November 30, 2009

Something bad happened and you will all judge

I judge me too.

My car got repossessed. Even if I shouldn't have been, I was absolutely shocked. My only defense is that that brouhaha with the bank and our accountant reeeeeeeally fucked up my finances and I wasn't able to catch up on payments as I had been planning to do. I had informed the bank that I would be making a payment on Saturday.

Instead, they took my car Friday at midnight. First thing Saturday morning, I got up and started making calls to the bank to see what I had to do to get it back. Turns out, the people I need to talk to aren't in until Monday.

Because of this, we pushed our trip to WY until Monday, after I can talk to the bank. I acknowledge that it's totally my fault that this happened. But at the same time, why did they have to do it during the weekend, when there is no chance of getting back for a few days?

Soooooooo...I'm totally embarrassed about this and haven't even told anyone (except my g-ma, because she wanted to know why we would be late). I have to find out what they need from me and what kind of deadline I'm facing. I can swing the past due payments (since I had been planning to pay them Saturday anyways), but I don't know what the repo fees will cost.

Ugh. Just ugh.
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Update:

I have paid over 50% of the loan...only have two years left on it. My plan of action is to see what the fees are. I suspect I will only have to pay what is owed, plus the repo fees. That was the impression the lady at the bank's call center gave me...however, I won't know for sure until I talk to the repo department on Monday.

If it is just the $1,000 plus fees, I'm going to see how much time I have to pay it. If they allow two weeks, it wouldn't be a problem, though I kind of doubt this scenario. If I had to pay the remainder of the loan ($7K left), I'll be pretty much fucked. I'll have to give up at that point and try to find a new car.

I'm just crossing my fingers that the repo fees won't be too bad...
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Update:

I lost the car. I talked to the bank. They wanted a lot more than I could come up with and they wanted it by today at noon. I'm pretty sad because I lost my car, but at the same time, I have to think this is the universe telling me to get a car I could afford better. I'm going to look into buying a car outright, so I can focus on paying down my bills.
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Final update:

The more time that goes by, the more I'm thinking of this whole debacle as a blessing in disguise. I've been struggling with payments for a while now, but couldn't get out from under the car. So, by them taking it, I'll have to pay the difference between what I owe and what someone buys it for. But I won't be strapped down by the payments anymore. I've decided to just buy a car outright.

I looked on Craigslist for a bit last night to assess the situation. Turns out, there are lots of great, affordable cars needing only minor repairs. Sadly, many of the listings said something like, "Need to sell by Saturday...need to pay rent".

November 28, 2009

Dating in a Recession: How to Plan Cheap Dates

(Reprinted from http://www.truelovedirect.com/dating-in-a-recession-how-to-plan-cheap-dates)

Congratulations! You have finally secured the phone number of the man or woman of your dreams. All you have to do is come up with a fantastic first date to blow him or her away. But if you are like millions of other Americans right now, you don’t exactly have dating worked into your tight budget.

Good news, though: Mr. or Ms. Right is probably struggling too, and will likely prefer a low-key date, as well. However, if you feel strange about “cooking” a meal of peanut butter sandwiches or fishing for pennies in a fountain together, create such an elaborate date that he or she will never realize how little you spent.

Cook for Your Date

This is easily the best way to avoid spending money without seeming cheap. Ask friends for suggestions on their favorite recipes or search through your own. While you will have to buy ingredients, the overall cost will be much less than if you were to dine out. A spin-off of this idea is to prepare all the fixings for a picnic and dine in a park.

Look Around Your City

Large metropolitans often have public gardens, art museums, outdoor movie viewings, or other events at a discounted rate for residents. Start with your city website, check on its calendar for possible ideas. If you can’t find any scheduled events, just walk around the city and take the sights in.

Take a Hike

This is a good way to not only save money, but to also get a lot of one-on-one time with your date. While walking along a quiet trail, you can have a great conversation without feeling like you are at an interview. A word to the wise, though: your date will need to know of your plan beforehand, lest she shows up wearing high heels and a mini-skirt.

Bring Your Own Date

Is a friend having a party that night? Take your date with you. However, this option can be tricky, if you are not careful. Don’t abandon your date to talk with your friends. Wherever you go, he goes. Also, while a dinner party or barbeque would be a splendid place to bring a date, a kegger or frat party is not. Be mindful that you are, in fact, on a date at all times.

Coffee Time

Coffee dates have increased in popularity over the years, tying with “grabbing a drink” for the best informal type of date. Either you are meeting in the afternoon when hard liquor is just not as appealing, or you have already eaten and are meeting for a nightcap. Whatever the time, sitting at a coffeehouse is ideal for getting to know someone. There is no pressure to hurry, it is usually quiet, and it won’t strike your date as an odd place to meet. Finally, you will both be so hyped up on caffeine (and a good dose of nervous energy), that the date will never experience the usual awkward pauses.

