December 31, 2009

Kort and I have not lost our touch

We went out last night after she got off. We got a pitcher of beer, snagged a pool table, (she) did a little karaoke.

Within an hour of being there (maybe two, I don't know), two very cute guys asked if they could play pool with us. We played teams for the rest of the night. We did a rendition of INXS' "Need You Tonight" and "So Happy Together." We even had a few bouts of dance-and-beatbox pool.

At the end of the night, the guys were gushing (yes, gushing) about how cool we were, how much fun they had, etc. This just further confirms what we've always know: we ARE the party.

When I got home, I told Keene about my night. I said, "I hope you realize just how awesome I am."

He then said, "Should I be jealous?"
I said (surprised), "No...nothing--"
"No, I mean, do you WANT me to pretend to be jealous?"
He then gave a tortured-Edward-Cullen-esque look.

When kid-less for the holidays, mayhem will ensue

(Reprinted from

Keene’s five-year-old daughter (who we’ll call Little Miss) only gets to see her Nevada-based mother over school breaks and throughout the summer. So on the last day of school, she boarded a plane and flew west for a very desert-y Christmas. Meanwhile in Colorado, my son (The Dude) went south to his father’s house, where he planned to spend the first week of his winter break.

And then there were two. Two adults who didn’t quite know what to do with themselves. When you have a child at a young age, being a parent is all you know. I didn’t establish my adult personality and then have a child. Rather, I learned to become an adult while also learning to become a parent.

The week leading up to Christmas started out maturely enough. We ate a nutritious dinner at the table, as if the children were still home. We wrapped presents and cleaned the house. But as the days went by, the meals became a little more sordid. Salad turned into Doritos and queso dip. Cereal replaced chicken and rice. Milk was traded in for spiked eggnog.

We started going to bed later and later, despite still having to get up for work in the mornings. The house slowly accrued more messes. A dirty plate or mug left forgotten in the living room, to where meals had been transferred. Wrapping paper and ribbons littered the floor. Coats were thrown haphazardly at the door. The kitchen counter began disappearing under the mixed stack of speckled dishes and unopened mail. Piles of laundry grew taller and smellier over the days.

The Dude came home on Christmas Eve to spend the night and open presents. But by noon the next day, he went back to spend the rest of the weekend with his other family. Along with his departure went the last bits of our deep-seeded sense of adult responsibility. Days were spent playing video games, watching television shows, junk-food snacking, creating new alcohol-based concoctions (FYI: blended rum, orange juice, and yogurt is delicious), and giggling at each other a la Beavis and Butthead.

I realized something after I accidentally threw a hairbrush at the Christmas tree, causing an ornament to shatter across the living room: kids don’t just need parents to keep them on the straight and narrow; parents also need the kids. The kids keep us in line. Their presence forces us to keep the house clean, to cook decent dinners, to eat at the table while talking about our day, to ensure nothing is carelessly broken, to keep rowdy behavior to a healthy minimum. They stop us from reverting to teenagers whose parents have left them alone with money and an empty house for the week.

In the last days, we hurried to clean the house, hide any evidence of how we spent our week (don’t worry, the missing ornament will not be noticed), and change back into our responsible parent suits…just in time to tell the returning children, “Sheesh, clean your rooms! They are getting out of control.”

December 16, 2009

Jury Duty

I guess I can see why people complain about it, but I liked it. I got out of work all day, I got to spend a good chunk of the day reading.

Also, it's like a game show. First, I got chosen for the elite 25. Score! Then the judge asked all of his questions, people left, people were removed. But I stayed! Then the lawyers asked their questions...and I made it through that, watching everyone around me being asked to leave. Wooot! Finally, the time came and I was placed in the 5th seat. I was so in. Not only would I be on the jury, but I would be the winner.

But then on his last removal, the defense booted me out. Boo! I was really hoping to stay. The trial would last until Monday AND it was a kidnapping/attempted murder trial. How fun! But oh well...another time, I guess.

I seriously think it's set up that way to entertain everybody. Like a game for the lawyers. Like chess. "Your move, counselor." "Gah! You booted out my queen!"

One question the defense asked was, "When you walked in and saw the defendant, did you think, 'What did he do wrong?'" He called on someone, who replied, "Actually, I thought YOU were the defendant."

Regardless of the outcome, that was the best Tuesday I've had in a long time.

December 14, 2009

Silly boys.

Keene and I were talking about presents for our families the other night. I showed him a few pretty picture frame ornaments I bought to give as gifts. I said, "We could give one of these to your mom--"

Keene cut me off to say, "Oh yeah! We can put a picture of Maia in it!"

I said, "Umm...OR, we could put a picture of all four of us in it..."

