Thursday, May 31, 2012

This is my 2000th post. THAT IS A LOT OF POSTS, YOU GUYS.


Joe and I would like to tell you all something sort of important but mostly adorable. We are now the proud parents of four, COUNT 'EM FOUR, baby groundhogs. And when I say parents, I mean the kind of parents whose kids run away from them upon sight, and who have to spy on their kids from inside the house as the kids run around the backyard eating bugs or grass or whatever the fuck kids baby groundhogs eat.

I first saw them on Friday, right before I let Max out (luckily I noticed them before opening the door). I saw two little heads peeking out from underneath the shed and thought, "huh...that's weird," because we knew there was one groundhog, so unless that groundhog grew two heads (which also would have been awesome), we had a baby situation. Sure enough, one came all the way out, along with two siblings, and started running around the yard. Joe and I did what any normal people would do upon discovery of their very own nature reserve. We stared at them from various vantage points in the house, running from window to window, and took a million pictures.


We spent the rest of the weekend standing in the basement, staring out the ground-level window at the baby groundhog activities. Joe was not quite as enthralled as I was, choosing to spend some of his weekend sitting on the sofa, so I was the one who saw that there were actually four, not three, groundhog babies. And they were getting braver. Soon they were all over the yard, not just by the shed, crawling around our patio and peeking in our windows. And climbing trees! Did you know groundhogs can climb trees?! I didn't. SCIENCE.

As cute as they were, we knew they couldn't stay. For one thing, Max was going CRAZYPANTS every time they were out, and we couldn't let him outside without first going out and making all sorts of noise so we could scare the groundhogs away. And still, Max would make a beeline right to the shed. I was afraid he was going to get his nose bitten off. Plus, everyone we told was instantly all, "OMG you need to get rid of them, it's really important and serious and blah blah blah," and I know they were all trying to help but dudes...we got this. Calm down, world.

Even though there was no way we were killing the groundhogs (which some people actually suggested, THOSE HEARTLESS BASTARDS), and instead went the live-trap-relocation route (with the help of professionals, there's no way I'm getting mauled by an angry mother groundhog), I still had some completely irrational worries and here they are.

(Before I begin, this was the plan for the mama and her babies: the technician sets traps, checks said traps each day, and, if any groundhogs are caught, he takes them to a designated area to set them free. As he catches groundhogs, he takes each to the same place so, theoretically, they can all find each other once they're all in the same area again. Despite this plan, my worries are threefold:)

1. That the technician will catch all the babies first, but not the mom, and take them to the new location without her but they won't know what to do when they get there because there's no adult to tell them what to do. So they'll eat terrible things and start hanging out with the wrong crowd (squirrels) and turn into little hooligans who are addicted to those black berries you're not supposed to eat (PEETA). Plus also, the mom will be so distraught that her babies are gone that she'll be really depressed. So, yeah, I'm worried about the mom groundhog being sad because I was raised on a steady diet of Disney movies.

2. That he'll catch the mom and three of the babies, leaving one baby behind all alone. ALL ALONE. Like Fievel!

3. Similar to Worry #2, that there are really five babies and we don't know it, so once the tech catches the mom and four babies, he'll think it's all over but really there's this one baby left under our shed who will either die or grow up sad and lonely. (Or I will find it, bring it inside, teach it how to use the litterbox, and dress it in little outfits so I can take Instagram pictures of it.)

That's it, basically. Oh, I'm also kind of worried that when the technician comes to collect the baby groundhogs in the traps, the mom groundhog will bum rush him and maybe eat his face (TOPICAL).

Anyway. Last night, when I got home from work, Joe told me that all four baby groundhogs were in the traps, meaning the mom was all that was left. I tried not to think about how scared the mom probably was when she saw all of her babies in cages but that didn't stop me from saying stuff like this:

Me: When is the guy coming back to check the cages?
Joe: Tomorrow morning.
Me: WHAT. They have to stay out there all night?
Joe: They will be fine.
Me: What if they get hungry?
Joe: There are apples in all of the traps.
Me: Well. OK.


Me: What if they get cold tonight? Do you think I should cover them with a blanket?

