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!

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Why yes, Dumbledore, I did just eat a whole cantaloupe for breakfast

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So I realized the other day that cancer scares the sh*t out of me.

I know, I know. Duh? Right? But with my dad’s recent diagnosis, I’ve been thinking a lot about taking my health into my own hands. You know, that thing that we all drunkenly promise to do every January 1 before going into a corner and shame eating an entire pan of Andes Mint Brownies, all the while insisting through the chocolate, “Well, today’s a holiday, dude. I’ll start tomorrow.”

Come on, kids. We’ve all seen this play.

And I say this without judgment. I have not only seen this play. I’ve friggin’ starred in it. Like… since I was 15. But I wanted to break the cycle. And I can honestly say that this time it’s only 5% motivated by vanity. The rest of me genuinely wants to snap out of it. Enter: Eat to Live. It’s a 6 week vegan cleanse which the good doctor Fuhrman describes as “a road that will change your life.” I thought it sounded a bit too much like rehab for me, so I’ve been referring to it as a “Vegan Extravaganza!” (Way more exciting than the whole road bit, am I right? Yes, of course I’m right. Moving on.) 

Trying to find comraderie and support (Because Carter thinks I’m bat-crap crazy), I talked to a vegetarian coworker on my first day sans animal products. 
ME: So I’m doing this Eat to Live thing. I’m a vegan now. I ate a whole cantaloupe for breakfast. 

[Shock on coworkers face]

COWORKER: Wow… a whole cantaloupe?

ME: Yes! Volumetrics, they call it! I have to eat lots of plants now because I’m a vegan and all. No side effects yet, but it’s only day one! They said during the detox phase that I should expect my body to behave like a pissy seventh grader with an authority complex and a Ritalin prescription

COWORKER: Uh huh. That’s…

ME: Weird, right? I know! I’m not really sure what that means, but I’m waiting for it to be terrible. If you listen to my dad when he describes my teenage years, it’s going to be just awful!

COWORKER: Uh huh. That’s…

ME: Crazy, right? I mean, not me as a teenager. Ok, maybe a little. But it’s more crazy about the whole detox thing, right? But we’re in the vegetable club together! We should swap recipes and eat raw lunches and act super superior to our lowly carnivorous compatriots!

COWORKER: I have to go do the… the… I’ll see you later!

This was not a good first day.

Later, as if veganism day 1 had not been rough enough, I decided that I needed to go to the grocery store and buy all of the obscure produce that I never knew what to do with before. (Note: I still don’t know what to do with it.) As I walked through the produce aisle, I saw out of the corner of my eye a man removing an entire wheel of rotisserie chickens from the oven. I’m fairly certain I began drooling like Beethoven (the St. Bernard. Not the Ludwig von. But you probably already knew that). So anyways, I’m convinced that the good people of Publix put an industrial fan behind the chickens when they come out of the oven to “waft” the scent of crispy chicken skin out into the store to sell them. Because that’s the most alluring part of a roasted chicken. And if you say that you don’t enjoy eating the crunchy skin, you’re a liar and should tell the person sitting directly to your right to go upside your head. (My sister always says that. I think I used it correctly. When in Rome, right?)

There was a small puddle of my own saliva on the floor in front of me and like a Looney Toons character, I was soon to be lifted by the visible scent on the breeze when Carter came over with his arms full of packages of deli meat. I’ve never wanted to smack him so badly. But I did not—he had effectively broken the chicken skin spell—and turned my attention to the root vegetables. Yum.

Carter and I were driving to my parents this past weekend for my dad’s birthday and decided to get sushi to go for the vegan and the Italian Meats Sub for the carnivore. Bastard. Waiting for my sushi, I was overcome by the smell of Carter’s sub, which included not one, not two, but THREE Italian meats smothered in melted provolone, banana peppers, and sauce. And when I get overcome, I say things. Stupid things. And then I tell myself to stop talking, to just stop. But I cant! I keep looking for the conversational exit that will never come! (An excellent visual for my conversational backpedaling comes from my exploration of the combat tunnels in Cu Chi, Vietnam. You’re on your belly and there are bats and spiders literally 2 inches above your head and you keep waiting for the exit tunnel. But it never comes! Instead, the lights that you see are merely dim bulbs that light up tiny enclaves off of the tunnel that contain VC and NVA mannequins doing, well, nothing really, other than terrifying poor tourists who hate wax museums to begin with, let alone wax museums A MILE UNDER GROUND! But I digress.) In short, when overwhelmed, I am an idiot.

ME: What’s that thing?

