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Monthly Archives: May 2006

Epic Tales from the Basement of Doom

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So I was going boxes of my old stuff to get ready for a yard sale (ahh! The pain! – but more on that subject in a later post). What did I end up doing the entire evening? Pricing things for sale? Cleaning up old treasures to make them more appealing to the buyer? Not quite. Try getting totally distracted with a twisted trip down memory lane. And here it is – the epic story of my life as told by random crap I found in the basement (of doom).

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Splinter of Great Sorrow

Yes – that’s right. This is a 19-year-old splinter preserved in a plastic hospital jar. The one-inch sliver of wood has held up surprisingly well though it is not extremely visible in the picture. This guy, along with several dozen of his friends squatted in my foot for several weeks back in ’88. They liked the new digs so much they invited some nasty bacteria and, long story short, I got to take a five day vacation from school to a magical place with rolling chairs, adjustable beds, mystical needles, and – most importantly – lots of presents from all kinds of visitors.

The one down-side was when my mom went to my school to pick up my homework. The man (aka my teacher) showed her all the uncompleted classwork I had stuffed into my desk in an effort to make it disappear. Luckily, the man took pitty on me and let my mom take the worksheets home so I could finish them with no late consequences. Unluckily, my mom did not have the same pitty and made me spend my entire first day back from the hospital doing all the backlogged school work. The nerve!

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What an Honor!
In yet another splendid display of my early academic prowess (needless to say my work ethic increased as I got older) I was awarded the prestigious “Student of the Week” award in the 4th grade. What were the qualifications? 1. Be a student in the Mr. McGlasson’s fourth grade class. 2. Be a student who has not yet been the “Student of the Week”. I’ll never forget that fateful day when I learned of my great honor. Mr. McGlasson said “Who should be student of the week? Kim have you haven’t done it yet, have you? Okay – you’re it.” Those words stick with me in times of challenge as an inspiration – and now I’m passing them on to you. You’re welcome. (By the way – those more observant readers will notice something scratched into the metal underneath the words, “student of the week”. Good eye. This is my attempt to personalize my plaque with the letters “KIM”. Perhaps I was insecure, thinking people may not believe the award actually belonged to me. Well I took care of that – now it looks official!)
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God’s Gym
Well I really don’t have much to say about this one. I just found it and wanted to share. Its one of those things that seemed really normal at the time but now looks hilarious.
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Hard Rock

Oh yeah, baby! Doesn’t my old Jordan Knight shirt look right at home resting on the kickin’ amp? Would you think less of me as a person if you knew that I (along with several other girls) took this ginormous Jordan button (conveniently equipped with a fold-out stand on the back) to school and displayed it on my desk, transporting it to each classroom throughout the day? Oh – you would? Well that was just a hypothetical question. I don’t know anyone who would have done that. Haha – wouldn’t that be retarded?

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The Power of the Dream

This paints a picture, doesn’t it? Besides thoughts of -“what am I thinking posting a picture of myself WEARING A BATHING SUIT and IN THE 7TH GRADE?”- the memory that sticks out most to me when I see this is about my dad. I remember very clearly being about 12 or 13 years old and discussing my Olympic swimming dreams with my dad as I lounged on the floor playing Nintendo. And he had the nerve to crush those dreams. He told me that I really had no chance to be an Olympic swimmer. I was incensed that he would try to demotivate me like that. I would show him! I would work hard and overcome all odds! Wait – do I smell pizza? Well, maybe I’ll go practice tomorrow. As you can see from the random sampling of my awards pictured above, my dad was right. Who knew.

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Holy Ground

Oh this brings back memories. This is my orange childhood cat, Muffy. Oh – wait. I didn’t have a childhood cat……..I must be thinking of my orange childhood goldfish who mysteriously vanished one day. Funny – I think that might have also been the same day our toilet got backed up…..(ahem Mom!). Actually this is Linus standing on carpet salvaged from First Church of Christ’s old building. Some of you might be surprised to know that I didn’t like change so much and I was outraged that my church would betray me by moving buildings and getting rid of sacred artifacts such as the pizza cheese carpet. I WAS GOING TO GET MARRIED ON THIS CARPET! So my dad snagged this piece of the carpet before the old church building was burned down (on purpose).

