Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ahem. A public service announcement.

nor will they lack bread

I was reading last night before drifting off to sleep.
I felt an urge to read a few chapters in Isaiah.  

As I did, I felt a refreshment of my soul. It was an amazing feeling.  

I started reading in Chapter 50. Here's a snippet of the goodness: 

"Because of your sins you were sold; 
   because of your transgressions your mother was sent away. 
When I came, why was there no one? 
   When I called, why was there no one to answer? 
Was my arm too short to deliver you? 
   Do I lack the strength to rescue you? 
By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, 
   I turn rivers into a desert; 
their fish rot for lack of water 
   and die of thirst. 
 I clothe the heavens with darkness 
   and make sackcloth its covering.”

I felt joyful remembering that no sin is too great for God to forgive. Nothing can get between me and Him. I should never lose the Hope.

Then I read on in Chapter 51:

  “I, even I, am He who comforts you

   Who are you that you fear mere mortals, 
   human beings who are but grass, 
 that you forget the LORD your Maker, 
   who stretches out the heavens 
   and who lays the foundations of the earth, 
that you live in constant terror every day 
   because of the wrath of the oppressor, 
   who is bent on destruction? 
For where is the wrath of the oppressor?" 

Fearing man shouldn't even be an option. In comparison with my great infinite awesome God, all else pales. 

"...The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; 

they will not die in their dungeon, 

   nor will they lack bread." 

I was a cowering prisoner, but I am free now. I am a new creation, and I have abundant life filled with His great blessings. 

Because of Him, I have hope, and I know He will provide.  

 "For I am the LORD your God, 
   who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— 
   the LORD Almighty is His name. 
 I have put my words in your mouth 
   and covered you with the shadow of my hand— 
I who set the heavens in place, 
   who laid the foundations of the earth, 
   and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”

I am one of His, and He is my great, huge, infinite, omnipotent, loving, and caring God.

This passage was just what my spirit needed. I am so easily ensnared by the minute details of life. I'm a detail-oriented person. I start to worry and fret about my future; the job I'll have, the degree I'll get, the car I'll drive, the impact I'll make... on and on the list can go.

Reading Isaiah 50 and 51, I got a teensy glimpse of God's greatness and power. I got to step back for a moment. It fed my soul. It pushed my refocus button.

How he loves us! It fills me with such giddy joy.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I do very well with making lists.
Lists are fun, especially if there are check boxes.

If I have a list, I'm productive.
I'm terribly lazy today, so I think I shall go make a list now and get back on the ball, instead of writing a long post.

Greetings Starshine, The Earth Says Hello!

Hello dear reader,

You are indeed dear to me for reading my garbled mess of the English language over spending your time on a more productive endeavor.

I commend you.

I trust you had a happy Christmas!

I did, and I am positively wowed by the love lavished on me in gift form. If ever you want to show me you care, give me something. Wow, that came out wrong.

Gifts are wonderful, but it's the thought behind them that makes gifts especially special.

The thing that has me terribly ecstatic is the gift from my parents. It's a new Nikon digital slr (no wimpy point and shoot for me anymore!)

I have been CAMERA DEPRIVED for the past five months.
I have been bereaved ever since my sony camera DIED. It was DEAD after one year of faithfully taking pictures. My warranty expired and the machine went kaput. It's the sony conspiracy...

It's been a rough few months. I have a webcam, but that is SO not the same.

See, I have this itch, deep down, to capture things in picture form.
I'm terribly addicted.

(I worry that I have a compulsive tendency to easily become addicted to things I love. Coffee, picture-taking, etc...)

Capturing normal things in unique ways feels like a creative project I can handle.

Not that I'm an amazing photographer, but I admit, I love everything about setting up the shot, what with fixing the lighting, the angle, the zoom, the softness of the background... blah blah blah. I'd throw in some techie terms, but I'm afraid of misusing them. I'm not up to that level yet.

I'll soon be a total camera geek, but it's taking time. The last cameras I owned were simple point and shoots. They took good pictures, but my options were limited.

Not anymore.

The other gifts I've gotten have been wonderful. My Mimi knows me so well. She gave me my own four-cup coffee maker. I am LOVING it, and it will get many long years of use, I promise. She also gave me a Monet umbrella. I'm going to learn some umbrella choreography. You know the whole singing in the rain thing? Yes, that will be me.

I don't want this to become a list of gifts I've received, since that may bore you, but allow me to mention a few more things:

My Gram put together albums for each of my sisters (and me) The albums start from birth and go all the way up until now. That was quite a bit of work on her part. I love it.

My cousins gave me a coffee mug. It's PERFECT.
You may have been living under a rock, but just so you know, I love coffee. It's a tervis tumbler, no less, and it has my name inscribed in it.

I could go on and tell you about the cute owl pajamas from my sister, and chocolate/pampering supplies from the other sister...but I'm going to move on.

Before I do move on, let me tell you about my sing-a-ma-jig. It's so fun. Everyone needs one. (don't know what they are? click here to visit their website...hey look, free advertising!)

To top everything off, we had glorious SNOW on Christmas evening!

This weekend has been busier than expected. We traveled quite a bit, and I am so very relieved to be home before life starts back up again.
At noon on Christmas day, we went to the mountian-y area to visit with my Aunt, Uncle, Mimi, and cousins. We hung out until this morning, and then we drove over to my Gram's and Granddad's for another Christmas dinner.

Now we have driven home, and I'm going to go get snuggled under my purple down comforter and rest so I can take pictures and build snowmen tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's a beautiful night for a moondance

it really is. It's frigid outside, but it is crisp and clear.

The moon tonight is like a spotlight. The stars seem to twinkle all the brighter.
It's like the heavens knew there was going to be a show. They came prepared.

Ever so slowly, it is happening. The Earth is eclipsing the moon.

This eclipse is supposedly really unique.
Why am I posting on my blog instead of viewing this beautiful sight? Well, I've seen part of it, and someday, if I ever need a conversation topic, I might bring this up.

"Yeah, I saw that really special lunar eclipse that only happens every 400 years or so on the winter solstice.
Well, I saw half of it. The other half I spent sleeping....and there's a good reason..."

and then I'd delve into why I was so sleepy. (A good story)

But that hasn't happened yet. I'm really sleepy, so I shall sleep and worry about this silly blog later.
I had a great post in mind, but it will have to wait. This sleepiness is overwhelming.

