|Posted by Ally Tucker on October 2, 2011 at 7:30 PM||comments (2)|
|Posted by Kristen Geil on June 21, 2011 at 10:55 PM||comments (2)|
I've bee in Peru the past couple of weeks... but guess what guys-
And I missed you!
How's that for picture juxtaposition?
For those of you who don't know, I've been in Peru on a mountain climbing trip for a couple of weeks. It was an awesome trip and I loved it, but I had limited access to technology. More than a few times a day, I found myself thinking something immediately followed by "I wish I could tweet that."
Well lucky for you all, I started writing my fake tweets down and will now attempt to commemorate my trip using this method. Chronological order. Enjoy, readers.
*Clay courts in a seaside cliff park. Where's @tuckally when I need her?
*Quechua women dress sassy.
*I refuse to eat guinea pig here, even if it's the national speciality. #sorryimnotsorry
*This may be my last tweet. I'm in a bus on a bumpy road winding along a cliff.
*But at least I'm riding first class. #priorities
*No llamas to carry my stuff. I guess donkeys will do.
*I thought bugs were in the jungle, not the mountains.... aghhhh #nobugspray
* For being on a 9 day trek, I feel like a princess #singletent
*Singing out loud as I hike. Clearly missing #MNK
*Revelation: Hiking = WALKING
*Livestock traffic jam. One lane blocked.
*#Thingsiwishibrought: Uggs, febreze, bug spray
*I just had a three course meal in a dining tent with candles and tablecloth- at a campsite in a Peruvian valley. #confusion
*I may be in a tent, but I still sleep with my sleep mask #diva @contwy
*Nosebleed. So this is what it feels like to be @twitterlessbeckygonch
*I miss watching music videos in the dark with @laysonbelle
*The constant smell of cow dung on the trail reminds me of Double Stink Hog Farm. Oddly comforting,
*@twitterlessbeckygonch let me use her backpack and I keep finding remnants of her. Earrings, iPod charger, speeding ticket, blue M&M...
*Another day, another hike to a glacial lake.
*Our guide, Rudolfo, hikes with his hands in his pockets #casual
*Just saw the mountain in the Paramount pictures logo! I feel famous
*Washed my hair on some rocks by the side of a river #mermaidtweet
*Just passed a fellow hiker- old Asian man in a blue bonnet with clouds on it. Where is @twitterlessbeckygonch?
*#ifiwereaboy I wouldn't be dehydrated from avoiding going to the bathroom by not drinking enough
*Learning how to tie climbing knots is way too complicated for someone who still uses bunny ears to tie her shoes.
*Our cook, Jorge, hikes in pinstripe pants #nobigdeal
*Hairwrap holding up surprisingly well
*Our campsite tonight is overrun by sheep and burros. At least I'll be warm tonight.
*At base camp. It's so windy I'm legit nervous me and my tent will blow away tonight.
*Mountain crevasse rescue training is a million times scarier than any lifeguard training.
*24 hours from now I will have had a hot shower in a real bathroom #paradise
*Oh, and I'll have summitted a mountain too #afterthought
*When you wake up at 2 am to climb a mountain, it's only natural to listen to "Look At Me Now" and eat Oreos to psych yourself up.
*We are walking up a snow hill in heavy boots. My calves are screaming and I want to cry. Rudolfo, meanwhile, is casually chatting with a solo climber. Typical.
*I just jumped over an ice crevasse. I JUST JUMPED OVER AN ICE CREVASSE
*Ice climbing a 60 degree incline wall. Rudolfo, of course, did it without ropes.
*Near the top! Clouds look like cotton candy.
* SUMMIT! Not as glamorous as I'd imagined. Clinging to an ice wall because no one knows where the snow turns into bottomless abyss.
*On the way down. Rappelling in ice and snow is a far way from my previous training at Cathedral Domain
*Another ice crevasse jump aaaaand back on solid ground. Thank God.
*Wait we still have to hike 2 hours to the road carrying all our gear? #fuck
*My backpack is so heavy that I'm sure if I fall I'm going to look like a turtle that's stuck on its shell.
*Car! Road! Civilization!
*Driving through Peruvian countryside is only enhanced by the melodies of Keke Palmer.
*Hot shower! Pizza Beer! Bed! And a summit to boot. In the words of Lonely Island, "If I had to describe the feeling, it was the best
*Got my picture taken with llamas wearing sunglasses. I can come home now.
*First class bus ride back to Lima. Wifi is great, food sucks. At least I got to watch that Percy Jackson movie?
*11 am Mass at the Catedral de Lima. I'm a better Catholic abroad than I am at home. #sorrymom
*Michael Jackson impersonators doing street performances! Possibly the highlight of the trip.
* Police shut them down so they moved to a department store. Poor yellow hippo is about to get overshadowed.
*Spent my last day in Lima being super American. Starbucks, Burger King, and the X Men movie. #longhairdontcare
*Peruvian airport drugstores sell Xanax at $5 a pop. Why can't all cities be this enlightened?
And finally- the tweet my trip ended on:
*Wheels up in Lexington. I didn't buy a tshirt in Peru, but got two UK ones in the airport. #longhairdontcare
Nothing like being back in the Bluegrass. GO CATS!
|Posted by Ally Tucker on June 7, 2011 at 10:15 PM||comments (1)|
|Posted by Kristen Geil on May 31, 2011 at 7:40 PM||comments (1)|
Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend. While you were drinking beer and setting off fireworks at your cookouts, Ally Tucker and I were hustling down Bluegrass Parkway, leaving Nonesuch in the rearview mirror to get to Chinoe Pub in time to get Our Table. Don't worry, we succeeded.
I admit, we were a little anxious going into this week's karaoke extravaganza. The long weekend meant our numbers were scarce. But Tucker, Sarah Z, our friend Becky and I took our table with confidence and plotted our the night's moves.
I am terrified that this came up in my search results.
Anyway, the night quickly got interesting with another karaoke regular and blog fan stumbled in... literally. As she approached our table and took her seat, she took a cue from Usher and revealed, "Guys, I have a confession to make... I'm DRRRRRUUUUNNKKKSSKSZHHGHCCH." Or at least, that's what it sounded like. Ambitious as always, she grabbed about 45 bar napkins and eagerly started writing down her song choices for the night. Among the options- Celine Dion and Elton John's "BBBenny and the Jets."
Let me take a moment to describe who else was in the bar. Kenny, as usual, in his booth looking dapper. Our karaoke rivals, who we came to find out included a girl from Springfield. Another old man dressed for the occasion (you'll see how in a minute). A blond woman sporting a red and black bustier under a see through black top and super tight jeans that created the ever-unpleasant muffin top effect, and a person I thought was her son all night but was recently informed was a female, wearing jorts and a baseball cap. Oh, and an Indian family wearing saris. I think the "melting pot" metaphor is appropriate here.
First up of the night were the trashy mom and gender-ambiguous child. I'll call them Rihanna and Jay-Z, because the first song they chose was "Umbrella." It started off on the wrong foot when Jay Z didn't know the words or pace of the rap introduction. Very painful. Rihanna, surprisingly, could carry a tune in her black stilettos, and somewhat saved the song. Jay Z was quite aloof when Rihanna was performing, even texting on stage at one point. Rude, especially considering that Rihanna announced to the bar that she had paid for Jay Z's college education and books.
After Sarah's solid and appropriate version of Dixie Chicks "Travelin Soldier," it was good old Kenny's turn. Now, Kenny must have been feeling a little crazy tonight- maybe celebrating the long weekend?- but he sang a song other than Unchained Melody and Fools Rush In. Let me repeat that- HE CHANGED IT UP! The bold man sang "Let Me Be There," another crooning country song, and was thrilled to find out he had a duet partner in our little intoxicated friend. She faithfully echoed his every line with great emotion and acted out the lyrics. After the song was over, we cheered and the DJ started to collect Kenny's mike. Suddenly, Kenny squawks in a high-pitched tone of voice. I can't remember what he said, but it was clear that he was mimicking our table and getting a little sassy. I think that means he likes us.
At long last, it was Drunky's turn to sing her chosen song. And who does she call up there to assist her but Ally Tucker. What was the song, you ask? None other than B-B-Benny and the Jets, by Elton John. A song liked by most everyone... until this. I am not exaggerating when I say that may have been the worst 4.5 minutes of my life. That song is a Karaoke Bomb. I'm sorry, guys. No matter how enthusiastically you screeched "BENNY! BENNY" the song was as un-saveable as the Titanic. It sunk, and possibly killed our credibility once and for all.
When the two brave souls took their seats, the DJ called Ally Tucker right back up, and me with her. Although we were a little shook, we went. We performed "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias, and although it's hard to say, I think it was a decent number. The range was pretty low, not a lot of "ooohs" and "aaahs" to suffer through, and the subject matter of the song is something we can all relate to.
Demitri showed up around this time, and Becky immediately decided to become his best friend. He engaged us in the usual chatter and right away called out our friend for being "f----- up already." Later, he expressed serious concern that she was an alcoholic, and repeatedly informed us that alcoholism is an actual disease and not just a bad habit. He told us he was in two bands, which I can semi-believe. Then he abruptly asked me where my little black boyfriend was.. yes, I was confused too. When I looked quizzical, he specified, "You know, the one from Cincinnati?" and we suddenly understood. He thought I was my friend Annie D and her boyfriend Jabel (who, by the way, is not black- but Indian).
