Sunday, February 28, 2010

I Have A Question(s)…

There was an 8.8 earthquake in Chile over the weekend.  An 8.8!  I live in “earthquake country” and that is HUGE!  In January, there was a big earthquake in Haiti; a 7.0 that caused incredible damage.  The one in Chile was 1.8 higher on the Richter scale than the one in Haiti.  A 7.0 is classified as a “major” earthquake (32 megatons of seismic energy), while an 8.8 is classified a “great” earthquake (15.8 gigatons of seismic energy).  An 8.8 is scary.

So, these are my questions…
Where is the day and night news coverage of the devastation?  Where are the hoards of people helping with the rescue efforts of those trapped and missing?  Where is George Clooney and the rest of Hollywood raising money for the relief efforts? 

I do understand that Chile was better prepared for an earthquake than Haiti was and that Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas.  Haiti’s destruction and death toll is horrific, and I’m not making light of it.  However, my point is that I was hard pressed to find out information on the 8.8 in Chile after it occurred without digging around online.  Other than the regular evening news (after the “Stormwatch” for our incoming rainstorm), there wasn’t any coverage.  Even the news channels continued with their regular programming without interrupting for information. 

Why is it media coverage is so overwhelming with some news and virtually nonexistent for other news?  I know that they can not possibly cover every newsworthy event on the planet, but it would be nice if the media’s coverage was more even. 

OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I’m Not Really “Crafty”

Other than the crazy chair project that nearly killed me (my back is still recovering), I’m not much into crafts. I don’t make “things”. I like to buy my things.

What I do like is to draw, paint, and make cards. Maybe the better term would be artsy.

I thought I’d share some of my “art” with you. It may or may not be good in your eyes, but that’s ok. I’m not posting them to be told they are or are not. I don’t do it for anybody else, except myself, with the exception of my cards which I do make for others. It’s a creative outlet for me, which, I guess, is all that matters.

About ten years or so ago I started working with watercolor. I love watercolor because I think it’s more forgiving. I play with other mediums as well, but I have the most fun with watercolors. Most of the time I sketch with a permanent pen and watercolor that. Sometimes, though, I experiment with other styles.


I’ve also been journaling for a few years now. I like that the work is kept in books and easier to store. Plus the commitment is less due to it’s size. The journals tend to be more personal so I’m just sharing a few that aren’t.


I also really enjoy art journaling when I travel. Here are some that I’ve done from my recent trips through Europe and Africa.


When I need a quick creative fix, I’ll make some cards. They are pretty easy to hammer out when I don’t have a lot of time. I also like that I can use them for others. I use them as greeting cards, but I also make sets and use them as gifts.


Is there anything you do as a creative outlet?


Sunday, February 21, 2010

My First Q & A

I enjoy reading other blogger’s posts answering questions from their readers. I had never thought much about doing it myself, but some of my many few readers have asked some questions that I felt like answering. So, here we go…

Hula Hank asked, “BTW did you ever find balls?”
It is illegal to distribute or sell silver balls or dragees in California. We couldn’t find them anywhere and I was too chicken to acquire them by illegal means. Therefore my cookies were sans dragees.


My cookies were delicious but not as pretty as they would have been with silver balls.

After reading A Facebook Convo, Unknown Mami wondered, “What the hell is a Brazilian blowout? An oxymoron?”
Ha! Ha! I know right? That was our reaction when we first heard about it at lunch the other day. The visuals that appeared in our minds were certainly comical. However, a Brazilian Blowout is actually a hair (on your head) restorative treatment that builds back the proteins that are lost due to heated styling (hair dryer, flat iron, etc.). It makes your hair smooth even when just blowing dry or air drying. They are pretty pricey, but a salon in town is having a 1/2 off special so I’m going to give it a try. I’m pretty low maintenance (in the style sense, not in the mental sense, as I wouldn’t want anyone I know to question that statement) but I have never had a hair style that doesn’t take forever to style. I don’t have bone straight hair or wavy/curly hair, my hair is just blah. I’m hoping this will make my life easier. I’ll keep you posted.

