30 June 2009

Top Ten

I've been missing My Love something fierce lately. I always miss him, but the intensity of it ebbs and flows sometimes.


Thus, to distract myself from missing him too much, I have been trying to come up with a top ten list of reasons why it's a good thing My Love is so far away (all of which I would trade in a heartbeat for actually having My Love here)...so, in no particular order:


1. Sole possession of the remote - very important. Without this, I would be unable to fulfill my borderline obsessive habit of watching every.single.episode. of whatever TV series my current crush happens to be in. Past examples include, among others, Josh Duhamel in Las Vegas or Seth Cohen in The O.C. Yes, you read that right. Don't judge. And for the record, no matter how much My Love teases me for it, he should take comfort in the fact that I'm consistent in my crushes - sexy, dark-haired, adorably geeky guys.


2. Sole control of the bathroom - no need to worry about whether my curling iron or hairbrushes, or makeup, or perfume, or other random odds and ends are cluttering up the sink. There are no "you used all the toilet paper!" discussions. And, I can purchase ultra-girly products, such as cutesy pink and brown polka dot cups or the beloved, way-too-old, brightly colored striped shower curtain. Marathon make-up, baths, or dress-up sessions are not met with thinly patient compliments of "you look beautiful already!" to hurry me along.


3. Meals that aren't really meals - ya'know, popcorn and Diet Pepsi for dinner. Or chocolate for breakfast if that's really all I want. With someone else around, you have to be a little more considerate of meal times and actual meals versus the non-stop grazing of the single life.


4. Middle of the bed sleeping - I can park myself in the middle of the big ole' bed and surround myself with 15,000 pillows and blankets and not worry that My Love will fall out of the 0.9 centimeters I might have left at the very edge of the bed. Which, if we're being honest, I really only do so as not to feel so alone in the big ole' bed.


5. No blanket wars - hand in hand with number 4, My Love and I don't have to wrestle for Comforter, or ridiculously, use two Comforters in one bed. The possibility that I may leave My Love for Comforter is thinning with each passing day, but I'm not about to admit that to him just yet.


6. Shamelessly girly possessions - such as tropical plates or more than 4 pairs of shoes. I like to think that for the most part, my apartment is fairly gender-neutral. But, while I can, I'm relishing in having flowers everywhere, or curling up under a throw blanket with more than just a hint of pink in it.


7. A distinct lack of funky smells - My Love admitted that I'm missing out. Oh darn. Instead, I get to have more girly scents fill the air. Like lavender, or gardenia, or cinnamon. Not last night's meat lover's pizza....or "beef" stew.


8. No tickling! - My Love seems to be incapable of spending any amount of time near me without at least attempting to tickle me. I have yet to break him of this habit, so, as far as I'm concerned, this may just be the greatest thing about our super-long-distance relationship. On the flip side, it's awfully hard to tickle My Love when he's so far away....



9. A need for blush - because whenever My Love's around, I usually am perpetually red-faced from some ridiculously scandalous (and occasionally funny) thing My Love has just said or done. "Tell me, KtMac's Mama, about absolutely every, single, little embarassing thing KtMac has ever done in her life......" At least, when he's halfway around the world, I can control the amount of color on my cheeks with just a swipe of blusher in the mornings.


10. Written proof - of some of the crazy, random, silly, wonderful, loving things My Love has said. That has to be a distinct advantage to having so many conversations on Skype. Without the written proof, I have no doubt that My Love would adamently deny things like his scheme to Fed-Ex puppies, the fact that he called himself "sexy mcsexerson," or that living in Albania has deteriorated his English skills.

At 25...

...I decided that I now have the right to complain about wrinkles and grey hair with impunity.


...I am not becoming more patient as I get older. But at least I haven't gotten any more impatient either.


...I understand the treasure of great friendships. I also understand the hazards of toxic friendships. And, I know how to keep the great friendships while letting go of the bad ones.


...I learned that it is okay to delay one dream (such as living abroad for a year) in favor of pursuing another dream, so long as I am happy with that decision.


...I want love, family, friendship, experiences, travel, and memories much more than I want material possessions.


...I can let down that wall and be vulnerable when the the reason is right.


...I finally believe that I can be smart and beautiful.


...I laugh at myself, with others, and try my best to bring a smile to someone's face every single day.


