Friday, September 30, 2005

Wanderlust

I remember the first time I ever met my little sister. Really, who gets to remember that? But I do. As clearly as if it was yesterday. I woke up. I was mad because Mama wasn't there. I talked to her on the phone. And THEN, Daddy and I went to see them. And this sister they had promised me (what is a SISTER by the way) was simply amazing. I think that when I have my own child, I will behold him or her in the same wonder I held my baby sister. To think... something that beautiful was MY sister...

There is a picture of the first time I held her. I don't know how my mother ever let that leave her house. But I have it. And the love, and the awe, is so apparent that I think I should imprint it on my skin... because I still feel that same awe every time I look at her.

There have been so many times that child has saved me from myself. Saved me because my love for her was greater than anything else I knew. She is why I am not afraid to have a child. I have loved so greatly... and she still loves me.

She is in Europe now. And I know she wants to stay there... at least for a while. She won't right now. But I have known for years (since the first time she was there), that she wants to live there. I have fought that. Because I can't imagine my daily existence without her.

But what she really needs to know... is that my love for her could bridge any ocean.

I love you, Angie.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Like Lightning, I Tell You

This morning I sent out an email, in an attempt to get a physical mailing address from each of our friends. We are going to send out save the date cards for the wedding by snail mail, because... well... we are old-fashioned like that.

Within one hour, I had received a reply from almost every single person. So, either ya'll are VERY happy Amy and I are getting married OR you want us removed from the dating pool as quickly as possible. Could go either way.

Please note: If I did not send you an email, don't pout. I was trying to multi-task when I sent it... and we all know how well that goes for me. Be a doll and send me your address (GEEZ, why do you have to take everything so personally?)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

And You Thought Your Office Was Strange....

Heard at work today:

Can I staple remove your FACE?

Aaaaiiiiiieeeee-ya! (in a pseudo-karate/ninja/I'll-kick-your-ass stance)

I am good at forwarding. I mean... I don't really write the things. I just pass them along... you know? (apparently from The Office last night)

You have never heard of that?!? Where are you from??? ROWANDA????

I don't want to hear from you again unless it is a digestive emergency!

Why is she giggling? Who is she on the phone with? DRUGS??? Hey, drugs.... what's up? You so crazy.

How about I serve you a hot steaming pile of SHUT UP?!?

You want a phone book? How about a punch in the mouth?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I swear, these folks make me look normal.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Mr. Stringy String String Cheese

There is a simple brilliance to string cheese. It is salty. It is stringy. And it is a good source of calcium.
What more could one want in a snack?

Newton, our office go-fer, grew up in Belize. Consequently, he has never experienced the wonder that is string cheese. In fact, when I asked him if he wanted a string cheese, he looked at me as if I had just asked him if he would like to eat one of those lizards that he SWEARS runs around USF's campus on its hind legs and has a fin on its head (kind of like a mowhawk). Then I had to explain to the poor soul how to eat string cheese. He was just going to bite into it (gasp!). Don't worry. I was there to set him straight.

We now have yet another string cheese convert, sitting in his cubicle just stringing away. Life is good, folks. Life is good.

Friday, September 23, 2005

You Say It's Your Birthday....

I have looked forward to turning 30 since I was twelve. My seventh grade English teacher told my class that her thirties were the best time of her life. As she so sagely noted, ones twenties are rather tumultuous, filled with changes and the desperate struggle to find a sense of belonging and purpose in the world. At 30, hopefully, you get to enjoy the place that you have found for yourself. With someone you love. And you get to sit back and smile.

I am most assuredly smiling.

Although my philosophical musings are riveting, I am sure, my antics are much more laughable. Or so I think...

I went out last night in my "Here comes little naked me" shirt. Although the shirt was much more apropos in my slightly younger years (and I do mean slightly), you never know what can happen if you give me enough liquid courage. I had pig tails. And an orange butterfly barrette that clearly said, "Thirty, I am mocking you."

We ventured to Flings on Florida. No, it is NOT a swingers club. It is however, a local gay bar that we knew NOTHING about. We really need to get out more. The best part is that we had no idea it was a gay bar until we walked in. The music was the tell-tale sign. Gay boys love some diva music.

This adorable guy bought Mary, Michelle, Amy & I shots. Of (EARMUFFS) cowboy cocksuckers. If you can't appreciate the laugability of watching lesbians do a shot that has the word (EARMUFFS) cocksucker in it... well... there may not be much hope for you.

