Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bloody Fruit

As I've mentioned before, I'm weird about actually wanting to try bizarre foods. This is pretty much the complete opposite of my dear husband, who will only eat things that are very basic and standard (although I did get him to try sushi for the first time a few months ago). I don't know why this is--I guess my curiosity just gets the best of me when I see something that looks interesting. You could say I have a fascination for freaky food!

So the other day Chad and I stopped at the store to pick up a few items as we were coming home from some evening engagement, and these purpley splotched oranges caught my eye. Call me sheltered, but I'd never heard of a blood orange, and of course I had to try one. I thought their appearance was pretty interesting--especially once I started peeling!

Although my blood orange was definitely interesting to look at, I'll admit I wasn't a huge fan of the taste. It just wasn't very flavorful--at least not what you'd expect from a fruit so uniquely colored. It was kind of a cross between a grapefruit and some other citrus fruit, although not nearly as sweet and juicy. Fun to try, but definitely not something worth trying again!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Freak Face

This morning I watched a video on my friend Cara's Facebook page that was just so flabbergasting I couldn't stop thinking about it all day. This is, in my opinion, an instant classic.

I mean really, does it get any better with regard to unintentional comedic content? Everything about this video is priceless--the huge 80s hair, the ridiculous breathing, the insane facial contortions, and as Cara pointed out, the fact that she has an exercise outfit on her body when she's exercising her face.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I saw this.

Add just a few more things to the crazy funny checklist: the bizarre body position, the tights on her toothpick legs, and the fact that she's clearly produced this "exercise" video in her living room.

What makes this even more awesome is that there are additional videos of this woman on Youtube, which were clearly produced many years later based on her hairstyle, in which she has clearly had major plastic surgery on her face. The change in her appearance is profound even with the horrible video quality! I guess that's good evidence that these exercises don't work at all to prevent the need for plastic surgery, which is good because I was just about to start doing them!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Decor Dilemma

I've been feeling a little lost this weekend because I'd originally planned to be watching basketball religiously--that is until KU's loss, which now seems like a lifetime ago. Since I didn't really care about the K-State game today (sorry, Wildcats) and was done with my only weekend social engagement (brunch with a friend from college) by noon, I decided to run over to Topeka to do some furniture shopping. There's just one more room in our house that hasn't been fully furnished since the move, seen at right during our original photo tour. As of today, this room looks almost the same, except that the table in the corner has been replaced by a leather chair similar in style to the one shown here. Although my dear hubby thinks this room looks fine, I think that far wall is incredibly naked and I'm dying to put something over there! We found this awesome huge frame that holds like 35 4X6 prints that I think will work on the wall, but I kind of feel like there should be a decorative table or shelf over there as well. I've gone shopping for said piece, as well as a small coffee table to go in between the two chairs, at least 5 times in the last 6 months, and I'm so ready to be done with it!

I didn't find anything I fell in love with at any of the three stores I visited today, but I'm so tired of the room being unfinished, I'm almost ready to settle for the best thing I could find even though it's not perfect. Here's the small coffee table I found, which also has a matching sofa table that I thought could go along the wall. Although it doesn't solve my coffee table problem, I also found a short bookshelf that might work along the wall instead.

I just can't decide. Maybe I should hang the frame (that I need to finish sanding and staining) first to see how it looks before deciding what should go there? Does anyone have any good suggestions or ideas? I'm so clueless.

While the piano room remains a dilemma, a couple of weeks ago we did finally finish up our living room by buying/hanging something above the fireplace. That spot had been naked forever as well, and although I'd originally purchased the huge 35 print frame for that space, I later decided I wanted something different. We settled on a mirror instead, and we're both pretty happy with the finished look!

