Posted by: Kristy | March 10, 2011

Time for an adventure Kristin and God style!

OK, so remember how in my first post of the year I mentioned this is a year of change and opportunity and adventure?

Well, three months in to 2011 and the adventure has been INSANE. To update you:

I am completing the first two items on my to-do list for 2011 — I’m moving and I am doing freelance work again.

An opportunity presented itself to relocate to Los Angeles for 12 weeks and pursue some sweet, crazy awesome action while still working remotely with my current job. I may come back to Ohio in May. I may stay in the land of the “freak show,” as The Boy and I call it.

As I can to fill in the details I will, but needless to say I am freaking excited!

I also had a column published in a recent monthly business publication and it looks like that could become a regular option, too. That’s just the start of the freelance writing snowball; there are some other pieces in the works.

I feel so … aggressive. I decided I wanted to do something, made a plan and started implementing it. So far it’s been scary and emotional and difficult but through the past 2.5 months I have watched God slam doors in my face and knock down walls behind me. It’s been surreal and crazy, but tons of fun! It helps that I have an amazing, phenomenal support system, including but not confined to my parents and The Boy. (He needs a better nickname than that … hmmmmm.)

As my adventure approaches I also have been re-evaluating other aspects of life and I’ve decided that this here blog needs a facelift.

I need to refocus and go back to purpose and consistency. I still want to talk about how life constantly is in flux and how I cannot do it on my own — I need Someone to continue developing me and changing me as I learn to go with the flow of life.

I’m thinking a new name may be in order, and definitely a new look. (A new look is in the works but wont’ be revealed for a bit.)

To that end …… any suggestions for a new name?! I’m going to be blogging and vlogging from the road (I finally broke down and bought a Flip camera, yay!), as well as chronicling the adventures of a fashion-crazy, grammar-obsessed, spastic and goofy girl from Ohio as she tackles the insanity of building a life in L.A.-L.A.-L.A.ND. I’m open to opinions!

Talk to me. I’m begging ya. ;-)

Posted by: Kristy | January 31, 2011

Am I a playa if I don’t know I’m in the game?

So my new friend Adrian just called me.

Yeah, you know, Adrian!

The not-so-smooth-talking guy I apparently gave my number to when he came to my work on Saturday.

He was super sad I didn’t remember him and thought I was just playing games when I insisted I was out with my girlfriends Saturday night and he must have a wrong number.

“Awww, you gonna be like that? Did you forget me already?”

Ummmm, yep, buddy. I have the memory of a flea, apparently. Especially since I’ve never met you.

However, he wasn’t too sad, as evidenced by when I again said, “ummmm, hi, haha, I’m sorry, how can I help you?” he was not above saying, “any way and anywhere you want, baby doll.”

Adrian punctuated this statement by what I’m sure he thought was a slow, sexy chuckle but that really just made my skin crawl a little.  You know, seeing as how there’s only one person allowed to chuckle at me like that. And only if  he’s being ironic.

So it seems maybe another delightful young lady is going to be super sad when Adrian of Westbury, NY, doesn’t call her like he promised. (Have I mentioned I love reverse phone number search?)

I do hope he has a great day, though, like I told him to. I know I will, as he so kindly encouraged me when we hung up.

“I’m sorry, Adrian, but you have a great day!” I chirped.

“You, too, mother f***er.”

Awwwwww, he’s so sweet, maybe I should snatch him up while he’s still interested.

“If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up.”  ~J.M. Power

The above quote is the prompt for the story below. Enjoy. Then go visit Kat for more prompts.

Time to shop for a cape. And knee-high boots
By Kristin

When I was a young girl my grandma had a board game called “The Ungame.” Call it the 1972-version of my favorite dating game, “The Question Game” — wherein you take turns asking each other questions. Novel. Also, delightful.

(Notice I said my favorite dating game, not necessarily my dates’ favorite dating game. They usually roll their eyes and say, “Do I reeeeeally have to answer this?”)

When I was a child, The Ungame begged to be spread on puke-orange shag carpeted floor, little wooden tear drop-shaped pieces tumbling into the fluffy nastiness that passed for floor covering, and I dove for the real prize: the Question Cards.

