Category Archives: PSAs

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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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.

IMG_5506

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.

IMG_5546

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!

IMG_5544

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

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

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?

My Life is Hanging in the Balance!

Hiya, Chipmunks.

I know it’s been a little over a week since I’ve regaled you with talking animals and my ceaseless wit, so I thought I’d pop in just to let you know my life is in utter turmoil.

I kid, I kid.

Although.

Right now I’m sitting in a spare office waiting to see if I still have a job [in project management]. They’re laying off 20% of my division’s workforce this month, and today everyone in my department is getting called down to the principal’s office to find out their Fate.

You might think this is an odd time to blog. Especially since I might have a lot of time to blog in the very near future (ba-da-BUM!), but what else am I gonna do? Work?

Nah. I’d rather reminisce about last weekend in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where I did a little of this…

Jules-Hersheys-Kiss-Hat-28Sep13

…and a little of that…

Jules-Peppermeister-Hershey-custom-bars_28Sep13

…and a whole lotta this:

Troegenator might -seriously- be the best beer I've ever had.

Troegenator might -seriously- be the best beer I’ve ever had.

You know, with some time off, I could do a lot of traveling. And video blogging. And pumpkin carving.

Especially once we sell the house.

Oh hang on. I think my phone is ringing.

Have you ever gone through company lay-offs? How did they/you handle it?

~*~*~*~*~*~

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…

LongIsland-TheStation-photo-reenactment

…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.

LongIsland-boat-ready-to-go

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.

LongIsland-boat-Peppermeister-beer

Hey, did you leave the porch light on?

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

LongIsland-boat-not-starting

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.

LongIsland-boat-fail-SOS

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

Butthead!

LongIsland-boat-Butthead-to-the-rescue

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.

LongIsland-boat-towing

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.

LongIsland-boat-fail-overturned-boat

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.”

LongIsland-TheStation-tshirts

Have you ever had any vacation mishaps?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

My Bra Is Stuffed (But I’m Still Hungry)

***DISCLAIMER: This post was not sponsored (except by my growing bum). All opinions expressed are my own.***

I’ve got something special in my bra, Chipmunks.

Also a Fitbit.

What the sugar-free fudge is a Fitbit? Thanks for asking. It’s basically a pedometer on crack.

The only thing I HAVEN'T tried to lose weight.

The only thing I HAVEN’T tried to lose weight.

Two weeks ago, a colleague showed me a nifty little device, about the size of a money clip, attached to her belt. “It tells you how many calories you can still eat for the day! It even monitors your sleep!” she said. Much like how Anna made pickle juice sound delicious in my last blog contest, the seed was planted. I wanted one. Bad.

fitbit

“It costs about 100 bucks,” she continued.

Yeesh, never mind, I thought. Surely with my 40 mile/week fitness regimen, I can lose weight for free.

Except I couldn’t. I’d been stuck in a plateau, halfway to my weight loss goal, for almost two years.

I was sick and tired of taking blog photos from only certain angles.

Do you think Adam finds this acceptable?

Do you think Adam finds this acceptable?

Of not wanting my profile captured.

Ah, those carefree, go-ahead-take-a-picture-from-any-angle days!

Ah, those carefree, single-chinned days!

Don’t even get me started on full body shots and bathing suits!

Back in 2005, I thought I could even get away with a fanny back.

Back in 2005, I thought I could even get away with a fanny back.

To make matters worse, I couldn’t throw a Twinkie without hitting someone ridiculously fit. My sister just finished her ten thousandth triathlon in first place, my oldest friend voluntarily ran up a mountain in Colorado, Rachel’s Table did Insanity, Girl on the Contrary signed up for The Betty Rocker Challenge, The Byronic Man ran two half marathons, and Truth and Cake completed Tough Mudder. Just to name a few.

Just... just try it again. It'll go through.

Just… just try it again. It’ll go through.

On Thursday morning, I hopped on my whore of a scale and the writing was on the wall. An hour later, one thing was already lighter. My wallet.

And now this little piece of black plastic between my breasts tracks my every move, dictating my remaining caloric allowance based on activity, height, weight, age and gender. (Provided I honestly report my food intake using my Fitbit online account.)

Thankfully, for the project manager in me, it displays all of these goodies in some pretty neat dashboards and charts, which I can view on my computer or smart phone.

Fitbit-dashboard

It wasn’t long before I realized I was a walking stereotype (pun intended). Despite my self-proclaimed diet savvy, I was severely underestimating my calorie consumption.

Yikes. Guess I should cut back on the zucchini.

Yikes. Guess I should cut back on the zucchini.

I even signed up for a trial premium subscription to check out how I compared to other Fitbit users in my country.

Competitive? Moi?

So now that I know every calorie going in and out, how am I doing?

Super!

I'm not even sober, hungry and cranky!

I’m not even sober, hungry and cranky!

Have you ever used any fitness gadgets? What are your dieting pitfalls and how do you cope?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

6 Things You Need To Know Before Taking Up Hiking

Alternate titles: R.I.P. Big Toenail; I Can’t Feel My Butt; Who Needs Heel Skin, Anyway?

