Monday, April 29, 2013

Ceremony and Tradition

*Warning: do not try this at home.  I have no intention of being a role model with this post.  I am not taking responsibility for your irresponsibility.  No no folks, I only take responsibility for my own lack of good judgement.*

This past weekend, I watched my very amazing husband walk across the stage to receive his Masters Degree.  I am.  SO. Proud.

 Can I just tell you how much I love this sneaky photo of a VERY proud 
PapaMcD snapping a picture of his son?

To be fair, The Mister actually completed his graduate work while we were still in Mexico.  And when he finished his course work from south of the border, his advising professor told him he could 'walk' if he wanted to when he came home.

The Mister had originally thought it didn't much matter, but when he said so to me, I set him straight.  I'm big on ceremony and tradition, and this is one of those that he had already put in the work for. I told him "You won't ever look back and say "Gosh, I wish I hadn't walked," but if you don't walk, you might regret it."  It was a lovely ceremony, and he was, in fact, happy to have gone through it.*

I got my Masters Degree in Texas; a state so embroiled in the importance of school tradition and ceremony it's almost cultish.  If you're from Texas and reading this saying 'I'm offended by that statement!'  Think of the last time one of your friends started a real, legitimate fight, due to them throwing up the 'hook 'em horns' sign in front of someone wearing maroon.  Because I'm 100% sure you have a story like that somewhere in your lexicon.

Anywhoozle.  Because I was in Texas, I received a class ring for FREE.  According to the alumni association, and my professors, there is nothing more important than showing off the proper Texan school from whence I received my education.  Whatevs, free ring, pretty awesome.  My ring came with a lengthy pamphlet, explaining the symbolism of every bit of the design (including a fire-hydrant built into the "U" of the word University, to commemorate a dog named Dammit who wandered campus back in the day.), and how to properly wear it (it needs to face IN on your hand until you've actually received your degree, then OUT towards the world/ people you would shake hands with after you've matriculated).  At some point I was talking with a friend about how I was impressed/ astounded at all the importance put into this little piece of metal, and was informed of the ring-dunking ceremony.

Full disclosure - I did not graduate from Texas A&M, and this is technically only an A&M tradition.  But the explanation stuck with me for years and I always kind of wanted to do it.  Here's how it works if you're not familiar:
Upon receiving your class ring, you must go -with your closest friends and family- to a bar.  At said bar, you purchase a pitcher of beer.  You drop your ring into the bottom of said pitcher, and then you have the year you graduated plus 100 seconds to chug that pitcher and catch the ring in your teeth.  (i.e., I graduated in 2008 so I would have had 108 seconds).  Only then is your ring considered legitimate.
Now, obviously, this is not a tradition that is sanctioned through Texas A&M's administration by any means, but that doesn't stop a good chunk of the student body from following it to the T.  Also notable - I was totally down to do such a silly thing while I actually lived in Texas, just to say I had, except I went to a University that was religiously affiliated with the Southern Baptists, and as such, I didn't really have any graduating friends who drank, or were willing to do this with me.

Cue spring of 2013, when the Mister brings home a flyer about class rings for HIS institution, and asks me if he should get one.

My very eloquent response?  "YES.  YES YOU SHOULD GET ONE RIGHT NOW.  butonlyifyoureallywanto.  Um, yes though. Please."


Once he actually received his massive ring (holy cow you could take a person out with that beast), I explained the ring dunking and asked if he would like to do it with me.  And because I clearly married the right guy, he was all about it.  So we planned to hold this very important ceremony directly following his very *actually* important graduation ceremony.


Now, the Mister and I are not college kids anymore, so we adjusted a bit to make sure we could do this without making our livers revolt for the next three days.

Here's how we set up our ring dunking:  We went to Hooters and recruited teams of Hooters girls to cheer for us (which was a blast in and of itself, because they were super confused when we explained it). We bought PINTS -not pitchers- of beer.  We had glasses of water waiting on the sidelines.  We dunked our rings, and we chugged with the intent to catch our respective ring in our teeth.  Instead of timing it, we raced.  It was everything I ever dreamed of.  Until... well, you know what?  Here, you can just watch it:


video
I LOST!

Do you even... ugh.  I knew when we agreed to those rules that I was 100% certain to win this race.  (you may note the Mister's "my wife is going to smoke me on this" look in the picture above.  He knew too.)

