Monday, December 31, 2012

Waking Up On The Wrong Side of the Bed

Whew, yup.  Okay.

Back from the break.  Did you all have an excellent Christmas and or religious or non-religious holiday celebration?  We did.  There was even some snowboarding involved.  Good times.  Hope you're all having a great New Year's Eve, or that you are gearing up for a great one.  We've got plans to stay in and entertain a friend or two.  I made ham roll ups for the occasion*.  It's all very exciting.  In any case, I wrote all this last night, so that I could spend today cleaning/ cooking.  It's long but cathartic.  And maybe worth a chuckle for you.

We look like such professionals.


This morning, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  No, really.

The Mister and I have assigned bed sides.  You might have a similar set-up.  Since the beginning of always, when looking at the headboard from the foot of the bed, The Mister sleeps on the left, and I'm on the right.  Except the mister's shoulder has been bothering him lately, and long story short (a story which involves him snoring at my face each night if he sleeps on the un-hurty shoulder), we've switched sides the last few nights.

This has worked well for the Mister.  I'm another story.  (Another, long, story which is also very long and involves us believing that the left side of the bed just sucks altogether and maybe it's time to invest in a new bed.  King size?  Dreaming big over here.)  In any case, wrong side of the bed happened to me this morning.  And it continued to ooze it's wrong-ness all day.

Maybe not the fault of the bed - I'm going to go with it anyway -  but I seem to be getting into the winter blues a bit hard as of late.  This is exacerbated by the fact that, if I had to guess, the new job I mentioned in my last post (which I enthusiastically talked up with my whole family over the holidays)?  Yes well, I seem to in fact, not have that job.

I haven't talked about it a lot here, but I've been looking for a job since the start of November, and this was my first real good lead.  While I am happy (and thankful, and truly lucky) to say that the Mister's job puts us in a good place financially where I don't actually NEED to find another job money-wise, I have to add that having a job would give me some greater purpose in this world and make me feel like less of an absolutely useless, societal leech (told ya, those blues are hitting me).  Today we also took some time to sit down and work on bills and budget, and I always hate doing that, because it showcases to me just how little I contribute, and how much I consume of "our" income.  Blargh.

So I'm feelin' kinda dumpy all day, and the Mister in all his awesome, is trying like hell to cheer me up even though I don't really know how to properly explain what's gotten to me without sounding like a giant whiner, so he's taking blind stabs in the dark at things that might make me smile.  He brought me a rose home after running errands, and asked if he could take me out to dinner.

(pause for obligatory "aww" moment)

So I tried to brush my hair into something a little tamer, put on a nice sweater and cute shoes, and went about closing the doors to the rooms upstairs, as is our usual routine for "puppy-proofing" the house to leave Mac home alone while we're out.

I shut the door to the "Man-Cave,"  and promptly found myself crouched on the floor with my hands on my head shouting "Ow ow ow ow ow!"

doooooom from above.

The Mister has one of those pull-up bars that sits in a door-jam.  And it stays put really well, until you try to shut the door on it.  Then, I can tell you from experience, it comes crashing down on your head.  You know how when you hit your head, it usually takes a second or two for the pain to actually register?  Yeah no, this was fairly instantaneous and rather intense "Ouch."

I asked the Mister through teary eyes for something cold for my throbbing scalp**.  When the Mister returned and asked me to move my hands so he could put the ice pack on my surely already golf-ball sized lump, I heard him gasp: "Oh gosh, you're bleeding!"  and I promptly lost any last shred of dignity that was kind of maybe holding me together.  I started straight-up sobbing without abandon, and also kind of (aka completely) freaking out because my hands were in fact, covered in my own head-blood.  So that sucked.

I took... probably more than a few moments to calm down.  It was determined by my amazing husband that though I bled pretty good, the wound was just a nasty scratch.  And then he asked if I still wanted to go to dinner, with a look in his eyes that I interpreted to mean "We both need to get out of this house before you're lost forever to this weird abyss in which you insist on treading water."

Thus, a few minutes later we were in the car heading toward the "closest thing to authentic Mexican" restaurant we'd selected for dinner, and I'm trying to make myself stop doing that stupid hiccupy thing that happens as you breathe after you've been crying too hard.  As we pulled up, I realized that my head may have stopped bleeding, but there's probably plenty of matted blood in my hair (an assumption I confirmed later).  The Mister was about to walk into a crowded restaurant with a wife who's tearstained and rocking a massive blood-caked goose-egg on the back of her head.  I could already hear myself trying to explain to our waiter that it was just an accident, and see the restaurant patrons shaking their heads and whispering "what a monster that man is!"  The Mister is no monster, he just spent the last 45 minutes trying to do nothing more than cheer me up/ help me stop bleeding.  He didn't deserve that, and damed if I was going to let this wild scenario I'd just let loose in my mind actually play out.

So thanks to the wrong side of the bed, I went to dinner in a nice-ish restaurant with my darling husband wearing a winter cap, because it was the only head covering we had in the car. A cap which features giant poof-balls on the top and at the ends of the little ear flaps.  And also a knitted pattern of bunnies all around.

Thankfully, the absurdity of wearing a bunny hat to dinner to mask my own idiocy has kind of snapped me out of my own head-funk for the time being.  Because you have to laugh at the bunny hat, people.  You just do.

The people in the restaurant wouldn't know it, but I look much less stupid with this hat on my head when my makeup isn't smeared down my face and my nose isn't all red and runny.  I love the bunny.

Now as I write this, I've swapped the bunny hat for some even more comforting head-gear:
Balancing this ice pack on my noggin makes me feel like the man with many hats.  

What have I learned from today?  Well, I know which side of the bed I'm sleeping on tonight, that's for damn sure.

Are you burdened by the winter blues?
What did your last no-good-very bad day look like?  
Anything you can look back on now and laugh at?  
Like a ridiculous hat or a husband just trying so so hard to help you out?

