The Man, The Myth, The Legend, Mike Sr.

I like to think I inherited my strikingly good looks from my mother, and my weirdness from my father (Let’s all just say a prayer that I didn’t inherit my Father’s hairline too). My Dad is a goofball, always making corny jokes, acting like a child, and just overall being strange. He taught us from a young age not to be overly sensitive and to take what life throws at you.
I still remember when I was little, maybe about 5 or 6, I decided to draw a picture for my Dad that he could hang up in his office. I spent quite a long time on this beautiful picture (Some called me a young Picasso back then) trying my best to make it look nice with those impractical waxy things they call crayons (I have since graduated to colored pencils). Once my masterpiece was done, I very excitedly gave it to my dad. “Oh this is lovely” He said. I felt proud and couldn’t help but blush. Then he added, “I think I’ll hang it on the inside of the garbage can.” And with that he started roaring with laughter, while I just stood there in a state of disbelief. This type of fatherly behavior goes against what any child psychology class will teach you and probably delayed my emotional and psychological development for quite some time. It’s ok though because I am convinced that as a child I didn’t have a soul, so it probably didn’t really phase me too much. Here is a picture to prove it:
There I am, second from the left, with the empty eyes.

There I am, second from the left, with the empty eyes. There was nothing going on in my little head because I had no soul.

In addition to teaching us not to be overly sensitive, My Dad has taught us many other things. One example is the importance of recycling. You can’t even throw a post-it note in the trash without my dad sniffing it out. “Who is the dimwit that threw this in here?! This can be recycled in the paper recycling bin!” I’m all about going green but he takes it to the extreme. I think his favorite part about Christmas is collecting the wrapping paper after all the gifts are opened and bringing them to the paper recycling center.
Another thing he has taught us-“Sing as if no one can hear you.” Sorry dad, but when you sing, we can actually hear you. My Dad sings and hums while doing dishes, ironing his clothes, doing laundry, and ALWAYS when he walks up the basement stairs. His favorite basement stairs song to sing is “1-2 buckle my shoe. 3-4 shut the door…” But sometimes he’ll make up his own. A couple of weeks ago, on a particularly hot day, he was walking through the basement and started singing “Nice, and cool, nice and coooolllll, nice and cool” to a made up tune of his own. One of these days we have to get him into a recording studio so he can release an album.
He is still trying to teach us a few things though, like how to keep the fridge “organized.” “Who the hell put the butter on the second shelf?! Everyone knows it goes on the first shelf. No wonder I can never find anything in this fridge you kids just shove food on any shelf in the fridge!” Like most normal people, we put food back in the fridge where ever it will fit, but apparently my dad has an order for everything that he likes to keep secret.
So in appreciation of our Father and all the things he has taught us, a couple of weeks ago, like most Americans, our family celebrated father’s day. My Dad is a simple guy but he’s hard to buy for. Many times whatever we give him he ends up returning to the store. It’s almost as if the moment he opens the gift he is searching for the receipt. Sometimes I consider just putting the receipt to whatever we bought for him in a box and wrapping that up for him to open. That’s usually what he looks for anyway.  But this year we tried to save him some time standing in the return line by getting him gift cards and the very specific train books he asked for. My Dad is obsessed with trains. Anyone who goes in our basement probably thinks they are at a railway museum with the amount of train pictures we have hanging on the wall. In addition to trains he loves construction equipment and trucks. As you can tell my mom married a real man’s man. My dad tries to share his interests with his children by talking about trains and trucks. These conversations are short-lived. His favorite truck is the peterbilt which I believe is the nerd of the truck world. This makes conversation on car rides quite interesting.
Dad: “Kathleen look at that Peterbilt to your right. Isn’t that a great looking truck?!”
Me: “NEEERRRRDDDDD. It’s probably going to drop off a load of books at the library. Classic nerd.”
And now that my Dad has finally caught up with the 21st century, gotten rid of his God awful Blackberry, and learned how to text, these truck conversations have extended to text conversations:
photo 1 (1)
photo 2 (1)

As you can see, we have very meaningful conversations

In my family, we kids are lucky. We have a relationship with our Dad that is much like a friendship. We joke around, make fun of each other, call each other dimwits, idiots, and morons, but all in a fun manner. No one in our family is afraid to speak their mind. Especially when it comes to outfits and appearances.
Me: “Dad, what is with the collar of your shirt?! You look like a pilgrim! We are going to a graduation party not a reenactment of the first Thanksgiving.” Unbutton your top button.”
Dad: (huff) “Oh what do you want me to go practically undressed with half my shirt unbuttoned showing my chest hair like some ganster?!”
Me: “Believe me, no one wants to see your chest hair. I’m just suggesting you unbutton ONE button so you look like less of a dork.”
Don’t feel bad for my dad though, he gives it right back.
Me: “Ok bye Dad I’m going out.”
Dad: “You’re going out in those little slipper shoe things? You practically have nothing on your feet! You’ll probably get frost bite!”
Me: “They are called flats, and I will be fine.”
Dad: “Ok but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Did you make sure the clapper is off? It’s a miracle you girls haven’t set the house on fire with all your foo-foo hair gadgets!”
Me: “Yes Dad, ‘the clapper’, which is actually called a hair straightener, is off and unplugged. It will not start a fire.”
I feel very fortunate to have such a caring and helpful Father that puts up with four daughters and a son. Who do we call when we need financial advice? Dad. Who do we go to when we need all the hair cleaned out of the shower drain because it’s clogged? Dad. Who do we ask permission from to change the temperature on the thermostat? Trick question. You don’t EVER, EVER touch that thermostat. EVER.
Our dad is more than a dad. He is a handyman, plumber, comedian, and a friend. He makes his five kid’s lives interesting and fun. We couldn’t ask for a better roommate! So thanks Dad for all that you do!
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One Big Happy Family

A few weeks ago my family went on vacation to California. This trip was about seven years in the making, I almost didn’t believe it would actually happen. But with two siblings engaged, we were under a time crunch to get one final family vacation in before the weddings. My Mom and Dad kept referring to the trip as “our last family vacation” but we kept reminding them that it really should be called “our second family vacation” since the last time we took a real family trip was when we went to Disney World pre Y2K. I don’t blame my parents for the long gap in vacations seeing as when they asked us after Disney World what our favorite part of the trip was half of us responded by saying “The pool at the hotel.” Little did my parents know they could save themselves a few grand and just take us to a public pool for a few days and we would be happy.

