Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas?

Her husband didn't see any call to give her use of the buggy

A happy couple enjoys their resplendent tree

Christmas pinata babies make a stunning shop display

Patients take over the decorating at the asylum 

Existential crisis for Santa in the 24-hour diner

This Santa won't be delivering presents tonight

No one has told these children that Santa doesn't visit bomb shelters

Yelling Christmas cards for the hard of hearing

Hers didn't win

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Royals Won the World Series!!!

Excuse me while I pinch myself again. This is real! It happened! The Royals are the 2015 World Series Champions!

This makes me happy for so many reasons. And my joy is compounded by the fact that I'm surrounded by a city full of very happy people. There's going to be a parade! Tomorrow most schools are closed and people are bailing work because the one thing everyone wants to do is pour into the streets and yell and scream and celebrate this victory, and pay homage to our new supreme overlords, the Kansas City Royals.

When I first saw the above photo, just at a glance, the black and white fooled me, and  I thought it was a vintage photo from way back. The kid and his expression just have that classic look. But then I realized it was taken at last night's game. Great shot of what was no doubt a scintillating moment of the game. Which moment?  Pick one.

Photo is by from the Player's Tribune at the following link:

Friday, October 30, 2015

Before all this World Series awesomeness, Salvy and Cain and 1738

Love this moment between Lorenzo Cain and Salvador Perez, from earlier this summer. The players were fining each other if they didn't work the reference "1738" into interviews. (1738 as used by rapper Fetty Wap.)  

The interview starts about 38 seconds in.

Salvy loves to rub everybody's head:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The World Series starts in Kansas City today! Time to Meet the Mets!

This cheerful vintage Mets jingle, banjo and all, almost has me rooting for the orange and blue!  JUST KIDDING.

But you have to admit it has an endearing kind of corny old-school charm.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Royals Are Going to the World Series!

The Royals have clinched the ALCS championship and will be playing in the World Series!

Wait --didn't I do a blog post like this before??

Oh yeah, last year :

What are the odds it could happen AGAIN, two years in a row?

Yordano Ventura says it all:

Friday, October 9, 2015

Vintage Royals Jingle

The Royals won today!  They came from behind after their starting pitcher gave up four runs in the first 3 innings. This was Game 2 against the Houston Astros in the American League Division Series today and we needed this win after losing Game 1.

The playoffs are a fun time. During this postseason, like last year, the local sports radio station frequently plays a vintage Royals jingle from 1980. I love hearing this corny old tune while driving in my car or cooking dinner. I found the jingle on YouTube and posted it below.

The leaves are turning and the days are getting shorter, which makes extra baseball in October feel all the more special, like we're able to hang on to a little more summer before the chill sets in. Hope the Royals can stay in it a little longer. Hang in there, guys. We're rooting for you!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Celebrating My Birthday!

Yeah, it's true I had to work today on my birthday, and then attend my daughter's choir concert this evening.

But don't be fooled into thinking I observed this special day quietly!

Oh no, on THIS, this golden glimmering seventh day of October, this DAY OF ALL DAYS, you best believe there were libations. There were gyrations. There was revelry!

Here is a little video I put together showing some of the festivities, and the people who helped me celebrate.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Royals Batting Practice

Today Roger and I went down to Kauffman Stadium for a free fan rally to kick off the postseason. We got to watch the Royals work out on the field and take batting practice.

First they stretched. But I was disappointed. I was expecting something more elaborate:  hamstrings pulled back and legs sticking up in the air.

More warm-up type movements

Players start tossing the ball back and forth 

Near the batting cage --Moose appears to be staring at me

Salvy blows a bubble while watiing for his turn

Salvy on the jumbotran batting while throwing/catching practice goes on in the outfield

Hosmer tosses around his bat while waiting for his turn inside the cage 

Monday, October 5, 2015

My Mom is 91 Today

Mom used to bake a couple of apple pies every weekend.

Mom worked in her family's grocery store during the War when people used ration coupons.

Mom listened to the Hit Parade as a young woman.

Mom once broke into a public school by smashing the glass with her bare fist, so she and my older siblings (who were kids at the time) could take cover during a storm that had been rocking their trailer back and forth. (It was a school my dad was building and he had left to take supplies somewhere.) After the storm passed, my mom had the kids take hot baths to calm down.

