June 29, 2011

Things I Don't Understand

It has recently come to my attention that I don't understand. That's it. I just don't understand. I've realized this is a phrase I overuse: "I just don't understand _____________," which is pretty funny because I generally act like a know-it-all. Which is it, Kelli? You don't understand or you know everything? Can't have it both ways...

In any event, I don't understand...

...why a girl will wear stillettos to a dance club (ouch!) or a miniskirt in the cold winter air (brr!). No man's attention is worth that effort.

...why a girl feels the need to wear revealing clothes to catch a man's attention at all. Sure, you'll get plenty of attention. But is that the kind of attention you want? If you wear trampy, take-me-home clothes to meet men, then wonder why you never meet any quality men, you may be missing a valuable lesson here.

...why the royal wedding caused such a stir. But we all know I don't like weddings, so...

...what makes certain tattoos trashier than others? What exactly makes a 'tramp stamp' trampy? Because in 1997, suburban moms and frat boys across America met and decided they needed a new way to degrade young women? To come up with yet another way to keep her pressed firmly into a respectable, lady-like mold?

...why an American Girl doll is worth $100. What's so special about it? Does it pee out real urine or something? Is the hair made from the hair of a real princess? Does the doll protect your child like a Buckingham Palace guard while she sleeps? Tell me!

...why the government considered releasing photos of the body of Bin Laden.

...why my car has a built-in screen on the passenger-side visor. We can't figure out how to turn it on, much less what will happen once we do turn it on. I'm certain it must be technology leftover from an ancient alien race.

...why it is trendy to get breast implants that look like flesh-colored baseballs. Or bowling balls, if that's more your speed. Aren't they painful to lay on or run with? Or to bump into somebody with? Or just to look at? And all these sentences ending with prepositions lead me to...

...why split infinitives are so bad. While writing the last paragraph, I had to correct myself about four times. But I don't know why they are bad. It's like why you don't talk about money or politics or sex in a mixed crowd: I get that it's wrong, but I don't know why.

...why people blow so much money on a baby's first birthday party. Tell me, what do you remember about your first birthday? Or your second...or third, for that matter?

...pre-shredded cheese. Or rather, why someone will pay over four times the price, just for the sake of not shredding it.

...how any parent could kill his or her own child.

...how someone can think he or she will always be alone. With over six billion people on the planet, surely anyone can find a man or woman who will love you and treat you the way you deserve. Why settle for a lousy relationship just because you're scared of being alone forever?

...the war. I can understand why war has been necessary in the past. When reading history books about the Civil War or American Revolution, I'm given a clear sense of WHY we went to war. But for the life of me, I still can't figure out why we're at war with Iraq, Afghanistan, or any of these other places we're invading. When I ask intelligent people why, the answers vary...but at the base of each answer is a small (or large) nugget of confusion. This war has made me into an anti-war hippie.

...waiting to find out the sex of your unborn baby, in order to make the day more special. Now, if you have another reason for not wanting to know the gender, cool. I certainly don't think everyone is as impatient or as anti-surprises as me. But it is this particular reason that I don't understand: to make the day more special. Isn't giving birth to your kid already going to make the day pretty damn special? I wonder if these are the same parents who will, in a year, throw a thousand-dollar extravaganza to make the birthday party more special.

I'm sure I've offended at least one person with each statement. If you are one of those who are offended--or better yet, you aren't offended, but you know the answer to something--and can explain it to me, please do. I will personally thank you in my follow-up post, "Things I Now Understand Thanks to the Internet".

Update: I feel like the post can benefit from this video:

I want that little kid to come here and kick an American Doll over.

June 27, 2011

The Green Monster Smoothie

Recently, I've started venturing to a wonderous yet perilous new land: the Land of Adventurous Cuisine and Healthy Eating. Okay, both of those are a bit overblown. I'm not about to eat the head of a lamb, so "adventurous" isn't quite right. And there ain't no way I'm swearing off frozen Totinos Pizzas for good, so "healthy" isn't totally correct either. So, maybe I should say, "The Land of Expanding My Heretofore-Sheltered Culinary Horizons and Working on a Tad More Nutritional Meals, Even When the Children Aren't Around."

So, moving along, I found this blog with a recipe for a Green Monster smoothie. Claiming that this concoction will provide a boost of energy, loads of nutrients, and a magical pair of wings (I'm assuming here), I decided to try it out. I won't repost the exact recipe here, but you can find that at the link above.

Basically, it is a banana, spinach, nut butter (or peanut butter if you're not totally sure about all these newfangled ingredients), almond milk, ice, and flax seed:

Then blend it all up:

And drink it all down:

I was surprised by how good it tasted. Kind of nutty, very banana-y, not at all spinach-y.

Experienced immediate stomach pains and cramping, which lasted about five minutes before settling into a steady churning and growling, which I suspect are the flax seeds burrowing into my intestines like ticks, preparing to exorcise the lingering Ghosts of Unhealthy Meals Past:

But then the storm passed and I felt all super healthy like whoa. Thanks, flax seeds!


Bless Keene and his willingness to try anything I hand him

Colorado Women's Beer Club Does Aurora

On Saturday, the Colorado Women's Beer Club ventured away from Downtown and met at Dads and Dudes in Aurora. This place is amazing: great pizza (with spent grains from their beer being used in the crusts) and great beers (brewed by the restaurant itself). And a patio. What more could you ask for?

