Sunday, October 31, 2010

Flat Tire

On my way to Megan and Matt's birthday dinner, I was running just a few minutes behind. I hopped in my car and merged into traffic on Westport Road. After a few blocks I noticed the SUV to my right was trying to flag me down. I rolled down the passenger side window ready with my response - "yes, I WAS on Check, Please" but the lady instead said "Your back tire is flat!"

I THOUGHT something felt funky.

I pulled into the Jiffy Lube on the other side of the intersection. They were closed. FUDGE. For about 30 seconds I had no clue what to do, I thought I was stranded in the Jiffy Lube parking lot until they opened in the morning. Then I remembered my Emergency Roadside Assistance card in my wallet. Since it was after hours, the number on the card had me call another number. And that number had me call a third. My glimmer of hope was waning.

I finally made contact with a human being and after giving her all my information and my location, she confessed that she wasn't sure how long it would be before someone could get to me.

Instead of getting upset, I got out the owner's manual.

1. Get everyone out of the car safely.

2. Put on the emergency break.

3. Get the spare tire out.
Tricky, but I got the SOB out of there.

Somewhere in the middle of all this the Roadside Assistance Lady calls to tell me someone should be there to help me in 15 minutes. Great, but I was feeling empowered and determined I could change my own flat tire.

4. Jack the car.

I looked at all the pictures in the manual and all the stickers on the jack, and I knew I was really close to figuring it out, but I was having trouble getting the jack to... uh, jack, I guess. Since the owners manual was really adamant about how dangerous this particular step was, and I wasn't sure if I was doing it right, I was REALLY glad the Assistance Guy showed up right then.

Did I mention this was in July? I was half drenched in sweat while wearing heels and a skirt. My knees and hands were filthy and my hair was haphazardly piled on top of my head in an attempt to stay cool. So I was thrilled when he got out of the car as was a complete cutie patootie.

With all the pride of a 4 year old showing off their macaroni art, I showed him the steps I had done. ALL BY MYSELF. He was genuinely impressed I had engaged the parking break, something - he said - 90% of people don't do and since I had taken the spare out, that was just something he didn't have to do.

And then he got to the jack on the ground and just laughed. As nicely as he could.

"What? What's wrong? What did I do???"

"Well, it's upside down."


I'm positive he found this endearing. While working he asked "So... why didn't you call your boyfriend to help you?" Which meant he wanted to ask me out.

But I'll tell that part of the story next time.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Veggie Tales

Last January I decided to cut out meat from my diet. Several friends of mine are vegetarian and I had been a pretty scant meat eater for several years. I NEVER prepared it myself. Ew. And there are a nice amount of veggie entrees at all my favorite eateries that were tasty. I knew taking the vegetarian plunge wasn't going to be too big of a shock to my system, I had long felt it was only a matter of time before I "went veg."

I am not going to go all "vegetarian propaganda" on you and preach the merits of being an herbivore, for me it's a personal choice to lead my life this way. I get shit about it from a fair amount of people and that's the most annoying aspect of it. But I take it with a grain of salt and chalk it up to the red-meat clogging the arteries to their brain to be able to recognize that this is MY choice and when thought through logically, a healthy & economical one.

"BUT what do you EAT????"

C'mon people. Beef, Poultry and Pork. I've eliminated 3 things from my diet (full disclosure, I am NOT vegan (mmmmmcheese) and I'll still eat seafood if that's the only option or I'm craving fish tacos from Los Tules - YUM). A little creativity and online research and I'm never at a loss for what to make for dinner.

The only notable areas of my life impacted are eating out, which was minimal, and eating at my parents'. My dad had a hard time grasping the idea.

"What??? You won't eat no meat? What about Chicken?"

"Nope. That's meat."


"Still meat, dad."

Baffled look.

"Tell you what, since a few of the reasons I made this choice is because I don't want the hormones/steroids/chemicals from the animal in my body, I will eat anything you catch or hunt yourself."

Needless to say, he now just keeps a box of veggie burgers in the freezer. In fact, the parents typically do more than that and always have a meat-less option for me for dinner when I come over. My parents are AWESOME. My dad, I believe, has a secret fear that I'm a lesbian and this just probably propagates his fear- but he's doing an excellent job of hiding it and is so very adorable when he calls me to give me the week's vegetarian menu.

My original intent was to see this through for at least a year and I know I'm not going to have any problem reaching that goal. And I'm going to stick with it beyond then as well. Maybe in the future I'll consider putting free-range/grass fed, locally raised, chemical & hormone free meat back into my diet, but for now I'm perfectly content not have animal flesh clogging my intestines.

