Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I took some steps (at least according to apple)

So I have been gone for a while, with good reason- I have been off at camp for the week getting happily sunbaked and exhausted [Tangent: That will get get a whole picture-laden post when I get all my proverbial ducks in a row (and far from looking what those unrowed suckers look like now...a "clusterduck" if you will.)] and while I was away, guess what - I took my first steps in years!

 Oh, haha. Psych. I didn't really walk, silly geese of the internet. Don't you think "that girl in the wheelchair" suddenly taking steps for the first time in 20 years would warrant a tweet, a Facebook post or some kind of vermin raining from the skies [Tangent: Is that a thing in the Bible? I am the most cursory of Catholics...so I couldn't tell ya.]. One night, while trying to fall asleep out in the boonies with spotty to zero internet access [Tangent: Seriously, this scenario will make anyone realize how reliant they are on late night Facebook scanning.] I searched the every GB of information and software on my iPhone.  After clicking on the never investigated little red and white heart icon added with a recent update, I found something completely crazy. Somehow, I had fooled my iPhone's little pedometer into thinking I was taking steps.

Sure...it's not an impressive amount. I'm no Vanessa Carlton. [Tangent: Sorry that was the lamest reference ever. Please excuse it.] I am a hell of a long way from posting my daily fitbit readings on Instagram to hoards of people that don't give a damn, but checking my "steps" is my new obsession.  I'm no tech expert so I am not completely clear on how these dohickies work [Tangent: I can only deduce that my crap tires on my wheelchair make me jolt and bounce around a lot, which simulates a step.], but I love that I have outsmarted the ghost of Steve Jobs and answered "Yes" to the eternal question "Can someone in a wheelchair use a pedometer without actually walking?" Lazy people of the world who wish to seem athletic, take this new information and run with it as you wish [Tangent: Pun not intended.]

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


* I bet you think this is gonna be yammering on about something you don't care about...like pedicures...which it kind of is...but it is mostly about me being an ass. Fret not.

Not unlike most girls, I don’t love to go around with my piggies looking like troll feet, but sometimes due to circumstances beyond my control-  it just seems to happen that way.  I love to the process of picking out a color and I take great pride and find it intensely therapeutic to paint my nails.  I get a gold star for staying within the confines of a nail, but damned if fate and bodily inflexibility has made it hard for me to reach my toes.  Cruel joke, nature- girls in wheelchairs deserve pretty feet, too! [Tangent: Oh no, with that sentence, I have really opened up the floodgates for mass blog interest from the niche wheelchair/foot fetish community. Oh well. Frankly, it wouldn’t be the first time.]

With this limitation, I’m left with two alternatives: 1. Awkwardly ask someone I know to address the situation or 2. Go to a professional. As I’ve gotten older, and the chore’s magic has worn off a bit with my nearest and dearest, I have just started to get pedicures, which would be all find and dandy if they weren’t a horrifying experience for me.

Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t love going to do something that is inherently pampering. In fact, it’s sometimes as anxiety-inducing as a pap smear. I’m roughly 4’10 and lack the stability of an oak tree and those giant massage chairs seem to swallow me alive. It always takes several towels propped around me to keep me grounded and I usually have to forgo the massage capabilities altogether. [Tangent: Due to my stature, the shiatsu neck feature just seems to sucker punch me in the back of my head repeatedly. Whereas the back massage is much too forceful for my frame and moves my entire body. If you even dare to activate the butt massager,  it looks like I am riding on a bull in some bar where mechanical bull riding is an acceptable entertainment form. It makes it difficult for me to even keep my feet stationary for them to be de-trollified!]  This is all while the horrified, yet well meaning nail tech, stares at me as if I am a robot that is short-circuiting. In their broken English, I generally hear the phrase, “You okay?” once every two minutes.  It’s a hot mess.

For this reason, I have to take someone who I trust will get me safely into the chair and be on Kimmie-watch during their own session. You know…in case I crumple over to one side or slide down in the chair or to placate the pedicurist and reassure them that they are not hurting me and not breaking me, even though I am doing that on my own. Seriously, guys, I am the worst. Why do you hang out with me? The last couple times, I have gone with my friend and get-me-out-of-bed-five-days-a-week attendant, Kate. She thought maybe we should try a children’s chair, because let’s face it- I am built more like an outhouse than a brickhouse. Although I knew this was a winning solution, I was fully prepared to look insane.

