December 23, 2011

Merry Catsmas and a Viking New Year!

What's better than a surly cat with eye-herpes?







A surly cat with eye-herpes...and a Christmas sweater!


If cats could talk, I would love to hear what they would be saying to each other right now:


Oh no! The Christmas sweater is contagious!


And now, lest I make people think this is a cat-blog, here's a video by Viking (Keene's band) to get you in the goddamn Christmas spirit:


(Bonus points if you spotted a Halo grunt in the train shots.)

If that doesn't get you ready for some holiday cheer, I'm afraid nothing will.

December 14, 2011

Maia Does DIA.

No commentary necessary...just watch the hilarious video Keene made:



Okay, a little commentary: this is how one can expect a Keene to act at the airport.

Not shown: Elder Keene high-fiving strangers and being asked to "please stop filming in the airport for security reasons."

December 4, 2011

And so this is Christmas...

We finally bit the bullet and decorated for Christmas. We actually negotiated our way out of celebrating Halloween at the same time. See, we've had pumpkins on our kitchen counter, waiting to carved, ever since October. The kids--poor, deprived children they are--kept asking when we could carve pumpkins. We kept putting it off and putting it off, until it was no longer Halloween. And after that, it was just hard to get the motivation to carve Thanksgiving pumpkins. Then that passed. And now we were being pressured to carve Christmas pumpkins.

Finally, we made a deal with the kids: if you just forget about pumpkins for the rest of the year, we'll put up the tree right away. They agreed, but only on the condition that we chopped up the pumpkins to make pumpkin pie. That I can get on board with.

So, now that Halloween was officially out of the picture, we put up the tree and Christmas village.


Our village even includes a ferocious, black Yeti-kitty:


And a train. That nearly ran over yeti-kitty's tail with each loop:




In keeping with our family tradition, we also went to the Parade of Lights. We didn't take pictures of any floats. Because, well, the floats are usually the same each year. So I'll just link to a Parade of Lights of yore.*


Squish together for warmth!



(*Okay, it looks like I've never actually posted the pictures of the parade. I'll make a separate post for that. Sometime. Meanwhile, I found this post from 2007. Interestingly enough, that coat Kayden is wearing in that post is the same one he was still wearing up until about three days ago. He had been complaining about that coat getting too tight. I thought, "That's weird...I only got it like last year." Never mind. It was more like four years ago. Boy, how time flies when you're a coat. Anyhow, he got a new coat, so all is good.)

November 30, 2011

Bad news and birthdays come in threes...

Fortunately, this post is about birthdays and not bad news.

As I've said before, we have three birthdays in the span of three weeks at our house. In the middle of that birthday marathon is both Halloween and Election Day (guess which holiday tends to get lost in all the chaos).

So because I can't combine birthdays into one large fiesta, I'm combining them into one large blog post.

Kicking off the birthday brigade was Kayden, who was turning 11. Leading up to his party, the kids had saved and saved their money in order to buy an Xbox 360, with me matching their savings.


The next day, I drove four rowdy preteen boys to the go-karting place and let them run amok:


As the hours passed, I realized something: this place hates parents. There was nowhere to sit down, nowhere quiet to relax, no coffee and no alcohol. Fun center, my ass. I finally hid inside an out-of-order arcade game shaped like a truck and growled as anyone tried to poke their head inside.

Nevertheless, the boys had fun.


Then it was time for my 29th birthday. It was definitely low-key and un-birthday-esque, which is just how I like 'em. After work, we went out for a nom dinner, then came home. Keene hid away in the kitchen for a while, then emerged with this:


Can't tell what it is? Look at it from the side:


A. Starbucks. Birthday. Cake.

It was amazing. It was the best, most Kelli cake I had ever seen.

He even drew the weird mermaid on top:


By the by, I don't think many people realize what the Starbucks logo actually is. It's a mermaid with a weirdly split tail.

Here is the logo you know and (should) love:


Here is an early logo showing the "mermaid siren" in its entirety:


Mythically, the siren seduced sailors before offing them. Supposedly, she enticed them with her song and not with her insane flexibility. Right.

Since we're being random now, here's a random picture of Keene, taken sometime around my birthday. I think.


Just a week after my birthday, it was time for the fifth anniversary of Keene's 29th birthday.

(Thank you, Alison, for the clever play on words!)

Normally, Keene's birthdays are just as low-key as mine (if not more so...I mean, he doesn't even age, so it's just another day, really). However, we discovered Fishbone (one of Keene's favorite bands) would be in town, playing an intimate, multimedia show that week. We took the kids to his sister's house, then went to what turned out to be the longest show in my life.

To start, we watched a documentary about the band called Everyday Sunshine. Despite not being a big fan, I really enjoyed the documentary. If you come across it, it's definitely worth your while to watch. Afterward, there was a Q&A session with Angelo and Norwood, which was pretty cool.


Angelo wandered around prior to the show, so Keene was able to meet and talk with him briefly, acting like a giggling groupie the whole time, I'm sure.


(If you look to the left of the glaring light, you'll see Keene talking to Angelo, who is on the right side.)

Opening for Fishbone was a band called The Dendrites, a local 9-piece ska band. They were simply amazing and not just because the trombonist and trumpeter lost their shirts.


Finally, around midnight, Fishbone took the stage:



By this point, I was so exhausted from standing all night and my head hurt like a mofo. The show was going on five hours and the main act had just begun.

Also, I won't say I'm too old for concerts on weeknights. However, I am too old to participate in crowd-surfing and moshing at 1 a.m. on a weeknight, especially when I've only had two beers. As a new member to the 29-year-old club, I did not approve.

But we stayed until the end--with Keene looking like he was torn between skanking and preserving his old man body--and finally got to bed at 3:30 a.m.

