Monday, December 27, 2010

Joe and Jennie in the morning

NOT ONLY did Joe and I watch the entire first season of Community this past weekend, but we also started a new blog.  It's HERE.  We'll be reviewing TV shows and whatnot.  We started with Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman because we were both obsessed with it as tiny children.  Come play with us! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Okay, this is ridiculous, I can't believe those two are still bagpiping.

Context: On How I Met Your Mother, when Old Ted/Bob Saget tells his kids about when he used to smoke the marijuana, he calls it "eating sandwiches" instead. I guess his kids are really dumb and think that eating sandwiches makes you giggle a lot more sandwiches, but whatever.

More context: We babysat Maddie (two-year-old daughter of some friends) on Saturday. She calls people "silly" sometimes in such a way that her mom says she thinks it sounds like she's really saying "dumbass."

Even more context: This conversation happened while walking Max last night. We met a dog (and owner, I suppose) that was Max's twin. They did not like each other.

This is way too much context for this conversation. Prepare to be underwhelmed.

Me: Max didn't like his evil twin.
Joe: I think he just wanted to say hello. The other dog was mean.
Me: That's SILLY.
Joe: Haha, what a SILLY.
Me: Heh. Let's eat some SANDWICHES.
Joe: Hahaha. Yum.
Me: I mean, who would turn down a sandwich? If someone passes you a sandwich, are you going to say no to a bite?
Joe: No. No, I would not.
Me: BTW, I'm talking about real sandwiches, not pot.
Joe: I know, Liz Lemon. I know.

Anyway. We celebrated Christmas with my dad's side of the family on Saturday and did chocolate martini shots and ate Happy Birthday, Jesus cake in honor of my Grandma. She would have been so proud.

Happy Birthday, Jesus

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

In honor of Pride and Prejudice week over on Cowbirds in Love*

Me: I read that Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy are in talks to play Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Joe: Oh, yeah?
Me: ...yeah.
Joe: Is that bad?
Me: I just...I don't know if James McAvoy is right to play Mr. Darcy.
Joe: No?
Me: I don't think he's tall enough.
Joe: Wha?
Me: In my head, Mr. Darcy is really tall and I think James McAvoy is kind of short.
Joe: Haha, is he?
Me: Maybe he could stand on a box or something.

I think James McAvoy is totally dreamy but I don't know if he's Darcy dreamy. Mr. Bingley dreamy, maybe.

*thank you, srah, for introducing me to Cowbirds in Love

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the earth's gravitational pull?

Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

Two things happened this year that made me feel alive, two things that are opposite sides of the same coin, really. I got married in September, a day full of happiness and fun and love, and then my grandma died in October and there were days of sadness and family and, you guessed it, love again.

When I think about both events, spending time with friends in the days before the wedding, the rehearsal dinner, the day itself, and a month later, the last time I saw Grandma, the visitation, the funeral, the days of confusion, I tend to focus on specific moments, the most important flashing through my mind in quick succession.

My grandma couldn't come to the wedding, but she was present that day. The pastor surprised us all by taking a moment to remember her during the ceremony, and I concentrated on blinking away the tears that quickly formed in my eyes. I sat next to my great-aunt, my Grandma's twin sister, after the ceremony and she held my hand, told me how the pastor's words had touched her, and we sat for a quiet moment together.

The wedding ceremony itself was a blur. My feet hurt, my arm was tired from holding the bouquet, and my cheeks already ached from smiling and laughing. We were so happy, walking out into the church foyer after the ceremony, holding hands, hugging friends and family, taking a giddy ride to the reception.

The reception was...I don't even know. There was Twister and dancing and there were fake mustaches EVERYWHERE, there were cupcakes and soft pretzels, and a bottle of wine and Hogwarts being passed around on the dance floor. I danced with my family and old friends and new friends and did I mention Hogwarts? I walked arm in arm to the bar (naturally) with my dad to get a drink, grinned at my parents dancing with their best friends, delighted in seeing my sister dance with mine. If the wedding ceremony was a blur, the reception was even hazier, a crazy whirligig of fun, if you will (™ Xander Harris), a funhouse ride swirling us about in an uncontrollable dance, finally spitting us back out at my parents' house for more celebration.

There was a moment, though, at my parents' house, that my dad and his brother and sister and I stood in a huddle in the kitchen, arms around shoulders, friends and family eddying around us. I don't remember who said it or how it was said, but someone made reference to how much fun Grandma would have had and how much she'd been missed that day, and we stood there, all bittersweet smiles and aching hearts, until we were swept away by the general merriment of the night. We didn't know she would be gone in a month. How could we?

The days of her visitation and funeral passed in a similar blur, but with more tears. My eyes were swollen from a week of crying and still my body had more tears, my high-heeled feet hurt, my heart hurt, and all I wanted to do was hide. But, as always seems to happen, those times when you want to run and hide are exactly the times you can't, and so I went to the visitation, made small talk with almost-strangers and kept my eye on my family, gravitating to whoever might need me most. I went to the funeral, jumped up to read when it was my turn, and spent the rest of it with my eyes forward, tears streaming down my face, holding Joe's hand, my other arm around my sister's shoulders.

It was a sunny autumn day, brisk but not cold, as we gathered around the graveside to say our final goodbyes. I tried not to stumble in my heels. I smiled at my sister, put a rose on other family plots, hugged a crying cousin as we walked away from Grandma one last time. I felt too alive that day and all too human.

We went to my parents' house after both the wedding reception and the funeral, my entire family gathered, joyous to be together, missing those not there, and all of us grinning and crying and laughing, just grateful to be alive and loving each other.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Breakin' the law, breakin' the law!

I'm going out of order, so there: Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

This may not sound like any big whoop but Joe and I didn't go out to dinner at all this past weekend. AND. We didn't order pizza or Chinese or any other food deliverables, either. No. We cooked. Like, using real recipes and everything. This is weird because, in my mind, the weekend = going out to dinner. I don't know why. That's just how it is. So, in order to break the habit, we didn't go out to eat all weekend.

This is in an effort to eat healthier and, just as important, save some money. Plus, as it turns out, I actually enjoy cooking. I know. I KNOW. Who am I? I made banana bread on Saturday and then spent I don't know how long grilling and skinning (ew) red peppers to make a red pepper sauce to have with dinner (chicken) and just...what? But it was so good! And I got to use some wedding gifts, so win win win.

Yesterday, I finally dislodged the stand mixer from the pile of wedding gifts we haven't unpacked yet (because we have nowhere to put them and so they sit, unused and depressed, just like all the enchanted crap in the Beast's castle) and found a place for it in the kitchen. I flipped through the recipes that came with it and decided to try the brownies, mostly because I wanted an excuse to eat some brownie batter. This is kind of embarrassing, but I was totally intimidated by this mixer, like, I don't know, maybe because it's so heavy? Heavy machines tend to be the most dangerous (LOGIC) and that means the stand mixer is the kitchen appliance most likely to hurt me. Unless, like, the refrigerator falls on me or something WHICH COULD TOTALLY HAPPEN. The brownies were good (but not as good as these) and BONUS the mixer did not kill me or hurt me at all. At least not yet. I'm keeping my eye on it. Anyway. I think I'm going to try some chocolate chip cookies next. Yes, mostly to eat chocolate chip cookie dough, WHAT OF IT?

Friday, December 03, 2010

I’m cool dad, that’s my thang. I’m hip, I surf the web, I text. LOL: laugh out loud, OMG: oh my god, WTF: why the face?

Day 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

(Right now, Doctor Who is keeping me from writing but I don't think that counts.)

This is easy, really, because the thing I do each day that doesn't contribute to my writing is, well, this. You're looking at it. Kind of, I mean, the internet is this huge, intangible thing, but if I'm completely honest with myself, it's really the thing that keeps me from doing all of the other productive things I could theoretically be doing if I wasn't busy trying to get my unread items in Google Reader down to a reasonable number.

I wouldn't change it for the world, though. It's given me friendships and a husband and countless hours of entertainment. If it weren't for the internet, I would never have tried NaNo and written two (sort of) novels. I would never have seen this. I would never have experienced the Thanksgiving Miracle.

I thought about trying to calculate the number of words I've spewed all over these here internets, but it seemed like a lot of math so...I didn't. But between Long Story Short and Wonder Killer and The Collective, not to mention various other long-forgotten, infrequently-updated projects, I'd put the number close to 89 GAJILLION.

Might my time have been better spent doing something else? Maybe. But this (and this and this) is what I did and what's did is done. And you know what? I wouldn't do a damn thing differently.

So, no, I guess. I can't eliminate it. And I think maybe that's OK.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


I've decided to participate in Reverb 10 because...well, why not? Also! FREE BLOG TOPICS that I don't even have to think up myself. I'm a day behind (naturally) so I might skip a day if I don't like the topic because you wanna know why? It's a free country, so there.

Anyway. Here's the first prompt:

December 1: One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?(Author: Gwen Bell)

2010: Change

This year I lost a roommate of four years (sniff) but gained a roommate who I'll hopefully live with for way more than four years (hee). I got married and got a dog, only not in that order. I gained some amazing new family members and lost a beloved grandmother.

