July 30, 2010

We resolved our longest-standing argument

Keene likes to put water in a pitcher in the fridge. He had read something about :insert scientific studies: and it filters or whatever.

I was cool with that. Cold water. Yay!

However, then he read that the lid should be left open overnight for :insert more scientific stuff: to happen. It's supposed to kill the bad whatevers.

The problem is that when the pitcher is full and the lid is open and I pull it out of the fridge (not knowing the lid is open), it pours everywhere. I grumble. He grumbles when I close the lid.

This has been going on for months. (Yes, really.) I pour water. I grumble. He grumbles about not wanting to die young. And so on and so on.

Finally, I came up with the idea of drilling a hole in the lid, in order to allow the :science shit: to happen, while keeping the lid closed.

He was shocked and amazed.

Since then, we haven't grumbled once.

We = lame

Avoiding Land Mines While Playing the Field

(Reposted from True Love Direct)

The best part about dating is being able to meet lots of different people at once. You can get a feel for what type of people you like, dislike, want to see again, and want to forget you ever knew. When you aren’t ready to jump into a committed relationship just yet (or maybe you are, but haven’t found the right person to leap with), you may want to play the field.

Playing the field is essentially a casual approach to dating. You meet and date many different people, without committing to anyone. Your intention may be the discovery of your soul mate through process of elimination. Or maybe you just want to have fun. Regardless of your reasons for it, here are some ways to make your field-playing experience a positive one.

Be honest.
The quickest and most common way a man gets himself in trouble is by leading a girl on, with no intentions of seeing her again. Sure, he’s more likely to get action right away if he promises to call in the morning. However, honesty ensures no stalker-esque calls, no awkward chance encounters, and no hurt feelings. Be upfront and tell her, “I really like you, but I am not looking for a relationship.” Despite what some people may think, you can date without being in a relationship.

Be graceful.
If you are at a club, hitting on guys left and right, and you see a previous conquest walk in, either talk to him as a friend or tactfully duck out of the building. Go somewhere else. If you are going to stay, don’t ignore him in favor of more desirable men. Just because you don’t intend to carry out a relationship with him, it doesn’t mean you can’t remain friends.

Be realistic.
If you plan to date multiple people, expect that the people you date will also be dating multiple people. You cannot dictate how (or with whom) they spend their time. You cannot demand they be monogamous with you, if you are not exclusively seeing them.

Be safe.
Because you cannot stop a man you are casually dating from having sex with another woman, know the risks involved. You do not know what kind of protection they may be using (or not using), just as you do not know what kind of infections that person/s may be carrying. If you are going to engage in intercourse, always use protection.

Be open to love.
Sometimes love finds you even when you are adamantly avoiding it. If you have been casually dating a girl for months and find yourself wanting to see other women less and less, don’t ignore that feeling. If suddenly the field seems emptier and less fun, maybe you are ready to try more of an intimate setting? You have regaled friends with (and maybe even bragged about) stories of your single life, but if you feel like it is no longer the right path for you, don’t force it. Know when to drop your glove and leave the field altogether.

July 28, 2010

Bike Ride #1 - Hipness Fail!

I feel the need to include a picture in every post. So here is what happens when you try to make a cat sit on a bicycle seat:


Keene is at band practice and the kids are with their respective other-families. I decided I would ride Rusty (that's my bike, yo) around a bit. Yeah! Yeah! But where? We have a trail by our apartment. That would be pretty cool, but it would take a while. And I really should have been working on some articles. What I needed was a quick jaunt, a pick-me-up to get me motivated.

Then I envisioned a leisurely ride to Starbucks, cruising back home while sipping my chai. How fun and relaxing it would be! But then I remembered the busy road near our home. Would I have to (gulp) ride on the road? I couldn't remember if I had seen bikes on the road or sidewalk there. Quickly, I googled "Colorado law bicycle" and discovered that for a speed limit of over 35mph, you can pretty much ride on the sidewalk. (Correct me if I'm wrong, Coloradoans!)

Then I set out. I rode the bike through the living room, out the door, and onto the road. I stopped on the piece of asphalt that Keene had discovered can activate the apartment complex's gate. Success!

I pedaled to the stop sign, where the busy road lay ahead. Fortune was on my side, as the road was clear, but I hurried across anyway. Once on the sidewalk, I noticed a problem: it was very narrow and littered with sand and twigs.

