Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kristin's Guide to Being a Youth Leader

Warning: This is satire.**

I recently began volunteering with the high school ministry at my church. After a little observation I've come up with a list of things you need to do if you want to connect with high school students at youth group:

1. Give high fives. Lots of them. There is no such thing as too many high fives.

2. If you're a guy leader have a football or soccer ball in your hands. At all times. No exceptions.

3. Say "that's awesome!" a lot. I think the conversational rule is you need at least one "that's awesome" for each year of the student's age.

4. A well placed "Wuzzup!" goes a long way in breaking the ice.

5. Play an instrument for worship. The list of acceptable instruments you can play for youth, from coolest to least coolest, is as follows: Electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums, bass, keyboard, piano, ukulele, violin, tambourine, castanets, kazoo. If your primary instrument is the cello or a woodwind instrument, God probably hasn't called you to high school ministry. (No offense to my fellow musicians, but have you ever seen anyone lead worship at youth camp with a flute?)

6. Blast their ears with really loud music during worship, then admonish them to listen.

7. Have pizza. Because if they don't like your personality, speaking style, or music, they'll like you because they associate you with pizza.

8. Be genuine. At least pretend to be.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Homeschooling in the 90s

I was at my grandmother's house going through pictures and I found these newspaper clippings from a story the local newspaper did on our family about homeschooling in the Spring of 1991.

And I would like to point out that yes, Lori and I did have homeschool hair. And yes, my mom is wearing the homeschool denim jumper. We wanted to do our part in establishing the stereotypes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Comedian Behavior Chart

Whenever I am performing a lot in California (which is most of the time), I stay with my friends, Ron and Kerri McGehee, both of whom are comedians. They have two daughters, Lucy (3 years old) and Ruby (6 months). Since a house full of comedians and babies gets crazy, I keep a "point chart" for our behavior. The chart pretty much speaks for itself. (Ruby isn't included because we all know she'd win.)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What I've Learned From Shark Week

After watching a ton of Shark Week episodes over the past five days (it's been a slow week), I've compiled a list of things I've learned:

1. Don't swim dressed as a clown.

2. You are more likely to die in a car accident than a plane crash, but you are more likely to die in a plane crash than a shark attack.

3. Don't voluntarily put your hand, leg, head, hip, head, foot, fingers, eye ball, or any other body parts in a shark's mouth.

4. In order to be a shark expert, you need to wear khaki shorts and show no expression when you speak.

5. Humans eat Popsicles, sharks eat Chumsicles.

6. Chainmail isn't just for fighting medieval battles, it also is used in shark suits to protect you from--you guessed it--shark bites.

7. Chainmail shark suits do NOT protect against Great White shark bites, because they are super biters.

8. If a shark bites you, don't panic. Calmly collect your remaining limbs and bob toward the shore.

9. Sharks don't really WANT to eat humans. Except when they do.

10. Sharks are opportunistic feeders. Meaning, if the Discovery Channel film crew dumps a bunch of dead, bloody fish in the water, sharks will eat them even if they're not hungry. I can't really blame the sharks for this behavior. If someone showed up at my door with a fresh Chipotle burrito (my version of dead, bloody fish), I'd eat it, even if I wasn't hungry.

11. If you watch a lot of Shark Week episodes in a short amount of time, Netflix will suggest that you might like the movie Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus. You will watch it in its entirety and come to the conclusion that it's the worst movie ever made.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shark Week

I am already counting down the weeks until this years' Shark Week. It always falls the week of my birthday, and an entire seven days chock full of shark documentaries is the BEST birthday gift ever.

Since I'm not doing as much traveling in the coming months, I treated myself to a Netflix account. Right now I'm going through and watching all the old Shark Week episodes that are streaming.

My favorite episode so far is "How not to Become Shark Bait." It seems obvious to me: don't get in the water. But, that's not their advice. Rather than test for normal scenarios, they put themselves in situations 99% if swimmers will never get into. I would like to know whether you should swim if you have a cut, or whether it's smart to wear a wetsuit cause it makes you look like a seal.

Instead, they do experiments to see if sharks attack people who swim dressed like clowns. One of the divers dresses as a clown to see if the sharks attack him more than usual. (Just the phrase "see if the sharks attack me more than usual" is odd.) I don't want to spoil anything, but there was some shark drama.

