Monthly Archives: August 2011

Thanks a Lot, Phil

Isn’t it weird how one person can ruin a perfectly good name for you forever? Like, you’d sooner sit on the surface of the sun than name one of your kids after that person. This is such a universal feeling that it makes me laugh. (As universal as the idea that you need at least 3 snacks and 5 bottles of water for a 45-minute-long car ride.)

Here are just a few names that are ruined for me for all of eternity.

Clara

Oh Clara, Clara, Clara. I will never forget you, scary girl in one of my college creative writing workshops. You would tear down every word of every piece I ever wrote for that class. No one else did this, to me or anyone else, in any other workshop.

Clara was one of these angry people who hated me on sight, for no reason I could ever determine, except maybe that I smiled a lot. There’s a good chance that wherever she is now, she’s either 1) telling children Santa Claus doesn’t exist, 2) stealing ice cream from a toddler, or 3) pulling the wings off a butterfly.

Mike

I should probably let my hot-ass sister (seriously - any sexy, rich, single guys out there?) explain this one. Suffice it to say, she has one or two ex-boyfriends named Mike.

Phil

When I was in 7th grade, the slang term phat came out, meaning what today we (and by we I mean me) might call amazeballs. I will never forget the day a delinquent in my Social Studies class wrote “Julie is phat” on his desk, and proceeded to tell everyone it was because I was actually f-a-t. Hilarious, Phil. How’s jail treating you these days?

So, who’s ruined a name for you??

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Wanna Name My Car?

I’ve named every car I’ve ever had. My first car, a hand-me-down maroon 1987 Crystler Le Baron was The Toaster. Because, well, it felt like you were riding in a little tin toaster. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for The Toaster. Not just ’cause she was my first, but because she was healthy as a horse until her dying day, when she just wouldn’t start. True to guilty pleasure form, I even adorned her dash with 5 hunky passengers who always seemed to agree with me:

I was so sad when The Toaster went bye, bye, bye.

My second car, another hand-me-down, was a silver 1991 Geo Prism named Toasty. Toasty was a love child of The Toaster, and took after her in many toaster-y ways. This isn’t Toasty, but she looked a lot like this:

Photo credit: cargurus.com

I named my last car, a shiny new, baby blue 2005 VW Beetle convertible, Nudge, because anytime you left the door open or didn’t have your seatbelt on, she’d let you know about it in the most obnoxious way possible:

I know. I'm a Barbie girl, in a Barbie wo-orld...

Two years ago, I sold Nudge, knowing it was time to buy a 4-door, grown-up car that I could actually see out of (Nudge sure was cute, but the visibility? Yeesh). I had to emotionally check out, knowing it was unlikely my next new-to-me car was going to make me smile on sight. I paid cash for my current car, a used blue 2006 Hyundai Sonata. The Sonata’s been very good to me, and I’m starting to feel guilty for not naming her.

A Hyundai by any other name...would still smell like a homeless person.

I need your help. Write-ins are MOST appreciated (please be sure to comment below for any write-ins; the poll ones don’t seem to appear!), otherwise, I’ve created a poll where you can vote below! Before doing so, though, here’s a few things you should know about the Sonata:

  • She has over 100,000 miles on her

  • When I say she’s blue, I mean she’s more of a garish, turquoise-y blue

  • She reeked of cigarette smoke when I bought her

  • When I turn on the vents, it smells like a homeless person for a few minutes

  • Her trunk is huge, and, it’s full of crap (so, you know, she has junk in her trunk)

  • According to the CarFax report, she was in not 1, not 2, but 3 accidents before I inherited her

Me + Irene + Justin Bieber

First off, I hope my fellow east coasters are okay! Or, to put it another way, I hope your Hurricane Irene experience was as disappointing ho-hum as last week’s earthquake.

