Category Archives: Musings

Solicitation ambush and the guilt that follows

We all know that solicitors come in many forms and formats. Phone calls, door knock, postcard-sized flier stuffed under the window wiper or rubber banded around the flag on the mailbox… and I’m sure there are many other varieties.

But the real question is: how does that make you feel?

Annoyed? How about filled with regret that some poor underpaid sap chose you to ambush with an unwanted free month gym membership on a glossy card or a menu for some new strip mall Chinese place? No, not so much? Well – that’s how I feel.

Many times, I’ve approached my car to see some brightly colored flier flittering under the firm grip of my wiper. UGH! WHY ME!? I pull it off, look at. Oh – but it’s a free visit to that new gym. Hmm. Well, I can’t just throw it on the ground because then litter guilt would ensue. And so into my car it goes. I consider it again, pondering: maybe I should check that gym out (I already have a gym membership), and so it stays in my door pocket. And it stays there. And stays there. Partly because I infrequently clean it out, but also because you never know…Other times I’ve approached my car, not noticed I have junk on my wiper and drive away. That’s the worst. That’s when I hate the person who did this to me! Who made me look like a fool driving around with bright-colored crap flitting around. Moving my wipers doesn’t help…it just drags along with it, making me look like a giant dork. I have no guilt then. (So maybe the real self-discovery here is that apparently I can be freed from guilt if rage comes first).

Solicitation paraphernalia at its finest!

In another more recent instance, I happened upon a rolled-up menu rubber banded to my front door. Sigh. Of course I took it inside where it sat on my kitchen table for a few days until I was pretty certain I would never eat there. Again, you never know…

What strikes me as strange are the amount of people who just leave the fliers on their doorknob…for days. I would imagine the average person has to come and go at least twice a day (leave for work, come home) which involves locking the front door, navigating the paper crap hanging from it and then seeing it, touching it again when arriving home to unlock the door. So what’s the problem?

 I should ask my friend Kristine that question. She is guilty of that! When I stop by for a visit and see her phone books, for example (and true story), sitting by the front door, I will happily gather them up and deliver them to her. She groans at me, saying that she knew that I’d grab them (she knows me well). Perhaps by not dealing with solicitation paraphernalia one can avoid that annoyed yet guilty feeling. Oh to just rip it off the door and throw it right away NO SECOND THOUGHTS. I always have second thoughts.

***UPDATE***UPDATE***UPDATE***

I get home from work today (6/2) and no kidding, look what's hanging from my doorknob! And what's it for - a gym! No, I didn't throw it out yet...

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Being a grown-up = neglecting the fun things…or does it?

Neglect. That’s what happens when life picks up the pace and components of said life are pushed into the corner (or all over my dining room table…) and forgotten about.

Well,  maybe not entirely forgotten about. While trucking along at work, having not moved for hours from the hand-on-mouse, lean for the monitor pose, my little hobbies and projects poke into mind. They dance around and remind me of how awesome they are and how lame I am for working all week.

And so I leave early. Visions of doing WHATEVER I WANT dance around in my mind but by the time I get home, I take a nap. Oh well. I suppose that doesn’t always happen. I don’t always leave work early and I still devote a healthy amount of time to doing whatever I feel like, but still.

The summer weather that Michigan decided to finally let in has made me wish more and more that I was independently wealthy and/or owned a boat. A house boat! I would need the independent wealth for sure with that one, I think.

Memorial Day Tigers' game. Hottest day yet, but so perfect!

Summer is one of my favorites, but I hate how fast it slips through my grip! Life seems to amp up faster and faster during the precious summer months (in Michigan, they are absolutely precious)  and go by so quick. Hold onto it tight! As for me, I will be doing as much outside stuff as possible, which is probably obvious. My first sunburn was acquired yesterday at the Tigers’ game (we beat the Twins!) Fyi on that one, spray-on SPF is a joke. It kind of worked and where it didn’t, I look like I have some kind of weird blotchy skin disease. So skip that product no matter how amazing it seems! (colorful packaging gets me every time).

