Friday, January 21, 2011

What was that?

Last night I went out with some girl friends to see a comedy show at the local JCC (Jewish Community Center). They were hosting this comedy show called, "Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad" and we thought that sounded entertaining.

As good Jewish girls do, we carefully plotted out our dinner plans before the event, and feasted on copious amounts of Chinese food before the show.

We then drove to the JCC in the -45 degree weather and ran in to attempt to avoid immediate facial paralysis from the cold.

The show began with a woman dressed in a ridiculous ball gown doing stand up comedy. It was entertaining. She sang a song about Gefilte fish. Walked off stage. And then invited the next "Nice Jewish Girl Gone Bad" up on stage to do her shtick. The next girl does some mildly entertaining stand-up ....

and then comes the dancer. The Burlesque dancer. At the JCC.

Dressed as Mary Tyler Moore, this woman comes out performing the Mary Tyler Moore dance...and then strips. Yes strips. At the JCC. Did I mention we were at the Jewish Community Center?

Strips down to nipple stickers and a thong and dances around the stage. I could not make this up if I tried. At this point, I start thinking that perhaps the copious amounts Chinese food, and extreme cold have altered my brain into some paranormal state causing me to think that a woman is dancing naked on the stage at the JCC. But then I realize...nope, very real.

More comedy. The Hava Negila Go-Go dancers. More scantily clad ladies with very Jewish bodies. And then, another act with the Burlesque dancer.

As though the first one was not enough, she comes back and does another strip dance, but this time ends up with but nothing but boobie tassels and bacon.

No, I am not lying.

Boobie tassels and bacon.

Dancing on the stage.

At the JCC.

I look over at my friends. Rachel is laughing historically, I believe secretly thinking to herself that she could do this dance. Which she totally could. And then Debra, who is falling asleep, drooling on herself. Yes, proof that this girl can fall asleep during anything. Sleeping during the burlesque, bacon dancer.

I don't think the JCC will ever be the same for me again. Nor will a package of bacon. And boobie tassels, well I don't come in contact with those all that often.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The weather outside is frightful...

So freaking, unbelievably frightful that humans should not be allowed to live in the state of Minnesota during the winter. Friday's high temperature will be -12. Yes, a high temperature of -12.

So what do you do?

Escape to Aruba. Which we will be doing next week. Wooo hoo.

To all you crazy Minnesotans who take summer vacations, and look at me like I have 2 heads for taking a winter vacation: I am right and you are wrong. It is disgusting in the winter, and lovely in the summer. Escape when it is disgusting. Stay when it is lovely. Seems simple to me. Skip the fishing cabin, go to Aruba.

Second, thing to do when it is heart-stopping cold outside? Bake.

Here's an awesome recipe from a website I love. I made them the other day and then sent them immediately out the door to Jeremy's office so we wouldn't eat them. But they are fantastic. They don't make a ton of cookies per batch. Which is a good thing in terms of portion control. But if you want to feed a crowd, double the recipe.

This is my iPhone picture...
This is their lovely picture:
Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 16 cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. On medium speed, cream together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour until just combined. Stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.
4. Use a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoons) and drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.
♦  The cookies will not look “done” when you pull them out of the oven, but they will continue to bake on the hot baking sheets out of the oven. If they are slightly brown, the edges look just set and they are puffy in the middle they are ready to come out!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Getting to know you....

Do you remember that song from elementary school? It was my favorite.
Getting to know you....
Getting to know all about you.....
Getting to like you....
Getting to like all about you.....

Well, when I do new things, I still have that song rolling through my head. Ingrained in my memory. (Like just saying the word Halloween makes me think of H-A-L-L-W-E-E-N spells Halloween.....)

Anyway....who am I getting to know? The new gym. Duh. It's like making a new friend. Though this friendship has started out a bit rocky.

This past weekend my husband and I decided to try one of the many classes offered at the new gym. We found one called 50/50 which was described as 50% strength and 50% cardio - and the cardio was 'to be posted at the start of class'. We were not entirely sure what that meant, but figured it would be a good workout, and some nice variety, so we'd give it a shot.

We run over to the gym and race into the classroom to ensure we arrive on time for the class as we know the spin classes fill up quite quickly. We barrel into the classroom, and look around. Not a soul in the room. Oh wait...there's one the corner....ferociously lifting hand weights. Yes, ferociously, there is no other way to describe it. We meekly stand in the middle of class, checking and rechecking the schedule posted to ensure we are there at the correct time.