It was not unusual for us to come to dinner at the G’s house to find five of these cards at each place setting, which caused my brother and two  cousins to groan in agony and pre-pubescent boy annoyance at the same time I squealed and asked if I could read theirs, too. We were going to get to know each other, yay!

Twenty years after these dinner-table dish sessions, I now blame my grandmother and a California housewife from the ’70s for my intense nosiness and my love of learning every. single. thing. about other people.

One of my favorite conversation-starter questions is, “If you could have one super power what would it be and why?”

I always say that I either would like to have selective mind reading abilities or I would like to be able to will events and physical things into existence. I blame that last one on the planner and organizer in me.

Here’s the scary part … after years of saying it, I think I’ve developed my super power. For reals. Move over Batgirl. She-Ra. Wonder Woman.

A few months ago I started a really scary habit called thinking. I was evaluating my dreams and my life and the direction in which I thought I was going with my life. And I decided to alter paths a little. I started vocalizing specific dreams and desires and “what-ifs” to a few select people about changes I would like to see in my career, and my relationships and just overall Kristin-ness.

I think God was listening.

Yeah. I really do. It’s either that or I really do have a super power because there’s a whole lot of recent activity in Kristinland that is in direct line with the specific dreams and desires I uttered to God and three other people. (And we all know in reality I’m just a very, very ordinary girl, so I’m thinking the latter definitely is out.)

There’s the potential for more challenge and some freshness in my career.  There is the potential for some pretty major, adventurous changes in the next two to three months. I’m in some pretty fabulous and fulfilling relationships with people who understand me and want to know me … really know the real me. And who pray for and with me and want to have adventures with me and one of them even voluntarily plays The Question Game with me.

It’s exciting. Thrilling.

I still feel like I need a cape and white boots — and maybe a flashy headpiece — ‘cuz, you know, I’m the sidekick in a pretty great team.

Kristin and God, we can do anything.

Posted by: Kristy | January 4, 2011

Happy freaking New Year. No, really. I mean it.

I know, I already wrote a “Holy crap, it’s 2011!” post, but I’ve been thinking about this topic for a few days and wanted to share.

OK, so I have this odd quirk I need to expunge in the name of a fresh year. Dec. 30 traditionally is the final day of easy breathing and non-freaking-out day of the year, at least as far as I’m concerned.

Ever since I was a teenager, New Year’s Eve began to lose its appeal year after year until we reached the point where five days ago I found myself 26 years old and preparing  for an anxiety attack at, oh, 11:50 p.m. Judging from past experience, said attack  escalates until at 11:59 p.m. I remind myself to breathe and look  around frantically for a glass of champagne to chug the minute I’m allowed.

In essence, I don’t enjoy the new year at all. In fact, you could even say I hate … HATE … New Year’s Eve.

I can be in a room full of people. I can be standing next to my best friend. I can be with my family. And I still almost puke when everyone else is smiling and kissing and hugging and shouting joy to the new year. The year that draws me older. And closer to death. And reminds me of how much I still have to accomplish. And how time is flying by, damn it!

I’m not sure from where this momentary pessimism stems. My mom laughs at me. I get aggravated with myself because I am a positive, vibrant, hopeful person. I should be genuinely responding to the occasion instead of faking it the way I do. Nope. That would be too easy. Too normal. Instead my overactive mind literally screams “Oh, God … 9 … this sucks … 8 … my heart’s going to explode out of my chest … 7 … I’m going to wipe that smile off of Dick Clark’s face, yes I am .. 6 … Oh, God … 5 … did the clock speed up … 4 … I think it did … 3 … it DID! It’s going faster … 2 … OH, GOD … 1 … I hope my smile doesn’t look as fake as it FEELS … Happy Freaking New Year!”

It’s not fun. Nor pretty. Sigh.

So this year, with a deep, soul-stirring sigh I donned a sexy dress, put my hair up, slicked on silvery eyeshadow and my confidence-inspiring red lipstick, packed extra tissues in my clutch (along with some business cards in case I held it together and met anyone interesting), grabbed my beau by his jacket sleeve and hauled our hot asses to a swanky* party downtown with my closest girlfriends. If I was going to flip out in the dying seconds of 2010, you’d better believe I was going to do it in style!

