September 29, 2010

Some new developments

Many new things are happening in the land of The 'Burbs, which is why I haven't been as diligent about posting.

1. Fall is nearly upon us, so crochet orders have started rolling in.

2. Because of #1, I have created a Facebook page for Bitter o'Clock. The idea is to connect with the people who are interested in crocheting (but maybe not especially interested in my random blog posts about music or laundry detergent). Also, I want a venue for holding an occasional giveaway or posting discounts to my Etsy shop. Sure, I could do that here, but this isn't really a crochet blog, per se. So, you know, just keeping it separate.

(Also, if you would like to see pictures of customers wearing their Bitter o'Hats, you can find those on the Facebook page, as well.)

3. Speaking of #2 (not that #2), if you have any ideas for possible giveaways, that would be awesome. I'm new to that whole "pay someone to like you" concept. But it worked brilliantly in that Patrick Dempsey movie in the '80s...

4. On the writing front, I'm starting a new series on my Examiner site, in which I will interview teen parents (either current or former). My goals for this are: 1) to debunk the stereotypes and quell the discrimination which teen parents currently face; 2) to show what life is really like as a kid with a kid; 3) to inspire teen parents...not punish them; 4) to make teenagers more aware of this as a possibility. Not because I think we should encourage abstinence, hell no. Rather, I think teenagers should know this is a very real possibility, whenever they have sex.

5. Finally, I've been looking into even more writing opportunities, because girl's got to make a name, as well as a living, right?

So, that's all.

Don't worry, though, I will continue blogging. (By the way, I'm talking to you, Keene. Because I'm pretty sure you are the only one worried by the idea of no more blog posts.)

September 28, 2010

Little brothers.

I think this is my brother. Out of boredom and curiosity, I did a quick search of my old stepdad (who has custody of my little brothers). He has a Myspace page, so I clicked on it.

And saw this:

The caption only says "My five year old". This pic is about three years old, making the kid eight today. I believe Renoe is about eight, so that would make sense.

Wowie. I haven't seen the kid since he was three years old and haven't seen pics since. But I think that's him. The kid looks a lot like my mom.

I'm going to "friend" my stepdad, even though I don't really do Myspace. It would be nice to get back in touch with the boys.

Should You Stay with a Cheater?

(Reposted from Ask Dan and Jennifer)

The bad news is your long-term girlfriend cheated on you. The worse news is you don’t know whether to stay with her or not. Yet no one can decide for you. This is something you will have to come to terms with—whether that ends in a breakup or on the rough road to patching up your damaged relationship.

Why would you want to work it out?

Hopefully, this is because you truly love her and can’t picture your life without her. But maybe it is because you don’t want to be alone or to start over? If it is, stop reading right now, pick up the phone, and break the bad news to her. This is not a good reason to carry on any relationship, let alone one which is on the rocks.

Will she do it again?

This question will be the most important one to figure out. She has broken your trust, but is there any hope of repairing that trust? If you can’t learn to trust her again—and she isn’t trying to earn back that trust—this will be a lost cause. Here are some ways to do determine if this were a one-time mistake which she truly regrets…or the first of many more “I’m sorry”s to come:

- Did she admit to the affair—or did you find out?
- Was she apologetic or defiant and indifferent?
- Has she taken any steps to regain your trust or to improve the relationship yet?
- Will she see the other man again? If so, in what capacity?

Can you get over this?

You may have forgiven her and you may trust her to not stray again. But if you can’t forget what happened, this relationship will not last. Every time you have sex, you may wonder if he performed better, if she preferred his body to yours, or if she envisioned him instead of you. Yet it may not be about her at all. You might think, “Well, if she got to sleep with someone else, why shouldn’t I? Then we will be even.” This tit-for-tat mentality may sound like a brilliant idea in your head; but trust me, the world is not always fair and neither are relationships. If you want it to last, sleeping with a stranger of your own is not the way to do it.

What did you do wrong?

Politically correct answer: nothing. She cheated, so she is the bad guy.

Truth-that-hurts answer: probably something.