And how about a summer song? Or, how about an entire album! I just bought Foster the People after listening to their song Houdini. Check it out. It’s light, it’s fun, it’s great driving around music. I loved their first single, Pumped Up Kicks, but Houdini sold me. Here is a snippet!

Cheers! And yay for June : D

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Why Type What You Can Write

My writing

Here are some photos from the cities.

Park in Warsaw

Ujazdowski Park, Warsaw

Warsaw

A different vantage of Warsaw

Warsaw building

A little eery at night

Streets

Gamla stan, Stockholm

Water

Icy Baltic

waterway

Stockholm does a good job of looking like a postcard

Skaters
View of the ice skaters from Stallmästaregården Restaurang

There are so many more and I would love to show them all, but this will be the last post about my trip. I mean, I may revisit, but for now, it’s getting a rest. I could easily write about it all day, but I don’t want to be boring to anyone! So on to new topics : )

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Numerically Speaking

6 planes

5 airports

2 times I accidentally called the flight attendant to my seat

3 countries

2 stamps in my passport (!)

4 meals that contained seafood

0 times I ate food familiar to me

2 hotels

3 hotel rooms

3 times I was too overcome with emotion to speak (each time in Poland)

4 different types of mass transit utilized

1 pair of shoes I probably ruined from the streets in Warsaw

10 band aids to save my poor feet from shoes that I thought I had made friends with

0 times I was lost in either city

1 time I was lost in the Stockholm office…

2 museums

243 photos taken

25 minutes of video filmed

4 cups of European-style coffee I drank on average each day

3 bottles of wine I helped consume

4 times the locals thought I was one of them

And too many times to count that I was inspired, moved, interested, enlightened and otherwise completely excited to be exploring a new land.

 

Heading home

Almost home : (

I took the stars from my eyes and I made a map and knew that somehow I’d make my way back…… Florence and the Machine “Cosmic Love”

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A Faded Shine

When I was a youngster, there was a place that was kind of like my secret garden. A gritty garden that wasn’t my own private place or even at garden at all. Ok, so secret garden is entirely the wrong example, but you get my reference.  And no, not Detroit, (that was later). It was Royal Oak! Royal Oak was like the Enchanted City for me.

The receipt of my driver’s license (complete with toothy, braces-wearing grin) signaled a new era for my friends and me. We’d pile into Little Red, my inherited Blazer, and head to Royal Oak for a day of adventurous nothingness. A typical day (sometimes) included, but of course was not limited to, wandering the streets, watching the trains go by, eating at the restaurants and going into the music stores – where we generally didn’t buy anything. So basically, loitering. And back then, for those of you who just said “Royal Oak, gritty?” yes, back in the day, it was a little gritty, the crowd was a bit different and there weren’t as many nice new buildings, that’s for sure. But it was wonderful.

A few years later when the drinking age fell upon us, and then add a few years, we hung out in Royal Oak in an adult capacity. It was then when I began really saying, “I can’t wait to move to Royal Oak.”

Gusoline Alley

Gusoline Alley on Center Street in Royal Oak has always been a perennial favorite for me and my friends. Perhaps it's the decor we love so much (and yes, that's me).

Gusoline Alley

Aahh yes, it was certainly the decor that kept us coming back. And the vast beer selection.

 

The years floated on and then finally last fall (as in 2009) I went off on a house hunting adventure. I was out to find the perfect tiny bungalow in Royal Oak. My visions of grandeur were not unreasonable, I was fully aware that my perfect bungalow would probably be one of those houses you’d have to squint at really hard in the dark to consider it a passable, or even livable, home. My price range was low and in Royal Oak that meant I was getting a tiny fixer upper that probably didn’t have a garage OR a basement. It also meant the freeway was a three-minute walk from my front door. I did end up putting a bid on a house; it wasn’t in Royal Oak, but only a mile away in Madison Heights. In the end, and after a mountain of paperwork, I lost the bid to an investment buyer who then flipped it.

If my story had a moral it would be two-fold. First, that patience is the most important virtue one can learn to have and second, that timing is certainly everything in life. My timing was way off because my sights were clouded by my own impatience. Oh hindsight, look what you’ve shown me!