Is that John Lennon? Oh no that's just my sister with sunglasses on. And that little girl is way too big to be in a stroller

Is that John Lennon? Oh no that’s just my sister with sunglasses on. And that little girl ( or boy? Can’t tell with the bowl cut) is way too big to be in a stroller.

 There was some concern that there may be fights on this trip. When seven people are forced together for 5 days with no escape, confrontation is usually inevitable. And we have a long history of getting into stupid fights. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m usually involved in the fight if not the one who instigated it. So I would like to share with you a few of our most memorable:
A couple of years ago, while in Michigan, my older sister Bridget came down to the beach pretending to be one of the 3 blind mice. She deliberately hit me with her “seeing eye stick” (Which was an old bamboo fishing pole by the way) so I grabbed it. She pulled it out of my hands, resulting in a severe splinter on my hand. Since my hands are my best feature, I was mad and asked her to apologize. She would not so the fight continued with yelling and snippy comments. Later in the day, while we were all frolicking in the lake, Bridget, sounding alarmed, informed us that she had lost her hair rubberband somewhere in the water. This hair rubberband was very dear to her since she had had it for almost ten years. The family immediately starting helping her look for it in the shallow water. Lucky for me, I had an advantage over the rest of the search party because I am a weirdo and I had been snorkeling, thus, I had my flippers and goggles on. Still wanting revenge for the splinter incident and with anger in my heart, I was determine to find the hair tie. Within minutes I had found it-I now had the power. The family rejoiced but I quickly informed Bridget that I would only give it back if she apologized. She still would not. So I threatened to throw her precious hair rubberband in the deep part of the lake. Her response “Go ahead and throw it. See if I care.” Well that was all I needed. I wound back my arm and threw it as far as I could into the lake. I can still see it flying high in the air (I used to play third base in little league so I have quite the arm) against the sun and then hitting the surface of the water. It was never seen again. My entire family, witnessing this, told me I was a jerk so I yelled something and then left the water to go inside and cry tears of anger. After that day the fight ended but neither of us ever apologized.
A more recent fight we had just a few weeks ago was over fast forwarding through the commercial breaks while watching “The Sandlot.” Bridget and I were both laying on the couch (head to toe of course) and the remote lay just out of arms reach on the coffee table. I wanted her to fast forward since I did it the last couple of times so I figured it was her turn. She wanted me to do it since it was my idea to watch the movie. Words were exchanged, the term “Bitch” was thrown out there a time or two, and neither of us picked up the remote. So we sat through all the commercials, even though we did not have to, and then went to bed. After a good night’s sleep we both realized what a ridiculous argument it was but we were both afraid to even bring up the fight for fear it would cause another.
I can’t only throw Bridget under the bus though. A few years ago Jane and I got in a vicious fight over who would turn off the lamp on our bedside table. Both of us were too comfortable in our beds to reach out our arm and switch off the lamp. I said she should do it since the switch was a few inches closer to her. She wanted me to  do it because she claimed she turned off the light the night before. Jane finally relented and turned off the light but she was very angry. Since my mother taught us that we should never go to bed angry, I kept saying “I love you” to her until she finally said “I love you too but I don’t like you right now.” That was all I needed to drift peacefully off to sleep…after laying in bed for numerous hours since I am an insomniac.
Lastly, my father and I got into a slight disagreement over a box of Honey Nut Cheerios. You see, I really like Honey Nut Cheerios so while at Sam’s Club with my mom, we picked up 2 large boxes that would last me for quite some time. I was just ecstatic to be able to start each morning with my favorite cereal. One morning, when I opened the cereal cabinet the box of Honey Nut Cheerios was gone. “Ok, don’t panic” I told myself. Frantically, I searched around to no avail. Finally, not really wanting to know the answer, I checked the garbage can. I had to cover my mouth to muffle my scream. There, empty and lifeless in the trash, was my box of Honey Nut Cheerios. Luckily, I remembered the second box was stashed away unopened, but I was determined to find out who was responsible for causing me so much pain and anxiety. I needed to find out who this “Cereal Killer” was (see what I did there?) So that night at dinner I very nicely and calmly brought up the subject:
Me: “Who the heck finished off my Cheerios?! I literally never get any food in this house because some pig always eats it before I can get to it!”
Dad (in a stressed out tone): “Well that was me! I HAD to finish them and I don’t even LIKE Honey Nut Cheerios! Who the Hell bought that huge box anyway?!”
Me: “Mom and I did because it was a great deal at Sam’s Club. Sorry for trying to save this family money by buying in bulk. Why would you eat them if you don’t even LIKE them?!”
Dad: “Well I was afraid they were going to get stale! And that box was taking up too much room in the cabinet!”
Me: “I was preventing them from getting stale by tightly closing the plastic bag with a clothes pin! I’m sorry the cereal was stressing you out so much. I didn’t know it was such a burden.” (Sarcasm font)
Dad: “Well don’t buy them again. OK?!”
Feeling bad, I waited a few days to open the second box. But once I did I sent my dad this email to help him cope:
From: Kathleen Kelly
Date: Tue, Sep 10, 2013 at 10:47 AM
Subject: Please Read
To: Mike