Mom cut our hair and sewed dresses that were unappreciated by us.

Mom bought my sisters their first Beatle record.

Mom drove our pink Rambler 13 miles to Ransom to work the 3 to 11 shift as a nurse's aid.

Mom used to walk past the cemetery every night as a form of exercise.

Mom wonders why she didn't spray the basement for spiders when we were growing up. So do we.

Mom  watches Mollie B's Polka Party every Saturday night.

Mom has always had the hots for Christopher Plummer as he appears in the Sound of Music.

Mom prays the angels around us when we go on long trips or drive across Kansas.

Mom makes a salad or a dessert for funeral dinners whenever someone in the parish dies

Mom plays her keyboard like nobody's business.

Mom recently started an all-women percussion band.

Mom "doctors" at Ness but she used to doctor at Ransom.

Mom e-mails and surfs the net.

Mom likes carrot cake on her birthday.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Ness City Amenities

Th liquor stores are open on Sundays now.

Butterfield's stays open on Sundays until 11:00 pm. I was able to fuel up before our 5 am departure.  

You can take a jug to the car wash and fill it with drinking water for 25 cents.

The second-hand store has some nice corning-ware.

Mom's cable TV gets major league baseball games.

John Deere sells good feed caps for under ten dollars.

Dollar General carries fish oil.

Food Jamboree has canned hummus.

The Frigid Creme is never open.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It's October, Get Out Your Voltage Meter

Because this is my month of increasing power!......

.....culminating in energy levels heretofore achieved only with the Super Industrial VHF tubes of old

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Oh Baseball, my Baseball

Oh baseball, my baseball. Your season is ending soon. It's the last day of September, which means it's almost time for the playoffs. I love autumn, and October is my favorite month, but how bittersweet that it ushers in the end of baseball season.

I discovered that the best song to listen to while watching Royals baseball clips from this past summer is Roger Whitaker's "I don't believe in if anymore."  It helps me deal.

For, my dear Royals....they played so well right up until September.... But this has not been a good month for them. Wobbly pitching, sloppy base-running, milquetoast bats. They made the playoffs because their early wins put them so far ahead of the pack, but lately they've been on a losing streak, and they won't last long in the playoffs if it continues.

"Baseball was designed to break your heart." Someone said it.

I took a highlight reel and slapped my new song onto it, and made the video below.

Oh glorious baseball season, lasting from April to October. Oh glorious baseball summer. What a glut of riches I have enjoyed lo' these many months, following the Royals. A new game every night! Every few days, a new team, a new city representin'.

 My 16-year old daughter groans when I turn on the radio.

 "They're playing again? Do they play every night?"

 "Every night," I say brightly. "Well, almost every night."

 "How long is this game going to last?" she scowls.

"About three hours," I say.

We don't  have cable, but I can hear every pitch on the radio. Denny Matthews is an old friend coming through the speaker, doing the play-by-play as I scrape old contact paper off the kitchen wall. It's the Wall of Agony, as I have listened to many close games while working away on that wall. Steve Physioc takes turns with Denny and pisses me off the way he yells with excitement every time the opposing defense runs down a Royals hit. He's on the Royals Radio Network so when he starts yelling you think something good is happening for our side. Such a let-down when you realize it was the OTHER team that made the great play. Damn Physioc.

When we are playing at home I can hear the "Let's go Royals' chants, the organ cranking away, and Moose calls ringing out from the stands. When we play in Chicago I still hear Royals chants and Moose calls because so many Kansas Citians live in Chi-town or trek up there for games.  

After the game comes the post-game show where Josh Vernier talks us all down off the ledge if we lost, or gloats with us if we won.  I don't get tired of hearing people talk about baseball. You would think, but no.

I am dreading the end of the season. Turning on the game has become a nightly ritual. Followed up with a recap of the game's highlights the next day. What will I do without the happy chatter about shut-out innings, stolen bases, double-plays?  In the last month it's been more weeping and gnashing of teeth, rending of garments over our skid, but even so, even when it's not good, it's still baseball.  

Go Royals.  

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sleep-blogging the Blood Red Super Moon eclipse

Last night I was nodding off, and writing gibberish, and not even realizing that I went and published this post:

Red moon. Hot moon.  Photos are dim.