Too gross?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Wish I Was This Funny

***Fixed the link!!!***

Getting my life back together after being out of commission for a week, so today's post is just a link to someone who is WAY funnier than me. This might be a bad move on my part since you all will leave me for her since she's actually talented and will make you cry-laugh.

You are welcome.

Sorry Megan that this isn't new to you. JUST for you, here's another picture of me in a phone booth...and BONUS.... wearing an AWESOME hat. This was 10 years ago, taken in London! This is why I don't wear hats. This and the white trucker hat fiasco. Shudder.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sabrina's Photo Shoot

I've documented the fact that my Immune System takes sabbatical from time to time. This past week was a doozy! We're going on day 7 of this wretched cold. I broke down and went to the doctor's today only to be told that they couldn't do anything for me. Can I have my $15 co-pay back then?

ANYway, to balance out my last post, I want to share some pics that Sabrina took earlier this summer. She is a fantastic budding photographer and she needed a model for an assignment of hers. And who am I to say no to a modeling assignment?

Early Sunday Morning we made our way to Harry's Table & Chairs in Westport. I had practiced my "Steel Blue" face all day on Saturday.

At one point a mom and her two young daughters walked by and stopped to watch the shoot for a minute. One of the little girls kept asking her mom who I was and if I was famous and if these pictures would end up in a magazine. I wasn't about to break this young thing's heart, so, I just acted like I couldn't hear her. Also, I couldn't help but be flattered.

This is my favorite shot. I like the juxtaposition, the framing... EVERYTHING!

Good Job Sab! You're a fantastic photographer and I can't wait for my next assignment!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon...

There was a brief period of my childhood (age 6 to 18) when my hair was NOT better then yours. BUT my family sure could coordinate a snazzy family photo.

Is that a Casio watch? Damn straight it is. And man if those jeans are not the dopest rinse and cut for a 10 year old. I blame the ill-guided decision for the backwards hat on my sister - the other kid in the back wards cap (no, that's not a boy).

This is for all the ugly ducklings out there.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Saw You on TV!

If I bothered using tags or labels here, I'd have one named "attempts to become a Kansas City D-list celebrity." I've contributed to community radio and have appeared in a local commercial, among other things, but almost 2 years ago I started plotting my next move into the upper echelon of KC star Power. Watch your back Bryan Busby!

After catching the series premier of "Check Please, Kansas City" on KCPT I applied to be on the show. It's a local restaurant review show produced by public television, no fancy qualifications necessary, just regular people picking their favorite local eats and then reviewing them in studio. The application was simple - list your favorite restaurants across several categories then list the top 3, overall, that you'd want to review.

Food and Public Television are two of my favorite things. I wanted this. With each passing week when I didn't hear back from the producers, I became a little disheartened. Was I not worthy? Had I offended someone when I put down KC Grill and Kabob over Jerusalem Cafe??? Or even worse - had they Googled me????? After a year I had all but forgotten that I had applied (except for when I'd catch part of an episode... sting).

Somewhere in the middle of my unemployment funk, Pam the Producer emailed me saying that I had been selected.

OH HAPPY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was excited for the entire process. She gave me info on the 3 restaurants I was to go to. It was obvious that my selection, Souperman, was the "Hip, Urban and Trendy" eatery for this particular episode.

Whitney and I had a fancy date night and went to The West Chase Grille. I took my sister to Souperman when she came into town (mmmmmmmsoup). And Sabrina and I risked life and limb (ICY roads) on the drive to Weston to have a fantastic brunch at The Vineyards.

Mid January brought filming day! I arrived with full make-up and perfect hair. In a stroke of aesthetic good luck, the two other guests and I were all wearing coordinating colors. And when they asked what kind of wine I'd like in my glass for the shot, I said "Water." I was nervous, excited and gaseous simultaneously. Doug the Host practiced saying my last name 5 times, then butchered "Natasha" on the first take. He got both names (close enough to) right the second time and after that the 4 of us settled into a nice rapport and we were able to successfully film the episode without ANY wine being spilt. SUCCESS! Pam the Producer thanked us all again and said to expect to see the episode air sometime in May.

While on a coffee date with Carey, about 2 months later, she asked "Have you heard that Souperman closed?"


"Yeah, Souperman closed due to some money laundering scheme. Allegedly."

"Aw maaannnn!!!! That blows."

The episode would still air, so I took comfort in that. But the segment of the show where we talked about Souperman would be dropped like a bad habit. TOTAL BUMMER.

