30 09 2010

B and I spent a few hours cleaning the house today, about 7:00 – 10:00 pm. And finally, I don’t feel like a Hoarder!! We did the whole house, but naturally you’re wondering about the spare bedroom.

Remember how the spare bedroom looked? And then how the cleaning was going? (Click and check out the pictures!)

Look! It’s de-hoarderfied!

The desk area is still in need of organization. But it’s guest-ready! And that is great because…


Aka my first blogging buddy. For nearly two years we’ve been blog buddies and we talk nearly every single day. And tomorrow we finally get to hang out!!! We are having a big pug blogger meetup in Indy (that was one of my first blogs- one for the pugs) and I’ll have a very full weekend. So don’t expect that many posts or blog comments until next week. Except maybe a quick update on my hair!


A Mullet Situation

29 09 2010

Ladies and gentlemen… I have a mullet situation.

Not THAT kind of mullet situation. Although I am proud of myself for photoshopping that one.

No, I have a hair problem. My hair is growing out, it’s been almost three months, when it should really be half that between trims for my short style. The back flips outwards immediately after blow drying, and even if I straighten it to curl slightly under, it will flip weird directions depending where it hits my shoulders or shirt collar. I’m kind of hating it right now. But I don’t know what to do with it- grow it out? Or cut it short again (the nearly two-month overdue trim!) And for that matter… stay blonde? Or go darker again.

Let’s backtrack. In high school, and growing up, and through much of college… I had long, blonde hair. (And VERY thin eyebrows. HOLY TWEEZERS!)

Senior pictures FTW!

Ok so we are skipping the rest of HS and college because I’m too thin then and it makes me sad, as well as making my hair look different. A hairstyle can go from hot to not if you gain or lose weight!

My hair was long through my first year-ish with B.

Then I cut it SHORT (well it was really short for me.)

That is an ADORABLE photo. Let’s try another, shall we?

I kept it shorter and blondeish like this for about a year.

Part of what bothers me about my hair short (and my hair in general) is that it’s thinner, and lays pretty flat. It looks stringy and kind of falls wherever.

(This is supposed to highlight the hair flatness. But it’s also when Sophie had her cancer removed and had to wear a cone, so we made her a “flower” and Dixie a Bee for a costume contest.)

When I lost my job in early 2009, I went dark. I kept it that way to save money. It was kind of bad when I was pale…

…but not so bad when I was tan.

(Hangin’ with my pal Laura during a pug get-together!)

It was darker for my engagement pictures.

When I got a job in summer 2009 I cut it and dyed it light again.

That would be me and my baby cousin. This was the first time I thought it might be too short for me.

I went a bit blonder and, after trying on my wedding dress, decided to grow it out.

(I had my one and only successful spray tan this day. The other time I tried I stood off-center and results did NOT turn out this well.)

By my wedding, after about six months of growing, my hair looked like this:

Then, as you all know, I cut it short post-wedding, and have kept it pretty short and blonde.

Then I cut it even SHORTER last July. (Go see the pictures if you don’t remember.)

So I don’t know what to do. I’m sick of having to really style my short hair, and get it cut every 6 weeks. But I hated my hair feeling LONG and STRINGY. I don’t know what looks best on me. And…… I have a haircut on Friday morning. Please help! You can select as many answers as you agree with.

Let me know what you think in the comments as well!

The Grammar Ignorance I Endure

27 09 2010

I value and (sometimes, rarely) enjoy my second job. I have lots of fun co-workers and feel a sense of pride and excitement when I help people shop for what they need. But sometimes, I’m treated really badly.

I bring everything I can to that job, but sometimes feel like I have their preconceived notions of their employees set against me. I don’t goof off, I don’t call off irresponsibly, I pick up hours, and I work hard.

And then when I see things like this sign, I wonder how I even handle the work environment.

(Edited in red in Photoshop. It took every part of my being not to edit it in real life.)

(PS- EASE and Collectabilitees are an acronym and shirt style, respectively, and aren’t typos.)

Listen. I’m grateful to have a second job and I am going to continue to go in whenever I’m scheduled and work my ass off. But grammar like this makes me sick to my stomach. It’s like they actually chose to ignore spell/grammar check!

