the original kStyle blog.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Birth of a Business, Part 2: The Friendly Natives

The women working at the town hall are unabashedly nice. They're friendlier than the women I work with, who are often business-tough or introverted, and the gaggle of them in the town clerk's office chatter like magpies. Marty was efficient as well as chatty and made my DBA official with a signature and a stamp, lickety-split.

I also met Sheryl, of the health department, and Cheryl, of the building department. Health Sheryl was my first stop, and not at all the jogging-suit clad, celery-stick-chomping woman I pictured when I'd called before. She wasn't quite awake, and unlike the town clerk ladies was alone at her post. She was pale and overweight, with that sort of overweight-bulldog look I've come to dread from experience. She was nice, though, and efficient, which is more important than being perky.

Building Cheryl was my favorite. Marty directed me to her for approval of my DBA application before she stamped it up. I wound my way through the labyrinthan town hall to the building department, which to my consternation was dark, door closed. A cheery, harried voice called from behind me: I'm here! I'm just running late! Cheryl flurried her way around me, opened the door, and perched on her chair in the blink of an eye. I'm sorry, I was running late. How can I help you? I recognized a kindred spirit in the bustle of a harried morning, saw her apologetic stress and knew that, like me, try as she might, she just cannot get to work punctually, but always more than makes up the tardy 10 minutes, staying well past closing time. I'm late for work every day, I reassured her, The traffic around here, it's--. The worry left her brow and she grinned with broad relief. It's awful, she agreed. We smiled the smile of mutual understanding in a world of persecution. She was excited about the idea of my business and lent her inititials to the project.

Later in the day, I called the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office to check on the status of my incorporation. I'd received no email, I explained, nor an official form with a wax seal, as I'd pictured. The pleasant woman on the phone chuckled and explained that there's never any notification. Did you check to see if your business is listed on the Web site? I had. It was. Then you're all set. But you can call and we'll give you something with a wax seal if you need it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Monday Questionnaire: A Day Late. Stuff One Should Know Edition

1. Name three essential life skills.

2. What new word have you learned recently? What does it mean? (We should all benefit from your new vocabulary acquisition.)

3. I finally learned how to _______.

Monday, December 26, 2005

2006 Resolutions

This year I'm starting a business, changing my career, and getting married. That's a lot of life change without slapping some resolution on top of it. Also, my 2005 resolution was to be nicer to myself, which means: no 2006 resolutions.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Birth of a Business, Part 1: 'Style, Inc.

I just formed an LLC. I mean, just now. Oh yeah, and I got an informal job offer today, shiatsu contract work. And did I mention my shiatsu school has already hired me to supervise practices? Also, my big ole regular-job company might be interested in hiring me to do regular chair massage ($10 for 10 minutes).

Also, I just snagged a massage chair for $180. They're normally $299-ish.

It's a little dizzying. I'm overwhelmed but kind of giddy.

UPDATE: I picked up the chair today. Turns out it normally costs $498!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


A: I have a friend from Columbia named Castro. Idiots working at airports keep interrogating him because of his name.

K: Is his first name Castro? Because that would be even more idiotic.

A: No, his last name. (laughs) Hi, I'm Castro Jones!

G: That sounds like a drag queen name.

The Origin of Christmas Cookies

In a little-known passage unearthed in the lost Gospel of Thomas, the Fourth Wise Man came bearing cookies. But Lo, the shepherds were hungry, and they jumped him for the baklava.

Wednesday Writing Assignment

A couple of weeks ago I asked for your favorite holiday traditions. As the cold, clear reality of these festive long weekends approaches, tell us about a tradition that was abandoned, for the better.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Monday Questionnaire
Keeping it All Bottled Up Edition

1. ________ offends me, but I usually keep it to myself.

2. ________ makes me happy, but I usually keep it to myself.

3. ________ confuses me, but I usually keep it to myself.

(Thanks to Erin for her assistance in the compilation of these questions.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Wednesday Writing Assignment

Tell us a winter story.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Monday Questionnaire
Float Book Club edition

1. What was the last book you read extremely quickly, either because it moved that way naturally or because you wanted to get it the hell over with?

2. What was the last book you read extremely slowly, either because it moved that way naturally or because you wanted to give each page its deliberate and due attention?

3. If you buy a book, get it home, read it, and hate it, what do you do with it afterward?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wednesday Writing Assignment: That Holiday Spirit

Every family has its quirky holiday traditions (Jehovah's Witnesses excluded by dint of vigorously avoiding all holiday fun). To me, it's never quite Christmas without the Andy Williams belting out that catchy song about Santa (He'll be coming down the chimney down...). What traditions mark your holidays, whichever they are? What odd things evoke festiveness for you?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Monday Questionnaire

1. What was the last rude or unkind thing you really wanted to do, and almost did, but didn't do?

2. Name something that was, to your disappointment, cancelled recently.

3. In whose work--literary, musical, cinematic, or otherwise creative--are you constantly trying to persuade others to see the brilliance you've long recognized yourself?

Saturday, December 03, 2005


I'm not in the greatest mood today, but I'm not exactly sure why. I'm just cranky. I think it's because I finally felt refreshed after Thanksgiving weekend, and then I slammed right back into the workweek with its infinite pettiness and tedium.

And then, I'm irritated at my classmates, because I'm the only student who turned in the final paper on time. This was a very important thing to me, the culmination of almost three years of study, and I made it my top priority. Yesterday, two weeks after the due date, one classmate emailed the rest of us and asked for some advice on editing his paper. It pissed me off. A lot. I replied that he should just turn it in; good thing tone of voice isn't relayed through email.

So, let me tell you about something else. Food. Today I made yet another astoundingly delicious recipe from The Chopra Center Cookbook. If you're wanting to buy yourself a little holiday treat, this is what I recommend. For breakfast I cooked hot rice cereal with apples and cinnamon, which is the most fragrant ambrosia I've ever thrown together. To entice you (without distributing copyrighted material), I'll tell you roughly how it's made.

First, I cooked basmati rice in soy milk with cardamom (mmmm...cardamom) and cinnamon. While it simmered gently, wafting comforting smells throughout the kitchen, I cooked raisins and chopped apples in apple juice, with cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice. This concoction created even prettier aromas. After removing the apple mixture from the heat, I asked G. to stir a little maple syrup and vanilla in. Leaning over the bowl, he addressed the apples in the tone normally reserved for the cats : Well, aren't you fragrant! It did smell heavenly. Meanwhile, I toasted chopped walnut and coconut flakes as a garnish. Combine the elements in one dish, and eat!

Yep, food porn.

UPDATE: Ah, it was PMS.