I thought it quite fitting that Linus has developed an uncanny affinity for this carpet. Being a clergycat himself, he knows; Its Holy Ground.

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The Old Stumpster

This belonged to my friend, Lindsey, in high school. I think its best just not to ask.

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Awwwww!

Okay I’m cheating a little now. This did not come from my boxes – I found this tucked away in a box of Randy’s amidst report cards and homework assignments from the fourth grade. It is a Christmas card I wrote him in 1996. And he saved it all these years. Awwwww! If we’d only known then!


“Fun With Iceland” or “Kim is Bored at Work”

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Ever wondered what Iceland is like? No??? Well my goal is provide you with a virtual tour of our island neighbor to the northeast and make you rue the day you said you didn’t care about Iceland. Here we go….
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Tempting Cuisine
YUMMMMM – check out the national food of Iceland. Once you taste this you’ll be saying “hamburger, schmamburger”.

You are feasting your eyes on Þorramatur which, of course, is described as food of the þorri. Here is a description sure to tempt your tastebuds: it consists of many different types of food, for example sour ram’s testicles, rotten shark, burned sheep heads, sheep’s head jam, blood pudding, dried fish with butter.

Ahh – the butter makes it all good.

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Happening People

This guy is the president and this girl is Iceland’s main entertainment export. Who wouldn’t want to party with them?

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Easy to Understand

It will be totally easy to meet and find your new Icelandic friends. Here is a quick tutorial on their naming system. Piece of cake!

A person’s last name indicates the first name of the subject’s father (or mother in some cases). For example, a man named Jón Stefánsson has a son named Fjalar. Fjalar’s last name will not be Stefánsson like his father’s; it will become Jónsson, literally indicating that Fjalar is the son of Jón (Jóns + son).
The same practice is used for females. Jón Stefánsson’s daughter Kata would not have the last name Stefánsson; she would have the name Jónsdóttir. Again, the last name literally means “Jón’s daughter” (Jóns + dóttir).

One consequence of this is that in Iceland, directories of people’s names, such as the phone directory, are alphabetised by given name, not by surname.
As a result, in a four-person family there might be four different last names: the married couple Jón (Stefánsson) and Bryndís (Atladóttir), and their children Fjalar (Jónsson) and Kata (Jónsdóttir). This also means that names of children do not necessarily reflect the marital status of their parents.

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The Capitol of Cool

The capitol city, Reykjavik is “The Capitol of Cool” and is described by the Icelandic Tourist Board as: “Throbbing with life by day and by night”. Sign me up. And kudos to that slogan writer for a job strangely done.

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But seriously – the pictures do look pretty cool – see below. When I was contemplating doing some actual work today I was suddenly hit with the realization that I didn’t know enough about Iceland – so I educated myself. And I think it would be an interesting place to visit someday – I’ll just pack my own lunch.

Desperate times….

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Well – you know the rest of the sentence. And desperate measures, here we come. After Zipper almost sent Randy over the edge last night with her chewing, cat attacking, and overall crazy madness I decided the battle had reached a new level and I needed to begin pumping up the weaponry. I had to admit – she is out of control. I am thinking about sending a video of her into “Puppies Gone Wild”. If she had a shirt, she’d be lifting it up to flash random strangers right now. But seriously, the chewing has gone too far.

Exhibit A: Sofa Pillow made by My Mom

Exhibit B: Sofa Pillow made by Big Important Sofa Pillow Company

I won’t back down – I came here to win. Just wait until Zipper finds out what I have up my sleeve. The following is Super Secret Strategic Planning and I’m letting YOU in on it.

First: Offensive maneuver: Distract the enemy. Give her some temptation she can’t resist – temptation that tastes a lot better than sofa pillows (one would hope).

Second: Covert Op: Make the enemy work for food. Put all her food in this ball that will only dispense a couple of kibbles at a time and only after she expends her energy pushing it around the room. The enemy won’t have as much energy left to assume her identity as “Destructo Dog”.