As a teenager, riding on the back of my first stepdad's Harley Davidson, I once witnessed a fellow biker skid on sand and crash into a concrete barricade. Because of this, I am certain that tires cannot handle sand any better than they can handle ice. I slowed to a near crawl. I pulled into a residential street just as quickly as I could, eager to get off of the deathtrap sidewalk. Once in the neighborhood, though, it was a breeze. I pedaled happily, no longer worried about the sand throwing me into the street, into the path of the zooming car-monsters.

At this point, maybe I should disclose that it has been about 15 years since I've ridden a bicycle. In case that wasn't obvious.

Anyhow, pedaling, pedaling, pedaling. Then the hill began to rise. Pedaling, pedaaaling, pedaaaaaaaaling. I remembered Keene had mentioned cruisers weren't really meant for hills. I cursed. I hate when he's right. My thighs burned. Just as I was about to jump off the bike (the brakes are a little weak, you know) and sit on the curb and cry, I spotted Starbucks. Huzzah!

I parked the bike at the door, went inside, ordered my drink, talked with the cute barista for a while about bike-riding. She assured me that I was okay to ride on the sidewalk on this street. Duly noted, but I still planned to ride home through the neighborhood.

Drink in hand, I left and picked up my bike (which was standing upright by use of the kickstand, something Keene said is decidedly un-hip). I climbed on and immediately realized the problem: the rickety, old bike was too wobbly to safely ride one-handed, especially on sidewalks.

Well, I made the conscious decision to opt for safety over Starbucks and, as a result, rode much of the way home with bouncing, steaming hot chai dripping down my hand. (Yes, I am probably one of the few dumbasses who drinks hot tea in the summer.) Another hill, a few mini chai-explosions, a hurried crossing of the busy street, and I was nearly home.

Not bad, not bad, I assured myself. I still have some chai left to drink. My hand isn't too badly burned. I got a little exercise. And my hip-factor is rising with each rotation of the pedal.

That's when I lost all bicyclist-credibility. I approached the driveway to my apartment complex, just as a car pulled up. Clearly, the driver thought I would ride in front of her car, so she waited for me. But because I was turning before then, I wanted to let her know.

So I reached for my blinker.

My hand actually waved in the air a couple times, before I remembered that bikes don't have turn signals. Oh, uh, um. With another splatter of chai, I quickly turned, pulled up to the gate, punched in the code, and rode into my apartment. Then drank what was left of my chai.

And now it's 9:45 and I haven't even started on my articles. This is just a night of fail.


(I have posted this picture under the guise of "Ooh, see how tired this ordeal made me?" when I really just wanted to whore the cute earrings Keene just made for me.

There is now an accompanying video in the Bacon and Eggs at the Burlesque Show post.

See Bitter o'Clock in action!

(Not me, pervs, my products!)

Now and Then: At the Playground

Two posts about the kids in a day? What the hell, right? After two months of only having Kayden every other week at most and not having the little girl (what's her name again?) around at all, well, I'm starting to miss the little boogers.

Anyhow, I recently watched Kayden playing with the digger at a playground...



I was struck by the similarity of this picture from when he was around 18-24 months old.



And that's all. See, that wasn't so painful!

The Ragamuffins

I have no real reason to post these pictures, except that they are getting old and have been sitting in my Drafts folder for months, waiting to be used in some clever way. Instead, I have no time to post a blog of substance, since I am facing a deadline. Money wins over creative outlet every time, apparently.

So, here are the kids, looking especially orphan-like, playing with snails and trees and rocks. See? This is what happens when you don't let kids watch television. They get all dirty and hippie-like.


July 27, 2010

Oh no! We have to help him!!

While deleting spam comments, I came across this one recently (I've deleted the links, but kept the text):

HELP! I’m currently being held prisoner by the Russian mafia...penis enlargement...and being forced to post spam comments on blogs and forum! If you don’t approve this they will kill me...penis enlargement...They’re coming back now....Please send help!

Wowie...I'm glad I approved that comment. I saved his life. No, wait. This blog saved his life. That deserves one of the fancy awards bloggers are always passing around, right? Maybe I'll design one to give to myself.

Update: I won! ZOMG! I totally won an award!

July 26, 2010

Denver's Underground Music Showcase and the House-Purge

Every year, Denver Post sponsors a four-day-long, local music extravaganza. And every year, Kortney and I kick ourselves for missing it yet again. But this year, we did it!

And quickly wished we hadn't.

