Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Two things have made this day awesome:

1.) Internet access at work, finally!

2.) Olvera street taquitos with guacamolito sauce!

What has made your day awesome?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Stocking Winner!!!!

I actually had the drawing on Christmas Day (Katie insisted on pulling the name. It was my present to her.) but I didn't post because I barely made it out of my pajamas and off of the couch until now because if you can't spend Christmas weekend almost entirely in your jim-jams then when can you?

So, the winner of the Great Christmas Stocking Giveaway is:


Stephanie, my dear friend from Way Back When. Stephanie, who was my constant and beloved companion at girls camp. What would I have done at girls camp without Stephanie? Oh, the fun we had. Here's one of my favorite girls camp memories of Stephanie: We were in some sort of team competition that involved one girl from each team stuffing her mouth with as many marshmallows as possible and Stephanie volunteered for our team and DOMINATED! She may have gotten 20 jumbo marshmallows in her mouth. And it may have been the proudest I have ever been of any of my friends.

Let me know what you would like Stephanie.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stocking Stuffers

1.) Until someone tells me that Avatar is an incredible story with amazing acting I'm not going to see it. Whiz-bang special effects will not carry me through nearly 3 hours of James Cameron's ego.

2.) Today is the official moving day for our office and Chiquita's brother Chuck is helping out. He brought along his friend Mr. Rick. That is what everyone calls him. Mr. Rick. He is sixty if he's a day and every time he comes back up the stairs he huffs and puffs and says, "Boy, I'm tired." Mr. Rick calls Chuck Charles. Chiquita calls him Chuckie or Chuck-a-luck. Chuck calls Chiquita Chi Chi, which I find kind of disturbing. Gary the CPA and Chiquita's ex-husband Phillip are also coming in to help. Chiquita looses patience with all of them if they spend longer than 10 minutes talking to her. She mentioned that we may go out for a two hour taco break while they do the heavy lifting.

3.) Heather and I went to the Mission Inn last night to see the Christmas lights and it was lovely. However, along with the lights were lots of animatronic carolers and scary elves tucked up in the balconies and bell towers. There was one in particular who looked like he was waiting to jump down on your head and gouge your eyes out with his pointy hat. I was disappointed that I couldn't look around the hotel to find and have my picture taken in the Taft Chair which was specially made for President Taft's visit once the original owner of the hotel heard that he got stuck in the White House bathtub due to his girth. My high school history teacher, Mrs. Baker, use to tell this story at least once a week. She would refer to him as Taft the Rotund.

4.) Speaking of former presidents - I am calling 2010 the Year of the Presidents, which mostly means I'm going to learn what order they came in and humorous facts about them that I can bring up at parties to bore all of my friends.

5.) A few people have asked about buying the funny stockings and I think I have enough in my arsenal to start putting them up on Etsy. However, I have no idea what to charge for them. They cost me practically nothing to make. Maybe $2. But they are very labor intensive. They're all hand cut and hand stitched. Most with metallic thread that Satan created. So, if you were in the market for a stocking that had a b-list celebrity on it how much would you be willing to pay?

6.) Holy Cats, this is getting long.

7.) Last one, I promise. But I wanted to show you the other stocking I made this season. I was commissioned by Laura (I will refrain from making Michelangelo/Medici Family comparisons here) to make one for her boyfriend, who loves the old video game Galaga and monkeys.

8.) Okay, I totally lied to you. Because I've just decided to have a Christmas drawing. If you leave a comment before Christmas you will be entered to win a stocking to be delivered sometime before next Christmas. You can choose from any of the ones I've done before (Dwight, the Hoff, Michael Flatly - Lord of the Dance, Mr. T (although not a stocking yet, easily transferable) or Richard Simmons) or you can choose a new one, if I think it's funny enough. Enter now before I make you pay more than $2 for them.

9.) That is all. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas from Me and Richard!

