Sunday, December 27, 2009

Little Big Post

Dear Internets,

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus. My Christmakah vacation has been pretty awesome so far. I've been composing blog posts in my brain and forgetting them by the time I sat down to write, so I think that means it's a good time for some bullet points.
  • Achilles got me Little Big Planet for Christmas. The game itself is pretty fun, but the user-generated content capabilities are blowing my nerdy mind. I don't know if my limited knowledge of computer programming is influencing my opinions or not, but I am just in awe of the game creators. Exploring the game makes me want to learn video game programming and design.
  • Playing Netflix movies and TV shows instantly on my TV continues to blow my mind as well. I am just in LOVE with technology this winter break. Maybe this is just what I needed to help me get re-energized to do boring programming tasks at job #1.
  • I made my list of "30 things I want to do before turning 30." I do this every year for the most part, but since 30 will be the start of a new Jane decade, I figured I'd make big, specific goals and use this blog to help hold myself accountable. I'll probably post my list sometime next week.
  • I am knitting Achilles some shorts using circular knitting needles. I figured that I can't call myself a knitter unless I progress beyond scarves at some point.
  • In other crafty news, I designed some cookie cutters. I think I'll wait until I make and decorate some cookies to post pictures of the cookie cutters, but I'm pretty happy with the results. (Spoiler: they involve sparkly unicorns.)
  • I am so glad that I have another week of vacation left. I am NOT ready to go back to work.
I'm off to go knit a few more rows. I'll be back soon, Internets!

Love,
Jane

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dear Internets,

Bullet points of awesomeness:
  • Last night, I composed 87 blog posts in my head. This morning, I had forgotten them all. Hate.
  • In other news, one of my coworkers left me religious-themed chocolate as a Christmas present. Note to pushy coworker: chocolate that needs Jesus to market itself is not generally the world's most delicious chocolate.
  • Achilles and I have been watching the first season of Dexter on Netflix (you can watch a lot of movies and television series instantly on your TV now. I predicted this day would come nine years ago. Take note, people who might want to hire me: I am a visionary). Dexter is great, but I do not recommend watching it before bed unless you want to have some wild dreams.
  • I am still bummed about the chocolate.
Hope your holiday week is off to a great start Internets!

Love,
Jane

Friday, December 18, 2009

Now we've come to the Questions and Answers portion of our show

Dear Internets,

Yesterday, in between gazing at my navel and staring into the mirror, I decided to take a look at the search engine terms people use to get to this blog. What I discovered is that people have a lot of questions. For example:
What did one math book say to the other?
A: Don't bother me, I've got my own problems.

I feel sort of guilty that I'm on the first page of the Google search results for that one. I feel like I'm luring people in with false promises of puns. Instead, they are just PUNished with my silly letters. HAHA! Sorry. Moving on.
Neil Diamond Lake Tahoe?
A: YOU TELL ME, INTERNETS! Did I miss seeing Neil Diamond while I was in Lake Tahoe? Quelle travesty! I may need a moment to recover from this.

Sigh. OK, next.
What do I do if I tore a contact lens?
A:
New contact lens. or Lasik, maybe. Too easy!
Who is the mom on Glee?
A: You tell me, Internets. I didn't even know there was a mom on Glee. I mean, there's Terri's sister and Finn's mom, and teen mom-to-be Quinn Fabray but other than that, I got nothin. I do really hope that Idina Menzel will play Rachel's mom at some point. (Yes, I realize she's way too young, but she could totally play a young struggling singer who needed to earn extra cash by being a surrogate or something. I'm just sayin.)
When was paisley print invented?
A:
In 1907 in England by a guy named Benny. He worked in a chemist's shop. (Kidding. Persia - Safavid Dynasty)

Sometimes it's not just answers to questions that lure people here under false pretenses.
Paisley print disadvantages*
A: Seriously? There are none! All my friends are getting paisley print for Christmas.
25 and stuck in a rut.
A:
Read this. It probably won't really help, but it'll make me feel less guilty about luring you here.
Spiderman Cupcakes
A:
Again, I feel guilty. You paged through 12-13 pages of Google image search results to find these blurry pictures. I can't really help much - I painted the cupcakes freehand and they immediately started to melt. I recommend the little pre-made candy cupcake toppers. Little kids prefer those anyway.

Well, I hope you can behave yourself until next time Internets.

Love,
Jane

*
I really wish I could remember when I actually talked about paisley print... Hmmm....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Scene 3

Jane: Hey, this girl reads my blog. And I read her blog. Which means I was totally one of the first people to know about the McNuggettini. I knew about it pre-YouTube. Because I totally followed Georgia for like, ever.
Achilles: That's pretty cool.
Jane: Hey, that kind of makes me the ultimate hipster, huh? Like, I could totally be queen of the hipsters now. Except that saying that I could be queen of the hipsters automatically disqualifies me from the running. Damn.
Achilles: ...
Jane: I don't want to be queen of the hipsters anyway. I'm over hipsters. Plus, they smell funny.
Achilles: What do hipsters smell like?
Jane: Used records, gin, and thrift store clothing. And disdain.
Achilles: Gross.
Jane: I really am sort of over hipsters. What do you think will replace them?
Achilles: Robots.

**** end scene ****

P.S. Rock on Georgia!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eating the elephant

Dear Internets,

So. I sort of lied about being back, huh? I did read all 749 posts in my Google Reader, although I didn't comment on most of them (because I'm not a robot, that's why)(sorry about that). It turns out they were mostly about how people either love or hate Christmas. Go figure.

I haven't been writing (or exercising or eating particularly well) because my brain has been a scrambled mess. My brain has been a scrambled mess because I haven't been writing (or exercising or cooking). It's a vicious cycle. (Rawr.) It's possibly also some mild form of SAD since this seems to happen to me every year. I know that's weird, since I live in the sunbelt and all, but I can't help but wonder be a hypochondriac.

Anyway, I'm going to attempt to defrag my brain by writing a huge monster update. Hopefully, we can all move on and I can get back to posting about breakfast tacos ASAP.

Thanksgiving
Food. Lots of it. Lots of family asking about the wedding. Lots of anxiety. Moving on.

Tahoe
It is interesting to travel with a large group of friends. Apparently the family you choose can be just as overly dramatic as the family you're born into. Overall, though, the trip was wonderful. I went snowboarding, my friends made me 29 cupcakes with candles on my birthday, and we danced and sang along so enthusiastically to a mid/late-90's alt rock cover band that the band thanked us (and only us) personally after the show. It was fantastic.

My Birthday
29. Bleh. What can I say about 29? I guess at least it's a prime number (but it's not nearly as good as being perfect). It was great to spend time with my friends in Tahoe, and I'm incredibly lucky to have the life I have, but I really just don't enjoy getting older anymore.

Snowboarding
Normally, I'm the person getting whacked in the face with a soccer ball or tripping down the bowling alley, but I actually seem to have some natural talent for snowboarding. Achilles and I are even thinking of heading to Whistler for our honeymoon. (Note to self: try finding sports that aren't so expensive.) My bruises are finally starting to heal. (Re: bruises. I know, I know. But I said that I had some natural talent, not that I'd morphed into a different person.)

Ghost Posts
To everyone who emailed me about writing a ghost post while I was on vacation - I am so very sorry I didn't get back to anyone. I was a nervous wreck. If you are still interested, please let me know.

The Wedding
Does anyone even want to hear about this? I know I don't. However, I may or may not have biggish news about the wedding (depending on how Achilles' and my families react to our new plans). I don't want to jinx anything, so I'm going to keep my mouth shut.

***

Well, that was really lame and not much of a monster post at all. I can't believe I've been avoiding this for so long. I hope you've had a fantastical month so far, Internets, and I hope you'll forgive me for being a little bit of a whackadoodle.

Love,
Jane

Monday, December 7, 2009

Return

Dear Internets,

I'm back from vacation. It was fantabulous.

I just opened my Google Reader and immediately closed it when I saw 749 unread items. I plan on taking a deep breath (and possibly a nap) and tackling it after work this evening.

I missed you!

Love,
Jane

Monday, November 23, 2009

Vacation all I ever wanted

Dear Internets,

I never really know what to do (blog-wise) when I go on vacation. Guest posts? Ghost posts? No posts?

What are your thoughts, Internets? Anyone* want to write a letter to the Universe/the Internets/your boss/etc while I'm on vacation?

Love,
Jane

*I'm just a girl, standing in front of the Internets, asking them to love her, hoping she won't hear crickets.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The life

Dear Internets,

It's Friday evening. I'm sitting on the couch watching "Secret Lives of Women: Mail Order Brides" while I wait for Achilles to get home so we can go get pizza. My pre-dinner snack of macaroni and cheese is almost ready on the stove.

Sometimes life is really, really good.

Love,
Jane

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm a believer in Neil Diamond

Dear Internets,

I've been a little down-in-the-dumps lately, so I thought I'd make a list of the top 5 things that are making me happy right this minute.

5. We (Achilles, me, and 6 of our closest friends) are only a couple weeks away from our trip to Lake Tahoe. Achilles has promised me birthday cupcakes while we're there. (Anyone wanna dog sit?)
4. My second job is gearing back up. More money + getting to be a big ham + actual human interaction at work = happy Jane.
3. Ben's boob cupcakes. They're hilarious, and benefit a cause close to my heart* (and yours too, if you're a lady or... have ever hugged a lady. Sorry. That sounded a lot better in my head.)
2. I just read that Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand were in the high school choir together. I like to think it was just like GLEE! Only real life! And there's a new episode of GLEE is on tonight - double win!
1. This short film I watched on YouTube. So cute! (Cried at my desk.)



What's making you happy today Internets?

Love,
Jane

*Speaking of that, did you know that a majority of women have a left breast that is slightly larger than their right breast? You learn something new every day. High five for learning!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stalky stalk stalk

Dear Internets,

So it appears that I don't have meningitis (which, logical or not, was my first thought when I woke up with a stiff neck)(I'm glad I'm not the only one whose brain works that way). I guess I just slept in a strange position or something. Anyhoodles.

I found a former coworker's blog (we worked together almost 9 years ago) and have been reading her archives all afternoon. It is so weird. I normally don't feel creepy reading blogs - after all, the writer decides what they do and don't publish - but reading J's blog makes me feel like a total stalker. Even though we haven't talked for several years, there's a weird sense of familiarity. I have eaten lunch with some of the people she talks about. We shop at some of the same grocery stores. Her voice as a writer is so similar to the way she was when I knew her: open, dry, sarcastic, matter-of-fact.

I wonder if she'd censor herself if she knew I was reading her blog (answer: probably not). I wonder how many acquaintances from my past have found my blog (answer: I don't want to think about it).

Thinking about all this has put me in a kind of weird mood. I should probably just stop reading, but that is unlikely to happen. Oh well.

I hope your day has been less weird than mine Internets.

Love,
Jane

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pain in the neck

Holy moly Internets.

I had a slightly stiff neck last night. I figured the best thing for it would be rest, so I went to bed.

I can barely move my head this morning.

I promise I will be back to read and comment on your blogs tomorrow.

XOXO,
Jane

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The advice vice

Dear Internets,

I spend a lot of time mentally composing lists of "good advice" that I'd either like to tell my kids someday, or go back in time and tell myself. Sometimes when I can't sleep, I mentally write letters to myself at 80, or pretend I'm 80-year-old Jane writing letters to 28-year-old me.

For example:
Dear Jane in 1998,

Everyone thinks they're going to marry their first serious boyfriend or girlfriend. Don't be so obnoxious.

Love,
Jane 2009
Or:
Dear Jane in 2001,

Cute boys with guitars are often cute boys with no jobs. It's fine to split the check, but don't always be the one who picks it up.

Love,
Jane 2009

P.S. There's a very romantic picnic in your future that probably cost all of $3. If he's worth your time, he'll find a way to make you feel special once in a while.
P.P.S. Picnic guy turned out not to be worth your time either. It's still a good lesson though.
Or:
Dear Jane in 1991,

"What are you going to be when you grow up?" is the most asinine question grown-ups ask kids. They're just hoping you'll say something like "astronaut" or "ballerina" so that they can wink at each other and feel smug. Most of the people who ask don't have a clue themselves. Don't feel so pressured to figure it all out before junior high.

Love,
Jane 2009

P.S. When the time comes, remember: it is always better to have more tampons on hand than you think you'll need.
Or:
Dear Jane in 2009,

Be nice to your family and friends. Forgive them. Life is short. Be happy.

Love,
Jane 2060
And perhaps most often:
Dear Jane 2009,

For the love of God, stop leaving sodas in the freezer!

Love,
Jane 2009
What is the advice you wish someone had (or would) give you? What do you want to try (and probably fail) to get your kids to understand to keep them from repeating your mistakes?

I look forward to hearing what you wish you woulda known, Internets.

Love,
Jane

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Because I can't keep my mouth shut

Dear Internets,

This morning, my mother and I got into the stupidest argument ever:

Mom (abridged): I'm going with your sister to the professional photographer this morning so that she can get pictures taken of your freakishly attractive niece and nephew*.

Me: Oh, that'll be nice. I like the photographer she uses. Is she getting the pictures for Christmas cards?

Mom: Yes, and also because she hasn't gotten any professional pictures of Lauren yet.

Me: Oh, that's nice. I bet they'll be cute.

Mom (slightly offended): Of *course* they'll be cute. Why wouldn't they be?

Me: Uh.... Oh. No, of course they'll be cute...

Mom: Yes. They will.

Me: (thinking) Maybe I should compliment my sister. Mom seems to be happy with T this morning. (aloud) You know, I'm impressed with T for getting cards made and mailed out every year. Christmas cards are nice, but I don't know if I'll ever send them. You have to be so organized to get everything done.

Mom (clearly offended): Well, as an aunt, a great-aunt, and FINALLY a grandmother, I have to say, I like getting Christmas cards. You know, some people actually care how their family is doing. Besides, you can be organized when you choose to. You just never care enough.

Me: I was... I... I just meant that it seems like an awfully stressful thing to put yourself through. And expensive. And... trees... Um... [Editor's note: here is where I get annoyed myself and everything goes downhill.] And besides. I do have a hard time with organization Mom. Remember the whole learning disability thing?

Mom: Oh, you could get over that if you really wanted to. Christmas cards are wonderful. Your father and I were so excited when we FINALLY got to announce to the world that we were grandparents three years ago. We thought we were going to have to wait forever to do that, you know.

What I felt like saying: Yeah, it's crazy that T had the nerve to wait until she was 27 and married to get pregnant. What an old maid! And it's too bad none of the losers I dated in college knocked me up so I could have just moved home and lived with you for the rest of my life.

What I actually said: Uh huh. Yeah, you're right. My generation is more into Facebook than Christmas cards I guess. Listen, I have to go to work, I'll talk to you later.

end scene

Why do I do it? Why do I take the bait? I heard the tone in my mom's voice when we started talking: "You haven't talked to me in three days. I'm feeling neglected, so I'm going to pick a fight."

