Archive for June, 2006

One More Time For Those of You in the Back

Casual Friday

1. Flip Flops never belong on your feet at work unless you are a lifeguard.

2. When in doubt, always decide to iron. The little bit of wrinkle is going to look a lot more severe under all of the fluorescent lights.

3. Pants should not have holes. I don’t care if that is the way you purchased them.

4. Track suits in velour are inappropriate in any color, but are especially offensive in aqua, eggplant and tan.

5. If your jeans require you to lay flat to zip, you should not inflict your pain upon the public, especially the public with whom you spend forty plus hours every week.

6. The Flutter Sleeve is cute on children. It must be avoided when you are over thirty.

7. Pants must cover the top portion of your shoe. Anything higher is not just unsightly, but is guaranteed to reveal at least half of your calf when you sit down. Ew.

8. See-through anything should be saved for the time when you are at home alone, or possibly with your spouse, but I’m guessing he doesn’t even like that shirt.

9. T-shirts need to be fitted, screen print / bedazzling free and absolutely not reveal your tummy when you move around.

10. You still have to do your hair.

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God Shows Mercy to His Children aka The Stink Is Still the Precursor to Evil

Yesterday, while driving home from work (skipping the gym due to forgetting my gym bag at home), I was on Skillman and the person in front of me was turning left. There are no turn lanes on Skillman. There are however inattentive drivers.

One of those hit me.

Not too fast. Not too hard.

Not enough to really damage the car (thank goodness he was driving a tiny Honda! [for Jen, Daniel, Wally and Zan: He came in a Honda. He came in a Honda! HecameinaHonda!Honda!HONDA!HecameinaHonda! He came in a Honda.])

Unfortunately, I knew he was going to hit me and I had a couple of thoughts very quickly “Keep your foot on the brake Kim!” “Whatever you do, don’t tense up!” and the last one was “You are tensing up!!” and then he hit).

So we, pulled off of the road and once I got out I immediately noticed the sticker in his window. It was a familiar little book with a flame logo. I’d been run into by a DTS dude.

We exchanged information and mostly he was all “So Sorry.” And I was all “It happens.” And Jud (who I called immediately after I called 911 and was told that cops in Dallas do not respond to accidents unless someone is injured, which I thought was only the case under inclement weather, but I suppose 97 degree heat qualifies, so, meh) was all “See you around”.

I took a bunch of ibuprofen and Jud slathered on the Aspercreme (twice! And, despite what you may be thinking, I did not orchestrate a car accident in order to get a back rub. I may do that in the future since it worked so well, but this time was totally legit). Then I ate some leftover salad and then I moaned in the floor for a bit while watching the Office (It was the one where Dwight hits a pole (while driving) and gets a concussion. It made me laugh even though the laughing caused more pain. It was worth it.) Then I went to bed.

The car is going to be looked at today (thank you, Jud!) but we don’t think anything is wrong with it (except that the oil needs to be changed, but I’m pretty sure that has nothing to do with the accident).

My back is feeling a bit better today (thank you Ibuprofen!) and, as long as I stay medicated for a few days, I think I should be fine.

Photoshoot in Tulsa by Paula: It Blogs

With All My Might

My company is split into two bizarre families.

One family is all old school, with the boys and the “that’s not the way we’ve always done it before.” We’ll call them the Jones family.

The other company is more new school, still plenty of boys but all “okay, let’s try it that way.” We’ll call them the Miller family.

When the two families inter-married, that’s when things got really interesting. Now things are more chilled out, but still quite tense at times…holidays and anniversaries and what not.

I prefer the Millers because I prefer to move forward and to experience higher efficiency and because I do not like to listen to complaints without being able to solve them. Also, the Millers make more money.

Even though I have always worked under the understanding of the marriage, I’m still pretty much viewed as a Miller, which is fine by me, except for when I have to talk to the Jones kids.

One of the Jones boys used to pull my hair all of the time. He didn’t kick me or anything, just the sort of thing that wouldn’t leave bruising, but would totally annoy me. He came for a visit this week and was just so pushy and all “you’ve got to show them who’s boss if you’re going to make it” and also “if you would [behave like I do] then they’d learn.” I just played along and laughed and all because I don’t really think that the hair pulling teaches people much of anything. I’d rather just serve them and keep on moving. Frankly, I’m too busy to play those little games.

This is the part of the family events that I dislike.

There are, however, some pretty funny stories to tell sometimes. Like today, when the following emails were sent. Play close attention to who is sending emails to whom.

Email #1 –
From: Meribeth Jones
To: Everybody in both families
Hello everybody, you are all invited to come get some learnin’! Here’s when it is and where it is and all of those fun details. Iffin you want to come along, jest rit me back.

Email #2 –
From: Lilibeth Jones
To: Meribeth Jones and EVERYBODY IN BOTH FAMILIES
Thank you! I would like to attend. Please sign me up.

Email #3 –
From: Tom Jones
To: Meribeth Jones and EVERYBODY IN BOTH FAMILIES
I would like to participate.

