Category Archives: Uncategorized

Taking Selfies Is Really Hard (When You Have A Dog)

I know you’ve been DYING to hear how things are going with my Fitbit (a.k.a. the pedometer on crack).

And what are social media outlets for if not to inflate our successes and ignore our failures share both our successes and failures in the hopes of better connecting with our fellow (wo)man?

ha ha ha “Failures.”

As if!

I’m more than halfway to my goal! Woot woot!

You may recall I started keeping track of calories and steps via the FitBit back in July, after struggling with a 2 year-long weight loss plateau. I chose the most aggressive plan (-2 pounds a week), and am now on a first-name basis with the people on the opposite end of town, thanks to all the walking.

I didn’t even realize how far I’d come until I started needing belts to hold up all of my pants. In honor of my shrinking backside, I treated myself to a new pair of [on sale-had-coupon-and-gift-card] blue jeans – in a size I hadn’t bought since 2006.

skinny-jeansI took the above picture because this is what happened when I tried to take a selfie:

Interrupted-3

Interrupted-2 Interrupted-1 Interrupted-4 Uncle-Jesse-jealous-of-selfie

If you could photobomb anyone, who would it be, and under what circumstances?

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Campaign Goes Live!

Go Jules Go:

It’s my very first reblog! I was saving it for someone special. I hope you’ll join me in supporting the uber-talented Myra from My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours, through donations and/or words of encouragement, as she raises money in order to continue her amazing web series! Go Myra Go!

Originally posted on My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours:

On Set

On Set


My fellow appreciators of dysfunctional comedy,

Today, hot off the presses and right to you – the brand new campaign to fund the next 5 episodes of “My Parents are Crazier than Yours” is LIVE!

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/my-parents-are-crazier-than-yours/x/3530339

It was with your help that the pilot episode was born – now at almost 80,000 hits on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5qFiKjkpgg&feature=youtu.be
I want to do it again – bigger, better, funnier and more dysfunctional than ever.

Donors to the cause get some great perks, like a visit to the set and time with the cast, your crazy parent stories live on video, t-shirts, small roles, and even producer credits.

I thank you for your love and support. If you can’t contribute financially, help me spread the word through Facebook, Twitter and email. It all counts!!

P.S. stay tuned for my next blog entry about my parents fighting in public.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/my-parents-are-crazier-than-yours/x/3530339

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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?

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Susie Strong

***Thanks to the efforts of brickhousechick from swimmingtomy50s (impressive enough to make my project manager heart swoon!), a band of bloggers has gathered together in support of our friend Susie Lindau, who is undergoing a double mastectomy today at 9:30am MDT. This post is for her.***

Susie-Lindau-1

Susie-Lindau-2 Susie-Lindau-3 Susie-Lindau-4 Susie-Lindau-5 Susie-Lindau-6 Susie-Lindau-7 Susie-Lindau-8 Susie-Lindau-9 Susie-Lindau-10 Susie-Lindau-11 Susie-Lindau-12 Susie-Lindau-13 Susie-Lindau-14

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Cleanse Your Palette In 3 Easy Steps

So maybe a little deer carcass wasn’t what you were expecting when you so kindly sailed over to Go Jules Go this past Wednesday.

Fair enough.

I thought I’d make it up to you with a few nuggets of undeniable hilarity / adorable-ness.

You’re welcome.

3 Step Palette Cleanser

Step 1 – Read the email I just got from my mom (click to enlarge).

Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 6.02.29 PM

Step 2 – Look at this picture.

funny-bear-talking-phone

Step 3 – Know that I’m hanging out with Rachel’s Table again on Monday, and Will share her hotness with you forthwith.

Rache-Jules-RiverHorse-empties

Want beer. Like beer. Beer good.

What websites do you frequent when you need a little pick-me-up?

For My Sister: Canvas Print Giveaway!

Dear Sis,

Who made you that cake, Sis? Not some g.d. slouch, I’ll tell you that much.

Today you turn thirty…something. But don’t worry – you don’t look a day over 18!  Must be all of that running and biking and swimming and not drinking and how are we related again?