November 27, 2009

A Photo Shoot with Aryn

"Aryn, quit leaning like that! Sit up straight!"


"Smize! Smile with your eyes!"


"You're leaning again..."


"I'll just have to show you how it's done..."


"Smize!"


"You love the camera!"


"Look FIERCE!"


"And I'm spent."


...meanwhile...



November 24, 2009

Snowy Intermittent Spring in Afton, Wyoming

We were going to hike the Intermittent Spring (a natural spring which shuts on and off in the mountains). However, once we got there, we discovered it was REALLY snowy (though nowhere else in the valley is) and really isolated. Not ideal conditions for hiking. Throw in that Kayden left his snow boots at school and his feet got cold fast. So we walked around for a bit, then called it a day.










The funny thing about this picture is that when we zoomed in super close, there was a small green glowing dot in Kayden's nose. We've determined he has a gremlin in there now.


November 22, 2009

Keene's Mom

We went over to her house last night. At one point, Keene was talking about something and she interrupted to say, "Your father never talked this much." Then she turned to me and said, "How do you stand him always talking about his work and epoxy and wafers and on and on...?"

You get used to it.

Later she said to Keene, "Isn't Kayden perfect? Like, eerily perfect?"

She cracks me up.

Dating Advice for Balding Men

(Reprinted from http://www.truelovedirect.com/hot-girl%e2%80%99s-advice-for-balding-men)

As the years crept by, something else was creeping even more subtly: your hairline. Maybe you have been watching its progress with growing horror or maybe it snuck up on you seemingly overnight. You see the increasing surface area on your scalp and you worry about it making you look older or undesirable.

However, that is not the case at all. You have now joined the ranks of sexy balding men, such as Christopher Meloni, Billy Zane, Jude Law, and even the young Prince William. So what do these men have that manage to draw hordes of women to them (besides money and fame)? Self-confidence. They don’t hide their receding hairlines. They don’t hide their scalps under toupees. And neither should you.

Toupees and comb-overs can be very tempting for the balding man. For the man grasping at straws, a toupee can seem very realistic. However, they rarely look real and can be more trouble than they’re worth. Think of all the horror stories you have heard about a man’s toupee blowing away, falling off, and even being grabbed during a passionate moment. Comb-overs are even worse: they call for a man to have long hair in some areas (which sharply contrasts his bald spots) and they require a lot of creative maneuvering—something men should avoid where their hair is concerned. Most importantly, a comb-over is not subtle. It does not hide your embarrassment: it exaggerates it.

You have undoubtedly heard the phrase, “Fake it ‘til you make it” many times. There is a reason this line is so popular. It is essential to gaining confidence. You may not feel great about your appearance right now, but nobody knows that. Make them think you welcome this change, that you have never felt sexier. If you feel it, others will too.

Take this opportunity to change your hairstyle. For the most part, very short hair is ideal for balding men. This takes the emphasis away from the sparser areas. Try trimming the overall length to less than or about 1.5 inches. The shorter the better, with the exception being smooth shaven—Bruce Willis may be able to pull this look off, but not many others can.

Try to have a sense of humor about it. Donald Trump, who is famously known for his outlandish comb-over, once let Larry King touch his hair on air, proving that it was not a toupee. There are websites dedicated to the “science” of his comb-over. Yet he laughs about this. If you make jokes about going bald, others will see that it doesn’t bother you. However, know when enough is enough. Too many bald jokes and it’ll come across as insecurity. Find the balance between good-natured humor and self-deprecation.

Finally, remember that balding is not an uncommon occurrence. Women are not turned off by a bald head. On the flip side, it can enhance your appearance or give you an “edge.” But the most important way of making sure a woman knows you’re hot is to believe it yourself.

November 17, 2009

My New Ring

I bought it from Etsy seller, Excellent Creations, as a 27th birthday present to myself:



November 16, 2009

Remember Stoney?

Scott: Did you ever meet Stoney? We used to hang with him at Denny's in Layton.

Kelli: Nope, don't remember him.

Scott: He would always say he likes new things 'cause they're wrapped in plastic, and he burns the plastic, and it makes him feel good from here down?

Scott: And Cheryl called him Leroy and they had an imaginary garden?

Kelli: Oh, okay. I remember now.

Scott: Okay, cool. Ian told me he was murdered by his wife last year. I just found out about it.

Kelli: Huh. Cheaper than divorce.

Scott: I agree. I think we got out of Utah just in time.

November 10, 2009

Annoyed at the Living. Annoyed at the Death.