We ate. We danced. We drank. We laughed. We took goofy pictures. I drank some more. (An ounce of preparation and all that jazz.) And when Times Square filled the giant projection screen in the ballroom and waitresses began passing out toasting flutes, I snuggled tighter to the arm wrapped around me and took a good, bracing look around as I waited for the flood of dismay.

Know what I saw?

I saw four beautiful faces, the women I have come to embrace as friends and confidants and, one especially, as sisters. I felt a solid 5-feet-10-inch nook of support ready to squeeze the anxiety out of me the minute a single stressed-out tear eeked its way out of my carefully made up eye. I saw a year of growing as a business woman and a friend and a daughter and, really, a woman who loves God and is striving to discover the adventure he has laid out for me next. I saw all of the changes I’ve processed and embraced and moved through and I saw the beautiful, beautiful season of life God has placed me in right in this moment. A season that didn’t have an end point the minute we all shouted to welcome the next set of changes and fun and tears and growth. Nope, a season that is overlapping and ebbing and flowing.

I didn’t feel anxious. I felt blessed. And happy, really happy.

I didn’t cry. I felt excited, if you can believe that.

I didn’t vomit. I kissed and hugged and shouted and toasted.

For the first time, I don’t want last year back for a few more seconds. I’m ready for this year.

* I’m not that stuck up and don’t actually use swanky in real life. I just like to say it. Swanky. Isn’t it fun?

Posted by: Kristy | January 3, 2011

Change excites me

Well, whatdayaknow? My analysis while staring at 2010 in my rear view mirror indicates that last year seemed to think it was Kyle Busch on the final lap of the Indy 500. How did 365 days move so quickly?

Not to be cliche, but so much happened in 2010.

A relationship ended. A relationship began.

I learned. I tried. I failed. I tried again.

I dreamed. I grew.

I planned. I relaxed.

I laughed — a LOT. I cried — more than I wanted to cry.

I thought I knew what I wanted. I changed my mind. And then changed it again.

I worked hard to salvage something — and then let that same something go because it was the healthiest step to take.

I made intelligent decisions. I asked myself what the hell I was thinking when I made poor decisions.

For the first time I suffered the death of a loved one. My grandpa, my mom’s dad, died two days before Christmas. That, in essence, was shitty. No other way around it.

So, so much happened in 2010.

I expect big, big things, 2011. You’re on notice that you have some large shoes to fill left by 2010. Even though 2010 packed so much activity into 525,600 minutes, I would keep 90% of that activity.

Last week the gentleman friend and I were discussing goals, accomplishments and dreams. I told him to feel special because I shared some goals and dreams near and dear to my heart. Now I’m telling y’all the same thing: FEEL SPECIAL, damn it! Here’s a little piece of my heart, some activity I am working to fill part of the next 521,280 minutes.

1. Move

This could mean into my first house in the same city or a new residence in a new city. I’m open!

2. Do freelance writing work again

I miss being published. I miss that type of deadline. I just miss what God created me to be — a word junkie.

3. Buy my wiener dog named Earnie!

I have been talking about this dog for 4 years now. It’s about time!

4. Compete in ballroom dance again.

I love, LOVE teaching others to find their own passion for dance but I crave to experience again the thrill of you, your partner, the music and the dance floor.

5. Travel internationally

The list of places I want to visit grows longer by the day — and I have an adventure partner who’s ready to go. What more could a girl want? (Other than maybe a winning lottery ticket to finance said travels. We’ll start slow with one trip and go from there.)

I’ll keep you posted (get it, posted?) for each of these as they happen. Trust me, they WILL happen. I’m getting ballsier with age. :-)

What are your goals for 2011?

Posted by: Kristy | May 12, 2010

Roadtrippin to Jennsylvania

Heading to Dayton for Jen Lancaster’s book signing. So. Freaking. Excited.

Posted by: Kristy | April 22, 2010

Break out the deodorant and Chardonnay

NEWS FLASH

I have fallen delinquent to my faithful patronage of my Google Reader RSS feeds and, therefore, missed an an incredibly important announcement.

