The Nekked and the Nude

My sister hates two things:

1.       Being naked in front of other people. Or nude, for that matter.

2.       Being touched by strangers.

(Note: There IS a difference between being naked and nude. Allow me to enlighten you: Nude is when you have your clothes off for a moral purpose, such as bathing or knowing your wife in the biblical sense. Naked [or Nekked, if you’re from anywhere near the South…or southern Illinois] is when you have your clothes off and are up to no good. Savvy? Good.)

So just to reiterate, Kara hates two things:

1.       Being nekked, or nude, in front of other people.

2.       Strange people touching her.

All very legitimate things to hate, right? We can’t all be touchy nudes, now can we? Nooo, nooo.

My bachelorette party was this past weekend. (Bear with me, I promise the dots connect.) It was a relaxing, fun time that began with pedicures, cosmos (LOTS of cosmos), a casino, and three hours of sleep. The next morning was to be a relaxing end to a great weekend wherein myself and all the bridesmaids and I were going to get massages. ( See the connection now? I promised it was there. )

For my sweet baby sister, the prospect of a massage is the single most horrifying event she can imagine.

ME: Kara, why don’t you just get a facial instead? Lots of chemicals, minimal touching. That sounds like your kind of hour, right?

KARA: No, I want to do what the rest of you are doing?

ME: Well I hate jellyfish and if you all decided to pull a Dory and swim with them I sure as hell wouldn’t “want to do what the rest of you were doing.”

KARA: What?

ME: You know, like in Finding Nemo? When Dory swims through the jellyfish and she and Marlin almost die? You KNOW I hate jellyfish?

KARA: [blank stare]

ME: Come on! It was a good analogy!

Le sigh.

But my fearless maid-of-honor decided to boldly go into the fray, i.e. terry cloth robe and slippers.

When the others, myself included, left the massage rooms and entered the “Tranquility Room,” everyone had this sleepy, relaxed, after-glow sort of look. …Except Kara. I can’t really accurately describe the look on her face, so I drew you a picture.

Yes, kids—that is the clenched look of terror. No relaxed, sleepy look for our girl. Oh no. I’ve left the dentist looking more relaxed.

I obviously wasn’t in the therapy room, but piecing together what I know about Kara, and massage therapists, I can safely speculate how the hour went. And so, I present for your reading entertainment, a dramatic reading. Buon Appetit.

 The Tale of Kara the Tense

Scene: Our gentle maid-of-honor has reluctantly slipped into her terry cloth robe and slippers, locked her locker, and braced herself. The others are still changing. She waits by the door.

KARA: [LOUDLY] I don’t know about you all, but they will not get me to take my under wear off. I left it all on. It’s like my one protection against these people.

[Stares from the women in the room, all of them super naked under their robes]

ME: These people?

KARA: Yes. These people. Why in God’s name would you ever go to school to make a living touching people. It’s insane.

BRIDESMAID 1: So… what are you going to do?

KARA: [Fist held aloft like Braveheart] ENDURE!

Scene: Tranquility Room. The sound of water cascading gently over smooth stones fills the room with aquatic music. The bridal party sprawls on reclining lounge chairs, sipping orange water and chatting quietly. Kara sits on the edge of a lounger and rocks steadily back and forth. Massage therapist enters.

MASSAGE THERAPIST (MT): Kara? Are you ready?

KARA: Pray for me, ladies! And if I don’t come out in an hour, call the police, for I’m surely dead.

Scene: The massage therapist leads Kara down a dimly lit hallway, the sounds of ocean waves and spa music drift. Kara assumes that she is obviously being led into the bowels of Hell. They arrive at Therapy Room 7.

MT: Kara, I’m going to step out for a few minutes. Please take off your robe, there’s a hook on the back of the door. Leave your slippers in the corner. Please lay face-down on the table, under the sheet, with your face in the cradle. I’ll be right back.

Scene: With the resolve of a Revolutionary War soldier about to face his certain death of dysentery, Kara removes her slippers. She takes off her robe, throwing it onto the hook, and races for the massage table. She climbs under the sheet and tucks it around her body as best she can, tiny fists clenched.


Scene: The MT enters the room and begins bustling about, arranging the lotion, hot towels, and other accoutrement of her trade. She moves to Kara’s side and pulls the sheet down to her waist. Expertly, she begins to rub the lotion on Kara’s back to begin the massage.

MT: Kara, you’re very tense. Can you try relaxing for me?

KARA: [Through clenched teeth] I’m relaxed!

MT: Kara, I don’t think you are. It’s like kneading a wooden table-top back here. All of your muscles are contracted. Can you take some deep cleansing breaths for me?

[Kara begins to hyperventilate]

MT: Ok, Kara, just breathe normally. Let’s try again. Try to relax.

KARA: I told you. I’m f***ing relaxed! Ok!? Don’t you people know relaxed when you see it?

Scene: And so passed the hour. Kara, clenching all of her muscles for dear life. Massage Therapist, trying like mad.  


It’s funny, right? Eventually, you would have thought, the massage therapist would have given up, put a hot towel on Kara’s back, and read Cosmopolitan magazine to her, quoting facts about “29 Ways Tickle his Fancy in Under an Hour.” But given the look on Kara’s face, and the broken appearance of the therapist’s thumbs, I think it’s safe to say that Kara had a persevering therapist who will likely have to reconsider her career choice. How can you massage nekked people if your thumbs are broken?
(Note: Ok, her thumbs weren’t really broken. But she did look exhausted. And a lot like she wanted to kill someone. Probably Kara. But it’s ok, because Kara looked exhausted. And a lot like she wanted to kille someone, too. Probably me.)

She’s probably going to kill me when she reads this, so I will follow this post with the lessons to be learned from this weekend:
1.       Underwear will not protect you from massage therapists and their touching you. They will just work around it. They’re devious like that.

2.     Southern Indianan Men do not like participating in Dirty Bachelorette Dare. They are shy creatures and won’t help a lady out with her dare card even if she faces ridicule for not completing it.  

3.      Put your veil on when you get to where you’re going, wedding or otherwise. Yes, this goes for all veils. My bachelorette veil got shut in a car door. I very nearly died.

4.       Ok, so I didn’t nearly die. But I very nearly got a bald spot from it.

5.     Ok, that’s not true either. But it did hurt.

6.      Laughing at a traumatized person post-Swedish massage is mean. But it is also impossible to avoid.

7.    It’s a good sister that would traumatize herself with a massage to be one of the girls just to make my bachelorette weekend perfect. You’re the best, monkey.  

 Tune in tomorrow for my better version of the Wordless Wednesday post:

“Picture of My Beagle Napping Like She’s in a Crime Scene” Wednesday


Well, of Course My Beagle is a Weapon of Mass Destruction!

The Fourth of July always does interesting things to me, not the least of which is indigestion. But not this year, kids! My Independence cookout will be vegetable kebobs with grilled pineapple, tabouleh, and a green monster smoothie. Awesome, right? I suppose it is, but all I really want is ribs. Carter is planning on grilling some magnificent meat magic tomorrow and being the reluctant, albeit committed, vegan that I am (for 6 weeks, at least), I will be watching him eat it with the rapt and obsessive attention of teenage boys viewing pornography for the first time…. Or 100thtime. (Does it ever get old, guys? Do you ever have that moment where you say [insert the voice of James Lipton], “This screen shot is both repetitive and pedestrian. How have I missed it all these years? I feel as though I’ve wasted literally MINUTES of my life!” Sorry guys. But the answer is NO. We all know you watch it. You can stop hitting ALT + TAB when we come in the room.)

I will be asking Carter to give me the play-by-play of his July 4thfeast. In fact, I have been working on a taste worksheet (Like the ones at wine tastings. Yes, yes, the ones I’ve only seen on Food Network.). As I see it, the taste worksheet will include various gauges of flavor profiling: smoke factor, fat content, general WOWEE factor, etc. Yes. Wowee. You read that right. And I followed it with an abbreviation. There’s that $47,000 in MFA education at work for you. Aren’t I clever?

So 4th of July might be interesting in our house tomorrow. Thank GOD I found a recipe for Vegan Cookie Dough Blizzards that I may or may not share with Carter. (Who are we kidding? NOT. The man gets meat for Pete’s sake. Isn’t that enough? I ask you – where is the line!?!) So I’ve got that one going for me. Cookie Dough. JAnd I may use one of my empty Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie dough tubs that I just happen to have lying around to eat said cookie dough from. You know, to simulate old times. Shame-eating it with a spoon out of the tub. At 2 am. While the bag of spinach looks supremely judgmental in the eerie glow of the refrigerator bulb. It’s fine—I never liked him anyway!
(Note: I lied. I do like spinach. Just not the passive aggressive variety. It’s usually not labeled, so examine carefully before purchase. It will judge. Oh yes, it will judge.)
All in all, I think it’s going to be a successful 4thfor Carter and I. Barbecue porn. Veganism. Vegan cookie dough out of a tub. Not sharing said cookie dough in tub. Enduring the silent treatment for not sharing. Bribing forgiveness for not sharing with Nutritional Yeast. (Remember? The stuff that tastes like cheese? Allegedly. No? Glad you’re keeping up.) Feeling awful when it is pointed out to me that Nutritional Yeast is NOT cheese and that even if it were, it would not be an acceptable substitute for cookie dough. (Note: I’m totally justified! Last night, Carter and I split a bottle of wine. I started pinning crap and got distracted. When I surfaced for air from all of the pins, I noticed that my wine glass was empty and that Carter’s was double full. Bastard took my wine and put it in his! “But babe, I didn’t know you were going to finish it!” Bullsh*t. He looked repentant enough, but as we all know, I am a giant pain in the ass nothing if not fair. As such, I felt the need to subject him to angry looks as I finished the entire jumbo glass of wine. That will teach him. Cookie dough? You don’t deserve it, Carter.)
(Addendum to previous note: I immediately felt bad. Carter, you do deserve cookie dough. You deserve cookie dough because I’m a giant pain in the ass a spirited woman with defined opinions and a territorial attitude towards food and you’re stupidbrave blessed enough to find me lovable.)
But on this, the eve of the 4th of July, I am reminded of another 4th of July, long ago.
Long, long agoIn 2009, in a far away land in the mystical Kentucky, there lived a family. There was a king, a queen, two princesses very odd daughters, a poodle with an attitude problem named Max (Pour one out for my homie. RIP), and a beagle.  The beagle’s name was Rigby and she was afflicted with poor nerves. (Think Mrs. Bennett in Pride & Prejudice. The new one. Yep. That bad)
If I’m going to do this, I’m just going to do this. Read on, kittens!