If you're super perceptive, you might have noticed something else that's new in the room seen in the picture above. I finally Photoshopped another of my pictures from Alcatraz to look kind of like a painting and had it printed. No longer do we have to look at those ugly outlets that were in the built-in cabinets that you can see in this picture! The new "painting" covers them up perfectly! I wish I'd taken out a little of the blue tones in the picture, but other than that I like it. Now if only I could figure out the piano room!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mud Foot

Yesterday, I was uncomfortable pretty much the whole morning because my pants were slightly too short. My pants were too short because my only matching shoes had a slight heel. I only had one pair of matching shoes because my matching flats were dirty. My matching flats were dirty because they'd been in a mud related accident a couple of weeks before and I hadn't yet cleaned them. I finally cleaned them on my lunch hour because I felt so uncomfortable in my too short pants. Before their cleaning they looked like this:

That's an impressive amount of mud, don't you think? How this happened is kind of a funny story. A few weeks ago, before our recent snowstorm, we had an entire week of rainy days, so the whole town was a little muddy and soggy. We went over to our friends James and Beth's for small group one night, and while walking up to their apartment building I missed one of the stepping stones and landed right in a massive pool of mud. I told everyone the tale of my clumsiness once I got inside, and then as we were leaving I made sure to remind everyone to watch out for the mud mass that I'd so gracefully stepped in. So as we're walking to the car, I literally turned around to my friend Cara to point out the muddy location she should be aware of and simultaneously slopped my other foot into a different mud puddle. That's some impressive clumsiness if I do say so myself!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dear Anonymous

The other day I got an interesting comment on my post regarding the obnoxious new colors on my blog.

On Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 1:29 PM, Anonymous wrote:

"Hey Kim. I know you didn't mean any harm, but there are many folks in this world who find the use of the word spastic to be offensive. Some things never reached Salina, I realize, so just check out this link FYI...

or google it for the full picture. "

Obviously, this person didn't leave their name and I don't know who they are, so I'm unable to respond to their comment privately. I could just let it go, but I kind of feel the need to defend myself, so I'm just going to post my response here.


Dear Anonymous,

I don't know where you're originally from, but my guess is it's not the United States. Per the BBC article you cited, "spaz means something different in America." In this country and in my generation, we've never used spaz or spastic to reference someone who is disabled. Ever.

In our vernacular, any sudden movement could be termed as spastic, per the definition from



1. of, characterized by, affected with, or produced by a spasm.

I referred to the changes on my blog as either "springy or spastic" because although they might be spring-like colors, because of their brightness and my haphazard use of them, I was afraid they might bring about some sort of spasm in my readers. Specifically, as I mentioned, I was afraid their eyeballs might freak out, per the definition from

spaz out

1. to overreact to something; to become overly excited about something.

Since I've obviously used both of these words according to the actual definitions, I'm honestly having a difficult time understanding how either "spaz" or "spastic" could be offensive in this context. Neither term was used here to describe a person or their actions, which is the only way I can think of that the words could be used derogatorily.

Now with that said, in our small corner of the world, we do use the terms spaz, spaz out, spazzing out, and complete spaz quite frequently, and I can see how those might be offensive to someone who has grown up hearing them used in a negative way. In our culture, we use them more in a goofy way, often referring to our selves and our loved ones. I've described my own behavior as spazzing out on many, many occasions, in response to exciting basketball games, scary movies, or surprising good news. I've called many of my more hyper and excitable friends spazzes, and just the other day I lovingly referred to my dog as a spazoid. I use the term to describe people I love all the time, and I have no intention of trying to change the definition of the term in my country just because it's used offensively in the UK. It would be just like me telling a person from England that they shouldn't use a common British term for cigarettes because many homosexuals in this country find it offensive. It just doesn't make sense.

While I certainly don't mind being informed of slang that might be offensive in other countries, what I find offensive is the implication that my hometown has anything to do with my dialect. First of all, I haven't lived in Salina for 20 years, and I take offense to the idea that who I am now depends on where I'm originally from. I have considered myself a Lawrencian for almost 16 years, and I am extremely proud that I live in the most well-educated and progressive city in Kansas.

Second of all, the implication that Salinans wouldn't know about the political-correctness of a particular word because they are somehow behind the times is extremely offensive as well. While that might have been true 40 years ago, today there's this thing called the Internet. It allows information and news to travel around the world instantaneously, so anything of importance can be shared with anyone and everyone everywhere instantly. Salinans can also watch important news on television, as well as read it in newspapers and magazines. If Salinans don't know the word spastic is used in a derogatory way in other parts of the world (much like the British term for cigarettes is used derogatorily here), it because it's a non-issue. Again, per the article you cited, the story was not reported widely in America, and even a disability-rights organization hadn't heard about the "misuse" of the word by a popular sports star. This is because it's never been used as a negative stereotype in our culture.