Dear Father,

I am writing to inform you of an important matter, and I’d rather you hear it from me than from someone else. At approximately 10:03 a.m. today, September 10th, 2013, I opened the box of Honey Nut Cheerios.
Seeing as you are a lunatic and feel it is your civic duty to polish off the entire box as fast as possible for fear of the cereal getting stale (Even though you don’t even LIKE Honey Nut Cheerios), I sincerely apologize for placing this heavy burden on you. You may think it’s cruel and unfair of me to do this to you, I can only image the stress you must feel of both having to finish an entire box of cereal and provide for a wife and five fat pigs. But at only 110 calories per serving, and the potential to help lower cholesterol, I feel I am really doing you a favor. You may not understand my good intentions now, but I think when you are older you may realize I only opened the box out of love for you.
Please accept my deepest and most heartfelt apology in advanced. And please know that I, and the two other old maids that still live at home and suck every last penny from you (Maggie and Bridget), will do our best to take some of the weight off your shoulders and help eat the box of honey nut cheerios.
Mom and Duke are also here to offer there love and support for you in this great time of need.  If there is anything else I can do to help ease this great burden, please don’t hesitate to call me. Again, I truly am sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you.
Best Regards,
Kathleen C. Kelly
Luckily, there were no major fights on this vacation. But while discussing the movie “Now and Then” Bridget and I did get into a small disagreement about if Chrissy slaps or punches Roberta in the face after she fakes her own death. We couldn’t find a YouTube video of the scene while in California so the argument could not be solved. The jury is still out on that one. The argument never escalated though so we aren’t considering it a fight.
Overall, this family vaca was pretty uneventful as far as fights go. There were no physical or verbal arguments-I guess this means we are growing up. We may get along better, but I think I still have a few fights left in me.

 

Everybody Knows, it Hurts to Grow Up

 “One day down, infinity to go”, that is what I said to my sister on the train ride home after my first day on the job. Unlike school, working doesn’t have an end date. Don’t get me wrong I like my job, but it looks like my company doesn’t observe Columbus Day, Flag Day, or Summer Vacation. This could be a problem. I guess at least us women have maternity leave to look forward to. Sorry boyz. 

It has been almost a year now since I graduated college. In that year I have been forced to begin to grow up, and let me tell you, it’s not easy. There have been many obstacles and hardships along the way. Joining the workforce comes with its own set of challenges. Two of those challenges I encounter on my walk to and from the train: Pigeons and slow walkers. They are both equally annoying and I feel like giving both parties a good kick in the rear to get the lead out of their pants. Many days I want to scream, “Get out of my way stupid pigeons! Not all of us have the luxury of flying everywhere they go! Some of us have a train to catch!” But I know if I said this I would look like a crazy person, so I have refrained from yelling this thus far.
Another challenge-picking out an outfit each morning. For me, the bottom part is easy because I pretty much own just two pairs of nice pants, a grey pair and a black pair. I rotate the pants every week-Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are grey pants day, while Tuesday and Thursday are black pants day. I wear the grey pants an extra day because they are comfier than the black pair. But picking out a top is like trying to solve a math problem. “Ok today I’ll wear the striped sweater. Wait I can’t wear stripes, I wore a striped shirt Tuesday and I can’t wear stripes two times in one week. Ok I’ll wear this blue shirt. Wait I wore that at the beginning of March what if people remember?!”
Yet another challenge-Lunch. Lunch can make your day a good one or a bad one. If I have a bad lunch I have nothing to look forward to in the mornings. If it were up to me I would eat salsa and chips each day for lunch but that’s not socially acceptable in the workplace so I usually settle for a sandwich. Sometimes I’ll make myself a salad. By that I mean I put iceburg lettuce in a Tupperware container and douse it will ranch dressing. Salad days=bad days. I’m sorry but salads just don’t keep me full and satisfied. I’m not a bunny.

In working I have learned that you can’t come into the office without watching the weather on the news, otherwise you will have nothing to talk about. Thank goodness for the Polar Vortex this winter. It really provided me with a good “ice-breaker” (pun definitely intended on that one) in starting conversation with my new coworkers. Some of my favorite go-to phrases include, “Cold enough out there for ya? (chuckle)” and “I think we may only have one season this year-Winter! (another chuckle)” But the Polar Vortex did come with its disadvantages. You see, everyone who knows me well knows I get cold very easily, thus my lips and nails turn purple. When your lips are purple, people ask questions like “Do you have purple lip gloss on?” Many times I’ve had to stop myself from saying “No I don’t have purple lip gloss on! This is not 1998 and I’m not a spice girl!” Luckily my office doesn’t keep the thermostat as low as my father does so I have been able to avoid this awkward encounter.
I have also learned about things I never wanted to know about. 401K? More like 4-0h Hell no! You’re going to take money out of my check and put it into an account that I can’t touch until I’m 59?! I could be dead by then, I don’t take a daily multi-vitamin! And tax day? When I was little tax day meant hamburgers at McDonald’s were 39 cents and cheeseburgers were 49 cents. Now I actually have to do my taxes. So upsetting.
In a way though, a part of me will never grow up. At least while I’m still living with my parents. I mean our upstairs bathroom has hippo wallpaper covering it. We all love this wallpaper so it will never come down.
"It's probably just water weight...right?'

“It’s probably just water weight…right? and my slippers add a few pounds.”

