Saturday, February 9, 2013

Rock Liebster!

Stop the presses! Hold the phone! Mrs. Dr. Looze over at nominated me for a 'Liebster Award'. Yeah, I'd totally never heard of it either. I did Google, Wiki, Bing and Yahoo it and was left unsatisfied, similar to the effect Ja's med school has on my social calendar.

The 'Liebster', which means darling or beloved (thank you Frau Gold and sophomore high school German), is an award/gift given to you by another blogger who enjoys reading your blog and has been inspired.  I truly hope I haven't inspired Mrs. Dr. Looze to drink more due to my fondness of chardonnay.  I'd say the Rules of Engagement are a bit iffy since I've seen a smattering of details on the net, but I'm going to fly with what MDL had on her page. 

That's How We Roll in Liebster Land:

A.  Thank the person who nominated you!
B.  The Nominee must list 11 statements about her/himself.
C.  The Nominee must answer the 11 questions the Nominator asked.
D.  The Nominee must nominate 11 others (and you have to TELL them they've been nominated).

Eleven Bits & Bites about Kel (that's me, the author of this blog):

1. I don't believe the Pringle should really be classified as a potato chip.
2.  Charles Grodin and Oliver Platt are 2 of my all time faves in movie-land.
3.  I say "2 minutes, Turkish" to my hubs all the time even though he NEVER remembers that Jason Stathom said it in 'Snatch'. Let this be a lesson to you - med school kills the FUN brain cells.
4.  There is never enough coffee. Never.
5.  I toss and turn at night if the kitchen isn't clean when I go to bed.
6.  If I could move to London, England tomorrow I would. Wait! Not true - I'd move today.
7.  I fat finger on the iPhone 5 all of the time.
8.  I miss going into an office everyday simply because I miss my work wardrobe.
9.  No matter what people say, the Wedge and the Platform are 2 different shoes. I find this easy to understand and am irritated when people don't get it.
10.  People who haven't seen the original 'Star Wars' fall into two categories: infant or dead.
11.  When I talk about Coach I feel like the character Stuart MacKenzie in 'So I Married an Axe Murderer'. I think the website emits an addictive chemical, just like KFC.

Questions for ME from Mrs. Dr. Looze:

1. Why did you start blogging?
Boredom, the need to document our adventures in a tropical "paradise", my incessant need to do 15 things at one time.
2. If you could be any animal in the world what would you pick and why?
OK - this is a difficult question. Animals lick their own butts and I think that's gross. Actually, nature is pretty gross to me even though technically we are all nature. So... I'm going to say a red blood cell so I can multiply and then have someone do my hair.
3. What would you choose for your last meal on earth?
Wouldn't be eating a last meal, I'd be drinking a chardonnay.
4. What’s your middle name?
I don't have a middle name on the blog.
5. If you could plan out every day of your life for the next 5 years would you?
Um... I do that now. I'm a planner and a list maker.
6. What is your favorite city in America?
Chi Town, baby!!
7. What is your biggest downfall?
See number 5. It's a gift and a curse.
8. What is your best attribute?
My ability to separate business and friendship.
9. If a movie was made about you who would play you?
I can't answer this. Everyone in Hollywood has great hair, skin, and has a 24/7 personal trainer. I do not. It's like asking who the next president will be if only given 2 options. Wait... we already did that.
10. What is your favorite article of clothing that you own?
My black peep-toe wedges that I purchased just before breaking my foot. Sigh...
11. If you had to pick, what is one thing you would change about your appearance?
Thicker eyelashes. Maybelline makes a killer mascara, but it would be cool if I didn't need so much help.

Questions for my Liebster Nominees:

1.  What color is your toothbrush?
2.  Kindle or Paperback?
3.  List 5 cities in South America without looking online or in an Atlas.
4.  Did you watch 'Sesame Street' as a child?
5.  Do you recycle?
6.  If you had to pick between yard work and cleaning house, which would you pick?
7.  Do you know who won any of the Nobel Prizes awarded in 2012 without looking? If so, list at least one.
8.  CNN or Fox News?
9.  Cat person or a dog person?
10.  Name one person who has influenced your food choices in the past month.
11.  Filet mignon, seared mahi mahi or chicken breast?

And the Liebster goes to:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Honey Badger

When I was in grade school my mom would take my brother and I over to my grandparents house so she could run errands without 2 kids in tow.  My brother and I would park it on the carpet in front of the 22-inch wood paneled monster of a tube and watch 'Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom'.  If we were lucky, my grandma would stuff us full of pineapple upside down cake right before the show. I'm sure that syrupy sweet cake was the catalyst to my fondness for chardonnay. Fast forward 30'ish years and 30 million views and you've got YouTube.  Instead of Marlin Perkins, it's Randall. Google and YouTube had replaced 'Wild Kindgom' as my oracle for animal and bug information.

