Saturday, December 5, 2009

MHIBTY Book Club

I love books. I love to read. I love to see the movie. I love to tell people that the book was better than the movie. Since this blog is about me, my life and what I've been up to, I'm going to review some of my most recent reads. I am in no way qualified to review these books, besides having actually read them, but, a lack of qualifications rarely stops me.

Music for Torching
A. M. Homes
She is one of my favorite authors. She is an artist. A sick, twisted, honest, brilliant and non-apologetic word artist. In this novel, she tells the story of a couple stuck. And while there were no obvious parallels between her protagonist (which I thought, more than once, were also the antagonist) and myself, I couldn't help but feel like she knew my darkest fears and my deepest hidden secrets. Paul and Elaine live in a re-active state. When there is nothing to react to, one evening, when there are no dinner plans and all their friends are busy, they set their house on fire. And that's the first chapter. They both struggle with being honest with one another and themselves - rarely ever succeeding unless they're high/stoned. They pop pills like they're candy. They both let outside people (near strangers) fuck them. Literally and figuratively. Through an intricately weaved series of events, they eventually realize that they've lost all control in their life and that they need to take the reigns again to bring peace and normalcy back into their family, but this happens with about 10 pages left. And a LOT happens in those last 10 pages. Another book of hers I highly recommend is "The End of Alice."

The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold
A 14 year-old girl is murdered and then tells the story from her point of view from "her" heaven. Whitney recommended this book because the author has imagined heaven to be uniquely different for each person in it, where sometimes certain parts of heavens overlap and at others don't. That aspect of it is what really pulled the entire novel together for me, because other than that it was just a tragic, terrible story about a family that is ripped apart by an asshole kid-rapist and murderer. Well written and beautiful, but tragic and sad none the less.

The Marketplace
Laura Antoniou
If you hate sex, do not read this book. This book was the closest thing to a boyfriend I had for about 2 weeks (I'm a slow reader). It was always there for me and made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside after a long, hard (hehe) day. The Marketplace is, indeed, a marketplace for S&M types to buy slaves. Yes, it's S&M smut-literature. Yes, it wasn't the most intellectual book I've ever read, but dammit - it was HOT. The story follows 4 "applicants" that want to be trained to be high caliber slaves - good enough to be sold on the Marketplace. I believe there are an additional 4 more novels that make up this series. So, if anyone wants to buy me book two (and a pack of AA batteries), feel free.

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
Tucker Max
For entertainment value only, this book was awesome. His drunken stories of debauchery, near death experiences and crapping/vomiting all over himself, his friends or his bed-mate made me laugh. The book had a nice mix of stories, though I liked his "pre-fame" adventures more compared to the ones after he became infamous around college towns. My brother bought this book in the hopes of reading it before he and his friends went to Lawrence to see the movie. Needless to say, he only got a couple chapters in, I read the whole thing.

Dora's Halloween Adventure
Sarah Wilson & Steve Savitsky
While, indeed, an adventure, the plot line was predictable and stale. "Oh No??? Boot's Candy has been stolen? Map, where is Boot's Candy?" Everyone knew (except the 18 month old triplets I was reading the book to) that Swipper took the candy. Big effing surprise. Next time I'd like to see Diego stuffing the sweet stuff down his throat... at least then it could segue into "Diego get Diabetes" and serve as a multi-purpose education tool for kids.

Read them all and I'll pull a "BookIT" and buy you a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Special K

I dated a boy once.

It was fun. For a decent while I was more than satisfied with what our relationship was. And for as much as we all have fun joking about how much I strike a resemblance to Side Show Bob, credit goes to this guy for SSB's lone true appearance to date. Liz was the only witness. One winter morning, after spending the weekend together, my hair was C.R.A.Z.Y. frizzy (you know - from the relations) and she swears that THAT is the only time I've had hair wild enough to look anything like the cartoon character.

But, back to the boy. I'll call him "Special K". For 3 reasons:

1. His name begins with, appropriately, a K.
2. He's special.
3. Just like the cereal, while very tasty and not necessarily bad, you can't live off it it- regardless of what Kellogg's and their "2 week" challenge claim. It's starvation.

This past weekend, my baby brother David came into town for Thanksgiving. He and Daniel, along with an assortment of their cronies, were going to hit Westport. I agreed to meet up with them late in the evening. We ended up at Kelly's (not my idea - just for the record!). There was a band, doing all covers - I think. I know I heard a Weezer and a Tool Song.

I'm jamming out with David when all of a sudden someone felt closer to me than a normal stranger would be. Next thing, he's got me by the nape of my neck***, pulling me towards him and trying to yell something in my ear. I start to freak out because I'm thinking that I'm gonna have to karate chop some random's ass.

But then I see that it's Special K. What. The. Eff?

Then he repeats himself. I still can't make out what he's trying to yell at me, so I do the universal head-shake-while-pointing-to-ears-and-shrug gesture. He then screams in to my ear "What are the odds that that guy" points to David, who is oblivious to this whole exchange thus far "is gonna get lucky with Natasha tonight?" Special K slyly smiles to himself, making a look I could only interpret as "Oh yeah - I totally just called you out and made you feel super awkward. Score!"

I ask "That guy?" and point to the still oblivious David. "Zero." And to emphasize my point, I make a goose egg with my left hand.

Confused and a little startled, Special K pauses. He then asks me "What are my odds?"

"Zero." And to emphasize my point, I make a goose egg with my left hand. "That guy" pointing to David who has finally realized I'm talking to someone else and is looking at us "is my brother."

Harder than bombs over Baghdad, his face exploded in a disgusting realization of what that made his first question (effing gross) and therefore he himself was victim to the super awkwardness. 2 beats later "So wait - I don't even have better odds than your brother?"

No, Special K, you don't.

***At first I thought some random creep was wanting to toussel my tresses, which, that wouldn't have been the first time that happened that night. SERIOUSLY people. Random people touch my hair. MHISOOOOMBTY.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fuck Luck

While barely finding the motivation to tread water in the unemployed ocean, I had a stroke of brilliance. I decided to have a party on Friday the 13th. It was going to celebrate, mainly, my birthday, but also it was a party for the fact that all I had going for me was the fact that I wasn't dead. And that, folks, is all you need. Fuck Luck.

Invites were sent out, food, booze and music (thank you Steve!!!) were planned. I even knew what I was going to wear 2 weeks before hand. This was huge. I was excited for the entire week leading up to the big night. The night before, I laid out my outfit with an excitement that rivaled even the most giddy moments of my youth.

OoooMG.

I had the Best. Time. Ever.

It probably didn't hurt the cause that I started drinking when I got home from work. People weren't going to start trickling in for AT LEAST another 2 hours. So, I swept & Swiffered and finished making my desserts while enjoying an organic Belgium Wheat Stef & Russell brought me from Colorado. Yum. They just brought me back 1 bottle, but, thank goodness it was a liter sized bottle.

Soon after my first drink was polished off (and yes, I'm counting a liter of beer as "a drink"), Whitney came through the front door with bags of food, beer and champagne. She popped the first bottle, the corked ricocheted off of a few things and it ended up under my tea kettle on the stove. She had Russell open the next one. Appropriately enough, she and I drank champagne from my pair of "Bar Natasha" champagne glasses.

After the first champagne bottle popping, I cannot verify the accuracy of the whats and the whens of all that went down. But here is what I remember...

*Steve made me the 4 most righteous (his word, but I must agree) mixed cds. He named them "Do the Na-Cha-Cha," "Slash Show Bob," "Durka Durka" and "Sherpa Sherpa Allah." I'm listening to Durka Durka right now "She's got the look...na na na na naaaaaaa na na na na na naaaaaaaaa YEAH - she's got the look!"

*Lee brought me a brownie cake with cream cheese icing with my name on it. Awesome. It was almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

*Sabrina brought a salad. Like an actual salad. Or at least one of those HUGE tubs of mixed greens. Trust me - this was HILARIOUS.

*Some random neighbor named Curtis invited himself onto my front porch.

*Lindsey showed up drunker than a me and gave me a FABULOUS vintage dress that I put on right then and there (on the front porch) and proceeded to model it. I spent almost the whole night thinking it was black and gold, but around 1AM Sabrina told me it was Brown and Ivory.
"What the EFF???? No wonder Lindsey and I were having a difference of opinion on what accessories to wear with it. I thought it was because we were both pretty sauced."

*Curtis said I was "one step above stunning" or some other BS while I was modeling the dress.

*Mark invited his friend, Meredith, whom he saw walking down the street, in. She was cool. She's a manager at Barnes & Nobel and really wanted to make sure I'd recycle her cup.

*All the Lesbians worked on hooking Curtis and I up.

*Jenni Rea had NO clue who CCB was. It's like she didn't even listen to any of my stories for almost 6 months.

*Carrie Beth made me kiss her on the lips and I almost cried. Nothing against her, just can't get myself to kiss a girl. Lord knows my life would be easier if I was The Gay.

*Tammy & Shea thought Megan & Brooke were a couple. Priceless.

*Matt pimped out his PBR LIGHT to anyone that would try it. Who knew they made PBR Light? Classic.

*Curtis left. But then he came back. :)

All-in-all it was fantastic. I have such awesome, wonderful friends. A girl couldn't be more lucky.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Slash says "Sorry!"


Sorry you guys. I have a really good reason why it went dark, and of course... it was painfully embarrassing.

