Thursday, December 29, 2011

Meat Juice

It's been a Knecht Fest up in here.  The whole fam is together and we've been yukking it up all week.  Tonight we decided to let other people in on the fun and invited fifty or so friends to come over and celebrate the arrival of the newest Knecht, wee baby Levi, who is super-duper cute.  So all day we were cleaning and cooking and generally getting ready and then for several hours tonight we entertained and laughed and laughed and laughed.  And then everyone left and we sat around and watched Gina and Chris open all the presents and the real laughing began.  Because our goal as a family is to make each other laugh.  We are experts at this.

By the time we finished laughing and cleaning up and made it home we were sufficiently done in.  But I still managed to trudge upstairs to water my neighbors' plants and when I walked inside I was hit in the face by the smell of rancid death.  I looked around to make sure there wasn't a dead body anywhere but instead found that their freezer had exploded open and all of the contents had thawed and spilled out, leaving a rather large mess of rotten meat all over their kitchen floor. They are fit as two fit things and I believe eat a very Atkins-y type diet so they had enough meat in that freezer to feed a T-Rex and his family several meals. And now they have nothing, which makes me sick.  And I'm going to have to call them tomorrow to break the news.  And then invite them over for dinner for the next month.

So I went back downstairs and rally the troops (Katie, Casey and Kylea, who are staying with us.) and we gathered trash bags and mops and headed upstairs to take care of business.  While Casey and Katie cleaned up the kitchen Kylea and I made a trip down to the dumpster (note to the people of Las Brisas:  stay away from the dumpster - it is rank.) The bag I was carrying had about 50 pounds worth of formerly frozen meat and was already leaking a bit.  When it came time to hoist my bag into the bin I was struck by how exhausted I was and started giggling over the whole situation.  And then I couldn't manage to lift the bag.  So I summoned all my strength and gave a mighty heave and just as the bag lifted off the ground the bottom fell out of it and the rotting contents inside fell all over my feet.

So naturally we both fell into fits of laughter.  And we started scooping the rotting hamburger and ground turkey and kielbasa up with our hands, in the dark, mind you, and tossing them into the dumpster and all the while we're cracking up because we're so tired and it's so funny.

On the way back to the apartment I could feel my flip flops squish underneath my feet, leaving meaty footprints behind me, and I said what is now in the running for the title of my pending memiors: "I have meat juice on my toes." 

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's Christmas, Keanu. Cheer up!

Hannah needed stockings for her new husband and new dog to go with Richard Simmons.

She requested Ron Swanson


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Snap Age Approaches

I like to imagine when Ancient Man tried out the wheel for the first time to haul rocks with ease and comfort he said something along the lines of, "This is THE BOMB!  Grog (this is Ancient Man's best friend), go tell the others that this new tool totally rules!"

Well, I have had my Ancient Man Discovers the Wheel moment with this snap attacher tool.  Big deal, you say.  Yeah.  It IS a big deal.  Snaps are pesky things to apply.  They are teeny and come in multiple parts, some containing prongs that have a tendency to go all wonky if you breath on them wrong.  You have to line them up exactly right and then bang them with a hammer and if they're just a hair off the whole endeavor is ruined and you have to spend a lifetime trying to pry the now useless snaps off of your project.  Oh, I've had my troubles with snaps.  But no more!  I put in three snaps tonight on a felting project and got them all on in one shot.  Like magic.  I yelled out, "Katie, this is THE BOMB!"  And she rejoiced with me because she was there for the Great Snap Meltdown of Christmas '010 where I openly sobbed over another felting project that had taken days, DAYS!, to complete only to be ruined when the snaps did not go in properly and then would not come out without the use of scissors and lots and lots of swearing.  I went through a brief but fertile drawstring phase earlier this year where I made drawstring bags for all occasions.  I sense the dawn of a new Snap Age approaching.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Antics

It was one of those weekends where you just want to do high kicks all over the place because you're having such a good time.  It included THREE outrageously fun parties, special occasion French Toast, a dance-off, karaoke, cheesy potatoes, a house full of Knechts, an apartment full of some of my favorite people, and lots and lots and lots of women in sequins dresses and fur stoles. 

