Monthly Archives: November 2011

The Postest with the Mostest – #100!!!

Hunky Chipmunks, this post is epic. It’s…

My 100th Post!!!

Can I get a what-what? I knew this one had to be special, and as usual, the guilty pleasure gods were on my side.

My most chipmunkalicious friend, Jenn (ya’ll probably remember her from this special post or our guest interview on JM Randolph’s blog), discovered a pet photographer through her volunteer work at the animal shelter, 11th Hour Rescue.

Meet Joseph Frazz.

Photo credit: reviewobserver.net.

Joe is awesome for a lot of reasons, like the fact that he volunteers his time to visit shelters and take amazing pictures of cats and dogs. Because what better way to help them get adopted than by showing them in their best light?

Jenn hired Joe to take pictures of her dog, Shunderson, last weekend.

Joseph Frazz Photograpy

She showed me some of the pics and I lost my shiz.

Joseph Frazz Photography

I told her I would have to hire Joe, too. She replied, “Well…I kind of already did as your Christmas present.” Cue tear-fest.

Joe came over yesterday and conducted Uncle Jesse’s first photo shoot. Naturally, Uncle Jesse felt it was long overdue. Much like his mother, he’s a supermodel at heart. He kept his demands low, and only required filtered water and hand-rolled cigarettes, a new squeaky toy and a bag of organic chicken-flaxseed treats.

Technically, he's Australian.

(Don’t worry, as soon as I get the rest of the pics, you’ll be the first to know.)

Make sure to check out more of Joe’s phenomenal photography on his Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Joseph-Frazz-Photography/114981261894705

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Here Come the Holi-Crazies

Funky chipmunks, it’s Black Friday and I’m doing a number of things that don’t involve straying too far from the house. My sister and I used to get into some hair-pulling, nail-scratching fights when we were kids, and I now know better than to mess with a woman and her half-price designer jeans.

So, how am I going to keep the Christmas anxiety down and the guilty pleasures high? Well, stay tuned for my annual gingerbread house and the decorations I plan to put up this weekend.

For now, it’s time to bust out my favorite holiday tunes and movies!

This one goes on ‘repeat’ while I decorate:

"This year, Alfie asked me to ask you..." to rock out on guilty pleasures!

And here’s My Holiday Movie Trifecta:

Yes. Double yes. Triple yes.

Did you do any Black Friday shopping (and lived to tell the tale?)? What are your must-hear/must-see holiday songs and films?

Guilty Pleasure Overdose…Someone Call 9-1-FUN!

Chipmunks, I… I can’t even… I mean it’s just so… Deep breath. Okay. I’m having trouble typing because of THIS ARTICLE.

Have mercy!

Second Husband (Darren Criss) + People’s Sexiest Man Alive photo shoot = eating peanut butter cups and drinking champagne on a cloud while watching Glee and having someone tell me I’m perfect.

Here’s a sneak peek:

Clearly the guilty pleasure gods wish to appease me.

He looks like Eric from The Little Mermaid*. Or, you know, like every dream come true.

I am going to have to add a new bullet point to my “Why Polygamy is the Right Choice for You” presentation (if you think this presentation is just a figment of my imagination, you don’t know me very well): You can be the pretty one in the relationship. Pinky swear.

All right. I think I can move on now, to what this post was originally supposed to be about (oops).

I saw Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 this weekend (I’ll give you a moment to recover from the shock). I thought it was a lot more carefully done than Eclipse and I always enjoy seeing my favorite books come to life on the silver screen. I especially loved the wedding speeches and the closing shot.

I have a whole new set of ideas for my second wedding now. Photo credit: twilightnewssite.com

What did you think of Breaking Dawn?! (Feel free to ignore this question to comment instead about how much joy I will bring to Second Husband’s abs life.)

*I spent a considerable amount of time coming up with Little Mermaid puns for this paragraph, and then thought better of it…until this footnote. Here’s my favorite:

You’re the dinglehopper to my bad hair day.

Remembering My Personal Hero

My boss used to call me the glue that held things together, but I always knew better.

On November 24, 2010, five days after Carol passed away, I faced the most challenging moment of my then 28 years. After her funeral ceremony, I shook the hand of her 16-year-old son, the same son she’d leave every afternoon meeting to talk to on the phone, and somehow managed to say, “I’m Julie. I’m so sorry.”

For almost two years, Carol battled a rare form of lymphoma. She diligently led her team of over a hundred people, until June of 2010, when she finally took a leave of absence. On that late June afternoon, she came by my cubicle to personally tell me of her plans, like she would do on any normal day. I was afraid to ask questions, and Carol knew me well enough by then -after 5+ years- to know I couldn’t handle the gory details. Her eyes spoke a grave truth, but there was no doubt in my mind she would recover and return.

She’d get better, of course, because she was strong. The strongest person I knew. My hero.