We all have those "skills" we developed in college that aren't exactly resume appropriate.  Mine was that I learned how to chug a beer like a champ.  So I chugged my beer in record time, knew that I had handily beaten The Mister, and settled back to watch him finish his drink.


Except I forgot the part about catching the ring in my teeth!  You know, the ENTIRE POINT OF THE THING I HAD WANTED TO DO FOR FIVE (5!) YEARS.  BAH!  So as you'll notice, I clarified that since we were technically celebrating the Mister's graduation, I "let" him win.  Yes.  Clearly that was on purpose.  And I should not be as disappointed in myself as I am.  I am not disappointed that I lost a chugging contest to my husband.  Nope.  Not one bit.  Ican'tevenbelieveIlost.

blurry ring kiss!

Do you have any fun traditions from your school?
What "resume inappropriate" skill did you get from college?
Have you lost a competition "on purpose?"
Did you walk for graduation?  Why or why not?
Tell me in the comments!

*The graduation ceremony was very nice.  And I was impressed, because I've always gone to/ worked at smaller institutions.  The Mister's University matriculated a couple thousand students in one day, over 3 ceremonies, and they kept a pretty good time schedule going.  I have never seen "well-managed timing" happen at any of the small school ceremonies I've seen.  

My only complaint is that if you're not going to have a commencement speaker in order to keep time short... maaaaaaaybe the President of the Uni shouldn't talk for over an hour (not even kidding).  Because after all the names are said and everyone's walked across that stage, not a single person in that space wants to hear another single word.  They want to go celebrate.  Also: never, ever show a slideshow.  Nope.  No.  You could HEAR eyes rolling in heads.

MAD PROPS THOUGH - I was throughly impressed with the folks who pronounced everyone's name going through graduation, and even MORE impressed with the ladies who signed the entire spiel for those who are hearing impaired.  Yes, even the names.  Holy cow that was amazing.  Go them.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mac Does Something Awesome - Ep. 10 Bath Time!

We're back with a MDSA video this week!

Just in time too, because Mac... well he was pretty rank.  (Hard to tell just how dirty a black dog is until you get a whiff of him while snuggling and gag)

(You can watch below or click here to watch it full screen on youtube!)



Though you can tell he feels better after a good "spa day," Mac's always a little reluctant to hop in the tub.  We filmed this while getting him all clean so he could go to the SPCA this past weekend and accept his winnings for the Pet Celebrity Contest of 2013

So you'll be seeing a lot more of Mac around South West Michigan as he represents the SPCA and all the wonderful adoptees there for the entire year.  If you'd like to know more about that, you can

Click here to visit the Southwest SPCA website
Click here to read Mac's feature in the SPCA newsletter

Does your dog like baths? 
Or hairdryers?
(Mac comes running when I do my hair!)
What do you do to get them in the tub? (Bribery like me?) 
Do you have to wear a swimsuit when you bathe your pup like me 'cause you're going to get sopping wet no matter what?
Tell me in the comments!

I'm sure you may have noticed a few items in the video -
Lickety Stik - it's exactly how I described in the video -a liquid treat in a roll dispenser.  Mac adores his, and will work super hard for a quick lick.
Coconut Oil - We use it as a leave-in conditioner after Mac gets a bath.  I use it as a lotion after I shave my legs, and I even give Bub a lick or two of it to help him with hairballs.  All good things, people.
Zoom Groom (the green thing I'm brushing him with during his hair-dryer time) - It's a product of Kong (the durable dog-toy manufacturer), and functions as a great brush as well as massager for dogs with short hair (I've seen groomers use it on long haired dogs, but I can only attest to it's awesomeness on Mac's coat.)

What would you like to see Mac do next?
Stay tuned Wednesdays for new MDSAs.

Monday, April 22, 2013

SPCAwesome!

Happy Monday friends!

I mean, as happy as a Monday can be.  I hope you're doing swell even though there's an entire week in the way of the weekend.