Don't get me wrong: it's a fantastic event. There are many, many amazing bands in Denver, so an event which showcases them at the same time is probably the smartest move ever. However, to see all of these great bands, you pretty much have to drop everything else in your life (not to mention a lot of dough). From about 3:00pm to past midnight, it is band after band after band...

Again, a great idea...unless you have a job and a family and other responsibilities to which you must attend.

So, here is 2010's Underground Music Showcase, from the perspective of a fully-grown (yet not totally responsible) adult's point of view.



Thursday night:

My goal for the opening night of UMS was to see Ian Cooke and Paper Bird. Fortunately for me, they were playing back-to-back at one of my favorite clubs. Unfortunately for me, the first of them didn't even start until 11pm. Nevertheless, Kortney and I are seasoned partiers. We're no strangers to stumbling home as the sun is rising. However, it has also been a couple of years since we partied regularly. In the land of drinking and bars and staying up past midnight, taking a hiatus of two years is pretty much like calling it quits for good. Once you stop, it is very hard to get back into the swing of whooping it up.

So, we arrived at Hi-Dive around 9:30-ish pm. My rum-and-root-beer float was delicious, made even more so by the fact that I didn't have to buy myself a drink all night. High-five for cheapskates!

Like the old biddies we are, we immediately noticed the stifling hot air in the club. We watched Shapes Stars Make! (that's their exclamation point, not mine) play a couple of songs, but decided we would rather wait outside for Ian Cooke's set. The band wasn't terrible, but paired with the muggy atmosphere, our respective senses of patience wore thin very quickly. Finally, it was time for Ian Cooke. We summoned up the energy to at least kind of bop along to the music. Or, if not bop, at least we sleepily swayed a bit.


Cooke and his band put on a fantastic show, even playing "The Race," which is my favorite of his songs.

If you're interested, here is the song from YouTube. Um, about the leg-dancers, well, uh... I don't know. Artsy types can be weird sometimes. If you don't want to watch it, minimize your browser and just listen to the song. Or you can watch it. Some of their moves are pretty hardcore. Around the six-minute mark, it starts to look like Kama Sutra for the Ballet Arts.



Moving along...

By the time, Cooke finished, it was around midnight. Paper Bird was playing next, but we were feeling worn out and both had to get up early the next day. I vowed to catch their performance on the next day. I dragged myself home and into bed (but not before riding around on my new bike until about 1:15am).

End of UMS Day One.
Number of Performances I Saw: 1.25


Friday:

The bands I wanted to see were Big Motif, Danielle Ate the Sandwich (who I am in love with), Action Packed Thrill Ride, Paper Bird, Dust on the Breakers, The Knew, and finally, Achille freakin' Lauro. Whew! What a lineup!

However, what I did instead was work until 9:15pm. Thank you, important last-minute proposal! Keene and I grabbed dinner at Tom's Diner, then headed back to Broadway, in time to catch the last band. We snagged a booth right next to the stage area. Score! Yet once again, by the time the band came on, I was exhausted from my fourteen-hour workday.

Nevertheless, Achille Lauro played an excellent set. As always. I have never seen them play a less-than-stellar show.


Towards the end of their set, Keene saved the show when the bassist had a malfunction. Well, they could have reasonably stopped the show then and there and no one would have faulted them. But they had been about to play "The Unicorn Song," so it would have been a travesty for them to get so close to playing it, then have to quit.

So, as the bassist tinkered with cables, Keene pushed his way to the front, up to the stage area, and promptly fixed the problem (which was because of something-something-something battery blah-blah-blah). A round of gratitude later, the band played on.

When I have more time, maybe I'll draw a picture of Superman Keene in some red skivvies.

End of UMS Day Two.
Number of Performances I Saw: 1


Saturday:

We woke up after about four hours of sleep, amped (low amps, that is) to sell our stuff at the flea market. Due to my latest house-purge (and that of my friend), I had a lot of shiznit to sell. Turns out, though, lots of coffee mixed with very little sleep makes me one sick pup.

I wasn't going to post this picture because I look half-dead, but eh, it is what it is. (I know people who have been driven insane by that phrase.) Besides, show me a person who looks fresh-eyed, clean, and beautiful at the flea market...and I'll show you someone who doesn't belong there.


After about six hours of flea-marketeering, we decided to set out for UMS.

Rush, rush, rush. We got there just in time to catch Houses.


They played a great set. (Are you sensing a theme here? These bands are all the tops. There must be something in microbrews here, because Denver has an excellent music scene.)