Twas the Night Before Independence Day: A Poem
Twas the night before Independence Day, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The fireworks were stored in the garage with care
In hopes that by morning all fingers would still be there.

The children were running like mad on the lawn
While GamGam on the deck had started to yawn.
And mamma in her muumuu, and Dad in his cap
Had just started fighting about the potato salad being crap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. (Note: At least, if this were 1835 I would have done all these thing. I’m pretty sure I just looked outside the mini-blind-less window.)

Fireworks, a day early, in the sky did blow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
Rigby the beagle, quaking in fear.

With her tail all a-quiver and her legs all a-shake,
I knew in a moment what all was at stake.
More rapid than eagles her tremors they came,
And I shrieked to my mom, “We need the freakin’ Benadryl!”  (Note: You try rhyming anything with Benadryl.)

“Now Rigby, please take it, please take this great pill!
I put it in peanut butter, it won’t make you ill!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
We held her down and stroked her throat and she swallowed it all! (Note: Stow your dirty minds. This is ART.)

We thought we were safe, that our work had been done
And shut her in the bedroom to go watch the fun. (Note: Fireworks, you pervs. Remember?)
So up over the rooftops to the dark sky they flew,
A symbol of freedom, blazing red, white, and blue. (Note: Fireworks came from China. Irony?)

And then, to my horror, my beer glass looked dry,

I went in to give that Mich Ultra a try. (Note: Learn from my mistakes. Don’t give it a try.)
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Into the kitchen ran Max with a bound.

He looked simply gleeful, from his head to his foot.
How could I tell, you ask, he’s the color of soot?
He wanted me to follow, this much I could tell.
If only I’d known he was heading for Hell. (Note: Just wait for it.)

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, he’d been into the sherry! (Note: We are not classy enough to own sherry. But nothing else rhymed.)
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
As he knew how much trouble awaited me, so…… (Note: For those of you who never had the pleasure of knowing Max, he was a devious ass who loved getting Rigby in trouble.)

I opened the door and drew back in shock,
The bedroom smelled worse than low tide at a dock!
There sat my Rigby, all covered in sh*t,
And I do mean covered, she was all over it.

I can only describe it as I saw it that night,
Rigby’s bowels had exploded because of her fright. (Note: I am NOT exaggerating. EXPLODED.)
I was all over the carpet, and spread up the wall,
It was smeared up on the door, and some out in the hall.

I spoke not a word, but went straight to my work,
I dumped her in the tub, turned it on with a jerk.
And laying my fingers aside of my nose,
I set to work cleaning before the stench rose!

Rigby sprang from the tub, to my side gave a shake,
And splattered me with more dung than a stable stall rake.
But I heard Mom exclaim, as she walked into our fight,
and I cussed, “Happy Independence to all, and to all a good-night!”

Look at how ashamed… and drugged… Oops.
(P.S.: I never exaggerate. Ok, sometimes. But I swear, this is the God’s Honest Truth. Well, aside from the whole rhyming bit. We don’t really do that in Kentucky. I can’t make this sh*t up! [No pun intended. Ok, maybe a little intended. Stop analyzing me to death!] Rigby’s large intestine exploded because of her overpowering fear. Makes you think about what you’d do if you ever took that skydiving trip you’ve been talking about incessantly, eh? She did do a Beethoven-esque [dog, not deaf composer] and sprayed me with what can only be classified as bio-terrorism [Yes, the noun]. And so I had the pleasure of sharing a shower with a terrified beagle who now had a self-loathing guilt complex and hogged all the hot water. [If you’ve ever owned a beagle, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.] We got the sh*t out of the carpet and THANK GOD for that stain resistant paint on the walls and door, but the damage was done. We could never look at Rigby the same again. She was not a sweet, porky pig of a beagle any longer. She was a ticking time bomb, a disaster waiting to happen and the slightest hint of celebration,….a WMD. Here she is, Geroge Bush, that thing you’ve done been looking for! Now where is the Nobel Prize for my mother and I?!?!?)
(P.P.S.: Ok, some people in Kentucky rhyme. I have some very talented poet friends.)

