Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Foot, Meet Mouth

This past Friday, Amy and I went with a group of our friends to crash the Mary Poppins Sing-Along. We decided hit The Hub before hand, for some adult beverages.

(Look, if you were wearing a dog outfit, you would want a beverage too!)

Amy Kellogg was hanging back in front of the Tampa Theatre after our photo shoot, talking to folks in the 90 degree, 80% humidity weather... so I decided to head into The Hub with Melissa, a friend of ours who happens to be Amy's ex-girlfriend.

Now, as much as I hate to admit it, Melissa and I didn't exactly hit it off well when we first met. You know, the ex-girlfriend/new girlfriend clash. The tension between us has long since dissipated (thankfully)... but our very rocky start is key to this story.

Outside of The Hub, Melissa and I run into Julie, an old Kellogg family friend. She knew Melissa when Melissa and Amy were together, and she has known me since Kellogg and I met. Julie was also at our wedding.
Melissa and I both hug Julie hello and we all head into the smoky, dive atmosphere that is The Hub. Kellogg is still in the stifiling heat chatting someone up, mind you.

At this point, it becomes clear that Julie has had more than one cocktail. Cool. It is Friday. Get your party on, and whatnot.

Julie: (leaning toward Melissa) So, how is married life treating you?
Melissa: (looking perplexed) Dude, I'm not married...
Kendra: (looking at Melisssa in shock) Did you forget to tell us something?
(Melissa left the country for almost a year, and she was dating someone when she left. Did they get married in South America and not tell anyone??)
Julie: Well, did you get the marriage anulled?
Melisssa: (getting visibly aggitated and increasingly confused) Julie, I SWEAR, I didn't get married!
Melissa: (a light of comprehension, then something akin to panic) OH MY GOD, JULIE. Did you think I married KELLOGG. KENDRA (gesturing emphatically in my direction) married Kellogg.

Folks, this is reason number 312 to regulate your alcohol consumption. Poor Julie.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

All Over the Place

Gosh, I am just all over the place right now...

At the end of August, I will begin a new job as an Ajunct English Instructor at the University of South Florida (Tampa). I will be teaching five classes (ENC 1101 and 1102).

I am so beside myself with excitement that I may spontaneously combust.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Things are going to ROCK here in Tampa tonight! We are going to the Mary Poppins Sing-A-Long at the Tampa Theatre. There will be singing! And goody bags! And costumes!*

Guess who I am going to be?!? Guess! Okay, I will tell you....

Andrew! (look for me in the Minor Characters section)

*Pictures will appear on Squirrelly or Just Salt on Monday.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Are You Down with G-O-D?!?

Today, I got a call from the Director of All Things Bible Study at my church. He asked if I wanted to lead a Disciple I Bible Study course. Stop laughing. Okay, it really isn't that funny. DUDE, stop laughing so I can tell you the story!

I am incredibly flattered that he asked me to lead this class (I would be leading it with one or two other folks). And when I say flattered, I mean... well, I just mean flattered, alright? This is exactly the kind of opportunity I was looking for when I joined this church. And what makes this opportunity even more significant is that he contacted me because the facilitators from the class I took last year gave me rave reviews. These are some of the most intelligent, introspective Christians I know. That they think that highly of me ... well, let's just say that this is more of an ego-boost that I could ever have hoped for.

But I can't do it. I can't teach the class.

I am trying to change jobs, and I just don't know where I am going to land. I have no concept of what my schedule will be, what the demands on my time will be. Hell, I don't even know where I will be WORKING (let's just hope it isn't a job where every interaction with a customer ends with, "Would you like to Super Size that?"). And I can't take on this type of responsibility and flake out. I would never forgive myself for that. So I had to pass it up.

But the GOOD news is that I think I WILL be teaching a short- term class (8 weeks, as opposed to 32 weeks) at some point this Fall. This is just the push I needed in my spiritual life, which had been lagging of late. Funny how God seems to know these sorts of things, no?

