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Large Scale Sacrifices

22 Mar

I’m sure I’ve more than covered how I’m not Catholic. I’m a fake. But I do participate in Lent. It’s like my annual attempt to prove I have anything remotely close to willpower.

So this year I’m giving up Diet Coke, which quickly spiraled into giving up all sodas, until my boss mentioned that tonic water is technically a carbonated beverage. No G&T’s? This portion of my Lenten promise is still under negotiations until we can further define tonic water as a soda. However, as a girl who drinks her fair share of DC – this has been a daily sacrifice for me already.

My husband (the actual Catholic), takes a different approach. His promises usually fall somewhere along the giving-up-some-form-of-alcohol line, and he has never been very successful. Spring break + St. Patty’s + weekends just seem to do him in every time. In recent years, he’s started preempting these dates from his Lent calendar.  This year, he has seemed to negotiate around Lent almost completely. Steve’s initial statement for Lent this year: “I’m giving up beer, but nothing else.” Then these qualifiers: ” But I’m not counting Ash Wednesday because I’m meeting a friend after work, and I’m not counting our spring break trip, and I’m not counting weekends.” Way to give your best effort there, Susan.

This time, it’s not my judgment he might have to be worried about.



20 Jan

Concerning thoughts:

  • I said it last year, and I’ll repeat it again – it isn’t really any fun living where it snows all the damn time. You’d think we would’ve taken action on this by now, and moved south – but we are nothing if not stubborn. Cities I think I could live in, where the climate is more moderate: Nashville, Savannah, San Francisco, New Orleans. I’m open to all other options where the winter weather is such that standing water does not freeze by November.
  • January and February bring the usual round of SAD, with doses of general malaise. Not knowing what to do with my life, feelings of restlessness, mild depression, pasty pale skin and serial lack of excitement are the recognizable symptoms. In order to combat this development, travel to warmer and more scenic locales has been planned. By March, I’ll have crossed Georgia, Arizona and continental Europe off the list. I suppose I’ll also be going to Chicago as well, but plan to stay mostly inside to combat winter fatigue.
  • We had a very successful MLK weekend in northern Michigan, which was surprisingly fun despite the fact that it never stopped snowing. We dabbled in skiing, sledding, euchre and happy hour. Next year, we’ll be competing for the Sno-Blast Winter Festival King and Queen titles.
  • I bought the J.Crew Quoddy boots, and found them for a better deal on eBay. I know you were wondering.
  • I’m also not sure what it says about my life that I spent several hours over the past few days selecting…..throw pillows. Which are really way more expensive than you would imagine. Same can be said of the light fixtures we’ve upgraded recently. At least those have been installed, which has not been the fate of our new bathroom accessories, which sit strewn about our counters. Their day will come, just not too soon given how lazy I’ve been.
  • I’ve been doing a good amount of reading lately. Since Christmas, I’ve finished: “Decoded” by Jay-Z, “Play Their Hearts Out: A Coach, His Star Recruit, and the Youth Basketball Machine” by George Dohrmann and “The Romantics” by Galt Niederhoffer. I’m mid-way through “Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook” at the moment, and looking for my next read. Any suggestions?
  • My new hobby involves spending hours staring off into space while I imagine my life as a lottery winner.
  • I’m working on learning French with Rosetta Stone. I believe it will be very helpful as I am now able to say words like horse and car. Hopefully the next unit will teach me the phrases I’ll actually need: “Where the hell is a clean, public restroom?” and “Can you direct me to Dior?”

That is all.

‘Tis the Season

9 Dec

For office holiday parties. I’ll readily admit that my own department holiday gathering is the lamest of the lame, takes place during the work day and has a set limit on holiday cheer. There are no bonuses, no gifts, and sadly, no alcohol.

My husband however works for a company that values the holiday tradition of the office party, but adds their own special twists each year. As in, this year’s party is taking place at the zoo. And the theme is “Western.” Yeah.

The idea of a themed party is not lost on me, as I keenly dress up for every possible event with gusto, and adore themes as they provide clear guidelines for dress. I was recently involved in forcing my co-workers into a themed Friday in the office, which I found to be most entertaining, and hope to repeat soon. I have, however, never been exposed to a themed holiday party. Does the holiday itself fail as an appropriate theme? I understand they must only have wanted to separate their December cowboy party from the thousands of others happening this month.

After allowing these and other related thoughts to concern me for several weeks, I am pleased to announce that I have successfully compiled a half-assed holiday/western outfit for the party. I basically gave up.

J.Crew Tartan Tuxedo shirt. Plaid = Western. Red = Holiday.

Favorite J.Crew Skinnies. Not theme related.

Cole Haan Dallon Boots. Have not worn in years. Somewhat western?

I have backup boots of another tall, brown variety, in case I get anxious about wearing boots which have been housed in our luxurious garage for the last 18 months. Yeah – I am shitty to my nice stuff. Searches for cowboy boots with snowflake designs and/or reindeer were fruitless.

My dear spouse will be wearing chaps and a bolo – anything less would fail to read as both completely professional and dedicated to quality bonding with co-workers, fueled by nothing but holiday spirit and an unrequited love with the old west.

What to Watch For

27 Sep

If the average American spends 27 hours each week in front of the television, I always thought of myself as significantly more sophisticated. I read, I cook, I have hobbies (kind of). Yeah – not so much. I actually just watch a ton of TV. Like a bum.

The schedule?

New this Fall: Lonestar, Top Chef Just Desserts, My Generation

Return Favorites: Gossip Girl, Big Bang Theory, Castle, Glee, Grey’s Anatomy, Bones

Always Recording: House Hunters, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, everything on Bravo

TV on DVD: Mad Men, Modern Family

Well. When you write it all out like that, it’s ridiculously sad. Thank the good Lord for DVR.