I'm so sleepy that I'm afraid I'll forget tonight ever happened. Thus, I'm posting on my blog to remember that I DID see the super special lunar eclipse.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Procrastination: never good.
The malls this weekend are going to be INSANE.

And wouldn't you know it?  I have very little Christmas shopping done.

Am I stressed? No way. I have a back-up plan.

...who wants hemp bracelets?

I kid. There will be nice presents for everyone this Christmas. I so love buying and giving gifts. I've checked my list twice. Everyone is nice. Though that doesn't determine their eligibility for receiving gifts, of course.

So tonight, spur of the moment, I went with my sister and second cousin to see Tangled, the new spin on the classic Rapunzel, by Disney/Pixar. {apologies, it's just Disney}
(As if I needed to add that extra propaganda. Don't make fun, I plan on going into advertising. Tag-lines make the product. Maybe I should have put a little trademark logo in there...hrmm)

Moving on. We went to a small-town theater. It felt so retro-y.
Overall, great experience.

Before the movie, we went to a cozy coffee shop (owned by Denzel Washington's sister-in-law, fun fact!)

You will be so proud. I did not order coffee.
I was a good girl. Ice water for me.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Life, etc.

This weekend has been surreal. So much has happened.
Last night, I was pretty much comatose due to sleepiness and benadryl. You know how I am on benadryl...

On Friday, I was invited to see a movie, the new Chronicles of Narnia. I had such fun.
The film was a pretty great adaptation, though I do have a few suggestions for the film-writers, if they are so interested in hearing my input. You never know... haha

On Saturday, before any decent human would normally awake, I awoke for the ACT exam.
Yay standardized testing!
I was entertained by the test instructor. She was a bit on the scatterbrained side, and as she oh-so-slowly and oh-so-sternly read aloud the testing instructions, she got the words "permitted" and "prohibited" mixed up.
It went like this:

"Cell phone use is not prohibited.
Sharing test questions is not prohibited.
The use of tabacco, food, or drink in the testing area is not prohibited.
Speaking during testing time is not prohibited." 

She enunciated the "not prohibited"very well. I wondered if anyone else got it. I didn't ask her if she was serious.

There were other sources of humor; I find ways to entertain myself, even if I have to sit still for five hours.

I'm not supposed to write anything about the essay question, but I will say it was a funny topic. I was quite a hypocrite in my response essay. My daddy was not thrilled at my two-facedness. This is all I shall reveal.

After the insanity of testing, I went out for greek/italian food. Yum. (click to visit the website) <-- this place is so so so so good. My parents have known the owner of the restaurant since before they were married. They went to his old restaurant when they were dating. 
They took me there as a baby. As my sisters and I grew up, we ate there. We even went to his daughter's wedding. 
He's a great guy and a good cook. 

Saturday evening, I went to a wonderful Christmas party. There's nothing like a good Christmas party to make me feel festive.
I met new people. You know how I am around people?
...I'm a homeschooler, okay? Translation: the corner is my favorite place to sit. Preferably facing it and avoiding eye contact with others.

I'm kidding. I love meeting new people.
People are great. Really.
Don't look so skeptical.

I'm an introvert, but that doesn't mean I'm anti-social. What a misconception.
Introvert ≠ anti-social. Not always.

I'm an introvert with extroverted tendencies.
Extrovert ≠ social and outgoing. Not always.

I had a sleepover Saturday night, despite the fact that my friend and I were conked out from the party. It was a real sleep-over. We slept (after watching a rom-com, of course) and went to church.

Anywho, now I am up at my cousins house. You might know them....they are oh so AHH-DORABLE! I've been babysitting today. (My cousins are in the 2-8 year old range. There's 4 of them. They're full of energy.)

Nate (who is 2) refused to take a nap.
He had been in his room "sleeping" for 30 minutes. I checked on him. He was NOT sleeping; he was playing with his toys.
 He was overtired (and boy it showed.)

I asked him to lay down for just 15 minutes, telling him that he was a growing little boy and he needed rest after getting up so early in the morning.

He protested. It was cute. I tried not to laugh.
He was so tired that he could barely stay awake.

He fought to keep his eyes open.


...faded into...



"...I'm not tired. I not growing...I don't like sleeping. I don't like...sleep. I don't like sleep..."

After five minutes of feebly protesting while I rubbed his baby head, he zonked out.

That was a major "YES!" moment.
I felt triumphant. ...I experienced the happiness a parent must feel. The feeling of actually getting a little one to go to sleep.

 That's it for now.

I cooked sausage balls today. For my daddy and uncle. They were good and spicy, if I do say so.
I have outside sources to back me up, too. *wink*

Friday, December 10, 2010

a small reminder of youth

On Wednesday, I participated in a conversation that was most humorous. I was talking with two 9 year old boys (O and B), and another adult.

Adult (to boys) : So, what do you want to be when you are older? A doctor, maybe? 
O: No, not a doctor! That's boring. I'm going to be an agent. 
Me: An agent? a secret agent? 
O: Yeah! With the cool weapons and gadgets. I'll kill people. 
Adult: Kill people? Ugh, that does not sound good at all. I don't think that's a good job...
O: Well, I only kill the bad guys. I'm good at it. 
Adult: I guess that's better. That's still a dangerous job. Your wife will worry all of the time about you when you're on missions. 
O: What? A wife?!? I'm NEVER getting a wife. BLECH. 
Me: Why not? 
O: Because getting married means you have to be around a girl. 
B: Yeah, that is SO GROSS. 
O: You have to say you love her and act like you like her. ewwwww!
B: and then there's kissing on the lips! You have to kiss her on the lips. Groooosssss, gross, gross. I would NEVER do that. I never want a wife.
O: Ewwww, kissing on the lips! Never!

We changed the subject. 

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Friday, I'm in love

I think I need this t shirt, knowing what a fan I am of 80's pop music...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Frosted windowpanes, greasy hair

Well, it’s almost Christmas!
I think they decided to celebrate Christ’s birth in the dead of winter to counterbalance the bitter cold.