Ok, so fast forward to exactly a year later and there I was – walking in Royal Oak – but this time sans Realtor, checking out apartments. Somewhere between the lackluster Amber Apartments and overpriced but fancy Village Green Apartments I came to a surprising realization. I realized that my 10+ year love affair with Royal Oak had faded into a dusty memory. I didn’t quite believe myself at first, I mean this is the city I cut my teeth in, where I perfected my parallel parking abilities. It had been so good to me! But it happened, I started to see the city without the stars in my eyes and realized that it had been such a fun place to go for so many years, and certainly still is, but that I kind of grew out of it.  

I didn’t want it to be true! I didn’t want to believe that I had moved on from Royal Oak! For a month or so after I looked at those apartments, I still kept the Living in Royal Oak Dream alive. But then, finally, there was no way I could ignore the fact Royal Oak just wasn’t It for me anymore.

 The cease and desist order I put on my Royal Oat apartment living (unless suddenly I could live right downtown in one of those amazing lofts with floor-to-ceiling windows for only $700 per month…) created a wonderfully freeing feeling for me. So I knew I did the right thing!

Even so, and after having said all of that, if you ask me what I think of Royal Oak I will still gush about how wonderful it is. I will go on about how I love the restaurants and the quirky boutiques and the people who also enjoy eating on the patios in the summer. I still have a great fondness for it, I just don’t want to live there anymore. It’s no longer what I imagine when I try to imagine Kim+Future. And after 13 years, I guess I can’t be surprised that I’ve grown up.

Gusoline Alley

Still at Gus'! Yes those are both mine...can you tell what is similar about those two? Sidenote: this is probably a poor choice of picture to close this with blog with. Oh well! 🙂

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A Shiny New Year

It’s a new year and what have I noticed… that I only posted two things in 2010 on my poor neglected blog. So not to put high expectations on myself, maybe for 2011 I will make THREE posts!

Cheers to the New Year! And no, this wasn't me on NYE. I stayed tucked away at home that night!

 
Since this is a new year, and a new year always has a way of greeting you with a fresh, shiny face, that smiles with an almost annoying amount of hope that I can’t help but get all giddy about, I will discuss my thoughts for the year.
 
BUT FIRST, I will provide a brief overview of 2010.
 
2010 came to my rescue after that bear of a year, 2009. That horrendous year didn’t kill me, and because of my survival, I’m fairly certain that nothing will ever kill me. That year tore through me like a forest fire leaving only new shoots of green that were able to sprout and flourish in 2010. Oohh 2010, you came to me with open arms and the warmest, most flower-scented hug. I was a new person! Just like shiny promise of every new year.
Noteworthy things I did in 2010: I went to Florida with my family, attended The Rally to Restore Sanity in D.C.! I worked waaay too much – BUT – I got a good, full-time job (again, finally), I spent more time outside than I have in a long time, which in the Book of Kim = much happiness and pleasure, I re-stacked my priorities…right, I know, that shouldn’t be on a list like this, right? But it is. After careful editing and stacking I steered the helm towards the sunset and while it hasn’t necessarily always been sunsets, it’s been a really good year.
This past year I really took stock of the people I’ve surrounded myself with and while I’ve always known that friends and family are important, this year I really let myself embrace it. I even let myself cry a few times both with joy and sorrow. I embraced ME! It was the Year of Kim.
 
And so now here is 2011, sitting on my lap like an energetic child.
Resolutions… I am not one for resolutions. Instead, I like to choose things to do. Because really, people don’t usually change THAT MUCH, or at least enough that will yield results with just the declaration of a simple statement. Usually it’s the things people do that will change them. Kinda like that saying about the journey being the important part, because it’s the journey that will shape you, not a simple statement that says I will stop being like this and instead I will be like that.
 
So here are a few journeys, I guess I will call them, that I’d like to accomplish for the this odd-numbered year (I’m an odd-numbered age too, which I have a theory about, maybe one day I will explain).
 
Journey One
I really want to run a half marathon. I’ve only been talking about it for two years! I’ve always loved running. And I went from just loving to run, but never thinking I could do a 5k or a marathon, to then completing a 5k (not the hardest thing to accomplish, but still). You know what that taught me in a third grade teacher way of telling you that you can do anything, that I just might be able to do more than I ever thought.
And so I will run like the wind for a half marathon and hope to God that I won’t finish last. I don’t mind being near the back of the pack but PLEASE GOD not last! Someone has to be last and you know what, it’s not gonna be me!
So running goals: faster, farther.
 
