I Ran 10 Miles And I’m Really Not Sure How I Feel About It.

If you’re wondering why I haven’t been blogging much lately, I’m here to confirm your suspicions.

I was abducted by aliens.

It actually wasn't bad. I love hats.

It actually wasn’t bad. I love hats.

After undergoing a series of surprisingly enjoyable probes, I returned to earth (well, New Jersey, so, debatable) a changed woman.

The type of woman I never, ever thought I’d be.

A…a… Oh god. Don’t make me say it.

A runner. I’m a runner now, okay?

I talk to people who I thought were my friends about hydration belts and minimalist shoes and something called GU.

Unless one of these is bacon-flavored, PASS.

Unless one of these is bacon-flavored, PASS.

I look at charts like this and pretend I understand.

Image courtesy of buildleaneatclean.wordpress.com.

Seriously. What the Fudge Stripes is a tempo run? Does listening to the 80s workout mix on Pandora while I run the dishwasher count? (Image courtesy of buildleaneatclean.wordpress.com.)

Perhaps most tellingly, I feel great! can barely move.

We're gonna need a clean up in aisle 6.

Clean up in aisle 6.

Up until 4 weeks ago, the farthest I’d ever “run” was 2 miles. The only race I’d ever completed was a 5K. 8 years ago.

So after managing to jog a whole 3 miles 3 weeks ago, I signed up for a half marathon on May 18th.

running-wild-half-logo

Because I never really loved myself.

That gave me 8 weeks to train. “It’s down the shore,” I said, using the native phrase for [describing] any part of the Jersey coastline. “It’s flat. I’ve got this.”

“Do the first two miles and it’s all downhill,” I huffed during my first long run.

That worked. Except when it was uphill.

“It’s all mental,” I puffed.

That worked. Except when my right calf went numb at mile 5.

I somehow hit 10 miles on Thursday. More importantly, so did my dog, Uncle Jesse.

running-UJ-Jules

May 18th is now less than 5 weeks away, and the one thought that’s genuinely keeping me going? “If I don’t live to see BaconFest [next weekend], pig heads will roll.”

Why else would anyone ever exercise?

Why else would anyone ever exercise?

So, have you ever lost your mind any tips for me? (Note: I’m especially interested in advice about carb-loading.)

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I Did It.

I hit my goal weight!

I FOUND THE WORLD’S BEST BACON.

This isn't it.

This isn’t it.

During recent travels, I stumbled across a fun little bar and restaurant in Seattle called The 5 Point Café. (No, they’re not paying me to mention this. Though if they were, I’d ask for compensation exclusively in pig.) They opened in 1929 and own the bragging rights of “the longest run family eatery in Seattle and oldest bar still in existence in Belltown.”

Seattle_-_Five_Point_Cafe_01

I did not know this when I entered.

All I went equipped with was the recommendation of my hotel concierge:

ME: Any good spots nearby for breakfast?

CONCIERGE: Well 5 Point has sort of your typical diner breakfast, and they’re just up the block. Everyone has tattoos.

ME (to self): Gee, I’m sure you mentioned that last bit knowing I’ll fit right in.

Why didn’t anyone warn me they don’t wear colors in the Pacific Northwest?

Seriously. Why didn’t anyone warn me they don’t wear colors in the Pacific Northwest? (Photo taken in front of de wonderbaar Auld Holland Inn in Oak Harbor, WA.)

The idea of an omelet and mimosa was too much temptation to resist for this Jersey native, so I zipped up my bright red raincoat and trekked around the corner to find an unassuming café with a large U-shaped bar and seating on either side.

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I was told I could sit anywhere, and because it was a quiet Wednesday morning, decided to hog (pun SO intended) a booth. When the coffee came, I closed my eyes and smiled. Ah, Seattle. Thank you. Thank you for getting it. I may wear neon, but I like my coffee black, and jet fuel strong.

I took an uncharacteristically long time to order, because everything on the menu sounded so good. I was craving avocado, so finally went with the California eggs benedict. At the last minute, I said, “Can I get a side of bacon, too, please?” It was $4 for 4 strips. I couldn’t decide if this was a bargain or a rip-off, so reserved judgment.

When my plate came, I was overwhelmed. In the best way. There were two poached eggs atop tomatoes and avocado, resting on dense english muffins. All of this was smothered in hollandaise sauce, alongside PERFECT hash browns: shredded, with a completely crunchy, crispy top. 

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Good morning to ME.

But then.

Oh.

And then.

The afterthought side dish:

5-Pt-bacon-heaven

“Our famous bacon,” the waiter said, as he rested the magical plate to my left. Four strips of the thickest bacon I’d ever seen sat before me. Still, I was skeptical.  Was it too thick? Would it still be crispy?

I took a bite and… cue Meg Ryan-When-Harry-Met-Sally moment. It melted in my mouth. I took another bite. My life was forever changed. It was tender and fluffy, yet fatty and crispy. I saw the face of Leonardo DiCaprio wrapped in the voice of Justin Timberlake ensconced in the body of Channing Tatum.

Their website makes it sound like they might marinate it. Maybe it was deep fried. I don’t know. I don’t care. I don’t even know what I did on the rest of that trip. All I know is I’m going back.

For bacon.

5-pt-bacon-2

What’s the most decadent thing you’ve ever eaten?

P.S. – I’m actually headed to BaconFest 2014 in Chicago next month and will let you know if I find anything that can top this. Anyone else going?!

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Oh F%#&. My Mom Got A Smart Phone.

Babs-smart-phone

You heard correctly, Chipmunks:

My mom, Babs, got her first smart phone!

Sticking with this would have been smart.

Sticking with this would have been smart.

The adventure started when my dad gave her a Radio Shack gift certificate for Christmas, intending to let me help Babs actually purchase the phone. Because he never really loved me.

Now, I love my iPhone, but wouldn’t exactly call myself a smart phone expert. My only solid advice was, “Get the gold one, it’s pretty.”

Wow, I really need to stop biting my nails.

Wow, I really need to stop biting my nails.

Two hours at Radio Shack and the death of my soul later, Babs got her first lesson from me:

“See this blue icon with the A? That’s your app store. Click it and type in Macy’s.”

Any good teacher knows you have to speak your student's language.

Any good teacher knows you have to speak your student’s language.

While she took to the shopping apps like nobody’s business, the past few weeks have looked like this:

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And my very favorite:

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…Wait for it…

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I [just called to say I] love you, Babs. Thanks for letting me use those screen shots for the world’s amusement.

How do you/your parents fare with technology? Any gadget gift fails?

P.S. – I suck royally for not responding to recent comments. Rest assured my absence has only made my heart grow fonder, and I totally want to have 10,000 of your babies.

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My Dog Is About To Make Your Weekend

Uncle-Jesse-youre-welcome

Some of you may already be familiar with my obsession with my Labradoodle dog, Uncle Jesse.

He’s a model.

He eats lying down.

He answers to ridiculous commands.

He’s the inspiration behind my inaugural blog post.

Recently, I began to notice something even more incredible than the fact that he turns his snout up at the sh*tty knock off Milk Bone biscuits from the local bank teller.

I noticed he learned a command entirely unintentionally.

Because he’s the most amazing f%$&*@ dog in the world.

Happy Friday!

What’s the best pet trick you’ve ever seen? (Links to videos STRONGLY encouraged.)

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Maine: Best Worst Trip Ever

Last week, Rachel’s Table and I headed north to Freeport, Maine to visit Darla from She’s A Maineiac. I guess we were kind of excited.

Maine-Trip-Jan2014-yay

We were originally going to go Friday-Sunday, but decided to leave on Thursday afternoon so we’d have a full day with Darla while her two adorable kiddos were in school.

Without traffic, it’s a 6 hour drive from New Jersey.

We took Rachel’s car, agreeing to split the driving time. Did I mention her car is new? And if there’s a pothole, I’ll hit it?

Somewhere between New York and Connecticut, we (and by we I mean me) hit 37 potholes. And I’m not talking little divots in the pavement.

crater

Good job on 15 North, guys. Really. It’s impressive.

On Rachel’s high-tech dashboard, we watched the air pressure in the driver’s side tire plummet.

Rache-tire-pressure-dashboard-Maine

By the time we reached Boxborough, Massachusetts, we had a flat. Rachel pulled over while I surreptitiously checked her fuel tank. Plenty to keep the car running and heated for at least an hour or two. Whew.

“I don’t know how to change a tire. Do you?” she asked with a laugh.

“I’m from New Jersey. I don’t even know how to pump my own gas,” I replied. “But I just renewed my AAA membership!”

