Thursday, December 29, 2011

make a little birdhouse in your soul

The week between Christmas and New Year's is so weird. Wow, BOLD STATEMENT, I know. But seriously, what is the point of this week? I'm at work for two days. It was supposed to be three but I got sick on one of them and I'm still a TEENSY bit sick but managed to drag myself into work because no one is here to see how disgusting I am. My old company used to completely close during this week, which I think is the right idea. Nothing of consequence gets done, even if you're at work, because no one else is there so you end up organizing the files on your computer for like an hour NOT THAT I'M SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE OR ANYTHING.

Plus, I just had five days off so it's like my brain has forgotten what it's like to sit in front of a computer for eight hours instead of, um, sitting in front of a TV for eight hours. I KID. My Christmas break was actually pretty busy. My only TV-heavy days were on Christmas Eve night when I wrapped presents and on the day after Christmas because my Community DVDs were seriously begging to be watched. For real. Have you ever seen a DVD beg? It's weird. They talk out of the little hole right in their middle but they don't have teeth or a tongue or lips so it sounds like, "ooooooooooh ooooh oooooh," basically, which I assume means, "WAAAAAAATCH ME, JENNIE, THEN WATCH ALL OF THE DELETED SCENES AND ALSO YOU SHOULD PROBABLY WATCH THE GAG REAL FIVE TIMES BECAUSE OF ALL OF THE LAAAAAUGHTER."

So, yeah. Hey, do you want to know what I watched on Christmas Eve, while drinking wine and wrapping presents and making the basement look like this:

Not actually that messy.

Well, it's your lucky day because I will tell you! I watched a Doctor Who Christmas special, an episode of The X-Files (How the Ghosts Stole Christmas), The Family Stone, and half of Love, Actually. I only saw half because I started it toward the end of my present-wrapping and wine-drinking and I fell asleep halfway through. Wow, good story! Aren't you glad you stuck around for that?

But wait, let's rewind to Friday night! Because why not? I met some friends for dinner and drinks IN THAT ORDER and somehow we ended up here:

SPLORT. That was my brain exploding.

In case you can't tell, that is a magical Christmas wonderland of holiday light magic. Some crazy, lovely people in Springfield decorate their front and back yards with all manner of Christmas decoration and then encourage people to walk through. There's a path through the display, lined with sugarplums and gumdrops. Or just a rope. But whatever, my point is, do you feel it? Do you feel the magic?

Not many people know that elephants and giraffes are actually dinosaurs.

How about now? THAT IS A CHRISTMAS DINOSAUR. That I didn't steal. Because that would have been wrong. And because there wasn't room in the car.

Honestly, the rest of Christmas felt a bit dull after that experience. HAHA JUST KIDDING CHRISTMAS IS AWESOME. We celebrated with my family on Christmas morning and Joe's family in the afternoon and it was a magical, exhausting day, notable mainly because Joe and I got each other the same gift. And not only did we get each other the same gift but it was the same awesome gift, seen HERE on the internet and here in our bathroom:

I AM WATCHING OVER YOU.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Internet, but you're totally the bee in my bonnet. Happy almost New Year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

(trying to) let it be

I can't remember if I've mentioned this here (probably not because I tend to forget to announce important things in favor of, like, talking about Community non-stop), but my sister-in-law is pregnant WITH TWINS, who Joe and I have nicknamed Troy and Abed (see?).

Well. Earlier this week, Julie's water broke, which is a problem because she's only 25 weeks along. She's in the hospital right now, not in labor (I guess they stop it with magic or something?), but she has to stay there until the wee babies are born. Which will hopefully not be for a good, long while. Still, that means that Julie has to spend the holidays in a hospital room, which is just all around stinky. So, if you're the praying kind, please do that, if you're more comfortable with thinking good thoughts, then think all of them! And if you'd like to send Julie a note or a funny link or something to while away the hours, email me and I'll make sure she gets your kind words. Thanks, Internets!

I'm trying this new thing where I don't let myself freak out about stuff. Which is...different and only mildly successful when I get news like the above. When I woke up this morning, though, my radio alarm was playing Let It Be and so I've decided to adopt it as my DON'T FREAK OUT mantra.

Also, I'm trying to stop yelling DON'T FREAK OUT at myself when I'm freaking out. So there's that.

Friday, December 16, 2011

me and my brain are like peas and carrots

One of the best parts about our new house is that it's way closer to work for me, which means I don't have to get up as early. I used to get up way before Joe and I'd be dressed and ready to go most days before he was out of bed. Now, he gets in the shower around the time I'm drying my hair. This is great, mostly because neither of us really minds sharing the bathroom (unless I leave the cord to my flatiron lying all over the floor, which used to happen all the time and I'd hear a mighty yell whenever Joe would step on it...oops), but also because we can do ridiculous things like sing Backstreet Boys songs together or, like this morning, the Annie Edison Holiday Tradition Extravaganza, which I have not been able to get out of my head since last week.

One morning, I was, for whatever reason, quoting Forrest Gump, as ALL normal people do from time to time. I was quoting this line in particular: "Dear God, make me a bird, so I can fly far...far far away from here."

Then I started singing the Doctor Who theme song and explaining to Joe that a lot of people don't think that song has lyrics but it does and they are: Doctor Pooooooo doctor pooooo doctor poooo doctor poooooo...doctor poooooooooooooo. Or something. I don't know. I don't remember.

Anyway, Joe was all, "your brain is a strange place," and I was like, "what?" because what? And he was all, "how do you go from quoting little Jenny from Forrest Gump, praying in a field, to singing INSANE lyrics to Doctor Who?" and I was like, "I don't know, it's easy."

My brain is a place where The Doctor runs rampant with his new companion, Annie Edison, where Coach Taylor gives me daily pep talks, where Kelly Kapoor gives me fashion advice in the mean-girlest way possible. Movie and TV references zip around, smacking all up into each other until they spill out of my mouth FOR NO RAISIN. It's sort of like Community, if Community was terrible and made no sense. At any given moment, my brain sounds like this:

Why do people put those giant inflatable decorations in their yards? I hate them. Especially Frosty the Snowman. I really hate Frosty the Snowman. His stupid face and his stupid nose and his stupid stupid hat. If I were one of those kids, I'd set that hat on fire so he'd melt and never, ever come back. He is THE WORST. But I guess his hat IS pretty cool so maybe I wouldn't set it on fire, I'd just steal it and set one that LOOKS like it on fire so Frosty is dead and melts in the spring but I'll still have his magic hat. I don't know what I'd use it for but maybe it would bring other things to life, too? Like, I don't know, a stuffed elephant? But a little one because a big elephant wouldn't fit in our house. Except little elephants are mean, I think, because I read about it in The Lost World and it makes sense because little dogs are way meaner than big dogs because there is less room for evil in their bodies so the evil is more concentrated. It's science or something. Max is sort of little but he's not evil at all so maybe he's an outlier? Probably. Phoebe is little and she's pretty evil but that might just be a cat thing. I hope evil isn't transmitted by poop because Max keeps eating Phoebe's poops and I don't want him to be evil. I think evil is probably transmitted by, like, dark thoughts or blood or something. Not poop. Poop is supposed to be funny, not evil.

So yeeeeeah. Obviously, my brain is loud and confusing and doesn't make sense a lot of the time and almost always leads to poop talk, but, hey...whatever. It's home.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I'm probably not going to edit or reread this before I publish, if that tells you anything

Oh, hi, internet, I MISS YOU. I keep blathering on and on about my high school exploits and I'm sure (sure!) that you want to know what's going on with present-day-me, right? Come! Listen to me babble! It shall be just like the days of yore!

It being December (WHAT), things are pretty busy but I still spend most evenings reading in my pajamas or watching TV in my pajamas or chasing the animals around so we can give them Frontline in my pajamas, so I'm not sure exactly why things seem so busy, THEY JUST DO.

I did get my hair cut. I was trying for the millionth time in my life to let it get longer than my shoulders but I got sick of it and one day, after a long, difficult day at work, I decided to just chop it all off. Well. I mean, I PAID someone to chop it all off because if I chopped it off myself I'd end up looking like this. Anyway. After my hair was short again, I felt much better about life in general which is what normally happens when I cut all my hair off, because whenever I'm feeling like my life is out of control, I like to exert control over things I actually CAN control over so BOOM short hair!

That was a really long paragraph about my hair, which was really just so I could tell you what a little girl said to me at volunteering last night.

Little Girl: Did you get your hair cut?
Me: Yep.
Little Girl: Oh. It...looks different.

BOOM. Awesome. Thank you, little girl, for that self-esteem boost. Seriously, though, I wanted to hug her because how awesome is that? Don't tell people you like their haircuts just because it's polite! Say how you feel! Only, no offense, you're probably not as cute as this little girl so you might get punched.

