October 31, 2009

How to Attract a Man on a Night Out

(Reprinted from http://www.truelovedirect.com/how-to-attract-a-man-on-a-night-out)

It’s Friday night. You’re at a bar with your girlfriends, drinking martinis and talking. Everywhere you look, good-looking men are standing with their own friends, laughing and looking around the room. No wedding bands that you can see. You want to make a connection. You’re hoping one of them will spot you among this room full of beautiful, available women and make a move, right?

Don’t wait for a man to pick you out of the crowd. Take the initiative! If you see a man you want to get to know, go talk to him. Strike up a conversation: ask him what he’s drinking, challenge him to a game of pool, or ask if he knows of any parties going on. For the shy girls, catch his eye, hold it for five seconds, smile, then look away. Do this a second time within a minute or two. These actions will go a long way in grabbing a man’s attention. Not only is this a good way to stand out in a crowd, but your self-confidence will shine like a beacon in the dim room.

If these things make you blush just thinking about it, take the easy road: play wingman to your more outgoing friend. The wingman’s goal is to help his or her friend in securing the person they are after, whether that is by talking about how great your friend is, entertaining the man’s friends so he can focus on your friend, or just by being there for support. In doing so, you have the option of getting to know the men without the pressure of trying to run the show yourself.

However, the most important way to ensure you draw men to you is to have a good time. No matter how beautiful a woman may be, if she scowls and pouts, she’s not likely to attract a man (or if she does, he will likely be turned off by her attitude shortly thereafter). I’ve heard attractive women complain time and time again, “I never get hit on at the bar!” Many times, it is because they give off a vibe that they are bored, disinterested, or just plain snobby. On the flip side, I have met women who were not considered as conventionally attractive as the others. Yet, their approachable, effervescent personalities drew men like moths to their bright spark.

Enjoy the night with your girlfriends, make jokes, smile, laugh, have a good time. You’ll come off as approachable and fun, and that is what men want when they go out with friends. Remember that you’ll have fun whether you meet a man or not. Your night out is first and foremost about hanging out and having a good time, right? Men are attracted to that self-assuredness that you will be happy whether they are around or not. Don’t rely on that possible connection to make or break your evening. That attitude is what will attract a man to you.

October 28, 2009

Keene's New Suit

We went to the thrift store to find him a costume and found this great 3-piece suit for $10 instead.

Ignore the mess...when the children are gone, we don't clean, apparently:


Nerdy nerd


This picture makes me swoon a bit. I love seeing dudes in their business clothes with a beanie on. I don't know why that should be so sexy to me, but it is.


Nom nom nom

October 27, 2009

Work Faux-Pas.

I'm wearing a slouchy hat today.

Aussie Coworker just passed by my office and said, "You're looking very rastafarian today." I replied in my endlessly eloquent way, "I wish I felt rastafarian today."

He laughed and replied, "Maybe you can run over to one of those medical marijuana places?"

Derpy derp, Kelli.

Do kids really need cell phones?


(Reposted from Arapahoe County Parenting Examiner)

A couple of years ago, I had a conversation with a friend about her pre-teen daughter's phone habits. My friend was routinely paying upwards of $200 a month, in text message fees and unlimited airtime minutes, for her daughter's phone alone. Moreover, the phone itself (which was fancier than my own brick-like phone) ran another couple hundred dollars. Shocked, I asked, "Why in the world does a 10-year-old even need a phone? I didn't get my first phone until I was 20!" My friend replied, "You'll understand when your son becomes a teenager."

Could this be true? Is this the way of the world nowadays? I couldn't possibly imagine my shy, young son even using a phone regularly, much less needing his own monthly plan. No way. I said, "Maybe at 16 years old, we'll talk about it...but there's no way he would need one before then."

However, fast forward to the present. My son is now nine years old and has had his own phone for three months. So much for my firm, conservative stance, right? Well, not quite. Here are some reasons why a kid might need a cell phone these days.