Maine-trip-AAA

In under 30 minutes, a tow truck arrived. The driver got the spare out of the trunk and started rooting around while Rachel and I bounced up and down trying to keep warm.

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Rache “spares” a smile for this photo. *groan*

“I can’t find the key,” he announced.

It took us much longer than it should have to understand that tires have unique “keys” to unscrew the lug nuts so no one steals them. The spare in your car is supposed to come equipped with its matching key.

the_more_you_know2

We tore apart the car, but alas, no key. Thanks, Toyota.

Eventually, he said our only option was to go to the nearby dealership and have them change the tire – when they opened. In the morning.

Oh, did I mention Rache had 20-inch fancy rims?

This detail becomes important later.

This detail becomes important later.

“I’m so sorry I broke your car!” I wailed for the first of many times.

After the tow truck driver unloaded the car at the dealership, he said he could drive us to the nearest hotel. Nevermind that we had two non-refundable rooms waiting for us a mere two hours away in Maine.

“Do you have anywhere for us to put our luggage?” we asked.

“Just your laps.”

Our essentials were scattered between six bags, not including my swinging 1970s, fully-loaded cooler, which took up half the back seat. I grabbed my laptop and two bottles of champagne. “Screw it,” I said to Rachel. “This is all I need.”

When we arrived at the hotel, Rachel explained our predicament to the front desk. The man at the counter replied deliberately, “You have a coupon, riiight?” He nodded slowly.

“Um…yeeees,” Rachel said, catching on.

When we saw the receipt: 50% off! What’s more, our room overlooked a funky indoor pool, white lights and palm trees (you go on with your bad self, Holiday Inn), so we opened the balcony sliders, and more importantly, the champagne, and toasted to the kindness of strangers.

Holiday-inn-balcony-view-Maine

Maine-champagne-Jan-2014

Rachel called the dealership at 8am the next morning, and they finally got back to us with the verdict two hours later.

“It’s not just a flat. Your rim is damaged beyond repair.”

“Of course it is,” Rachel replied.

“And since you have 20-inch ones, we’d have to custom order a replacement. It wouldn’t be here until Monday.”

“So…my only options are to wait until Monday…or get 4 new 18-inch rims and tires?”

“Correct. And it’d probably cost the same either way.”

She covered the mouthpiece. “I knew. I knew when we got that car with those friggin’ rims…” She spoke into the receiver, “I guess I’ll have to get four new tires and rims, then. How long will that take? …Okay.”

“I’m so sorry!” I cried.

“Jules, it’s not your fault. I hit them, too,” Rachel reassured me, gracious as ever. (It was totally my fault.)

Turns out they had to order the ‘regular’ rims from a nearby dealer and couldn’t start work until 1pm.

They gave us a complimentary rental car, and we killed time at a local diner.

“There’s no lobster on this f&*&#% menu.”

"I haven't showered in 24 hours!"

“I’ve been in these clothes for 27 hours!”

At 3pm, they gave us the good news: “Almost done.”

At 4pm: “We just realized we have to put all of the tire censors back on. It’s going to be another hour.”

5pm: “Okay, just finishing the paperwork.”

5:02pm: “Our computers just froze.”

5:30pm: “Let me give you the damaged tire and rim. Oh, wait, it’s filthy, we need a bag. Hang on.”

5:35pm: “We can’t find any more bags.”

5:45pm: Finally, FINALLY on our way. “Good thing we left Thursday night.”

7:00pm: Reach Maine.

7:30pm: Darla texted. “I can’t get out of my driveway. It’s a sheet of ice.”

That’s right. At last we were in Maine, 24 hours behind schedule, and NO DARLA.

But there was lobster. Lots and lots of lobster.

IMG_5523

IMG_5522

These were called “Lobsicles.” Heh.

Saturday morning, another text from Darla: “I still can’t get out!!”

So Rachel and I shuffled around the icy streets of Freeport alone, waiting for the temperature to climb above freezing.

At one point, it was so slippery, a gift shop owner reached out a hand while holding the door, towing us inside. Later, when we peered longingly into Freeport Chowder House, the man inside waved us in.

“Are you open?” we asked.

“Not for two hours, but I never turn down customers,” he replied. “I don’t have the fryer going yet, but what do you want? Lobster roll?”

Rachel and I looked at each other. “YES.”

Breakfast of champions bloggers.

Breakfast of champions bloggers.

It was noon on Saturday before we saw Darla, but she was worth the wait.

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The sun even came out…just in time for us to drive home.

Bartending for Rache and Darla from my favorite possession: My parents' 1970s cooler. Dude. It keeps ice frozen for THREE days. IN THE SUMMER.

The (in)famous swinging 1970s cooler, a.k.a. my favorite possession. It keeps ice frozen for THREE days. IN THE SUMMER.

Despite the many snafus, this li’l trip north had so many heart-warming moments, I wouldn’t trade it for anything would totally trade it for another 10am lobster roll.

IMG_5537 - Version 2

And they say chivalry is dead.

P.S. – I even learned how to pump my own gas!

Jules-pumps-gas-Maine-Jan2014

Since the word count on this post is already as atrocious as the potholes on Route 15, I hope you’ll head over to Rachel’s Table and She’s A Maineiac to read more about our adventures!

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Have you ever had any vacations that didn’t go, ah, according to plan?

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Have Pie, Will Travel

This afternoon, Rachel’s Table and I are on our way up [from Delaware and New Jersey, respectively] to…

Maine-Trip-2014-Rachel-Jules

To see this gal!

Maine-Trip-Darla-gravatar

Darla, from ShesOneOfMyFavoritePeople.com, I mean, ShesAMaineiac.com.

The three of us had been daydreaming about a Maine get-together for ages. One December morning, I blurted, “Why wait? I’m not working [since my "separation" with Big Pharma], and Darla doesn’t have to go back to [Medical Assistant] school until late January! When will that ever happen again?”

Maine? In January? You’re probably thinking.

My mom's cousin's backyard right now. Little Deer Isle, Maine.

My cousin’s backyard right now. Little Deer Isle, Maine.

Sure, they’re having the harshest winter Darla’s ever seen, but I think I’ll be spending less time outdoors and more time doing this:

Maine-Trip-Jules- lobster

Besides, while most people fantasize about palm trees and white sand, I lust after evergreens, crisp air, mountains, and of course, an ocean view at every turn. I’ve been in love with Maine since my first visit [to Freeport, Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park] 16 years ago. It calls to me. It’s like my Paris.

View from Darla's backyard.

Basically, I want to live in an LL Bean catalog. View from Darla’s backyard.

I also realized I had a golden opportunity to woo several people at once with my homemade Tollhouse pie.

Get ready, Maineiacs.

Get ready, Maineiacs.

Because that’s how I roll.

The Accidental Stepmom (a.k.a. JM Randolph), who I just had the pleasure of seeing again on Monday, approves.

I hope to return next week with some wacky and wonderful tales. In the meantime, stay warm – and don’t have too much fun without me!

Jules-Hersheys-Kiss-Hat-28Sep13

I really should have gotten that hat.

Where’s your “Paris”? What part of the world calls to you?

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Guess Who’s Not Obese?!

You’ve heard of the Body Mass Index (BMI), right? A handy dandy formula for figuring out just how many bacon strips past healthy you are?

I didn't think it could get worse until I saw it in Comic Sans.

I didn’t think it could get worse until I saw it in Comic Sans.

Well, then, I’m glad you put down your vodka and Valium long enough to read this post, because: I know. That shiz is unforgiving.

July 2013.

July 2013.

This past summer, I felt compelled to finally take note. I’d been struggling with a 2 year-long weight loss plateau, and even hiking every mountain in New Jersey wasn’t helping.

Thanks to 1 FitBit (my pedometer on steroids) and 6 months, I realized vodka does, in fact, have calories…

This can't be right.

This can’t be right.

…and have gone from “obese” to “normal.”

Clearly this scale isn't measuring mental health.

Clearly this scale isn’t measuring mental health.

And you know what that means for Go Jules Go…

Jules-BMI-CU

Jules-BMI-full

In all seriousness, this blog has changed my life. I’m 100+ pounds lighter than when I started GoJulesGo.com in February 2011, and while weight may just be a number, I’m also lighter in spirit in ways that cannot be measured.

And that is invaluable.

So thank you.

Jules-Rainbow-Puke

P.S. – I can totally still celebrate with vodka, right?

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So Wrong, It’s Right.

So things in hell are going well, thanks for asking. Selling your house For Sale By Owner during the holidays is super fun and festive.

I especially like it when the tree topper falls off and more lights go out every five g.d. seconds.

2013-tree-lights-out

Ah, Scrooge it. It’s only two days ’til Christmas.

