Monthly Archives: May 2009

Leave no (wo)man behind

Last Saturday I witnessed something very disturbing in nature.

I watched a squirrel scurry out into the middle of the road where another squirrel was laying. Quite deadly, in fact. But recently dead. None of this half-deteriorated carnage that you often see when it comes to dead squirrels.

I slammed on my brakes. (Because, yes, I’m one of those drivers who slams on her breaks anytime a small animal crosses the road in front of her.)

What I saw next has haunted me all week: Live squirrel picked up dead squirrel and carried him off the road into the grassy area.

Aaaauuuuughhhhh! (Followed by a <beep> <beep>from behind telling me that the car behind me had better things to do than watch this squirrel reality show play out.)

At first I thought, well that is sad and kind of sweet? Maybe it was his brother or buddy or <sniff> mom (Bambi flashbacks. Oh dear.)

But then a more horrific thought occurred to me.

(Brace yourself.)

Maybe he is going to eat it.

Are squirrels cannibals? Do they typically take their dead brethren home for dinner? (In this case, probably brunch.) Has the nut economy sunk that low?

I still don’t have the answers to these life altering questions. But I’ve decided to embrace the thought that this squirrel was a little soldier. His motto: Leave no squirrel behind.

And that, dear readers, is the message I leave you with as you go off into this wild wilderness of a weekend.

Whether it’s your obnoxious child in a grocery store, your drunken friend at a party, your spouse who turns every weekend home improvement project into a home crime scene or your mother-in-law who thinks her nose belongs in your business, don’t abandon your fellow humans. Stick up for your peeps. Return to catch them when they fall down.

And above all else, take a moment to enjoy life this weekend. Just don’t slam on your brakes in the middle of a busy road when you do.

This public service announcement brought to you by Queen of Quirky and one weird little squirrel.


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The event in which I walk up to a table full of strangers and say, “Are you KC Bloggers?”

Eh, they looked like bloggers.

<snort.> What do bloggers look like?

Seriously though, I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet some of KC’s bloggers face-to-face. Who says Web geeks are not social?

And, I think we have already established that I’m not shy.

In other news, my post on Jon and Kate has created a little mini-buzz, both here and on Facebook. As a journalist it was drilled into me that if you don’t get any criticisms, you aren’t doing your job right! So I welcome the debate.

For those not on my Facebook page, one reader found the criticism of Kate was too much and that more emphasis needed to be on Jon for the alleged cheating.

Here’s what I had to say:

I wholeheartedly agree that cheating is bad, (I too was cheated on by my ex-husband.) BUT even in my own situation, I have to look at my own actions and say what would have led him down that path?

Additionally, there were other factors involved in my situation, but the point I’m getting at is that when someone cheats, there is often a good reason and if a partner treats another partner bad enough the relationship will get to that point.

I would do myself a dis-service by placing all blame on the other person and not working on myself to be better. Kate too has to take responsibility for her own actions in the relationship.

I think the reason people are being more critical of her is because she has been so mean to Jon on the show. We didn’t watch Jon cheat, so we haven’t seen that side of him.

Ok, so like four people commented on my thoughts on Jon and Kate and I called it a mini-buzz.  That makes me giggle at my own self-importance.

Anywho, you gotta work what you’ve got.  




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Yes. I went there.

I shouldn’t be left alone with my DVR for very long.

I just watched last night’s season premier of Jon & Kate Plus 8. 

Annnnnd for the 2 people who are still reading this….

It’s been interesting watching demise of their marriage play out. First on their show (Oh, come on. It’s not like we were super surprised that Jon would go elsewhere to find affection and attention after we saw how Kate treated him*.) and then in the tabloids.

But regardless of how self-promotional and media whorish they have been in the past, divorce sucks. I can’t imagine if I’d had cameras in my face when I was going through my separation. Good gracious, I was a hot mess. (Picture: a bottle of wine in one hand, a pile of tissues on the couch next to me, both dogs in my lap and a constant stream of texts to anyone who would listen.) 

I also didn’t have eight kids to tote around. It was pretty easy to ship the dogs off to doggy day care in my time of crisis. 

Couple all that with paparazzi chasing you, tabloid rumors and a celebrity-like image to hold together….woah. I just had a Facebook profile and twitter account to hold together. 

But like many others out there, I watched the show. Ouch. I don’t know how much worse it can get. 

*Ok, and I know Kate has been really, really hard to watch on that show. As someone who has a critical side, I watch her and cringe. She is everything I don’t want to be. And she’s everything I turned into when my own marriage fell apart. A critical, loathing, hateful, nagging creature. And maybe I had very good reason to be all those things, but I hated myself for it.