*Ham roll ups.  I've been informed this is sort of a Wisconsin thing, so for the uninformed:  Spread cream cheese liberally on a deli slice of ham.  Put a green onion on one end and roll the ham/cheese around that onion until you have a log.  trim edges of onion that are outside the log.  Put logs in fridge overnight.  Slice into 1 inch rolls.  Enjoy deliciousness.  (some people put pickles in them instead of onions. Those people are wrong.  In my opinion, anyway).
these are not the roll-ups I made, but visual example for you anyway.

**As if to add more karmic insult to injury, this head-wound is pretty much exactly where I managed to burn my hair off with a rogue hair dryer just 1 fateful year ago while we were still living in Mexico.  That was a fun blog post too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Oh shoot. I fail at calendars

Hey all!

I know you might be thinking: Yay! Wedding Wednesday!  What's this week about?

Cue me crushing dreams.  For the Mister and I, holiday festivities began last night, and so writing out a proper WW post just isn't in the cards.  And you know, those are about OUR wedding, so I'd like to be able to do it justice instead of rushing it to just get something out there.  I meant to put that announcement out there on Monday, but I wasn't paying attention to the calendar.  And so, here we are.

The point here is we'll be taking a brief break - I'll be back after Christmas*.  Until then, I leave you with this year's holiday card design:

cheesy?  totally.  did we really send this out to everyone?  TOTALLY.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Just a quick question for you:
How do you eat your gingerbread creatures/men?  
I go for head first, so they go out quickly and don't suffer so much.

(I am such a cookie fiend.  I'm pretty sure I am going to be 
single-handedly responsible for the dinosaurs going extinct... again.)

*  Jerry Springer Style Final Thought: *
If you are Jewish, tell me Happy Hanukkah
If you are Christian, tell me Merry Christmas
If you are African American or African Canadian, tell me Joyous Kwanzaa
If you don't prefer those, tell me Happy Holidays
I will not be offended.
I will be thankful that you took the time to say something nice to me.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I just wrote a whole post about pee. There is less bathroom humor than I could have guessed.

Hug your little ones on my behalf, friends. I haven't got anything more to say about Friday and what happened.  Which is not because I haven't got thoughts or opinions, but more because I am overwhelmed with the analysis already out there.  I am sure there are those of you who, like me, need a break from the horror of it.  So that's the plan for today.


Here's the thing y'all - I done went and got me a job.  I haven't decided quite yet how much more I'm going to share about it here, but for right now, that's all the context you need.  So.  Job.  Hired on one condition:  I must pass a drug pee-test.

To be clear, I'm not going to fail a drug test.  But I get that today's world makes a drug test one of those things that just has to happen.  Thus, I trudged into the pee-test office Friday morning, and the following exchange occurred, complete with my internal dialogue.

Kp:  Good morning!
Pee-Test Collector Official: Are you ready to urinate?
Kp:   [oh, okay, HI to you too.] Yup, drank a whole pot of coffee before comin' in, haha.
PTCO: Hands out of your pockets.  Put your purse in that box over there and LOCK it.  Take the key with you.  You may not have anything on your person but that key for the collection.
Kp:  [apparently she's heard the pot of coffee joke before.]  Oh, sorry about the pockets.
PTCO: Wash your hands.  Throughly.  You must use soap.  Two pumps.  I'll be watching.
Kp: [what am I, five? who doesn't use soap when they wash their hands?  jeeze.]  Okay.
PTCO: In there. (points to bathroom so firmly she almost picks my nose with her pointing finger, as I am between her and the pee-test bathroom.) Fill this cup just to THIS LINE (indicates line about a millimeter up the side).  I don't need more.  No need to show off.
Kp: Just to there? I don't really think it's about showing off so much as it's I made sure I would really have to go. Ha Ha.  [who shows off by being all "haha! lookit how much pee my body is capable of producing! aren't you jealous?"]
PTCO: Just to the line.  (after I have gone in the bathroom shut the door, and have seated myself) DON'T FLUSH THE TOILET.  DON'T FLUSH.  YOU CANNOT FLUSH THE TOILET.
Kp:  [oh god she's like RIGHT outside the door.  this is not good for my pee-shyness.]  Uh, yeah okay, no worries, I won't flush.
Cue me sitting in there for at least five minutes, because even though I really, truly drank a whole pot of coffee before heading over there, and really, truly had to go, I REALLY, truly do have pee-shyness and it took me that long to convince my mind that the PTCO wasn't really just sitting on the other side of the door with a cup to her ear, waiting to rush in and cold-clock me at the slightest hint that I might have thought about flushing the toilet.  

(this toes the line of my sense of cartooning decency.  going for the extra laugh today.)

And then when I finally got myself to go, well, ladies you know.  It's not like I can see the cup while I'm peeing into it, and I had to GO, so of course I go over the prescribed line, and now because she's been so gruff I'm finding myself nervous that I'm going to fail the test just because I couldn't follow instructions.  I briefly debate pouring some of it into the toilet, but reason that I might mess that up and accidentally pour the whole thing in the toilet and then I'm doubly screwed.  So I decide to be defiant and present her with a giant sample of pee.  Awesome.  Of course, she noticed.
PTOC: This is more than I need.
Kp:  Ha.  Yeah.  Sorry, I had to go. [I have never felt so guilty about peeing.  Please don't hit me with a rolled up newspaper.]
PTOC: You could have moved the cup.
Kp:  Uh, yeah. Again sorry.
PTOC: (pouring half the... ahem... "sample" into a new cup with a lid, putting a sticker over the cups seal, and handing me a pen) Sign this sticker.
Kp:  Yeah, sure.  Is this some sort of unspoken contract I'm signing my life away on?
PTOC: (looking at me as if I had just asked the single stupidest question ever asked.  Which is similar to the look she might have given me if my head had just morphed from a human face into that of a goose) Of course. It's your certification that this sample was sealed under your watch and that I didn't tamper with it.
Kp: [sorry I asked a question. cripes.] (and yet, unable to help myself) Ah, but how do I know you didn't put something in that second sample container while I was in the restroom? [though I had said this with a smile in my voice and on my face, I knew it was wrong as it came out of my mouth.] I mean, hypothetically speaking.  I'm sure you didn't.
PTOC: If you have a complaint about the procedure I follow, you will have to take that up with my supervisor. You signed the sticker. Do you want to submit this sample or not?
Kp: [I feel like I'm supposed to salute you or go sit in the corner with my tail between my legs.  If I had a tail.] Yeah, yeah, sorry, it was just a joke.
PTOC: Okay. Then get your purse.  You're done. Have a nice day.  (Spoken as if she is Ben Stein's long-lost daughter, with the same "God, you're stupid, goose-face" look referenced above.)