Other funny things that happened at volunteering last night (some context...during opening circle, the kids are supposed to only talk if they have the Talking Stick): 

Little Boy: Talk talk talk talk talk.
Me: Little Boy, do you want the Talking Stick?
Little Boy: Sure.
Me: OK, here you go.
Little Boy: PFFFFFFFFFFT*

*that's supposed to be a fart noise

You guys, I almost died. This little boy is my spirit animal. He is THE BEST.

Lately I've become obsessed with listening to records. Luckily, Joe has a record player and already had a bunch of records, but I'm only obsessed with listening to records that I may have listened to as a child. Records that may or may not include: Billy Joel, The Sound of Music, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Oklahoma!, The Beach Boys, etc. I was born into a cassette tape generation but my parents had a record player and I was enthralled with it. Like, how the hell is music coming from A NEEDLE. MAGIC.

My goal is to find some old school Whitney Houston, the Grease Soundtrack, and Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Christmas Album or whatever it's called. And, I think this would go without saying, I would straight up cut a bitch for a copy of The Muppets Christmas album.

SPEAKING of The Muppets, I organized a family outing to see the new movie over Thanksgiving weekend and it was pretty much my greatest idea ever. Not JUST for inviting my awesome family but because THE MOVIE WAS AMAZING. It felt like a 90 minute hug. I have about a million fond memories of sitting on my Grandma's living room floor, inches from the TV (until I got yelled at to scoot back), watching all manner of Muppet movie. I'm almost positive that had something to do with why I was practically sobbing during Rainbow Connection but it also could be because I have emotional problems. Who knows, it's a mystery.

MANIACAL LAUGH MANIACAL LAUGH.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

I'd have to get off the freeway. I HATE that.

When I got my drivers license, my parents were surprised. I was, as you can imagine, a bit offended.

"Tim told us he didn't think you'd pass on the first try," my mom explained.

Tim was my driving instructor. And, apparently, a total asshole.

Maybe that’s not fair. I've never performed well under pressure, especially in front of an authority figure. I don’t rise to the occasion, no, instead I get very anxious and worry about not doing everything perfectly. Which. OK. That's ridiculous, right? I can’t remember the last time I did anything perfectly. But that doesn’t stop me from worrying. OBVIOUSLY. I worry so much about not doing something perfectly that instead I do it horribly, which is what I was worrying about in the first place.

Note: this does not apply to tests. I kick ass at taking tests. But things like giving speeches or performing at a piano recital? These things make me want to poop my pants. Also, I don't play piano so that might be part of the problem. Obviously, I can do things like taking tests without anyone watching, whereas if I'm giving a speech, um, duh, everyone is watching.

So, yeah, back to Tim, my asshole driving instructor who wasn’t really an asshole. He was actually very patient, as all driving instructors should be, and I can't say that I made the greatest impression during my first driving lesson.

I'd already started taking the official driving classes (the ones where you sit in a classroom and watch terribly sad videos about what happens when you drink and drive...I imagine now they also include terribly sad videos about what happens when you drive and text) and my dad had taken me out driving a few times in parking lots and such, so I was familiar with things like, oh, turning the key in the ignition and putting on my seatbelt. And, aside from the time I mixed up drive and reverse and drove onto a sidewalk instead of backing out of a parking spot, I'd done fairly well. Still, I’d never driven on an actual road with, like, other cars and stuff.

With Tim, though, we were going to be driving on real roads RIGHT AWAY. I was so nervous. Why couldn’t we just drive in circles around a parking lot for a couple hours? You know? Just to warm up! Alas, no, Tim wanted to turn me into a responsible driver, not someone who could execute beautiful figure eights in front of a deserted Best Buy.

Everything went well at first. I successfully pulled the car out of the driveway and out onto a main road. Things started going downhill when I realized there were all these other cars on the road with us! What if I hit one?! I started to feel a little vomity. Then we approached a red light and, in my terror, I asked, "um...do I have to stop?"

Now. Tim's reaction (a patient YES) was pretty good. He didn't make any snide remarks, he didn't DUH me, and he didn't do what I would have done, which was yell, "YES YOU HAVE TO FUCKING STOP, PULL OVER RIGHT THE HELL NOW."

[sidenote: this is why I'm not a driving instructor DUH]

Not my finest moment NOT EVEN A LITTLE. I didn't fare much better with maneuverability, annihilating cone after cone, because it just seemed like nonsense to me. I’d nod and smile as Tim explained what I needed to do, but in my head, I was all, “Stop talking crazy, you crazy car sorcerer! Take your dark magic out of my face!”

I feel like we don’t even need to talk about driving on the highway for the first time, right? I mean, it was basically this:



I wish I performed better under pressure. I’m not sure how to fix it or if it’s something that’s even fixable. Some people thrive under pressure and some don’t, yeah? Some like conflict (oh, I’m sure of it) and some, like me, avoid conflict at all costs because WHY WOULD ANYONE LIKE CONFLICT?

I do wish I could make myself stop worrying so much about fucking up in these situations, because it feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’m afraid I’ll fuck up, so I do. It’s not even that I’m not confident I can do these things, it’s that once I’m in the moment, I start doubting everything I’ve ever learned.

For instance, on the last day of middle school, I forgot the combination to my locker. The combination I’d been using all year. It was just gone. I told the janitor that my locker was stuck so he would open it for me. Now I feel like maybe the pressure of high school was starting to loom over me, causing me to fuck up before I’d even started.

Or, you know, I had brain damage.

Now, 13 years later, I can totally see why Tim didn't think I would pass my driving test on the first try. I could barely control a locker, let alone a car. Still. It hurt. And I'm glad I didn't know about it before I took my test, otherwise I probably would have psyched myself out and not passed. But pass I did, and with (almost) flying colors. Conveniently, I didn't have to drive on a road with any stoplights, so that probably helped.

Monday, November 28, 2011

big pimpin'

Dear Daytonites and Dayton-nearbys,

Do you want to see TRACES at the Victoria Theatre? You should, because I've heard it's pretty awesome. Here, take a look:



You want to see it, right? Of course you do. Unless you're used to seeing people fly around like Spiderman and if that's the case WHERE DO YOU LIVE because I want to go to there.

If you want to see TRACES on December 6, 7, or 8, go to VTA Ticket Center Stage and use the coupon code: jennieb. This coupon code is only good today and tomorrow.

Sorry if you don't live in Dayton and can't see this but not THAT sorry, because, you know, you don't live in Dayton.

Full disclosure: if I sell the most tickets with my coupon code, I get moneys. You want me to get moneys, don't you? THEN BUY TICKETS. Or make people you know in Dayton buy them. Either way. 

This blog will now return to its regularly scheduled programming: poop and butts.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

FYI, I started this post in 2006, HOW'S THAT FOR NEVER FINISHING ANYTHING

In elementary school, my favorite gym days were the ones in which I didn't participate. Maybe I was sick. Or I'd hurt myself in some way WHO KNOWS. Whatever it was, and only those with timey-wimey machines can tell us for sure, my mom would write a note saying I was excused from gym class that day.

On those gym-free days, where my mom's signature dismissed me from dodgeball or matball or that game we played where two kids got to terrorize the rest of the class by chasing them around and beating them mercilessly with foam bats, I sat against the gym wall and stared at my sneakers. But on very special days, usually those days when another kid was sickly or injured, we were sent to the gym teacher's office.

I think this was meant to be punishment, but we all thought of it as the ultimate reward. The gym teacher's office was where all the gym equipment was kept, including the giant parachute we got to play with on the last day of gym class every year. This office was deceptively large, almost cave-like, filled with floor mats and hula hoops and those scooty-rolly-cart things and cones and wiffle ball bats and scores of bouncy balls. When I picture Filch's office from Harry Potter, I picture my elementary school gym teacher's cluttered space. Truly, it was her own personal Room of Requirement and on sick days, it was ours, too.

This magical room housed, along with all the necessary gym equipment, one ancient record player and every Beach Boys record ever recorded. I knew about The Beach Boys from Full House, obviously, and also, you know, my parents owned all the albums on cassette or whatever, but there was something special about listening to them on that old record player. The Beach Boys records, I believe, were our teachers way of saying, "sorry you have to clean up all my shit, but at least you can listen to these sweet, sweet beach melodies."

The teacher, before leaving to deal with the rest of our classmates, would give us our assignments, stacking cones or some such nonsense, but instead we'd put on Endless Summer and lie on a stack of floor mats until we heard the teacher coming to check on us. Sometimes we'd get caught and have to go back to gym class. Those were dark times, there is no denying.