Part of me hates writing this, because I’m not trying to belittle my managers (or whoever wrote this- I have no idea.) But it’s just that after being talked down to, working on my feet all night, folding everything from XXL tops to teensy infant clothes and re-hanging crap because YOU IDIOTS HANG THEM INSIDE OUT AND UPSIDE DOWN AND THINK YOU ARE HELPING… I don’t want to have to edit too.

The end.

I’m an Aristophile

26 09 2010

You all know me as KJ, the lover of pugs. AKA, kjpugs. We got our first pug Oliver when I was a senior in high school (from my dad’s coworker who bred his pugs) and I never turned back.

Yes, a few gratuitous pictures of my first puggy love, Oliver. We only got just over four years with him and I miss him so much. He deserved to grow old with me.

But there is a side of KJ that you don’t know. A nerdy, cat-loving side. A side that actually went to cat shows in the Meadowlands. A side that knows a Manx from a Maine Coon from an Abyssinian. That’s right… I was (and still sort of am) an Aristophile.

Also, I quite possibly made that word up. I swear to you, in one of my nerdy cat books, it said that a lover of cats was known as an ‘Aristophile.’ Just like a lover of children is known as…. well, nevermind. But in google-searching I cannot find any proof of this being a real word. In any case, I’m using it, whether or not it’s true. Since when I was eight I used to tell people “Hello, I’m Kelly, and I’m an Aristophile.” So let’s not let eight year old KJ down, k?

When I was in first grade, my mom let us get a cat. Which was HUGE since my mom generally hates animals. I had named her Frau Bl├╝cher after a character in Young Frankenstein (my Dad cultured us early in everything Mel Brooks) and I decorated the cat’s “corner” in our dining room with pictures of little Frau wearing a pink bow in her hair, riding a bike, etc. I even remember the orange and pink shirt I was wearing that day as I ran home from the bus stop to see her.

Turns out, “Frau” was a boy. And my Mom named him Freckles. “And we can’t change it because I already told people.” Thanks Mom. (And thanks from FRECKLES too. I’m sure he enjoyed fifteen years of the least manly name ever.)

(My only digital photo of Freckles, from circa 2004 or 2005 when he was in his teens already, sitting on Bruce, my Corolla.)

Freckles and I had a bunch of great memories together. Like when I was trying to watch TV and would spray him with a water bottle for playing with my hair. Or when I’d force him in a cradle and pretend he was a baby. Or when I might’ve ran his tail over once or twice with my bike. Or how about that time when I asked the vet how they KNEW he was a boy (I was in denial) and he told me, “See? The pattern on his forehead makes an M!” I won’t tell you how long I believed that one.

Or the time when I was in Middle School that he almost died from a fight with an animal outside, and I found him in my sister’s closet crying with a chunk out of him. And I cried in the vet’s office until I found out they fixed him, and then diligently cleaned his drain (yes, he got a drain for his absess) and fed him medicine. I loved that cat. We were so close… he would never bite a soul, after years of putting up with me, he’d just lightly touch you with his teeth as if to say, “I could be biting you. Please stop.” He was the most precious baby.

At some point while I was still in elementary school, we got a second cat, Panther. My sister Min got to pick him out. She was ENORMOUSLY FAT as a child so she picked out the fattest cat of the litter “because he’ll get skinny, like me!” Nope. Panther did NOT get skinny. Panther weighed 40 pounds at his heaviest. Panther and I weren’t as tight as Freckles and I were, but we had some funny memories.

(And no, I don’t have any digital pictures of Panther, unfortunately.)

(But I do have this fantastic photo of the nametag I made for Sorority rush. It was supposed to be memorable and “about you,” so when they asked what it meant you could tell them. “I have a 40 pound cat” worked pretty well.)

Panther was so fat that he once broke our cat carrier in the middle of the vet’s office. Just fell out while my mom was in line. He probably had some sort of thyroid problem, since no diet ever made him lose weight, and he was too lazy to groom himself. We had to shave the parts of him he couldn’t reach to groom when he got super fat. Once, I woke up thinking I was dying, and realized Panther was just sitting on my chest. It literally took all my strength to get him off me.