I'm in the middle of an interview. It's going well, and, though the job would be well outside my degree's purview, I was interested in working there. Shannan knew, through professional networking, the guy I was interviewing with and I knew 2 other people that worked there through my many years at The Law Firm. And then he says... "You're right. Your hair IS better than mine."

3 things happen simultaneously.

1. I turn BRIGHT EFFING RED
2. My heart drops into my large intestine
3. I nervously laugh and say "Oh, well, it's nothing personal - just a fact."

I didn't get the job.

But that's OK because.....drum roll please...... I GOT A JOB! I'm a week in and so far so good! The only thing I can report on is that the toilets flush loudly. VERY LOUDLY. Like, so loudly, it hurts my ear drums. But, I can't be too upset at it; in every stall, there is a toilet plunger. How friggin awesome is that? I work in an office where at some point in time, even with toilets powerful enough they sound like they have a jet engine in the tank, enough people thought plungers in each and every stall were necessary.

So, I'm back, ya'll. Halloween was awesome!!! Slash KILLED at all the parties I went to. I even came in second at a costume contest. I lost to Hitler in drag and I am OK with that.


OH - and... Today is my birthday! Happy birthday to me! I'm 27, which is my lucky number. This is gonna be a GREAT year.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tampon Troubles

When I was a young lass, my mom and sister did their best to provide me guidance in the way of women, but failed on several counts. I don't hold it against them, anymore, because at the very least, it provides for some good blog fodder.

Some time during middle school, I was invited to go swimming with some girlfriends. I accepted. After I hung up the phone, I realized that I had a dilemma; I was on my period and I knew that I couldn't wear a pad to the pool. Other than knowing that pads and pools don't mix, I didn't know what to do. I had a vague idea that there was something that would solve my problem, but all my mom and sister had taught me was the way of the pad.

But I still had my dilemma, so I went rummaging through my mom's bathroom drawers. I didn't know exactly what I was looking for, but when I stumbled upon a tampon, I knew that this was the solution to my problem. But HOW??????

There was just the one, lone tampon. No instructions. My friend was on her way and I was panicking. Survival instincts kicked in, I tore off the paper wrapper and shoved my only solution in.

Ouch. Was it suppose to hurt? I figured the answer was "yes" so I just went with it. I was in a fair amount of pain for the entire trip to the pool, It hurt when I sat, I hurt when I stood, it hurt in a box, it hurt with a fox...errrr.... or something. About half way in, I swore off tampons for life and couldn't wait to get home and get the devil stick out of me.

When the blessed moment arrived - it wouldn't budge. I almost cried. I pulled and heaved and finally with the burning sensations of ten thousand suns, it finally plopped out and I went and gently cried and rocked myself to sleep to try to forget about the horrific pain of the day.

Fast forward to 3 years later. True to my word, I hadn't even LOOKED at another tampon, classifying all who wore them loose and flappy hussies. However, I was in the same dilemma I had been in 3 years earlier. A friend, Marie, and I were at summer camp and wanted to go "blobbing," but just like pads and pools don't mix, pads and lakes don't mix either. I share this with my friend. She hands me a box of tampons, a jar of Vaseline, the instructions and sends me to the bathroom stalls.

Not entirely convinced this is going to work, I agree to give it another shot. I find the smallest tampon in the box, lube it up with Vaseline and take a look at the instructions. Somewhere around step 3 or 4, I see where I went wrong all those years ago - I turn to Marie and ask "Oooh! You take the cardboard applicator OUT?!?!???"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Belly Dancin'

I love to dance, that is no secret. I've dabbled in multiple forms and practices - ballet, hip hop, and there was that one time Liz made/dared me to the Pase Doble in her living room - and I NAILED it. Even she was impressed. Or maybe her "WOW" didn't mean "impressive" but rather "I can't believe you actually did that." Either way...

So when Lindsey asked if I'd take a belly dancing class with her, my only response was: where can I get THIS outfit?
I think with my love for dance and my sand-people genes, I'll be a natural at this form of dance.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Father, The Son and The Holy Hair

Saturday, August 19th, I married a couple. Before too many of you get excited - I did not become a second wife - but rather, I was the officiant at my friends', Lee & Sabrina, wedding.

Let's rewind for a minute.

In 2001 I became an ordained Reverend primarily to demonstrate how much organized religion is a joke. I mean, can you argue that it ISN'T when a college freshman went online, clicked a few radio buttons, filled in a some required fields and then praise-jesus-hallelujah became a member of the clergy? I don't think so.

Fast forward to this past February, a gaggle of us were about to go cut a rug at a Mike Hosty concert and Sabrina was talking about her wedding and her need to find an affordable Officiant. Never missing an opportunity to reveal this random fact about me, I told Sabrina that I was ordained and (jokingly), told her I would do it. Instead of laughing at the absurd idea, she asked "really?" and then told me a few weeks later that she had a dream that she and Lee were getting married and the officiant had big, curly hair.

Obviously, I was sold then and there and agreed to do it. What really sealed the deal what that the happy couple assured me that my duties were to 1. marry them and 2. have a blast at the reception. Check and check.

The ceremony was amazing; there were tears and laughs, and most importantly, it suited both of them and I was thrilled to be a part of their special, beautiful day.

The reception is a little bit more blurry around the edges. I only had one pre-ceremony drink to take the edge off, seeing how I didn't want to be a sloppy mess DURING the ceremony, so afterwards I made no qualms in catching up to everyone else in a hurry. I wouldn't say I "chugged" the wine, but double fisting it certainly made more sense than going back to the bar every 10 minutes, so, that's what I did. It was red wine, which Jesus drank, so, it's cool.

At one point, some of the groom's friends decided to by The Reverend shots. What nice boys.

And then the dancing started.




After cutting a rug every which-a-way, it was time for the bride and groom to be off. It was somewhere around this time that Russell became my anchor, not leaving me by myself and making sure I didn't stumble into the bushes. I knew I was a goner. I was touch and go with "standing," so he took action by giving me a beer and sending me to the car. What a good friend.

The ride home... was... fuck, I don't remember, but when Stef said that we needed beer for the after party, I gladly offered the beer I had up for the cause. The Reverend is all about charity.

Sabrina called me last week to tell me that her cousin has hassled her a few times about her introducing the two of us. When she asked if I remembered who he was at the wedding, I just laughed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Observations of the Unemployed

Day 41

Time is of no consequence.

Seriously. I'm never quite sure which day it is during the week, I have to "guesstimate" it. I only know that it's the weekend when my friends with jobs call wanting to hang out past 9PM.

I stayed up late last night, I couldn't tell you what the clock read when I finally went to bed, but this morning I woke up feeling EXTRA refreshed.... because it was 10:50. Regardless, I still made a pot of coffee.

But, hopefully, there won't be too many installations of "Observations of the Unemployed." I had a phone interview that went really well yesterday and was asked to come in on Wednesday for an in person interview. So, wish me luck!

Wednesday is tomorrow, right?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Health Care

It's not my best or most talked about trait, but I've often shared that my immune system is as strong as a Dollar Tree brand single-ply facial tissue. Through my own account or by accident, I've come to have a colorful health care grade card. There have been amusing aliments, but there have been a couple of not-so-fun spells and spills too.

But never, ever, ever have I worried about whether or not I could go see a doctor if need be.

I have 8 days left in my "retro-active" COBRA period (not that I could afford it, anyway). After that, I'm not sure what's going to happen. Not to convolute the point, but I know jack shit about what COBRA is and how it works - so - regardless of IF something happens, my health care plan consists of my stockpile of over-the-counter cold medications, vitamins, band aids and a heating pad with a safety-off switch.

What a fantastic system we have. As a 26 year old, I have been paying into the "sick-care" system my entire adult life. But that means bupkiss now that I am unemployed and don't have coverage. The only option I have is the ER at Truman Medical, the local "poor" hospital, that will not charge for services if you're unemployed. However, I don't feel justified going to the ER with any non-emergency sort of ache, bug or infirmity.

I hope, believe and am personally willing Congress to get this health care thing right. As a citizen of this country, my health and quality of care, if I do get sick, should not be predetermined by my employer's health benefits plan (or lack there of!). On the other side of the coin, I don't think that businesses should shoulder the burden of benefits costs alone (and passing it on to their employees isn't gonna fly either). There is better way.

I would be passionate about this issue even if I still had employer provided coverage, I've never been a fan of the insurance based system we have now. There are too many stories and situations more sad and tragic than mine for me to feel sorry for myself, what I do feel is outrage and disgust. Outraged that if I do get a cold, I'll have to stab my self (again) to be able to be admitted to the ER. Disgusted, because, last time that happened I saw the inside of my finger and almost ralphed.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Observations of the Unemployed

Day 36

How does THIS job ad make any sort of sense?

Looking for Seasonal Help
Busy Staffing Office
9:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. Monday thru Friday
Light Data Entry
Testing and Assisting Applicants
Heavy Phones

I copied and pasted this directly from the Craigslist posting.

This is a mother fucking STAFFING AGENCY. Wouldn't it stand to reason that they would have one or two resumes laying around that they could pull from? If they have to post an ad to fill a position when their entire business model is based on people coming to them to find a job - then I have no confidence in their ability to place me.

And how heavy are these phones? 10 pounds? 15 pounds?