Overwhelming Life Situations: 1 of 34,597

20 Sep

Let me just state that when my friendly neighborhood grocery store decides to reorganize their shelves, it throws my carefully managed sense of sanity way off kilter. Some people make their shopping list in the exact order that they walk through the store, and their carelessness in this unprovoked movement of merchandise was hugely effecting to my personal organization and weekly meal planning.

They should really consult me before they make such drastic alterations to my precisely crafted routine.

Things That Would Suck

8 Sep

On days when I come home from work and feel like the only thing holding back a panic attack is the bottle of wine waiting on the counter, it’s good to think about things that suck more than this. For example:

1. If one of my siblings turned out to be serial killer. Or a really bad spy.

2. If macaroni and cheese hadn’t been invented.

3. If I had to carpool to work with my husband.

4. If my neighbor had a meth lab in her basement.

5. If I didn’t like chocolate.

6. If big bangs came back in style.

7. If I was unemployed without insurance. And bored.

8. If my dog was not immortal. Thank goodness she’ll never die.

9. If the Kindle and iPod didn’t exist.

10. If I got car-jacked.

11. If I had to wear pantyhose. Ever.

12. If Joe Montana really wore those “Shape Up” tennis shoes.

13. If one of my parents was a drug addict.

14. If I was actually a lawyer.

15. If I was forced to move somewhere cold, and had no friends.

16. If I won the HGTV Dream House, but they were just kidding.

17. If Jeff Lewis was not on television.

18. If we suddenly found out that the monsters under the bed were real.

19. If I had to live in Kentucky.

20. If I was required to eat mayonnaise. At all.

See? I’m quite lucky, even on the bad days.


28 Jul

The other day, a friend and I started planning a little vacation together. A vacation that’s say, 12 months away. We like to get a jump on things. I mean, we even graduated early. (Yeah – that part was actually really dumb of us. Don’t judge too harshly.)

Our g-chat planning morphed quickly from “Let’s be frugal and share a room,” to “We definitely need to do the $1500 hot-air balloon experience! And do wine tours on segways! And private spa appointments!” Apparently, we carried on undeterred:

Big J:  must start working out again. must save millions for new cute dresses. must grow hair out for perfect boho look. must practice riding segway in cute dress. must practice taking pictures while on moving segway while wearing cute dress after having 3 glasses of wine. This will be a challenge.
Little J:  hahahaha
must look cute in helmet, while drinking, on segway
Big J:  while taking pictures, while enjoying the scenery, while in comfortable shoes which are also very stylish. Also wearing sunglasses.
Little J:  while looking candid
Big J:  and happy
Little J:  and only slightly tipsy
Big J:  hahahahahaah.
Little J:  while flirting w/ the cop b/c we are getting SEGDUI’s
Big J:  eeeeeeeeekkkk. hahaha
Little J:  must save millions for cute dresses to buy before the trip…plus more millions to spend on vacation and apparently more millions to go on a cruise the very next month
Big J:  and millions for airfare, car rental and misc. shopping!
woo hoo
Little J:  im having anxiety
Big J:  must also have millions of valium!

Have I mentioned?

6 Jun

How amazing June is? It’s currently 9:16 p.m. eastern standard – and the sun is just heading to bed here.

Almost makes up for the shitty winter months. Almost.

Guidelines for Godparents

1 Jun

I’m not Catholic. Steve’s family is very Catholic. Like one bishop, two priests and a nun in the family VERY. This leaves me a little confused at times, but I have learned quite a bit of the “stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight” of the Catholic church.

No amount of preparation or my own Christian upbringing could apparently prepare me for my new role as a godparent. Wait, I’m somewhat responsible for a child? Read about it here.

Following the baptism ceremony, we were handed an envelope with our names on the front and the description “RE: Role as Godparent.” These godchildren now come with a manual. The instructions inside mentioned how we were to be the spiritual role models and educators for the child and should strive to be their special friend. I think I’ll stick with crazy aunt, but whatever. The sheet also indicated that we should encourage our godchild with cards, letters or gifts to commemorate spiritual and personal events in her life. We’d already purchased savings bonds for our godchild when she was born and were gifting her several sundresses and summer accessories for her baptism. I figured we were on the right track.

However, the handout indicated that we might need to revise our gifting methods. Examples of gifts which they suggested for events like Christmas, Easter, graduation, first job, engagement? “A bike, spiritual book, rosary, religious jewelry, gift certificate for religious goods/books, retreat opportunity, etc.” Um, which of these is not like the other? By choosing baby clothes for a baby who had just been baptized, we had clearly gifted her a path to self-destruction.

She’s a little young for books, gift certificates, jewelry or retreats, so I guess we’re getting her a bike for her first birthday. Catholic church approved.

The True Beginning

7 May

Today was the official start of summer as far as I’m concerned. Forget the calendar, there are other methods of calculation for such important events.

Living in a small college town, almost half of our normal population is made up of students. I mean, we wouldn’t get an Olive Garden with only 40,000 permanent residents, but really. It’s SO awesome when they leave. Finals were over this afternoon and graduation ceremonies started. Lines of minivans and U-Hauls were lined up heading out-of-town, and I couldn’t help but grin like a crazy as I drove past in the opposite direction.

After a fall full of cut off t-shirts and leggings, a winter full of North Face and Uggs and a spring full of neon and fanny packs, I’m quite happy to watch it all depart. The joy of living among those pulling all nighters and studying for a semester’s worth of slacking off when you are no longer enrolled in classes can only be topped by the sheer glee of watching their little Hondas loaded to the brim with every worldly belonging headed out-of-town.

Thanks, I’d love to have my town back.