July 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Brooke!

The childhood best friend. If you didn't have one, you wanted one. I was fortunate enough to have Brooke. Brooke and I, we were pretty different. She was a city girl (ok, ok, a Royal Center townie), an only child. I grew up on a farm with two brothers. In kindergarten, her favorite song was "Bat Out of Hell." I had Disney soundtrack cassettes playing on repeat. She had cool matching outfits and a perm. I was lucky if I brushed my hair and was known to go to school with my shirt inside out. Nevertheless, we defied societal norms and became best friends.

Well, today is  Brooke's 22nd birthday. In her honor, I am going to list 22 of my favorite memories that include her:

22. Picking flowers and then walking around the neighborhood trying to sell them as "carpet potpourri."

21. Taking wilted, brown, leftover "carpet potpourri" and giving it to teachers on the last day of school.

20. Walking around the neighborhood selling cleaning services. And massages. 1 hour = $1. (Where were our parents?!)

19. Writing love notes from one grandparent to the other ("Tommy Boy" and "Doris Darling").

18. Cancun!!!!!

17. Inviting all of the kids on the bus over to watch us perform Beauty and the Beast. Sadly, no one showed. I, of course, always insisted upon being Beauty. Brooke was a good sport.

16. Selling seedless grapes. We picked a few from the vine by my house, split them and half and ripped out the seeds, and soaked them in a bucket of water we found in the sandbox until our first customer (Brooke's mom) showed up to buy some. (Note: Diane, I saw you casually dump them under the car as you got in.)

15. Giving Brooke her first bloody nose. I was doing a cartwheel and my foot hit her nose. She 
bled all over her dog, but thanked me for it.

14. Getting snowed in for 5 days at Brooke's house. I'm sure her parents were thrilled about this one. I still can't tell, to this day, if it helped or hurt our friendship.

13. Endless chat room sessions with people like "SpeedyBoy." (How do I still remember this?)

12. Going to Outback and having, between the two of us, a $40 meal. On her mom's credit card. We both got in trouble for that one.

11. We also both got in trouble when we offered to mow the yard and then stopped half way through. 

10. Designing her first tattoo. It was a beautiful, and I drew it on a napkin at Grindstone Charlie's. 

9. Ace of Base and Spice Girls. 'Nuff Said. Oh, and All Saints.

8. Watching The Osbournes on MTV. Actually, anything on MTV. Brooke was so cool. She had a TV in her room with satellite hooked up. I wasn't even allowed to watch TV at home during the week, so I had to sneak peeks there.

7. Jet skiing with her dad and his..."hairy" friend. Thankfully, Brooke rode with him. The guy had a back like a gorilla, and poor girl, always the good sport, had to put her arms around him. But then we went to Indiana Beach in our cut offs and bikini tops (the epitome of trashiness, also something we'd always wanted to do) and had ice cream comes, which made it all better. 

6. 4 Wheeling. We totaled the 4 wheeler and her dad had to buy it.

5.  BB guns. Brooke's dad (a sheriff) confiscated two and brought them home for us. 

4. Deciding to be rebels and sneaking a taste of rum the summer after we graduated. Now mom and dad, I think this was a good thing, as we tried cooking rum and it was so bad it deterred me from any future underage drinking. 

3. Various trips to Lafayette and Kokomo. Fond memories include: racing a diesel truck, taking off our clothes so we could tan while waiting on highway construction during a particularly hot trip in the farm truck, and calling information to get a store's number, to get a boy worker's number. (Totally for Brooke. I didn't like boys until I was like, 19.)

2. Chasing her 7 year-old cousin Austin down the stairs and, in mimicking him, jumping the last 5 steps. Problem was, I was about a foot taller than him, and clothelined the doorway.

And my number one memory from a childhood with Brooke and (apparently) no parental supervision:

1. Brooke's funeral. When we were like 10, we (actually, probably just me) decided it would be funny if we faked Brooke's funeral and then made her parents come to it. So she laid across the couch, surrounded by pictures and flowers we'd found around the house, with Titanic music playing in the background. I went and got her unknowing parents from the other room and led them in, by the hands, saying, "I'm so sorry about your daughter." Her mom started screaming that we were morbid and made us clean it up. I'm pretty sure I saw a smirk on her dad's face, though.

Happy Birthday, Brooklyn:)

July 11, 2008

Our apartment is too dirty to clean...?

Well done, roommates. I got home tonight and found this note on our kitchen table:

Dear Students!

Please can you tidy up the sitting room and kitchen for the maid to be able to provide you with a good service. The next cleaning day will be in one week. Thanks.

My room, thankfully, was clean enough to clean, but it looks like we'll have to live with a messy common area for another week. 

Kyla does the math

As of tomorrow, I've been in London for seven weeks. I am here for 10 weeks total. Thinking cap on: this means I have only three weeks left. Today I discovered Itsu frozen yogurt. It's amazing. Try to understand the seriousness of this: delicious frozen yogurt not available in America, only three weeks left. This means that no matter what, I'll feel like I was cheated out of seven weeks of decadent, frozen yogurt pleasure.