Friday, August 28, 2009

You are the weakest link: good-bye!

I really wish the boss man had said that (with the accent), as it would have at least been funny, but alas, I was relieved from my employment last week.

I know what you’re thinking: “Natasha, if you’ve been unemployed for over a week now, why the fuck haven’t you been blogging? It ain’t like you’ve been busy!”

Fuck you. I have to been busy.

Busy sleeping in, busy swimming at the YMCA, busy hanging out with my friends… OH YEAH, and busy filing for unemployment and looking for a new job.


I do have a funny story of Stef and I crashing the Town Hall meeting held at UMKC on Tuesday.



After Claire McCaskill was done taking questions, Stef and I descended on the news reporters asking WHY they were only interviewing people over the age of 45. She was able to get camera time with Michael Mahoney from Channel 9 and made her point on why it's important those in the 20 to 30 year old demographic raise their voice in the issue because... and I quote..."...they are the ones getting the shaft!"

I love you Stef.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Out of Office Auto Reply

I'm going to be out of pocket next week. Which should feel no different than when I am IN pocket but just ignoring my blog duties. (he-he..... duties). I'm headed to North Carolina, cats and kittens. I'm gonna spend some quality time with the beach, er, my sister.

Hopefully the return trip this year involves less alcohol and random frisking.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I WON!!!!!!

After hours and hours and hours of my life spent on terrible, horrible, no-good dates - my energies have finally yielded fruit! I can proudly claim title of WINNER to the "Reader Contribution: The Worst Thing Said on a Date" contest sponsored by [redacted]. Dan, Brooke & Puppy: I am honored.

Now, on to the tale of the wretched date.

When: Two years ago.
Who: Jared. I think. I'll call him Jared.
Where: The Peanut
Why: He was cute.
Background: Online dating (I know, I know, twice (fourteen times) bitten and all that jazz), his profile had the "has kids?" check box marked and he, during conversation mentions his daughter...

Natasha: So, how old is your daughter?

Jared: Oh. Um. 10. And 6.

N: Oh! 2 kids.

J: Yeah, 2 daughters.

N: That's cool. Blah blah blah...

For about half an hour we talk about his school, our jobs and other meaningless first date topics. He throws out that he's moving soon and is worried about school districts. I tell him the part of town I'd love to buy a house in.

Jared: Yeah, but I'm a single dad with 3 kids. I can't afford that neighborhood.

N: What.

J: Yeah..... I have 3 kids, not 2 like I said earlier.

N: So, when I said "Oh! 2 kids"......... and you said "yeah".........

J: I didn't want to freak you out.

N: But lying is OK?

J: Well, I didn't lie, I said I had 2 daughters. My boy is 8.

N: I gotta go.

The end.

And now, over 2 years later, thanks to Jared-party-of-who-the-fuck-knows-how-many, I am a WINNER!

Also, just as a "I didn't think it could get any worse" sort of twist, I am (and was) fairly confident that he was drunk when I got there. Awesome.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mad Men, Marilyn Monroe & M&M's

My latest Netflix obsession - I have gotten into the AMC Drama Mad Men and am almost done with season 2. If you're able to check it out - do! The basic story line follows a handful of characters working at an Ad Agency on Madison (Mad) Avenue in the 1960s. They smoke, drink and fuck their way through 45 minutes of well written and fabulously costumed drama. It's Awesome. Plus Jon Hamm makes me happy in all the right places.

Of particular interest was the episode I watched last night (seriously, just last night!), it starts off showing that morning's headline: Marilyn Monroe found dead. While that isn't the central plot point of the episode, the event is used as a device to push the story line in an interesting direction.

Fast forward to this morning, NPR tells me that TODAY (August 5, 1962) is the anniversary of Marilyn Monroe being found dead.

FFFFFFRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAKKKYYYYYYYY!!!!!!

And lastly, onto the M&M's. My boss has had a bowl of M&M's on his desk for several weeks and I've done a fairly good job of avoiding them (if you don't count that one (ok, 2) time) but the bowl hasn't been allowed to reach empty. Well, FINALLY the bottom of the bowl can be seen and he is on vacation, so it cannot be refilled. RELIEF! The Siren Song of those sweet little candy coated chocolates has been silenced!

That's all for today folks, which was brought to you by the letter M and the number 55. As in 55 hours until my Plane to North Carolina takes off!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dear Time Warner Cable

Dear Time Warner Cable,

I’m afraid you’ve earned a stern letter similar to the one O’Reilly Auto Part earned themselves this past winter. So, here it goes.

Die in a fire!

You might be asking yourself what you did to earn such web-wide disgrace, which just further illustrates how big of an asshole you are; you’re not even aware of what you did.

Or didn’t do, rather. I played by the rules and scheduled an installation/transfer of service for moving day and you arrived between your scheduled 11am and 2pm. However, you forgot to bring your eyeballs because you FAILED to see the cable line running to the house and informed me you couldn’t install a cable line without my landlord’s permission. After you left, my mom found both the line TO the house AND the plug in the upstairs bedroom. You should be ashamed of yourself because she isn’t the best at finding things; she once consulted my Tarot cards to help find an earring she lost.

Knowing that this is sometimes how things go, I call back on Monday and schedule another service appointment. Again for a Saturday and again for between 11am and 2pm. Brother and new roommate, Daniel, agreed to be there even though he had plans with his friends for the afternoon. You can imagine my surprise when he called me after 2pm to tell me that you guys FAILED to show up and that he had to go.

It was almost a slap in the face when you called later that day, at 4 o’clock, letting me know the technician is on their way and asked if someone would be there to let you in.

“No. It is 4 o’clock and you were supposed to be there between 11 and 2.”

“So, no one is there?”

“No.”

Once again I found myself talking to one of your, obviously ironically titled, Customer Service Representatives setting up a third appointment. The technician is scheduled to show up (which would be a great first step) and install (if I’m lucky) service tonight.

Don’t fuck this up, Time Warner, or my next letter will start out by thanking you for my free lifetime Cable and Internet service.

Yours only because you’re a monopoly,

MHIBTY

Monday, August 3, 2009

She Bangs!

Hair cut time! I love my new bangs.



My hair looks like it's conducting electricity on the top, there....



Meow!

Friday, July 31, 2009

A flip flop, a flippity flop you don't stop...

I didn't have lunch plans today, so, I decided to go get a much needed manicure. There is a little shop about 3 blocks from work, so I walked there. Once there, I see a sign for a mani-pedi special and decided to go balls-to-the-wall crazy and get both!

It wasn't until I was done that it dawned on me that I wasn't wearing the appropriate shoes for POST pedicure. The pedicurist gave me these disposable/paper-y foam flip flops so I wouldn't ruin my lovely toes.

I had to walk the 3 blocks back in paper sandals... and as if I weren't COOL ENOUGH at work, I had to walk into the building, up to the 3rd floor and to my desk with them on.

I'm SO glad I work at a very, very casual office.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I moved

After 27 months in the apartment I had only intended to be in for 6, I moved. I didn't mean to but I ended up falling in love with the little space (despite it being an oven) and the life I cultivated there. I knew this day would come, and I swore the day I moved in that I was hiring movers when I leave. Which, I did... or rather my dad did. He knew he'd get suckered into helping me move out if he didn't. Well played, dad. More on the movers later.

I'm still in the same neighborhood. Still within walking distance to all the usual suspects and locations, but it's going to take some time to get used to some things.

For example...

Having a hallway
FREE washer and dryer on site
SPACE!!!
Central air
A full size oven and fridge
A front and back porch
...and a having a roommate!

My Brother Daniel and his pup, Troy, are moving in this Saturday.


Troy the Pup - as a Pup.

Living with the younger Bro will be awesome. We've already made our expectations crystal clear: no cats allowed and the bar will be stocked at all times. AND he's ponying up for cable!
I've been in the house all alone this week. It's definitely taking some getting use to. Yesterday I almost missed a call because I didn't get to my phone fast enough. I had to bound thru the kitchen and dining room to answer it. In my old place, my phone was always within reach REGARDLESS of where both it or I was.


So, yeah, I moved last Saturday and my dad arranged for movers to do all the grunt work. When I booked them, the earliest time slot they had was 11am - 1pm. Me, being the optimist, was ready at 10:30AM. My mom came over to help around that time and we sat.... and waited.... for 3 hours.

Even though they were late, all in all, they did a good job. 24 stairs up and 24 stairs down isn't easy work in July. Though, the "leader," Ben, kept referring to this Klimt piece (The Maiden) I have as porn.

Why? It must have been the bare breasts. Awesome. Later on he asked me if I "...had a boyfriend....or a girlfriend? You never know!"

I didn't bother to clarify or tell him I wasn't into girls (even though I'm sure his imagination was running wild after seeing The Maiden AND catching a glimpse of my copy "The Guide to Getting It On."), I just smiled and vaguely said "No, I don't." After that, this guy did ANYTHING I asked. Take apart and re-assemble my bed frame and head board? Done. Move the china cabinet 3 times because I couldn't decide where I wanted it? Done! Stop the clock after 3 hours, even though they were still working? Yup, did that too.

My mom stuck around for a couple of hours and we unpacked the kitchen and the Library...


Isn't it so pretty???

