Category Archives: Just For Fun

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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About these ads

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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Dear Aunt and Uncle: You Didn’t Like That Wall Anyway, Right?

There’s something you should know about me.

I mean, just something I want to warn you about, should we ever vacation together.

I like to do things.

Come back! I like to do things, too!

Come back! I like to do things, too!

I’m not the Energizer bunny or anything, but to me, going on trips is more synonymous with adventure than relaxation. If you take me to the beach, I’m going to try to book one of those wave runner or zip lining excursions. If you take me to the city, I’m going to look up event calendars and comedy clubs.

And if you take me out to dinner after all of this doing of things, I’m going to drink. A lot.

I know everyone says they have great taste and a sense of humor, but seriously. My taste is phenomenal.

I know everyone says they have great taste and a sense of humor, but seriously. My taste is phenomenal.

And after I drink a lot, I might look around and think, “That wall should be blue. I mean, like a really classy, Nautica-looking navy blue.”

And before you know it, I’ll be painting your vacation home.

This is precisely what happened when first Hub, Peppermeister, and I, stayed in my aunt and uncle’s summer house in Long Island last week.

“Are you sure you want to PAINT on your vacation?” Peppermeister asked.

“It’ll be done before you wake up.”

“I don’t know why I asked.”

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Booya.

I may have made a few other adjustments…

...bought candles and a of couple K's, painting one to match the new wall...

…Bought candles and a of couple K’s (my aunt and uncle’s names both start with K), painting one to match the new wall…

...and turned some of their trivets into a cool coffee table centerpiece. Oh and let's not forget the pillows, table runner and flowers! TA DA!

…turned some of their trivets into a cool coffee table centerpiece. Oh and let’s not forget the new pillows, table runner and flowers…

...and swapped the gray curtains with a spare bedroom's bright, cheery, gold curtains. TA DA!

…and swapped the gray curtains with a spare bedroom’s bright, cheery, gold curtains. TA DA!

So what do my aunt and uncle think of my impromptu makeover?

Good question.

I haven’t heard from them in days.

What kind of vacationer are you? Less is more or go-go-go? (For more of my Long Island adventures, check out how I almost died!)

Disclaimer: Though my aunt and uncle own it now, this is an old family home, and I checked with my parents before painting. It’s not as funny with the disclaimer, is it? I should’ve just let you think I was a presumptuous asshat. Dammit.

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My Boat Capsized and All I Got Was This Tiny T-Shirt

“I can’t wait to rent a boat in Long Island!” my first husband, Peppermeister, said several times before we headed east last week.

Once again, my aunt and uncle were generously letting us stay in their vacation home for our anniversary. We had fond memories of relaxing bay side, playing mini golf and binge drinking waterfront dining.

The house was just as we’d left it. (BUT NOT FOR LONG! STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO OF MY VACATION ADVENTURES!)

“Let’s scope out this place, The Station,” Peppermeister said. “They serve food and rent boats.”

More importantly, they serve Tröegs on tap.

More importantly, they serve Tröegs on tap.

While recreating one of the menu photos…

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…we noticed an entertaining boat name:

LongIsland-TheStation-Butthead

I swear on snot rockets and turd buckets, this detail becomes important later.

“Do you think that’s the boat they rent?” I asked.

“Nah, that one’s too nice,” Peppermeister replied. “They probably rent those.”

He pointed to the glorified row boats on either side of Butthead. I quickly let go of my mai tai drinking, bow bathing fantasies.

“We’ll come back on Monday – the weather’s supposed to be beautiful.”

And the weather finally WAS beautiful, on Wednesday. The young man preparing our boat barely put down his sandwich to attach the motor. Knowing nothing about boats, I brushed off my first thought: “Is that from a lawn mower?”

At 10:15am, we were finally ready to hit the open seas Shinnecock Bay.

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In between bites, our boat hand, who shall henceforth be referred to as “Boris,” explained where to fish for fluke, and gave us a map with the emergency phone numbers on it.

What's that? This paper looks like it got wet? Huh. Spoiler alert.

What’s that? This paper looks like it got wet? Huh. Spoiler alert!

