiance was kind enough to come with me to Home Depot yesterday and we invested in a few new plants and a water timer.  So now we're back in business (and I must say better than ever).

2.  Have you ever seen a tutorial or how-to on something that you thought was SO super complicated, and it turns out it's so easy you feel like a total schmuck afterwards?  Friends, I present to you, the fishtail braid.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyZkowmdZv8