Friday, October 31, 2008

Obligatory dog Halloween costume photos

dear mom,

i hates you.


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,

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,

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


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,

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.

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,

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.


*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!


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.


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...



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.


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,

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!


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!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tomorrow is a long time away

Dear Internets,

I decided that I couldn't wait until tomorrow to post pictures of my "tombstone cupcakes." I can't claim the idea as my own; I was inadvertently inspired by some Martha Stewart cupcakes (I'd seen tombstone cupcakes before, but didn't know where). Since I was already stealing Martha's ideas, I used her recipe for the frosting.

The cupcakes are devil's food with chocolate icing (because it's Halloween, and I like chocolate). For the frosting, I heated heavy cream, then poured it over semi-sweet chocolate chips and stirred until it was all mixed together. After I iced the cupcakes, I dipped them in Oreo cookie crumbs so that they'd have that "freshly dug grave" look (just like the ones your mom used to make). For the finishing touch, A and I made little tombstones out of Mexican coconut cookies and stuck them on top. Here are the results:

I finally have one of my digital cameras working - I think you should be able to click and enlarge the pictures if you'd like.

Love always,

I hope I don't get a rock

Dear Internets,

I'm getting pretty excited about my Halloween movie night tomorrow. The decorations have been made or borrowed, the movies have been rented (where necessary), and the cupcakes will be finished tonight.

My decorations are fancy.

It's not just me and Audrey who are getting pumped; A is excited too. Even Bailey is getting into the Halloween spirit, which you can tell from this picture:

In person, he looked more sad than possessed. He wanted to help with the decorations, I think.

While I have been busy tackling the important tasks of taking funny pictures of the dog and making costumes for our wall art, A has been busy carving jack-o-lanterns. I'm probably biased, but I think he's pretty talented. Here's a tiny one he made me last year for Halloween:

I forgot to take a picture until the pumpkin was a little bit past it's prime, but it was pretty awesome. Also, romantic.

I'm not exactly a world-class pumpkin carver, so I decided to try a different approach. Unfortunately, my painted pumpkin ended up looking like a painted lady. Behold, Grizzelda:

Me, pretty much, if I'm out past midnight.

Tomorrow, I'll post pictures of the cupcakes, and more of A's pumpkins. (Hopefully, the talking cupcake will approve of my attempts at cupcake-decorating!)

Love always,

Monday, October 13, 2008

Birthdays and Bears

Dear Paddington Bear,

Happy birthday! I had no idea that today was your 50th birthday until I clicked on your cute little picture on the Google homepage.

I always thought it would be cool to have October 13th as a birthday; sharing a date of birth with my favorite marmalade-loving bear would be even better. Instead I share my birthday with Britney Spears and Nelly Furtado. Oh well.


P.S. Hook 'em Horns!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

But *I'm* going as a witch...

Dear Internets,

On a scale of 1 to 5*, how mean would it be to dress my dog up as a black cat for Halloween?

Yours curiously,

*1 = you would help me if you could, 5 = you plan to report me to the ASPCA.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Things to love

Dear Internets,

Lately I've been reading a lot of blog posts about stuff people love. These posts make me so happy that I thought I'd list a few things I'm loving right now myself.

- The little gym underneath my building at work.
I love being able to work out at lunch. I love that the dressing room has little changing stalls and free lockers. I love that I have an excuse to take lunch away from my desk.

- The cooler weather.
I love that I can walk to the mailbox without breaking a sweat. I love that when I get into my car after it has been sitting in the sun, I'm not in danger of getting a third degree burn if my arm accidentally bumps against the metal part of the seatbelt. I love that Bailey is no longer shedding buckets of fur around my condo. (He's still shedding cups of fur. But improvement = improvement.)

- Settling into a schedule.
I love that I have finally begun to settle into a schedule that leaves me enough time to think. It's amazing what a little structure can do for your sanity (especially for the easily-distracted).

- Finally solving the freaking Rubik's cube my parents sent me home with a couple of weeks ago.
That thing had been driving me crazy!

- Having my second bedroom set up as an office.
If I had known how happy it would make me just to look at my office area, with its kindergarten-style cubbies for art supplies and paperwork and other random stuff, I would have set things up this way a long time ago.

- This video by Sarah Silverman.
She makes me laugh in that "I am slightly uncomfortable that I find someone's jokes about poop so funny" way. I realize that her humor isn't for everyone, but she can definitely me giggle like a 12-year-old boy. (Warning: language, politics, references to poop)

- The Internets.
I love that I have so much in common with the people whose blogs I read. I love that people are getting to move to the cities they love. I love that bloggers are finding ways to feel better. I love that the Internets sometimes sends me presents. I especially love that the talking cupcake still has time to blog even though school has started.

- Fixing my computer.
I love that I was able to fix my computer at home and my browser at work all by myself. I am not a computer genius, but I sure felt like one for five minutes. (To celebrate I almost put on the "I am Woman" record I rescued from my mom's Goodwill donation pile last weekend, but I decided to spare A that one.)

- Bananas.
But you knew that.

I hope you are finding many things to love yourself, Internets. Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

You can call me any anytime

Dear Internets,

Lately I have become a little obsessed with old-fashioned (and old-fashioned-looking) phones. I especially like reproduction candlestick phones. I really want one, so that when people call I could say things like, "I've got Herbert on the blower, do ya wanna talk to 'em?"

I also really like princess phones... They make me want to put on pajamas, dust off the record player, and call my best girlfriend to talk about cute boys.

What I would really like, though, is a harvest gold rotary dial phone like the one that hung in my parents' (harvest gold and brown) kitchen when I was growing up. I used to constantly get in trouble for wrapping the super long cord around myself (sometimes I was a mummy; other times I had been captured by bandits; my parents just thought I was going to break the phone). When that phone finally started to get staticky when I was in college, my parents replaced it with a cordless phone with touch tone dialing and remodeled the kitchen.

No one really calls anyone on their home phone anymore though, so I guess I probably don't need one. Sigh.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Dear Internets,

Dan has an interesting poll going on right now about how you (the Internets) would like him to set comments up on his blog. I'm curious as well, and I encourage you to vote; I may well adopt the winning comment type setting for my own wee blog.


My kind of Halloween ball

Dear Internets,

I love Halloween. More specifically, I love the Halloween that belongs mostly to kids. I don't have anything against way-too-scary-for-Jane horror movies or skimpy costumes (although this song makes me laugh every time I hear it); it's just that I prefer the pumpkin carving/'It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown' side of the holiday.

I guess I'm not always a "kid" about Halloween; for a while, I tended to put together really jokey Halloween costumes ("I'm the Spanish Inquisition! Because no one expects the Spanish Inquisition! ...guys?"), but I got tired of always having to explain my costumes. (The girl who dressed as "Slutty Little Mermaid" never had to explain her costume. Honestly, Internets - does that make sense?) But I do wish I could still go to parties where everything smelled sort of faintly like candy corn, and we all ate caramel apples and watched movies like 'Hocus Pocus' until past our bedtime.

The hipsters should really bring those kind of parties back.


P.S. Forget the hipsters. I'm bringing that kind of party back. Here's my Evite:

Come to my Halloween movie night, Witches!


- Hocus Pocus (7:00-8:30)
- It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (8:30-9:00)
- The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (9:00-10:30)

- Candy Corn
- Caramel Apples
- Tombstone Cupcakes
- Apple Cider
- Halloween Trivia Contest (with prizes!)
- Goody Bags (with spider rings!)
- A's Amazing Pumpkin Art

Come for one movie, or stay for all three! Dressing up in your Halloween costume from 1989 is optional but encouraged.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Don't drink and dial

Dear Google,

This is the funniest thing I've heard of in a long time. A virtual breathalyzer - brilliant! Now if someone could apply it to cell phones...


Feeling spooky

Dear nightmares,

Why are you almost always so much more vivid than dreams? It just seems so unfair. Sometimes, during a particularly realistic nightmare, someone in the dream will "drug" me, then laugh like Cruella DeVille and say something like, "this will make you think it was all a dream... but it wasn't." It's like my subconscious wants to taunt me. (Fortunately, my subconscious usually doesn't realize the importance of proper casting; I might be fooled by the in-dream drugging scenario if the person in the villain role were someone who hates me in real life. But the ghost of Richard Nixon isn't quite as believable, at least not once I have some caffeine in my system.)

Maybe people need to have a balance of good dreams and bad dreams for the universe to stay properly aligned. If so, maybe the vivid nightmares are just dreaming karma. Sometimes (rarely) I have dreams where I realize that I'm asleep, and all sorts of fun ensues. Actually, that's a lie. I suppose it's more fun than an I-have-no-control nightmare, but all that usually happens is that I think, "well, if I'm dreaming, I can fly," and then I decide it would be fun to fly around and have a bird's eye view of my house.

Come to think of it, I hope no one ever drugs me in real life. I could end up living out that one episode of Jem where the new Starlight Girl gets talked into doing some of drug (PCP? On a Saturday morning cartoon?) by the super-creepy drug dealer at school, and then thinks she can fly out the window.*

Yours distractedly,

* That episode really freaked me the eff out; it was almost as disturbing as when I "borrowed" one of my sister's "Sweet Valley High" books in the 3rd grade and it turned out to be the one where the girl OD's on cocaine. Talk about nightmares. It's probably why this guy freaked me out so much.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Shoes (Alternative title: I heart Zappos)

Dear new shoes,

I had been waiting for you to go on sale at Zappos for what felt like a million zillion years. I was intrigued by your "negative heel technology" and by the fact that you were "vegan" shoes. (I'm not vegan; however, it's not entirely out of the question that I might one day become one: I drove by a truck full of cows yesterday that had the same mannerisms and color pattern as my dog. That really freaked me out.)

You finally went on sale last week, happily (for me) right as I became momentarily obsessed with the health of my feet. I chose "free shipping," expecting to get you sometime this week, but Zappos, being awesome, upgraded me to overnight shipping for free. Hooray Zappos!

So far, I really like you. You're cuter in person than you are on the internet, and the vegan materials "breathe" better than I expected. The top straps are a little snug on me, but I have weirdly high insteps, and I expect that I'll eventually stretch the straps out. I think I like the "negative heels"; it sort of feels like I'm walking up a slight hill all the time - I'm hoping that will benefit not only my posture, but my "posterior" as well.

The only problem I've had so far is related to my clumsiness. I wore you to walk my dog yesterday. I guess I'm used to planting my heels to stabilize myself, because when Bailey tried to take off suddenly, I almost fell backwards - my heels were not where I expected them to be. I bet I'll get used to the lower heel eventually, though.

In summary: I heart you, I heart Zappos, yay new shoes!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Running down a dream

Dear Internets,

I have a confession to make: I dropped out of my half marathon training.

In fact, I dropped out shortly after I was supposed to run seven miles (and didn't). My knees were aching, I had a stress fracture in my foot, and my nerves were continually frayed. Running was more of a chore than a source of stress relief.

And you know what? I'm pretty happy about quitting. Since my foot has started to feel better, I've been running about a mile a day during my lunch break. It feels like the perfect amount. I am being pulled in fewer directions, and I don't constantly feel guilty about what I "should" be doing at any given moment.

Sometimes quitting isn't a bad thing. Who knew?

Love always,

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tagged and released

Dear Internets,

I got tagged again! My fellow Texan (and fellow supporter-of-tomatoes) Teej tagged me in a super fun A to Z post. I feel so flattered I'm about to start channeling Sally Fields circa 1985. To spare you all, I'll go ahead and get to it.

A. Attached or single ? Attached (to an A, even; how convenient! And he's (apparently) an Aries! Alliteration is our ally!)

B. Best friend ? Many - I love them all.

C. Cake or pie ? Like Teej, I LOOOOOOVE Pushing Daisies and want my own pie shop. And tomato pie is pretty much the most delicious thing on the planet. However, I also love cake, particularly cupcakes, so I'm going to have to say this one is a tie.

D. Day of choice ? Sunday has always been my fun day, but lately, I usually work on Sundays. So Saturday has been growing on me.

E. Essential item ? I'm kind of addicted to diet soda, but am trying to quit.

F. Favourite colour ? I flip-flop between pink and green. I also really love chocolate brown.

G. Gummy bears or worms ? I like the little bears. The worms are fun because you can stretch them out, but the bears have more personality

H. Hometown ? Austin

I. ( favourite ) Indulgence ? I like getting chemical peels (and feel guilty even admitting that, so I suppose that means it's really an indulgence, right?)

J. January or July ? January, if I'm in Texas. July is toooo hot.

K. Kids ? hopefully someday, preferably after letter M.

L.Life isn't complete without ? family, friends, wiggling puppies, good music, sunshine, laughter, (and sadly, diet soda)

M. Marriage date ? Someday

N. Number of brothers and sisters ? 1 sister. While these days we're so close we're practically psychically connected, we hated each other growing up.

O. Oranges or apples ? Hmmm... I'm gonna go with oranges. I like apples, but have to slice them because I have a weird fear of biting into a worm.

P. Phobias ? I am terrified of cockroaches. ~shudder~

Q. Quotes? "Farewell sadness good day sadness you are inscribed in the lines of the ceiling." -Paul Eluard

R. Reasons to smile? Having more reasons to smile than reasons to frown

S. Season of choice ? Fall

T. Tag five people ? I think about 5 people read this, so... if you are reading this, I tag you. Ha HA!

U. Unknown fact about me? My mom once promised me that she'd buy me a horse if I got a National Merit Scholarship. I'm still waiting on the horse.

V. Vegetable ? I love broccoli, with a passion that is almost creepy to those who know me.

W. Worst habit ? Biting my nails... I've pretty much stopped doing it because it's so horribly gross, but I did it for so long that I tend to fall off the wagon when I get stressed.

X. X-ray or ultrasound ? I'll take whatever is less serious, please.

Y. Your favourite food ? I love tomato pie, pizza, grilled vegetables, cheese... Mmmm... food. The only things I have a hard time eating are organ meats and shrimp (because someone once told me they're the cockroaches of the sea. ~shudder~)

Z. Zodiac sign ? Sagittarius, which I have an embarrassingly hard time spelling correctly. I've never paid much attention to the Zodiac, so I checked it out on Wikipedia. Apparently, I'm mutable. I didn't think the description sounded like me too much... until I read the "dislikes": routine and chores (yes), being constrained (yes), being tied down (yes), being forced to do things (I thought "stubborn" was a compliment), being bothered by little details (oh yes, yes, yes). Also, apparently the Sagittarius "body parts" are hips and thighs, which I'm going to assume means that the Zodiac thinks I have some nice birthin' hips.

This was super fun. I hope some of you will do this too.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love always,

Friday, October 3, 2008

Holy Spam, Batman

Dear Internets,

If you have a Wordpress blog, would you mind checking to see if there are comments from me in your spam folder?

For some reason, Wordpress thinks I'm a spammer. When my comments go marked as spam for a long time, Wordpress's spam filter becomes more and more smugly convinced that I really am trying to direct traffic to "my very happy blog in Russia, please to comeent we can share links and identities, yes?" I'm hoping to re-train it to believe that I'm not trying to sell pr0nz or c-i-al-i-$ so that I can comment on some of the (very lovely) blogs out there that are hosted by Wordpress.