::snort:: Don't be stealing my gift idea and making her think it's just from you!

Play Food

I just bought these for Maia:

From Ann's House on Etsy

December 10, 2009

Avoiding an Awkward First Kiss

(Reprinted from

You have just spent the last couple hours with a beautiful woman in which you shared stories of your childhoods and batted questions back and forth like a tennis tournament. It went off without a hitch—even better than you expected! Now you are driving her home, pulling into her driveway, locking the emergency brake…and you have no clue about what to do next. To kiss or not to kiss?

That final moment of the date can be unbelievable awkward. Even if everything leading up to it were perfect, the last two minutes can make or break the whole experience in her mind. First off, you do not want to seem too eager for the kiss, lest she think you are too pushy or desperate. On the other hand, aloofness can also turn her off if she thinks you don’t like her after all.

Decide the better setting: should you stay in your car or walk her to her door? While your car will afford more privacy, it isn’t nearly romantic or chivalrous as being escorted on one’s door. Shut off the engine and get out.

Start by studying her demeanor. Is she lingering, talking about what fun she had, how you should do it again sometime? Gushing over or recapping (going over funny moments from earlier) the date is a pretty good sign that she is into you. If she were not, she would probably rush through this part to get you on your way as soon as possible or just hop out of the car with a passing “buh-bye” over her shoulder. But if you sense hesitation, it’s likely because she is somewhat shy and you will be the one to make a move.

The best way to ease into a situation is to take her hand, thank her for the great time, then kiss the back of her hand gently. Corny? Maybe. Nevertheless, this move is ingenious. If the girl is not into you, you’ll sense it immediately. Yet it won’t be an awkward confrontation in which she pulls away and gasps, “Eek, get away!” You can just stop at the hand-kissing with no hard feelings.

However, if after your gentlemanly act, she beams and blushes and continues to linger with her hand in yours, she is clearly into it. At this point, you may either stop while you’re ahead or take it to the next step by leaning in for a kiss. While still holding her hand in one of yours, put your other hand at the back of her head, drawing her closer. This will also help you to guide her the right way, avoiding the embarrassing nose-bump or accidental tongue-to-nostril contact. Keep your hand there even after you have kissed, which will make her feel enveloped by you.

Finally, if you have not been kneed in the groin at this point, you can officially consider your first date a raging success!

December 9, 2009

Repo Lot

I went to the repo lot to get stuff from my car and it is crazy. There were HUNDREDS (if not thousands!) of cars, bikes, trucks, campers, etc. The guy who helped me told me that this year, the number of cars they have received each month has grown drastically. He said they receive at least 500 cars a month now. And these weren't junkers, by any means. These were anywhere from mid-range cars like mine to super-nice sports cars. Just sitting abandoned in the dirty snow.

It makes me sad, but it is also kind of comforting to know I'm not alone in this.

December 7, 2009

Welcome Old-Man Car

So, my MIA boss (who lives in CA and doesn't really even work here anymore) just dropped by because he's in town. We talked about how the new landlord is really strict about leaving cars in the parking lot for more than 72 hours. Boss has a car parked here but doesn't need it. He mentioned that he's going to try to sell it today before he goes home, otherwise he'll donate it. I told him I'm car-shopping and would consider buying it. He said it runs perfectly (though it's not great in the snow) and that he loves the car. I know he would say if it had a big problem. . It's an Infiniti, but I don't know what year... Oh, and it has a Bose sound system in it.


Oh, and he just said he would take $800 for it, since I have that in cash on me right now. I could take it home today.


He has all maintenance documentation. He's only ever taken it to the same dealer for repairs. He's always used premium gas and has maintained it very well.

I drove it and it's awesome. It has a lot of fancy features, including a 10-disc CD player, automated everything, leather seats, etc. He said it's his baby, but he has no reason to bring it back to CA with him.

December 2, 2009

Me vs. Him

Out of the blue, Keene said, "I was thinking today about what a great girlfriend you are. You just have all the aspects of what makes a relationship great. I feel really lucky and I thought you should know that."

I replied, "Huh. Today I was thinking about you naked. But that's the difference between you and me."

December 1, 2009

Jackson, Wyoming

We decided to take a day-trip up north to Jackson, Wyoming. These pictures are not badly lit or photoshopped in any way. Everything was just gray!

After we got to Jackson, we walked around the town a bit, exploring shops:

A wolf-skin rug...that's brutal:

While at a fossil shop, the store owner gave each kid a shark tooth. They were thrilled to death by this.

Afterward, we visited an elk refuge, then drove through Curtis Canyon:

This frozen waterfall was gorgeous:

The Grand Tetons: