Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Remember the Alamo!

Dear Internets,

Achilles and I are headed to San Antonio to celebrate the New Year. [Christmas newsletter interlude: I can't believe it's almost 2009!! 2008 was quite a year for the Distractible family!] We're going to hang out with one of A's law school friends and walk around the Riverwalk like the tourists we are. Hooray tourism.



What about you, Internets? Any exciting plans/resolutions/non-resolutions for tonight and beyond?

Love always,
Jane

Monday, December 29, 2008

Early resolutions

Dear blog reading list that I have been neglecting,

If I promise never to ignore you again, will you magically disappear?

Love,
Jane

P.S. Just kidding, Internets. I love your blogs, and am slowly catching up on my blog reading. I am hopeless without the built-in structure of work to schedule out my days, but I'm trying. I hope you're having a wonderful break. XOXOXO

Saturday, December 27, 2008

New! Now with more falling down!

Dear Internets,

I am still alive. Here are some things I have learned over the holidays so far:
  • Playing your brother-in-law's Wii for several hours may lead to crippling back pain
  • Falling down a flight of stairs can worsen said back pain
  • It is not a good idea to talk to someone over your shoulder while walking down a flight of stairs
  • Hosting house guests, while fun, can make it difficult to get much blogging done
What have you learned so far over the holidays, Internets?

Love,
Jane

Friday, December 19, 2008

I am a silly goat

Dear Internets,

You know I love bullet points, especially when I'm feeling extra distracted. Things that are keeping my mind occupied today:
  • Whether or not I should start another blog (I have a good idea, but 2 blogs + 2 jobs = too much?)
  • My two week vacation that starts in a few hours (that I don't have to use vacation days for! SCORE!)
  • How much I love the "chocolate milk bath" I made for Christmas presents this year (it smells like you're swimming in hot cocoa)*
  • How amazing my 2 1/2 year-old nephew's communication skills are, even if he sometimes uses those skills to communicate that he doesn't especially want Aunt Jane around that much
  • What I should pack for my weekend mini-vacation
  • How lucky I am to have such awesome friends and family
  • How I wish I had taken better pictures of my friend Lyn's Christmas gifts
  • How excited I am to have TWO WEEKS OFF! I seriously want to jump around and sing and dance. And I'm not exactly the world's bounciest person.
  • How awesome it is to hang out with other bloggers and find out that they are as awesome in person as they are on their blogs.
  • How weird it is that one of the top Google search terms leading people to my blog this month was "meth." Sorry dears, but I do not have drugs here.
I hope your Friday is going as well as mine, Internets. Have a wonderful weekend!

Love,
Jane

*If I could figure out a way to send the chocolate milk bath in the mail without it breaking and getting everywhere, I would send some to you, Internets.** It's HEAVENLY.
**Seriously... I am open to suggestions.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Switching to Decaf

Dear Caffeine,

Slowly weaning myself off of you has been, surprisingly, not the most terrible experience of my life. Who knew?

Love,
Jane


Dear Financial Crisis,

You suck. Keep your filthy paws off my family.

-Jane


Dear Lyn,

I'm so glad that you liked (or were able to fake appreciation for) your Christmas present. You are more fabulous than you know.

Love,
Jane


Dear Eyeball,

Please stop itching.

XOXO,
Jane


Dear Weather,

Warmish and drizzly is better than cold and drizzly. Keep it up.

Love,
Jane

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is it time for the Christmas break yet?

Dear random coworker I have met twice,

Thanks for throwing me under the bus. Instead of emailing my boss to say "We were too busy to get to that," you said "We were too busy to get to that, and Jane said that you all were in a similar situation anyway."

Um... For the record? I ran into you in the alley when I was walking into my building. You started saying how busy you were and how badly you felt that you hadn't gotten to our project. I said, "oh, I can understand that. It's a busy time of year."

You suck.
Jane

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2008: A year in review

Dear Internets,

I suppose it's still a bit early for a "year in review" post, but I saw this on Harrassed Single Mom's site and liked it. I decided to take out some of the questions in case the Internets' attention span is as short as mine.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
I completed my first Danskin triathlon. I had done other triathlons, but this was my first (and probably last) Danskin.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I don't really remember my New Year's resolutions, but I think I resolved to get into better shape. I got into better shape... and slowly, slowly declined almost back to square one.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No, but my sister got pregnant.

4. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
I feel truly fortunate - I don't feel that I lacked anything important in 2008. I wouldn't complain if someone gave me a Sleeptracker, though.

5. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 30th - Ran the entire Capitol 10K - with the stomach flu.
June 2nd - I started a new job.
June 8th - Completed the Danskin.
June 13th - Achilles got laid off.
June 28th - my triathlon coach was killed in an accident.
(June was a stressful month.)
September 14th - Achilles moved in.
November 4th - One word: Obama.

6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Sticking with this blogging thing. Paying off one of my student loans. Making the two job thing work.

7. What was your biggest failure in 2008?
Probably dropping out of my half marathon training program.

8. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage payments. Woo! Exciting.

9. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder? Happier.
b) Thinner or fatter? About the same.
c) Richer or poorer? Richer, I suppose, but this time last year I had just bought my condo, so it's not really a good comparison.

10. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Travel.

11. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Work. Worry. Feel sad.

12. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I was already in love, and still am. (Don't vomit, Internets.)

13. What was your favorite TV program?
Ugly Betty, Pushing Daisies, The Office.

14. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. Wow! Good for me!

15. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I kept it low key, and just went to dinner with close friends. I was/am 28.


16. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Winning the lotto? I can't really think of much. I had ups and downs, but overall, I feel very lucky and fulfilled.

17. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Lazy business professional.

18. What kept you sane?
At different times - Achilles, my friends, my family, running, the Internets.

19. What political issue stirred you the most?
The 2008 U.S. Presidential election.

20. Who was the best new person you met?
I met a ton of wonderful new people through training, my new job, blogging, Achilles, and just in general. I feel very fortunate to have so many great people in my life.

I feel especially lucky to have met my triathlon coach, Michael. He was an extraordinary kind and giving person.

21. Tell us what valuable life lessons you learned in 2008.
Life is short. Don't wait to start living.

I may still do a "best blog posts of '08" post, if I have the energy. I hope you have a wonderful day, Internets!

Love,
Jane

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cold, sleepy, etc.

Dear Internets,

I am finding it impossible to concentrate on anything except how nice it would be to go home and snuggle in bed until Daylight Saving Time returns. How do those of you who live in colder/darker places than Texas survive the winter?

Yours curiously,
Jane

Friday, December 12, 2008

Excited as Jessie Spano at a dance competition

Dear Internets,

My mom is the third of six children that came in girl/boy/girl/boy/girl/boy order. As the middle daughter, she was usually considered the keeper of secrets by her siblings, and sometimes even her parents. As the family confidante, my mother gave up on being surprised by gifts at a very early age.

According to my mom, my grandmother was the worst at keeping secrets. After Grandma planned and got a gift together, she was too eager to wait until a birthday or holiday came along to give it to the recipient. Every year, my grandmother would come along with a gleam in her eye and pull my mother aside.

"Prissy*," she'd say. "What if I show you just one of your gifts?"

The next thing my mom knew, my grandmother would have gleefully shown her all of her presents, as well as those of her siblings.

***

I'm a lot like my grandma.

Although I have neglected my Internets this week, I haven't been totally lazy: I've been working on putting together Christmas presents for my friends and family. I think they're going well, and I really want to show them to someone. However since they're all somewhat similar, I can't really show my mom what I made for my friend without spoiling the surprise of my mom's gift and vice versa.