This may surprise you, but I did not so much excel at gym class. I mean, sure, I was fine in elementary school. I was one of the faster kids, so although my hand-eye coordination wasn't the best, I could pretty easily dodge most balls (heh) or careen around a matball court with the best of them. You know. If I ever actually made contact with the ball. I mostly just got hit in the face with them AND JUST SHUT UP WITH YOUR DIRTY JOKES RIGHT NOW BECAUSE GROSS I WAS LIKE 10.

I once broke my glasses and got a bloody nose because we were playing soccer and some kid kicked the ball directly into my face. I think he felt bad, but earlier that year I'd broken my own glasses when I fell, face first, off of the monkey bars so, you know, I was used to the embarrassment.

Still, that's nothing compared to the humiliation of high school gym class. The only thing I liked was running, even though it meant I'd be sweaty and disgusting for the rest of the day, because running was not a team sport. But anything else, basketball, softball, even an unfortunate game of football, made my stomach sink. My high school gym teacher didn't have an office full of Beach Boys records, not that I knew of. He was a retired army something or other, prone to screaming fits when we didn't perform to his expectations. He seemed to forget that it was gym class, not boot camp, not even football practice and even if it was, Coach Taylor he was not.

I even had a gym class bully. Nick Mullins. I would sit in the locker room before class, changing into my gym clothes, and wonder what fresh Hell Nick had in store for me that day. Would he throw a basketball at my head, as he'd done the week before? Would he mock me relentlessly every time I struck out at softball, as he'd done EVERY TIME WE PLAYED SOFTBALL? Could I fit in my gym locker, I'd wonder, and hide there until class was over?

I never hid, no, because then I would have gotten in TROUBLE and getting in TROUBLE was not something I did in high school. Instead, I'd go to class, humiliate myself in some brand new way, and risk losing an eye or causing serious injury to someone else. The possibilities were endless, really. So yeah, you could say that I was bad at gym class. It was actually safer for me, my self-esteem, and everyone else if I just stayed in the gym teacher's office and lounged on some floormats, listening to Good Vibrations over and over and daydreaming of a day when no one would care whether or not I shoot a jump shot.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

THE SECRET CIRCLE: this is quite possibly my longest, most boring entry ever, but I'm pretty proud of the random collection of gifs I've compiled

Hey, so let's finish talking about The Secret Circle, OK? Because there are only so many Google imagine searches of "fleas" and "flea eggs" and "how big are flea eggs" that I can handle because YOU GUYS those pictures are disgusting. I did giggle (a Google Giggle) after one search, though, because one of the results was for this guy. LOL, Google. L. O. L.

If you remember (and of course you do!), the last book ended with Faye threatening to tell THE WHOLE GROUP about Adam and Cassie and the love that dare not speak its name. This time she actually does it, so she's less of a threat tease. Faye makes it sound like Adam and Cassie had been intentionally trying to break Diana's heart into a thousand pieces, when that's not true at all! It was completely unintentional! So there, Faye! I mean, she does make it sound like Adam and Cassie had been sneaking around the entire time, groping at naughty bits whenever Diana turned her back, which isn't totally true. Uncool, Faye. Uncool.

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Adam gives his side of the story next and tells everyone how they tried REALLY REALLY HARD not to make out but how could they help it? They're 16, pumped full of hormones and witchcraft, OBVIOUSLY something was going to happen. He also tells Diana about the silver cord (sigh) and the vow he and Cassie took to never, ever touch each other or even think about touching one another, lest they hurt Diana in some way.

Everyone (well, most of everyone) wants to do another vote since Faye blackmailed Cassie into voting for her, but they don't end up doing that, so sorry I just wasted the time it took you to read this sentence. Diana forgives Adam and Cassie and tells them that they can prove their love for her by not making out anymore. Diana is a total doormat. As much as Diana and Adam's relationship bores me on the show, I'm glad they at least let her get mad that Cassie and Adam are "written in the stars," omg barf.

Moving right along, Cassie tells the Coven about what happened in her grandma's house. Black John is back, blah blah blah, and he's like a real guy now, just like he was back when he killed all most of their parents. Awkward. The Coven vows to, like, kill him and stuff by having TEAMWORK.

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Hey remember that really bitchy girl that Cassie was hanging out with before she moved to New Salem? No? Well, her name was Portia (not de Rossi) and she's just moved to town! Oh no! She hunts witches! And she's friends with Sally! Who hates witches! And who knows who all the witches are! What will happen?! This is stressful, let's talk about something else.

So there are these three old ladies, Melanie's Great Aunt Constance, Adam's grandma, and another one (Laurel's grandma, maybe? Oh, who gives a shit) and they're all taking care of Cassie's mom, because remember? She's in a witch coma or something. That happened to Willow once, I'm pretty sure. Oh. Wait. No, that was a "bookcase fell on my head" coma. I get those confused. Also, Cassie realizes that she can't find her hematite. When she tells Diana, Diana is all, "hematite controls your mind!" Sort of. I guess that having hematite makes you easier to control? It's kind of like on The X-Files when people get infected by black oil but not really because hematite isn't made by aliens.

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Everyone goes to Cassie's grandmother's funeral, where they meet Black John! Gasp! He doesn't murder their faces, though, he is just, like, there. And he's the new principal of their school. Yikes. At least he's not the mayor. Anyway. His new name is Jack Brunswick. You'd think that, in order to blend or not draw suspicion or whatever, he'd name himself something non-Black-John-related, like Bob Greensfeld or Steve Pinksmith.

At some point Cassie and Nick get together. It's boring.

Cassie and The Circle go to the old crones (no, seriously, that's what they call them...HOW RUDE) to tell them what's been going on. They get all pissed that these stupid jackasses brought back the man who was responsible for killing their kids (right?) but eventually help them. Sort of. They just tell them to find THE MASTER TOOLS and stick together. OMG DUH! These old ladies are the WORST. Where's Betty White when you need her?

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Oh. 

Faye, of course, becomes Jack Brunswick's new assistant. Sure, why not. Together, they announce a new set of rules for the school which are basically there to punish The Circle. All of the other students (NORMIES) are really happy because The Circle won't be getting special treatment anymore and...yeah, I can't really say that I blame them. The Normies all become hall monitors so they can power trip their way around school.

No one really understands why Faye is being such a bitch because apparently none of them have met Faye before? They try to get her back on their side by having a Lilith Fair ceremony, where all of the girls get together and light different colored candles and then make out and have pillow fights. Afterward, Diana and Cassie have a trust ceremony but not like the one in Mean Girls. No, instead Diana gives Cassie a box to bury, but Cassie isn't allowed to look in the box. Probably a safe bet. While she's burying it, she's attacked by Black John but Nick and Adam save her because Adam realized she was in danger. Oh, just make out already.

The next day, some of the Hitler Youth hall monitors kidnap Cassie and take her to the principal's office, where she learns that Jack Brunswick is her father. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

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Yikes. That is probably the worst. I don't know because, as far as I know, my dad is not a secret witch coven leader who likes to be evil and kill people and use crystal skulls for magics. I'm not sure, though. Who knows what he does on the weekends?

Cassie has a dream (ugh, enough with the dreaming, Cassie, get out of REM sleep once in a while) that THE MASTER TOOLS are hidden in her grandma's fireplace. So she, Adam, and Diana look there and find them. Well, that was easy. On their way home, they run into Sean (who?) who is out wandering around in his pajamas (not suspicious at all) and they tell him they found THE MASTER TOOLS (great idea, EINSTEINS). Sounds like THEY'RE the real Master Tools, AMIRITE?

Cassie somehow gets kidnapped by the witch hunters (geez, Cassie, get kidnapped more often), who take her to some wooded area really far away. I think they're going to brand her or something? Like, as a witch? But The Circle saves her instead. This whole witch hunting thing, man, I don't know. If I knew there were witches, I wouldn't be trying to kill them, I'd be blackmailing them or recording some of their magic and selling it to TMZ.

Anyway, the coven finds Cassie because she reaches out with her mind to tell Adam she's in trouble and he saves her AGAIN, so Nick realizes that Cassie will always be in love with Adam and they break up. Oh no, no more World's Most Boring Couple, what will I use as a sleep aid now? Sigh.

NOW IS THE TIME ON THE SECRET CIRCLE WHEN WE FIGHT.

Sally tells The Circle that Black John and Faye blocked the bridge to the mainland and a hurricane is coming. Hey! Just like last time! They "purify" Sean (who was being influenced by the evil hematite in his belt and no, I did NOT make that up), which seems to be a matter of just giving him a bath, and elect Cassie as their new leader since Faye refuses to fight with them. Cassie puts on THE  MASTER TOOLS and they are ready to FIGHT.