My good friend Jill had a question about my Eight television choices, “I like your list but are you not watching Castle? I think you'd love it! It's my favorite and where are your HBO shows?”
Ugh, I know! I watch way too much TV and I completely forgot about my HBO/Showtime shows like Weeds, Californication, Entourage, The Tudors, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Hung, and Nurse Jackie. As for Castle, I have recorded them and watched a couple. The rest are saved on my DVR. I just need to find the time to watch them.

Grandma J also questioned my television shows, “BTW, have you submitted your application yet for BB12? :))”
Oh GJ, I say this as lovingly as possible, "You’re crazy!” That is the last show I’d be on. Sure, I watch it, but with my aversion to cameras it would be my worst nightmare. It might be kind of nice to lay around the house for 3 months, but I’d rather do it at my house. Plus, they don’t have a television.

The Glass Dragonfly wondered, “Do you know where you want to live abroad?” after reading Eight.
The short answer is – anywhere! and everywhere!
The long answer is – I would like to live abroad either to teach (work or volunteer) or to become fluent in Spanish. Europe, Africa, or South America are top on my list of places. Two things are holding me back. The first, it’s scary to move somewhere new when you don’t know a soul. Even more so when that place doesn’t speak the same language as I do. Second, I have a dog, a job, a mortgage, and responsibilities that make it hard to just pick up and move to another country. I know that these are both excuses, but that’s what is holding me back. Every couple months or so I research how I go about it, so maybe one of these days I will actually pull the trigger. Is there anywhere else you’d like to live? Why?

The Gman asked, “Wait, college in the seacoast of New in UNH? i spent a few nights in McLaughlin Hall,” after reading My First Try At Winter.
Yes! UNH! I lived in Stoke for two years and off campus, across the street from the Tavern, for two years. I loved it there. What years were you visiting? I was there from 91 – 95. Every so often, I miss Durham.

Life With Kaishon also had a winter question, “Would you ever want to live in a climate such as that again?”
If there was a reason to move to a place with four seasons, I would be fine with it. I, most llikely, wouldn’t pick up and move to that type of climate just for the fun of it, but it wouldn’t be the worse thing in the world if I had to go. What I actually disliked about living on the East Coast was the humidity in the summer. If it’s going to be hot, I’d prefer hot and dry.

Alright then, that was fun!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Facebook Convo

When thinking of ideas for Writer’s Workshop this week I had a hard time narrowing down my many funny conversations. My friends and I are all very, very funny, at least we think we are. Several times a day my work friends (the ones I see the most) and I have great conversations. So great in fact that a retired teacher who now substitutes at our school loves having lunch with us because we are so much fun, and by fun I mean dirty. Which is my dilemma…which conversation do I choose, I can’t even remember them all. Just today we talked about movies and teenagers at the movies. We talked about The Bachelor, Brazilian blowouts, prom, bridesmaids’, and wedding dresses. We talked about my potato soup which was really just glorified mash potatoes and whether Jason actually cooked his lunch. All topics have an inuendo of one kind or another. Good times!

So instead, I decided to share one of my favorite facebook posts…
Kimberly (Me) - Crap! I had a big pile of work that I planned on bringing home with me to work on tonight and then left without it. Now I'm gonna have free time tonight, but instead of enjoying it I'm going to be thinking about all the work I should be doing and still have to get up early in the morning to finish it before the school day starts tomorrow. grrrr! I hate when I do stuff like that.
Jason E - go back and get will sleep better tonight.
Me – Oh, no I’m too lazy for that.
Jason E – You live like 5 miles from school!
Mathew – Honey, you need a martini
JLo – Or some silver balls…
Jason S – You really need to learn to relax
Mathew - yes! take your mind off the work by prowling the net to figure out where you can get your hands on some balls
Me - Shhh, don't tell anyone about my illegal contraband.
Sorry Jason E, you've somehow stumbled into a totally different post. :)
JLo - A way better post! Kim's on the hunt for some illegal balls!
Me – Always!
Me – Wait, my mom reads this.
Mathew – Maybe your mom can send you some hawaiian silver balls
Jason S - Oh, like your mom would care. I think your mom would probably fit right in with the dirty group.
Mathew - hey, in hawaii don't they tie their balls to a string, set them on fire and swing them around in the air?
Me – They’d be hard to put on cookies.
Tami – What’s wrong with you people?