If you're new here, welcome!  The name's Kristin, though I go by KpMcD, and I'm a graphic designer, artist, and accredited dog trainer.  If you'd like to know more about the antics me and my two rescued critters (Mac, the Doberman-mix, and Bubba, the marmalade tabby) enjoy, I'd suggest the following posts to get you started as you bop around this little corner of the internet that I call home:

Bubba:
  • Fabu Feline - The story of how I came to adopt Bubba
  • A Garfield Kind of Cat - when my husband and I lived in Mexico, we got a lot of comments about how Bubs is a bit fat.  He's... well he's not fat, but he's probably husky.
  • Fatty Tabby 2x4 - Okay he's a bit tubby.
  • Jingle Bells - That one horrifying time we lost Bubba.  On the streets of urban Mexico.
Mac:
  • Moving Mac - my husband and I just got back from living in Mexico for a year.  We took our critters with us - this is how we got a big old dobie-mix south of the border.
  • Service 1/3 - Mac is my service dog.  This is the first in a 3-part blog about how he came to be that.
  • Six Step Program - The first day Mac was in Mexico with us.
  • Mac-nificent Ring Bearer - Mac was the ring-bearer for our wedding this past October.  Here's how that went.
  • Mac Does Something Awesome - This link will take you to a whole series of posts that I do each Wednesday where I upload a video of a silly trick Mac does.
Past that, thanks for stopping by and I'm pumped to have you visit. :)
***

We sure are doing swell over here at KpQuePasa, I tell you what.
So last week, if you stuck with me through all the long text and seriousness, I talked about Mac in his role as a service dog.  And that's important, certainly, but I like to stick to cheery things here when possible, so today let's talk about how 

MAC WON A MAJOR AWARD THIS PAST WEEKEND.

Specifically, Mac won the "If they could see me now" contest, put on by the Southwest Michigan SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).  The contest was/ is to showcase the great turn-around "rags to riches" adopted pets can have, and the great pets that rescued animals can make.  I submitted a photo of Mac, and an essay detailing how Mac went from a mangy (literally, he had mange) shelter puppy to the distinguished canine he is today.


Mac will be getting a professional photo shoot soon, and a commemorative brick at the SPCA's rescue center, but more exciting to both Mac and I - Mac gets to represent the SW Michigan SPCA at... stuff!

We haven't gotten too many details about said stuff yet, but presentations, fundraising events... I believe that's what we're talking about.   I am SO, so flattered that the good people at the SPCA saw in my puppy what I see in him, and are giving him the opportunity to show off to the greater critter-loving populace of Southwest Michigan.  We'll keep you posted.

{I'm also really humbled that they were so kind as to share this-here KpQuePasa web-site with those who receive the SPCA's monthly newsletter*, so that folks could come and learn more about the dog who's going to do good deeds out in the world on the behalf of their dogs and cats.  We're going to work hard to make you proud.}

We went to the actual SPCA's rescue center this past Saturday to accept the award and have a few pictures taken, and I wanted to make sure that Mac looked his best for the occasion.  So I made him a tie.  And then I made a few more.  Then we decided:


In the spirit of SPCA love, the KpQuePasa Etsy Monster has a few new things up for sale.  And if you buy any one of the things (old or new) listed up at the Monster right now, Mac and I will donate 50% of the proceeds to the Southwest Michigan SPCA on any sale made up through the end of May.


Help your large-breed puppy cement his business-casual image with a Dapper Dog Neck Tie (Why do little &/ girlie dogs get ALL the cool accessories?  Not anymore I say).  Display your dog's Rewards/Treats with style in your very own etched dog-cookie jar!  I'm planning on getting some cat-friendly things listed by the end of the week. 

You can even contact me through Etsy for a custom creation of your liking - Want a cat treat jar (Bubba approves.)?  Or want your dog's name on something?  Or a customized Mac Does Something Awesome Jar of your very own?  I'm on it!

Do you have a rescued pet?  
What's the best thing about them?  
Tell me in the comments!

Bubba is just not ready to get up yet today, but he'll be excited about this all in good time.

*Here's the link to the SPCA newsletter where Mac was announced, and a link to our essay!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Top Score.

Hey remember that few weeks back when I started an online poll because The Mister and I were planning on attending a Masquerade Ball and I wanted opinions on what kind of critters we should go as?

And then you voted?

We... didn't actually end up going with what y'all voted on.

Sorry.

BUT.  We did go to that masquerade ball.

And we drank a lot of wine  (because it was a function put on by a local winery).

And THEN.

Then we flipping won the mask contest.  So we got more wine.  For free-sies.

tiger and rhinoceros, at your service.

As you can tell by this photo, perhaps the Mister and I did not need any MORE wine by this point.  But whatever it was tasty.

Have you ever won a contest?  
Is there a good story behind it?  
Tell me in the comments!

Because I wasn't sure what we'd really end up being for the ball until the last minute, I ended up finishing a few other masks - you can check those out in the Etsy Monster now if you like!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mac Does Something Awesome - Episode 9: MEOW

We had a bit of a hijacking today with the MDSA series. :)

With nicer weather comes outside time for the whole QuePasa family.  But it also means that some of us become a little more... annoyingly insistent on being outside than others.

