Friday, August 26, 2011

A Little Fatherly Advice

It never ceases to amaze me how much my dad taught me. Or how inappropriate some of these lessons were.

When I was growing up, I hardly ever stood up straight, to the great chagrin of both of my grandmothers.

“You’re a beautiful girl! If you would just stand up straight!” my mom’s mom, BJ, would say.

“If you don’t stand up straight, you’re going to end up with a hunch back!” my dad’s mom, Marybelle, would say.

“If you don’t sit up straight, you are going to end up with hair in your food and syrup in your hair,” Marybelle said over the breakfast table.

“Don’t hunch over your food like that, unless you want me to put it in a bowl on the floor and you can eat like a dog,” BJ would tell me over the dinner table.

“Kimberly, this dress was not made for shlumped shoulders!” Marybelle told me while making my Homecoming dress.

“Kimberly, I swear, I am never taking you shopping again if you don’t straighten up!” BJ told me in a fitting room at Fashion Island.

(I always knew I was in trouble when a family member called me “Kimberly”)

Despite all of this, I wouldn’t listen. As I’ve said before, I really never stood up to my full height unless I was on a basketball court or a softball field. Even to this day, I have trouble remembering to stand up to my full height and at a dinner table I still have to remind myself to plant my butt at the back of the chair and keep my shoulders back.

However, of all the advice everyone gave me about standing up straight, one piece of advice still pops into my head every time I catch myself slouching.

It didn’t come from my grandmothers or from any etiquette book or fashion magazine. I didn’t hear it from my mom or from a movie or television show.

It came from my dad. Here it is:

“Stand up straight and put your shoulders back. It’ll make your boobs look bigger.”

I don’t remember what age exactly he started saying it, but I do remember my grandmothers being appalled and mildly offended by it. He did not mean it as a serious comment or in some creepy, incestuous way. Like me, my dad would make a joke out of anything and it would usually be inappropriate.

Even though he was saying it as a joke, I knew that he meant not to slouch because it made me look like I was not confident and that I was unsure of myself. He might not have always been proud or self-assured, but he made sure I was proud of all that I have to offer the world.

Boobs included.

On a side note, last Halloween, when I wore the Elvira costume, this was the conversation we had as I left the house:

Dad: Make sure to stand up straight and put your shoulders back.

Me: Dad, I don’t think I need my boobs to look any bigger.

Dad: No, because if you don’t your boobs will fall out of that dress.

Sometimes, father does know best.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Karaoke Queen

I have a new found appreciation for something I never thought I would enjoy: karaoke.

Oh yeah, you read that correctly. I thoroughly enjoy karaoke.

Here’s how it started: My friend Meaghan was turning 21. When I asked her what she wanted to do and she said KARAOKE! (Yes, with that amount of enthusiasm.) I organized a party and got everyone together, and while some things prevented me from being there all night, I made it just in time to do a lovely rendition of “Love is Battlefield.” And I realized something: I wasn’t completely hammered and it was still fun!!!!

So, a few weeks later, we went back to the karaoke bar and did some more songs. A few weeks after that, it was the eve of my 25-again birthday and we were at a small dive bar. Not only did I do a little Joan Jett “Do You Want to Touch” (Gwenyth Paltrow on Glee can suck it), but I did “Girls Girls Girls” with Meaghan and realized that I love watching my friends make fools of themselves singing. Or just watching strangers make fools of themselves.

Since then, I have become a regular at karaoke. I don’t know if it is my constant need for attention or my constant need to entertain everyone or if it is just my love of making a fool out of myself and then mocking everyone else that keeps me going, but no matter, I love it!

All that said, I feel that I should post some video evidence of myself doing some karaoke. While it may be embarrassing, if I am truly writing a blog about living versus existing, then I think everyone needs to see proof.

I may regret this later…

Or possibly right now...

Fyi, it takes a great deal of talent to dance around like that and not spill my drink. Can you tell I'm a professional?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sorry, Charlotte, You're Not Welcome Here!

As excited as I am to be living on my own, there is one thing that I am simply not ok with: spiders.

I was taught from a young age that spiders are not to be killed. My dad used to tell us you want spiders around because they catch and eat all the other bugs. So, if you see a spider, don’t kill it! That being said, I don’t particularly like spiders. I am not afraid of them, like I am of birds, but I don’t really appreciate that spiders can crawl up into my nose and burrow into my brain. I also don’t like how they will suddenly drop from the ceiling and chill right at eye level so when I walk into a room and run into it, I am suddenly doing an embarrassing dance to get the thing off me. I won’t lie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets didn’t help a whole lot with my dislike either. As stereotypical and traditional as it is, Dad was always the one to get rid of spiders. I made a deal with him from a young age that if he would take them away, I would not kill them.