Third: Sneak Attack: When you don’t have a fence to contain your enemy, hook her to a yard stake with a 15 foot line in yet another attempt to run out her energy.

Will we win the war? We can’t be sure. As Leslie would say, “this one will be a real butt clincher”. But the only thing we have to fear is – well – biting, chewing, peeing, pooping, cat attacking, and digging. But we should be brave and press on into the tretcherous night – fighting for truth, justice, and the American Way – and of course, maybe more importantly – undamaged sofa pillows. Wish us luck, say a prayer for the brave man and woman on the front line in Covington, and, above all remember – Freedom is not free! Fight the occupation! Don’t tread on me! ….and so forth!

Hurry

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No time! This will be a lightning speed post, so hold onto your hats!

Afghan Antics
There seems to be some confusion about my afghan concerns. Thanks, commenters, for your well wishes that the afghan will look okay once finished. But that was never my concern – yes I know it looks like a muppet or maybe even muppet vomit – but you should feel it. You’d want to nap under it too. My concern is that I’m already tired of knitting it and I’ve only got about an inch. Now I have never been known for my patience (I say if it takes you more than five minutes to pick out a paint color for your wall then someone else more decisive should pick it for you) and I just don’t see this materializing. Anyone placing bets should really bet against me finishing.

Brag Bag
Amber just sent me these gorgeous pictures of Linus and Zipper and I have to share because I know you just haven’t seen enough pictures of the animals.

And just so Einstein doesn’t feel left out, here is a stock picture of him, albeit when he was at least 6-7 pounds less tubby than he is now:

Well, kids – that’s it. I’ll try to post more tomorrow. I need to go to bed!

Thought of the day: In the dictionary, everything starts with ‘e’.

Zookeeper

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Are the inmates running the asylum? Are the animals controlling the zoo? Yes they are – at least here at Chez Marksberry. I realized this tonight after I vacuumed the living room for the fourth time this weekend. Now I have known for a while that we were in trouble. We humans are, after all, outnumbered in the house and have been clinging onto a shred of what we innocently assumed was control (update: as I write I have just heard a loud, surely animal related “crash” in the other room – I’m pretending I didn’t hear it – maybe it will just go away). But who are we kidding?

By way of illustration, the following is a list of occurrences at our house just this week; occurrences I know I didn’t bring about and I’m pretty sure Randy didn’t bring about……Which leaves only the non-human members of the tribe:

  1. Our new area rug mysteriously has a quarter-size bald spot; I don’t think Rogaine will help.
  2. Randy started his day by stepping on what could only be referred to as a “hair log”, swimming in a pool of cat saliva and stomach acid – lovingly waiting for him on our carpet.
  3. Our ficus tree (or as Leslie would call it, the “fakeus tree” since it is artificial) has barely any fake moss left in its planter. In a related story our floor has an ever-increasing layer of fake moss. Apparently the animals are unhappy with our design style and have taken it upon themselves to begin redecorating.
  4. The decorative photograph display that sits on our antique steamer trunk was relocated to the floor of the surrounding area.
  5. There was a small piece of poop apparently left as an offering on our rug. The only animal who poops on the floor never poops that little. The rest was never located – which, unfortunately means that someone had a snack…)
  6. I used up an entire lint-roller on one cushion of the couch where the cats like to sit and look out the window. On a positive note, I think I may have enough fiber for my feline-hair sweater.

In the interest of fairness (I’m nothing if not open-minded) I am letting each animal provide a brief rebuttal below. Please note that the views expressed by the animals on the Zipperific blog do not necessarily represent the views of the staff or producers of the Zipperific blog or its parent company, K&R Enterprises, Inc.

The Linus Liturgy

Name: Linus Marksberry

Nicknames: Liney-bottoms, Liner Notes, Honey Buns, Linums, Liney

Hometown: Barn in Burlington, KY

Interests: Safety, Worshiping random flickers of light, Staying away from Zipper, Impersonating a rug, studying for the priesthood

“Honestly, I don’t know what she’s talking about. Its the other two hellians I am forced to live with causing all the ruckus. Believe me – if I could stop them I would. I try – I tell them they are going to get in trouble and that their souls are in jeopardy. But do they care? NO. They are also in blatant disregard of the safety guidelines I have developed for the household. I wash my paws of this entire situation and if the other two end up in you know where, its not my fault. Okay – I suppose the “hair log” was my fault – but how can you blame me for that? Did I ask to be born with this beautiful mane of flowing hair?