I've never been good with change and this year was chock-full of it. I think I've handled it all rather well, especially considering how much I pissed and moaned a few years ago over teeny baby changes like getting a new car. Is this growing up? (I wish there was a word for "shrugging shoulders." Meh? I don't know.)

2011: Challenge

Maybe it sounds weird to say that I'd like next year to be a challenge. I suppose it would be more accurate to say that I'd like to be challenged more next year, creatively and professionally and dare I say physically? I'd like to run more, even when I don't feel like it. I'd like to write more, especially when I don't feel like it. And I'd like to have a job that doesn't make me want to stab puppies on a regular basis. So if you'd like to give me one of those jobs, that'd be great. I mean, think of the puppies, you heartless bastards.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

last post of November PLUS 10 on Tuesday

So. I won NaNoWriMo. I finished writing 50,000 words yesterday, verified it on the NaNo site, and was proclaimed a winner, but I didn't feel like one. I actually felt very meh about it and I think it's because I didn't really care about my story at all. I only finished it out of spite, really, because I wanted to say I won. It's finished in that it's more than 50,000 words long, but it's not finished in that it comes to a satisfying ending. And it probably never will because it's SO BAD that I never want to think about it again. Note to self: don't start knocking up characters and having others make out and letting people get kidnapped by bad guys JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN. Anyway. NaNo is over and, once I post this, NaBlo is also over so I'm left feeling all, "now what?"

Well, right now, "now what" means 10 on Tuesday so...that's something, I guess. Wah wah waaaaaah.

1. Where are you from? Have you lived there your whole life?

I am from Narnia or Hogwarts or Terabithia, which really means I live inside my head and, yes, I've lived there my whole life.

2. How would you classify your clothing style?


3. What kind of car do you drive?

A blue one.

4. What would your dream home look like if you could have it (or already do!)?

It would look like Hogwarts, obviously. And it would have a time machine (with a clear titanium bubble) in the garage.

5. Do you have kids, and if so, how many and how old were you when you had them?

I don't have any that I know of.

6. What is your favorite hobby?

I would say reading, but reading is more of a necessity to me than a hobby in that I NEED IT TO LIVE.

7. Are you going to have any New Year’s resolutions for 2011?


8. What is something, if anything, that you’d want to change about yourself?

Well, I wish I could fly, if that's what you mean.

9. What is something that you love about yourself?

I hate these questions.

10. Pick one of the following: Someone to cook for you, someone to do your laundry, or someone to do your dishes.

All of the above, duh.

Monday, November 29, 2010


I would like to share with you the funniest thing I have ever seen, courtesy of The Soup. You're welcome. Trust're welcome.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

this is me blogging

Because I almost forgot to blog today. Blog blog blog blogging blog blog.

PS: the peppermint Joe Joe's ARE THE GREATEST COOKIE EVER MADE. I want to buy them for everyone I know.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

So it's like the number one shopping day of the entire year or whatever and here is what I've purchased:

a case of wine
tortilla chips
a wedge of cheese
peppermint Joe-Joes
a cafe mocha

I'm pretty pleased with all of it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Slapsgiving, everybody!

I don't want to freak anyone out but I think my superpowers might be coming in, because last night, Joe and I were sitting on the couch and reading and I started whistling this:

And then Joe left and I turned on the TV and Aladdin was on and THAT EXACTLY SONG WAS ABOUT TO START YOU GUYS I'M TOTALLY PSYCHIC! I wonder if my new psychic powers will ever start telling me anything important. Not that finding Aladdin on TV isn't important. If I hadn't found Aladdin on TV then I wouldn't have looked at the TiVo guide and seen that Beauty & the Beast was on after Aladdin. That's totally important.

So, today I am thankful for my psychic powers. Because it's Thanksgiving. See what I did there?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I was on that island for what seems like an eternity. I want to enjoy things on the other side.

OK, so I pretty much still have no idea what to write about for NaBloMe but I have about 10,000 words left to NaNo so I'm calling today a win. Anyway, apparently there's this thing called Ten on Tuesday and I don't even care that it's Wednesday, I'm doing it today SO THERE, INTERNET, HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES?

Before I get to the questions, I do have some thoughts about recent pop culture events.

1. Hurley was on How I Met Your Mother and IT. WAS. AWESOME.

2. I've been reading The Walking Dead graphic novels but I have to take frequent breaks because the dialogue, you guys...the dialogue is so bad that it's distracting and I hate it because it's ruining the story. The way the characters talk is, like, not how real people talk or have ever talked in the history of humanity. Also! The female characters are just awful. Actually, most of the male characters aren't that great, either. I know it sounds like I'm not enjoying the series and...that's just because I'm not sure I am.

3. Speaking of The Walking Dead, I love the TV show. Like, a lot, even though watching it makes me all tense and sometimes also like I want to vomit. But wtf, why are all of these survivors CAMPING?! Tents don't even keep out bears, why would they think they might keep out zombies? I don't care how far away from the city they are, they are OUTSIDE. Zombies are outside. Go inside, dumbasses, and lock the doors! It's like no one in zombie movies (...TV shows, whatever) has ever seen a zombie movie before.

Anyway, Ten on Tuesday stolen from here.

1. If you won the lottery, what would be your one random, off-the-wall purchase?

Penguin. And penguin habitat.

2. What is popular now that you just don’t get?

Two and a Half Men (duh). Taylor Swift. Jersey Shore. Dancing with the Stars. Sarah Palin. Mind-boggling stupidity.

3. What would your last meal, you know, if you were ever about to be executed and you got to choose that sort of thing?

Chimichangas with quacamole and rice and chips and salsa and margarita. Side of mashed potatoes. What, it's my last meal, I DO WHAT I WANT.

4. When is it okay to start listening to Christmas music?

I used to say after Thanksgiving, but I started listening to it a few days ago so clearly the week of Thanksgiving is now OK.

5. How do you feel about facial hair on men?

Big fan.

6. McDonald’s or Burger King? Those are the only two options.

Fuck you, I pick Wendy's.

7. What kind of soap do you use?

Whatever's on sale?

8. What movie can you watch over and over and never get tired of?

SO MANY. Bridget Jones's Diary. Pride and Prejudice. You've Got Mail. The Princess Bride. Shaun of the Dead. Mary Poppins. Goonies.

9. Favorite beverage?

Dude, I don't care.

10. What do you want for Christmas?

I already got a puppy. WHAT ELSE COULD I POSSIBLY WANT?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I am a bathroom martian. Beep. Boop. Boop. I am from the nebula of the great toilet.

Hypothetically, which is worse: putting on your underwear inside out or not noticing that your underwear is on inside out for like, the whole day?

I'm not asking for any specific reason OH NO I'M NOT. I'm definitely not asking because I put my underwear on inside out yesterday and even if I did, it's definitely the first time that's ever happened I'VE NEVER EVER DONE THAT BEFORE SHUT UP YOU CAN'T PROVE ANYTHING.

Why am I writing about my underwear, right-side-out or inside-out, you might ask? It's because I have NOTHING ELSE TO WRITE ABOUT. NaNoWriMo is taking up all of my words, all the words that I've ever had in my head, and they're not even good words! Seriously! I sort of hate my novel (IT'S SO BAD) and the only reason I'm still writing it is because I said I would win and so win I shall.

I am eating the biggest grapes right now, you guys. THEY ARE SO BIG THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID.

Last night, Max did a funny dog thing (hahaha funny dogs are funny) only it wasn't really funny, it was annoying because I was trying to sleep. Want to know why I was trying to sleep? Cause it was 2 in the morning. Anyway, I don't know if the storm woke him up or what but I got up to go to the bathroom, and when I came back, he was standing by my side of the bed, wiggling his little body to and fro as if it were time to get up for the day. And I was all, "IT IS NOT TIME TO GET UP FOR THE DAY GET IN YOUR BED!" but all he heard was, "I AM SAYING WORDS TO YOU SO YOU WAG YOUR TAIL HARDER SO PLEASE WAG YOUR TAIL HARDER AND MAYBE HOP UP AND DOWN A FEW TIMES SO I CAN SEE HOW CUTE YOU ARE!"

This, plus Phoebe's nightly attempts to curl up in the small space above my head on my pillow (THERE IS NO ROOM FOR YOU, CAT) and also all the windy windy rain, meant I did not sleep very well last night. But I don't care because it's almost that special time of year where it's totally acceptable for me to eat three heaping platefuls of mashed potatoes which, coincidentally, is why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

Monday, November 22, 2010


You guys! I don't wanna blog or write anymore this month! I don't wanna! I want to quit so hard right now.

Does this count as blogging? Yes, yes it does. I'm still winning. So THERE, November.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I've got a could be bunnies!

Hey. Here are some pictures that Joe and I drew on napkins at a restaurant one time. YOU'RE WELCOME.

bunny vs. voldemort

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Phoning it in, before I forget to post (SPOILERS, AHOY)

Parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) that made me cry:

1. Hedwig! It was even sadder than the book HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?
2. Hermione wiping her parents' memories...good lord.
3. Everyone fretting over (St.) George.
4. Harry finding his parents' graves.
5. Dobby. Effing Dobby.

Parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) that made my heart melt:

1. Ron's face as Hermione taught him how to play the piano.
2. Hermione's face when Ron told them how he found them.
3. These will actually all just be Hermione and Ron related, so I'll stop now.

Parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) that made me feel icky:

1. Harry and Hermione dancing, until it got goofy.
2. Harry and Hermione topless-making-out in Ron's scary waking nightmare thing. Gross. I need to wash my eyes with bleach.

Friday, November 19, 2010

We mustn't dwell. No, not today. We CAN'T. Not on Rex Manning day!

Most evenings, I spend a little time picking out what I'm going to wear the following day. It saves time in the morning, it really does, which is awesome because A) it means I'm on time for work (...most of the time) and B) it means I get to sleep as long as possible.

I forget sometimes, though, and on those days I think about what I'm going to wear while I'm getting ready because then, by the time I'm about to get dressed, I know exactly what clothes I need to rip out of my closet. This morning, I thought I knew what I was going to wear and I was like, "oh, hell yeah, snooze button!" but when I woke up, I realized in horror that I couldn't possibly wear what I was planning to wear because DUN DUN DUUUUUN the shirt I was planning on wearing was way too close to Slytherin colors! I can't wear Slytherin colors today! Not on Harry Potter Day!

So instead, I'm wearing a maroon shirt because obviously I need to show my support for Gryffindor and I didn't have time to make a Luna-Lovegood-Lion-Head. I told Joe about this when I woke up, and it went something like this, "I almost wore this green shirt today but then I realized it was Slytherin colors! SLYTHERIN! So I had to change it real fast and wear this shirt so I was wearing Gryffindor colors! GRYFFINDOR! IT'S HARRY POTTER DAY!" and he looked at me like I was nusto bananas (standard) and I was like, "You collect toys and comics LET ME HAVE THIS ONE THING," and he was all, "calm down, psycho," because he wasn't really looking at me like I'm nusto bananas (much), it was that he had just woken up and I was all awake and talking REALLYREALLYFAST like the micromachine guy. Remember the micromachine guy? He was on Saved by the Bell one time. True story.

Also, in other Harry Potter news, I totally won the bet. I finished Deathly Hallows around 9 last night, and that was even after I had to take a break because I was crying. That book gives me so much sad, especially toward the end, and I usually get to a certain point where I can't read anymore because of all the tears. Stupid feelings.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

We're having a FIRE!!! ...(sale)

Oh, man, check it out, you guys. I found the beginning of my NaNo story from 2005. That year, I wrote for two days. I am doing way better this year. At least as far as wordcount. I can't speak to the quality but WHATEVER. NaNo will soon be my bitch. And so will Harry Potter (the books, not the person). I just can't help thinking how nice it'll be next week when I've won the bet and have all this extra time to write while Joe is making me dinner. Hee.

Anyway, here's my 2005 story,, one chapter of it. This totally counts as blogging today because you guys have never read it before. I WIN. WARNING: the following is pretty bad but what else are you going to do? Work? I don't think so.

The worst part about my car accident, and I do mean this, was the unfortunate fact that I was listening to The Backstreet Boys when it happened. I have a hazy memory of paramedics lifting me out of the driver’s seat while “I Want it That Way,” blasted from the car stereo. The part of the memory that I’m hoping did not happen was me singing along. Unfortunately, since the paramedics kept referring to me as “Backstreet Girl,” I have a feeling I did not make that up. Par for the course.

Most people don’t think that’s the worst thing that happened to me. When I told my brother that, Mike surreptitiously glanced at the wheelchair I’d been tethered to since the accident.

“I know,” I said. “I can’t move my legs, blah, blah, but come on. THE BACKSTREET BOYS.”

He sighed and shook his head. “You’re right, that is pretty bad.”

“I mean, N’Sync would have been a little bit less embarrassing. At least Justin Timberlake turned out not to be just some no-talent, bloated, singing douchebag --,” I started.

“Nice,” Mike interrupted.

“But Nick Carter? Howie D? That’s just sad. And why do I know their names?”

“That is an intriguing question.”


“Yep, pretty much,” Mike said. He opened his mouth like he was going to say something else, but closed it. He did this a few more times before he noticed I’d seen him.

“Hey, FishBoy, what’s up?”

“I’m not supposed to tell you. Mom told me it would embarrass you,” he said.

“Is it more embarrassing than The Backstreet Boys?” I asked.

“Alex. I am telling you. You don’t want to know.”

“Oh, just tell me! I can handle it,” I said, and straightened the blanket over my legs.

“Well,” he looked down. “Apparently you confessed your love to one of the paramedics.”

“Oh shut up! I did not,” I could feel my face redden.

“You so did. He was quite smitten, I think. He came to visit you when you were . . . out.”

“Oh, damn. That’s hot,” I said.

“Ok, Paris. So are you embarrassed?”

“I’m so not,” I contended, trying to will my face to return to a normal color.

“You’re face is pretty red and --”

“Shut it, I’m not.”

“Ok, Ok. Listen,” he said. “I’ve gotta go to work but I’ll come back tomorrow.”

“Sure, no problem,” I said. “Have they said when I can leave yet?”

“Alex . . .”

“I’m just so sick of this place,” I said, blinking away tears. “Ha, get it? Sick of it?”

“Hilarious,” Mike said and grasped my hand. “They want to keep you here for physical therapy, at least at first. They think it will help.”

“Right, I know,” I said and wiped my eyes. “Go! Go to work or you’ll be late and get fired and end up unemployed like me.”

“Oh, shut up,” he laughed. “See you later. Love you.”

“Love you, too, sissy.”

His laughter followed him out of my room and then I was left in silence. Well, kind of. The hospital is freaking loud. I mean, when you think about the last time you visited someone in the hospital, you were probably only there for a couple of hours, at most. It wasn’t that loud, was it? But when you live here, loudness takes a different form. It’s relative. Sure, there aren’t fire alarms and air horns going off in the hallway, but when a place is that quiet even the softest noise is jarring. The beeping of the machines, the rattle of the food carts, nurses laughing, it all gets very annoying eventually.

Luckily, I don’t hear many people crying. I’m not on that floor, not anymore, and when I was I wasn’t aware of much of anything so the most sadness I’ve had to deal with are the looks of pain and guilt in my mother’s eyes. Which makes me feel guilty. Which makes me sad, which makes her sad and it’s all just a vicious, annoying cycle of sadness.

At least I’ve gotten to catch up on my reading. You know that list of the 100 books you’re supposed to read before you die? I’m on number 57. Also, I haven’t had to shave my legs in like, forever. It’s kind of disgusting, sure, but if anyone stares or says anything it makes them the bad guy because I’ve got bigger problems. Ha. Jerks.

This hospital does have a pretty sweet entertainment hookup. What I mean is, they have a TV and they let my brother bring in a DVD player to hook to it. I can quote the entire first season of Arrested Development, which I’m sure is a talent I can add to my resume.

My favorite pastime here, though, has to be sleeping. If you do it during the day you can say you’re napping. But, you can also go to bed at 7:30 and not get up until noon the next day. Then you can take a nap after lunch. Really, if you think about it, you can spend the entire day sleeping and no one would really know. Or care, because, hey, you’re in a hospital, what else are you supposed to do. Maybe I can get a candy striper uniform so I’ll have something to do.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s naptime.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jennie Baxla and the Severe Tire Damage

Here is how last night was supposed to go: leave work, go to volunteering, go home, eat a nutritious dinner, read Harry Potter, go to sleep.

Here is how it happened instead: left work, ran into something hella crazy in the road, got a flat tire, called AAA, waiting in rainy parking lot, drove car to (closed) Tire Discounters, ate Donatos for dinner instead of healthy chicken, read Harry Potter, stayed up too late, went to sleep.

The tire damage part of it happened like this:

severe tire damage

I had to draw a picture because I'm having trouble explaining to people exactly what happened. But I'll try. For what are we without words? Animals, I guess. Except some animals can talk. Like parrots. And gorillas. They talk with their hands sometimes. Anyway.

I was seriously five minutes away from volunteering and not late or anything, so I wasn't even speeding (for once). It was raining pretty hard and the road was all shiny. Not good shiny like in Firefly, but bad shiny as in POOR VISIBILITY. And I was driving through construction and the lane kept going all topsy turvy and different directions so sometimes I don't think I was even in a lane, and as I went through the intersection all of the sudden there was this cement curb island thing RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME and so I swerved but not enough and I totally ran over it AND THEN MY CAR FLIPPED OVER AND OVER BUT I LANDED RIGHT SIDE UP AND PULLED INTO AN ALLSTATE PARKING LOT OH YEAH FIRE FIRE EXPLOSION GRYFFINDOR! Oh wait, the Gryffindor thing...I will that explain later.