We didn’t even make it out of the marina before the motor stalled and we drifted into sand. We shoved ourselves off with our one sturdy oar, and Peppermeister got us going again.

The weather was so flawless, I paid little mind to the hiccup.

Wheeee! We must be going 2.3 knots, by now!

Wheeee! We must be going 2.3 knots by now! Surely we’ll never need those life jackets!

We cruised steadily west while Peppermeister grabbed a beer and we tried to pick out our own marina.

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Hey, did you leave the porch light on?

About 45 minutes into our cruise, the motor cut out again.

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When it happened for the third time, we Peppermeister spent 20 minutes trying to start it.

“I’m just going to call the guy to come get us. This is a waste of time.” He fished out his cell phone from the Ziploc bag in his backpack.

Here’s a summary of how that went down:

“Landmarks? …Yes, there are buildings nearby! THERE ARE HOUSES EVERYWHERE!”

“We’re IN THE DUNES. DRIVE by the DUNES.”

“WE’RE DUE SOUTH OF TIANA BAY! DUE SOUTH! We’re IN the DUNES on the OTHER SIDE of the BAY. We’ve DRIFTED SINCE WE HAVE NO ANCHOR AND ONE OAR!”

“Like I said, we’re to the LEFT OF THE BRIDGE. DUE SOUTH OF TIANA BAY. We’re THE ONLY BOAT HERE.”

I tried to help, too.

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One hour and five phone calls later, Boris arrived in none other than…

Butthead!

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He, of course, managed to get our motor going, and told us to follow him back. The motor stalled a minute later, and it took him three minutes to notice we weren’t following. He circled back to tow us.

He tangled up his lines in his motor, and then attached one line to the front of our boat.

“He’s doing it wrong,” Peppermeister muttered. “You’re supposed to tow with two lines.”

We lurched forward, and Boris started swerving Butthead left to right, right to left, while we tipped from side to side in our boat.

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I should probably say something.

I leaned forward and backward in the opposite direction of his swerving, trying to keep the boat level.

About halfway to the marina, the water grew increasingly choppy, as did Boris’s driving, and gallons of water sloshed into our boat. We tried bailing it out with our one bucket, a bleach bottle with the bottom cut out.

Peppermeister whistled loudly. Boris, who’d never once looked back to check on us, raised his eyebrows in mild surprise.

“Every time you turn, more water comes in! We’ve been trying to empty it this whole time!” Peppermeister shouted. “Will this boat sink?”

“No,” he replied, and kept driving, staring straight ahead.

Titanic-orchestraThe water rushed past our calves, almost as high as the seats.

Peppermeister whistled again and Boris stood there gawking.

Everything next happened in slow motion.

Peppermeister yelled, “You need to get off!”

With my brain still saying, “This boat’s not actually SINKING,” I grabbed our precious cargo -the backpack- and held it above my head. Suddenly, half the boat was under water. Good call on the Ziploc bags. As it capsized, my left leg got pinned beneath, allowing me to appreciate its sturdiness. Wow. No. I kicked off my flip-flops and paddled away, shouting,

“Here! The backpack! Get it on Butthead! Get it on Butthead!”

Because I’d be DAMNED if I was losing my cell phone and car keys over this little snafu.

Peppermeister threw the backpack at Boris, who let it hit his chest and slide to the floor. I swam for a second or two, watching the contents of the boat drift south (due south! Of Tiana Bay! Towards the dunes! In case you were wondering).

“Don’t worry about the boat! Don’t worry about it! Leave the stuff!” Boris called, finally looking rattled.

“Get a life jacket!” Peppermeister cried, and I grabbed the only one still within reach, passing it to him, confused.

Ooh, the water feels nice. It’s not as hard to swim in a denim jacket as I thought it would be. Bet I could swim back pretty fast. Great exercise.

“Do you need it? Put it on!” Peppermeister said frantically.

I took one look at his face and his next statement answered my unspoken question, “I’m freakin’ out a little.”

“It’s fine,” I replied. “It’s fine. We’re in a bay. You know how to swim.”