I hate the cold. The festivities make it bearable.
Cold. It’s brutally chapping. It makes me bundle up like a marshmallow. It makes me sleepy.
Winter is not the best time of year.
There is a silver lining. Granted, I love ice skating, skiing, and snowball fights. I love hot coca and toasty fires. I’m glad for my fluffy bathrobe and fuzzy slippers. Winter isn't all bad, I guess.

I’ve been wanting to “re-moisturize” my hair, because the cold is making it dry out like crazy. So, I looked in an “all-natural” book, and they suggested that I use a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice on my scalp.

I did. I mean really, what’s the worst that can happen?

It’s been an experience.

The olive oil is like afro-sheen on steroids.
As for the lemon juice, well, the lemon juice must be in there to restore my hair’s coppery vibrance.
(You know how you can soak pennies in lemon juice and they come out really shiny? I hoped this was the case. My hair is penny-colored.)

So I applied the mixture to my head. It felt good, though a bit slimy. The book said to slather it all over, so I did.
I let it soak in, as instructed.

Then I went to wash my hair.


The olive oil refused to come out. The lemon juice made everything smell funky. Like cleaner or something.

Eventually, after washing and washing, I gave up.
At least my hair is not dry in the least.
It’s OILY.
Go figure. Olive oil would make your hair greasy?

My hair is very fine, and doesn’t do well with afro-sheen.

Well, now I look like some grungy beatnik. Or maybe a 90’s rocker wannabe.

EVENTUALLY this stuff will come out, right?
In the meantime, I’ll be wearing a bandanna and double-checking all-natural remedies before trying them.

...I had to be out in public like this.
I had my hair tucked under a beanie (therefore looking like a chemo patient/bald person).
I went into wal-mart.
...I think I blended in nicely.

I also learned to drive stick-shift today, even though I had the distraction of this grunge-hair.

I drove a bit like a communist leader.

I was Stalin. (feel free to slap your knee now.)

...Aha! Mom has a few suggestions for me to try as far as getting the excess grease out of my hair. I'm thrilled.
So, if you haven't heard, there have been studies done on facebook users.
Supposedly, people who update their status's frequently are prone to narcissism, while those who check their facebook often are more likely to be insecure.
This makes me laugh. Insecure narcissists?
It's like,
"Hey look at me guys! I'm so amazing. Look at what I did. I'm fabulous...right? guys? Do you agree? Please accept me!"

The truth hits close to home. I do check my facebook when I get online, and I do update my status at least once a day-ish....I've learnt something new about myself.

I didn't know I was such an insecure, yet full of myself person.

Today marks exactly one month. One whole month until it happens. I'm on the fence as to whether this is a good or a bad thing.


Thursday, December 02, 2010

concerning hiking

Well, that epic post will come sometime, but in the meantime, I've been mulling over a few thoughts.
They are by no means exemplary, but anyways, here we go.


Have you ever heard a song, smelled a scent, or seen an image that triggers a flood of fond reminiscence and emotion?
This has happened to me many times recently; I guess I'm becoming more sentimental with old age (if such a thing is even possible. I don't think I'm supposed to EVER age. My grandparents laugh.)

When I was out running the other day, I took a route that led by a patch of fragrant ferns and evergreen trees. Their smell reminded me of happy summers in Washington. (Boy, do I ever have stories to blog about from that golden place.)

Shall I tell you one? I shall, since I feel nostalgic.
Well, one of the summers, when I was 11, I went on a backpacking trip with my Dad and Uncle Robert. It was in the Olympic National Rainforest.

Here are the trail stats:
Ecosystem Type: Montane forest, subalpine forest, subalpine meadow
General Elevation Trend: Moderate
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.9 miles
Elevation Change: 500 ft. to 3200 ft.

So there you have it. 6.9 miles in and 6.9 miles out. It was long and steep. It was also beautiful. 

We backpacked.
Dad and Uncle Rob had the huge packs full of food and shelter.
I remember in my pack I carried a flashlight, bandana, water bottle, compass, a loud whistle, clothes, and a Guinness World Record book.

Just the basic essentials.
(Oh, I think there was hand sanitizer in there too. Germs are everywhere...)

It was a light bag at the head of the trail, but by the end of the hike, it was the heaviest bag I had ever carried.
I vividly remember the huge trees and ferns feeling like a fairy tale, and I was like a wood nymph. Or an ent. Or maybe an Indian (oops, Native American).

 I remember feeling like the trail would never end {especially when the grade increased} and Dad telling me it wasn't much farther (for about three miles).

After hiking interminably, we made it to the alpine meadow (excuse me. sub-alpine meadow) that was our campsite. We were the only humans for leagues. There were mountains on all sides of the site. It was beautiful.
The site were were at was called "Three Lakes".
We had brought fishing poles.
Where there's water there's fish, right? Well, these "lakes" were actually shallow ponds of crystal clear water.
No fish. 
No matter, there was a back-up plan.
We fried bacon.
Hotdogs were sauteed in the bacon grease.
That meal ranks in my top 15 of all-time.
Food is amazing when you've hiked all day. 
ESPECIALLY that hot bacony goodness.

I explored, and as it got dark, I read aloud from my world record book and drank hot chocolate.
The sky was beautiful that night, and I slept really well.
[aside from a slight fear of a bear attack. Signs were up every now and then warning about bears. We even had a bearwire for our food. I knew a few things about bears:
1)Bears like bacon.
2)Bears like hot dogs.
3)Bears like little girls.]

In the morning, we were all still very much alive. I was exuberant.

The hike back to the trailhead was not so bad.
I felt like a hobo/mountain girl when we reentered civilization. I was happy to see running water.

We stopped somewhere to eat, and I felt pity for the people who stayed in air conditioning and only saw nature on some TV special.
Poor people, you miss out on so much beauty and happiness.

Anyways, I love hiking, and plan on doing it frequently in the future. A few months ago, we hiked in the Pisgah National Forest. I ran down most of the Mt. LeConte trail. There was extreme vertigo to be had. I loved it. Strangely, I did not fall on the jagged rocks as I hurtled down the trail. (I already blogged about that experience in October...) Here's a picture from the top of the ridge:

...what is wrong with me? I'm not even 30, and I'm thinking about the good old days. 

What was it Solomon said in Ecclesiastes? 
"Do not say, 'Were the old days better than these?' 
For it is not wise to ask such questions." 

I agree wholeheartedly with his statement. I am eagerly expectant for the future.

I really think the old days are just as good as the new days. Because the new days will eventually be the old days and the new days bring the greatest days closer and closer. 

I do love scouring my memory and reflecting on happy times.

There are some memories that I do not like reflecting on. {For obvious reasons.}
But sometimes I shock myself when what used to be a emotional wound has now healed up nicely when I revisit it (okay, maybe there is still some scarring.) So, occasionally I'll check up on myself by seeing how I feel when I think about certain memories.

Like the time when my goldfish, Buggy, died. I was 9., I can't revisit that one yet. Just so you know, high-heels, softball, and fishtanks DO NOT MIX. Ever. I don't think I need to delve into that. (His death was unintentional.)

How about that time I fell flat on my face while walking?
...ouch. I have both physical and emotional scars from that one.
{Note to self: Never bring that up again. I will never recover.}

I think I need to stop revisiting memories now. Since I'm not pleasantly surprised at my emotional healing.

I will post something epic. Be ready for it. It might be a few weeks, but it will come.

Also, if you're bored, or feel like watching me be a goof, check out my youtube channel. Click on kikithenut, if you are so inclined.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Finding meaning in the mainstream

I am always analyzing songs.
I don't know if it would be considered a hobby, but I'm doing it constantly. If you see me staring off into the distance, my mind is by no means blank. I'm thinking about a few different things. If I were to elaborate, you might think them unconnected or "random".
I could lead you down a logic trail, and you'd totally understand. I am not random.

Anywho, this lyrics thing in my head is like... is like... it's like a background application that constantly runs on your computer and occasionally pops up with an update at annoying times.

I think that this could be a viable career path for me. I'll importantize and over-analyze lyrics and make them have deep meaning.

So today, I was thinking about the arrogance of Michael Buble's "Haven't Met You Yet"
How can it be arrogant??
"I'm not surprised, not everything lasts
I've broken my heart so many times, I stopped keeping track
Talk myself in, I talk myself out
I get all worked up, then I let myself down

I tried so very hard not to lose it
I came up with a million excuses
I thought, I thought of every possibility

I might have to wait, I'll never give up
I guess it's half timing, and the other half's luck
Wherever you are, whenever it's right
You'll come out of nowhere and into my life...

...And I know someday that it'll all turn out
You'll make me work, so we can work to work it out
And I promise you, kid, that I give so much more than I get
I just haven't met you yet"
Also, his music video for this song was TERRIBLE.

Well, among other things, by singing this song, he's basically disregarding all of the girls he has already met.
Maybe he has gone through and determined that among all of his acquaintances, they aren't "the ones to meet".

I highly doubt it.

How cheeky of him.

Wouldn't it be terrible for him to find out that the "one to meet" has already been met? Just like in the rom-coms, the girl-next-door who has had the eternal crush on him is "the one".

Humble Pie, anyone?

It may be unlikely, but still. How embarrassing for him.
 NEVER say never.

On one hand, the song could be seen as sweet, on the other, well...

I do like the sweet side of it.

I suggest that he should have changed his phrasing from "
I Just Haven't Met You Yet"


"I Just Am Not Totally Aware of You or of the Impact that You'll Have on My Future Happiness Yet"

...something along those lines.
But that doesn't sell as well. It's not as catchy.

I can hear you telling me that it's just a song.
I need to get a life, right?
Sorry, I'm educating the masses about song lyric errors.

Feel free to comment with your thoughts... *smile*

Monday, November 22, 2010

Parades & Postponed Posting

I'm thankful. I have much to be thankful for. I'll post an exhaustive list sometime. It will require a lot of scrolling on your part. Be prepared.

But what I am thankful for now is the fact that I exaggerated a bit when I said I had mono. I was wrong.

I don't have it.
It feels like I'm in a never-ending cycle of sickness. It is sickness that won't go away, but it isn't mono. Turns out, the symptoms of mono line up with the symptoms of other viruses to a certain degree...

I'm on the dramatic side of things, just in case you didn't notice.

So, I just have a never-ending cold that is turning into a sinus infection.
I know everyone reading this is rejoicing with me.

I'll try not to be so hyperbolic in the future.

SO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ME. That's why you're here. To read about the inane happenings in my life, right?


The classic country song by Toby Keith is coming to mind.

(I'm getting back into that kind of twangy music. I thought I very muchly disliked it. I was wrong. It's a love/hate thing. Right now, I *heart* Brad Paisley. Tomorrow, who knows?)

You know that song, "I Wanna Talk About Me"?
(Everyone knows that one. If not, look it up. You need to know it for those times when you feel self-centered.)

Well, actually, talking about me is boring to me. I already know this stuff. But I want to record these happenings for posterity. SOMEDAY, I'll look back at my old posts and...I have no idea what will happen.

An update on my life:

Saturday, I went to the local Christmas PARADE!
I didn't think I was big on parades. I was wrong {again}. I'd better not make a habit of being wrong.

Here's what I thought Saturday night. (I didn't post, because I didn't get to finish my thoughts. I fell asleep)

Saturday night aprox 9:30:

"I'm feeling like a glazed doughnut. I mean this literally.  

Sugar and wheat with a glazed expression.
Because, after a day like today, I am so wiped out.
Want to know why?

Because I can, I'll elaborate.

My mom, dad, Amy and Mrs. Sharon and I took a group of 8 kids from the nearby apartments (the same place we do homework help) to the downtown Christmas parade. None of the kids had ever been to a parade before.
To make a long story short, it was fun.
I got caught up in the child-like excitement of the parade with them. I usually take such events for granted; today the parade felt like a whole new experience. 
To sum up, I was giddy.
Ben (who is 8) kept shouting [to the floats] "WELCOME TO THE CHRISTMAS PARADE!! WELCOME!"
...can you say cute?
When the high-school marching bands would go by, a few of the kids had a dance they performed {reminiscent of the charlie brown gang}
There were very few hiccups (getting them to the bathroom in the huge crush of people was a mess (a figurative mess, thankfully)).
We had two of the them come home with us (John, 6, and Ben, 8.) since their parents were out of town that day. 
I had so much fun. I relived a small part of my childhood.
The part of my childhood that was bursting with energy, always ready to play something new. The part that would laugh and tirelessly chase after soccer balls until I reached the point of collapsing on the grass.  