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Um. The actual fight takes like no time at all. Cassie goes to meet Black John alone. He wants her to join him. Isn't that always the way? She won't. The rest of the coven shows up. They do some old, awesome spell. Cassie destroys some shit and Black John goes bye bye forever (OR IS IT). Everything is super happy fun times! The Coven elects Diana, Faye, AND Cassie as leader, which shouldn't get confusing at all!

But it's not over! Don't leave yet! We still have unfinished business. Diana tells Cassie to go dig up that trust box (remember?) and inside, Cassie finds that stone that Diana gave Adam that Adam gave Cassie that she gave back to Adam that Adam then gave Diana that Diana gave Cassie's box (heh) WHEW. Remember? Who cares. Diana tells Cassie that Adam is hers now because that's how teenagers act. Like, here, take my boyfriend because of your mystical silver cord. That's a thing, right? Anyway, Melanie and Diana explain that the silver cord means that Cassie and Adam are LINKED and SOULMATES and what is this, Dawson's Creek?

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So Adam and Cassie live happily ever after and Diana has to marry Sean or something. Sorry, Diana! BFF4EVA!


The End

Oh, and Cassie's mom (her?) is fine. I know you were worried.


I know I made fun of these books a lot but I really did enjoy them, although not as much as I probably did when I read them 15 years ago. I did enjoy all the GIRL POWER even though there were no catchy songs.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Grace in Small Things, part: I've lost track, I'm just going to start over

Hi, Internets. Remember Grace in Small Things? I was apparently doing this a long, long time ago and I think I was going to try and do it every day for a year? Maybe? Who knows what crazy plans Past!Jennie had? Present!Jennie is going to move forward with it and hopefully Future!Jennie will not be disappointed. I don't know.

Since next week is Thanksgiving, which, as everyone knows, is the perfect time to give thanks for all the important shit in your life (...and maybe don't call it shit?), I thought starting GiST again would be appropriate. So. Here we go again:

1. I am now the proud (co-)owner of 75 new-old books, thanks to the Planned Parenthood Book Fair, held every year here in Dayton. It is the most magical place, a gymnasium full of tables, toppling with books, books that cost no more than $2. This year, you could pick up a brown, paper bag, fill it to the brim, and the whole bag was only $5. If I had been by myself, I would have stayed until they kicked me out (or ran out of books) but since I had others with me, we only stayed about two hours, IN WHICH TIME WE GOT 75 BOOKS.

2. I ate a late lunch today, which made the afternoon fly by even faster than it normally does.

3. We saw Nancy and her baby this past weekend. The baby is now a month old, so I bought her a present OBVIOUSLY. I bought her a book, even though she can't read it herself yet. I'm so excited to have little kids in my life so that I can be their book dealer. I'm a PUSHER, Cady.

4. I also got to see two of my other BFFs this weekend. Kate unexpectedly spent the night on Saturday so we all went out to a delicious, greasy breakfast the next morning, and then to the above book sale. Later that day, we went to Nicole's, watched Dexter, and talked about Buffy and zombies.

5. Two of my cousins have something devious planned for Thanksgiving and have been taunting everyone on Facebook about it for weeks. I'm very excited to see what shenanigans they've come up with and feel strangely proud that they're both so delightfully weird. I like to think I had at least a small part in that.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

FOREVER UNCLEAN*

So, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have noticed my frantic calls for HELP because GUESS WHAT. Max got fleas! SUPER HAPPY FUN TIMES.

We're guessing it's from the new house because honestly I have no idea where else he would have gotten them. He's on flea medication already but apparently it was no match for our new house and its Duck Head Curse.

Oh, did I not tell you about the Duck Head Curse? Allow me to explain in great detail!

We moved in last weekend, and if that wasn't a clusterfuck then I don't know what is. The movers called on Friday and asked if we minded if they came at 9 rather than 8:30. As it was like 7 that night and we still had a full night of packing ahead of us, we were like, SCORE! MORE SLEEPY TIME! So we packed and packed and packed and then they called again on Saturday morning and were all, "oh, PS, we can't come until 10:30 now...that's cool, right?" And because Joe was the one who answered the phone, the answer was a polite, "yeah sure," and not a stream of creatively combined curse words.

Wow, so I just deleted a whole paragraph that basically boiled down to: our movers were really late. So. That's that. They ended up not showing up until 12:30, which, whatever, once they started moving our actual stuff, I didn't care anymore. Until Monday, when I emailed the company to tell them that they totally effed up our move and that we'd never use them again, to which they basically replied, "I'm sorry that you feel that way but it could have been much worse." No. I'm not kidding. That's not an exact quote, but what the response boiled down to, so I guess my point is, never ever use Coffee Movers (located in Clayton, OH).

But this was before the Duck Head Curse (which I'm getting to, I swear), so I guess we'll just blame that whole incident on pure dumb luck, or maybe we should do more research on movers next time, but whatever, it's over, who cares. Once the movers left, my parents came over to help us hook up our washer and dryer. I forget how this happened, exactly, but my mom found a locked cabinet in the linen closet. The key was sitting right next to it, so obviously I opened it. It might have been locked but this is our house now and that includes all locked cabinets so SUCK ON THAT, PRIVACY LAWS. I don't know.

After I opened it, my mom was all, "what's that?" and I was like, "what?" because it was dark in the cabinet and my eyes were still adjusting and YOU GUYS, the What's That was THIS:

QUACK! QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!

Yes, that is a duck head. Or a goose head, I guess, as Shari pointed out, but Duck Head has already stuck so...sorry, biology. It's a (stuffed) duck head...no idea where the body is, but every time I open a new cabinet, I expect a headless duck to come tumbling out.

We were pretty sure that the previous owners didn't want the Duck Head back, since they left it in a locked cabinet and they didn't mention leaving it there when Joe called them later. We thought about saving it to top our Christmas tree this year, or mailing it to The Bloggess, but we ended up throwing it away. And then Max got fleas. So. Draw your own conclusions.

Once we realized Max had fleas, we scheduled a flea bath appointment and picked up some Frontline for him (and Phoebe) and I proceeded to FREAK THE FUCK OUT. I spent most of Saturday running frantically around the house, throwing anything I could shove into a washing machine into the laundry room, which I then dubbed The Hot Zone. I've vacuumed the house about 50 times since then, we threw all of our pillows away, and I've done so many loads of laundry and I'M STILL NOT DONE. I think at least the animals are flea-free now, so we just have to get/keep them out of the house. I suggested that we just move, that that'd be easier, but Joe refused. I think he thinks I was kidding but I'M NOT SO SURE I WAS.

Now. If you'll excuse me, I have to go crawl around the house, inspecting every brown speck I find to determine if it's a flea or just a piece of dirt. 

*This is from The League. I tried to find a clip for you but just go ahead and watch the whole episode

Thursday, October 27, 2011

you can't just say that you're breezy but YOU GUYS I AM SO TOTALLY BREEZY

I realized today on the way to work that it was the last time I'd ever be making that drive, and I got sad for a minute because that is my default position when thinking about a LAST [SOMETHING] EVER, but then I reminded myself that my new commute will be, like, ten minutes and cheered right the fuck up.

I keep joking that Joe and I have switched roles, because he has been the one more likely to slip into THERE'S NO TIME THERE'S NEVER ANY TIME mode, while I'm all breezy and "oh, don't worry, it'll get done, it'll be fine." WHO AM I? This is completely unlike me. I half-assed a few To Do lists, but mostly I've just been flying by the seat of my pants. Which is a weird expression, no? How would one fly by the seat of their pants? Do you have to take off your pants and tie them around your neck like a cape? Is that the secret of human flight? IS THAT IT?! I've been trying to fly since I was but a wee thing, all hopped up on Mary Poppins and happy thoughts, and it turns out I could have been flying around by the seat of my pants ALL THIS TIME?

OK, so maybe I'm not completely breezy but I am obviously not getting riled up about IMPORTANT things. We did so much this past weekend, moved furniture and boxes and bought new furniture and painted and the whole time, I was all, "SHRUG, it'll all get done, I'm sure." AND YOU GUYS. It DID all get done. Has all my past worrying (all that list-making!) been for naught? I feel like my world makes no sense anymore.

