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.


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.


*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

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.


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.


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!

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!


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,