Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kerri's Favorite Things 2010

I do hate to be cliche. But, after berating most of my friends favorite time of the year, I figured I better come this week with a little more holiday cheer. Rest assured that if I had the money all 12 of you would be going home with a copy of each of these little gems that came into my life in the year of our Lord Two-Thousand and Ten. However, it would seem that on this particular occasion the best I can provide is my reccommendation and some pretty pictures. So, Enjoy!
Kerri's Favorite Things 2010
10. About a year ago, my boss gave me the best gift of our entire relationship. She took a substance that I had long regarded as rich people's less delicious bean dip and turned it into my go-to snack. Lest you think this is any indication of some sort of acquired hoitey-toitiness on my part, I should inform you that my palate only has buds for one:
Sabra Hummus It is delicious. It is not wierd and grainy, or runny and flavorless. It is rich and creamy and I have already converted some other hummus haters with this brand. Come to think of it though, I probably know someone who could teach me to make an amazing garbanzo bean smash-down.

9. Jeggings- no need to repeat my reasoning. If you don't know why then just click here for a A.A. flashback post.

8. I love Children's books, I love America, I STILL Love  the Rocky-Bam, so how could I not love this:

7.  As for adult ficiton, I have been seriously off the reading wagon. EEK! However, the most influential non-fiction book of my 2010 has been about Strengths...check out the author and do yourself a favor by taking his course, right here:


6. I am embarrassed to say it. He is lude. He is crude. But he is also gorgeous and about a million times more clever than I had previously been willing to believe. 2010 is the year when I came to understand all the hype around this guy:


5. I waited for this film, like a child innocently waits for the misleading and theologically undermining elder gent called Santa. (Sorry I had to get one last Christmas dig in) And this time, it was worth the wait. The acting, the writing, the cinematography, the social commentary--don't let 2010 slip away without seeing


4. And after that when you need a laugh... I waited too long to watch what I think might be the tightest comedy of the postmodern sitcome scene. It isn't for the easily offended, but if you are the type who appreciates a little offensiveness now and then these are your people

3. I am a very mainstream girl. I have no real desire to seek out the newest indie-anything. Sure. on occasion (meaning if Ryan Gosling is involved) I will watch a film festival darling and if my best friends brother happens to be an amazing but unknown writer I will read him. But for good or for ill I usually just trust the masses to determine what I go searching for. But the best poet, artist, musician that has influenced me over the past few months has been one folk festival treasure by the name of Mr. John Fulbright. Please, Please, Please if you are even considering liking poetry, check this guy out:

2. 2010 brought me 2 new  great nieces. They are beautiful, hilarious, unique, and largely uninteresting for the purposes of this post so we will just leave it at that.

and Finally,
1. What act of God could beat out the miracle of new life or the as yet unrementioned year of the funny? Well it is one man's rise to power. A man whose simultaneously calm and urgent demeanor takes us back to a time when we all felt a little more confident in the years to come. That man is, of course,
Jason Garrett!  Go Cowboys!
Happy New Year to all of you. May it be more August less Angst and full of new favorite things.

Kerri K.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

You Hate Christmas?!?!

Yes, I hate Christmas.

People roll their eyes in disgust when I say that, but for the most part it is true. Although, I certainly don’t hate Jesus or birthdays or a collective spirit of generosity. And, I don’t hate advent or carols or delicious food, either. So I guess my more precise, but less catchy, statement of belief is this: I hate the secular, para-christmas activities falling on an around the winter solstice. To further clarify this offense of mine, I have decided to create a list, formerly entitled Why I hate Christmas, but now titled, (so as to not be misleading any longer):

Reasons I hate the secular Para-Christmas Activities Falling on and Around the Winter Solstice

Volume 1

I hate Decorating

Decorating is an experience in which I always feel my femininity to be in question. People turn on their old-money chuckle and use the collective voice a lot. “Oh Kerri, I don’t think we really want to hang that ornament on this branch do we?? (insert fake-ish cough-like laughter). Why don’t we try over here, doesn’t that make more sense? “

“Oh I see,” I think to myself, “you are searching for the sensible answer about all of this? Okay lovey, what if we, didn’t uproot an allergen infested tree only to put colorful, metallic balls on it for two weeks, like the pagans of years gone by. Wouldn’t that be rich?” Furthermore, what if we (you) owned our (your) own neurosis and just said this: “take your hands of my damn Christmas tree you crazy hippy-dip, you are ruining my vision for this seasonal d├ęcor with all your kooky dissymmetrical leanings.!!!" Wouldn’t that feel better for everyone?

As you can see, my station in life as a lazy, non-visual, decorative pragmatist precludes me from decking the halls with much, if any merriment. I hate it. But not as much as …

I hate Winter

I know what you are going to say you winter-loving reader. You all always come with the same line. “Well at least in winter you can always put more clothes on. In summer you can only take so much off, right?”. Here are the three-fold errors in that argument.