Pictured above is a hippo from our bathroom wall. I like to call her “College Girl Hippo” Maybe she had a little too much fun going out celebrating that Physics test she aced. Maybe she ordered a late night pizza because she got a little hungry after the bars. Now its Sunday, she’s feeling guilty, she steps on the scale to see how much damage she did, and she doesn’t like that number she sees. Now that I’m a college grad, older, wiser, and more mature, I want to tell her “Oh honey we’ve all been there, just have fun and enjoy your college years. You’re more than just a number on a scale!”
This Mama Hippo (center) is thinking what I'm sure my own mother has thought numerous times, "Why the hell did I have all these kids for?!"

This Mama Hippo (center) is thinking what I’m sure my own mother has thought numerous times, “Why in the hell did I have all these kids?!”

In addition to our childlike wallpaper, I still have glow in the dark stars on my bedroom ceiling. This is not by choice though. When I first wanted to put them up my Dad didn’t want me to for fear it would ruin the ceiling when we tried to take them down. Finally he relented and I put them up. Years later when I tried to take them down, pieces of drywall kept coming down with them- dear ole’ Dad was right. Therefore those stars will remain up forever. If you read this, sorry Dad! In my defense though, there is no feeling quite like sleeping under the stars.

How lucky am I to have this be the last thing I see before falling asleep?! Is that the big dipper in between the smoke detector and the light fixture?!

I have been having a hard time coping with the fact that I have been out of college for almost a year. I can no longer tell people I JUST graduated college, and this is hard to come to terms with. But I guess we all have to face the facts and grow up sometimes. I’ll grow up, eventually, but I still have some fun left in me before I do.

Oh How the Years Go By

This end of March marked the 2nd anniversary of my 21st birthday. Or as I like to call it, my sweet 23rd. It also happened to be my sister’s 25th birthday. Terrible planning on my parents’ part. Yes, 23 years ago my sister received the greatest birthday present anyone could ever ask for-me. It is hard to believe I’m already 23. It’s hard for a lot of people to believe it as well seeing as I don’t age. I’ve looked this way since 8th grade, I’m timeless.  Blink 182 says “Nobody likes you when you’re 23.”  I hope this isn’t the case. I need people to like me otherwise my confidence level will go down the drain!

 My sister and I used our birthday to take a break from our Lenten promise of giving up sweets-“Kathleen and Bridget fall the first time”.  Actually we ate sweets in a week long celebration of our birth. Don’t worry though, once the celebrations ended we supported each other in getting right back on track-“Bridget helps Kathleen carry the cross”.
Bridget was conscientious of preventing cataracts from a very young age. Thus, she wore a visor to protect her baby blues from the light even indoors

Bridget was conscientious of preventing cataracts from a very young age. Thus, she wore a visor to protect her baby blues from the damaging effects of the light even indoors.

My mom kept asking me to give her my birthday list, but when you are a sophisticated 20 something such as myself, its hard to come up with things. It was so much easier when I was younger to make my birthday list because I always asked for the same 4 thing for about the first ten or twelve years of my life:
1. Moon Boots
2. Go cart
3. Mini Trampoline
4. Stilts
What can I say, I was an adrenalin junkie in my younger years. Nothing gives you a rush quite like jumping on a mini trampoline or strapping on a pair of stilts to be closer to the ceiling. And what is better than feeling the wind in your hair as you drive an obnoxiously loud go-cart? Unfortunately I never got anything on that list. I was such a deprived child. I think my parents were trying to suppress my thrill-seeking personality. Or they knew that all those things were junk and I would get tired of them in about 3 days. Who needs those toys anyway? Instead we Kelly kids made our own fun. On hot summer days we would get into our swim suits and go running through our neighbor’s sprinkler system. Nothing screams “The family with all those kids down the street are a bunch of Hill Billys” quite like running around someone else’s property while they try to water their grass. Other days we would set up elaborate traps to try and catch bunnies. And by elaborate I mean we would put a carrot in a box in the backyard and watch from the window to see if any rabbits would fall for our trick. Those damn rabbits outsmarted us every time though. Other days we would climb the tree next to our house with a pair of binoculars in hand and blatantly spy on the neighbors. We took “Neighborhood Watch” to a whole new level. On outings to the mall we would run into stores and pose like the mannequins in the store front window. My Mom was smart and kept a good distance away from us when we did that.
This year it was very hard to come up with things to ask for. I knew I wanted a new bathing suit for the summer (Not to run through other people’s sprinkler systems though) so I decided to look through the Victoria’s Secret Catalog that came in the mail. Sheesh what a mistake that was! How am I supposed to pick out a bathing suit when all of the models are in those ridiculous poses? No one sits on the beach like that! I can’t pick out a super cute swim suit when they are all contorting their bodies like that, it’s distracting!! I don’t even know why I was looking through the Victoria Secret Magazine though, I would be better off finding a bathing suit in the Limited Too catalog since I pretty much have the body of a 12 year old.
Duke demonstrating for us how people actually lounge on the beach.

Duke demonstrating for us how people actually lounge on the beach.

 I did get myself a quite wonderful gift though. You see, for Christmas Santa got me a gym membership, and for my birthday Kathleen canceled it. I know what you all are thinking. Wah this girl is lazy, she has no self-discipline. And you know what I have to say to that? You’re right. But I ‘m sorry, I just like myself too much to be the type of person that belongs to a gym. I just don’t believe I deserve that sort of  punishment. I like to keep myself happy and I like to keep my running shoes looking like new. Plus there are just not enough hours in the day to work AND work out. I had to choose one or the other. The job brings home the bacon so that stays.  Also Bridget and I started re-watching all the episodes of the O.C. so that take precedence over everything.
What I really wanted for my birthday money can’t buy:
1. Smaller ear lobes (Ok maybe money can buy plastic surgery but ain’t nobody got time for that!)
2. The super power “Stretchy limbs” so I never have to get up to get anything ever again
3. A job that pays me just to live my life and have fun
4. And of course, an unlimited supply of “Bear Claw” cake that I can eat and not get fat.
I have come to terms in my 23 years of life that I will never get these things. Its ok though, as long as I have chocolate, I know things are going to be ok.