I know what to do when she gets that tone: cut the conversation short as cheerfully as possible ("Oh! My boss is calling! TTYL XOXOXOXO!") and call her back after she's had a few hours to take a nap and/or get into a fight with my sister.

Instead, I decided to take a stand. Why? Because the mailing (or not) of Christmas cards is so important to me? Because I think I can change her into a person who doesn't enjoy fighting with her daughters**? I have no idea.

Internets, what is wrong with me? Can we just blame it on my lack of sleep last night?

At least I didn't let her bring up the wedding.

Love,
Jane

*Seriously. Compared to my niece and nephew, the Gerber baby looks like he fell off the ugly tree and got hit by a few branches on the way down. They freak me out.
**Once, when she was in a good(?) mood, my mom admitted that she likes picking fights with my sister and me, because it reassures her that we care about her.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sometimes

Dear Internets,

Sometimes I hate hipsters. This is not one of those times.



(via Aura and Cinematical)

Love ya!
Jane

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday bullet point Weecap

Dear Internets,
  • Both my grandmother and one two of my best friends were in car accidents yesterday. Their cars are totaled and they are sore, but otherwise they're fine. I feel so thankful that we live in an era of relatively safe cars. Wear your seat belts Internets!
  • Wedding plans are chugging right along. The nice part of the whole "Wedding Industry Machine" is that it has created a really clear process that just sort of sucks you along until you somehow show up on your wedding day with everything done. Sure, going along with what the Wedding Industry says can leave you thousands of dollars poorer, but for the super disorganized like myself their "you must do Thing 1 now, and Thing 2 precisely 17 minutes after Thing 1" drill sergeant approach can be really helpful. I don't know how many of their rules or recommendations I'll actually follow, but their 93 page checklists and constant nagging help me feel more confident that I'm not going to forget to hire an officiant or something. (Now if only I could build this sort of structure into my day-to-day life...)
  • I need a good tailor if anyone has (local) recommendations.
  • I am procrastinating about everything lately: from health stuff to updating the sidebars in both of my blogs, to cleaning out my car and taking stuff to Goodwill. I know I just need to sit down and make a list of everything I need to do and start tackling things one by one, but I'm just feeling a little buried.
  • Speaking of buried, I'm afraid to even look at my Google Reader. NaBloPoMo is totally overwhelming me and I'm not even participating.
  • For the past few days, I kept thinking I was coming down with swine flu. I'm pretty sure it's actually a combination of stress and allergies. Yay for immune systems!
I hope your week is going well Internets. I promise I'll tackle my feed reader... soon...

Love,
Jane

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Potato, egg and cheese. Just a suggestion.

Dear Universe,

It has been a while since you sent me breakfast tacos. I don't want to tell you how to do your job, but I'm just sayin... A couple of tacos might be nice.

Still a huge fan,
Jane

***

Dear Daylight Saving Time,

You know how much I love you. It is so nice to leave work at the end of the day and actually see the sun still shining. I'm really going to miss that. While this extra hour of sleep and sunshine in the morning are not too shabby, I'm glad you'll make it back in time for the wedding.

See you next March.

Kisses,
Jane

***

Dear Birthday,

You are only 29 days away. Please stop that. I don't think I'm ready to be 29 yet.

Love,
Jane

***

Dear guy driving while talking on his cell phone,

I know I sometimes say I'd rather not turn 29 or 30, but they are just jokes. I do not actually want to get run over. Please hang up, drive, and watch for pedestrians.

Thanks,
Jane

Monday, November 2, 2009

Why I love Halloween

Dear Internets,

I love Halloween weekend. Friday, the Queen tribute band show on the riverboat was all kinds of awesome. As I have mentioned before, I enjoy creativity in Halloween costumes. I was not disappointed by the costumes people were wearing on the boat ride. Most involved some sort of witty pun (which is my favorite type of costume). The others were mostly either scary homemade costumes (my second favorite type) or semi-obscure pop culture reference costumes (Captain Crunch and MacGruber both made appearances). The sponsors also served unlimited free beers and margaritas, which helped to ensure a good time was had by all.

Saturday, one of my friends hosted a Clue murder mystery party. I had my doubts at first (what does one do at a Clue party?), but my friend Annie did an incredible job. Seriously, she built multiple secret passageways that were completely hidden behind bookshelves and curtains. She even cut the eyes out of a portrait and hung it on a false wall so that people could look through the eyes of the painting.

I was Mrs. White. Apparently, I had it out for Mrs. Peacocok.




I hope you had a wonderful weekend, Internets!

Love,
Jane

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloweenie Weenies

Dear Internets,

As much as I love Halloween, I usually don't go for work-mandated costumes, because I usually end up looking something like this:


Gah! I thought you said I was going to be a witch, not a drag queen!


This year was actually not so bad, though. Picture 15 people dressed like this:



Then picture those people doing the Oompa Loompa dance around a guy who actually looks like Gene Wilder dressed as Willy Wonka. It wasn't a bad skit.

I think my favorite skit was a group who performed an [employer name redacted] High School pep rally. It was really elaborate. They were the EHS Halloweenies, and their mascot was a dachshund (aka weenie). They had band members, baton twirlers, foreign exchange students (in drag), football players, a principal, a superintendent who measured all the girls' skirts with a measuring stick, and a 40-something male cheerleader who can still tumble and do a pretty darn good toe touch. While the group performed their skit, they played a slide show in the background with pictures of all of them in high school. It was pretty awesome.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend Internets. I'll probably spend most of the weekend washing this face paint off.

Love,
Jane

P.S. The Oompa Loompa costumes only cost $10. The collar and cuffs are made of paper.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday I've got bullet points

Dear Internets,

It's Thursday afternoon. Do you know where your bullet points are? Mine are right here.
  • You know what the world needs? Another wedding planning blog. This one's mine and Achilles'.
  • I had to go to the lady doctor for my annual exam this morning. As usual, I got referred to get a mammogram/breast ultrasound. Even though this is becoming pretty standard for me, it still freaks me out a little. I'm sure it'll be fine, though.
  • I took one of those online career aptitude tests yesterday. After clicking through eleven hundred and ninety million advertisements, it told me I should be an undertaker/funeral director. Say what?? I think the result was due to all the ambiguous questions the test asked like, "T/F: I am a person who follows the rules." I mean, what rules did they mean? "No white after Labor Day" is a little different than "Do unto others." But maybe they are right and I would love being an undertaker. At least the test results were a little more interesting than most other online tests' results. Usually I just get something along the lines of "you would enjoy a helping occupation."
  • My friend's Queen tribute band is hosting a costume party on a boat tomorrow night. That should be fun. I sort of feel like Halloween is already over, though.
  • Another of my friends is hosting a Clue (aka Cluedo) costume party this Saturday. I'm going to be Mrs. White. ("Flames... Flames on the side of my face...") At first the plan was just to watch the movie and eat cupcakes, but I convinced them we should play a miniature game of Assassin using fake Clue weapons. This may end up either being very fun or very dangerous.
Any bullet points you'd like to add Internets?

Love ya,
Jane

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday Wedding Weecap tWo

Dear Internets,

We now have a wedding website and a wedding Twitter. (<--- there are entirely too many "w's" in that sentence.) If you would like to check them out, leave me a comment or send me an email or a Tweet and I'll send you the link.

Toodles,
Jane

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Top 5 Tuesday

Dear Internets,

Firstly, thanks for letting me know that I'm not the only person who says "vicious cycle" instead of "vicious circle." Yesterday, I did my best to break out of my vicious cycle by eating three healthy meals and going to CrossFit. Unfortunately, I also had one of those awful nights in which my mind was going 95 miles an hour (or... a lot... of kilometers per hour) until 4:30 a.m. I only got about three hours of sleep, but I'm going to try to avoid letting that derail me.

I thought I'd try something a little different today. Back in the days of my second blog (I didn't really know what I was doing, so I started with TypePad blog and my own domain, then took a giant step backward to a MySpace blog), I used to do a weekly post called "Top 5 Tuesday." It was like my bullet points posts, only better organized. I thought a Top 5 Tuesday post would be a nice change of pace for this blog. (Like ham for Thanksgiving or something.)

Without further ado, here are The Top 5 Things That Kept Me From Sleeping Last Night:

5. Imaginary blog posts. For some reason, I start mentally composing blog posts when I can't sleep at night. I used to get up and actually write down my late night ideas. Then I realized that "great ideas!!" from 2:00 in the morning are rarely even coherent ideas the next morning. They still keep me awake though.

4. Work stuff. I've been stuck on a problem at work. It's boring and computer-y so I won't get into it, but it is not so fun.

3. Second job stuff. Things have been weird there lately. One of the office staff people called me about a minor problem a couple of weeks ago when Bailey was sick. I shouldn't have answered the phone (I'd been crying all day) but I did, and now I feel like they think I'm some sort of crazy emotional weirdo. I don't know whether to try to repair the damage or cut my losses and just have one job for a while.

2. Bailey. As I've mentioned before, he got really really sick a couple of weeks ago. The vet had no idea what was going on, and was saying scary stuff about possible liver or kidney failure. For a few hours, I really thought we were going to have to put Bailey to sleep. He is doing much better now, but he lost about 10% of his body weight, and the vet still isn't sure what happened. I have to make sure Bailey gets enough exercise for stress relief but not so much that he loses any more weight (he was a skinny dog before he lost any weight - he's skin and bones now) and be really careful about what I feed him. I'm sure worrying about the situation isn't really helping anything, but I can't help it.

1. Early onset wedding stress. Before I got engaged, I figured Achilles' and my wedding was going to be a completely low stress and fun celebration. I was not going to be a bridezilla; everyone, including my (one) bridesmaid, would wear what they wanted, eat cupcakes, and dance to fabulous music (even the Macarena, if they really wanted).

Ha. Hahahahahaha.

Internets, something turns screwy in people's brains when they hear the word "wedding." Among other things, I've already been told that I'm too old to wear white (I'm 28), our budget is "ridiculous" if it doesn't include fancy table linens (I don't even have the energy to summon words to express how little I care about table linens in any way, honestly), and that I'm nuts for wanting to allow kids (my 3-year-old nephew is one of my absolute favorite people in the world - I don't care if you have kids at *your* wedding, but I'd like for him to come to mine and Achilles'). One person already threatened not to come to the wedding over one of those three issues. The crazy part is, I'm sure the same people would freak out if I wore a red/pink/blue dress or we spent a ton of money or we *didn't* allow kids. It's hard (for me at least) to believe it, but there are actually people out there who want to be everyone's hop on backseat wedding coordinator.

***
Thanks for letting me vent, Internets. You're a real trooper. I'm feeling much better now that I wrote this all out.

Yours much less stressed-ly,
Jane

Monday, October 26, 2009

Vicious

Dear Internets,

Do you say vicious cycle or vicious circle? I've always said vicious cycle (which is apparently wrong), because that's the way I've always heard it in Texas. It makes me think of something like this:



A cycle seems like it would describe a situation that is frustrating, but not hopeless. After all, the cycle has something that kicked it off, so it could (at least in theory) have something that stops it from endlessly repeating itself.

Vicious circle always makes me think of something much more hopeless:



At any rate, I feel like I've been stuck in some type of vicious mathematical pattern lately. I've been eating terribly and not getting enough sleep, which has led me to skip going to the gym. Not going to the gym has led to further feelings of ickiness, which have caused me to be too tired to cook. When I'm too tired to cook, I end up eating too much fast food/restaurant food and drinking too much caffeine, which makes me feel terrible and not get enough sleep.

Lately, some of my favorite Internets talked about the importance (and relative ease) of being healthy, so I decided to break the vicious cycle/circle and do something about my bad patterns. I took Bailey for a jog yesterday, and made my breakfast this morning. (Achilles made my lunch because he's a sweetheart). We'll head to CrossFit tonight.

The only problem I'm having is that I want to feel better *instantly* and suddenly become Superwoman in every area of my life. Hopefully, I can learn to be patient so I don't fall right back into old habits.

Any vicious cycles/circles you're trying to avoid?

Love always,
Jane

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Of dust and mud and poop

Dear Internets,

Over the past few months, I've been obsessed with the U.S. Drought Monitor website. Particularly, I've been obsessed with watching the drought severity in Texas.



As it has (finally) started raining again this fall, it has been nice to watch the part of the map over Travis County (Austin) get progressively lighter in color, rather than stay dark brown week after week like it did this summer. It has also been nice to watch the grass get greener and to see actual wildlife around occasionally.

Since I took horseback riding back up this summer, I've been taking a lesson once or twice a month at a riding stable near my house. The only downside to all the rain we've been having is that my lessons have been frequently canceled due to the rain.

This week, the weather and my schedule finally matched up, and I was able to go out for a trail ride. My riding instructor warned me that most of the ground was fairly dry, but that there were a couple of places where it was soupy so I should be careful.

I watched my step as I went to get Bart, the old gelding used for lessons. Most of the ground in his pen was fairly squishy, so I did my best to step on the dry parts. Just as I was about to reach Bart, I stepped on what I thought was a small, dry piece of manure. Then I learned a horrible lesson.

Apparently damp manure expands in size (a lot). As soon as I put my weight down on my foot, the ground collapsed beneath my feet, and I sank about a foot and a half into manure. I was literally knee-deep in poo.

It wasn't the best way to start the weekend, I suppose, but after I got myself out of the poop, we actually had a pretty fun trail ride. And now I know better than to toss the "knee deep in poo" expression around cavalierly, lest karma decide to teach me another lesson.

Have a wonderful weekend Internets!

Love,
Jane

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Wedding Weecap

Dear Internets,

I don't want to annoy anyone by talking too much about wedding stuff on this blog. But since a few people asked for details, I figured I'd give a quick update.

We have a location (Zilker Clubhouse - I've wanted to get married there since I was 17, and it overlooks the park where Achilles proposed) and a date (3/27/2010). I picked out my dress yesterday.

Here's the dress I almost bought* - I love it, but it is just too formal for me. Maybe someday I'll win an Academy Award or something and wear a fancy dress like this, only without the train, because that would just be weird.



Or maybe I'll just stick to making cupcakes and getting distracted by butterflies. Anyhoodles.

Happy Wednesday!

Love,
Jane

*OK, so technically, I *did* buy the dress, decided I had made the wrong decision when everyone told me they liked the other (polar opposite) finalist better, freaked out, and begged (nicely) to be allowed to exchange it for the other dress. I hope this will be my one and only "Bridezilla" moment. I am going to send cookies and a gift card to the saleslady who helped me to thank her for putting up with my Crazy. She was a sweatheart.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Halloween 2.0

Dear Internets,

This year, I think I have set a personal record for fewest Halloween-related posts. (Well, at least a record for fewest Halloween-related posts actuall posted in October.) This is not something I'm proud of, and I plan to do my best to rectify this situation immediately.

Last week, Achilles and I had our annual Halloween kids' movie night for grown-ups. Actually, on second thought my sister and brother-in-law stopped by with my niece and nephew for a little while, so it wasn't technically just grown-ups this year. Oh well. I may have succeeded in convincing Charlie (my nephew) that I always have a table full of cupcakes and candy, and kids' movies in the DVD player, and am therefore the coolest grown-up ever. We'll see.

Here are the pictures. Warning: there are lots.


The food table, before I added the 1950's housewife appetizers (mini quiches, croissant-wrapped mini sausages, etc) and apples. This year I decided to do caramel cream cheese apple dip rather than have a crock pot of melted caramel. I think it was a good choice - the cream cheese dip was delicious, and seemed to be a big hit. I *almost* got Charlie to try some by offering to let him keep one of the little skeletons if he would take one bite, but he thought the better of it at the last minute. Sadly, I did not get any pictures of the dip - I was too busy eating it.


I went a little crazy with the cupcake decorations (who, me?) and made several different styles and sizes. They are all devil's food cupcakes with chocolate ganache. The "dirt" on the tombstone cupcakes is crushed up chocolate cookies. The white cupcakes have a layer of marshmallow fondant.


The two cupcakes on the right (the green RIP cupcake w/skull and the mini cupcake w/foot) were my favorites. I made the tombstones and the bones/body parts out of marshmallow fondant. Allegedly, marshmallow fondant is not the right tool for this. Granted, the tombstones had to be propped up with spider rings, but I am kind of unabashedly proud of the foot. It was about 3/4 of an inch from knee to tiny toes. It's hard to tell from the picture, but it sort of looked like I'd baked one of The Borrowers into a cupcake.


Jimmy Hoffa mystery solved - he is in the belly of one of my coworkers. Achilles was worried I was somehow jinxing Texas football with the OU cupcake. I refuse to take credit for that game one way or the other.


Fondant cupcakes. The fondant tasted like non-stale Marshmallow Peeps. Not really my cup of tea, but pretty decent tasting for fondant.


Achilles made another beer pumpkin. He put dry ice inside the pumpkin, so it looked like the beer was foaming over. It was really cool.


I dressed up as Sandra Dee and/or a future 1950's housewife. As for why Achilles took that picture from such a weird angle, I do not know. At least I think it's the picture angle that is causing my skirt to look like it is swallowing me alive. I could be wrong.


My mom made the poodle skirt for me when I was in junior high. I gave it on to one of my younger cousins when I went to college. My cousin gave it back this year when she got married. (I feel so old sometimes.) Bailey did not approve of the poodle.


Achilles was a 1970's detective. His wig was both intriguing and terrifying.


Of course, Bailey had to dress up too.


Bailey is staring distrustfully at the stuffed witch's cat from the beer pumpkin picture. I think he wants to either give it an unfair trial and burn it at the stake, or rip it apart out and scatter its stuffing all over the kitchen. It's a tough call.


High five for old school Halloween!

Love,
Jane

P.S. Here is the Lucha Libre cupcake picture from a million years ago. Whoopsie! This is why I avoid my archives...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

As promised

Dear Internets,

Four years ago, a friend convinced me that I should buy an extra 3-day pass to ACL Fest, and sell the ticket once the festival sold out.

By early summer, ACL Fest still hadn't sold out. The friend who suggested I buy the extra ticket flaked out completely and decided not to go to the festival at all. I had an extra ticket and no one to go with.

On an impulse, I offered my extra ticket to a friend who was in Arkansas finishing up his last year of law school. Abe and I had kept in touch off and on since high school, but had recently been emailing each other more frequently: he had torn his Achilles tendon earlier that summer at an ultimate frisbee tournament and, since he couldn't drive or walk well, had been essentially housebound for several months. I had an insane boss whose weird demands kept me from having a social life. We were both having fairly miserable summers.

To my surprise, Abe said he'd love to take my extra ticket. He only had one class on Fridays that fall, and he figured he'd be able to skip it and ride down to Austin with an old college roommate who was also attending ACL Fest. Besides, he said, since he had torn his Achilles tendon and not his ACL, he wouldn't be exceeding the festival's irony quotient.

So, three years ago Abe, his former roommate Ian, and Ian's friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend Jennifer piled into Ian's car and drove down to Austin for ACL Fest 2006.

That weekend we danced like hippies at Ray LaMontagne and sang along with Willie Nelson and tried our best to stay cool in the 100+ degree heat. I laughed so much my face hurt. By the third night, I was pretty sure I never wanted the weekend to end.

Unfortunately, the weather seemed to have other plans. That Sunday night, a major thunderstorm hit just before Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (the headliners) were supposed to take the stage. When the band still hadn't taken the stage 30 minutes into their allotted time slot, thousands of other festival-goers headed home, assuming the lightening wouldn't stop and the band wouldn't be allowed to play. Abe, Jennifer, Ian and I huddled near the concession stands, still holding out hope.

Finally, the lightening and thunder stopped and the band took the stage. As the opening bars to "Listen to Her Heart" began to play, I touched Abe's arm to let him know that Jennifer and I were going to move closer to the stage. As he looked down at me, it hit me like a ton of bricks: I really liked this guy.

We danced and sang in the rain like we were the only people in the world. At some point during the concert, Abe put his hand on my shoulder. "I owe you a ticket to ACL Fest next year," he said.

By ACL Fest 2007, Abe had finished law school and moved back to Austin, and I had just purchased my condo. We had only been officially dating for a few months, so we spent the festival staring moonily into each others' eyes and holding hands and likely being fairly obnoxious.

Two weeks before ACL Fest 2008, Abe moved in with me to my condo.

And two weeks ago, Abe knelt down in the mud at ACL Fest 2009. He told me that on the way home from the festival three years ago, he'd told Jennifer and Ian that he was going to marry me someday. He held my hand and asked me to marry him, and I cried and said yes, and he gave me a ring.

And hopefully, this is the part where we live happily ever after.

Love,
Jane

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The very first song that the radio sang

Dear Internets,

Last night, I heard the Old 97's (Barrier Reef!) on the regular radio!

I've heard the Old 97's on the radio before - on NPR's "Fresh Air" and local NPR's "Texas Music Matters," on KGSR (Austin's Texas/old people music station), and once in Dallas on my way to an Old 97's concert.

But this was a mainstream country station! (Do they call them top 40 country stations?*) After the song was over, the DJ mentioned "lead singer Rhett Miller's great new band, Rhett and The Serial Lady Killers**." I felt like I had slipped into an alternate universe where music I like played on the radio and Arrested Development came on after Veronica Mars on Tuesday nights. I almost sent the DJ flowers.

It was magical.

Love,
Jane

*Is it OK to admit that I sometimes troll country radio in hopes of hearing Taylor Swift songs? It's kind of a guilty pleasure. Don't judge me.
**My imaginary Old 97's tribute band's name is The Lights Fantastic. I wish I had posted that before Rhett Miller's new band came out, because now it just looks like I'm copying. But that's OK.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

You rock, Internets

Dear Internets,

Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I am very excited and only slightly overwhelmed, which I figure is pretty much standard for this stage in the game.

I've been working on writing a post about how Achilles proposed, but it's taking me longer than I planned. Firstly, there's a lot of back story, and I'm not the world's greatest storyteller. (I don't tend to be a very linear thinker, which leads me to write stories that don't have a beginning, middle, and/or end.) Secondly, Bailey had a bit of a health scare this week, and I've been a little shaken up about it. He's much better now, but I still get a little weepy sobby thinking about the whole ordeal.

Anyhoodles,
thank you so much for being awesome, Internets. You pretty much rock my socks off.

Love,
Jane

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Gratuitous Baby Horses

Dear Internets,

I am a pretty big fan of twin baby anythings, but these guys are particularly cute:



I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Budweiser's advertising company finds out about the little guys and we get the Best Super Bowl Commercial Ever OMG PWNIES.

