Monday, December 17

Rest in Peace Pants

 I think every woman has a pair of panties in her drawer reserved especially for her period days. The ones I automatically reached for every 3 weeks or so were full-coverage, blue with pink strawberries. They were like my period security blanket, I instinctively grabbed them in anticipation of menstrual bat-shit crazy time.

This month, I looked down and to my dismay, saw my hand through the fabric. My underwear had gotten so old and threadbare that I could actually see my fingers peering through. Not that I couldn't have trashed them sooner. There had been two, I counted, two holes gaping at me. But still, I was loathe to throw them out. One more period I said to myself.

Even though I always nag my husband about his torn boxers, I never really think of my own undergarments. Until they jump out at me and say, I'm done. I've done my job. Too well. Time to get rid of me. Once and for all.

So I did. I took them out to the backyard, tossed them into the fire pit and gave them the memorial burning they deserved. My blue strawberry panties weathered quite a lot over the years and for their loyalty, I honored those period-stained, tattered underpants with a moment of silence. And some laughter.

Goodbye dear friend. I'll miss your comfort, but I don't think I'll miss the ventilation.

Monday, September 17

Traveling with a Baby

Recently my sister and I planned a trip to Portland, Oregon together so that our grandma, now 85-years-old and starting to lose her short-term memory, could see another one of her great-grandbabies. My sister was kind of a pain in the butt to plan with, she had a lot of stipulations: non-stop flight requests, specific times, etc. She was just worried about how well her precious baby would travel. In the end I said, we can go on this really cheap flight together (one stop) or you can go by yourself. We ended up going together and her baby was just fine. In fact, he was an amazing traveler. Distracted by our fellow passengers, books, movies and games on the iPad, he only screamed his head off during our descent into Houston when the pressure made his little ears hurt.

My sweet nephew is half Islander-half Chinese and wholly gorgeous. Everywhere we went, I saw people's eyes light up at his exuberant smile and his head full of long curls. When I travel by myself or with friends, we tend to stay fairly insular, speaking only to each other or wrapped up in our books and phones. When you travel with a baby, you have no choice but to engage with other travelers. Of course, you are constantly apologizing (for kicking their chair, for their screaming, for being so loaded down with bags and bumping people). But more often, it was just the simple act of making eye contact and smiling. Babies and young children do it all the time and it makes you remember that smiling and saying hello is an easy thing to do. It takes much more effort to not look at people.

Thursday, September 6


Sleep. Sometimes you just lay there waiting for it to take over but it never happens. The fan spinning, while cooling me off, is also irritatingly sending little hairs scuttling across my skin, making it crawl, tickling and itchy. I hear your every breath, your random snore and mysterious giggles as you dream. You turn, trapping my hair under your elbow just as I had decided to escape the boredom and the darkness. When I finally and somewhat painfully extricate myself from your unintentional grasp, my hair is a tangled and knotted mess. The animals snore, not noticing the bright light or the tapping keys. The train and traffic are humming outside. I play games on my phone. Watch two movies. Pluck my armpit hair. My mind isn't awake enough to work but not relaxed enough to sleep. When I look at the time again, I laugh. Four twenty. In the morning. I get up, take a puff and wait for it. Sleep.

Monday, August 20

Gangnam Style by PSY

 This video cracks me up. SO MUCH. Love the visuals, the dancing and the beat. Just one more video for my Korean friend Rachel who does not like rice. What?! That's right, she's from Oklahoma. Read more about the hugely popular video here. This has been viewed over 40 million times and counting already. I can attest that I've watched it at least 10 times.

Tuesday, August 14

Lee Jong Hyun - CN Blue


I'm going all fan girl on this one. He's adorable and his voice is just lovely.
I don't even care that I don't have a single clue what he's singing.

Thursday, August 9

Double Rainbows

I was sitting in my office working when the sky went from dark gray to eerie yellow. Thunderstorms were supposed to be coming in and the sudden light change pushed me away from my desk to take a look outside. I didn't even notice the rainbow at first, completely awed by just the clouds and color of the sky. When I finally turned my head, I saw this amazing rainbow that reached from end to end. It was the biggest, brightest and most brilliant rainbow I have ever seen. It enveloped the entire city and lasted for a long time. Screaming like a lunatic, I banged on my freighbor's* door so she could see it to. Even though I took a lot of pictures, it is impossible to capture the color, the feeling, the amazement of rainbows. You just have to be under it to enjoy it. But just like taking pictures of harvest moons and wandering ghosts, we all keep trying to capture these impossible moments.

*Freighbor - friend and neighbor

Wednesday, August 1

Feeling Sentimental

I find myself missing my other blog, The Employee Lounge, a lot. I miss working with my favorite Tina, who is so amazingly talented. I visit so many new places that I wish I had a chance to share with others. I read blogs and am always thinking of ways we can work together again while improving our process. How do we interview people and get more meaningful and thoughtful answers? How do we capture people in new ways to truly show who they are? Can we change the way we work and still maintain the essence of what our blog started out to be?

Somewhere along the way though, it became a job we were avoiding. It became more business than project. Neither Tina nor I are very "business-y" so that was truly a challenge for us. But when people still come up and ask about our blog, when they recommend their service industry friends we need to interview, when they ask us to share a part of their lives, it's kind of hard to say we stopped doing the blog. So I say we're on a break, as we're both busy working making a living. A break, a hiatus, a breather. And I cross my fingers that Tina and I find some time soon to discover Kansas City together again.

Monday, July 16


My dog, Apollo, who got so hot that day, I cut my walk short and just watched him lay in the shade.

This past May, I started taking morning walks. Mornings are a must for me. Get it done and out of the way as soon as possible, before I can find a reason not to go. Usually, I end up sitting at my desk, reading emails and blogs, checking facebook and basically losing track of time.

The thing that finally got me going on this fitness track, after years and years of resisting exercise, was a conversation thread on my facebook blogger group; it flipped a mental switch for me, a nudge to help me stop making lame excuses. Blogger Courtney Foster said something along the lines of: just get started. It doesn't matter how fast or how far, just go, 2-3 times a week. I've heard this before but for no particular reason, in that moment, it resonated with me.

One morning, I just woke up with the resolve to get started. I rolled out of bed, put on my barely-worn runners and started huffing it up the hills in my neighborhood. Out of air and breathing like I had asthma, I walked every day for a week, then most days for a month. I started off with 30 minute walks, choosing a route with no resistance and a few weeks later, I increased it to an hour and started looking for hills and stairs to challenge myself. I'm still not running, but I have picked up yoga. Both are low impact on my feet (fallen arches) which has been my biggest hurdle and my most convenient excuse.

Every day I have to fight the lazy in me even though I feel great afterwards. The weight is not coming off very fast, and by not very fast, I mean barely at all. It is sometimes discouraging, but I absolutely see changes in my body. For one, I'm much more tan this year. Dark skin has a nice slimming effect, doesn't it?

Besides the weight loss and health aspects, my favorite part about walking is having that time in the morning to be a part of my neighborhood. I know which houses have been broken into, what flowers are blooming, how I hate the trash rules in Missouri (no receptacles means a lot of litter on the streets come trash day). I've run into the same people, a friendly woman also named Lynn who I ate mulberries with, plucked straight from the tree, an older couple who don't look old enough to be retired, a guy who must live next door to his family because he brings a plate over every morning for breakfast and the group of businessmen who gather once a month at one of my favorite houses.

It's the rhythm and balance of life, every single day, that you don't see when you're zipping past in your car or even on your bike. You see the perfectly shaped bird's nest someone picked up and placed along the wall. You see the vegetable gardens and monitor their growth. You see people leaving for work and say, he must be a chef. Or walk past a house with a Range Rover, statuaries and flags and think, maybe they're European. You learn to wave and smile and be friendly.

It's not always the first thing you want to do, or even the last thing you want to do. Just jump that mental hurdle and get out there. The weather may be too hot, too cold, too rainy. But it's still lovely outside.

These are some of the things I see from day to day, as I walk with my ear buds in, enjoying the solitude and quiet hours of the early morning day.

