Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tappa Tappa Tappa

After a few years of wanting to take adult tap dance classes, I finally signed up! When I lived downtown, I had called the Rapid City Dance Factory about classes, but it sounded like one of those things where they just throw you into the mix with a bunch of people who have been doing it for who knows how long, and you have to learn from where they are at. That really intimidated me. I didn't want to be in a class where the rest of the students found themselves telling the instructor "Kerri's bad dancing makes our feet sad!". To quote Ralph Wiggum from The Simpsons.

So I'd thought about it here and there, but never really did anything. Then I accidentally found a beginner tap/jazz class through one of the local Parks and Rec programs here in town. I waited until the last day to sign up, but I did it! Ten weeks of tap class!

To let you know where my interest in tap dance came from, I present the pictures below.

This is me as a Dandy Lion. The first year I did tap, the recital theme was "Enchanted Garden". I came across the program not to long ago. All of the different tap classes that ranged from beginner to advanced level all had costumes to do with an enchanted garden. Some were bees, some were dragonflies, some were fairies, etc. My mom actually wrapped this costume up and gave it to me for Christmas this year, shoes and all. I guess she's trying to get rid of junk in the house. Fair enough.

My dad carried this picture in his wallet until I had senior portraits taken when I was 17. I'd also like to add that my dad still carries a picture of my mom and him from their senior prom around to this day. So he's not exactly on top of updating pictures. Haha.

Year two I was in the soldier group. I imagine they had a cute little name for us, but I can't remember it anymore. I believe the recital theme that year was along the lines of "All the King's Men", or ladies. Or something.

And that was my short lived tap dance career. Until now. Let's hope it goes well...

Friday, May 30, 2008

My New Pretty

I couldn't resist purchasing this ring from Red Envelope when I found out about it (Thanks, Juniper). It's on backorder until July. It looks like I'm not the only one who thought it was nice.

I Need That

I sent an e-mail to the Husband from work yesterday. It said this:

I need that.
To go with this....

He had a good laugh over that, but hey, I'm negotiable. I'll take a convertible or wagon if I have to.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Stump Master B

We worked our behinds off over Memorial Weekend. It felt good, but we've got a long way to go.

We stripped the deck. Yikes, it needed it so bad. It looks like a brand new deck already, sans stain. We did find out that we need to hold off on staining until the helicopters (whirlie gigs?) have all fallen from the tress. Wow are those things bad this year. I think if I would've awoke to find our deck covered in helicopter remains like I did on Monday morning, the day after we applied stain, I'd cry. It would be so awful for those things to get stuck on there or leave imprints. So, we have to sit back and wait until the seeds have stopped falling. Until then, I'm kind of on timeout with plants around the deck too. I don't want to plant anything, and then have it power washed out of the ground. I'm getting antsy. Oh well, we got hopefully our last frost this week anyway, so maybe it's a good thing I haven't planted.

Our neighbor seems to be a bit of a landscape guru, and we've teamed up with him to go halfsies on a bed liner, so we can lay some landscape bricks around the front. We still need to pick those out though! We also got in on the stump grinder rental. Yes, I finally got rid of the nasty stumps hanging around our yard, one of which was sporting another tree practically out of the top. I can't even tell you what a nightmare that stump was. It wasn't the stump itself that was the problem. It was all of the garbage that the previous owner put around it. Once we did a little digging, we found cut up plastic bags (like that top soil and mulch would come in) laid beneath the soil, then rocks on top of the bags, then dirt and mulch. These rocks, like what someone would put down if they didn't have a paved driveway, were everywhere. OK, I get the concept of putting that crap down to prevent weeds, but seriously, WHY? It took us a couple of hours to rake all of the plastic out and the rocks. So after we got that done, we were on our way to Stump City. I snapped some shots of the Husband grinding away, but the memory card is acting up, so when I went to import the photos onto the computer they weren't there. Doh! I'm hoping the Stump Master can put his computer tech skills to work and recover the lost photos. I also had some before shots of our yard on there too. If the photos are found, I will post some for your viewing pleasure.

Combine the stripping, bed making, and grinding (wow, this story is taking on a weird twist) with ripping out patio bricks and digging out clay from all of the flower beds, and that was our weekend in a nutshell. I'm so excited about the end results. I hope everything comes together nicely...fingers crossed.

Soooo, how does one know they've been working hard in the yard you ask?

You'll have achy muscles and black boogers.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Case of the Missing Sandwich

It's 6:00 a.m. I'm finishing up getting ready so I can head off to work. I finish making and packing my lunch in my work bag. It consists of a banana, yogurt, turkey sandwich, diet coke, and some crackers.

Oh shoot. I forgot to put earrings in. I run back to the bedroom, find the earrings I want, grab my bag and purse, and I'm out the door.