Even though 87 pay grades separated us, Carol refused to let anyone take advantage of my original position as a glorified secretary. She genuinely sought my opinion whenever people were interviewed, or a process wasn’t working out. When I had my first meltdown, she handed me a box of tissues and told me she knew I could do it.  A few months before she took a leave of absence, when I dyed my hair brown, she told me it wasn’t me. I wondered who she saw.

Our paths first crossed unexpectedly. Right after graduating from college, my then boyfriend’s (now husband’s) sister suggested I come work in her department – in Big Pharma. “It’s only a year-long contract,” she explained, “and the pay is really good.”

With student loan payments looming, and no other prospects on the horizon, I agreed. As a creative writing student with dreams of pursuing fame and fortune in the arts, I simply couldn’t appreciate how lucky I was to walk into this kind of position without so much as a formal interview. I knew nothing about drug development; I’d never even taken biology or chemistry, for god’s sake. I was completely out of my element in a department full of MDs, MBAs, PharmDs, and some degrees I didn’t know existed.

Some people never understood why I was Carol’s right-hand woman. I can’t say I know for sure either, but the one memory that quite possibly sums it up? Why, it just so happens to feature a favorite guilty pleasure:

One day in 2005, Carol stopped by my desk and pointed to a sign that I’d had on my cubicle wall for the past 6 months, since I’d started working for her – this one:

“You know,” she said, “after all this time, I finally came over and read what it said, because I couldn’t believe you’d have one of those posters. I should have known better.”

[Photo credit: despair.com]

Why Don’t the Duggars Dance?

But they like music...

This week whenever I heard a fly beat I felt like little elves chipmunks were scurrying around in my limbs, making me shimmy and shake like Shakira someone with two left feet. (Renée, I know you know what I’m talkin’ about!)

I’ve also been catching up on one of my favorite TLC shows (what would we do without them, Sprinkles?!), 19 Kids and Counting. One of the episodes was an interview episode, where people from ’round the globe submitted questions to the 21-strong (and counting…) Duggar family. Perhaps the most interesting question was fielded by 20-year-old Jill Duggar: “Why is it a family rule not to dance?”

The answer (if it looks like words are missing it’s because sweet Jill is shy and skirting around some things):

I don’t think it’s necessarily a rule. We don’t want to stir up desires, just different things that, um, cannot be…righteously fulfilled, that cannot be, um, I don’t know, so, anyways, our family has chosen not to dance.

Jim Bob, the patriarch, added that they try not to “shake body parts around” to draw attention to their bodies. When asked if the family was familiar with the Beatles, Jim Bob diplomatically responded that the Beatles were very talented musicians, but

Unholy goodness. Photo credit: abcnews.go.com

his family prefers classical and Christian music. He said his children probably don’t know who the Beatles are.

Sigh. I heart the Duggars. I really do. I think they’re lovely. But…

No dancing? I don’t get it. They wake board and sky dive and make tater tot casserole. There is nothing pure about tater tot casserole.

I can’t imagine not busting a move when I hear tunes like this. (Trust me, you want to click on that link.) Seriously. A world without dancing? Why don’t you just take away chipmunks while you’re at it?

What do you think of the no dancing rule?

Let’s Kick This Writing Shiz Up a Notch

Cheery Chipmunks, I’m sure you’ve noticed (har har) that I haven’t been quite as active in the blogosphere over the last few weeks. True, my guilty pleasures keep me well occupied and we were without power for 7 days, but I’ve also been working on other writing projects. No, I’m not talking about my series of woodland creature haikus or the “Why Polygamy is the Right Choice for You” presentation for Second Husband.

Hang on. Just thought of a really good bullet point for the presentation… You will possess the ultimate conversation bomb.

Okay. So. Other writing. I wouldn’t call it cheating on you so much as experimenting. I have one complete piece that I don’t think I can agonize over any more (and by that I mean for another 3 years). It’s time to get serious.

Do you have any tips on finding a literary agent* and/or the submission process? If not, can you tell me in 15 words or less why the chicken crossed the road and if it’s safe to eat him?

*If you are a literary agent, may I just say: No one understands quality prose like you do.

Today Is Special…and So Are You!

This is you, if you were a rainbow. Photo credit: http://www.goldengatephoto.com

Cherubic chipmunks, today is the most magical day ever. It’s:

11-11-11!!!

What, you mean you don’t always make a wish every time the clock hits 11:11? And your favorite actor‘s birthday isn’t today? …Hmm. Okay. If you don’t think today is special, maybe we should talk about other special things. Things for which you will not be able to deny their specialness.

On this most bewitching day, I’d like to introduce you to [some of] the people I hold nearest and dearest. Also known as…

People Who Rock My Guilty Pleasure World

1. Babs

Don't worry. She likes surprises.

Babs is the Mommasita extraordinaire. She taught me everything I know about guilty pleasures, namely, how to harmlessly stalk celebrities. Babs also showed me the way around a Long Island Iced Tea (or seven) and how to write a proper greeting card. Sometimes I don’t even know why I bothered with school.