Keep in mind I was standing in the middle of their office, and as Miss Monotone-take-no-prisoners, RN hadn't given me any kind of clues, I was really kind of offended that she assumed I was just supposed to infer my cue to exit, stage left.  But then, let's be honest - I was kind of offended with our whole exchange.  I get professionalism, but is it so horrible for me to speak to her and be spoken to in a conversational exchange that acknowledges some mutual level of respect for each other?

Maybe she just assumes everyone that goes through her office is court-ordered, tweaked out, and trying to trip up her game.  I don't know, I'd like to give her the benefit of the doubt.  But I also know I kind of felt like I would have liked to flip her the bird as I left.  Which I might have done.  Once I got to the parking lot.

Or maybe it's just me.  I seem to have a poor history with medical professionals (she was wearing scrubs so I'll count her too), in that I try to make myself feel less awkward by cracking a joke.  Jokes which never seem to do anything but make the situation more awkward for me.  And yet I can't stop.  Other great examples:

  • Got a shot at a clinic in college.  I was in the middle of making a joke about how I don't like needles and tend to pass out when I get stuck... and then I woke up on a cot.  Maybe it wasn't the joke that time which was awkward so much as it was my voice getting progressively slower and drawn out (link NSFW) as I fainted and hit the floor.

  • I took a pee-test so I could be a cashier at Wal-Mart (this was long ago).  The PTOC at the time asked me if I was on any medications that I would like to self-report before the analysis.  I responded "no, except maybe that weed I snorted this morning."  (it should be fairly telling that I thought you snort marijuana up your nose.)  She actually told me to go have a seat and think about the seriousness of the situation so I could answer honestly.  

  • My first appointment with a lady doctor, way back in the day.  The nurse who takes all your information beforehand asked me these questions, in this order:

1.  Are you, or have you been, sexually active?
to which I responded - No.
2.  Are you pregnant?
to which I responded (after a brief pause because had she seriously just asked me if I'm pregnant after I said I've still got a V-card?)- Not unless I'm the second coming of the Virgin Mary, in which case, you know, second coming of Christ and all.  The end is nigh! 
I don't remember her exact response, but I can tell you it involved a stern lecture about not joking around and would I please just answer the question seriously for my medical history.  Whoops.

Are you a medical professional or do you know one?  
Is it required in practicing your craft that you shoot down jokes?  
Do medical professionals just not have a sense of humor?
Do you have an awkward doctor or nurse interaction?  
Is there a more acceptable way to make myself feel less awkward about someone handling a cup of my pee, or poking me with a big scary needle, or looking at my lady bits, without feeling like I have a goose face?  
Please tell me in the comments - It would appear I need to know.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Khaki Safari

A quick post today, because the Mister has the day off, and I don't want to waste that sitting in front of a computer.  Let's go ahead and talk about pants for a second.

Yesterday I had a mission, and that mission was to find a pair of khakis.

Did you know how hard this is?  Because it is ridiculous.  Expert Level shopping, right there.
I am not a shopper really.  Clothes have always been another one of those things for which I grudgingly make a list and then go to the store, seek out only that thing, and then get out and get on with my life.  There have admittedly been days where I've wandered a mall just to wander (Christmas shopping is more fun that way), but yesterday was not that day.

I needed only a pair of khakis, and I figured, there being some forty plus stores that sell women's clothing, khakis would be a rather "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" sort of trip.

Three hours later (I'm not even kidding), and I had reached the following conclusions:

1.  The fashion world has made some over-arching directive that now requires all khakis to fall into two categories.  Neither of these categories are flattering on a normal person.
Artery-constricting Skinny      or      Extra Bra-support MomJean

2.  I hate everything and everyone and and their stupid tan pants.

In the end, the juniors department of Kohl's came to my rescue.  Which is almost insulting, because Kohl's is not part of the mall.  I spent three hours trying to navigate holiday mall shoppers (and I had to tell that girl giving out samples at Auntie Anne's Pretzels "no thanks" TWICE!  How's that for will-power?!), and the store that actually had something I was looking for was literally a three minute walk from our house.  I did get a super fetch watch too though, so we'll pretend it was all worth it.

Do you like clothes shopping?  
Is there something you thought would be a super short trip that turned into a mini-nightmare?
Aren't those stupid pretzels so hard to resist?  I think they're laced with something.

Have a great weekend y'all!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: The Devil in the Details

Wedding Wednesday!  Are you ready?

The title of this post is misleading.  Details, yes, I'd like to talk about what little things we put together that made our wedding special but don't quite warrant their own post.  Nothing too devilish though.  Well, maybe the open bar*.  That brought out some demons for sure.  But the good kind. :)

First things first - we got our wedding photos.  I'm not about to post them all on the blog, because I'm just not that person (I'm actually in the process of wheedling down a selection of 40 or less for a facebook album so as to not bore our friends to death).  That said, I had to post this one, because there is a silly story with it.

This is the groom and his party.  In the middle there is the Mister.  You may note he is doing some butt grabbing.
At our final meeting with the photographer to get our pictures, I saw this picture in the proofs and immediately started laughing.  And our photographer followed up with this HUGE sigh of relief.
"Oh, I'm so glad you have that kind of relationship with your husband.  I was so worried when I took this that it was going to be a thing."

To which I kind of wanted to respond "Really?  'Cause you spent an entire day following us around, you couldn't have gleaned that we have a sense of humor during that time?"  But I held my tongue, because I get that for some couples this is a touchy thing ('touchy,' see what I did there?).  