It all happened just like that except for the fire and explosion. I sat in the parking lot for a moment, all shaky, and then called the cavalry (Joe and AAA). In my heart, I hoped that AAA could fix the tire but in my head I knew it was effed. Sure enough, when the tow truck arrived and he took the tire off, the wheel was all bent and shit and apparently wheels are never, ever supposed to be bent and shit. So the AAA guy put my spare on and then put air in the spare because why wouldn't my spare be almost flat, too? What, like I'm suppose to be prepared? Eff that, you guys. Then the AAA guy told me how much money he'd made in six months and how he was excited for it to snow because it meant he'd make even more money and I was like, "Dude, I know your job depends on the misfortune of others but could you try not to sport so much wood when you talk about it? Especially next to my poor, poor car? She's already traumatized enough."

But. OK. So as I was waiting for AAA to get there, a van pulled into a parking spot near me. I spied on them (obviously) and they got out of the car to look at their front passenger side tire and I was like, "huh," but I stayed in my car because it was raining and cold outside. Then the tow truck got there and the Van Guy came over to my car and this happened:

Van Guy: Is there something wrong with your car?
Jennie's Brain: Um, there's a tow truck here, wtf do you think?
Jennie Out Loud: Yeah, I got a flat tire.
Van Guy: Did you run over that thing in the road back there by the gas station?
Jennie Out Loud: Yes! Did that happen to you, too?
Van Guy: Sure did.

Then he started talking to my tow truck driver and I was all, "THAT'S MY TOW TRUCK DRIVER! STOP BOGARTING MY TOW TRUCK GUY!" and then the tow truck driver told us that whatever we'd both hit had caused an accident last week. Way to go, Dayton. Anyway, around this time, I noticed that the Van Guy was wearing a Gryffindor shirt.

Jennie's Brain: OMG, he's wearing a Gryffindor shirt!
Jennie Out Loud: I like your shirt, guy.

The end.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The worst thing about prison was the dementors.

1. It is misty and gloomy today, I think probably because there are dementors around or something. As I do not (yet) have a magic wand, I cannot produce a Patronus to get rid of them. Sorry. I will work on this.

2. When I was on my way home from work yesterday, I pulled up behind a car with the following bumper stickers: "JUST BE NICE" and "If only those with closed minds also had closed mouths." Then a truck pulled up next to that car. The truck had the following bumper stickers: "OBUMMA," "YOU LIE" (with the O being, of course, the Obama O), and "Undocumented Worker" next to a picture of Obama. CHARMING. It made me sigh a lot.

3. Slightly related to #2 (heh), I would like to start a religion based on the JUST BE NICE bumper sticker. Because, OMG people, JUST BE FUCKING NICE TO EACH OTHER.

Monday, November 15, 2010

project(s) update = yaaaaawn

Hey, look at that, it's November 15th, which means the month is HALF OVER. How did that happen? November seems to be the month of projects or something and I figured since the month is half over, I'd report on my progress. STAY TUNED FOR EXCITEMENT, EVERYONE. And by excitement, I mean this will be really boring, probably, but try and stay awake, will you? Thanks.

NaBloPoMo: Well, I've posted every day, so technically it's going fine but I feel like I'm cheating because the quality of my posts...well...let's just say there have been a lot of Youtube videos.

Harry Potter Read-a-thon: I am so gonna win. I'm about halfway done with Half-Blood Prince. I don't anticipate Dealthy Hallows taking very long because once I get to a certain point, I am physically unable to put the book down.

NaNoWriMo: I am almost to the halfway point. I think I'm a couple thousand words away from 25,000, so I'm hopeful that I can write a little extra each day and finish on time. Once I'm done with Harry Potter, I should have a lot more time to write.

30 Days of Harry Potter: Um, I've missed a ton of days on this. So here, really quick, are my answers to the questions I've missed so far. Oopsies.

Favorite magical creature


Favorite professor

Loony Loopy Lupin!

Who would you want to be friends with at Hogwarts?

Luna Lovegood!

What pet would you want to have? (owl, cat, rat or toad)


Favorite spell

Accio all my crap! I'm lazy so this one would be perfect.

Top 3 least favorite characters

I hate Umbridge enough to count for three people, so Umbridge, Umbridge, Umbridge!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Max hoped Mary would write again. He'd always wanted a friend. A friend that wasn't invisible, a pet, or rubber figurine.

You guys. Joe and I watched this movie last night and it gave me Pixar-level FEELINGS. I thought it was just going to be, like, funny and cute but IT MADE ME CRY. How dare you, movie. Anyway, I highly recommend it, if you're looking to, in a good way.

Friday, November 12, 2010

that's why her blog is so big, it's full of youtube

Joe and his brother, Mike, got all of us tickets to see Straight No Chaser for their dad's birthday. And so, last night, after rushing home from work and a scarfed-down-dinner at Arby's, we met Joe's parents, Mike, and Mike's wife (hi, Julie!) in Cincinnati.

The only reason I'd ever heard of Straight No Chaser was because the All Christmas Radio Station played the shit out of their Christmas medley last year. Like, I couldn't NOT hear it because it was all over the place. This is it:

So yes, they are an a cappella group, and, as I have a secret love of a cappella groups (which explains my love for Andy Bernard), I was cautiously excited about the concert. They opened by singing Joy to the World by Three Dog Night and I was all, "meh." Luckily, the show got better throughout the first half of the concert and when the second half came around, I sort of thought maybe it was tailored just for me because they sang a Lady Gaga medley:


JOURNEY! I couldn't find a good video of them singing it, so here:


And you guys. Then this happened:

The only thing that could have made that better is if someone had done the Turk dance. But they didn't, so here you go:

They also did a kid cartoon theme song medley, but it was kind of a disappointment because they included Family Guy and The Simpsons, which are NOT for kids. And they didn't include Ducktales. Or Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers. Or Muppet Babies. Or Fraggle Rock, which isn't a cartoon, but still would have been perfect. But they said they do a sitcom medley. I just looked it up, though, and it's still not better than this one (you know it has to be good, because he sings the Two and a Half Men theme song and I'm still sharing it):

Note: They sound better in person than in the live videos. I don't know why that is.

Anyway. I was sort of hoping they'd sing this:

But was not to be.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You know, you CAN say it backwards, which is "docious-ali-expi-istic-fragil-cali-rupus," but that's going a bit too far, don't you think?

Fictional characters I wanted to be when I was a child (aged 5 - 12ish):

1. Red Fraggle

She had pigtails. I had pigtails. It was totally meant to be.

2. Punky Brewster

See above, re: pigtails.

3. Rainbow Brite

I actually had a rainbow belt when I was little. I'd wear it with my red suspenders and my red, heart-shaped sunglasses. The belt had a heart clasp and, when I wore it, I'd pretend I was Rainbow Brite and wish that my belt could shoot a rainbow out of it, but I must have run out of Star Sprinkles because it never did.

4. Princess Leia

Except I was always jealous that she never got a light saber.

5. Vada Sultenfuss (My Girl)

OK, so I didn't really want to live above a funeral parlor and I DEFINITELY didn't want my BFF to die of bee stings OH MY GOD, MOVIE, BE SADDER, NO I DARE YOU. Ahem. But Vada was sassy and quirky and also had an awesome mood ring that I coveted. I don't know why, maybe I wanted to wear it with my Rainbow Brite belt.

6. Belle from Beauty & the Beast

Have you SEEN that library? SWOON.

beauty and the beast library

7. Mary Poppins

Um, she could fly. And she had a magic bag that she could hide tons of shit in, very much like the bag Hermione enchants in Deathly Hallows. When you think about it, Mary Poppins is kind of like a witch without a magic wand.

8. Meg Murry (A Wrinkle in Time)

She seemed so unsure of herself, like, all the time and DUH, of course I identified with that, but then she goes on a wicked awesome adventure to save her father, which is totally brave and awesome. Plus, we both wore really awkward glasses and yet a boy still liked her, so it gave me hope that maybe someday a boy would like me, too. OMG, I just made myself totally sad, oops. Poor, awkward, little Jennie.

9. Dorothy Gale

I think I wanted to be her most of all. The Wizard of Oz was my favorite movie when I was a kid ('cept for maybe E.T.) and I thought Oz was probably the most magical place in the world. Maybe I hadn't seen Willy Wonka yet, I don't know, but still. My dad even made me my own pair of ruby slippers. They were my most prized possession, until my feet grew too big for them, but I hung onto them for a long time even though they didn't fit. Even as an adult, I've often wished for some ruby slippers. I have some red shoes, but I've tried, and they never send me home when I click my heels three times.

10. Marion Ravenwood (Raiders of the Lost Ark)


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars?

If you don't live in Ohio or North Carolina, you probably don't realize that the states totally hate each other. Want to know why? It's because of airplanes. And all the license plates. Allow me to explain.

Ohio license plates say, "Birthplace of Aviation."

North Carolina plates say, "First in Flight."

I say, "North Carolina can suck it."

When Heather and Abigail came to Ohio for the wedding, we were driving around one afternoon and the subject of flight came up. No, I don't remember how that happened, but it did. One of them mentioned something about North Carolina license plates saying "first in flight" and THEN they wondered why Ohio got all bent out of shape about it and that is when I HAD TO DROP SOME KNOWLEDGE ALL OVER THEIR ASSES.

