Category Archives: Weird as Hell

Dispatch from the Tundra

A brief summary of how things are going in Minnesota.

I am wearing all manner of Patagonia pullover and hibernating. The only time I have left the house is to shuttle the children (alternately) to Baube’s so that they could get out of the house and get some one on one time with each of us.

They cancelled school again tomorrow, this means that this week we have had one late start and three full days off. In my entire lifetime as a Minnesotan, I cannot remember something like this happening in terms of duration. If someone else does please share in the comments.

This was the thermometer in Marcus’ car yesterday at 6:00 AM.

Feels like -50°!!! But on Sunday it should be 43° and rainy?!

Meanwhile, our blinds have been drawn since Sunday with good reason. The windows and hardware have frosted over.

There’s a first time for everything.

I added a degree to the thermostat. Our furnace runs constantly.

Critter has been wearing his birthday crown for three days straight and will be starting the fourth today. He is also starting his third full day of pajamas.

Glitter, meanwhile, has learned she has a “pack pack” and is obsessed. She was supposed to start school on Wednesday but since it was cancelled, we are hoping for Friday. She was diagnosed with a double ear infection on Monday and is still cutting those molars so it has been a real fun fest around here.

I still have a few surprises up my sleeve that I can use with the kids, but the reserves are getting low. To all the other Minnesota mamas out there looking at another day of being inside your house only, sending you strength!!!


Surviving the Hair Salon

On Friday, I got my hair cut.

This is not a post pandering for compliments (but feel free to leave those in the comments anyway).  But mostly to tell you about my extremely bizarre salon experience.

When I get my hair cut, I just call the salon and ask for whoever is available to cut my hair in that time frame on that particular day.  My hair is straight, with no texture.  It’s not colored.  It does not hold curl.  As long as I don’t get That Stylist Who Really Believes They Can Give It Some Shape (they can’t), I’m in a good place.  Anyone can cut my hair.

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that on Friday, I listened to my salon confirmation call to discover that the receptionist thought my appointment was on Saturday (it wasn’t, I booked it for a Friday and my mother witnessed me making the appointment) and I was just happy to be able to have my hair cut at all on Friday.

On this particular visit, we started off with New Stylist apologizing for being five minutes late because her friend had stopped by with her puppy.

Me: Great.

After New Stylist and I returned from the wash station, she apologized.  Again.

For seeming distracted because they were shutting down April the Giraffe’s feed at 3:30 PM (my appointment started at 3:15).  And she sort of gestured to the iPad that was streaming the feed in the empty station next to us.

I will now take a moment to say the following: (1) It was at this point I was not entirely convinced that I was going to escape the salon with any hair left on my head and, (2) The only things I know about April the Giraffe are that she had the baby, it took a really long time, and that you could watch it on the internet.

Like, you guys I just cannot do it.

She then went on to talk about how emotional she found the giraffe to be and what a connection she had to April and how this was NOT the same as the DNR Eagle Nest Cams.

It was at this point that I realized that she was wearing an I Survived April The Giraffe Shirt.  As I continued to watch her cut my hair in the mirror, I noticed an “It’s a Boy!” birth announcement bunting above the mirror.  Giraffe figurines in the styling products cubby, one of which wore an “April” tag, and one station over, an “It’s a Boy!” mylar balloon.

It was all really too much.

Marcus x 2

Tonight, a few stories pertaining to (but not actually about) Marcus.  They were just too good to pass-up.

Last night post-Sneak Peek, we dropped by Las Teresitas for the odd-taco.  Because we were near, and because Marcus was in the mood for a Proper dinner.

If you can really call this Proper.

On my plate: Barbacoa, Chorizo, Asado.

And a whole unholy host of salsas from their complimentary salsa bar.

When I say “unholy” I mean we were confronted with ~10 salsa choices in addition to the regular fixins like limes, radishes, onions, jalapenos and the like.

While I was getting busy at the bar, a fellow patron approached me and expressed something I can only compare to overjoyed excitement at the fact that my husband’s name was Marcus and his name was…Mark.

What are the odds.

I humored him as I scooped out red, green and orange salsas into tiny dipping cups and tried to carry them two in a hand to our table.