I'ma go on a tangent for a second here:
When we were in Mexico, we routinely had friends who would be flabbergasted when I would point a pretty girl out to the Mister.  Or now, when we take Mexican guests who are up in Michigan for training out to dinner (because they ALWAYS want to go to Hooters.) and I go with and have a genuine smile on my face the whole time, and jaws hit the floor.  I'm not trying to say that Mexican women are all wildly jealous women, but I am saying it's not the norm for a Mexican woman to want to have anything to do with other women and how other females interact with "their men."  I believe because of this, that I sometimes come across as a novelty to this group of friends.  I am routinely asked "You do not mind that he goes to this restaurant?  You do not mind that he looks at pretty girls?"  
No.  No more than I mind if he were to look at a beautiful painting that I didn't paint, or than he would mind if I point out Edward Norton in a movie.  
he is the only reason to watch The Incredible Hulk.

Pretty girls exist, and quite frankly after spending as much time in a studio drawing naked ladies as a college art student would tend to do, I can appreciate that pretty girl too.  I notice proportions, and since I know he does too, I kind of like being able to nudge him and say - "wow, lookit that girls' legs!  They're so strong."  Or "What a pretty face that girl has."  Because, and here's the important bit: at the end of the day, he's still coming home and hanging out with ME.  He has a brain, he is not some wild man-beast controlled by lust and instinct (and even if he was, he seems to find me attractive).  Trust, y'all.  

On top of all of that, clearly I know the groomschick.  We're friends.  Come ON.  Being jealous of that butt grab would be a little over the top, wouldn't it?  Admit it, you laughed too.

Okay so we finish our meeting, we leave with the pictures, and once we get home I'm going through them again... for the thousandth time (as I'm sure anyone who just got their wedding pictures does).  I came by this picture again, and I laughed, and showed the Mister, and explained what the photographer had said, and the whole time he's just got this weird look on his face.  So I ask him what's up and he goes:
I was the only one who grabbed butts?  I told them all to grab butts!  I saw it in someone else's wedding photos and it was a good laugh!  I thought it would be funny!  Now I just look weird!  Look, I grabbed C's butt too!
I totally hadn't noticed until he said it that he grabbed C's butt too.  Ha.  Love it.  I might have to frame it.

On the note of frames, here's how the tables all looked.  The framed doodles turned out really nice, and I think our guests got a kick out of reading them all.  Plus, since the Mister ended up being shut up in the banquet room for a while (so he couldn't see me while we ran around for pictures), he took the time to put specific comics on tables for specific guests.  My favorite is still our Sweetheart table (above).  It was all the mushiest of the notes.  (you can click to see a bigger version where the notes are readable)

Here's another guest table.  You see that little red card in the middle there?  Those were for the Vegetarians, so catering knew a special plate needed to go to that seat.  In my last few weeks of planning, I needed to give my stressed-to-the-hilt self a laugh, so I cut little V's out of each card, and smiled, knowing that our vegetarian guests would then have to hand over their V card to get dinner.  This is maybe telling of how out of my mind I was that I laughed so hard at that.  But I did.  

Skteches carried out to the entry-way where we had our guest book. A guest book which was more simply a blank sketchbook next to a slew of crayons, markers, and for inspiration, the original sketches from the comic I drew about the Mister proposing to me.  I love how many of our guests took the time to make us little stick figures.  As you can see, we also got some adorable kiddie additions.

If I can toot my own horn for a tick, I think one thing we did fairly well was provide a lot for our guests to DO.  Some of this was not totally intentional (we had some guests who spent their time reading every single comic at all the tables), but some certainly were.  I wanted to make sure that people wanted to dance.  And that ladies sporting fabulous shoes didn't feel deterred from dancing because of bunions or something.  So we offered dancing shoes.  I can't say that having those flip flops out solved world peace or anything, but I think, even if a guest did not take a pair, that they understood it as a very strong invitation to cut a rug on the dance floor.  Again, I believe the open bar maybe helped there too.

Speaking of cutting a rug, I think I've mentioned before that our first song was "Contigo Aprendí."  Which I loved SO HARD.  If you want to know why we picked it, scroll to the bottom of this post right HERE for the video.  It was personal, and I believe even more so because there were maybe five people in the entire room that understood the love message in the lyrics.  Though I didn't anticipate quite so many people asking us what the lyrics were in English afterward, so I guess using a song in another language is a "make it your own" detail that's use at your own risk. :)

I'm not about to say I don't like cake.  But I am about to say I prefer ice cream over cake any day.  The Mister is the same.  So we had an ice cream cart.  With ice cream sandwiches and goody bars and orange creamcicles and it was awesome and a few of our relatives now have very well stocked freezers because we had left-overs. :)

And of course we had a photobooth.  I can't recommend them enough!  We got a copy of all the pictures people took.  They are hilarious and touching - like a second wedding album.  We even took some of our own candids (see above).  Really, if you have a wedding to plan, I can't suggest looking into a photobooth enough - ours came packaged with our DJ and was pretty reasonable.  And it gave our less dance-inclined guests something to entertain.

plus the booth had props, which ended up caming in handy when the DJ played 
"Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy."    

 What did you do to make your reception YOURS?  
Or what WILL you do to make your reception yours?
What have you seen at a wedding that was unique and cool?
Did you have any hilarious wedding photos?
Tell me in the comments!

*I know that an open bar isn't a typical thing everywhere, but living in the midwest it's rather a staple of weddings.  The mister and I never even discussed it - it was just assumed that of course there would be an open bar, and we made it a wedding budget priority.  Did you have an open bar?  Why or why not?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Back that thang up, Mister.

The Mister and I have plenty of examples of that whole opposites attract idiom of yore.  This weekend is yet another example.

I know from past experience working at the college that I am great in a crisis.  Except, apparently, when that crisis directly affects me.  At which point I become next to useless and the Mister steps up his game like WOAH.

Wait, let's back that up a bit.  Friday.  Friday we were heading out to Detroit for a surprise birthday party.

