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Cheers, all!

Just a few resolutions from The Petler Inn for 2014:

Kate
•Blog more (ahem)
•Organize/Fucking Do Something
with the thousands of photos in
my house
•Keep up with all books read
•Add Pilates/yoga 2-3 times a week

Ben
•Buy a RG3120
•Make more videos
•Start running again

All the best.

K

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…and with 153 days left in the year, I thought it might be nice if I showed back up here.

One day I’ll be regular. I promise.
I just need some more prunes.

(Get it? It’s a poor witticism about human excrement!)

Maybe I shouldn’t be back more often.

How about some photos from my phone?

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This is from a week-ish ago; I always joke about how all the dogs love Food Lady (that’s me) the very most, and in wintertime, their warmth is most welcome, but during the summer it can be a bit stifling. Look closely here and you can see our large 75lb puppy, our small fat old bear, my Rock Star (that’s Ben), and me underneath all of them.

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This is from an independent shoot I helped on for a prospective pilot. The audio guy couldn’t make it, so he just sent the equipment out with us. Pictured is the DP, the producer, and the talent, all trying to figure out all those confusing wires.

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This is my beloved Rock Star, wasted nearly beyond recognition around 4am after his birthday party. By this point I’m pretty sure he’s moved on to straight water.

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These two are from our family beach trip to celebrate Oma’s 85th birthday. Lots of fun with an amazing amount alcohol flowing to keep all the Germans in good spirits.

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Oh! I nearly forgot!! We’re now an aunt/uncle…we now have a niece. She was born with a heart defect, poor thing has already had major heart surgery and she’s not even eight weeks old.

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The above awesome photo was taken from the Instagram page of Adelinakajtazovic

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Ben went on a five week tour with Whitechapel from April-May. He had a ton of fun and I had to wash my own dishes.

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And our puppy Zhora and chubby old bear Attila are still hanging around too!

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Right. I am a blog lurker. Mostly.

I started reading random blogs in college, but I really came into the blog world when I started working an incredibly shitty job all by myself for nine hours a day (didn’t get to leave for lunch because I was always alone) in a ghetto used CD/DVD/Video Game store for three-and-a-half years. All the work would be done in two or three hours, minus the customer service bit, of course. And obviously there were never many customers as they only kept one fucking employee (not that I’m bitter).
Right. So for six days a week over three years I spent a lot of time in a large moldy, mostly empty store.

With the Internet. God. The Internet is so fucking cool. If I brought a book, when a customer would walk in, the first thing I’d get was some dumbass comment about “workin real hard.”
But if I’m on the Internet, it appears as if I am working.

But the problem is I don’t know what to do with myself and the Internet for so long a time. Celebrity news is not interesting; I left the store TV on news channels all day; porn’s use does me no good in a large building with a glass wall; and anything that required audio was no good as I had to keep music playing throughout the store all day long. So I started finding blogs, and I’ve kept up with most of my favourites.

But the thing is I rarely comment. And if I do comment, I usually forget to go back and see if anyone replied to my comment (luckily email notifications help).

What’s interesting about most of the blogs I read is how I probably wouldn’t get along with the writers in real life. I love the writing, the stories, but I doubt that we could get past an initial first awkward meeting.

A month-ish ago, reading my twitter feed while Ben browsed the hipster music store in downtown Knoxville I realized one of my favourite bloggers was in my town. And not just in my town, but in the same area of my town that I was currently wandering around in and killing time. When I told Ben, he asked if I wanted to contact her and see if she wanted to get a drink.

“What? Oh…………umm…….yes?
Wait. No. I don’t think I want to. I thing she’d annoy the piss out of me if I actually talk to
her and I love her blog too much to want to ruin it that way.”

And that makes me sad. I would love to meet with these people whose writing I enjoy and who’s lives I have been watching (reading?) for years. Some of them I have seen go from being single to having children with a spouse. I’m invested. I’m curious in a strange voyeuristic way. I want to know all about them, but only at a distance. It’s very bizarre.

On the other hand, there are a few whom I would LOVE to meet and hang out with in real life. I think we’d get along well; my brashness and [incredibly] foul mouth wouldn’t upset them; etc. etc. etc..