As I read through the comments after the BBC article, I saw one from a fellow American who shared my sentiments exactly.

"Speaking as an American, I was shocked to read this article and find that Britons use "spaz" to refer to cerebral palsy. Over here, it's a very mild insult used generally to refer to someone who is uncoordinated or graceless. There's no implication of a physical handicap. What this article really demonstrates is that Europeans once again have failed to appreciate that Americans have their own culture."
Darrell, USA

There are so many words and phrases in the English language that have totally different meanings in British culture--sod, sack, shag, waffle, etc. Spastic is clearly one of those words. I guess it's too bad that the British find it so offensive when we use it so commonly, but I certainly don't think we should change the definition in Webster's just because they've associated it with a negative stereotype. Hopefully, if we can come to accept each others cultures a little more, no one will have to overreact (or spaz out) about differences in vernacular.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Worst Ever

Ugh. What else can you say about yesterday, which was pretty much the worst first day of spring ever. If you paid any attention to the news last night, you already know the the primary reason it was a horrible day for us. Our beloved Jayhawks got knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the second round, and as our friends and family can imagine, we were devastated. I spent much of yesterday evening in tears and have struggled all day to find any motivation to do anything. I know it sounds insane, but I just love KU basketball so much. My heart is broken for our players--especially for Sherron, who had a terrible game to end his college career.

I couldn't bring myself to actually watch any post game interviews or read any post game articles today--the wounds are just too fresh! I don't really know what the experts are saying about why we lost, but I just think those guys from Northern Iowa played an absolutely perfect game. They made shots they hadn't made all year, barely had any turnovers, made free throws, and played tenacious defense. Our guys, on the other hand, seem lacking in energy, tense, and unsure of themselves. They missed free throws, turned the ball over, and didn't defend as well as they should have. They certainly didn't play up to their amazing potential.

There's probably a lot more I could say about the game and about Bill's boys, but it's just too depressing. Maybe in a few weeks I'll be able to put the whole thing into perspective.

To make yesterday a little bit worse (if that were even possible), we had the most ridiculous weather ever for the first day of spring. It started sleeting and then snowing late Friday night, and when we woke up, there was 8 inches of snow on our back deck and it was still coming down hard. It snowed the entire day until about the time the game ended in the early evening. It may have snowed a little more overnight, because there was at least 12 inches on the deck, although I'm sure a lot of that was just drifting. There were probably 6-7 inches total at our house. I took a few pictures in the morning, way before it was finished, to commemorate the first day of spring.

The tiny bit of good news is that it was super sunny today and got above freezing, so a lot of the snow melted. We're ready for some happier weather and happier times in Lawrence!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Basketball Break

As you might have guessed, the last several days have been consumed by all things basketball and March Madness related. Sometime soon I'll hopefully return to regularly scheduled blogging, but for now, it's all basketball, all the time. I love this time of year so much. Yesterday I took a long lunch and watched games with Chad (who always takes these two days of the year off) at Jack's, and it was one phenomenal day of basketball. Two of the first three games of the day went into overtime, and the bracket was full of upsets galore. My favorite, which happened to be one that I picked, was Ohio (14) over Georgetown (3). We didn't get to watch it here at home, but I'm so excited for the Bobcats because my dad lives in the Ohio University college town of Athens. He'd told me how they'd won the MAC tournament as the number 9 seed, beating the #1, #4 and #3 seed, to make it to the big dance. I hope their Cinderella story continues!

We had some friends over in the evening, to watch our Jayhawks and the ends of all the rest of the late games as well. Our Jayhawks definitely got off to a rough start, but after they got their acts in gear about midway through the first half, it was smooth sailing. Marcus had an incredible game, Sherron was pretty solid, and Tyrel has really come alive in this post season. Hopefully tomorrow we'll get off to a better start and handle Northern Iowa without too much trouble. I'm already a little nervous!