Wait, let's back that up too.  Thursday we eagerly welcomed R into the states.  You might remember R as that guy who welcomed us to Mexico and helped us assimilate into the culture back in the day.  Well, he's got a new position here in Michigan, and we're pumped to return the favor as he gets used to the USA.  So we invited him to join us at the party.

Wait.  Wait.  Let's back up just one more time.  Since Dora just had a bunch of work done following THIS incident, we decided she would be the ideal, "peak-condition vehicle" to make the drive.  And because then we could fit Mac in the car too, the puppy could have a play date with the Mister's parent's dogs while we celebrated at the bar.  Everybody wins.

Wait, okay just one more.  As we had a weekend FULL of stuff to do, the Mister had promised us that we would go to the party and return in the same night, so we wouldn't be all rushed in the morning driving back across the state for the next round of events.

I'm not good at plots and emotional build up.  You already see where this is going.

The drive from home to Detroit is about two hours.  About an hour and a half in, just past dusk, Dora's dashboard lights start to fade.

A few minutes later, the check-battery light starts dinging.

We had about 60 seconds at that point to say "We'll probably make it all the way to the party.  We'll go in the for surprise and then we'll figure it out." before, in the middle of the dark interstate,  the headlights went ka-putzsky.

So the Mister, being awesome, managed to pull off the interstate, get us to a gas station, and figure out where we were to call a tow-truck, while explaining that he had already diagnosed the problem as a jank alternator.  My contribution to this response?

seizure warning.

Wandering up and down the tiny aisles, looking at all the stuff in the gas station's convenience store and trying not to panic that we were stranded, and our whole schedule was knocked off kilter, and we wouldn't be able to get home tonight, and I didn't have an extra pair of clean underwear or extra dog food for Mac's breakfast, and how much was this going to cost to fix, and we didn't have a ride to get anywhere familiar, and oh my god the world is falling apart around me.  Let's be real, I probably would have benefitted from a paper bag at this point.

The tow truck could only take one person.  So the Mister used his mad networking skills and called a friend who was in the area and agreed out of the kindness of his awesome heart to pick up the Mister and R, and bring them to the Mister's parent's house.  And THEN he managed to convince the tow truck guy to allow Mac to ride in the cab with me, so I would feel more comfortable going off into the night by myself with a total stranger.

By the time all this transpired, the party had ended.  But thanks to the Mister, he, R, Mac and I had made it safely to the in-law's house for the night.  Dora was at a mechanic, and in the morning we could go and get her fixed.

The Mister got up bright and early and borrowed his brother's car to talk to the mechanic and approve the work needed on Dora.  He brought us to the optometrist in the mall so I could get a sample pack of contacts so I could see (I wear dailies and the ones I had worn out to the party had long since expired.)  And then he got everyone breakfast and drove us all home in time to go to the cookie party that I had made 7 dozen gingerbread mustaches for.  And THEN - because I had slept next to zero minutes the night before* - then he took a nap with me.

The Mister never takes naps.  That, he did just for me.  Talk about icing on the cake.  Naps are my favorite.

So we survived the weekend and for the thousandth time the Mister was able to be my own personal knight in shining armor.  I am legitimately debating making him a set of costume armor for these situations.  Or a cape.  Maybe both.

Where does your significant other become your hero/ heroine? 
Do you have a specific example?  Share in the comments!

As long as I'm in bragging mode, other things the Mister routinely saves me from:  Any and all computer problems, being a social hermit, being an un-caffinated hose-beast, calling contractors, plumbers, or other people who would ask specific technical questions about why we need them at the house that I sincerely would have no idea how to answer, and of course, Spiders. Horrible, horrible, nasty, gross spiders.

*Ask me why I didn't sleep so well.  Go on, ask.  Yeah, maybe a little bit was because I was super keyed-up from thinking we were going to die in horrible ways multiple times throughout the evening.  But mostly it was because I have gotten to the point where I am too much of a weenie to be able to sleep without an eye-mask blacking out all the light (just like pooh-bear in that gif up there).  I legitimately tried to sleep with a sock on my face.  Yes.  Yes that happened.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Bullet Points of Joy [to the world]

I can't quite think of how to make my thoughts sound cohesive today, but they're all kind of Holiday themed and seem to fit together, so let's just try bullet points of joy, shall we?  Yes.  Let's shall.

  • I just ordered our Christmas [post]cards yesterday.  I designed them and they're super cheesy and mushy and for some reason I'm super excited about them.  So much so that I would like to put the same offer out there that another fave blogger of mine has:  Send me an e-mail at with your name and address [before December 12!], and I will totes send you one, even if in real life you are a total stranger. Spread the holiday cheer!

  • Do you celebrate St. Nick's day in your house?  I always did growing up.  Mostly it involved getting a small gift, but there's a lot more to the tradition and it gets really interesting the further back in the history of it that you go.  Particularly the Krampus part.  I can't not be fascinated by it.  

knitting knitting knitting knitting knitting...

The actual day was yesterday:  This year I hooked the Mister up with some freshly dry-cleaned winter coats, and a scarf that I managed to knit in less than a week.  Not a super expensive gift by any means, but he appreciated it.  I'm pretty proud of those mad knitting skillz yo (it's over 6ft long!).  Once he gets home I'll take a picture of it and post it here because I didn't think to do that before he left this morning and now I have no way to show it off, boo.

Do you observe/celebrate an extraneous holiday tradition?  
Share with me in the comments!

  • Elf was on TV last night.  I almost hate Elf, because for the longest time it was so easy to say "My favorite Christmas movie is CLEARLY 'A Christmas Story.'"  And now I can't help but see Will Ferrell dressed in that ridiculous elf suit and tights and I just start spouting off stupid quotes completely out of context... 

SANTA!  OH MY GOD!  I KNOW HIM!Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?You sit on a throne of LIES.I'm just a cotton-headed ninny-muggins.Good lord, whoever wrote that script, they make my heart happy.  And they confuse the Mister at my random outbursts.  Ha.
What's your favorite Holiday movie?  
And what's your favorite scene/ quote from it?

