Cavalier Parentheses

Musing, Cyberculture and Such


I am Engaged to be a Horse’s Butt. Yay!

I’ve always wanted to be the back end of a 2 person horse costume… I guess the story starts there.

Ever since I was in high school and learned how to tap dance, I  always envisioned myself being part of a 2 person horse costume. And, as I got older and more serious about life and costuming, the horse head was going to be my future husband. Me and the husb would show up to parties with little tap dancing back legs and would WOW the crowd with our humor and my dancing skills! (I mean, a girl has to be able to dream about her future, right?)

This is me at my 2nd birthday party. Exactly 30 years and 10 feet from where I would get engaged.

This is me at my 2nd birthday party. Exactly 30 years and 10 feet from where I would get engaged.

So last Friday, Tim and I were going to celebrate my birthday by dressing very fancy and going to a medium fancy restaurant (my idea because I needed an excuse to wear a sequin dress). He told me to be ready a couple hours early for a birthday surprise. (No, I didn’t suspect much more than what I’ve been suspecting for the past 2 months. He’s really romantic and this was not out of the ordinary for him to do something like this.)

It turns out, he rented out my parent’s Beach Club for a night. I LOVE that Beach Club. I grew UP at that Beach Club. I have had all my childhood birthdays and 2 uncle’s weddings at that club. And when we got there, there was this beautiful table set up with wine and cheese! (And my brother. He was there, too but he got lost pretty quickly.)

We just sat and chatted as the sun set, and it was perfect. Tim asked if I wanted my birthday gift and obviously I said yessssss. He goes around the corner and pulls out this huge box. HUGE. It would fit 1.5 Kristens at LEAST! And I start to open it and…theres…a …giant stuffed horse head?

A mere 5 minutes before the proposal, I was quite content to prance around in my new birthday present all nigh!

A mere 5 minutes before the proposal, I was quite content to prance around in my new birthday present all nigh!

And then I realize OMG it is the horse costume I’ve always dreamed of!

After many long years of waiting, I am FINALLY going to be a horse’s back side!

How LUCKY FOR ME!!!! I try on the head and neigh. I make Tim take a picture of me. I’m GIDDY (up. see what I did there?)!

And then he hands me my birthday card. It’s 3 short note pages of the sweetest things anyone has ever said about me. He tells me to read out loud and 7 words in, I’m crying. At the end, it said:

I smile as I think of a younger Kristen fantasizing of wearing a ridiculous two-person horse costume with her husband at parties and being “that couple.” Well, you have the costume, but something’s missing…

And then HUZZAH! He’s down on a knee asking me to marry him! I said yes and LUNGED. Grabbed the ring and went in for a big hug as I cried my mascara all over his nose. About a minute later I realize I hadn’t looked at the ring! So…I look at it. It’s perfect. Not “perfect because he loves me and picked it out for me” perfect but actually exactly what I wanted (Art Deco, low profile, if you’re wondering).

And that’s it! We’re engaged! And we took the horse costume out for a spin and made a little video!

Were you surprised?
Yes. I knew it was coming for some time, but I figured he’d ask me what ring I wanted or something before just going for it. (For what it’s worth, the control freak who lives inside of me is still surprised he NAILED the ring with no direct input from me.)

So…you really didn’t suspect it that night?
A few weeks ago, I thought there was a pretty good chance it would happen my birthday weekend, but since he had no problem letting me reschedule EVERY part of that weekend pretty last-minute, I figured, welp, I guess I’m not rescheduling anything important then *grumble*! That, plus, I forbade him to go ring shopping without me, so since we hadn’t gone ring shopping, I figured I’d have some time…

How do you feel?
Overjoyed. Both Tim and I realize what an incredible blessing is that we have found each other, and look forward to a life together – having fun, not taking ourselves too seriously and serving God!

A horse's behind

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Goodbye Break Up Couch!

Goodbye Break Up Couch! After 4 break ups while sitting on the SAME seat on the SAME sofa, I finally decided sell the Break Up Couch, but not before doing a dramatic reenactment photo shoot of some of our good times together. Props to my very brave boyfriend/photographer who suggested I actually try screaming a little to make it look more realistic. (And…who did not run screaming.)

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Good luck to the newly married couple who purchased it…

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The Best Free Audiobooks!