A long time ago, actually way back in January, there was a shindig at my place and I was working on the early stages of a stocking that I showed to my friends. I didn't have anyone in mind for it so I casually said, "Anyone want it?" And Hannah's hand shot up. I noted it in my memory and then folded up the stocking and placed it in the desk that stores the World's Largest Felt Collection and promptly forgot about it until, oh, last week. So I contacted Hannah and said, "Do you remember...?" and she was all, "Duh. Yes!" and I finished it last night and told her to come on over and behold:

Hannah is now the proud owner of a Richard Simmons stocking.
Here, have a closer look:

And even closer, so that you can see how sparkly he is.
And also how uncomfortably short his shorts are.
Merry Christmas from me and Richard!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Our talents have evolved

My Grandma Knecht (whose name was LaRue. My other grandma's name was Leola. LaRue and Leola. I double dog dare you to top that.) insisted upon having talent shows at every family gathering. Every Family Home Evening* included time for people to share their talents. Every family party there was someone getting up to play the piano or sing. The biggest and most entertaining being the Knecht Family Christmas Spectacular. But Grandma passed away 15 years ago and we all got older and it just wasn't as cute when my cousins got up and sang Santa Baby so the talent portion of the night took a back seat. We would make a half-hearted attempt at it and ususally get one person to play a Christmas medley but that was it.

So about 5 years ago, in the spirit of Grandma, we resurrected it and my sisters and I started displaying what some may call our greatest talents: making fools of ourselves and laughing like loons over it. We started choreographing elaborate productions numbers. One year we did Whitney Houston's version of Joy to the World and dressed up in graduation robes to look like a gospel choir. Another year we did the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy with tutus. This year we decided to mix things up. You can watch it on the Fam's Blog. I would like to point out that this is not our original performance in front of everyone. The sound did not work on that version so we had to do a retake after everyone left which means that you miss my Uncle Jeep laughing in the corner. And my Grandpa laughing in the other corner. Knecht Family no. 1 talent: laughing. Which, I suspect, is why Grandma loved the talent shows the most.

And in case you're thinking that my sisters and I are the only ones who do the talents my uncle's family did the Mark Jensen Family Christmas - that Will Farrell skit from SNL. There are zero clips of it on the internet but if you've seen it you know what I'm talking about. And if you haven't seen it I'll just tell you that my cousin Jared was spinning around on a lazy susan and singing It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Indeed.

*We know this because my grandma took the minutes of every single FHE for 30 years. I'm not making this up. There are stacks of memo pads filled with detailed accounts of each one. Who was there, who said the prayers, what treats were eaten, important family business brought up that usually consisted of my Aunt Lynn saying, "Scott looked at me weird," every single week. They are a treasure.

Friday, December 18, 2009

To My Sinus Infection

Dear Sinus Infection,

I totally see you sneaking up on me so I'm going to tell you this right now: back it up.

I am Very Busy this weekend. I have back to back to back parties tomorrow that I'm really looking forward to and can't miss because I'm heading up two of them and the third is the Knecht Family Christmas Spectacular, wherein I will be performing a key role in the annual Knecht Girls Musical Number/Dance Party. It has already been choreographed and costumes and props have been selected. There are no understudies.

Additionally, Chiquita has decided that we need to be all moved out of the office by Christmas, even though the lease isn't up until the end of the month. I already hate packing and moving and unpacking enough as it is. I really don't think I can do it if I feel like I have tube socks lodged up my nostrils.

Let's keep this civil.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pros and Cons

The benefits of being one gal in a two-gal business operation during the holidays are:

1.) No awkward holiday parties where the local high school performing group comes and puts on a show and sings Santa Baby to the highest ranking male administrator. Usually the superintendent. Ew. (Every year at the school district.)

2.) No awkward holiday luncheons at a restaurant you would never pick because the food tastes like 3 day old scrabbled eggs, with people who only seem to be able to talk about 1.) their husbands/ex-husbands/lack of husbands, 2.) their cats, 3.) their hatred of the incoming president. (Last year's party with the Doc.)

3.) No holiday luncheons involving the food being spread out on top of the table where dogs are prepped to be spayed or neutered. This site being chosen because the surgery room needs to remain sterile and the top of the freezer where the euthanized animals are kept before pick-up seems slightly inappropriate. (The one Christmas I worked for the vet.)

4.) No obligatory gift giving to every single person you work with, even those you would never socialize with outside of work so you end up giving them a cheap plastic ornament of Santa on a surf board or a CD sampler of synthesized Christmas music you picked up in the discount bin at the gas station for $1.99.

Drawbacks to being one gal in a two-gal business operation during the holidays are:

1.) No office treats brought in my co-workers or clients/patients.

2.) I can't think of anything else.

I came home last night and Katie was, once again, buried in baked goods. She's been baking since October. Okay, no, that's not true. But definitely since Saturday. She's made fancy flavored olive oils and caramels and brownies and cookies and chocolate covered popcorn and seven-layer bars. And she's been wrapping presents and making up goodie plates and for the last three mornings she's hauled off boxes and bags filled with food. And it has made me slightly nostalgic for those days when you could go into work and know that if you wanted some peppermint bark you could probably find some. At the school district we would freeze most of the treats people would bring us and snack on them clear until spring break.