  • We were invited to a cookie exchange party.  I can't even explain how excited I am for it.  Because even if my cookies taste horrible (and I promise they don't 'cause I've eaten far more of them than was ever a good idea), I know they will be super popular.  Why?

GINGERBREAD MUSTACHES, YO.  That set of cookie-cutters is pretty high up on the "AWESOME stuff we snagged from our wedding registry" list.  (gingerbread recipe is HERE.  It's picky with refrigerating and baking back and forth, but they turn out a quality cookie-cutter kind of cookie!)  (icing HERE - I added vanilla, because you can't go to a baking themed party with people who know you just spent a year in Mexico without them expecting some legit Mexican vanilla in whatever you brought)

  • If you don't read the blog Rants from Mommyland, I recommend that you start.  You don't have to be a mom to appreciate the hilarity that stems from the ladies behind it.  But more importantly, each Christmas they set up a program to help mothers who maybe just need a little pick me up this time of year, or maybe they can't afford gifts for their kids and they just don't know how to make their holiday a happy one for the family.  They used to call it "Helping Hookers," (hookers being a term of endearment in their land), but now it is "Give it Up, Mommy-land!"  I explain all this here because they're still looking for people to help out moms across the country/ Canada, and if you want to put a smile on a stranger's face, this is a fun way to do just that.  I got my "hooker's" name over e-mail yesterday and I'm super jazzed to go pick up some nice things for her.  The explanation for that exchange is HERE if you're interested.

  • Is there anything weird on your Christmas list?  The Mister and I don't really have lists, since we just got through being showered with fabulous wedding gifts.  Truly there isn't anything else we could want for (or fit in the house!).  But I recently stumbled upon this game called Cards Against Humanity online the other day and I am so oddly intrigued.  And they have a holiday edition!  It's like apples to apples, but horribly inappropriate.  Also horribly inappropriate?  The Sexy Abraham Lincoln Apples to Apples commercial.  But that doesn't stop me from getting the song stuck in my head.

Do you do board games?  Any good, quirky recommendations?

Hope it's a great Friday y'all - have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Ceremony and Family Crests

Today on Wedding Wednesday, let's talk ceremony.  Hopefully this is less touchy of a subject than I predict.

The Mister and I are, in fact, both confirmed Catholics.  Our ceremony, however, was non-denominational.

Why?  Because if someone were to ask either of us when the last time was we were in a church, we would have to think hard.  It's been years.  The point is, we're not practicing Catholics, and I had some sincere issues with faking that close relationship with any particular dogma on such an important day.  When I was younger, I was a strongly practicing Catholic, and I know my past me would be offended at that kind of faux-religious display.

Catholics, if you are not familiar, are brought up in a tradition that places strong importance on ceremony (some are referred to as sacraments), and the symbolism behind the actions therein.  There is a reason for when a congregation at mass sits, kneels, or stands.  For how you hold your hands when you receive holy communion, for when signing the cross, and the order everything goes in.  Growing up Catholic I found a lot of comfort in these meaningful actions, and they helped to drive home the importance of why we gathered.

We both knew not getting married in a church might be a bit of a sticking point for our families, and so when we looked at ceremony options, instead of a straight-forward non-denominational ceremony (which would have lasted maybe 5-10 minutes), we decided to insert a bit of pomp and circumstance of our own.

Please note this does not mean we're atheists (not that being an atheist is wrong, I just want to be clear that for us, there is a difference between believing in a higher power and adhering to a specific dogma).

Our officiant offered us a few alternatives to look at.  Some were decidedly a little outside our comfort zone (jumping the broom seemed a bit off for our anglo-saxon-selves.), but there was one which stood out as such a good fit for us that it was easily one of the most straight forward and simple decisions we agreed upon for the whole celebration:  The Wine Box Ceremony.

There are are a few variations on this tradition that I've seen online, but let me tell you how ours went:  Prior to the big day, both the Mister and I took some time to ourselves and wrote letters to the other.  These letters talk about how we feel about each other, our aspirations for the future together, and why we choose to marry each other.  Even if the wine box ceremony isn't something you would do for your day of, I can't tell you how much this simple activity of writing out a letter to the Mister really helped me get my head around how special he is, how much I truly love the ever living snot out of him, and how important his presence in my life is.  It was really affirming for me.  Letter-writing:  I recommend it.

Those letters were sealed in envelopes.  Which were then sealed in a box along with a bottle of wine.  Some people nail these boxes shut.  We chose instead to lock our box, and give the keys for that lock to our Maid of Honor and Best Man for safe-keeping.

The box is to be kept in a safe place in our home (it's in our bedroom so we can see it everyday), and we open it to read our respective letters and drink the wine in one of two scenarios:

  1. We reach a point in our marriage where it's either open that box or call it off.
  2. We reach our 50th wedding anniversary.

Our officiant actually had a small snafu in his script and said that we would open the box on our fifth anniversary.  I think both of us felt aiming for only year five was really quite a "woah!  dream big!" type of fail.  After the ceremony the Mister started one of my favorite conversations from the day:

The Mister:  He said five instead of fifty.  FIVE?!  We can't open that box at year five!  We won't have even reached the seven year itch!
KpMcD:  I know, right!?  I told him fifty, he must have missed the zero-key when he typed it into his script!
One of the Mister's brothers:  You know what?  I'm pretty sure it'll be okay and you can still wait until year fifty.  Your officiant's not going to show up on your fifth anniversary and hold you both at gun-point shouting "OPEN THE BOX! OPEN IT!"
Hmm.  maybe it was funnier if you were there.

Long story short, seeing as we're madly in love, we're obviously aiming for year fifty as opposed to a end all be all fight, or piddly little year five.  The Mister's awesome networking skills paid off here when he contacted a wine-maker friend of his from a local winery, who hooked us up with a low-sugar wine that should in theory still be drinkable at fifty years out.  And then she did him a super solid and put his (now our) family crest on that bottle.

