June 30, 2006
This time with feeling
And here we are: Today's version of the last post. Note the artistic license with the categories. Eh. I hope we can remain friends. With benefits.

10 years ago... Weight Watchers and I first met. I lived in a house where one woman would take others' perishables out of the fridge and leave them to rot on the counter. I pretended I was passed out when I didn't want to talk to two of three said roommates. Cornbread was my friend. I worked the noon to eight shift and sat in traffic for the rest of the day. Unbeknownst to me, I was about to embark on a four-year marathon of celibacy.

5 years ago... My fourth year of full-time, full-year, fully-taxing graduate school began. Sex finally came home to roost. I listened to 9/11 happen via NPR. I still wanted to hit cats with my car. You know, the same one I owned for the 10 years ago post.

1 year ago...
I wasn't Cricket's Mom. My case contained one less trophy for being an "ex-girlfriend." Home was a 400-square-foot studio apartment made a one-bedroom by a poorly-placed wall. I didn't have any hobbies. Well, save blogging, which was starting to become a mild obsession.

Yesterday... I drank white wine. Against all WW sensibilities, I ordered a Wendy's Single with Cheese and Fries and requested 60 ketchup packets. Literally. My instructor just missed a smack in the head because he was so late for our swim class. I was almost brought to tears by the difficulty of our freestyle drills. I searched for new apartments and Googled an ex. I worked a full day and napped for 2.4 hours. I kissed a boy.

Today... I laughed with my mom like we were schoolgirls. I started to research SCUBA classes. I updated my clothing journal. I e-stalked several of you, hopefully without your (conscious) knowledge. A grumpy mood nearly overtook me but I remained buoyant. I was reminded just how much my approach to life has changed. Oh, and I drove home that same. damn. car.

Tomorrow...I'll have dinner with an ex-boyfriend's wife. I'll pretend to like at least one person in my life who I just. really. don't. I'll worry about the commute home hours before I get in the car. I'll spend less time with my kids than I should. Singing out loud in the car is bound to happen - mostly to Madonna but maybe some OPP - several times. I'll buy something I shouldn't at Target. I'll continue to contemplate confrontation.

5 snacks I enjoy...Goldfish snack crackers; spicy peanuts; an everything bagel with jalapeno cream cheese; Taco Bell nachos; anything involving blue cheese, with the obvious exception of blue cheese Goldfish snack crackers

5 songs I know all the words to...Lady Marmalade, sung by Pink, Mya, Missy M. -- oh, and that whore Christina; Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon and Garfunkel; Love Will Keep Us Together, Captain & Tennille (yyyyeeeeahhh.); Come Clean, Hilary Duff; Cowboy Take Me Away, Dixie Chicks. Yes, my Nano collection really is that bad.

5 regrets... Cheating on an ex-boyfriend; not knowing how to take care of myself while I was in college; at age five, forcing my father to take me to the bathroom at Disney, resulting in him missing the mega-fireworks show; filming The Lake House (wait, that one SO wasn't on me); being a part of the nasty side of sorority rush.

5 television shows I watch weekly... Old CSIs Tivo'd off of Spike; Access Hollywood (I heart you, Billy Bush); 48 Hours Mystery/Hard Evidence/City Confidential/Cold Case Files/Investigators/First 48/Without A Trace/Cold Case/Forensic Files/Masterminds/North Mission Road; Huff

5 things I would do with $100,000,000... (1) Seek out someone to make my father healthy again (2) Pay Oprah to put someone else on her magazine cover FOR ONCE (3) Give to the kitty shelter (4) pay Puck to follow Rachel around for another full year, and (5) buy working cars/attractive wall trimmings/new noses and pay off ridiculous debt for the people I love.

5 locations I would love to run away to... the Egyptian Pyramids; that hotel and that time in San Francisco; the very blue and white Greek Islands, just as they look on the Internets; Belize as it just was in December; my parents' spare bedroom

5 things I hate doing... talking on the phone; babysitting human children; calling for pizza; Virginia/Maryland residents who DON'T METRO TO NATIONALS GAMES; my annual exam.

5 things I like doing... lying on the couch with Bug resting on my chest; sleeping post-tanning in a hotel bed with the sheets pulled taut and the air conditioning on high; dancing while tipsy to fantastically awful 80's and 90's pop; being surrounded by warm water, whether it be in the shower or the Gulf of Mexico; waking up in another country.