Today's day games weren't quite as exciting as yesterday's, but Chad and I still had a great time hanging out at Zig and Mac's for several hours eating and watching the madness. Only one of the upsets I picked actually happened today, so my brackets have both gone to crap, but oh well. That's what March Madness is all about, isn't it?

Right now we're taking a little break, lounging around while watching the only game currently being played. In less than an hour the madness will start up again, and there's lots more basketball this evening! I'm headed out for dinner and fun with some friends in a little while, and I can only hope that where we're going there will be TVs so I can keep up with the tourney!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Number One Times Three

Congrats to our wonderful Jayhawks who beat the Wildcats for the third time this year to win the Big 12 tournament! It wasn't always pretty and we didn't always play our best, but we got the job done in the end, and the W is all that matters. Thanks to being the conference champs and the tourney champs and the number 1 team in the country with a phenomenal 32-2 record, we will likely be the number 1 overall seed in the NCAA tourney after tomorrow's selection show. Woohoo!

Obviously we love our champions, but we also love the amazing coach behind their success! My friend Emily sent me a link to this terrific article from Sports Illustrated about Bill Self and his incredible confidence and determination. You can't help but love him! The article is a good one too, albeit extremely long! When you have an extra fifteen minutes in your day, you should definitely check it out. Until then, I'll leave you with a couple of my favorite lines from writer Joe Posnanski.

"There really isn't a school in America that has quite the same basketball tradition of Kansas -- no other school that can say that its first basketball coach was James Naismith, who, you know, invented the game."

"Anyway, basketball tradition at Kansas is like air -- it's everywhere, it gets into everything."

Love it. ROCK CHALK!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Slow Mo

The other day one of my friends posted this to their Facebook page, and I just love it so much I have to share. It really has nothing to do with anything. I just like dogs and this just makes me smile. So there.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Springy or Spastic

I'm crossing my fingers that no one had a seizure, got a migraine, or vomited when they visited my blog today. If you have no idea why my blog might be inducing nausea, I'm guessing you're reading this through a feed reader or an email subscription, in which case you should consider yourself lucky. Last night, even though I had many more important things I probably should have been doing, I got the sudden urge to update the header and colors on my blog. I'd done the same thing in the middle of winter, at which time I tried to make the color scheme reflective of the winter wonderland that was outside our house. Yesterday, I just couldn't stand that winter wonderland look a second more and had the urge to change it immediately! This new scheme might be a bit much in the way of clashing/bright colors, but I was really longing for something that reflected the upcoming season. Hopefully it looks springy and doesn't make your eyeballs spaz out. If it pains you in some way, let me know and I'll try to change it!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Wonderful Weather

I can't even explain how gorgeous it was in Lawrence yesterday--at least gorgeous compared to the last several ridiculously cold months we've endured here. Although my friends and relatives in warmer parts of the country will probably laugh, it almost got up to 60 and was sunny, so we felt like we were in the tropics. The beautiful weather was inspirational, and we had a super productive day running errands and doing all sorts of tasks around the house. One of our accomplishments was purchasing and hanging something I had been wanting since we moved here in July. I tried it out just for a few minutes, and I already love it!!

Chad said the video made him a little seasick, but I thought watching it was almost as soothing as the hammock himself! I especially love the birds chirping in the background. I'm so ready for spring to be here!!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

I'm a Slacker

I'm seriously embarrassed that today was the last KU basketball game of the regular season and I've only blogged about the Jayhawks TWICE since hoops started last fall! What in the world is wrong with me? My lack of blogging is certainly not indicative of a lack of fandom, just in case you were wondering. I've been glued to almost every game this year--except for one when I was on the road and one when I fell asleep during the second half because we were ahead by so much. We also had the pleasure of actually attending four games at Allen Fieldhouse, thanks to our friends J and Julie, who split up their season tickets this year and let us buy a few of them. I can't imagine us ever having season tickets of our own because of the time commitment involved in going to all the games, but we've definitely enjoyed being "partial" season ticket holders!