If you're feeling like such a "mature adult" (I have not, but I have been lately lamenting getting old), I suggest that you take on some rambunctious kids for a few hours. It's totally refreshing (and somewhat exhausting)

So when we got Ben and John, they were only slightly worn out from the parade. Their energy tanks were still very full.
Goal: exhaust the energy tank! 
I can say "goal accomplished". We ran around the park for a few hours playing until utter exhaustion set in. The boys collapsed first, complaining that their legs were "so tired", and "they never could walk again". 
John, lying on the grass, started dragging himself to the car by grabbing fistfuls of grass. 
It was humorous. But he refused to be carried. 
Finally he let me give him a piggy-back ride to the car.  Ben tried to be a tough guy, but he ended up falling over too. He kept telling us he could "beat us up in soccer", but we proved him wrong. 
We then grabbed some burgers and hotdogs (John was adamant about eating CHICKEN) with a healthy dose of ketchup
Those boys can use some ketchup! They ate the equivalent of seven packs each. I was amazed. They're both originally from the Congo; I don't know if ketchup is a staple sauce there, but those boys love it!

We went home and watched a few movies, played wii, checked out Miss Makenzie's computer...."

And that's where I stopped on Saturday; I never got around to posting. Chasing after kids all day is hard work.

On Sunday, I saw the boys again. Little John told me that he was going home with me. Awww! His mom, of course, wouldn't be so happy about that...

Also, John really liked the camera feature on my computer:

He is so cute. I am so wiped out. 

As an aside:
I like being called "Miss Makenzie" by the kids I work with in homework help, kid's club, and awana.
It doesn't feel so strange to me. I thought it would weird me out.
Every time I hear "Miss Makenzie!" it makes me smile (at least on the inside).
Maybe I smile because of the ridiculous thought that I'm actually at the age of being in charge and mature.
I'm good at being in charge and bossy, (as my younger sisters will attest) yet,

I don't feel that old.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

KUDOS (no spell check...)

{NOTE: this post is much better when read aloud...translation in THIS POST...}

Awkward situashuns.

I've had mah share. Th' key thin' t'do is play them off like it's no trimenjus deal, ah reckon. Make it seem as un-awkward as postible.
Eff'n yo' kin does thet, yer golden, as enny fool kin plainly see. Eff'n yo' kin does thet, less be friends.

Once, it was obvious thet someone was hintin' fo' a compliment fum me. ah was oblivious.
{ah's not fine wif hints. Ask mah mom, dawgone it.}
Then it hit me (d'oh! Fry mah hide!): this hyar varmint be hankerin' me t'tell them "fine job! Fry mah hide!"
So ah did, cuss it all t' tarnation.
ah meant it, but it didn't feel th' same as an unsolicited compliment. Th' unsolicited ones is th' BEST. ah love them feelin'-boosters. They make me smile...

Whut in tarnation does yo' does when yo' does not reckon sumpin is not a "job fine done" o' deservin' of compliment?
Answer: Nevah miss a fine oppo'tunity t'be quiet.

But, eff'n th' varmint seems desperate fo' kudos, yo' kin allus find sumpinto sinsyarly compliment o' incourage (ah's all fo' incouragin' an' buildin' up others), even eff'n it does feel a tad awkward, cuss it all t' tarnation. This hyar is whar tack comes in han'y. 

{tact: considerashun in dealin' wif others an' avoidin' givin' offense -princeton website)

It takes some prackice t'git tack t'wawk fo' yo'. But once yo' git it, it is a mighty useful tool, ah reckon.

A wo'd of advice: when yo' does give a compliment, please do be sinsyar.
Fake compliments is dreadful fo' menny reasons

ah have experience. Trest me.

When someone gives me an insinsyar "great job! Fry mah hide!" (it's easy t'tell, at least in varmint) it makes me feel even wo'se than eff'n they were simply honest.

ah doesn't be hankerin' thet kind of pity.

False compliments kin backfire on th' givah. It's a messy business, let me tell yo'.
Fo' example:

This hyar is jest an example pitcher...
{an' free advahtisin'}
 Eff'n someone makes a chipotle blue cheese an' green pepper dip
(ah despise blue cheese, green pepper, an' chipotle flavo'ed thin's)
an' they is so kind as t'share some wif me, ah sh'd not EVER tell them thet ah find it scrumppious when in reality, ah do NOT. ah can say it is "interestin'" eff'n pressed t'give an opinion, an' leave it at thet.

Lyin' is bad, cuss it all t' tarnation. Mighty bad, cuss it all t' tarnation.

Yo' knows whut will happen eff'n ah tell them ah love th' dip?
They will make me a trimenjus batch of it fo' me t'take home fo' mah own eatin' pleasure. They will then brin' th' dip up when ah see them agin.

"Hey Kenzie! Is all of thet dip ah gave yo' gone? Will yo' be wantin' some mo'e? Yer one of th' fust varmints outside of mah fambly t'acshully like it. ah's so glad yo' does. I've told ev'ryone ah knows thet yo' love thet speckin' it fo' yer birthday." 

 Mebbe ah can git mah fambly t'eat it, but ah will not be touchin' thet stuff.
So I've cuzd unnecessary wawk fo' th' kind sharer, I've lied, an' ah's likely a-gonna waste grub thet others might acshully eat.
{untrue sto'y, luckily}

T'other example of th' advahse effecks of fakin' it:

 Thar's someone who reckons themselves a talented reco'der player (when in reality they is not gif'ed at blowin' th' whistle). They feel purdy cornfident.
Figgers bein' th' operative wo'd, cuss it all t' tarnation.
Eff'n ah were t'give a false compliment, ah's purdy sho'nuff they'd be so nice as t'regale me wif a long varmintal corncert of so'ts.
Talk about majo' backfire.

Th' mo'al: be careful wif compliments. Be sinsyar.
Mean whut yo' say an' be willin' t'live wif the consequences....

BONUS! Fry mah hide!! Fry mah hide!
Th' oddness of th' English language (both is legal grammar-wise):

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.


Thet thet is is thet thet is not is not is thet it it is

(there is a translation in the post below...)

KUDOS (a translation)

If you would like to read a more "american" "readable" version of the above post, click
see more

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

(don't) kiss me

Well, the irony is crazy.
This irony makes me laugh ...soundlessly.
Why soundlessly, you ask?

If I tell you, it will cause you to pity me, I'm sure. {At least I hope it will. DO pity me.}

To set the stage: I've been learning some new tunes on the guitar. Last week, my sister and I sang "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None the Richer. We sang it a few times in a row. We even went so far as to sing it for others to hear.

You reap what you sow.

I didn't plan on actually kissing anyone. You know this, right?

Strangely and sadly enough, I have the KISSING SICKNESS.

*Dun, Dun, Duuuuuuunnn*
How can this be?
All I did was sing about kissing.
Maybe I should go whisper-sing about NOT kissing. Would that help??

I've been sick quite a few times in the past few months off and on.
All of the viruses have had the same complications and symptoms.
Annnnnd, the symptoms match up with mono.
My voice is gone.
My head is throbbing.
My lymph nodes are swollen.
I'm not hungry.
I ache.
I also have a propensity to complain via blog. (the tell-tale symptom)

Sorry. I don't mean to take it out on you. But since I can't vocalize my feelings, typing about them helps.

...I read "Hard Times" by Charles Dickens today. I hadn't read it before. It was a good read, but sad and a bit depressing. Not the best "get well book"
It made me thankful to live now rather than in Victorian England. I'm blessed to not simply have facts.

In order to redeem this post, that is to make it somewhat readable and a smidgen entertaining, I will tell you about a hobby of mine. [Prepare for major geekiness.]

I have a garden growing in my room.
It is a modest garden, but it adds a sense of homeyness and happy.
Okay, it's a collection of houseplants.
But they are so fun!

...I can see you rolling your eyes.

If you were allergic to almost every animal, you'd love plants too.

In order to personify them, I have named them. Some of them even have baby plants now. aww...
There is my crazy colored plant that turned out to be two plants in one pot. Bonus! After separating them, I decided to call it "Duran" and "Duran". Good band and good plants.

Then there's my dappled aloe plant that goes by the name of Fitzgerald.
It has grown two aloe-ettes that have been transplanted.

There's two baby sunflowers that are growing rapidly. Who knew that you could grow sunflowers inside? Turns out, it's entirely feasible

...I hope.

Anywho, I missed homework help, due to my sickness. There was still sunshine and rainbows tonight, because Noella {who is an amazing girl} made me and my sister a picture.
Have I mentioned that I love art?
"Get well Miss Makenzie and Savennah." 

In other news, today, as Mom was slicing potatoes for potato soup, she found a hollow cavity that looks like a heart in one of the potatoes. Just in time for... 

Also my beautiful bed arrived today! It looks princessy, but it does NOT have a pea under the mattress  (I checked) 

I think I'll go make use of it. I'm so groggy. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Might as well SING

Singing makes everything fun.
Until you get on someone's nerves. Luckily for me, that did not happen today (the getting on the nerves part)
I did get to sing. I belted out notes. FUN.

Strumming the guitar + singing = super fun.

I aim to be the next Dolly Parton.  I think "country" could be my niche.
{If you've heard me sing, you know this is all conjecture. Please let me have my delusions...}

I am SO good with the country persona. I just love poofy hair, and I've grown up with the music. I've got the singing patterns down, darlin.
I even
(wait for it)
have a cowgirl hat.

Though I try to deny it sometimes, I'm truly a southern girl.

If you know me, it's pretty blatant. *wink*

I favor charm and hospitality. Always be polite. If my momma has taught me anything, it's civility towards others EVEN if they so happen to cut me in line. {I smile and politely tell them off.}

After visiting other areas of the country, I've realized how kind southerners are in comparison to the rest of the nation. There is some sort of unsaid code of the South that everyone {for the most part} understands.
I think in the old days it was called "manners", "courtesy" or "civility". Somehow it's been lost.
I don't know what's happened, but I do know (and this is a trick of the trade) that you'll always catch more flies with honey.

[not that I want to attract flies per se. It's a metaphor...but you aren't a literalist like me, so you don't need that explained...]

I'm no redneck, but living in the south sure has shaped me.

A few of my good friends growing up were YANKEES, so that helped to nullify some of the southernness and made me a more "well-rounded" individual. I also picked up on their funny accent.

Know what? [Prepare for another factoid about me]

I used to DETEST the southern accent.

Such an odd thing. It's like I'm denying my heritage. For shame, I could blend right in if need be. I prefer not to use that special skill.

Hey, there's an idea for a dire circumstance.
If ever I'm running from the law, I'll find me a nice place out in the country {with a couple coon dogs thrown in}. I could work at wall-mark. I'd hand out stickers. {Not that there's anything wrong with that}
I know the culture, like it or not.

Even BETTER, I could be a translator for the southern-speakers. The everyday people of the south can talk to the everyday people of everywhere else.

 I found my job niche. I didn't even have to go to college!

I was talking with an older couple (obviously southern) in a rural Bojangles (best. southern fast food. ever.) and they asked if I was from up North. The older gentleman said that I talked fancy.
Me?!? Talk funny?!? Never.

AND THEN, someone else (at a different place and time) said that my southern accent must be fake, because it "didn't fit with my personality" or something like that.
LIBEL. He didn't know any better, bless his heart.

Ladies and Gentleman, my accent is FOR REAL. It comes naturally.
You'd better believe it. After spending a week in a more rural southern area, my accent comes out strong.

I have been speaking with more southern intonations lately. It's becoming a habit.
I think it's fun. I can randomly say phrases like, "bless your heart" or "now listen" into my everyday speaking.

Sometimes I throw in some British. Not in with the Southern though. Ewww.

(The British Accent Collection is a work in progress. I was happy to get some feedback from real live people actually from the UK. It was exciting.)

Naturally, I speak with pretty much a broad "accentless" accent. The one that comes with living in an urban area...

One of my life goals is becoming a master of seeming indigenous.
Not to become a wall-flower or to be weird, but just to be fun.
It's like a personal sociology project or something...

I love studying people and their mannerisms to create characters for sketches or entertainment.

That's not weird is it?