Here's the thing: I really want to put pictures of the gifts up here, but most of my friends and family know about my blog. I have told them not to look at my blog until after Christmas, but if they're anything like me, they won't be able to stand the suspense and they'll end up peeking.

What do you think, Internets? Is it safe to reveal my handiwork to the Internets? If you had been told not to look at my blog, would you peek or would you wait? If you peeked, would you tell me or fake surprise when I gave you your gift?

Love,
Jane

*My mom's name is Priscilla, so while "Prissy" is sort of a horrible nickname to be stuck with, at least she wasn't given the name due to some sort of personality flaw.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I am not a $30 cookie sheet kind of girl

Dear Internets,

I told my family I'd rather not get birthday or Christmas gifts this year. They complied (mostly) and didn't get me gifts for my birthday, but my mom told me that she felt really bad not buying me anything.

Since making people feel bad pretty much defeats the whole purpose of "no gifts, please," I decided to send my family a link to my Amazon.com wish list so they'd have ideas for things I might like if they decided to buy me a Christmas gift.

BIG MISTAKE! I keep the list mostly to use as a reference for things I might like to someday buy myself. Apparently, I don't self-censor as much as I should*. My mom told me she thought my list was "weird," and that she's buying me "a nice, high-quality cookie sheet" instead.

Now, I have nothing against cookie sheets (lately I love baking, and at one point actually requested a couple of cookie sheets or a hand mixer), but I'm not really a $27 (plus tax!) cookie sheet kind of girl. To me, that would mean that I'd have to commit to 1.) not finding something new and exciting to replace my baking hobby for at least 54 batches of cookies**, and 2.) not accidentally losing or misplacing the cookie sheet. (I could just as easily be Disorganized or Forgetful Jane as Distractible Jane.)

Also, what exactly makes my list weird? It's like she doesn't even know me (sniff!). I'm tempted to show my mom weird and give her a stocking full of these for Christmas. Hmpf.

Love always,
Jane

P.S. Stay tuned for a Christmas giveaway.

*I did put the Mr. T bobblehead on there mostly as a joke. Is it uncouth to be facetious on a wish list?
**I figure after about 54 batches of cookies, the cost of the upgraded cookie sheet would average out to be about an extra $.02 per cookie, which doesn't seem too unreasonable.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Quote of the day

There are those of us who are always about to live. We are waiting until things change, until there is more time, until we are less tired, until we get a promotion, until we settle down -- until, until, until. It always seems as if there is some major event that must occur in our lives before we begin living.
- Sheehan, George

Ah-choo

Dear Cedar Fever,

Please go away. You are the worst part about living in Austin.

No love for you,
Jane

P.S. Mold - you are a close second.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

You better work.

Dear Bailey,

Turn to the left. Now turn to the right.



Good boy.

Love,
Momma

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy 75th Anniversary!

Dear United States,

Happy 75th Anniversary of the end of Prohibition!

I encourage you to celebrate an anniversary that marks a date in history when Americans realized that the U.S. Constitution should give rights, not take them away.

(Also? As one of my friends pointed out, Prohibition laid the foundation for NASCAR. We should maybe celebrate that it ended before it spawned anything else. I'm just sayin...)

Love always,
Jane

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Break.

I got a "Happy Birthday" text from an unknown number on my birthday. It turned out to be from M.

M and I only went out a couple of times. After our second date, when he told me about his drug use, I told M that we couldn't have a relationship but that I would be there for him if he ever wanted to talk. He did end up calling a couple of times over several months, mostly to tell me his side of stories that usually started with him making some really bad choices. He never asked for anything from me but a few minutes of sympathy, so I would listen, and suggest that he get help. The last time I heard from M several years ago, he said he was moving to another town to live with his grandparents. I later heard that he had actually been arrested.

It was surreal to hear from M after so long. Of course, I am glad to know that he's OK, but in a way, it makes me sad to know that someone who was so capable of caring about other people didn't think he deserved to take care of himself.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Belated thank you...

Dear Internets,

Thank you for the happy birthday wishes! You are the frosting on my cupcakes, the bananas in my pudding, the wind beneath my wings.

I meant to do a super-fancy birthday post - 101 things about me, 29 things to do before my 29th birthday, etc - but I fell asleep early last night. (I was a little down-in-the-dumps yesterday after spending all day at a rather depressing motivational seminar. Forget what I said about the world needing demotivational speakers; motivational speakers are depressing enough by themselves.)

Anyhoo, aside from watching what sort of felt like the decline of civilization all day, my birthday was fun. Achilles wasn't supposed to get me a present (he got me tickets to see the Jim Gaffigan Comedy Central taping this weekend), but he got me Guitar Hero World Tour and my very own wireless guitar controller. I don't like to brag, but I am kind of a Guitar Hero rockstar, and I think the wireless controller will help me reach new heights in my faux-rockstar-dom*.

I also plan to buy the fake drum set so I can also be a fake drummer. Based on what my friend Margot (who is in a real metal band in which she plays her own music at real clubs) says, this mostly means that I will show up late to practice and quit the band right when they are supposed to record an album because I got my sometimes-girlfriend pregnant. Fingers crossed!

Love always,
Jane

*Ooh! Apparently GH World Tour is compatible with Rock Band. You may not hear from me for a while Internets. I'm just warning you.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Maybe celebrity years are like dog years...

Dear Britney Spears,

Why did you have to be born on my birthday?

I don't think 28 is old at all. Well, at least not until I look at you. I mean, you're a year younger than me, and you've already gotten famous, seen your star begin to fall a bit, gotten married, had two babies, gone mental, gotten divorced, been to rehab, made out with Madonna, and gotten your life "back on track." I mean, none of that really appeals to me (at least not at the moment, except maybe the getting my life back on track part), but you're starting to make me feel like I haven't accomplished anything in life.

I guess I do have a pretty sweet Corolla to show for the years I spent in school and working rather than pursuing a pop music career. Ha HA! Take that, Britney!

Happy birthday anyway.

Love,
Jane

P.S. Internets - I will officially turn 28 in less than 18 hours. I figure at that point, I will have to start considering myself an adult. (Dammit.) Any suggestions for things to do before I'm officially in my late twenties?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday already

Dear Internets,

Is it just me, or does it seem unfair that the weekend is almost over already?

Here are some pictures of Bailey enjoying the fall weather. I think he's happy that the leaves actually changed color this year (Don't even try to tell him that dogs are color blind. He loves the leaves!):



Valentino (the betta fish) was feeling left out, so I took a picture of him, too. He's an art aficionado who does a bit of Java fern gardening and bubble nest blowing on the side:



Hmmm... It's probably a good thing that I'll have to go back to work and start interacting with adults tomorrow. Hope you enjoy what's left of your weekend, Internets!

Love always,
Jane

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Like I need to spend more time online...

Dear FreeRice,

You are my new favorite way to waste time online.

Love,
Jane

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Wonderful Internets,

Happy belated Thanksgiving!

I have spent the past two days eating, drinking, and being merry with Achilles' and my friends and families. My sister announced last night that she's pregnant (although really, we've mostly all known or suspected for a couple of weeks), so we're all very excited and happy. This guy is going to be a fantastic big brother:



This morning, after eating breakfast with two of Achilles' friends that stayed with us last night, we went by Sears for Black Friday shopping. I got a new front-loading energy efficient washer and dryer for $599 (for the pair!). The salesperson at Sears told me that the city of Austin offers rebates for replacing your old washing machine with a high efficiency model, so I'll get a $100 check in a month or so. If I can sell my old washer and dryer on Craigslist for $75 or $100, I will only have ended up spending about $450 out of pocket. High five for efficiency!

Now I'm listening to rain fall gently outside my window while I catch up on blog reading. It has been a nice holiday.

Love,
Jane

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Miss Jane, in the conservatory, with the laptop

Dear Internets,

This is what I did last night:
Hey Homo! Presents: CLUE
Rated Unkown; 94min; Director:Jonathan Lynn (1985)

Location: Alamo Downtown*

Have ya' ever been trapped in a big ol' fancy house in cold weather with a rope around ya' neck, a dagger in ya' back, a candle stick on ya' head, a wrench in ya' teeth, a revolver in ya' face and a lead pipe up ya' butt? We'll I have!...and I gotta say it was one hell of a party! REBECCA HAVEMEYER here sayin', "It's November, Turkey Necks!"..and HEY HOMO! is cordially inviting you to join your enthusiastically ignorant hostess as I emcee the one and only...CLUE at the Alamo Ritz! It's gonna be a night of boozey murder, special guests, chilled monkey's brains and after party shufflin' at Rain! You'd be a sad duck to miss this one, honey! All's I gotta say is...Flames, Flames from the side of my head! Booya!

PS: I'd like to thank RAIN for being our first sponsor so be sure you make it out after the show to hang out with your favorite Homos!

I surprised my friends with hot cocoa while we waited in line for the show. Unfortunately, we got there early enough that the line hadn't yet stretched outside, but I think my friends appreciated the gesture nonetheless.

Clue itself was awesome. I hadn't seen it since I was a kid, so this was the first time I got all the double entendres and dirty jokes. The whole audience quoted along with the movie. (Madeline Kahn pretty much completes me. If the Alamo Drafthouse ever does a showing of What's Up, Doc? my mom and I will be the happiest people ever.) The hosts acted out their own murder mystery on stage before the movie. It was fantastic.

We didn't hit the gay bars after the movie with the rest of the audience (it was a Tuesday; we have our limits), but the night was just what I needed. As I walked down the street to my car, surrounded by the sounds (ZZ Top, Daddy Yankee, jazz piano) and smells (cigar smoke, beer, broke musician) of 6th Street, I realized that despite how trapped I sometimes feel, I really do love Austin.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Internets!

Love,
Jane

P.S. I was thinking about how I'd write/cast a Monopoly movie last night. Who knew I could be so prescient?


*For the uninitiated among you, the Alamo Drafthouse is pretty much the best movie theater ever. The ticket prices generally don't require taking out a second mortgage on your house, the food is pretty decent (pizza, hamburgers, hummus, queso), AND they sell beer (and wine, and mixed drinks). Plus they host awesome events, like "Ladies of the 80's Sing-a-Longs" and a vampire ball for the Twilight movie. Things like the Alamo (Drafthouse - the Alamo Alamo is in San Antonio) are what's great about living in Austin. (I sound like an advertisement. But I love the Alamo Drafthouse. Come visit me - we'll go see a movie and then sing in the streets.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I gobble because I play by the rules

Dear Internets,

This is what goes through my head when I get a blog award:

Oh! I got a blog award! Goodiegoodieyay! Wait... really? Wow, really! Yes! Really! Yay! I'm so excited! I wonder who I'll give this to? Holy smokes, there are 75 blogs in my Google Reader... Maybe my friend was right about me spending too much time online... How could I possibly choose? I love that blog, but I gave them an award last time... But maybe that is allowed, like how you could win the Heisman Trophy more than once? Well, I mean, you could win it more than once if you were really good at football at a young age and didn't get injured, I guess... What was I thinking about? Oh yeah, blog awards... All of the bloggers I subscribe to are so intimidating... Maybe they would not even want an award from me. I mean, who wants an award from someone who writes so much about how she loves bananas? Mmm... I like bananas. They're such a portable fruit... I should create a blog award. It could be the "I'm bananas for your blog" blog award... Hmmm... But that doesn't solve the current dilemma: who should I give this award to? I was going to give my next blog award to A Perfectly Cursed Life for sure, but she gave one to me first... I love her blog... She likes chocolate as much as I do. Mmmm... Chocolate... I wonder if I should take my friends hot cocoa while they're waiting in line for the movie tonight? That would be a nice surprise, but it would probably make everyone else in line kind of jealous. Also, it would be cold if they spilled it on themselves. Actually, I guess it would be hot first. Speaking of spills, I can't believe I spilled soda all over myself AGAIN today, especially not after I went home and changed my shirt after the first time. I really am a lot like Pig-Pen... My desk is a mess... So is my blogroll... Argh...

Sorry about that frightening glimpse into my psyche, Internets. If you skipped ahead, the point is, basically:
Here is the award that I won:


Here are the rules:


1. Each recipient who receives a TYFBA must give away at least four TYFBAs
2. Each recipient must describe, in at least three words why they are giving that person the award.
3. Each recipient must gobble. Just kidding…I just wanted three rules.




Isn't it great? I am passing this one along to:
  • Diary of Why. Rachel is way cooler than me so it makes me super-nervous to give her a blog award, but she deserves it. Her blog was a big part of what made me decide to start blogging again; I was leaving so many comments that I was beginning to feel like sort of a creepy, identity-less stalker.
  • Dan Does Blog. I love Dan. He is a real-life friend and a great guy. He is even nice to me even though he is a lot cooler than me. You should go to his blog and answer this question.
  • The State That I Am In. Georgia is probably not the type to do blog awards. I'm nervous to give her one anyway, because she's going to be a famous writer someday, I think, and my little blog award will look silly next to her Pulitzer. But I am absolutely enamored with her writing, and get a warm and fuzzy feeling when she hints about her budding romance.*
  • Sleepy Jane. I love her Top Ten Tuesdays. And her blog is hilarious - you should check out the story about the wiener fire that occurred at her house recently (and no, I'm not talking about her dachshunds).
  • Gorgeous footsteps in the sand. Katelin deserves an award based solely on the awesomeness of her hair (as a fellow curly girl, I don't know whether to be jealous or impressed). But her blog is as awesome as her curls - it always leaves me with a smile on my face.
Don't be sad if you didn't get an award this time, Internets. You are in the running for a 'Nanner Award as soon as I get off my rearsy and make one.

Love always,
Jane

*I can't believe I just used the phrase "budding romance." Hee...

Biting my tongue

Dear Internets,

I decided to tag myself on a meme today to avoid talking about things I shouldn't talk about on my blog. (Don't worry - they are not interesting things; they're mostly just whiny things.)

I decided to modify the meme a little in the interest of over-sharing. So, without further ado, I present:

Six embarrassing things you (probably) don't know about me
  1. I had an unhealthy obsession with My Little Ponies as a child. I (secretly) played with mine until well into middle school.
  2. I can't stand mini paper clips. I just don't understand the point of a paper clip that can only hold two or three pages together. But they're so utterly recyclable, I feel guilty just throwing them away. So if I have mini paper clips, I always try to use them first.
  3. I have an addiction to self improvement books. I never really follow their instructions (and thus, they are pretty much completely useless to me), but I still can't stop reading them. Also, I really like those "how I changed my life in one year using some ridiculous premise" memoirs.
  4. I went through a phase where I bought dental floss almost every time I went to the grocery store, because I could never remember if I was running low or not. I still have about 8 rolls left. Same with deodorant. I won't run out until 2012.
  5. I have been too afraid to open up my IRA statements for the past few months. So... I haven't. They are sitting unopened at the bottom of a pile of receipts by my desk at home.
  6. I regret buying my condo. I feel like I bought at the worst time to buy in Austin. Also, owning a condo just makes me feel really tied down.
I'm not going to tag anyone with this (I think that would be kind of mean), but feel free to share your own dirty little secrets.

Love,
Jane

Monday, November 24, 2008

And one to grow on

Dear Internets,

So... You know what's happening in 8 days?

Britney Spears is releasing her album "Circus" on her 27th birthday, you say?

Well, yes, that's true. But more importantly, I am turning 28*. Cue the fireworks.

I have no idea what to do for my birthday. To be honest, I'm not feeling super festive. Turning 28 feels like I'm officially in my late twenties (27 was a little more marginal). I don't do well with the types of questions I've been asking myself lately (Am I happy? Is this where I want to be in my life? Have I accomplished the things I set out to do?) Thus, I don't really feel much like celebrating.

My first thought was to have my friends over for cupcakes and ice cream. Then I realized that I am kind of burned out on being a hostess right now. My second thought was to invite everyone to a bar for happy hour, but I'm kind of "blah" about that too. My next thought was the most appealing: just let everyone forget about it. Achilles and I will go see Jim Gaffigan and I'll have dinner with my parents, but other than that, I'll let my birthday get lost in the post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas bustle.

*CONFIDENTIAL TO MY FELLOW MATH NERDS: At least my age will be a perfect number, right?

In other news, I just tore a contact lens. My vision is 20/400 uncorrected (20/200 is considered legally blind), so I'm not sure how much work I'm going to get done today. Or how I'll get home. Whee!

Love always,
Jane

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dog days of November

Dear Internets,

I just deleted a post about how awesome the "PediPaws" tool is. It sounded like an advertisement.

But for reals, if you have a dog who 1.) would love nothing more than to have an excuse to sit in your lap, and 2.) turns into Cujo when he gets within 20 feet of a pair of nail clippers, it's worth checking out.

Deep down, Bailey is just a lap dog in a horse's body.

Exhibit A:


Exhibit B:


I think Bailey and I are going to head out for a walk to enjoy the dreary (but lovely) fall weather. Achilles is brewing beer right now, and the whole house reeks of hops. Hops have a fairly pleasant smell, I guess, but right now I sort of feel like I've fallen into a fermented feed silo.

When we get back, I'm going to make ham, cheese, and cornmeal muffins for dinner. I think they'll be delicious served with black beans.

Have a wonderful Sunday afternoon, Internets!

Love,
Jane

Friday, November 21, 2008

They just don't, like, "get" me

Dear Internets,

Yesterday I sent some of my friends an email with some of the funniest (and creepiest) things I've seen on the Internets in the past week or so. One of my friends replied back with this:

yeah...what do you do all day!?

Sigh. Some people just don't get the magic of the blogiverse. I spent all of five minutes finding the links (through awesome blogs in my Google Reader), grabbing a picture of Achilles and me from Flickr for the creepy baby picture generator, and sending the email to my friends.

I do sometimes end up wasting a lot of time online finding things that may only appeal to me, but for the most part, I don't feel like I waste a lot of time online. (Besides, the friend who sent the email used to watch "Sex and the City" all day at work at her boring office job. Then she went back to grad school and got all judgmental, but whatever.)

I guess you could say that I protest-eth too much. I have to admit, her remark stung. I am kind of a quirky (read: introverted, impulsive, daydreamy, distracted) person, and I don't spend enough time thinking about how I come across to other people. I don't really want my friends to think of me as a giant flake, but maybe that's what I am? Sometimes I do sort of feel like a human beagle: when I find something interesting, I "follow my nose" until something more interesting comes along.

Oh well. Beagles are pretty happy dogs, right?

Have a good weekend, Internets.

Love,
Jane

Thursday, November 20, 2008

NoMo NaBloPoMo... Moving on...

Dear Gmail,

When I logged in and everything looked... different (but not enough that I could be 100% sure that anything had actually changed), I was confused.

Now, I think I'm in love. High five for Themes!

The only downside is that now I have one more thing to match to my Firefox, blog, and iGoogle themes. It's a lot of pressure, but hopefully I'll survive.

Love,
Jane

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jane, circa 1950

Dear Barbara,

You would have been me, if I'd been a teenager in the 1950's.



No wonder so many women with ADD are depressed.

Love,
Jane

P.S. The narrator is a real jerk about drumming your fingers, but you probably got it from your mom (5:35). Hmpf.
P.P.S. I think I fixed the code so that the video would stop auto-playing any time the page loads. Please let me know if it didn't work.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blogs, dogs, and... logs? bogs? cogs?

Dear Internets,

In the interest of not being a total Debbie Downer, I'm going to hold off on posting until my ear infection starts to get better. (I'm a little bit of a grouch right now. Send Achilles flowers.)

I do have exciting news, though: one of my favorite bloggers just moved to Austin! If you aren't reading Elizabeth's blog (or Who's Your Dachshund), I highly recommend both sites. And if you're in Austin, I smell a bloggy/doggy meet-up in the works. (In the interest of full disclosure, Bailey may not make it to the blogger meet-up. He tends to get overly-excited meeting new dogs, which leads to several days of -ahem- stomach troubles all over the house. I think he has doggy social anxiety or something.)

What about you, Internets? Do you have any exciting news?

Have a great week!

Love,
Jane

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bingo was his name-o

Dear Internets,

Ooh look! Bullet points! With whining!
  • I'm really not very good at posting every day. I think if I do this next year, I'll make up some sort of game with prizes. Like blogging bingo, or something... (I am learning some verrrrry basic game programming - maybe I'll even make it fancy. A lot could happen in a year...)
  • In other news, my ear infection rages on. My doctor called in a prescription for antibiotics, but it's still in the phase where it will get worse before it gets better. I am trying (mostly unsuccessfully) not to whine to much about it; I go through phases where I get ear infections all the time, and I don't want to use up everyone's sympathy on the first one. It is frustrating not to be able to hear out of one ear; it makes me realize how inconsiderate some people are toward people that have hearing difficulties.
  • I am so ready for Thanksgiving break. I really want to take a trip out West - I love the desert and the mountains - but that's not really in the budget right now, and Achilles has a friend coming into town anyway. I am planning to sleep, eat, and drink cocoa.
  • The 70's party was not really as much fun as I had hoped. I liked my outfit OK, but I didn't really feel up to doing wild hair and makeup, so I felt a little out of place. (Not being able to drink - stupid antibiotics - probably didn't help much either.) Also, Achilles was being a little bit of a dunderhead.
I'll stop whining now. Here's the Sunday Bailey:



Despite the creepy white eyes (stupid flash), I love this picture; I took it about 15 minutes after I gave Bailey that toy bumblebee. He looks so pleased with himself. I think he may have been a revolutionary in a past life. (Also, I miss having hardwood floors. Le sigh.)

I hope your weekend has been footloose and ear infection-free.

Love,
Jane

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Night Fever

Dear Internets,

As (I think) I've mentioned before, I've been teaching/tutoring a class of high school boys for the past few weekends. I think the most frustrating thing about them is that just when I've gotten to the point that I'm ready to commit murder if it would get them to behave, out of nowhere they'll start acting like perfectly reasonable individuals. I'll start to question my judgment, like maybe I was imagining the bad behavior in the first place. Then something will set them off and we're back to square one. I could swear they're practicing for future relationships.

Aside from the frustrations of trying to figure out how to get adolescent boys to just sit still already (and an ear infection), the past few days have been pretty awesome. I was in such a good mood after finishing my C# training yesterday that I decided to make like a 1950's housewife and cook a pot roast for dinner (with a little bit of help from Achilles - raw meat kind of grosses me out). I made apple crisp for dessert. Both turned out pretty well, which made me happy.

[I hope staying in on a Friday night doesn't make me sound pathetic; even in my "WOOO!! Party!" days, I never really liked to go out on Friday nights (I need my transitions) so my new habit of cooking and catching up on my DVR-ed television programs suits me well.]

I'm in training for job #2 for the rest of the day today, and then tonight (if my ear infection isn't getting any worse) Achilles and I are headed to a 1970's party. Here's a picture we took in my friend's kitchen last year before we headed to the party:



Hopefully Achilles doesn't kill me for putting his picture on the Internets. Have a great weekend!

Love,
Jane

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ow. Owie ow ow.

Dear Jane,

I think you have an ear infection.

Love,
Your immune system

P.S. Have fun at work tomorrow.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dinner party

Dear Internets,

I am NOT super sleepy today! It's a miracle.

I'm headed to a friend's house for a girls-only dinner party. It should be fun. I'm taking wine, because I have difficulties transporting food without spilling it all over everything I come within 20 feet of, and because you can never have too much wine.

I feel like I've been counting down the days until stressful things end (17 more days of NaBloPoMo; one more day of training; two more weekends of trying to corral obnoxious high school boys) rather than counting down the days to things I'm looking forward to (19 days until my birthday; 23 days until we go see Jim Gaffigan at the Paramount, two weeks until Thanksgiving). Hopefully a relaxing evening with friends will help me recharge.

Love always,
Jane

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Joker laid an egg

Dear Internets,

This just in: I'm still sleepy, and I can't stop singing goofy Christmas songs.

I don't think I can keep blaming time change for my mental fogginess; in fact, I think my daze is a result of the training I've been in this week. I'm taking a course to learn C# and .Net.

Learning a computer language in a week might not be too difficult for the average person, but I have the following things working against me:
  • I was a French/Art History major who thought it would be more practical to take geology classes to fulfill my science credits requirement than it would be to take computer science classes, and thus, I have a relatively small amount of programming experience.
  • My brain is only slightly larger than a pea.
Therefore, my brain is pretty much full. All I have really had energy to do during the evenings is sit around and hum. (Yesterday I did manage to go get my hair cut, although I sat through my appointment in a daze. The stylist could not seem to stop fluffing my hair. "What a great curl!" she kept saying. I left looking like I'd stuck my finger in an electrical outlet.) If I held my knees and rocked back and forth, I'm pretty sure I'd rock myself to sleep.

Jingle bells, Batman smells.

Earlier, as I was humming "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," I remembered that as a child, I operated under the assumption that the story behind the song was set in Texas. I don't know what reminded me about that, but man, I was one misguided kid.

Nevermind that it rarely snows in Texas, let alone on Christmas Eve, or that I didn't meet anyone who drank eggnog until I was 17; Grandma was clearly from the Lone Star State. I am pretty sure I believed that people outside of Texas didn't have grandmothers and waited for Père Noël instead of Santa. (I also spent an inordinate amount of time worrying about tourists who wanted to "mess with" my state, but that is neither here nor there, except that WOW, look at what advertising DOES to children.)

Hmmm... I thought that I had a point there, but I think I forgot what it was.

I am going to go to bed now.

Love always,
Jane

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Is it sad...

Dear Internets,

Is it sad that I still have a MySpace account? I don't really look at it anymore. I figure I'll just leave it until all my "friends" drop off like flies and my only remaining MySpace buddy is Bailey.



Sorry... All I have wanted to do since Daylight Saving Time ended is to go to sleep when it's dark outside (i.e. most of the time). I swear tomorrow will bring a real post.

Love,
Jane

Monday, November 10, 2008

So tired...

Dear NaBloPoMo,

I'm only posting today because I have to. Which means I'm essentially wasting the Internets' time. But in 16 days, I will finally get a day off after working 38 days straight. Yay for Thanksgiving!

I'm going to go sleep now.

Love,
Jane

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday cop out

Dear Internets,

When friends visit my house, they always say Bailey looks a lot bigger in person than he does in pictures. The problem is, when I get on "dog level" to take pictures of Bailey, I get stepped on. And he is pretty big. And I am a wimp. But for you, Internets, I tried.

Big Bailey:


Small Bailey:


Don't let that innocent look fool you. He's a maniac.

Now I'm going to go eat a cupcake.

Love,
Jane

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Question

Dear Internets,

Since I am posting every day in November, I think I'm going to make Sundays "pictures of my dog days." What do you think?

Love,
Jane

P.S. I got one of those Twitter thingamajigs. Lord help us all.
P.P.S. Firefox apparently recognizes a correct spelling for "thingamajig." Who knew?

Friday, November 7, 2008

The things about "easy listening"

Dear Internets,

Without the election or Halloween to capture my focus, I've been even more distracted than usual.

Distraction:
My office mate at work likes to listen to a "soft rock" radio station while we work. It doesn't bother me - the music fades into the background, and, except for the occasional annoying DJ or overly-enthusiastic advertisement, I don't even notice it.

There is one exception: "Baby I Love Your Way" (usually the UB40 cover on this particular station, but occasionally the Peter Effing Frampton original) breaks through my consciousness and worms its way into my brain at least once a day. It is the ear worm to end all ear worms. To make matters worse, when I get a song stuck in my head I have an awkward, almost-unconscious habit of singing aloud and substituting the lyrics with the names and habits of people who happen to be around me.

There's not an easy way to recover from singing to a coworker that you "love their way."

Distraction:
I should really start carrying a camera around with me more often. Signs I have seen posted lately (among others):

On a swimming pool: "Lap swim 2-4. Family swim 4-7. Full immersion baptism by appt."

At a massage parlor: "Special massage! $30"

On a restaurant door: "NOOO!!!! Public Restroom."

Distraction:
I'm working all weekend again. I'd like to make cupcakes tonight, but I don't know what I'd do with them. Normally I'll eat one or two and take the rest to work, but I don't think it's a good idea to give a room full of adolescent boys sugar and then expect them to pay attention for several hours.

Distraction:
Is it possible for cowlicks to migrate around your head? I've always had one just behind the crown of my head. Lately, though, it seems to have migrated out and apart so I have two little cowlick horns.

I'm off to go attempt (again) to tame them. Take care, Internets.

Love always,
Jane

***UPDATE***
They are playing "Baby I Love Your Way" AGAIN! I heard it over the Old 97's, which I'd been listening to through headphones to try to get "Baby" out of my head. Gah!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Out of things to say

Dear Internets,

I have started and deleted three blog posts today. They may or may not have involved in-depth discussions of the following topics:

  • the casting of the Twilight movie
  • sincere vs. insincere mullets
  • why I am boring and you should not read my blog
  • photographs of my betta fish
  • how much I kind of totally want to see the Twilight movie, despite the fact that this kind of makes me feel like a 14-year-old girl
  • my complete and utter lack of energy lately

I am going to spare you, though, because I love you. I'll try to do better tomorrow.

-J

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy days are here again

Dear Champagne,

You seemed like such a good idea last night; less so, this morning.

Love,
Jane

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

So proud

Dear United States of America,

I am so proud.

Love,
Jane

P.S. To Sen. McCain: You are a good, honorable American. I am proud of you, too..

Sigh...

Dear News Media,

I keep reading news articles talking about how this election will have the biggest turnout since 1908.

Ummm... Last I checked, women and Native Americans couldn't vote in 1908, the voting age was 21, and Blacks were often kept from the polls by bigots.

I know you guys like to avoid superlatives, but I think it's safe to say "biggest of all" in this case.

Love anyway,
Jane

P.S. Polls start closing in 11 minutes..!

Go Vote

Dear Internets,

In honor of Election Day, I'm recycling a blog post from two years ago. Go vote.

Love,
Jane

Top 5 Tuesday Special Edition: Don't Tip the Vote Over

Today is Election Day! This not only means it is the last day for irritating campaign ads, but also that it's time for you to get your arse down to vote if you haven't already.

So, in honor of the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November, today we will discuss: The Top 5 Reasons it is Important that YOU Rock The Vote (or Vote or Die, or Whatever the Kids on MTV are Saying These Days).

5. If you don't vote, you can't complain
(And we all know how much you like complaining)

4. You may need to cancel out someone else's vote
For me, it's my crazy redneck relatives who want to control the bodies and love lives of strangers. For you, it may be someone else.



3. Stalking people on Facebook doesn't pay the bills
Hello Economy, I'd like you to meet The Toilet. Get cozy! You two will be spending quite a bit of time together!

2. Polar Bears are drowning
Sarah Palin may not care, but you should.

You know how many major cities would be affected by rising sea levels? To name a few: Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York, Mumbai, Shanghai, Jakarta, Bangkok, Sydney, Dhaka... It's like the world's most depressing game of "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?"


1. 4190 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq since 2003

They don't get to vote this year.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Reason #139,928 why I love "The Simpsons"

Distracted again

Dear Internets,

I went to Target last night, looking for a coat rack* and a shoe rack, and found myself drawn like a magnet to the after-Halloween clearance items. Dog costumes on sale for $4.99? Good news for Jane; bad news for Bailey.

*It is weirdly difficult to find a coat rack in Austin. Do we not need cold weather clothing organizational systems just because it doesn't get very cold here? If you blast us with icy winds, do we not shiver???

In other news, I think that I should maybe take my Obama bumper sticker off my car tonight. Don't worry! It's not what you think. It's just that I'm a pretty horrendous driver, and I'm afraid I'll negatively influence a last-minute undecided voter. Maybe instead I should just give myself an extra 30 minutes to get places and drive extra-courteously, in hopes of influencing an undecided voter with my politeness? Probably it doesn't matter - I live in Texas. Sigh.

I'm doing pretty well on my eating healthfully/being active during NaBloPoMo. Yesterday, my only activity was a one mile walk with Bailey, but I fared better with the healthful eating; I made dinners and lunches for the rest of the week. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep this up.

OK, time for a little bit of coffee...

Love,
Jane

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, Happy, Bashful, Doc, and me

Dear Internets,

Happy end of Daylight Saving Time (for some of you, anyway). Despite the extra hour of sleep, I'm a little grouchy this morning. Last night, Achilles and I got into a silly argument that turned into a regular kind of argument (about the relative importance of football vs. politics. I'll let you guess who thought football was more important. HMPF).

I'm not a huge fan of Daylight Saving Time anyway - either you lose an hour of sleep, or an hour of sunshine - but it is nice to have an extra hour this morning. I think I'm going to stop for breakfast tacos on the way in to work. I think that'll make me feel better. Besides - eggs are good for you, so it won't completely derail my healthier eating in November.

Have a great Sunday, Internets.

Love,
Jane

Saturday, November 1, 2008

NaBloPoMo Day 1: A boring blog title

Dear Blog,

I'm supposed to write in you every day for the next 30 days. Yay! We'll be BFF's after 30 days of daily communication, Blog. I can almost guarantee it.

Last night was kind of anti-climatic. After dressing Bailey up and taking pictures (he loved that SOOOO much), I went to dinner with some of my friends. I was supposed to meet them a party and then go meet another friend to watch her Queen cover band play. Instead, I drank about half of a margarita with dinner, then asked Achilles to take me home so that I could pass out. I'm a pretty hard-core drinker.

This morning, I was happy that I hadn't stayed out too late. I went to job #2 and then went on about a 15 mile bike ride with Saving Diva. Lawdy, Blog, the last hill I climbed on the bike ride just about did me in. It was kind of depressing - I used to regularly ride 15-20 miles and be rarin' to keep going. I have let myself get a little bit out of shape.

Speaking of being out of shape, since I pretty much write almost every day anyway, I thought I'd add in a little extra goal for myself and try to eat healthyier and be active every day in November. You can help keep me honest, Blog. What do you think?

XOXO,
Jane

Friday, October 31, 2008

Obligatory dog Halloween costume photos



dear mom,

i hates you.

love,
bailey



P.S. i hates kitty-cat costoom even more. did not fit. FAIL.



P.P.S. daddy? where u go? please to come rescue me now love bailey

.

It's a slippery, bullet points-riddled slope

Dear Internets,

Happy Halloween! I have a busy day ahead of me, so I'm resorting to bullet points again. I promise to try not to make this a habit*.

*I lie. What'll really happen is that I'll make lots of empty promises about not having a bullet points habit. I'll swear I'm just a casual user. You'll begin to notice that I've started to sneak mini-bullet points in to otherwise decent posts, in a desperate attempt to hide my increasing reliance on them. You will suspect there's something wrong, but not know whether or not to say anything. Then one day you will come to my blog and find me passed out by the sofa, surrounded by half-finished, disjointed ideas and little black diamond shapes. With your encouragement, I'll get help, and make a lot of progress. You'll tell me you're so proud of me. Then the pressure will get to me, and I'll have a frightening relapse. You'll wonder if it's time to just let me go so that I don't take you down with me. Finally, I'll make it through with you by my side. Our relationship will be stronger for it. Then we'll sell our story to Lifetime and retire young.

Ahem. On to the bullet points:
  • Achilles got a Roomba during the last Woot-Off. Now a robot cleans our floors, which I think is very Jetsons of us. I asked Achilles if we could name her Rosie.
  • I also made a purchase for the household during the last Woot-Off. I got Achilles one of these. Because I'm classy like that.
  • My friends are refusing to go out for Halloween because they're afraid of being forced to give blood samples by media-attention-seeking APD officers. I keep trying to tell them that we won't be drinking and driving, so we shouldn't have to worry, but they seem to be under the impression that police officers will be standing on street corners with syringes. But perhaps they're right - I don't have very good luck with police officers on Halloween.
  • Tomorrow is the first day of NaBloPoMo. Prepare yourself to be dazzled by thirty days' worth of odes to bananas.
Have a safe and happy Halloween, Internets!

Love always,
Jane

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween 10.0

Dear Internets,

I know that I just won't shut up about Halloween this month, but I am hopeful that you will eventually forgive me, so I'm going to keep talking about it.

In response to no one ever "getting" my dorky Halloween costumes, my costume this year is the most stereotypically boring one that I could think of (witch). However, I wish I hadn't settled; inspiration struck while reading Georgia's latest blog, and I thought of the perfect group costume for three people (or two people who happened to have a life-sized Sesame Street puppet).

My idea? A row from Hollywood Squares.

Isn't it fantastic? I envision it looking something like this:

You're welcome for the costume idea, Internets. I knew you would appreciate it.

Love always,
Jane

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Apologies!

Dear anyone who wonders what the heck is going on with my blog layout today,

I made a few changes to my layout. Hopefully, everything is now working OK. Let me know if you notice anything wonky going on.

Love always,
Jane

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bullet points are our friends

Dear Internets,

I have a little bit of a headache today, so, um... high five for bullet points!
  • I finished taking care of the ticket I got a couple of months ago. It was mostly painless to deal with; I took defensive driving and got my court records online, and then dropped everything off at a satellite police station. (If they'd only set things up so I could submit all of my forms online, I'd be one happy little lead-footed driver.)
  • Because of the ticket, I should be saving some money on my car insurance. How backwards is that? (My insurance company gives a discount for completing defensive driving. My discount was about to expire, so getting a ticket wasn't as much of a pointless pain as it might have been. Again, though, I wish I could somehow submit the paperwork to my insurance company online.)
  • I realized that I will be able to pay off the smaller of my two (consolidated) student loans this month. I want to be student loan-free before I'm thirty, so it will be exciting to see one of the loans drop off my monthly statement.
  • Bailey's black cat costume came in the mail today. I think it makes him look more like Batman than Catdog, so I might return it. I'm going to get Achilles' opinion.
  • I don't have any days off until Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, job #2 will pretty much slow to a complete stop until spring. I have no idea what I'm going to do with myself.
  • I'm going to stop talking now before the Internets decide we can't be friends anymore.
Love,
Jane

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My first ticket (aka yet another Halloween post)

When I was in high school, I decided to dress up as Princess Leia for Halloween. In particular, I decided to dress up as sticky buns Princess Leia (thankfully, I knew better than to attempt to wear a metal bikini).

I put my costume together carefully. My mom helped me make a white robe, and I went to a beauty supply store for fake hair to help create buns on the side of my head. The footwear was a bit tricky (white leather boots were not in the family Back-to-School budget), but I ended up making some pretty good imitation princess boots out of Keds tennis shoes, a lot of white felt, and a little bit of duct tape. To finish off the costume, I carried around a (close to life-sized) stuffed Ewok that a family friend had given me.

The overall effect was not exactly professional-looking, but I was pleased. At school, people poked at my fake hair and teased me (gently) about my giant stuffed animal. I was super-excited about going to a friend's house to help pass out candy that night.

I had butterflies in my stomach as I drove my dad's truck to my friend's house after school. We were going to a friend-of-a-friend's party after we passed out candy, and it was rumored that there would be cute guys there.

Now, I have a bit of a lead foot these days, but at the time, I was still a fairly new driver on an unfamiliar route, and was driving about 5 mph slower than what I thought was the posted speed limit. When I saw lights flashing in my rear-view mirror, the butterflies in my stomach turned into lead weights. I pulled into a gas station and turned off the engine. I felt like I couldn't catch my breath.

What was it you're supposed to do when you get pulled over?
I wondered. Are you supposed to take your insurance out of the glove compartment? Or are you not supposed to touch the glove compartment at all, in case the officer thinks you're getting out a gun to shoot him? Oh crap. My parents are going to kill me.

My breath began to feel strangely caught in my throat. I rolled down my window.

The police officer stood outside my truck window, not saying anything. Am I supposed to take my seatbelt? I wondered. I handed him my driver's license.

"I'm gonna need your insurance card, ma'am," the officer said, using a tone of voice that indicated that he thought I was an idiot.

"I... It's in the glove compartment," I said. I could tell now that I was going to start crying.

The officer rolled his eyes and sighed. "Then get it out of the glove compartment."

Silently, I got the insurance card out and handed it to the police officer.

He began writing me a ticket. "You think it's funny to speed around a school zone in East Austin?" he asked.

At this point, my eyes filled with tears and a large lump formed in the back of my throat. I had no idea I was in a school zone; I had been driving down a busy six-lane road with no kids or schools in sight. I shook my head "no" as tears began to spill down my cheeks.

The officer scribbled on his pad, stopping every so often to take in my costume. I got the feeling that he was not a Star Wars fan.

After what felt like hours, the police officer finished writing.

"The instructions are on the ticket," he said. "You can take defensive driving or whatever you want to do about it." He ripped the ticket off of the pad and handed it, along with my license and insurance, back through the truck window. The papers rattled in my shaking hands. By this point, I was beginning to sob.

"What is your costume supposed to be, anyway?" He asked. "KKK member?"

His question shocked me enough that I was able to take a breath. I opened my puffy eyes widely. "I... I'm Princess Leia," I said. "I... have an Ewok?" I gestured to the passenger seat, where, to make my friends laugh, I had buckled in the stuffed animal when I left school.

The police officer looked at me for a minute. I got the impression that he was wondering whether or not he should take me to get some kind of mental help. Finally, he grunted dismissively and walked back to his car.

I called my friend to tell her I wouldn't be coming over to pass out candy, and headed home.

It was five years before I could be convinced to dress up for Halloween again.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I'd like to thank the Academy...

Dear Internets,

The super-funny and cool (she has played with lions, y'all) Sleepy Jane gave me an award:

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish Blessing


Isn't it pretty? I heart it a lot.

There are about a million blogs that I absolutely love, but these immediately came to mind for this particular award:

the talking cupcake
- I could write odes to this blog. In fact, I have. I love it. Period.
hang on little tomato - Teej is funny and spunky, and never fails to make me laugh.
The Spotted Ottoman - A reluctant Texan with two adorable dachshunds; she always surprises me.
the tex-pat - Vivid. Interesting. Hilarious. Love love love this blog.
Country Mouse - Sweet, honest, and... I dunno... I just love her blog.
Saving Diva - An informative, inspiring, and funny personal finance blog. What could be better?

High five ladies! Spread the love!

I have decided to bend the rules and include some honorable mentions, because there are lots of bloggers I love that just might not like butterflies. I also love:

Perfectly Cursed Life - A great blend of sarcasm and honesty.
life on Mars - Suzanne likes the Old 97's AND finds the best things for sale on the internet.
Dan Does Blog - Dan is awesome. In my cell phone, he's listed as "Dan!" because he's got the most contagious positive energy of anyone I know; it requires the exclamation point. He probably even likes butterflies.
Last Name Unknown - Hank is enthusiastic and helps me top off my iTunes collection. High five for Hank!
Budgets are Sexy - Very informative yet quirky personal finance blog.
Diary of Why - Rachel is an AMAZING writer with a fantastic blog. And she lives in Paris.
The State That I Am In - Georgia is a lot like Rachel in that she's an amazing, interesting writer with a gift for self-expression. It makes my day when I see a post from one of these two ladies in my Google Reader.
two L's please - Hillary is funny and honest. Her puppy is adorable, and I love her flippy weather girl hair.
Oh! How Lovely! - You probably already read this blog; it is awesome. Check out her shopping blog, too.
I Don't Think It's Going To Rain . Com - Of the blogs in my Google Reader, 90% have Texan or Canadian connections. Lisa combines the best of both - she's a Canadian who is currently living in Texas. Her insights into Texas life crack me up. If you have a few minutes, go read about her knee surgery and send her happy thoughts for a speedy recovery.
doahleigh - I stumbled on Shannon's blog one day and then proceeded to read the entire archives. Just wonderful.
JavaJane - I'm glad this lady is back in the blogging saddle again. She makes me smile.

Whew - that was exhausting. In three minutes, I will probably realize that I've forgotten someone and feel guilty for the rest of my life.

Until then, happy reading!

Love always,
Jane

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A is for Achilles

Dear Internets,

As I hinted earlier, I am going to change A's name on this blog. I couldn't have picked a worse one letter nickname if I tried.* Since "A" is an article, it is downright difficult to refer to my manfriend (hee) and still sound literate. (Case in point: "This is A's pumpkin." I might as well say, "Hellos potential new readers, I's can write real good.")

From here on out, I'm going to refer to "A" as Achilles. But wait! Before you run away saying, "OH EM GEE BARF! She totally thinks this guy is her hero**! Ick," let me explain.