What “victims” of cheating never like to admit is that they are occasionally at fault—at least partially. While they may not have forced their lovers upon another, they may have contributed to the act. Think about your own relationship: has your sex drive dwindled recently? have you not been appreciative or attentive? While this may have come as a blow, it certainly couldn’t hurt to think about what exactly led her to the arms of someone else. This does not mean you are taking some of her blame. It does mean, however, that there may be deeper relationship problems on which to focus.

September 24, 2010

Is it 2022 yet?

::waiting for Maia to turn 18::

Okay, not really. I'm actually more irritated at Keene. But I don't know what year he will be moving out.

So, the kids only "earn dessert" if they eat their dinner. Maia said she didn't want to eat all of her salad. She had maybe only eaten half of it, at the most.

Keene was firm on not getting dessert if she didn't eat her salad. So she started crying. And from there it dissolved into:

Keene: Go to your room if you won't stop crying.

Maia: No. ::still crying::

Keene: Go.

Maia: ::still crying, not moving::

Keene: ::tries to reason with her about why she needs to do what he says::

Maia: ::crying harder:: I don't want toooooooo!

Keene: I'm going to count to three. If you're not calmed down, you'll go to your room. 1...

Maia: ::cries harder::

Keene: 2...

Maia: No. I just want dessert...

Keene: But you can't have it since you didn't eat your salad.

Maia: But I wannnnnnt it! ::cries harder::

Keene: ::still explaining::

Maia: ::still crying::

Keene: ::still explaining::

Maia: ::still wailing away::

Kelli: Maia, go to your room!

Maia: ::cries harder but goes to her room::

From there, I hear her yelling about how mean I am. Sometimes I'm in a no-win situation with the two of them.

She knows I'm the one that means business. She does what I say immediately. With Keene, she knows that she can distract him by saying, "Don't you love me?" Plus, as good as he has gotten about following through, he still gives her way too many chances. And I think she knows that, too.

Fortunately, this kind of thing isn't as frequent. And Keene is good about standing behind me, as far as saying, "Whether it is me or Kelli that send you to your room, we are in agreement that that is what needs to happen."

How to Make Your First Trip Together Not Be Your Last

(Reposted from Ask Dan and Jennifer)

Taking a vacation together is one of the most fun relationship milestones. Your goal may be to introduce your new partner to your family, to share some relaxation, to experience a new place, or simply just because. Yet those extra hours spent in one another’s company will be very exciting. In both good and bad ways.

To start, this may be one of the first times you have been bound to one another (metaphorically, I mean; physically is a whole other article), unable to get away if he starts annoying you. In a way, this is a test for your relationship: are you ready to spend many hours together (possibly without anyone else around for hours), or have you not yet reached that point? If it is the former, keep reading for tips on how to take a successful trip together.

Keep in mind that tensions already run high while preparing for a vacation, and even higher when actually traveling to your destination. The stress of planning, spending, and hoping like hell that everything goes well can translate to frustration toward your girlfriend who has to stop and pee every thirty minutes (has she sprung a leak or something?!). Rather than allowing these tense emotions to steer you, remind yourself (chant it, if necessary, though silently so as not to worry her) that it is just the stress. Why, you love your girlfriend (and her small bladder), of course.

In addition to restroom breaks, don’t push your bodily limits: rest or eat when you need to do so. Take turns with driving duties. Share the radio or CD player. Compromise on everything. Being stuck with someone who is one foot away from you for hours on end is not the time to exert your stubbornness.

Finally, the best way to avoid the nearly-inevitable road-trip fights is to stay preoccupied. Schedule fun things to do or see along the way. If you know your route will pass by a national park, take an extra hour to visit it. When you see a sign proclaiming World’s Largest _________, check it out. It will give you more to talk about when you are trapped—I mean, back in the car. Also, bring along a book geared towards conversation, such as Book of Questions, or just print your own list of interesting questions to ask one another. This will not only keep the car ride interesting, you will also learn more about your significant other. If you feel yourself getting uptight despite these tips, listen to an audio book. This will encourage a silent—but not awkward—atmosphere.

And hey, if all else fails, you can pull over for some illicit, roadside sex.

September 23, 2010

I'm intrigued by this Craigslist ad

I need to organize a group of people to rescue my friends Dog. It was taken because its a mix Pitbull but that poor dog would not harm a fly. The dog is well trained and behaved and is sick barely could chase after a squirrel if it wanted to. The owner has had the dog since 2005 and lived in her Home for 3+ years and just because a no good freaken neighbor decided to call on her they came and took her dog.