Number 1: No you cannot! There is a certain point at which you can no longer put more clothing on both literally and practically speaking. Even if I can put on 36 shirts (which I assure you is what it would take to keep me cozy on some February nights) , does it really make sense to allot the extra hours it would take to toddle your way to your destination and then strip each layer off once you arrive and are enveloped into a little miracle called central heating? I don’t think it does.

Number 2: In summer, once you have taken off everything you possible can, you need only water or anything made of paper to cool yourself down. You can spray or fan yourself both inside and outside. Your limbs have free range of motion to utilize these tools because they are not trapped by 36 layers of wool suffocation. And furthermore,

Number 3: If it is 110 degrees outside and I jump in a pool, I am hot no longer. However, If it is 20 degrees outside and I stand by a fire, I must position my body in such a way that every part of me gets acknowledged by those flames. God forbid, I reach out to grab a marshmallow or, my now ash-scented hat that fell off a few minutes ago. So to sum up these weather sentiments, Summer rules, Winter Drools, okay? I think we can all put that issue to rest and move on to the worst offender of all…

I hate White Elephant Gifts

I have never been a fan of antagonism. I know there are people out there that think it is so cute and hilarious to go to a restaurant where the wait-staff berates the customers, or who love to watch television shows where people slip and fall into a mud pit and everyone has a gay old time at his or her expense. I cannot stand these things. How is it funny to get yelled at? Or laughed at when you’re losing a competition? So, my head explodes with confusion each holiday season when people get together with the express purpose of antagonistically handing out gifts of which others will get little to no use. I am a people person, however, so I usually go to these gatherings if I am invited. And the fates always have their way with me.

This year I fell for the beautiful wrapping of my friend Sarah Silverman. I opened the package to find a little something called a shelf-sitter. That is what it does. It sits on a shelf. I have to pride this organization on their honesty. Not trying to pull the wool over anybodies eyes with a name like Decorative Overhang or Ledge Adornment. Keep it simple sister, what you got here is a shelf sitter--nothing more, nothing less. Although, how something could be qualified as less than an object whose sole purpose is to sit, is beyond the borders of my imagination. So, if I did not express enough gratitude in the moment, let me say it again. Thank you Silverman  for giving me the gift that someone gave you, in a well-intended but misinformed attempt to gain your affection. The gift has been passed on to a child who, I am told will receive pleasure in watching it sit.

So, 
 for all the incredulous toward my grinchitude, these are my first three problems with X-mas time. Although, it does occur to me that this year I saw and participated in some not-so-bad Christmas spruce ups and it has been pretty warm here in Texas and that unicorn shelf sitter did give me inspiration for this week’s post. So for this year only, I suppose I should say that the season has not been half-bad.

Merry Christmas Everyone! Mucho Amor,

Kerri

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Friday Night Lies


1  Chicken Lo Mein Kids Meal

1 Sweet and Sour Chicken Kids Meal
1 Order of Chicken Eggrolls (comes with 2)

Please tell me, does this sound like a meal for one person or two? Because the girl at the counter yesterday felt the need to clarify whether I required 2 plasticware packets for this order. Why would she ask me something so insulting? Do I look like the type of person who orders two meals and two eggrolls to devour on a Friday night? Am I that overweight, unattractive and off-putting that she thinks that all I have to do on my evening off is plow through a smorgesboard of asian cuisine while watching a chick-flick and pretending to clean up my studio apartment? The nerve!

To her credit, that is exactly what I was doing that night, so in the most technical of senses, she was right to question me; but doesn’t it seem prudent to just assume that I am ordering for 2? After (somewhat huffily) implying that yes, I would be needing two plasticware packets, I walked out to my car and wondered at myself.

Why lie? They were kids meals after all and I did intend to save some for lunch the next day, so why not be a woman about the whole issue, tell the truth and spare Shu Shus the loss of one packet (which I am sure adds up after a while if people are just taking them willy nilly for face-saving purposes). Truthfully, I wasn’t even disappointed in spending my evening this way, to the contrary, I had been looking forward to it, planning it even, but the problem was that on some level, I had been judged rightly and that tends to make me squirm.

I realized this a few months ago when I had a meeting with my professional mentor. She is always asking for honesty so I basically told her that I honestly had never planned to be a working woman and going to a job day after day was really becoming a buzzkill for me. She of course looked at me like a naive, entitled, lazy disappointment of a student. She reminded me that it isn’t completely realistic to be a housewife sans husband and children. I started crying.

I went home feeling sick to my stomach sure that she had misunderstood me. "I don’t feel like she was listening", I thought, "or maybe I was just stumbling over my words too much" or…Could it be that she understood me perfectly? I mean yes, she has her own beliefs and biases that she might attach to the facts of my life but she has that right. So does the Shu Shus girl. I don’t get to choose their reaction to who I am. But that is exactly what I attempt to do when I edit and talk around my point and try to be pleasing instead of authentic.

I am a double-meal ordering, aspiring housewife. That might be unhealthy, crazy or worse, but it is the truth. It is my own problem or pride and no one else's. So, I guess this is my apology to Shu Shus

Sorry for lying about your plasticware.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Adventually...

