Category Archives: humor

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.

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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.

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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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Oh F%#&. My Mom Got A Smart Phone.

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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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Lemme Guess. My Future’s In That Folder.

Last Thursday, I wrote a post on the fly while waiting to find out if I still had a [project management] job. Literally.

After three and a half hours of focused work and productivity, I finally got the alert that someone in senior management was ready for me. I steeled myself and entered her office.

“I don’t envy your job today!” I said as brightly as I could. I was relieved no one from Human Resources was present; it was just the two of us. Apparently, they trusted us not to staple anyone’s face or set ergonomically correct chairs on fire.

She gave a kind hello, but didn’t beat around the bush.

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Even though, yes, this was the career equivalent of, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you” or “It’s not you, it’s me,” I’d have time to blog, to bake, to blog about baking…

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Don’t worry. I’ll explain everything.

…to stop and smell the roses, to follow signs from the heavens…

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And I knew someone who’d be particularly happy to have me home every day.

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Another silver lining to all of this? The outpouring of support and encouragement from colleagues, friends, family and you. Some of you have even contacted me offline about job opportunities, and the ridiculously thoughtful Misty of Misty’s Laws just sent this care package:

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Misty warned me not to try to spend the gold coins.

My last day is the 18th, and after that? Well, if you thought my blog contests were epic before, hoo boy.

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Have you ever made or considered a major career change?

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Talking Animals Are My Favorite

Hi Chipmunks! I went to the zoo on Saturday.

Jealous? You should be. Here’s what happened.

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Happy captioning!

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What’s UP With That Lady?

***Psst: This is my 300th post! So you really should like it and leave a glowing comment. I don’t even care if you read it.***

So I’m married to this guy they call Peppermeister.

He likes peppers. A lot.

He likes peppers. A lot.

Which means I like peppers. A lot.

All kidding aside, I’ve learned to embrace my beloved’s hobby of growing insanely spicy peppers. This past weekend, I even agreed to go to Bower’s Chile Pepper Festival in eastern Pennsylvania.

We took his car, since mine decided it’s done with life.

The evolution of my transmission fluid, as depicted by Darrin, the auto shop guru.

The evolution of [two flushes of] my transmission fluid, as depicted by Darrin, Auto Shop Guru, Sep 7, 2013. “Yours was like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”

For $5, we found a sweet parking spot a couple of blocks away. In an Amish man’s yard. I appreciated both his entrepreneurial nature and his lawn accessories.

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We had no idea what to expect, but the festival was jalapeño-poppin’. There were plenty of vendors touting everything from mild pepper mustards and jams and homegrown delights…

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…to “butt-puckering” demon-peppers:

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Mostly, I tried not to lose Peppermeister amid his people.

Seriously. They all looked like this.

Seriously. They all looked like this.

I even partook in the madness.

I actually love this one: Hinkelhatz.

This is actually one of my favorites (I know. I have a favorite): Hinkelhatz.

But my two favorite moments had nothing to do with peppers. Not really, anyway.

FAVORITE MOMENT #1

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“She just wanted the attention,” Peppermeister, the Psych major, said on the ride home. “Did you notice she wouldn’t eat it until everyone was watching?”

“I gave her a lot of attention. I told her she was insane. I thought she’d like it.”

“She didn’t want the attention of WOMEN.”

“Ahhhhhhh.”

FAVORITE MOMENT #2

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We took a wagon ride over to the nearby pepper farm, and they left it up to the passengers to decide how many could fit on the wagon.

“I think we should sit on opposite sides so both legs are touching strangers,” Peppermeister joked while we waited on line.

He never could have imagined a woman would squeeze herself onboard…and on his lap. Without a single word.

What are your favorite “people watching” places and/or moments?

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5 Stages of Exercise Grief

Now that I’m living life with a Fitbit (a.k.a. the pedometer on crack), I feel I owe you some dieting advice and exercise tips.

It'll only cost you $100 and your soul.

It’ll only cost you $100 and your soul.

For example, did you know either 8 shots of vodka or a bottle of champagne is a perfectly valid meal substitute, calorically speaking?

And you don't even have to chew!

And you don’t even have to chew!

As for exercise, just take a gander at my personal trainer:

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Isn’t he magnificent? I call him Tadd, with two D’s, because he looks like he inspired every DoubleMint commercial ever made.

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Tadd leads my 8-Minute video work-outs, and is very beautiful and nice. Tadd reminds me to “keep smiling, gang! After all, it’s only 8 goddamn minutes!”

There are four DVDs in here. You do the math.

There are four DVDs in here. Tadd’s not very good at math.

Despite Tadd’s belief in the power of tomato cans as handheld weights and unitards as a general life choice, I leave him feeling less than optimistic.

Sure, my buns are burning up, Tadd, but so is my will to live.

5 Stages of Exercise Grief

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What’s your least favorite exercise? 

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Who Wants To Be A Studio Audience Member?

I’ve lived in northern New Jersey my entire life, which means constant access to pork roll and Bon Jovi some pretty cool stuff, like the myriad New York City happenings, a mere 25 miles away.

It’s easy to take this proximity for granted; I’ve only met a few other people who leverage one especially cool perk: Television show tapings!

Babs (my mom) is one of those people.

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That’s right, Chipmunks! On Monday, Babs and I saw a taping of The Daily Show! Okay, The Daily Show Lite. While Jon Stewart is off coloring or basket-weaving or directing movies this summer, John Oliver, a Daily Show correspondent, is hosting.

Watch out, Jon. He's good.

Watch out, Jon. He’s good.

“Nice!” you’re probably thinking. “Why doesn’t everyone do this?”

Hey, great question, you. Shows with studio audiences are usually desperate to fill the house 5 days a week, so tickets are easy to come by (with some exceptions).

But.

While the tickets are free, they still have a price: Shows overbook, so even if you’ve reserved tickets, you have to [take off from work and] arrive early to pick them up – several hours before the taping begins. Then you have to return later, get back in line, and wait some more.

In any kind of weather.

I'm the moron in dark blue jeans in 90-degree heat.

I’m the moron in dark blue jeans in 90-degree heat.

And there’s still no guarantee you’ll actually get in.

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The studio entrance.

Which is why it’s important to get drunk resourceful. For example, find a mom Babs who won a poop-ton of lottery scratch-off tickets from a radio station:

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25 lotto tickets: $50. Post Scratch-Off Carpal Tunnel Meds: $80. Winnings: $4. That face: Priceless.

Booze: $30. Lotto tickets: $50 free. Winnings: $4. That face: Priceless.

I imagine this waiting game is similar to childbirth. You forget about all of that boring, painful, hot, sticky, gross stuff once you feel the love. (I bet it’s exactly the same, am I right, parents?) Cue the ice-cold studio and geeking out.

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One of the only shows I've ever been to where they allowed pictures during designated times.

One of the only shows I’ve ever been to where they allowed pictures during designated times.

You also forget about all of that waiting when the audience warm-up act starts picking on your mother (note: the following is based on actual events, a la Rescue 9-1-1):

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You DEFINITELY forget about that waiting when the host gives the audience a personal hello, sincere thanks, and answers questions.

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And you totally, totally, TOTALLY forget about that waiting when you spot yourself on TV that same night:

Didja miss me? Okay, fine, that wasn’t really fair. Let me help ya out:

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Especially epic since The Daily Show almost never features their audience on the live show.

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Psst: If you’re in the New York City area and would like tickets to a Daily Show taping, check out this page.

Have you ever been to a television show taping? If not, would it be worth all of that uncertainty and waiting to you? What show tops your list?

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I Got “Spanked!” With My Mom

Once upon a time, my mom, Babs, sent this email to my sister and me (click to enlarge):

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

After you get over Babs’ adorable italics, you’re probably feeling appalled. Or at the very least, wary. But that’s a perfectly good waste of emotional energy. You should consider saving your disgust for things like global warming. Or cicadas.

Cicadas in NJ. Even grosser than that one scene in 50 Shades. You know the one I'm talking about.

Cicadas in NJ. Right. Now. Even grosser than that one scene in 50 Shades. You know the one I’m talking about.

Oh yes. I’ve read 50 Shades of Grey, and the only thing I’m ashamed of is not Jules-Shadesmaking it through more than half of the trilogy before growing tired of Christian and Ana’s antics (or, rather, the author using ten words when only one was needed [usually “Ouch!”]).

In other words, I was totally game for the blogging potential Spank!

If you think a 50 Shades of Grey theatrical parody might go over well with the more, ah, age-advanced female crowd, you’re right. It was part musical, part striptease, part insanely impressive revenue-generator, thanks to the 50 Shades year old contingent.

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Babs. A woman so nice, they named her in, um, italics.

There were only 3 cast members (to which I attribute much of its money-making potential): The author and the male and female leads. The author stood in as a couple of other characters, but mostly narrated the play as the dramatically under-sexed E.L. James.

The actor playing Christian was an understudy with vocal and guitar chops that only his abs could rival. Babs and my sister weren’t as impressed with the actress playing Ana, but I think they’re being unfair. A character so complex and riveting, well, even Meryl Streep would have struggled.

What is the meaning of this "no"?

What is the meaning of this “no”?

They had some audience interaction, wine with straws, and, all in all, a pretty funny script.

The only fail of the night was when my sister and I heard the word, “No.” We desperately wanted a picture with the woman selling t-shirts, because her shirt was one-of-a-kind, and also because there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you chipmunks. She politely declined, embarrassed.