 

Is Lent Over Yet?

I would like to apologize in advance if I or anyone else in my family acts mean toward you in any way. You see, Lent has just started and everyone in our house has given up either chocolate or all sweets. And judging by the amount of sweets we normally consume in a day, our daily caloric intake has just been cut in half. If you were us you might be a bit cranky too. Yes, Fit for ’14 has finally started. I guess we are going to have to be hungry bitches for a while in order to transform into skinny betches so please be patient with us.

I decided to give up chocolate for Lent. It wasn’t my first choice but since my Dad does the grocery shopping for this old maid shelter we call home I had to give up some sort of sweet by default. Back in my college days I used to give up Facebook which was always a challenge. And since “Sunday’s don’t count” in Lent, I always did what I liked to call “Sunday maintenance” on my Facebook page. This is when I would untag any unflattering pictures of myself, see if anyone wrote on my wall (no one ever did), and check to see if anyone was trying to contact me via Facebook message. Giving up Facebook was socially isolating but giving up chocolate-that’s just plain dangerous for anyone in my family.

It has been a week since Lent started now and our bodies are still in shock. We suffer chronic fatigue, sudden headaches, irritability, and hallucinations from our Lent induced sugar deficiency. Luckily we managed to eat almost all the junk food in the house up until Fat Tuesday. “Gotta get it in before Lent” was our excuse for eating mass amounts of chocolate before Lent started. The week before Ash Wednesday we made “the bear claw” cake for my sister’s birthday. You might be wondering what a “bear claw” cake is. Well you see since we make homemade frosting for our cakes the consistency tends to be a bit runny. Thus, all the frosting runs to the sides of the cake. Well,  my dad had this brilliant idea to cut slits in the cake before placing the frosting on, therefore the liquid-like frosting would fill in the slits in the middle and not all go to the sides. The slits look as if a bear scratched the cake with his claws; therefore the “bear claw” cake was born. This cake is adored in our family. I hard to say this without tears in my eyes, but sadly we were not able to eat the last piece of the cake. On Ash Wednesday there were heated discussions about whether or not one of us should just eat the cake even though we gave it up for Lent. Some argued it would be a sin in itself to waste a delicious piece of cake like that, while others said we could not break our Lenten promises. In the end the biggest fat ass of the family ate it. No, not me, Duke took one for the team and ate it up. But I can assure you that that last piece of bear claw cake will forever be “the one that got away” in all of our hearts.

As you can see, not having donuts has physically taken a toll on me. I almost pulled a Mariah Carey and checked myself into the hospital for extreme exhaustion.

As you can see, not having donuts has physically taken a toll on me. I almost pulled a Mariah Carey and checked myself into the hospital for extreme exhaustion.

The Bear Claw cake before the frosting is poured on.

The Bear Claw cake before the frosting is poured on.

Every night when we sit down for dinner someone shares with the rest of the family some sort of horror story about how they were at a work conference or a party where there were desserts available that they could not have. The person telling the story then goes into intricate detail about the sweets while others at the table ask questions. If it was cookies, we want to know how many chocolate chips were in each cookie, if brownies were involved, the fudgy-ness of the brownie is described, and if it was cake everyone needs to know what type of cake (Chocolate, vanilla, Fun-Fetti, Red velvet, etc.) and what type of frosting was applied on top (butter cream, whipped frosting, etc.). The stories told of desserts at the table do provide a nice variation from the 2 things we normally talk about at dinner-Duke and the neighbors. Now I hate to admit it but sometimes we use our own nicknames when talking about the neighbors. This is either because we don’t know their names or because we have determined that the nickname we came up with is more fitting than the person’s given name. Here is an actual dinner conversation that took place last month:

Me: There were about 5 police cars outside Brawny Paper Towel Man’s house earlier today.

Everyone: Who?

Me: You know the guy a couple house down from us, I think he lives with his brother.

Dad: Oh the one that lives across the street from Mr. and Mrs. UNFRIEDNLY? I don’t know what is with those mopes but every time I say hello they just ignore me.

Mom: Oh I know who you’re talking about now but you are giving him way too much credit, the real Brawny Paper towel guy is MUCH better looking than the man a couple doors down. Mike honey remember it was his brother, the Abominable Snowman, that we saw at the barbecue last summer.

Dad: Oh that was him? He was an odd fellow.

It’s embarrassing but my family is just not good with names. I think my father passed down this gene to us. He can’t even remember the names of his own kids. “Bridget would you-I mean Maggie, I mean Jane, oh Hells bells, whatever the Hell your name is would you hand me the scissors?” “My name is Kathleen Dad, and here are the scissors.” So far he has not gotten me confused with Duke yet so I consider myself lucky.

We Kelly’s have a long Lenten road ahead of us. There may be some slip-ups on the whole no eating sweets thing but Jesus fell three times right? Just gotta get right back up again.

Off to Work I Go

After months of being unemployed, I am happy to finally announce that I now have a job! My family is thrilled that I will finally be doing something during the day and that they can tell people that their daughter/sister is finally doing something with her life. But I don’t think anyone is more thrilled than my dog Duke. I could tell that he was really getting annoyed with me messing up his sleep schedule and forcing him to take part in humiliating Snap Chats such as these:

This is what happens when you don't get your dog baptized in the Catholic Church

This is what happens when you don’t get your dog baptized in the Catholic Church.

When you're drinking on the company dime things can get a little out of hand. Neither of us remember taking this picture

When you’re drinking on the company dime things can get a little out of hand. The after party in the kitchen was insane. Neither of us even remember taking this picture.