An announcement of epic proportions.

An announcement in the vein of going on a date with David Lyons or starring as Galinda in the feature film version of  “Wicked.” (The “ga” is silent. :-) )

Jen Lancaster’s book tour for “My Fair Lazy” is coming to Ohio.

*cricket* *cricket*

Ahem.

AHEM.

I said, people, that one of my favorite authors is visiting a bookstore only two hours from my home. Yeah. Two hours.

Oh my gosh. Do you see the rainbows in the background and the puppies tussling at my feet because that is what May 12 day will be made of,  my friends.

I’ve been waiting through book tours for THREE BOOKS for this to happen. (I didn’t get hooked until “Bright Lights, Big Ass” was coming out.)

So exciting. SO EXCITING.

You wanna know what I bet happens?

I bet I get there, thrust out my copy of “My Fair Lazy” and sputter, “Hi, Jen, my name’s Kristin. I interviewed you via phone for my newspaper when ‘Such a Pretty Fat’ was coming out and at one point* I stuttered and was afraid I made a fool of myself and it was simultaneously the best and most nerve-racking interview of my life. Will you sign my book?”

Nah, I have enough faith in my mad not-being-an-idiot skills that it’ll just be a really fun trip. I’m totally planning on joining the masses of other snarky, sweating, white wine spitting gals in the Dayton area for a little reading and a lot of laughter. I just hope the laughter won’t be directed at me … I’ll be the short one in big heels trying not to make a fool of myself. ;-)

* OK, multiple points. Gosh. Can’t a girl retain any dignity?

Posted by: Kristy | April 21, 2010

Shakin’ it like their mama gave them

This month, the TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy in Toledo co-sponsored a local casting call of the upcoming Cycle 15 for “America’s Next Top Model.”

This is a prime example of what makes my job so fun! I got to plan and execute our involvement in this event from start to finish, including researching and compiling super cute swag bags* for all of the hopeful-contestants. Then I spent the entire day talking to beautiful, sweet, energetic models and watching them pursue a goal. There was so much energy all day!

A panel of three judges selected one local woman, Jessica Gallagher — a vocal performance student from Bowling Green State University — to attend an audition in front of live casting directors in New York City three days after the local casting call. After her trip, she received a makeover treat at TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy as part of her prize! She came in Tuesday, April 20, and we had such a good time hanging out with her all afternoon — and, of course, she was already gorgeous but one of our senior stylists, Cara, did a great job playing up her red hair and beautiful smile. Here is the video highlighting the audition. Stay tuned for Jessica’s makeover clip!

Visit Toledo’s CW for updates!

* The contents of the swag bags were my favorite part! They had silver compact mirrors with our logo on the front, citrus lip balm with “I <3 TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy” printed on them, samples of hair products and the bags themselves were black cloth backpacks with our logo and Web site printed on them. I loved them so much I wanted to sneak one away for myself!

This week, one of Kathy’s prompts from Mama Kat’s weekly Writer’s Workshop struck me as so perfect it was like she had a video into my office when she wrote it.

3.) What is the joy in your present moment?

My joy in the present moment is curled up on my lap sleeping while I answer e-mails and make telephone calls.

Every Tuesday and Thursday my SIL comes to the Academy to work and sometimes … every so often … she brings my nephew with her. When he comes to visit, he tends to lay on a blanket in her office with “Elf” playing in the background. (Smiling is his favorite.) Or he plays with his toes and squeals when he notices that, yes, indeed, there are five attached to each foot. Very often he goes for a walk with his mom, or me or another staff member and flirts with all of the students.

“Hey, ladies, nice haircut. You want to cut my hair? I have three whole tufts now, check it ouuuuuut.”

How you doin'?

But my favorite times? Are when he comes to visit Aunt Kristin in my office. We talk and giggle and play and I find ways to convince myself that, oh my gosh, look! I made him smile! He did. He smiled at ME! All because he recognizes me. That’s right, you recognize your Aunt Kristin don’t you? Yes you do! Why’s that? Because you. Are. AWESOME! Mmmhmm, you’re the most handsome, awesome little boy EVER!”

He just grins. Maybe because of gas. But maybe because he loves me, too.