But, when was the last time you thought to yourself, "golly, I'd like to wear my clown suit swimming, but I'm afraid it will attract more sharks!" Uh, never.

Now I'm watching Air Jaws: Sharks of South Africa. Essentially, a shark jumps out of the water, then they cut to a "shark expert," who comments. Rinse and repeat.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Favorite Websites

Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite, most frequented websites**:


If you are looking for a modest, colorful swimsuit for this summer season, check out these modest beauties. You will definitely be the talk of the pool party!

Dating Services:

This is the perfect dating website if you're looking for a quaint, rustic life with Mr. Perfect. (Cowboy hats not necessarily included)

Pet Accessories:

For those of you who prefer to treat your pet as a fashion accessory rather than a dignified member of the animal kingdom.

**Disclaimer: The above sites, though very real, are put on this blog in a sarcastic manner. I do not advocate wearing neoprene body suits, speed dating cowboys, or wearing your dog like a purse. Unless you want to. Then, by all means, have at it! (I can't guarantee that you won't be made fun of, though.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Little Things

I snapped this picture of my friend's 3-year-old daughter after her ballet recital. Don't you miss the days when you could get away with running around having a giant green wedgie? (And get a great blackmail picture for the future?)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Homeschoolers: What we miss out on

This has been a bad blog week for me because I was out of town last weekend, then catching up on work related items this week.

I recently wrote a blog for another site about what homeschoolers miss out on by not attending school. I thought it’d be fun to do a “tag blog” on my personal site and list all the things we miss out on as homeschoolers. And yes, I did make up the term “tag blog.”

So, without further ado, here are some things homeschoolers miss having:

• Lunch box and the opportunity to pack food in it.

• Backpack.
**Clarification note: We may have had backpacks and lunch boxes, but you don’t get to use them often when your bedroom is forty feet from your classroom and the classroom is also the cafeteria.

• Recess.
**Personal Story: After finding out about it, I began calling all outdoor activities recess. Playing on the swing set: recess. Going to get the mail: recess. Trapping my brother in the sandbox: recess, then a visit to the principal.

• Visits to the school nurse.

• Lockers.

• Switching classes.

• Lice scares.

• Bullying that didn’t fall under the banner of “sibling rivalry.”

• Marching band/brass instruments in general.

• Team sports with teams that actually won.

• Excuse notes from the Dentist and Doctors office. (Seriously, Dad, would it have hurt to let them give me one?!)

What else do homeschoolers miss out on? Feel free to add on to the list!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Random Thoughts

While reading through some news I saw that Paris Hilton received a $375,000 car for her birthday. I was struggling with jealousy, but then I realized she'll probably never experience the inexplicable joy of realizing you can pay all your bills this month and still have $3 left over.

Also, while just doing some editing it came to my attention that the word just has just become a new "filler" word. Like like like used to be in the late 90s. (You'll have to say that last sentence several times aloud to get the appropriate inflection right and just like know what I mean.)

That's it. Have a good evening!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

True Love, as demonstrated by my parents

I was over at my parents' house the other day, enjoying some chicken nuggets and juice at the kitchen table. As I reconnected with my inner seven year old, my mom and dad came into the kitchen. My parents, who learned to tune out the presence of their children long ago, didn't notice me, and I witnessed a conversation demonstrating the true, deep love shared between them.

"Marge, for Valentine's Day I'm going to download a picture of a rose for you, okay?" my dad said.

"Ok. That's fine. I just hope you know how good you've got it," replied my mom.

"Well, you realize how good you've got it, right?"

"Yes, I know."

"So it's ok that I don't get you anything else for Valentine's Day?"

"Yep. That's fine.

Aw, true love.

To my future husband: if I'm romantically challenged, blame your in-laws.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ten things you'll never hear a homeschooler say

There are ten things you will never (or at least very rarely) hear a homeschooler say.

1. I'm an only child.

2. Lindsey Lohan is my role model.

3. Family time isn't very important.

4. Man, I wish I went to public school!

5. Duh.

6. I was at a Bieber concert last night...

7. It takes too long to get to school!

8. I've never had casserole.

9. It is very important to me that my socks match the rest of my clothes.

10. My family is democrat.

So, what else would you rarely hear a homeschooler say? Feel free to chime in!!! =)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Toddlers and Tiaras (Part two)

I came straight to the T&T pageant from a show in Houston. Lori, my trusty sister and travel buddy kindly drove so I could sleep. I had a full-blown sinus infection and felt like a truck had hit me. Since I’d been traveling I hadn’t gotten to the doctor’s to get antibiotics. Lori asked if I wanted to skip it and just go home.