Joe left for a while, and while he was gone I opened the window so I could hear if there was any groundhog activity in the backyard. Did you know groundhogs whistle when they're agitated? Because they do. The babies kept whistling from their cages so I tried to console them:

Me, with my face pressed to the window screen: Hey, baby groundhogs. It's OK! Don't worry, you'll be free tomorrow! Did you hear me? Everything will be fine. I LOVE YOU.

Later, when Joe got home:

Me: While you were gone, I almost went outside to put some food in their cages.
Joe: Jennie...

We anticipate the mom being gone soon, meaning the whole family will be back together ASAP. I'm a little sad that we won't be able to watch the baby groundhogs frolic about our yard anymore but it will be nice to be able to let Max outside again. And Joe's pretty excited that I'll no longer be spending all of my free time staring out the back window, draining the battery on my phone by taking a million videos of baby groundhogs eating or running or really just standing there. Still, I'm going to miss them and their little, bucktoothed faces. At least we'll always have pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

Oh, hello.


Prairie doggin' it (that is not what that means)

Sad mom groundhog :( :( :( :(

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dude, check out my new Trapper Keeper! It has five different compartments for each subject in school. And it's all covered with pictures from Dawson's Creek.

So I don't know what's going on with me but I've been spending a lot (I mean A LOT) of my free time watching Gossip Girl and Dawson's Creek, because HEY did you know both of them are on Netflix Instant? Because they are. Every now and then Joe will watch with me and it's great fun to see who can out-MST3K the other.

Last night, we watched an episode of Dawson's Creek that completely rips off The Breakfast Club, but not really, because they actually reference how much their situation is JUST LIKE that movie, so I guess that's how they got around copyright infringement or movie right or whatever LAWYER TALK.

They all get detention for different things, Jen for talking back to a teacher, Dawson for throwing a basketball at Pacey's beautiful face (Am I allowed to have a crush on Pacey still? Like season 1 Pacey? Or is that gross? It feels weird because I'm old now but we're the same age IRL and I've had a crush on Joshua Jackson since he was a Mighty Duck, so maybe it's not weird? No, it's weird), Joey for completely beating the shit out of a guy in the lunch room, Pacey for taking his arousal into his own hands at school, and Abby Something for having too many tardies. Abby is obnoxious and everyone hates her. That's all you really need to know.

Right, so, they all have Saturday detention, which is apparently still a thing, and they have to sit in the library all day. When the librarian tells them if they're not quiet they'll have to shelve books and organize the card catalog, I was all, "yay!" because that's supposed to be a punishment? At one point, the detainees talk about what happened to the actors from The Breakfast Club and how none of them amounted to anything, but Pacey says something about Emilio Estevez being in those Mighty Duck movies and how awesome they are and YOU GUYS. I yelled (yes, yelled), "EVERY CHOICE I'VE EVER MADE HAS LED TO THIS EXACT MOMENT! My entire life has just been validated!"

(I found the moment for you. You're welcome.)

This is probably not a normal reaction to watching an episode of Dawson's Creek, but I don't know, I'm still new at this. I told Joe that the only thing missing from the episode was a dinosaur running through the library, but I guess I can settle for the fact that Dawson has a Jurassic Park poster hanging in his room.

Anyway, the first season of Dawson's Creek is generally PRETTY TERRIBLE. I never watched much of the show when it was actually on but I've seen a lot of the later seasons because my friends in college watched it, which is also why I've seen the series finale. I remember hating Dawson's dumb face during the later seasons but as I started season 1, I was like, "oh, he's not so bad, really," until maybe an episode or two in? Because he's pretty awful. Still, I'm sort of a little on his side because of James van der Beek being on Don't Trust the Bitch* in Apartment 23. Do you guys watch that show? It's surprisingly great.

ANYWAY (again), this morning I asked Joe if he thought James van der Beek ever gets jealous of Joshua Jackson, because here he is headlining a show and this suave motherfucker swoops in and totally steals his thunder. When's the next PaceyCon? I'm so there.


*I refuse to censor the word bitch, ABC, GROW THE FUCK UP

Monday, May 21, 2012

TCAF is the best CAF*

For as long as I’ve known Joe, he’s been talking about going to TCAF. And, for whatever reason, for as long as I’ve known Joe, we’ve never been able to go. I think the reasons, actually, were: unemployment, wedding, unemployment, house but, you know, I could have the order wrong.

This year, though, the stars aligned. Joe was excited because he could have nerdgasms all over the Toronto Library (messy) and I was excited because I’d never been to Toronto and did you hear that TCAF IS HELD IN A LIBRARY? BECAUSE TCAF IS HELD IN A LIBRARY. A giant, beautiful library.

Here’s the thing, though, we could really only in Toronto for a few days (because our employers won't give us unlimited vacation days UNFAIR) which turned out to be fine, but I definitely want to stay longer next time. ALSO since Joe and I survived two 8 hour drives in four days, without one of us even once threatening to push the other out of the car, I think our marriage is totally strong.

Anyway! We got to Toronto early Friday evening and, after checking into our hotel and discussing how disgusting we both felt after 8 hours in the car but not being able to work up the motivation to shower, we met some friends, who were also there for TCAF, for dinner. We tried to stay out late and act like young people but I think we were back in our hotel room by 11, which was actually good because Joe made me get up at 8 the next morning so we could get to TCAF when it opened. I was pretty cranky on the walk there (sorry, Joe!) and really only cheered up after we had breakfast. At Tim Horton’s. Which totally tastes better in Canada (not really).

I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had at the show, not that I thought it would be terrible, but my attention span for that kind of thing is pretty short PLUS there were tons of people there and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s tons of people. But we stayed most of Saturday and part of Sunday and so here are the people I met and (some, not all, YOU'RE WELCOME) my thoughts:

Andy Runton (!): You guys! I was most excited to meet Andy Runton, not only because Owly is super awesome, but remember that one time I interviewed him for The Collective? He did! Only I was too shy to say anything while he was signing our books, so I might never have known that he remembered had Joe not told him. That’s why it’s good to have Joe around, he’s never too shy for that kind of thing. Anyway, he was super, super nice and his mom was with him! She was also super, super nice.

Lucy Knisley: Was also super, super nice! (We actually didn’t meet anyone who wasn’t nice.) We bought one of her Harry Potter prints (Prisoner of Azkaban) and when I say bought, I mean she gave it to us and we offered her money completely independent of that. She had a sketch of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and another of David Tennant as The Doctor on her table, so I pretty much fell in love with her, sorry, Joe.

Ryan North: He was so tall! Also, shy? IDK. He was not very talkative (but not in a rude way or anything). We bought a terribly fucked up mini comic from him that you should all read and I would tell you more about it but I've completely forgotten the name of it and I don't know where Joe put it. SORRY.

Joey Comeau/Emily Horne: Joey Comeau was wearing a Ghostbusters shirt (obviously and important detail) and called me a retarded little shit in the book he signed. We almost bought an A Softer World print but I was worried I’d crush the shit out of it while walking through the crowd. WOW GOOD STORY.

Ryan Dunlavey: I didn’t know who he was beforehand, so I mostly just stood next to Joe as he talked to him. He was hilarious, though, and I flipped through his book as we stood there, which was also hilarious. Win win win!

Jason: I also didn’t know who he was, but kept Joe company in line. Joe gets sketches of The Flash from different artists at shows like this, so Jason did one and it was awesome. There was something very calming about watching him draw but I figured he would think I was weird if I just stood there for hours and hours watching him, so I left when Joe did.

Emily Carroll: Joe wanted to meet her because of His Face All Red. She was the first person we talked to. She was very nice! And also drew The Flash for Joe.

Vera Brosgol: Was also very nice! I bought her book, Anya’s Ghost, and read it last Friday while sitting on our back porch and drinking a beer. It was the perfect storm of...perfection.

Faith Erin Hicks: We went to her table on Raina Telgemeier’s suggestion (see below) and also bought her book, Friends with Boys, which I read while sitting at one of the Toronto Library tables when I got overwhelmed with people (and tired-of-foot). It was not entirely perfect (no beer) but pretty great, nonetheless.