Well, a more central location...but hey, sometimes it's nice to get out of the city. Especially those of us who have to drive twenty minutes to get into the city. There were a couple "suburbs high-fives!" going on among the Aurora-suburbanites of the group. The night was fantasmically fun and makes me so eager for the next get-together that I may actually pee my pants.

When you hear a no-nonsensical name like "Colorado Women's Beer Club," you may picture a group of women with pinched mouths and notepads at the ready for jotting down comments about mouthfeels. Don't be fooled. Here is what you really need to know if you are thinking of coming along to the next meeting:

1. You must be open-minded. This is not like a mom club or a single-girl club or anything designated. We have straight women, gay women, single women, married women, twenty-something women, thirty-something women (and yes, even forty-something women), women with kids, women who don't like kids. It's all there. The one thing we don't have is close-minded women.

2. You must bring your sense of humor. I don't care how humorless you may think you are, you will laugh, by god...

...you may even laugh so hard, that you risk choking on or spraying out half-eaten food:

3. You don't have to be a beer-drinker. And you certainly don't have to be a craft beer snob. So, what if you only like Bud Light or even just rum? Are you willing to occasionally listen to beer-related topics and reviews, or try a sip or two (or even brave a pint) of a tasty brew? Yes? Hurrah! You're CWBC material!

It's true the club is comprised mostly of women who really like their beer. But there are also members who are just venturing into beer territory and those who aren't sure if they want to start that journey at all. No one will tease you or force you to drink (although that would make for a great adult version of an after-school special). But we will offer recommendations, answer questions, or let you try some of our own drink, if that is what you want.

4. This is not for the faint of heart. Topics tend to stray wildly from strictly beer lectures. This one is like the love-child of "be open-minded" and "have a sense of humor," because when a group of women get together for several rounds of beer, the conversation can get awfully rowdy.

5. You will make friends, dammit. And you will want to keep coming back for more.

If you're worried about being the newbie or about coming alone, feel free to email me (kjaidea [at] yahoo.com). Or you can start interacting with members on the CWBC Facebook page. This is definitely not an exclusive club and we love meeting new people. We will make you feel welcome or die trying.

June 14, 2011

This one goes out to my dad:

June 9, 2011

Bucket List Hats

I have a new line of hats. I know, I know. I have more lines than a Cubist painting (woka woka woka). But here is another line.

You know that bucket list I keep over there on the right? No, your other right:

I've decided to make a hat for each of those items, to represent it. My goals, others' goals, the cat's goals. Whatever. The point is put your goal on your head. What better way of holding yourself accountable? Every time someone says, "Why is there a guy stuck in quicksand on your hat?", you would have to reply, "Oh, because it is a goal of mine to play in quicksand. "What are you doing to achieve this goal," they will likely ask next.** "Umm, umm..." you will stammer if you haven't made any progress toward achieving your goal.

**Based on all of my research, the next question is actually, "Um, why do you want to play in quicksand?"

The other reason for this line is, well, the constant flow of inspiration and challenges to be had. Think of all the things just waiting to be fashioned out of felt!

So, here is the inaugural Bucket List Hat.

#2 - Speak Spanish fluently:

And because I'm not as fast at crocheting as I am at cutting felt, here are previews of the upcoming hats.

#23 - Moonwalk:

#1 - Memorize five songs on the guitar:

June 2, 2011

Mines, Museums, and Mountains: a Trip to Leadville

Over Memorial weekend, we took a daytrip to Leadville, Colorado. Partly to see a new city and partly so we didn't have to play Monopoly with the kids again. We drove through the mountains for about 2.5 hours to get there. Despite the weather being downcast yet warm in Denver, in the mountains it was sunny and cold enough to keep the snow from melting apparently.

Upon reaching Leadville--a small town from back in the glory days of mining--we stopped at Golden Burro Cafe to grab lunch, then went to the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum. Pretty sweet pic of the streetlight, huh?

The museum was interesting, housing lots of different types of ores...

(That's Wulfenite up there.)

...old mining equipment...

...photos, which I took expressly for my grandma, whose dad had been a miner in Montana, as well...

...a model railway which sucked the kids in more than anything else...

...and full-size dioramas of the mines of yore...

Outside, on the terrace, we got a great view of the whole town...

...and of the back of Kayden's throat:

Then we headed up to Baby Doe Tabor's old cabin.

Click here to read more and to see where a Colorado royal had lived...and died. OooooOOOOoooooh!

The tour of Baby Doe Tabor's cabin was my favorite part of the day. Our tour guide, Debbie Jo was funny and knowledgeable and clearly very passionate about Colorado history. First, we walked around to the back of the cabin (which started out as the administrative office) to the mine entrance:

Then we walked through the small building where the aboveground operations took place:

Lastly, we went into the cabin. If you look about four inches above Kayden's head, there is a notch in the door frame. This was done to show how tall Baby Doe stood (approximately five feet tall).

The cabin was unintentionally creepy. The walls are covered in newspapers from the 1930s (the papers were donated by a museum admirer and were hung to show how the cabin looked while Tabor lived there) to keep out drafts. The one-room cabin was fairly small and mostly windowless. To imagine living there for many years made me a little anxious and claustrophobic.

The tour guide told the story of Baby Doe Tabor while referencing the photos on the wall:

(Rather than me telling it and probably botching it, you can read about it here.)

Finally we grabbed some ice cream cones, saw some drive-by sites, then split back to Denver. And then played Monopoly with the kids, anyways.