Therefore, when I was in my very own apartment where there is no Dad, I had a bit of a panic attack as I watched my first spider crawl out of my air conditioning vent.

It wasn’t a huge spider but it was definitely one capable of eating any other bug in its path. It crossed the entire wall above my bookcases and television set and settled into a corner. As I began drafting a letter to my landlord in my head,(Dear Tony, A big spider has moved in with me. While I appreciate all that spiders do in the way of keeping the bug population down, I do not feel like this new arrangement will work. Since my dad has passed away and can no longer help me get spiders out of the house, I have to concede and give the apartment to the spider. Best, Kimmi) the spider crawled a little closer to me and I had an enlightened moment:

I’ll trap it in a glass then take it outside.

It really was a perfect plan because the spider had moved closer to me and was now flat on the wall. I went to the kitchen and, after much speculation, decided to use a margarita glass. It had the widest mouth but it was shallow so there was very little chance I wouldn’t be able to get the spider out. I grabbed the old Ulta catalog and in just one try got the spider safely trapped in the glass!!!

With one hand under the catalog and one hand holding the stem of the margarita glass, I made it all the way to the door before I realized one thing: how do I open the door? Very carefully I balanced the margarita glass on the catalog and opened the door.

I got two steps from my door and lifted the glass. The spider took off so fast it made me jump and I ended up just throwing the catalog and running back into my apartment and locking the door behind me.

I’m not sure which is funnier: that I tried to save a spider and ended up getting freaked out and throwing it out onto our driveway and then locking it out or the picture of my landlord going to get into his car and seeing my Ulta catalog on the ground and wondering what the hell kind of tenant he has welcomed into his building.

On a side note, I saw another (or maybe the same?) spider in my shower a few days later. This time, I turned the water on and drowned the bastard. I figure since Dad is not around to take the spiders outside, my agreement to not kill them is null. Sorry, Dad.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fire Alarm Fun

For lack of a something better to write about I am piggybacking off of my last post. My cousin Lisa is to thanks for the inspiration, and she may be a little embarrassed that I’m sharing this, but well, that’s the price you pay for doing something embarrassing around me.

When I was in college, I lived across the Bay from Lisa and her husband, Derek (also know as my favorite cousin…but that’s another story). They had my sister and I over for dinner one night and Lisa was preparing a tuna casserole that was SUPER cheesy. (A huge plus in my book because, well, I love me some cheese.) We were drinking and playing pool and just hanging out while the casserole was in the oven.

All of a sudden, we smelled something burning. Naturally, Lisa opened the oven to check on the dish. Turns out, the casserole was a little bit too cheesy and the dish had bubbled over and there was cheese burning on the bottom of the oven. The whole apartment filled with smoke and even after opening all the windows, it was still like Backdraft in there. In a fit of possibly intoxicated genius, Derek opened the front door, clearing the smoke from the apartment into the hallway.

Where the fire alarm for the whole building was located.

Fun fact: when the fire alarm in an apartment building goes off, the fire department comes and the whole building has to evacuate.

Now, I thought this was hysterically funny at the time, but my dear cousin was mortified. So much so that she made me, the loud, outgoing, one, go downstairs and talk to the fire department and face the angry tenants. Why I went down is still beyond me…I blame it on the alcohol.

When I got to the lobby, there were about 15 people who all looked unhappy. I told the firemen where to go and they headed upstairs, along with the building manager. I told everyone the story and instead of laughing at how silly the whole thing was, they got more irritated. They said many things that were not very nice, but since I have always been a professional at dealing with irate people, everyone got over it by the time the firefighters came back down. Everyone was allowed to go back his or her respective home and all was right with the world.

Another fun fact: When a fire alarm in an apartment building goes off, the elevator is shut down. Therefore, when everyone was headed back up, I got many an angry glare from the same people I had just calmed down. If it had been my building I would have said, “Whatever fatties, it’s one less trip to the gym.” But things were going bad enough for my cousin already.

The best part however, was that on my way back up, I was attempting to apologize and one of two clearly single girls said, ”Hey it’s ok. We got the numbers of two of the firefighters.”

Fire alarm matchmaking. It’s all the rage.

(DISCLAIMER: I don’t recommend this method of matchmaking. It costs taxpayer money and really, the fireman thing is only good in fantasies or strip clubs. Otherwise they have strange hours and usually have hero complexes and…I could go on but you get my point.)