When I asked to sit in it, I could tell the sweet workers were confused, but I told them it would just work better, and it did!! Sitting in a chair that was bubblegum pink and in the shape of a non-trademarked Hello Kitty, [Tangent: Bobo Kitty.] I felt secure. [Tangent: It basically looks just like the fake Hello Kitty from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.] 

Perhaps it didn’t help the situation of not feeling like a complete freak when I asked the sweet staff there to take a photo of me sitting in it. I seriously would not have faulted them if they offered me a juice box and a pat on the head at this point.  It’s like I was asking for it.

At least now, I have a back up plan for getting a peaceful pedicure. Perhaps your idea of a winning pedicure looks luxe and tranquil,  but mine is pink and smiling and in itty bitty kitty sized. To each his own. I mean despite my lack of makeup, look how stoked I look!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A day at Myrtle Beach (aka Shag 2)

 When I was growing up in the 80s, I had premium cable and my family had a Blockbuster membership, so needless to say- I saw the movie Shag so many times that it is forever imprinted on my memory [Tangent: If you have never seen this movie, you can probably go buy my worn out VHS copy of it at McKays. It's a purged item that I still regret letting go of. If you aren't up for that needle in a haystack adventure, you can watch the movie on Youtube in 3 part installments and with Spanish subtitles by clicking here. It's a Phoebe Cates/Bridget Fonda teen road trip movie that is all about 4 friends and their rad time in Myrtle Beach, SC in the early 60s. It's all shag dancing and Elvis lookalikes and beehives and rebel flag bikinis. It's fantastic.] Although, my family always spent our summers growing up just an hour north of there, I never really spent any quality time in Mytrle Beach, but since Jamie knew it well from his childhood vacations, we knew a day trip was in order.

Because 99% of what I know of Myrtle Beach is based on Shag, I highly expected there to be boardwalk dance contests and impromtu beachside beauty pageants [...and a sidekick they refer to as Pudge for some inexplicable reason even though she is a size 6.] Well, unfortunately there was none of that, but there was a heaping helping of people in casual wear emblazoned with pot leaves and loads of souvenir stores where you could get a koozie or a keychain with your name on it [Tangent: Unless your name is Kimmie...then you have to pick a "Kim"]. It was very touristy and there was a lot to cram into one day. I only wish we had more time to spend there because Myrtle Beach is the ultimate Mecca of over-the-top mini golf! [Tangent: It also had some weird animal safari that I was super interested in because they advertised a chimp and a baby tiger who were friends! Who doesn't love unlikely animal friendships?! However they had crazy stipulations like: No skirts. No cameras. No white. No children under 8. No necklaces. etc. Oh, and it was $300. No thank you.] Maybe next year.

Here is some of what we did end up doing and seeing in our afternoon visit to Broadway at the Beach and the Boardwalk. Broadway at the Beach was like one big outdoor mall with Planet Hollywoods and attractions and carnival style rides and elaborate mini-golf [Tangent: With a dragon that shot fire out of it's mouth! They don't mess around in MB!] It was really hot, so we stayed there for a while, but didn't have money to shop or time to take a duck boat ride, so we just people watched and fed fish....oh, and posed with random things. That middle picture is Jamie posing with Bill Cosby's hand prints in the weird walk of fame in front of the Hard Rock Cafe.

Since Jamie was the Myrtle Beach expert, having spent many a summer there, he made all the plans. The only things on his nostalgic must-see list were a tacky 3 story gift shop called the Gay Dolphin and an Italian ice stand [Tangent:...that also had 120 flavors of soft serve ice cream, which is my idea of heaven!]. Both of these things were on the Boardwalk.

When we go back, I definitely want to ride the skywheel, the giant ferris wheel that overlooks the beach, and maybe get an airbrushed T-shirt emblazoned with a Looney Toons character of some sort (When in Rome!). Oh, and by that time Magic Mike XXL will have given me a new terrible movie localized in Myrtle Beach to obsess over.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

have a summah at Holden Beach

It's really not a big secret that I listen to a lot of podcasts and one that I never miss is Who Charted?, a weekly top 5 podcast hosted by Kulap Vilaysock and Howard Kremer. Co-host Howard has a very important mission that he believes strongly in, he fights for the taking back of summer. He calls this movement "Have a Summah." Basically, it is his belief that as we age, we lose the specialness of "summah" and it is very important to hold it sacred and remember the enthusiasm for summer break that you had when you were younger. In order to properly "Have a summah, " he has a lot of edicts inluding:
Don't spend this summah in last year's summah suit!
Lose your swimginity.
Don't wear government pants.