Hurricanes are a real thrill-a-minute, though. I mean, just look:

While vodka, bottled water, books and solitaire by candlelight may sound like a good time, last night I was actually just pretending I was watching True Blood, the VMAs and Jersey Shore on that sweet, sweet TV.

Yeah, it sucked, big, boring Gobstoppers. Here’s an actual hurricane conversation in the kitchen with my husband on Saturday night:

Me (proudly): I’ve been drinking a glass of water for every [alcoholic] beverage I’ve had tonight.

Ed: Oh yeah?

Me: Yeah. I’ve had a lot of water.

The good news is, everyone we know is all right and there’s no water in the house, the bad news is: no power since Saturday night. It’s Monday now and I’m at my parents’ house, with very little hope that my power will be restored anytime soon, given that two poles are down and no one’s working on them yet. At our house, we don’t have running water without power. Rotten food party, anyone?

Just one of the trees on one of the power lines by our house.

If I didn’t come here to my parents’ house, though, I wouldn’t have seen this on my niece and nephew’s toys:

Dear Ryan Murphy

Dear Ryan Murphy,

Can you blame me? Photo credit: kfcplainfield.com

I don’t usually do this (except the one time I did, when I was 9 and in love with Neil Patrick Harris. And by the way, he totally sent an autographed black-and-white headshot in return. And I still kind of love him. A lot. I wish I knew where that picture was. I hope I didn’t throw it out when Elijah Wood stole my heart), but I had to tell you how I feel.

You used to scare me, Ryan Murphy. You’re very intimidating, and I’m very not. I thought you might be another Simon Cowell, except without the creepy winking, deep V’s and fondness for female models. But now “The Glee Project” is over and I find myself empty inside. You really cared about those kids; heck, you even let most of them win. What’s more, you recently told Perez

I see through this prickly exterior, Ryan Murphy, right into your little gummy bear heart. Photo credit: movieline.com

Hilton you’d write him into an episode “Glee” whenever he wanted. These are not the actions of a scary writer/television producer.

These contestants touched you. I saw it when you’d let a smile pass your lips; your eyes would

definitely twinkle a little. I liked the way you talked about who you could write for and why. I want to hear more. I want to know you, Ryan Murphy.

Also, if you could please tell Darren Criss there’s a 29-year-old, married project manager from New Jersey who may or may not have green hair who’s wondering why he hasn’t returned any of her calls, that would be great. Thanks, Ryan.

Sincerely,

gojulesgo

You Say Tomato, I Say Desperation

Photo credit: wheredmyjobgo.blogspot.com

Right now* my head is covered in ketchup. Literally. (Would anyone ever say that figuratively?)

A summer of swimming has left my blonde hair green, and even the supposed miracle swimmer’s shampoo (which I consistently use immediately after each dip) has done jack-all, despite its horrifying sticker price.

If you try to do an internet search on any variation of “HELP I HAVE GREEN F*#$ING HAIR!!!”, you’ll find a lively debate raging on about the true cause of this affliction. The top two theories are copper pipes and chlorine. Since there’s not much I can do about either of those, I began searching for alternative methods to rid the punk rocker hue in my hair (though obviously not before researching local garage bands in need of a 29-year-old project manager who plays a mean triangle).

If I could pull it off like this I might have thought twice about the ketchup. Photo credit: e90post.com

Which is what brings me here, to this slimy, vinegar-scented moment. Hearing about any or all of your hair disasters would probably make me feel a whole lot better… :)

*Not actually right now, of course, because I’m at work and that would just be weird. But I wrote this last night. And yeah, it’s still green. Thanks for asking. I feel great about being at work with green hair.

Psst…Are you dying to know what happens? It’s a real cliff-hanger, isn’t it? I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. Click here for the follow-up post!

The Glee Project Announces Winner and I Explore Life’s Purpose

On Sunday night “The Glee Project” announced their winner, and I soooo nailed it - the guy with the dreads (Samuel) won! In a delightful everyone’s-a-winner twist, though, they also gave the Irish kid (Damian) a 7-episode contract, and both runners-up (Alex and Lindsay) will be appearing in 2 episodes! Like I wasn’t pumped enough for Season 3.