As we check the schedule we note that the "posted cardio segment" will be Step. Okay, cool, we can do that. At our old gym we took a 50/50 type class that had some step things, running up and down on the step - no biggie.

Slowly people start filtering into the class, and we quickly find that we are the youngest people in the room. Youngest by about 30 years. We whisper to eachother, wondering if we missed the asterisk that noted this was a geriatric class. Nope, doesn't appear so. We laugh to one another, thinking that we are going to kick some old lady behind in this class. Sweet. We may be in a room filled with old people, but that's probably good for our ego.
We are both in very good shape, but we don't match up to those grunting weight lifters in the gym. Or those girls who run on the treadmill like a gazelle, and appear to be totally unscathed by the fact that they are RUNNING. When I run, I put my heart and soul into every freaking step and I am keenly aware of every minute that passes. So, a workout with the old ladies, might not be so bad.
We pick up the necessary equipment, and decide, you know what....we should go one step taller than all of these old ladies, since we're so young and fit. We get our extra tall step, balance ball, hand weights and bands, and wait for the class to begin.

Since we were the first ones there, our steps were placed front and center with the rest of the class behind us.
The class begins.
We start with a simple up and down step on the box.
We can do this.
Then it's a little side leg lift as you step up on the box.
Okay..I can handle that. But I would appreciate if she would slow down a bit.

And it was all down hill from there. If you recall our Wedding dance lessons ...we are not the most coordinated people in the world. The teacher throws out commands in a language we clearly did not speak...


These foreign commands leave Jeremy and I standing dead center, middle of the room, wondering what has hit us. We try our best to follow along, and not look like complete idiots, with little success. EEveryone around us appears to know what to do. It's like they had a rehearsal before class that we missed. How do they all know what to do?

I begin plotting my move. I have to get my step out of the center of the room. There was no break to conspire with Jeremy, so I had to just move, and hope he would follow. I found an open space in a corner of the room. My plan was to jump to the side of my step, and quickly push it clear across the room into the corner, so I could continue to stumble on and off of the block in the safety of the corner, where nobody could see me.

I count down in my head....5, 4, 3, 2, 1...IT'S GO TIME.

I push my step into the corner, and look back to see a befuddled Jeremy standing on top of his step. He has stopped trying to do the 'moves' and is just standing on his block, looking at me, in my new spot in the corner, motioning for him to join me.

He stays in his spot for a couple more minutes, attempting to re-enter the class. And by attempting I mean he is really just stepping on and off of the step because he can neither understand, nor perform the actions the teacher is requesting. I stand safely in my corner, attempting to compose myself through complete hysteric laughter watching Jeremy attempting to keep up with the class.

I wonder if we are really going to let this go on for another 20 minutes and motion to him that we need to get the heck out of there. Through hand motions and lip reading I communicate that he should grab our water bottles on the other end of the room while I make a run for it.

He crouches low to the ground, as though that will allow him to grab the water bottles without anyone noticing, scoots over to the corner where they lie, and then runs out of the room like he's being chased.

Never to return.

Sorry step class, you're not for us.

Still getting to know you....

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lesson learned

So...I had an injury this week. I usually average about 1 injury per week. I'm just not very careful. I run into things. I hurt myself working out. Things like that, but this time, I really injured myself. In an embarrassing way which I am now going to share with the entire world.

I was hanging pictures on the wall at our new house earlier in the week. My husband chose not to help me because he doesn't really care about pictures on walls. He would rather live in a house with no pictures on the wall, than take the time to hang them. True story. When he lived alone, his 'art' consisted of 1 framed leaf from Target and 1 photo in a frame. For the 2 years he lived alone in that apartment, the photo and the piece of art both rested comfortably on his kitchen table, while the walls lay barren. And I don't mean this as an insult, but rather a strange phenomenon.  A male phenomenon I guess.

So...hanging lots of pictures.
I hang the first, large, heavy 8 x 10 picture frame.
I find a spot below for picture frame #2, and begin hammering in the picture hanger for the next frame in the sequence.
Next thing I know, I am knocked out by a 700 lb 8x10 picture frame. Maybe not 700 lb, but close. That thing was heavy.

Fell off the wall, hit me in the face, gashed my nose and gave me a black eye.

This leads into a scene that went something like this:
Kara: screams screams tears I HURT MYSELF....I NEED HELP
Jeremy: "Oh my gosh...gasps gasps"
I run over to the bathroom to look in the mirror to assess the situation. Jeremy pulls me away from the mirror, knowing that at the sight of blood on my face, I will lose it even further. Regardless, I lose it. Screaming, crying. I am certain my nose will now have to be removed. Entirely.