We've been packing all week, in between episodes of The League (shit is funny, you guys, WATCH IT), and we still have quite a bit of work ahead of us but OH WELL because tonight we have tickets to see David Sedaris. So. That's happening. We really have no choice. The tickets are non-refundable and I bought them long, long ago, before we even found a house we wanted to buy, so go we must, young Skywalker. It's OK because I'm not working tomorrow and, although I'll have to take a couple of hours to sit at the new house and wait on some furniture to arrive, I'm confident that everything we still need to do will get done. Because it has to. And if I have to invent a time machine to do it, then so be it. I SAID SO BE IT.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

the not-so-secret circle PART TWO

Did you guys think I was done with this? Because I'm not. It's time for...The Secret Circle: THE CAPTIVE. So, enjoy, you three people who actually know what I'm talking about. Let's get THIS excited:

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You may remember that in the first book, Adam and Cassie realized they were MFEO but decided to ignore it, vowing never to hurt Diana blah blah blah, and also the coven released some dark energy from a crystal skull YES I REALLY JUST TYPED THAT.

Following the release of both the dark energy AND Adam and Cassie's pent-up sexual energy, the coven decides to meet at Diana's to trace the dark energy with some crystal pendulum voodoo magic. The crystal leads them to the cemetery (of course!) and they find this giant mound of dirt busted open, which is probably not good. They find out later that SOMEHOW, their principal died in a rock slide, because that's a normal way for principals to die. Cassie is sure the dark energy had something to do with it and wonders if maybe she shouldn't get the crystal skull for Faye. DUH DOY, Cassie.

Oh! I might have forgotten to tell you that Faye told Cassie that if she didn't want Diana to find out that Cassie and Adam had a tongue party on the beach, Cassie has to find the crystal skull and give it to Faye. This is going to be difficult, however, because Diana is "purifying" it and didn't tell anyone what she did with it. 

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Cassie changes her mind (again!) about giving the skull to Faye and spends the night at Diana's so she can look for it. She doesn't find it but has a dream about where to look for it. Her dream tells her that in order to purify something, it must be buried in sand, and if that's the case, then the next time Phoebe pukes on my bedspread, I'm going to bury it in sand instead of trying to shove it into the washer.

Anyway. Cassie digs holes all over the beach, looking for the skull. Just randomly. She doesn't try to devise a stratagem or anything, even though everyone knows that stratagems are the shit (see: Amelie). She somehow finds the skull but, as she holds it, she realizes she can't give it to Faye. Doesn't matter, though, because Faye was following her and snatches the skull right out of Cassie's hands. Blah blah more witchcraft. They release more dark energy. How much dark energy is in this thing? Geez.

Nothing bad happens for like a week, other than Diana coming down with a cold right before the big dance. Diana's a total idiot and insists that Cassie go as Adam's date in her place, because she doesn't want Adam to miss the dance and I guess him going by himself wasn't an option? Unfortunately for Diana, all the other girls use their witchy wiles to make Cassie look totally hot. Adam (and every other boy at the dance) is powerless to her charms and by charms I mean boobs. Adam and Cassie make out again (that vow didn't last long) on the dance floor (!!) but somehow no one sees them? What? Cassie gets flustered and runs away to find Deborah, who is playing cards in the boiler room with the Henderson brothers and Freddy Krueger.

She doesn't find them, but she does find Jeffrey Lovegood's body hanging from a pipe, so that's cool. Jeffrey is (was) this popular guy who Faye was after, I think? And he ditched her to dance with Cassie, even though he also has a girlfriend? So the girlfriend and Faye were both pretty mad.

Nick finds Cassie with the body, and soon he, Adam, Deborah, and Cassie are tracking the dark energy through town. They end up at the cemetery, where the dark energy swarms at Deb and Cassie (uh-huh) and Cassie loses the crystal necklace that Melanie had given her. She goes back to the cemetery later, to try and find the necklace, and notices the gravestones of all of the coven parents. They all died in 1976. Diana tells Cassie it was because of a hurricane. A MAGIC hurricane, I bet.

Whatever. There's another dance coming up, the HALLOWEEN dance, which is super special because did you know? They're witches. And Halloween is WITCHY. Cassie tries to ask Nick to the dance but he blows her off because he's busy working on his car because HE IS A MAN. She's embarrassed, so naturally she decides to hang out with the Weasley Henderson twins and they steal pumpkins BECAUSE THEY ARE BAD. Then they go to some Salem witch trial museum because they want to scare people (BECAUSE THEY ARE BAD) but Cassie freaks out because she realizes that all of the murders that have happened recently are JUST LIKE what happened to the people accused of being witches a million years ago. GASP!

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I'm tired. Is this over yet?

Cassie finds a black rock called a hematite. It's her "working stone" which...omg, who cares. It's not important. What is important is that she found it in the ruins of a house (Number 13, oooooh) at the end of their street. Later, the Coven traces some dark energy (more?) to the same ruins, and Cassie learns that Black John (remember him?) used to live there. The house burned down years ago, right around the time all the parents died.

Cassie and Nick DO end up going to the dance together, in case you were worried. Were you worried? Don't lie, I know you were. Everyone dresses up in what I'm sure they think are totally "deep" costumes but are really just kind of obvious and sad, like, Suzan dresses up like Aphrodite and Laurel is a wood nymph (heh) or something and Diana as a good witch and Faye as a bad witch and omg all of you just dress like slutty bunnies or something, OK? You're 16.

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After the dance, they go to Number 13 to perform a ceremony that will call up Black John's spirit because that's something that sounds like it will end well. They call up four circles of protection around them, earth, fire, wind air, water, (heart!) and do witchy things to pull Black John's spirit out of the crystal skull. They're successful! But oops, Black John goes after Cassie, Adam goes through the four circles of protection to save her (which is apparently a big deal), and then everything is over. OR IS IT?

No. It's not. So. Remember how Faye is blackmailing Cassie because she knows that Cassie and Adam are makeout buddies? Well, it's time for the Coven to elect a permanent leader and Faye wants Cassie's vote. This is a problem because DUH Faye is BAD and Diana is GOOD so obviously Diana should be the leader. Whatever, long story short (LIES), Cassie does as told and Faye is elected leader. Everyone is shocked (SHOCKED!) that Cassie would vote for Faye.

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Faye wastes no time in fucking shit up, and takes the crystal skull and most of the Coven to the cemetery. They do some magics or something and OOPS AGAIN (this story is full of oopses) they release Black John from the skull. I guess. The skull exploded, along with some weird, old mound at the cemetery that I guess was his grave? I don't remember. I read this like a month ago.

They realize something is seriously wrong when they see a red, glowy light over Cassie's grandma's house. I guess it's never good to have red, glowy light over your house, especially if you're a witch. They go inside and there's an EVIL red light inside, causing everything to look all weird DUH. They find Cassie's mom, who is alive, but comatose, which really isn't a problem because I forgot Cassie even had a mom. It's a bit traumatizing, though, when they find Cassie's grandma in the kitchen, dying all over the floor.

Black John was there, says Grandma Howard, and he was looking for their Book of Shadows. And even though grandma is dying, she still has time for a story. YES. I LOVE STORY TIME.

Grandma tells Cassie that their family has always had the strongest sight of all the witch families, making them the best, so IN YOUR FACE, EVERYONE ELSE. A long time ago, on a street far, far away except not really because it was the same street they're on right now, all of their parents had their own Secret Circle. One day, a "man in black" showed up, not to erase their memories or sing Ring of Fire to them, but to be Head Coven Leader or something. He took charge, making sure that certain members of that Coven hooked up and had babies, which is totally gross and you have to wonder why those kids would have listened to him. Drugs? Maybe.

Anyway, they found out later that this man in black was not Johnny Cash, but Black John (omg what if Johnny Cash WAS Black John), and that the reason he hooked up certain members of the Coven is because he wanted them to all have super powerful witch babies that he could mold into evil witches so he could control them and be their leader when they grew up, yes, you read that right.

Naturally, some of the parents were like, "oh hell no," (but only the brave ones) and when they confronted Black John about it, he caused the magical hurricane that killed them. I don't remember if Black John died at that time or was, like, banished back into the crystal skull, but Grandma tells Cassie that he's BACK. As a real person, like Pinocchio, but evil. Well. Eviler.

Then Grandma Howard dies, but not before saying something super cryptic that will leave Cassie really confused for most of the next book.

Cassie's pretty upset at this point and decides she's done with Faye's blackmail bullshit. She goes to Faye and is all, "this is your fault and I hate you and this sucks, how about instead of blackmailing me, you come over this weekend to watch Dawson's Creek with me?" and Faye is all, "only if you agree that Dawson is Joey's soulmate!" because Faye is EVIL but then Cassie is like, "OMG FAYE, NO, YOU ARE THE WORST, PACEY FOREVER."

OK, none of that happened but Cassie did tell Faye that she's not going to be blackmailed any longer, so Faye is all, "OH IT IS ON NOW, TINY ONE," and she starts to speak to the rest of the Circle and that's where the book ends.

