Archive for June, 2010

Road Trip to KC

Around lunch time on Friday, the hubs said, “Let’s go on an adventure! After work, let’s just hop in the car and go somewhere.” We whipped out our iPhones and started plotting places we could go: Chicago, Memphis, Kansas City, Indianapolis… We even checked last-minute flight deals – just in case there was something really great like a last-minute deal for Vegas. No such luck there, but I did discover that the Cardinals were playing the Royals in Kansas City on Saturday. KC is only about 4 hours away and the hubs had never been, so it was decided. We were going to leave after work and go to KC for a night. (I had to be back by 2pm on Sunday for my friend Jen’s baby shower.)

Despite a late start (6:30 pm) and a few traffic delays (Hwy 70 construction), we arrived shortly after 11pm Friday night. We checked into the downtown Marriott (coincidentally, the same hotel I stayed in 6 years ago for work, and didn’t realize I had booked the exact same hotel until we arrived.) Even though there were only about three hotels in all of KC with availability, I was lucky enough to book one near the new Power and Lights district. Though we felt a little old and out-of-place (I was wearing my work clothes and hubs kept saying I looked like a school teacher with my cardigan and skirt), it was definitely the place to be on a weekend night. We checked out the Maker’s Mark bar, an Irish pub, a dueling-piano bar, and a pizza bar that serves pizza right up until 3am. (Sidenote: the pizza was horrible, but I guess if you’re drunk, you don’t notice it. I was not drunk, so I noticed.)

We turned in around 2:30am or so, which meant a very late start Saturday morning. We checked out around noon, and made our way to the Westport Plaza area for some KC BBQ. We went to Fiorella’s Jack Stack BBQ  (rated #1 BBQ in the country by Zagat’s) and OMG was it delicious. I had the pulled pork sandwich, but hubs had the Jack’s Best sampler platter with ribs, burnt ends (which tastes better than it sounds), and prime rib. So good! With stuffed bellies, we went to the game, marking yet another stadium off our list. Our seats were WAY up at the very top, but we never made it there. Instead, we walked around the entire stadium, checking out the fountains, eating ice cream out of little souvenir helmets, and just generally sweltering in the intense heat. The Cards won (Go Cards!) but I think more attention was paid to some of the flat screen TVs throughout the stadium showing the World Cup USA vs Ghana game. We’d be standing there, watching the baseball game, when behind us we’d hear a group of people chanting, “USA! USA! USA!” When USA scored, the place erupted! It was pretty cool. So we bounced back and forth between watching the Cards/Royals game and the World Cup. Once the Cards game was over, the stadium broadcast the last few minutes of the World Cup game on the jumbotron. That’s one way to wait out the traffic!

Apologies for the phone pic. Haven’t had time to get the “good” pics off the camera yet.

On our way home, we stopped in Columbia, MO (home of Mizzou) and had my first experience with the locally famous Shakespeare’s Pizza. Then it was another 1.5 hours back home. Phew! Adventures are tiring, but completely worth it.

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I used to hate Sundays. Sunday was just the day before Monday. The day before I had to go back to school, or worse, go back to work. Everything closes early on Sundays. You can’t go to Denny’s or IHOP for a leisurely brunch because the after-church crowd means a 45 minute wait. (Speaking of church, there was also the year that my parents had to literally force me to go to church every week. I really hated Sundays that year.) Don’t get me wrong; I’d still choose a bad Sunday over a good Monday, but there was just something sort of “blah” about Sundays.

Do you know what my problem was? What took me nearly two decades to figure out? I was bored. I didn’t like Sundays because no one ever did anything on Sundays. There was nothing to do. Nothing to look forward to but the start of the work/school week.

And you know what? There’s still nothing to do. But I now look forward to Sundays because we have our own little routine and it goes something like this:

Noon: wake up

Noon-thirty: shower and rustle up some grub

1-4: putz around the house, watch a movie, or drop $100 at Target

4-6:30: visit grandparents

7: Trader Joe’s! (TJ’s is the only grocery store I can convince my husband to accompany me to. I think it’s because I let him choose a new bottle or two of wine at the end of each trip.)

7:30: Pick up take-out from Pei Wei

8-10: Dinner and a movie; laundry

10:30: Leave folded laundry in piles all over the living room and go to bed.