But that is just me.

Love ya!
Jane

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blues Clues Blues

Dear Internets,

Over the weekend, four different people told me I dress like Steve from Blues Clues.

I'm thinking this was not a compliment. However, a stranger's two-year-old daughter came up and hugged me in a restaurant, so at least my fashion choices seem to be impressing the toddler demographic.

According to my sister, it would be worse if they had said I dress like Joe. Apparently, he is way creepy.

I am off to expunge all striped shirts and khaki pants from my wardrobe.

Kisses,
Jane

Friday, September 25, 2009

Stuck in a rut?

Dear Internets,

A lot of my bloggy friends seem to be a bit down lately. Some have even decided to stop blogging while they try to figure things out.

I'm not personally unhappy, fortunately, although I've definitely been stuck in many a rut before; I think I spent most of my twenties in a state of mild dysthymia. I would worry a lot about where I was going in life versus where I thought I should be (hello, quarterlife crisis!) and end up feeling like a total failure.

I can still get myself pretty down-in-the-dumps when I want to, reflecting on the "mistakes" I've made in life, or doors I've closed that, in retrospect, I would have liked to have left open. In fact, I could probably spend a week wallowing in bed in self-induced misery. (What can I say? It's a gift.) Mostly, though, I've learned to shush the shoulds and should'ves as I've gotten older.

I think one of the best pieces of advice I've ever gotten was "if you want to be the type of person who has a dog, get a dog." It was quite literal (and terrible*) advice at the time. Now, though, it really resonates with me. What makes a person a dog owner? It's not magic, genetics, or luck. It's buying (or adopting) the dog. "But wait!" you say. "My apartment doesn't allow dogs. Clearly, I shall remain dogless forever." Well, if owning a dog is really important to you, you can move. Can't afford to move? Start saving the money. What's life without obstacles? Pretty darn boring, that's what.

Want to be an investor? Buy stock. Want to be a saver instead of a spender? Start putting $5 or $10 a paycheck into a savings account. Want to learn swing dancing? Take an informal class through a local college. Want to move to a warmer (or colder) climate? Write down a list of all the things you'd need to do to make the move, and start brainstorming ways to get them done. Miami (or Toronto), here you come!

Yes, certain windows of opportunity may close (or be harder to open) as you get older, but we really do write our own tickets in life. Happiness is often just a choice.

I love you, Internets. Be happy.

Love,
Jane

*If you're a broke 21-year-old student with allergies and an aversion to vacuuming more than once a week, and who can use just about any excuse to avoid homework/classes - it may not be a good idea to get a dog. I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Scuse me Kanye, but *this baby* had one of the best videos of ALL TIME

Dear Internets,

This has probably already gone way viral, but I love this baby:



Love,
Jane

Monday, September 21, 2009

No More Bread and Jam for Frances

Scene: Achilles and Jane eating sandwiches yesterday, Jane's office.

Jane and Achilles: munch munch munch
Jane: I am glad I got some chips.
Achilles: munch munch munch
Jane: It makes my lunch more interesting.
Achilles: munch munch munch
Jane: Why does your sandwich only have one slice of bread?
Achilles: We ran out of bread. That's why I gave you the heel.
Jane: Oh. I thought maybe you were just being passive-aggressive.
Achilles: ...
Jane: Why didn't you just use some of the leftover challah from Rosh Hashana for the other side of your sandwich?
Achilles: munch munch munch
Jane: Then your sandwich could be a challah back sandwich.
Achilles: ...
Jane: Was it because you ain't no challah back Jew?
Achilles: ...
Jane: These chips are pretty good.

***

Dear Internets,

Since Achilles has been working downtown, we have been eating lunch together most days. However, we seem to have hit a bit of a rut. Achilles usually packs our lunches, which are good (turkey and provolone on wheat bread; diet soda; raw broccoli or snow peas; string cheese), but perhaps (perhaps!) a little bit boring.

I decided that maybe I should pick up some of the slack. From now on, we're going to take turns making the lunches. Achilles is fine with that, as long as I don't pack anything too unhealthy. Here are some of my ideas so far:

- sandwiches on croissants or baguette instead of regular bread
- cream cheese wraps
- hummus & pita bread
- fresh fruit and a small square of dark chocolate
- chips & salsa
- meatloaf
- empanadas
- chicken wraps
- baked "fried" chicken (yummy cold)
- homemade pizza rolls
- pasta salad
- soup in thermoses
- smoothies
- spring rolls and stir fry
- gazpacho
- falafel
- frittata
- lentil salad
- breakfast for lunch - waffles, etc
- sushi made from crab salad, carrots, cucumber, cream cheese, etc.
- salmon salad
- stuffed bell peppers
- meatballs
- white chili
- wild rice salad

What do you think? Is there anything obvious I didn't think of? I hope I can be as good with follow-through as I am with brainstorming.

Love,
Jane

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A distractible person probably invented paisley print, though

Dear Internets,

Sometimes being distractible has its disadvantages. Say, for example, that you're at your second job and you meet the teacher from the class before you - a shaggy-haired (male) hipster in a long paisley print skirt. And you're trying to concentrate on what he's saying about 18th century German philosophy and manga, but all you can really think about is what a *fantastic* addition he'd make to your trivia team, and how you'd kind of like a tailored shirt made out of the paisley print skirt fabric. And you're wishing you could bring that up without 1.) seeming totally awkward, and 2.) making the guy think you're hitting on him, because he strikes you as a bit socially awkward himself, and you're afraid that all the resulting awkwardness would result in a rip in the time-space continuum, and you really don't want to get sucked into some sort of alternate universe, because who would feed your dog?

That is why it is better to be a person who can focus, Internets. If I could actually focus, *I* might be a good addition to my trivia team. Oh well.

Love,
Jane

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mom! and Glee!

Dear Internets,

I have been very non-posty lately, for which I apologize. I really have no excuse, except that I'm once again working 191 hours a week. Yay early retirement? One can hope.

My mom's birthday is tomorrow. She's always complaining that I don't spend enough time with her, so this is what I'm planning on doing for her gift:

"Year with Jane in a Box" - I am decorating the outside of the box with "Sad Little Mad Little Mom" cartoons (a cartoon character that I made up when my mom and I went to Ecuador)

Inside the box, I'm putting a pretty little day planner (it helps when your mom's birthday sort of matches up with a school year) and wrote in a date for us each month. I'm also putting in a little wrapped gift to symbolize each month's plans.

September - year with Jane intro (journal, pens, and camera to document the year)
October - take my nephew to dairy farm for a haunted hayride (a little cornhusk doll wearing a Halloween costume)
November - puzzle night (500 piece puzzle; we have always done puzzles together & tried to trick each other into letting the other put in the last piece. Nerds forever!)
December - 29 birthday candles and a little letter about how I will have been lucky to spend 29 years with her as my mom
January - cedar fever survival kit (benadryl, hot tea, logic games book)
February - take my nephew to the Children's Museum (a little fake admissions ticket)
March - shopping at the outlet malls (Dr Scholls inserts for her shoes)
April - hiking/picnic at McKinney Falls (bug spray)
May - Mother's Day movie night ("What's Up Doc?" - we both love that movie.)
June - Market Days in Fredericksburg (still trying to think of a little gift for this... any ideas?)
July - cooking together (little heart-shaped measuring spoons)
August - bowling (socks)

What do you think? I think she'll like it, but who knows.

Have a great weekend!
Jane

P.S. This is unrelated, but I really like that show "Glee." I can't decide whether it will be a guilty pleasure or a show I actually admit to watching. I just think it's the most amazing thing in the world when people can sing and dance and be attractive.