If my nose is not removed entirely, I will surely need a nose job. Now this incident is starting to look up...nose job....hmm...I should have caused a picture frame to fall on my face long ago.

Jeremy gathers tissue and ice, and attempts to care for me, through my state of shock at the attack that has just occurred.  

Ding Dong. Doorbell rings.
A friend arrives to see our home! She was on her way while I was hanging pictures, and arrived moments after the 'incident'.

Natalie, I'm sorry I looked like I had just gotten into a fight, and perhaps was a bit out of sorts. You know me...totally a fighter. Fighter with a picture frame.

Unfortunately it does not look like I will be getting a nose job out of the deal, but that would have been nice. Instead, I have a lovely gash and sore nose, and a terrible war story to tell along with it.

Lesson learned. Remove picture frame #1 before hammering into the wall.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy as long as I have....

I came across this phrase and started thinking about it...what is that thing?
It should be one thing.
But I'm not much of a rule follower.
I want to list a lot of things.

I guess if I had to narrow it down to one, I would say, my health. Maybe that's superficial, but without it, you're not enjoying much of anything else. So as long as I have my health...I am happy. But to break the rules...I'll list the other things that...

Comment on your, "Happy as long as I have..."
I am happy as long as I have...
  • Jeremy Scott Frank
  • Punky L. Frank and Stanley M. Frank
  • My crazy family. Well my mom is pretty normal. But the rest of us. Not so much.
  • My niece Tessa, nephew Charlie, and "nephew" Hank
  • My girlfriends. You know how some girls say they don't get along with girls? That's not me.
  • Craft projects
  • Someone to feed. I love to feed people. In like an obsessive way. On my tombstone some day I imagine it saying...."Kara...she loved to feed people"
  • 456 activities all at once. That makes me quite happy.
  • 295 physical activity possibilities (running, skiing, yoga, spinning, swimming). Have you noticed the trend that I cannot sit still?
  • Lots of shoes. Lots and lots of shoes. I had to throw one superficial one in there. I could have said world peace...but we're being realistic here people. Happy...not miracle. Shoes make me pretty darn happy.
What are you happy as long as you have?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Big Day in the Frank Household

You have all met Stanley M. Frank (via this blog) but he has one major issue. He cannot go down the stairs. Up the stairs? Totally, he's a pro. But down the stairs? Absolutely not. He won't even consider it.

We have tried enticing him with a piece of food on each step trying to woo him down the stairs.

We have tried gently nudging him down the stairs, like a mother bird would to her young, pushing them out of the nest.

We have tried teasing him by the excitement that lie at the bottom of the stairs (namely hugs and kisses awaiting his arrival)

Nothing has worked. This has been a true lesson in parenting. A child will do nothing, until they are absolutely ready on their own.

Last night my dad was over, and he was totally fed up with Mr. Stanley's incessant barking at the top of the steps because he could not get down. So...he tried to get him down. And this time, Stanley was ready. And, with a bit of nudging, he walked down the stairs...

The scene...with captions from the mind of Stanley M. Frank

My sister is going down the stairs. How does she do that? That is crazy. She is going to harm herself. Silly dog. Walking down stairs is dangerous. Danger lies ahead.

 Gee...well now I'm up here alone, and that's not so much fun. I'd really like to be downstairs. And my people don't seem to like it when I scream like crazy to get down. But these steps, they are huge.
 Huge steps. These are huge. And the closer I get, the bigger they look. 
But maybe I could do it. I'm getting bigger. I could maybe consider, possibly, the suggestion that I can walk down stairs. 

Punky, can you help me? I need you sister. These things the humans have created, that they call steps, are nuts.

I'M DOING IT! I'M REALLY DOING IT!!!! I can walk down steps! 
Big day in the Frank household. Stanley traversed the steps. Once. Today he seems to have forgotten that he did it yesterday.  But baby steps people, baby steps.

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Beginnings

After we moved into our new house, there was a big decision we had to make. It was a fundamental decision that would shape almost every day of our lives after that point. Unless we decided to make a change, but for a good long while, it was pretty permanent.

The decision - our fitness activities. Earth shattering? To me, yes.

Options included the status quo, which was to continue going to to Corepower Yoga (for me), a spin studio in Minneapolis (no longer convenient), and use the treadmill and vintage 1992 Tunturi bike we inherited from my parents...
Option B- purchase a new piece of equipment to accompany our treadmill instead of the aforementioned bike which resides in every home in America.