The moon, the moon, the moon
I watched it
aren't there some good scientists in your pack?
i watched it, not because I wanted to, but becauise I wanted to

tough to place --you mean A'm mu

This is the photo I took

Friday, September 25, 2015

Bulky. Trashy.

Alternate title for this blog post:  The Dregs of My Society.

Saturday we took horrid things out of our house---the grungiest, most foul, beat up, worn out, useless, and moldiest things we could find .... and put them out on the curb. We get to do this once a year on Bulk Trash Day. The trashmen are supposed to appear in their magical garbage machines and haul it all away, no questions asked. But first come the scavengers. There is always kind of a hopeful mood as pick-ups cruise slowly up and down our street "window-shopping" our stuff.  

Well the scavengers came and went but now it's Friday night almost a week later and we're still waiting for the trashmen to show up. Is this some kind of city department prank? Everyone for blocks around is stuck with these dreadful cast-offs all a-jumble on the edge of their property. Old sofas, tires, rolls of carpet, rotted out lumber, sorry-looking furniture, dirty plastic objects....from the looks of it you'd think that either we're all getting evicted, or a river just ran through all our houses, ruining our stuff.

It's reassuring though, to see the kind of junk other people haul out to the curb. This stuff had been inside their house or garage! Probably for a long time! Hey, we aren't the only ones cohabiting with a bunch of dingy, old, broken-down crap!

I did walk by one house though, that just didn't get it. Their small offering at the end of the driveway was so absurd I had to snap a photo. The broken end table you see is all they could muster up for Bulk Trash Day. Cheri agreed to be in the shot to help fill in the emptiness.

Bulk Trash day is liberating! It liberates you from the illusion that if you could just get someone to come take all your crap you wouldn't accumulate more of it.

One neighbor's pathetic contribution to Bulk Trash Day. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Welcome Autumn

I'll be drinking you  
all your sorrow
 cold and golden
sunlight trampled with the leaves 
joys of the past

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What do you think of Mr. Peanut?

Redskin Spanish peanuts---seems like such a specific peanut to want.

"Would you like some peanuts?"

"Well, they have red skins?"

"Uh, I don't know, I'll check. Don't most peanuts have red skins?"

"You better check."

"Okay...................................................Yes, they have red skins on them."

"Are they Spanish?"

"Gee, I really couldn't say........."

This is only my 4th post since April and my second one concerning peanuts.

But this is important, because we were looking at this peanut container and discussing Mr. Peanut, and considering his likability.  Or lack thereof. My friend said her mother could not abide by Mr. Peanut. She found him creepy.

I wondered aloud briefly whether his hoity-toity monocle and top hat were a problem for me. But then I thought, "No",  They were okay. He is a peanut. They are all he has. The only way he can rise to our level. 

Last Night of August

Here we are halfway through September, and the opening day of autumn is just around the corner. I have a hard time letting go of summer, but it helps if I have a chance to take a moment and reflect on it, and say farewell to it.

On Monday, August 31st, a fine opportunity came. Some of the nights had been getting chilly but it was warm enough that night to sit on the front porch at 11:00 pm without a jacket. The air was perfect. Soft, but not cloying. I saw I needed to take full advantage, so I went and got a glass of red wine, a nub of Havarti cheese I'd been saving, and my earbuds so I could listen to tunes on my phone.

With summer on the wane, I fully appreciated how comfortable it was to sit outside past midnight, past 1:00 am. I was in such good spirits I didn't want it to end. Finally around 2:00 am I forced myself to close down my solo party and head inside. I wondered how hard the morning was going to be, on four hours of sleep, my blood fermenting on several glasses of wine. I decided however crappy I felt at 6:30 am, it would be worth it. For I had drunk under the stars (which I couldn't really see in the city night sky) and felt the last warm caresses of a summer night.

The next day I got up, got ready for work and felt absolutely fine. Not the least bit tired and no post-wine sludginess.  All day long at work, I felt great! It was like a miracle or something. Like the night really had been magic! Or maybe it was the cheeseburger I'd eaten earlier that evening.                 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

In a bunker with the Royals

Oppressive and thick, I knew this air immediately. "Tornado humidity," I said to the person walking next to me, as I left work a little after 5:00.