Nate Powell/Cecil Castellucci: I don't remember much (it's been two weeks since I started this post WHAT) but I do remember that these two were funny and are collaborating on a book together. I think we also talked about Ann M. Martin, because OK?

Christopher Hastings: We asked him to sign a book for Joe’s friend and I will now be reading Dr. McNinja based solely on the posters he had on his table.

Kate Beaton: Instead of leaving on Sunday at a normal hour so we would get home that night instead of Monday morning, we decided to head back to TCAF to go to Kate Beaton’s book signing. We’d tried at both of her signings on Saturday but, each time, the line was capped by the time we got there. We were in luck on Sunday, or so we thought, so we hopped in line behind 20 or so people, thinking we’d be in line for about 30 minutes. Maybe 45? But surely not more than an hour.

Two hours later, feet hurting and tempers short (so many people for two introverts to be exposed to), we finally got to the front of the line. We spoke to her briefly and she was very nice, but dear lord, TWO HOURS. For our troubles, I got this awesome drawing of Mr. Darcy so, you know, WORTH IT: 


Raina Telgemeier: Raina Telgemeier’s Smile was the first comic-y thing Joe gave me (along with Owly), so I was especially excited to meet her. I found her to be one of the most engaging and genuinely appreciative people we spoke to that day and I thought it was great that she recommended other books to us as we were standing there, specifically Vera Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost (which we’d already picked up) and Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks (which we then got in line for).

The end. If you made it all the way through, congratulations. I feel like I should give you a cookie or something but I can’t send baked goods through the intertubes so instead here is a picture of a baby otter:


*full disclosure: TCAF is the only CAF of any kind I've ever been to

Friday, May 18, 2012

non-deep thoughts

Today I asked of The Collective: Hey you guys remember when we used to all have (personal, not Collective) blogs and post on them and stuff, sometimes DAILY? That was awesome. Hee.

Because remember when we ALL used to have blogs? Not just The Collective, but all of us? And we'd post to them daily or almost every day or even MORE THAN ONCE A DAY? What happened to us?

(My theory: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. I blame that trio of time-temptresses for all the non-blogging around these parts.)

Anyway. I've somehow gotten it into my head that I can't post here unless I have a Topic, one I've researched (even if that only means digging through my own archives) and written and actually edited from its rough draft form. Which is great and all but I have a job so HONESTLY how can I be expected to put that much thought and/or effort into something like that every day?

My point is, get ready for some random shit. 


Do you guys ever forget what day it is? Sometimes when I'm at work and I need to look at the calendar for something, it takes me a moment to remember what month I should be looking at. Because surely, SURELY, it cannot be May already. So I scour the rest of the calendar. Is it still April? Is it January? Is it LAST August? And then I realize that it's May 18th so not only is it May already but May is practically over. WHAT. HAPPENED.


I ate a lot of orange things for lunch today. (I DON'T CARE WHAT THIS BOOK SAYS, I'LL WRITE ABOUT WHAT I WANT.)

Orange things I ate: carrots, baked cheetos, FANTA!

Non-orange things I ate: PBJ sandwich



Today I tweeted about the book I'm currently reading (Everything Matters!, which, everyone get on that) for #fridayreads and the author answered my tweet. I am surprisingly giddy about it even though I'd never heard of this author before Joe bought me the book for my birthday. Speaking of, Joe bought me NOTHING but books for my birthday (love him) and so far each one has been a win. Go Joe. 


It's super nice outside and everyone I've spoken to today would rather be anywhere but work but they'd ESPECIALLY like to be outside. Joe and I both tried to think of excuses to get us out of work today (none are forthcoming) and we don't understand why "I don't feel like being here right now" isn't an acceptable reason for leaving work early.


This morning I woke up about an hour before my alarm was set to go off because I had to pee really bad, which I hate because then I'm always like, "it's only another I get up and do something productive or try and fall back to sleep?" I hardly ever fall back to sleep in the morning when I have less than an hour to do it, but this morning I felt myself drifting and got really excited because MORE SLEEP YAY but then...then there was this godawful animal noise from outside and my eyes flew open. I think it was a cat? But it sounded more like a baby being strangled. I mean, not ENOUGH like a baby being strangled that I went to investigate but enough to give me goosebumps because it really was the most unnatural noise I've ever heard. Max and Phoebe both agreed because they, too, were startled from sleep. What was it? Will I ever know? I wish you could Google noises.


I don't even know what else.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Jenna, if you're gonna start lying about your age, I'd go with 27.

If, like me, you have a certain fondness for the Jennifer Garner tour de force 13 Going on 30 and if, like me, you've just recently turned 30, it's only natural that you'd have that movie on your mind. Right? It's normal. I'm almost sure of it.

I was talking to Joe about it the other day, naturally, and I told him that when I was 13, I don’t remember ever wishing to be 30. In fact, I’m pretty sure I thought I’d never be 30 because 30 WAS SO SUPER OLD AND GROSS, YOU GUYS. I might have wished to be 18, 21, or maybe 25, but I guess 13 Going on 25 doesn’t have the same ring to it as 13 Going on 30.

(I would, however, have been OK if I’d woken up on my 30th birthday looking like Jennifer Garner. Unfortunately I woke up looking very much like myself but even worse because I’d been out drinking the night before.)

For the past few years, I’ve gotten an email on my birthday from FutureMe (which is actually from PastMe but whatever). This year I didn’t get one. Either I dropped the ball last year or it went to spam and I didn’t notice or there was just some glitch in the matrix and my email is floating around outside of time and space somewhere. Whatever happened, it was disappointing. And since I can’t time travel (YET), I can’t fix it.

If I could time travel, I guess I’d take this opportunity to go back and talk to my 13-year-old self. There are some things I’d like to tell her, things I’ve learned in the past 17 years that might benefit her, and if it benefits HER, it retroactively benefits ME, right? Making me a better and more well-rounded 30-year-old? Anyway.  

Things I Would Like to Tell 13-year-old Me:

1. It’s OK to like the nerdy things you do. All that time you spend talking/thinking/writing about The X-Files? That impulse isn’t going to go away, it will just be shifted from show to show as your obsessions change. And that’s a good thing. In fact, in about 12 years, you will start meeting people who are JUST LIKE YOU in this respect, and you’ll have the opportunity to talk about all manner of TV shows, movies, and books, pretty much whenever the hell you want. In that vein...

2. All that time you’re spending on AOL is time well spent. When your IRL friends start discovering things like blogging and Twitter, it’ll be old news to you. “Pfft!” you’ll say. “I was posting dumb shit on the internet before it was cool.” But dude, shut up, don’t say stuff like that.

3. You’ll get married someday. I know, what? However, you don’t have any kids, mostly because kids are scary and TONS of work. I guess all those years of baby-sitting are going to be hard to shake.

4. Don’t be afraid to put off those responsible things you feel like you have to do right away (laundry, cleaning, taking a shower) in order to do something you actually WANT to be doing, like reading a book or watching six episodes of Community (OMG, 13-YEAR-OLD-JENNIE WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE COMMUNITY) in a row. That stuff will still be there when you’re done. On the other hand...

5. Don’t put off any of these things: paying your bills, getting an oil change, going to the doctor, doing your taxes, YOUR DREEEAAAAMS. It’s funny that you’re even writing this right now because you put off most of those things ALL THE TIME.

6. Don’t worry so much about things that are out of your control which includes, you know, pretty much EVERY SINGLE THING YOU WORRY ABOUT. Seriously. Calm down. Go see a Star War.

7. I would tell you to stop procrastinating so much but I think it’s safe to say that’s never going to happen. So. Um. Just be the best procrastinator you can be!

8. Be nice to your sister. DON’T ARGUE WITH ME, just do it.

9. Be grateful. Try every day. Make fun of yourself. FAIL. Fail a lot. DON’T ARGUE WITH ME, just do it.

10. Keep writing letters to yourself. And to other people. Keep writing, period, really. One day you’ll have the most wonderful make-believe internet family ever and you’ll all be connected by writing. And GIFs.