Before we dated, Achilles lived in another state for undergraduate and law school. We were friends, but it's an 8+ hour drive to any other state from Austin, so we didn't exactly get to catch up over beers very often. Instead, every so often we'd send each other emails about whatever happened to be going on in our lives.

The summer before his last year of law school, Achilles tore his Achilles tendon. Achilles was bored, and I enjoyed being able to get relationship advice from a male with the click of a button, so we started emailing each other more frequently. After a friend flaked out and decided not to go to ACL Fest with me, I offered Achilles my extra ticket. He came to the festival, sparks flew, and the rest... well, we'll get to that in a later blog post, maybe.

Love,
Jane

*It wasn't actually a decision made with a lot of thought. But still. It's as bad as referring to him as "The," "El," or "Le."
**Just kidding Achilles. You're totally my hero. And now we just made the whole Internets barf. Yay!

P.S. Here are some of the emails.
P.P.S. Achilles was embarrassed, so I took off two of the emails. (Sorry...)


From: Achilles
To: Jane
Subject: Re: Austin?
jeez.. sorry it took me so long to write back! your message was very entertaining to read and quite dramatic. i totally sympathize. my life recently has been a bit of a springer episode. seriously... almost to the point where i'm ready to abandon all morality.

i really want to go to austin soon, and in fact i wanted to go this week. one problem... last weekend i played in a frisbee tournament and somebody stepped on my ankle in a game. at the moment.. i can barely walk without crutches. i went to the university health center and a doctor told me i may have ruptured my achilles tendon (which is pretty bad i guess). tomorrow i have to go to an orthopedist. hopefully he will tell me that the tendon was just badly bruised and it's just the swelling that is keeping me from moving my foot. so anyway... i'm sure i'll make it to austin at some point this summer. just a question of when.

From: Jane
To: Achilles
Subject: I think I made a "D" in Classical Mythology

Things are calming down a little. Sadly, Frenchie, who started out as kind of a Cable Guy (he would NOT leave me alone), must have changed his mind because he seems to have suddenly fallen off the face of the earth. I suppose it is for the best.

I don't know if you should trust my advice anymore, but I'll give it anyway. I think you are still a nice guy. If you weren't, you wouldn't be worried about whether or not you're a nice guy. It's normal to have a hard time with relationships.
(At least, that's what seems to happen with my friends. I don't have long-term relationships. Which makes me SUPER qualified to give advice. I swear. It's the law. In Ibiza.) But maybe I am being way too preachy and should just mind my own business. And you should start dating your brother's girlfriend or your girlfriend's brother, or whatever it is they do on Springer these days.

ANYWAY. I hope your foot is okay, because you need to come to Austin to visit. I have a feeling it will make things easier for you. And also me, because I will have someone NOT CRAZY to hang out with.

Let me know how things are going...

Very spastic, quick note

Dear Internets,

I am trying to follow through (and be less easily distracted) on this blog, so I promise that my next post (that I will post tonight when I get home, and will therefore still count as "today") will be the story about A's new name that I promised yesterday. (I feel kind of like I'm building the new name up more than I should; it'll most likely end up being a two- to three-sentence post.)

HOWEVER, I found out that I got my first ever blog award! How exciting is that?! Sleepy Jane (she's my South African visitor, Hank) gave me the Butterfly Award. I will be passing this along in my post-after-next.

Yay Internets! I love you longtime!

Love,
Jane

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Here she goes about Halloween again

Dear Internets,

Today I was going to talk about A's new name on this blog, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

I just found out that I'm supposed to dress up as a sorority girl for our group costume at work. [Note: It is NOT a good idea to Google "Sorority girl costume" while actually at work, even if you're doing it FOR work. Actually, probably don't look at women's Halloween costumes at ALL while at work. WTF, SafeSearch??]

It's not such a bad costume (at the very least, it shouldn't be too expensive), but I don't have a very good history when it comes to dressing up for Halloween parties at work. I think I tend to... overdo it a bit.

The Gallery of Bad Work Costume Decisions


Please note that I look like I'm dressed up as a cross-dresser in 100% of these pictures, although I'm only intentionally cross-dressing in the one with the creepy mustache. (I was not meant to be a platinum blond, apparently.)

Please keep your fingers crossed that my coworkers won't think I'm a total nut-job after Halloween is over.

Love,
Jane

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Go to bed, Jane

Dear Woot:

You are the devil. I need to go to sleep.

Must... turn... off... Woot-Off...

-Jane

Twos

Dear Internets,

Two things that make me think today might be a pretty good day:
  1. This morning, I filled up Lola's gas tank for $29. Two weeks ago, I filled up the tank for $41 and thought that was good. I'm hoping I can stick to the "driving less" habits I adopted this summer and save some money.
  2. There was a random sombrero full of candy and whistles in the break room when I got to work.
Two questions for you:
  1. If (hypothetically, of course) your boss preferred your hair one way (the easy, lazy way of fixing it), but her boss made a huge deal about preferring your hair the other way (the way it probably really looks better), which way would you wear your hair to work? Or would you ignore them both completely, and secretly wonder why they care about your (hypothetical) hair anyway?
  2. I'm starting to try to come up with posts for NaBloPoMo. Which would you rather hear about?
  • How A and I met
  • My second most awkward date ever
  • __________________(Insert your question here)
Here's to happy days filled with affordable fuel and random candy.

Love,
Jane

Monday, October 20, 2008

I voted, and you should too

Dear Internets,

I just got back from taking a short walk to the county courthouse to vote. Overall, the trip was uneventful. [I did witness a woman throw quite the hissy fit because she had to step out of the line to enter the courthouse after she refused to take off her 43 metal bracelets and giant medallion necklace. She kept saying, "What!? This is ridiculous! I never!" (Never what, lady? Set foot inside a courthouse?) They checked her with a hand held metal detector and sent her on her merry way.]

I feel strangely anxious and relieved at the same time. I voted for Obama in the primary; I caucused for him in the Texas Two-Step; I gave money to his campaign; I voted in the general election. The election results are out of my hands. There's not much more that I can do, except wait (and maybe call voters in swing states on Election Day).

It's frustrating to know that in Texas, my vote won't really count, that the state is far too red for one tiny blue dot in the Hill Country to make a difference. All of Texas's 34 Electoral College votes will go to McCain and his bizarre and under-qualified running mate.

I voted anyway, though, because for me, a vote for Obama is not just a vote for "Change we can believe in" but, at long last, a vote for a candidate that *I* can believe in. And that (combined with the hope that after November 4th, I may never have to hear McCain call me his "friend" again) is more than enough.

Love always,
Jane

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Early Voting

Dear fellow Texans who might happen to read this blog,

Early voting begins tomorrow. Don't forget to vote!

Love,
Jane

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Movie Night

Dear Internets,

I think my movie night was a success! Despite a somewhat poor scheduling decision on my part (I managed to schedule a party on the same night as the last presidential debate AND the season finale of Project Runway), most of my friends were able to stop by. Even some of the Internets were able to make it - the very awesome and funny Saving Diva brought some delicious High School Musical gummy fruit.

The cupcakes and other decorations were a hit, but A's Beer Pumpkin was the star of the night:


The Beer Pumpkin


He cut beer-sized holes in the back of the pumpkin, then filled it with ice and battery-powered lights in plastic bags. A couple of people actually asked if we had candles inside the pumpkin - it looked really cool.


Hooray beer!

The beer actually stayed really cold. So if you're ever lost in the woods with pumpkins, a carving knife, and ice, but no cooler, you can keep your beer cold with a beer pumpkin.

Happy October!

Love,
Jane