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


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.


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.


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.


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?



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!


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.


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.


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?


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


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:


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 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