One of those few is Brittany from Barefoot Foodie. I found her blog-hopping one day and thought her then-tagline of “not a food blog, just me being a dick” was hilarious. On paper (screen?) she seems like the kind of blogger I wouldn’t want to meet: a Mommy who sometimes writes about being insecure. I adore her.

The woman is fucking hilarious. And honest. And she loves wine! And seems like an incredibly awesome person that I would love to hang out with in the real world. And today, after laughing out loud at another one of her posts and reading it aloud to the rock star while he made coffee, I thought I’d share her. Because the more people who read this woman the better (not that she needs help; she’s quite successful all by herself). She can nearly always improve my day.

Brittany Gibbons

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…doesn’t that sound like fun?

I have an ongoing internal debate with myself over the social networking site that has raging for years. Earlier last week I read that the company will soon be going public and since then I have been thinking about closing my Facebook down (but I think about doing this at least twice a year).

The problem is the pros of having a Facebook are really really great. But there are so very many cons to keeping it.

Reasons to get rid of my Facebook page:
-Too many baby pictures
-Too many wedding pictures
-Too many people hating their job
-Too many people hating their life
-Too many people talking about their babies
-Too many people talking about how much the love their partner
-Too many people talking about being irritated with their partner
-Too many people complaining about not having a partner
-Too many “Jesus” posts: prayers/pleas/thanks/encouragement/etc.
-Too many posts deliberately instigating all the Jesus people
-Too many posts politically charged (in either direction)
-Too many posts about sports/tv/awards/celebrities
-It will force me to reach out to my friends in real life a whole
lot more.
-Too many “life obligation friends:” distant relatives, work
people, friends of friends that I may see socially a few times
a year, relatives I see annually or do not like, etc..

Generally, I’m just annoyed by Facebook. I am not a people person, I do not like most people, and, honestly I would much rather be alone than with most people. And really, as much as I love the narcissistic aspect of “look at how awesome I am!” I do not like actually putting some of that stuff out into the gigantic internet void.

Reasons to keep my Facebook page:
-I like the ease and simplicity of keeping up with my “real life”
friends: seeing photos, weekend plans, etc..
-It makes party-planning and concert-inviting incredibly easy.
-I’ve reconnected with old friends with whom I’ve lost touch.
-We have distant plans of opening an etsy store and the social
networking business aspect is most-likely needed.

Obviously if we are tallying these as a scoresheet, my Facebook page will be terminated immediately. But the positive side of Facebook has a much stronger pull than nearly all of the negatives. Last year in the post-holiday moving mess, I abandoned Facebook for almost three solid weeks and I didn’t miss it all that much.

What I have been seriously considering this past week is scaling back my Facebook in a major way; taking down most of my pictures, not posting directly onto my wall (just letting twitter fill it), getting rid of all my information except one email address, and other less participatory things like that. I have a Twitter account, I have this blog, I have three active email addresses, I just don’t need Facebook. And keeping it that way still allows me to issue event invites/reply to event invites, keep in touch with out-of-town friends that I really do enjoy interacting with even in such a small superficial way, and allows me to keep the account open for the eventual store page/ads. It would also mean that I no longer have to be such a fucking German about who I let into my Friends list (because I refuse to do the “hide” thing or the different group things just on principle). And, by not posting directly to my wall, it will push me to post more on here–even if it is random internet finds I wander across.

I have very nearly talked myself into doing this over the past two or three days…we will see what happens. Do you like your Facebook page?

-K

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Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Did I mention that we were busy? I hope so. I hope the complete and utter lack of posting also showed that.

