Monday, December 31, 2012

it's the end of the year as we know it (so sorry for that)

Up until just a few years ago, I was fairly certain I'd never reach the day where I'd be completely fine with having no plans on New Years Eve. But here we are, almost completely plan-less, and I couldn't be happier. Our plan for the day, such as it was, included going out to breakfast and...that's pretty much it. We went to Trader Joe's last night to buy wine and snacks for tonight and that's as planned as we've gotten so far. 

I'm not sure if you're aware, but there's a Doctor Who marathon on BBC America today, but since Joe got the entire Doctor Who DVD collection (BE JEALOUS) for Christmas, we're having our own marathon by just picking out random episodes we want to watch. WE ARE FAR SUPERIOR TO YOU, BBC.

This past week or two has been so odd, what with the four day weekend for Christmas then another four day weekend for New Years and a bonus snow day in between. I'm not even sure what day it is anymore, which is going to make going back to work on Wednesday SUPER FUN but such is life, yeah? Such is life.

It's been a strange year. I guess. I say that every year. Today, I'd intended to write about my resolutions from last year and where I stood with them but it turns out I didn't write any resolutions last year. Which is just as well, really, because I'm not sure I'd have made much headway on any of them. Such is life. Did I already say that? Oh well. SUCH IS LIFE, JERKS. 

I'd make some resolutions for next year, but they're pretty much always the same. Write more. Exercise more. Cook healthier food. Watch less TV (PFFT). GET SHIT TOGETHER. I think the problem with these resolutions is that it's not possible, really, to achieve them. How do I know if I've written enough MORE or not quite enough MORE or just the right amount of MORE? SPECIFICITY, that's the key. So here goes:

1. Finish editing the novel I wrote like three years ago. I'm sure it's absolutely dreadful, first draft and all, which is probably why I can't bring myself to look at it OH ALSO editing is awful. But apparently, magical editing elves aren't going to take care of it, so that just leaves me.

2. Participate in Cannonball Read V. It was way fun this past year, even though I didn't make it to 52 reviews. BUT WHO CARES. I still wrote 34 more reviews than I ever have before. If you're at all interested in reading any of them, here they are. It's hard to tell, really, because I haven't gone back to read any of them, but I hope they got better as the year went on. And two of them were published on Pajiba, which is super exciting, so why WOULDN'T I participate again?

3. Run a 5K. Because why not? I'm putting this on here mostly because "run more" is a shitty resolution.

4. Actually use all the cookbooks I have, by cooking AT LEAST one recipe a month from one of them. I mean, come on, Jennie, get it together.


6. Continue my FutureMe project. PROJECT makes it sound like I've thought it all out, but really I'm just writing a FutureMe email to myself once a week. I look forward to getting to start reading them this June. 

That's all I can think of. So. You're welcome that there aren't more you have to read. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

this is the way the world ends

The world is supposed to end tomorrow, so I took the day off. If it's my last day on Earth, I don't want to spend it trapped at work. Plus, this week of work has been an absolute waste of time. No one wants to be working. It's like those last few days of school before Christmas break, when all you do is trade cookies and candy and presents and then watch movies for the rest of the day, but it's worse this year because maybe the world is ending? So why bother with anything, right? Joe and I were recently discussing the impending apocalypse BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT WE DO: 

Me: You know, if you and I could still be together afterward, I don't think I'd really mind if the world ended on Friday.
Joe: Me neither.
Me: And I'd want our friends and family to be there, too.
Joe: Well, they probably would be, what with the world ending and all.
Me: Only if we all end up in the same Hell dimension.
Joe: That's true.
Me: I don't really believe in Hell, though.
Joe: No?
Me: No. I'm pretty sure we all just blink out of existence in the end.
Joe: WOW.

I don't really believe that, though. I don't think. I don't know what I believe. I mean, death is so totally weird, right? Like, one minute you're you, in your body, just hanging out like always, the next moment you're just gone? What IS that? Where did you go?

Right after my grandma died, (and I don't remember how this came up) I found out that some people believe that when you go to Heaven, you don't ever see anyone you knew when you were alive. And I was already depressed but that knocked the wind out of me. Why would anyone want to believe something like that? It's so depressing. I have a problem accepting any idea about the afterlife, really, because no one knows for sure. But I have some ideas, I guess? Though, they're less ideas and more, just, what I WANT the afterlife to be like. But first let's start with what I don't want:

1. I don't want to get to Heaven and have it be full of strangers, like some awful party where I don't know anyone and I'm forced to make awkward small talk until the end of eternity (which I think never ends, maybe?) but then again, if I end up in a place like that, it's probably not Heaven.
2. I'd like to not just blink out of existence. I've grown quite fond of existing, so I'd like to continue to do so in some way.
3. I don't mind the idea of reincarnation, though I'd prefer not to be reincarnated as a dung beetle or a Tea Partier or something.

Here is what would be nice:

1. That I get to hang out with all the people (and pets!) I've known in my life who've died.
2. That I get to hang out with all the other people in my life, but only ones I like.
3. That I can fly.

dancing doctors

That's really all I need. I do like the idea of Heaven that's presented in that movie Defending Your Life. Except for the whole "being on trial" thing. And the possibility that you'd miss out on going to Heaven and have to go back to stinky Earth-life.

So anyway, see you all in Heaven on Saturday (FINGERS CROSSED)! I'll bring the tequila because NO HANGOVERS IN THE AFTERLIFE THAT'S WHY.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

if I was a robot, I'd say, "SYSTEM MALFUNCTION" but I'm not so I won't

I hate to get on here and just complain and complain and complain but that's all I feel like doing lately and if you think YOU'RE sick of it, think of how I feel. But mostly how Joe feels. Poor Joe. Actually, no, NOT poor Joe. He's off work all this week and next week so HE'S DOING JUST FINE.

It's no secret that I'm jealous of all of Joe's time off but really, I could have done the same, I just didn't. I'm saving my vacation time for...something? I'm always saving my vacation time for something because I'm always afraid I'll run out. It's a very tricksy situation because if I DON'T use it all by the end of the year (which is June 30th for me), I lose it. Not that I'd ever allow that to happen but it's always a possibility. Anyway.

So Joe's off work all week and so are lots of other people and the rest of the people don't feel like working because DUH CHRISTMAS. Did you know it's almost Christmas? It seems to sneak up on me every year but that's especially true this year. I've purchased all of my gifts but not all have arrived yet and I've wrapped exactly NONE of them. Not that I spend all that much time wrapping them anyway, they always end up looking like a 2-year-old with a sugar high got ahold of them, but still. It does take SOME time, no matter how half-assed you wrap everything.

I cannot tell you how many typos I've made writing this post, short as it is so far, but it's been a lot. I feel like lately my brain isn't really functioning on all cylinders. FULL DISCLOSURE: I spelled cylinders wrong my first three tries THANK YOU SPELL CHECK. I'm sure I used to know how to spell cylinders without outside assistance but no longer. I blame smartphones.

Anyway. I'm so bored with everything INCLUDING MYSELF that I started this yesterday and then completely forgot about it which is probably a sign that I shouldn't post it but I won't let THAT stop me because I haven't posted in a while, which means any crap is better than no crap even if it's extra crappy crap.

Speaking of crap, yesterday Max pooped in the house, which is weird because he's been SO GOOD lately about not using our home for a toilet. We were having trouble a while ago with Phoebe pooping in random places (LIKE OUR BED) a couple of times but it turned out her litter box lining just needed to be changed and now she's SUPER HAPPY to poop where she's supposed to. And Max is super happy to eat it. I think if Max could talk (something Joe and I discussed yesterday) my number one question would be something along the lines of, "Max, why did you poop in the hallway?" or "Max, why the fuck do you eat poo poo WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU." Because gross. Also, I've been talking about poop for a really long time. Good talk, team! MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Monday, December 10, 2012

it's the most wonderblah time of the year

I don't know what it is but lately all I want to do is NOTHING. Like, literally nothing. I could sit and stare into space and...that would be fine, I guess? But instead I've been sitting and staring at the computer or the TV, which is almost like staring into space but space is bigger because it's full of...well, space.

This weekend I barely did anything BUT watch TV. And terrible TV! I'm sort of embarrassed about how many episodes of Grey's Anatomy I watched this weekend (and not just because YOU GUYS IT'S SO TERRIBLE) but mostly I can't even remember how many I watched THAT'S HOW MANY THERE WERE. I don't care, though, because I forgot how easy it is to get wrapped up in the goings on of Seattle Grace even though it's COMPLETELY NUTS and they are all terrible doctors. 

Anyway. I hope this urge to do nothing goes away soon because I was doing SO, SO WELL with the whole writing every day thing, and I was eating better and cooking more and and reading ALL THE TIME but now I can't even get into any books*. Until that happens, though, I guess I'll just be sitting here, doing nothing, and blaming it on the following factors:

1. The weather

It's not even that it's cold, it's that it's GREY ALL THE TIME. What's the sun look like? What's a sun? WHAT IS WARMTH AND HAPPINESS?

2. The time of year

The holiday season, it is upon us, but if it could get offon us anytime soon, that'd be awesome. There are too many plans and too many moneys to spend and not enough free time. BAH HUMBUG.

3. Eating terribly

Seriously, self, stop eating all the junk food. Leave some for everyone else.

4. Not exercising

I really like going for hikes/walks/whatnot but it's dark when I leave for work (basically) and dark when I get home and I don't want to get lost/kidnapped/abducted by aliens. Unless the alien is a specific Time Lord.

5. TV is too awesome

This morning I told Joe that we should get rid of cable and Netflix, because we'd get so much more done. He pointed out that we'd still have the internet because HE IS UNHELPFUL.

*that's kind of a lie because last night I started reading a book I really didn't want to put down but my brain apparently needs to sleep or something...stupid brain

Monday, December 03, 2012

deja vu, forever and ever amen

I've been reflecting recently (and by recently I mean CONSTANTLY) on the passage of time and how it's so slow but also fast which is, though not an original thought (not even a little), totally weird. We just hired someone born in 1994 and, as I was going over her paperwork, I thought, "wait...1994...she's not old enough to work here" because in my head, someone who was born in 1993 should still be in high school BUT NO. She's definitely old enough to work here or there or EVERYWHERE, except as POTUS but who really wants that job anyway?

It was one of many small moments that seem to sneak up on me more and more often, moments when I realize that not only am I not as young as I once was, but that everyone around me is getting older, too. This is not an "oh, woe is me, I'm so OLD" post, not at all, because I don't feel that old (unless, of course, I'm at a career fair at my alma mater because GOOD LORD was that an ongoing revelation that I'm not 20 anymore and THANK YOU BABY JESUS FOR THAT), but I do feel OLDER.

Joe and I went to trivia at a local bar last week, which was great (YOU GUYS, DISNEY TRIVIA) but we were maybe the oldest ones there? I think? We were definitely on the older end of the spectrum, which has been happening more and more frequently, especially at bars, which maybe means we're going to the wrong bars BUT I LIKE THOSE BARS so I'm going to keep going, probably. I don't know. I think it's OK. We're not those people who still hang out at college bars, doing shots until 2am because we want to relive our glory days, no, we're the couple sitting quietly at a table in the corner, nursing beers until the band starts, which I think is better, and not only because when I do shots now, I want to die the next day.

My friends are all getting married and buying houses and having babies and I feel like I talk about this a lot (because I do) but it's just so WEIRD that we're all allowed to be doing any these things. Who would put any of us in charge of another living creature? Crazy people, that's who. But it's happening more and more and those of us who used to drink until 5am AND THEN take a case of beer to Lake Michigan so we could watch the sunrise are now either pregnant (MARY, AHH!) or would rather stay home and watch Lord of the Rings instead of going out to a bar (me, duh). And it's fine! It's more than fine, really, it's natural and good and BARS ARE SO LOUD SOMETIMES. But sometimes I miss the people we all used to be, if that makes sense. I miss the person I used to be, though I like the person I currently am, but I'm a little quieter now, a little more cautious (meaning I'm less prone to illegal nightswimming), and I'm definitely a lot less likely to encourage everyone to do tequila shots at the end of the evening.

I've been writing myself FutureMe emails every week for about six months now and, since I'm sending them all a year ahead, I'll start receiving them sometime next June. I'm not sure what I'm hoping to gain from this experience, other than maybe I'll wonder why I felt the need to write stupid shit to myself every week, but I suppose it'll just be another reminder of how quickly time goes by and how much (how little?) a person can change in a year. It might end up being the most depressing project I've ever undertaken. Or it might be really uplifting and fun and super positive yay hugs! I'm guessing it'll be all of the above, but also a little weird because pretty much everything I do ends up being at least a little weird.

My uncle, when I was in high school, hurt his knee somehow, playing football or baseball or some other kind of ball (who can keep them straight?) and told us he'd hurt it because he was still trying to play like he was 25, since in his head, he WAS still 25. And I thought, at the time, "well, that's just odd," but now I wonder if I'll always feel that way, too. Maybe I'll be writing a similar post in 25 years, provided the world doesn't end in a few weeks or that the internet doesn't collapse in on itself at some point, about how I can't believe my friend just became a grandma or won the Nobel Peace Prize or whatever. Maybe we all stay a certain age in our minds, no matter how many years removed we are from it, which means I'll always be missing that person, so far removed from who I am now, and removing herself further and further each day. Maybe these FutureMe emails will give me a better glimpse of who that person was, that she's not that far away and that, really, I can hang out with her any time I want because HELLO BLOG ARCHIVES.

Though, again, this all hinges on the internet not falling apart in the next 25 years. So, you know. Fingers crossed. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them."

Do you ever think about how terrible it would be not to know how to read? I mean, maybe you don't think about it all. Maybe you're one of those people who only reads magazines IF THAT and you don't understand why a person would check out 15 books from the library when she knows there's no way she can read that many books in two weeks or why she'd go to a used book sale and buy two giant paper bags worth of books even though she has absolutely no more bookshelves in her house NOT THAT I'M SPEAKING FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OR ANYTHING THIS IS ALL HYPOTHETICAL.

What was I talking about? Oh, right, reading. What if you didn't know how to read? You wouldn't be reading this, for one thing. You probably wouldn't even be on the internet, because the internet is so full of words.

(Oh wait, never mind, the internet is also full of porn and cat pictures. Go about your business, you non-reader, you.)

Say you couldn't read and I typed something like this: Hector the pink elephant was tightrope-walking with Kurt Vonnegut's ghost (who was wearing a tutu because he discovered in his afterlife that he really wanted to be a ballerina) when a 200 pound bee flew in and stung them FIVE TIMES and they both fell off the tightrope but it didn't matter because Hector landed on a giant trampoline and Kurt Vonnegut is a ghost REMEMBER and falling really far doesn't hurt ghosts, no, in fact, THEY LOVE IT and they do it for fun all the time. It's true. Ask any ghost. I'll wait.

YOU WOULD HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT. Aren't you glad you can read? Yes, obviously, you are, OMG do I have to do all the thinking around here?

My grandma used to read all the time before she started having memory problems and then she mostly stopped because she couldn't remember anything she'd read the time before. A lot of things about my grandma's situation made me really sad, on a daily basis, but that was a total gut-punch because who would anticipate that? I'm not trying to get all dark and depressing, not at all, but it was something I'd never considered before it happened to my grandma. That you'd lose that ability. No more flying around with Harry Potter, no daily walks with Elizabeth Bennet or cocktails with Bridget Jones or saving books with Guy Montag, just NOTHING BUT REAL LIFE. And real life is the worst, even if you aren't suffering from dementia, able to remember events from twenty years ago but unable to figure out what happened in the last twenty minutes.

My grandma has been on my mind a lot lately, probably because of all the Christmas music, but I often think of her when I'm reading, about how I might not love books as much as I do if she and my parents hadn't encouraged me to read, hadn't gotten me all the books I wanted, hadn't so often left me alone to just BE with my books. Most days, when I get home from work, I change into pajamas and plop down in what's become my favorite room of the house. We call it the library (because it's where the books live) but my sister calls it The Quiet Room because there's no TV in there, which she thinks is weird. But it is quiet and the afternoon sunlight streams in and I can stretch out on the couch, facing the window, with a book in my hands and a dog in my lap and, once Joe gets home, it's the happiest part of my day. 

So, anyway. Have you hugged your books today?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

to boldly go

A few weeks ago, Joe and I took a quick trip to Toledo to see Mike Birbiglia perform. We dropped Max off with my parents on Friday and left earlyish on Saturday to begin the drive. We had plenty of time, since we didn't really need to be anywhere until the show started at 8 that night, but we wanted to leave time to do fun stuff we might run across on the way. To say nothing of the MANDATORY scheduled stop at Bowling Green, so Joe could eat his beloved stuffed breadsticks at Pollyeyes. It sounds like I'm making fun, but I'm really not. Those breadsticks are delicious.

The extra time turned out to be precious, PRECIOUS I TELL YOU, because we randomly decided to stop at the Neil Armstrong museum in Wapokaneta. I think, in the back of my mind, I knew that Neil Armstrong was from Ohio and we've driven by this museum about a million times, but never stopped. We almost didn't stop this time. According to Joe, our decision went something like this:

Joe: Hey, do you want to stop at the Neil Armstrong museum?
Joe: It could be fun.
[five minutes later, pulling into the parking lot]
Joe: You...didn't realize there'd be space the Neil Armstrong Air & SPACE Museum.