My friend is not allowed to see the dog she has to prove all kinds of things to the stupid court systems which she does have all the right obvious things, but you know how are systems can be all messed up and come up with bull shit.

So what I am asking is if can get a group of people to save her dog incase the court system does not allow her to get her dog back please respond for more details in how to save the dog Thanks very much appreciated.

People with history or doing crazy things very much encourage to respond or people that are illegal in this country and ready to leave please respond to do a good deed.

September 22, 2010

Two hats I finished last night

I had started the hats a long time ago, but never finished them (tying the loose threads, attaching brooches). Since I'm preparing for a craft fair, I decided to finish up old projects to quickly build a stock.

(Try to ignore that I look like a sleep-deprived hobo at the moment.)

Bums and Popsicles

My sister is hilarious. And when she and I get together, worlds of snarkiness come together, creating a supernova of sarcasm. Nobody is safe when this happens.

I instant-messaged with my sister today. She mentioned our mom showed up at her house earlier that day. I said, "I thought she was in jail...?"

My sister replied:

"No, she was in a rehab with a contingency to not leave the rehab or she'd have to do 6 months in jail. So she got kicked out for punching some lady in the face. I pulled up in my driveway, all the kids were with me cuz it was my weekend with them. She had some asshole sitting on my front porch and she came walking from out of my backyard.

"She'd gone ahead and pulled lawn chairs from my backyard out front to make her and her haggardly guest more comfy, and helped herself to popsicles that were in my freezer in the garage.

"Drunk as usual, she lied about being drunk at first, bummed a smoke, asked for money, I told her to leave, she wanted a hug, I told her to leave before I punched her n the face, she asked if she could bum some more cigarettes, I told her I was calling the cops to come pick her up, she finally left.

"Oh i forgot, when all the kids got out of the truck she staggered around each of them, calling them the wrong names and saying their wrong birthdates, reassuring them that they have cards in the mail."

I said, "So is she just back on the street, heading up her bum mafia?"

My sister said, "Yeah, except she's got this warrant now, so she won't be out too long. At least she took the time to brag about the tree she sleeps under."

These Songs are Rip-Offs, or Why Kelli Just Might be a Little Crazy.

This is a common occurrence for those who know me:

Kelli: Ugh, I can't believe __________ ripped off _________.

Someone else: Um, what?

Kelli: Just listen to the chorus! Doesn't that sound just like _______?! I am outraged.

Someone else: I don't get it...they sound nothing alike.

Kelli: Just listen! Don't you hear that? ::proceeds to hum a few bars of each song for comparison::

Someone else: ::shakes head::

And so on. It might just be me. But in the event that I'm not just musically-inept, I'll present some cases for analysis.

(Keep in mind that I actually like all of these songs, even the ones I think ripped off somoene else. Nothing is ever truly original, right? So I'm not bashing these bands or anything. It's all for the sake of entertainment. So quit your whining.)


1. New Villager ripped off Genesis

The combination of heavy percussion and synthesized vocals in New Villager's "Rich Doors" are similar enough to Phil Collins' music to warrant initial curiosity. But listen to the chorus of "Rich Doors," starting around 0:13. Now listen to the chorus of "Invisible Touch" (starting around 1:06). Imagine slowing it down and taking away some of the excess guitar and keyboard (I wonder if this is something Keene can do for me with his music editing software).

(Note: I had to swap the old video for this live version...but hey, bonus mullet!)


2. Gorillaz ripped off U2

I love Gorillaz. A lot more than I like U2 (which is not much these days). However, when "Feel Good Inc." was released, it peeved me to hear a part which sounded exactly like (to me, anyways) "Staring at the Sun".

So, first watch the Gorillaz video. Pay close attention around 1:05, starting with "Windmill, windmill."

Okay, now pause! Begin paying attention to the U2 video around 0:14, focusing especially on the vocal melody.


3. James ripped off Bob Dylan

I wish I had "evidence" for this one. But I really don't. I have no portions I can compare to one another. James' song "Laid" just really reminds me of "Like a Rolling Stone."

Weak, I know. And that, my friends, is why I'm clearly not an expert on this stuff.