5 things I would never wear... novelty socks; a fanny pack; a belly chain; a black bra/white tank top combo; a size 4 ANYTHING. (Wow, that one was easy.)

5 recently seen movies I like... I have not seen a truly good movie in ages. I kid you not - I think the last movie I loved in the theater was In Good Company, which made me want to a) grow old in Dennis Quaid's meaty, muscular, manly arms, and b) don bell bottoms and get baked out of my mind with Topher.

5 famous people I'd like to meet... Jennifer Aniston (How are you effing surviving this awful Brangelina thing?); Dayle Hinman (So what was the absolute worst crime scene you've been to?); Madonna (Are you still in love with Sean Penn?); Sylvia Plath (there's more than one question there, frankly); Russell Crowe (Want to have just one drink with me (in your Gladiator gear, of course)?)

5 biggest joys of the moment... the smell of chlorine on my skin; my steady relationship with my parents; my new sense of Me; Cricket's purr and coming home to see Bug's silhouette in the window closest to the door; this sense of security.

June 28, 2006
Deja vu
I'm not big on recycling posts, but I couldn't resist taking a look at what I was writing about a year ago, almost to the day. I'm going to post this tomorrow or Friday with my current answers; we'll see where I am now.

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

10 years ago... I was an unhappy woman. I lived in a group house and wanted to boil my roomates' bunnies. I lived on bitterness and the perfect meal of a Burrito Supreme, a large diet coke, and a cigarette. I bought my first car and got into graduate school. Successful by all accounts from the outside, I was uncomfortable in my own skin, and didn't know my own potential.

5 years ago... I was in graduate school. I was a much happier woman but still couldn't get it right. I felt the sun on my face every day. My Burrito Supremes were ordered without sour cream and it was so hot in my apartment that I did aerobics in my underwear. I realized I was good at initiating small talk, baking an incredible spinach/artichoke dip and making people laugh. I was growing into my skin, but still hadn't found my spot.

1 year ago...
Artistic license allows me to change this, n'est-ce pas? Almost three years ago I feel like I blossomed. I threw my first wine and cheese party. I realized I didn't have to take the first One. I chose not to keep friends for the sake of having more people at my wedding. I left graduate school before it suffocated me. I ran from the land of elitism and deprivation and Spanish moss. I followed my heart in all aspects and did what I knew was the right fit for me.

Yesterday... I got a new apartment. It finally has a washer/dryer and a dishwasher, and an elevator. I really do love city living. Now that I won't have bars on my windows.

I may have gone too far in a work conversation. I fully realized my status as a blog comment whore. I called my parents twice because I've started realizing as of late they won't be around forever. I text messaged and felt like a teenager. I held my cat tight and smoosh-kissed his face even though I knew he'd fight it.

Tomorrow... I will wake up and hit snooze, drink diet coke at 10 am and at 5 dish out an unbelievable amount of money on repairs to that car I bought ten years ago.

5 snacks I enjoy... a cold fountain soda diet Coke, street vendor pretzels, Goldfish by the handful (yes, the living ones. ok no, not really), anything that involves smoked Gouda cheese, cannoli . . . I should stop now.

5 songs I know all the words to... Tom Petty's American Girl, quite possibly any song Madonna ever sang, Vienna by Billy Joel, Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water, It Takes Two - well, if I have to tell you who "sang" it, you probably can't appreciate the hilarity of me + dance floor + 4 glasses of wine + no dinner + this song.

5 reality television shows I watch... I'm not sure anyone will read my blog after I fess this one up. Ahem. Hi, I'm Kris, and I indulge in NBC's Starting Over at least once a week. I have to hide my head now.

5 television shows I watch daily...
weekly, I'll give you. Forensic Files, Family Guy, Entourage, Without a Trace, Cold Case, Autopsies live Live LIVE (not really that last one. But truthfully, I'll watch any true crime I can get my eyes on.)

5 things I would do with $100,000,000...
(1) Open a huge no-kill shelter for animals in the DC area (2) Invest a massive amount into mental health research (3) Anonymously donate to friends and relatives (4) Buy my mother something obnoxious so the competitive bitties in her complex will finally stand down, and (5) Pay Carly Simon to tell people "You're So Vain" was really about me.

5 locations I would love to run away to... a hut in the middle of the ocean in Fiji; Chenonceau, if there were no tourists; a cooking school in Italy; a spot in Belgium where the people are friendly and don't make fun of your accent; and when it all boils down to it, my parents' place.