Which...yeah, is probably accurate. I don't know what I thought would be at the Neil Armstrong museum if NOT space stuff but such is the wonder and non-logic of my mind. Honestly, I would have been happy not even going inside the museum, since this was outside:

I'm in the window...BECAUSE I'M AN ASTRONAUT

The museum itself was interesting, though. Along with learning about Neil Armstrong and becoming super best friends with him (that comes with the ticket price), we discovered that Joe is too tall to be an astronaut and, thanks to a capsule docking video game, we discovered that neither of us is patient or coordinated enough to fly spacecraft. Which. Duh.

The museum went in a giant circle (LIKE THE MOON) and eventually led to a movie theater, where we watched a movie that I'm pretty sure was from the 80s but guess what STILL INTERESTING. I know I take the fact that we walked on the moon (well, not like, we as in you and I, but we as in THE HUMAN RACE) because it happened so long ago and now we're on Mars (sort of) and junk but YOU GUYS it's pretty fantastic that an actual human person has stepped foot on the moon, right? Someone ran around on that giant cheese-filled ball and lived through it. THAT IS SO AWESOME. When can we move there?

Anyway, the movie was great and all, sort of like time traveling back to a time we thought we'd have some sort of space station on the moon by now, but the best part was the hallway leading into the theater. IT WAS FULL OF STARS.


I know it was just all Christmas lights and mirrors, but I didn't care. For a minute or two, it felt like I was walking through space, no suit, no ship, just me. So thanks, Neil. BFF 4EVA!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Joey had reasons. They were threefold.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday, YES EVEN MORE FAVORITE THAN CHRISTMAS. Thanksgiving is an excuse for sloth and gluttony, which are two of my favorite vices, and, yeah, you can eat a lot and sleep a lot on Christmas but there's so much PRESSURE at Christmastime. You have to buy the right gifts and make sure you spend time with all of your friends and family, and there's usually some work-related holiday function you have to attend and when, WHEN I ASK YOU, is the free time at Christmas? There's no such thing.

Not Thanksgiving, though. Sure, you might have to make several stops on your Thanksgiving journey, but there's delicious food at all of them. It's what the Pilgrims always dreamed of. I think. Right? Wasn't that was the point of the first Thanksgiving? Eating and drinking a lot? And being really smelly?

And so, in honor of America's laziest holiday, I present...A LIST. My top five Thanksgivings, in no particular order:

1. The Shrinking Table

Back when I was in high school, I think, we went to Thanksgiving at my Grandma's, because TRADITION. My cousins were all very wee and I spent most of my time chasing them around my Grandma's house until one or all of us got tired. In a brief moment of rest, I was sitting at a large folding table with my dad when my cousin Josh, then four or so, came in. He walked out of the room, and I don't know how this came about, but my dad and I decided to fold up the table we were sitting at and set up a slightly smaller one. When Josh came back in, he was amazed! The table had shrunk! What sorcery was this?!

He left again, we folded up that table, and replaced it with a slightly smaller one. Josh came back in and was all, "wtf," but, you know, in four-year-old-speak, and I told him Casper had come in and was sprinkling shrinking powder on everything. Which maybe traumatized him for life but we're not sure yet. Josh left again, we replaced that table with a TV tray, Josh came in and saw it, left to look for Casper, and when he came back in, we'd put the TV tray away and told Josh that the table finally got so small that we couldn't see it anymore. It was awesome.

Also, I just remembered that this might have also happened on Christmas, not Thanksgiving. THIS LIST IS RUINED ALREADY.

2. The First Thanksgiving (with Joe)

I'm not talking about actual Thanksgiving, when our schedule was thus: I went to my family's Thanksgiving, he went to his family's, I went over to his family's for dessert, we both went back to MY family's for dessert...I mean, wtf, that is crazy, which is why now we alternate Thanksgiving holidays with our families. Last year, we spent Thanksgiving with my family, this year we spend it with his family, and so on and so on forever and ever.

I'm talking about the next day, when we consolidated all of the Thanksgiving leftovers our parents had given us, with a trip to the grocery store for extra mashed potatoes (probably), and rewarmed everything so we could eat another Thanksgiving dinner, in our pajamas, while watching It's Always Sunny or some other such nonsense. Perfect day, yes?

3. The Turkey Trot

Back in 2007, Heidi and I decided that the best way to start our Thanksgiving would obviously be to run five miles, because then there would be zero guilt about the 50 pounds of mashed potatoes we planned on eating later in the day. We "trained" for it and were at the starting line at 8am that frigid, rainy morning and, though we felt like dying several times during the race, we finished it. I wanted to wear my number for the rest of the day but eventually showered so I could spend Thanksgiving with my family, drinking wine and playing games and talking about my upcoming trip to DC because that was also the same year as:

4. Collective Thanksgiving!

This was not the first time I'd ever met anyone IRL after getting to know them online, and it wasn't the last time, but it was the most memorable. I don't even remember how exactly The Collective as a group came to be. Kat and I had been reading each other's blogs for quite a while, and I vaguely remember somehow stumbling across Heather Anne and Abigail's blogs, but I don't remember when we all stopped being Heather Anne and Kat and Abigail and Jennie and instead became a complete set.

I also can't remember whose idea it was to get together for Thanksgiving, but that person is a genius. I got up in the wee small hours of the morning on Black Friday, but it wasn't to go shopping, it was to drive to DC and meet some of the best people I've ever had the honor of knowing. There was something magical about that trip. We got to skip the "getting to know you" portion of IRL friendships because we already knew each other. We knew each other for years without ever having met. But, you know, I'm so glad we finally did meet, obviously. I mean, otherwise I would have missed Abigail and Heather Anne's version of the OK Go treadmill dance, and who other than Kat would ever make me a balloon animal and then tie it to a firecracker? THEY ARE THE GREETEST.

5. The One With Chandler in a Box

Yeah, I know I wasn't technically AT this Thanksgiving celebration but I watched it on TV and isn't that almost the same thing? YES.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

once upon a time

This is the final week of the writing class I've been taking for the past month or so. I got a bit off track last week, something I'm blaming on wedding-weekend recovery but really it was just because I was tired and a bit sick and I gave myself some time to (See also: I'm lazy.)

The class provides prompts each day and, though I haven't done all of them yet, it's comforting to know they're there when I need them. Because, you see, the point of this class was not to write a masterpiece in five weeks, but to get into a habit of writing every day. And I'm almost there. I don't know if anyone has noticed (or, you know, cared), but I've been posting here more often, and between that and working on the writing class prompts, I believe I've written something almost every day WHICH IS CRAZY. I don't remember the last time I did that.

I've always loved writing and telling stories, from the time I learned how to write more than a sentence, but somewhere between The Evil Summer and now, I turned it into a chore. And that's ridiculous because I actually really love to write! But I stopped doing it because I felt like I HAD to. WHICH IS ALSO RIDICULOUS. No one is holding a gun to my head. Where was all this pressure coming from? Oh, right, from myself, because I kept coming up with new projects and blogs and I started like five novels but never finished any of them, which all obviously means that I SUCK AND AM TERRIBLE AND DON'T EVEN DESERVE TO HAVE THESE TYPING FINGERS.

Anyway. One good thing about this class is that it's reminded me how much fun writing can be. It's probably the most fun I've had writing since the 4th grade, when our teacher gave us free time to not only write stories, but to illustrate them and make actual books out of them. I found one of these books a few months ago, when I took home an old scrapbook of mine from my parents' house.

It's called Benny the Bored Bunny and, though I didn't remember the story I'd written until I recently reread it, I remember the act of making it. Sitting quietly at my desk in Mrs. Castrejon's class, my head resting on my arm as I wrote the story, taking my story into the small room that served as the book-making factory, painstakingly putting the book together, and holding it proudly in my hands once it was finished.

Alliteration is fun!

I remember how excited I was to show it to my parents, as if I'd written and published a New York Times bestseller, not that I knew what the New York Times was at that point but shut up this is my story. And, really, that's how you should feel after you write something. After you've put that much work into it, you should want to show it to everyone, until they get sick of it and tell you to go away and find something else to do OMG WHY DON'T YOU EVER GO OUTSIDE.


So, once I finish this writing class, my goal isn't to immediately write some bestseller. I mean, OBVIOUSLY, right? Instead, it's to write something I'm proud of. Something I've worked hard on. Something I'm excited to show to anyone who might be paying attention. That's all, really, and right now it seems like just enough.

Monday, November 12, 2012

that's so monday

If I really wanted to figure out why I was in an absolutely shitty-ass mood today, I could do it pretty easily, but who wants to dwell on the negative OH WAIT I DO.

My bad mood most likely stemmed from one or all of the following:

1. It's Monday.
2. It's raining.
3. It's cold.
4. It's Monday.
5. I didn't have time for lunch today so instead I ate: some carrots, celery and peanut butter, pepperoni slices, almonds.
6. This weekend was too good which made the fact that it's Monday EVEN MORE MONDAY.
7. Today I realized that Thanksgiving is next week and I haven't gotten anyone any Thanksgiving gifts yet! I assume I'm supposed to be buying gifts because once Halloween was over, commercials started telling me to buy stuff for people other than myself and since Thanksgiving is the next holiday, THE GIFTS MUST BE FOR THANKSGIVING.
8. It's Monday.

All of those reasons led me to where I sat at about 2:30 today, which was at my desk, eating peanut butter out of a jar while listening to these two songs over and over:


I'm in a much better mood now but I'm not sure if it's from the song therapy or just because I'm now at home. Either way, I DON'T CARE BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT? LIFE IS A HAPPY SONG SO SHUT UP YOU STUPID WHINY JERK*.


Friday, November 09, 2012

maybe you're the same as me, we see things they'll never see

You know, the biggest different I noticed between this election and past elections was how big a part the internet played. Not, like, in who won or anything (OR DID IT) but how much I relied on it to tell me things. I found out on Twitter that Obama had won Ohio before I found out on TV. WHAT KIND OF SORCERY IS THAT? I don't even know. All I know is that I love it, because four years ago I had to talk to actual PEOPLE IN PERSON on election night and that's super stressful, you guys.

Sometimes I think I'm maybe too reliant on the internet (um, maybe?) or that I have way too much of myself invested in it, but then I think I DON'T CARE I LOVE YOU INTERNET.

My love affair with the internet started in high school, or whenever we got our first magical AOL disc in the mail and I discovered there were other nerds out there who loved The X-Files as much as I did. Hell, even now the internet connects me to other nerds who love the same TV shows/movies/books that I do (see: Tumblr). I've met friends through the internet, hell, I met JOE through the internet, and I don't remember the last time I set foot in a mall because I do all of my shopping through the internet.

Right now, I'm reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won't Stop Talking and it's like peeking into MY VERY OWN SOUL. The book begins with a helpful true/false quiz that you can take in case you're not sure whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, AS IF YOU DON'T ALREADY KNOW. I've known I was an introvert from the time I was old enough to vert at all but I took the quiz anyway. And, duh, it's all "Introvert City, population: ME" over here.

In the section I'm currently reading, the author talks a bit about how introverts love the internet. About how introverts, in fact, will share things on the internet that they'd never share with those they know in real life. And suddenly all of my years of blogging, of spewing verbal diarrhea all over your brains (sorry for that image), finally made sense.

I've often thought about giving up this little corner of the internet, but have never been able to make it stick. I've been blogging here for nine years now. NINE YEARS. I could be a doctor by now. But not THE Doctor (probably). I don't usually go back and read my archives, not unless I want to link to something or cringe so hard my face falls off, but there's a lot of my life in there. Almost a third of it! I love that it's a record of who I was, where I've been, who I've lost and loved and met along the way. I can't imagine it all disappearing. It's why I still have my childhood journals and stories.

I've always been a packrat, hanging on to stuff "just in case I ever need it," but when I was a kid, I'd go through phases where I'd try and purge my life of anything extraneous. I'd go through my room, which was always a hellish mess anyway, and, as I cleaned, I'd throw all sorts of things away. Letters. Cards. Homework assignments. Who knows what else. And I almost always regretted it later, when I was looking for something in particular, usually something silly, like a note my friend had given me in 3rd period.

So I don't do that anymore. I mean, it's not like our house is an episode of Hoarders or anything, but I'm more careful about what I get rid of. Which is why I love the internet. It's easier to delete stuff but it's also easier to protect it from fire, flood, or zombies. And even if you delete it, it's never really gone forever. It'll always be there, even if you can't get to it anymore, floating through interspace or even just someone's mind, someone who read your blog once and took something away from it, who knows what exactly, maybe something silly, something profound, but SOMETHING, and you'll live in that person's brain for as long as they remember that something.

So who knows. Maybe you and I are gonna live forever.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

obligatory post-election post

Me: I've had an awful lot of wine for a Tuesday night.
Joe: I noticed.
Me: Whatever, it's a special occasion.

Last night, sometime around an-hour-past-my-bedtime and my third glass of wine, I wondered if I should maybe just go to bed. I knew I'd be tired today, but I eventually decided that was Future!Jennie's problem and Future!Jennie could suck it because: HISTORY. Now that I am Future!Jennie? I'm regretting it a teeny tiny bit only not really because WHOO OBAMA WHOO!

This is the second election in a row that I've voted for the winner, which is a nice feeling, yes? (Yes.) Still, I stayed away from gloating on Facebook because I remember how shitty it feels to be on the losing side. OH DO I. The first election I ever voted in was 2000 and BOY DIDN'T THAT GO WELL. I'm surprised it didn't turn me off of voting forever but no, I was even more fired up by 2004, despite the lackluster candidate (poor Kerry), and I remember trying to live-blog the entire thing until I got too depressed and then I just watched the returns on mute until I fell asleep around dawn. My friend called me from DC and we sat in silence on the phone for a while, until I asked where she was and she said, "In front of the White House. Just sitting." SUPER DEPRESSING.

So, yeah, it feels good when your candidate wins, especially when you didn't have to stay up until dawn to KNOW that he won, so the last two elections have been fine for me, other than the stomach-knotting-stress I felt the entire day.

It was kind of like...OK, so I had to give a matron-of-honor toast/speech at Heidi's wedding this past weekend. And for most of the day, I felt like I was fine. I was able to relax and have fun with my friends and, before the wedding ceremony, didn't feel like it was MY time to be nervous so I tried to make sure Heidi wasn't too nervous but, you know, duh she was. Who isn't? But once we got to the reception, I knew my speech was close at hand and I babbled nervously to Joe and had trouble sitting in my seat and choked down some dinner, though my stomach was full of butterflies, and somehow distracted myself enough that I almost forgot about the speech until they called for me and I had to go stand on stage and then I gave my speech and it was fine and people laughed when they were supposed to and I didn't break down in tears or throw up and when I was done, I sat back down beside Joe and I have never, EVER in my life experienced that kind of relief. I didn't even know how nervous I was until it was over and it felt like someone had injected my body don't know, something relaxy. Or Felix Felicis, because the rest of the night was awesome.

Wait. What was my point? Oh, yes. I was super nervous before my speech but didn't know HOW nervous until after it was over, which is exactly how I felt about this election. I never actually thought Romney might win until yesterday, when the thought of President Romney became very, very real and I was TERRIFIED. It wasn't until well after they announced Obama had won that I felt myself relax.

And no, I don't think the wine had anything to do with it. Shut up.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

"There's a 30% chance that it's already raining!"

Hey, I'm not sure if you realize this, but it's election day! Don't forget. No one is really talking about it on Facebook or Tumblr or Twitter or their blogs or even in real life, though who gets their news from real life anymore, amirite? Nothing ever happens in real life before it happens on the internet. It's true facts! I hardly ever get spoiled for TV shows in real life, it always happens when I innocently check Facebook after watching Dexter but before having watched Walking Dead and getting VICIOUSLY HORRIBLY SPOILED ABOUT SOMETHING TERRIBLE AND BRUTAL AND WHYYYYYYYYYY SHOW WHYYYYYYYY?

Still. I wasn't really mad, though this was a big, giant spoiler. I'm pretty meh about most spoilers. My thinking is, if the show has aired or the movie's been released, it's my responsibility to avoid all spoilers, which I can usually pretty easily do by staying off of the internet. Since I find staying off the internet to be an impossible task, however, I get spoiled a lot. But I'm fine with it.

This is not to say that everyone has to share my view about spoilers. I don't expect them to! I would never automatically start talking about something crazy that happened on Dexter last night without having asked if you've seen it first. That is a total dick move. (Sidebar: ask Joe sometime how he got spoiled for The Avengers at TCAF because he is still bitter about that.) I try not to post anything spoilery on Twitter or Facebook in case someone might accidentally see it. But if it happens, I'm sorry, you're going to be fine. Scientists say so.

It is a total bummer, though, in certain cases. If anyone had spoiled Lost for me, I would have probably straight up murdered them in the face. Same deal with the last Harry Potter. Or any Harry Potters, really. So I guess it's good that no one spoiled me or I'd be writing this from prison right now and if I was in prison right now I wouldn't have gotten to vote AWW YEAH FOOLS THIS POST JUST WENT FULL CIRCLE WHAAAAAAAAAT.


Friday, November 02, 2012

blah blah poopty blah

What you want before a big weekend is lots of stress and excitement, which is why I'm really glad that last night a possum decided to hang out in our backyard, on top of our fence, taunting Max until we could bribe him to come in with treats (Beggin Strips finally did the trick). IT WAS SO FUN. Only not really. Possums are freaky as shit, you guys. It just sat there, on the fence, looking at us with its creepy, beady eyes, it's long, pink rat-tail-on-steroids flicking back and forth.

Anyway. That happened. And neither dog nor possum was attacked by the other so I guess we're putting that one in the win column? It would seem so.

All of this happened after some stress over our furnace not working because did you know that right before you have a busy weekend is also the perfect time for your furnace to not work? Especially if it's like 34 degrees outside. So that gave me something to freak out about, which is nice, because if I'm not worrying about something, I just don't know what to do with myself. It was a super easy fix, though not a super CHEAP fix, which has pretty much been the trend in our year of homeownership.

Good things did happen yesterday, though. Don't get me wrong. I came home from work early and Joe worked from home, so once he was done working, we went to vote. Early! I mean WHAT. It was magical and only took about  half an hour, once we found the place we were supposed to be. When we got there, we were directed down a series of escalators into an auditorium, where we had to fill out some paperwork and listen to a guy say the same thing, over and over, and at that point I really hoped that he was getting paid.

Eventually, we were sent to pick up our ballots. Since we were voting early, we filled out absentee ballots, which meant that instead of using the electronic voting machines, we filled out paper ballots. I am psychotic, so I spent most of my time making sure the bubble next to each candidate was completely filled out. BECAUSE WHAT IF IT WASN'T FILLED OUT RIGHT AND MY VOTE WASN'T COUNTED OMG YOU GUYS I WOULD BE SO SAD FOREVER.

Anyway, the whole bubble-voting process reminded me of high school when we'd have those scantron tests. Did you guys have those? They were basically these long sheets with little bubbles (except not really because they were square?) and you had to fill them out with a #2 pencil ONLY NO OTHER NUMBERS DON'T EVEN THINK OF TRYING TO USE A #47 PENCIL OR YOU'LL BE EXPELLED and if you didn't fill them out right, your answers wouldn't get tallied by the machine and then you'd fail and probably die. It was very serious.

I guess my point is voting is fun, in general, and in the grand scheme of things, bubble voting falls somewhere between the let-down of pushing buttons on the electronic machine and the fun of poking chads with the stabby needle thing.


I Ohio Voting? WTF does that mean?

Thursday, November 01, 2012

You are more beautiful than Cinderella! You smell like pine needles, and have a face like sunshine!

Now that Halloween is over, I can put all of my energy into preparing for Heidi's wedding this weekend. Not that there's a ton of preparation. There are really only three things expected of me. 1) That I remember my dress, 2) that I make sure Heidi is at the church on time, and 3) that I give a speech at the reception without cursing like a sailor or telling any inappropriate stories.

My speech is basically ready, though I keep revising the tiniest bits of it, which I should really stop doing or I'm just going to be standing in front of everyone, reading it verbatim from a piece of paper. I mean, I don't plan on MEMORIZING it, of course, because the chances of me remembering it once I'm standing in front of a large group of people are, well, not good. I hate public speaking and always have, but at least for this I can have a glass of champagne (or three) beforehand.

Note: I will probably not have many glasses of champagne because a) I guarantee I won't have eaten much at that point and b) I don't want to be the drunk bridesmaid who throws up on the microphone as she tried to wish the bride and groom many happy years together. NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT. Everybody pukes. But not everybody pukes all over the bride's dress, which is important to keep in mind. 

I practiced my speech last night, after trying on my dress to make sure it still fits (it does!), in front of a mirror, while Max looked up expectantly at me, like, "ooh, she's talking to someone in that thing...I wonder if that girl she's talking to is going to come in here...maybe she'll bring that dog who looks like me with her."

I feel like everything was going pretty well until I got to the last bit and then I started crying and cry-talking and muttering "fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck" under my breath, which is probably not going to gain me any points if I repeat that performance at the reception. Still. It WOULD be memorable and that's what matters, right?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Some people wait a lifetime...

Halloweentime is almost over and it's finally sinking in that, once again, I hardly took advantage of it. I mean, I watched a couple of horror movies but nowhere NEAR the number I wanted to. For those interested, I watched: Cabin in the Woods, Village of the Damned, and Slither. THREE MOVIES. THAT'S IT? Who am I?

I feel like this always happens around holidays, especially Halloween and Christmas. I really MEAN to celebrate them but I never feel like I celebrated them as well as I could have. And WHO CARES. No one. No one cares that I forgot to listen to Christmas carols until the day before Christmas or that I didn't carve a pumpkin or that I didn't dress up AT ALL.

OK, I care about that last one. Luckily, even though I was sick for the Halloween party we were invited to, I was able to dress up for work today. Sure, I'm dressed in a costume I've worn twice before but it's the best costume I've ever worn so I feel no shame. Why shouldn't I get as much mileage out of it as possible?

Anyway, so that's why I'm dressed as Velma today. AT WORK. This is my favorite costume ever and I'll tell you why:

1. I can utilize the glasses I already wear as part of my costume.
2. I already have similar hair to Velma, so I don't have to wear a wig or really do anything different to it.
3. The costume is basically regular clothes, so I'm pretty comfortable.

All of these reasons revolve around my ever-present laziness. I'm too lazy to put in contacts in the morning, I'm too lazy to do anything crazy to my hair, and I'm too lazy to really MAKE a costume, so I just wear normal clothes. This is my idea of a perfect Halloween! Which is why, in the past, I've dressed up as the following:

1. Kelly Clarkson (this mostly consisted of me walking around all night screaming, "FOR A MOMENT LIKE THIS!")
2. Lucy van Pelt
3. Adam Sandler
4. Um, that's all I remember.

I feel like my costumes were more elaborate when I was a child. One year, my mom made me this awesome playing card costume. I think I was the Ace of Spades or something. I don't remember. But it was so great! Only I couldn't sit down all night, so that was kind of a problem only not really because who ever sits down when they're a kid? Especially when they're trick-or-treating?

Speaking of, can we institute some kind of adult trick-or-treating? Like, I don't have kids, but I still want free candy, so can I take Max out trick-or-treating or something? I mean, HE ALREADY HAS A COSTUME.

Wiener on wiener action

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I'm not a gamer, I just play a lot

I'm absolutely terrible at most video games, unless all you have to do is pretend to play fake instruments or answer multiple choice questions. I get really excited about new video games when I get them, but the excitement usually wears off after I play a couple of times and realize I'm not getting any better so then I quit.


I've only ever made it to the end of one video game. I was in middle school, on summer break, and we'd just gotten a Super Nintendo. I liked playing Super Mario Brothers, but only the level where you find Yoshi, which wasn't even really a level because you couldn't die in that world, all you could do was make friends with a weirdo dinosaur I MEAN WHY WOULDN'T THAT BE MY FAVORITE WORLD YOU GUYS COME ON.

So I'd play Super Mario Brothers for a while, until I died in the ghost world fifty times and got frustrated enough to throw the controller at the TV. Then my parents bought Zelda. AND I WAS OBSESSED.

I loved everything about Zelda. The music. The teeny, tiny people with their teeny, tiny legs and teeny, tiny weapons. Yeah, those soldiers were trying to kill me BUT LOOK HOW ADORABLE. I mean, until like four of them were coming after me at once and then it was all, "shitshitshit run away to the next screen are they gone, oh god, no, now some weirdo squid thing is shooting fireballs at me wtf wtf oh god, Link, RUN FUCKING FASTER," because apparently I had a filthy mouth even as a 12-year-old.

My dad was playing the game, too, which means most evenings would find him sitting in front of the TV on the floor LIKE A CHILD while my sister and I sat on the couch behind him. I'm not sure why my sister was sitting there, but I was studying. See, Dad was way farther in the game than I was, so I'd watch him play so I'd know what to do once I finally got to that point.

Dad was at work the first time I came across the first boss. I tried to beat it on my own, but after I got killed by the stomping bull things a couple of times, I called him. We were NOT supposed to call my dad at work. It was usually fine to call Mom (unless you were calling to tell her that you found a dog wandering around the neighborhood so you put him in the garage and named him Fluffy, OK BYE) but Dad did not have time for that shit. So when I called him about Zelda, I thought for sure he'd sigh heavily and hang up on me.

But no! He told me how to beat it! And it worked! Even though I had to try it several more times and every time I'd get super nervous, all sweaty palms and racing heart, just like I used to whenever we had timed multiplication tests in school but like WHAT WAS UP WITH THOSE? Those were way worse than any of the monsters inside of Zelda.

(This video is crazeballs to me, because WHY AREN'T YOU USING THE ARROWS, GUY?)

Anyway, so I kept playing and every time I had a question, I'd call Dad and he'd walk me through it, no matter how busy he was at work except for those times when I'd ask a question and he'd be all, "...I'm in a meeting, can you call back in half an hour?" and I'd be all, "NO I'M ABOUT TO DIE FOR REAL DAD!" True story.


But, OK, just because I beat Zelda eventually does NOT mean I wasn't a total wuss monster while doing it. If I got too stressed out in any of the castles, I'd go back to the village, where it was nice and quiet and the music was really soothing.

Also, no one there would try to kill you unless you chopped down a bush and a soldier came out. Or worse, A BEE.


(Unnecessary. Everyone already knows bees are scary and evil.)

Monday, October 29, 2012

I'm Janet Snakehole!

Joe and I didn't dress up for Halloween this year, so naturally, we're already planning our costumes for next year. We were supposed to go to a Halloween party this past Saturday, but ended up staying home because I got sick just in time for the weekend. THANKS, BODY. I'm kind of bummed we didn't get to go, even though we didn't have our costumes ready as of Friday. I mean, we could have thrown something together. We had lots of ideas. The theme was "dress as a literary character, high or low brow." My favorite idea was to have Joe wear a nametag that said "God" and for me to dress up as Margaret and carry around a box of tampons. Oh well. I guess there's always next year.

That's not to say it was a terrible weekend. Sure, I was sick, but it gave me an excuse to sit around and watch TV or read, which are my favorite pastimes anyway. And we managed to see Argo, which is why I ended up having popcorn and M&Ms for dinner that night. Which is totally what you want to be eating when you're sick and your body needs, like, vitamins and nutrients and junk.

We went out to dinner with Joe's parents last night and had every intention to relax as soon as we got home, but Phoebe had other plans because, as we were changing into our pajamas, she took a dump right in the middle of our bed. We watched, dumb-founded, before I found the clarity of mind to shoo her out of the room. I was pissed and then I looked at her litter box, which was perhaps a bit too dirty for her dainty sensibilities, so I'm assigning blame to both of us.

WOW, so I'm not making it sound like my weekend was all that great, but it was fine. Good, even. It would have been better if I'd not had to skip fun things because of sickness but WE CAN'T HAVE EVERYTHING NOW CAN WE. It was probably good to have a relaxing weekend at home this weekend because NEXT weekend is Heidi's wedding. You remember Heidi, right? My old roommate, of the many shenanigans? SHE'S GETTING MARRIED. Whoo! As matron (ugh, that word) of honor, I'm responsible for giving a speech, something I've been freaking out about ever since I started writing it because A) it involves speaking in front of people and B) it involves FEELINGS and you know how I feel about public displays of those. But since it's for Heidi, I'll make that sacrifice, even thought it means I'll probably end up crying in front of people and then they'll know I'm not a robot and THEN they won't respect me anymore. JUST KIDDING. No one respects me.

Anyway, my sister's only advice for my speech was, "don't make it too long, OK?" which I guess is helpful. If anyone else has any advice, I'm all ears. I'm really regretting the fact that I completely tune out during the speeches at most weddings, not because I don't care or anything, but because I'm easily distracted and -- OOOH A PUPPY.


Friday, October 26, 2012


Apparently my bragging about writing all the words and being super productive pissed off The Universe because now I'm sick and it's making me want to do absolutely NOTHING including write stuff because using my brain is hard. I'm not like, SICK SICK, like I could stay home from work for three days, but sick like...I just don't feel right? And all I want to do is lie down wherever I am and take a nap. Although, I think I did have a fever at work yesterday. Joe and I exchanged emails that went something like this:

Joe: How are you feeling?
Me: I feel OK, I think, only I'm pretty sure I either had a fever earlier or I was having hot flashes.

What sucks is that while I was having fevered hot flashes, I was leading a new hire orientation which is a really good way to welcome new employees to the company. WELCOME TO OUR BEAUTIFUL FACILITY HERE HAVE SOME OF MY DISGUSTING SNOT GERMS.

I came home from work early yesterday and immediately took a nap, then Joe came home and I used that time to flop around, groaning dramatically about how I was siiiiiiiiiiiiick. I'm just a delight to be around when I don't feel good.

I asked Joe what I should blog about for today and his REALLY HELPFUL suggestion was: " awesome it is."

So here is my post about TV. And how awesome it is.

Current TV I'm watching!

The New Girl   Man, I cannot believe how much this show has grown on me. When it started, I couldn't decide whether I liked it or not but NOW I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Schmidt, obviously, is the greatest character to have ever existed. At least on FOX. (Except for Mulder and Scully.)

How I Met Your Mother   This show is like how Friends was, toward the end when you didn't even know if you WANTED Ross and Rachel to end up together because OMG YOU GUYS STOP BEING SO ANNOYING. Like, the show just wasn't as great as it once had been but I couldn't stop watching because of LOYALTY. I'll watch HIMYM no matter how bad it gets, but I hope this is the last season. (It is, right? Did I hear that? Ashley?)

Dexter   MAN. This show is so much better than it was last season. SO SO MUCH BETTER. We watch this one with some friends and it used to be I only looked forward to those nights because we got to hang out with fun people, but now I'm actually excited to see the show.

The Walking Dead   This one has also been a lot better this season than last season. I stopped reading the comics around the time period the show has stumbled into and I really hope the reason I stopped reading doesn't happen on the show. I won't say what it was BUT I HATED IT. Though I was already hating the characterization of the women in the comic, as well as the terrible dialogue, so I didn't really need much of a reason to stop reading. ANYWAY. The show? So much more exciting than it was last year.

The Office   We actually missed an episode this season, which would have been sacrilege a few seasons ago, but the episodes we've seen have been...OK. Maybe I should stop comparing it to what the show USED to be and enjoy it for what it is now, but it's really hard. THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID.

Parks & Rec  This show, man. It's like hugging a puppy. (ESPECIALLY LAST NIGHT'S EPISODE OMG OMG ALL THE WARM FUZZIES ARE BELONG TO US!)


Revenge  I almost forgot that I was still watching this. I think that says pretty much all you need to know about that. 

Community   :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

Old TV I'm watching THANK YOU NETFLIX!

Doctor Who   I'm pretty much always watching this. An episode here, an episode there, though I'd really like to do a full rewatch. The other day I watched Doomsday just because I felt like crying. THAT IS NOT NORMAL.

Freaks & Geeks   I came home from work the other day, starting to not feel well, and put this on as comfort food.

Buffy   I just started season 6. SEASON 6 IS SO DEPRESSING.

ALIAS   We're rewatching all of this. I haven't seen it in years, probably since it went off the air, so I've forgotten most of it. It holds up surprisingly well, mostly because of Michael Vartan's beautiful, beautiful face. My favorite part about watching this has been seeing hints of future JJ Abrams shows to come.

What TV should I be watching that I'm not? I WANT TO WATCH ALL OF THE TV ALL OF THE TIME. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

welcome to the new times, just like the old times

Internet, I would like to tell you about the perfectly lovely weekend I had, um, last weekend. Why am I talking about my weekend on Thursday, you might ask? Well. I’ll tell you.

I signed up for an online writing class a while ago, and it started last week, and the main objective of this class is to get you to write every day. There are assignments JUST LIKE IN SCHOOL, so basically all of my Hermione Granger qualities have come out in full force, which means not only do I want to write the assignments but I want to write MORE than the assignments because writing more means I WIN AT WRITING. Or something. It’s a contest, right? No? Oh. 


Anyway, so I don’t know if you noticed but I’m trying to post something to my blog every day. By the time of this posting, that makes four days in a row! Which is like more days in a row than I’ve posted in a million years probably, so I guess this class is working. Once I finish my daily assignment for my writing class, then I work on a post for this blog or a book review for CBR4 (HAHAHA JUST KIDDING I’M SO BEHIND), which means I’m usually ahead of the game. I edit (can you even believe this shit has been revised, because it has) one entry a night and schedule it to post the next morning, then I start a new entry. It’s like a system! I love systems!

Anyway anyway, this past weekend was great! Almost as great as that segue! It couldn’t have worked out any better if I’d planned it and believe you me, I’ve tried to plan that kind of relaxation before and it doesn’t work at all! Just FYI.

We went out to breakfast on Saturday and, as we were sitting at our table, drinking some coffee and staring at people out the window, Joe saw some of our friends standing outside. They were about to have to wait a million hours for a table but Joe and I said NO. You will NOT do that! You will sit with us! And thus it happened, as was foretold in the ancient prophecy of breakfasts or whatever.

Joe has been working at the comic book store on Saturdays, which usually means I have Saturday afternoons all to myself for thrifting or watching Buffy or whatever the hell it is I do with my time that makes it fly by until I realize I haven’t showered yet and it’s almost 5 which is when Joe gets home and I HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING PRODUCTIVE AT ALL. Ahem. But this past Saturday, I went hiking! I already told you about that, though! This post has so many exclamation points! I love it!