I was right. The tornado sirens started blaring shortly after I got on the road. Stuck in traffic, halted in a torrential downpour, I called the daughter who was home alone and told her to save herself. Which means get into the bathroom and put a pillow over your head, because we don't have a basement (in Kansas!) and hope for the best.

It was a game day. The Royals were out at the K, but the storm was headed their way and soon everyone would be told to evacuate the stadium.

Which brought to mind this dream scenario:

Imagine you went to a Royals game, but you got there insanely early because it was Free Yordano Bobblehead day and you wanted to be at the head of the line.

And as you were waiting, the sky darkened and the wind picked up and the game was called. But you were told it was too dangerous to leave, and you were hustled into the stadium's storm shelter.

"Are the Royals here? Am I going into a shelter with the Royals?" you gasp, nearly foaming at the mouth. But you are told NO. The Royals players have their own private storm shelter, so no way are you going to get to ride out a storm with the boys in blue. So you and the several thousand others who have shown up early for a Yordano bobblehead also are escorted down some back stairwells to the bowels of the stadium, at a safe distance, you are told, (safe for them) from the Royals.

But on the way down you notice a door that nobody else seems to pay any mind. The door has a silhouette of a ball player on it. That's all. Just a silhouette, no words. So when no one's looking, you quickly open the door and slither through, and pop into a room brimming with Royals! They are all there--- Lo' Cain! Hos! Moose! Gordon! Esky! Salvy! Infante! Davis! Duffy! Young! Yordano! With a real head, that is not bobbling! Guthrie! Herrera! Holland! And the bench-warmers! And some random minor-leaguers! You have found the Royals storm shelter!!

They are startled to see you enter, but when they see that it's just little ol' you, they welcome  you. They are sitting on coolers of beer, coolers that live there for that purpose. When they get the word that the game will be cancelled, they will break out those beers.

You are at a loss to know who to sit by. You start to say, "How 'bout them Royals?" But you catch yourself and instead say, "So, how 'bout you guys?"

They are all looking sharp in their spanking clean uniforms, the crisp white ones you love the best.

Suddenly Yordano's very steady head swivels and cranes upward. "Is that the all-clear?" he asks. "Is it?" Another one pipes up. "Can we finally get out of here?"

But no one can hear if it is, because you are doing everything you can to drown them out, by screeching at the top of your lungs, a rousing rendition of  "Take me out to the ball game..."


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Note on the peanut jar

It was true. I dropped the peanut lid in a place where it could never be retrieved. In the gap between the counter and the dishwasher. Down it went into a chasm, instantly befouled with dust and grime. Why not document this moment, I thought? So I attached the note to the peanut jar, in case anyone might wonder why the lid was missing.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

I'm melting! --which is a good thing.

It's March! It feels like spring! It's in the 60's! 70's! Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess I go through this every year--- the feeling of freedom and relief that comes with a big warm-up. I shouldn't be surprised by how different it makes me feel, but it amazes me every time.

When I am warm I feel like a completely different person. A person full of ideas and dreams and possibilities! Alas, I cannot summon this level of optimism or energy in the depths of winter. Psychically speaking, I spend all of January and February wrapped in an adult-sized onesie.

I don't wear an actual onesie, I don't even own one. I think they are hideous looking, and the hassle involved in going to the bathroom  would offset any comfort I might derive. But I feel as constrained by low energy and lack of daring as if I were wearing one, without the extra warmth. And my schedule fully revolves around a narrow set of activities: cooking, eating, and heating.

I see the days of the week in terms of which soup we are going to eat, and which mornings I'm going to be loading the crockpot with fatty meats. I measure time by the number of minutes it takes to boil tea. I structure my evenings around frequent trips to the heat vent, reassuring myself, "After you clean up the kitchen, you can go lie on the vent."  "After you walk the dog, you can go lie on the vent."  "After you Google the forecast, you can go lie on the vent." The vent is my reward for strenuous activities.

The toll that winter takes is reflected too in my blog posts. I could only muster the  strength to post four other times so far this year. One of those times was to document a rare, freak respite of warmth we had in January. The slowdown in blog posts was partly because I was working on other kinds of writing, but also because the cold makes my blood move like sludge and I get sleepy. Which leaves me snoozing over my lap-top instead of writing. Oh, I had ideas come and go, but I was unable to sustain the alertness needed to type them up.