5 things I like doing... Writing, engaging in quality coversation at a restaurant in 70 degree weather without a cloud in the sky and where parking was easy, traveling almost anywhere, laughing as heartily as possible, feeling as if I truly have nowhere to be.

5 things I would never wear... that Victoria's Secret thong made of all pearls, a tie dye, a fully padded bra, those dead Old Navy woman's big black glasses, booty shorts.

5 recently seen movies I like... in the good acting as a molester category: The Woodsman; in the romantic drama/Puffs Plus category: The Notebook; in the soft-core category: Mr. and Mrs. Smith; for I'm not sure what on strings, Team America; and for the he-pretty-much-always-gets-it-right category: Finding Neverland.

5 famous people I'd like to meet... Billy Joel, Jon Stewart (although this might give me the 7th grade weak knees), Rod Stewart ("so tell me, why do you attempt to sing?"), the woman on the Time magazine cover with those haunting light eyes, and although not famous, my father's father.

5 biggest joys of the moment... salt. white wine. my beau comes home soon. my parents are still here. and I will never, ever run out of true crime.

June 27, 2006
She is tired.
It could have been the wine or it might be the 42 inches of rain and intense cloud cover haunting her city. Or it could be that Groovy Kind of Love put her into a reminiscing coma on the way to work this morning.

No worries, this is nothing a vat of diet coke and five hours spent crafting an ark to captain home tonight won’t cure. Bah.


June 23, 2006
I'm Coming Out
You know you remember it. It started right around the time your mother blatantly left maxi pads in clear view in the bathroom, and you discovered both shaving and that awful baby powder deodorant that sadly so many have difficulty leaving in their youth. It likely first manifested itself in the gym l*cker room, the one in which you were supposed to shower but instead relied on Love's Baby Soft to eclipse your te*n pheromones. And most of us haven't been able to get rid of the need to cover our bodies in public since.

I spent a good bit of college exposing my bre*sts inappropriately [a number 1) mostly to make female friends grossly uncomfortable, and b number 2) don't think I don't thank my lucky stars that my time at college pre-dated the Girls Gone Wild and Nanny Cam Hidden in a Teddy Bear years.] But tipsy is as tipsy does, and sober l*cker room *n/dressing is an entirely different story.

The swimming has reminded me that it is indeed so. As a 32-year-old woman, I have noticed that I still spend countless minutes covering countless patches of skin while changing. It goes a little something like this:

-- Enter l*cker room, smile politely at size 2 worker outers in locker aisle
-- Put king-sized towel over bathing suit, tuck under arms
-- Attempt to maneuver and latch bra on top of this situation, causing taut Olga elastic to cut off all blood flow to right breast
-- Lose feeling in right side of body, causing discomfort and possibly drool
-- Remove bathing suit from underneath towel with only hand still circulating blood, via that old yank-the-tablecloth-off-without-smashing-dishes trick
-- Shimmy dry underwear up over damp skin, causing appealing catching and stretching of non-Botoxed flesh
-- Retuck right breast into bra after realizing above action caused Victoria to expose her Secret
-- Trip anywhere between two to three times over own foot
-- Put on both jeans and tee shirt, under and over said towel, respectively
-- Realize that if you were to have heart attack, multiple layers of cotton embarrassment would definitely be worse to EMTs than dirty underwear. (Mothers lie!)
-- Remove towel and shuffle off in horror as you realize size 2s have been studying your habits
-- Leave membership card behind in frenzy. Notice upon reapplication that staff have written "N*de McPrudes Alot" in the line reserved for your name.

Expended calories via numerous freestyle laps: 210
Expended calories via Maguyver-like manipulation of garments and skin: 127,107.56

And on Wednesday night I had tired of it. NO MORE, party people.

So post whip kick drills I stripped off my bathing suit and didn't even attempt to cover myself with said beach blanket. I'm pretty sure I mirrored one of those documentary-like tribal n*de pics in National Geographic, but I cared not. I basked in the ability to pat dry and pull on my underparts without sticking. Not yet that woman, the coworker who approaches you at the gym re: TPS reports in her birthday suit with a leg up on the communal stool, I was as close as I am ever going to get.

I was liberated. I was free. I was n*ked. And there was no baby powder deodorant in sight.

I would so celebratory high five you right now, but I'm pretty sure my towel would fall down.