Two houses in our area broken into recently.
Both were renters and had no insurance but lots of electronics.
Something about a lush, green archway sparks the imagination.
Fuzzy like lamb's ear and structured like a succulent, what is this plant?
Center stalk grows tall with yellow blooms.
I admired a fruit-bombed cherry tree for weeks and was rewarded for my patience and not stealing.
Just your regular, ol' leather couch on the street.
Love, love, love this head. It's big and creepy and watches you walk.
A perfect nest.
Road kill. Two dead opossums lay on the sidewalk for weeks. The one on the sidewalk shifted a bit as it probably got stepped on and kicked about. The one in the grass pretty much stay put. Every morning, I'd look to see if they somehow got picked up and one morning, I looked so hard, I missed it which resulted in stepping on it. Still gave me the heebie jeebies. You should have seen me screaming and jumping like I was attacked. I was quite a sight.
Escargot, yo.

Monday, July 2

Rachel's Tarts

I've got an amazing baker friend who I can call whenever I see a something mouthwatering in a magazine or on a blog. I just email her the recipe, she makes it, I pay her and ta da! For the bachelorette party, I asked Rachel to make me 2-3 tarts from the spring 2012 issue of Sweet Paul. She made two of what I sent and two more tarts she had made before. They were so beautiful and so delicious. Several of the guests were vegetarians and were happy as could be that most of the food were veggie friendly. In fact, we only had one meat course that night. Usually our dinner parties consist of meat, meat and more meat. This was a nice change and just as filling. Rachel, you are wonderful, talented and you need to charge more! Message me if you're interested in having Rachel cook for you.

Midwest Bachelorette Party

My next-door neighbor Kristie was chosen to host a bachelorette party at her house, but we needed a slightly bigger space to eat dinner, so the party shifted a bit to the left to my house. The bride-to-be, once upon a time, lived across the street. It speaks volumes about how great my block was, is and continues to be everyday, as we move in and out of each other's lives and continue to be friends.

Rebecca and I excitedly pulled out all our Vintage Vessels to set the table for dinner under the tin roof. I focused on linens, silverware and hauling chairs; Rebecca worked on flowers while Kat, Kristie and Tiffany were chopping, blending and making delicious drinks and salads inside. We were hot, sweaty messes but it was really worth all the effort. The table looked beautiful and the bride and all her guests loved it.

These are just a few of the flowers and the table half set. We really should have taken more pictures as the night went on, but by then we were deep into another bottle of champagne and just ready to sit and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Wednesday, May 2


Today's post is inspired by a friend request I recently received on Facebook. For my friends who've heard this story for years, here it is again in writing. I gleefully rubbed my hands together as I wrote it and know that is beyond childish. But I still feel great getting it off my chest. The last sentence is not true, but I was struck by a moment of inspiration.

Dear Dorea,

I am stunned to see your friend request on Facebook. You must have been bored, or your finger must have slipped not thinking about the past. In case you forgot what exactly happened, let me refresh your memory. For mine is long and full of excruciating detail.

At 21, I was young, dumb and so excited to see my best friend from middle school, my pen pal who faithfully wrote me as I transitioned through high school and college. I took that flight down to Dallas for a short weekend, looking forward only to being with my friend again. Everything was going swimmingly. We ate good food, went to the arcade and one morning I woke up early and cleaned your parents' kitchen counters. I was bored.

On my unplanned last night in Dallas, you took me to meet up with your friends, warning me in hushed tones as we drove there, that we were going to "the ghetto." I remember laughing to myself, thinking, this looks exactly where I live and this neighborhood looks like my friends' neighborhoods back home. I was well prepared for "the ghetto." We did what I do with my own friends, pre-party and hang out before going to the club. I still remember the bathroom at your friend's house, it was a pull-string flush.

You took me to an underage club and I made small talk with the DJs who were from Wichita. Kansas! My peeps! Your friends danced with me all night. They flirted with me non-stop and asked if I was moving down to Dallas. I don't blame them. I was, and still am, a crazy fun person. One friend in particular, your crush at the time, was especially paying a lot of attention to me. You had told me that you guys were just friends, how was I supposed to know that you were totally in love with him? The night ended with you secretly fuming. I was too drunk to notice, really.