(P.P.P.S.: I sense that you don’t believe me. Shame on you.)

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

“Marriage is an adventure, like going to war.” – G.K. Chesterton

I’m Kate. I’m marrying a wonderful man, who we shall refer to as C. C is still trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. We both are. But we’re figuring it out together, I guess. Isn’t that the whole point of life? My dad says that you’re never done figuring out what you want to do with your life. If you’re done, you’re dead. So figure on, young lovers! This blog will track our soon-to-be newlywed “adventure” and all that comes before and after. It’s called Nested. Why? I’m glad you asked!

As I am not only a writer, but a deeply nerdy person, I refer you to one of the least utilized books of this, our modern day: the dictionary. Only slightly less used are, perhaps, the thesaurus, The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud, and all books about endowing harp seals with the powers of speech. But I digress.


noun \ˈnest\ Remember those?

1              a: a bed or receptacle prepared by an animal and especially a bird for its eggs and young

b: a place or specially modified structure serving as an abode of animals and especially of their immature stages nest>

c: a receptacle resembling a bird’s nest  

2                     a:  a place of rest, retreat, or lodging : Home nest>

3              the occupants or frequenters of a nest

4              a: a group of similar things nestof giant mountains — Helen MacInnes>


5              a group of objects made to fit close together or one within another

6              an emplaced group of weapons I refer you to this post’s title.

Examples of NEST (noun)

1.     The bird built a nest out of small twigs.

2.     If you look closely, you can see a nestin that tree.

3.     They lived in a cozy little nestin the suburbs.


verb \ˈnest\ Action!

1              to build or occupy a nest : settle in or as if in a nest

2              to fit compactly together or within one another

3              to form a nest for

4              to pack compactly together

5              to form a hierarchy, series, or sequence of with each member, element, or set contained in or containing the next <nested subroutines>

Examples of NEST (verb)

1.     Robins nested in the tree.

2.     She studied the nestinghabits of the turtle.

3.     The set of four chairs can nestinto one stack.

4.     The smaller bowl is designed to nestinside the larger one.

“nest.” Merriam-Webster, 2011.Web.26 April 2012.

Thank you, Mr. Merriam, Mr. Webster. Now we shall examine some examples of the word nest that I have come up with:

1.       The young couple began to build a nesttogether.

2.       Decorating a swank nest on an Old Milwaukee budget is soul crushing.

3.       Convincing C that yes, a proper nestneeds more than two spatulas, and that no, meat is not the new bread, is an ongoing process.

4.       At times, Kate wants to kick C out of the nest.

5.    C plays lots of video games in his part of the nest known as the “mancave”.

6.       Sometimes C’s playing of video games is what makes Kate want to exile him from the nest in the first place.

7.       Kate and C nest well together. Even if he has weird habits.

8.       When nesting, Kate enjoys being the big spoon.  Try and tell me it doesn’t work.

At of the conception of this blog, we are 107 days from the wedding. Terrifying? Yes. But C and I are embarking on the more immediate adventure of cohabitation. We are two baby birds just fallen out of our own old, comfortable nests that had more than enough closet space into a new, rented nest for both of us.

Yes, I said rented. Yes, that means that there is no closet space. Yes, that also means that we are trying to create little cubby holes for all of our belongings with nothing more than a prayer. Oh, and The Container Store.

It also means that there is 12 square feet of grass out front for my 80 lb. labradoodle, Lola, to use when she visits. Which I hope will be often. So to recap, here are the talking points of our new apartment: tiny closets, zero counter space, grass the size of a doormat. But it’s ours!

I promise that this blog will include more than me complaining about how none of C’s socks match or how hard assimilating all of your crap with another person’s crap can be. I’ll probably try to cover decorating on a budget, cooking good food on a budget, organizing on a budget, travel on a budget, and having fun, you guessed it, on a budget. I’ll talk about my writing (or sometimes, my lack thereof). I’ll wax on annoyingly about my joint custody arrangement with my mom regarding our dogs, Lola and Rigby.  But more than anything, I’ll probably end up writing about two crazy kids just trying to make it. [Insert appropriate Jerry McGuire quote] I hope you’ll stick around to see how it all turns out!