Monday, August 31, 2009

So Fresh and So Clean

Earlier tonight, Dan said, "take a good look at the house tomorrow morning — she looks the best she's ever looked."

While I think Dan's been proud of the house since he bought it five-ish years ago, he's right. With fresh paint, decluttered rooms, a freshly-mowed lawn and an updated kitchen and bath, the house is looking mighty fine.

Now we just need to cross our fingers that potential buyers think so, too.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Skinny-ish Girl Margarita version 2.0

Take this Bethenny Frankel...

Kroger is now offering a generic Crystal Light in lemon-lime. And I found out tonight it's delicious with Jose Cuervo on the rocks. My "skinny-ish girl margarita version 2.0" goes something like this. In a large highball glass, mix:
  • 1/2 tbsp. Kroger brand lemon-lime drink mix — look for this where Crystal Light and Nestea powders are located (5 calories) 
  • 1.5 ounces Jose Cuervo Gold tequila (100 calories)
  • Lots of ice
Bethenny's "Skinny Girl (TM) Margarita" (note: gross... I ordered it out once and was thoroughly gross and I was thoroughly embarrassed for being so high maintenance) — combine the below in a glass and garnish with a fresh lime wedge. (Note #2: nutrition facts not available.)

  • 2 oz of Clear Premium Tequila (count 1, 2 while you pour, no need for measuring)

  • Tiny splash of Orange Liquor

  • Juice of 4 Fresh Lime Wedges 

My focus group of one has unanimously voted my recipe as highly superior taste-wise. Not to mention my two ingredients are likely cheaper and easier to find compared to Bethenny's three. Take that, Real Housewife (but not a housewife) of New York!

(Photo from Cooking on the Side)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Celebrity Look-a-like

James' post from yesterday (he recaps being told he looks like Dean Cain and Jon Gosselin) gave me a good idea for a post.

Well, here's me:

I've gotten these two ladies three or four times each. Not quite sure I should feel flattered though...

Kirsten Dunst. Admittedly, I have vampire-esque teeth like Kirsten. but I hope I don't walk like a hunch back, chain smoke and repel the sun.

Photo from

Sandra Lee from The Food Network's "Semi-Homemade" show. My friends and I usually refer to this show as "Semi-Infuse-Everything-With-Alcohol." People may think we look alike, but I seriously hope I don't act like this lady. There's only so much I can use the verb "pop" and talk about tablescapes. And really, does every meal have to have three different booze beverages to accompany it?

Photo from The Food Network

Who do people think you resemble?

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Seeing college sports promos (football players, cheerleaders, etc.) got me thinking about a mildly shameful part of my past (this will make more sense further down in this post). Then I got to thinking about how there's no better place to air out my own shameful past then on my own blog.

So, I present to you the...


Disrespecting a substitute teacher with an insult that didn't even make sense. In 5th grade, whispering (too loudly) to a classmate that our substitute was (and I quote), "so fat you could make a few hamburger patties out of her." (Why do elementary and middle schoolers say weird stuff that they think will make them cool? I wish I knew.) I was caught, almost paddled and went home crazy embarrassed. Imagine explaining that to your mother.

Causing $2,000/worth of damage to my car and another while backing out of a parking space. On a dark, Christmas Eve night, I thought I was pulling out of a straight parking spot when it was instead angled. I pulled the wheel and pulled my front bumper off as it slid down the side of the car next to me. And worse yet, the car next to me belonged to my younger brother. Doh! 

Turning a pizza into a mountainous terrain. You know, a lot of things seem like a good idea after a late night out on the college town. The night called for a frozen pizza. I told friends I would take care of cooking the pie. Not being able to find a flat cookie sheet, I pulled out a muffin tin and sat the frozen pizza on top. I didn't realize that as the pizza cooked, it would dip into the muffin crevices. As you would guess, I was seriously ridiculed by the aforementioned friends. Well, it tasted the same...

Officially eating four pounds of turkey, dressing, hot corn and other Thanksgiving fixins. My old office holds an annual Thanksgiving feast. I'm talking about more food than you've ever seen. Another Thanksgiving tradition is an eating contest. Not being one who's shy to a challenge, I agreed to eat as much as possible between the hours of noon and 4pm. I ate four pounds worth of food. I didn't win. I felt like I was going to die. 