I very rationally explained that North Carolina is wrong. It used to be cute that they thought flight was all theirs, but it's not funny anymore. Then I explained about the Wright Brothers and it soon became clear to me that this was not common knowledge unless maybe you grew up in Dayton and took yearly school field trips to the Air Force Museum. (The only other thing I remember from those field trips is that there is a plane at the museum named Strawberry Bitch, which we all thought was hilarious...probably because it's hilarious.)

So here, dear internet, is a faithful narrative of all things Wright Brothers. Well, maybe not all things. But some things! Things I could remember! Or that I found on Wackopedia. Anyway.

Once upon a time there were two brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright. Neither technically graduated from high school, so think of that the next time you're on a plane. Wilbur was supposed to go to Yale, but he got his front teeth knocked out by a hockey puck so he stayed home because he was afraid none of the Yale ladies would want to make out with him. Ha. Just kidding, there were no ladies at Yale, it was 1885.

Anyway, instead of going to Yale, Wilbur stayed in Dayton and went to work with Orville at his print shop. Interesting (?) sidenote: Paul Laurence Dunbar was one of their customers, and had also been a classmate of Orville's. I like to imagine that they were BFFs. Also, that they invented a time machine so they could go to the future and find out if they ever became famous, which THEY TOTALLY DID. Well, Dayton-famous. Wah wah.

Later, the Wrights opened a bicycle shop called the Wright Cycle Exchange, and used all the crazy cash money they made to pay for their silly flight endeavors. They were mostly focused on how to control an aircraft, so the pilot wouldn't go careening off of a cliff and, like, die and stuff. Other flight-inventing-wannabes were more focused on strapping the biggest engines they could find on planes but the Wrights were all, "size isn't everything, duh."

Then Wilbur and Orville did a bunch of science to figure out how to make an awesome plane that wouldn't kill people. They did this and in 1903, they took the Wright Flyer I to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and flew the shit out of it. The only reason the first flight took place in North Carolina was because the winds there were more conducive to flying than the winds in Dayton (plus it was December, which equals ice and snow in Ohio). Also, going to North Carolina was cheaper than going to California or Florida. So, congratulations, North Carolina! You get the bronze medal in wind.

But seriously. Stay away from The Wright Brothers. THEY'RE OURS.

(Indiana tries to butt in sometimes, too, just because Wilbur Wright was born there, which is sort of adorable but no, Indiana. You get to claim Vonnegut and Letterman, WHY ISN'T THAT ENOUGH FOR YOU?)

PS: If you're ever in Dayton and you have some time to kill, I highly recommend going to Carillon Park. You can see a replica of the Wright bicycle shop (whoo?) and the Wright Flyer III, which is, I think, three times as awesome as the Wright Flyer I. Plus! There is a little replica schoolhouse from the olden days and you get to sit at the desks or in the corner and wear the Dunce hat. It's awesome. Or at least I thought it was awesome when we went there on field trips. You know, when I was 10.

9. What would your Boggart be?

My boggart would be someone telling me that I had to plan a wedding again. Oh, zing! Just kidding, it really wasn't that terrible. But seriously (folks), I had a really good time planning certain things (mustaches!) and even the not-so-fun things (assembling the invites!) weren't that bad because I got to watch terrible movies while doing it. WIN WIN WIN.

Anyway, I don't know if anyone has any interest in this BUT it might be helpful if you ever plan on planning a wedding and you're lazy like I am. So, here is what we did and how we planned (I would like to apologize for the length...that's what he said) and I'm sorry if it's really boring because OMG how boring is talking about wedding planning? Also, how long was that sentence? Damn, Gina.

1. Ceremony Venue

We almost got married in a tiny park that has a dinosaur in it, surrounded by immediate family and wedding party only. Then we almost got married in a tiny church, surrounded by immediate family and wedding party only. In the end, we got married in the tiny church, surrounded by EFFING EVERYONE, because we obviously loved everyone we invited and wanted them to be there for the ceremony. I still don't know how we squeezed so many people in such a teeny tiny church. It was sort of like how the Weasleys and Harry and Hermione all fit in a teeny tiny tent when they went to the Quidditch World Cup.

2. Reception Venue

We vacillated on the reception hall for a while, but eventually settled on the only place we visited, which is where almost everyone in Dayton has their wedding reception. Which...whatever, we probably could have tried harder to find somewhere a bit more creative, but in the end, I didn't really care so much about the where, I was more interested in the who (as in, WHO would be there) and the what (as in, WHAT food/drinks will we serve and WHAT will we do to make this a super crazy awesome fun time).

3. Food/Drinks/Cake

We served an appetizer buffet instead of a sit down dinner, thinking it would be faster. I'm not sure it was, but I was so happy we went that route because appetizers are my favorite food group (what?) and the jalapeno poppers were SO GOOD. Also, there were teeny pie things that had pizza toppings inside and OMG. My parents had everyone over after the reception and they served the leftover reception food, and I have a very fuzzy memory of standing next to all the food, shoving the pizza pie things in my mouth, like, until they were gone.

Since we didn't serve a big dinner, we worried that people would be feeling peckish toward the end of the night, so we served a soft pretzel bar (with nacho cheese and various mustards) as a late night snack. I didn't eat any (sad face) because I was too busy dancing around Hogwarts on the dance floor, but they sure looked good.

In the early planning stages, I think we were most excited to go cake tasting, but we only ended up going to one place because THAT WAS ALL IT TOOK. Seriously. We got our cupcakes from The Bombshell Bakeshop, which is a local Dayton business, and the proprietors couldn't have been nicer. Joe and I totally have a couple crush on them (whatever that means). We got about 200 cupcakes, in various flavors, and left the rest up to them. I can safely say that they went above and beyond and if you're getting married in Dayton, please hire them. You will not be disappointed.

4. Flowers

I honestly did not give two shits about the flowers, but my mom (hi, Mom!) really wanted us to have real bouquets because they smell nice. And they did smell nice. We got them from The Flowerman, another local business. My only complaint is that my bouquet was so heavy that I thought my arm was going to fall off during the ceremony, but that's not their fault, that's my fault for being such a wuss.

5. Favors

MUSTACHES! I ordered the mustaches from MaroDesigns on etsy. I almost didn't, because I thought it would be way too expensive to order 160 mustaches at something like $3 each. I ended up emailing her, though, and I'm so glad I did because she gave me a much cheaper price for ordering them in bulk.

You guys. This was the best wedding purchase I made. Way better than the flowers, better than my dress, better than EVERYTHING. Joe was a little worried that I became so fixated on getting fake mustaches for the reception, but that's because he had no idea I'd found such awesome mustaches. I am so, so glad I got them, if only for the pictures. OH THE PICTURES.

6. Photographer

Speaking of pictures, my cousin, Dana, is a wedding photographer and she gave us a great deal. Which is awesome, otherwise we never would have been able to afford her. Heh. Her website is here: Dana Grant Photography and some of our wedding photos are here: Joe and Jennie's DAY OF FUN.

7. Music/DJ

Joe's friend DJed for us, which was awesome because she took care of getting the equipment and everything. Our first/mother/father songs were:

First Dance: Falling Slowly by The Swell Season
Father/Daughter: Gracie by Ben Folds
Mother/Son: Let it Be by The Beatles

8. Centerpieces

BOARD GAMES. Seriously, it was so easy and fun and no one I talked to had ever been to a wedding with board game centerpieces. What made it even better was that the reception hall took care of setting all of them up at the tables. Even Twister, which was set up right next to the dance floor. Plus, it was cheap since we already had a lot of the games.

9. Invites

This was another thing I didn't really care about. I mean, I wanted them to look nice but I didn't want to spend a bajillion dollars on them. So, Joe drew the design and I figured out what they should say and we printed and assembled them ourselves.

10. Dress

This was my biggest headache, I think, but it wasn't even that bad. It's just that I hate shopping and there's so much pressure for your wedding dress to be, like, the prettiest dress you'll ever own. To which I say BULLSHIT because I plan on buying lots of pretty dresses for the rest of my life, so suck it.

That's not to say I didn't like my wedding dress. I loved it. It was way more comfortable than any dress has a right to be and I got it for only $200 (SCORE). Joe's mom used to alter wedding dresses for a living, so did all of my alterations. The dress came with a long train, which she hemmed completely off so I wouldn't trip over it. The biggest pain in the ass, really, was finding a strapless bra that was supportive but that didn't cut off my air supply.

11. Thank You Notes

Um, we are still working on these. Sorry, everyone who sent us gifts, but we are both procrastinators. So, those will hopefully go out before the end of the year. Or before our first wedding anniversary. Heh.

Monday, November 08, 2010

this is the laziest post ever...and it's really poorly written...I mean, way worse than dot dot

I might give up on this HP question extravaganza because I think it's making me lazy. Well, lazier.

I do have to say that I am really enjoying the Great Harry Potter Reread of 2010. It's been a while since I've read them all. Usually when I reread them, I skip the first two books because...well, duh. It's strange, though, I find myself getting weepy at the oddest moments, moments that didn't cause tears the first time I read the books but now that I've read all of them, I spend most of my time all, "THIS IS SO EMOTIONALLY SIGNIFICANT AND I WANT TO CRY" because yeah, you guys, I want to cry. I got teary the first time I saw chubby, little Neville when I was watching The Sorcerer's Stone yesterday. WTF, you guys, WTF?

Not much is going on, which is kind of weird after the past month or two of crazy hellaciousness, and I would probably be spending a lot of time wondering what to do with myself were it not for NaNo and the GHPR2010 and NaBloMe.

In other news, I took Max for a walk yesterday and two things happened:

1) I lost his poop in a pile of leaves, because it was a HUGE pile of leaves and his poops are little. When I told Joe about it, he was all, "WHY DID YOU LET HIM WALK IN A PILE OF LEAVES? and I will explain more about that in a moment

and 2) Someone had their dog off of his leash, which is fine if your dog is well-behaved, I suppose. Anyway, so suddenly this giant German Shepherd is running straight at me and instead of having a normal person reaction and being, I don't know, cautious around the 90 pound stranger-dog, I was all, "LOOK AT YOU!" and bent down so I could hug him and love him and call him George. Only his name was Buddy. Anyway, he didn't rip my face off, so that's awesome.

Yeah, so the pile of leaves thing. Joe and I were walking Max a while ago and I was letting Max frolic in leaf piles and Joe was like, "I wish you wouldn't do that," and I was all, "why not?" and he was like, "because he'll get bugs all over him," and I was like, ", WHAT." Apparently Joe wasn't allowed to play in leaf piles when he was a kid because his parents told him he'd get bugs all over him. And I was all, "GO AHEAD MAX YOU PLAY IN ALL THE LEAVES." Then I tried to push Joe in a leaf pile but it didn't work because he's way taller than me so really all that happened is that I almost fell over. True story.

Anyway, today's HP question is something about what character you'd be if you lived in HP-land and my answer is I DON'T KNOW, YOU TELL ME. tell me, please.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

a study in non-productivity

Right now I am:

Watching The Sorcerer's Stone while alternately:

Reading Goblet of Fire and working on my NaNo novel, which means:

I'm not really getting anything done. I did manage to shower, so that's a big win, I guess. But whatever, I suppose you're using your extra hour in a more productive fashion? GOOD FOR YOU.

I can at least answer today's Harry Potter question, which is: What class you most want to take?

Transfiguration, obviously, because McGonagall is the shit. Or maybe Defense Against the Dark Arts as taught by Professor Lupin.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

6. Favorite villain

Remember when Sirius Black was a villain? That was awesome. But he was a good villain, all crazy and screamy and murdery. I mean, I liked him more when he was Harry's irresponsible godfather but then he went and got himself killed by my other favorite villain, Bellatrix LeCRAZYASSFACE.

Anyway, have you guys seen this? It's pretty old, but I think you should see it:

Friday, November 05, 2010

5. Favorite pairing

HermiRONe all the way. Duh.

Lupin and Tonks also warmed my cold, cold heart, but I can't think about them without getting verklempt DAMN YOU, JK ROWLING.

Also, did Neville and Luna end up together? Or did I make that up because it was my heart's secret wish?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

30 Days of Harry Potter: Top 3 favorite characters

THIS IS SO HARD (twss). I'm changing the topic a bit and making it top 3 favorite characters who are not Harry, Hermione, or Ron because...well, because it just makes things easier for me. And, in the end, isn't that what really matters?

1. Hagrid (alternate: Neville)
2. Ginny Weasley (alternate: Hedwig)
3. Lupin (alternate: Tonks, duh)

Again, my answer really depends on the day. I'm sure as soon as I hit publish, I'll have changed my mind.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

30 Days of Harry Potter DAY 3: What would your Patronus be?

The other night at dinner, Joe told me that he was talking to one of the neighbors one morning while he was walking Max and the neighbor warned him to WATCH OUT FOR COYOTES. Apparently, several people had spotted a coyote by the pond (the one Heather got in trouble for throwing rocks into) and along the edges of the parking lots, where there are lots of trees. The guy was all, "just be careful walking at night," and advised us to stay in the well-lit areas and to shine a flashlight in the coyote's face if it approached. Luckily, we have a flashlight. We had to get one because it's hard to see Max's poops in the grass when it's all dark outside, and since it gets dark at 3:30 now, we usually end up walking him all blind and shit.

So, Joe is telling me this, and I'm all, "and all this time I was worried about ZOMBIES attacking us while we're out for a walk, and not coyotes," and Joe was all, "...yeah...anyway, be careful." And I was like, NO WAIT because here:

Me: Don't worry, if I see a coyote, I'll just tell it to go away.
Joe: Yeah, I don't know if that will work.
Me: Hahahaha, remember that time everyone thought I saw a coyote?
Joe: You mean the time you lied to everyone on your blog?
Me: ...You're going to have to be more specific.
Joe: People thought you saw a coyote because YOU SAID YOU SAW A COYOTE.
Me: Yeah, but I also said I talked to it, I thought people would realize it was fake. I mean, I had a conversation with a coyote.
Joe: Jennie, you have conversations like that with ducks ALL THE TIME.
Me: Oh, right.

So, long story short, my patronus would totally be a duck. QUACK.

ETA: Or an otter, since Joe won't let me get a real one.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

NaBloMe: Day 2

30 Days of Harry Potter, stolen shamelessly from here:

Order the books from favorite to least favorite:

1. Prizoner of Azkaban
2. Goblet of Fire
3. Deathly Hallows
4. Half Blood Prince
5. Order of the Phoenix
6. Sorcerer's Stone
7. Chamber of Secrets

Order the movies from favorite to least favorite

1. Prizoner of Azkaban
2. Half Blood Prince
3. Order of the Phoenix
4. Goblet of Fire
5. Sorcerer's Stone
6. Chamber of Secrets

These lists are completely arbitrary. You could ask me again tomorrow and my answers might be totally different. Oh, well, the point is that I posted today, half-assed though it was.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Here comes the funcooker!

I'm posting today because I haven't quite decided NOT to do NaBloPoMo. I'm definitely doing NaNoWriMo, if only because I told both Ashley and Joe I would do it BUT ALSO because I got an email from my past self (via FutureMe) that simply said:

Subject: NaNoWriMo


So I'm doing it. You can't back out on something your past self told you to do, you just can't.

In any case, last year it really helped me to post on my blog every day, even if I was just posting my word count because A) it kept me honest and B) you all could yell at me if I didn't write my daily word count. BUT. This year is a bit different because Joe and I also have a bet going, which is going to take up a lot of my non-NaNo-writing time until November 18th. Here is how the bet happened:

Me: I kind of want to read Deathly Hallows again before the movie comes out.
Joe: Do you have time?
Me: Oh, totally. I could read it twice before the movie comes out.
Joe: Why would you do that?
Joe: O...K?
Me: What, I could do it.
Joe: Wanna bet?
Me: YES.
Joe: Um. OK.
Me: I don't really want to read Deathly Hallows three times in a row, though.*
Joe: Hmm. OK. Let me think.
Me: Sure...
Joe: OK, I bet that you can't read all seven books before the movie comes out.
Me: That's it?
Joe: ...

So that's the bet, whether or not I can read all seven books before midnight on November 18th. The loser (Joe) will have to make dinner for the winner (me) for a full week. The winner (me) gets to pick what the loser (Joe) makes. Any menu suggestions? Joe might need time to prepare.

*not because I don't love it, but because my eyes might dry up and fall out from all the crying

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It'll be my first pah-ty, Fah-tha!

Me: The hills are aliiiiiiive...with the sound of muuuuuusiiiiiic...
Joe: Have you been watching Moulin Rouge?

I've been walking around singing songs from The Sound of Music for the past few days and WITH GOOD REASON. For, you see, there was a Sound of Music sing-a-long at a nearby movie theater on Tuesday and I went (DUH) even though it was on a school night and I'd be up past my bedtime.

I saw an advertisement for this sing-a-long a few weeks ago when Joe and I went to see The Social Network. When I saw the preview for it, I believe my exact words were, "OMFG OMFG I HAVE TO GO TO THAT OMFG," and Joe was all, "...eff," because he was afraid he'd have to go with me. But. I posted something about it on (the) Facebook and soon had tentative plans to go with some of my family members, because they're awesome like that. And really, I told Joe that the only reason he wasn't excited about it at all was because he's never seen the movie, something that is GROSS AND WRONG, but not quite as gross and wrong as never having seen The Goonies.

So last week was total shit, right? Right. And I've been pretty Debbie Downer lately as a result. Anyway, it turns out that Julie Andrews works kind of like anti-depressants. Like, I cannot be in a bad mood if Julie Andrews is singing, I just can't. I love her.

You know what else I love? When crowds sing along to songs at concerts. Not, like, one really loud guy who is singing so loud that I can't hear the artist (JOE) but when the whole crowd sings and you can't make out one voice from another. The sing-a-long was like that plus Julie Andrews, which equals NOW WE ARE SO HAPPY, WE DO THE DANCE OF JOY. Truly. I did the math just now and it totally worked.

I went with two of my cousins and two of my aunts, and everyone had such a good time, which is really what everyone needed. I highly recommend going to one of these if you have the chance. Obviously, you should go if you love The Sound of Music, but who doesn't love The Sound of Music? I'll tell you who...NAZIS.

It'd been years since I'd seen the movie all the way through. Especially considering that, when I was younger, I used to fast forward to my favorite parts, which were: the nuns singing about how terrible Maria is, Maria singing about how she's all confident and shit, Rolf being all patronizing and telling Liesl she needs someone to take care of her (I was young, I didn't know that Rolf was a big turdface until he blew his stupid whistle), Do Re Mi, the creepy puppet show, the party where Maria and Captain von Trapp dance and have all the UST, Baronness Bitchface getting dumped so Captain von Trapp can go dance and sing and make out with Maria, and, OK, all the singing parts, especially Captain von Trapp singing because he is dreamy with a capital D that stands for DAMN which rhymes with BAM I JUST PASSED OUT BECAUSE HE'S SO DREAMY.

The only singing part I didn't like was when the Boss Nun sings about climbing mountains because it was boring and I wanted to get back to watching Maria and Captain von Trapp make googly eyes at each other. Now that I think about it, they might be the first couple I ever shipped, except for maybe Red and Gobo on Fraggle Rock which is TOTALLY NORMAL SHUT UP.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

one more sad

Last week was a weird one, I must say. I worked Monday and Tuesday and had the rest of the week off. My company does a lot of things wrong but they do bereavement leave right. Not sure what to make of that.

I went to volunteering on Tuesday night, something I was more than a little worried about, as it is a group for grieving children. I worried about bursting into tears as soon as I walked in, but it was actually the perfect place for me to be. Which in hindsight is a big, fat DUH but my foresight is absolute shit.

I saw my family almost every day last week, which was good, but also cried a lot, which was not so fun, actually. I held it together for most of the viewing, even though I had to go hide in the kitchen (under pretense of water-getting) a few times, and I held it together not at all on Friday at the funeral. I did manage to read this:

The thing about having a grandma is that you think she’ll always be there, because she’s always been there. From the moment you’re born, she’s with you, cheering you on and letting you stay up too late and pretending not to notice when you swipe a peppermint from the candy jar when your parents aren’t looking. She’s just as proud of you for graduating as she is that you didn’t fall down while walking across the stage. So when your grandma dies, you feel it instantly. That person who used to let you win at board games and who totally believed you when you said you were going to grow up to be Mary Poppins is gone.

The hardest thing about losing someone you love is the realization that you’ll never see them again. That all of the memories you have of that person are it, there will never be more. You realize how very little time we actually get and you wish, desperately, for more.

We must remember that the memories we have of Grandma are ours forever. We might feel like we’re losing them or that we don’t have enough of them, but the memories we have of her are like puzzle pieces and each person in this family holds different pieces of the puzzle. Late night card games and camping trips, watching Disney movies over and over and sleepovers on New Years Eve, walking up to Lincoln Park and feeding ducks at the pond, chocolate martinis and Happy Birthday Jesus cakes. We all hold these memories and when we tell stories about Grandma, we’re putting the puzzle pieces together. We’re a family of storytellers, a family that can’t get together without telling stories of times past, and as long as we can share our memories of Grandma, she’ll always be with us.

But only because the eulogies were first and especially only because I ran up to the mic before anyone else got a chance to make me cry. After I sat back down, though, all bets were off. TEARS. EVERYWHERE. But I suppose that's what funerals are for, really, so...whatever.

I feel very whatever lately. Very blah. Very other words for depressed. Things are getting back to normal, I suppose. We watched Chuck last night and walked Max and laughed about stupid things and I read my book and went to sleep and had crazy, crazy dreams.

Which I expected, as I have been having some wicked crazy dreams lately. I've dreamt of zombies at least four out of the past seven nights. The other night, I dreamt that I was in that movie Skyline. Have you seen the preview? It looks pretty run of the mill alien-movie until the last shot, which is of lots and lots of screaming people being pulled into spaceships by a beam of light. Freaked my shit out, that did. Anyway, some other people and I were running from this light, obviously, and we took shelter in a house. Someone realized that the light couldn't pull up people with dyed hair (what?) so we all dyed our hair. Mine was dark, dark black, like Evil!Willow black. We went outside to test it but mine didn't work, the light still came and I started getting pulled away and that's when Robert Downey, Jr. flew over in his Iron Man suit (minus the helmet) and saved me, which was pretty awesome because Robert Downey, Jr. is totally on my list, only I woke up before I could dream-cheat on Joe. Oh well, maybe next time.

(I love you, Joe!)

Anyway. I don't know what all the zombie/alien dreams say about my psyche right now and I don't want to know, thank you very much, I just wish they'd stop.

I am, however, totally OK with the Robert Downey, Jr. dreams. HINT HINT, UNIVERSE.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


On the first day of training to be a volunteer with Oak Tree Corner, we did an exercise where we had to come up with different ways to say someone died. Passed on, passed away, went to Heaven, pushing up daisies, sleeping with the fishes...these are all examples of things people say instead of, "so and so died." Obviously, ones like "passed on" are used more often than "sleeping with the fishes," unless, of course, you're living in some sort of Sopranos world, in which case you might say that a lot. But I digress.

There's a point to the exercise. Kids find death just as confusing as adults, but the difference is, kids are very literal. If you tell a kid that someone who died went to Heaven, the kid might think they're coming back some day. Like Heaven is just somewhere people go on vacation. So we're taught to say someone died, not someone passed away.

After I did this exercise, I began to notice more and more that no one ever wants to say died or dead. It sounds too harsh. Too final. If you look at the obituary page, it's full of "passed aways."

I don't know why I'm talking about all that. Stalling, maybe. What I'm trying to say is that my grandma died on Friday, but I don't want to say died because dead is forever and that, well, that totally sucks.

My mom called me at work on Thursday to tell me my grandma had a fever and they thought she might have pneumonia. Later on, I found out that they might soon be calling hospice in. And I spent the majority of that afternoon running to the bathroom to cry in the stall.

My parents picked Joe and I up Thursday evening so we could go to the nursing home. My aunt and uncle were waiting for us. They'd already been in to see grandma, and since their eyes were red-rimmed from crying, I knew things weren't good. We went back to her room. She was lying in her bed, propped up by pillows so she wouldn't fall out, and she wouldn't wake up at all. She looked so small.

My dad spoke to her nurse and then we met back up with my aunt and uncle. The words, "end of life," were used. My mom called my other aunt, told her to come see grandma, but not by herself. Still, we thought we had days yet, to say goodbye.

Mom called me Friday morning. I already had the day off of work, so I was still lying in bed. She told me that she and Dad were meeting hospice people at the nursing home because Grandma still had a fever and wasn't getting any better.

I got up, got dressed, and was about to take Max out when my phone rang again. My heart jumped into my throat when I saw it was my mom calling. I choked out a hello and knew, knew before my mom even said it, that she had died.

I tried Joe's cell phone, but he was at work so he didn't see it, and I was getting angrier and angrier with myself because I couldn't find his work number. "Idiot," I thought. "Why isn't it in your cell phone?"

Finally, I emailed him and asked him to call me. My phone rang almost instantly and I wondered if I'd even be able to talk. I didn't know how to say the words: Grandma died. But when I answered, all he said was, "Do I need to come home?" and I managed to squeak out a "yeah," and he was on his way.

It was a strange day. I mean, obviously. What a stupid thing to say. Of course it was strange. But Joe came home and I cried. He made me eat breakfast. I cried. We watched The Daily Show. I cried. I talked to my mom and cried and showered and cried and did I mention I cried? My head ached from crying, but by the time we went to my parents', I had mostly composed myself. We met with the pastor to go over the funeral service and we looked through pictures of my grandma. We told stories and drank wine and ate pizza.

Yesterday, I walked in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk and we took my sister to dinner and watched football and drank beer and ate junk food and it was almost like I was a normal person again. Look at me, I'm joking with the waitress and reading my Google Reader and cooking banana bread and watching Jurassic Park and you'd never know my heart broke wide open just two days ago. Don't worry, though, I found all the pieces and I think I remember how they go together. Just might take me some time, is all.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

thank you!

Thank you to all who donated! You are my most favorite people, right up there with Joe and Mr. Darcy and Hermione Granger and don't start on how two of those people are imaginary because in my head they are as real as you SO THERE.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is thank you very much. Hee.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I need your good thoughts. Also, your money.

We lived next door to my dad's mom until right before I started third grade, when we moved into a bigger house across town. While we lived next door (which was a street away from where Joe grew up, btw), she used to baby-sit me after school. At some point, I don't remember when because I'm old now and those memories are fuzzy, my Granny moved in. Granny was not blood-related to any of us, but had raised my Grandpa and so she was family. I think that's how family works.

Granny died a few years after we moved, and my grandma moved into the condo that Joe and I are now renting. Life hasn't been very fair to Grandma, and yeah, yeah, I know life's not fair but that's not going to stop me from being pissed off about it. Her husband, my grandfather, died before I was born. He was only 46. When I was in college, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She beat that and was diagnosed with diabetes. And a few years ago, doctors found a cyst that was pushing on her brain, causing confusion and other physical problems.

I remember being relieved when I found out that it was a cyst and not a tumor. But now I think, "fuck that cyst," because it has been nothing but a pain in the ass (brain?) ever since it turned up. It's required two of the same surgery, a shunt, and a temporary-turned-permanent stay in a variety of nursing homes. And the surgeries? They seemed to work at the time but she's been in a spiraling state of confusion ever since. She became paranoid and was sometimes mean. Sometimes funny mean, like when she threatened to punch my dad in the gonads, but other times mean mean. Mostly she was just confused. She sometimes thought she was back in her childhood home. She thought she had more than one room at the nursing home and always insisted that we take her to it.

She did have moments of complete lucidity, where she was all there, all Grandma again, and she'd make a joke or tell a story from when my dad was a kid. My sister and I visited once, and I spent the majority of the visit pushing Grandma's wheelchair up and down the hallways of the nursing home because she insisted that we go to her "other" room and no amount of me telling her that there WAS no other room was going to dissuade her. We spent a good hour exploring the halls and we never found it, of course, but when we got back to Grandma's room, she looked me square in the eye, all there, and said, "You're a good kid." I laughed it off, as I do whenever anything gets too serious, and made a comment about how I hadn't been a kid in a very long time. Then we talked about the new Where the Wild Things movie.

That's the last time I remember seeing the Grandma I grew up with. Since then, she's only gotten worse. She was recently moved to a home that specializes in Alzheimer's and dementia patients. I won't go into details, but she's been a handful, to put it mildly, and this was primarily the reason she couldn't come to the wedding.

Last weekend it reached epically bad proportions, as her doctors try to find a balance in her medication. They need to keep her calm without over-medicating her. I haven't seen her yet in the new home but I imagine it's not good, as my parents have forbidden me or any of the other grandkids to go see her without one of our parents. She's not eating. My parents couldn't wake her up when they visited last, she was so over-medicated. So. It's bad. I feel stupid and naive for thinking it would ever get better.

This coming Saturday, I'm walking in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk in honor of both my Grandma and Aunt Kathy, both breast cancer survivors. I've done a pretty piss-poor job raising money, so if you can find it in your hearts (and wallets) to make a donation, I'll be your best friend. Or say really nice things about you on the internets. Or write a post about anything you want. Hopefully not one as sad face as this one, though, I had to take a lot of DON'TYOUCRYRIGHTNOW breaks.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Who knows where thoughts come from, they just appear!

I think weird thoughts, like, all the time. And after I think these thoughts, I wonder what's wrong with me. Like, sometimes I'll be having a crazy thought and be all, "STOP THINKING THIS RIGHT NOW...WTH IS WRONG WITH YOU? STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT," like if I'm home alone and trying to go to sleep and suddenly I'm imagining someone lurking into the dark room and when I open my eyes, I know I'll see someone standing over me, swinging an axe over my head, I just know it, but can I stop thinking about it? No, I cannot. I can never stop my brain from thinking a thought it's already started thinking.

Like, every morning, since I get up first, I take Max out so his bladder doesn't explode all over the house because that would probably be messy, and I already have to clean up Phoebe's barf so I'm not cleaning up exploded bladder, too. And since I have to get up super early so my corporate overlords don't fire me, it's still dark out when I walk him. I also usually forget to put on my glasses, so everything is all blurry around the edges, but blurrier than it would normally be when I'm not wearing glasses because I'm all half asleep. And bra-less. That has nothing to do with this story, but in the spirit of full disclosure, I thought I'd share it.

ANYWAY. We're walking and it's dark and blurry and I'm stumbling over my flip flops and shivering because I'm wearing pajama pants and when did it get so cold, Ohio? And every time I hear a noise, my mind immediately goes to zombies. I don't know why. It just does. I mean, sure, I've been reading World War Z every night before bed, but I think that's irrelevant because I've had this zombie-phobia for YEARS now. So then I start imagining what I would do if a zombie ran up behind me. I'd have to protect Max, obviously, but I'd need to find a weapon and THERE ARE NO WEAPONS OUTSIDE. I'd have to rip a branch off of a tree but I'm pretty sure that by the time I managed that, the zombie would have already ripped off an ear or something. PLUS. Since everything is all no-glasses-blurry, I might not even notice that the person approaching me is a zombie until it's too late. My point is, I'm screwed if zombies attack in the morning unless I start remembering to put on my glasses before I go outside.

I have a lot of these weird (ok, crazy) thoughts while I'm walking Max. Last night, I was walking him and listening to my iPod and this little girl was playing with a giant stick in her yard. And as I passed her, I thought, "What if she hits me in the head with that stick and goes all Lord of the Flies on me or tries to steal my iPod? I'd have to kick her or something. Would I get arrested? I'd just be defending myself. But she's like 8." Luckily, I'm really short so we were almost the same height and I think the police might have let me off with just a warning.

Last week, I was walking Max at night through a neighboring neighborhood and he totally pooped in someone's bushes! When he did it, I was all, "Are you KIDDING me?" and no, he was not kidding me, but it was so dark that I couldn't find the poo to pick it up and I'm not proud of this but we had to run away. And since we did that, we couldn't walk back to our house the same way or we would have passed the scene of the crime, so I had to cut through the wooded/pond area that is TOTALLY SCARY IN THE DARK. And I kept picturing the headlines, "WOMAN DISAPPEARS FROM PARK, DOG FOUND CHASING DUCKS AT POND" and hoping that if any serial killers were roaming the woods that night, that they would stay away because of my vicious, 25 pound dog. Sigh. Or. OR! That if they attacked me, I'd like, tap into some previously unknown Slayer powers that are lying dormant inside me. IT COULD HAPPEN, SHUT UP.

Also, the other day as I was driving home from work, I wondered what I would do if I turned into some sort of fish mutant while I was driving and could no longer breathe oxygen. I'd have to just drive my car into some water, right? But, like, how would I call Joe and tell him I'd turned into a fish mutant? Do cell phones work underwater? Or would I have to drive into a lake, let the car fill up with water, and then drive home and hope the water didn't leak out during the drive? And, I don't know, live in the bathtub for the rest of my life. You have to prepare for these things, you guys, I'm serious. You'll thank me if you ever turn into a fish mutant.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

the Ken Doll

I first heard of the Kindle back in 2007 from one Heather Anne Hogan. It was the Thanksgiving that I drove to DC to meet The Collective and when I'd finally found my way and parked and lugged all of my stuff into Kat's adorable apartment, Heather Anne told us all of a magical device called the Kindle.

She'd been sitting next to a woman with a Kindle on her flight to DC. And, being Heather Anne Hogan, she became best friends with this stranger and learned all about the wonder of the Kindle. How it was magic and could hold practically a million books inside and also how it cost a lot. We were all amazed, if not slightly suspicious, because who doesn't love the feel of a real book in their hands? In any case, I filed this information away because I didn't even have an iPod at that point, so it wasn't like I was going to go run out and buy this mysterious Kindle. (At the time, I thought everyone was saying Ken Doll instead of Kindle and I was all, "How do you read off of a Ken Doll?" but don't worry, I eventually figured it out.)

Last year, Joe started a new job. Since he started when everyone was getting their Christmas bonuses, he wasn't going to get one. So his boss gave him a Kindle. Yeah. No bonus for you, but here's SOME MAGIC instead. I'm not going to lie to you. I was jealous. And not JUST because my Christmas bonus consisted of a booklet about the history of the company and two movie tickets. But, I was also happy for him because I love him blah blah blah and anyway, he let me read books on it sometimes.

The brand new tiny Kindle came out right before we got married. My coworkers gave me a gift card to Target that was JUST ENOUGH for a Kindle, so we tried to find one before the honeymoon. Unfortunately, we weren't successful so, AS PER USUAL, I ended up packing five books in my carry-on, oh, and buying two others over the course of the trip.

But when we got home, we found a faraway(ish) Target (around Hoover Heights, Heather) and soon I had a Kindle. It was like POOF here's your Kindle, that's how easy it was. I soon had it loaded with a couple of books, but it's so hard to stop at a couple of books. Especially when it's so easy to buy them. You only have to click ONE BUTTON on Amazon's website and then it's loaded onto your Kindle. I had no idea books could disapparate, but they keep doing it! From Amazon, straight to my Kindle! IT IS MAGIC, YOU GUYS, DON'T TRY AND TELL ME DIFFERENTLY.

I need to stop, though. I am exceeding my book budget by, like, a lot. Luckily, there are a lot of free books for the Kindle, classics like Pride & Prejudice and Gulliver's Travels. So I loaded all the free books I could find onto my Kindle. I found about 40 of them. I'll be taking all of them with me to DC this weekend and I just hope it's enough.