I will always remember my first Hannukah.

I was living overseas with Leelee and, at the time, with my friend Nat as well. Leelee and I are Christians and Nat is Jewish and so we decided that this was a great time to share faith with one another.

Each night Nat schooled us in Hannukah happenings:

We utilized our resources of old candy box and Oreos sent from home to play the dreidel game.

We lit our potato-constructed Menorah in the window sill each evening.

We ate deliciously oily Latkes in rememberance of the oil that God provided to the israelites in the Temple.

and,

We learned and prayed new Hebrew blessings, my favorite of which was the Ha-Motzi or Blessing for Bread.

When it was our turn to share, I did readings in celebration of Advent, a tradition that was actually as foreign to me as Hannukah but that God had compelled me to look into on this particular year.

Advent is a time of waiting...

and waiting....

and waiting....

We sing songs like O Come, O Come Emmanuel-- the minor chords reminding us how eerily, depressingly  long Israel awaited a savior.

And we relate.  Because we are waiters too.

When will I find love?
 How long 'til I get pregnant?
 What needs to happen for me to escape to this job, city, sin?

And some of us, myself included,  are the most obnoxious of kids in the back of God's Mini-van.

Are we THERE yet?!?!

Now, as anyone who has ever seen a good coming-of-age film knows, the answer is no! We are not there yet. The vast majority of our time on this planet is spent traveling with occasional arrivals-- and to be honest it is probably kind of annoying to God that we can't take a minute to look at all the beauty that surronds us as we get there. It is good to be eager, to live in expectation of what God is going to do, I don't mean to malign that practice one bit. I live by this practice. But it is also good to thank God for our daily bread--that which sustains us as we wait...

"Baruch Atah YHVH/Adonai,  ("Praised are You, Lord, our God,)
Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam -  (King of the Universe)
Ha-motzi lechem min ha-aretz." (Who brings forth bread from the Earth)

In Bethlehem lies the realization of all the world's hopes and fears, or so the song goes. May you live this advent season with more hope and less fear and with thankfulness for the Bread of Life.

Kerri K.

P.S. Want to try something pretty darn meaningful for advent? Check-out http://www.adventconspiracy.org/

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How do you like them, Apples?

Single though I may be, I have always thought of myself as a mother—most likely because I have always been shaped like a woman entering her second trimester (cute, skinny arms and legs paired with an ample baby-storing mid-section). In the fashion-biz I am what they call an “apple”, and for all my single and not so single ladies out there, I know that you know the trials and tribs of dressing right for your body type.


I still remember when I first discovered the magic of empire-waist baby-doll dresses. I was in the 6th grade and happy as a clam. There have been other moments of apple-bodied victory throughout the years—tank-inis and your classic V-neck Tee, not the least of these little heaven-sent cloth kisses, but this summer I was taken aback by the new lean, mean closet dream that flew into town compliments of Target.

An apple has two wardrobe goals when she gets out of bed each morning:

1. Do everything in her power to showcase those gorgeous gams.

2. Try and limit the number of people who ask when the baby is due.

These goals seem incompatible at times, particularly when you are talking jeans. In the past, apples have oft been given an “all or nothing” scenario. You can show off the legs (and the belly comes along for the ride) or you can cover the tum, tum (with a pant that wholly swallows your entire lower half). I know it isn’t exactly a sophie’s choice situation but c’mon, it sucks.

So when I walked into Laura’s house last August, before heading to a meeting together, I was amazed at what I saw. Laura is always a striking woman—strong and statuesque with a good amount of come-hither thrown in. But, on this particular day I was drooling even more than usual. Her legs were astonishing, I could see every inch of them and yet, I wasn’t embarrassed for her or her four children.

Other people had the same reaction, thus frantic whispers traveled around the meeting.

“Check Laura Out!”
“What is she rocking?”
“Where can I get some?”

The answer would come to me later that evening. This crown jewel of the jean world had a name and the name was

Jeggings!

I know, it is unfortunate, a gross sounding name, truly meant for mockery and if they weren’t so invaluably awesome (forgiving where they need to be and tight where it counts) I would have to boycott them on that count alone. But ladies, they are that invaluably awesome!

And you will never guess who agrees with said awesomeness, I mean deep sigh of pleasure—bite down on his own finger kind of agreement! Find out who, right here (click on the second sneak peek on the page). Yes, yes, I have never been so proud to bear the Jegging name.

So, apples of the world unite, you gotta get your jeg on, and for what it’s worth my little pear friends, I happen to love the look on you A-shapes as well.  But if you disagree then please speak to your sisters!

 What is the must-have item for ladies with a petite uptown and a party downtown?

Other body types feel free to chime in too!

And if some male-type has actually made it to the bottom of this altogether girly conversation starter, do tell-- do you agree with our celebrity gentlemen about the allure of the jegging, or do you prefer a good mom-jean (nice high waist with a taper)?

 Would love to hear from you!

Kerri