Friday, November 12, 2010


So apparently I have issues when it comes to collecting things. 
As I have been reorganizing my stuff while I redo my room, I’m realizing that I am in fact a collector of the following: 
  • rocks from interesting places (the tops of mountains, creeks, beaches...)
  • Coins from around the world 
  • Bells (I inherited the collection) 
  • Sharpies (It’s a disorder, I’m sure) 
  • old letters (can I get an aww? That letter box can be so neat to look through...) 
  • Post Cards (it makes for a cool collage on my bulletin board...) 
  • Pencils (a useful collection, don’t you agree?) 
  • mother of pearl shells and a jar of seashells (One summer at the beach, I couldn’t stop picking them up. They were so shiny and's a habit) 
  • Posters. (Very cool band tour posters from the “old days” [a.k.a. the 1980’s.])
  • [As I've said before] old records for my turntable

There’s also a conglomerate of various knick-knacks. Their only function is to look nice. 
I’m thinking about sorting through them, and culling out some old ones... but they all have happy memories attached! You don't want me to lose my memories, do you?!? 
My sisters make fun of me for being so sentimental. 
Okay, I admit I am a smidgen too sentimental about some things. 

But they aren't junky things; they're nice and well kept. I think that’s a good sign. If I cared nothing for my gifts, you’d think me terrible or at least cold and unfeeling. ...and if you thought I didn't care, you probably wouldn't give me anything for my birthday. AHEM.
(it is in 56 days, just so you're prepared. I'll be OLD! Oh the HORROR. I do NOT want to be old and adultish. I have a hard enough time now...I've decided I'm not growing up... backontopic)

I appreciate gifts and see them as an expression of love and thoughtfulness. 
I do admit, it is time for me to pass the love on with some things. 

But you know what's mildly infuriating?? 
As soon as I’ve found a new home for something and it is long gone, I’ll find a good use for it. Arrgh. 
I also have a massive collection of books for someone of my age. (Must I bring up age again?!?) 

I know I need to weed and cull, but some of the books are SO GOOD, and I know that someday my sisters will need to read them. Shakespeare, Doyle, Dickens, Austen, Twain, Tolkien, Lewis...

You should be proud, though. I have about 50 that are going to edward mckay (wonderful bookstore). 

There’s even *gasp* my many hardback yellow NANCY DREW books in the box destined to be gone. 
I don’t find much pleasure in re-reading those mystery stories.
I figured out the patterns Carolyn Keene used. They were good books, but the stories lacked depth and the mysteries were slightly repetitive. ..which is why they are aimed at 8-12 year olds.

My sisters never found them fascinating like I did. When I was 6, Nancy Drew was the bee’s knees.  
When I was 12, I discovered Sherlock Holmes. 
His story had the gripping power that Nancy’s lacked. 
So now the works of Doyle have replaced the works of Keene. 

Right now, I have my books stacked on the floor for organizing. I'm staring at them. 
(It's tempting to start rereading some of them. I’m a sucker for a good fairytale...) 
Instead of actually organizing them, I’m allowing my mind to drift and my fingers to type. 


Sometimes your view of life can be changed for the better. Books can help you to understand others. You gain knowledge and stimulate the growth of gray matter in the noggin. 
Not all books are like this, but I appreciate the ones that are.

The "escapist" literature in my collection has been weeded out {for the most part. Like I said, I'm a sucker for a good fairy tale.}

okay, okay...the thought that my room will straighten itself is a fairy tale. One that I wish would come true, but sadly, will not. 

Where are you Mary Poppins?? 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Hazards that Hinder Homework Help

As you may have read, homework help was last night.

It happens at a nearby apartment complex where many of the residents don't speak English as their first language. It's a great multi-cultural experience... Swahili, Spanish, French, Nepali...

Turns out, it's more perilous than I had originally thought.
Never trust a girl with scissors.
ESPECIALLY one who desperately wants your attention.

Would you like me to elaborate? I shall.

Homework help starts at 7.
Ben and John were there early. They asked me to help them with their math.  It took some concentration on my part to get both of them to focus...every few minutes John or Ben would start talking about something random or try to run around the small room like maniacs.

John and Ben are both on the "Hey! Look! A shiny object!" side of things.

So I was helping Ben with subtraction. John was practicing counting up to 20. I didn't really have any more attention to give.

Dekyria came in late. She asked me to help her, but I really couldn't.
There were others who were more than happy to help this 6 year old with her "homework". (She had a word search.)

Needless to say, Dekyria ended up going to someone else for word search advice.

Unaware of things happening around me, I focused in on helping the two boys finish their worksheets.

(NOTE TO SELF: remain conscious of surroundings AT ALL TIMES) 

This isn't sounding good.

A few minutes later, as I was explaining subtraction to Ben, he pointed behind me and said "Miss Makenzie! Your hair!"
Oblivious, I turned around to see what he was pointing at.

Dekyria was standing right behind me.
She brandished a pair of scissors...

...and had a clump of my red hair in her fist.

I was in shock. She should know better than to cut other people's hair, right?

This girl had never learned the important fact of personal space/NOT CHOPPING off other people's hair.

Incredulous, I asked, "Dekyria, why did you do that?"

She grinned, "'Cause I want something to remember you by next time I go on a cruise."

...mmmkay....these kids don't have many luxuries. A cruise?!? Really?

Still in shock, I told her, "You should not cut other people's hair without asking first."

She didn't seem to get it.

So, Amy [who is better at handling such matters; she is a schoolteacher] called her over and discussed the incident.

I think it finally sunk in for Dekyria. Crying, Dekyria told me she was sorry. Of course I forgave her.
But, I put my hair up in a bun...just to be safe.

She's a piece of work. She CRAVES attention. When she gets it, it's never enough. I love her, but sometimes it's tough. Especially last night.
Please pray for her (and me).

Really, PLEASE do...I like my hair on my head.

When I got home, I inspected the spot that had been cut.
Luckily, I have layers, so it isn't blatantly noticeable.

Sadly, it takes my hair a very long time to grow.

I've learned a priceless lesson.
You should too: always know if there are scissors nearby.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Leche and Leeches

Mom made monster cookies the other day.
Pure yumminess with oatmeal, chocolate chips, peanut butter, m&m's... mmmm

She made them for her BSF ladies group and for us to have a special treat. I took advantage. I'm not going to say a number, but I consumed a lot of cookies. 

I OD-ed on the cookies. 
This was me (in blue cookie monster form): 

Sugar does some crazy stuff to you. For most of the day, I was hyped up.
Borderline ADHD. 

Then came the mighty crash. 
This crash was terrible and happened a few hours before bed. 
Extreme sleepiness, increased irritability, and there was still utter lack of attention for anything. 