But the thaw has begun....and with warm temps forecast for the week ahead, I look forward to feeling like my old self again.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

We made it through January!

Whew. February 3rd. We've definitely put January behind us. I think we humans of a certain latitude deserve a pat on the back for making it through what I consider to be the toughest month of the year. No other month is as daunting. The average temperature is 30 degrees. That is, when Polar Vortices aren't sweeping through our households with sub-zero wind chills, busting our pipes, exhausting our furnaces.  It still gets dark early. All the Christmas sweets are gone, and we're supposed to be okay with that, ready to embrace new resolutions to deprive ourselves, as if turning the calendar over magically makes us better people. It doesn't! Even the mail is more Christmas cards. Instead, we get to keep a look-out for our W-2's.

January is the only month without a fun-lovin' holiday. February has Valentine's and Mardi Gras. March has spring break. Greedy April has earth day, and that ever popular family favorite, "4:20." Of course then there's May Day, the summer solstice in June, the 4th of July.....August has dog days....I don't know for sure what those are, but if dogs are involved, I'm sure they're nice. We have Labor Day in September, which is the opposite of what it sounds like----I imagine being rounded up and driven off to some antiquated factory for my mandatory shift assembling airplane motors, when in fact I'll be sleeping in and my most difficult task will be trying to answer the question, "Hamburgers? Or hot dogs?" It goes without saying that October has Halloween, November has Thanksgiving, and December is stuffed to the gills with Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.

That leaves January. I think the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday is a good and important thing, but here the mood is reflective, the focus being King's towering legacy, and how to move that forward. Sure, January does have New Year's day, if your idea of a holiday is nursing a hang-over and eating black-eyed peas. We all know the real party happens the night before---in December. When you think about it, both of January's holidays are more about --in one sense or another -- sobriety, than having fun.

 That "morning after" feel of New Year's Day is useful though, in that it helps you prepare for what lies ahead. It hits you as you hang your new calendar, the one in which January is paired with a photo of a desolate winterscape, and you think. "Thirty more days of this god-forsaken month!"

But maybe I'm being too hard on January, and not entirely honest. I complain, but I like the low expectations I'm allowed to have during this harshest of months. It's dark out, therefore I don't have to go anywhere after 7:00 pm. It's cold, therefore I can dress and eat like a Mongolian sheepherder. New Year's Resolutions?---meant to be broken! Most people will secretly applaud as your resolve crumbles. It lowers the bar for them.

Even so, I welcome February!  The back end of old man winter (don't let the screen door hit you on your way out), the hope---nay, the demand!---for chocolate, the bon temps rouler-ing....Black History Month.... Also, February is the shortest month, the only cold-weather month that has the sense to turn in early. But the biggest thing February has going for it is ---it isn't January.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fun with Stamps!

I've always been fascinated by stamp shops. Those grimy little offices where people sell stamps and make customized stamps that spell your company name on a strip of rubber. Really, who doesn't want their own personal stamp? It's fun to stamp things, and I'm thinking about how I could order my own customized stamp with my own personal logo or pithy saying. If I really wanted to go all out, I could get one of those fancy self-inking stamps with the impressive steel mechanism that pulls back, letting you roll the date forward and back.

Stamp shops are one of those niche industries that are now endangered by the digital age, as people get too sophisticated and advanced to use paper and the need to leave a territorial or validating smear of ink on documents has waned. Just knowing this makes me love stamps and all their old-school smudges even more, so I was delighted to discover a stamp shop near where I work. I was in there yesterday ordering stamps for the library ---yes, we still use stamps!----and I noticed a 2015 calendar that said "The Self-Inking Adventures of Stamp Spade". Wha? I was standing a little too far away to be sure, but the picture for January had a film noir feel to it and seemed to be showing a stamp dressed as a detective. What the?..... What strange rabbit hole had I fallen down? These stamp people exist in a whole nother world.

I had to see if this was for real or if I was just imagining things, so I Googled, "The Self-Inking Adventures of Stamp Spade", and found this video. Okay, it's a stamp vendor promoting their stamp products, but I think it's pretty creative and clever. Now I want the calendar!    