And the next morning, I looked like this:


All day. I couldn't close my eyes for fear that they wouldn't reopen.

Nevertheless, 2011 was a trifecta of birthday goodness.

November 16, 2011

Wait a minute...

This is on the Starbucks' holiday cup:


The wink says it all. I know your little secret, Nutcracker Soldier Man.

November 1, 2011

Halloscenes from Halloween

I'm just going to say it: thank god Halloween is over. I mean, it's a fun holiday for sure...but it's a lot of work to have that much fun.

We eased into the three-week-long celebration with homemade candy apples:




Then the weather was like, "Oh crap! Totally forgot that it's supposed to be uncomfortably cold by Halloween night." The weather went from a summery high of mid-'80s to a snowstorm overnight:


Meanwhile, I worked on a costume hat for a friend. Her daughter, Alice, was going to dress up as Alice in Wonderland...so my friend would accompany her as the Cheshire Cat.



Next, it was time to start putting together my own costume. After joking about it for months, I finally created the Pickles the Drummer skullet.

"Who is Pickles the Drummer?" every reader except Keene will ask.

This is Pickles from Metalocalypse:



The hat started with a basic comb-over design, then I added looooong braids, sewing a few of them over the top of the head. Then the tricky part: the goatee.

Now, I was going to do something risky like gluing it to my face. Fortunately, Keene offered the idea of using thin wires. We threaded wires all throughout the sideburns and goatee, leaving two poking out the top corners. At the ends of these wires, I attached small buttons. This way, we could unbutton the goatee to eat or drink.

While working on the goatee, I did a drunk-Pickles impression:


Throw in a black tee and crocheted wrist guards and my costume was finished:


Oh, and I found a witch costume for Maia for a dollar at a garage sale. Exciting, huh? Well, don't let the sour look on her face fool you...she actually liked it. And I liked not having to spend a lot of time working on another homemade costume.


All costumed up, Maia and I went to a Denver Craft Ninjas event where we decorated sugar skulls:



My friend, Elizabeth, discovered her true calling of making sugar skulls look like Mexican wrestler masks:


Here were mine and Maia's final products:


Finally, it was the big night. We went to a friend's house for dinner and to meet up in a big trick-or-treat group:


Now what you won't notice, but would have if he weren't wearing a mask, is that Kayden finally decided to give this old taking-candy-from-strangers thing a try. He's at the end, dressed as the Scream guy.

Surely, you can pick out the other 11-year-old boys in the group?

Finally, I waited and waited to hear back from Keene about whether he thought it was okay to post a picture of his coworkers all dressed up (and him sporting the Pickles hat at work). But I never heard back. So instead, here is a picture of him all by himself at work:


Annnnnnnnnd now it's time to hang up our Halloween hats, metaphorically speaking.

But not really:

October 11, 2011

Things I Forgot to Post About: Quicksand and Cold War Kids

For whatever reason, Keene is still used to me posting here every day. I try to remind him that I have a job where I actually work now, so maintaining that schedule is impossible. It's been nearly a year since I changed jobs, yet he still grumbles, "Someone hasn't updated her blog today."

Anyhow, that has nothing to do with anything except that I think if he were to ever leave me, it's only because I don't keep him entertained online anymore.

Moving on, here is the next set of stuff I should have posted about as it was happening, rather than months later. I'll get to what is going on right now...oh, maybe around March.

Camping with the Family

My grandmother and my cousin have a tradition of going camping each summer. This year, they invited us along. Hooray!

But first I had to pass my grandma's "it will be dark and there will be no street signs" test:


After much cursing and many u-turns were had, we made it to the campsite just before midnight.

It was so wonderful to see my cousins--Talisha and Emily, neither of whom I had seen in years--and to meet Talisha's husband, Cam. And, of course, I always love seeing my grandparents.

But you didn't come here to listen to me wax poetic about family, did you? You want to see pictures, I know.

"It's a double-rainbow!!"



(Note: this was also the weekend Kayden decided my army sweatshirt are belong to him.)

Fun fact: up until this weekend, my grandpa had never eaten a s'more. What kind of craziness is that? Don't worry, Talisha and I were on the job. She made him a delicious classic s'more, whereas I went for the instant-sugar-high of a s'more made with a peanut butter cup.


And now for some other Firsts.

Kayden's first motorcycle ride:


Keene's first motorcycle drive:


The first time Emily dissected a fly with tweezers. I think. But maybe not...she seemed awfully skilled at that, actually:


The first of three blind mice?


So, we heard a little squeak and discovered a baby mouse, so young its eyes weren't even open yet. We moved him to a grassy, shady spot and fed him a consistent diet of seeds and corn kernels.

And, of course, we petted him because we love potentially-disease-ridden little beasts:


Kayden was so devoted to it that he followed it around (it's not hard to follow a blind mouse) and made sure food was always nearby.


And finally, my first bout of quicksand:



While I determined it to be legitimate quicksand, it was not, however, deep enough to get anything more than my shoe stuck in it. So I made the determination that my goal of getting stuck in quicksand has yet not been fulfilled.

What can I say? I'm a tough judge.

Cold War Kids and A Lull Concert

Cold War Kids was the first show to kick off my summer, and well...huh. They are one of my favorite bands (yes, another of my favorite bands), yet the show was kind of lackluster and, dare I say, boring? What makes one band have more stage presence than another? Their energy level? Their level of interaction with the audience? That they look like they're having fun? A lot goes into it and it can really make or break a show. (The Walkmen at Monolith 2009 was another stinker of a band. Love their music, didn't love their performance.)


On the bright side, though, the opening band for CWK was A Lull. This band was fan-tas-tic. They had two full drum sets and two full drummers. But every member of the band also had some kind of percussion instrument on the side to play.



Wonderful band. Check them out: