Friday, July 31, 2009

work with that

On the second night of BlogHer, my true love gave to me – I mean, a group of us decided to get some dinner at the hotel. It was a warm night, so we got a table outside right along the river. We were perusing the offerings on the menu, when our waitress came over to ask us what drinks we wanted. I was feeling indulgent and decided on a chocolate malt.

"We’re out of ice cream", she blankly told me.

Ok, how about a root beer.

"Diet", she asked.

No, regular I replied, still feeling a bit indulgent.

"Diet", she said. "It’s all we have."

My friend, Renee, asked for a glass of white wine, only to find out they were all out of that too.

"And don’t order any salads", she told us, "because we're out of lettuce."

Ok, so let’s approach this from a different angle I though, and asked - What do you have?

“We’ve got burgers and fries. Work with that. I’ll be back.” Then she turned around and walked away.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

How I almost didn't make it home from BlogHer

Blame it on the lack of sleep I got my last night at BlogHer, the (un)organizational system of United Airlines, the clock on my phone never changing to the right time zone or excessive use of Twitter; the result is the same. I missed my flight home from BlogHer.

I stayed up late the last night of BlogHer, having a pajama party with my new BFFs. If you choose to picture a bunch of scantily clad ladies having a pillow fight right about now, that’s up to you. I can’t control your thoughts, but get back to the story now. In calculating how much sleep I was going to get, I planned for the latest possible time that I could leave for the airport, and still comfortably make my flight in time. I have never been one of those people who are early to everything. Sometimes I even like cutting it close. It seems to me that getting somewhere early is a big waste of time.

I saved some money on my way to the airport by sharing a cab, and made it in plenty of time to check in. The lines were long, but I aptly determined that the curbside check in was shorter, probably because fewer people wanted to stand outside in the hot sun. So far, so good.

On my way to the security line, I was stopped because I was carrying three bags, including my newly acquired bag of swag, when the limit is two. First I try to talk my way through. “I’m going to buy a larger bag once I’m in there, and combine two of my carry-ons”. The security woman tells me my idea is a good one – thank you - but she can’t let me through with three bags. I do a once over assessment of my bag situation and find a way to shove my purse into my swag bag. Admiring my bag combination aptitude, the security woman says “Nice”.

While in the security line, I get a text from United Airlines that the departure of my flight is delayed. See? This is when it pays off to shoot for “on time”, instead of early. Imagine the sleep I would have missed out on, had I arrived early. Suckahs. Now I have the perfect amount of time to grab coffee and leisurely walk to my gate; while simultaneously texting my sister (whose flight departs a couple hours after mine) with airport updates, and of course tweet with all the other BlogHers on their way home.

When my flight is even further delayed, now scheduled to take off around the same time as my sister’s flight, I decide to go hang out with her after she arrives at the airport. We talk. We eat. We tweet. After a while, I head over to my gate in another terminal. While sitting at my gate, I tweet about my delayed flight and text my sister with blogger sightings.

Tweet, tweet. Text, text. Think about my BlogHer recap post/s. What would be better… the hamburger story or the pajama party story? La La La. This traveling without kids thing is a piece of cake. My sister texts me that she just boarded her plane. I haven’t yet. She can’t believe it.

Wait a minute.

I look up and suddenly realize that my flight is boarding over at gate 27, not gate 25 where I am sitting. Where my boarding pass SAYS the flight is supposed to depart from. I walk over to the correct gate to see if they are boarding yet. That’s weird. No one is over here. I go to the United Representative at the counter to ask when boarding will begin. It’s already boarded, she sweetly replies. Oh, I’m on that flight, I tell her, and I ask where I should go to get on. Let me just call them, she smiles. After a few uh huh’s, she hangs up. Sorry, they’ve already closed the doors. Ok. Umm. Can you tell them to open the doors so that I can get on? I can see the plane right there, I tell her. I’m sorry, we can’t open the doors now, she says. It’s too late. We did call your name several times. Clearly, they didn’t use my Twitter name, or I MAY HAVE HEARD THEM.

Panic. What the holy hell am I going to do now? I cannot believe I’ve actually missed the flight that I ended up being three and a half hours early to! You see? You see why I am not meant to be an early bird? Apparently I look pathetic enough, that the United Representative gives me a standby pass for another flight departing in 10 minutes, and tells me I better get over to the other terminal before they close the doors to that flight in exactly 6 minutes from now.