After Houses' set, we explored the neighboring thrift store.


I read this sign and giggled like Beavis and Butthead for about five minutes. "How may I please you, half-priced blue plates?"

No, no, no. "Thank YOU!"

The next band I wanted to see was Legendary River Drifters, playing at 7:00pm. However, I had to pick up Kayden at 7:30 from his dad. Foiled!

After getting home and spending exactly fifteen minutes of quality-time with Kayden, it was time to head out to meet Kortney for the next show: Flobots!

And who should introduce them but Mayor Hickenlooper (i.e. coolest politician ever). He talked about how important music is to a city. He mentioned that hi brother once joked that politics is "rock and roll for ugly people." Nice.



I'm curious as to what others think of Flobots. I think many people only know them by their radio hit, "Handlebars." Yet while I like that song a lot, it isn't really like the rest of their music. I adore this band, though. I have been attending their shows since early-2008. They always put on a great show, they spread positively charged messages to their fans, and they are very active in the community.

Nevertheless, they are a great, great band. I can think of very few who deserve success like they do.


(I found this video while searching for a song of theirs on YouTube. I like it because I always see the words in my mind as I hear them externally, so to me, this video makes perfect sense. All music videos should just be bouncing lyrics, really.)



The show ended and we realized there was still a few hours before the next band we wanted to see--Widow's Bane--would play. I told Kortney, "I will buy you tickets to their next show, if we can just skip it tonight." She enthusiastically agreed and we crawled back to our respective homes and passed out.

Reliving late-night party days of yore: fail.

End of UMS Day Three.
Number of Performances I Saw: 2 + a Mayor


Sunday:

Another bright and early start. Sigh.

This time, Kayden and I packed up the car and drove to Kort's house, where we set up a garage sale, determined to shed the last of our junk.


Meanwhile, Kayden sold lemonade:


He made about eight dollars from selling cups at $0.25 each. I was mightily impressed with the attitude of garage-sale visitors. Many of them bought lemonade and even tipped him. I was also impressed with Kayden for sticking it out, despite the 90+ degree heat. He definitely earned those quarters, even if all he did was stir and pour.

Note to readers: when you see a lemonade stand, give them some business. Kids probably appreciate that quarter much more than you do and it teaches them to work for their money. Plus, if there is a heaven, that is totally the way to bypass the bouncers.

By the time we packed up the garage sale, it was early-evening and we had to pick up Kayden's friend for swimming and a sleepover.

And you know what that means?

End of UMS Day Four.
Number of Performances I Saw: Big fat zero

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So, in conclusion, UMS is an awesome festival...if you have the time and energy. But if you are routinely pulled in twelve directions and have trouble finding time to even shower, you may want to pass on this. Besides, the good thing about local bands is that you can almost always catch another performance when it is more convenient.

And in further conclusion, Kortney and I have accepted that we are getting old.

It is what it is.

July 23, 2010

Reservations for Three

(Reposted from True Love Direct)

For many people, discovering that his or her partner has been with another person is devastating and can even indicate the end of the relationship. However, for some adventurous folks, this is just another Friday night. Increasingly, our country is becoming more open-minded about sexual activities. Threesomes, open relationships, and swinging are becoming less taboo and more common. Yet, regardless of their rising popularity, these acts may not be for every couple.


Also known as a ménage a trios, the threesome is no stranger to the world of sex. As long as two people have been engaging in coitus, there have likely been threesomes going on, as well. The appeal is easy to see: if one partner is good, two are even better. It takes the simple act up a notch. It can be a casual tryst among strangers or it can add spice to a long-running relationship.

Open relationships, on the other hand, is often seen as a “last resort” for a failing marriage. However, some couples may believe that “no one person can fulfill all of their needs,” which is why they choose to step outside of the marriage (and away from their spouses) to fill that need. In some cases, the spouse may not be able to physically (or want to) engage in sex, whether due to impotence or just lack of a sex drive. Together, they may decide that they will open up that portion of their marriage to outsiders. Though it is sometimes confused with infidelity, an open relationship must be acknowledged by both partners in order to be considered as such.

Falling under the category of open relationships, swinging is another sexual activity performed by some of the more adventurous folks. However, it differs because, rather than each person going out and finding a sexual partner, they “swap” with another couple. The husband of Couple #1, for example, will have sex with the wife of Couple #2 and vice versa.