And the winner is…all of us. Photo credit: avclub.com

I actually had such a downer post ready to go up today (let’s just say a disturbing episode of “Restaurant Impossible” made me worry I’m one night of boob tubing and two vodka tonics away from being Kevin Spacey’s new ‘sloth’ victim [side note: isn’t “Se7en” the best scary movie ever?]). But then the skies parted and my little guilty pleasure guardian angels flew down and typed “Darren Criss” into my Google search engine (they really LOVE to do that). Which led me to…

A Darren Criss flash mob! (Done at a Chicago fair where Darren recently performed.) Sure, it’s amateurish, and goes on a little too long, but aren’t they cute? It lifted my spirits, and I hope it does the same for you!

Darren later tweeted that he could finally cross “witness a flash mob dance to your songs” off of his bucket list. People are always surprised to hear I have a bucket list, but doesn’t everyone? What’s that one water sport you’ve always wanted to try, or that one country/state you’ve always wanted to visit? See, ta da, bucket list started!

Here are a mere few of my bucket list items - I even included some I’ve already done to show you that guilty pleasure dreams really do come true (as if this post wasn’t proof enough!):

They say it’s the happiest place on earth, but I’ll be the judge of that. Photo credit: disneystore.com
  • Water ski

  • Climb a rock wall

  • Go on a cruise (preferably one that houses dueling pianists and a rock wall)

  • Ride a hot air balloon

Probably with this guy. Photo credit: buckscountyrivercountryblog.blogspot.com

  • Take a road trip through the Redwood forest

  • Get a book published (and subsequently become besties with Stephenie Meyer and J.K. Rowling)

  • Buy a baby grand piano and perform for my imaginary fans (and possibly film and share the evidence)

  • Make Darren Criss my second husband

    Mr. gojulesgo the second. Let's pretend I took this picture right before he proposed. To throw off his rabid fans, though, I shall give "photo credit" to: teen.com

 What’s on your bucket list??

You Are About to See Something Special

There are certain things people don’t usually share. Their salary, political beliefs, ‘magic number’, feelings on drugs and abortion, whether they really believe in God. I can appreciate this, but I’m about to show you something most people don’t usually divulge. That’s right. Here it comes…

My guilty pleasure resume!

It’s not so much a document detailing my experience as it is a photographic expression of my commitment to the lifestyle. Nevertheless, I’m available for hire for all your guilty pleasure gigs, big and small (please submit job descriptions, down payments, and pictures of animals dressed as other animals to gojulesgo@ialwaysknewidberich.com). Enjoy:

1.) I have a cabinet full of plastic Medieval Times cups at all times (keepsakes from my 27th birthday party that we use constantly):

I'd like to dedicate this toast to all the knights and wenches in the hiz-ouse.

2.) This is my Harry Potter wall calendar, hanging in the kitchen for all to admire:

Don't you hate the boring months like this? Who cares about these guys?

3.) A staple: vodka in the freezer. …’Scuse me, I’ll be right back…

If this doesn't make your mouth water...well, good. More for me.

4.) …Cheers. Here are all of the ingredients to make bonfire s’mores at any given moment:

Marshmallows + chocolate + graham crackers + fire = a g.d. good time, that's what.

5.) This is the light cover I made for my craft room. Yeah, that’s right, craft room (a.k.a. why my future children will be living in the shed):

Cheese-tastic.

6.) Here is my dog, Uncle Jesse’s, monogrammed L.L. Bean bed. I know I should be embarrassed, but I’m not. I’m proud. So proud. (I mean, c’mon. You’re allowed exactly 10 characters, including spaces. It was meant to be.)

The kind of happiness only money can buy.

I know. I don't take him seriously either.

7.) This is the comment my husband just made:

“Do you wish your whole life was blogging? You wouldn’t have a blog if you didn’t have a life, though.”

…Oh, what’s that you say? You’re dying to see my craft room, especially the stripes I painted on the walls myself? Well, okay, if you insist. Here it is!

Julie, you are SO creative! Why thank you, Julie.

I’ve Got the Giggles (And I’m Not the Only One)

Do you have those people in your life who can get your Giggle Meter skyrocketing with just one look? I sure hope so. Girl on the Contrary’s hilarious post about a recent elevator trip had me reminiscing about all those times I’ve laughed inappropriately. Like this:

For me, I think it all started with one of my very first best friends, a sporty, feisty girl I met in nursery school at the local YMCA. Everything was funny to her – even getting in trouble. We used to play a made-up game where we’d blindfold each other and then feed the blindfolded person something and make them guess what it was. She will never let me live down the time I gave her a spoonful of bacon grease from the coffee can my dad used to pour it into. I could barely hold the spoon still; suppressed laughter had me shaking from head to toe.

Luckily, since then, my nursery school pal and I have had many more giggle-fests that were mutual. Other fits have been dangerous. Being in your late twenties and losing control in a business meeting, for example, is like taking your livelihood into your own hands. The more inappropriate it is to laugh, the harder it always seems not to, right? Last year, I was running a meeting where the focus was on electronic solutions for our current work. I had a few people in the room and the rest were attending virtually. The I.T. rep must have spiked her coffee that afternoon, because she just started laughing uncontrollably whenever anyone would ask a question. She was already two baby steps away from the place with the padded walls, and lack of sleep had apparently done her in. Every time I tried to rescue her and get things back on track, she’d look at me, red-faced, tears streaming down her face, and get me going, too. I’m not exaggerating when I say this went on for 5 minutes. No, I don’t know why I’m still employed. I guess it could have been worse:

Usually I have at least one episode whenever I’m with Babs. It’s kind of like the guarantee you get when you go to Friendly’s - service with a smile, or the meal’s on them. There are a thousand of these times I can’t remember, but they often start with me teasing Babs while we’re out shopping. I do so with a loving heart, to make sure she never starts wearing mom jeans or those puff-painted sweatshirts (again). Department store dressing rooms are like an altar where I give thanks to the giggle gods by trying on hideous things and transforming into the person who would wear them. Retired, chain-smoking Floridian? Snooki’s second cousin (the one no one likes to talk about)? Stripper trying to cover her dark past and pay her way through college? Been there, donned that.

I’d love to hear about some of your ‘episodes’ (the more inappropriate, the better)! Until then, I’ll leave you with a giggly clip of one of my favorite shows:

The #1 Guilty Pleasure By Which I Simply Cannot Abide

My SIL (sister-in-law) is great. Smart, loving, responsible. She’s one of my top go-to gals - she can help a sister out with just about anything. But she does have one flaw, and that flaw sounds a lot like the theme song to “7th Heaven.” Do you guys remember that show? I do, unfortunately. Yesterday, SIL reminded me of this nightmare with a nostalgic Facebook post. A dull shudder ran down my spine instantly when I saw this picture:

"When I see their happy faces, smiling back at me"...I'm afraid. Very afraid. Photo credit: cbs.com.

I told SIL I could handle Hugh Hefner, but Eric Camden was another matter. Seriously. Remember all those icky storylines where he’d counsel someone from his church in a far too intrusive way? I think pamphlets were involved, or at least I always imagined they were. And there’d constantly be uncomfortable sexual innuendo with his wife.  Let’s not forget, Aaron Spelling was behind this 11-year-long (!!!) trainwreck, so I really don’t think I’m imagining things.