Einstein’s Musings

Name: Einstein Marksberry

Nicknames: Einers, Bubble Butt, Einey, Moron

Hometown: Girl Scout Camp Butterworth, Maineville, OH

Interests: Playing in water, Tipping water dishes over, Jumping on the trash can, grand theft, playing with plastic milk jug rings, proving how cool I am by jumping on really tall things, looking out the window, impersonating Superman.

“Whatever. I do what I want. I’m a rebel without a cause. That’s just the MAN talking, tryin’ to keep a kitty down……….but please don’t stop feeding me.”

Zipper’s Zap

Name: Zipper Vienna Marksberry

Nicknames: Zippy, Zips, Zip Lock, Zipperino, Zipmeister, Little Z, puppers

Hometown: Mobile Home, deep in Flemmingsburg, KY

Interests: Food, snacks, treats, bones, water, biting, Einstein’s tail, Aunt Murphy, “nesting” in the afghan basket, pooping inside, jumping off things, licking

“Look how cute I am. Don’t believe the rhetoric – believe the puppy. Could these eyes ever be guilty of such destruction? I’m cute – I’m cuddely! And I love you! All of you! Lick lick.”

Once again – please refer to the afore mentioned disclaimer. So now you’ve heard all sides of the story and it is up to you to decide who you believe. All I can say is: remember who has the opposable thumbs, here.

Crafty Lady Update

What was I thinking? Does anyone actually think this will ever metamorphasize into an actual afghan or should I stop diluting myself?

On the brighter side, I picked up the food dish I painted from being glazed and fired and it looks pretty good. Here is a “still life” and an “action” shot. Enjoy!

Spicy

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Ever have one of those days when you have a feeling of doom about the meal you are cooking from the moment you begin – and it turns out you were right to feel that way? When, during each major step of the recipe, you think “I should stop now – I can still pretend this never happened”. But you convince yourself you’re just getting tweaked and it would be irresponsible to throw out all that food. You press on despite numerous omens trying to tell you to turn back – much like the classic scary movie scenario in which the entire audience can see that the main character is ignorantly walking right into her own death trap. Well I walked into my own culinary death trap today. I was the unwitting scary movie victim armed only with a recipe off the internet and a lot of curry paste.

My husband, Randy, and I have a somewhat young interest in/obsession with cuisine of the Indian persuasion. I watch a lot of Food Network. We are on a budget. All these seemingly unrelated circumstances collided and the result was brutal. The equasion is painfully simple: Randy + Kimmie = Insatiable Desire for Indian food. Budget – ever increasing household expenses = insufficient funds for Indian Buffet at Ambar (mmmmmmm…….Ambar). Kimmie + Ham on the Street episode about Microwave Curry Chicken = Big Ideas leading to Certain Doom.

I won’t bore you with all the unfortunate details but let me just sum up by telling you that some of the warning signs I should have heeded include: burning the curry paste/oil mixture to a shadow of its former self during its three minute stint in the microwave and having to start all over, realizing that I had only one can of coconut milk when the recipe called for two, not being able to figure out if the chicken was actually getting cooked, ending up with a VERY soupy mess out of a mixture that was supposed to be a creamy sauce, and forgetting to make rice to go with the dish.

Needless to say I was battered and bruised when the curry chicken was “ready” to be eaten – but, like a fool, still hanging on to hope that my efforts were not in vein. I watched with anticipation as Randy tasted the sauce before we spooned it onto our plates. I watched with amazement as he yelped and waved his hands near his mouth as if to fan his tongue and exclaimed “That is HOT, son!” I knew the situation was serious – not only because Randy has been known to sip hot sauce right out of the bottle and wouldn’t be “overheated” easily, but also because I am not now nor ever have been his son. And he’s never called me that before – although my Dad does frequently – which is almost as strange.