“I know, I know,” he said. “You get on first.”

Shouldn’t we get the stuff?

“Don’t worry about the stuff!” Boris called again.

“Go! Use our boat!” Peppermeister urged.

Our overturned boat was creating, I realized, a handy step up onto Butthead. Boris grabbed my arm firmly, “I got you, I got you.”

Man, I always thought that would be impossible, I thought as I tumbled onboard.

Once Peppermeister and I were safely seated, we began our 45-minute slog back to the marina. I didn’t realize why it took so long until much later.

Boris was towing our boat.

Upside down.

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The Station owner was waiting for us on the dock when we returned.

“A ‘small’ problem?” he asked, glancing between Boris and his sodden passengers.

Boris stared at the ground while Peppermeister and I disembarked. Moments later, he handed us a full refund and two t-shirts.

“I’m so sorry about this,” he said.

He walked away, shoulders slumped, and I looked at Peppermeister.

“That. Was. AWESOME.”

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Have you ever had any vacation mishaps?

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It Wouldn’t Be A Proper Vacation Without…

What day is it again? Where am I? Who are you? (Just kidding – I’ll never let go, Chipmunks.)

I’ve been living it up vacation style, and just wanted to pop in to let you know that both my liver and I are still alive and kicking.

How do I know I’m doin’ this time off thing right?

For starters, leisurely breakfasts have consisted of no fewer than 3 of the following: Croissants, coffee, champagne, cheese, fresh fruit, and/or BACON.

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I’ve stopped to smell the roses (or whatever the hell these are) on my morning walks.

early-morning-walk-flowers-2013 early-am-walk-shadow-2013There’s been double rainbow ogling.

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Stops at the bank when I’ve run out of singles for the strip club.

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Or, you know, the local farm stand.

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I’ve loaded up on all the fresh seafood I can get my claws on.

whole-lobstah-2013 lobstah-salad-2013I’ve done my new Fitbit (pedometer) proud and hit the trails with Uncle Jesse. (Note: Your own vacation success should not ride on this particular activity.)

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I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen, making things like homemade mid-east feasts.

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I can still taste the garlic.

And of course, there’s been booze. Lots and lots of booze.

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But the real reason I know I’m on vacation? I’ve only turned on my computer once.

The very best part? It’s not over yet! Today First Hub, Peppermeister, and I celebrate our 5th anniversary, and have another week of this to look forward to:

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But just so ya know, it’s not all smooches and sunsets. We like to exchange meaningful gifts, too.

A wolf t-shirt to go with his BB guns.

A cutting-edge wolf t-shirt to go with his BB guns. You’re welcome, Peppermeister.

And his gift to me: Clever methods for stashing booze.

And his gift to me: Clever methods for stashing booze.

Stay tuned next week for the much-anticipated Peppermeister Roulette, where Rachel’s Table and Peppermeister go head to head to see who can handle his hottest homegrown peppers.

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What does vacation success look like to you? It wouldn’t be a vacation without _____?

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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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THIS is America’s Funniest Home Video.

Several years ago, there was a brief period of time when Peppermeister (Husband Numero Uno) and I would get sloshed and watch America’s Funniest Home Video reruns. In our defense, we were kids during its pre-YouTube heyday, and Bob Saget’s goofy mug and painfully corny jokes still make us feel warm and fuzzy.

For years -YEARS- following this, we’ve been quoting one particular video that we thought might, in fact, be: America’s FUNNIEST Home Video.

We were never able to find the clip.

Until now.

I love you, Peppermeister.

ENJOY, Chipmunks! (I’ve built this up way too much, haven’t I?)

Do you have any favorite viral (or should-be-viral) videos?

Neighborly Lovin’

Unlike my mom, Babs, whose neighbors string up deer carcasses 30 feet from her back porch, Peppermeister (Husband #1) and I have a decidedly pleasant rapport with all of our neighbors.

We’re pretty spread out here in western New Jersey, and there’s a kick-ass balance between “what you do is your business” and “but I am curious about that package, so I’ll help you carry it inside.”  Our next door neighbors, Dave and Judy, threw us a welcome party when we first moved in, complete with a homemade banner, and, more importantly, Sangria.