I love when one post gets turned on its head and goes in a completely different direction. If you want to hear more about the silver balls click here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I lifted this Meme from Kelly over at the Glass Dragonfly.

8 TV shows I watch
1. Law and Order
2. Leverage
3. White Collar
4. The Closer
6. The Middle
7. Big Bang Theory
8. Burn Notice
I didn't include the reality TV in my 8 because there are so many, it would need its very own category.

8 favorite places to eat and drink
1. At Home
2. Dario’s (Local Mexican, been around FOREVER)
3. Chi Chi’s (the best pizza)
4. Jimmy Deans (rabbit turd ice)
5. Sisleys (pink lemonade martinis)
6. Ruth Chris (the best steak ever)
7. All Corked Up/Lee’s (two local wine bars)
8. Anywhere BUT Subway, Carl’s Jr, and Panda Express (the only choices close to school)

8 things I look forward to:
1. 12:30 PM on Friday
2. Art Class
3. Vacation
4. To see my mom
5. Plans that don’t have anything to do with kids
6. Trips abroad
7. Free time to do nothing
8. Free time to journal or make cards or draw or paint

8 things I love about winter:
1. Sweaters
2. Jeans
3. Boots
4. My warm bed
5. Not sweating
6. Flannel PJs
7. My dog not shedding
8. 4 weeks winter break

8 things on my wish list:
1. I wish President Obama’s administration would get some balls and follow through on the promises that made me vote for him
2. A cure for cancer
3. That education funding wouldn’t be the first to be cut, over and over again
4. To not grow old alone
5. That I didn’t have to wake up so early in the morning
6. To live abroad
7. For everyone I love to be happy and healthy
8. A new kitchen

8 things I am passionate about
1. My friends
2. My family (most of the time)
3. My job
4. Fun
5. Laughing
6. Free time
7. Talking
8. Organization

8 things I want/need
1. A new kitchen
2. More hours in the day
3. To sleep in
4. An icy coke
5. Better skin
6. Verizon to support the iPhone
7. Someone to grow old with
8. New living room furniture

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thoughts On Valentine’s Day

  • I saw the movie “Valentine’s Day” yesterday; Ya know, the one with all the movie stars in it. It was an ok film, but the experience was overshadowed by theatre crowd of about 90% preteens and teenagers. I might have enjoyed it more had I been able to follow along over the talking and shouting and yelling and clapping that took place during most of the movie. The evening reminded me of why I think teenagers should be shipped off somewhere far, far away so they don’t bother the rest of us.
  • “I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.”
    - Unknown Quote
  • I was curious about the origin of the Os and Xs as symbols for hugs and kisses. I was unable to find any real information on where they came from.
  • Speaking of Xs and Os, this month’s GPP Street Team Challenge was to create an image using Xs and Os as the centerpiece.
I’m not much for froo froo and hearts but I played with it a bit and liked how it turned out. The colors are really me and it was fun to use stamps I had and make some new ones. I used a combination of watercolor, acrylic and ink.
mail 004
  • Valentine’s Day is kind of a funny, made up “holiday” isn’t it? Whether you are single or in a relationship, it’s a holiday that has all sorts of pressure attached to it. This year it’s on Sunday. I like that. I don’t ever do anything on Sundays – it’s my day of rest. So I can do nothing and not feel like too much of a loser. Are you doing anything special for V-day?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My First Try At Winter

As an only child, I spent most of my life asserting my independence. That was most apparent when I graduated from high school and moved from Southern California to the seacoast of New Hampshire for college.

