The Rules of Karen’s House.

Wifi is always free.

Sweets are good.

No gum.

No ice chomping. Ever.

Be nice to the cats (but don’t feed them).

Never mock the Beetle.

I broke my TOE! HOLY SHIT! Oh wait -- WAIT! Ok, I fixed it.

So tonight I seriously thought I broke my big toe. And I feel like sharing.

Background: Since I can remember, I've had an odd ability to, on occasion, accidently stretch my toes out of alignment. Don't get me wrong here -- what I'm talking about has nothing to do with "popping" knuckles or joints. It's more like when someone's shoulder comes out of the socket and someone has to pull and pop it back into place -- usually a doctor in the ER. Well sometimes (not often) when my feet are super sore and I'm stretching my toes, the second two toes on my right foot will get out of alignment. It hurts and they get stuck -- well, stuck in the sense that I've no longer got the ability to move them -- and I can't really feel them either. It's not as gross as it sounds -- it's kinda cool, actually. It usually fascinates me more than it hurts. And until tonight, I've never even given it a second thought.

Of course it has almost always just happened with the second 2 toes on my right foot. It might have happened to other toes before, I'm not positive -- but mostly those two. Now that I think of it, it's probably because I've broken those toes each twice at least (along with most of the other toes on that foot at one time or another). I've also had the second toe stabbed clean through with a steak knife -- it still bears the scar.

Tonight, though, was a bit different. I was in a dressing room trying on swimsuits. I'd been wearing shoes all day so I took the opportunity to stretch my toes. My big toe was hurting and then all the sudden it hurt a lot more. I recognized the feeling as the pop-out thing -- and casually looked down to check it out. What I saw was not my little toes "stuck." What I saw was my big toe TOTALLY out of alignment. Dude, your foots not supposed to bend like that -- not at all. It was all twisted and to the side BELOW my second toe. I believe my exact words were something like. "Fuck. FUCK! Oh shit! Shit! Shit shit shit shit." Then there was hopping and racing thoughts.

I thought I was gonna have to go to the ER. I was sure I must have just broken it. My mind was already racing about how stupid this was and how was I gonna get to the hospital -- and lord help, I'm not even wearing my pants -- and what if I have to wear one of those big goofy shoes? Keep in mind these thoughts were all racing through in the midst of the cursing and hopping in the 30-or-so seconds it took me to grab my foot and "fix it."

But I did. It's fixed. A tad swollen -- but fixed. Thank God.

So yeah, just thought I'd share.

This Week in Karen's Life

Saturday: Richard's Birthday celebration @ Shogun's

Sunday: Biked 3+ miles with Nathan (who picked me & the bike up), Chad, and Matt in Edgewater (where most everyone but me lives). They ride much faster than me. It kicked my ASS. Then we went on the great dinner search which consisted of at least 8 various plans, driving all over both Huntsville & Madison, being offered microwaved Pizza @ a bar and ending up at an unnamed awesome sports bar somewhere on 72. Then we had Ice Cream cones :)

Monday: Work...

Tuesday: Work + Bike rack came! Bike 3+ miles @ UAH

Wednesday: Work (with bonus lunch @ TGI Fridays) + Bike 3+ miles in Edgewater with Nathan, Richard, Matt, Chad, & Lauren. Cooked dinner for everyone @ Nathans

Thursday: Work + bonus picnic-style lunch with work buddies. Dyed Easter Eggs :)

Friday: Bike 8+ (yes EIGHT) miles with Chad on Trail in Madison (which Chad hath discovered). Crystal spends the night -- Tai restaurant for dinner.

Saturday: Bike 8+ (yes EIGHT) miles with Chad, Crystal, and Matt. Set out on search for unnamed sports bar somewhere on 72 -- find it, register name as Indigo Joes, decide it's now my FAVORITE group restaurant. Hit the mall with Crystal (Don't worry Erin, she made me go -- no shopping was actually done). Movie night with Jack (a long lost tradition in my apartment).

Sunday: Wash Laundry. Clean apartment (Hardcore). Watch recorded Grey's & have dinner with Erin. Possibly bike in Madison later?

So this week, I've biked well over 25 miles. I'm so proud of myself! And both Friday AND Saturday, I biked over 8 miles. EIGHT MILES. That has to be the furthest I've ever moved under my own power in my entire life! I'm so proud of myself! And granted, it totally kicked my butt. My legs were jello and my ass is sore -- but I went 8 miles! Twice! Thanks Chad for helping me push myself that far :)


Last night I laid down around 11ish but was unable to sleep. I tossed and turned for hours. I just could not sleep. I was hot. I cannot sleep when I am hot. The air conditioner was set on 70 and I was burning up. When I would roll over, the sheets even felt hot where my body had been -- I was dying! I even moved a fan into my bedroom to blow air directly on me. I just could not cool off.

Then finally at a little after 2am, I reached the end of my rope. Then I realized: ... the electric blanket was on.


Hippity Hoppity Easters on Its Way!

I've dyed my eggs (dyed, blown, and painted) and am in the process of filling out my Easter cards. I didn't realize Easter was so close! It's only 2 weeks away!

You should dye eggs. Eggs cost all of a dollar. I used food dye and vinegar this year and am quite happy with the results. Bring back childhood memories -- dye eggs. It's fun.


My bike rack came today. I just strapped my spiffy new bike to my spiffy blue Beetle and took it over to UAH to ride. I rode 3 miles ...and it kicked my ass. Much like the 3 or 4 miles that kicked my ass Sunday when I went riding with the guys (haha, I can say "the guys" with purpose). It's not the hills or the powering around that gets me -- it's that my legs just don't want to go up and down that much. I know, I'm pathetic. But I'll get better. Two years ago, I couldn't even walk a mile and look how far I've come from that. So this shall be the same (It's company policy to use "shall" statements as much as possible everywhere all the time).

Tomorrow I'm taking it to work with me along with a change of clothes so I can take a ride before I come home. The weather is perfect for it. I'm excited :)

Why I should be living in the moment and psyched!

+ GREAT friends

+ Social Life is sky rocketing

+ Incredible job that I actually like

+ BEETLE! I drive a BEETLE! I mean seriously -- BEETLE!

+ Live alone in an AWESOME apartment -- MY apartment

+ New bike to strap to the Beetle so I can look way cool

+ Lost a ton of weight -- 120lbs!

+ My kitties

+ Relationship with family getting healthier

+ People at work love me


You know, at this very point in my life, I have more friends than I ever had before -- and not just acquaintances or friends of convenience but people I really care about -- people I want to invest in -- and they care about me as well. I've also got a much busier social life than ever before. I'd say this really is a pretty high point of my life --- maybe even THE high point. Everyone I know seems to have all these great college memories and stories but I didn't have that. But I've got this :)

Believe me -- every day, I thank God for gracing me with my friends. I prayed for people in my life for a long time -- and I never expected to have anything even close to this. I figured I had missed my chance for a social group -- God proved me wrong.

I didn't start this post with that in mind though. What I started this post for was to brag about how I got to eat at Shogun the other night. Everyone knows I'm SUPER picky about food. I like my food processed with easily identifiable, well-cooked ingredients. However, I don't want to miss out on the fun when everyone goes out. So since I have such wonderful people to eat out with so often, I end up eating at all sorts of places. And I've been enjoying them -- with a little help, I can always find SOMETHING I'll be happy to eat. I enjoyed eating at Shoguns -- I didn't even pick at my food (Impressive, no?). I've also been able to enjoy another Japanese restaurant, Tai food, German food, Indian food -- all sorts of places I'd never have eaten before. I'm like all adult now... ;)

PS: You see what happens when people take candid pictures without warning? I look great in the first picture there (woot!) -- but what the hell were you doing, Nathan?


I have something to confess. One (of a few) of the reasons I bought the Daughtry album was because he looks so fucking hot in those jeans on the cover. Let me explain:

There. You see what I mean? *swoon*

I didn't know this guy was from American Idol (no, I don't watch the show -- I happen to get very annoyed by it and its hardcore fans). I remember hearing his version of Fuel's Hemorrhage and thinking how awesomely he sang it (and I wasn't the only one -- the next week Fuel offered him a contract as their new lead singer. He's THAT good). I also remember hearing that he turned down Fuel's offer and thinking that not only was he an ENORMOUS GIGANTIC moron, but that we -- the fans -- were really missing out on something that could have been great (I <3 Fuel). Now, tonight I go browsing iTunes (dude, music just sucks me in -- iTunes slays me) and end up downloading his CD.

Man. He can sing AND he's hot. And he looks awesome in those jeans. I think I've found a new thing I like -- guys in jeans that have that PERFECT fit. I'm serious. I've always had a thing for arms and guys in PJ pants -- now I have a thing for sexy jeans ...apparently. Can I get this on a poster or something? I just want to look at him and put "It's not Over" on repeat ... and look at him ... in those jeans.


Man, maybe I should be shopping for guy jeans -- they come in nice heavy denim with no stretch (no stretch = important) AND sexy bootcut. I this something I should consider?

Let's go outback tonight... life will still be there tomorrow.