This is the point where I need to note that Mary had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day yesterday. But she went out with us anyway. Because she is a rockstar. And it was my 30th birthday. And she is one of my closest friends. Did I mention rockstar?

So, Flings was a good time. Many beverages were had. Many. Then there was relocating. To the Green Parrot. Why, you ask? Because they have karaoke. And Mary is a karaoke maniac.

I conned Michelle into singing Sin Wagon (Dixie Chicks). I believe Chelle knows EVERY Dixie Chicks song by heart... except that one. But she sang it anyway. Just for me. On my 30th birthday. Ames and I were about to leave (inebriated Kiks get tired sometimes) when all three of the girls surprised me with "You Say It's Your Birthday." Amy played the air bass (of course). Chelle and Mary were astounding on the vocals.

It was the perfect beginning to a birthday weekend I am sure can only continue to get better. Which is the perfect beginning to a year I have looked forward to for most of my life.

Thanks girls!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Can You Hear Me Now?

I swear, it cracks me up (okay, not really at all) when we are under a deadline at work and I CANNOT get answers to my questions. Now, I know you are thinking that I am probably rushing about because I am the station master at Procrastination Station... But that is so not the case this time. Yet, here I am, 40 minutes before my deadline with two unanswered questions. (I think I hear Jeopardy music playing in my head)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Schmoozing

I am not a good schmoozer. In fact, I am completely anti-schmooze. I am a friendly girl. But, if I don't have anything to say to you... well, then I don't have anything to say. I am not going to stand there and blow sunshine up your butt because someone else thinks I should.

And that is precisely why I hate the monthly birthday gatherings put on by the SUNSHINE COMMITTEE (I am wretching as I write that) at work. First, I don't know most of the people I work with. My group of five people (assuming no one calls in sick or is working from home or has a doctor's appointment or has to have her hair done..) is on a different floor from the other thirty people we technically work with. The only time I encounter those folks is at the birthday or holiday gatherings.

Now I would love to tell these people that I wish them a happy birthday. But, since I don't know them from Adam's house cat, I don't CARE if they have a happy birthday. And today I was on the receiving end of the sunshine blowing. It isn't any better from this end. Thirty people signed my card... BUT I DON'T KNOW WHO THEY ARE.

On the bright side, the ice cream was good.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Tick. Tock.

Time never moves slower than it does on a Friday afternoon. Even when I am busy and productive (gasp), I look at the clock and SWEAR it hasn't moved. I am very concerned I am stuck in a time warp and there will be no one to come and rescue me. What if I get stuck in Friday afternoon all weekend, then the time warp hiccups and it becomes Monday? This is a serious issue, folks. It could happen. You don't know.

Also, Friday gives one occasion to ponder the all important question: "What are we doing for happy hour?" I realize it is probably wrong & somewhat borderline addictive behavior to begin pondering that question at 10:00 a.m. on a Friday. But I do... every Friday. What if I make the wrong choice and my weekend starts off on a downslope??? Huh??? Answer THAT for me.

But what I am most grateful for, on this particular Friday, are that the agonizing creeping of time and the Happy Hour Decision are the ONLY big things on my mind. Read some Mommy-blogs and you will understand. I think I over-indulged in the Mommy-blogs a bit today, and all I can think is THANK THE GOOD LORD that I do not have a snotty-nose, sippy-cup throwing child interfering with my happy hour plans.

(Disclaimer: I want children. People who have children are living each day with a gift from God. I am simply saying that I feel comfortable waiting for that gift until at least Monday)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

One Week...

In just one week from today, I will be 30. Let the birthday week festivites begin!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Other Ones...

There are other people in the world named Kendra Lee. I find that odd. Almost like I have alter-egos running around, living a life in a parallel dimension.

It is even more odd because my name prompts funny responses from people. My favorite is, "You aren't black." NO. You are kidding! I'm not? I have been MISLED. Or people think I should be Chinese (It is Lee... not Li). In fact, I never tell people my name is Kendra Lee when I first meet them, because they immediately start calling me Kimberly. So, I simply introduce myself as Kendra, and they have to ask me my last name. Make 'em beg... (the power is almost more than I can stand)

These other folks named Kendra Lee... One is a writer. I am most jealous of her. I am a writer. Or I should be a writer. Okay, I dreamed of being a writer but haven't done much about it (boy, that is honest but a tad depressing). Another one is a scientist. I couldn't even get into Bill Nye the Science Guy when I was a kid. Not jealous of her. And the other one I found, she is a sales and marketing type that does training for small business. Geez, I can't even balance my checkbook. Oh, wait... I don't think I even HAVE a checkbook.