With each of these acts, you are bringing another person (or several) into your relationship. This can almost certainly take a toll, if you are not careful. Your partner could become jealous at seeing you with another person. You could find yourself falling in love with the husband of the couple with which you swing. And, as with any casual sex situation, you open yourself up to possible infections or diseases if you don’t use proper protection.

Nevertheless, you can take precautions to ensure that, while your sex life may be rocking, your marriage won’t get rocky. Before opening up your relationship in any way, you and your partner must be on the same page. Talk about what you hope to gain from having sex with strangers. Is it for fun and excitement in an otherwise great marriage…or just a way to put a Band-Aid on existing problems? If so, you can just toss the relationship aside now, because no amount of wild sex with strangers will fix the underlying problem.

July 22, 2010

Keene's mom is awesome.

Remember how Keene shaved his head?

Well, I told his mom about that. I said on her Facebook page: "Keene shaved his head. Please ground him or stick him in time-out."

She replied: "Dang it, I wish I could. He looks like a scrawny white supremacist doesn't he? I am sorry, please don't leave him."

Then she called him and chewed him out.

I heard him say into the phone, "Well in three months, it'll grow back and she'll like it again...........well, then I'll have three months to try to get her back."

He then turned to me and said, "She is begging you to not leave me."

A New Bike and a New Wallet

I noticed the last two posts were nothing but text. So how about a few pictures to liven things up a bit?

This is the bike I mentioned a couple days ago:


We showed a picture to the people at Bicycle Village and they confirmed that it was likely made around the late-'50s to early-'60s. They also invited us to join a weekly ride for cruisers.

You know the typical teenage-movie scenario where the ugly girl (who isn't really ugly at all, just wearing nerdy clothes and glasses and hair that covers her face) gets a makeover then becomes uber-popular, only to discover that she is losing herself and all of her true friends because of her newfound popularity?

Well, that's totally me and this bike. It has made me 10% hipper by association. Soon, I'll be hanging out with all the cool, bike-riding hipsters of downtown Denver, shirking my true friends. I may even have a moment in which, after a friend pleas that I need to be true to myself, I turn and ride away, but not before the tires fling mud onto her face. Then all of my new thick-rimmed-glasses-wearing friends will laugh.

On a side note, I can't decide if the bike's name should be The Hawth (for obvious reasons) or Christine, due to the repeated injuries it causes to those who come near it. I will probably need a tetanus shot, seeing as how the thing is fairly rusty in spots. Hmm...Rusty. That's a good, strong name. Rusty "I'm a Bike" Cruiser. I like it.

Nevertheless, the bike doesn't look like this right now. It's actually disassembled (no disassemble!) in the living room, so Keene can fix the tires. JUST THE TIRES! Being a guy, he wants to fix everything he possibly can. But my plastic Eclipse wallet** screams each time he mentions another repair the bike needs in order to be rideable.

**Yes, I really do have a plastic Eclipse wallet.

(The cover is a hologram...holograph? Holographic-type thing?)

(I kept the movie-promo insert in the wallet. It lends an extra bit of crazy.)

If we are Facebook-friends, you may remember a while back, I posted about how I lost my wallet. My wallet that had over $1,000 in cash tucked away in it. I like to live on the edge, you know.

Anyhow, since then, I have not had a wallet. One day, I picked up Kayden after he had spent the week with his dad. After hello-hugging, he proudly pulled the plastic Eclipse wallet from his pocket and gave it to me. He said he got it at Burger King and had been holding onto it ever since, so he could give it to me. "Because you don't have a wallet, anymore."

If I could insert a crying emoticon right here without losing all blog-credibility, I would. It was incredibly sweet gesture from that endlessly-sweet kid. So I use it. I get strange looks from people when I pay for anything. But that's okay. They're just being haters, you know.

Dating a Stripper: The Pros, The Woes, and The Hos

(Reposted from Ask Dan and Jennifer)

It would be both unfair and inaccurate to say that one can’t have a successful relationship with a stripper. To start, no two strippers are alike: they have different upbringings, different philosophies and ideals, different motives, and even different entrance songs. However, there are relationship problems which are specific to people working in this industry. These are not meant to dissuade you from dating Ms. Right-Up-On-Stage, but rather, to help you decide if you will be compatible.

The first thing you must consider is her reason for stripping. This can be a telling factor in whether you may want to stay with her or not. If, for example, she is just working her way through college (as the tired cliché goes), then it may be possible to temporarily set aside any misgivings you may have. Yet if she strips because it gives her power or makes her feel desirable, be prepared for a low self-esteem and a whole lot of baggage.