You thought I was talking about me, didn't you?

Watch the video below, or click HERE to watch it FullScreen on YouTube!

Bubba is a fiend for sunlight.

Does your cat like the out of doors?
Do you keep them on a harness/ leash for their outdoor safety and or the safety of squirels?

What would you like to see Mac do next?
Stay tuned Wednesdays for new MDSAs.

Monday, April 08, 2013

No Regrets!


Last night, The Mister and I watched a movie called "Safety Not Guaranteed."  I won't spoil it for you, but the premise of the movie is that an aspiring writer is assigned to write an article investigating a classified ad which is seeking a partner for a mission where the two will "travel back in time."  It's more or less a comedy, because you spend the whole movie wondering just how crazy is the dude who thinks he can really time travel.  Anyway, it prompted the question:

"What do you regret enough that you would go back in time to fix it if you could?"

And you know what?  I don't know that I regret anything I've done enough to want to take it back.  I mean, sure, I've done some STUPID crap, but in the end, those things turned out to have some excellent silver-linings.  Top three stupid things (which wouldn't get me arrested to publicly admit on the internet) in no particular order?

1.  At 19 years old, fully sober, I ate a crayon.  On film.  By choice.

Once I tried to make a movie with a group of friends in college.  We were idealistic about how obviously successful this movie would be, and decided that we needed to fund-raise in order to purchase some props and video-editing software.  So we put on a grilled cheese sale on a random Friday night.  If you're following this story properly, you may realize just how brilliant of an idea it is to sell warm, gooey cheese inside buttered bread to drunk college students at 1AM.  We made bank.  And we did really use that money to buy video-editing equipment.

things that amuse me: when this, the actual flyer in question, 
has been preserved on Facebook for the ages.

But we didn't realize that the way we advertised (aka we put a flyer on literally every door on campus), and the fact that we were not a registered student organization, were both violations of the student code of conduct.  Oh, and we were all RAs at the time.  You know, the students expected to uphold that code of conduct.  So we almost got fired for that.*

What I remember most about this project is that my "character's introduction" in the movie, involved me eating actual crayons.  And I was so convinced this was going to be the next Blair Witch Project that I actually, really, truly did eat a crayon.

But you know what I got out of that?  Some of the most fun I've had in my life was had with those people, and I'm so thankful that such a stupid project became such a bonding experience for us all.  Also, Brides-dude, what the hell ever happened to that video?  Because I would like a copy.

*We did lots of other things that should have gotten us fired that year which were far worse than selling sandwiches.  I will not be telling those stories.  5th Amendment rights, y'all.   (sorry to my college boss, who may actually read this-here blog from time to time.  You put so much faith in me, and really I didn't earn any of that until the third year I worked for you)


2.  I stood on a stage dressed in Spandex and thought I was the shiz.

My senior year of high school, I decided to take on a tradition among the drama-geeks group:  I would be the spring play director.  This was a role that had been taken on the past two years by wildly successful fellow-drama nerds, and was the opportunity to pick the play, pick the cast, and run the whole darn show.

I took the reigns for the third year of the tradition, and I was far more excited than anyone ever should be to pick a play titled "Captain Fantastic*."  It is a play about a super-hero, and his band of super-hero friends.  This meant that I willingly picked a production which put myself (there were too many parts for me not to be in the same play I was directing, which is never a good idea), and all of my closest friends at the time, in costumes that consisted almost entirely of spandex, in front of all our peers.  (It should be no mystery why I won the "never gonna grow up" award from my fellow seniors that year).  I had actually blacked this out of my mind until last week when a fellow cast-member from this production decided to post photos she found on FACE BOOK, which as you know is accessible to the entire internet.  And then she also TAGGED ME.  In all my spandex glory.  There goes my political career.

So I might as well just share it here too.  I'm the one in the ref shirt.

But if I hadn't done that?  No one would have directed a play that year - my Senior class did not have as many contributors to the drama-geek group as the classes above and below me.  This is a group of kids that regularly got the short-end of the stick when it came to resources and generally anyone giving a poo about what they did, so this was a project that we needed to prove we were excited about in order to keep it going.  The next year the students who took over did a great job from my understanding.  If I hadn't gotten everyone to put on spandex and jump through a window like we were about to fly under our own super powers in 2002, then no one would have gotten to be in a spring play at all in 2003, or any year after that.  And that would have sucked.