Every body's house-warming invitation is in the mail!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blood is the new Toilet Paper

After this past weekend and having to piss in the woods, I thought I was beyond bathroom gross out. I mean, once you squat 6 inches above a patch of dirt to relieve yourself you think "This is natural. It's just a little bit of pee. Aaaahhhhh, this feels really good."

It's been established that some people can be really FUCKING gross in the bathroom here and here.

"Natasha," you ask "if you've witnessed so many gross things in the bathroom, what else is left to gross you out?"

Well. I will tell you.

First things first. Carey witnessed this too, therefore this bathroom injustice can be corroborated. I am NOT making this shit up.

Or should I say, I'm not making this BLOOD up.

Yup. That's right. Right there on the toilet seat. Blood. A nice little puddle. Just hanging out on the toilet seat. Sitting there like it's waiting to be collected as evidence for some CSI: Kansas City Forensics investigator. Totally effing gross. I hope that all of my male readers just threw up a little in their mouth.

Carey and I have two theories. First one is that Toilet-Paper-Wad-Leaver is back in action and has graduated to leaving more gross, more disgusting things OR someone got into a fight with a gang of bathroom ninjas and escaped with just a bloody nose and a little splatter got on the toilet seat.

We're really, REALLY hoping for the second scenario.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Match Game

Refusing to let my past experiences with online dating leave a sour taste in my mouth, I’ve signed up with Match.com. Insert definition of insanity here: ______________.

A little over a week in and there are no prospects. A few people have contacted me, none of them even worth clicking the “No thank you” response for, but rather, just deleting. But, I’m not gonna let that bring me down. When life hands you lemons, write a blog about it!

Here are the profiles of 3, um, gentlemen that have contacted me. I am copying the text VERBATIUM. Enjoy.

Bachelor #1
Name: Jerry
Headline: hi im looking for someone that wont cheat, hurt me, use me, brake my heart love me for me, want to be with me, me only, no lies no games.
Main Bio: Im a nice sweet and kind and loving and caring guy I have been hurt and heart broken im a countryboy and a farmboy i try to help anyone that i can i love to try new things i love to play pool and bowl and i love to work
Worth Mentioning: His picture is of him…. taking a picture of himself in a mirror. With a t-shirt tucked into his jeans.
Final Verdict: Learn how to use a fvcking comma. And don’t tuck your t-shirts into your jeans.

Bachelor #2
Name: MidwasteGuy*
Headline: “Let’s grab a beer” :0)
Main Bio: i don’t like to sit around and waist time, rather i am motivate to have a willingness to learn from others and in the proses makes a new friends that will last a life time. i am a big English football fan. i love playing baseball. i haven’t been to a baseball game (MLB)- “shame” but i look forward to one. I’m looking for a flexible woman that knows how to treat a fine gentleman and above all, loves to have fun.
Worth Mentioning: In his main picture, his eyes are shut.
Final Verdict: Is English your first language?

*I am certain he meant MidWESTGuy, but then again, I could be wrong.

Bachelor #3
Name: Trucker
Headline: I akm David I am 30yrs old.I am from Olathe,Ks
Main Bio: I idel match would be somebody I spend my life with and share things with and do thing together. I am fun to be around, caring, sweet, I no how to treat a lady and be respectful. I don’t play games anybody. I am pencostal*.
Worth Mentioning: His eyes are not straight forward. Well, one is and the other isn't.
Final Verdict: ……………………..uh…… maybe instead of Match.com, he should look into Dictionary.com.

*Pentecostal.

Sigh. Well, I've got 3 more weeks left in my $34.99 month subscription. If nothing else, I should get a few more blog posts out of it.

Happy Bastille Day

I love all things French. Fries. Toast. Coffee Press. Kisses. Ticklers. If it’s French, then I’m down. I have bought soaps and lotions JUST BECAUSE they were made in France. My voicemail message, in “fake-French” hasn’t changed in 8 years. My mouse pad is a black and white print of the Eiffel Tower.

So, today I will take this opportunity to wish all my French Friends “Happy Bastille Day!”

Monday, July 13, 2009

Roughing It

The drive out there Saturday afternoon was uneventful. The campground was less than 90 minutes away. This came in handy on Sunday when we were all so ready to be home. But, I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

Liz, Whitney and I had no problems setting up our tent. We put on our bathing suits and got to the reason we were all out there… drinking.

Saturated in sunscreen and bug repellent, we couldn’t have had a more beautiful setting. Our private camp site overlooked a beautiful pond. There were plenty of trees for privacy and we wouldn’t see another soul until 7:30AM on Sunday…. But, I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
We played washers; John and I are the champions. I got Matt a water gun for his birthday and he made sure everyone shared in his “gift.” Liz got him what she calls “lazy tennis,” two paddles where the ball, that came with it, sticks to them. Pretty awesome; very low energy – our kind of game. Steve took us 4-wheeling in the jeep and only lost the trail once. Jenni Rea taught me some of those fancy “hand clappy” things school girls do during recess.

I could keep going on about how awesome it was, but, let’s face it, I know that you want to hear about the snafus, the hitches and the wrenches that make any trip memorable. But, you’re gonna have to wait.

The evening was just a darker version of the gorgeous day. The moon rose a blood-red/orange color over the pond, as all the activity (swimming, playing, eating, hiking) wound down. It might have been the spell of the enchanted day or it might have been all the red bull drinks I was having, but I didn’t become sleepy until well after 4AM (I heard a rooster waking up off in the distance – it was time to go to bed). I was the last one to bed, so, I picked Rob off the ground, took him to his tent, picked up the cooler he knocked over, put out the fire with contents of all the abandoned beer cans and headed to my tent.

I never feel asleep, I had to pee badly and there was no way I was peeing by myself in the dark. I rested, perched precariously on the edge of the air mattress, spooning Liz, until I began to hear rumbles of a storm off in the distance. At 7:30ish, I recruited Liz to go to the bathroom with me, when I stepped out of the tent, I saw we had company. The owner had driven over to our site to warn us of a pretty gnarly storm about 30 minutes away. 60 to 65 MPH winds were forecasted. Immediately, I wake everyone else and we get to work on moving all of our stuff into our “emergency shelter area.” All this was was a giant tarp tied between the Jeep and the Van.

The storm came, it brought strong winds, lots of scary thunder and lightning (I swear there were a couple that sounded right above our heads) and almost 4 hours worth of rain.

So we all sat under the tarp, or "The Living Room," we dubbed it. Since there was still beer in the coolers, we drank it. It was cold and muddy. I was tired, hungry, wet & clammy and having a great time being stupid with my friends.

When the storm cleared, we packed up our stuff and began to break down camp. David, who drove Liz, Whitney and I, agreed to head home as soon as possible. THIS is the part where I was so very thankful we had a relatively short drive back home. In the words of my company – I looked “Busted.”

Once home, I took a hot shower, ate warm food and hunkered down on my couch to fall asleep while watching TV. God bless microwavable Indian cuisine, remote controls and Tylenol PM.

Happy Birthday Matt & Megan!!! I love you both, enjoy your day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bar Megan Takes a Field Trip

The regulars (the group of us that drink regularly together) from “Bar Megan” (Steve and Megan’s attic and/or front porch) are taking a field trip. Monday is Megan’s and Matt’s birthday and to celebrate, they wanted to go camping.

I am genuinely excited to go camping with my friends, there will be a group of 10 to 12 of us and, while it took a minute to confirm, there SHOULD be a toilet for me to use.

Have a great weekend everyone, see you next week. Maybe. I might continue to ignore my blog. Who knows.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A hot and sweaty night...

A storm brewed Tuesday night. It rolled in on yellow and grey clouds and ambushed the metro area with strong winds, claps of thunder & lightning and a down pour of rain. It would have been really fucking cool if it hadn’t knocked the power out.

Some history…

I love my apartment. It’s in a really, really old building. I have window units. The landlord lent me one to use in the bedroom when I moved in, in the early spring, over two years ago. Fast forward to the beginning of (a Kansas City) summer and I was M.I.S.E.R.A.B.L.E. My apartment traps heat, holds on to it and will not let go. I’m on the 3rd floor of a 3 story building with a flat, black tar roof, in the southeast corner. With no shade. It is literally an oven. My first summer there I remember the apex of my misery was when I was trying to sleep, naked, spread eagle with several wet wash clothes on me, 3 fans AND the small window unit going.

And I was still suffering. My friend, Caleb, was able to eventually give me his bad ass, old school window unit (the one setting is “artic”), but in the meantime, I had to sleep at my parents house because sleeping at my place was impossible. It was just too fucking hot.

After the second window was installed in the living room, my apartment unit became an ice box. My choices were to either bake or freeze, I chose freeze.

So… two nights ago, after I had turned out the lights and began to enjoy my sheets as only a grown, single lady CAN enjoy her new sheets… you can imagine my fear/nausea/heartbreak when the power went out.

I figured I had about 5 minutes before the heat began to set in. I was wrong. It was about 2. I pried open the bedroom window not occupied by an AC unit (which is hard to do since my windows like to melt shut in the heat) and prayed for a breeze. A small one danced in and out and after an hour of being unbearably uncomfortable, I feel asleep.

The power came back on some time while I was asleep, so I am very thankful for that. However, I woke up feeling cheated out of my first night with you, Sheets. Like having sex for the first time, I said to myself “well, that wasn’t bad… but, I think it can a much more fulfilling and satisfying experience…. For BOTH of us.”