Safety First

While the world may have always been a hard place in which to grow up, there are now conveniences to ease a parent's worries. As your child gets older, he or she will be away from you more often. It's just a fact of life. Whether it is a sleepover at a friend's house, a birthday party, sports team practice, or something as simple as using a public restroom by himself, your child will be out of your eyesight (and possibly out of earshot). Equipping your child with a cell phone can prevent a scary situation like getting lost or just sort out a mess like scheduling changes. Years ago, a kid whose practice ended early or whose parent forgot his short school day was left with no options but to wait for the parent. Now, that child can just call the parent.

3...2...1...Contact!

We want to instill a sense of independence in our children. But at the same time, we want to be there for them, right? Even if safety isn't an issue in a particular instance, it is comforting for a child to know he or she can reach a parent at any time. My son recently called me while visiting his dad (who lives an hour away). He was feeling homesick, but didn't want to hurt his father's feelings by telling him this. Instead, my son called me while his father was sleeping, just to talk. Furthermore, at times when his father's phone may not be working (as seems to often be the case), I am still able to reach him to verify arrangements. While cell phones may not be practical in every situation, they certainly come in handy with blended families.

Responsibility Test Run

Would you give your teenager a new BMW to hone their driving skills? (If you said yes, you're in the wrong article.) A child has to earn their privileges, right? Owning and using a phone is a big responsibility. Start them off with a basic, regulated plan and let them learn some lessons in restraint and accountability, before throwing a fancy, unrestricted phone their way. Otherwise you may find yourself screeching at that first phone bill you open.

Phones come in so many packages and plans, you can decide what you need specifically for your particular situation.

1. Should your child be able to talk to his or her friends? Or is the phone just to contact you?

2. Is the phone only for emergencies or for more frequent use?

3. Does your child need to have texting capabilities? How many minutes would he or she reasonably need?

4. Do you want him or her to have a camera, MP3 player, internet access, or any of the other costly features?

Based on what you decide is best, you can find an appropriate phone and plan. First, talk to your current carrier about family plans. Some companies offer a specific plan for this very purpose. Oftentimes, you can set up a phone to only allow certain incoming and outgoing calls. With such plans, you can also monitor your child's minutes and records or set a limit on usage.

However, another route you may opt for with younger children is a pay-per-minute plan. These phones can be found at grocery or department stores, like Walmart and Target. In this instance, you pay for the phone (and usually some starter minutes) for around $30. Then, you just add on minutes as you need them. This is a good plan for an emergency-only (or for infrequent use) phone.

With my own son, I gave very specific guidelines before giving him his phone. He can call me or his dad anytime he wanted. However, he needs to ask permission before calling anyone else. So far, we have not experienced any problems, though this may change as more of his friends begin getting phones of their own.

While it may seem like today's children are getting spoiled, it is not always about that. The world may or may not be more dangerous today than it was when you were a child; however, there are now many more ways to ensure your child's safety. Try not to get caught up in the notion that "what worked for me will work for my child," like I once did. Does your kid really need cell phone? Maybe, maybe not...It's up to you to decide that.

October 26, 2009

Day One of No Kids.

It is Fall Break for the kids. Maia is visiting her mom until Saturday. Kayden is staying with his dad until Sunday.

Day One:

- Arrive home from dropping Kayden off with his dad. Text with Scott to make sure he arrived safely.

- Keene and I eat leftover birthday cake for lunch.

- Get into war with Kayden's vast collection of Nerf guns

- Drink bourbon and orange juice

- Experiment with coffee, bourbon, and mint ice cream

- Watch tv without shirts on

- Crochet pieces of bread while tipsy on bourbon

- Eat a dinner of leftover pizza, yogurt, and mini Snickers bars


Needless to say, the house is WRECKED right now. We're horrible. Apparently the kids are all that stop us from becoming klassy drunks.

October 24, 2009

Birthday Party: Success!

First thing Saturday, Kaci, Kortney, and I did the craft fair. It utterly blew. Kaci sold enough of her hats to *almost* break even on the booth fee, which was good. But overall, we lost a lot of money. Lots of people tried on hats, commented on how adorable they were, and almost inevitably exclaimed, "You look great...I'm just not a hat-person though!" ::grumble::



On the other hand, the party went very well. First off, Kayden's friends arrived. (One got sick and cancelled last minute, unfortunately.)