Duke is a huge fan of YouTube.

Duke is a huge fan of YouTube.

Duke isn’t too keen on using props for our Snap Chats but I usually give him a Pup-Peroni afterwards so he likes that part. I think we have been getting on each other’s last nerve though. We have been fighting a lot more lately and could never seem to agree on a show to watch. I always wanted to watch House Hunters while he would want to watch some stupid show like The Dog Whisperer or Animal Cops:Houston. I usually got my way since I have thumbs and could control the remote. I keep telling him he is going to miss me when I’m gone at work but when I say that he usually just rolls his eyes and gives me the swear paw.

Now that I will no longer be living below the poverty line I have compiled a list of things I intend to splurge on once I get my first paycheck:

1. Socks-This awful winter has done a number on my socks, they’re more holy than the pope!

2. Headbands- I’ve had my eye on a $7 pack of headbands for a while. With frizzy fly-away hairs like mine wearing a headband is a must.

3. A new jigsaw puzzle-Gotta exercise that mind now that I’m out of college!

This is just a tentative list, I’m sure I will think of more stuff once I start bringing home that bacon. I probably should also pay the debts I owe my parents and siblings for various birthday, Christmas, and anniversary gifts. I figure they know where I live so they can just bill me. Hopefully they don’t charge interest.

Although I haven’t had a job for quite some time, I feel I have taken on many different jobs in these past few months. I have become a housekeeper, a cook, a baker, (Can’t say that I can call myself a candlestick maker just yet) and most importantly a taxi driver. Anytime anyone in my family needed a ride somewhere it was always “Oh Kathleen’s not doing anything she can give me a ride.” I thought about getting a sign to go on top of the car that says “Kathleen’s Taxi Service” but those things cost money. I can’t say I blame them though, I do have an impeccable driving record and I can switch lanes like you wouldn’t believe. What’s my ride of choice? A 2012 Honda Odyssey mini-van. I don’t mean to brag but it has 16 cup holders. And plenty of cargo room with its fold down back seat. You should hear her purr when she’s accelerating on the highway.

I would be lying if I said some days weren’t tough. There were days that I would turn on the TV and be just one minute late catching the beginning of Law and Order SVU, thus, having no idea what was going for the rest of the 59 minutes of the show. So upsetting. Other days I would text a bunch of people and get no response back. Naturally I would think that my phone was messed up because I am SO popular it couldn’t be that people were icing my texts so I would turn it off and then turn it back on only to realize the lack of response had nothing to do with my phone. Some days Inside Edition wouldn’t be on due to some breaking news so I would lose all connections to the outside world, not knowing all the celebrity gossip of the day. Those days were the hardest, but I did my best to overcome these obstacles that were thrown in my way.

Working is going to be quite the adjustment. No more sleeping in and wearing sweatpants all day but I could not be happier to FINALLY be employed!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

After making our failed attempt at “Fit for 14” public knowledge, and basically admitting that I have been a lazy fat ass for the past couple of months, I have begun to go to the gym a little bit more. I credit this in part to my last blog post, but also in part to the fact that my roommates (A.K.A. my Mom and sisters) and I added TLC’s hit program My 600lb Life to our list of weekly shows. Each Tuesday we gather in the TV room with our ice cream, Dove bars, or Klondike Bars, and get inspired by the show. Do I go to the gym every day? No that’s just unhealthy. Plus if I went every day that would mean I would have to wash my hair everyday and everyone knows you aren’t supposed to shampoo every day because it strips the natural oils from your hair making it dry and frizzy. But today I went to the gym and as I was running on the treadmill at an incredibly fast rate of speed (…Ok I was jogging….fine I was walking…Ok you got me, I just happened to be standing on the treadmill) a commercial came on about Valentine’s Day. Woof. This company was advertising a four-foot giant fuzzy teddy bear, saying it was the perfect gift for that “special woman” in your life. I thought to myself “are you kidding me?!” If I had a boyfriend and he gave me that I would break up with him. What the hell am I supposed to do with an obnoxiously large teddy bear? Sleep with it in my arms in my twin bed? There is no room! I like to sleep on an angle!  And where am I supposed to store that thing after Valentine’s day is over? There are a lot of people living in this house so we have no room for a big fat teddy bear. And I hate clutter so chances are I’m just going to get rid of the thing. One of these days when I get a boyfriend (Fingers crossed!) I am going to ensure that he knows the key to my heart is through my stomach. Get me a nice steak dinner, some chocolates, an Edible Arrangement (I will only accept the ones with the chocolate covered strawberries or marshmallows) or ice cream. Give me something I can actually use not some inanimate object.

I may not have a boyfriend, but I am not one of those people who are bitter about Valentine’s Day. I enjoy the day just as much as couples do. I just simply like to remind people who are celebrating the day of love about the historical events that occurred on February 14th. Like the St. Valentine’s Day massacre that took place in Chicago in 1929 or how St. Valentine was actually beheaded on February 14th, just to name a few. What can I say, I’m a History buff. I mean really it should be a day of mourning and remembrance, just saying, but no I guess no one asked me.