It wasn’t your fault, Sheets, and it wasn’t mine either. It was out of our control Tuesday night.

But we more than made up for it last night. ;)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Sheet is Gonna Hit The Fan

I'm not gonna get a whole lot of sleep tonight.

After canvasing every mailbox in the neighborhood (haha, just kidding Post Master General!), I've been able to track down a BB&B coupon and today I bought the best sheets my skin has ever had the pleasure of knowing.

I am so excited, I can hardly wait until bedtime! Since these are MY sheets and I will be in MY bed and won't have to apologize, awkwardly, to Amy the next morning... I plan on doing everything to these sheets that I could not do in St. Louis.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Pits of Depair

I perspire. Hard core. To quote Kevin James "Were you just jump roping in the attic? - No, I was peeling an orange." I explained to Tammy once, when she saw me picking up the "CLINICAL Strength" Deodorant... I would buy Horse Strength antiperspirant if they a) had such a thing and b) sold it over the counter.

Just call me Sweat Pits McGee. OR Sweet Tits McGee. Either will work.

This brings us to this morning at 7:40. I'm 2 miles from work and realize I did not put on deodorant. This instantly makes me break out into a cold sweat. FUCK. I blast the AC and do that thing with your arms where you lift and hunch over your shoulders so the dashboard vents hit you right in the under arm area.

Needless to say, today I am taking measures to ensure I don't break a sweat. This means no laughing too hard, no twisting off beer caps and I am going to have to recruit someone to peel my mango. I even took the slide down to the first floor, in lieu of the stairs, in an effort to exert the least amount of energy. I'm not sure if I saved a sweat break out, but I did manage to almost do a summer salt in the slide. I banged up my knee & back, screamed a little and then when I landed (crashed) I was greeted by most of the Professional Services team in the cafe area. Including this guy.

Have no fear, dear readers, I have found a way to keep the stank at bay. In addition to the aforementioned no-sweat steps, I have been rubbing Purell Hand Sanitizer in my pits all day. The bottle says it kills 99.99% of germs. Also figured the alcohol in it would dry out the pit-eroonies. Plus a friend of mine said she's tried this from time to time when she forgets to deodorize. Thanks Lynn!

So, even though it's Friday, I will not be putting my arms in the air and waving them around like I just don't care until AFTER I get home and apply some de-o.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The rules of the bathroom are nothing like the rules of basketball.

Not that it matters a great deal, but the Lakers won the whole kit and caboodle. Wahoo. I bring this up for two reasons. One is so that I have a semi-valid reason to post a picture of my newest boyfriend on my blog, forward for the Lakers: Luke Walton.

Yum.Drool.Lick.

Call me.

And second is so that I can segue into my bathroom rant of the day.

THE RULES OF THE BATHROOM ARE NOTHING LIKE THE RULES OF BASKETBALL.

First of all, it's not a team sport. You're on your own in there, for better or for worse.

Second - While "off the rim" can go either way in Basketball (disappointment versus joy, depending on who you're rooting for), in the bathroom it is always, ALWAYS, gross.

Also unlike Basketball (and the one and only point I really want to make), if you miss your shot (trying to get the USED toilet paper into the toilet...) YOU GET TO TRY AGAIN! In fact! I think the rule is that YOU HAVE to try again. This isn't always the case in basketball. If you miss your shot, that's it. Your turn is over. Unless you get your own rebound... but that's just bad defense.

So needless to say... I walked into the stall and found a used bunch of toilet paper sitting on the bathroom seat today and was completely grossed out. Effing sick man. Foul.

But seriously, Luke, call me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I get good text

Sarah sent me a link to this website a while ago along with the note “not sure why but I thot immediately of you.” I’m not sure why, either, Sarah. Actually, yes I am. In that vein, I present to you a random sampling of the received texts from my inbox.

my loaf is perfect

So very lesbi-onic of you

So, on a scale of 1 – 10 how likely is it that ur going 2 loose ur top?

Facebook won’t let me popple u!! The bastards.

Okay… so wearing the balls while working out is…interesting. Jsyk.

We are drinking now. Stop by.

Listening to Robin Thicke, thinking of u ;)

I can b over in like 30 mins if u don’t mind me being a lil smelly ;)

Haha – They weren’t bad. Except that one. That smell was in my nose all day.


I have a weird rash on my neck

Jennie’s keys were in Natasha’s bush


Please feel free to share your own.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Girls in the Lou Part Deux

The aim of this post isn’t to underplay how wonderful and fun my weekend was with Shannan and Amy, but rather to emphasize how freaking FANTASTIC Amy’s sheets are.

Giiiiiirl. Friend.

Those were some nice sheets.

Seriously. I have slept on some luxurious sheets in my time (I have done other things on luxurious sheets too if you know what I mean…like…read the bible…), and I would be remiss if I didn’t put these sheets in the top 3 of the Best-God-Damn-Sheets EVER list. (Maybe I shouldn’t say God Damn if I want people to believe my bible lie.) A little perspective: I sleep on 1000 (three zeros) cotton thread count sheets…. And these make my sheets feel like sandpaper. Ok, maybe not sandpaper, but they certainly put my sheets to shame and I am now looking for one those 20% coupons to BBB we all get in the mail.

I, on more than one occasion, had to restrain myself from ripping off all my clothes and rolling around in the Sheets-of-Wonder with reckless abandon. I didn’t (Amy, you still might want to wash your sheets).

Every morsel of food, every ounce of booze and every writhe of laughter shared among us would have been enough to cement this weekend as a fantastic Girls in the Lou Weekend; but those sheets…. sigh.

Oh, and aren’t we all so pretty?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Shanatamy in the Lou: 2009

I'm so excited for the weekend you guys! More so than usual. Shannan and I are heading to the Lou to visit Amy. The last time the 3 of us (ShaNatAmy) were in the Lou together, we kicked it Literal Style and took pictures of ourselves in public restrooms.

Macy's
(Left to Right - Shannan, Me, Amy)

Mall Food Court
(Left to Right - Shannan, Me, Amy)


Barcelona
(Top: Amy, Left: Me, Right: Shannan)

Needless to say, we're real mature. And Hawt.

Friday, June 5, 2009

d'oh!

Now that Stef’s right hand is out of commission, she needs help in the kitchen. Girlfriend is a great cook; she uses only the freshest, finest ingredients and usually makes EVERYTHING from scratch. This is awesome – until you’re the friend that gets suckered into being her hands when she needs to make bread. (haha, just kidding Stef, I love you…ha…ha…).

No but seriously. It’s a lot of work. Last Thursday I was over there making the dough for a whole grain & oat bread and a potato bread and for being my first bread making experience (outside of popping open a Pillsbury roll canister), I felt I did a good job.

I got a little cocky this past Wednesday with the pizza dough.

The dough started off just fine, I had retained most of what I had learned 6 days prior and felt like a natural. When it came time to add the 110 degree water to yeast, I didn’t hesitate when Stef said “add 2 full cups and let it sit 10 minutes” as I took the measuring cup from her. So I added 2.

10 minutes later (after waiting for the yeast to “activate”), Stef said “Now, add 2 more cups of water.” I get the water to the correct temperature and add 1 full thing of water. Then I look at the bowl of water and yeast and notice that it is very full. Way more full than the other time even if we are making a larger yield this time.

“Uh, Stef. You want me to add 2?”

“Yup. 2 cups.”

“Uuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. 2 cups?”

“Yeah, that is a 2 cup measuring cup, so, just 1 of those.”

“Ok, I added 1.”

“Wait. How many did you add 10 minutes ago?”

“Uhhh….2.”

“2? Meaning a total of 4 cups?”

“Potentially.”

“Oh boy.”

After a few quick calculations in her head, Stef figured out a plan and a recipe to save the dough. The only thing was that there was going to be a shit ton of bread. Which meant a shit ton of dough. Which meant I had to put on an apron.

There was dough (d'oh!) everywhere! All over me, all over Stef, all over the counter and some on the walls. When we were done and ready for the first rise, we put the dough ball into the biggest bowl she had, but that couldn’t contain it. Shortly it started rising and became so big it had escaped the containment of the bowl. It was growing and legitimately threatened to take over the entire kitchen. Stef punched it back into the bowl, but it just kept on growing.

And growing.

When it was all said and done, we had 7 pizzas and 2 calzones the size of dinosaur eggs.

Just to make you guys all drool, my favorite (if you could pick one!) was the goat-cheese pesto with mozzeralla, spicky chicken, dried apricots, mushroom and spicky goat cheese spinkled on top. I would battle that dough monster again for just one more slice of that pie!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Frolicking To and Fro


For 3 different reasons, I registered for and ran the BE1! Inaugural Cross Country 5K and Fun Run.

1. Liz volunteers for BE1!
2.The events proceeds went to Big Brother Big Sister of Kansas City (still waiting on getting my little sister, but, I feel really connected to the organization now!).
3. Motivation to keep up with my running.

After running (mostly) a half marathon (13.1 miles) last month, I figured a 5K (3.1 miles) would be a fucking walk in the park.

However, I didn’t realize that it would LITERALLY be a run in the fucking park. I failed to comprehend that the “cross country” portion of “Cross Country 5K” probably meant NOT running on a road or a paved trail of some sort, but rather it did indeed mean the most plain (the pun coming up was intended) definition of cross country; in the grass.