I decide I’m going to need one of those cart thingys, and fast. I shove my money in, pile my (three) two carry-ons on the cart and proceed to sprint across the terminal at record speed. All adrenalin baby. The people I was passing probably thought I was on the show “Amazing Race”. Completely out of breath halfway through, I wonder if I can go on. I’m no runner, and I question if I even have the stamina to keep up the pace I need to make it in time. Nearing the finish line, I ditch my cart in favor of the escalator. Throwing myself on the counter, I beg the next United Representative to PLEASE let me on this flight. She quickly hands me a boarding pass and tells me to get my ass on the plane NOW. She may not have said ass, but it felt like she did.

Collapsing into my seat, way in the back of the plane, I breathe a sigh of relief and text my sister to let her know that I actually got on a flight. It is at that moment, I realize that I am on THE SAME FLIGHT as my sister.

To further solidify my belief that not just some things, but everything, happens for a reason… I ended up having a great conversation with a very nice gentleman sitting next to me. We were discussing my work in the Finance industry, and the uncertainty of my job after some recent big changes. It turns out that his brother is the HR Director at another financial firm in San Francisco. The silver lining – it’s always there.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The only thing you need to know about me if you meet me at BlogHer, or anywhere else in real life for that matter

Apologies in advance for all of you who aren't going to BlogHer, and wish everyone who is going would just stop talking about it already... normal blogging will resume in a week or so. Oops, forgot about all the post-BlogHer recaps. Ok, give it a couple weeks.

Some bloggers have posted pre-BlogHer "get to know me" posts, that made me think - what do people need to know about me for this event? Then I realized that there is really only one thing that you need to know if you meet me at BlogHer, or anywhere else in real life for that matter (that's the my longest post title ever, by the way), and that one thing is how to pronounce my name.

My name is Kari. Pronounced "car", as in automobile, and "e", as in the letter E. As opposed to "care" "e", as in Sex in the City. My name is of Norwegian descent. As am I. As is my sister. Her name, by the way, is Kirsten - "keer" "sten". Our whole lives, we've gotten Carrie and Kristen. Except when the winter Olympics rolls around, and every other female athlete from Norway is named Kari or Kirsten. Then, I finally feel get to hear our names pronounced correctly on a regular basis.
Please don't feel badly if you don't pronounce my name "car" "E". I may not even correct you. I so commonly hear it pronounced Carrie, that I don't even notice it anymore.

Also on the subject of BlogHer, I found this very funny comparison of a popular person vs a blogger on Mom-101's blog. It made me question how many people will actually be participating in the karaoke party on Friday night. Judging from the comments about the party on the BlogHer website, about 3 people seemed psyched about it. Guess maybe I'll have the mike all to myself!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What is D&G?

That is the question I asked a couple of my good friends who were discussing clothes one day. What is D&G? They paused and looked at me. I'm guessing they were waiting for me to say "just kidding!". I didn't. Then they laughed their asses off. And that defines my fashion sense. Or lack there of...

While reading my BlogHer attendee news email, I learned that Tide and Tim Gunn want to know - what are you wearing to BlogHer '09? When I read this, I thought to myself, "Crap, what am I wearing to BlogHer?" I have absolutely no idea. So I thought I'd write a post about it, for the chance to win a private style consultation with Tim Gunn - who is apparently a big deal in the fashion world.

Here's Tim's list of essential items for BlogHer:

  • Basic black dress. Ok, gotta get one of those.

  • Classic white shirt. I think I've got one of those.

  • Jeans. Definitely have those.

  • Skirt. Got a couple of those too.

  • Day Dress. Nope. Can someone tell me where to find a day dress?

  • Jacket. Umm...not sure. Can you tell why I need this style consultation?!

What I do have is shoes. I adore shoes. Shoes are the one thing that I feel like I know how to buy. Although even that is questionable. Case in point... I just purchased three pairs of shoes from Target for $14 each. Come on - are people really going to be able to tell that they came from Target? I mean people other most woman and every gay man? Ok, so everyone will know, but won't they just think - "hey, cute shoes, and what a smart woman for getting them at a bargain!" Maybe not.

Here are some shoes (not from Target) that I think women and gay men can appreciate.