Up until that point my winter experiences were the occasional trip to Frazier Park or Big Bear after a big storm to play in the snow. In my lifetime, we have had actual snow at my house 3 times. It was a lot for us, but just to give you an idea of how much there was…we built a small snowman in the front yard and used all the snow to do so.

Needless to say, I was new to a “real” winter my first year at college. I spent most of the first three or four months wondering why everyone shuffled everywhere. Walking to class I would, in my head, call out, “Pick up your feet.” Once winter came, I knew the reason for all the shuffling.

Walking to class one very cold morning after an evening storm I found myself in the middle of a frozen puddle. It was a very large frozen puddle. I didn’t realize I was in it until about five, non-shuffling steps. At that point, not having both feet planted on the ground, I slipped and slid like a cartoon character, flapping my arms, saying “Whoa, whoa, whoa,” and fell on my butt.

slip-fall-iceSo, there I was, in the middle of this small pond sitting on my butt. After two attempts to stand back up, I fell back down. In order to remove myself from this predicament I had to crawl on hands and knees to the edge of the frozen puddle. As if this weren’t bad enough, it was in front of one of the main buildings on campus so needless to say my “trick” didn’t go unnoticed. That was when I learned to shuffle.

Later that winter a friend and I walked to class on another cold, frozen morning. The building we were headed to happen to be set further back into the woods. There was a great short cut we often took that sent us down a hill and across a little bridge to the building. For whatever reason, which later turned out to be a bad idea, we took the short cut to class that morning. The hill was a bit frozen, and I must have stepped on some untreated ice. As I started to slip, I said, “Whoaaaaa,” and grabbed onto my friend’s arm on the way down. That sent a chain reaction as he, who had been shuffling very carefully, lost his balance and fell to the ground. Remember, we were on a hill, so our fall didn’t end there. We continued sliding down the hill, taking students out with us like bowling pins on the way. By the time the human landslide stopped, there were ten or twelve of us piled in a heap at the bottom of the hill. Luckily, no one was hurt. Winter lesson #2 – don’t grab a hold of another person while slipping on the ice; they won’t be too happy about it afterwards.

My first winter was quite a learning experience. I got much better at if after that. To this day, I am shuffler, snow or not.


Monday, February 8, 2010

A New Meme

I love quizes or memes. This one comes from The Glass Dragonfly.

Do you get regular massages? Ick! No way. Even thinking about someone I don't know rub me just gives me the willies.

Do you have an answering machine? No, only voicemail on the iphone.

What cuss word do you use the most? I really only cuss when I’m driving, and usually it’s F-ing Jerk!

Are you underweight or overweight? Uh, that’s a rude question, you F-ing Jerk!

Can you see your veins? No, not really. In fact my veins often go in hiding. When I’m giving blood for one reason or another they often collapse and they end up making me into a pin cushion trying to find one they can use.


Soap? Oil of Olay

Fruit? taut, green grapes

Kind of red meat? Ruth Chris filet with sizzling garlic on top or a juicy cheeseburger

Fish? ummm, I’m allergic.

Candy bar? I’m not much of a candy person, but in the spring time, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs are pretty tasty.

Have You Ever…

Eaten a whole bag of potato chips? Not all at once, but by myself over a few days? Then the answer is yes.

Eaten lobster? Still allergic

Climbed a mountain? Does hiking a mountain count? I’ve never been climbing with ropes and gear, but I’ve walked up mountains before.

Been skydiving? No, but I would if the opportunity arose.

Been water skiing? Yes

Do You…
Wish you could change something about your life? Most things

Like your nose? No, it’s too big

Like salt and vinegar chips? I used to, but now they are too strong for me or something

Eat salsa? YES!!!

Own a boat? No, but my parents did when I was growing up.

What Is…
A small thing that people let slide but that actually has dire consequences? Maybe gossiping? I love good gossip, but I’m sure one of these days it’ll turn around and bite me in the butt.

Your most macho trait? I like hockey and I drive fast.

The longest relationship you’ve ever had? Almost 2 years

Your most embarrassing thoughts? I don’t know what this means?