Friday, September 4, 2009

20 days, $20

Dear Internets,

I just stumbled across this blog about a guy who is trying to eat for 20 days on $20. (Full disclosure: he may or may not be doing this as a promotion for a credit union where I used to work.)

While I am not sure I'd try that myself, it's an interesting concept. What do you think? Would you do it?

Happy Labor Day Weekend my kittens!

Love,
Jane

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Halloween again

Dear Internets,

Yes, I'm posting about Halloween. Sure, it's only early September, but I'm already getting costume catalogs in the mail, so I think it's allowed.

So. You know that I love teh Halloween. You also know that maybe, just maybe, I'm more of a fan of the trick-or-treaty cute Halloween than I am of the dress-like-a-ho-and-flaunt-your-booty-on-6th-Street Halloween. I just appreciate creative or scary costumes more than the "my costume is that I'm not really wearing any clothes" take on Halloween.

So you can imagine how disturbed I was to see this costume in a catalog that Achilles received in the mail:

Your eyes do not deceive you, Internets. That is indeed a slutty hobo costume. (Must... not... make... joke... about... riding... her... train...)

-insert head exploding-

Sure, Halloween costumes don't have to represent things that exist in real life. But really. Isn't there another word for people who dress like hookers and don't have homes? And isn't that word "hookers"?

The costume itself is not the only thing that bugs me. I really believe that hobo costumes should be reserved for people who wait until the last minute to think of a costume idea. People should not pay money (or at least not more than $5 at Goodwill) to be a hobo, gypsy, or similar. What's next? A hoochie ghost?



We have to stop this, Internets. Who's with me?

Love always,
Jane

Monday, August 31, 2009

Things that make me say "whee!"

Dear Internets,

Achilles, Bailey and I spent the weekend in Corpus visiting an old friend of mine from junior high. The trip was lovely. We stayed at a dog friendly hotel on the beach, so we had a lot of time just to hang out and play in the water and see the sights. The Texas coast is much cleaner than it used to be.

You know how after you haven't eaten for a while, and you get really, really hungry, the food tastes even better than normal? I think that was what happened with the vacation. It had been an awfully long time since I had two days off in a row, and I thoroughly enjoyed them.

In other news, I just paid off my car loan. Now my only consumer loan debt is my last (fairly smallish) student loan, which has a fixed interest rate of 2.85%. I can live with that!

Hope your week is also off to a good start.

Love always,
Jane

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's Fridaaaay!

Dear Internets,

I am sorry for all the bullet post-y posts lately, but I have been distracted. Go figure. This is what has been on my mind:
  • I had a nightmare last night about health care reform. I didn't even think I *thought* much about health care reform, but in my dream, I was positive that if I could just get Hillary Clinton and Kay Bailey Hutchison together, they could fix everything. And I was *really* worried about it. SO WEIRD. Must be the zeitgeist or something.
  • I kind of want to buy some clothes from Old Navy. However, I just went through all my stuff and donated about two file boxes worth of clothes, movies, etc. to Goodwill. I also threw out a bunch of old socks and underoosies. Should I let myself become accustomed to the empty space, or should I buy myself a couple of new things?
  • I got some new rain boots. Overly optimistic? Perhaps, but I had been eying these boots for over a year, and finally found them on sale for 60% off. And El Nino's coming this fall, which should hopefully make it rain a lot. But now I have no idea how to wear them! I have fairly scary wide calves, so I'm pretty sure the whole "skinny jeans tucked into the boots" look won't work for me. Halp!
  • Is it normal to have extreme anxiety about mailing packages? I have no anxiety about receiving packages, but something about mailing them makes me very antsy.
  • I just picked up a bunch more hours at job #2. Which... I know! I was so happy to have a break. I'm ridiculous. But they are very manipulative.
I hope you have a nice weekend Internets!

Love,
Jane

Monday, August 24, 2009

I think things are turning around

Dear Internets,

I think things are beginning to look up, Internets:
  • the Universe sent me breakfast tacos this morning
  • I am down to only four hours a week at job #2 (from 20/week)
  • I'm visiting my friend from junior high this weekend
  • Since he got a job downtown, Achilles and I have been able to eat lunch together most of the days that I don't telecommute
  • I am finally learning to type on my new fancy ergonomic keyboard
  • It is supposed to finally start raining and cooling off soon (Austin has *lovely* weather eight months out of the year. Just not anytime between late May and mid-September)
  • My friends and I are planning a trip to Lake Tahoe sometime around my birthday
  • Tony Hale (aka Buster Bluth) has been in everything lately

  • I learned to make fondant. And it doesn't even taste bad!
  • My new hairdresser was able to mostly de-mullet me. High five for leaving the house!
I hope things are looking good for you too, Internets. I think we're all due for a little good news.

Love always,
Jane

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hiding

Dear Internets,

I've been sort of avoiding any activities (besides work) that would require me to leave the house. Don't worry; I'm not depressed - it's just that my "friends" seem determined to document the '09 Mullet in photographs. [Note from Jane: now taking applications for new friends.]

Mostly to stave off boredom, I made a couple of MyHeritage.com celebrity collages (I also wanted to look back fondly on days when my hair didn't make me look like I was trying to score a walk-on role on Jerry Springer, but that was secondary).

I was sort of distracted (go figure) and didn't look very closely at the first picture I uploaded. I realized when the software recognized my face that I'd been staring into the sun when the photo was taken. I figured, "what the heck," and ran the celebrity match anyway.

Apparently, when I'm squinting I look like a cross between Tony Blair (70%), Vicente Fox (68%), and Sylvia Plath (67%). Stand back boys, and prepare to be emasculated. Meow!

I ran the program again with a different picture and was matched with Kate Winslet (90%), Christian Slater (80%), Giselle Bundchen (78%), and Jimmy Stewart (74%). At that point, I decided to quit while I was ahead, and never never forget to wear sunglasses again.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend Internets.

Love,
Jane

P.S. The mullet will hopefully be fixed on Monday. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bad haircut... Again.

Dear stylists who use thinning shears on curly hair despite being asked (nicely) not to:

You suck. There is a special place in fashion jail for you. The uniform requires that you sport a curly mullet.

Not your friend,
Jane

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Virtual Reality, pt deux

Dear Internets,

I am glad that I'm not the only one whose family has taken up Facebook. Your comments were awesome. If I were not the "can you fix my computer?" girl, I would totally play the "I didn't get your friend request! Computers are weird!" card and ignore all of my family members' forays into social networking.

I realized that sleepyjane made a great point: I shouldn't hide who I am (she is awesome, that sleepyjane). I decided that I'm going to follow the same rules with family that I apply to non-family member Facebook friendships:
  1. If I have no idea who you are, I am not going to accept your friend request
  2. Ditto if I would feel the need to censor my page in order for you to look at it
  3. Ditto if you are my creepy stalker ex-boyfriend from high school (that one does not apply to family, I suppose)
  4. I will not put anything on my page that I would not feel comfortable talking about in a job interview (if you have a problem with me drinking a pina colada on the beach in Puerto Rico, I probably do not want to work for you. Actually, if you brought up my vacation photos in a job interview, I would probably not want to work for you either. Creep.)
My application of these rules meant that I accepted the friend requests from my aunt and cousin, who accept (even if they don't appreciate) my sense of irony. It also meant that I ignored the friend request from one of my mom's cousins, who was in clear violation of rules 1 and 2.*

Now I'm just hoping that Achilles' parents never figure out the Facebook. (Hillary - your mother-in-law's friend request is going to give me nightmares. Oh, the horror...)