Before we moved to St. Maarten, I had religiously searched the internet for any kind of wildlife. Living in the rain covered, rat, and Wolf Spider infested Pacific Northwest had increased my fear of anything creepy and crawly.  On my search, I'd found there were no documented snakes, but plenty of lizards. I'd discovered there were all kinds of birds, but not too many spiders. I was fine with all of this until the morning I woke up to find a centipede sleeping on my laptop. My laptop inside our condo and 3-stories up. After YouTube'ing the centipede, I found videos of the same hard-shelled carnivorous beast eating a snake. What. The. Frak. I should have realized just how toxic the insect was when Jameson muttered, "Oh shit!", wouldn't touch it, and was forced to use a butter knife to hold it down and kill it. Ick.

Any misgivings I'd had about nature on this island were truly put to the test in our new condo. Happy as I was with saving 1,200 bucks a month, I was not happy about the crappy screens and glass tilted slats for windows. No matter how much I cleaned and replaced all of the caulking, we had ants. A cockroach the size of my hand visited our kitchen one day, only to find himself squashed and plunked in the trash. I moved the toaster one morning and a lizard darted across the kitchen counter. Jameson had to cover it with a plastic cup and take it outside while I took a Xanax and wondered if 7AM was too early to consider a deep conversation with Robert Mondavi.  I like to appreciate nature from afar - like from my swivelling desk chair while watching the Honey Badger and listening to Randall.

Last night I came downstairs to tell a studying Jameson that I was heading to bed. As I crossed from the stairs to the would-be family room something darted across the floor. I screamed and clamped my hand over my mouth while simultaneously jumping backward.

"WIFE!" Jameson shouted while jumping out of his skin. "What the hell!" He looked up at me, computer on his lap, feet up on the coffee table and annoyance spread across his face.

"There is an ANIMAL in the house. Again. Get up and catch it, " I ordered while bending over to hunt for the lizard on the floor. Our condo was the size of a postage stamp, it couldn't have gone far.

"Uuuuggggh," Jameson audibly sighed and dropped his feet. "An animal? What kind of animal?"

"I thought it was a cockroach, but it's a lizard. Gawd, do we have a mama lizard in the house just breeding these suckers so they can freak me out?"

"Yes, wife," he answered sarcastically.  "That's got to be what it is. A huge mama lizard and not the poor excuse for windows."

Jameson strapped on his headlamp and patiently searched with me for a solid 10-minutes before giving up.

"Babe, I don't have time for this. Sorry. I'm sure it's gone anyway. It probably went back out the same way it came in. I PROMISE you, that lizard is more scared of you than you are of it," he told me while putting away his headlamp and returning to the couch.

"Wait!  We can't go to bed and just leave the lizard in the house!"

"Welllllll....," Jameson drew out, "WE aren't going to bed. YOU are going to bed. I'm studying."

I turned around and stormed up the stairs. How could I go to sleep with a lizard roaming free in the house? I plopped on the bed, grabbed my iPhone and got on Skype with Jameson's work wife, Holly. We messaged back and forth for a few minutes, all the while me explaining my completely irrational fear that I couldn't sleep because the lizard may crawl into the bed or even worse, into my mouth and choke me. Even though I couldn't hear Holly when she responded to my cries for help regarding Godzilla, I'm sure she was secretly mocking me.

The following morning after a fitful 4-hours of sleep courtesy of Tylenol PM, I was in the kitchen stirring creamer into Jameson's coffee and mulling over how a lizard could still be in the house while my cat did nothing. I reasoned that it truly must have left and walked out of the kitchen carrying Jamesons coffee cup. I froze in front of the coat rack. There, perched on a black backpack, was the lizard. That little mother trucker!

"Ja!" I shouted not moving from my vantage point, "It's still here. Get over here quick while I watch it!"

Jameson sighed. Seriously? Am I asking too much for him to stop studying and remove nature from our home? Walking up to me he asked, "OK, where?"

I turned him around and pointed to the offender sitting on his backpack.

"That is what you were worried about?" He looked at me now and held back laughter.

"Hey! Do NOT make fun of me. You told me it was gone. Well, clearly it's not gone. Now get it out of here!"

I walked over to the sliding glass door, unlocked it, and waited for Jameson to rid our home of Godzilla. He simply took the backpack off the coat rack, walked outside and set the backpack on the ground while the lizard walked right off. Jameson then took a picture with his phone and posted it on my Facebook page so all of my friends could see the dangerous 'Godzilla'. What was his deal? This situation was legit!

Mental Checklist: Maggie the cat is not only lazy but completely inadequate for hunting and killing.  Look into motion detectors or those super high frequency rodent repellent devices.