When I arrive at work, I stop off at the break room to put my lunch in the fridge. Diet coke, yogurt, and wait, no sandwich. I start riffling through my bag, digging around. It has to be in there somewhere. Where is it? What the heck? So I go sit down at my desk and start to think. It must have fallen out of my bag and into the car. Well, that thing will go in the garbage after work then. I'll have to be more careful not to let my bag lay on its side next time.

Around 10:00 that morning, I get a phone call from the husband. It goes like this:
Him: Are you missing something from your lunch?
Me: Yeah, actually I am. How did you know that?
Him: Because your half eaten sandwich is lying in the living room. All that is remaining is bread with mustard and bite marks, and a chewed up plastic baggie.
Me: Those little bastards. I KNEW I put my sandwich in my bag this morning. They must have taken it out of my bag and dragged it off before I could catch them. I turned my back on them for less than a minute!
Him: Yeah, well, there is a mustard stain on the carpet. Apparently they don't like it.
Me: Good to know. I'll keep that in mind the next time I'm making myself lunch for them to steal.

Then we both had a good laugh. Man, those cats get into everything. You've got to hand it to them, they are pretty darn smart. And fast.

We learned very quickly not to leave bread, cookies, bagels or buns on the counter. Nothing in plastic bags. The cats will drag it off someplace and chew through the plastic to get to the inside. Bad, bad kitties.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Vile Mouth

I feel like I have to apologize for the f-bomb I dropped in the last post. I really don't talk like all the time...welllll, only when I'm filled with rage or after I've had two glasses of wine, and I'm well on my way to finishing the bottle (don't make a face, it's only four glasses). Some people may find it offensive that I want my coworkers to engage in such acts. It's just a rant. I don't really expect it to happen.

Let me be clear. I don't really say these things to them. It's all in my head. But damn it feels good to let some swear words flow when my blood is boiling.

For example, today after lunch, management was serving up ice cream floats in the conference room. This was for Employee Appreciation. As thoughtful as the $2 gesture was, I was not the least bit interested in attending. Yeah, I just found out that I'm the only one who has put in almost four years in my position without getting a promotion, like I want to hang out and sip on an ice cream float and pretend like life at work is all hunky-dory. Um, PASS.

Manager 1: Come on, Kerri, we're serving up floats in conference room 403. Come get one.
Me: Uh-huh, I'll be there in a minute (See? No swear words).

Five minutes later...
Manager 2: Are you coming down for a float? They're going fast!
Me: Yep, as soon as I finish up what I'm working on (Fake smile).

Ten minutes later...
Coworker 1: You have to go down and get a float.
Me: Yeah, I think I'm going to pass on that today (Criminey, it's a stinking float. It's not like they're giving out gold watches or something).

And another ten minutes later...
Coworker 2: Hey, the boss was wondering where you were, and why you didn't come get a float.
Me: Because I just finished lunch a half hour ago, and really I don't need ice cream. Not today. No biggie.

See how this is going? This was one hour after I was fuming, and I didn't swear at anyone and say how stupid and pathetic I thought an ice cream social was for Employee Appreciation. I mean, why bother? And like half the people there need an extra serving of dessert anyway (oh, yeah, I said it, I meant it, I stole your mama's credit). However, these are all internal thoughts. I didn't deliberately hurt any one's feelings. We're good.

And to finish it all hour and a half later....
Manager 2 returns: Hey, how come you didn't come down (asking very concerned)?
Me, with tears in my eyes, in a feeling sorry for myself again moment (busted): I just don't need to eat ice cream and extra sweets. Plus I had something I needed to finish up, and I got distracted with a phone call. I just didn't make it.

No swear words, no sarcasm from me. Besides, I do have to work with these people on a daily basis, if I told them to blow it out their wazoo, that might not go over too well.

So I'll try to keep it clean, but I can't make any promises. Sometimes the f-word just needs to be said.

The Lunch Lady Made Me Cry

I'll start off by saying she didn't mean to. I was paying for my chicken wrap at the cafeteria, when this sweet, old lady that works the register that I have been chatty with when I pass through for the last year and a half asks me when I'm going to have a baby.

Normally I wouldn't have minded because I know she's just trying to be nice, but three things were on my mind:
1.) The co-workers that were standing in line behind me that were clearly listening in. I don't like one of them. I don't want her knowing my business.
2.) That I was wearing the exact same pants I was the last time I got asked if I was pregnant.
3.) The conversation I just had with a co-worker before lunch about how me and another girl who just got hired are the ONLY people on the professional (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean) track not at the "senior" level. I've been here four years this coming December.

After I tried as politely and awkwardly as I could to dodge the 'ol baby question with a vague "ohhh, we're thinking about it" response, the lunch lady responded with "That will be nice when you do.", and a sweet smile.

So as I sit down at my desk, on the verge of tears thinking about how much I hate this fricken place, my phone rings. It's the husband. He's having a bad day too. As much as I want to say, "Come get me, I want to go home!", I suck back in the tears, no way am I crying here at work. In front of them. Every person that walks by and looks at me typing away on my computer I want to give 'em the stink eye and tell them to "Go f-ck yourself. You and your SENIOR level pay. You don't do shit around here, and I know it." And they all know I'm one of two people who isn't at their level. I wonder if they take pity or laugh behind my back? Maybe both. I guess it doesn't really matter.