Let’s recap:

*On December 31st, 2010 we moved into a new rental house with a one year lease.
*In mid-April 2011, the owners of the house [heretoforthwith knows as Dickheads] (who had put it up for rent after
it wouldn’t sell when the husband’s job had him transfer out of state TWICE) called our agent to tell her that,
“Hey. The job is moving me back to [local city] and we want our house back.” Period. End of story. So begins
rental hell. With that came several months of neighbours-who-were-previously-sweet-and-super-friendly-and-who
we-later-found-out-were-friends-with-Dickheads [now to be known as Fatties or Assholes Next Door] constantly
calling and complaining about noise from guitars and band practice (they had been totally fine with it for four
months!), sometimes IN TEARS, and traffic from Ben’s students and grass being unmowed (for more than five days,
if it wasn’t mowed, they called our agent complaining about snakes–in a goddamned subdivision!!!). It was awful.
Truly truly horrendously awful. Our sweet sweet agent, who technically worked for The Dickheads, was constantly
apologizing for their retched behavior. Keep in mind, this awfulness lasted NON-FUCKING-STOP from mid-April thru
mid-September. (Including a story from September about me walking out of the shower to find The Dickheads
circling the house with open blinds.)
*On May 7th, 2011, our ten-year anniversary, we got married. It was a semi-elopement that we didn’t tell anyone
about (grandparents got 10 days notice to attend) and was more stress/work than anticipated. Because our
anniversary fell on a Saturday, that meant the courthouse was closed; which meant we had to hire someone; which
meant more money; which also meant we had to have a location in which we could be married; which meant more
money; we wanted to write out our own ceremony; which meant a fuckload of time and even more money…you see
where this is going? All along with the news that The Dickheads wanted to push us out. But you know, it was still
a whole hell of a lot of fun. Plus we had a badass four-day honeymoon of fun.

Sister made the most lovely star garland in our favourite colours for our location.

*Mid-May 2011–Very-Early-August 2011: When we got back from the honeymoon we started looking for houses to
buy…well, first we started talking about buying a house A LOT more seriously than we had planned on doing
(original buy date would be sometime in 2012) and then we started looking to buy. And we looked and looked and
looked and looked and said no to a shitload on the internet and viewed a few houses before rejecting them and our
sweet agent (that same dear hippie lady who kept apologizing for The Dickheads continuing harassment) was about to
give up on us when she e-mailed me one morning with a link to a newly-listed house and the subject line, “LOOK!
LOOK! LOOK!” and inside all it said was, “This one came up in my search this morning and it seems perfect for
you!!!” and it was ADORABLE! And looked so good!! And so very Us. We made an appointment for two days later to
view it and when we pulled up, Dear Agent walked out of the house and told us in no uncertain terms that if we
didn’t buy this house, she will fire us as her clients. Of course we loved it and of course we put in an offer and
of course we ended up buying it. And of course we are absolutely completely and totally head-over-heels-in-love
with our house. OUR HOUSE. It’s beautiful.

Hastily taken photo of front door seconds before we moved in.


I plan on writing a huge post about buying/moving with pictures of the house…but please, be patient for I will
scream if pushed to do too much too fast. My poor Rock Star nearly had a meltdown at the signing of the contract
for the bid for the house. Near. Catastrophic. Meltdown. My wonderful man does not accept change easily. But he
did. And we did. And at the first of August so we began the house-buying process. (Details to come, I hope.)

*Within days of putting in a bid, having the bid countered, signing the contract, having an official house
inspection, etc. etc. etc. we went on our already-planned 10-day vacation to see wonderful people we knew in
Virginia and to tour D.C. (I’d been twice, but my museum-loving Rock Star had never visited). After the incredible
stress of the first part of August, seeing my sister, my lovely and amazing friend, and Ben’s very best friend was
just what we needed to calm the ever-living-fuck down. We first saw Sister and her fabulous dog, Lizzy, then we
stopped at the ever-wonderful Erin’s house, then we trucked up to see Josh in DC. It was fantastic seeing my
sister as it always is when she lives too far away from me; and spending time with Erin is about as happy and
peaceful as any time I’ve ever spent. Josh was an amazing sport about letting us crash at his place and showed us
some wonderful sites (sights?) in the downtown area. With him as our guide we had some of the most amazing food we
had ever eaten. I’m so glad we know wonderful people who enjoy food and history as much as we do. We really do
have fantastic friends.

Happy Lizzy looking for a bellyrub


Me standing inside an Alexander Calder sculpture at the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden


Comet Ping Pong's The Smokey & The Yaley--HOLY SHIT! You have to try this pizza!! It's too good to be true!!