The runners (maybe 40 or 50 total) were instructed to march out to the starting line across a vast field in Swope Park. “Follow the white paint line, it marks the course. Make 2 laps” were the instructions. “Everybody line up and we’ll get started”

“What if the morning dew makes the grass slick and I slip and fall?”

“What if I don’t see the hidden and hazardous holes and bumps in the ground and twist my ankle?”

“What if I step in poop?"

No time to ask these questions, the air horn rang out and we all shot off in a dash.


Some in a faster dash than others.

OMG. If we had been a herd of gazelles or antelopes and we, as a pack, were running to avert a huge, hungry lion… I would have been the poor gazelle or antelope that valiantly runs as fast as her little legs would carry her, but the rest of the group are just faster, better, stronger so she is out ran by the herd, and quickly so.*

But LUCKILY, I am neither a gazelle nor am I an antelope. If god had wanted me bounding across a field he would have made me one. Therefore I can, with a fair amount of conviction, state that I will NEVER be running a cross country race EVER AGAIN.

I toughed it out and finished, and I wasn’t even last! So, some other poor, fat schmuck would have been lion food. Survival of the fittest, bitches.


*The unfortunate play out of this scene is that then the lion catches up. And because I am the slowest (and juiciest looking, might I add) gazelle or antelope, the lioness pounces on my back, sinks her razor sharp claws into my rear haunches and drags me down for the kill.

Monday, May 25, 2009

S & M BBQ

Steve & Megan (ha, get it - S & M!) threw a great (OMG STEF JUST CALLED AND TOLD ME SHE BROKE HER HAND WHEN DIVING INTO A POOL!!! WTF?) bbq last night. The weather held out and it was a gorgeous afternoon, dusk and evening. I brought my crowd favorite black bean and corn salsa. I also concocted these "Heaven Banana Bites" (Thanks Shannan! They were a hit). I made 60 and decided I could spare a couple and shared with everyone else. And lastly, Liz and I collaborated and made our new signature drink, the "Vodka-Sherbet Float." Mix citrus vodka and a scoop of lime sherbet together. Throw a couple more scoops of sherbet in there, top with club soda and a squeeze of lime. Stir/Mix to your liking. Getting summer drunk just got way easier. You're welcome.

Even though those floats were damn good, the biggest treat of the evening was served when I walked out the back door to yell to Megan and saw Richard. Sitting there. Talking to her.

I immediately ran back inside to go freak out in the bathroom. I collected myself and tried again.

"Megan!" I forced out. "Come try the dessert, they're finished and fantastic!" He's looking at me now. I go back inside. After a moment I know Megan isn't coming inside. She's making me come out and face him, so I grab a platter of the banana cream pudding toffee phyllo cup goodness and head out. My palms start to sweat because my hands are trembling.

"Play it cool, Natasha... you got this."

I would give myself a B on coolness, an A on cuteness and a C on smoothness and game. Which, historically speaking, is a great grade card for me. We chatted. I talked a bit about running. I asked him about his summer plans (he's a teacher...hot), he shared with me this program he saw on PBS (melt) about female suicide bombers in Palestine. He had his phone out at one point, so I grab my balls and gave him my number. So, while technically he didn't ASK for my number, he has it now.

Then his phone rang, so I took the opportunity to use the little girls room and chat with people inside.

When I came back outside and saw that, in my absence, a chick/friend/date/girl-I-didn't-know-and-is-now-there-with-him is there... I...was...crushed. And embarrassed. Awwww, man! What craptastic Memorial Day BBQ Luck!

So I did what anyone else in my fabulous $12.99 Target shoes would have done. I grabbed 2 more drinks, sat down with my girls and had a great night. Yes, I was disappointed, but no harm no foul, right? Plus, I don't know who this girl is, so I am not going to let hope die so easy. I mean, I've been crushing on this guy since January and I'm too stubborn and hard headed to let it go that quickly and without having any say in the matter!

But, seriously, it really was a great party. Plenty of friends, food and vodka-floats. Rob was a little weird in that Rob kind of way but that just meant that everything was normal. I think it really disturbed him when I told him that I was his "desert rose." Megan tripped over her tongue and came up with lots of new phrases (e.i. "We got a lot a little bit.") Steve even strung up lights for ambiance. Liz was gorgeous in the green gown and peacock earrings she borrowed from Whitney, and, Whitney herself almost put back a full two bottles of Brute (I might have helped a little bit). Oh, and Ms. Brooke was just plain hawt.

I am so thankful for my awesome friends (they truly, truly are) and each and everyone of them have come to mean so much to me and in the funny way the universe works, it was a blessing to be reminded of that on Memorial Day weekend when not only is it important to remember and honor those that fight and have died for our country, it is important to remember why.

I love you all. And thank you for putting up with me while I go through this phase/boy.

Now, let's all put our heads together and come up with a plan!

Friday, May 22, 2009

You know you're having a rough morning when...

... you hit the "Save" button in Word and become confused why your iTunes music didn't start playing. And then you stare it. And 5 seconds later you realize you hit Save... in Word... and THAT is why your music didn't start.

I stayed out way past my bedtime with my friend Jennie. Lesbian drama was abound. Good times. I met a local artist named Alex Hamil and ::gasp:: Megan - he knows Richard!!! Kinda. He invited me to his First Friday show on June 5 and said he'd try to wrangle him to show up.

Weeeeeee!

Ok, let's see how I get through this day. I'm going to Target over my lunch break to try to find a swimsuit. Not sure which will turn out being more painful; getting up this morning or that.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

I love the Royals. Always have, always will. It is no secret that I (s)cream for baseball players. That married to my love for all things Kansas City is the reason why I go to games season in and season out. FINALLY my patience and home town pride has paid off and I can take pride in that we are a decent team this year. Decent defined as, in the context of the previous sentence, not being last in our division and sustaining a sliver of hope for seeing playoff action.

Last night I went to my first game of the season and was delighted to be a part of the biggest crowd I've ever seen out at "The K" ("The K" is Kauffman Stadium for the one guy who reads this blog in New York). My dad scored a 4 pack of tickets to the "Budweiser Party Deck" which is the new, private party area behind Right Field. As the name implies, Budweiser and Bud Light flowed freely the entire night along with hot dogs and other food I didn't even bother looking at. (Quick question - how did my younger brother, Daniel, not get carded - but I did?).

Here's what happened the first 8 and 1/2 innings. We fell behind 5 to 2. Actually, "fell" implies being ahead at one point in time. Our best showing was when we were tied at 1 a piece early on.

So it came down to the bottom of the 9th. 1 out. We're down by 3. However - I never stopped believing. I told Daniel that I was gonna do just like Journey did and "Don't Stop... BELIEVING!!!! HOLD ON TO THAT FEEEeeeeeEEEEEELING!" I kept the faith alive. People started to filter out of the stadium but the drunk chick next to me (no, it wasn't Liz) and I kept chanting "Let's Go Royals! clap clap clappity clap!" louder and louder inbetween singing the Journey song.

And then Mike Jacobs hits a solo home run. Mass eruption! The crowd realizes that a 2 run deficit isn't nearly as bad as a 3 run deficit. Chants start. Clapping is slowy moving towards becoming unison across the stadium and my Royal Spirit is vindicated.

Mark Teahan hammers the ball for solo home run #2, which is puncuated by even LOUDER cheers and more fireworks.

Now we're only down by 1 run and Miguel Olivo is coming to bat. People are on their feet.

I had put on the free t-shirt they gave away at the top of the 9th, it had gotten chilly, but had only covered my arms with it. I turned to Daniel and said "I should put this all the way on and maybe that will help us win the game!" Daniel yells "Don't change it now woman! Keep doing whatever you're doing! It's WORKING!!!"

Olivo Walks.

1 out, we're down by one and the tying run is on first base.

DeJesus hits a triple to right field!!! Mitch Maier (Pinch Running for Olivo) busts ass, rounds the remaining bases and scores. The game is tied and the winning run is on third.

We're all going wild. The chants, the clapping, the cheering... it doesn't stop! E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E is YELLING "LET's GO ROYALS!!!! CLAP CLAP CLAPPITY CLAP!!!!" My hands are turning red and becoming tender.

Willie BLoomquist hits it deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep, but not deep enough. The Cleveland outfielder, Shin-Soo Choo, catches the fly ball for out number 2.... but DeJesus tagged up to third and began charging for home. The game, in that single moment, became a contest only to be settled between DeJesus' legs and this Korean guys arm. And everyone knew it. All the fans screamed, yelled, clapped, whistled, hooted and jumped up and down (or in my case, all of the above) in the BELIEF that our united voice would carry DeJesus' legs home and we would win.

Hard fought victory tastes so good.

I'm not about to say that the lone power of my undying belief in my Royals won the game for us, it was a team effort - DeJesus made it safely across home plate in a close play and the game was won by my Boys in Blue.

Oh, and - I never stopped believin'!

The Big One-Oh-Oh



100.


... dollars I want you to give me.
... degrees it feels like in my bathroom with Southern AND Eastern sun all day long.
... POUNDS I HAVE LOST!!!!!!!!


While all of the above are true, I'm just going to focus on that last one. As of this morning, I have officially lost 100 pounds. I've written before on the long and winding journey that is my weight loss and while today has been a long time (and a lot hard work) coming, it's surreal.


I've lost a Nicole Ritchie, you guys!