So I thought I’d recreate the t-shirt here. You’re welcome.

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Do you have a favorite play? Anything you want to get off your chest? Like how many times you’ve really read 50 Shades?

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You Might As Well Start Hating Me Now

Oh boy.

Oh boy oh boy oh boy.

I suppose it was inevitable.

It’s Rachel’s Table‘s fault, really. At least, she’s the one who pointed it out. I never liked her.

Let me back up.

Last Friday, my good bloggy bud, Rache, and I (and our indulgent husbands) met up in Lambertville, New Jersey, under the guise of supporting a favorite local brewery, River Horse.

They had to come up with a summer ale after we drank the winter stash last November.

They had to come up with a summer ale after we drank the winter stash last November.

We had a blast, the true implications of the night yet to dawn on me. Two days later, Rache broke the news. I reacted accordingly.

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That’s right. Rache accused me of being a… a… hipster.

I needed time to process this, starting with the above image from Friday night. Sepia, Instagram-esque photo filter. Eep. Then the setting: A no fuss, no muss local brewery with exposed brick and tacky fluorescent lighting. Double eep. Lastly, there was how we ended the night – in an old school bar. Eeps to infinity. As Rache put it, we weren’t even trying to be ironic. Yet it was all so… so… authentically inauthentic.  Winking.

This was a grave matter indeed; I had to do some research. While the rest of you grilled animal flesh and donned red, white and blue in celebration of Memorial Day, I looked up over a dozen definitions of hipster, and read several articles (including this gem from the New York Times, How I Became a Hipster).

If I knew exactly what I was up against, maybe I could stop this tempeh and hemp-powered train from heading straight to Brooklyn. Or worse, Portland.

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I read the articles closely.

Jules-mustache-for-bannerIt was bad. I, along with my hipster brethren, abbreviated words like ridiculous and totally. We watched HBO’s Girls. We drank sazeracs. We obsessed over indie music, local food and sustainable energy.

So why was being a hipster rocking my mustachioed world? For starters, I like plenty of mainstream crap. Oh no. I just called it crap. Well, never mind, forget that one. Also? I’m well scrubbed, don’t look good in plaid, and wool makes me break out.

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Perhaps most telling, I’ve never said, “I was into ____ before they got big.” (I’ve thought it, though. A lot. And maybe said it ironically, once or twice. …Shoot.)bleach-stache-2

There is one catch to my seemingly inevitable slide into skinny jeans, rooftop gardening and fixed-gear bicycle riding: I awkwardly, laboriously and spectacularly try and fail to be cool. There is no pretending otherwise. I want to be cool. I want everyone to like me (even hipsters). I do care, and I don’t hide it.

So for now you’ll find me rocking my facial hair the only way I know how. Smugly. Hilariously. Genuinely.

First hub, Peppermeister, on the other hand...

First hub, Peppermeister, on the other hand…

What does being a hipster mean to you? (For some wildly funny breakdowns on hipsterdom, check out this page on Cracked.com. Toldja I did my research.)

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Dear Blog: I’m Sorry

April 11, 2013

Dear Blog,

What my love of bacon earned me.

What my love of bacon earned me.

I’m worried you’re starting to feel neglected. You barely look me in the eye, and your Stats page, is, frankly, a bit of a slap in the face. Between juggling 3 husbands, alcohol dependency and finding new and exciting uses for bacon, I really haven’t given you the attention you deserve.

F*ck. 10 months younger.

Sh*t. 10 months younger.

Sure, I’ve still found time to make epic memes and Google the age of every celebrity I like, hoping they’re older than me and I still have my shot at the elusive EGOT. And honestly, I would be famous already, but I’ve been so busy having fake conversations with actual famous people that the last 30 years week has just really gotten away from me.

You know I still love you, right, Blog? Remember all the good times? I really made you giggle that time I put ketchup in my hair, and don’t forget the slushie to the face. You like physical comedy, don’t you, Blog? (Did you see Melissa McCarthy on Saturday Night Live this past weekend? She’s a physical comedy goddess, and I worship her. Should we write a post about it? Oh, check! Look at us, Blog. What a team.)

Yes. This really happened, Blog!

Would I lie about this?

In all seriousness, Blog, you know how crazy things have been lately. Heck, by the time you read this, I may be en route to Texas for an undoubtedly blog-worthy wedding. So I hope you’re ready to spend some quality time with me next week. I know, I know. There are so many blog-worthy things happening RIGHT NOW that I can’t blog about, but you understand. After all, one of them involves work. And Uncle Jesse’s role in a marathon interview process. I know, Blog. I know! It’s killing me, too.

I really do love you, Blog. More next week.

xox,

Jules

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What’s your favorite procrastination method / ‘time suck’?