...I seek happiness in the little things, every.single.day. I try to stay away from pessimism, but still understand that the occasional "Alexander" day is going to happen.


...I have made peace with my past, and believe that every life experience has helped make me the KtMac I am today.


...I am hopelessly random, and generally have a "if you give a mouse a cookie" thought process.


...I embrace challenges and opportunities to learn new things.


...I now know that I am perfect, in my own uniquely imperfect way.


And I can't wait to see what the future brings!

25 June 2009

High-larious

Maybe I'm not as mature as I think I almost am. Or maybe I just spent way too many hours today staring myself cross-eyed as I tried to figure out a stupid Excel at work.

Whatever the reason, I could not stop giggling once I read this today. In fact, the mental image STILL has me cracking up.

Thank you, BBC, for making this girl giggle.

'Stoned wallabies make crop circles'

Australian wallaby - file picture
Wallabies have been observed acting strangely in poppy fields
Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite", a government official has said.
Lara Giddings, the attorney general for the island state of Tasmania, said the kangaroo-like marsupials were getting into poppy fields grown for medicine.
She was reporting to a parliamentary hearing on security for poppy crops.
Australia supplies about 50% of the world's legally-grown opium used to make morphine and other painkillers.
We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles. Then they crash
Lara Giddings, government official
"The one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles," Lara Giddings told the hearing.
"Then they crash," she added. "We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high."
Rick Rockliff, a spokesman for poppy producer Tasmanian Alkaloids, said the wallaby incursions were not very common, but other animals had also been spotted in the poppy fields acting unusually.
"There have been many stories about sheep that have eaten some of the poppies after harvesting and they all walk around in circles," he added.
Retired Tasmanian poppy farmer Lyndley Chopping also said he had seen strange behaviour from wallabies in his fields.
"They would just come and eat some poppies and they would go away," he told ABC News.
"They'd come back again and they would do their circle work in the paddock."
Some people believe the mysterious circles that appear in fields in a number of countries are created by aliens. Others put them down to a human hoax.
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Now, how bad is it that I really want to see this whirling dervish phenomenon for myself?

23 June 2009

Ignorance WAS Bliss

Peeps, remember back when I said the one thing that I would not do on my Balkans vacation was one simple thing? Well, I was quite proud of myself that I was able to resist My Love's multiple attempts to convince me that they would be good eats.


Fast forward to this afternoon:


My Love: oh shit
hey
did I take you to that Albanian resturant when you were here for traditional albanian food?
KtMac: yes
My Love: k
KtMac: why?
My Love: uh, nothing.
KtMac: uh
oh shit generally doesn't equal nothing...

My Love: uh
                        KtMac: you can't do that to me!
what is it?
My Love: well, remember how I said my Albanian was pretty bad...?
KtMac: yes
My Love: remember that beef stew we had that you really liked?
I just got the translation from Leslie
uh, lets just say its not beef
KtMac: *groan*
what was it?

    My Love: sheep's brains
oops?
KtMac: you did that on purpose
didn't you?

My Love: i swear I didn't know!
KtMac: what am I going to do with you?
My Love: I know, I know
well, you wanted an adventure...
if it's any consolation: that was one of my favorite meals before I found out what was in it
goddamnit
KtMac: I guess the $1,000 question is.....will you continue to eat it?
My Love: as delicious as it is, I think that's going to be a deal breaker
KtMac: I have to agree with you
My Love: goddamnit
KtMac: yeah
it was awfully good before
My Love: I know!
KtMac: I don't know what annoys me more
that such a good meal turned out to be sheep's brains
or that you unwittingly still got me to eat sheep's brains
damn
    KtMac: truth be told, I'm more amused by it than annoyed
My Love: and that's why I love you

Once again I am amazed by life with My Love. As I've said, and as I'll continue to say, life with him will never, ever be dull. (And I wouldn't have it any other way.) It's a good thing I love him so very much.


That said, I recommend y'all learn from our example - always check that the beef stew is indeed beef before you order......OR......just adopt the ignorance is bliss attitude and never ask for translations...

22 June 2009

Creative Compliments

I'm thinking I may need to introduce a new series to this blog. One solely dedicated to the more creative compliments and random pick-up lines I hear in this city. Anyone interested?