Today's game was some awesome icing on the cake of our season. Not only did we put the hurt on our most hated rivals the "Misery" Tigers, but we also got to watch it with some wonderful friends at Leigh Ann and Nate's "Jayhawks and Jambalaya" party. Leigh Ann fed us all some incredible Jambalaya and other awesome snacks like peanut butter and jelly chocolate cookies! Thanks, Leigh Ann (aka the Most Awesome Hostess Ever)!!

Okay, as a total aside, speaking of Leigh Ann's incredible party-planning skills, you should have seen the amazing baby shower she and our friend Melissa threw a few weeks ago for our friend Amy. Seriously, every detail of this circus themed event was absolutely fabulous. You have to check out the pictures here.

Okay, back to basketball. What can you really say about this nearly perfect season? This year's 'Hawks are incredibly talented and incredibly deep. While they certainly haven't played perfectly in every game, they've most definitely gotten the job done the vast majority of the time. With their incredible 29-2 record, they've dominated one of the best conferences in the NCAA and locked up their 6th straight Big 12 regular season title. Hopefully next week they'll put another conference tournament title under their belt and get some momentum going into the Big Dance. I'm so excited, and yet I'm also so nervous because we could very possibly be the #1 seed in the entire tournament. The pressure is going to be huge! We've been #1 for so much of the season and we're expected to go so far, there's going to be such a huge bullseye on our backs! Hopefully we can play up to all of our potential! Let's go 'Hawks!!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Cowboy Legends

Tonight I finally have a little time to finish up a blog post I started over a week ago. The Friday before last, we had quite an adventure that involved driving to the booming metropolis of Abilene, Kansas for a high school basketball game. It was a special game at which former Abilene all-league players were honored as Abilene Cowboy legends, and one of those legends was my father-in-law!

We were joined by Chad's brother Mark on our trip out west, which was a surprise to Chad's parents, since he didn't tell them Mark was coming. We joined them for dinner at a Mexican restaurant there called La Fiesta (which I'd recommend if you actually have to eat in Abilene), where we met our friend Dante, which was another big surprise for Chad's parents. Towards the end of our meal our friend Ted joined us with his two kiddos as well, and Mark (dad) and Ginny (mom) were even more shocked! Chad did a great job recruiting our friends to join us for this special evening. Dante, Ted and Chad started playing basketball together in about 4th grade on a team that Chad's dad coached, so they've definitely known my father-in-law much longer than I have!

I have to digress just a moment to share a related story that I thought was pretty darn funny. Earlier in the week, my friend Leigh Ann sent out an email to a bunch of colleagues to see if anyone was attending the TGIF event on Friday afternoon. I sent my regrets, telling everyone I'd be traveling to Abilene, saying something to the effect of "I know you're all jealous that you're not going to the basketball game to watch your father-in-law be inducted into the hall of fame." My friend Ellen responded, "Oh, but I am going to the Abilene High basketball game--Brad (her husband) is being inducted into the Cowboy hall of fame as well." How funny a coincidence is that? As my friend Corrie put it later, it's a scary small world sometimes!

Back to the story. After dinner we headed over to the game (about two minutes away) and found a parking place in the incredibly crowded lot, where apparently 80% of the town of Abilene was already parked. Chad's parents got to sit in the special VIP section while the rest of us slummed it up in the rafters, which was fine with us since we really weren't that interested in the game at all. The guys spent some quality time chatting while I took tons of pictures, which of course, I loved. Although none of them were terrific shots since I was working in artificial light trying to shoot fast-moving action, I still had a good time playing photographer.

The recognition ceremony started at halftime, and because Mark's senior year (and only year at Abilene) happened to be the Cowboys first year in the league, he was actually the oldest "legend" honored during the ceremony (although we were proud that he looked quite a bit younger than some of the other guys near his age!). There were probably around 50 or so honorees in attendance, and while most walked out to center court and waved politely to the crowd, when they got to my father-in-law at the very end, he strutted out and started hamming it up, raising his hands in the air like he was a rock star. It was hilarious!

We were so glad we were able to go see Chad's Pop be honored, and so glad our friends and brother got to come along as well. It was a fun evening and I know Chad's parents were very thankful we were all there! Although the the pictures aren't great, enjoy my slideshow of the evening below!