“NEVER!!!!!!!!” I croaked out. “I’ve been living for this day for months!”

I pumped myself full of drugs and stuffed my pockets with Kleenexes. (If you look close in the audience during the episode you’ll probably see me in the background blowing my nose. Classy.)

We arrived around 11:30am and, as we walked in, passed several contestants. The “glitz” make up on a four year old is even more disturbing in person. One little girl, who couldn’t have been more than three or four, was in a skin-tight two-piece leopard print outfit, giant hair piece, and 10 pounds of makeup.

We went inside and checked in with the crew, and I met with the field producer I’d been instructed to find. The FP told me she was going to get an interview with me. I didn’t know they were planning to have me on camera…as was evident by the lack of effort I’d put into my personal appearance. They asked about my stand up, what I liked about pageant shows, and what I was expecting from the pageant. The crew was very nice and fun. I also enjoyed seeing how they shape the interviews.

(Hanging out waiting to do my interview)

(Doing my interview. I felt legit.)

After my interview Lori and I went in and watched the pageant. When filming, the T&T crew requires anyone who watches the pageant to sign a release saying it's ok to show their face. We signed our releases and found our seats. There were three categories to this pageant: beauty, outfit of choice (or, more accurately, your pageant mother’s choice), and American wear.

American wear was by far the most entertaining/appalling. We watched little girls perform strip tease-esque routines wearing a variety of skimpy outfits in patriotic colors and camo.

The best (and by best, I mean “most shocking”) was a little girl who came up wearing camo fatigues and did a hip hop dance to Soulja Boy. The music then stopped, she shouted, “We salute the troops!” (I can’t remember exactly what she said…but it was something like that.) She then ripped off the camo to reveal a skin-tight skimpy red-white-blue outfit, the music changed to Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA, and she finished her routine shaking it to that.

I’m not sure who was working it more: the kids or the moms doing the routine for their kids behind the judges. For some it looked like the most exercise they got in a while. (Sorry…too mean?)

Here’s what I didn’t realize from watching T&T: pretty much every contestant gets some sort of prize/title. In some age groups there were only two girls. So…where is the actual competition? Well, the true winner is the person who wins the “Ultimate Grand Supreme.” That is the real winner. The rest are fake winners.

(What everyone was competing for)

There was so much more, and I am working on incorporating more of this field trip into my stand up. But to summarize, here are the most important lessons I learned from this pageant:

1. Candy is an excellent reward for both good AND bad behavior.
2. If you want to fit in and encourage a competitor, shout: “get it, girl!” Preferably at least a dozen times per minute. If you get sick of shouting that, switch to: “sparkle, baby!”
3. It is okay to strip as long as you are doing it to honor our soldiers.
4. A fall, spray tan, and access to a sequin gun will greatly enhance your natural look.

That's it! Remember to watch Toddlers & Tiaras on Wednesday nights @ 10/9c on TLC! You won't be able to stop!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Toddlers and Tiaras (Part One)

Wow. I don’t even know where to begin…so I’ll start at the very beginning. (Julie Andrews tells me it’s a very good place to start.)

A couple years ago I was flipping through channels and stumbled onto the reality show Toddlers and Tiaras. I’m not usually a reality show person. I’m always skeptical that there is anything “real” about them. But this show caught my attention. There were little girls made up like they were 28 years old and about to head on stage looking like Vegas Showgirls.

Other than Miss America, I didn’t know much about pageants. Homeschoolers aren’t really pageant people. Although, I think it would be fun to see some glitzed-out denim skirts and watch girls walk across the stage trying not to trip on their long hair. We once got a pamphlet in the mail advertising the registration for some Texas pageant.

“What’s this?” I asked my mom.

“Fire kindling.”

The most disturbing part of these pageants is the parents (more specifically, the moms) who push them into it. They claimed the pageants boost their girls’ self esteem (I guess it does for the girl who wins the “most beautiful” category. For the other kids…maybe you’ll be prettier next time.) The show is disturbing, but since I couldn’t do anything to stop it, I figured I might as well watch. The more I watched, the more sickeningly hilarious I found it…especially how none of the moms seemed to think there was anything wrong with these pageants.