And, for the record, all of that laughing you were doing earlier about me leading Bible Study ... Just because I drink and can throw a dirty word or two around doesn't mean I do not have a rich faith that is incredibly meaningful to me.

C'mon, admit it... you KNOW I would be a bad ass Bible Study leader, don't you? That's right!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tuesday Afternoon Outing

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of making my third trip to the gynecologist (or as Amy likes to say, "the down-there doctor," as she points vaguely towards the lower half of her body) this year. This year has been the Year of the Abnormal Pap. And, yes, it has been as fun as it sounds.

Yesterday they did a colposcopy. Now, if you go to the posted link and read through the article, you will notice it says they may do a biopsy if some of the cells seem irregular. Somehow, I seemed to have blocked that out. Biopsy? Who, me? No, no.. they are just going to look at the cells. No big deal!

So, the doctor is "down there" looking through a gigantic microscope. She calmly informs me that I will need to stop flinching, because it looks rather like an earthquake when I do. "You wouldn't want me to get motion sickness down here, would you?" she quips. Uh, look lady, all due respect but I don't want you down there at all! And if you don't stop being so chipper, I am libel to kick you in the head.

Then she says, "Okay, honey, for me to really see what is going on, I am going to have to pop your cervix up a bit."

I am SORRY??? You are going to do what? Pop my cervix up. Uh huh. Sounds lovely. Will you buy me dinner afterward? By the way, the popping of the cervix... doesn't feel so hot.

As if the giant microscope and the popping cervix weren't enough for one day, she informed me that she couldn't really tell if the cells were abnormal at all. So, yeah, the biopsy I blocked out of my mind. Uh huh.

"Alright," she says, "you are just going to feel a little prick on your cervix."

I will leave you with that folks. A little prick on your cervix. Who could ask for more on a Tuesday afternoon?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Coffee Diaries

Amy and I were in the car one fine Saturday morning, when the need for a latte hit me full force. Usually I can skate by on coffee made at home. I very reasonably tell myself that coffee does not have to cost $3.50 to be good... and then I tremble in a corner thinking about the frothiness of the latte, and how I deserve one, how I long for the cinnamon sprinkled on the froth.... So, this time I decided to forgo the trembling and just cave in to my desire for a latte. $3.50 be damned!

I hopped out of the car at Starbucks (a little too quickly for any shred of dignity to remain) and was skipping toward the door, when I noticed that Amy had gotten out of the car. Curious. Because Amy has a phobia of Starbucks. I can say Grande, Skinny Latte and her eyes glaze over. Yet, she was following me into the store.

Once we got inside and I ordered my Grande, Skinny Latte, Amy was beginning to look a little pale. She managed to stammer something indicating that she would have whatever I had ordered.

Gosh, Ames, I didn't know you liked lattes...? (She looks at me helplessly and staggers toward the door).

We settle back into the car, with our to-go cups with lids (for added safety!), and resume our Saturday morning frivolity. I sip away contentedly on my latte, relishing the cinnamon sprinkles...

Amy: What the hell? How do you ever drink this stuff?
Kik: (coming out of a trance-like state of bliss) Huh? Oh... you don't LIKE it? (sounding rather accusatory)
Amy: Well, it would be fine if I could DRINK it.
Kik: (just looking confused)
Amy: It comes out one drop at a time. It is like drinking my damn coffee out of an eyedropper!
Kik: Um? Amy? You have to suck a little bit on the opening in the lid... you know, to get it to come out....
Amy: (profane profanity inserted) What the HELL?!? I didn't know that! Who knew that?!? How would I know to suck on that?
Kik: Oh dear God.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Last night, Amy and I rode our bikes up to Borders. For coffee. And to read magazines.
The coffee is, again, in to go cups with lids (because we were sitting outside).