Did the Outback Steakhouse people conduct a scientific study on how to make a catchy song? Did they invest lots of money and resources in trying to pinpoint just what kind of songs get stuck in peoples heads? Cause -seriously- those bastards are sneaky.

That songs been in my head for days -- and I don't even care. I catch myself almost singing it out loud "life will still be there tomo-r-row..."

And not only have they made this sickeningly catchy song -- which, by-the-way, isn't even very good -- but they are saturating the marketplace with it. The first time I heard it, I thought it sucked. But now its grown on me. I hear it on commercials when I'm in the kitchen cooking -- I hear it on the radio when I'm driving -- then I switch channels and there it is again. And then I'm checking my mail box and singing "life is be-etter toge-ether..."

Man, I even want to download the song. They've missed a GREAT marketing opportunity by not making it available on their website for goobers like me to download. You should atleast be able to stream it -- or have that annoying chorus play when you go to the site.

"Let's go Outback tonight... life will still be there tomo-r-row..."

*Happy Clap*


I put my bike together! Yep, I put it together myself -- impressive, no? Ok, so it's easier than it sounds, but you didn't hear that from me.

There is a bit of a problem though -- there's no way in HELL that thing is even going to pretend to fit in my car. It's huge! Seriously, who knew bikes were so massive? Even if I took the front wheel off (and it's not one of those easy to remove ones), it still wouldn't even come close to fitting. That bike is like 6 feet wide -- not exaggerating. It's even wider than my car, I think. I swear, it's a girl bike -- it's just a really really big one.

I'm very happy with my choice. After I got it all adjusted and put together, I took it outside to blow up the tires and ride it a bit. It's a good fit for me and very comfortable. I wish I could take it to UAH to ride it or to go ride with my friends! That'll have to wait until I get a bike rack for the Beetle -- which I might be able to afford next month. Until then, it'll sit in my living room and be ridden around my apartment complex. I'm super happy with my choice to buy it and I'm really proud of the awesome deal I got (~80 dollars when all was said and done).

So how was putting it together? Well, it was easier than I thought -- but then harder than it first appeared. The instructions are not nearly detailed enough. First, they're made for the whole class of bikes -- not this one specifically. Two, I could have used a lot more detail, thanks. A lot of it was kinda winging it and going "I guess they mean this..." And lord help, I played with the brakes for an hour and I still don't have them right. Also, Huffy could have detailed the gazillion adjustable parts for me. Not to make me happy with my purchase, but so I would know that it needed to be adjusted and tightened BEFORE I hopped on it. The seat has like 5 different tilt positions -- didn't know that till I started riding it. Thanks for cluing me in there.

The only things I need to tweak a bit more are the brakes and the seat. It has a quick release seat and I can't seem to get the nut tight enough to hold my big butt high enough (hey, I'm WELL below the max weight limit, thank you). I also am a tad unhappy that I can't find a bike where I can both touch the ground and also get my legs decently straight when bottoming out on the pedals. This was the case with every other bike I rode while shopping so I'm willing to just deal with that. The pedals can't touch the ground and I have to be able to at least reach it with my tippy toes -- if I had the fit in the pedals that I wanted, they'd have to be right above the ground and I'm just not going to find that on a mountain bike. Other than that, I'm extremely pleased. I like it even more than I expected to! I like it much better than all the (way more expensive) bikes I tried in the store and I'm even happy with the color (didn't expect to actually like it). And it fits me! YAY!

Now I just need to save up for a bike rack on the back of the Beetle so I can haul it around with me -- I'm so disappointed that I won't be able to ride it much at all until I get a rack :(

Cheers to a new week.

So, I've been in my self loathing hissy fit for the better part of my weekend. But at least my apartments all clean now! Yay for my clean apartment! Of course it's 10:30 -- and I've yet to shower and put up my laundry... but the counters (sink & toilet too) are sparkling and the carpet has nice little vacuum lines all over it.

Oh and I finally swept the broken glass (from when someone broke into the apartment above mine) from the balcony. I've also managed to block the balcony door with a window and leave the door open to let in a fresh breeze without sacrificing my cats.

So when I first moved in, I tried to get permission to surround the balcony in screen of chicken wire so jack could be allowed outside. They wouldn't let me... but I just had a GENIUS idea. I'm going to make a roman shade of chicken wire and hang it above the door in my bedroom -- THAT way I can be on the balcony or leave the door open and just roll that down and not even have to worry about the cats getting run over. I'M A GENIUS. I can even put some nice breezy fabric on the inside of it so it will be functional AND pretty. Genius, I tell you. I get to enjoy my balcony this spring! Holy shit -- I can have FLOWERS!