The cats got really fed up when we got Oliver, and pretty much lived in the basement, where Oli wasn’t allowed. Right after getting Oliver I went off to college. The beginning of my freshman year, my dad passed away. So at that point, I knew we’d never have another cat again. (Remember, my mom + animals = notsomuch.) The beginning of my Junior year, I got a phone call. Classes hadn’t even started yet, and I’d only been down in North Carolina for about a week. Freckles had been sick- he was more than 15 years old- and he had been put him to sleep. I hadn’t been that upset since losing my dad. A year later (almost to the day) the same thing happened with Panther. Almost exactly a year after that, our pug Oliver lost his short battle with liver failure after being poisoned by the xylitol in some sugar-free gum that he found.

Months later, Big Daddy and I got our puggy girls. And then our puggy boy a year after that. But I still SORT OF have cats. Sort of.

My crazy neighbor does feral cat rescue. She has a cat pen, and feeds lots of ferals outside her house as well. Most of them are just mean cats that hide in our yard and then try to fight the pugs when they accidentally almost pee on them. (Which makes me nervous, because the cats all have claws, and let’s be honest, pugs lead with their eyeballs.)

But then there’s Helen.

I ADORE Helen.

I had a little photoshoot with her last weekend (she was laying on top of crazy neighbor’s 12 x 12 cat pen. I’m not kidding, it’s that big.)

Helen likes to hang out on our porch or sleep in the plants next to our steps. She loves being pet and ignores the pugs. (Wish I could say they do the same.) She is sweet and loving and absolutely brightens my days when I see her sitting outside our door.

So I kind of still have a cat. And kind of don’t. But I miss them!

Aristophile, OUT!

Candy Corn is my Crack

23 09 2010

I adore this substance:


This is almost as good as stuffing. And like stuffing, it’s seasonal.

Also like stuffing, I will ONLY consume one brand. Brach’s. DAS IT. No other brand will do.

Today I caved and went and bought the first bag of the season. And was reminded of the most expensive bag of candy corn I ever purchased.

I had just moved here and was living paycheck to paycheck. I thought I had about $10 in there, and bought some essentials for lunch that week at the grocery store. I also saw that candy corn was on sale for 50 cents!! SCORE! So naturally I added that to my cart.

I later found that I had gone over the amount of money I had (more like six dollars) by twenty cents, and was charged a $32 overdraft fee.

Which made the bag of candy corn worth $32.50. I savored that shit.

I luckily remember this story because I had a blog about my life. It’s embarrassing- I had pretty much zero readers and was even more awkward – so I won’t be linking to THAT site anytime soon. If you know of it for some reason, you get a prize and a lifetime vow of silence. Anyway, that post got zero comments way back when. But it’s still just as entertaining to me today!

Tuesday Tube & Tunes

21 09 2010

I discuss TV on here sometimes, but rarely music. In fact I’ll be dead honest… 99% of the time when I’m reading blogs I’m watching TV, so I don’t want to see your Music Monday post. I know, I’m horrible. I feel bad just saying that! But additionally… I’m not a huge music person anymore. I have my certain favorites, but I rarely sit down and listen to music at this point in my life.

However, a few artists really MOVE me. Which I’ll get to in a minute.

The same goes for TV. Some I watch just to watch, while I blog. Or because we’ve watched it for a while and it’s “ok.”


So I’m going through my TV lineup with you here. (Then discussing music. So hold your horses.) These are the shows that I CLOSE MY COMPUTER FOR.

This one I’ve been watching since I was an early teen…


Yes, having it on Wednesday is WEIRD. But I still love me some Survivor! Nicaragua this season is blissfully Russell-free and so far, so good!

B and I have been watching this one for YEARS…


I LOVE DEXTER! This is the reason we have Showtime. Every season is wonderful. I hated Lila. I LOVED Miguel Prado. I had nightmares about Arthur Mitchell. AND I HATED RITA. Can’t wait to see what season 5 brings!

The next one is one B and I discovered via Netflix:


This is one of the funniest, stupidest shows ever and we plan to watch it this season!

We also stumbled upon this new Showtime series… and love it / hate it at the same time:


I won’t ruin the show for anyone not watching, so if you watch The Big C and share my pain about her choices, PLEASE let me know! I need a buddy to discuss this one with! It’s so soooo good but we do have to scream at the TV a bit.