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Our neighbor around the corner, Linda, dropped off a bushel of apples from her orchard this fall, while the ones across the street gave us a discount on our Christmas tree (yes, there’s a Christmas tree farm across the street! It’s amazeballs out here, Chipmunks, I’m telling you…even if you do lose power every time an owl sneezes).

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As if that wasn’t enough, then there’s our neighbor, Jeff. He’s close to our age, and lives behind us in a gorgeous house. He’s the quintessential neighbor: He owns every power tool under the sun and knows how to use them all, helped us clear trees post Hurricane-Sandy, and leaves delicious food in the mailbox. Peppermeister doesn’t even mind the pepper-growing competition, with Jeff’s garden in plain sight.

This Valentine’s Day, I thought it was time to show Jeff how I really felt. It started with my famous homemade double-chocolate cookies:

My BFF, Jenn, gave me those sweet-ass Ziploc bags.

My BFF, Jenn, gave me those sweet-ass Ziploc bags.

And ended with this note:

Dearest Jeff,

I must be quick, for Peppermeister does not know of this!

Jeff-cookies-bagYour seafood sauce was the greatest thing I’ve ever tasted. Bestill my heart!

I’m slowly poisoning Peppermeister.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

-Go Jules Go

Psst…between you and me, Peppermeister is looking a little worse for the wear. It’s only a matter of time, Jeff.

What’s the nicest and/or creepiest thing a neighbor has ever done for you?

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words…OR A SHEET SET!

Friends are great.

They laugh at your jokes, celebrate your alcoholism, listen to your white girl problems…

…ENTER YOUR AMAZING BLOGGY SHEET SET GIVEAWAY CONTEST BECAUSE THEY STILL HAVE UNTIL MIDNIGHT PST TONIGHT(!!!)…

…And sometimes?

Sometimes when you’re all dried up, fingers cramped and bent from making one too many bacon ornaments, friends write your blog posts for you.

With just one picture.

One of my chipmunkiest friends, Mary (a.k.a. M-Dazzle), just sent me this photo of her husband’s office.

His door is on the right.

Bosco, you do me proud.

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Any wacky work shenanigans happening for the holidays with you Chipmunks?

I Need Your Help with My Homework

Somehow, on Tuesday night, I found myself back in school.

After earning my Bachelor’s in 2004, I never thought I’d go back.

Homework is for suckers, am I right?!

Yet there I was, on my merry way to a web design certification class.

Yes. They make nerd ‘stache glasses!

Okay, technically it’s a continuing education class for old farts like me who want to broaden their skill sets   change careers  eeny-meenie-miney-mo between Pottery 101, How to Interpret Your Dog’s Dreams, and House Plants for People Who, Sorry Mom, Are Never Having Kids.

But still.

There’s a teacher. There are students. There are rad new school supplies:

And the college diet essentials:

I just don’t know how to quit you, Hot Pocket.

It’s totally school. I’m back in school.

What was I thinking?

I almost had a stroke when I had to take the 4-hour, 200-question Project Management Professional certification test last year.

But then I got my hands on Dreamweaver (HTML editor software), and well, I think I’m gonna like it here.

There’s just one thing.

I need your help.

For my first homework assignment, I have to create a basic HTML webpage. It must contain a header, intro paragraph, a picture and a few bullet points.

The actual “content” doesn’t matter.

HA!

Like I’m going to write about the weather!

This is far too much temptation.

The possibilities are endless!

So, please have at it in the comments section. What weird, random stuff can I pull into my web page to make the entire class uncomfortable? (And don’t worry, I’ll report back and show you the final product. You know I live for this shiz.)

Oh and don’t forget to enter the September ‘Stache Glasses Giveaway Contest (deadline: Friday, Sep 28th, 12pm MIDNIGHT EST)! The entries so far are a riot – thank you!

Oops. I have no idea how this freshly groomed picture of Uncle Jesse got in here!

P.S. – Did anyone notice I already put my new HTML skillz to work in this post? Wait’ll you see me in the comments section.