So, I'll be wearing these shoes at BlogHer. I'll most likely be naked other that that, seeing as how I have no clothes to go with them, but at least I'll be wearing cute shoes!

p.s. For my fellow non-fashionista friends... D&G stands for Dolce and Gabbana. Apparently.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

Happy 75th Birthday Mom
We love you!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A trip to the Zoo...a lesson in expectations

Milly, Me and Seesa at the SF Zoo
(Seesa asked me to put three pony tails in her hair
that day "so I can look like a clown" - direct quote)

I recently took a trip to the San Francisco Zoo. I was excited to see the new baby gorilla, Hasani, and I knew my girls would love seeing him too. I've got a routine when I visit the Zoo, that's tried and true. We get there just as they open, head straight for the bears to watch them catch live fish for their morning meal, head over for a ride on the steam train, check out the lions and tigers on our way to eat lunch, then head over to the children's area where we check out the meerkats and friends and the kids are just finishing their cotton candy in time to go into the petting zoo. That's the routine. And it works.

But not this time... Here's how this last trip went.

Get to the zoo just as they open - check. But wait a minute. Why is there a huge line of people waiting to get into the zoo? Weird. It's a weekday. What is up with that? I'm not too worried at this point, because I have a zoo membership, so I won't have to wait in that long line. When I get up to the front, I see a sign "SF Residents Free Day". Awesome. I can't stand crowds, and will do anything to avoid going somewhere during busy times, so this really sets us up for a fun visit.

Get the push jeep for the kids to ride in - check. Essential, especially with the crowds. I've got them contained, and can quickly move from one place to the next at my own pace.

Look at a zoo schedule to see when the baby gorilla is on display - check. Find out the gorilla exhibit is closed that day - shit.

Quickly head over the the far end of the zoo, so we can make it to the California bear exhibit in time for the morning feeding - check. We're one of the first people there, just a few minutes before feeding time. Except that feeding time is moved forward by a half an hour. Which I only discover after waiting for 20 minutes wondering why they haven't fed the bears yet. Ok, we'll just wait it out another 10 minutes, no problem. 20 minutes later, the zoo keeper comes out to inform us that they can't feed the bears in this exhibit today because of some bee's nest in the exhibit that they need to remove. Hello? Aren't bears used to bees? With the honey and all? Whatever.

Head to the steam train, that should be opening just about now - check. Get in relatively short line, this is looking good. Wait. Wait. Wait. Tell kids that if they don't stop antagonizing each other, we're not going on the train. Wait. Wait. Wait. Ask self WTF is going on today? Text my sister to tell her about my zoo visit so far. She says it sounds like a Fail. Think that if I had Twitter on my phone, I could tweet this right now. FINALLY get on the flipping train.

Try to pass by the carousel quickly enough that kids won't notice...nope. Kids noticed. Kids want to ride. Badly. Get in huge line for the dumb tokens. Really? I can't just give you my four bucks and get on? I have to wait in one line for tokens, and then another line to give you the tokens and get on the ride? The line for tokens is really more of a mob around the token machine, than a distinguishable line, so I sort of make my way to the front. One person finishes, and I'm standing next to another woman with a Gosselin-size family of kids and all I know is, I've got my money out and ready to go, and she's still rifling around her purse - so I just start shoving my money in and grabbing my tokens. I can't be totally sure, but she may have called me a few choice words in Spanish.

On our way over to grab some lunch, I asked the kids if they wanted to just head home and stop somewhere else fun on the way home. They are having nothing to do with that idea. Apparently, THEY are having fun! At least someone is...

Acquire surprisingly healthy meal and actually find a table to sit at - check. The cashier commented as I showed my membership for a discount on my meal, "I didn't expect to see any members here today". Yah. Well. I'm clearly not a well-informed member. Kids finish meal, with the promise of post-lunch cotton candy.

Leisurely peruse the rest of the zoo, with kids happily contained in the jeep, eating cotton candy and drinking "monkey juice", aka grape juice in monkey shaped bottles. Arrive at the petting zoo area, just in time to wipe sticky sugary hands off so that we can go feed some goats and ogle the baby ducklings. Check.

Head home prior to any waypastournormalnaptime meltdowns. Check.

Moral of the story = expectation and attitude are everything. My kids had no expectations for our zoo visit, and they had a grand ol' time, despite the series of unfortunate events that plagued my day. They are a constant reminder to me, to not sweat the small stuff - and it's ALL small stuff.

Gorillas Schmarillas...

Cotton Candy and Monkey Juice - it doesn't get better than that

Saturday, July 4, 2009


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