KINDLY SUSHI GUY (KSG): Oh this? This is a slicer thing that keeps us from having law suits from cutting all of our fingers off. It slices sushi rolls into ten even pieces. You see, eight pieces are easy to cut by hand. Ten pieces makes it super likely that there will be a finger in someone’s food.

ME: Oh, wow! That’s kind of like the wheel slicer thing at my grandfather’s butcher shop.

KSG: [Blank stare]

ME: Oh, you know! The one’s with the spinning death blade that you rub the meat all over and it slices it! Carter, you know what I’m talking about! The wheel slicer thing!

CARTER: [Trying to be helpful] The deli slicer with the rotating blade?

ME: YES! Well, I know how you feel having to clean that sushi thing. I nearly lost an arm cleaning the wheel of death. Who lets an eleven year old clean a samurai sword sharp deli slicer?

CARTER: No one. You were not eleven. You were twenty-one. And it was not at your grandfather’s store. It was at the restaurant where you worked. As an adult. No one lets an eleven year old clean one of those things.

But now he’s made it awkward for me. Because I’ve just made my sweet grandpa out to be the kind of man who gives knives to children and tells them to go running with them.
ME: Well I helped when I was eleven. I’m very responsible.

KSG: That doesn’t sound safe. I mean, I’m afraid of this thing and I’m twenty-seven. I mean, that’s just not good parenting.

ME: Well if you must know, we’re German. Which means we’re crazy. But it also means we’re über responsible. Haven’t you ever heard the sound of a Mercedes door closing? It’s magical! Thunk.

[Carter smacks forehead against wall repeatedly to made it stop.]

ME: I’m sorry. I’m a vegan. As of four days ago. Detox is nearly over. And his Italian meats are making me crazy.

[Terrified look on KSG’s face]

ME: He has a sub! Meats as in a sub!

Thank God that Carter was successful in finally hauling me out of there. (The only reason he was able to do this is because I was weakened by my veganism.) But I did go out brandishing chopsticks at KSG, who had his cell phone out. I’m pretty sure he was taking a picture of me to post under the register so that they can refuse me service. Or at the very least, not make eye contact with me.

I ate my sushi in silence. Well, except for the moment where I may or may not have said, “God bless America. Only in America can you eat sushi in a car. You can’t do that in Syria.” To which C replied that you can’t do much of anything in Syria right now. And away we went. All kidding aside, have you seen what’s going on over there? We’ve been a little obsessed with it lately and in all seriousness, it is an absolute crisis and something needs to be done.

Rousing, traffic-filled conversation about the Syrian crisis over, Carter thought that listening to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on tape might placate me into a vegetable laden stupor. And he was right. Until he began to offer his commentary on how and why Snape does what he does. I was not having this. After a while of this argument, during which I began snarling, Carter offered up this little gem:


Carter: You know what, babe? You just don’t care about Dumbledore.

He had gone too far. I may or may not have responded by saying, “If you say that ever again, I’m going to f*** you up.” (Note: I WAS serious, even though Carter insists he knew I was joking. Harry Potter – the only thing that would make me threaten the life of my fiance. Well… besides zombies. If he ever got the virus, I would be very threatening. I may or may not have said all of that out loud.)

This was hilarious for Carter, because within 4 minutes, he had texted the quote, tweeted the quote, and made it his facebook status. Which he only changes three times a year. I did not see the humor. I was serious as a heart attack when I said it, which we all know is quite serious. I happen to be one of those crazies that wishes that Hogwarts was real and that I worked there. And that Dumbledore and I had tea on Tuesday mornings. I totally would have gotten (and KEPT) the Defense Against the Dark Arts job. Oh yea, and I wouldn’t have killed him. Yea, yea, yea, I know it had to happen. Snape’s a good guy, blah blah blah. But it still tore me up. As it should everyone who has read that book. If it did not tear you up, you may want to be examined by your local priest because I’m fairly certain your soul is missing and you should go find that friggin’ horcrux.

Here’s the basic lesson from this post:

1.    Don’t taunt a vegan with chicken skin. It’s just cruel. Deliciously cruel.

2.    An entire cantaloupe is a perfectly respectable breakfast when one is only eating things that at one time had roots. Don’t you dare judge me.

3.    There is something called nutritional yeast. Vegans eat it because it apparently tastes like cheese. Unfortunately, it looks like the flaked fish food. Bought it anyway.

4.    I should likely not be allowed out in public. Or if I am, I should be gagged.
5.    Read the news. I mean it.
6.    Don’t ever insinuate that I don’t care about Dumbldore. I will find you.
Ok, so that was more than a single lesson. But all valid and valuable. Consider
yourself enriched. And read Harry Potter. You’ll be glad you did when the zombie apocalypse comes. Think about that for a while. I’m totally right.
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“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.com. 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!

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