Last but not least on the B & KJ TV list, is the REASON we ordered free HBO for 3 months:


Ten minutes into the first episode, we both declared it the best show we have ever seen. And this is from someone with the DVD box set of all the seasons of The Sopranos. I want to LIVE in this show. I need a support group.

B enjoys Ghost Adventures, and while I’ll sometimes watch, and LOVE Zak, Nick and Aaron, it doesn’t hold my attention like the others. So that’s “his” show. “My” show this year seems to be:


My loves on this season’s Dancing With The Stars? KYLE from that Disney Show is AMAZING. Seriously blew me away. I also LOVE the Situation (and sorry, I can’t explain this love) and Bristol Palin… I think her shyness is crazy and I loved her dress. I strongly dislike Brandy, the Hoff, and Audrina. I haven’t watched any other season with any vigor so we’ll see if this one sticks.

It’s exciting to have so many shows I’m actually REALLY into! Anyone agree with me on any of these?

Music is also something I can be really into, but don’t put out there as much. (We’re coming full circle here, people.) Today I was browsing my reader and noticed my twitter buddy Stephalop posted “Tuesday Tunes” and it included Something Corporate. SoCo’s lead singer is also the lead singer of one of my top 3 favorite groups, Jack’s Mannequin. (Honestly, they’re probably tied with Dave Matthews for first place.)

I just love JM’s lyrics and the more upbeat and playful attitude of their songs, while keeping SoCo’s beautifully smooth feel as well. Take for example, these lyrics from “I’m Ready”

I wake up to find it’s another 4 aspirin morning and I dive in.
I put on the same clothes I wore yesterday.
When did society decide that we have to change
Or wash a T-shirt after every individual use?
If it’s not dirty, I’m gonna wear it.

I take the stairs to the car and there’s fog on the windows
(And I’m finding the words)
I need caffeine in my bloodstream
I take caffeine in the bloodstream
I grip the wheel and all at once I realize…
(And you’re getting away)
My life has become a boring pop song and everyone’s singing along

Well, I’m ready to drop…

Or you could just look at the video I took! Where I, in fact, scream like a tiny little girl who wants her mom. Sorry for that.

Please note that he added a “FUCKING” into the “If it’s not dirty, I’m gonna wear it” part. And then I scream and die. INAPPROP.

This was a concert at the tiny, ghetto “N Club” in Greensboro, NC. I had to endure three crappy first acts to see them this close up! Check out some pics:

This, my friends, was FEELING THE MUSIC. I could practically smell his passion. It was such an awesome experience and nearly five years later, I still won’t soon forget it.

There’s nothing better than a show or band that you absolutely can’t get enough of! Please tell me some of you are with me on some of these!?!?

Half a Year

20 09 2010

Today, Big Daddy and I have been married for six months! THIS was exactly half a year ago:

I realize that not all of you read my wedding blog, and even those that did don’t know “our” story that much. You see, it all started when we met on April 20, 2007… exactly three years and five months ago. We had Blue Moons (ugh!) at OPT’s and then went to Red Room where I got really drunk and voraciously made out with him in front of everyone he knows.

He still married me.

I don’t have any pictures from the night we met, but I do have one from a week after… this was at Red Room too.

Before you all start questioning whether that really is me… yes, it is. I have gained oh… somewhere around 60 pounds. Thanks for noticing. I’m a competitive eater. Ok, moving on.

This is cinco de mayo of that year, the night we became “official” (aka… FACEBOOK.)

I found out that night that he didn’t like marshmallows. I still dated him.

Our first trip together was to Chicago:

And then had our first AIRPLANE trip to Vegas:

We bought a house and acquired two puggies:

Then on our one-year anniversary, we went to Florida (pictured here at the Sunken Gardens) for some R&R:

So that was the first year of our lives together! (In a nutshell, at least.)

I’ll complete the rest at some point when I feel like it. Like our nine month anniversary (3/4 of a year, anyone?)

B, I love you! Happy anniversary! Thanks for sticking with me this long… this is the most fun ride of my life and I love you like a pug loves treats!