A collection of grievances, memories, occasional musings, and everyday happenings

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Why I’m Learning Baby Talk

Friends and Followers,

Comedic Grievances has moved to its very own personal space in the blogosphere! To read today’s post “Why I’m Learning Baby Talk” as well as continue to follow along in all of CG’s stories and grievances, do go to www.comedicgrievances.com.

With much love,

Comedic Grievances

P.S. – A baby bump status report via photo awaits your arrival at www.comedicgrievances.com.


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How I Cried My Way Through The First Trimester

kleenexAfter weeks of perpetual nausea, fiery heartburn, cancelled appointments and unbelievable exhaustion, I find myself finally able to make my fingers write again without collapsing on the sofa with my OKC Thunder blanket over my face. Man, growing a human inside your body is loads of work.

Yes, you read right. There’s a baby Kooi on the way! The internet says Baby Kooi is the size of a peach, and it’s doing great at 13 weeks. We’ve known since late January, though Will guessed it about two weeks earlier when I started doing things like eating 3 bowls of homemade chicken noodle soup followed by 3 giant pieces of birthday cake just to feel full or accidentally making his birthday blueberry muffins with a dash of cat food. When he suggested I might be pregnant I didn’t believe him. But when my suddenly racing heartbeat woke me up in the middle of the night and nausea set in and stayed day after day, we figured I was either indeed pregnant, or extremely ill. Thankfully it was a tiny 6 week old baby making all the racket instead of the other option, and we’ve been on Baby Cloud 9 ever since. Mostly.

My first trimester was a total of 40% fun, the fun part being finding out about the baby, telling family members and watching their reactions, pretending a bump was forming when it was really just extra air blowing me up like a hot air balloon, and waking up each morning knowing there are now 4 of us in bed (me, Will, tiny baby, cat). The other 60% was the very not fun stuff I said at the beginning like nausea, heartburn and exhaustion, plus an extra heavy dosage of weepy emotion. I mean whoa-levels of weepy. Some days I didn’t cry at all while others I cried up to 4 or 5 times, usually over seemingly nothing. Here’s what I can remember shedding tears over:

1. Will made an amazing looking turkey sandwich and I wanted to eat it but couldn’t.

2. I didn’t know why I was crying.

3. I was totally over feeling nauseous.

4. The 10th Doctor misses his planet so much and it kills me!

5. I watched a heartwarming Doctor Who interview of this adorable little boy actor who loved his Doctor Who acting experience.

6. I was too tired to put on makeup while standing so I sat on the bathroom floor instead.

7. Our baby was the size of a blueberry at Week 7 and I was overwhelmed by its cuteness.

8. I watched one of my favorite movies and thought of my future baby watching it with me. Had to hug a pillow to get through that one.

9. The 10th Doctor’s “I don’t want to go!” line. The only thing worse I could’ve watched during this time is the “Abyssinia, Henry” episode of M*A*S*H.

10. There’s A LOT to read about babies. And strollers. And diapers. And other stuff.

So if you’re in your first trimester, don’t watch your husband eat food, do realize you’re weak and there’s nothing wrong with that and stay away from movies and shows to which you’re emotionally attached. And if you’re a Doctor Who fan, I’d recommend not watching anything Doctor Who related, specifically in the David Tennant era, until you get past this emotionally fragile stage.

One more thing that’s still making me cry is the pregnancy announcement Will and I put together. We disguised it in one of our Vienna update vlogs but were purposeful in telling our friends and family to watch it to the end. If you’re interested in seeing our announcement you can watch it below. Skip to 2:30 if you want to bypass our German-speaking updates.

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Warning: Your Thought Process May Be Scaring Your Husband

9781400315161_p0_v2_s260x420Before my husband and I were married, we attended a mini-marriage seminar held at our university. The couple who led us in a half-day long class about love and respect and parenting and the always awkwardly-anticipated, awkwardly-discussed topic of intimacy, began our class with this eye-opening thought:

Women’s brains are like spaghetti. Their thoughts are sometimes hard to follow, like a single noodle in a bowl full of tangled spaghetti, whereas men’s thoughts are compartmentalized, like syrup-holding squares in waffles. Spaghetti brains and waffle brains.