Also, can I tell you how loved I feel in retrospect that all my greatest friends at that time were too kind to refuse such a stupid idea or such embarrassing costumes?  I made one of them wear a freaking bucket on his head, people.  Also if you're reading this, Bucket-head (that was really his character's name), I won't reveal your identity, but thanks for that dude, that was pretty damn boss of you.

Lastly, my superhero name was Girl Marvel, who's alter-ego was Agnes Griddle, if anyone actually cares about that.  I had a cape.   Are you jealous yet?

*Oh my good lord the whole first act of this is available to read free online.

3.  I put myself on a dating website.

I only ever wrote about one date that happened from that time.  I will admit there were others.  And while they weren't all as memorably horrendous as that one (seriously just click here if you don't remember/ haven't read what I'm talking about), they weren't great dates.  One guy wanted to date me just to use me as his personal counselor.  He had no intention or interest in me romantically, he wanted someone to talk to about his mommy issues, and I had the MEd to qualify.  He strung me along for a long enough time that when I finally figured out what was going on, my self-confidence took a rather giant hit.



OkayCupid did make my twitter feed ripe with hilarity for a while though.

But if I hadn't put myself out there for the internet to see?
Well, I think we all know that I would have missed something pretty flipping awesome.


What about you?  
Is there anything you regret that you've done?  
Is there a silver lining that came from it anyway?
Tell me in the comments!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Mac Does Something Awesome - Episode 8: Eggcellent Fun Facts

We had a stupid amount of fun filming this!

(Watch the new episode below, or Click Here to watch it full-screen on youtube!)


Really truly, dogs love something that makes their brains work a little bit.

If you have a dog, I can't recommend a puppy puzzle or mental stimulation toy enough!

Though as you can see, even without a pet-store purchase, there are fun things you can do to challenge your pup's noggin. :)




Does your dog like to find things?
Do you have any puzzles for your dog?

What would you like to see Mac do next?
Stay tuned Wednesdays for new MDSAs.

Monday, April 01, 2013

My Husband is so good at subtle segues. Not so good at subtle puns.


This is a real e-mail exchange that really happened between myself and the mister.

From: KpMcD at 10:59AM
To:  The Mister
Subj: TODAY'S VERY IMPORTANT INQUIRY FROM YOUR WIFE
TYPED ALL IN CAPS BECAUSE *SOMEONE'S* NOSE IS ON THE CAPS LOCK KEY. I'M NOT YELLING, I PROMISE. 
IF WE EVER GET A PIG (I DON'T HAVE ANY ASPIRATIONS TO HAVE A PET PIG, BUT I WANT TO MAKE SURE I HAVE ALL MY BASES COVERED) CAN WE PLEASE NAME HIM CHRISTIAN PERCIVILLE BACON?
 
THANKS.
 
<3
 
KPMCD
 
(WE WILL OF COURSE SHORTEN THIS TO CHRIS P BACON IN LESS FORMAL CIRCLES.)
 


From: The Mister at 11:05AM
To: KpMcD
Subj: RE: TODAY'S VERY IMPORTANT INQUIRY FROM YOUR WIFE
I don't know what I think about calling a pig of ours Chris. 
CP Bacon? 
CHPR Bacon?
 
I'm ok with the idea....yumm bacon.
 



From: KpMcD at 11:12AM
To:  The Mister
Subj: RE: RE: TODAY'S VERY IMPORTANT INQUIRY FROM YOUR WIFE
I think you're missing the point.  I would never just call him Chris.  I would call him Chris P. Bacon. 
Turn to the person next to you and say "My wife wants to name our future pet pig "Chris P. Bacon" and see what their reaction is. 



From: The Mister at 11:18AM
To: KpMcD
Subj: RE: RE: RE: TODAY'S VERY IMPORTANT INQUIRY FROM YOUR WIFE

Crispy Bacon....  Took a minute.  Ha! 

Hey, speaking of bacon, what are your thoughts on a dinner plan for the week?  




What's the best name for a pet you've ever heard? 
(would Chris P. Bacon not be an 
excellent name for a piggy?)

Anyone else have a mental picture of the Mister actually turning to the person next to him and saying "my wife wants to name out future pet pig Chris P. Bacon" and then having a total "ah ha I get it!" face?

What are you making for dinner tonight?  
Because I'm out of ideas.

Tell me in the comments!