What are her future plans for stripping? Is it a gig…or is it a career? While you may not begrudge her for “doing what she has to do” for a couple months, will you be as accepting after several years? Think of if/when you decide to have children. There is no maternity leave for strippers, no Bring Your Child to Work Day. Moreover, in the event that she is laid off or fired, many strippers find it difficult to transition into a regular job—-not only because of the drastic difference in compensation, but also, commonly, because of their lack of job skills. Knowing how to hang upside down on a pole will not fix a jammed printer or create a spreadsheet.

Then there is the joke about how the sex lives of both gynecologists and strippers dwindle because they don’t like bringing their work home. Yet there is a bit of truth to it. When a stripper spends every night forcing intimacy with strangers, it can become difficult to not force it at home, as well. Also, after feeling objectified by lusty men night after night, she may less than stoked to find an amorous boyfriend waiting at home.

“What about the pros?” you ask. There may be some benefits to dating a stripper. To start, she has to at least be somewhat attractive, right? Probably has a nice body and decent sense of rhythm. If she goes into the industry with a rational mind, she will have entertaining stories to tell. And frankly, you get to have what hundreds of guys want.

But what about the other kind of pros? I’m talking about the professionals, the strippers who take their craft to the next step as a way to rake in even more money. This stereotype holds more than just a nugget of truth: there are many strippers who have sex or perform other physical acts with clients. Unfortunately, this is a large part (albeit unofficial) part of the lifestyle. Not every stripper will succumb to this impromptu pay-raise; but let’s face it, she will be exposed to it.

What a bummer, I know. It doesn’t sound nearly as sexy or glamorous as it did in your head when you and your buddies saw her dancing last Friday. Nevertheless, if you feel none of this is a dealbreaker, give it a try. Don’t let this dressing down steer you away from what could be true love.

July 21, 2010

The Great Recession

A couple weeks ago, I was at IHOP, sitting across from Kortney, who was making weird faces while listening to a recorded message on her phone. On that evening, she was sending out resumes, looking for a new job. She called the phone number on a listing, and the recorded message told her to call another phone number (long-distance) to hear a presentation.

Let me tell you: the job market is a-changing. Degrees have taken on the value of Monopoly money. (Nothing, that is. They are worth nothing, although sometimes you can fool a kid into swapping it with real money. Unfortunately, kids won't pay you for a diploma. Monopoly money is a higher-ticket black market item, apparently.)

Regardless of the job you apply for, there will naturally be someone with more experience or lower salary requirements. For example, I recently went on an interview for a company which specializes in African safaris. Really. This job was fairly below my level of both experience and education. I had all the skills they required and more.

Yet the following week, the company informed me that they had chosen another candidate, one who had "experience in the industry." Who are all these people with super-obscure industry experience? Someone already had experience working for an African safari company?

As Kort put it, "What? Did they hire a Bushman?"

Employers are taking advantage of this barren economy to find the Top Guns of the working world. "Well, I know we are just replacing our receptionist," they muse, "and we can only afford to pay her in beans and erasers, but I think we should hire this candidate. Her last position was as a partner at a law firm! She must know her way around Microsoft Office. We've really scored big!"

Think about it, employers. The very minute the market turns around, do you think your new receptionist will stick around in this crummy job, answering the phones and making your coffee? No. She will move to a position that is more on her level. And she will not even feel guilty for abandoning you without notice.

If I think back to everyone I have known (or currently know) over the past two years, nearly every single person has been laid off, fired, or just deeply unsatisfied with their positions. I have personally changed jobs two times in the last two years: the first job laid me off (along with most of their employees), while the second just stopped paying altogether. (But strangely, the boss still expected me to keep working for him.)

"What do you think about companies that have typos in their descriptions?" Kort asked, in between chugs of coffee.

"It makes me think they need an assistant with a strong attention to detail," I replied.

"It makes me not want to apply for their jobs," she said.

The idea of loyalty to a company or employer is not just dead, but long since decomposing. Keeping your resume updated is not just a formality, it's a necessity. The two-week-notice has become a liability.

Music and Band Ezine: Volume 2, Edition 28

Music and Band eZine

Scroll down to Page 2 to see my Hot Congress article!

(Or you could just click on it over to the right, under the list of archives. Or if you've already read it, you could just not click on anything at all. I don't know what to tell you, then. I can't entertain you all the time. Sheesh. What do you want from me, anyways?)