Sundays might be my new favorite day. Variety may be the spice of life, but it’s life’s little routines like these that keep me going and give me comfort, like a warm cup of coffee.

What do you do on Sundays?

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  • The crowd gets younger and younger every year. I think I saw some girls wearing onesies! (Edited to add: I’m told these are “rompers”, but they look like onesies. And they’re not flattering on anyone weighing more than 120 lbs.)
  • The younger crowd does have its benefits though. It’s easier to spot the undercover cops (decently dressed 50-year-old men) in the parking lot, busting people for underage drinking and open containers.
  • Although the lawn seats are an experience, the real seats are better. Not sure I can ever go back to lawn seats now.
  • No matter where you sit though, there will always be that older, fat-headed guy throwing his arms up like a Southern Baptist in the middle of a prayer. Hallelujah!
  • White men can’t jump. Nor can they dance.
  • Cell phones are the new lighters.
  • It doesn’t make much sense to spend 15 minutes agonizing over the price of a concert t-shirt when you’ll spend twice that much in beer.
  • There’s nothing like the smell of a concert: kettle corn, hot dogs, weed, and really bad B.O.
  • Few things amuse me more than watching grown men play air guitar – and be completely serious about it.
  • It doesn’t matter how loud you yell. Sometimes the band just won’t play your favorite song. Or Freebird.
  • Concert traffic is the worst. The key is to try to park near the exit, leave early or just sit around and wait it out. But don’t think you’re ever going to get home before midnight without missing about half of the show. Or growing some wings and flying.

Been to a summer concert yet this year? What was your favorite observation?

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Do you see this face?

It is one of a murderous beast. Last night, just before bed, I let the dog out as per our usual nightly routine. When I went to let him in, however, he brought with him a gift! For me! I opened the screen door and as he passed me, I heard something that sounded like bone against teeth. (That’s the only way to describe it. I’m sorry.) I looked down, just as dropped something round and fuzzy on the cold, tile floor. This something had eyes, and they were looking directly at me. It also had ears. Long rabbit ears, but noticeably missing was the rest of the body. It was just a head, mangled around the neck but otherwise in perfect condition. I stood there, shocked, as I’ve never seen this dog dismember anything other than stuffed animals. Then I remembered that I should scold him. So I yelled, “NO! Bad dog!”  He seemed unphased, and decided to go lay down in the other room. Hmm…okay. Now what? I looked at the head again, laying right  in the middle of the hallway, staring at me with cold, dead eyes filled with terror. I decided to run upstairs, and wait for my husband to get out of the shower so he could deal with it. Except the head was laying right in my path. I considered going out the back door, around to the front of the house but the front door was locked. That, and I was topless. (Although I should point out that had the door been unlocked, I would have done it. Modesty be damned.) I had no choice. I had to cross paths with the head. I took one more look so I could calculate my steps and then put my hand in front of my face to block the image as I went past it. Once on the other side, I did one of those wiggly “ew, get it off of me” dance moves for good measure. Once out of the shower, my husband disposed of the head. He’s a good man. I hadn’t thought of it before, but I’m now adding “disposes of rabbit heads” to the list of “reasons why I got married.” In fact, it just might rank in the top ten.

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A few months ago, back when it was still cold outside, my mom was staying with us for a few days. She told us she heard some movement in the wall of our downstairs bedroom and said that we either had mice or squirrels. That weekend we set some traps in our unfinished basement and sure enough, we caught a mouse. And then another mouse. (We also caught one in the washing machine but that’s another story for another time.) We’ve been living in this house for four years now and never once had we seen evidence of mice before, but they were definitely getting in now. After some poking around in our basement, we noticed that there was a HUGE hole that went from our basement ceiling into the backyard, right where the cable guy had drilled to run new lines into our house. There was no need to drill a hole that big, nor did he bother to seal it up. That was last fall.  So we’ve potentially had mice in our house since last fall. Which means they’ve had PLENTY of time to breed. We sealed the hole up immediately but the damage had been done. We have mice.

After we caught the first three, we just sort of forgot about it and figured we solved the problem. A month or two later, I started noticing little mice poop in the corners of our basement. And then on the storage shelves. It was probably another month before I got sick of asking my husband to buy more traps and I finally did it myself last weekend. Then the other night, I went in the basement to check the traps and I’ll be damned if a mouse didn’t just fall out of the ceiling and run past my trap! While another one stared at me from above the air conditioning vent!  Seriously. It just looked at me. I’m pretty sure they were taunting me. So we set more traps. And either those little buggers are smart and have figured out our traps, or they just don’t like cheese and peanut butter. Either way, it’s stressing me out because each day that passes, I just imagine more and more mice babies being born. And then I imagine them venturing up the basement stairs into the rest of the house. A house that I’m not very good at keeping clean as it is, which means an all-you-can-eat-buffett for mice. And then they’ll tell their little mice friends and family and they’ll ALL come upstairs to eat crumbs in my kitchen. And then I’ll have to move. Or die in piles of mouse poop.

I think I need a cat. A basement cat. Like this one.

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About a month or so ago, my husband purchased a laser hair removal package for me as an early birthday/anniversary present. I’ve wanted it for awhile but it’s always been so expensive. It was still expensive, but considering it was a joint birthday/anniversary present, I guess he figured it was worth it.

For those of you that don’t know me, or have never paid attention to the many pictures I’ve posted, I have very dark, coarse hair and light skin. Apparently, I’m the prime candidate for laser hair removal. And also the prime candidate to do stand-ins for Chewbacca but that’s beside the point. So anyway, I call to schedule my appointment at this cosmetic surgery type place a month ago – because that’s how long it took to find an opening after 5pm on a weeknight – and tonight was the first of a series of six treatments. I was so jazzed about getting laser hair removal, I even posted about it on Twitter, showing off the protective sunglasses while I waited. See?

So excited! This is going to be fun! The thought of being able to raise my arms in confidence, without worrying about 5 o’clock shadow (or let’s be honest, 10 o’clock shadow) or razor burn and bumps seemed worth the cost. No more ingrown hairs. No more pain. No more dark shadows under my arms. I could not wait!

I arrive around 6:30 and after filling out a bunch of forms, I take off my jacket and lay on the table in my tank top and work pants. Then the lady asks if I’ve applied the numbing creme. “Numbing creme?” I ask. That’s when my little happy hair-free world began to come crashing down. “Does it hurt?” I ask. “Well, it can sting a little bit, especially without the numbing creme,” she said. Why did no one tell me about this, I thought! “Well how much is it?” “About $50.” Egad! But I bought it anyway, applied it, and waited about five minutes (even though it’s recommended that you wait 15 minutes) before beginning the procedure. Still, no big deal, I thought. It can’t hurt THAT BAD.

And this is where I’m convinced that God was out to teach me a lesson in my current estimation of my threshold of pain.

The technician began at the top of my arm pit. First laser, not so bad. Second laser, I felt it. Third laser, OMFG STOP THE TORTURE!!! Honestly, it felt like I was getting a tattoo on my arm pit. Or perhaps worse, I’m not really sure having never had a tattoo and especially not one on my arm pit.

Just when I thought I couldn’t take any more, with sweat beading on my forehead and dripping down my back,  it was over. But only for the first arm pit. I had one more arm and my entire bikini line to go! Oh good Lord, kill me now.

The second arm went much the same as the first. With every laser beam, I flinched and gritted my teeth, cursing that stupid numbing creme and the $50 I wasted. It felt as if very thick, hollow needles, like the kind they use to draw blood, were being jabbed into my pits. There is just no way this could get any more painful, I thought.

Spoiler alert: I was wrong.

I had applied the numbing creme to my bikini area at the same time I did my arm pits, so at the very least, I figured it had had more time to soak in and start numbing my private parts. It wasn’t until the technician began her laser zapping that I realized our definition of “bikini area” differed greatly. She was all up in areas that even I tend to stay away from. And it was not pleasant. I think she sensed I was about to press the proverbial abort button on the whole thing so she went as quickly as she could while I dreamed of having one of those bite blocks they used to stick in people’s mouths before they would saw off their limbs back in the day before they had local anaesthetics. Exaggerated much? Perhaps, but when I say I would rather have my hooha waxed, completely, 10 times over for just ONE repeat of the laser hair removal treatment, I’ll leave it up to you to decide how much I might be exaggerating.

On the way home, I made a wrong turn, probably as a result of the delirium caused by the pain I had just endured. Once I finally made it home, my skin still reacting to the memory of the pain by producing constant goosebumps, I began drinking. And eating pizza. Because nothing cures burning pits and fire crotch like fatty foods and booze. (Yes, I know I’m using “fire crotch” differently than typically intended, but I think it accurately describes what I was feeling. So there.)

So if anyone ever tells you that laser hair removal isn’t really that painful, don’t believe the fuckers. Because I’m here to tell you that they’re liars. (Unless they have light/thin hair; Apparently the thicker/coaser the hair, the more it hurts. So in nutshell, I’m fucked.) And that numbing creme? It may be a rip off, but get it anyway. Just in case I’m some sort of genetic freak that’s immune to the effects of numbing creme.

And guess what? Four more weeks and I get to do it all again! Hooray. Please send Vicodin. Or vodka.

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Currently Loving

  • The new Jack Johnson CD is SO GOOD! A must-have for summer.
  • Also, this band – Aaron Kamm and the One Drops – is a local St. Louis band with island-music flavor. You can listen to their entire album online. Just listen to the first track and give it about 40 seconds to kick in. LOVE.
  • Sweet tea flavored vodka. ‘Nuff said.
  • A clean house!! No, I didn’t get a cleaning service. Just a few hours of hard work on a Saturday, made better with the aforementioned Jack Johnson CD.
  • Impromptu pedis and smoothies with a good friend.
  • Grilling out and enjoying the backyard with my pup and hubby.
  • Target splurges with my mom.
  • Big family dinner at Texas Roadhouse to celebrate my mom’s birthday.
  • So many fun activities to look forward to this summer – a wedding in Denver, inlaws visiting for the 4th of July, b-day parties, and numerous get togethers.

I can’t believe we’re already into the second week of June. What the hell happened to May? I desperately need this summer to just slow down so I can have time to enjoy it. Between working 50 hour weeks and all the items on my to-do list, I haven’t had much time to just be. I’ll work on that.

What are you currently loving?

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My birthday was last Thursday. It came and went with little fan fare. I woke up to a card and a present from the hubs (Ralph Lauren Summer Romance perfume), fresh bagels at work from the boss, and a delicious steak dinner complete with a DQ ice cream cake from my mom. The next day after work, we packed up the car and headed out-of-town. We stayed at my grandma’s in Southern Illinois for a night, then moved east to visit with the inlaws. It’s a bit of a haul – 8 hours total – so we didn’t get there until about 5:30 pm. I knew hubby’s uncle was visiting from Atlanta so I expected an extra vehicle in the driveway. What I didn’t expect was the dozen or so people in the backyard, the balloons and decorations, the BBQ burgers, hot dogs, chicken, and side dishes, the giant sheet cake and ice cream, or the table of presents. My inlaws threw me a surprise birthday party! They even parked their cars in the backyard so I wouldn’t see them when we pulled up. I was completely stunned and incredibly humbled by the gesture. I didn’t really care about turning 28, so I didn’t expect anyone else to care that much either. We had a great time enjoying the new porch that my FIL spent the last several weeks building. The surprise party had him working extra hard to finish it in time, so I felt even more gratitude knowing he worked so hard to make it happen. It makes me regret leaving my camera at home. Hopefully someone from the party will send me some photos soon.

The rest of the weekend went by much too quickly. I slept in on Saturday while the hubs got some father/son time in playing golf. Then we spent the afternoon at my SIL’s house to commence the opening of her pool. That night we met up with hubby’s aunt at the favorite local pizza joint and spent the rest of the evening hanging with my niece and two nephews. Then it was back on the road again on Monday. I really should’ve taken Tuesday off to get some things done around the house, but fortunately the weekend will be here again before I know it. I can’t believe it’s already June. My calendar is filling up as quickly as my to-do list and I just know the summer will be over in the blink of an eye. Hate that. I’ll be lucky if I get just two pool days in this month. If only time could just slow down enough to let me catch up and enjoy it.

Hope everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend! I know I did.

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