The Self-Inking Adventures of Stamp Spade from CONSOLIDATED MARKING on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Can this be January?

We've had some freakishly warm days here.

Here are my legs on the deck. This was me Saturday. I was enjoying the sun, sitting outside in January without a jacket! 

I had been strategic about it. I made sure to get out to the deck before noon.

Even though our deck is on the south side of the house, the winter sun doesn't feel warm out there for very long. If you want to feel the sun's rays penetrating your skin and blasting you with actual heat, you have to get out there while it's still morning. By 12:30 or 1:00 the opportunity has already passed. The sun has moved off and you find yourself needing a sweater, and thinking you'd kind of like to go back inside.

 I had learned this the hard way, the previous weekend, when our dreadful cold snap had finally given way to temps in the 50's. The sun on the deck looked inviting, but by the time I made it out there, it lacked any power to warm me. So this past weekend, when the Saturday forecast showed a cartoon sun, smiling and wearing sunglasses, I got out a piece of paper, and wrote down the following  schedule for myself:

 11:00 am to 1:00 pm----Sun Time.

Everything else would have to be planned around that.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Yeah, we're cold.

Yeah, we're cold. I can't do much in the cold. But I try to stay on a schedule. I shivered from 1:00 to 4:00 today.

Wanna play a fun game? We like the game, "How many fingers?"  Because here, nobody has all their fingers. Ha ha ha!! Because frostbite.  But it's okay. No one needs all ten. God gave us spares for when some of them fall off due to extreme cold.

Don't ask for salad. We don't handle lettuce or fruits in this weather. The fruit makes our hands cold. Cutting fruit, especially. Don't look for fruit salad.

Wintertime is when everything sleeps. It is the dreamtime. I dream often that I am wearing my fuzzy robe to the places I go, like work. I wish my dream would come true.

My car is very cold. The seat feels like ice. I do not have butt warmers. Some people have seats with butt warmers that turn on when they start the car. I do not. I drive with a big hat on my head, pulled down, so you can barely see my eyes.

The cold makes some people lose their minds. It has that effect. Their brains stop working, and they do things that no one would believe. Crazy things. Like they wear short skirts. Or they run outside for many blocks for no reason. Poor people. They are lost. Steer clear of them.   

I need some new equipment for the cold. Many times I have thought this. I will buy the new thing soon, and it will be a handy gadget. I just have to find the store where they are. Then I will buy it immediately. You will not know there is a flask under my coat, but it will be there.

Yes, it's cold, but the cold has taught me things. I see the sunrise in the morning and at night the sunset. From this I see that there is beauty, even in the midst of great suffering.


Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 is a New Year!

It's a totally new year! A new year means a new Simone! What can you expect from this year's model? Take a peek below for a preview of what 2015 holds!

NEW for 2015!!

Leggings!  I've decided the water's fine ---it's time to jump in! After several years of watching this trend from the sidelines I am finally ready to give it a try. But... maybe after January. You can't wear long underwear under leggings

FEARLESS accessorizing! Look for me to be mixing flashy with trashy. Classy with kitschy. Hipster with Glam. (Unless someone says it looks bad.)

New horizons in personal care!  One magic day this year, the sun will rise and I'll drive off to the strip mall to get my eyebrows waxed.

Reverse engineering project!  I'm determined this year to crack the code on those chai lattes I get at Starbucks so I can make my own at home.

My new good habit for 2015! Sweeping the floor

My new vice for 2015!  Heavy whipping cream

Word to be stricken from my vocabulary:  "Rocks."  I like rocks, the hard, craggy kind that broke off mountains or formed in the earth's crust. But I really dislike the use of "rocks" to mean something is cool and I hate the way it's over-used today and I especially hate when it's used this way, "Simone is really rockin' those leggings."  Although I avoid using this term that I loathe, I may have slipped up and used it in the past, when at a loss for words or in social situations where I felt awkward. Well, no more!! That expression will not pass through my lips in 2015!

Motto for 2015:  What my kids don't take from me, I'll probably lose anyway

Travel plans for 2015:  Boldly going where Simone has never gone before--Yes, a trip to the Land of Ikea!