Speaking of tree toppers… Every year, my mom, Babs, decorates a beautiful, live tree and places her beloved star on top.

Not a star star, of course. Don’t be ridiculous.

GOGP_Edward_tree

Edward Cullen.

GOGP_JustinB_Tree

Justin Bieber.

GOGP_Chipmunk_Tree

My blog mascot, a chipmunk (featuring my former blog name).

Babs likes to stay current, as you can see, and was hemming and hawing over this year’s “star.”

“I just don’t know,” she sighed.

“Miley,” my dad replied, turning back to his New York Times and coffee.

Yes. The man who seemingly only put up with this tradition out of a desire to pick his battles, proved himself the fourth wise man of Christmas 2013.

2013-Babs-tree-Miley

2013-Babs-tree-Miley-CU

Well done, Mom & Pop. Well done.

Merry Christmas, Chipmunks!

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I Did It All For The Stickers

Oh, hi blog, it’s me, Jules. You probably didn’t recognize me because I’VE LOST MY F%$&%@ MIND.

Remind me never to buy real estate again. In fact, remind me to never buy anything again, ever. Okay, maybe toothbrushes. Those get really gross after a while.

Trying to sell your house is like having to, every day for, possibly, ever, tell a 6-year-old Santa Claus doesn’t exist. You don’t know how bad it’s going to be, but you know it’s going to be bad.

Especially when you’ve lost your job and are convinced you can do everything yourself.

Case in point: Buying this year’s Christmas tree became a rushed, haggard ‘staging’ opportunity, as opposed to a magical, fragrant event wherein I blast John Denver and the Muppets and drink egg nog rum.

Christmas-tree-2013

Ever try to chop down a tree with a rusty saw and an eye that tells you 10 feet is 7 feet?

Case in point part deux: In the past month, I’ve learned things about my vacuum that, frankly, I think I was better off not knowing.

Three years together, vacuum, and NOW you tell me?

Three years together, vacuum, and NOW you tell me?

In fact, I was so desperate to get out of cleaning the downstairs coat closet, when Babs (my mom) mentioned needing help at the office yesterday, I gleefully volunteered. She works for an allergist, and while I was sure I’d be of no use whatsoever, she was more than willing to perch me in the front window for the day.

Questions I Was Not Able to Answer

  • Can I come in for a flu shot?
  • Can you talk to my primary care doctor about sending over my blood work?
  • What is your fax number?
  • Can I still have peanut and sesame oil?

Question(s) I WAS able to Answer

  • Can my child have a sticker?
Helping-Babs-for-Stickers

And may I recommend My Little Pony?

How often do you replace your toothbrush? When did you find out Santa Claus wasn’t real? Would you like a sticker?

I Am Thankful For %&$*#@!

Oy vey.

I love the holidays, but deciding to sell my house during them?

Oy. To the. Freaking. Vey.

“Oh, but I lost my job, I’ll have so much time to do everything myself!” -Me, 5 weeks ago, being a dumbass.

“Surely I can just sand that chipped paint on the bathroom ceiling!”

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Oh… that’s not paint… it’s like, like… giant chunks of plaster…

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…and now it’s everywhere.

“Oh, I’ll just buy a new french door lock from Home Depot!”

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“I AM NEVER F&#$%^^* coming off, so just go eat some more turkey and leave me alone.” -Door Lock

“It’s sooo cheap to get a truckload of mulch! Amazing!”

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5 -literally- full days of mulching and this eye sore still remains at the foot of the driveway.

“What a great opportunity to declutter!”

house-fail-piles

NO.

“Free boxes from someone on Craigslist! Yay!”

house-fail-boxes

Do you think I can get rid of these 57 extra boxes on Craigslist before the first open house?

“I’ll just spackle over those holes downstairs!”

house-fail-spackle

Spackle dust doesn’t actually stay in your lungs, does it?

“That swing set out back is so old, it’ll just come apart with a good shove!”

house-fail-swingset

3 weeks later.

And the latest and greatest, the pièce de résistance, my attempt to clean a carpet yesterday:

house-fail-carpet

I can’t even talk about this one.

What also happened yesterday? Babs (mom) sent a picture of my niece’s latest art project. She had to list her favorite relative:

Booya.

Booya. Right up there with chickin.

I guess I do have a lot to be thankful for.

2012-hats

Got any house selling tips? This is a first for me. …Clearly.

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