Tune in next time for...The Secret Circle: THE POWER.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Once upon a time, a girl met a boy and his comic books

My life is better in so many ways since meeting Joe, obviously, but one of the best ways is that he introduced me to an entirely new (to me, anyway) world of storytelling. When we first started talking, back during that week of furious emailing before we met in person, he mentioned that he read comics and hoped that I wouldn't judge him for it. I was all, "wtf, why would I judge that?" and at first, I thought he was just warning me about his obsession habit of reading and collecting comics, but after this week's How I Met Your Mother, I wonder if the comic book issue isn't just Joe's version of Ted's Annie Hall dealbreaker.

Wow, that last sentence probably made no sense to a lot of you, and for that I apologize, but it's not my fault you didn't watch HIMYM this week.

Before I met Joe, I thought of comics as merely superhero stories with muscly men and big-boobed ladies running around wearing half of the amount of clothing that is socially acceptable. And those comics exist, sure, and I understand why people like the superhero stuff, but Joe introduced me to, you know, other stuff that I never knew existed. It was like magic. I tried Jeffrey Brown, but he wasn't for me. Neither was Watchmen. I tried to read Walking Dead but gave up after a few issues because terrible dialogue broke my brain. But Raina Telgemeier, Andy Runton, Craig Thompson, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Adrian Tomine, I liked. I'm sure I'm missing out on a wealth of other authors, so please feel free to suggest something else I should be reading. 

My latest obsession is Fables, a series about fairy tale characters living in the real world. FAIRY TALE CHARACTERS LIVING IN THE REAL WORLD. If this sounds familiar to you, it's because there are two TV shows premiering soon that are along the same lines, Grimm and Once Upon a Time. I wish they'd just made Fables into a TV show but no one consulted me, which I think we can all agree is total bullshit. I'm on the 5th volume of the Fables collections (no idea what actual issue that is) and I'm a bit afraid to keep reading at the rate I am, because soon I'll be done and then what will I do? Wait for the next issue? Well, I'm not good at that so I DON'T WANT TO DO IT. Moving on.

Here are things I like about Fables:

1. Everything.

I'm going to watch both Grimm and Once Upon a Time because A) duh, fairy tales and B) hopefully at least one of them will be good, in case I finish Fables and need another real-life-fairy-tale fix.

Grimm starts next Friday on NBC. Some detective finds out that he's a descendent of the Brothers Grimm, so takes on the mission of protecting humanity from evil, supernatural fairy tale characters. No word on what he does to the nice fairy tale characters. Maybe he bangs Cinderella, I don't know. I'm a bit more excited for ABC's Once Upon a Time, but that's mainly because Ginnifer Goodwin is in it and I like her. Yes, I'm that simple. Oh PLUS ALSO it's written by a couple of LOST writers, so I'm pretty much obligated to check it out.

Once Upon a Time is set in Storybrooke, Maine (obviously). A bunch of fairy tale characters, mainly Snow White, Prince Charming, the Evil Queen, Jiminy Cricket, and Rumpelstiltskin, live there but GET THIS, they have no idea that they're fairy tale characters! Wicked. Anyway. Dr. Cameron from House is in it, too, but the Wikipedia page is kind of confusing and spoilery about her, so I don't want to say too much. The show starts on Sunday, so why don't you just watch for yourself instead of expecting me to explain everything? Geez.

ANYWAY. I'll be checking both of them out and crossing my fingers that one of them is worth a season pass. But if not, at least I'll still have Fables.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

sliiiiide away

What's weird about being an adult is that sometimes you get excited about stupid things, like when your husband changes your windshield wipers for you. This was exciting for two reasons. One, I didn't have to do it. And two, I hadn't changed my windshield wipers in...I don't want to say YEARS but you guys it was totally years. Like...when did I get my car? 2008? Let us check the archives! Oh, no, I'm sorry, it was 2007. So, if we use math, we will discover that my windshield wipers were REALLY FUCKING OLD. I'm sure they weren't really THAT old, maybe? Like maybe I changed them at some point and forgot? But still. I fail. I fail at life and stuff.

What's also weird about being an adult is that sometimes you get excited about willingly putting yourself in a great deal of debt for the next 80 bajillion years. What's also also weird is that someone will let you buy a house even though you routinely stay up too late on school work nights watching zombie shows and don't shower on the weekends until at least 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

My point is, a lot of things are weird so get over it. Sorry, that was mean. And that wasn't even my point because OBVIOUSLY I DON'T HAVE ONE WHAT ARE YOU, NEW? Well? Are you? If you're new, how are you even reading this because you are obviously a baby and babies can't read until they are really old babies so what's up with that, are you a really old baby?

Is anyone even still reading this? I wouldn't blame you if you weren't. Anyway. We closed on our house on Friday, which I think means that it is closed all over the place, man, there are no open windows or doors or anything in that damn house. It also means that the next two weeks aren't going to be very much fun unless you like having to pack and paint and clean more than watching reruns of Mad Men and if that's the case, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.

I'm sorry, I'm being really combative today and I have no idea why. Whatever. The closing was odd because the sellers were there and they seemed really nice but it was kind of weird because, like, we're going to be living in their house. Which is now our house, but like, what if we find something weird in a hidden drawer in the basement, like a homemade sex tape or a box of blood slides? I don't want to have met these people face to face if we end up finding something like that. OH WELL, I guess.

I am going to miss our realtor. She's pretty much the nicest realtor ever so I'm thinking about maybe buying a second house so we can continue to hang out with her. She's THAT awesome. And she seemed to like us even though we looked at approximately 75 houses and I'm not even exaggerating, I think we really did look at 75 houses, AT LEAST. That's a lot of houses. But because I am me (who else would I be?), I felt like we had to look at every house we might possibly want because what if we didn't and THAT WAS THE HOUSE. And, you know? It's a good thing I spent so much time obsessively combing the internet for available houses because that's how we found the one we bought, I think. I don't know, I don't remember. Wow, good story, Jennie, TELL IT AGAIN.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

poopasaurus rex

poopasaurus by Jenlala
poopasaurus, a photo by Jenlala on Flickr.
I had to sign up for a website in order to take a quiz to tell me if I'm a Nerd, Dork, or Geek (oh, like you're so busy and important) so obviously I picked this username. The best part is, I had to add a 1, meaning someone else had the same idea. GREAT MINDS OBVIOUSLY.

See today's Pajiba Love for the quiz. I got Modern, Cool nerd, which I think means I'm not a nerd at all? I don't know, I'm not a doctor. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

O R they?

One of my best friends had a baby yesterday but, you know, I finally broke in this pair of shoes that have been giving me blisters for months, so I'm not sweating it either.

I woke up yesterday to a text from Nancy, letting me know she was at the hospital about ready to GIVE BIRTH, which she did around 8:30 that same morning. I can't stop thinking about it. Nancy has a baby. A teeny, tiny baby. Nancy is a MOM. How are we old enough for this? I was looking at old pictures the other day, pictures taken right after college and thinking, "who ARE you?" because seriously, who ARE you, Crazypants? Where did you go? Are you hiding in that portapotty? If so, why? I just have so many questions.

My main question is, did you know newborn babies don't HAVE to look like alien gorillas? Because they don't. Nancy had a really cute one. And I'm not just saying that because she's my friend and I love her so I therefore love her baby and have like, ugly-blocking powers. Because no, this baby is just really cute. You'll have to take my word for it because I forgot to take any pictures, so blinded was I by the cuteness.

Once we left the hospital, we were crazy with hunger so we went out to dinner, Heidi, Nicole, Joe and I, and I marveled at how social Joe and I are being this week. We were just over at Nicole's for a Dexter party (Dexter viewing, I mean, we didn't kidnap a serial killer and then stab him in Nicole's kill room...as far as I know, Nicole doesn't even have a kill room), we had a baby visit last night, I'm going out to dinner tonight, AND we have plans for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights this weekend. WHO ARE WE. I think it's because our only other alternative is packing and, you guys, packing blows.

We close on the house this Friday (holy shit) which means soon we'll be really poor, but we'll have a house, so if we can't afford groceries, maybe we can eat some of our siding? That's a thing, right? Sure. We're not moving in right away, though, since we have to paint and clean and hopefully that's ALL because that's enough, really.

That is all of my exciting news. Except for, oh yeah, we also bought Max a hot dog costume.

YOU'RE WELCOME

Monday, October 03, 2011

the not-so-secret circle

In honor of The Secret Circle books becoming a TV show, full of witchcraft and teenagers and hopefully some Dawson-drama, I reread The Secret Circle trilogy. I was going to talk about it as I read them, but given my track record of excitedly beginning a project only to forget about it halfway through (if even), I decided not to say anything until I finished it.