Journey Two
Another thing I’d like to accomplish is to remove myself from this continent to another even if it is only for a short amount of time! North and South America will not suffice. Sorry South America, maybe next time.
 
Journey Three
Explore a new artistic medium. I’ve always been curious about the potter’s wheel and glass blowing (not at the same time). Along the same theme, I would like a regular basis of creative activity flowing through me.
 
Journey Four
My own place. I finally have a good job, and money and no debt and now I will launch into a new world of being on my own and not starving to death. Exciting!
 
Journey Five
This could be piggy-backed with the first one, but why not give it its own. To try something of the physical nature that I haven’t tried yet. Like sailing! I’ve always wanted to do that! I haven’t decided on what, or how many, I just know that I want to try something new and fun.
 
So those are my five core journeys. They are almost blanket journeys and may spin-off into other and more things and that’s just fine. I’ve never been one to limit myself with rigid rules!

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Regarding Best Regards

I’ve recently started working for an international company. I love it. I love being only a small handful of North American employees in such a globally diverse company. As I’m settling in and learning the ropes, the thing that’s struck me the most as different is the e-mail valediction.

Regards

Or, Best regards, which is the more reverence-filled version. 

Since I’ve also been working with other American companies and their employees I have come to realize that the Best Regards phenomenon actually extends into the business realm as a whole. It’s not just reserved to Europeans, well, or rest of the world for that matter.   

This is weird to me. Weird because everyone does it that way. Like it’s a code, or unwritten rule. Maybe I’m just rude. Or maybe reporters are a feral bunch and that’s why this seems so unfamiliar to me, but I never signed my name with anything fancy.

Thanks,

Kim

There. That’s that. SEND. That’s how I’ve always signed my e-mail, unless it’s with friends/family, and then all they got was my name, or maybe nothing at all. I’m just informal by nature.

Even on reply strings it’s Hello Kim, message, Best regards. I don’t usually say anything valediction-y on a reply string except maybe for a Hello Again and then the message. It almost annoys/sends me in a panic when people continue using all that – it just seems excessive – and now I have to be excessive too in fear of coming off as a rudey! My abbreviatedness may stem from J-school and the profession that requires you to say everything you need to without any unnecessary extras. There’s probably no excuse for me, but all of these pleasantries seem so strange to me.

Maybe I am feral.

What seems like superfluous closings to me are apparently important. And since I don’t want to seem like an ill-mannered, raised in a barn by wolves, rude American girl, I Best Regards the crap out of my e-mails.

Of all things that I should be agonizing about starting a new job, I don’t think e-mail closings should be among them. But they are. In fact, that’s just about the only thing that cause me to break out into a sweat. I JUST WANT TO BE INFORMAL! In time I’m sure I can sneak in others like,

Have a great weekend!

Kim

or

Thanks,

Kim

I actually did use that today. I thanked my way out of my e-mail. The e-mail was a question though, so I decided it would be ok. I received a warm, friendly (Have a great weekend!) reply. So I don’t think there was an offence. And look! They were informal back!

Now letters are entirely different. Since no one really mails anything anymore I think it’s nice when they flower it up. I dated a guy who sent very thoughtful letters and signed it with Yours. I liked that. That was a nice touch. He could have said only one sentence, ended with that and still made me feel like the special-est girl in the world. I remember as a kid we were taught in school to sign letters with Sincerely. First of all, I almost never spelled it correctly. And even as a child it seemed over the top, but in a fancy and old-fashioned way. I remember signing my handwritten letters like that.  

As for my closing remark struggle, I have no idea. Maybe I’ll change it up, like with a Kindest Regards. As I get my sea legs in this place I’m sure I’ll figure out who I can be more informal to and who I need to be all best regards to. Or I’ll just get really creative with formal closings. That could be more interesting…

When panicked over just how I will close an e-mail, sometimes I like to look out my window. Here is my view.

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