The aftermath of Tori's death has made me frustrated. I hate when people come out of the woodwork to grieve over someone they were barely even close to...as if they're trying to put the spotlight back on themselves.

I keep getting calls and texts from old friends. People I haven't talked to in over 10 years. Okay, I get that you are calling to send condolences and reconnect over what happened. But leave me alone! Find your gossip somewhere else!

Tori was with me when I first met Scott, so she became friends with him and his friends as a result. Now, all of his old friends (who he hasn't even talked to in years) are suddenly acting so dramatic about this. I have gotten texts, asking me to send pictures of her, asking me for details on what happened.

And most recently, memorial posts have begun popping up on Facebook. This isn't about them getting closure...it's about trying to glean sympathy. One in particular gave very graphic, personal details of her death. Thanks for sharing her business all over the internet, you ass-face!

I'm feeling a weird combination of annoyance at the drama and really defensive over her and her memory. I hate people who exploit a death to make it about him/herself.

I don't know. It's all very weird. I just hate all of this.
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I shouldn't have, but I posted this on the oversharer's Facebook page:

"Are you sure her family would want you sharing all these details on the Internet? It seems like an awfully private thing..."

She responded with:

My face book is totally private other than what friends i've chosen can see.

Yes, just 430 of your closest friends.

_______________________________________________________________________

I just pwned her on Facebook.

I know I shouldn't have said anything more, but I just couldn't let it go. I waited until I was calm and read it through a couple times:

There is a difference between sharing the necessary information with loved ones and just plain gossiping with 400 of your Facebook friends. Frankly, having just lost my friend of 15 years, I'm pretty upset to find that her death is being reduced to morbid gossip. Especially considering what a private person Tori was.

Had you just made an announcement that she died, it would be very different. But sharing the details like this? Why do all your friends (including many people who didn't even know her) need to know how she died or what her condition was in the end? Do you think she would have wanted to be remembered like that?

Moreover, assume that there are actually friends of Tori on here. Is this how you want to let them know of her death? Have them just stumble upon this announcement, squished in between pop culture quizzes and profile bling? Why not just pick up the phone and call them?

Advice from a wayward marriage

(Reprinted from http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-22420-Arapahoe-County-Parenting-Examiner~y2009m11d10-Advice-from-a-wayward-marriage)

During a recent discussion among friends, a newlywed asked, “What was the best marriage advice you have ever received?” There were a few great responses such as, “When you say sorry, mean it,” “Let him think he’s in charge,” and my favorite, “The minimum sentence for manslaughter is five years.”

However, I couldn’t remember receiving any especially helpful advice prior to my own marriage. I thought about it for moment, about what I have learned from my doomed marriage and what I would have done differently. Now, newlyweds (and even seasoned married folks) usually avoid divorcees, lest their fate be contagious. However, who better knows what can go wrong in a marriage than those of us who have experienced it firsthand?

- Make an effort to greet your significant other when he or she comes home. This doesn’t mean a yelled "hello" from another room. Meet that person at the door, throw your arms around them, kiss them. Make them aware of how happy you are to see them or how much you missed them during the day. It's a simple, easy, and loving gesture.

- Don't let the television or computer take over your couple-time. It's easy to fall into a pattern of flipping on the TV when you are alone with each other. Turn it off once in a while and just pay attention to each other. Who cares if it's boring or if you may miss an episode of House? The ever-magical Internet has made it possible to watch television shows whenever you want. However, you may not always get another chance to focus on and enjoy this time with your partner.

- Talk about what’s bothering you right away. Don't let it stew. Even if it's an uncomfortable subject, just get it out there. The thing about resentment is that it does not go away on its own. If left alone, it will only get bigger. Address any concerns before they even have the chance to evolve into resentment.

- Sometimes men like to be pampered too.

- Make a ritual of doing something private, something only the two of you do together, where you feel free to talk about whatever is on your mind. Maybe it is sitting in front of the fireplace, taking a bath together, going for a walk, or driving around. Try to make time after the kids are in bed, to avoid any interruptions.

- Never fight, talk bad about, or speak sarcastically to one another in front of the kids. This should be a no-brainer, but it is enormously important.

- Be open about finances, even if they're not shared. In a relationship, you should be open about practically anything. However, money is such a typical relationship-killer that it only makes sense that a couple should pay special attention to this aspect.

- Sex is important in a relationship. I don't care what anyone says. I used to think it wasn't that important in a past relationship, but I see now that that was just my way of excusing the lack of it. What if you are not in the mood? Have it anyways. Oftentimes, that initial un-sexiness you may feel will dissipate.