So there are no Christmas goodies in the office. There's no one to bring them in. I suppose I could bring some in but Chiquita is freaked out about her cholesterol (classic Chiquita quote: "I've been eating like two wild dogs and my blood work came back looking like a funeral program.") so I would be the only one eating them and that's just pathetic.

But, on the flip side, I haven't purchased or made a single obligatory gift and there will be no awkward holiday parties as we will probably just go out for tacos or something and Chiquita has too much class to bring up her ex-husband, her cats or politics when we're trying to enjoy some good Mexican food. I'm considering it a Christmas Miracle.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gone the Way of the Corset

What are your thoughts on panty hose?

I haven't owned a pair in years. And I consider them more of a cold weather accessory rather than a required item for modest dressing.
Chiquita, on the other hand, thinks they are a necessary article of underclothes and that if you are in a business setting or church and are wearing a skirt or dress you must wear nylons. In fact, if you're not wearing them she things you're loose. She thinks you're fast. She thinks you're on the prowl for rich men. Bare legs = Woman of Easy Virtue.
I'm sure it's a generational thing. There had to have been a time when pettycoats were going out of fashion and women of a certain age were gasping over the vulgarity of it all and women of another certain age were all, "Chill out. No one wears pettycoats anymore."
Which makes me wonder what more can we get rid of? If for generations women have been ditching their superfluous underthings, which is the next one to go? I'm pretty sure we're down to the essentials. However, I'm prepared to be scandalized.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm Sparkly Like a Great Big Sparkly Thing!

There is no doubt that I love sparkly things. My brooch collection attests to this. And it's a good thing I do love the sparkle because right now I am covered head to toe in GLITTER. I look like a disco ball! I've spent the morning getting our company Christmas cards ready to send out. They're lovely cards with a dove and holly leaves and about 2 lbs of glitter. Each time a card was moved, breathed on, looked at or thought of a flurry of glitter would swirl around the air and land on me. At first I would dust myself off after each card and then I realized I was fighting a losing battle. I just gave it to the glitter and now it is everywhere. On my lips, in my hair, on my jacket, my sweater, my jeans, my shoes, my socks. I just checked myself in the mirror and I have it all over my face, including my eyelashes. It is both annoying and kind of cheery. I am totally ready for a faerie ball or a rave.

I have yet to clean all the glitter off of the desk I did the cards on because, well, I found out yesterday that Chiquita decided it's time for us to move offices. We're moving to a much smaller place next door (sadly, not into the building the Congressman works in) and we're getting rid of that desk. I like to think that whoever gets it will be thrilled with the touch of sparkle we've left on it.

The move is all part of the Save Our Business plan we have going. We just got an inside scoop that our biggest client is going to be doing major lay-offs in January so we're moving to a cheaper place and I lose my monthly travel stipend and I have to take 2 furlough days a month until things pick back up. It's a bit of a bummer but there are some bright sides. 1.) I get my own bathroom in the new office. I can't tell you how happy this makes me. We share our current bathroom with an office full of women who regularly dump their ash trays in the trashcan and who don't wash their hands. Also, the janitor only cleans once every three days (are you throwing up yet) and we regularly run out of paper goods. It's like we're living in medieval times. 2.) I still have a job. Chiquita really felt horrible about all of this but it was either that or let me go and she didn't want to do that. Nice, huh? 3.) I can use my vacation days for the furlough days. Come to mama, three-day weekends!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Still Cold

1.) The repair guy came and found me huddled in my chair with my hoodie zipped all the way up and my hood tightly secured around my head. He told me it needed some major repairs and had to get the approval from the building owner which means a few more days of this arctic chill. On my break I went outside and stood in the sunshine. There were pools of ice in the shade. If I wanted to live in a place that had ice I would move to Switzerland where I could at least count on finding an excellent cup of hot chocolate and could reasonable get away with wearing one of those really large fur hats.

2.) Guess what I found last night. My missing address book. And guess where it was? THE LOWER CUBBY OF MY DESK RIGHT BY MY DICTIONARY! WHICH IS EXACTLY WHERE I ALWAYS PUT IT BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE IT BELONGS!! THE PLACE WHERE I LOOKED A DOZEN TIMES AND IT WASN'T THERE!!!!!!! For months I looked for it. I would sit at my desk and peer into the place it was suppose to be and wonder where it had gone off to. As predicted, I purchased a new one and hunted down everyone's address again and filled it all up and last night I went to put the new one where it belongs and there wasn't any room so I reached in and pulled out the old one. The old one that wasn't there 2 weeks ago. It is a mystery and I would like for someone to please explain it because I think I may be going a little bonkers.