July 20, 2010

Deformity, Deceit, and Dancing: Living with Keene

I'm working on articles about international medical travel insurance today. Pretty awesome, right? Yeah. As such, I am just going to do a mish-mash blog post. Mostly because Keene beats me if I don't have a post for him to read on his lunch break.

But first, a bit of great news. We found a bike for me finally. It's a Hawthorne cruiser, originally sold at Montgomery Ward. We can't find a year for it yet, but we think it was probably made around the '60s. It will need some work, but it is still pretty sweet. Pictures to follow in the next couple of days.
_____________________________________________________________________

How many men does it take to change a lightbulb?

At my house, just one...plus a song and dance:



...and a pina colada doesn't hurt, either.

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I go through Inspire Me phases. This happens when I allow my environment to affect my mood: whether it's the workplace, negative/judgmental people, the house getting dirty or cluttered, too many things to work on, or if I'm just plain feeling unmotivated. When this happens, I turn to certain websites to inspire me.

Kim and Jason - This married couple is fighting against Adultitis. I like this sight for their silliness, but also for their excellent relationship and family advice.

Unclutterer - A good site if you want to learn to organize your shiznit better.

Man vs. Debt - Another practical website about de-cluttering, as well as money management, but with a very entertaining twist.

Advanced Riskology - This is about taking risks in order to achieve your goals.
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Did I ever blog about this neato-burrito scarf I made a couple years ago? Ah, well, here it is. It's a scarf. That I crocheted. It has a funky pattern which creates a mostly-black side and a mostly-white flip-side.



Ooh! Ahh! Moving along...
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Last Thanksgiving, we took a trip to Wyoming. While there, we hiked the Intermittent Spring in Afton. Along the path, I made everybody stop for a photo. We were in a beautiful setting. We all looked damn cute, the perfect image of a modern family. We were having a great day. It would make a fantastic picture to hang above the fireplace. We could even send it out with Christmas cards. Christmas cards, folks. I know I don't send them, but I could one day.

But later, I realized Keene had been wearing his sunglasses.


Let me tell you: men just do not get it sometimes. While Kayden looked as though someone had just kicked him in the knee, at least he wasn't wearing sunglasses. Rather than admit defeat, I decided to do something about this.

Photoshop.

I found another photo of Keene smiling and not wearing sunglasses. I removed the eyes from that picture and fashioned them onto the new one.


I played with the settings, adjusted the controls. But no matter what I did, he still looked like the love-child of Rocky from "Mask" and Jeffrey Dahmer. I was tempted to send out Christmas cards with this image, as a way to get my revenge on Keene.

In the end, I decided to tweak it a bit more...and finally, it was perfect:


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You may have noticed in the first picture that Keene has shaved his head. During one of my Inspire Me phases, I decided I wanted to start waking up early. Like 5am early. In order to pump myself up to do this, I decided my incentive for getting up would be a walk to Starbucks. Hurray!

The next morning, Kayden and I woke up, got dressed, and skipped out the door. An hour later, we returned to find a scary bald man in the kitchen. He looked at me expectantly, like a proud child who had carefully written "I love you, mom" on the wall with his poop and was eager for her to see his good work.

Immediately, I threw hot coffee in his face and kicked him in the junk. (That's a metaphor for the look that shot out of my eyes at him in the moment I registered what he had done.) He had waited until we were out of the house, then clipped all of his hair off.

And that, my friends, is why I will not wake up before 6:45am. I always knew nothing good ever happened before that time, anyways.

Note from the Future: Keene wants me to clarify that he doesn't actually beat me.

July 19, 2010

Grody.

I knelt onto a piece of glass at the thrift store. Just an itty bitty piece of glass, apparently. I noticed a pain and brushed it away without a second thought. Then I stood up, felt something wet on my pants, saw blood all over the floor.

Gross.

Blood. All. Over. My. Leg.

And jeans, too.

I pulled up my pant leg, said "ick!", rolled it back down, and kept shopping.

I also poured coffee on myself today...not once, but twice.

July 16, 2010

The Stickiness of a One-Night-Stand

(Reposted from True Love Direct)

One night, you went to the bar with a friend. You met a beautiful woman, hit it off right away, and you went home with her. You don’t need to make excuses or disguise it as something more meaningful. One-night-stands can be very fun, casual flings. If done correctly, you will think back on it fondly. However, there are certain sticky situations which can be brought about by such a rendezvous.