Today was a priceless gem.

I was walking down the hall to take a pop bottle to the recycling bin when a guy said hi.

"You look like you should be doing the modeling for Pepsi ads!"

A Monday Song

It was one of those days at work - the kind of day where I had work to do, but nothing that involved any level of real mental concentration.

So, I came up with a song and sent it to a friend. Inspired by Mondays, if you will. Pure genius if you ask me.

This is the day that never ends
Yes, it drags on and on my friend
Some people started working, not knowing what it was
And they'll keep on working forever just because
This is the day that never ends
Yes, it drags on and on my friend


You're totally singing this song now aren't you? So perfect for the Mondays!

19 June 2009

On My Wall

I went to Costco last night. Presumably for three things: frozen strawberries, milk, and pictures. In typical Costco shopping fashion, I walked out with many more than three things, but the most treasured purchase was the pictures I'd ordered. Amongst the beginning of the many pictures I'm slowly printing from vacation with My Love, I also printed 8x12s of the following pictures:

D.C. - Washington Monument during Cherry Blossom Festival


D.C. - Lincoln Memorial during Cherry Blossom Festival

Colorado - Rocky Mountain National Park - after hiking/dying 4 hours to get to this spot.


Michigan - Mackinac Bridge

I took these pictures! These shots all represent places I've lived. The prints, for $1.39 each!, came out stunning. Now, I have to find the perfect black frames that I have envisoned perfectly in my head to hang these prints in. Cheap and easy artwork that actually means something to me, and, a little reminder of all the things that are slowly making up my definition of "home."

18 June 2009

Randoms

* I have an obsession, I mean obsession, with fresh fruit. I seriously cannot get enough to satisfy myself these days.


* I don't care how you count, 180 people is not a small wedding.


*Costco is the best for printing pictures. Seriously.


* I have a slight tendency to overuse the word seriously this week. I blame that on spending 48 hours with my aunt and cousin who seriously use the word seriously all.the.time. Seriously.


* I need to come up with a plan of action for how I'm going to enjoy the everyday for dirt cheap this summer. I have a few big events to look forward to, but if I'm not careful, seriously, my only glimpse of summer will be the twilight sky I see in the morning and the evening on my way to and from work.


* Some ideas should just stay ideas. Others must be implemented immediately.


* Time to open up that French language tutorial again. Seriously, I did a great job learning French this past year. I'm still stuck at "Ohh la la!"


* Schizo weather can end now. Seriously. Did it not get the memo? It is summer, which should = blue skies and sunshine every day, all day. Not this grey, drizzly, suddenly pouring, suddenly sunny, now grey, now drizzly crap we had all day today.


* Home is where the heart is. Nothing more. Nothing less.


* Fresh cherries and brie? Just this side of heaven. With the perfect glass of Rose? Paradise.


* In the past week alone, My Love has said we're moving to Thailand and/or to an island in the Pacific that is 1,000 miles away from everyone else. Guess I should stop lusting over grad programs and urban lofts in exchange for seriously drooling over sailboats that will fulfill My Love's ever-changing list of places we are moving to.


* Family is family. They can make you laugh. They can make you cry. They can make you smile. They can make you pull your hair out. Love 'em, like 'em, annoy them. They're yours and you're stuck with 'em.


* Can't you just hear me shouting "Ahoy matey!" over my daiquiri as a shorthand for telling My Love that I need more sunblock aboard our sailboat? I might be able to seriously get on board with this idea.


* Allergies suck. Stupid rain.


* An ice cream cone dipped in sprinkles still is the perfect end to a summer night.


* Can anyone explain why I have the lyrics to "American Pie" stuck in my head?


* Seriously wasn't kidding about that over-use of "seriously" this week. Seriously, counted 13 "seriously"s in this post. 14.

11 June 2009

Lightning Re-charge

It's been another insane week.

I've had a lot of projects and last-minute assignments on my plate this week. I like it. I like being busy and producing some great results. The downside is that I have many competing thoughts in my head. "Oh, I need to draft this, but after I call so-and-so, only after I finish this. And I can't forget that, or to do send document xyz to abc. By the way, did I eat lunch, no, not really, and remember to pick up that thingy on the way to the meeting...." and on, and on, until I reached a breaking point yesterday evening.