Sure, I see where he could get us mixed up.
Demitri has apparently come to know our group quite well, because he asks where our little toy is. Again, we are baffled, but he quickly clarifies, "You know, the little short one? Y'all should start calling her Toy, cuz she's always playin'. Like when she was playin' with Kenny's walker. That girl nuts." Amy, maybe you should be a little worried that Demitri- DEMITRI- thinks you're nuts.
(But I still love your pony t-shirt)
Other unremarkable things happened- a bro singing Dave Matthews Band, a really cute guy with a good voice making us swoon with "Georgia on my Mind," Rihanna and a girl friend singing some song that obviously made no impression, a mischievous friend changing the background on Tucker's phone to an orange and yellow skull, etc- but the surprise hit of the night came from Sarah and first time karaoker Becky Goncharoff. The two surprised us all with a heartfelt rendition of Britney Spears' "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman." Since I just graduated college this weekend, I could really relate to the song. Plus, it is a perfect karaoke tune with some fun high notes to hit, and I think Becky even harmonized some. Well done, ladies.
The indisputable highlight of the night, however, came with the old man sitting alone at the bar. He hobbled up to the stage- Dan, or Don, was his name- and serenaded us with "It Was A Very Good Year." He was precious, but that didn't distract from the fact that he knew nothing of the pace of the song. Still, he was dressed for Memorial Day success, and he earned our undying love.
Try and tell me you don't love him already.
Tucker and Sarah closed it out for our group for the night with "God Bless the USA." I proudly stood up every time the lyrics told me to. The lyrics screen had a fun little surprise for us, too- anytime they mentioned USA, it looked like USA. AWESOME.
We tried to leave right after that, but couldn't leave before Kenny's final song, "Lady in Red." He was definitely feeling sassy last night. Happy Memorial Day!
|Posted by Ally Tucker on May 24, 2011 at 2:30 PM||comments (5)|
|Posted by Ally Tucker on May 19, 2011 at 3:30 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Kristen Geil on May 17, 2011 at 11:25 AM||comments (0)|
(Great 80s movie, by the way)
Like many other teenage girls, babysitting was my first foray into the world of gettin' paid. I have firmly come to believe that, rather than actual birth control, babysitting is the best and most effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
For the past couple years, I've been babysitting one family regularly, and it has been during this time span that I have come to realize that Kids. Are. Bizarre. If you doubt that for one second, watch the following video that has made me LOL multiple times after viewing:
Conspiracy theorists claim that this is actually Layson Griffin as a child.
While the kids I babysit haven't been playing with dead squirrels, persay, I have definitely witnessed them poking a dead mole with a stick (their cat had killed it, which I'll touch on later). As with any new people you meet, for the first few months I babysat these kids, they were nice, polite, well-behaved, and didn't let their freak flags fly. Gradually, however, they got a little too comfortable with me, and now I have seen their true selves. While they're definitely still sweet and obedient most of the time, I'd just like to share (vent?) a few of the geunine WTF moments that come with the job description.
As any babysitting veteran knows, the first osbtacle to overcome when the kids get home from school is snack time. Snack time for three kids is no joke, especially when the youngest is in her picky phase.
No, not just "peanut butter with the crusts cut off and sliced diagonally" picky. Like, square pretzels only, not the regular shaped kinds. Ritz Crackers over Wheat Thins. Two slices of bologna only (which is easy to set out, but as a vegetarian I cringe a little every time I have to get the slimy meat out of the package). If all else fails, a cup of shredded cheese. The middle girl isn't too bad. The only trouble we've had is when she started requesting bananas with peanut butter and requiring that I spread the peanut butter on the bananas myself, a "medium amount ONLY," not too much or too little. Fine, Goldilocks. I have learned. The oldest boy is my favorite at this time of the day because he gets the snacks out himself, leaving me only to assemble them. I do find it a little strange that his favorite food is frozen corn- yes, still frozen- but hey, makes it easy on me. With months of practice under my belt, I have fine tuned my chopping, spreading, and assembling time to less than 10 minutes total. That's impressive.
From there, it's break time, where they get to watch television until 4 pm. Usually during this time I catch up on Words With Friends, Newsweek, or way back in the day when I still had it- homework. If it's sunny, I sit outside. If all else fails, I watch "Martha Speaks" with them (an educational show about a dog that talks- vocabulary words out the wazoo) or take a cat nap on the couch.
When the opening theme song to Arthur comes on, it's time to turn the TV off. While the oldest two start their homework, I head upstairs with the youngest to change into play clothes, because she's scared to be upstairs by herself. This is when I start to appreciate the creativity of children. Getting dressed is a very deliberate process. She asks me whether or not something matches, and puts great consideration into her hair accessories. Some days, she throws it all to the wind- like the day two weeks ago when she donned a red long sleeved shirt with a Christmas tree on it only to layer on top of it a short sleeved purple ruffled shirt. Gaga, watch out.