My husband had this look on his face like, Nailed it, as if he had been searching for exactly the right way to describe my scrambled, tangled, easy-to-get-lost-in way of thinking for quite some time. But now he had something to compare my mind to – spaghetti. And he was about to say “I do” to an eternity of bowls and bowls of it. Now, nearly 4 years later, I’m still immensely amused by the number of times in a week alone that Will gets raveled up in my thought process. It’s become a favorite hobby of mine – to see how fast I can lose him starting from one end of the “noodle” to the other. But then I started thinking maybe I should protect him a little bit more and warn him about what he’s getting himself into instead of dumping my metaphoric bowl of spaghetti on his head. Because let’s face it, ladies: we’re pretty scary creatures, and I think our awesome minds may be a little too scary for our men sometimes. Cool gift, though.

Here are some warning signs your waffley-thinking man might be a little freaked out by your spaghetti mind:

1. When his face says, “I’ve made a huge mistake.”

Close to 3 years of marriage, and Will still has the insatiable desire to ask me what I’m thinking. He just has to know, which I appreciate, and am usually happy to accommodate him with an answer (unless I’m thinking about something embarrassing, like the mafia breaking into our apartment and stealing our cat). But unless it’s actually something serious, he usually immediately regrets his decision when I say, “Well. It all started when…” Lost him again.

2. When his face says, “Is it almost over?”

Will may regret asking me what I was thinking about, but he never interrupts me. He waits it out, no matter how agonizing it is for him to follow my thoughts as they jump from lilypad to lilypad. His face looks a little pained though… Maybe I should start summarizing.


3. When his face says, “My head hurts.”

I can understand that, because I live with myself every day, and sometimes even I make my own head hurt. It’s a crazy wilderness up there and anyone is subject to get lost. Even you.


4. When he actually says, “Wait, never mind!”

Will does really want to know what I’m thinking, but I think I give off a distinct glimmer in my eye or something when whatever I’m thinking about is in no way urgent and not necessarily remotely important, because when he sees said glimmer, he quickly retracts his statement. He knows he’s about to enter my “Mind Battlefield” (oooh what about that? Good name or keep searching?) and he’s not armored for such a task.

5. When he actually says, “Oh no.”

This is the “please save me” of all warning signs, and is normally reserved for this announcement:

Holly: Will, I’ve been thinking.

Will: Oh no.

I pretend to be really offended by this response, but really I just know he doesn’t want to go through steps 1-4 again. I think a lot; in fact, I don’t think I ever stop thinking. Sometimes I keep myself awake for hours because I can’t turn my brain off. But men? Men are perfectly capable of not thinking. When you ask them what they’re thinking about, and they respond with “nothing”, they’re being for real. They’re thinking about absolutely nothing. I would love to know what that’s like, just one time. Actually I think I experienced it in a yoga class once, but then someone walked in with freshly baked muffins and my meditation was all thrown off.


Our poor guys. Think our spaghetti minds should go a little easier on ‘em?


Images from here, here, here and here.


Cue Gloria Gaynor

Photo credit: fotozup.com

Photo credit: fotozup.com

Still trucking along in the German language, trying to add more and more words to my seemingly small range of vocabulary. Unfortunately I’m not one those with the kind of brain that soaks up new knowledge like a sponge; my brain is more like a rock for knowledge to bounce off of then roll far away from down a mountain. For as long as I’ve been alive, I’ve functioned in this way. If I’m going to remember a fact or new word long-term, it either has to be significantly important to me or connected to an action that I find funny or tragic or terrifying. Sometimes those online vocabulary training sites work for me if I keep up with it every day. Like this one that I do that “plants seeds” when it introduces new words, then I must “harvest” the seeds and “water” them daily, and when those “seeds” become “flowers”, the new words are in my long-term memory! But if I just read new words out of my German dictionary, I might as well be reading about the history of math because they do not stick in my head for anything.