3.) Katie and I decorated our wee apartment for Christmas last night and, as per tradition, we watched White Christmas. Which reminded me that over Thanksgiving I was down at my parents house helping them with their Christmas decorating, and we were, of course, watching White Christmas and when The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing came on my brother-in-law Chris, who is a DANCE INSTRUCTOR, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!, says, "This is the most boring part of the movie." And a stunned silence fell over the room. Because everybody knows that it's a GREAT part of the movie. And everybody also knows that the most boring part of the movie is Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep. Duh, Chris! It's a good thing you're likable and can reach the top shelves in the kitchen.

Monday, December 7, 2009


The Hallelujah Chorus is done! Done! Done! Done!!!!! And I didn't have a heart attack or pass out or throw up, as expected, because a miracle happened (as it always does).

The miracle came in the form of my dear friend Sara. I got the simplified music and even that was beyond my skills so I practiced a lot. Basically until my fingers fell off and I had to grow new ones. Poor Katie. Poor neighbors. I owe them all cookies for having to put up with it. The entire last two pages were nothing but sixteenth notes (for non-musical people: sixteenth notes=ludicrous speed) which means that you play 8 pages of challenging music and then, just when you want to take a little nap, it ramps up and you have to plow full speed ahead to the end. So even with all the practicing I still wasn't close enough to decent and near the middle of last week I started to get a little panicky about the whole thing. And then, like an angel from heaven Sara, who heard of my woes, called and volunteered to make it a duet. She played the left hand and I played the right and besides those few measures on page 6 when we both got a little lost, it worked out like a dream. I even got most of the sixteenth notes. Thank you, thank you, thank you Sara!

In other news, it's cold and rainy today. Like 40 degrees cold. Which, in my book is like arctic weather. I half expect to see ice flows with penguins on them. That's how cold I am! It wouldn't be so bad but my space heater blew out and our office heater is broken and the repair guy was suppose to come today but had to cancel because of the rain so I went home on my lunch break and changed into warmer pants and warmer socks and warmer shoes and a warmer shirt and then layered a fleece pull-over AND a fleece lined hoodie on top of it all. Because I'm a wimp. And I am not ashamed. Chiquita has on a hoodie and a down coat. And her space heater works. So basically what I'm saying is, it's cold in here and if this is my last post you will know that I froze to death. Please see if you can get Wayne Newton to sing at my funeral.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

How not to apply for a job and Neil Diamond IN THE SAME POST! I am so thoughtful.

1.) Is it bad to judge job applicants on their email address? Because I do all the time. Not to the point of tossing their resume but it does make me hesitate. Shameful, I know but let me give you an example. I just received a resume from someone at "boops04". This makes me believe that she's a Betty Boop fan which instantly makes me question her judgement. If she likes Betty Boop enough to use it in an email address then how far has she taken it? Does she dress like her? Talk all breathy and squeaky like her? Does she have a tattoo on her of her forearm? Can you imagine what Chiquita would say if I sent a client of ours someone with a Betty Boop tattoo?

2.) Speaking of resumes, a girl just sent one to me this morning that had a picture attached. She took it from her computer in her bedroom while sitting on her unmade bed. She had no experience and I normally don't respond to those (I get HUNDREDS every day) but I felt like she needed some guidance and wrote back in a very nice and professional manner that unless she was applying for a cigarette girl position at the local indian casino, no employer needed to see a picture of her.

3.) In other news: Neil Diamond has a new Christmas CD out and I happened to hear the title track, "Cherry, Cherry Christmas", on my way into work this morning. Here's my favorite line: "Have a very merry, cherry, cherry, holly-holy, rockin'-rolly Christmas this year." Which is exactly how I'm going to start greeting people this holiday season. Can't you just hear him singing (and by singing I mean a cross between talking and warbling) in your head? What? You don't have Neil Diamond's voice etched in your brain? You mean when you're in church and someone says "Brothers and Sisters..." you don't instantly hear in your head Neil sing Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show? You are missing out. I love Neil Diamond the same way I love Wayne Newton. Which means the hokier he gets, the less he is able to sing, the more studded denim he wears and the floppier his hair becomes, the more I pray he will call me up one day to be his back-up singer.