It is during this time that Baby Gaga feels the chattiest. About once a week, she asks me to guess her favorite colors. By now, I know the exact order, but I still play the game. "Purple?" "No, that's fourth." "Green?" "No, that's... sixth." "Hmm... brown?" "YES!" Because it's the color of her shoes, obviously. Second favorite color is black. She's an original for sure, and I love it.
We head back downstairs and work on homework with the other two. For the most part, they can get it done on their own and I just have to check over it. On occassion, they have asked me how to do some math problems, and I have to admit I am absolutely baffled. I can get the end result, but teachers today seem to be teaching them the most complicated methods. Like long division- I'm decent at it. But Frozen Corn showed me his in-class worksheet which involved them using squares, dashes, and possibly hieroglyhpics to solve the problem. Directions, too, are usually open to different interpretations, and I just have to give them my best guess. Unnecessary, in my book.
Finally, after homework, it is PLAY TIME. In this sense, I am lucky. The kids don't usually want to play with me. I guess I'm not fun. In fact, today they pretended Middle Girl was the babysitter and the other two were the kids. One fun snippet I overheard: "I'm going to slobber on your laptop!" Great.
They pretty much entertain themselves, and I only intervene if I think someone is about to get impaled with an umbrella or something. Sometimes, however, they like to talk to me. Frozen Corn likes to ask me questions about college, living at school, etc- he's a little more serious than the girls.
Middle Girl has two lines of questioning. The first goes, "Who is your favorite singer?" To save time, I have learned to respond, "Taylor Swift." Immediately, her face lights up and she exclaims "ME TOOOOO!" and launches into a monologue about her Taylor Swift t-shirt, CD, and more. I just have to sit and nod and occassionaly give my opinion as to what her best song is ("Love Story," obviously).
The second line of questioning is a little trickier. It goes, "Do you have a boyfriend?" Let me tell you, I can't think of a more awkward discussion (short of the actual birds and bees talk). See, Middle Girl remembers the last boyfriend I had, and fires questions at me: "What's his name? What's he look like? Did you kiss him? Did you love him? Did he love you? Why'd you break up? Why don't you have a boyfriend now? Do you like anybody? Does anybody like you?" Way to make me feel like a spinster loser, Middle Girl.
I googled "Spinster" and this came up. Maybe I'm not in such bad company after all.
However random some of our conversations may be, I can always count on getting some unexpected compliments from the kids.
Middle Girl is starting to become interested in fashion trends, and will often compliment me on my shoes (she's a fan of the turqoise cowboy boots) or hair. She even noticed when I went to the dentist ("I wish my teeth were as shiny as yours!"). She likes my name, too- "Your name is so pretty. I wish my name was Miss Kristen." I haven't had the heart to tell her yet that Miss isn't my real first name (side note- remember how strange it was to realize that your teachers had first names and didn't live at school? Major shocker for me).
With kids, age is a big issue. There's a big difference between being six and being six and a HALF. Often times, I get asked, "How old are you?" If this ever happens to you, flip the question right back around and ask "How old do you THINK I am?" I have gotten responses from 12 to 32. Last week, Baby Gaga correctly guessed 21, and it was the proudest moment of my day.
As goofy and sometimes difficult as they are, I love the kids I babysit. I will genuinely miss them when I move this summer. I will not, however, miss their animals. Consider the following a mini-Confession.
They have two Cairn Terriers (think Toto from The Wizard of Oz), one of whom has a majorly gross underbite and both of whom pant in the most disgusting manner possible. The dogs are the most demanding creatures I have ever met in my life- and I consider myself a dog person. They have to go in and out every five seconds, they constantly try to jump on me, and they are geuninely the dumbest animals I have ever met. I feel like a horrible person saying that, but spend over five minutes in their company and you too will have the urge to punt them like a football.
Recently, they acquired a cat as well. As anyone who knows me knows, I HATE CATS. This one is semi-tolerable because she's allowed to be an outdoors cat, but she still has a nasty habit of leaping onto the kitchen table and staring at me, motionless, for minutes at a time. It's just creepy.
So, I guess the moral of that tangent is: You can pick the kids you sit for, but you can't pick their pets. Or something like that.
All in all, babysitting is one of the more entertaining parts of my week, usually an ego-booster, and a great tax-free way to earn some cash. They make me crazy sometimes, but I have to admit, I love those kids. *Babysitters Club 4 Lyfe*
|Posted by Ally Tucker on May 3, 2011 at 11:20 AM||comments (3)|
|Posted by Ally Tucker on May 1, 2011 at 12:40 AM||comments (1)|
|Posted by Ally Tucker on April 20, 2011 at 8:30 PM||comments (3)|