Here is the shirt I plan to buy myself when I get a boyfriend

Here is the shirt I plan to buy myself when I get a boyfriend

Love is in the air at the Kelly house I guess with my brother and sister both engaged. Thank God I own the movies Father of the Bride and My Big Fat Greek Wedding to help mentally prepare myself. I keep telling my parents to enjoy all the wedding buzz while they can because I have a feeling we are going to go through a bit of a wedding dry spell after this. In all honesty, I just don’t have time for a boyfriend right now with my schedule the way it is. I get up, empty the dishwasher, watch Inside Edition while eating either salsa and chips or Triscuits and Kraft Singles, and there goes my day! Then I eat dinner and Full House is on Nick at Night from 7-10, followed by Friends so my nights are packed as well. Having a boyfriend would make introducing myself to people a little easier though. Instead of saying “Hi my name is Kathleen, I am unemployed and have no boyfriend. Yes I do realize I look about 14 but I am actually 22” which is what I usually have to say, if I had a boyfriend I could say something along the lines of, oh I don’t know, “Hi my name is Kathleen, I have no job but I do have a boyfriend and to quote the Beatles love is all you need so I am over the moon” But that’s just an example.

One of these days I plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day with my significant other. Until then I will keep working on “Fit for 14” and keep my eye out for Mr. Right. This year, since it falls on a Friday I am going to celebrate with some good friends and a bottle (maybe two) of the finest wine money can buy-Barefoot Mascato and I will be happy.

Fit for ’14=Fail for ’14

For our New Year’s Resolution, my sisters and I decided to start eating healthy and work out more in order to look good for some upcoming weddings. Now, in the past couple of years my New Year’s Resolution has been to not make a New Year’s Resolution and I have successfully followed through on those. But this year I decided to challenge myself and have come to the conclusion that I do not like to be challenged. My sisters and I were all about getting 2014 off to a healthy start back in December. We even cleverly named our new fitness endeavor “Fit for ’14” and of course put a hash tag in front of it whenever we talked about Fit for ’14, making it look more cool and appealing.

Our strategy back in December was to basically binge eat junk food as much as we could before that clock struck midnight on January 1st. “Better eat this cheeseburger before Fit for ’14 starts” or “let’s hit up all the fast food restaurants and get it out of our system before Fit for ’14 starts” were phrases often spoken in our house in 2013. The binge eating we were good at. Everyone showed a lot of self-discipline and dedication on that part. But now that it has come time to put our plan into action we are struggling hard-core. Now we say things like “Let’s start on Monday”, “It’s the weekend so I’m just going to treat myself to this gigantic bowl of ice cream” or my personal favorite “When does Lent start, March? Let’s just start Fit for ’14 then.” In our defense, it’s really hard to change your eating habits and start eating healthy when your food pyramid looks like this:

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I did get a gym membership though. How many times have I gone to the gym in these past twenty days of January you ask? Well that’s none of your damn business. I was going to go a couple of weeks ago but I had a cold so obviously I couldn’t go. I didn’t want to make myself more sick! Then I got new gym shoes and I figured I needed to break them in by walking around the house for a while before I actually used them at the gym to avoid blisters so that took a few days. Then it was extremely cold outside so I figured walking from the gym to my car after a tough workout all sweaty would be a recipe for pneumonia. I have really come to the conclusion that I am better at dressing myself for a work out than I am at actually working out. Yoga pant, check. Cute dry fit v-neck, check. Obnoxiously bright Nike running shoes, check. Going to the gym just isn’t fun. That elliptical machine is the devil in the form of workout equipment. They should make criminals use that thing instead of locking them up in jail. It would be a better punishment. Gyms are humid and smelly too-a breading ground for germs if you ask me. And going at a time of year like this when it is prime cold and flu season? No thank you.

Plus it’s not like I don’t get any exercise at home. I mean we keep the ice cream sandwiches and Klondike bars in the basement freezer so going up and down all those stairs is no walk in the park. And I’m sure I burn tons of calories trying to stay warm in my house since my dad likes to keep the thermostat at a temperature just warm enough so the pipes don’t freeze. If I ever move out of my parents’ house (and that is a big if at this point) someone will have to teach me how to work one of those things because I am not allowed to touch it here. There must be some unspoken code among Fathers about protecting and guarding the home thermostat that the rest of us non-fathers don’t know about. I’m convinced my dad has a silent alarm system hooked up to our thermostat that notifies him immediately when anyone in our house even comes close to it. “Don’t even think about turning up the temperature! If you’re cold put another sweatshirt on!” My mom stays warm in our house by layering up. She’s usually quite comfortable in her slippers, a turtleneck (which, by the way, turtlenecks are so practical. It’s like a shirt with a scarf attached to it!), and two to three sweaters.

As of now we are thinking of changing Fit for ’14 to Fail for ’14 because at this point, it’s more fitting. Eventually I hope to get myself into action but Rome wasn’t built in a day and plus, I think “Fit for ’15” has a much better ring to it…

No One is Pretty in 7th and 8th Grade

As you walk up the stairs to the second floor in our house, all five of our eighth grade graduation pictures line the wall. I don’t know if this is my parents’ twisted way of showing their affection for us or if it’s to deter guests from venturing up to the second floor. The pictures are just hideous. I mean woof. Nothing like having a picture of yourself in your most awkward stage staring back at you each night before you head upstairs to bed to remind you how ugly you once were. Just to give you an idea, here is my wonderful portrait on the wall:

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I just have one word for my 8th grade self: Tweezers. Like would it have killed me to do a little eyebrow clean-up now and then? I guess I was too busy wearing jean skirts, working on my sweet jump shot (That part paid off. We won the 8th grade girls basketball championship – still livin’ in the glory days), and shopping at Hollister to care. Now I wonder how anyone can shop in that place without a flashlight! I mean how are you supposed to find a super cute outfit to wear to the boyz football games in that dimly lit place?!  Anyway, back to my picture. Luckily, I had gotten my braces off two days before the graduation pictures were taken, but unfortunately I hadn’t grown into my teeth yet, so I looked a little horse-ish. Another blessing is that my untamed, luscious locks covered up my extremely large earlobes. I have always been a little self conscious about them and for good reason. Do your ears hang low, do they wobble to and fro? Can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow? You can’t, but I practically can. I’m surprised the Claire’s employee who pierced my ears at the mall could use a standard ear piercing gun and didn’t have to use a more powerful model. I also wish someone would have splashed a little make-up on my face. I mean yes, the picture was taken in the dead of winter, but I look like I haven’t seen sunlight in months and am suffering from a vitamin D deficiency. A little bronzer would have done me good.