When we finally left the club, way past your curfew, in downtown Dallas, without your car, gun shots rang out. Everyone hit the ground as I stood there like a dumbass, because I didn't know any better. Turns out the girl who drove us to the club wasn't very well-liked by someone. All four of her car tires, her daddy's new Honda, were slashed. She cried buckets. We were stranded.

So being the problem solver I am, I went back inside to find out if those Wichita DJs would give us a ride. Your crush followed me. You are even more mad now, since he left you alone out there with all your other friends. I was not successful in getting us a ride, but I knew we had to get back to your car. I really didn't want your parents to flip out. While slashed-tire girl was crying, I asked your friends to give us a ride back first and thankfully they did. Even after the crazy night, we were all still really having a good time and they were asking me if I was coming back to visit. Alas, no.

You seethed the whole way home. Not telling me why you were mad and not speaking to me. During the ride, I had to go to the bathroom really bad, but you wouldn't stop until I threatened to pee in the back of your car. You, delightful as always, stopped at a truck rest stop. There, in the bushes, between the semis, I dropped trou and relieved myself while you and your crush sat in the car. After we left him off, I finally asked you what was wrong and you let me have it. I should have known better. I shouldn't have danced with the man you loved so deeply. I was such a bitch. You hated me. Blah, blah, blah.

Your youthful insecurity and jealousy made you so mad, you kicked me out of your house that instant, in the middle of the night. I had no money, no where else to go and my flight wasn't leaving until the following night, but you didn't care. You wanted me out, out, out! Now, is that any way for a pastor's daughter to act? Surprisingly, that stunned me the most, how un-Christian you were behaving.

I'm no wilting flower, so I said, fuck you, threw my things into my small carry-on and started WALKING out of your suburban neighborhood out in the middle of nowhere. There I was, in my fuzzy, hot pink crop top club shirt, white pants and heels, rolling my carry-on on the sidewalk, crying my eyes out. I had no money, save the money I needed to change my flight plan, and no idea how I was actually getting to the airport. Luckily, a kind and gracious man stopped by in his white cowboy hat and white pick up truck. My white knight! He took me to the airport and I will forever be so thankful that he was sent to me to give me a ride and not for a rape and kidnapping.

After I changed my flight, I sat at the airport, bawling. Remember our giant useless cell phones back then? I used it to call my equally useless boyfriend at the time who did not answer. Even though you ended being a horrible, horrible friend, I still had good ones back home. Beth promised to pick me up.

When I finally got onto the plane, I was a mess. So fucked up that I passed out in the hall on the way to the bathroom. The flight attendant held my hand the whole time and I was in and out of consciousness. I was delirious and met by an ambulance and police when we arrived back in Kansas City. Beth was freaking out and crying as she followed me to the hospital. They told me I could die if I didn't go to the emergency room.

Afraid of imminent death, I took that ambulance and got tested. They even gave me a rectal exam. For years, I've told this story over and over and in as much detail, but I never realized WHY they gave me a rectal exam. My naivety strikes again. Coming from a Dallas flight, they thought I was a drug mule and had a balloon of cocaine up my butt. "But" hah! Fooled them, I was only dehydrated and emotionally and physically stressed from my night out of drinking and crying. I paid for that hospital bill for three years, you know. Unlike you, who did not live in the ghetto, I didn't have health insurance.

I called you when I finally made it home to tell you how awful it was. You didn't give a shit. You hung up on me and never spoke to me again. And I always end the story the same, "She was the worst friend ever."

SO NOW YOU WANT TO BE FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK? Are you out of your freaking mind? What exactly do you want to know about my life more than 14 years later? That I'm happily married, have a great life with the most amazing friends? Done, you know now. But friends, even as shallowly as on Facebook? I. Don't. Think. So. Don't get me wrong, I've moved on and have had a wonderful story to tell over the years, but we cannot be friends.

I hope Jesus forgave you because I didn't.