I hope those other Kendra Lees are having nice time in their parallel universes. If you ever run into another one, tell her I said hi.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Zippy!

Zip! I finally got my new car. It's a 2005 Civic LX Special Edition (snazzy). Charcoal gray.

Now I am small, but I am quick. Zip!

Monday, September 12, 2005

I'm A Pepper!

Okay, not really. But I colored a pepper. At Chili's. To raise funds for St. Jude's Children's Hospital (my all-time favorite chartity).

At a time when people so desperately need the basics to survive after Katrina, it is easy to forget that others suffer. St. Jude's is a children's cancer research hospital. They accept children who need critical medical care, regardless of their financial situation. (And, yes, I have been known to watch their annual telethon and cry for hours straight)

Only a dollar. At Chili's. And there is coloring involved. Please help out if you can.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Campus Dining

Since I work at USF, my options for food at lunchtime are rather limited. Either I walk somewhere on campus, or I risk losing my mind as a steady stream of students walk in front of my car to cross the street... apparently oblivious to the fact that I could obliterate them with one swift tap on the gas pedal. Most times I opt to keep my composure (and not risk being locked away permanently) and I just go somewhere on campus.

Now, the problem with that decision is that my choices are severely limited. Next door there is a Buger King. DANGER. I don't admit it often, but I like fast food. And I would eat a fried chicken tender sandwich from Burger King (with fries and a Diet Coke) with shocking frequency, if I wasn't afraid of a) becoming as large as a single family home or b) having a heart attack by the age of 30. Since neither of those options appeal to me, I rarely allow myself the pleasure of indulging in Burger King.

There is a Subway slightly farther. But I kid you not, it is the WORST SUBWAY in the history of Subway. Everything tastes frozen. The bread is either under cooked or a tad stale. They don't even look at your sandwich as they make it. The world comes to a screeching halt if you ask for more tomoatoes. And GOD FORBID you want extra cheese. After my last experience there (it was the stale bread adventure), I have studiously avoided Subway.

Which leaves me with option number three: Einstein's Bagels. Now, I love a bagel. And I love a sandwhich. So what could be better than a sandwich ON a bagel. Or a sandwich on a Challah roll. (It kind of sounds like you are trying to cough up a hairball when you say Challah. Go on.. you know you want to try it out...) So I often opt to wander over to Einstein's. This is good for several reasons. First, it is in the Marshall Center, which is halfway across campus. So it is quite a jaunt. And I never should have been a 9 to 5 office worker, so I jump at the chance for the stroll over. Second, I don't think I am going to slip into cardiac arrest after I eat there. And did I mention that the sandwich can come ON a bagel?

But here's the rub: They don't give you an option of a side. You are supposed to get a choice of fruit, potato salad or chips when you order a sandwich. It is a RULE. It happens at every other Einstein's. But no, not at the one on USF's campus. So, although my Club Mex (heh) was simply lovely, now I am STARVING. And it is only 4 p.m. And all because I was sans fruit cup. Because I can't drive to the Einstein's across the street because of the student issue (see above).

And these, my friends, are the trials and tribulations of being me.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Why Don't You Just Marry It Then?

The lease on my CRV runs out on September 15th. Uncharacteristically, I turned the car in eight days before they hunted me down to forcibly remove the vehicle from my possession. Typically, I would have turned it in at 9 p.m. on the 15th. My how I have grown up.

I ended up leasing another vehicle, because I am NOT grown up enough to have saved the thousand dollars I needed to put down to make my car payments reasonable. But, because there is such a rush on Civics, they had to have my new car brought in. They gave me a loaner vehicle. A Pilot. Uh huh. That's right.

I have lusted after large trucks/SUVs since I was 16. However, the social irresponsibility factor has stopped me from purchasing said vehicle. But it SURE isn't going to stop me from enjoying the Pilot until Monday.

This morning, I took the long way to work. I looked down on the little people in their little cars. That vehicle is ridiculously fabulous. Bumps in the road? There are no bumps in the road. And dang, do people get out of your way when you are driving a vehicle that could crush them like a bug.