One way that I’ve found to help keep new German words in my long-term memory, as I’ve mentioned before, is to be around kids. Sometimes, yes, it’s impossible to understand what they’re saying if they’re talking 100 miles a second, but when they’re talking at a normal speed or even slower (because they know I don’t speak German), I can pick up a few new words or phrases per day. The chance to significantly improve my vocabulary was presented to me this last week when I was camp counselor at a German-speaking kids camp. Though I prefer to learn words through the sweetness and friendliness of children, most of my learning came from trying to decipher the Schimpfwörter* from, you know, regular “aw man!” words. Not to say these kids weren’t sweet or friendly, but sometimes an intense game of 4Square can bring out words you wouldn’t normally use around Preacher Joe, you know what I mean? So I got to know the Schimpf* words pretty quickly as I frequently heard myself saying, “Nein! Das ist nicht ein schönes Wort!*” And then there were some words that almost sounded like Schimpf words, and in those cases I would ask the adults the meaning behind them just to be sure I hadn’t been tricked into thinking the word was “ein super schönes Wort*”.

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 9.55.19 PMAnother way I’ve found to help improve my German, still along the lines of kids, is by either breaking up fights or needing to get onto a kid who is in the wrong. Situations such as these require immediate attention, especially if a kid is about to receive the black eye of the summer. I could let my lack of German vocabulary hold me back and just stand there and be the first one to grab an icepack, or, I could interject and list off all of the ways to say “STOP IT” that I know in an ugly sounding but totally functional way. The way I say “HÖR AUF!*” may physically hurt a fellow German-speaker’s ears, but hey, at least their kid didn’t get punched in the face. Sometimes the German that flies out of my mouth amazes me, usually because it’s not until I’m in the heat of the moment when I realize I actually used proper grammar as well as words I had no idea were in my memory bank. It’s much less intimidating to a child when the adult who’s teaching him or her a lesson is fumbling and stuttering through their “Here’s what you did wrong and here’s how you can make it right” speech, so I’m convinced that in these moments of teaching, my brain saves me from embarrassment and befriends me for as long as “Life Lessons From Holly*” spills from my mouth. Poor kids…

Now I’m back from camping in the mountains with kiddos and return to the frightening world of not-a-native-speaker-adulthood in the city. I will say that I’ve had some small victories as of late, such as successfully describing my ailments to “Herr Doktor” and purchasing medicine from our neighborhood Apotheke*. Unfortunately in this same victory I failed to get a receipt for our insurance, so after a week of my husband urging me to go back to the Apotheke to get the receipt (I was indescribably nervous), I finally did and retrieved the receipt without dying of embarrassment or being yelled at by Herr Doktor. The most important thing that I have to tell myself daily hourly secondly while I flail through this wonderful but difficult language is: I’m going to survive. Sometimes “Life Lessons From Holly” auf Deutsch* may cause a misbehaving kid to crook an eyebrow and make me feel lame, or sometimes I may buy enough lunch meat to feed an army instead of enough for just two people, or sometimes I look like a deer in the headlights in front of a large group of people. Regardless, I will survive.

*Schimpfwörter – swear words
*Schimpf – swear
*Nein! Das ist nicht ein schönes Wort! – No! That’s not a nice word!
*ein super schönes Wort – a really nice word
*Hör auf – stop it
*Apotheke – pharmacy
*auf Deutsch – in German
*Life Lessons From Holly – Lessons in which I assume immediately changes the life of every child who has heard them and later becomes a lawyer or doctor or famous movie star by their 18th birthday.

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An Open Letter to the NBA Draft

Well folks, it would appear that, at least as far as the Oklahoma City Thunder is concerned, the NBA Draft didn’t do any serious damage this year. Though a nasty “Kendrick Perkins-may-be-traded” rumor spread around like wildfire with much support from fans who simply don’t understand the man’s unique gift to the team, I can thankfully continue to wear all of my Perk gear (as far as I know) this season. Before the Draft came to a close, I wrote a heartfelt letter to the Draft addressing my concerns and issues with, you know, how it works. The post would have gone up yesterday, but then I wrote something for the Paul McCartney concert and here we are. Here’s my letter to the NBA Draft, and let’s hope I don’t have to write another one for the 2014 NBA Season. Continue reading