Option C - join a gym. Within option C, there are a variety of choices.

Option D - screw it and eat cookies on the couch instead.

After looking at every piece of exercise equipment in town, trying out every gym imaginable and creating numerous spreadsheets comparing the cost of equipment and classes, to the cost of monthly dues to find our greatest value, we finally made a decision.

We joined the nicest gym, closest to our house. It gives us a good balance of pretty surroundings, excellent classes, state of the art equipment and nice people. But, acclimating to this new gym has proven to be a bit of a challenge.

The first week we decided to try out a spin class. Our membership advisor suggested a class, and after joking with him that I hoped I would not find people wearing biking jerseys and spandex....
He assured me that this was not that type of class! Great! We were on our way to a great workout! After spending about 15 minutes in the locker room, trying to figure out the key card system, while still looking cool and pretending I was not the dorky new kid on the block, we went into class.

We arrive, and Jeremy quickly notes that people seem to have snacks with them. And not just like a granola bar, which would be odd in itself, but the vast majority of the people in this class have egg, nuts and cheese on their bikes. Yes, eggs and nuts where water typically resides on a spin bike.

I note that we are the only ones in the room who are NOT wearing spandex jerseys. Is this some kind of joke? We decide to stay, assuming it is just a day for crazy people to go to spin class.

And then the instructor turns on the TV's. Turns on the Tour de France on TV. And so it goes. He informs us that we are here to go on a 2 hour ride and he hopes we remembered snacks for this endurance ride. Jeremy and I whip our heads around to one another and gulp.

We spend the next hour riding along, watching the Tour de France, as the "Spin Instructor" teaches us about cycling races, and who wears what jersey, and how the teammates help each other, how to change a tire on a went on and on. After exactly 59 minutes and 59 seconds, we both look at each other, without a word we nod our heads and we run like hell for the door.

Woops. Guess that was the wrong class for us.  But we still felt a little bit cool because we use spin shoes. Who would have thought we would stick out because we were not toting our own eggs?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010 in review

A little photo tour of my highlights in 2010. And if you could care less, then click that little red 'X' button in the top right hand corner. But I hope you care a little bit, because it was an exciting year.

We sold our condo (yeaaaa)...
Moved into a shoebox apartment...
Bought a horribly ugly house...

Renovated it....
And turned it into a lovely house...
My best friend had a baby...could he be any cuter?

After training all summer long, walking countless miles, and having innumerable incoherent conversations around mile 18, Debra and I did another Breast Cancer 3 day walk and made some friends for life while doing it!

Jeremy and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary and took a trip to Italy to celebrate! Minus being stuck in a basement bathroom of a Roman restaurant, it was the trip of a lifetime (Bathroom Incident)

One of my other best friends, Debra, got married this year! It was a beautiful wedding for two amazing people!

Our baby nephew was born in December (sorry, no pictures of this one)

Stan arrived on the scene at the very end of 2010. Stanley M. Frank topped off one of the best years in remembered history.
And a big Thank You to all of you! Another year of blogging, because I have had another year of readers. I will keep writing as long as you all keep reading. Thank you for your support - I am sure that our lives will continue to be a source of entertainment for you all in 2011!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Are you kidding me?

This past week and a half, Jeremy and I have had a house guest staying with us. His aunt was in town, and she stayed with us while celebrating Jeremy's grandfather's 90th birthday and the birth of our new nephew.

We also have a new puppy. Stanley M. Frank. Stan for short. or Mr. Stan Man as Jeremy likes to refer to him. It usually is something more along the lines of....
"Oh Mr. Stan Man bring me a treat, you are the cutest dog I've ever seen..."- Sung to the tune of the song Mr. Sandman

Anyways, last night, we were hanging out, waiting for his aunt to come home from dinner. I dozed off for a moment, and he then woke me to say she was home. I was a little out of sorts, as I always am when I first wake.

I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth, when I hear a scream, followed by:
"Oh, nooooo"

I walk out of the bathroom and see Jeremy standing on my side of the bed, and the bedsheets in front of him are all wet with pee. I look at him and ask him:
"Did you do that?"

 Yes, yes, I asked my husband if he walked over to my side of the bed and peed. He proceeded to fall onto the bed - into said pee - in hysteric laughter. It was about this time that I realized what I had just said.

It's usually best not to wake me from a sleep. I say dumb things.