On the bright side, I've learned that the singer of James apparently has magical hip-swaying powers. Wowie!

(Unfortunately for this post, I could find neither a Bob Dylan version nor a decent Rolling Stones version. So here's this okay concert footage.)


So, what do you think? Are they rip-offs or am I just getting nutty?

If you're interested in hearing more copycat riffs, check out That Song Sounds Like.

Great American Beer Fest, Keytars, and Litterbugs

The air is getting a little colder each day (but not very quickly...damn you, global warming!) and that means only one thing for me: craft fairs.

No, wait. It also means breaking out my insane collection of jackets and hats and scarves. And large heating bills. And the pleasure of putting my ice-cold fingers and toes on Keene when he's not expecting it. (Or when he's sleeping, that's the best.)

And trying to get to work safely, despite having a rear-wheel-drive car that considers itself an Olympic-worthy speed-skater.

Where was I going with that? Who knows, anymore?

So, I made a hat. That's all.

Notice what I did there? I could have just opened up the post with "I made a hat." But instead, I roped you in, made you wonder and wonder where I was going with this, so by the time you read "I made a hat," it's like I solved all the world's problems.


Speaking of crochet, have I mentioned that I hate cats? It is very common to find some piece I had laboriously created pushed under the stove, carried into the litter box, or most recently...

As a result, my return on investment is facing a 10% monthly decline because of those jerks.


Moving along, on Saturday night, I attended Falling Rock's Great American Beer Festival party, along with Keene and Kortney. Check out Kort's blog post for all the great pictures. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Keene got uncharacteristically drunkety-drunk-drunk:

We met some new friends:

I think texting should be banned when there are drinks on table:

The souped-up Ghostbuster car, which I'm pretty sure we saw last year at Film on the Rocks:


The next day, I drove the hungover Keene downtown to pick up his car. Along the way, we stopped at Civic Center Park to enjoy a fast food breakfast.

After eating, I threw the trash away (sans a wrapped breakfast burrito), when a homeless man approached. I offered him the uneaten burrito, which he took and headed in the other direction.

Meanwhile, we walked with the kids around the library and art museum, looking at the interesting art pieces Denver has to offer:

We came across a bike rental rack, which is an innovative, new program the city has implemented:

As we walked back to my car, I saw a wrapper lying in a flower bed. I knew what it was immediately: my breakfast burrito wrapper. The guy, standing ten feet away from the garbage can, had chosen to just throw it on the ground. I tried to reason with myself that he has more pressing concerns than picking up after himself. But man, littering really bothers me.

(I was going to write about how it takes the cooperation of every citizen to make a fairly large city like Denver maintain its beauty. But for the sake of keeping this brief and un-preachy, I'll just leave it at "littering really bothers me.")


My homage to Natalie Dee, inspired by a friend's recent sympathetic statement:


How about I end this with a song recommendation? I'm pretty sure Keene rolls his eyes whenever I tell him about the latest 1980s-esque dance song I'm loving. But that's okay, because you know what?

This one features a freakin' keytar! Here's Afrobeta with "Two Different Worlds":

September 21, 2010

Hope for Teen Parents in WINGS

(Reposted from Arapahoe County Parenting Examiner)

Photo by ballison at stock.xchng

This was first published in a local newspaper in 2002. Because of its continued--if not increased!--relevance today, I decided the piece should be dredged up again.

In 1988, the members of the Douglas County community met to discuss the rising issue of teen pregnancy. They decided to start a support and information group for the young mothers and fathers. It would be funded by Douglas County School District and various yearly grants. Susan Anderson, a special-programs teacher at Douglas County High School, was nominated as Coordinator of the newfound Winning in New Growth Situations Teen Parent Program—or simply referred to as WINGS.

Anderson wanted to create a new type of program, different from the existing ones. The main objective of WINGS would be to provide support to the pregnant girls. Instead of blaming them and asking why they had gotten pregnant, Anderson says, “What good does that do? I ask, ‘What are you going to do now to make your lives better?’” WINGS gives the young women a chance to meet others in their predicament. Many girls stay in touch long after their time at WINGS has ended.