- If you start thinking of leaving, make sure your significant other knows it. I assumed my ex-husband knew how serious I was about our marriage problems. However, when I asked for a divorce, he was taken by complete surprise. He shouldn't have been, by any means, but men are surprisingly clueless about certain things. Sometimes a person can avoid all the signs, but it is nearly impossible to avoid “I am almost to my breaking point.”

- But on the flip side, don’t make divorce an empty threat. It is not a word to carelessly throw around a marriage. The only time it should be brought up in a conversation is if you are dangerously close to it and are looking for ways to avoid it.

- Finally, know when enough is enough. You are doing no one a favor by staying in a miserable relationship. Not God, not your husband or wife, not your kids, and not yourself.

November 9, 2009

Birthday.

Your birthday is all about doing what you want, right?

Then why does my birthday always consist of talking on the phone for hours with well-wishers? I'm totally grateful for their thoughtfulness and I love these people to death. But I hate talking on the phone. I got constant calls and was on the phone from the time I got off work until after the kids were already in bed.

November 6, 2009

My high school BFF died.

We met in 7th grade, but weren't really friends. However, one day at school, she confided in me that she was planning to kill herself the next day. I kind of brushed it off, because, if you knew Tori, she was dramatic. The next day rolled around. I kept thinking and thinking about what if she actually did it and I didn't stop it. So I called and invited her to the movies. We became close friends after that.

Along with Aryn, it was the three of us all through junior high. We stayed friends throughout high school and after. But then Aryn and I had a falling-out with Tori a few years ago over some nonsense.

I had just started talking with her again last year.

I haven't been close to her in years. However, for ten years of my life (nearly one-third), she was my best friend. We used to talk about moving to California together. She visited me nearly every weekend when I was shipped off to Wyoming to live with my grandparents.

There were a couple other times when she talked about suicide throughout our friendship. I remember when we were 17 and I was living in Wyoming, she called to tell me she was on the edge. I cried and cried and talked to her. I even wrote a poem about how I couldn't live without her (yeah, I was a pretty dramatic teenager myself).

So now that she's finally gone through with it...well, I'm struggling. Like I should have been there for her once more. I know that's totally unreasonable. We grew apart and I couldn't be her crutch forever.

Honestly, I never thought she'd go through with it.

November 1, 2009

Halloween: Party Like It's 1929

At Hi-Dive, waiting for Achille Lauro to start:


This one cracks me up. "Shush now, dear..."


"Kelli, quit sticking your tongue out!"



Success!


Then at Charlie Browns, a bar. We weren't there for very long...just long enough for me to break a salt shaker, to watch a costume contest, to have a drink (I think), and to get hit on by a guy that looked like Biff from Back to the Future. Then he saw Keene and said, "And you're here with your boyfriend....never mind."


Hanging with Johnny Cash...doing the Pee-Wee Herman dance, maybe? I don't remember:



Finally, at the house party:



Keene, his drummer Mike, and Isaiah




I really like this one:


Kaci and Wolverine (who was one of the residents of the house party):


And a Castro cameo:

Americana Folkers: The Legendary River Drifters

(Reprinted from www.ColoradoMusicBuzz.com)

To put it bluntly, I am a sucker for bands with a unique sound. Give me a band with influences from a much earlier period of time and I turn to goo. The Legendary River Drifters have joined the ranks of such Colorado-based, historically inspired bands as DeVotchKa, Paper Bird, and Widow’s Bane.

Like these bands, the folks at TLRD sound as if they have traveled through time to present music as it once was. The twang-ridden, rowdy music sounds like what you might expect from a small church or dance hall in Tennessee, circa 1870. While there are modern instruments incorporated into the band’s bumpkin lineup, the result is subtle, never detracting from the old-fashioned charm.

Dated as it may be, the sound is anything but simple. Between the five members, they make use of the harmonica, spoons, a mandolin, a saw, a banjo, the washboard, and more. Yet one of the more standout aspects is the lead vocalist, Suzanne. She has a strong, rambunctious voice that becomes as melodic as any professional crooner with the changing songs.

The songs themselves are as random as the lineup, reverting from heel stomping and careless to swaying and emotional. Two standout tracks are the brief, but wickedly clever “Bowl Me,” and “Soapy Rail Stomp,” with its intricate mandolin picking and banjo accompaniment.


BAND MEMBERS: Suzanne (vocals, washboard, saw); Olivia (harmonica, spoons, guitar); Cyrus (guitar); Matthew (bass); Darrick (drums); Curtis (banjo); and Joe (mandolin, vocals).

STYLE Folk, Americana, Country

IF YOU LIKE: DeVotchKa, Soggy Bottom Boys

LIVE: November 13th / Benders Tavern – with Widow’s Bane

Myspace.com/TheLegendaryRiverDrifters