Apparently this Mark felt a sense of kinship and oneness with Marcus that went far deeper that our conversation (nevermind the fact that he never actually said a word to Marcus who was sitting at least 15 feet away) because before he departed, he produced this for Marcus.

Just in-case Marcus wanted to compare notes on dive-y taco places.

Figure that one out.

See also: About three weeks ago, I did a bit of decorating in my cube.

I was in the process of actioning a de-clutter and decided that after three years at my current employer, it was finally time to bite the bullet and bring in some Personal Effects.

So, you know, the odd co-worker has been dropping by to take a look and to force me into a recitation of where each photo was taken.

All I can ever think to respond with is how on earth did we manage to take so many blue/green-hued pictures?!  I suppose that’s just part and parcel of what you get when you’re in the Mediterranean.

Except for one co-worker, who after incorrectly guessing Cinque Terre for Santorini (they are NOT the same) zeroed in on this snap.

Yes, I could have posted the original, but that would have ruined the effect.

He proceeded to inquire as to whether or not Marcus was an amputee.  Because you know, you can only really see the one leg.


What the what?

I was so shocked by the presentation of the question that I was torn between speechlessness and mild horror.  I think that my face said as much.

Like I’m so fond of saying: Hear Hoofbeats, Think Horses.

Marcus ≠ amputee.

But maybe I’m just missing something in that snap that everyone else is seeing.

What’s the most bizarre encounter you’ve had with a stranger?

A Surprising Addition

Happy Sunday, kittens!

This morning, I hopped into the shower after my long run and proceeded to attempt to steam myself like a lobster.

Please tell me that you do that after your Winter runs as well.  Because that makes me feel justified in my attempts to fully drain the contents of our water heater.

Instead of focusing on the fact that women in some third world countries would have to walk at least three miles to collect half as much water that isn’t nearly as clean.

Yes, I went there.  How dark, I know.

Back to the lobster-steaming.

In the midst of deep conditioning, I spied this.

No, the fact that Marcus uses shampoo was not surprising to me.

I was surprised by the addition of a bottle of Head & Shoulders: Hair Endurance for Men.

You know, because it “cleans to restore fullness to thinning hair.”

Well, then.

I’m only 24, which is to say that I’m not old at all.

But Marcus is pushing 29.  He’s not really old either.  But I get that hair loss is something that…happens to men.  I just didn’t expect that I would be confronting this issue with my husband so soon.

Like 20 years from now?  Fine.

But knowing how emotional I get about the issue of what color my hair should be right now, I can’t imagine trying to walk Marcus through the process of deciding whether or not to keep some hair or to banish it all.  How to decide when his hair has thinned out to the point where we have to make a decision.

Not cool, Universe.  Not cool.

So naturally, I tiptoed around on eggshells for the entirety of the day, trying to find the “right” time to bring it up.  All the while trying to figure out if Marcus should see some sort of hormonal specialist, or start taking pre-natal vitamins (like the ladies who take them to improve upon their hair and nails).

Yes, seriously.  This was me.

Until finally we were doing some pre-dinner craft beer time (Brooklyn Brewery Monster Ale for him, New Glarus Uff-da Bock for her) and I spilled the beans about my discovery.

Marcus listened to me with a most concerned expression on his face and then, he broke the news to me.

Apparently he didn’t even realize that he had purchased the Hair Endurance bottle.  It just happened to be the 2 in 1 kind that he prefers and it was on sale.

Oh, the relief.  These ears have never heard a sweeter sound.

At which point, I asked Marcus if I could blog about The Incident and the following conversation ensued:

Marcus: Is this the sort of thing where you blog about me not actually losing my hair and everyone else interprets that to mean that I secretly am?

Me: No.

But seriously, all of his hair is still there, and he is not taking pre-natal vitamins either.  Amen.

When is the last time you made an awkward discovery in your home?

p.s. I apologize about the shenanigans going on with my blog layout – I’m in the middle of working on some development stuff.  Will keep you posted!

Not to be Outdone

Merry Christmas, kittens!  I hope that y’all are able to spend the day with the people who matter the most to you.

Obviously I will be in the middle of it all with my merry band family.

So let’s talk gift-giving, shall we?

Y’all remember Edward & Bella, right?