There is something very important to The Mister and his family about the McDermott crest.  As Swedes don't typically have crests, my Peterson upbringing didn't really give me a comparable experience.  So while I can say it's fun to have such an identifying and unifying symbol, I can't pretend to truly get it.  However as an artist, I can put that crest on any and every, thing my hands touch*.

A few hours of hand painting, and the McDermott family crest adorns our wine box.  The Mister squealed with joy when he first saw it.  I couldn't think of a more appropriate label.  Because that box and what it stands for means we're a family now.

What was special about your Wedding Ceremony?
Do you hold a strong faith in a particular religion?  
How would you have felt about our non-demoninational decision? (I really want to know)
Have you seen this wine box thing done at a ceremony? 
Or have you seen another unconventional tradition we 
wouldn't normally see in a 'movie' wedding?
Do you have a family crest?
Tell me in the Comments!

*That crest maybe showed up in a few more spots at the wedding.  Which was the Mister's favorite?

Monday, December 03, 2012


I have no fun drawings for you today.  Here is why.

The Mister has owned this house for a while now.  Long before he met me.  And the house itself existed long before that.

Naturally, stuff happens every once in a while.  Stuff we are simply not equipped to deal with, not without the help of professionals.  Professionals with confidence to tackle your house's problems calmly and rationally.  That just comes with being home-owners.  I get that.  They are experts in your house's problems.  I am an expert in writing pithy blog posts with poor grammar.  They're more than welcome to fix that miscellaneous thing over me.

Thus, when you're calmly waiting on a professional to finish whatever job you've asked them to help with and you hear some curse-word or exclamation, that's a reasonable time to, you know, panic a bit.

I've been "lucky" enough to have heard this happen twice in my time living in this house.

The first time was when we re-did the upstairs bathroom.  The day came for them to install the sink, and when the plumber turned the water back on, the pipes burst.  The best part is that the pipes had apparently been leaking right at that spot for years anyway, and that resulted in the water-logged basement ceiling to cave in with a wave of stale water.  As this tidal wave hit our basement carpeting, he dropped a long string of very loud F-bombs, and I can't say it wasn't sort of appropriate to the situation.

The bill for repairing the pipes and the ceiling was a nice add-on as well.  We may have said our own string of curses.

Last week Friday the pipes in our kitchen sink clogged up something fierce.  These pipes have long been good at clogging, so please don't get too squicked out that we have a dedicated plunger for the kitchen sink.  Thus, Friday, sink clogs, Kp gets out the plunger, and about three good plunges in, the pipes beneath the sink burst open and floods the "cleaning products cabinet" with garbage disposal water.  Once we'd cleaned all that up and screwed the pipes back together, we decided not to incur the after-hours charges for a weekend plumber, and waited until this morning to call a professional.

The plumber guy just left.  He was very nice and professional, and he did, in fact, unclog our sink.  It involved using a rather large and intimidating machine to snake out the pipes.  And once he snagged and broke up the clog, he reeled the snake back up, catching the gross cloggy water and cloggy chunks in a bucket beneath the pipe access.

Then I heard it.


Which he shouted because he had knocked the completely full to the brim bucket over.  Inside the cabinet beneath the sink.

So I have no fun drawings for you today folks, because on top of washing the weekend worth of dishes (that are now kind of disgusting with caked on food dry grossness), I will be scrubbing the rotted grease and food bits out of the kitchen cabinetry so that I don't dry-heave at the smell of the room in which we prepare our food.  Though that mess is certainly an incredible sight, I will not be posting a picture of that.  Believe me:  You're. Welcome.

I believe the trend here is that plumbers are not my lucky charm.

Have you ever had a professional scream obscenities at a horrible thing 
that they inadvertently did in/ to your home?  
Or just a horrible contractor / home repair story?  
I'd like some company in my misery people.  
Hit me up in the comments.

Friday, November 30, 2012

How To Make Holiday Word-Art Decor, an Audience Participation Friday

It's officially past Thanksgiving, and tomorrow it'll be December, so I finally feel comfortable showing off our home's holiday decor here.  Our halls have actually been decked for the better part of three weeks now, because it was a good break for me in-between writing enough wedding thank you notes to give myself carpal tunnel.

If you'll allow me to show off for just a second...

Our front door wreath, Christmas-ified.

Our guest bathroom and living room.
I really like how the NOEL wreath arrangement turned out.  Thank you pinterest.
I feel like even if we had a real fireplace mantel, for our house the bookshelf is a much more appropriate place for such mirth as Christmas stockings.  (AND MISTLETOE).

Our dining room table with tree

The tree itself.  Every year I become more and more acutely aware of my obsession with red, gold, GLITTER, and jinglebells.  Click on that upclose shot to see it bigger.  There are only 2 ornaments in that entire shot that do not feature a bell or glitter.  Can you spot them?  It's almost sick.  
And of course, Mr. Mac, who is sporting his jinglebell Christmas Collar.  
He will turn 4 years old next week.  We're very excited for him.
(Bubba has some mistletoe on his collar, but he was not about to let me take a picture of him this morning)

Today I'd like to do a mash up of two regular features here at KpQuePasa:  A tutorial and an Audience Participation Friday.

I have a real love for word art.  Using multiple typefaces, sizes, shapes, skews to make a quote or phrase look all the more interesting for display.  Said displays are becoming more and more trendy lately, and I wanted to join in on the fun.  SO.  Immediately below here I'm going to post my tutorial for how to make a wooden word art plaque for your home using stuff you likely have lying around (if you craft or have kids).

IF YOU SCROLL DOWN TO THE PICTURE OF THE GRINCH, you will find the rules for today's audience participation:  Have a KpQuePasa designed word art quote of your very own to use for this project!

*I will be the first to admit this is an intermediate-level project.