In addition to support, the girls are provided with instruction. There is a great deal of time involved with turning these young girls into responsible mothers. Linda Waterman, a Life Skills teacher at Ponderosa High School and an instructor at WINGS, is “a font of knowledge…a true expert,” says Anderson. Waterman coaches the girls on prenatal care, dealing with family members and significant others, birthing and delivery, nutrition, child development, and managing a home and finances. Many of the teenagers who come to WINGS are from disrupted homes and unsure of how to live independently—much less how to raise a child. Waterman and Anderson, both mothers themselves, have grown to be extremely close in their many years of teamwork.

As part of the program, the girls may become involved in Teen Parent Panels. The Panels are meetings with high school students to discuss teen pregnancy. The girls and their children sit at the front of the classroom and, one by one, talk about their personal experiences. After a brief introduction, the students (and teachers) are encouraged to ask any questions they may have. By talking to their peers, the members of WINGS hope to impact other high school students’ lives.

WINGS works with approximately 20-25 girls each year and has assisted more than 300 teen mothers and fathers since its inception. However, the babies and parents of the teen mothers have also benefited from the program. Towards the beginning of the program, a “support group for the new grandparents” was created, as well. Although they have the occasional special guest speaker—such as psychologists and counselors—Anderson says that “talking [to each other] is what [the parents of the teen moms] really need.”

Anderson continues, “[However,] my focus has always been on the teen mothers and fathers…not on the babies. We know if you help the parents, you [in turn] help the babies.” One of the ways WINGS focuses on the teen parents is by inviting guest speakers to their meetings, as well. Some of their past guests have included Tri-County Health nurses who inform of health risks and birth control, lawyers who talk of legal matters (such as custody battles), teachers of infant massage therapy and CPR, and even past WINGS “alumni.” It is thought that there is no better a motivator and no more informative a source, than a woman who was once a teen mother herself.

Although the girls are encouraged to come to the weekly afternoon meetings, complications sometimes arise such as lack of transportation or time constraints. Also, problems may occur with high-risk pregnancies (typically, being pregnant under the age of 17 is considered “high-risk”) and keep some of the expectant mothers bed-ridden. In those cases, Anderson calls, sends out informational books, and sometimes even drives out to the girls’ homes. When questioned about her good-willed nature, she simply replies, “It’s my duty to help those who come to me.”

Nearly twenty years after the conception of WINGS, many of the original advisors on the board have remained involved with the program. The Advisory Board and the surrounding community of Douglas County have helped continuously over the years. Sometimes they help by running “diaper drives,” which is when they receive or buy, compile and donate essential baby products the girls could not have afforded otherwise. The board has hosted many baby showers and graduation parties for the mothers and birthday parties for the children. As an additional means of support, mentors have become involved in the program. The mentors are community volunteers who help the girls in various ways: from donating money and baby products, driving the girls to their doctor appointments and job interviews, to inviting some of the parent-less teenagers to spend the holidays with them and their own families. Anderson holds an important role in connecting mentors to certain girls whom she feels would be a good match for one another…a match that oftentimes forms into a lifelong friendship.

Because of WINGS, the lives of many teenage mothers and their children are better. According to The Alan Guttmacher Institute’s Teen Sex and Pregnancy study, statistics have shown that 25% of teen mothers have a second child within two years of the first. But Anderson is proud to say that in the 20 years WINGS has been helping teenagers, the rate of second pregnancies (while the girl is still teenaged) within the program stands at less than 5%. Also, “babies born to young mothers are more likely to be low-birth-weight, to have childhood health problems and to be hospitalized than are those born to older mothers” (Guttmacher). But because of Waterman’s excellent teaching of nutrition and prenatal health, WINGS has had only one underweight baby.

Planning for the future is another priority with WINGS. Before such programs as WINGS, when a teenager got pregnant, it seemed she was expected to drop out of school, get a low-paying job, and spend her life in poverty. However, because of an alternative high school called Eagle Academy—which works closely with Anderson—many girls have the option to finish school at night and apply “work credits” toward their schoolwork. They are much more likely to graduate and go on to college. Anderson estimates that each year, about 90% of her students earn their high school diplomas. She says, “I cannot say how vital Eagle Academy has been to the WINGS program. This year, I’m predicting a 100% graduation rate!” About 25% of the graduates even go on to earn college degrees. What’s more, some of the students have proceeded to graduate school. However, of those who don’t go to college after high school, Anderson reasons that approximately 50% continue with some type of work-training program.

As an ultimate goal in the WINGS program, Anderson says, “[To see these kids] graduate from high school and college…what makes you prouder? Nothing! And later, meeting the little kids [who were born to the teen mothers], and seeing that they are strong and healthy and doing well in school! I’m not the smartest person in the world, and Lord knows I’m not the most organized, but I really care about my students!”

Etsy Photo Shoot

For a long time, I have wanted to use live models to display the hats I sell on Etsy. Let's face it, those white Styrofoam heads are creepy.

On Sunday, I bribed the kids with soda and five dollars each, if they would model for me. We gathered some props and headed to a nearby state park. I'm pretty happy with the photo session, though Maia had way too much energy ("You need to slow down...I can't take the photo fast enough") and Kayden had too little energy ("You need to do something!").

Here are some of the outtakes which didn't make it to the Etsy site, as well as some favorites that did:

To see the rest of the photos (and various hats) from Sunday, go to Bitter o'Clock Etsy Shop.

September 17, 2010

The Next-Day Challenge: Purple Mountain Lion Hat

Yesterday, my friend Anne, emailed me, asking if I could create an "emergency hat". Her coworker's birthday was the following day (that would make it today, for those uncaffeinated readers out there). Would I be able to pump out a hat in time? Or would I fail, thereby ruining my friend's coworker's birthday forever? (What? It's my blog...if I want to have an inflated sense of my own importance in the world, that is my prerogative.)

Sounded easy enough, but this was no ordinary hat. Anne had recently read my post about the Frogger hat and wondered if I could make a similar hat, but with a mountain lion. A purple mountain lion, at that. Her coworker had attended Kansas State University, for which the mascot is this:

Okay, so the KSU mascot is actually a wildcat and not a mountain lion. But you know what you get when you google "wildcat"? A whole bunch of cute, little domestic kittehs. No, no. We were going with brawn.

I got started on the hat later that night, while watching documentaries about the Donner Party and the Dust Bowl of the '30s. By the by, have you ever gone to There are lots of interesting videos online, which you can watch for free.

Anyhow, while I finished the major components of the hat, I was far from satisfied with the eyes, ears, and "snout". So, the next morning, I tore out yarn, re-did them, tore out more yarn, re-did them. After a bit of tweaking to make it look more realistic (yes, like a real purple mountain lion would look), I was satisfied with the final product (ignore the wacky lighting):

Doing a quick "would I wear this?" test, a pertinent part of the hat-making process:

It passed, so I delivered it to Anne. Within the hour, I heard back that the birthday girl loved the hat. Huzzah!

Happy birthday to Kristen! And thank you for being a good sport and letting me post your picture on this questionable blog:

(And thank you to Anne, for giving me something interesting to blog about, since I've been so boring this week. Well, unless readers want to hear about the riveting Plants vs. Zombies tournament going on at home. Neither do I.)

September 16, 2010

Here There Be Weirdos: How to Meet Great People Online

(Reposted from Ask Dan and Jennifer)

For every successful “I met my boyfriend online” story, there are probably one hundred hilarious, awful, or creepy stories to prove the adage, “Now I see why he looks for dates online.” While online dating is no longer taboo or even uncommon, it can still be very tricky to successfully maneuver (and with your optimism about dating still intact, no less).

Be truthful in your profile. If you hiking makes you wheeze and you would rather watch a Lifetime movie than a documentary, say so. Don't write what you think others will like. (Similarly, if not superficially, don’t post pictures which are, um, dishonest.) Wake up! As soon as you meet, that person will see the real you anyways (unless this is some wacky sitcom in which you hire an actor to play you on the date, because you accidentally bleached your hair the night before). When you finally meet, this person may not feel you are his or her type (it stings, I know, but that’s life) after all; not to mention, your date might be peeved that you lied.

Resist the urge to be snarky or apathetic. “Internet dating is so lame. I’m only doing this to shut your friends up.” Don’t worry. I get it and so does everyone else who reads your profile: you are embarrassed. You are ashamed that you are shopping online for a boyfriend like you shop for shoes. You worry that people will see you as one of the aforementioned cases of “why can’t she get a date in the real world?” Get over it. Millions of people date online, whether out of convenience, in an effort to save money, or as a way to connect with someone prior to physically meeting. Coming across as judgmental or bored on your profile will not wow anybody.

Be selective with whom you meet. Don't devalue your time or yourself by talking to people about whom you aren't stoked or interested. Rather than feeling obligated to talk to or meet with someone out of worry of seeming cold, politely decline. Otherwise, you will be wasting your time and theirs. Similarly, don’t feel pressured into continuing contact with pushy people. There seem to be a lot of them online.

Don't wait for others to contact you. Take the initiative and send them a note. If they are not interested, they will likely either ignore your message or gently turn you down (sometimes you will encounter jerks, but why let the bad manners of others bother you?). No harm, no foul. Try again.

Give it some time. You won’t meet Prince Charming right away. Hell, you may not even meet Prince Um-Okay for a while. Nevertheless, if you are serious about finding a relationship, you shouldn’t give up after the first bad date. Along those lines, if you start chatting with someone you like, don't rush into the first meeting. Keep up the conversation. Getting to know a person is the best way of ensuring the first date will go well, since you will have weeded out any incompatible people long before you ever meet up.

September 14, 2010

Do you ever grow out of being a teen mother?

(Reposted from Arapahoe County Parenting Examiner)

“You don’t look old enough to be his mom!”

Nearly thirty years old and to my dismay, I still hear this line regularly. When introducing or just talking about my tween son to others, this reaction (or some variation of it) is to be expected. I used to be impatient about growing older, because I assumed society would think of me as a valid parent once I hit the magical age of thirty. As it turns out, however: once a teen mother, always a teen mother.

My son was only two weeks old when I first heard this line. We were at the grocery store, preparing to check out when the older woman standing behind me cooed, “He’s precious. Is he your brother?” I replied, “No, he’s my son.” She clicked her tongue and said disapprovingly, “You don’t look old enough to be a mom.” I was taken aback and stuttered something along the lines of, “well, um, I am, though…his mom.” Again and again, I encountered this situation and each time, it felt like I had been sucker-punched.

Now why, you may be asking, would a teen parent find this line to be so offensive? It is simply stating a fact, right? Let’s get this out there right now: teen parents realize they are young. They know better than you how young (and often, ill-equipped) they are for the job which they are now facing. What is offensive is the underlying message of this statement: “You are not old enough to be a mom, period” or to put it more bluntly, “You should not have had a baby.” And so begins a long future of being judged solely on one’s age.

Over the years, I graduated high school and then college, all while working full-time and raising my son. Yet my status as a parent was often questioned or disregarded completely: in the workplace, at my child’s school, in social settings. On one occasion, some older acquaintances were discussing the ear infections of their children, when I brought up a technique I had found to ease the pain. The conversation halted abruptly, as a woman asked in surprise, “You have a child?” I replied, “Yeah, he’s about two years old. He used to get ear infections—” She cut me off to say, “You don’t look old enough to have a child.” With the indignation of any teenager forced to hear the same line repeatedly, I replied, “You wouldn’t believe how young you can have sex these days!”

Despite my sarcasm, I learned something that day: the advice or knowledge of a teenage parent is considered not as valuable as that of an older parent. For some reason, how she potty-trained her child is not as effective as how you plan to potty-train yours. The dosage of Tylenol she gives to her child is not quite as right as the one an older parent provides. Despite experiencing many of the same woes as every other parent, she is still not taken seriously as a mother. Even today, new mothers (most of whom are older than I am) seem to discount my advice or experience, simply because I was so much younger when I became a parent.

Currently, the average age of other parents of tweens is at least ten years older than me. When today’s pregnant teens reach their 30s, that difference may very well be closer to twenty years. Because of this gap, teen mothers can expect to be treated as such, long after they have entered into adulthood. Luckily, if there is anything that we have learned from taking care of a child while still children ourselves, it is how to develop a thick skin…and a repertoire of scathing retorts.

September 13, 2010

It's my anniversary today

(It's also the day we start our new one-year lease...symbolic, no? I told Keene we need to establish new terms for the relationship.)

After two great years together, I still forget his first name.

September 13, 2008:

September 13, 2009:

Can't stop laughing.