That vehicle just screams, "Look, I don't have a penis, but if I did it would CERTAINLY be bigger than yours."

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sleepyhead

It is unpleasant to wake up at 10:00 a.m. on a Wednesday morning when you are SUPPOSED TO BE AT WORK. Ugh. Even more unpleasant when you realize that your boss is the only one actually at work because everyone has called in sick or is late.

I should come with a disclaimer: I do a really good imitation of awake---and then I go right back to sleep. Which is what happened when Amy unsuspectingly left me in bed when she went to work. Now I feel like I am just kind of drifting in the middle of a day....

There was no Bible study time this morning. There was no food. There was no shower. THERE WAS NO COFFEE.

Now I am discombobulated. Sigh.


(You know, the Katrina Disaster has made it awfully difficult to feel sorry for oneself. It has made an incredible impact on my daily perspective. I truly am incredibly blessed. Shout!)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

At Home with the Van Weasels

On Friday, I weaseled out of work right after lunch so that we could begin our long weekend in Southeast Florida as early as possible. There were a couple glitches early on... Amy wanted me to bring the gas can, for fear of the GAS SHORTAGE. So, I obliged. But the problem was, the can was full. So, within 5 minutes the car reeked of gas. By the time I got from our house to Amy's office (that's five miles, folks), I decided something must be done. So we (and when I say we, I mean Amy) emptied the gas can into the gas tank as lightening crashed all around us. Tampa--lightning capital of the world. Amy & I--not so smart.

The other glitch... The weather as we pulled out of Tampa was simply horrific. Complete whiteout as I am trying to drive down I75. And it STILL smells like gas in the car. But we made the best of it by listening to classical music & jazz the whole way home. Oh, and calling Betsy Van Weasel about 10 times to tell her she should drive ALL the way to Coral Springs to hang out with us, when all the poor kid wanted was a cocktail at happy hour. She used her better judgment and stayed in Ft. Lauderdale. Betsy--smarter than the average bear.

Mama & Daddy took us to Buffalo's for chicken wings and beer. Amy was tickled pink. She loves that place. They MIGHT have the best wings ever. But they do not sell buffalo buffalo. (Don't ask)

On Saturday morning, Amy got to partake in Tomato Gravy & Biscuits. That stuff is crazy good. I swear, almost immediately after we finished breakfast, we met Angie, Betsy & Shanna for lunch. Amy's retort to my mom's inquiry regarding her consumption of only a side salad at lunch was, "Well, we are going to eat again in five minutes anyway. I really think I will be okay." Smarty pants, smarty pants.

After lunch, I got to go pick out my birthday present... a BRAND NEW set of golf clubs. And a bag. And golf balls. Oh, excited I am. As we drove past the golf course in our neighborhood this morning, I informed Amy that I could take a golf club to that. Must. learn. to. play. golf. well.

Saturday night, Amy & I were off to the only haunt worth going to in Coral Springs. Buffalo's. (Yes, again) But Ames & I went for drinks. And drinks we had. We think it is possible that our waitress may have been a compulsive liar... but, hey, everyone has a fault, right? The only damage from that escapade was the tab. But I will only turn thirty once (I know my birthday is at the end of the month... but I will be 30! I get a birthday month!)

Sunday, Las Olas Art Festival with the Van Weasel gang (Betsy, Angie, Shanna, Lea, Ames & me). There were dogs in dresses & bowties working the crowd. Oh, and a female dog in a visor being rather aggressively (ahem) courted by a male dog that was feeling rather amorous. Yes, we all laughed at that like we were twelve years old. After the art festival, we moved on to recreational drinking. You can fill in your own details from there.

On Monday, there was grilling of hamburgers by Chef Shanna. Amy got to enjoy the pool at Angie & Shanna's. Amy really enjoys a pool. Amy and I were trying to get home in time to see most of the Florida State vs. Miami game. But Amy got tied up working on my parents' computer (they have the weirdest virus thing in the world) until after seven. We finally made it home around eleven in time to see the fourth quarter & watch Florida State eek out a victory. Eeked or not, it is still a victory.

All in all, a fabulous weekend. Thanks ya'll, for making us feel so loved & so at home.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Confession

Okay, I have to tell you this. Because you might find out later. And it will be best coming from me.

I sent an email to Heather B. Armstrong (Dooce).

There. Now you know. Whew. I feel better already.

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