I'm a little ashamed to admit this next bit but only a little. I reserved the books at the library but some stupid teenagers got there before me and the waiting list was SO LONG. I'm usually pretty good about waiting for things like movies or music or clothes or, whatever, groceries but when I get it into my head that I want to read a particular book, I HAVE TO READ IT IMMEDIATELY. It's kind of sick. Like. I should maybe get that looked at. 

ANYWAY. I watched the first episode of The Secret Circle before I finished the books, which was OK because the show is different enough from the books that it didn't really matter. Like, on the show, Cassie's mom is murdered and that's why she moves in with her grandmother but in the book her mom is alive. They move to New England for some BS reason and Cassie's mom is around but totally useless so I guess that's why they killed her off on the TV show. Also, there are a bajillion more kids in the "Circle" in the book than there are on the show.

But, I digress. Since the show is so different from the books and since I read that the show, from the pilot forward, isn't following the same trajectory as the books, I feel perfectly alright sharing the entire plot of the books with you with no spoiler warnings whatsoever. Also, the Wackopedia page is sorely lacking so this kind of endeavor is really important for science and the world and stuff.

Part 1: The Initiation

Cassie is quiet, shy, and on vacation in Cape Cod for the summer. For some reason that is never fully explained, she hangs out with this girl named Portia, who is a total Regina George if there ever was one. One day, they're on the beach and a boy and his dog disrupt EVERYTHING by just walking by. Sure? It's at this point that you should just assume that all of this is taking place in a parallel universe where people don't act like real people. It will make the rest of the series much easier to swallow.

So anyway, the dog hits on Cassie and Portia is disgusted because EW dogs have germs. Seriously, what is wrong with this girl? At some point later, Cassie is hanging out by herself on the beach and she meets the boy again. SPARKS FLY. This guy is running away from Portia's brothers. They're chasing him because he's "different" OH and also one of them has a gun? Whatever. Cassie hides the guy and his dog in a boat and sends Portia's brothers in the wrong direction when they ask her where he went. Then Cassie and the boy share a special moment and almost make out and hallucinate that there's a silver cord connecting them, heart to heart. OH EXCUSE ME, I BARFED.

Cassie's mom decides that they're going to move in with Cassie's grandmother, to the same town and house where Cassie's mom grew up. Cassie is NOT HAPPY and is even NOT HAPPIER when she sees the piece of shit house and her piece of shit grandma.

Cassie soon meets some of the townsfolk, the most interesting of whom are members of The Club, a group that all other students fear for some reason. Faye is a mean girl who tries to set Cassie on fire, while her friends Suzan and Deborah watch. Chris and Doug are CA-RAZY twins who wish they were the Weasleys. Yes, I know the Weasley twins came after them but I don't care shut up. Diana is the Princess of Purity who rescues Cassie from Faye and who has shiny blonde hair. That's about it for her. Diana has two disciples named Melanie and Laurel, who are both pretty boring. There's also someone named Sean who won't be important until later, and Nick...who also won't be important until later.

Cassie and Diana become BFF because of TEENAGERS. Cassie hopes that maybe she could become part of The Club but there's only one open spot, and Chris and Doug's kid sister, Kori, already has dibs. But GOOD NEWS, EVERYONE. Someone pushes Kori down some steps and she dies. So yay, now Cassie gets to be in The Club!

They kidnap her from her bedroom THE SAME NIGHT KORI DIES so they can initiate her into their Club. It involves candles and the beach and walking into a knife, sort of like the initiation scene in The Craft, NOT that I'm suggesting one of these things is ripping off the other, I just think that's how you get initiated into a witch coven. Obviously.

Whatever, so now Cassie is a witch (OK? Never mind, MAGIC) but that's not even important because guess who shows up? GUESS. The boy from the beach! Remember him? The one Cassie "saved" from her bitchy friend's brothers? Yeah. Cassie is super psyched but then she finds out that he's Diana's boyfriend, Adam, who she'd heard about earlier but I forgot to tell you about it because I don't care. Anyway. The point is now Cassie is in EMOTIONAL TURMOIL, where she will remain until the series is over because WITCH TEENAGERS.

Naturally, Cassie pretends not to know Adam, which is a LIE because they still have that mystical silver cord connecting their hearts (OMG BARF). Adam is all, "wtf but ok," because what does he care, he's got Diana. CASSIE IS ALL ALONE. Like The Hulk. 

Adam tells everyone he was in Cape Cod looking for the Master Tools but no one points out that Adam himself is a Master Tool. ZING. TEENAGERS! He found one of them, a crystal skull that used to belong to Black John. Black John was the coven leader back in the good old witch-burning days of Salem, and the other coven members hid the rest of the Master Tools from him when he turned all evil. I hate when that happens.

Faye and her cronies want to use the skull right away, even though it's obviously evil. I mean duh. It's a CRYSTAL SKULL. Diana, as the temporary leader of the coven (this will be important later, I guess), says NO, they have to purify it. So they decide to do that, only Faye is a total bitch about it LIKE ALWAYS. She complains so much for the next few days or weeks (I don't remember) that Diana gives in and they have a secret circle ceremony to study the skull.

Things don't go well and some "dark" energy escapes, which, going by my extensive research (Buffy reruns), is really bad. Adam walks Cassie home from the ceremony and you just know it's going to be A) bad news bears and B) totally awesome.

He asks her why she pretended not to know him and she is immediately all, "because I'm in love with you!" and he's like, "omg, me too!" but they don't talk about the mystical silver cord shared hallucination, even though it probably suggests brain damage of some kind. Instead they make out a lot on the beach even though they're outside and anyone would be able to see them and guess what? Anyone DID see them, if by anyone you mean Faye, which is pretty much the worst anyone to see you in the history of anyones if you're making out with your best friend's boyfriend after releasing dark energy from a 400 year old crystal skull. OOPSIES.

Faye blackmails Cassie, obviously, and this is where The Initiation ends. Join us next time when we discuss the next chapter in the trilogy...THE CAPTIVE.

Dun dun DUN.

Channeling Jessie Spano

Oh, hey, so it's October. Did you know? Because it is. It happened a couple of days ago but it was on the weekend, so you might not have noticed. I about had a full on freak out yesterday when I realized it was not only a new month but that, omg, we close on our house next week. WHAT. NEXT WEEK?

All September, I just kept thinking things like, "oh, we'll be closing in October," and "we should start packing soon since we move next month," and OMG YOU GUYS, IT'S NOW NEXT MONTH HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

What's crazy is that I haven't started packing at all yet. What's even crazier is that I haven't made any lists. Not a Moving Timeline list, not a "Things To Buy For New House" list, not even a To Do list! WHO AM I. I should really get on that, I know, but frankly I'd rather sit and read and try to ignore the fact that WE ARE MOVING THIS MONTH.

What's the craziest is that we are sort of busy, plan-wise, this month already and the month just started. My sister spent the weekend with us this past weekend, and even though I threatened her that she'd have to help us pack and clean, we did none of that. Yesterday, we celebrated my friend's birthday with massages, fried pickles, Irish food, and beer, along with a surprise party later in the day, so GUESS WHAT, I did nothing yesterday either.

I also thought it would be a great idea to buy/get some tickets to a few shows at work this month. One of those is on the Thursday before we move, so that should be fine. Just fine. No, I'm sure I won't be freaking out at all that week because of the THERE'S NO TIME THERE'S NEVER ANY TIME.

Did you see that Joe reviewed Felicity? Because Joe reviewed Felicity. So you should read it.

Friday, September 30, 2011

DEAR INTERNET, this is relevant to your interests

Last night after work I drove down to where my old job was to meet some former coworkers for dinner. This is like the first time I've ever met former coworkers for anything. It's not because I hated all of my former coworkers or anything, not at all, it's just that I'm usually way too lazy to keep in touch with work people. Maybe I'm getting better at it in my old age WHO KNOWS.

What I do know is that my drive down to Cincinnati last night marked my first drive past the place of Touchdown Jesus's untimely demise (RIP). And I feel it is my duty (heh, DUTY) to inform you all that construction has begun on a new Jesus statue because OF COURSE IT HAS. New Jesus, or shall we call Him, Resurrection Jesus, right now consists of only part of a skeleton, but IT HAS BEGUN.

You may remember that last year Touchdown Jesus was struck by lightning and burned to the ground, leaving only the charred remains of his skeleton behind. You may also remember it as the BEST! DAY! EVER!, especially if you lived in Ohio at the time. It felt like Christmas. Which...if you really think about what I just said, you'll realize it's all kinds of wrong so maybe just don't think about it, OK? OK.

Whatever, they're rebuilding it and they're probably building it out of less flammable material this time (I mean, they have to be, right?) so but, you guys. They are ASKING for jokes. Because you wanna know why?

They're calling New Jesus...

wait for it...