I could no longer keep my thoughts in order, and it was interfering with my productivity. The sluggishness that sets in after a marathon work day and the racing thoughts were so bad that I could barely focus on the phone conversation I was trying to have with my Mom.

So when I got home, I made myself dinner, treated myself to a lazy bath, and then decided I was going to crawl into bed early. Of course, right at that moment, yet another thunderstorm decided to roll through.

One of the best things about my bed is that it is set up in such a way that I can lay there and stare out the huge picture window, and watch the awesome storm. As I lay there, I forced myself to just zone out and watch the storm and the random airplanes. No thinking allowed. Everytime a thought popped in my head, I shut it down. It was hard to do. But I'm glad I did it. Turns out, the lightning and a good night's sleep was exactly what the doctor ordered. What do y'all do when you need to shut down the random thoughts and recharge the batteries?



(Awesome picture is from here.)

10 June 2009

Writing to Forget

Memory is a tricky thing.


Seems like I can never remember what it is that I wasn't supposed to forget. Like the secure hiding spot for that perfect Christmas present, or the funny thing I wanted to tell someone who would laugh with it.


Then of course, I always remember the really random things. Like the phone number to the house of my grade school best friend, or that my high school photography teacher was tardy to class one day because he ran home to get an iron. Seriously? I remember that?

There are things that you would think I would remember but apparently forgot. Like the icky medical things that happened the day the doctor finally agreed to go ahead and do the cochlear implant surgery, or a few kind of embarrassing to admit that I forgot things. Nope, nice try, not going to admit those here either.



There are things I will never forget, no matter what. That I was Papa's Girl, or the way My Love first said, well, you know, or the way my Mom patiently, line-by-repeated-line, taught me all the lyrics to my first loves - The Backstreet Boys. Yes, you read that correctly - I once knew every lyric to the Backstreet Boys' first CD. Gee, embarrass myself much? (With my family, I'm more or less immune to embarrassing childhood memories now.)


I am a thinker. I ponder. I daydream. I wonder. I ruminate. I obsess over things said or done or not said or.....you get the point. I worry. And when I get a thought in my head, there it stays, like that tiny pebble in your shoe, until I find a way to let it go.


And for me, the only way I can do that is to write. I write to forget. I obsess and ponder and wonder over a thought until it is polished smooth and then I write it down in my journal. By the time I'm done writing, I'm exhausted, and that stubborn thought is no longer in my head.


I've kept some journals. Others, I've eventually gotten rid of. Some things I like to look back and think about from time to time. Others, once I wrote them down, I set myself free from those thoughts. No need to hang onto those journals if I've made my peace with the past.


So, as I've been thinking about this past year - all the ways I may or may not have changed, the people who have come into and left my life, what I learned, what I rediscovered, the funny, the extraordinary, the mundane daily things that have happened - I was suprised to discover just how helpful this blog has been in helping me to remember what I'd already forgotten. So much so, that I'm discovering that writing to remember is a great thing too.



09 June 2009

Love.


I stumbled across this the other day on Music + Pixels (side note: sweet site!). Even though I've heard the song before, I was surprised. A simple song lyric summed it all up for me. I fell in love with My Love years before I even realized (or admitted) that I was in love with him. Life works itself out in wonderful ways, doesn't it?

03 June 2009

Hopelessly Addicted

Oh peeps, confession time.

Are you ready?

I.

Am.

ADDICTED!

To.

Kayak.

Help me please! Every time I get one of their oh-so-seductive travel deals emails in my inbox, I have to physically restrain myself from booking a ticket to Paris, or Dublin, or Tokyo (oh wait, I didn't pass up that deal!).....

Wanderlust. *Sigh*

Signs of Summer: Raspberries and Blackberries

In honor of summertime, time for a new series called "Signs of Summer." Some posts will be summertime memories, others will be current seasonal activities, all will be related to summer. Let me know what you think of this series.

You can't tell me this doesn't make your mouth water.

I was talking to E.B. the other day as we were munching on raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, cheese, and bread. The taste of the raspberries on my tongue reminded me of the first time I ate raspberries.