Love,
Jane

*I don't want to make assumptions (I have never met the lady), but my mom's cousin is a Facebook "fan" of The Bible, THE Bible, THE BIBLE, The BIBLE,** I love Jesus, Jesus Daily, Fox News, Sarah Palin, God Guns & American Freedom, God, Jesus, and Old Fashioned Christian Sunday School Songs. I'm worried she would look at my page, take my religous views of "Extremist" literally, and try to sprinkle me with holy water at a family reunion or something.***
**Seriously... I had no idea that there were so many unique fan pages for the Bible.
***I am a horrible, judgmental jerk. Don't make assumptions about people, Internets. Do as I say, not as I do.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Virtual reality

Dear Internets,

My mom joined the Facebook this weekend. I'm not sure what the protocol is. I heart my mom (for reals, she's the best), and I think it's awesome that she's on Facebook and will be able to reconnect with old friends online.

On the flip side, after I added her, I immediately got 3 friend requests from very religious and conservative relatives.

I always figured my Facebook profile was fairly work/family safe, but now I'm not so sure. Do I need to untag myself from vacation and birthday party photos where I'm holding a drink? Do I delete the jokey comments my gay boyfriends occasionally leave on my page? Should I change my religious status to something other than "extremist"?

I've never felt that there's anything inappropriate about my life, online or off, but then again, I never really thought ahead to the day that my uber-conservative grandma would join Facebook. (It's coming.)

What do I doooo, Internets?

Love,
Jane

Friday, July 31, 2009

Halloween in July

Dear Internets,

I need your help. Achilles is not too keen on the idea of wearing matching lederhosen for Halloween, so I've decided that we should go as Pale Force. See Exhibit A:



However, I think Achilles might just not like coordinated costumes in general. How do I convince him that we need to make this happen?

Love,
Jane

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Curiosity killed the Jane

Dear Internets,

In the past two days, I have almost committed two completely different random acts of curiosity that (apparently) could have resulted in government officials with guns and warrants busting down my door. I really need to remember that just because I *can* figure out how to do something doesn't mean I should actually do it. Darn me and my and my ability to always find the work-around I wasn't supposed to know about!

(I should probably not ever be allowed to have a job that gives me any responsibility or access to anything important. Actually, I probably shouldn't even be allowed near a computer...)

It kind of reminds me of a story one of my high school teachers told. Apparently, he and some friends figured out how to convert semi-automatic rifles into fully-automatic rifles (um.... I guess the best explanation I can give you is "this is Texas..?"). He said they came very close to being hauled off by ATF agents. Fortunately the agents realized (in Mr. R's words) that they "were just a bunch of dumbass kids who didn't know any better."

Just goes to show you that you that it is possible to accidentally land yourself in federal prison. Say no to the shiny buttons kids!

Love always,
Jane

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Not a good way to start the day

Dear Internets,

This was the news story that was playing on my clock radio when I woke up this morning. (Warning: link is very disturbing.) I'm going to have to start waking up to classical radio or MP3s or something.

Love,
Jane

Monday, July 27, 2009

Oh P.P.P.P.S!



Achilles got a job! I mean, a job job, not a working-at-Target-with-an-advanced-degree-and-law-license-until-the-economy-effing-recovers kind of job. (No, it doesn't have anything to do with Shell - I just love that gorilla.) That is all I will say, except that I'm super happy for him, and excited that he'll be working downtown and that I'll finally have someone to carpool with. Yay! Luchador cupcakes all around!



I will sort of miss the discount, though...

-J

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Things I have learned this weekend

Dear Internets,

I have recently decided the following:
  1. White chocolate ganache is not as delicious as it sounds
  2. I am much better at baking and decorating cupcakes than full-sized cakes
  3. This might have something to do with me being better with details than big-picture stuff
  4. It probably doesn't
  5. Four weeks (29 days) without a day off work doesn't do wonders for my mental health
  6. I need to get my rear back to the gym
  7. High school reunions stress me the eff out
  8. I'm kind of glad no one I know actually got invited to my high school reunion. This meant no one could tell me where it was, so I didn't feel guilty about not going
  9. It is nice to mend fences (figuratively, anyway)
  10. I think my liking a television show is an indication it will be canceled before its time (Veronica Mars, Arrested Development, Pushing Daisies, Undeclared, etc, etc.)
  11. Unfortunately, there probably aren't any studio executives out there willing to pay me to watch television pilots to determine which ones are destined to be brilliant but canceled
  12. My luck is so bad that it's actually mathematically improbable that it could get any worse
  13. By luck, I mean my ability to win big prizes in drawings and things. Seriously, I have lost many drawings where I represented 2 out of 3 of the entries
  14. I know the mathematical improbability of my bad luck because I have tracked it on a spreadsheet
  15. I am a nerd
I guess I knew that last one before this weekend. But that's OK.

Love,
Jane

P.S. I made some fondant this weekend. It turned out well, and doesn't even taste nasty. However, the cake I baked turned out funky, so unless I put the fondant on the cupcakes I made for my nephew, I don't know what I can do with it. I hear fondant keeps well in the fridge, though.
P.P.S. The idea of putting fondant on a cupcake just seems sort of wrong to me. It makes me think of these two little girls I saw this weekend selling lemonade from a fancy (clearly store-bought) lemonade stand.
P.P.P.S. I mean, really. A store-bought lemonade stand just seems like an affront to childhood and introductory economic theory. I mean, how many glasses of lemonade will those little girls have to sell at $0.15 each before they recoup their start-up costs? It does seem like a great way to introduce the girls to the joys of multi-level marketing schemes, however... Hmmm....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sleepy. So sleepy.

Dear Floor,

You are looking very inviting this afternoon. Especially the little section directly under my desk. I'd like to curl up in that spot and take a tiny nap.

Love,
Jane

***

Dear Horses,

It has taken me a long time to admit this to myself, but I have to do it. You are a hobby for rich people. I am not rich people. It is possible that we will have stick to admiring each other from afar.

Love,
Jane

***

Dear Giant Gorilla (on top of the gas station by my house),

The gas station upon which you are standing (floating? continuously inflating? tied semi-securely?) has been open forever. However, you make me smile. There is nothing I love more than a giant gorilla advertising a grand opening.

Love,
Jane

***

Dear Lottery,

Could I spontaneously win you? It would be kind of nice. I'd be super responsible and not waste my winnings on things like horses and giant inflatable gorillas and extra space under my desk.



Promise.

Love,
Jane

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Questions and answers

Dear end of August,

Normally, I don't wish for time to pass any more quickly than it already does, but I wouldn't mind it if you came ASAP. This summer has been long, busy, and hot.

Love,
Jane

***

Dear Internets,

On another note, what do you think I should do with my life? What are your goals for the next five years? Do you have any good ones that I can steal?

Love,
Jane

Monday, July 20, 2009

Washers and Dryers, pt 397

Dear Sears,

Here's hoping your repair service is better than your delivery service.

Your friend (at least for now),
Jane

***

Dear Dryer,

Why do you hate us? We have shown you nothing but love. However, I do thank you for breaking while still under the manufacturer's basic warranty.

Love,
Jane

***

Dear Self,

Maybe next time you shouldn't be so smug about declining the extended warranty, no matter what you may have read on Consumer Reports.

Love,
Jane

***

Dear Bailey,

Please don't bite the washer dryer repair guy. Or the plumber. Or the guy who's coming out to dig the tree roots out of the sewer line.

Love,
Mom

***

Dear Inventor of the Monday Morning Meeting,

You and I are not friends. I mean, really.

Jane

***

Dear Internets,

Here's hoping your week is off to a slightly better start than mine!

Kisses,
Jane