Just a couple of highlights:

1.) I wrangled a gig working the check-in table at a large hospital company Christmas party.  Lucky, right?  Because I LOVE doing stuff like that.  Seriously.  I love talking to total strangers, mostly because they give me great material.  Like the doctor who came up and told me he was late because his Pomeranian didn't want him to leave and then he had to spend fifteen minute brushing pom fur off of his suit and thank goodness he didn't wear his tux like he did one year only to show up and feel totally over dressed so he just settled for his more subtle and suitable Christmas tie, which, it must be said, had dancing reindeer on it.  Also, I love seeing what other people wear to parties.  Oh, the sequins.  And the sparkle.  And the shorty short dresses.  Some of their dresses were so small I was afraid they would catch pneumonia down there.  Someone asked if I was having a good time and I said I was having the time of my life.  And then they asked if I was being facetious and I said no because being paid $50 to sit around and people-watch with dinner and unlimited Shirley Temples included is my idea of a good time.

2.)  I will just say this about karaoke.  I love it and if you invite me and Camille to come along with you the next time you go we will sing a rendition of Total Eclipse of the Heart that will make you weep.

3.)   The annual Knecht Family Christmas Spectacular was on Friday.  And I think that most of us all left feeling like it was one of the best we've ever had.  Maybe Grandma and Grandpa were sending out double the party vibes now that they've teamed back up on the other side.  Grandma loved her parties.  And Grandpa loved basking in how much fun we all were capable of.  I missed seeing him sitting in his chair and giggling at all of our antics.  And you know there were antics.  Antics are what we do best.  And jazz hands.  Which there were a lot of in this year's Knecht Sisters Holiday Number.  (Some background:  we took this from our favorite SNL Christmas skit that cannot be found anywhere on the internet.  Trust me, we've all searched and search.  Fortunately, it has worked it's way into our souls.)  Enjoy, enjoy,enjoy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Pied Piper of Elegant Leisure

Because of my unemployed Life of Elegant Leisure I get to spend more time with friends and their kids during the day.  So lately I've been feeling like the Pied Piper. The kids, they're flocking.  Yesterday was especially so. My friend Heather's kids have become my new best friends - they're the ones I had a coloring party with a few weeks ago.  They were having a Grandparent's Day at school and since their grandparents live far away Kaiya asked if I would come as her Special Friend.

Would I!

I hung out with her in her classroom and we made a fancy construction paper Christmas tree and I chit chatted with the 7 year olds about who they liked more, Katy Perry or Taylor Swift (Taylor won out.  I didn't even ask about the Bieb.) and then strolled around the book fair.

It was only the cutest thing I've ever done in my life.

When I got home from that I headed over to watch another friend's kids where we made enormous Lego towers and danced whenever we knocked them over.  There was a lot of dancing.

And that's not all.  Because after I got home from the Lego tower dance party Heather called to say they were coming over with a surprise.  She and the kids brought me a Christmas present of multi-ethnic skin tone markers and color pencils.  I did not know that these even existed!  I can finally stop coloring everyone with peach skin.

Since I had a few hours of free time I invited the kids to stay over and color.

Is this not the best picture you've ever seen?  We're coloring and painting and drinking hot chocolate with candy canes in them.  I'm going to frame it and look at it whenever I'm having a rough day because that is nothing but pure joy.

I was just about to type that kids seem to be the way to go when it comes to having fun but then I recalled that just about an hour ago I had a Facebook exchange with my friend Andrea (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!) wherein we reminisced about doing crazy things like getting lost on a dead end road then nearly running over a hobo and wearing pioneer bonnets around Old Town Pasadena.  So I will instead say that I appear to collect friends who don't mind having funny adventures with me - no matter what their age.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I want this more than I want a Slurpee machine

Stephanie, my beautiful and talented and super thoughtful friend, posted this on Facebook for me:


Would anyone like to buy my kidney so I can get one? 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Do you need someone to cry with you? I'm your gal.

Maybe you think I'm exaggerating when I talk about how I'm a sympathetic crier.  How when I see someone crying I almost always start crying along with them.