Babs is special because she agreed to have a third child when she only wanted two. Also because she makes people feel good just by being around, and she doesn’t even know it.

2. Peppermeister

Look at this little baby-faced couple (circa 2005)!

My hubster, the one and only Peppermeister, taught me how to embrace guilty pleasures that I might have otherwise been too embarassed to share (er, like this one). He’s also the person who convinced me to start a blog, and is there any greater guilty pleasure than blogging about guilty pleasures (as I’ve mentioned before, it’s like trying to stare at the sun)?

Peppermeister is special because he once told a college english class -before we were dating- that I was “appropriately feminine.” Also because he’s the funniest, most selfless person I’ve ever met.

3. Bee-atch

On one of our more conservative shopping trips to Wal-Mart.

My Big Sis (actually, not-so-big – homegirl has lost almost 100 lbs. in the past year!) knows a thing or two about guilty pleasures. What she does with Pilsbury crescent rolls could blow your mind. She’s an inspiration!

Bee-atch is special because she lets me live vicariously through her dating life and is super-fun when she’s drunk. Also because she’s the only person I know who can dish it out as well as she can take it.

4. Bestie

I don't know why she didn't marry me. Look how happy I make her.

Some of you know Bestie, a.k.a. Jenn, from our stellar interview on JM Randolph’s blog. More than 11 years ago, Bestie rescued me from the depths of bad poetry despair and told me to have some g.d. fun! From animals dressed as other animals to vodka to hilarious Hallmark cards, she gets it.

Bestie is special because she thinks it’s funny when I’m angry. Also because she’s one of the smartest, most talented chicks on the planet. (Let’s see if I can convince her to introduce her music to the blogosphere…)

5. SIL

What a nice sister and girlfriend this band dude had - wearing his face on our shirts! And yes, this is in front of the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ.

SIL (sister-in-law) helped me write an entire blog post, and in fact it’s one of the most popular to this day. If that isn’t guilty pleasure inspiration, I don’t know what is!

SIL is special because she remembers more things about my life than I do. Also because she welcomes people into her heart and home even when they’re trying to secretly date her only sibling.

6. YOU!

Duh! You are totally special, too! I mean for starters, you have impeccable taste. You are also overwhelmingly attractive, and that counts for a lot everything.

You are special because you knew me when I was just an awesome blogger. Also because you take the time out of your busy day to encourage your fellow writers.

P.S. – If you’d like to repay me for all the compliments, please email me the secret(s) to levitation.

And on the 7th day, there was light (…and labradoodles in costume).

When Seasons Collide.

Once upon a time, Mother Nature had a stroke and decided New Jersey was getting off too easy. Sure, sure, there’s tolls on the highways and you can’t bring beer on the beach, but…no scorpions! So, she threw us a heaping scoop of hurricane with a sprinkling of tornado. Nah, she thought, still not cutting it. I know! Earthquake! That seemed to satisfy her for a while, but when October 29th rolled around, she was restless again.

Mother Nature decided she’d start with a smattering of snow. Odd, I thought, but pretty.

Who doesn't like a Christmas tree farm dusted with snow?

Then…BAM!

FULL-ON SNOW STORM!

By the way, that ‘bam’ was the sound of every tree in New Jersey falling on every power line. As the most densely populated state in the U.S., that’s a lot of power lines. The snow was too heavy and the leaves too plentiful; giant branches bowed and then broke.

We weren’t anticipating a true storm (there’s no storm like it on record [for October] since the Civil War), so when it really started coming down and we lost power at 1 o’clock last Saturday afternoon, we headed out in search of a generator and bottled water (we have a well that doesn’t work when we lose power).

We encountered 5 power lines down in under an hour...which is how long it took us to go 6 miles.

We got the last generator, and it was enough to power the fridge. Not the heat or the water. So we waited in the dark. And waited and waited. We blanched at the news that 95% of New Jersey Central Power and Light’s customers would have power restored by the following Thursday, the remaining 5% on Friday. By Thursday?! That was 6 full days away! We had needs! …Like showering for work.

Guess who was in the 5%? Yup. That’s right. 7 days of flushing the toilet with melted snow and creek water later…

I’M BACK!

Of course, I have to return with a bang, so for your viewing pleasure…

Uncle Jesse in costume!!!

I'm not sure he grasps what a privilege it is to be a chipmunk.

There are many like-minded souls out there, which fills my guilty pleasure heart to the brim. For example, I discovered via Twitter that last Halloween Second Husband bought a squirrel costume from Target for his brother’s dog:

He's carrying an acorn! OMG. (Click on picture for photo credit, but only if you dare.)

Annnnnd this is why Second Husband is about to get upgraded to Soul Mate status. I mean, a squirrel is almost a chipmunk. Does anyone else see interwoven destiny here? …No? Pssh. See if I try to pawn off my leftover candy corn on you this year.