I concluded with SIL, via Facebook, that they were definitely keeping extra, unseen children in the basement of that huge white house of theirs. After the conversation, though, I still felt unsatisfied. I needed to prove -perhaps only to myself- just how inappropriate this show really was.  And so after half-assed extensive research, I now present to you…

The Top 3 Most Ridiculous “7th Heaven” Moments*

*that I could find on YouTube

#1 – A Heavenly Arsenal

#2 – Read Between the Lines, Mom

#3 – This is Uncomfortable. Er, PERIOD.

And now, just for fun (I like to imagine they’re saying, “Puh-leeeeeeease noooooooo. Make it stooooop!”):

How to Have a Guilty Pleasure Weekend in 4 Easy Steps

Guilty pleasure bubbykins, I know it’s been a few days since my last post, but get ready for me to make it up to you!! That’s right. Simply follow these 4 easy steps and you’ll be GOGP-ing in no time.

Step #1: Find out you rule even more than you originally thought, as does Lady GaGa, and brag about it shamelessly on your blog.

On Friday morning, thanks to a colleague, I discovered my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification test scores were higher than I thought. I wasn’t particularly keen on being called “moderately proficient” in all 6 test areas, but as it turns out, even scoring “below proficient” on some sections earns you a passing grade. Man. I don’t even know how I keep my head up with all these brains inside it.

On Friday I was also exposed to this brilliant GaGa performance, thanks to Hubster’s Howard Stern-listening ways:

 

Step #2: Throw caution (and your dog’s leash) to the wind and loudly sing Bruno Mars songs in the woods.

On Saturday morning, we welcomed a gloriously sunny, 80-degree day here in western New Jersey, so the fam went for a hike in the Round Valley reservoir area. Why is that a guilty pleasure, you ask? Because, aside from belting out “The Lazy Song“, we let the dog off his leash for the whole 4 miles (shhh)! Who’s a good boy? Uncle Jesse is, yes he is! Look at these little tree huggers:

I really hope my very first stalker sees this and uses it to figure out how to find me on a fair-weather weekend.

Step #3: Do anything that requires you to wear glasses like these:

Photo credit: istockanalyst.com

As for my Saturday evening guilty pleasure activity, it looks like not many of you were as interested as me in seeing the Glee 3D Concert movie, which is supposedly playing for

Work it, girl! (Photo credit: pansophiatree.tumblr.com)

only 2 weeks. Babs, my sister and I were 3 out of only 10 people in the theater. I won’t hold it against you, though, because it isn’t nearly as cool as seeing the concert live in the flesh (they filmed the 3D movie during one of the New Jersey concerts; sadly, not the one I attended). They had some touching ‘underdog’ storylines rolling between songs, but it really was a concert movie, and it’s just not all that fun to sit still and watch a concert, even on the big screen in 3D.

The best part of the concert (aside from any moment featuring Blaine [Darren Criss]) was Brittany (Heather Morris) performing Britney Spears‘ “I’m a Slave 4 U.” That girl can dance! (Sorry, I couldn’t find any quality concert clips of this on YouTube.) Mercedes (Amber Riley) singing one of my favorite Aretha songs (“Ain’t No Way”) was goosebump-inducing, too. Those kids are nauseatingly talented. Can’t wait for Season 3 of “Glee” (airs Wednesday, Sep. 21st on FOX)!

Step #4: Drink [heavily] and practice saying, “The pee-pee does the picking.”

You can take the girl out of Jersey... (Photo credit: http://www.castingduo.com)

On Sunday, all the rain that was ever in the sky decided to fall at once, giving me the perfect excuse to stay inside and do nothing (though it did put a damper on previous ‘mini swim party’ plans I was looking forward to). If drinking vodka tonics and watching reruns of my new favorite show, “Millionaire Matchmaker“, counts as nothing, that is. And I kind of like to think of it as conducting research for you fine people. I may write a post dedicated to this startlingly amazing show, but in the meantime, tune into Bravo since they’re airing marathons practically ’round the clock. If you hate the matchmaker (Patti Stanger) for the first 5 minutes, beware. So did I.