I am not. 

An example:

We have a Spanish branch in our stake and they were fresh out of pianists so I was asked to help out for the primary sacrament meeting program, which was today.  With the exception of a few phrases and things I've pick up spending a lifetime in a southern border state (plus my love for Latin root words), I neither speak nor understand Spanish.  Like a genius, I took German in high school and the only good it has done me was that one time in Tunisia when I was mistaken for a German tourist by a local shrimper.  Anyway, after the program was completed the branch president got up to say a few words, very little of which I understood.  A few minutes into it he got a little weepy - over what I can only guess.  But those types of details do not matter to a sympathetic crier.  Oh no, because there I was getting weepy right along with him.  He could have been talking about that one time he lost his lucky socks.  It matters not.  When you are with me you do not cry alone.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lesson Learned

The girl ahead of me in line at the post office had flame tattoos running up her neck, a spiked cuff that looked like it came from Thunderdome and a beaded hoop dangling from that little flap of skin that connects your upper lip to your gums.

She turned around and said to me, "Oh wow, you look exhausted.  I was exhausted the other day because I had been up all night because my boyfriend left me. Just packed all his things and left me.  No note.  And this was after he stiffed me for two months of rent and ran up my electric bill to take care of his reptiles.  Lesson learned."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another Blessed Nephew!!!!!!!

Big News.  I mean REALLY BIG NEWS!

Gina and Chris got themselves a baby boy!

Behold, Levi:

He was born on Tuesday and they signed the adoption papers this morning and brought the kid home. 

Isn't he the greatest?!  And the cutest?!  And look at all that hair! And he has big lips just like his Favorite Aunt Rachel.!

We're all jumping for joy around here.

We've known he was coming for months now but for obvious reasons we kept it on the down low.  Oh the lies we have told people when they would ask how Gina and Chris were doing.  Oh, the deception.  But no more!  I asked Gina if it was okay that I posted it on the blog and she said, "Would you please.  Let's shout it from the roof tops."

Have you counted the exclamation points?  Consider it shouted.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Approximately ten spools

It should be noted that when I got in line at Joann's with my two wee bits of embroidery floss totaling $.85 all the items in the basket of the woman in front of me had already been scanned and the checker was telling her, "That will be $62.71."

What followed was 10 minutes (TEN MINUTES!!!!!!!!) of the woman:

Explaining why her teacher discount card had expired

Explaining why she had an old teacher's union card

Digging around in her purse for her new teacher's union card

Asking the checker how she would go about getting an updated teacher discount card

Being informed that it was easy enough, she just had to go online to do it

Asking the checker if she couldn't just come into the store because sometimes she doesn't trust the internet to do things because once she had signed up for something online and it didn't work can you believe that.

Telling everyone around (including me as I smiled patiently) that she taught high school orchestra

"Yes, really!  High school orchestra!"

Telling everyone around (including me, this time shooting laser beams out of my eyes) that she was planning on buying scarves for the orchestra to wear for their Christmas concert because she really didn't want to make them but here she was making them - sigh.

Laughing at herself for being so darn accommodating

Being told repeatedly that the total was $62.71.

Digging around her purse for her checkbook

Methodically licking her finger and flipping each previous duplicate in her checkbook until she came to the next check

Carefully writing out the check while saying out loud exactly what she was doing

Balancing her checkbook

Being handed her bags and her receipt and a "have a nice night" but refusing to move

Asking the checker if they have any Cricut books

Announcing to everyone (including me, now silently weeping into my embroidery floss) that she was planning on buying a Cricut in a few months and wanted to be prepared so she needed to know exactly where to find the Cricut books when that day came

Reluctantly walking away from the counter, only to leave her shopping cart in the aisle, thus blocking me and the five people who had lined up behind me from getting to the cash register

Moving the shopping cart after the checker beat me at shaming her into moving it but acting like she was just asked to move a giant bag of poo.

Blissfully going about the rest of her life never realizing that we were all imagining how many spools of grosgrain ribbon it would take to tie her up and dump her in the back corner with the discounted fabrics.