Kik: (reading)
Amy: OH MY GOD, I JUST GOT COFFEE IN MY EYE. Coffee, Kik. In my EYE. It just shot right up through the opening in the top of the cup. And went in my EYE. How does that happen?????
Kik: God help me.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

And Now... A Story

On Saturday, Amy and I went to Bike Fest 2006 to meet some potential new friends that, perhaps, would have bikey natures like Amy's. Because I can only talk about bikes for so long, before I spontaneously combust. Which is messy. But that is another story. Anyway, bike friends for Amy! Whooo! We had fun. And met nice people. And Amy had someone other than me to discuss bikes with for almost two hours. And I didn't combust! Yes, another successful Saturday morning!

On the way home, we decided to stop by Dogwater Cafe. It was recommended. And when I say that I mean that someone had told us there was cold beer and food there. It was hot out. And it was nigh on beer-thirty. And FOOD! I love food! Sounded like the perfect end to Amy's bike adventure to me.

First inclination something was amiss: The restaurant smelled like someone had bottled that lovely wet dog smell and used it like potpourri. Did we run away? HECK NO! We ordered a beer! I told you it was beer-thirty.

And the beer? Lukewarm (even WITH the ice pack built into the pitcher! A travesty, you say? I agree!)

Food? I suppose you could call it that. We ordered grouper nuggets... which also doubled as grouper jerky. Or grouper leather. You decide. And the curly fries? They were called Poodles. Because it was Dogwater Cafe, you see. And our food? It was served in dog bowls. Uh huh.

Oh, the injustice of it all!

(Eh... don't get too caught up in my woe. There was cold beer at home.
Another happy moment, brought to you by Miller Lite in a can!)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Monday, Monday

You know how sometimes you are just plugging along through a Monday... just kind of neither here nor there about it... then SUDDENLY someone pops their head into your office to tell you it is ice cream social time? Yeah, that's what today was like.

No, literally. I had a brownie sundae with bananas, dark chocolate syrup and toffee sprinkles. Scrumptious. (but the word scrumptious isn't really scrumptious at all... definitely not an onomatopoeia)

Friday, July 07, 2006

On Spot, A Stripe

I let the dogs out this morning with a bit of trepidation. Actually, EVERY time I let the dogs out, it is with a bit of trepidation. You just never know what is going to happen when our dogs are introduced to the great expanse of our suburban, fenced-in back yard.

Jed is a avid lizard hunter, always on the lookout, guarding the perimeter against lizard foes. When I open the back door, she goes tearing outside. Every time. Must protect family from lizard evil-doers. Milo... well, she is just bizarre. She wanders around the yard like she is looking for something. She stares, sometimes at the grass, sometimes at the fence. Then she takes off, chasing imaginary friends maybe. Milo rarely wants to come back inside when she is called. She prefers to sun in the yard. And when I call her, she looks at me like a sullen teenager. Nice. And sometimes she just tunnels out of the backyard. No fence is going to hold her back. No, sir. She is going to ... uh... yeah, I am not sure what she does when she gets out but she is always back within half an hour. It's like sneaking out your bedroom window as a teenager, simply to sit on your own driveway. Lame. But annoying, nonetheless.

Anyway, I let the dogs out this morning. I made my coffee and got them a bowl of water. We like to enjoy our beverages as a family, don't you know. So, Jed is slinging water all over the floor and I call Milo to come inside. She does... on the first call. Then Milo and Jed commence pushing each other around to get the best spot at the bowl. I looked down and noticed clay rubbed all the way down Milo's right side. In a straight line. What in the world?

Now, please note that I don't have on my glasses at this point. Which means I am as blind as a bat. So, I bend very close to wipe Milo off. Close enough to realize that that isn't dirt... it's POOP. IN A STRAIGHT LINE, LIKE A RACING STRIPE.

Only Milo. Seriously.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I Ain't Missing You (no matter what my friends say)

Five days without Amy is a long time. Even when I am having an absolute blast with my best friend, my sister and Shanna ... there is still a void without Amy. It is a sort of nebulous void, skirting around the fun but still letting me know it is there. Like when we would all be laughing at something silly, and I would turn around to catch Amy's expression ... but she wasn't there. Or when we would all be toasting to chosen family... without Amy. It is amazing to love someone so much that, even in the best of times, you know that her presence would only make the time that much sweeter.

I love you, little Amy.

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