Also, if you have marked me as spam because you'd rather I not comment on your blog, please send me an email at distractible jane at gmail dot com (no spaces). I won't get insulted, I promise; I just don't want to be blacklisted anymore.

Love always,

Her name is Lo-la

Dear people who know things about car values,

I was feeling curious, so I decided to check on the current "trade-in" value of Lola, my Corolla. It's slightly higher than what I paid for her (used, before taxes) last year. Is that even possible?

I'm guessing that NADA just hasn't adjusted prices down for 2009 yet or something. It's funny, though, to think that the value of a depreciating investment (my car) is holding up better than the values of my IRAs and condo. Le sigh.

Yours truly,

P.S. I got a letter from Honda a few days ago asking to buy back my 1996 Civic. Sadly (for both me and Honda), I sold the Silver Bullet a few years ago to a starving artist and his musician girlfriend. I wonder what took people so long to learn to love small cars - the Bullet was pretty much the best car ever. I used to fill up the tank for $10 once or twice a month. And the car was quite the looker:

(a less dinged-up twin of the Silver Bullet)

Rock the Vote and stuff

Dear Jane,

Good job for voting in just about* every election (major or not) since you turned 18, even without the helpful advice of celebrities.

However, since you giggled at just about everything Sarah Silverman said in this video, I question your maturity nonetheless.


*I did miss a couple of city council runoff elections when I was in college. BAD JANE!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Dear Homeless Guy,

You zapped me as I walked by. From the surprised look on your face, I am pretty sure that you were only trying to get my attention, and had no intention of shocking me with static electricity. In fact, as I am a notorious foot-dragger, it was probably my fault.

However, it was weird nonetheless.


Thursday morning, early October

Dear Internets,

< (good-natured) whining >
I keep expecting things to calm down - the last few weeks have been a blur of furniture merging, Goodwill trips, Craigslist posting, houseguests, music festivals, needy tutoring students with pushy parents, multiple day-long meetings with vendors that melt my brain, presidential debates, and, far too occasionally, sleep. As my brother-in-law put it, I'm kind of burning the candle at both ends, which can't go on forever. But I think (hope) things should calm down by early November. At the very least, I'll have a few days off. Despite having a fairly full plate, I'm thinking of signing up for this in November, if only because all of the current craziness has led me to accumulate about 33 half-written blog posts.
< /whining >

My ACL post is coming; my memories of the weekend are still a little too jumbled up to have made it to paper yet.

In the meantime, I thought you all might be wondering if anyone took me up on my tagging challenge. (Probably you are not wondering about that, but I am giving myself the benefit of the doubt, Internets.) Indeed, the always-delightful Talia took me up on my offer to write bad poetry for anyone who responded to my tag.

In honor of Talia (and her super-awesome Tony the Tiger slippers), I present:

Cupcakes are Contagious

It's morning, our computers are not yet warm
"Time for our daily dose of frosting," we think
We yawn, we stretch, we click... and finally, we smile
Our screens once again a delightful shade of pink

At last, a Cupcake to engage us

Would she really mail us cupcakes? we wonder
We bet she would; she's tackled more difficult projects
Football, Christian rockers, park salvation, Spain, London,
and tacky student service director rejects

That Cupcake is couragious

To read her blog is to discover truths:
"missed connections" are newsprint addictions
flaky baked goods are better than flaky boys
judgy hipsters are walking contradictions

And Cupcakes won't betray us

We'll come back, of course, and bring our friends
Tomorrow morning, and the next, frosting on our minds
For a treat that's as sweet as plum pie
(but perhaps a bit kinder to our waistlines)

Because Cupcakes? They're contagious

If anyone else would like me to make the Internet's eyes bleed with bad poetry, I am more than happy to write an ode to anyone who responds to my tag. (I won't hold my breath.)

Love always,