Monday, May 18, 2009

The father, the son and... the toilet paper

Here at MHIBTY, if it happens in the bathroom – it happens on this blog.

Recently I noticed a change in the bathroom toilet paper at work. As of last week, the toilet paper used was “Heavenly Soft.” I never took much notice. It did the job. But that’s changed and now the TP used is one called “Ever Soft.”

This got me to thinking. What prompted the change? Was someone offended by the toilet paper and the implications that Jesus was wiping their ass? Does it violate the US constitution to bring religion in to the bathroom at a place of work? Separation of Church and Ass?

Or maybe they just found a way to save some pennies and this toilet paper is cheaper than “Heavenly Soft.” Obviously, “Ever Soft” doesn’t have any indulgences pay built into the price.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

on my mark

So, I ran a half marathon a few weeks ago. 2:47:44 was my time and I never fell or tripped once. Though, I did do the backwards running man dance to a drum line somewhere around mile 10 or 11.

For those of you who don’t know me, there used to be a time when I was so fat and out of shape that the mere utterance of the phrase “half marathon” would have given me an acute heart attack. Even when I started working out a little over 2 years ago, I didn’t do much running. When I did, I’d make it about .05 mile before my side was killing me, breathing was laborious and, well, I stopped. Overtime I was able to build up my endurance to go .10 mile and then, before I knew it, I was running .25 mile without stopping! This was a huge deal. But I still never was a runner. If I did go on the treadmill, it was for a warm-up or to kill time before an elliptical machine became available.

Over the last year I have incorporated running into my workouts. It hasn’t been the most fun exercise I’ve ever participated in (nudge nudge wink wink), but damn – it has its moments. Eventually, I worked up to running over a mile without stopping, and would go multiple miles as long as I walked for strategic quarter miles somewhere in the course.

Running any sort of race has never been a dream of mine. A year or so ago my friend, Athena, tried to get me to do a 5K with her. For whatever reason, I couldn’t find the motivation to participate (you can imagine how ticked off she was when I told her I’d registered for a half-marathon, but wouldn’t do a freaking 5K with her! Sorry Athena!!!).

Of all the fabulous gifts Amy has given me over the years (countless pieces of jewelry & accessories, a purple piggy bank in the shape of an owl…. an engraved “Natty Lite” hand mirror), the invitation to join her on this run will be the most precious.

Precious because I accomplished something beyond my wildest dreams. Precious because all of my friends and family had faith and awe in me even when I didn’t. Precious because this picture was captured…

Words. There aren’t enough.
It rained almost the entire race. I lost the giant black trash bag somewhere between mile 7 and 8. This lovely Kodak moment was captured, I'm guessing, with less than .25 - .50 mile left. And the last .50 mile was a steady uphill climb. Nice. The rain was helpful because it made EVERYONE look as sweaty as me. Look at me. Gawd, I am so hot.

Date Night

Liz has a lunch date tomorrow. We are very excited (Oh yeah – by the way – Whitney moved back! YAY! The tripod is once again evened out and not wobbly.).

But back to Liz and her date. I’ve assembled a list of activities they could do together. So far I have:

- Part the Red Sea
- Wander the desert together for 40 years
- Climb mountains and find tablets with commandments on them
- Plague Egyptian pharos with locusts

I know you’re thinking “Natasha, geez? What is up? I know you took a new vow of “being less of a sluttty-mcslut-bag” but what’s up with the Old-Testament-Themed date ideas?”

His name is Moses.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

POP QUIZ HOT SHOT.

Someone tell me how I am suppose to answer this question.

Your Relationship Status is:

( ) Single
( ) Divorced
( ) Separated
( ) Widowed

I'm gonna employ the old "process of elimination" trick I used back in college.

Let's see: Widowed. Technically, I know that I am not. I don't have a husband that is dead. I have an EX-husband and I am blissfully unaware of whether or not he's still alive and kicking or if the poor schmuck is pushing daisies. Regardless, we can cross Widowed off the list. For now.

Next: Separated. Not anymore. I graduated from Separated to......

DIVORCED!

But at the same exact time, at the same exact moment - I am SINGLE.

So, what is the answer?

I am most displeased when I fill in the divorce bubble. Am I legally bound to fill in this bubble for the rest of my life? There has to be some sort of statue of limitations set on how long one has to be "DIVORCED" and not just plain 'ol single. Just like a credit account that slipped into delinquency, can't my marriage AND divorce simply "fall off" my credit report after a certain amount of time? My ex-husband and I do not have any children together, we have no legal ties to one another. For Fuck's sake, I find myself forgetting that the whole unpleasant experience happened in the first place.

Sometime this mid July will mark the moment in time where I have been divorced longer than I had been married. Readers that have paid attention will know this will be just a few days more than 2 years. TWO YEARS (and 10 days... but who is counting?)!

A marriage that lasted (and "lasted" implies it ever took off the ground in the first place, something that it did not) less than 2 years and was experienced by two individuals under the age of 25 should be treated similarly to when a juvenile commits a crime. Reprimand them, make them aware of the error of their ways, seek rehabilitation and have their record sealed so that their adult existence isn't tainted from this past transgression of their youth (and hope they don't become repeat offenders).

Ultimately, I suppose, I am upset by the way the word make me feel and the stigmas and connotations that I feel surround that word, that label, that status.

I guess that means that starting today I am taking back my Single-dom. Yes, I was married and it ended in divorced. Bu I AM not DIVORCED. I am single, unattached and without obligation to anyone. Anyone know any hotties looking for a date this weekend?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A return to form

I have a working list of thing I need to blog about. On it, I have: my half marathon, Earth day (and being on TV!), my Rock Band debut, becoming a Big Sister (no, my parents are not having a “geriatrics” baby… I’m becoming a Big Sister as in Big Brother Big Sister) and a myriad of other antic dotal tales.

Yesterday, however, I was reminded of one of the main reasons I felt I needed to start a blog: to be able to tell the stories of my dating life in one central location for my friends and family so that I needn’t craft 14 different emails to tell everyone about it. And I’m totally inflating that number to make it appear like I have 14 people in my life that give a damn.

We’ll call him Mr. Suspenders.

Mr. Suspenders contacted me via the “KC Pimp” dating site. I had utterly and completely forgotten I was a member, so it was quite a pleasant surprise to receive an email notification saying I had been sent a message… and from someone cute to boot! Emails were exchanged. Phone numbers were next and then we met for dinner last Thursday.

If I blogged Thursday night or… or actually ANY time prior to Monday evening you would have been reading about someone that I was really excited to have met. We had overlapping taste in music, movies, books, style, humor PLUS he wore suspenders and carried a pocket watch!

He laughed and appreciated my use of the word “jaunty.”

He used the word “capitol.”

After dinner, we took a nice walk and then he offered to walk me home. After I made him promise to not get too fresh, I invited him up to my apartment. We talked about some of the books and art I have and eventually he kissed me. But he kept his promise and didn’t get too fresh. Before he left, we both agreed that we’d like to see each other again and Monday night would work for both of our schedules.

Over the weekend I sent him a text asking if he could wear his suspenders Monday. He said he would and he implied he wanted me to wear stockings… the nylon variety, not the Christmas kind… in return.

So, Monday at 7:30, when he was at my door step I was quite surprised to see him in jeans, a hoodie and a ski cap. Dressed in black fishnet stockings, an adorable black & pearl-colored dress w/ black cardigan (it was a little chilly), a multi-strand, vintage pearl necklace, fuscia heels and a purple clutch, you could understand why the first thing I said when I saw him was “What the fuck? Where are the suspenders?”

“Sorry. I had a long day and I went home and changed after work.”

“Look at how cute I am and look how homeless you look. We don’t go together at all. The only reason I’m wearing this is because you had told me you’d be nicely dressed with suspenders!”

“Sorry. Do you want to change?”

And it was just downhill from there. The only positive thing about dinner was the larger-than-average piece of feta cheese on my salad. Man, I love feta cheese. Conversation was laborious and many times I felt as if he’d rather be anywhere but with me. Without being nosey (it was only our 2nd date after all), I tried to get him to tell me if something was on his mind beyond me and our date. Those attempts were fruitless.

We headed back to my place and decided to watch a movie. Prime make-out time, right? WRONG? He actually wanted to just watch the movie. And it was a movie he had seen (and a book that he had read…)…. So… I was confused. I know I can’t hold a candle to Giselle Bunchen (Giselle BRADY, now, I suppose)…. But I’m nothing to shake a stick at! Even Liz said yesterday that if I ever wanted to put a move on her while we’re watching a movie that she would TOTALLY make out with me. Thanks Liz.

So, after about an hour of trying to get some play from this joker, I gave up. We finished the movie and he left. He gave me a couple of good bye smooches and said he’d see me later. LEST HE KNEW that during the last hour of the movie I had decided that I didn’t want to see him since he was, clearly, an astronogical* asshole (and for the record, it wasn’t that he didn’t want to make out with me – though that is part of it – he was totally inconsiderate of me the entire evening and didn’t even bother to be good, thoughtful company).

Seeing the error of his ways, albeit 14 hours too late, Mr. Suspenders sent me an apology the next morning along with some lame excuse about how he was acting strange because he received news that his grandmother might have to be admitted to the hospital right before he came over. I expressed concern for his g-ma, but I told him that he should have rescheduled or told me something was up because the way he acted was unacceptable.

He said that he didn’t want to reschedule OR talk about it, which, in his mind, excused his behavior. I disagreed and told him that I do not let people treat me like that regardless the reason, therefore I did not want to see him again.

I emailed Shannan and Amy and told them both that he was a complete DUD and Shannan responded “He is not just a Dud, he is like the Super Hero of Duds. The Mayor of Dudsville. Dudly DoWrong. President of Dudler Mifflin.”

Truer words have never been spoken.

*New word – Astronogical (adj.) Definition: huge, large, enormous, bigger than astronomical.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Booth, Please

This is for Laura.

This happened 3 weeks ago...... I have a lot of catching up to do.

Liz and I had dinner with my parents. We went to the Indian restaurant on 39th Street and sat in the L shaped booth. It was quite a lovely dinner with my mom and dad. We spoke of work, family, a few current events and we all ate yummy things off of each other's plates.

When it was time to go, I started scooting out. That is what one does when exiting a booth. I failed to realize that the booth STOPPED. I fell off the edge. HOWEVER... I didn't just hit the ground. No, that would have been too easy. I became wedged between the booth I had just fallen out of and the back of another booth THAT I KNOCKED OVER. And Liz just stood there laughing.

Laughing at her friend who was stuck, wedged between two booths with her left leg folded underneath her in a most unnatural and uncomfortable way. What a fucking bitch. But then again, I would have done the exact same thing.

I am thankful that no one was sitting in the other booth (the one I just knock over, not the one I had just fallen out of) because their face would have gone into their plate.

And THAT is how I fell out of a booth.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sunday, Sunday SUNDAY!!!

Sunday is the day, boys and girls. The day I put my body through the hardest physical test it's ever known. Minus me being born, this is probably the most I've ever asked of my body. 13.1 miles. Last Saturday I did a 10 mile route. I walked a majority of it. Basically, any of the downhill portions are the bits that I ran.

I have set some goals for myself.

1. To finish.
2. To not embarrass myself.

For any readers living in St. Louis (who isn't Amy), please feel free to greet me at the finish line. With a wheelchair.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Arrrrg, matey


After celebrating her birthday (for the second time) and coming home too late from Buzzard (for the who-knows-how-many-th time), Liz asked our cab driver where he was from.


"Somalia." He says, as he turns to me sitting in his passenger seat.


"Oh! are you a PIRATE?!?!" I ask.


"No, I am a cab driver."


The end.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Story in a Song

I was, once again, asked to contribute to the Wednesday Midday Medley show on 90.1FM KKFI. The show is hosted & produced by a dear friend of mine, Mark Manning. The program aired yesterday and in case you didn't catch it, I've decided to publish my story here as well. 7 individuals were asked to write a story about a song that greatly changed/influenced their life in some way. Because I demand to be difficult, I wrote about 2 songs in my story. Enjoy!

_______________________

To tell the story of my song, I must first share with you the story of another song. The year was 2006. At 23, I was married to my college boyfriend, owned a house in an up and coming neighborhood, had just received a major promotion at work and was Miserable with a capital M. I had never loved my husband, I had married him because it was safe, I didn’t even want to be live in the house we had bought, but did so because I thought it was a safe investment. And while my job was stimulating, it too was safe. Oh yeah, and I was more than 100 pounds over weight.

Without ever listening to the lyrics, let alone understanding what they could mean to me, I had gotten hooked on the upbeat and lively sound of the Death Cab for Cutie single, “The Sound of Settling.” One day, while singing along to the “ba-baaa, ba-bAA’s!” of the chorus, I heard the words for the very first time. Cleverly hidden behind the happy-go-lucky tempo of the chorus and the sing-songy verses were words that touched my soul. They were the Sounds of Settling.

What had I settled on? you ask. In a nutshell; everything. I had done worse than settle in my relationship, job AND health. I had settled for a lesser version of myself. Settling in the aforementioned areas were just side effects of a much bigger problem. This song opened my eyes to the fact that I had settled for less for myself.

I was terrified. All the things in life that are worth having are SCARY. And who wants to put themselves on the line in such a vulnerable, exposed way when you can settle? Settling is so easy! Not only had I settled, but I ACTIVLEY settled for less, as the song suggests… you have a hunger twisting your stomach into knots, your brain is repeating “if you’ve got an impulse… LET IT OUT!” but those impulses never make it past your mouth…. And THAT is the sound of settling.

The Sound of Settling by Death Cab for Cutie

So, I decided to so something about it. Little things at first… because, again, those were easiest. I looked into (and got) a transfer at work. Better. But the song still resonated with me. I began a diet a program. Better yet! However, the lyrics still haunted me. I started exercising. Even better. But THAT song. The sounds of settling still stuck with me. I had tried to evaluate every area of my life to try to understand why I was still feeling this way, and I had… except for one. Love. I did not love. I did not love me.

It took less than the opening second of my song for me to realize that this was my anthem. For far too long of my then 24 year existence I felt as though I was without one. An anthem, to me, is so much more than a song that plays in one’s head while walking down the street… it is the song that embodies WHY you do all the things that you do. An affirmation, a reminder of why you are the way you are.

A huge weight was taken off of my shoulders, hearing this song made me aware with words of the type of person I am. That hadn’t happened before with words, or more specifically, with song and verse. It explained so much and I was beginning to “get it.”

The timing of hearing this song was nothing less than the Fates intervening. I had already begun to make the changes necessary for me to continue on in my journey of not settling, and there was just that last hurdle to clear: love. As cliché as it sounds, I was out to discover myself, someone I had neglected for far too long as evident from my size, spirit… and spouse.

So, who was Natasha? I knew she was funny, had great hair and had an insatiable hunger for shoes. Beyond that, I had often found myself relating to the character played by Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride. Someone who never had an opinion on much of anything regarding themselves and willing to adopt anyone else’s who offered one.

A chameleon? A shape shifter? A shapeshifting chameleon? I don’t know what I would call that type of person, but I did not want to be one any longer, I was finally ready to love myself. I needed to love myself.

But isn’t that the most terrifying thing you can do? To love yourself without condition? To shout from the highest mountain top that you matter to yourself and that you’re willing to make hard decisions and sacrifices that are for your own benefit. Terrifying AND socially unaccepted. I had believed for far too long that we are suppose to love others first and that if you can love others… then others will love you.

I was sadly mistaken. Love comes only from within, no amount of external forces can love you if you don’t. I had to embrace love and this song made me realize I can. Loving yourself is the only way to not settle. Love is the greatest and most important force in the entire universe and anything that makes you fall in love with yourself is well worth the risk.

So, if I were to take the next step in loving myself, that meant I had to divorce my husband. This made all the work I had done up until this point seem like mere child play. I had to stand up against the person who had come to define my whole existence.

I was not surprised the day I woke up and realized what I had to do. It was quite obvious (later on I would find out HOW obvious from my friends and family). I had to leave, to go on my own way, to do things that terrified me (living alone, thinking for myself, trying new things, risk failure…). I had to take the time to make the journey to fall in love with me.

And I have. It’s been a little over 2 years since I left my loveless existence behind. Because I love me, I love my job, apartment, my new svelte figure, friends, family and so much more. I love the way the winds sounds when it blows outside of my window on stormy days. I love the streetlamps on 39th and Stateline. I love the 2 little puppies, Kisten & Kane that frolic in the yard the street from me. I love it that I can cry at the drop of a hat. I love…

This song made me realize how strong of a drug love can be. The high of being in love, the analogy that love is a drug… if THAT gets my heart broken a thousand times, then so be it. I love love. I love being in love. I don’t care what it does to me.

Inches & Falling by The Formats

Monday, March 30, 2009

I haven't been up to anything

I'd like to think that you guys can get a sense of what is going on in my life by even what I DON'T write. I blog about nothing, therefore I am up to nothing...

Yeah.... sorry for the 3 week black out. I can't promise that it's going to get better anytime soon. Work is going great and "training" for the half marathon in 20 days is going swell. I can run 4.5 miles WITHOUT STOPPING!!!!!!!

Actually the last 3 weeks encompassed St. Patty's day, The Iranian New Years, a couple of dates and loads of great times with my awesome friends. Liz and I might of accidentally broke "open container" laws the weekend prior to last, Shan & I tried out a great new-ish restaurant yesterday, and my TV may or may not be haunted. That is yet to be determined.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shout Outs Haiku Style

Carey saved my life
Her French press makes good coffee
Damn, she is married

Megan’s feet still hurt
Dance dance dance dance dance dance dance
Limp home with sore toes

Can’t wait for Nily
Big sister coming to town
We’re gonna rock it

Tammy needs diet
New nickname, fittingly: Tammu
Bye bye Fat Tammy!

Sarah hates Chicos
Lets initiate HotB.A.C.
Plan B: scrote attack!

Shea proposed marriage
She bought me for 2 chickens
My parents agreed

Jennie's got a girl
So happy my friend's in love
Lesbo's move so fast

Becky - I love you!
Spaghetti dinner; call me
Eat our weight in noodles

Run Run, Amy, Run
Thirteen point one mile? EASY!
Drag me to the finish

Daniel. St. Pat's Day
Drink waaaay too much, crash on couch
Looking forward, bro!

Liz, thanks for the gift
Works perfect, better even
Girl - you got my back

Shannan, oh babies!
Scarlett, Simon and Gavin
Kiss them for me please