Until I realized that's TOTALLY d-list.

Check (please) me out:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How to Have the Best Hawaiian Vacation EVER in 67 Easy Steps

[Results may vary. This a 100% accurate account of my vacation in early June 2010.]

1. Have your little brother and his fiance decide to get married in Maui.

2. Have your parents buy your plane ticket as a Christmas gift.

3. Discover some good friends of yours will be on the island AT THE EXACT same time as you. Buy matching floppy hats.

4. Create a "Hawaii Bucket List."

5. Finish your packing at 3:30am - just enough time to get a good night's sleep for 45 minutes before leaving for the airport.

6. Bust open the seam of your suitcase while bringing it downstairs. Then duct tape that S.O.B. to within an inch of its life.

7. Take a super cute picture of you and your mom on the plane.

8. Land in Maui.

9. Go to the store with you mom because your aunt got super sick on the plane and she needs Gatorade and jell-o.

10. Enjoy the view from the back porch of your home away from home.

11. Volunteer to take the snorkeling spot vacated by your sick aunt the next morning. EVEN THOUGH FISH SCARE THE SH!T OUT OF YOU.

12. While on the ferry to the Snorkeling expedition, you realize that you're headed to Molokini. This step should only be taken if you have been doing research on Maui before your trip and have seen pictures of this place and thought it was Freaking GORGEOUS and didn't realize that is where the snorkeling was gonna be.

13. Snorkel with REAL LIVE fishes and live to tell about it. You're such a bad ass.

14. Get super sassy and bewbilicious for the Luau/Rehearsal Dinner.
15. Fall in love with Maui, vow to move.

16. Take a magnificent morning stroll.

17. Attend your brother's wedding.

18. Wake up REALLY early the next morning to take your mom scuba diving. This is the agreement you make to be able to borrow the car that day.

19. Take your borrowed car and meet up with Lee & Sabrina in Ka'anaapali.

20. Pose with your big floppy hats.

21. Stay even after they have to leave.

22. Befriend the locals that start talking to you. Go to dinner with the group. Get their number.

23. The next night make eggplant Parmesan for your family and use crushed croutons as the breading since someone couldn't find breadcrumbs at the grocery store.

24. Meet up with the really hot local from Step 22 later that night.

25. Make out hot and heavy on the beach.

26. Take the beautiful but treacherous "Road to Hana" the next morning with your family.

27. Let fish nibble at your feet. Be proud at yourself for continuing to overcome your fears!

28. Conquer your fear of heights and jump off a rock ledge into a pool below.

29. Forget to "tuck" and do an ass/thigh-flop.

30. Bruise from it.

31. Wake up on your last FULL day and realize your bucket list isn't close to completed. Make horse back riding reservations.

32. Take a day trip to Olivine with Ren, your Hawaiian Hottie.

33. Agree to meet up with him again after he gets off work.

34. Take a moment and be SO FLIPPING THANKFUL that your trip has been magical. You're leaving in about 24 hours and a little sad about it.

35. Meet "Ren the Local" at Sugar Beach. Notice the there is a small brush fire on the side of one of the west mountains.

36. Star gaze with the local on the beach. Listen to the native legends & ancient history he knows, wish on the shooting stars you see and then cross off one of the two items on your Hawaii bucket list - and it ain't the horse back riding.

37. Bask in complete happiness.

38. Back at the house, wake up your mom to show her the fire.

39. Reflect with her about the trip, how awesome it's been, what you're thankful for (her and your family!) and admit that you kinda don't want to go home.

40. With very little sleep, drag your butt out of bed and drive 45 minutes, to another side of the island, to go horse back riding. Because Gosh Darnit!!! you're going to finish all TWO items on your list even if you have to go alone. Your plane doesn't leave until the evening so there's time to be there and back well before it's time to leave.

41. Ride a horse! But before you do that, meet Ren for coffee to say "Aloha," since saying goodbye would probably be really, really sad.

42. Call your family when you're done to tell them you'll be back in an hour but before you can get to that part, they tell you that the highway - the one you're on - is shut down from the fire. It's grown and grown and the smoke has gotten so thick and dangerous that officials had to shut down the highway.

43. Sit in traffic, stay calm. It's only noon and your family isn't leaving for the airport for another 6 hours.

44. Continue to sit in traffic but start to wish that you'd gone to the bathroom back at the Ranch.

45. 3 hours of holding your bladder WHILE LOOKING OUT INTO THE OCEAN is pretty difficult.