And while we’re on the subject, we have the ice cream truck from hell go down our road every so often. That’s right, a few times a week Satan himself sits behind the wheel of a colorful vehicle and drives around, blaring the most evil-sounding version of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” you can possible imagine— it’s like a demonic horn going through puberty, all piercing and warbling and enchanting children out to purchase its sugary, processed delights.

Confession: To be honest, I don’t really know where the sound comes from, and while I do hear the song from time to time, I’ve never seen said Satan-mobile. But if I do run into it one day, I’m not ordering the “FudgeSickle.” 

July 4, 2008

Kyla might have to move back home

I come from a town of less than 1,000 people (832 at the 2000 census). When my mom had twins she really boosted the population. The biggest thing to happen to our town was in 1997, when the football team won a state championship. When people hear this they often say things like, "Oh wow, you probably knew everyone, didn't you?" Yes, I did know everyone. I also knew their entire extended family, the last three cars their family's driven, their dog's name....etc.

Royal Center's not quite an economic hub, either. We have one gas station (Bonnell's) and a weekly newspaper (The Royal Center Record). Oh, and one blinking light.

Needless to say, I don't plan on spending any time there after graduation. This has my dad really upset, as everytime he emails me he mentions that I should intern with the Record. I always respond that I'll move back home when Royal Center gets a public transportation system, a lenghty way of saying never.

Well, this morning I checked my email and found this:

I went to Bonnell's yesterday and bought my first Royal Center Record in a long time. So anyway, I couldn't believe my eyes. I immediately went to their website and tried to cut and paste it onto here, so you can see it too....I think it's great news.....hope it comes through...


In a surprise news conference held at the Royal Center Public Library, Gov. Mitch Daniels today announced an experimental program funded entirely with a grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) . Royal Center will be the home of Indiana's first intercity trolley . Under terms of the grant, the trolley must stretch to all parts of the city, with one line stretching from the far north to the deep southern tip of the city. Another line will travel fom the eastern tip to the western edge of town. The bisection of the two lines will be the site of the new Royal Center Union Station.The project is expected to be completed by April of 2009.

Local resident Fred Henry (typical small-town neighbor who my dad's obsessed with), the head of Royal Center's "Moving Ahead Alliance," stated, "We've waited a long time for this. For too long we've seen a lot of our kids leave town for college and never come back. We're hoping they will now see the great opportunities here."

Although most residents are excited about the project, there were also some dissenters. Local resident Wilson Green (my grandpa who tends to disagree with my dad on anything politically related) said, " It's 'indiscrimination', that's what it is. I already pay enough taxes." One unknown resident yelled from the crowd, "Is it a tool, or a toy?" (inside joke here...)

There is already talk of eventually extending the trolley from the eastern suburbs to the western suburbs. This would mean one could hop the trolley in Lucerne (smaller than Royal Center) and would be able to ride clear to Bell Center (even smaller than Lucerne). If that goes well, a line from Logansport (our version of a city...it DOES have a Wal-Mart) to Winamac (slightly larger than Royal Center...also where I was born) will soon follow, thus the whole Royal Center metropolis would be covered by the trolley. Housing prices are expected to double within three years, as demand for housing will outstrip supply. Already, "For Sale" signs are popping up in Carmel and Broadripple, as people are planning to move to Royal Center, which is now being called the last and best hope for capitalism. With the expected surge in population, and housing prices shooting to all-time highs, many local students returning home will actually have to live with their parents, as even a starter house will be well beyond their budgets. Indeed, all is well in Royal Center.

Well Jane, thats about it. I hope that came through ok. I tried to save the paper to send it to you, but Mom spilled a Diet Coke all over it. I hope you're as excited about all of this as I am.

Hope the Record is hiring.

July 1, 2008

Kyla is having the best week ever

It's been fantastic. A few of the highlights:

5. A thief broke into my apartment (my room, to be exact) and stole my prized Halloween panties. The burglar, who is now known within my circle of friends as "The Great London Panty Snatcher," has a warped sense of what's valuable and what's not. Now this might not seem like a good thing, and to be honest, I'm a little distraught about it, but it makes for a great story. I'll use this one at cocktail parties for years.

4. I saw Dan, a guy I know from IU (ok, he's a big shot, the student government VP) in central London the other night. What are the chances?

3. I celebrated Canada Day. (With my Canadian roommate, I don't do this weird stuff alone.) And then went for some vitamin T, better known as tapas.

2. I just found out that my favorite book, 'The Time Traveler's Wife,' is going to be made into a movie with my favorite actress, Rachel McAdams, and one of my favorite actors, Eric Bana. This may have me more excited than the release of the best album ever...

And the number one reason I'm having the best week ever....

1. I saw Roger Federer play on Center Court at Wimbledon!!! I entered the gates of the great athletic complex with no knowledge of the game and left obsessed. Or at least until I find another sport full of hot players to watch. Also saw Serena Williams walk by. And Tommy Hilfiger.