Do I sleep over?
Unfortunately, this is up to her, if it is her house in which you have found yourself romping. After the sex is over, pay close attention to her body language. Does she become standoffish or stop talking to you? That is a clear sign that she has had her fun and now wants you out. Put on your clothes, pick up your dignity from off the floor, and call a cab. However, if she is cuddly, playful, or chatty, she wants you to stay longer.

How do I get her out?
Let’s say you wind up at your place instead. If you are a gentleman, you will invite her to spend the night. If she refuses or if she stays, either way, you should offer to call her a cab or to drive her home right then or in the morning.

I don’t want to see her again.
Fortunately for you, this behavior is pretty much assumed from the start. If she asks afterward if she can see you again, you have two options: the truth and the lie. The truth will likely get you slapped, as you have just had your way with her and now she feels deceived. The lie (while I generally don’t condone lying) may be the better short-term option. “Yeah, definitely. We’ll go out soon,” then change the subject. If you can leave quickly without giving her your number, you will be in the clear. However, if she gets it and calls you later, now is the time to be honest and say, “I’m not really interested in a relationship right now.”

I do want to see her again.
Before she leaves (or you leave, as the case may be), ask her if you can see her again. Naturally, she will say yes so as to avoid an awkward situation (see above). Ask for her number, tell her how great she is, and how you can’t wait to see her again. However, be prepared for the cold shoulder, in the event that she just wanted a meaningless tryst.

What if I see her again unexpectedly?
This will undoubtedly happen if you frequent the same bar. How you react depends on how your one-night-stand went. If it was wonderful and amazing and worthy of telling your grandchildren about someday (although you won’t, of course), go and talk to her. Maybe you can make it a two-night-stand. But if it went badly or you said you would call and didn’t, well, the only thing to do is to run.

July 15, 2010

Canoes and Guns: Part Two of Magness Camp

Welcome back. Last time we spoke, Kayden and I had gone to Peaceful Valley Ranch for three days of torture and my phone was being a stubborn jerk-face. "Ooh, look at me," it said, "I'm dead. Try again later."


"Why, Kelli," you may be asking, "Why are you inordinately upset with your phone?" To which I tell you that I nearly ran out of gas later that day, while rushing to pick up Kayden from school, and that I wasn't able to call Keene for help because of my dead phone. Then you may say, "But isn't it your fault that you neither charged your phone nor filled up your gas tank when the Low Fuel light kicked on?" To which I cross that out and say, "It's my blog. Quit making me look bad. We're here to look at pictures."

So, Day 2. Afternoon. More. Freaking. Activities.

Crafts. Kayden made a covered wagon. I nearly ruined the whole thing when I tried to push the thumbtacks in with a hammer. The side of the cart exploded, but I quickly fixed it.



During a short break, the teenager counselors hit fruit with golf clubs and baseball bats to the delight of the children. (If you look carefully, you can actually airborne chunks of an orange.)


After baking a Dutch oven cake, it was off to the lake for boating. This is the activity we enjoyed the most.





Despite the lake being fairly deep, this kelp rose nearly to the surface:


At this point, it was time for the Webelos (those are the 4th and 5th grade Cub Scouts, for you unknowledgeable folks out there) to split off from the rest of the group, hike to a higher point on the mountain, and camp there for the night. We prepared foil dinners, then set off on (yet another) long hike.


This turned out to be the most enjoyable part of the weekend. We set up our new, little orange tent (which proved to be sturdy and cozy):


The rest of the evening was spent with friends (and parents of friends, in my case), eating dinner, singing and dancing at a flag ceremony:



After nightfall, everyone hiked in the dark (no flashlights allowed) to a higher point on the mountain, to a clearing where we sat beneath a ridiculously starry sky and listened to stories and ate cookies. Unfortunately, there are no pictures of this.

After the night hike, Kayden crawled in the tent and passed out, while I stayed up and played cards by flashlight with another parent:


Finally (finally!!), it was Day 3. The anticipation of leaving was nearly unbearable. For me, that is.


After packing up the tent and eating a surprisingly tasty breakfast, we set out for more walking and more activities.

This time, the activities were geared entirely towards violence. Score!




About four hours later, after shouting goodbyes over our fleeing backs, we were on our way home: both of us exhausted, both of us eager to get home.


Don't worry, that's not puke. It's bribery-flavored ice cream.