Dressing as a stuffed animal, for a whole school year. Okay, "a whole school year" might be an exaggeration, but I did dress as the Eufaula High School tiger for a year's worth of football and basketball games. I talked myself into trying out because I had several friends who cheered (and I was not so much coordinated to cheer). Man did I feel stupid, sweaty and lame in that smelly costume. At least I got to be quasi-cool by being semi-associated with cheerleaders.


Ratting myself out to coworkers re: my true feelings about another coworker. At one of my previous jobs, I worked regularly with someone who had a difficult personality. One of my outside mentors suggested I buy a particular book to learn to deal with said difficult personality. Well, this bright gal forgot to take the book out of her car when driving three colleagues out to lunch. One colleague had to move my How to Work for an Idiot book off the floorboard to make room for her feet. I can't even remember what bad excuse I made for owning that book. 

Being cheaper than cheapness should really legally allow. If you're reading this blog (or my other blog), you know that I love a good deal. I'm especially obsessed with good deals when it comes to clothing (I'd guess a fifth of my closet came from Goodwill). Well, while working one of my college jobs, I excused myself to go to the restroom. What do I see in the trash? A perfectly nice white skirt from The GAP with a small spot on it. What does any sane person do? Leave it there. What did I do? Put it in a plastic bag, took it home and washed it. Viola. Now I have a cute white skirt. And it was free! (Houston, I have a problem.)

6th grade. All of it. See photo exhibits A and B. No further evidence needed.

Exhibit A (and that's with my top stuffed with toilet paper. Sad, right?)

Exhibit B (click to enlarge).

Saying "hi" to people I don't really know. A few months into dating Dan (and after a few cocktails at Twisted Taco), I see an Indian guy across the street and think, "oh, I know him!" So I yell (yes, YELL), "Hey! Rishi!" When he gives me a confused look in return, I think,  "Uh-oh... I don't really know that guy in real life — I've just seen him in a lot of photos on Facebook." I mumble something about mistaking him for someone else, which I'm sure didn't go over very well considering I called him by his correct name. Oh, and did I mentioned I probably embarrassed my date?

Writing pseudo-porn for 3rd grade English class. So, Mrs. Johnson gave us a writing assignment: write about PE class. Well, write I did... a semi-racy account of the jogging trail (i.e. a course we had to run/jog during physical education class). I believe the exact words that got me in trouble (and resulted in a subsequent letter home to my parents) were, "I could feel the cold sweat running down my breasts." Well, it was true!

I know I'm not alone. What shamefulness lurks in your history?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Babies Galore!

We have several friends who recently had babies (and at least two friends who are expecting — congrats friends... you know who you are!). In fact, I'm a month away from cohosting a baby shower for one of the on-the-way babes.

These freaking babies are too cute to not share photos... We have (clockwise): Lilian (one of the Onda twins), Collins (Olivia and Tres' bebe), Austin (the other Onda twin) and little Andrew, who belongs to friends Jeannie and Jim. Not pictured: Brenner (see Brenner's baby blog here).

Don't get any ideas about us!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Painting the Town Black

Pardon the progress in the picture here, but I wanted to report that black was definitely the way to go with the door (sorry you were outvoted, Mr. Anonymous Feng Shui and LiLu).

Dan put one coat on yesterday — and between the two of us, we'll put on two more coats. The black door goes well with the shutters, wrought iron and the brick work. And of course my goofy iPhone photo sucks compared to the view from the street.

Thanks for your help on this, guys.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Help us sell our house: what color to re-paint the door?

The casa.

This is our house. In the coming weeks, we'll be putting it on the market. The house is a one-story ranch with yellow brick, a grey roof and black shutters... and its front door needs a new coat of paint. 

I'm perplexed about what color to repaint the door. 

What do you guys think? Do you have a suggestion we haven't thought of?

The views expressed (and colors suggested) in this blog are the opinions of Katy and Katy only. The opinions shared in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of Dan (Katy's husband).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

(Guest Post) Adventures in Changing Your Name... and musings on Asians named Ashley

(This is the girl formerly known as Ashley Moeko Wallis. Does she look like an "Ashley" to you? Well, she doesn't feel like one either. Ladies and gentleman, I present to you a guest authored by one of my besties. Read her account of what it takes to change your name, complete with red tape, confusing Google Map directions, attempts to uncover her criminal past, courtroom drama and more. Who knew what the hell someone has to go through to change what you go by...)