Totally zoned out. 

When I fell asleep, I had crazy dreams that made no sense. (flying monkeys as beauticians anyone?) 
When I woke up, I was groggy, felt moody, and wanted to sleep for the rest of my life. 

I'm not making this stuff up. I had a legit hangover from the cookies. I have researched the sugar crash, and it is a very real medical phenomenon. (Wikipedia calls it "a supposed sense of fatigue after consuming a large quantity of carbohydrates.", but what do they know? Other medical sites actually back it up. So there.) 

If you could have seen me, you would not have known me. It took a long time to get over the symptoms. 

Thankfully, I had blood drawn today, and it was amazing how much it helped my overdose. I think those doctors in the dark ages were on to something with the bloodletting.

No, now, I didn't let my own blood or get hurt; 
I had some taken from me for testing. 

You know earlier when I was talking about SUPERPOWERS? (<- see for link to blog post)
Well, there's been some interesting occurrences, and the medical community wants to check it out...I'm not supposed to say too much... You'll keep it on the down-low, right? I know I can trust blog readers.

Anywho, after 8 vials of blood were taken from me, I felt better, albeit a bit weirded out to see my own blood in such a context. Eight vials looks like a large quantity when you have a tube running out of your arm. 

My theory is that enough sugar concentrate was removed from my bloodstream for my body to perk up rapidly. 

Tonight is homework help! 
I love it. Except for when it's homework that the kid wants me to do for them...nope, not happening. I instruct and guide. I'm not an enabler. NOT. 

My sister and I are learning some neat harmonies. It takes a LOT of practice to train your voice to sing different notes than the melody. The end result will be great, hopefully. 

Now, I'm going to go revel in the fact that I am no longer under the spell of the sugar.

...maybe I'll eat a cookie to celebrate.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

baby talk

oh the agony.
It's like teething all over again.
Where's the numbing gel?

On top of it, I have a cold. bleh.

The orthodontist reapplied some of my brackets today {using a ray gun no super ability will come...sometime.}

My teeth/mouth/head hurts. I do NOT want to talk. I was fine earlier this evening, but the bad feeling is progressing.

I'm SUCH a baby. I've taken pain medicine, but it hasn't kicked in and the wires are keeping me awake.

Why yes, I would like some cheese to complement my whine. 
Thanks a lot. Sadly, I CAN'T CHEW IT. 

Sucking it up now. No pain, no gain. I will grin (grimace is a better word) and bear it.

I'm going to think about something else.

So I have a new wig from my bestie, Clearance. Clearance is such a good friend. We're tight. If ever I see her in a store, I make a veritable beeline.

The wig is crazy. I'd talk about it more, but it will be a prop in an upcoming skit (if my teeth ever stop hurting. sorrybacktotopic), and I want it to be utterly shocking in the best way. I shan't be recognized. It will be fun.
I need to brainstorm.

Also, I love your comments.
Even the anonymous ones. 

Compliments (and *sigh* I guess criticism too): always welcome.
Compliments are *especially* welcome when I feel like this...

Mark Twain said something like:
"I can live for two months on a good compliment. "

I think this is true for many people...I also think I blog too much. But this is fun and it's taking my mind off of...
...I just remembered.

Friday, November 05, 2010

New LP and a stroll through my memory...

I LOVE SHOPPING. What girl doesn't?!?

Resale shops are my favorite. It's like an awesome adventure. You never know what neat stuff you'll discover (at a discount, no less).

The Mall is life-sucking an okay place to shop. Every few months I'll go there to remind myself of commercialism, materialism, salesmanship, and the inherent dangers of credit cards ("Would you like to apply for our super-fun, high-interest rate credit-card? You'll save 10% and the card is sparkly...")

Today we went to the mall. After wandering about for a few hours, I was happy to leave the death trap the mall.

Although I did get some cute winter stuff (ON SALE)...and a caribou coffee.

The mall does have its place.

But what I am really pumped about is my new vinyl from Ed McKay (a simply wonderful bookstore).

Reggae is fun stuff.

This picture is crazy, but it captures the moment of "reggae realization"

I'm currently listening to it. It's a nice change from my ipod.
Playing music from a record is an experience. You actually have to set the needle and flip the LP after three songs. Skipping songs takes some precision...shuffle is unheard of. You actually have to pick music out. The machine won't choose for you. Woah. This is radical.

The album I bought is called "Little Baggariddim"

hahahaha. Try saying that out loud. Little Baggariddim.
I dare you not to smile.

If you didn't smile, try saying it with a Creole accent.

Still not smiling?

Wow, you're a tough cookie.

My new purchase has started me on a resurge of listening to my LP's.
I have quite a collection. It ranges from the beatles to blondie to the beach boys... There's even some classical music in there (boston pops orchestra, anyone?).

Just another random fact about yours truly.

Another random fact:

For about two years, I was a Chick-fil-a employee. I learned the ropes, and knew the regulars pretty well. Not so much by name, but by orders. 

Humans are creatures of habit.

"A #1 with provolone cheese and a large diet lemonade?" 

knew what the customer was going to order. There was one gentleman who only ordered a 6-piece kids meal with a side salad, honey mustard dressing, one barbecue, one ranch and one cfa sauce. 
He would get an adult sweet tea "with a splash of lemonade and not too much ice." 

He was very specific about it. He'd peek around the counter to make sure everything was just so. I found him amusing. He'd always double-check the bag, even after I'd assured him it was all there. 

There were countless others who had their "signature meal". I had them all memorized. 

Weird, right?

I thought I had forgotten; it's been almost a year since I worked at CFA (I quit for school reasons... and the fact that I am allergic to peanut oil fumes...not fun), but strangely I still have these people and their orders INGRAINED IN MY BRAIN.

Talk about useless random trivia.

Today when I went shopping, I visited the same mall where I used to work. 

Guess what?

In almost every store I went in to, I saw a chick-fil-a regular working.

...I remembered their orders.

(They didn't recognize me, of course, since I didn't have my hair back in a ponytail, and I was not in the burgundy uniform with the silver nametag...) 
It was odd. I think I could have freaked some people out by randomly telling them what they order (or used to order) at Chick-fil-a. 

But I didn't, because I don't really enjoy creeping people out like that.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...