I was a little girl, maybe 7 or 8, when the neighbor who lived behind our house died. He was an interesting old man, with a beautiful Golden Retriever named Lady, a handful of ducks living in his basement, and a goregous vegetable garden in his enormous backyard. My parents agreed to keep up the yard until the house could sell, and one day, my Dad took me into the garden. While he was off picking something - probably the fresh corn on the cob we ate all summer - I explored until I discovered the berry bushes.

I'm sure my Dad showed me that they were edible, but I don't remember that part. I just remember sitting on the dirt in between rows, picking raspberries and blackberries off the bushes and popping them into my mouth. I would pick a berry, pop it in my mouth, and as I chewed, pick the next berry. I remember the sun beating warm on my back and not really being aware of anything else but the delicious taste of berries in my mouth.

Every summer, I get so excited when the raspberries and blackberries first begin showing up again. But somehow, the store bought berries never taste quite as good as those from the neighbor's garden. Now, I need to go get myself some more raspberries and blackberries after work today.

01 June 2009

Band-Aids On Their Knees

I stumbled across this on NPR today. All I can say, as a girl who used to wear band-aids on my knees under my princess dresses, is AMEN!


Dear Pixar, From All The Girls With Band-Aids on Their Knees,


A plea to Pixar: Up is so good; can you turn your attention to a different kind of hero? Walt Disney Pictures
by Linda Holmes
Dear Pixar,
This is not an angry letter. It is especially not an angry letter about Up, which I adored. I could have sat in the theater and watched it two more times in a row. I cried, but I also laughed so hard in places that it wore me out.
So I'm not complaining; I'm asking. I'm asking because I think so highly of you.
Please make a movie about a girl who is not a princess.
I'm counting on you, after the jump...
Of the ten movies you've released so far, ten of them have central characters who are boys or men, or who are anthropomorphized animals or robots or bugs who are voiced by and imagined as boys or men. These movies feature women and girls to varying degrees -- The Incredibles, in particular -- but the story is never "a girl and the things that happen to her," the way it's "a boy and what happens to him."
I want so much for girls to have a movie like Up that is about someone they can dress up as for Halloween, as Anika Noni Rose said about starring as the voice in The Frog Princess. Not a girl who's a side dish, but a girl who's the big draw.
And I'd really, really like it not to be a princess.
My understanding is that after the summer blockbusters of 2010 and 2011 -- Toy Story 3 and Newt -- you're planning The Bear And The Bow, a Christmastime fairy tale rather than a summer adventure. And your first one about a girl -- way to go!
But why, oh why, does it have to be about a princess? Again?
Et tu, Pixar?
I have nothing against princesses. I have nothing against movies with princesses. But don't the Disney princesses pretty much have us covered? If we had to wait for your thirteenth movie for you to make one with a girl at the center, couldn't you have chosen something -- something -- for her to be that could compete with plucky robots and adventurous space toys?
Or more to the point, why couldn't your first female central character be as specifically drawn as the women and girls (and girl robots, etc.) you're already writing as secondary characters? Ratatouille has a chef! WALL-E has Eve! The Incredibles has superheroes!
And Up...oh, Up has Ellie, who I could have watched forever. Seen only in flashbacks to the main story, Ellie is warm and hilarious, ambitious and fearless, and then gone for most of the movie. She provides the engine for the story, in many ways, but it's an old man and a little boy who actually get to hit the gas.
I don't like to make movies political, especially kids' movies, if I can help it. Sometimes a princess is just a princess and should be taken as such.
At the same time, little Russell, in Up, is Asian-American, right? And that's not a big plot point; presumably, he just is because there's no particular reason he shouldn't be. You don't need him to be, but you don't need him not to be, either. It's not politics; it's just seeing the whole big world.
Well, the whole big world has a lot of little girls in it, too. And not all of them are princesses -- and the ones who are princesses have plenty of movies to watch.
And even many of them who do aspire to be princesses are mixing their princess tendencies with all manner of other delicious things. Their tiaras fall off when they skin their knees running at top speed; they get fingerpaint on their pink dresses; they chip their front teeth chasing each other in plastic high-heeled shoes.
There's nothing wrong with the movies you're making; I'm sure your princess movie will be my favorite one ever. I'm just saying, keep them in mind, those girls in Band-Aids, because they want to see themselves on screen doing death-defying stunts, too. You're making some of my favorite movies in the whole world right now.
Please, please make one about a girl who isn't a princess.