The boys entertained themselves for an hour, then the other guests began trickling in. Pretty soon, our apartment was filled with about twenty people.


We hung out, made introductions, gave tours, until Keene arrived with the pizza.


After pizza, I broke out the cake. Everyone was very impressed with Kaci's and my handiwork. Oh yes.



Kayden blew out candles (though he tried to while we were singing) and we cut it.



Then came presents and general merriment.





My boyfriend looked hot...and shaggy.


Kayden's little sister looked adorable in her pigtails:


Nom nom nom


I freaking LOVE this doll my g-ma made for Kayden!


After all the guests left, I took the boys to the clubhouse movie theater for Pokemon and Bionicle movies. It's hard to tell from the photo, but the screen was probably twice the size of Kayden. The boys got to play and shout in the theater all by themselves. They loved it.

Oh, and one cool thing. Kayden came up with a game for the kids to play. He wrote and cut out a bunch of number 9s, then I hid them around the living room. For each 9 a kid found, they got a piece of candy. The kid who found the 10 got a whole candy bar.

And now for a quick rumination. Keene was so fantastic last night: getting the pizza, chatting with Scott and his family, playing with Keyanna, helping me. He even paid for a lot of stuff since that shit happened with my bank. At some point, I remembered back a couple years ago when I told Josh I had wanted to do a big double-family party with Scott and he got mad (and kind of weird about "my ex and his family" being there). I asked Keene what he thought of the party after it ended. He said he thought it was awesome, that he wanted to do the same for Maia. Oh, the difference between the two men.

October 23, 2009

Phone Calls with Mom and Sister

Yesterday was my mom's birthday, so I called her. She sounded so depressed. I talked with her a little and found out that:

1. Her boyfriend was arrested the night before for fighting with some cops.

2. She was getting evicted from her apartment, for sneaking in her boyfriend. (She lives in a secured government housing, in which the residents only pay $50 a month, but must not drink/do drugs, cannot have visitors, etc.) I asked if she could go back to the shelter, but she said it's full. Looks like she'll be on the streets again very soon. It damn near broke my heart to hear her cry, "It's so cold out there...I don't want to be on the streets again."

3. She hasn't been able to find any work for weeks, though she goes to a Labor-Ready place every day.

4. She's still drinking. She cried about how she just can't stop. She's going to all kinds of programs (mandated by the courts). Because of this, she may be going back to jail soon, for violation of parole. I want her to go back to jail, though. It'll be hard on her, sure, but she would have to get sober, wouldn't have to worry about sleeping on the streets, or getting beaten up all the time.

5. She's talking very morbidly, telling me that she wants to give me all the stuff that is valuable to her (photos, a blanket I gave her for Christmas, and a tray I made for her in junior high...that's it), and that she doesn't trust anyone else to take care of it.

Yowza. I feel really bad for her. There's nothing I can or will do (though I did offer to call her apartment manager to pay a month of rent for her, but then I found out she was being evicted for breaking the rules). Before hanging up with her, she thanked me for calling, because no one else had.

I talked to my sister afterward and that cheered me up. We joked around (I think that's our defense mechanism against the situation: making fun of it) and talked a bit. I said, "Can you imagine what it would be like to have a mom who throws you a baby shower or babysits your kids when you want to go out?" She replied, "I can't even think of that....it's so unreal to me."

We talked about our dad a bit. Let me say: this is so awesome. As long as I've known him, he's never seemed to have any fun. However, Terri told me that he's going to a Halloween party. I was like, "BWA?! Dad is going to a party?!" She said, "Yes, he's going as a pimp." Now, keep in mind that my dad is SO straight-laced that this completely blew me away. I didn't think he even knew what a pimp was. Moreover, Terri said he's going to the party with three chicks. My dad, the player. I'm glad he's finally living it up a bit.