"Most of my closest friends know that I despise the name Ashley. No offense to anyone named Ashley, but for me it's been the source of a lifetime of frustration. I'll start with a little background: I was born in Tokyo where my parents gave me the name Ashley Moeko Wallis, and decided to call me by my middle name while living in Japan. They knew we would eventually move to the U.S. and planned to call me Ashley once we moved. Well, I was 5 when we finally moved and that's when my parents realized that it didn't make sense to start calling me a different name, so they stuck with Moeko.

Anyone who goes by their middle name can relate to the inconveniences that go along with it.  My medical records are impossible to find (it's not under Moeko? Try Ashley...); when I started working for PwC, my coworkers couldn't find me in the company directory (Moeko didn't exist!); I receive double junk mail (one addressed to Ashley and one to Moeko); my passport didn't match my SkyMiles account (and so I had to stand in an hour-long line to check-in at the airport vs. using the speedy kiosk!) get the idea.

In college, people used to ask me why I didn't just get my name changed, and I kind of looked into it but decided that I didn't have any extra funds lying around to pay for it (at that point I wasn't sure how much it would cost me but was smart enough to know that it wasn't going to be free).  At that point, I decided that when I got married, I would just change my first name at the same time I changed my last name. Simple as that.

I was married in May 2009, and Katy forwarded me a handy document (authored by our mutual, recently-married friend Maria) outlining the steps of getting my name changed after marriage. It went something like this:

Step 1 - Get at least one copy of your certified marriage license. Done.

Step 2 - Get your SS card changed. To do this you will need to take your marriage license and your driver's license showing your old name (which is why you want to do this step first). Done. This was relatively easy, and I just explained that I was dropping my first name (Ashely) and wanted to take my middle name as my first (Moeko), my maiden name as my middle (Wallis), and then my husband's surname as my last (Wilson).  A few days later I received my SS card in the mail: Moeko Wallis Wilson. Yay!

Step 3 - Go to the DMV and get your new driver's license (you will need a certified copy of your marriage license for this as well).  I went to the DMV and took my marriage license and my new SS card.  I filled out the paperwork, showed the lady my official documents, smiled for a picture, and started to walk out the door when I realized that my license said "Ashley Wallis Wilson." WTF! I quickly cut everyone in line to find the lady I gave all my documents to, and said "You forgot to change my first name." She replied "What do you mean? You can't change your first name." And I said "Why not? I have my SS card showing that my name is 'Moeko Wallis Wilson'." And she responded "That don't matter. Social security will let you change your name to whatever you want." I didn't even know how to begin responding when she continued "If you want to change your first name you have to show us proof of a court-approved, official name change."

At this point I realized I wasn't going to get anywhere arguing with her, so I walked out with my new license. At this point my SS card said Moeko Wallis Wilson, my driver's license said Ashley Wallis Wilson, and all my credit cards still said Ashley Moeko Wallis. Talk about an identity crisis.

I decided to start the process of an official name change in Fulton County.  Fortunately while applying for my marriage license at the Fulton County Probate Court I picked up a packet outlining the steps of a name change (for $2.50, I might add.) The first step was to fill out a bunch of paperwork, including a petition to change name, and have it all filed at the Clerk's Office downtown.  In order to file the papers, I had to pay $82.50.  The next step was to take my petition to change name and have it published once a week for four weeks in the Fulton County Daily Report.  I believe this part is required in case someone is changing their name with the intent to defraud someone. This cost me an additional $80.

After the 4 weeks were up I had to get a final decree of name change signed by a Fulton county judge. For this part I was assigned a court date, where I was required to go to the Fulton County Superior Court.  The packet also said that once the judge signed my decree, that I could obtain a copy at the Clerk's Office.

I Googled each location and found the following addresses and directions/map:

Fulton County Superior Court:185 Central Ave, Atlanta, GA 30303

Fulton County Clerk's Office: 136 Pryor Street, Atlanta, GA 30303

It wasn't until after I made the walk from point A to point B that I realized that they were both located in the same freakin' building. 