It’s not easy going through that awkward stage, and nobody in my house tried to make it any easier for anyone else. In our family, people found it necessary to point out any blemish on anyone else’s face, even though they knew darn well it was a zit, and it was usually brought to everyone’s attention at the dinner table. Conversation usually went a little something like this:

-“What the heck is that huge red thing on your forehead?”

“It’s a pimple, OK?!”

-“Oh. Wow, that’s a big one. You should put some heat on that. Or some toothpaste, I hear that dries it right out”

Nothing like being reminded of the disgusting and obviously distracting pimple on your face while trying to sit down to enjoy a meal.

I think Brittany Spears captured the essence of the awkward stage perfectly in her hit single “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.”  Those words perfectly describe me in my graduation picture because I’m sure guests walking up our stairs look at it and think “What is that thing?”

I feel now I am in the middle of my second awkward stage. But instead of singing “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” I’m singing “I’m Not in College, Not Yet Employed.”  I guess I’m just going to have to ride this one out like I did the last awkward stage.  At least this time around I’ve grown into my teeth.

All in a Saturday’s Work

When we were kids, my parents thought it would be fitting to ruin our Saturday by leaving a “chore list” on the kitchen table for us to wake up to. I can still remember the sinking feeling in my stomach upon waking up refreshed on a Saturday morning, walking down to the kitchen hoping to find a donut but instead finding the dreaded chore list. Each of us five kids would sign our name next to the chore we were going to do. Sign-ups were on a first come, first serve basis, so it was really a catch 22 – if you got up early you could claim the easiest job and if you slept in you were left with the worst job. There were always the same four chores on the list with one wild card. The fifth job was always a B.S. job that my parents made up to avoid having one of the annoying brats they called children complain about how it wasn’t fair that they were forced to work while someone else got away without doing anything. Some chores were easier than others, so many fights broke out when it came to sign ups. The list looked a little something like this:

1. Mop kitchen floor and hallway

2. Clean first floor bathroom

3. Vacuum stairs and upstairs hallway

4. “Straighten up” and vacuum living room, dining room and TV. room

5. Wild card

“Vacuum the stairs and upstairs hallway” was always the first to be claimed because it was the easiest and everyone knew it. You could start at 12:10 and be finished in time to meet up with your friends for lunch at Souzy’s by 12:30. Not even a challenge. “Straighten up and vacuum the living room, dining room and TV room” was usually the second chore to go. “Straightening up” usually meant grabbing everyone’s stuff, throwing it into a pile, and then making them bring it up to his or her room, so that didn’t take long. Lucky for us, “straightening up” didn’t include dusting. My parents never really placed a strong emphasis on it. In fact, a bottle of Pledge still looks foreign to me. We like to let our dust settle into a nice, half inch layer or so before deciding to do anything about it. Dusting was really saved for holidays and special occasions. As you can see from the list, we focused our efforts on vacuuming. “Clean the first floor bathroom” was usually picked third. It wasn’t an ideal job because it included cleaning a toilet, which is just repulsive, and there was always the risk of getting bleach on your clothes. My brother usually took “Mop kitchen floor and hallway” which was nice because it was SO time consuming with the sweeping and the moving of chairs and filling the bucket with water. Too much prep work if you ask me. Plus, the bucket was pretty heavy to carry up the stairs from the basement – definitely man’s work. The wild card chore could range from something as easy as picking up sticks outside (yes, that was an actual chore in our house, although my parents were nice enough not to make us lay them straight), to something as awful as cleaning the second floor kid’s bathroom, which was a very time consuming task.  With five kids using the same bathroom the place got pretty disgusting. It’s quite possible that the West Nile virus originated from our second floor bathroom.

Now since my parents still have a majority of their adult children living at home sucking every last penny from them, the chore list still shows up from time to time. It is just as unwelcome now as it was when we were younger. In addition to the usual chores, some newer, more difficult duties have been added.  This is partly because my parents have been doing some renovations on our home and are trying to prevent our house from being in complete shambles. Ever since May I have been waking up to strange men in our kitchen and bathroom. I used to make an effort to avoid them seeing me in my pajamas, but getting dressed before noon just became too much of a burden. So basically everyday they would see me in my pink robe, fuzzy pink slippers, and my hand-me-down Old Navy pajama pants from the early 2000’s (back when Old Navy was at its prime). Such a seductive outfit, I know. With a glass of wine and a playful wink this old maid could be married in no time!

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(Upon taking this picture I realized I don’t know how to wink)

To be honest I wouldn’t even get out of bed before noon, but Full House is on in the mornings so I have to. They just don’t make shows like that anymore. Plus, as I grow older I can relate more and more to Jesse; we both live off of family members and each of us struggle to find a successful career. And we both have great heads of hair.

Since work was being done on our bathroom one chore my dad asked of me was to paint our one foot wide bathroom closet. All I can say is thank God I’m not claustrophobic. Here is a picture of it just to give you an idea of how small it is:

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No, that is not Ms. Trunchbull’s Chokey, it is an actual closet. It’s too soon to tell the permanent damage inhaling all those paint fumes in such a small space has caused me, but I will be sure to send any future medical bills to my parents. I did put a call in to the Department of Child and Family Services to inform them of the situation, but apparently when you are 22 child labor laws don’t apply to you. But all and all I can’t complain, my landlord parents are the best and they treat us well. Plus, gotta earn room and board somehow!