Anyhow, before getting off the phone with Terri, she thanked me for cheering her up. That made me feel really good.

Why can't we go back to the barter economy?

Earlier this week, a large charge hit my account unexpectedly, the bank passed it through (even though a bunch of smaller charges had already hit my account). So, because the bank passed the large charge through first, allllllll those little charges got fees tacked on. Cue utter clusterfuck.

Obviously this is my fault, not the bank's. But as of today, I've gotten 16 fees from the bank, over the course of a few days. That's close to $500 in fees. They've sent back checks, then re-sent the same checks...just a huge mess. My account has never been this fucked in my life.

So, my plan was to get my paycheck cut (rather than direct deposited) so I could still pay my bills, then pay down the bank fees. That way, bills and living expenses would be taken care of, and I could slowly dig my way out of the mess. Earlier in the week, I told the accountant I wanted my check cut, to which he said that was just fine.

Today I found out that he forgot and direct deposited my check anyways. It has pretty much been swallowed up by my account.

You know the irony of the situation? The large charge that went through and set this whole mess into action?


My debt consolidation payment. Zing!

October 22, 2009

Stomach issues are back.

In 2007, I dealt with almost constant nausea, felt really sick every time I ate, lost most of my appetite. Back then, I tried to really tackle the problem: medications, ultrasounds, x-rays, a thing to test my heart, some other tests which I don't remember, and finally an endoscopy. That was a pretty bad experience and was kind of the last straw for me. They told me the next step would be a colonoscopy, but I opted out of further treatment. That's around the time when I lost about 20 pounds.

So, I've had just occasional problems since then, but it looks like it's coming back. For about a week now, I've been getting really bad nausea after I eat or drink anything. Like to the point of vomiting at times. My symptoms seem like it could be an ulcer, but the doctors didn't find anything last time around (unless it would be in my lower intestines, which they didn't look at). Back then, they also tested me for GERD, cancer, and other stuff, but found nothing.

Ugh. I really don't want to get into all that medical shit again. It was costly and took away a lot of time from work. Not to mention how frustrating it was to constantly be told there wasn't anything wrong (that they could find). So, I'm going to just grin and bear it for the time-being, see if it goes away on its own.

I don't like dancing with boys anymore.

Here's my theory of cheating: anything you wouldn't do with your mom/dad is cheating. Well, to be more exact, anything you wouldn't do with them at least borders on inappropriate.

For example, would you bump and grind with your dad on the dance floor? No? Then it's inappropriate to do it with a stranger. Would you joke with your dad about sex? Then it's inappropriate to do it with someone besides your boyfriend. And so on. Obviously, this doesn't work for everyone, but it's just my personal gauge for what is and isn't appropriate when I'm in a relationship.

So, on Saturday night, Kort, Kaci, and I went dancing and had a lot of fun. But several times in the night, a guy started trying to dance with me. That made me feel kind of squicky in itself. However, once they started grinding against me or touching my hips, my cheat-o-meter went skyrocketing, so I would dance away from them. And since boys just can't seem to dance without taking it too far...well...I felt weird about the whole thing. I would have rather just danced with the girls.

The kids are pressuring us to marry.

Weirdly enough.

Last weekend during dinner, Maia came right out and asked when we were getting married. We both hemmed and hawed over the question, saying not everybody who is together needs to get married. She said, "But when are YOU getting married?"

This is following on the heels of Kayden introducing Maia to his Cub Scout pack as his "little sister," which made Keene choke up a bit.

Sometimes I think that wouldn't be such a bad idea. But then other times I remember that we've only been together for 14 months. THEN I remember that Josh and I were engaged at 12 months. THEN I remember the overwhelming guilt I feel to this day for marrying a guy, letting Kayden get attached to him, then having it not work out. Not sure I can do that again, even if this is what Kayden wants.

Kelli = spinning in circles today.

October 21, 2009

Cake Decorating.

I saw a tip online for a certain kind of process.

Basically, you print out an image onto paper. Tape the paper onto a cutting board. Tape seran wrap over the paper. Then, you trace over the lines from the image with icing, onto the seran wrap. Freeze it.