Joe and I had talked about going to the movies Saturday night because, well, that’s what we do, but instead I talked him into renting movies (Moonrise Kingdom!) and ALSO renting Just Dance 4 JUST so I could do the dance to Call Me Maybe. So we drank and watched movies and played Wii and it was the PERFECT SATURDAY NIGHT for people who don’t like to NOT wear pajamas at all times and isn’t that all people? Yes, probably.

I don’t even know how we ended up killing most of Sunday because the only thing I remember doing is going to see Sleepwalk With Me. Have you seen it? It’s so good. I’ve listened to Mike Birbiglia’s comedy special of the same name AND read the book (also same name GO FIGURE) and I still enjoyed the movie. I could listen to Mike Birbiglia talk about...I don’t know, clipping his toenails, and I would still be enthralled. It’s something about his voice. I don’t even know. Wow, good story.

I think I’ll use this last paragraph of this completely thought out and totally planned post for a PSA and that is! do not, under any circumstances consume the following right before you go to bed: chili, beer, Reese Cup cupcake, Dexter, The Walking Dead. You’ll thank me later, after you don’t do that and you have an uninterrupted-by-zombie-killer-nightmare night of sleep.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

fall back

Lately, the weather has been really beautiful. Fall is here in full force and, though there have been some cold, blustery days, most of them have been pretty mild, sunny and breezy, and the leaves on the trees have started changing but haven't completely fallen, meaning the trees don't yet look like skeleton arms which is awesome because skeleton arms are freaky.

Joe and I usually go out to breakfast on Saturday mornings, ever since we started eating better, because Saturday is our cheat day which means PANCAKES AND BACON AND BREEEAAAAAD. This past Saturday, after filling myself with crepes, I decided that the scary movie marathon I'd planned could wait and, instead, I drove to one of the area MetroParks. I'd never been to this one before, which is odd, because I have a habit of DRIVING to parks to walk or run. I know it makes no sense but, you know, you have to seek out serenity where you can and it's not often found in the suburbs. Therefore -- MetroParks.

I only meant to stay for 30 minutes or so, long enough to take a quick walk around, but I ended up hiking for about an hour and a half because it was JUST SO BEAUTIFUL. That and no one else was really around. Except for the guy I stumbled across who was peeing on the side of the trail but he scampered away pretty quickly. Sorry, guy. Keep it in your pants next time.

I saw lots of squirrels and birds but no deer, which is what I was really hoping for, and yeah, that's just greedy, really, because of all the deer that wander up and down our street and, pretty much any given evening, I can walk a few houses down and see at least three deer eating whatever deer eat (APPLES!) out of our neighbor's yard.

Before I'd left home, I'd considered taking my iPod with me but I'm so glad I didn't. I'm guilty of drowning out my own thoughts often enough, so it was nice to actually hear myself think. My mind wandered, and I realized that the Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk had been that morning, the same walk my family participated in two years ago, just a day after my grandma died. And I realized with a start that it'd been two years since Grandma died, two years last Monday, and it hadn't even crossed my mind. I know as well as anyone that it's a perfectly natural part of the grieving process to forget these things. Life goes on, I know. But I couldn't stop that pang of guilt (Lutheran upbringing strikes again!) and I thanked my lucky stars that no one was around to witness me turn my face to the sky as I walked, say, "sorry Grandma," and then trip over a root on the trail, barely catching myself before I face-planted.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

oh, deer (YEAH I WENT THERE)

I'm sure it will surprise no one that Joe and I don't really know any of our neighbors. We've waved at some of them and I introduced myself to our neighbor on one side once but I've since forgotten her name. HOWEVER. I'm fairly certain that when she picks up sticks and twigs and junk from her yard, she throws them over our fence, into the overgrown bit of ivy that we will never ever be rid of, making it look even shittier than it normally does. I can't prove it because I've never seen her do it BUT I HAVE MY SUSPICIONS. Oh yes. And if you'd told me 15 years ago that this is something I would be angry about, I would have...I don't know, called you a liar? Cried? Both?

Anyway. We met a new neighbor the other night. Joe and I try to take a nightly walk after work, at least on nights we're both home right after, and lately there've been some deer roaming the neighborhood. The other night was no exception. There was a deer hanging out in our neighbor's front yard, but something BRAND NEW was happening. Another neighbor, a tall, lanky, middle-aged guy I'd seen a few times before, always wearing the same sweatshirt, workout pants, and baseball cap, was throwing something at the deer.

"What the hell? WHY IS HE DOING THAT?" I shouted.

"Cause he's a dick?" Joe answered.

We walked toward the scene as the guy hurled something else at the deer. As we got closer, the guy held out an apple and asked if we wanted one.

"Um, no, I'm not hungry," I said. The guy explained that deer love apples and I realized with relief that he had been FEEDING the deer, not trying to hurt it. Which was great because I'd briefly considered setting some dog poop on fire on his porch but didn't really want to put that much effort into my revenge plan (yeah, I realize that's not that much effort BUT IT'S STILL EFFORT, OK).

The guy, who introduced himself to us as Scotty, then proceeded to tell us about how deer love apples and he feeds them all the time and sometimes they follow him to Domino's NO NOT DOMINO'S SUBWAY THEY FOLLOW HIM TO SUBWAY and did we see the little path through the brush there because he put that there so the deer could come through that was his idea he did that for the deer so it was easier for them to get to his house that's his house right there, well, really it's his dad's house but the deed has his name on it and he used to be a professional golfer but now just rakes leaves all day can you believe how many leaves there are he just raked leaves yesterday and now he has to rake them again today but he saw the deer so he ran inside to get some apples and feed the deer because did you know deer like apples?

YOU GUYS SCOTTY JUST KEPT TALKING. Joe and I tried to walk away a few times, but he just wouldn't stop! Joe started to walk faster, whisper-shouting, "DON'T LOOK BACK DON'T LOOK BACK." AND YET HE KEPT TALKING. He's probably still there, talking to no one! Or the deer! OR THE GHOST OF NAPOLEON'S DEAD MISTRESS WHO KNOWS?!

"Why can't we ever have normal neighbors?" I asked, thinking of our old  neighbor, Poltergeist Lady. But Joe explained that, to our neighbors, we're probably just as weird, if not weirder, which I suppose is true. I mean, once I learned that deer eat apples, I told Joe about my plan to lure deer into our yard (something I'd been threatening to do since I learned there were deer in the neighborhood) which was to go into our backyard, gather some apples from our apple tree (which the deer can't get to because of our fence), and arrange them in a pleasing fashion in the front yard, because, you know, the deer won't eat them unless they're presented well. I must have had an absolutely maniacal look on my face because Joe spent the next five minutes asking if I was OK.

AND YES. Yes, I'm OK. Or I will be, just as soon as I lure the deer to our yard with a beautiful apple arrangements, ensuring they like me best. SUCK IT, SCOTTY.

Monday, October 22, 2012

what if... buses were called school trucks instead, and kids didn't sit in individual seats, they were like picked up on those lever-y things and dumped into the back of the truck? I think kids would like that because kids are dumb.

...seeing deer three mornings in a row was a sign of something, good luck or bad, who knows, and not just that the deer population is so out of control that they wander down your suburban street, eating flowers out of your neighbor's yard BUT NEVER OUT OF OUR YARD WHAT'S WRONG WITH OUR YARD? 

...The Shins weren't called The Shins but, like, The Knees? Or The Elbows. OR THE CHINS. was illegal? I'd either be in jail or running a bootleg coffeehouse out of my basement, windows boarded up, secret passwords, bribing cops, the whole nine yards.

...we all still wore old-timey clothes like top hats and corsets? I would go live in a cave. wore makeup and high heels instead of women? OH WAIT THERE WOULD BE NO SUCH THING AS MAKEUP OR HIGH HEELS.

...carrots not only gave you better eyesight but also X-RAY VISION? I'd be able to see through your clothes right now, is what.

...when you look in the mirror, you're really looking at the alternate version of yourself, one who is just like you in almost every way but who sees things slightly differently on account of, you know, mirror universe, and his or her life was almost like yours but slightly better or slightly worse and you didn't know which was which because, you know, you have no perspective and neither does Mirror Universe You because HOW COULD EITHER OF YOU? Would you trade, not knowing?'re the mirror universe?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

ask again later

I complain a lot (see: this blog). Not just that, though, I TALK about complaining a lot (see again: this blog). I complain about everything: being tired, being hungry, my feet hurting, any time I'm not at 100% comfort level, my job, cleaning, the laundry, the pets, the house, etcetera etcetera ETCETERA.

I complain too much, I know. I try to be aware of it but even that doesn't stop the negativity from spewing out of my mouth. And what do I really have to complain about? Nothing, really. I'm so lucky. So why can't I shut up?