June 20, 2006
Kris Durham
Ok, lame title, but I'm full of Turkish kebob and had a beautiful gay bar experience in which I was denied entrance to the all-male two-step dance floor. Ho hum.

So I thought you might like a little run down of how the ball playing's been going.


Kris shows up ready to get her swing on. She hasn't been able to extend both arms to wash her hair properly for all 48 hours after a misinformed solo trip to the batting cages. (During said trip a < 10-year-old schmookie IN PINK HELMET actually hit better than she, and Kris briefly considered STUFFING SAID SCHMOOKIE in the trunk of the Sentra. Briefly, people.) Prior to Game 1 someone actually makes a serious comment about how he can help rookies at the batting cages who aren't used to having "balls flying at their faces."


Kris is put at second base because a number 1) apparently that's where the rookie girls are placed, and b number 2) someone heard about her high school hook-up history. She shakes in the field until a ball comes flying her way, and forgetting all she was taught in the 2.4 seconds of practice prior to taking her place in slow-pitch history, neglects to scoop the ball in her glove and instead decides to make the play any way she can. Which translates to stopping it WITH HER SHIN.

The team considers it a success as Kris checks to see if the massive bruise has yet spread to her ovaries.


That wasn't the real question. The real question involved something along the lines of "Kris, what would have possessed you to go on a wine tour and drink for the 12 hours prior to standing in the Lawrence of Arabia heat while wearing a three-pound leather mitten?"


94 degrees. Sweat is pretty on birthing mothers, construction workers who aren't holding up your lane of traffic, and Paul Newman, well, at pretty much anytime. Perspiration is not pretty on the Kris.

In Game 3 a mid-week batting cage extravaganza translates into two sweet spot hits that boggle the mind of the Kris, enough to make her FREEZE IN AWE FOR TWO TO THREE SECONDS AFTER HITTING THE BALL BEFORE BEGINNING THE SPRINT TO FIRST BASE.

Kris: Baby Jebus, I hit the ball! Did all y'all see that? (points into left field in slow mo, Bionic Man style.) No really, I hit it!

Team Member 1: Shut your mothergrubbing trap!

First Base Coach: Run, you idiot!

Team Members 2, 5 & 7:
What's a blog?

Ho hum. You can't win 'em all.

June 16, 2006
Because self deprecation is funny
June 1991, Northern New Jersey – 17-year-old filly with two bottles of Aqua Net in purse and ample poofage on shoulders grooves as seen here to the Divinyls, a little More than Words, Motownphilly, and of course - the theme of the night - Kenny Rogers’ Through the Years. Can’t wait to hit diner on Route 10 in East Hanover with semi-mulleted date after prom. Although sober, will scarf down a Taylor Ham, Egg & Cheese sandwich and steak fries at 3 am. Will sleep off carb coma and hit Seaside Heights in morning, playing Roxette in ’87 Chrysler Le Baron all the way there. May indulge in two Bartles and James wine coolers and fend off I-don’t-like-you-like-that friend from A.P. English before passing out in Solarcaine haze.


June 12, 2006
Stupid boys?
I am growing increasingly tired of the recent Young Miss movement to deprive ourselves of companionship. Single women and the inappropriately partnered seem to chant the mantra of celebrating independence almost to excess.

"Stay Single" read a recent woman's baby tee at Macy's.

"NO ONE IN HOLLYWOOD STAYS TOGETHER ANYMORE. You should watch out. You'll end up like Locklear, dating David Spade or something."

Oh, and I love me some advice that involves making out with as many men as Resusci-Annie. You know, Beach-Week-at-Dewey style. UGH.

Is that what this is all about?

Let's get out of the way the religious imperatives that dictate that one’s destiny is to secure a mate. How else would a woman procreate and live in the light of God's love? Don't attempt resistance; we see it on Animal Planet every damn day. A mister sloth + a lady sloth = carrying on the bloodline as a good l'il sloth should.

Your record should screetch to a halt here.

I'm not talking about a diety-bestowed responsibility to Mother Earth. I am talking about a human appreciation for - not dependence on - companionship, intimacy, love, laughter, respect, challenge, (more laughter) and joy.

That steadfast rule of staying single has begun to smack as the chant of those embittered, left behind by a lover who chose another via Match.com or a drunken Arlington ladies night. And as my world-view glasses steadily defog, that call to remain single looks more and more to me to be utter crap nay, let's just call it bullshit. I understand the call to independence. I've told you before that I am finally wrapping my old-dog mind around spaces in togetherness. Not being defined by the label of "girlfriend" is just as freeing as it is not to be a slave to your workplace title or your graduate school grades or your Blogger stats.

You've been there in some form? Thought so.

But I have friends who are scorned, some divorced, some who have never known love. Some desire just what I do, while others simply want to cower while the world passes by. Is it fear alone that dictates our responses?

And, damnit, is there anything wrong with feeling complete when I am a partner in a fulfilling relationship? I love to feel needed by a man who loves me. I love to share kisses and family drama and my shoulder dimples and - yes, pizza while watching football - with someone who I respect and cherish. This is hardly a weakness.

ADMIT IT! Life is sweeter when that someone knows that you prefer the fountain soda to the regular old can. Your days are richer when you laugh at insecurities with the same person who unlocks your car door. The one who has created at least three nicknames for you. The one who listens. Who takes a walk to work it off in his head, but who always returns. And loves you. UNCONDITIONALLY.

My recent sadness has done nothing to dampen this feeling. What if I had given up swimming even one of the first three times I swallowed my weight in water? There would be no joy in learning to glide on freestyle, no laughter in my follies at breast stroke. Had I not persisted in an uncertain relationship with my mother, we would never have shared an emotional evening together only four weeks ago that I will remember until I die. If I had given up trying to stand on my own legs on travel - when I completely depended on the pharmaceutical/aviation hospitality industries for my fixes - I would never have known the strength of my own coping.

Friends, I am a researcher, a daughter, a friend, a supporter, an analyst and a shopping and cyborg phobe. I am a true crime geek, a psychobabbler, a swimmer, a writer, a softball player, a comedienne, a drinker and a woman who so sadly missed out on House until the last two months.

Is it anti-young woman for this woman to want to share her neuroses and Chardonnay with someone? Is it faux-this-Sex-in-the-City persona which thirtysomethings perpetuate (and to which twentysomethings seem to strive) to long for a partner with whom to walk hand in hand through this world?

If it is, well, so be it.


June 9, 2006
Sweet baby Jebus
I've been gone a long time for work meetings, loved ones. I think I'm back today. Not entirely sure.

Will post soon. :)

June 6, 2006
It pays to be hot.
I have a bone to pick. (I know, SHOCKER.)

In an insomnia-induced haze, I sat looking through the local paper last night at 2:30 am, wishing I had something other than wine, soup packets and melba rounds in the house. Given the DC housing craze, the paper was full of realtor ads and exorbitant sale prices that will force both myself and my peers to rent until our octogenarian years.

After three or four pages of such ads, something struck me as funny, and not in the ha-ha way, but in the ridiculous, why-was-Ethan-Hawke-ever-considered-a-sex-symbol kinda way. Each advertisement, whether it included a picture of the property in discussion, had a full head shot (and sometimes more) of the realtor.

Now why in Hades would I give a crap what my realtor looks like?

Honey, now here’s a fine looking realtor. Excellent bone structure, brows aren’t too thick. A little heavy on the blush, but we can work with that. And see? Her breasts are perky, which means she must be a nice person and a Christian. We can’t afford the asking price, but I don’t think that’s what’s important here.


Ah, and maybe that’s what that ReMax balloon is all about.

That’s where they put the uglies, quarantined to float above the hot cheerleader realtors, selling properties with immaculately-manicured bushes and in-ground pools while pointing and laughing. I bet they make the uglies play clarinet in the balloon band, too.

I guess in some ways we never really do leave high school.


June 1, 2006
The eggshell cracked
And Kris was herself again.

One day you wake up, and the cloud that is at least four days of Post-MS irritation and absentmindedness and cranky baby syndrome has lifted, and there You are. Your skin is clear once again and your eyes less Damien and more Gabriel (let it be known that I had to Google an angel reference.)

And on the drive to work you can appreciate the woman sauntering into her office wearing a top crafted from WIDE BLACK MESH (now with 45% more inappropriateness!) and the priest who is a Glamour Do in his black shorts and socks. And the humidity feels like a warm blanket rather than a nuisance. And you’re even looking forward to the embarrassment that will surely be softball, because you know what? It just might be fun. Not to mention that putting that glove on makes you feel just a little bit like a true Sassmonster. Awesome.

And even the plague that is too much broadcast Michael McDonald and this hell beast can’t get you down.

Now you know that’s a good day.