Next, you fill in any colors, then freeze that. Finally, after it's all frozen, you untape the seran wrap, flip it onto the cake (carefully). The idea is that you can then press the frozen icing onto the cake like a mirror image of the computer printout.

Has anyone tried this? I think I'm going to attempt it with some Pokemon characters.

_________________________________________________________

I froze the icing for about two hours on seran wrap. I tried to stick it to a paper towel afterward. It wouldn't even come off of the seran wrap. Even after I smooshed it down. So, next up, I'm trying the parchment paper.
_________________________________________________________

Update:

I think the icing trick will work! I've tried a bunch of different methods, but this latest one seems to do the trick.

(That's Giratina from Pokemon)


For reference, this is the picture I used:


The whole time I was working on it, Kayden kept coming over and saying, "Whooooooa! You're doing a super job."

I told him, "If this works out, I'm going to be the best mom ever. And if this doesn't work out, I'm going to be the best mom ever. You remember that."

___________________________________________________________

Final update:

When it came time to sticking it on the cake, it was a mess. Most of the icing either flaked off or wouldn't come off at all. I ended doing a lot of it free-hand on the cake, while Kaci filled in colors.

October 17, 2009

Do I Need a Job to Find a Girlfriend?

(Reprinted from http://www.truelovedirect.com/do-i-need-a-job-to-find-a-girlfriend)

Short answer: no, but you need a job to keep a girlfriend.

That’s not exactly true, of course. Money is not everything and should definitely not be a factor in choosing a mate. Many women do not care about a man’s salary or what possible gifts he can give to her. That is a great quality to look for in a woman—and a potential girlfriend: the lack of superficial values. However, there are lots of reasons why you do need a job to keep a girlfriend.

Quite simply, a job shows that you work for your money. You are not a spoiled brat living off a trust fund. You are not mooching off of your parents. You pay for your own living expenses, handle your debts, and hopefully, even save for a rainy day. This shows you possess the basest form of adult responsibility to a woman.

A job shows a woman that you have ambitions or career goals. Maybe your current job as a grocery store cashier isn’t your life’s dream…but it could be that you are gaining experience to become a storeowner yourself someday. Dreams very rarely come true without a little work on your part. A woman with goals of her own will likely be put off by a man who appears to drift through life aimlessly.

Maybe you’ve been working at your current job for five months—or maybe five years. Either way, this is a way for a woman to gauge your stability (and to even use it as a relationship gauge). What is your work history like? Do you have a history of one-month-long assignments before you were fired? Did you quit as soon as the job lost its appeal or got too hard? If so, that may send up a red flag to a woman who is looking for commitment. How will she know you will stick out a relationship if you can’t even stick out a job?

Finally, a job shows that you’re capable. You’re capable of taking care of yourself, of keeping a job, of carrying yourself as a mature adult. This is especially important if you hope to one day get married, have a family with this woman, to buy a house. If you don’t even work, how will you achieve these milestones? Moreover, a job displays your skill set, what you’re good at. Productive skills are hard to find in the guy who lays around his parents’ basement all day.

More concretely (and with the near future in mind), without a job you will likely be short of cash at any given time. What will you do on dates? What if your new girlfriend wants to go bowling, but you’re broke? How will you celebrate her birthday? While money is certainly not essential to finding love, a boyfriend who either forces you to pay for him or holds you back from participating in fun activities is bound to become a burden very quickly.

October 12, 2009

Kayden had his first bout of teenage entitlement.

I let the kids sometimes do extra chores to earn money. I pay $.50 per chore (with a chore being a single task like cleaning a mirror or sweeping the floor). Maia started right away. Kayden, on the other hand, threw a fit about "why can't we get $1 per chore?!" I stood firm on my rate and he stormed off, slamming his door.

I ignored him for a while until I heard him throwing things around. Then I went in to talk to him. And he was suuuuuuuuper pissed. He was crying and yelling about how it was no fair and he should get more money.