Ben in awe of ancient mummy in Smithsonian Museum of Natural History


Josh and Ben about to enjoy the hell out of their Dogfish Sampler of various beers

*We came back mid-August (nearly bypassing my birthday entirely [cue: guilt and extreme sadface] and began to
finalize the closing and go through the entirely stressful closing process as well as the extremely stressful
packing-cleaning-moving-cleaning-unpacking process and let me tell you, we have a lot of shit. No. Really. I don’t
think anyone understands just how much shit two childless twenty-somethings can acquire when they live in a house
together for several years. It’s way too much. It’s embarrassing. But on September 17th, 2011 we moved in to what
(if we so choose) could be the last house in which we ever live. [cue: angelic voices singing heavenly tune]

*Since then we have cleaned, unpacked, painted, rearranged, cleaned, unpacked, painted, painted painted,
rearranged, unpacked, cleaned, painted, rearranged, painted, painted, unpacked, painted, tiled, painted,
rearranged and back to tiling and painting some more. That’s house stuff. And [re: hopefully/skeptically] soon I
plan on posting more detail on house stuff if only for my own records.

*October 22nd was the Homecoming Day for my five-year college reunion. Not only did the beautiful Erin come to town
to visit, but I got to catch up with some of my favourite old art alums (how fuckin’ snooty does that sound?!?)
and that was a metric ton of fun–plus we came home with a beautiful piece of art by the always wonderful Robin
Grace Venable
who provided the alumni exhibit this year.

*BUT Halloween is our favourite holiday and last year we were in the process of looking for a new place and had
previously thought we would be moving in October and didn’t decorate at all and just threw a meager little
Halloween party. This year we knew we’d be only five weeks in our new house, but we couldn’t forgo the annual
Petler Inn Halloween Bash, so we invited costumed close friends to our transitioning house for an awful good time.
And the week prior, we participated in something we had always dreamed of doing…sort of: It has been a life goal
of mine (and now the Rock Star’s too) to die some gruesome grisly death in a B-horror zombie movie. Our super
talented friend, Ben (affectionately called Other Ben), participated in a local grindhouse-style horror trailer
contest to go along with a local Horror Fest our town throws each year, and we got to be the zombies!! We had way
too much fun making it, and even though Other Ben’s didn’t win on account of it being “too pretty” and “not
grindhouse enough” (although we counter that the genre he drew, “Knoxploitation” is AWFUL) it was still one of the
best ones entered and we LOVED it.

As for our costumes this year, we went all out for the zombies for the movie and were so focused on cleaning
up/painting/tiling the house before the party, that we didn’t even start to think of anything until seven-ish
hours before the party was supposed to start (with us having to work in between that time-frame). Ben went as
Rorschach from The Watchmen graphic novel and I went as a clean basket of laundry–I was particularly proud of the
crumpled dollar bill and wad of thread I hot-glued to my tshirt along with socks and a sock on my headband. Not
too shabby for last minute; my costume problem also had to account for being able to literally throw it on when I
got home from work in less time than it takes to pee (also accounts for the utter lack of makeup as I drove home
like a maniac and ran upstairs to don Halloween garb). Even though it was small and not-that decorated, it was
still an super fun time with awesome people. And we’ve already started planning out next year and the full on
epicness that will occur.

in zombie garb for pseudo-movie


That damn basket bruised my thighs, I was so sore the next day.


Funnily enough, to answer nerd questions everywhere, he wasn't wearing anything underneath that coat.

And with that, I have skimmed my life forward to present day. There is so much left out and so much more to add. And [WITH GREAT HOPE] I will get back into my regular blogging schedule; which is to say, two or three times a month.

cheers!
-K

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oh, piss it!

Oops!! We just realized we passed our one year blogoversary–technically we’re at one year and one month TODAY. Ah, well. Perhaps we can better celebrate next year.
-K

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genesis

In the beginning, there was loneliness and darkness and the misunderstanding of teenagers. And one day in a big box store of pre-manufactured goods in east Tennessee, there became understanding and friendship and love. And then there was added a small dog of magnificent girth, and it was all good. And there was movies and music and books and laughter and tears and lots of moving about. And it still was all kinds of good. And there was friends and family and vacations and talk of moving together, and bad jobs and wonderful jobs and a house and cooking and lots of fun. And it is still so wonderful.

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