Email #4 –
From: Angry Miller
To: Meribeth, Lilibeth, Tom and EVERYBODY IN BOTH FAMILIES
Now that we all know that Lilibeth and Tom want to attend. Can the rest of us respond without “replying to all?”

Email #5 –
From: Annabeth Jones
To: Meribeth and EVERYBODY IN BOTH FAMILIES
I will attend the meeting. Everybody’s welcome at our place to listen in!

Email #6 –
From: Funny Jones
To: Angry Miller and EVERYBODY IN BOTH FAMILIES
Sure! No problem………..

Email #7 –
From: Ridiculous Jones
To: Angry Miller and EVERYBODY IN BOTH FAMILIES
Excellent Angry! You were reading my mind. Glad everyone can join but Meribeth is the only who really needs to know. Email foders [sic] are exploding as it is.

Email #8 –
From: Lilibeth Jones (who got this whole mess started)
To: Meribeth and EVERYBODY IN BOTH FAMILIES
Is anybody else going to get some learnin with me?

Classic.

Goodbye Hello

Saturday morning dawned bright and early for us. I woke up with a start after dreaming that I’d missed my breakfast appointment with a friend, but it was only 6:28 and I had plenty of time to get ready.

In the meantime, I would have to watch my father drive away in the big Buick and know that he no longer had any real reason to drive down to Dallas, apart from a visit. Friday at 3:00 he finished, what should be, his very last in-classroom requirements for graduate school. The process has been long and drawn out (the papers are not all turned in yet, nor has he received official news of his completion of course requirements, so I suppose I should not speak too quickly, for fear of the Institutional Gods that Wage War against Students and All Other Helpless Creatures), but as it currently stands he will not need to enroll in any other graduate classes. We celebrated this GIANT milestone, in the best way we know how……

With Loads of Meat.

Jud is just talking in this picture, but it looks like he’s all “Whoa! That’s a lot of beef!”

Here’s how Fogo de Chao works. You make a reservation and then show up about an hour early for the reservation because you have not eaten on this day, in order to leave room for all the delicious meats, and you are hoping they can squeeze you in early [none of the aforementioned is required, but that’s just how we roll]. They can squeeze you in early! Hooray!

You are seated at a nicely set table and a lovely Brazilian (at least he smelled Brazilian…sweet and clean) gives you the low down, which is this:

There’s a salad bar in the middle and it is not like any other salad bar you can imagine. It is pretty magnificent. However, do not listen to the salad bar’s Siren Song. It will keep you from the real reason you’ve come.

The Meat.

I don’t remember which kind of meat this is. Good meat. That part I know.

Men wearing Gaucho pants (not the Express female version that make you want to scream, but the manly version…with BOOTS!…that make you think “Isn’t that authentic!”) bring around different kinds of meat on large skewers and then cut off pieces for you to enjoy. To let them know you want some meat, just use your handy meat Pokeman card. Green means — bring the meats!! Red means — enough already!! Also on your table will be mashed potatoes (good), fried bananas (delicious!), polenta (tastes too much like grease) and fabulous little pop-over, cheese-filled- bread-thingies (technical term).

(See that red card inbetween us on the table? That is the Meat Pokeman card. Later, after they took mine while clearing the plate I made sure Dad and Jud slipped theirs in their pockets)

Kim’s Consumed Meat
The House Specialty (a beefy thing) – good
Bacon Wrapped Filet (I ate two of them) – very good
Garlic Beef (also two and the second one was so tender it melted in my mouth) – excellent
Parmesan Pork (just like it sounds except more delicious than you can imagine) – excellent
Lamb Chop (with the mint jelly and I could move to the Middle East to eat like this) – excellent
Leg of Lamb (also with the jelly and the moving) – very good

I think that is all, but I could be missing something. It was all just amazing. I’m not even a gigantic meat consumer, but this place would have my neighbors eating cows.

After consuming the weight of two (possibly three) people in meat, we sat and enjoyed the amazing service some more. There was nothing for which to want. The servers were fabulous. The food was superb. It is my favorite restaurant in Dallas.

This is a big deal because I do not really care for any other all-you-can-eat restaurants, nor do I ever typically eat anything off of graze-at-will salad bars. But Fogo de Chao is no ordinary eat-til-you-drop meal. It comes with a hefty price tag that truly is worth every penny.

Now, of course, we’d gone there to celebrate the end of Dad’s schooling, but he wouldn’t let us help with all of those pennies (I’ve flown to Baltimore for the same amount), but there is no use fighting the man because he loves to do things for the people he loves (both my parents show their love through gifts and also time – though dad is more likely to hug, mom won’t ever pass one up, either…ah, the love languages of my parents. I bet you were wondering. 🙂

Filled with the meat and the happy and in keeping with the evening’s theme –excess– we drove to the biggest church in Dallas, so that we could all marvel.

It looks like a mall! But it’s a church! Marvel! Marvel!

Saying goodbye is always the worst part of the visit and the tears came hot and big, but we all sucked it up and away he drove.

Showers for the two of us and off we drove to Fort Worth!