I have this picture hanging above my desk at home that I think I should maybe hang up at work, too. It's a flowchart. It's...well, here, just take a look:

I try to think about it whenever I start complaining about not being happy about something, because most of the things I'm unhappy about? I could change, just by trying harder, getting up earlier, not plopping my ass on the couch for hours at a time. My main problem, really, is that I like to complain about things but not actually change anything because change is scary and what if I change something and still nothing good happens? Well, duh, that means change something else but WHAT IF THAT DOESN'T WORK EITHER? So instead I stay still, changing nothing, and wait for the world to change into something that will make me happier.

But guess what? The world doesn't give a shit if you're totally happy. The world

My OTHER problem is that I expect everything to be sunshine and roses, like, all the time, which is impossible, you know? And I KNOW THAT, logically. I know it's impossible. I mean, I'm not a 10-year-old, despite all evidence to the contrary (see AGAIN: this blog). But when something goes wrong, I just want to shut down until things are right again. And again, I'm not 10 years old anymore, so obviously shutting down is not an option. I just want everything to be perfect for everyone ALL THE TIME, is that too much to ask?

Um, yes. It is. But I have to believe that I have the ability to make it as close to perfect as I possibly can. Not all the time, not every day, but when I can. And not just for myself, but for Joe, my friends, my family. It wouldn't really take that much. Just getting off the couch.

Monday, October 01, 2012

I know that things can really get rough when you go it alone.

Do you ever have a stretch of days where things just seem harder than usual? You're going about your day to day business, doing your day to day things, but each day seems a little bit harder than the day before. Sometimes I feel like I'm living the real life version of Groundhog Day. Get up, take a shower, eat breakfast, go to work, wish for the day to go faster, go home, play with Max, eat dinner, watch some TV, go to bed, lather, rinse, repeat.

One of the benefits of our new diet is that Joe and I make breakfast every morning and eat together before we go to work. Usually this is a happy affair, because who doesn't love breakfast? But one day last week, I sat, dejected, and mindlessly shoveled eggs into my mouth around heavy sighs. Joe asked what was wrong but really...nothing was wrong. Not really. I was just tired. Tired of being a grown up. Tired of worrying about bills and working and the house and doctor's appointments and social engagements and whether or not Max took his flea medication or if Phoebe throwing up meant she just ate too fast or that there's something wrong with her or when I'm going to get my bridesmaid dress altered or if we'll have time to go to the grocery this weekend or GOD BRAIN JUST SHUT UP ALREADY.

Sometimes I wonder what my younger self would think about my current life. Would she just be excited that I have a dog and a fucking awesome book collection? Or would she be disappointed that I wasn't a marine biologist who, on the side, writes books about her pet penguins? I'm sure it'd be a mix of both. I know I have a great life and that wishing for more is, well, greedy but that's what we do, right? Wish for more? 

When I was younger, say, in junior high, maybe early high school, I used to get in trouble all the time for taking long showers. And not just on those frigid mornings when I couldn't bring myself to leave the cocoon of steam I'd created in the bathroom, door closed, shower curtain pasted to the edges of the tub, no cool air allowed. But pretty much every time I showered, there would be someone on the other side of the door, shouting for me to get out already.

But I was busy, really, because I was in the shower writing wishes in the warm condensation that formed on the tile walls. Like, literally writing things on the walls with my finger, things that would disappear almost immediately, but, like the total weirdo that I am, I'd stand there writing things until my fingers pruned. And not just normal (normal?) things like: Jennie + JTT 4EVA but actual wishes, things I wished for myself and my family and friends and the future. I don't remember if any of them ever come true. Honestly, I don't even remember what I used to wish for. That I'd make the honor roll, probably? Maybe a pet monkey? Unlimited book allowance?

This morning, it was fairly chilly in the bathroom since I'd forgotten to shut the window last night, and I took a longer shower than normal, lollygagging in the peaceful stream of water, tracing wishes on the tile wall, wishes that probably aren't all that different than those wishes made so many years ago. Which is fine. Maybe it's just not time for them to come true yet.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"A dream is an answer to a question we haven't yet learned how to ask."

This morning, I woke up before my alarm, which is not unusual. What is unusual, however, is that I was crying. Not, like, sobbing or anything, but my eyes were definitely teary and not because I was jabbing myself in the eye all night long (I don't think).

No, it was from a very vivid dream about my grandma, which is unfair because WHAT? I'm sure it's because our anniversary was earlier this week and I pretty much can't think about our wedding without wishing that Grandma could have been there (she was too sick) and without remembering that she died only a month later. Having such a happy event tied up with such a sad one is very mind-bendy and apparently my dream-mind couldn't handle that shit last night.

It was Christmastime in my dream, something that always reminds me of Grandma, though she wasn't there. Even in my dream, she was gone. But someone, an aunt, I think, had found gifts she'd gotten for all of us before she died, that, for dream-logic reasons, it had taken two years to uncover. And as I read the card that was attached to my gift, I started sobbing and apparently my brain couldn't handle all the feelings because it woke me up and RUINED MY MOOD FOR THE REST OF THE MORNING. I'm fine now. Just ridiculous.

Do you ever think about how genuinely fucked up it is that we dream? I just watched the season 4 finale of Buffy last night and, for those of you not in the Buffy-know, that one's about something infiltrating the dreams of four characters. And it's WEIRD and wonderful and just a really good example of how dreams are WEIRD and sometimes not so wonderful. For every flying-through-the-air-like-Superman dream, there's an equally disturbing dream about loved ones lost or falling off a cliff or, for me (again last night), being dragged down the elevator shaft at work by a terrifying ghost-like creature.

Did I tell you that where I work is haunted? The company I work for runs three arts facilities in Dayton and, though my office isn't in the haunted building, I'm over there often and I've heard all the stories. I'm not sure why my brain turned the work-ghost into an angry demony creature (she's supposedly very harmless) but that could just be a byproduct of watching Buffy right before bed. Oops.

But anyway, dreaming = fucked up, right? I mean, RIGHT? Like, even when it's awesome, it's fucked up, because...OK...dogs dream, which is adorable and all, but OMG WHAT MY DOG IS DREAMING. Which means he has hopes and fears, even if they're, like, "I hope I catch that squirrel," or "MUST PROTECT THE HUMAN FROM VACUUM."


Don't get me wrong, I'd never want to stop dreaming. I might miss out on something good, like the time I FINALLY got accepted to Hogwarts. I can only assume that one was prophetic.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Stormtroopers are just blue-collar workers.

Joe and I got married two years ago today, which seems strange because it doesn't FEEL like two years have come and gone. More like two weeks, maybe? But, if you believe the calendar, which I suppose you have to, it's definitely been two years. I checked my math.

I think it's safe to say the honeymoon is over, as they say, because this morning, instead of gently waking my husband with a kiss and pleasant words like, oh, say "happy anniversary," I said, "hey, good morning, Max threw up. Twice."

And yeah, I already shared this on Facebook, meaning I'm stealing from myself for blog material, but I think, according to The World of Ethics or whatever, that that's OK. And even if it's not, it's my blog and I'll do what I want.

Like a total narcissist, I went back to read what I wrote about my wedding when it happened, and then I tried to read what I wrote about it last year and it turns out I didn't even write about it last year because apparently I don't really love my husband. Sorry, Joe.

I really wanted to take a trip for our anniversary but it wasn't in the cards this year. We celebrated quietly, with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and a movie about time travel. Safety Not Guaranteed may seem like an odd movie to see on your anniversary, but it was strangely and unexpectedly appropriate. This movie was comprised almost entirely of quirk and heart and DID I MENTION TIME TRAVEL? I wish I could find the quote from the end of the movie, when one character asks the other why he'd want to travel with a partner, because the answer was basically the same as the answer to, "why would anyone want to get married?" and what better words to hear when you're celebrating your anniversary?

Today, I took a moment to think about that day, two years gone, and compare my happiness levels. Obviously, this isn't really fair, because, as I'm sure you'll agree, that day was TOTALLY FUCKING AWESOME and today is, well, Tuesday. But if I examine the amount of happiness in my body (concentrated, like OJ!), you know, really delve into it, I'd say I'm happier today.

Don't get me wrong, our wedding day was amazing. It's just this blur in my mind of laughter and dancing and MUSTACHES AND HOGWARTS, but that kind of happiness isn't sustainable because you could straight up DIE from it. Today's happiness is quieter. Calmer. But it's there. It's what I feel when I go home at the end of the day, to the house we've made our own, to be greeted with excitement from Max and general disdain (hurtful, but comforting in its predictability) from Phoebe. And then Joe comes home from work and our happy little family is complete. I feel like I can safely say that Joe and I have only added to our weird little repertoire of inside jokes and I can't wait to see what the next year will bring. Probably poop jokes and fart noises. We're quite predictable that way.