Well, a couple weeks ago I took all these to heart and hit the Carolina beaches with my family and Jamie. It has been probably 15 years since I have been to the beach during the actual summah [Tangent: the last few trips have been in the fall and that time I got 2nd degree sun poisoning in Caifornia- it was in the spring so this is my first actual summer beach vacation in many moons.], so I thought this should really start the trend of having a summah. 

I have written about my adventures at Holden Beach here , here, and  here but couldn't love it more. It's small and not touristy and there aren't really any attractions, but I am 100% on board for that. It was an awesome way to start summah off right, and lose my swimginity without governnment pants. Oh and i got to spend it with my niece and nephew (who were also living by these mantras). [Tangent: I bought my 3 year old niece and I several matching outfits, because it is my dream to have an Island of Dr. Moreau style relationship where I dress a tiny person up as myself. However, coordinating dressing schedules is increasingly difficult to execute with a small child. Lesson learned. Hopefully,  I will indefinitely be able to wear a child's XL and unashamed to shop in a children's department.] Here are some pics of some of our adventures. [Tangent:  If you don't care, that's completely understandable. I have some major insecurity with destination posts. Although I love reading them, I feel like its the equivalent of your aunt showing you a slideshow of her trip to Branson. You don't know these people or places so why should you care? ]

I bought these mermaids for roughly $4 and the way my niece obsessed over them, one would think they held diamonds.

future album cover.

I took this picture while Jamie was on the final stretch of our beach stroll. Even in a "beach wheelchair", its like pushing through oatmeal.
I call this picture weekend at Jamie's because he looks deceased.

my favorite picture.

the only glimpse of my new summah suit

obviously she is made for instagram. My niece has it more together at 3 that I do now.

I love these tacky shirts, but this one especially because what is this outfit about. Belly button up- Katy Perry circa 2010, belly button down- Britney Spears circa 1999.
baby Ollie's first swim
losing his annual swimginity...in a DONUT no less.

Ellie beach flair.

Ollie beach flair.

I'm so stoked for the rest of the summah! I just hope it didn't peak too early! 
What are ya'll doing this summer (Government pants optional)?

Monday, June 8, 2015

dopplegangers 2015

Maybe it is the fact that I spent 100% of my downtime at my prior job being completely unproductive surfing totallylookslike.com, but I have always been hugely invested in finding famous dopplegangers for other people and being unsatisfied when I couldn't find a quality doppelganger for myself. [Tangent: I guess it's kind of like a successful coach who is terribly overweight and unathletic. "Those who can't do- teach." right? ...is that a good analogy?] In the last couple years, the only people I get told I look like are the work of animators. [Tangent: This is not a completely new phenomenae. I wrote about my likenesses to Daria and a FB sidebar ad once before in this post, ]

The one on the left is from the trailor for Inside Out...the one on the right is from Despicable Me. Neither of them have I seen...but both are toons people have excitedly told me they were modeled after my likeness. I guess brown hair + glasses + childlike enthusiasm = Kimmie. I guess some girls would be pissed to be told they look like a computer-generated pre-teen instead of a SI swimsuit model, but I am just happy they are both female! This isn't always the case.

 I also like to chop all my hair off at random intervals into styles that I love, but that I later find also fancied by Top 40 frontmen from my high school years. [Tangent: Many years ago, my sister informed me that my former hairstyle, which I thought was giving off Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail vibes was actually more Johnny Rzenik Goo Goo Dolls vibes...oopsie. You can read about other times I was trying to look super chic, but didn't look like a chick at all here.] Then last week, I had an epiphany while listening to 90's on 9 on my vacation. While ardently car-singing along to "Push," I realized that if I do absolutely nothing stylewise with my current do, I kind of look like Rob Thomas in the heydey of Matchbox 20. Dang. Foiled again. That's what hair wax is made to prevent. This isn't something I am terribly proud of, but tell me if I am wrong.

 Although I am in love with my hair, I was starting to conclude that it the style I think is so easy and cute maybe isn't a cutting edge female style....that is until I was watching The Chew or The View or one of those shows and spied a little adorable nymph of a human who had adorable hair (and lady parts) in a Yoplait yogurt commercial. 