Someday in the not so far future I will move a couple hours away. I’ll start a different facet of my job or even a new job. The Boy and I will continue building a life that is separate from our families who still live in the city where we grew up. And we’ll be happy. I’m so excited to be in the same zip code as him. Crazy little thing called love.

However, for right now it is opportunities like this — to cuddle with and coo over and give kisses to this precious baby boy — that have made moving back to Toledo worth the sacrifice. Trust me, there was sacrifice in coming back up here. But I’m not sorry I did. At all.

On the contrary — I love it.

That’s right.

This little guy.

Right here.

He’s my buddy. Seeing him is the best part of my workday. Or any day, for that matter.

Posted by: Kristy | April 15, 2010

Coffee Conversations: A teaching moment

To say that I have a strong attachment to coffee may be a bit of an understatement.

I am addicted. I will admit, coffee is my vice. Not only for the caffeine, though I do get withdrawal headaches within two hours of starting my day if I skip my morning java, but I just love the taste of coffee. I tend to be a very healthy eater, but coffee has become a very solid staple in my daily life.

(Ahem, yes, I realize I have a problem. I’m OK with that.)

To that end, today found me all a twitter as I was running errands for some upcoming promotional events and passed a local coffee shop — which shall remain nameless — for which I had a coupon. A coupon for $1 off a grande latte sat in my e-mail, easily accessible on my Droid Eris, looking the same as it does when I print it off. Now, I put this into practice fairly often, but to my thinking since we live in an increasingly mobile world and not everyone owns a printer — ahem, me — and doesn’t want to take advantage of the printer at work — ahem, me again — isn’t the coupon on my phone, in jpg format, the same as what I would print onto paper? I mean, I can print the coupon as many times as I would like, so I can’t abuse the electronic image any more than the printed one, right? Right? Yeah. Right.

ANYWAY.

So, I pull up and place my order, all happy and joky with the barista who lives in the speaker. I even tell her I have a coupon because I used to work at a fast foot joint and know how annoying it is when people tell you AFTER you’ve cashed out and opened the drawer hoping to save them and you time.

This is how our conversation went down …

Kristin: “Hi! I have a coupon for $1 off a grande sweet and creamy beverage. Does a Leprachaun Latte count?”

Barista Who Lives in the Speaker: “Sure it does. And your coupon is for a grande? That’ll be $3.59 with your dollar off.”

Kristin pulls up and prepares a really nice smile because it’s sunny and warm and Thursday and her hair looks really cute today.

Kristin: “Hi there! Here’s my coupon.” Shoves phone toward window.

Barista Who Used to Live in the Speaker: “Welllll, this is going to have to be the last time we accept a coupon electronically. From now on we have to have the print out.”

Bummer.

Kristin, with an “oh shoot” smile: “Oh, darn! That stinks because I don’t have a printer.”

Barista Who Used to Live in the Speaker: “I know, I think it’s pretty silly.”

Kristin: “Well, rats. I’m going to have to start going to Starbucks.”

Barista Who Used to Live in the Speaker: “Hey, girls, we’re going to lose a customer to Starbucks because of the new coupon rule.”

Barista Who Clearly Has No Sense of Customer Service: “Oh, yeah? Well, that’s the way it goes.”

For reals? That’s what you say to your customers?

Now, I really don’t care about the coupon. Even though they’ve become ridiculously overpriced and I try NOT to go there unless I have a coupon, I’ll admit that if I’m desperate enough I’ll break down and stop at this particular coffee shop.

However, that was a strong teaching moment for me as a manager. If you hire people who don’t care, it shows in tremendous ways. So I guess the way around that is to only hire genuinely positive people.

It’s just sad to me because I remember when this coffee shop — cough * Biggby * — used to be THE place to go. When I was in college my roommate and I LIVED there. We studied there. I had Bible study meetings there. I went there with other newspaper editors to fortify ourselves before deadline. And they always were so nice. And yummy. And affordable.

So, Biggby, if you’re going to insist on people who don’t own printers paying full price, please try to hire nice staff. Who at least ACT like they care customers are going to defect to your competition. Just some friendly advice.

Thanks for giving me my fix today, though.

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