I began working material about this show into my stand up act. The Toddlers and Tiaras segment of my act is by far my favorite set of jokes to perform. It’s definitely a little on the mean side, but then again, putting your four year old in high heels, waxing their eye brows, and cramming on fake teeth doesn’t inspire sympathy.

Everyone who has seen T&T is thinking the same thing: what are these parents thinking?! And with all the money they are spending on pageants, will they have any left for the therapy that is going to be vitally necessary for these kids to function normally?

One day my friend and “comedy mentor” Kerri called me. (, go say hi. Tell her I sent you.)

“Hey, I’m about to be your best friend,” she said. “There’s someone here who wants to speak with you.”

This someone happened to be the executive producer of Toddlers and Tiaras, who Kerri knew through a mom’s group. She told her about my stand up, and had her give me a call. I was pretty excited. We talked about the show and I asked about some of the behind-the-scenes stuff. She said she can sleep at night knowing she was exposing these moms. I’m pretty sure I said something extremely corny at some point like, “you’re my hero.”

After the phone call, we kept in touch every so often via e-mail, usually discussing the show. She gave me an advance copy of an unaired episode, which has joined the ranks of my Molly Leg and Fantastic Four Arm as my most prized possessions.

Then came the really, really exciting part. Kerri, once again, became my best friend when she suggested to that they have “take your favorite comedian to work day.”

The thought of getting to see an actual pageant and see how they shoot the show thrilled me. We kept in touch, and found a date that they were shooting in Texas. I had a show not far from that area the day before, so it worked out great. For me, who has been a long time fan of the show, and now built a portion of my stand up career around it, was a dream come true.

Next, on PART TWO, I will tell you about the actual pageant day. Use the time between now and that post to take a lot of deep breaths.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homeschool and High Fashion

A veteran homeschooler and friend of mine sent me this picture yesterday.

The e-mail read:
So I saw this picture of a recent fashion show on the Satorialist's website and realized that homeschool moms can now tell their children that the way they dressed them is now the style. I'm sure they will say that the rest of the world is trying to imitate them because obviously they are doing everything right.

My friend stumbled onto something astounding with this polo-shirt-with-the-v-neck-sweater photo…someone is making millions off a style we were mocked for sporting. This might be the first time someone has gone to the homeschool community for fashion inspiration. I always thought homeschoolers were a little behind the times with fashion. But maybe we were just ahead of it. (Although...I don't follow maybe this has been popular for a while and I'm just unaware.)

Personally, it takes me at least a year to catch up with trends. I have to wait for the current “fashions” to hit the clearance rack or Goodwill before I can incorporate them into my wardrobe. This, however, has little to do with my homeschooledness and everything to do with my amazingly lucrative career choice.

Homeschoolers have a distinctly unique fashion sense. We like khakis. We like denim…specifically long denim skirts. Boys like polo shirts and v-neck sweaters (like super cool model in the picture) and girls wear loose fitting, modest shirts that won’t “cause our brother to stumble.”

In general homeschoolers have one of three looks:

1. The Economy Look: these are the Goodwill/hand-me-down families. Generally these kids wear khakis, denim skirts, and solid color polos or buttoned blouses (tucked in). These items are usually made with a lot of “wear” and they’re never really “in” fashionably, but they’re never really outdated either. These families look like they dress on an assembly line (the Duggars sport this fashion very well.)

2. The Professional Look: These are the kids who look constantly prepared to give a political presentation on the ramifications of socialism. Suits, the above polo/sweater combination, polished shoes, and socks that actually match.

3. The “Mom’s got other priorities today” look: pajamas and sweats. My personal favorite.

If you quickly want to determine whether someone was homeschooled, just look at the length of their pants. Our pants are often just a little shorter. The cuff of the pant generally reaches the ankle, no further, and when crossing one’s legs, rides up to low-calf to generously reveal our Costco economy pack socks.

I had coffee the other day with a former homeschooler (both of us had pants that barely touched our ankle), and we tried to figure out the reason for this little fashion nuance. Could it simply be coincidence that homeschoolers have unusually long legs? I don’t know. How would I get an official “study” rolling about this?

Your thoughts? There are many other fashion choices I didn't touch on. Feel free to add on to the list.