I'm spitting fire I'm so pissed. I almost wished that I hadn't found out that I'm ONE OF TWO PEOPLE that won't get promoted. Thanks, boss, but really, you can sell the "I wish there was something I could do to get you promoted" bullshit to someone who will buy it. Every other manager around here looks out for their people. At least I finally know what I'm dealing with though. Don't even think about dumping more garbage work on me. Take it to your SENIOR staff. They should be able to handle a busier workload, being that they are SENIOR and all.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Springtime Pretties

I did some playing around in Photoshop Elements, experimenting with some finishing touches. I used a couple of photos that I took of the backyard last Saturday. I'm definitely a beginner, but it's a start!





Friday, May 9, 2008

Not In a Million Years

Speaking of trying new things, I received this video to view today. El Caminito del Rey is in Spain. The walkway is 1-meter wide or approximately 3.2-feet with over a 2,296-foot drop. Scared yet? There is no handrail. I repeat, there is no handrail. Oh yeah, and part of the path has completely deteriorated away.

You couldn't pay me to walk this thing. I consider myself graceful, balanced and coordinated, but I think my body would be quivering with fear to the point that I wouldn't even be able to stand. Hiking a path, any path, is not worth dying for.

Check it out for yourself. You've got to devote six minutes to the video, but there is good music to make it extra cool.

My Old Pen Pal

I was talking with my Mom today, and Scotland was mentioned in the conversation. That's when I asked her, "Remember my pen pal?".

When I was in grade school, I had a pen pal from Scotland. Her name was Karen. We did the typical exchange of letters, talked about our families, school, interests, sent each other photos and small trinkets. After a year or so of exchanging letters once a month (this is waaay before e-mail, folks), I guess I just got too cool to take the time to respond to her letters, and didn't want to do it anymore. I remember one of her last letters, asking me what happened and why I didn't write her back. I totally blew it off even after my Mom encouraged me to continue.

Fast forward to college. I remember thinking about her once or twice and wondered what happened to her. Was she going to college too? Did she have a job? Was she already married with a family? And then I forgot about her again. Until today.

I started feeling awful about how stupid that was of me to blow off a friendship I had with a girl in Scotland. She was a nice girl too, even if in her pictures she had abnormally large feet for her age (I threw that in there for you, Little). It makes me wonder where she is today? Would I be able to track her down? Would she even remember me or want to talk to me? I hate those "I wish I had done this or that" moments. I hate living life and feeling bad about something or having regrets. Obviously I am overreacting about a pen pal, but still, that opens the door to so many other things that I wanted to do, but didn't. Too chicken. Too lazy. Too apathetic.

A person only lives once. I have to remember to try new things. Go to new places. Maintain the friendships that are important to me.

It's probably been 19-years since I last heard from Karen. I sure hope that she is doing well.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

One of These Things Is Not Like the Others

One of these things just doesn't belong. Can you tell which thing is not like the others, by the time I finish singing this song?
I grew impatient with my seeds and purchased some pansies this weekend. I couldn't resist the gorgeous colors.

And now for the itty, bitty pansy seedlings...
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I'm having a good laugh over this one. Maybe they'll be ready for the fall?
Note to self: Start pansy seeds in January next year.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Congrats to Tom and Deb

The Husband's cousin, Tom, got married to Deb on April 25, with only family members in attendance for their intimate ceremony. It was a great day, and a lot of fun.
Exchanging vows...

The Happy Couple. Deb's daughter, Ella, gave her a pretty bouquet to hold. Haha.

The lovely bride...

And some candids...

To see the professional photos, visit Amy Carroll's blog.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Petunias Are Dead

The Petunia seeds I planted on March 25 are officially dead. They were off to a bad start anyway, with being 35-days into it, and only having one seed actually germinate. I must have done something incredibly wrong. It's such a bummer too, because I was really excited about the pretty color these were going to be. You just can't find petunias like that in the store around Michigan.

That being said, the Petunias were laid to rest last night after Sasha jumped from the bed in the spare bedroom onto the dresser. She did realize mid-air that the seed tray was in her way, she tried to adjust her landing and took the whole tray down (upside down, of course) with her.

I said some swear words. She got the boot from being in the bedroom. Nico was freaked out from the yelling and swearing, and hightailed it out of there. And I was left with a pile of wet dirt all over the floor.

I went and got the vacuum cleaner and sang the first verse of Amazing Grace while sucking up the murdered seeds and dirt.

To make lemonade out of lemons though, I did need the extra trays to separate my Impatiens out anyway. They seem to be the only seeds thriving at this point for me. I had really high expectations of all of these magnificent flowers being grown from seed. This may not be my calling, but at least I gave it an honest shot.