Anyway, back to my court date.  There were about 20 others in the room with me, and I was told that the court set aside an hour every Tuesday for name changes.  The judge called us up one by one, asking a majority of us why we were changing our name.  One was changing his name to Muhammad, for religious reasons, I assume.  A few others were Asians wanting American first names.  Another was like me — wanting to make their middle name their first name! After the hour was over, I made my way to the Clerk's Office to obtain my certified copy of name change (for $2.50 a copy).  I was elated when I had it in my hand, thinking that this whole process was going to be over soon.  I started to walk out of the courthouse when I realized that my decree said, "Meoko Wallis Wilson."  WTF…again! I ran back to the assistant and said "you misspelled my first name," to which she replied, "no, I didn't." I was speechless once again. She continued, "I just copied whatever you wrote so you must have written it wrong when you filed the papers." I'm thinking, right lady, I misspelled my own name, which I have written a billion times…

She took the paper back and was able to correct it then and there, but can you imagine what would have happened if I hadn't seen the mistake until I got home!?

I plan to get my license in the upcoming week. All I have to do is take my certified copy of my name change to the DMV and then I can proceed to Maria's step 4, which is to get all of my bank accounts and credit cards updated."

Crazy, right? 

Amount of time participating in beauracratic procedure: 2-plus months

Dollars spent in petition filing and documentation: $167.50

Having your name be what you want: priceless

Monday, August 10, 2009

Why Do You Taunt Me, Chick-Fil-A?

As I pumped gas in yesterday's 95-degree heat, I examined the landscape surrounding the Shell station. I spot the Chick-Fil-A across the street and begin to drool at the idea of a chilly, creamy peach milkshake. Mmmmmmm. 

If you're lucky enough to have a Chick-Fil-A in your area, you're also unlucky to only be able to eat there Monday thru Saturday (Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sundays to allow its employees a day to themselves, or possibly a day to practice their religion if they so choose.)

Dear sir, please change your signage to not say "today." "Today" could be 
Sunday and you are not open Sunday. This is unfair and ridiculous. 
Thank you. Sincerely, Katy

Not cool.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What's Wrong With People? (and a discussion on Twitter)

So, I get an e-mail tonight that Tianalynn81 is following me on Twitter. I think, "oh, okay. cool."

But then I click on Tianalynn81's Twitter page to see what she tweets about. Here's what I find:

Click to enlarge if you can't see what Tianalynn81 is tweeting about.

Ummm... what? One tweet and it's about how you wished you'd... err... done something naughty to the recently-deceased director of iconic 80's movies such as The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. Yeah, no thank you. I think I'd rather not follow you and your bizarro wish-you'd-done-bad-things-to-celebrities tweets.

I suppose this plays into several discussions I've had lately with friends about Twitter. My sister (Anna), for some reason, thinks Twitter is for old people. I hear a lot of friends ask, "What is Twitter for anyway?" For me, I enjoy reading what people post about restaurants and food, shopping deals, music, breaking news, fashion and a teeny bit about technology. It's cool that anyone can find their niche on Twitter, tapping into about any obscure topic they're interested in.

But then I feel there are less-than-awesome uses of Twitter updates. I, too, am guilty of occasionally using Twitter like a facebook status update, even though I generally find that mildly annoying. I mean, I'm proud of a friend for going to the gym or for feeling the need to shout "TGIF" in 140 characters or less, but I sure don't find that very informative or facilitating to a two-way dialogue.

I'm curious to hear others' thoughts on Twitter. Why do you tweet? Why do you choose not to tweet? Go forth. Discuss.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Budget Cut Unworthy

At a time when I'm unemployed and we're working to sell our home, I'm trying to think more about what we need and don't need. Grocery shopping has taken a little trim. Clothes shopping has nearly screeched to a halt (with the exception of some careful thrifting). We're delaying the purchase of some truck accessories for Dan. Meeting friends out for dinner has been mostly replaced with hosting friends at our place or going to theirs.

One item I can't seem to shake from my grocery shopping is fresh flowers. 

I read in one of Dr. Andrew Weil's books that fresh flowers do wonders for your mood and can even improve your health.

Two vases' worth of flowers for about seven bucks ($2.99 for the daisies and $3.99 for the purple flower that I wish I'd written down the name off...). I really enjoy picking out flowers weekly at the DeKalb Farmer's Market — and I love the sight of fresh flowers in the kitchen and living room. (And a little tip: if you don't have many vases at home, go grab a few from your local Salvation Army or Goodwill for a dollar or two a pop.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

People Say the Darndest Things

Another day, another interesting comment from a stranger:

Nurse tech at Red Cross Blood Donation Center: Do you have a valid driver's license with you today?

Me: Yes, I do.

Nurse tech: You look a lot different in this photo. You look really pale. But I guess the photo was taken in November...