Well apparently that was the beginning of something great for our family.  I think it’s safe to say that Billy now has what can only be described as a working relationship with The Artist.

Welcome, William and Kate.

And no, that’s not a bad paint job, those are signs of hair loss that you’re noticing on William’s head.

It’s because she really tries to “capture” the subject.

You know?

But I did not want to be outdone!  Obviously.

I know that people worry about neighbors that will steal their gifts off of their front porches.  Crooked delivery men who will tamper with their packages.

I was totally confident that if anyone wanted to steal this, the surprise would be on them.

Behold.  My gift for Billy this year.

Yes, you really are looking at a Mouse Taxidermy Desktop Calendar.   Because when Marcus and I were watching Dinner for Schmucks on cable a couple of weeks ago, the moment Steve Carell started pulling out the book with examples of his mouse taxidermy-work, I knew that we had stumbled upon greatness.

Unfortunately, books like the one that his character proudly showed off don’t actually exist.  So I had to create my own.  And in the process of searching for photos of taxidermied mice, not only did I get extremely disturbed that so many people are doing this, I laughed so hard that I cried.

For an hour.

If you’re ever having a downer day, just grab your computer and get Google-ing.  There’s not enough space in the world for mouse taxidermy and other emotions to co-exist.

Let’s not forget Dad.  Because he couldn’t be left out of the fun.

I found A Real Treasure for him.

A signed copy of A Love That Multiplies.

Vote: Most necessary object?  Or most necessary object?

If I may be so honest, I’m 100% positive that the website I ordered it from is what gave my work computer the virus of the century.

Like, I mean IT spent a week re-building my computer.

But it was totally worth it.

Does your family give gag gifts?

What’s the most ridiculous gift (serious or not) that you have ever received?

Completely Unrelated

Kittens, I absolutely LOVED the feedback you had on my 25 by 25 post yesterday!  Like I told Sarah, I tried to make half of the list frivolous and I tried to use the other half of the list to take care of projects that I have been putting off for AGES.

Obviously if any of you make a list of that sort, I would love-love-love to see it/support you on your 365 day-long adventure too!

So stop waiting and start listing!

Even though I’ve cut back on my hours, I feel like work-wise, this week was one of the longest ever.  Most of my energy has been focused on training one of the replacements for my old position.  Between trying to do my job AND her job in less than half the time in addition to teaching her what I’m doing?

It’s just insanity.

There’s no other way to describe it.  I haven’t even had time to read the news so I don’t know what is going on in the world.  But as an un-perk, I’ve been sleeping more soundly this week than I have in recent memory.

As  bit of a salve, I was beyond thrilled today when I received an e-mail informing me that I had won a private craft brew tasting for eight at Pairings.   I want to say I entered their contest a month ago, felt really exhilarated about the whole thing, and then proceeded to completely forget about it.  So when I opened up my e-mail today and saw my name at the top of the newsletter, I very nearly choked on the bit of lunch I was eating.

I wish I could say that’s a unique occurrence, but considering the fact that I can tell you about the last two times in the past month that I’ve almost choked on my own spit, it probably isn’t.

For the record, if you can avoid it at all, try to avoid that scenario playing out in the middle of a large, all-company meeting.

In other unrelated news (I debated embargoing this until next Monday, but then decided against it), I’ve officially gained my Marathon Five.  Since I’ve been feeling particularly plucky as of late, I thought that I would break my scale-less streak and give it a try.

I tried to do some mental preparation before-hand, so when I saw the number I would keep my shit together.  The fact of the matter is that even though it gave Rational Kat a little jolt of shock, Runner Kat just wanted to start laughing.

If you could see my legs up-close and personal, you would understand.  As I explained to some girlfriends today, they’re the Texas of my body.  If I could will them to do things, I would in a heartbeat.  But the reality is that I can’t, and that they have faithfully carried me over 1500 miles in the last year and a half.  So if they want to gain muscle, retain water and store glycogen, then this is me giving them carte blanche.

We have a lifetime ahead of us after October 2nd.

Have you ever gained weight training for an event?

Have you attempted to choke on your own spit in a particularly conspicuous place?