We met Cheryl and her boys (plus one!) at the Cracker Barrel for breakfast (after she braved a few sheets of rain). It was so good to see her and hug her and those kiddos! And, amazingly enough, we were both hungry and ready for some breakfast.

When they got back on the road and we hopped back in our car too, we started scheming ways to get up to see them soon. How could we not go to visit these adorable faces?!

And then I slept and slept.

Why the working world will never truly be my home

Today a dude from the HR world called me to discuss one of my answers on a questionnaire. A long time ago, a different HR person told me that she would not help me set up my 401k stuff because it would be “too much work.” On the questionnaire there was no “denied access to 401k due to amount of effort required” so I created my own line. This, of course, set off alarms and whistles and things in the HR department, hence the call.

PHONE CALL NO 1

“Can you explain what this means?”

“Yes. When I was originally brought on in December [Name Withheld to Protect my Job Status] told me that she would not set up a 401k for me because it would be too much work.”

“And that was the extent of your conversation?”

“Essentially, yes.”

“Okay that’s all.”

PHONE CALL NO 2

“I guess I’m going to need a little more information.”

“Okay.”

“So, you should know that we were transferring from one company to another in January.”

“Yes, I did know that. That’s why she thought it was too much work.”

“So, then there was more to your conversation then you first told me.”

“Well, I suppose so, yes.” [I thought the change was the understood in the conversation]

“Did you know there were black out dates at the end of December?”

“No, I did not know that. All I know is that [Still Withholding] told me that she would prefer to not set up my healthcare or my 401k in December because everything was changing and because it would be so much work. I pushed for the healthcare benefits because I was paying out of pocket. I didn’t push the 401k because it did not matter as much.”

“And you currently do not have a 401k set up with us.”

“Right.”

“Did you know that you could have?”

“Yes, but the questionnaire was regarding the 2005 401k.”

“How did you know that you could have one in 2006?”

“Because of the paperwork I received and because [Holding] told me.”

“So she did tell you that you could sign up.”

[Kim beats head against wall]

Moral of the story: Being honest sometimes means people will twist your words and make you look like a liar. Excellent.

Fairies, Hearts and Rainbows

Yesterday, when I got home from work, Jud and I went to scary Wal-Mart and bought some essentials – Clear American (Becca & Tawnya – I am hooked), a new pink razor, super glue and olive oil. McGuyvre essentials.

Then it was off to the Club of Sam to get chicken and milk (almost a whole dollar cheaper!) and things. Then it was five o’clock in the PM.

We raced back through little Mexico to our hot apartment and I got to cookin. Roasting red peppers, chopping up an onion, squeezing fresh oranges, heating up some cumin and cinnamon. Let me tell you, it was smelling delicious! Then Poppy came home from the Sem and took a little nap while Jud put the chicken on the mini-grill.

Time to eat and it was not quite as good as I remembered it…I blame the lack of proper help in the kitchen (last time I had some very artistic hands crafting this dish with me). It was still good, even if Jud had to pick out the raisins to eat separately (He has a “No sweet with meat” policy that I believe is either totally Communistic or highly American. Either way, I cannot suffer the injustice of banning all fruit from all meat. How can anyone be so judgmental about fruit? Are the fruit not EQUAL to the meat? If you cook them, do they not taste as delicious? If you cut into both, will they not get juice on you? I will not stand for this kind of food segregation any longer. Free at last. Free at last! Praise Emeril Lagasse, the FRUIT ARE FREE AT LAST!)

We did a quick rinse of the plates and set off for the land of wealth, which is exactly three streets over from us and contains some of the most beautiful houses and landscaping in all of [downtown] Dallas. We were moving at a good clip and made it back home with a nice sweat. A shower and some water and I was hard at work on work. Turns out homework doesn’t stop when degrees are in hand and I was up until eleven working on a spreadsheet.

Did you notice what I hadn’t done yet? Hint: My favorite thing. Second Hint: The thing I like to whine about and you hate reading about.

Yes! Yes! The dishes!

They were only rinsed. They were piled in the sink and lo, beside as well. I knew the roaches would love that sink while I slept. They would come out of their hiding places and put their giant antenna all over my things. But I still couldn’t bring myself to wash those dishes. I just could.not. So tired. So Sleepy. I went to bed.

This morning, as I braced myself for seeing one of those Boric Acid Immune pests, I flipped on the light. And what to my wandering eyes did appear than a rack full of dishes and nothing to fear. I threw open the fridge door and prepared for the day, believing that roaches were far far away. I made my dad’s sandwich and laughed as I did, smiling to myself that all the dishes were finished and I DIDN’T WASH THEM.

(Thank you, Dad! Please don’t leave yet. We will miss you! The roaches, on the other hand, are packing your bags.)

For Your Viewing Pleasure

For some reason we did not take any pictures while we were in Tulsa last weekend. I think we may have been having too much fun to stop and grab the camera. Tawnya has promised to send some our way and we hope Rebecca will too.

So, in lieu of last weekend…

…I give you the weekend before last…again!

Fireworks from the CWS Opening Ceremonies

Jud and Sam (Photographer: Tom)

The dogs hunting ground squirrels (they got one the week before).

What I miss the most.