This article is about a new "trend": gapping your teeth.

Struggling with a sense of alienation following the death of his father in 2008, fashion designer David Delfin asked an orthodontist to insert a bracket to open a space between his two front teeth.

"It was a metaphor for the separation I was feeling," said Mr. Delfin, who called his spring 2009 collection "Diastema," the medical term for a space between two teeth, usually in front.

This just screams, "I'm an artist. I'm so fucking deep, no one else can understand me."

September 10, 2010

From Boyfriend to “Just Friends”: Staying Friends with Your Ex

Adorable Relationship Picture. Read about why we were soaked here.

(Reposted from Ask Dan and Jennifer)

Well, it didn’t last. You may have found love and lost it. Or maybe you just couldn’t find any love between you to begin with and now feel you are better off keeping it platonic. This always seems to be the next logical step after a breakup: “Let’s stay friends.”

But why do you want to stay friends? If it because you have common interests and get along like the best of friends, great! However, if it is just because the thought of him not being in your life makes your heart ache, this is the wrong reason. Think about how much worse your heart will feel when he finds someone new and expects you to like her.

In fact, if you want a list of reasons why you should not stay friends with an ex, here you go: you want to stay in his life, you want to “keep tabs” on him, you want to see who he is dating, you want to keep him wrapped around your finger, you want to make him jealous of your new boyfriend, you want to keep him around for the future “just in case”…and the absolutely worst reason? Because you still love him.

Just let it go. You are not friends. You are a tie which is waiting to be cut.

The key to making a friendship work—just like a relationship—is communication. You must talk about your feelings for one another and where you stand in each others’ lives. A piece of misguided advice you may hear a lot is to not discuss new relationships with one another. However, this begs the question, why not? If you are not able to talk about your new boyfriend or to hear the details of his new girlfriend, why is it? My guess is you’re not quite over him (or vice versa). And if you are not over him, you cannot truly be friends with him yet.

Together, you should discuss what went wrong with your own relationship and why you are better suited as friends. Only after you have come to terms with these facts can you move on and allow each other to be happy with someone else.

Which brings me to my final point: you must be friendly with his new girlfriend. Once she hears of your past fling, she is bound to feel awkward, jealous, or even angry with you for sticking around. Ease her worries and reassure her that you have no intentions of stealing him away. In turn, when you have a new boyfriend, he may also feel uncomfortable with your continuing friendship. Your ex should put forth effort to befriend him. Nevertheless, if after all this, your new boyfriend is still bothered by the situation, you should ask yourself: is a friendship with my ex worth a possible breakup?

September 9, 2010

Panties and Pundits

For those who didn't hear, I was mentioned on Dan Savage's blog again! I was very excited that he (or one of his readers) had followed the de-Mormonizing journey to the end.

Here is the article:

Today in Magic Underpants, Inc.

On a side note, seeing as how Keene is in love with Dan Savage, surely I've gotten enormously cooler in his eyes. How could any future girlfriend ever follow my act? Honestly, I feel bad for them, even having to try.

Ed Gein, Boat Races, and Saved by the Bell

This is a funny blog which seems to have been abandoned. No matter, there are enough posts to get you excited about watching Saved by the Bell before you remember how much you hated it in the first place.

Saved by the Bell Quote of the Day


Or you if just want a quick laugh, here you go:

Holy ouch!

What? You didn't think it was funny?


I am loving this crocheted mobile, found at the Etsy shop, Amy Gaines:


And just some random pictures because I'm being lazy:


A couple weeks ago, Kayden participated in the annual Raingutter Regatta (a boat race for Cub Scouts):

Using a speedboat design that Keene helped him with, Kayden won the third place trophy:


This inspires me:

Maybe I'll crochet something in honor of Ed Gein. A ski-mask that looks like you're wearing another person's face.


Speaking of crochet, I'm revamping my Etsy site. It doesn't take much to revamp it since it was never vamped to start with. First step, I changed the header to this:

Bluish dead-looking skin sells, right?


And speaking of death, look at this spider I caught in my room:

I really didn't think it would even fit into the Bug Vacuum container. This thing was so big, I actually heard it growl.


Last of all, two pictures from Pundit Kitchen. If you've never been there before, go there now. I'll wait**.

**Not really. Peace!