Ohhhh, boy. I laid into him. I did the "when I was a kid" thing and told him that we used to clean the entire house, do the yard work, and more. I then launched into how I have to work eight hours a day. (He said, "But you get to go to work and have fun...I have to go to school." I replied, "You know what work is like? Imagine doing your homework for eight hours every day." That shut him up fast.)

I then went on and on about how I work to provide clothing, toys, and food for him...then he expects me to give him extra money for chores that I have to do every day for free?! I then asked when the last time was that he cooked dinner, swept the floor, cleaned the counters, washed his clothes. Finally, I finished by saying that he could come out when he was ready to apologize to me.

Less than five minutes later, he came out and apologized for being so rude.

October 5, 2009

Ninjas and Yarmulkes

Friday night, we went to the kids' school for the fall carnival. Little did we know, there were ninjas in the area:


And those sneaky bastards tried to initiate Maia:



After the carnival, I took Kayden to his dad's house, then went home. Kaci came over for some crocheting, drinks, and infused Nutella bars.

Keene took an unfinished hat and rocked it as a yarmulke:


But then I made the executive decision that it needed its own curls (like as Hasidic Jews wear):





All day Saturday (yes, ALL day) was spent crocheting, while Keene knitted. No pictures of this nonstop excitement.

Sunday: we decided we should get off our butts and do something fun with the kids.

So we went hiking:


We climbed trees:



The kids rolled in the dirt:


Then we went home in time for dinner.

Grandma's Dream.

"My g-ma said, "I dreamt you and Keene got married. I was trying to convince you to change your last name, so you'd be Kelli Keene. Isn't that adorable?"

I laughed and said I would sound like a heroine in a romance novel. She then said, "And in my dream, the reason you got married was because you wanted to have a baby."

I laughed even harder and said that wouldn't happen. She said, "Well, I'm just giving you a heads-up of the future..."

I said if that happens, I'm going to call her up and yell at her.

October 2, 2009

I'm sporting homeless chic fashion today.

Homeless chic: when your mismatched ensemble goes above and beyond the quirky, boho style in a very aesthetically displeasing way.


My outfit: leopard-print flats, jeans, reddish t-shirt, white and black floral jacket, green Castro hat. I did not plan this.

October 1, 2009

Dethklok: The Most Brutal Show on the Planet


(Reprinted from www.ColoradoMusicBuzz.com)
Doodily ding dong tick-tock, doodily ding dong tick-tock, doodily ding dong tick-tock … Dethklok Dethklok Dethklok Dethklok!

The fictional band from the television show, “Metalocalypse,” is coming to Denver. Appearing on “Adult Swim,” this Death Metal band is hailed as the most successful music act in the history of the world, with the seventh largest economy, and with a considerable influence on world events. They’re just that good.

Dethklok comprises the following members: Skwisgaar Skwigelf (taller than a tree) on lead guitar, Toki Wartooth (not a bumblebee) on rhythm guitar, William Murderface (Murderface Murderface) on bass, Pickles the Drummer (doodily doo, ding dong doodily doodily doo) on drums, and Nathan Explosion on vocals. These guys are the best at what they do, of course, and what they do is create a sound that appeals to Metal fans and haters alike. Their brand of melody, mixed with pounding rhythm and hilarious (yet nearly indecipherable) vocals ensured the instant successes of The Dethalbum I and II.

So, how does the cartoon band pull off a tour? The co-creator, Brendan Small, also happens to be a top-notch guitarist (and the voice of Nathan, Skwisgaar, and Pickles) and Metal singer. Along with Gene Hoglan (drums), Mike Keneally (guitar) and Bryan Beller (bass), they put on a show good enough to stand on its own, yet worthy of the Dethklok name. In the past, they have also used previously un-seen cartoon footage as a backdrop or filler.

One of the main premises of the show is how the band is cursed, inducing a trail of extreme violence in their wake. Yet at a 2008 concert in San Francisco, the Fillmore was evacuated when an electrical fire occurred. Life imitating art, perhaps?

LIVE: October 10 / Fillmore Auditorium with Mastodon and Converge

MySpace.com/Dethklok