OK, I realize aside from hair, this girl and I have nada in common. She is possibly Asian and definitely French...and furthermore, she LOVES Yogurt...which I do not [Tangent: You all know it's turned milk, right?]. Evenso, it was kind of like that moment in Free Willy when Willy has been in captivity, but is finally able to swim with other orcas that are like him for the first time. [Tangent: Clearly the theme of the day is far-fetched analogies.]

Anyway, I guess the point that I  am taking the scenic way around is : Who do you look like? 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

One Man's Junk 3: We Finally Meet Dale

he had me at bobo Crypt Keeper!
 In the last 3 years, my family has 3 trips to coastal North Carolina with our respective mates, and each time my ginger and I break away to investigate a roadside attraction in Varnamtown. [Tangent: You may remember it from this post (which is in my top 10 most popular) or maybe this follow-up  filled with insane photo ops like me propped up on a Kotex car or Jamie looking tough sitting on a commode.]  After passing the seemingly endless string of gas stations, beach shops and trailers, we always happen upon a colorful nirvana of old toilets and cars festooned into colorful arrangements only to find out that it is closed. The whole junk yard is emblazoned with anti drug sentiments and is being heavily policed by the most terrifying guards imaginable - a live rooster and chicken. Because we are like moths to the flame of the weird and tacky,  we have always trespassed onto the open (aka not locked up) part of the property (a junk shop called  Fort Apache) to take pictures and bask in the wonder of gussied up trash.

We knew the third time was the charmed one to break into that bastion of junk and see what was so damned exciting behind that back gate that farm animals were trusted to monitor it. We were pretty stoked when a kindly man with little pigtails in his beard introduced himself as Dale and wanted to know all about how these city mice had found themselves in his backyard. I gained his love once I told him that we had been long time fans of his [Tangent: I left out the part that I recently re-recorded his episode of American Pickers because I didn't want to come off stalkery.] my Daddy was a North Carolinian and I been spending summers at Holden Beach since I was knee-high to junebug. [Tangent: Okay. We all know that I am not Blanche Devereaux and  that I didn't phrase it as such, but that country-fried vernacular just seemed apropo.]

Although he had swapped out the front yard accessories since our last visit and added a to scale RV homage to Breaking Bad [Tangent: Be still my heart! I was so excited that I couldn't take any pictures], I was most interested in what was locked inside. And let me tell you guys, it was batshit and amazing! We meandered through an endless literal tunnel of random things (a table of humidifiers here, a wall of cassette tapes there.) with weird and semi-terrifying mannequins and dummies smattered throughout just to keep it spicy. [Tangent: Jamie stopped to take a picture of that nude cement lady corpse (roll that sentence over in your head a time or two) when he heard a creepy exhalation from about a foot behind him. He turned around to see a huge live turkey lurking behind a fake grave. Ya know....just your average Tuesday at Dale's!]

After signing the guestbook, Dale told us to go see the "Town", which is the gated area behind his property.  [Tangent: Because aside from a couple family members of Dale's and because I watch almost exclusively crime dramas, there was a split second where I thought "yep! We are getting murderred today." Despite Dale being the sweetest Teddy Bear of man, I couldn't help but cycle through the normal "Did I tell my family where we were going when we left the beach house?" or "Damn...it would be so easy for him to padlock us back here and make us into mannequins." Luckily I missed the day stranger danger was taught in elementary school because we just waltzed through the gate to check out his folk art oddity showcase.]  Seriously, to show you everything I would have to post a million pictures but here are some of the highlights: 

You'll notice I chose the worst possible day to leave my shoes in the car.
a mural he did on the side of building after the guys from American Pickers came to visit
this out building was kind of like a shrine filled with creepy old Cracker Barrel-esque portraits, old nativity scenes and religious icons and silk flowers. This was the room that may give me nightmares.
When we were about to head out and snapping the last photo of the Pickers mural, Dale game out to wish us off bearing gifts!!! After telling us that we were now family [Tangent: Yes. This was our Fast and the Furious moment.] he left us with parting gifts- a burned copy of a movie shot partially at his junk shop and an autographed copy of his story from a local magazine. Long story short, we finally reached our goal of breaking into Fort Apache...and I got a new brother out of the deal. He is seriously the nicest human on the planet (not a murderer)!
Sorry I look rough, vacation means no makeup and its roughly 700 degrees outside.
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