To make a long story a little shorter – that crap was HOT, son. In yet another example of my misguided hope, I tried a piece of chicken thinking that maybe IT was not as hot as the sauce……..Yeah – I think my mouth is still burning. In a valiant investigative effort we tried to track down the source of the heat and have decided that the Red Curry Paste is to blame. We have never bought curry paste before and didn’t know whether to select the red or green variety. We picked the red since the finished dish on the episode I watched looked more reddish than greenish. So I don’t know if green is less spicy than red – if there are any curry paste aficionados out there feel free to enlighten me! I followed the recipe word for word, save one cup of Cow Milk substituted for one cup of missing Coconut Milk.

Despite our best efforts to shield our budget from unnecessary food spending we decided to go to Chipoltle to drown our sorrows. We shared a burrito – for anyone concerned about my diet efforts.

Here is where the uneaten chicken is now.

Randy put it in there to save it from my wrath – he says he can handle the heat and will take it for lunch after he does some minor modifications. More power to him – I wash my hands of the whole situation. What have I learned from this fiasco? Will I heed the warning signs during future doomed cooking expeditions? Sadly, probably not – because negative as I may be sometimes I still have a basically hopeful outlook when it comes to cooking, despite my estimates that I have about a 50% success rate. So watch for future Scary Stories from the Kitchen.

Knit Talk
I went to Michaels today after work (Randy, stop reading here – the rest of this is boring and you probably wouldn’t find it the least bit interesting – in fact, it would probably be a waste of your time) – mostly because it was on my way home and I needed to use the bathroom like never before – and partly because I wanted to look at beads (why I wanted to look at beads is another story entirely). I looked at the beads and was unimpressed – and then somehow found myself in the yarn section. I was about to leave the store, unimpressed, when I saw a mirage. A beautiful but surely fleeting mirage: a large display of several varieties of $8.99/ball fuzzy novelty yarn marked down to……….wait for it………..$1.00/ball! Now this is yarn I probably would have never purchased at the original $8.99 price. But how can you pass up $1.00/ball? That’s right – you can’t – especially if you have been wanting to make a super soft and fuzzy afghan with big needles but didn’t want to spend the money on the mountain of yarn necessary for the pattern.

So I bought this………as well as some other, complimentary $1.00 yarn balls.

The yarn is resting on my copy of Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick, open to a pattern called “Fluffy Afghan”. So, you see, it was meant to be. Sadly, I don’t have the needles required, so I couldn’t start on it tonight. But that leaves tomorrow to look forward to. I can’t wait until I finish this afghan – but knowing me I don’t hold out much hope that it will ever be finished, since my patience isn’t exactly world class. But it is certainly fun to pretend that I will finish. Self delusion isn’t always bad – as long as nobody gets hurt!

Diet Success?

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Welcome to my second post. I haven’t postd in nearly a week because of some confusion over my username which turned out to be caused by my inattention to detail. Oh well – I’ve never been a detail person – now I just pretend to be for work.

Though I still don’t know for sure what this post is about, I think it will include stories and thoughts about puppies (and eventually dogs – when Zipper is older), orange cats and their brown and gray stripey brothers, knitting, office whining, and struggles/successes with losing weight and getting in shape.

This brings me to my topic for today – diet success. I have been on a diet since January 16th – more or less. I say more or less because at times I have been less than dedicated to the cause. But for the most part I have been following the diabetic exchange diet and exercising for four months now. So why have I not lost more than 15 pounds? I guess it goes back to that “more or less” thing. But I had a good week – on Monday I weighed in at my church’s diet class and I lost three and a half pounds since the previous Monday. So I felt good about that. I still have a long way to go – but that is the price I pay for four years of eating crap, exercising too little, and undergoing four surgeries.

One tool I have found helpful in my (what seems like) never-ending diet battles is a website called Fitday. It allows you to enter the foods you eat (it has a comprehensive, searchable list of most foods including some restaurant foods and national brand packaged food) and then it calculates the number of calories eaten and even gives you a pie chart of where your calories came from (fat, protien, carbs). There are also lots of other cool features, including nutrient analysis, entering your physical activity, and tracking your weight over time. Check it out!