Guess what. There are absolutely free and legal audiobooks. Don’t get me wrong, is great and I’m a loyal (paying) member, but I ALSO love a good freebie.

So, you know how you can get all the books that are in the public domain right to your iKindlePad for free? It turns out, there’s this site called (I wholeheartedly agree! Books should be free dot com!) While you won’t find anything new or sassy up there (no Bossypants, *lament*), it’s a great chance to catch up on the classics and did I mention(?)…it’s free. The books are read aloud by volunteers  – some are aspiring actors, some are good Samaritans and some shouldn’t be allowed to hold a microphone but they do it anyway. I’ve been using this site for YEARS, and  while I haven’t heard everything, I’ve got a pretty good handle on the ins and outs. Continue reading

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3 Words to Send Shana to Australia!

Don’t even worry about it guys. I’m fully aware that updating a a few times per year technically probably makes it defunct, but you see…I just can’t bring myself to blog for work and then muster up the energy to do it again for play (oddly, I don’t feel the same way about Facebook). All that to say that this post is months overdue! A new record!

Something I’ve learned about making crowdsourced videos as gifts is that it really works much better if the person has an energetic and expansive community. So, when Shana (EVERYONE loves her. No joke.) announced that she was moving to Australia, we sprang into action. We made the video that’s below and showed it at her going away party.



A Very Photoshopped Birthday

I mean. 30, right? Big. Scary.

Actually, 30 approached me quite steadily giving me time to prepare.  That turned out to be great news, as I generally find a little trauma in everything that touches my life – however – hitting this milestone passed with much fanfare and little angst. PTL.

As PART of the fanfare, though – I showed up at work to quite the display! Muchos flowers, balloons, 2 cakes and some of the most cleverly photoshopped images I’ve ever seen! Operating under the direction of:

“she loves knitting, Justin Bieber and Jesus”

Our graphic designer Ben (tactfully skipping over the Jesus bit) photoshopped my head onto a bunch of images and they were hung all around the office for me to discover. These, of course, were just too good to keep to myself.

There is something really amazing about working with people who are willing to give you an extra dose of love on your birthday. I appreciated this so much!


Who says you can’t have 3 minutes of fun at work?

Just a regular Thursday. Calm. Normal. The type of day where you peel through 3 string cheeses before 10 AM, just to spice things up a bit. And then *bloop* (email sound)…and we see this…

Hi All, Many of you have already come up with some pretty creative ways to enter and exit the lobby. For example, James Bond took the liberty of scaling the glass wall before exiting (you know who you are). The person to have the most creative entrance/exit "dance" by EOD gets the glory of their name on the wooden hiteboard in reception, at least until Monday. Sure, this is a lame attempt for some entertainment, but give the Babushka something to work with!

Naturally, the wheels start spinning. Dancing, of course, would be the plan…

Britney? Too predictable.
Eye of the Tiger? Too rambunctious.
Ah. An obvious choice.

So…after two emails.
And a diagram…

We present…

Sadly, I was too busy directing traffic to dance at the beginning, and whe the applause started…well…best to leave the dance show on a high note!

For those who didn’t make the immediate connection, we had some inspiration. :)

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We Need KMART in Africa (and I Swell With Pride)

First: you watch.

Then: I explain

I am just BEAMING with pride to know Katie Martin – heading off to Africa for 9 FREAKING months. She is fantastic. If you have a moment (make a moment) you can read about what she’s doing on her blog: Seriously…the courage to get your butt to Africa to work with sex trafficking victims? Huge.

But, the way this video came about is a pretty interesting story – SHARE TIME!

Katie emailed me asking for me to help with the creative bits of her fundraising campaign (i.e. video and blog set up) – but the thing is, it needed to be fast. And, as luck would have it, schedules weren’t going to allow us to be in the same place for more than a smidge for a month or so..

So…a little creativity was in order.

I had this idea, OK fine I’ll admit it…totally inspired by Common Craft’s in Plain English Videos, but it required a white board, a picture and some dry erase markers to make this happen. So…with her head stuck to a stationary spot on a white board and a meticulously marked wall (so the board would go back to the same spot every time after I switched the images)…the video was made using a bunch of still photos lined up in iMovie.

She came over a couple of days later to record the audio, and within 3 hours, I had the video up on YouTube. Voila!

Just goes to show, with a little creativity…you can go a long way with fundraising…you don’t even need the cause present sometimes!


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