Your most shameful moment? See the one about the longest relationship

Bath/Shower? Shower, shower, shower. Baths gross me out.

Markers/Crayons? It depends what I’m using them for. I like both.

Pens/Pencils? Sharp, sharp pencils

Jelly/Cream Cheese? I love cream cheese. Jelly’s usually too sweet for me, but every-so-often homemade jam is good on an English muffin

Bagel/Toast? Everything bagel.

My greatest weakness is…too many to mention

Three things I wouldn’t do for a million dollars are…kill or hurt someone, hurt myself.

The oddest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth is… when I was little I really wanted a retainer so I would stick a piece of gum to the top of the roof of my mouth and wrap an unfolded paper clip over my teeth.

Credit card you had? It was either a visa or a Macys

Loan you got was for? School

Paycheck was for how much? How am I supposed to remember my first paycheck, please that was forever ago.

Time you had stitches? Never had them, knock on wood

Time you went to the hospital for something? I’ve been to visit people, never for me except to have an emergency ultrasound when I had a kidney stone. I’ve never stayed in the hospital, knock on wood

List everything you ate in the last 24 hours? Last night for dinner I had grilled chicken, corn tortillas, and cheese in tacos. For breakfast I had a banana, a bagel, and cream cheese. For lunch I had a 6” Subway spicy Italian and bbq lays. For dinner I had two pieces of pizza and a salad.

Last thing you used a credit card for? The Subway meal above

Last thing you celebrated? New Years?

Last time you were at a sports bar? It’s been awhile, but I used work in one.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


A couple of weekends ago I received a phone call from my credit card company. They suspected fraudulent charges. I had used my credit card many times that Saturday running errands around town. That same afternoon while I was shopping in my city someone else apparently was shopping in a neighboring city using my same credit card number at the exact same time. Yikes!

The fraud specialist went through my charges for the day over the phone. Several were mine, but three were not – two for Target and one for a Food4Less, totaling about $600. The charges were reversed, my credit card was canceled, and I was issued another one. I was hoping I would get to keep the rewards miles for those charges, but she told me no.

Last night I sat down to pay my monthly bills. Upon further review of my credit card statement, there were 12 more fraudulent charges in the month of January, about a third of them were for 7-Eleven. After all was said and done the total amount of fraud was $1,390.22!

I called the credit card and reported those as well. While she processed the reversals, I asked the specialist if they used the canceling of the old credit card as an opportunity to catch this criminal who basically stole $1400 from stores like Target, Food4Less, and 7-Eleven. She said no. But why not? Why wouldn’t they put an alert on the card number so if it’s used again, they haul this crook to jail? She didn’t know why.

It seems to me that the stores would beg for this. They don’t want to eat the purchased amounts and that’s what happens when the fraudulent charges are reversed. Thank goodness I’m not responsible for them, but it doesn’t seem right that the stores take a loss because someone broke the law. Have you ever had this happen to you? Did you get to keep the reward miles?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

10 Mom Things

Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop prompt this week is “10 Things You Never Knew Until You Were a Mom”. Since I’m not a mom, I’m going to adjust it a little bit. Instead, my list is…

“10 Things I Know About Being A Mom That Make Me Not Want To Be A Mom”
1. You have to push it out your “hoo haw”.
2. There are many gross physical things that happen due to #1. i.e. episiotomy, hemorrhoids, etc.
3. The terrible twos or threes
4. Teenagers
5. Babies cry and cry and wake you up multiple times in the night
6. “Me time” is very, very limited
7. Children, no matter how well behaved, whine, cry, and have temper tantrums in places like the grocery store.
8. Having to ask the father to “babysit”, even though he’s the father
9. Worrying about raising a considerate, productive human being in a world that is full of people who want something for nothing and are often less than considerate.
10. Did I mention teenagers?

I love kids, other people’s kids most of them anyways. The nice thing about spending time with other people’s kids is that they live and are taken care of by other people. I’m not mother material, and I’m ok with that.