Come Unto Me Jesus.

COME UNTO ME JESUS.

That is all.

No comment.

No, seriously, I'm not touching this one.

I feel like Chandler that time he promised not to make fun of anyone. HORNSWOGGLE.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

blah blah who cares: part WHATEVER WHO CARES

Yesterday, The Universe decided that it'd been far too long since I threw hundreds of dollars at my car, so on the way to work my car broke down. This after I discovered that the coffeemaker was suddenly broken. Just suddenly. For no good reason. Like, it turned on but no coffee came out and yes, before you ask, I had added both coffee and water DUH WHATEVER WHO CARES.

So I bought a new coffeemaker after work because, yeah, if I don't have coffee in the morning, I don't know, the world would split in twain (IN TWAIN) or something. And yea, there was coffee upon all of our houses. Or something. WHATEVER WHO CARES.

Oh, but right, my car! Wait, it's boring, who cares. The tie rod broke, which I guess is bad and could have been REALLY BAD had I been on the highway going all fast. Blah blah blah I had to spend money blah and I guess I could write all about how it was kind of peaceful to sit in my quiet car in the rain, enjoying my coffee, and how later I got to go home in the middle of the day and see Max but then I had to go back to work OMG WHATEVER WHO CARES.

I'm so sick of myself, you guys. Just, like, bored with my every thought and when I try to write something here, I get frustrated and quit because WHO CARES NO ONE WANTS TO READ THIS, especially if I don't want to write it.

I guess I'll post this anyway? What's another terrible post that I put absolutely no thought into? You know? Whatever. Who cares.

What's going on with everyone else? I've been really bad about keeping up with the internet lately.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

violence is never the answer except for right now it totally is

Last week I talked about TV characters I'd like to hug so it's only right that now I talk about TV characters I'd like to PUNCH IN THE FACE. Or babymaker. Or BOTH! Yeah, both. This came up mostly because of numbers 4 and 5 below, because I feel like lately we are always watching either Friday Night Lights or Mad Men. Joe actually makes, like, strangley noises and punches the air (which is pretty entertaining) whenever number 4 is onscreen, flashing his smug face all over the place. But anyway. Dear all of you on this list, I PUNCH YOU IN YOUR STUPID BUTT FACE.

1. Colonel Tigh (and his wife), Battlestar Galactica

Ugh.

Remember that time he got drunk and said mean things to Starbuck? Or that other time he got drunk and said mean things to Starbuck? Or that time he got drunk and said mean things to everyone? Or that time he got drunk and declared martial law? Or that time he got drunk and threw President Roslin in jail? UGH. That guy needs a punch, right in his good eye.

2. Kate Austen, Lost

Hmm, yes, I would also like to throw mud at her face.

This one needs no explanation but I will offer this: she broke Nathan Fillion's heart and for that she gets PUNCHED.

3. Greg Harris, Mad Men

This guy is the worst. I hope he dies in Vietnam. It's hard to say why I hate him so without spoilering everyone so I'll stay quiet but I will say that I cheered and clapped when this happened:

Photobucket


4. JD McCoy's dad, Friday Night Lights

Congratulations, you've won first place in the PUNCH TO THE FACE contest you didn't even know you entered.

I forget his name but he is EVIL. He's like Buddy Garrity without a soul. He actually reminds me a lot of Aaron Echolls but, as far as I know, he's never murdered anyone. Maybe he's Aaron's brother or something. Do you think Friday Night Lights and Veronica Mars exist in the same universe? I hope they do, if only so one day Landry and Mac meet at college and get married and have the smartest, nerdiest babies ever.

5. Betty Draper, Mad Men

That's why her hair is so big. It's full of EVIL.

This one doesn't really require explanation, either. Grow up, Betty. PUNCH.

6. Diana Fowley, The X-Files

I forget where I found this but isn't the internet a magical place?

You might think this one is a little odd since A) the show has been off the air for the last hundred years and B) I think she ended up dying anyway, but NO. I will punch Diana Fowley in the face until the end of days. Although, really I should probably be punching Chris Carter for creating such an unnecessary Mulder-Scully-LoveTrain-Speedbump character in the first place, but he's not imaginary (?) so I can't put him on the list. Those are the rules according to the rules.


Also! I need to add someone to the list of TV people who need a hug and that person is WALTER BISHOP from Fringe because OMG he needs, like, a hug an hour or something. C'mon. Look at this face.

I'm sorry, I can't talk right now because I am crippled by sadness.

He should stop doing whatever he's doing with the vortexes and other universes (note: we are only about halfway through the third season) and invent a hugging robot instead. I actually think everyone on this show needs a hug (I volunteer for all Pacey-hugs!) but Walter the most.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just call me Sawyer

So I was in a glass case of emotion pretty much all of last weekend and not just because of Ripley but because ALSO we bought a house. Or, you know, started the process of buying a house because, weirdly enough, it's not like going to the store and buying something and then it's yours. It's more like, you go to the store and ask to buy, say, a chocolate cake for a certain price and then the store is like, "hmm, no, how about this price," and you're like, "well...OK, that sounds reasonable," and then you sign a bunch of paperwork and maybe in a month or two, after some cake experts inspect the chocolate cake you want to buy, you can have it.

We are at the cake expert stage of home-buying, meaning we've signed all of our paperwork (I think?) and just have to wander around what will hopefully soon be our house with some strangers and cross our fingers that nothing is terribly wrong. I think I'm still wrapping my brain around the house thing because I found out about the house the same day I found out about Ripley, so my emotions were like a rollercoaster from Hell on crack WHATEVER THAT MEANS. I don't think it will feel real until we have the keys. That said, I have already started thinking about decorating and I don't even like decorating that much WHO AM I.

I sort of can't believe anyone sold us a house. I guess I've gotten really good at this grown-up ruse I've been pulling for the last ten years because apparently I look trustworthy. I don't FEEL trustworthy, though. I mean, this was happening while we waited for the realtor to gather our final paperwork:

WHAT

Can you believe we were allowed to buy a house? I mean, seriously. Most of the time I feel like I'm pretending to be a grown up. Like, I don't really feel all that different now than I did ten years ago, so it's very disconcerting to me that I'm married and my friends are starting to have babies and I JUST BOUGHT A HOUSE. I don't feel old enough to do those things. I don't feel almost 30 but, I don't know, maybe I do, because who knows what almost 30 is supposed to feel like?

My mom said something on Saturday, when we got home from the vet and were sitting around moping, trying not to look at the dog toys littering the carpet. She said, "Can I be done being a grown up now? I don't like it anymore," and you guys, it was like the floor fell out from underneath me because I realized I'll probably feel like this forever. Like I'm pretending or pulling the world's longest con, hoodwinking the world into thinking I know what I'm doing.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

:(

My parents had a dog, Rusty, when I was born and we were total BFFs. I was about 10, I think, when we had to get Rusty put to sleep. My dad vowed never again would we get another dog. Not only was my dad the one who had to take Rusty to the vet the last time, but before he left, I gave him some pictures I'd drawn of Rusty playing in Dog Heaven to put in Rusty's casket in case he got lonely. OMG CAN YOU IMAGINE. I'm surprised my dad was able to take Rusty at all, but he did, and as he drove away, my mom, sister, and I stood at the window, waving goodbye and crying.

We eventually did get another dog. Not, in case you were wondering, when I brought home a "Let Jennie Get A Dog" petition that I'd had my entire class sign, but when I was in high school. My aunt's lab had puppies, like a million of them, and we somehow convinced my dad to let us take home a teensy chocolate one. We named her Ripley because, as my dad would tell people, "believe it or not, we got another dog."


You can maybe see where this is going. Probably. I don't know. This morning my mom called and said it was time to put Ripley to sleep. I'd been expecting it but still wasn't ready for it, you know? Ripley's health had been declining for the last year and a half and lately she'd stopped eating and was having trouble even walking to get outside.

So this morning, I wandered around the condo a bit, probably freaking Max the hell out with all of my crying, and went over to my parents' to say goodbye to Ripley before we took her to the vet. The vet was...well, it was as terrible as I'd imagined, if not moreso, but we all stayed in the room with her when it happened. And it was awful, just awful, and I felt like I couldn't catch my breath through my tears, but I'm glad I was there with her.

I'd planned on driving separately on the way to the vet, but it felt right, my sister, Ripley, and I piled into the backseat of my parents' car, the bulk of Ripley in my lap, taking our last trip together. And as I buried my face in the scruff of her neck, I thought of that night, almost 13 years ago, when we took her home for the first time, how she'd crawled into my lap in the same exact way.

And then I cried and cried and cried THE END except not really because I CAN'T. STOP. CRYING.

Excuse me, I need to go cuddle Max.