No, we don’t know the whole story. No one does. They never will. Anyone who tells you they have the entire story of their divorce is full of it. Because trust me. There are 5 sides to every tale. But what we do know is that there is a family in pain, trying to fake it for national television. There are eight beautiful children who will hurt and then later will watch their pain unfold on old reruns of a reality TV show.  

And I just DVR’d it.


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Braggy Brag Brag

This is so lame, but I have to brag it: I ran eight miles yesterday.

It’s lame because I’m bragging. It’s lame because it was only eight miles (for serious distance runners, eight is the bottom of the barrel of long runs – the bare minimum  you need to scrape by and call it a “long run.” ) It’s lame because it was the highlight of my weekend.

I need a life.

I mean, yeah, I was in the news after witnessing a scaffolding accident and then reporting it on twitter. But that was Friday…oh so long ago.

And I did go to a kicking barbecue on Saturday afternoon and got to hang with some of the Lunch Bunch. But that took about zero effort, unless you count the trips back and forth to the fridge to fetch another beer.

And the boyfriend did take me to a very nice dinner on Sunday after we visited the parents. But I spent most of that dinner still reeling from the stress my parents were oozing over their pending move.

So, the fact that I got my  butt out of bed on Monday morning to run eight miles for no other reason than I may or may not run a marathon this fall and I kinda want to see how my body does in some long runs, kind of impressed me.  And it was the first time I’ve run that far since 2006. And it was a drizzly dreary morning.

I can get over myself about right. now.

Ok, but one more thing.

(And then I pinky swear, cross my heart and hope to die, Girl Scout promise that the next post on this blog will not be a bragolicious, self-righteous, look at me, I’m such a good runner, tale.)

The rotel cheese dip and bacon ranch pasta salad I made for the Barbecue at the boyfriends rocked the hizzouse.

That’s all.

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Happy Hour

This is the tale of Queen of Quirky and DD Girl who both had  time off work on a Friday. They enjoyed lunch, a store full of shoes and decided a cocktail was in order.

While they were sipping on tasty sangrias, they heard a thud and looked up to see a bucket of paint falling from scaffolding across the street.  They looked up higher and realized that the scaffolding itself had partially fallen. Two men held onto a window ledge while another hung onto the last rope holding up the partially fallen scaffoding.

Queen of Quirky called 911. DD Girl ordered another round of drinks.

Meanwhile, they watched 8 fire trucks and 1 EMT unit show up. Luckily, the two on the ledge, had the foresight to kick in a window and crawl in.

More than 30 minutes passed before the last man was pulled to safety.

Queen of Quirky was more than happy to give a few media interviews to the swarm of reporters that rushed to the scene. They were impressed with the use of twitter to report the story.

All in all, it was an unforgetable happy hour. Luckily, no one was more seriously hurt.

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I am special today

Or so says my coffee mug.

Why am I special?

Because at 7 a.m., when I arrived at work, I entered my alarm code and received the following message:

<Code not valid>


Entered it again, carefully and deliberately pushing each key.

<Code not valid>

Pause. Waiting for the dreaded inevitable.

woop woop woop woop woop woop woop woop woop

Should I back out of the doorway with my hands in the air? What is standard operating procedure here? Will it hurt if I get tazered? Who should I make my one phone call to?

After standing there dumbfounded, I decided that the K.C. SWAT team had far more important items to tend to. Or, they were running late.

Either way, I decided it was safe to proceed into the building. I dug out the number for our H.R. director, made the appropriate calls  and resolved the situation.

No tazer gun. No big dramatic arrest. Just a mug of coffee that reads, “You are special today.”

Because sometimes you need a little extra validation.

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Cheese please

Observation: when  no one’s watching, I regress to a no holds bar, all manners and rules are off the table slob. I feel the need to share this with you, why? Eh, it’s cheaper than therapy.

Case in point: I just polished off a huge piece of buttery blueberry lemon pound cake. About 3/4 through said breakfast, I thought to myself, why am I bothering with this fork? So I abandoned the fork. Then when all that was left were a few buttery crumbly bits, I was literally scraping them off the plate and licking them from my fingers, then re- picking up the smallest bits with my sticky finger tips to lick those off. Ew. (but yum.)

Speaking of yum, I have to share with you a recipe I tried last night. This was completely plagiarized from one of the work girls who says she snagged it off a can of enchilada sauce.

I had the pleasure of trying this recipe at a surprise baby shower fiesta we threw for preggo work girl.  I begged for the recipe. And I had been dreaming of it ever since. (I know. I have issues.)

I present: The Queen of Quirky Work Girls’ Cream Cheese Surprise! – We’re Throwing You a Baby Shower Fiesta – Chicken Enchiladas (or just Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas if you are lazy)

Buy: A pound of chicken, a block of cream cheese, an onion, a large can of green chili enchilada sauce, a small can of diced green chilli’s, a bag of flour tortillas and a package of shredded cheddar cheese.

Also buy: a bottle of Margarita mix with tequila in it. This recipe is way too easy to bother with fussy margaritas. Pour yourself a glass while preparing and enjoy. You’ll finish in time for your second glass while they cook. (Yes, I take tips via PayPal – e-mail me at queenofquirky at the g-mail)

Editor’s note: margaritas are for the cook, not for the baby shower fiesta recipient herself. Not that I’d judge any expecting mother for having a few sips of a delicious Margarita.

Turn your oven on to 350. (Be sure to remove any pans, toys, shoes or other items you may have stored in your oven since your last usage. Again, I don’t judge.)

Dice up the chicken into small cubes. Then, chop up the onion and throw it all in a pan with some olive oil and salt and pepper.

While that’s cooking, open up the cream cheese and cut it into cubes. Grab your can opener and open the can of chili’s. Once the chicken is done, turn the heat down to low and throw in the cream cheese and chili’s.

Mix it up really well, then fill your flour tortillas with the cheesey chicken mix. Roll them up and place them seam side down in a Pyrex.

Back to your can opener and open up the green chili enchilada sauce and pour that baby all over the tortillas. Oh yeah.

Then grab your package of shredded cheese, rip it open and dump almost all of it on top of the enchiladas.  (Reach inside and grab a few bites of what’s left  for yourself, allowing some to fall to the floor for the dog. Did you not read the first part of this post? I’m a pig.)

Put your enchiladas in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until you can no longer watch another second of baseball on t.v. with your boyfriend.

Serve it up instantly (and grab that remote while he’s distracted with the cheesey goodness.) Oh, and if you were planning on taking these to a baby shower fiesta, you’re going to have to make another batch . But that’s ok. More margaritas while you cook, right?

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Flash Flood Warning

There are certain movies that I shouldn’t be allowed to watch. Ever.

Along with certain Hallmark commercials and that STUPID Folgers commercial during the holidays where the soldier comes home and surprises his family by making coffee. Drat. That one gets me every time.

These cinematic dramas render me to a blubbering mess.

I like to consider myself a pretty emotionally stable humanbeing. But like a spring storm in Kansas (Thank you Gary Lezak), the right conditions might cause a sudden downpour.

 Last night it was dumplings, a glass of wine and The Reader.

We’re not talking crying. We are talking, hiccuping sobs followed by honky honky nose blows. Poor Gertie. I think she thought her mom was getting divorced all over again.

No. (honk) Gertie. Mommy’s okay (honk, sniff). It’s (honk) just a movie.

If I were still living with Stephanie, she’d say I was never allowed to watch that movie again. (A rule she had to implement more than once during our tenancy.)

So check that one off the rewatch list. Sorry, babe. You’re on your own for that one.

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Feet. Don’t fail me now.

Here’s how the weekend went down:

Took the boyfriend to the airport on Friday evening in his car because mine sucks right now. Following a pit stop to do a little Friday evening shopping on the route home, I returned to his car, put the key in the ignition.


No turn; no nothing.

Truth be told, this isn’t the first time his car has demonstrated its hatred of me. Last time I was in a Costco parking lot, sweating bullets, screaming, praying and then screaming at the car. After about 15 minutes of this scene, I got out and grabbed the first sucker non-creepy citizen to help me. Well, he couldn’t get it either. (validation!) He suggested I ask one of the maintenance men inside the car section of Costco to help me.

It’s a good thing I’m not shy, folks.

So I marched right in there, batted my eyelids, pouted my sweaty-faced lips and begged one of the big strong Costco car men to come help me.

Flash forward to Friday night. There were no Costco men in sight. It was me v. car and I wasn’t about to let car win. So I got out, walked around the car, got in and presto! It worked.

Despite the fact that I was starving, and that I had very little food at home, there was no way I was stopping ANYWHERE after that. I pulled the car into the spot and that’s where it stayed until Sunday morning when I used it to pick up the boyfriend. It also liked me much better on Sunday – only sticking a little bit before turning on.

On Saturday, I didn’t need a car. First I ran six miles with Gertie -dodging the walkers in an Arthritis charity walk. “Dog and runner on your right. ” “Coming through with a dog.” “On your left.” “Scuse us.” “Sorry, coming through.”

At one point, Gertie, upon seeing a very terrifying stroller, took a sideways run, wrapping her leash around an unsuspecting gentleman. This caused me to say a choice word, and then I realized there was a child right by him.  Oopsie.

I forsee the Karma from that event haunting me in my future.

After a very eventful run, and stuffing my face with some macaroni and cheese as to not drink on an empty stomach, I joined the ranks of the young and foolish in Kansas City for the pub crawl. 

First off, I have to say that I might have walked away before even getting started had my group not been super cool.

I was standing outside bar #1 (of 5), waiting to meet up with my group and this young little blond girl was jumping up and down, “OH MY GOSH! You guys?! We get to go to Ernie Biggs. I’m sooooooooooo happy we get to go to Ernie Biggs. gush gush gush gush.”

Is this what I’m in for during the next five hours?

Yup, it was. Luckily my team took a diversion to a (gay) bar off course mid-way through our route.  Loved it. While we didn’t get to drink for free, we got away from the masses and the Coors Light. (Blech.)  And a certain bunch of our team, got to get their flirt on. I was fine and dandy just chilling out, watching the antics play out before me. Also, it was kind of awesome when our team captain asked me out on a date after seeing a picture of me in the Wonder Woman costume.

I think she was kidding?

All in all, my team made the crawl worth it, and I think we did something  good for Cancer, but I’m not really sure.

All I know is that I’m old.

I was in bed by 8, full of beer, post-crawl Mexican food and a dayof good friends and lots of laughter.

Sunday I picked up the boyfriend from the airport and we spent the day together. We even survived our first “couples” trip to the mall. (Or rather, he survived his first trip to the mall with me.)

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The price to care

This morning we had a very detailed health care meeting to talk about a new insurance program at work. I love that my company cares enough to provide this benefit to its employees. And I love that our new insurance broker brings us bagels and cream cheese.  You could probably get me pumped about most things on a Friday morning if you brought me bagels and cream cheese.

Health care is among those issues I care about the most. I think it’s something everyone should have available to them. I’m not a politician or a financial guru, so I don’t know exactly how this should work logistically, but I know there are countries where this is working. You can nit pick all you want on faulty care in these countries, but trust me, we have that under our current system. Something has to change and that’s why I voted the way I did in November.

 Even as an uber conservative teenager in the early 90’s, I remember reading about  Hillary’s proposed national health care plan and not understanding why most of the Christians I knew were so anti-anything Hillary (or Democratic party for that matter.)  To me, her plan seemed entirely more humanitarian in a WWJD sort of way. (And if you need me to translate that accronymn, e-mail me at my new sparkly e-mail address and we can chat – queenofquirky at the g-mail.) But what did I know? At the time and in the circle of Christians I was influenced by,  loving Jesus meant voting/supporting/ being Republican. End of story.

I’m so thankful for the influencers later in my life who helped me connect my compassion for people with my political beliefs and my (albeit very private) faith.

I’m also thankful for the people later in my life who put health care in its place. Back in Rocky Mount, there was this one copy editor –an uber hot, uber liberal, women’s rights hippie with a killer knack for vintage fashion. She was outspoken, opinionated and self-confident. I had never met anyone like her. 

I think she was my first girl crush.

With a flash of her golden smile, a flick of her long, thick hair and the sway of her hips over her long legs emphasized by platform heeled sandals, she melted even the crustiest of editors in their chairs. 

Colleen knew how to capture a room. During a similar meeting with our health insurance representative, she did just that.

Following a long presentation detailing co-pays and deductables and a tiered pharmacuetical plan, Colleen raised her hand.

“Excuse me. Could you please share with us where Viagra falls in the tiered plan?”

Our precious, very Southern H.R. lady looked horrified. The rest of us choked back laughter. Oh, Colleen. Where is this going?

The gentleman sweating in his suit showed her that Viagra could be purchased under the cheapest tier.

“Nice,” Colleen pointed out. “See, I take great offense to that because my birth control is in the highest tier – see, it falls in the $X tier. So what you are telling me is that my right to protect my reproduction is less important to your company than a man’s right to ensure he has a boner.”

Colleen, wherever you are, I will never forget your ability to take down the man. I hope you are still kicking and fighting in your sexy shoes.


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