At first I wasn’t sure if I should admit this one, but I have a sneaking suspicion that everyone is hiding a story.  So go ahead, spill.  We’ll laugh so hard that we cry together.

p.s. Miss Brady’s foot is in a boot and she’s meant to be running the marathon with us (that’s  REALLY royal “we”) in a month.  So if you have the time (or the positive karmic balance) to send some good vibes that way, by all means do.

Operation: Turtle

There are a lot of different things you could say about The W family.  But there is one title that we all proudly bear.

We are Turtle Rescuers.

From an early age I was taught that if you ever see a turtle crossing the road during laying season (since this is pretty much the only time that they’re up to Risky Business), you have the obligation to rescue it.

Which, over the years, has led to me honing the skills of spotting the turtle, identifying the turtle (painted?  box?), picking up the turtle  and carrying the turtle to safety without it peeing all over me.

You know, really useful stuff.

I remember once, when I was in elementary school, Mom and Dad were looking for a new jeep.  After a bit of searching and test driving, they thought they had finally found the one.  And then the owner told them that he purposefully ran over turtles crossing the road wherever he saw them.

They did not buy the jeep.

Note: If you see a turtle trying to cross the road, pay attention to what direction it’s traveling in.  When you rescue it, make sure that you take it that direction.  Turtles are creatures who return to the same laying locations every year so if you don’t take them where they’re going, you might be undoing a day’s worth of work.

And they’re going to try to cross that road again.

While I originally thought that I might do a turtle-rescue PSA at some point this spring, that kind of fell to the wayside.

But then tonight happened, so I pinky swear this all has a point.

Here Marcus and I are, driving over to Mom and Dad’s house so he can drop me off before tonight’s bridal shower.  It’s 6 PM and we’re on a busy road with a speed limit of 50 MPH.

Which is all right and good until we, along with everyone else in our lane, swerve to avoid what looks like a roll of sod in the middle of the road.

And then it hits me.

Dramatic re-enactment turtle. The placement is actually fairly accurate.

It’s a giant snapping turtle that is so old, it has moss growing on its shell.

As we’re driving towards the road that will take us into the neighborhood, I’m trying to debate the merits of attempting to save a turtle in the middle of the road, surrounded by SUVs going 50 MPH.

Pros: Excellent karma.  Sense of vindication.  Inner peace.

Cons: You might actually get hit by a car.

By the time we made the turn into the neighborhood, we had already started making a U-Turn to go back for it.

Not that we’re experts at Turtle Rescue in high-traffic areas but in the 60 seconds we had to figure the situation out, we decided that the only way to make this work was to completely stop traffic.

Because that’s a totally sane train of thought.

So Marcus pulled into the lane closest to the turtle and flipped on our hazard lights.

And now I need for y’all to try to imagine the scene that unfolded.

Obviously I was totally prepared for the occasion, so there I am, kicking off my cork wedges, and pawing through my car for anything to wrangle the turtle with.  I ended up selecting the University of Minnesota umbrella and the white sheet I always have stashed in my trunk (the UGG boots were a close third).

Everything I’ve ever been told about snapping turtles involves them being able to move with incredible speed when they’ve set their minds to it, and being able to lunge at you with their mouths wide open before you can even bat an eye.

They are called Snapping Turtles for a reason.

Distance is key.

So here I am, in the middle of this extremely busy road.  Barefoot.  Wearing my new, pink Lilly Pulitzer shift.  Waving a queen-sized white sheet above my head with a University of Minnesota pseudo-golf umbrella looped around my arm.

And I am pleading with this turtle to stop walking UP the road and to just pick a side.

All the while, traffic in both lanes has completely stopped.

After staring me down for what felt like an eternity, I realized that I had a pacifist turtle on my hands.  She had zero interest in biting anything, but a lot of interest in taking her show from the middle of the road to the side of the road.

In peace.

But it gets better.  Because tonight is one of those nights where I was so absolutely touched by this soon-to-be-husband of mine.

After he dropped me off, he went back to make sure that the turtle had not managed to get herself killed.  And before he came to say hello to all of the shower guests at the end of the party, he drove down that stretch of road one more time to make sure that all was still well.

There is absolutely nothing he could have done for me tonight that could have ever possibly been more endearing.

Have you ever rescued a turtle?