First off, here's what you're gonna need:
  • Plaque or appropriate sized, light colored piece of wood (not pictured).
If it's not a plaque you got from a craft store, you're also going to need a hook for the back.
  • A nail (to hang it up!)
  • Hammer
  • Masking tape
  • Dark- color stain pen (I used "Dark Walnut," but whatever you have around in your junk drawer for fixing dinged furniture will be fine).
  • White chalk
  • Clear coat spray paint
  • A pens
  • A regular pencil and a mechanical pencil
  • Spray paint
  • A printer and a sheet of paper (not pictured)
  • Sandpaper
  • Acrylic paint in the color you would like the letters (I used white)
  • ACRYLIC paint in the color you would like the background (I used "Christmas Green")
  • ACRYLIC paint in a brown similar to the color of your stain
  • Scissors
  • Paper toweling
  • Water
  • A paper plate/ something to mix paint on
  • Patience.

Got all that?  Awesome.  Let's begin.

1.  Use your regular pencil to lightly draw a background pattern on your plaque.  Because of the nature of the quote I used (from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas), I thought these funky snowflakes were appropriately Seuss-ish.  But you could also draw swirlies, lines, dots, stars, whatever strikes your fancy.  Keep in mind your stain pen has a larger drawing diameter than your pencil.  Do NOT use a mechanical pencil for this step - if the wood is soft and you press hard you will dent your wood.  Don't get all nuts about making it perfect.  You barely see this in the finished product.

2.  Go back over those pencil lines with your stain pen.  

3.  Use your sandpaper to sand that stain (and residual pencil lines) almost completely back off the plaque. Because distressed looks are, like, so totally in right now.

4.  [optional] run your vacuum because you wanted to craft in the living room so you could watch TV at the same time and all that sanding made a mess.  Move from sitting on the couch to the floor because the next step involves paint and you don't wanna ruin the upholstery.
5. While your horribly neglected (ha) dog looks on from his spot on the couch, get your two ACRYLIC background colors (brown + whatever.  I could see any of your basic ROY G BIV colors working well here, pastels, not so much), a paper plate, some paper toweling, and a cup of water out.

6.  Mix your background colors (using your pencil because you didn't think about bringing a mixing tool into the living room and the pencil was still right there) until you have a "rustic" hue.  You will not need a lot of paint.  If you squirt more than a quarter-size bit of paint onto your plate you're just wasting stuff.  Promise.

7.  Pour some of that water onto the plate.  Water your paint down until it is the same consistency as skim milk.  If you have not used acrylic paint for this step it won't be water-soluble and you've ruined everything.  This is why we can't have nice things.

8.  Dip your paper toweling in that mixture and then rub it over your plaque.  Realize it's 3PM as you make this tutorial and you are still in your PJs.  Contemplate your life choices.  Decide that's pretty awesome.

9.  You are essentially staining your wood with color.  Don't slop a lot on at once.  The color builds slowly.  You're going to have to do multiple coats, but since you're doing thin layers they dry quickly.  (above: the green after two coats, and the green after 4 coats)

10.  [optional] mix ONE more drop of brown paint into your remaining paint/water combo and go around the edges like described above to "age" it a bit.  LET IT DRY for at least a few hours.

11.  Print off your word art (see APF below for personalized options). 
12.  [optional, though I promise you'd never select this option on purpose] Change all your clothes because your kitchen sink decided to EXPLODE dirty garbage disposal water on you while you were just trying to cook dinner.  Have your awesome husband come home to a horrific mess and not even bat an eye but simply roll up his sleeves and try to help.  Count your blessings.

13.  Flip your printed words over.  Rub your chalk ALL OVER that thing.
(note:  Because of the length of this quote, I ended up doing it in sections and cut my paper into pieces.)
14.  Tape your paper into the spot you want it on the plaque, and then trace all the words with your pen.  Press decently hard.  When you lift the paper, the outline of the words will be visible.  (this picture is not as clear as it was in real life, promise).  Around this point your husband will finally notice that you are taking pictures as you do this and also that his legs are in the picture.  Tell him it's okay, he's on his way to internet viral stardom for his super glamorous feet.

15.  Get way more excited than you should be about your white paint.  Fill in your letters using your paintbrush.
PRO TIP:  I used the back-end of the paintbrush like a pen here instead of the bristle end.  It works a bit like a nib pen and you have more close-up control over where the paint goes.  For thinner lines I used the tip of a mechanical pencil dipped in paint)

 16.  [likely] Get horribly frustrated that it is taking longer than you imagined because you decided to use a quote with like a THOUSAND (or 73) words.  Keep going.  There will be a point where you think it looks horrible but I promise it turns out pretty rad in the end.

17.  [not pictured]  After you let that dry overnight, use a wetted paper towel to wipe away the residual chalk dust.  This is where you realize it actually looks good enough to post on the internet and you haven't just wasted all that time for naught.

18.  [also not pictured.  I was lazy this morning, so sue me.]  Spray a quick coat of clear spray paint on top to seal all that in, and hang it on your wall!


As mentioned above, I heart word art.  But I need practice at making the stuff.  Thus, if you would like to make the project above, or if you just want some fun holiday words to put on Christmas cards, print out and hang on the office bulletin board, whatever, I'm here for YOU.

Ready for the rules?
  1. Pick out your favorite holiday-themed phrase, quote or word (under 75 words).  the mister and I celebrate Christmas, and since we'd started dating he's had quite a turn of heart on his thoughts toward decking the halls and being generally merry, so the Grinch who Stole Christmas seemed so super fitting for our home.  Perhaps you have a similar phrase that fits your family.  It does not have to be a Christmas phrase - whatever you celebrate, yo.
  2. Post your phrase in the comments.  Please note if you use another language - I need to know if there are umlauts or accents and where they go.  I'd also, just for curiosity sake, like to know what it means in English.
  3. I'll read the comment, and create masterful pieces of word art that fits on a, 8.5x11 piece of paper.
  4. You return to this post later and I will have added a jpeg of your word art which links to a file for you to download, print, and use that art for whatever holiday festivities you like.
  5. SPREAD YOUR CHEER.  Send me a picture of how you used the art!
  6. You have until Saturday at midnight eastern time time to make the above 7 steps happen.
*Example of aforementioned Masterful pieces of art created by moi:

Click to download .pdf.

What're you waitin' for?  Get to it!


Holly, I know it's not really holiday-ish, but you seemed to need a pick-me up.  
I couldn't resist.