46. Pull your car off the side of the road. You want to stretch and not be stuck in a car.

47. After 4 o'clock rolls around take this as a sign from the Universe that you should never leave Maui and start making a list of what you need to do to stay.

48. Call your parents for the 30th time to tell them you're still not moving and you're ALMOST freaking out. But more than anything - you just want to pee.

49. Hear on the radio that the back road-mountain-highway, the one that hugs the entire perimeter of the mountain, has been diverted so that those stuck can get to the other side. You ignore the warnings that only locals who know the road should go.

50. Find a gas station and pee. Accidentally lock the key in the restroom.

51. Start your trek through the scary, windy, narrow, steep, turny, edge-of-cliff road against your parent's wishes. Tell them you don't know what else to do and that you have to at least try to get back to the house. Lose your phone signal.

52. Figuratively, run into stopped traffic. Yell "Hell NO!!!!" out loud. You're NOT about to sit in hours and hours worth of traffic again. Do a 7 point u-turn and head back into civilization.

53. Call mom. Bawling. You don't know what to do. It's almost 7pm. Everyone but her has left for the airport. She tells you everything will be ok and just to stay in touch.

54. Go to the beach. Watch the sunset. Know everything will be OK. It's OK to cry here because it's been an emotional week and day.

55. Ren calls, they've re-opened the highway.

56. Make the trek home. Traffic creeps by, but at least it's moving.

57. Become sad when you see the damage the fire has done. Beautiful Maui has been scarred.

58. Finally make it back to the house close to 10pm. Your mom tells you that the airline can't get you both a flight home for another 3 days and that the property manager said you could stay put until Friday.

59. Laugh with hysterical gratitude at the extra 3 days in paradise The Universe just gave you.

60. Go to Big Beach for Extra Bonus Day #1.

61. Watch a Meteor shower that night with your mom.

62. Go snorkeling at Honolua Bay, Hiking and back to Olivine for Extra Bonus Day #2.

63. Work on Hawaiian-Haole relations that night. Nudge Nudge wink wink.

64. Later, watch MORE shooting stars with your mom. Have her point out the Milky Way Galaxy.

65. Laundry. Packing. Say Aloha to new friends.

66. One last sunset at the beach with your mom. Rainbows appear in the surf!

67. Take a final (and very rough looking) "End of Trip" picture with your mom at airport.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Open Letter to The Biggest Loser

Dear The Biggest Loser,

Please send Bob Harper or Jillian Michaels (or both!) to kick my ass. I've lost a higher percentage of body weight than a lot of your contestants (44% and counting...) and just like your contestants, I've done it without crash diets, pills, shakes or gimmicks. Unless you count that one time I had the stomach flu... I know that Bob and Jillian can't lose the weight for me, I have to do all the work my damn self. I can and will, but no champion goes it alone. After spending all my life overweight, I need someone to drag me to the skinny side.

I'm so close to my goal, but at the same time it feels unattainable. I've been working for 4+ years and I know every step, mis-step and stumble has been worth it. If you could please find it in your heart (budget) to do this great act of kindness (Awesome PR!!!), it would mean the world to me (really it would).

I could re-pay you by posting nice things about you on my blog THAT NOW HAS 17 FOLLOWERS!!!!! Holla! That is almost a big deal! So, go ahead and consider the terms of my deal and I look forward to hearing from you soon.



Sunday, October 3, 2010

Girl vs. Forks

There are many things I come by naturally. Wit, style and awesome hair are, without question, a few that come to mind first. Among that list, however, is NOT "A generally tidy personality." I have to work hard to maintain a neat space. My sense of order and neatness is something I am purposefully achieving. I have to consciously choose to be a tidy person.

I have to consciously choose to be the OPPOSITE of my mother. And I love my mother DEARLY. But my mom just is NOT organized. Nor does she care to be. She knows her weakness, and lives with it normally enough. In fact, tonight she told me that her coffee cup at work is a funny quip about how being unorganized is the smart way to be. She chuckled at herself.

My mom and dad, along with my aunt Pari, grandma Maheen and Cousin Ali came over to see the new place tonight. My dad had a small list of "Daddy please do." We had dinner follwed by tea with dessert. My cute little Iranian family.

I just came from the kitchen where I typically keep my silverware drawer in this condition.

This is a lifestyle I WANT to live, one that includes beautiful silverware drawers. They are clean, organized and not a complete cluster FUCK! of chaos.

My mom was in my house for less than 2 hours and left me with this.

.......nature versus nurture you guys.

Name all the kitchen utensils and I'll crochet you a custom scarf! Buttons optional.