I logged 17 miles in hiking this weekend, Chipmunks. (And I saw you! Yes. I saw my first chipmunk since December!)

Local hiking splendor.

Local hiking splendor.

You’re probably wondering who I am and what I’ve done to Jules. I have a confession. When I’m not drinking and Googling bacon recipes, I like to go outside and get my sweat nature on. I can’t stand running, and cyclists make me think devil thoughts, but give me a dirt path, some shady trees and a mountain view payoff, and I’m there faster than you can say, “Does this trail mix have chocolate chips? Because that’s really the only kind worth buying.”

Mt. Monadnock, 2005.

Mt. Monadnock, 2005.

It’s been a while since I’ve hit the hardcore trails , but in order to combat the three B’s (boredom, bumming and broke-itude) that have slammed me lately, I decided to get my Timberland mojo back. I’ve been tackling the relatively tame local trails over the past couple of months, and had planned on spending the summer working up to trails like the steep ‘Stairway to Heaven’ in northern New Jersey, with the ultimate goal of hitting Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire this fall.

But.

The stubborn Taurus in me had other plans. “Did the 6+ mile loop again today,” I told my first husband, Peppermeister, on Saturday. “Doing 10 tomorrow.”

Hike-1-prep

Then I picked this trail:

Hike-2-map Hike-3-description

Then I drove an hour there. I was ready and rarin’ to go.

Hike-4-stache-potty Hike-5-Tammany-trailhead

6 Things You Need to Know Before Taking Up Hiking

1. Just because a sign seems to promise bears, this does not mean you’ll finally carry out that long awaited convo with the Shakespearean meme bear.

Hike-6-AT-bear-sign

Hike-7-Shakespeare-bear-meme

2. Hiking Guide Books ‘under’ embellish.

Hike-10-book-lies

3. By mile 7, you will not look like someone from an LL Bean catalog. Even though everyone else you encounter, inevitably, won’t have broken a sweat.

Hike-8-exhausted Hike-9-handsome-Uncle-Jesse

4. In New Jersey, you can run, but you can’t hide. From cicadas.

Hike-11-cicada

5. Some Most times, you’ll see some cool ass shiz.

Hike-12-dead-snake

Hike-13-heliport-view

hiking-14-SunfishPond-rocksHike-14-summit

6. You will have every right to come home and do nothing but act superior, drink champagne and eat all of it. Just… all of it.

Hike-15-celebrate

Is there a sport / activity you think is borderline insane, but you love it anyway? Or one that, no matter what, you’d never be caught dead doing?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

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.

Rache-Jules-hipsters-1

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.

Rache-Jules-hipsters-2

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.

Rache-Jules-hipsters-3

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.)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Be Careful What You Wish For

While mustaches are kinda my thing, and I constantly wax poetic (pun totally intended) about the merits of the handlebar, the Groucho, the walrus, etc., there’s something that’s bothered me for years.

Discovering the vanity-inspiring MacBook photo booth application, circa 2008.

Discovering the vanity-inspiring MacBook photo booth application, circa 2008.

Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

“It’s probably just a shadow,” I told myself. But it continued to eat away at me. For the next five years. I could have been curing cancer, saving tigers Britney, learning sign language, but I was simply too busy worrying about It.

So. Last week I went to the drug store and picked up this:

bleach-box

I didn’t think it was a good sign that this is what happened to the box when I opened it.

The instructions mandated that I test it out and wait 24 hours to see if it caused an allergic reaction.

“That’s probably wise,” I thought.

bleach-kit

Two seconds later, I was mixing the cream and slathering it on my face.

bleach-stache-apply

Go Jules Go: Living Life on the Edge Since…Today.

“If it starts burning, I’ll wipe it off,” I thought.

I waited the recommended 10 minutes, killing time by wondering if horse really tastes as good as people say, and whether Adam Levine’s tattoos make him more or less more sexy.

bleach-stache-2

Got shame?

I don’t think that shiz worked at all. Look!

DeepThoughts-Jules-mustache

No but seriously. I think it did the trick. Thank gawd. Now I have time to learn how to sign, “Is Adam Levine a vegetarian?”

Sooo… how about sharing your embarrassing personal grooming stories? No? Um, okay, well, gosh. This is awkward.

Is It 12-12-12 Or Am I Dreaming?

Oh man, Chipmunks. It happened… again.

Another conversation in my head. And this one gets deep.

Slide01 Slide02 Slide03 Slide04 Slide05 Slide06 Slide07 Slide08 Slide09 Slide10 Our First Conversation Leo Slide 11Our First Conversation Leo Slide 12

…I really need to stop drinking.

If you want to check out the details about the 12-12-12 concert to support Hurricane Sandy Relief, or find out how to donate, please visit: http://www.121212concert.org/.

So, come on, it’s been a while: Who are you having “imaginary” (ahem. It might have happened. You don’t know) conversations with?