The weather is lovely -- perfect for short sleeves in the day and a light jacket in the evening. Now we'll have longer days too -- and I'll have a bike to ride. Tis going to be a good week. I declare that it's going to be a good week, dammit. Good week.

You make me sick!

...and not in the obnoxiously rude kinda way either -- you really made me sick.

And I'm all depressed too, dammit. And last night I was totally bitchy and obnoxious with my friends. I'm sorry :( I know, I don't like me either.

My apartment reflects my mental status. It's messy and unkempt -- the beds trashed, clean and dirty clothes all over, piles of dishes in the sink, dirty storage containers on the counters, dirty stove, dirty bathroom, even the table is piled high in junk. I'm spending this evening cleaning everything up and getting it all in proper order again -- maybe by changing a symptom of my depression, it'll help me feel better. Or hey, at least I can invite my friends over to hang out if I want.

I've not been able to find love, but at least my cat has.

I bought this.

I can't wait till it gets here! *Happy clap* When it gets here and I have it all put together, I'm gonna go riding on Monte Sano :)

Bike Shopping

Tonight I was so tempted to buy a bike. I browsed through a few at Walmart (I know: evil blah blah corporate bastards blah blah mom and pops). I was extremely tempted. I told myself I could have one when I got down to a size 18 (that happened a while ago). I also want to lose just a tiny bit more and the exercise mode I'd most prefer would be a bike. And come this summer, I MIGHT be able to convince some friends to ride with me (not counting on that). Also, some days after work when I've been in my cube all day, I just want to go out and walk or something. I rode Nathan's bike the other day -- it was fun but his was way too tall for me.

Of course the only places I could really ride would be my friend's neighborhood and the UAH campus (I work right by it). Riding in my neighborhood is 100% out of the question for a number of reasons (personal safety, high traffic, hills my lazy ass doesn't want to deal with). Also, I would have to buy a bike rack -- unless there is some chance it could fit in the Beetle with the seats down. This is a possibility -- I'll have to grab someone else's bike and try it. If it fits and it's not too horribly hard to get in and out, then I'm sold. If not, however, then I'll have to get a bike rack. I'm thinking that this wouldn't be too cute on the Beetle.

The man at Walmart showed me a couple of different bikes. The one I liked the most is pink. Not a womanly pink but a teenage girl pink -- not something I can respectably ride as a 24-year-old woman. Why are all the women's bikes pink or purple? Maybe I'd like a nice dark blue to match my car -- or just black or silver or something, you know?

Also, the man at Walmart says that I should get a 24 inch wheel because I have shorter legs. I think he might be right. He beat around the bush on that for a long time -- he didn't want to offend me by implying that I was short. I told him I'd not take offense and that I'd like a bike that fit me. He was 100% sure I should go with a 24 inch. He also asked me if I had family in California because I looked exactly like a friend he used to have. I told him i'd take that as a compliment. He told me I should because we were both gorgeous. How fucking awesome is that? Here I was feeling like I looked like a hippo hopping on and off of bikes and this guy is hitting on me. Score!

BTW, not only was I feeling especially unattractive playing with bikes (BTW, seriously -- I'm afraid I might be too fat for a bike and just no one will tell me. How does one determine these things?) -- but I glanced at a chart that had the weight limit of different bikes. 275lb max on 26", 240 on 24" -- etc. Then I got really bummed because I had had my heart set on getting a bike... Then as I walked away, I realized wait a sec... I'm way below that! It was nice.

Tornadoes in Enterprise.

I just want to say that my heart goes out to the people of Enterprise, Alabama. I know that anyone who has lived in Alabama long has seen first hand the damage that tornadoes can do. Still, with 24 years of experience I've always made light of them. As children we rejoiced when school let out for the warnings and as an adult I've never taken caution. Even yesterday, I didn't even consider leaving work to get home before they hit. Yesterday's tragedy has shown me how idiotic not taking proper precautions is.

For some reason, this is just really hitting me hard -- and I've not even seen the news coverage first hand. My heart especially goes out to the school superintendent who made the decision of when to let out. It's just a tragedy.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, I apologize but I do not have time to look up an article for you. Yesterday, as countless days before it, a string of bad storms brought tornadoes through Alabama. I know that here in Huntsville, even UAH closed -- and that is very rare. The school in Enterprise was to be let out early at 1 when a tornado struck just minutes before that. At least 6 students died when the roof collapsed and many more were injured. My mother told me about an interview with one of the high school seniors who personally carried out the bodies of 2 little girls... No one should have to go through that -- especially at such a young age. Yall are all in my prayers.

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