Being the kind, compassionate sibling I am, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to remind you of my forthcoming inheritance. I mean, ha ha, the family’s not getting any younger, are they? (Are we? Are you? Is that what’s going on here? Families don’t keep secrets, Sis.)

Anyway, like I was saying. My inheritance: Babs’ photo albums.

Oh yes. Remember when I staked my claim long, long ago? As a kid, younger than you as ever, I’d creep into Mom’s craft area (by the way, nice of you to share part of your room for that), sit on the floor, and flip through her photo albums for hours.

Even before scrapbooking was ‘in,’ Babs created masterpieces. I’ve yet to see photo albums that rival hers. Oh, except yours, of course.

And one day? They’re mine. All mine.

Don’t worry, Sis, I’ll take pictures of the pages any time you want.

Of course, Uncle Jesse will be in all of them.

To soothe any hard feelings, I got you this lovely 11 x 14-inch canvas print from Printcopia.

There you are, right in the middle. I’d have competed too, but, you know. Don’t want to spill the drink.

Well. Technically they gave it to me. For free.

But it’s the thought that counts, right?

What’s more, Printcopia said I could give one away to a lucky reader! Yeah! Doesn’t that make you happy, too, Sis? To give something to one of my blog readers?

Happy Birthday! You’re welcome.

Love,

Jul

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

Let’s just say Babs is better with scrapbooking than she is with haircuts.

You heard correctly, Chipmunks – and all you have to do for a chance to win a free 11 x 14-inch canvas print like mine (but, you know, with your own pic… No you can’t use this one. Don’t be weird. Weird was so three days ago. Now we’re being satirical) from Printcopia is leave a comment below telling me a sibling rivalry story. If you don’t have any siblings, what ridiculous rules did your parents have when you were growing up? 

Deadline: 8am EST, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14th.

I will announce a favorite answer at 6am EST on Monday, October 15, 2012. The winner will receive a promotional code from Printcopia via email and can order their free print online, just like I did (it’s easy peasy)! Cool beans, Printcopia! Thanks!

BlogHer ’12: Built-In Blog Fodder

L to R: Misty’s Laws, Accidental Stepmom, Thoughts Appear and Go Jules Go.

Right now I’m imagining all of you charming little chipmunks scurrying around, cursing the copy machine, looking for your red staplers and hating The Man.

Meanwhile, I’m kicking off my first two-week vacation in a thousand years. Instead of doing this yesterday and scheduling it to publish at 6am EST today, I decided to write this post when I got up and see what happens.

Wow. I feel so daring.

In case you missed my fancy sidebar widget and my last post: I attended my first blogging conference, BlogHer ’12, on Saturday. I left bright and early to take the train from New Jersey into Manhattan, armed with ‘stache glasses and a lightness of heart only vacation time can bring. By 7am, it was already as hot as Hades, so I went to that special place in my mind. You know the place – it’s normally reserved for Second Husband and talking animals.

The ONLY way to make JM any more awesome is with ‘stache glasses.

I was more excited than nervous. I’d met JM from Accidental Stepmom twice before, but was meeting Thoughtsy from Thoughts Appear and Misty from Misty’s Laws for the first time. Of course I worried I wouldn’t match up to their expectations (and maaaaybe stressed about all of the unflattering pictures they’d take and post on their blogs), but we’d

Misty gives THE coolest gifts (that’s a phone case!). Even if they make you feel old.

already established a bond online, and had the bloggy business in common.

At the Hilton, I registered and waited for Misty and JM to find me. Misty is anonymous on her blog, so I had no idea what to look for. A purple-clad vision of loveliness suddenly accosted me. Thank gawd for Misty.

Thoughtsy makes me think happy thoughtsies.

She’d been there since Wednesday night and knew all the ins and outs. There were several sessions throughout the day, in different ‘break out’ conference rooms, as well as tons of expo centers where you could stock up on free swag.

After the gorgeous and altogether badass, JM, showed up, Misty said we should

skedattle to make sure we got seats in our lectures of choice. We split up and I went to a session on ‘branding your blog.’ Thoughtsy joined me there, and let me tell you she’s one sweet li’l chipmunk. First of all, she gave me these:

The eyebrows and mustache MOVE. Did you hear me? They MOVE.

And THEN she gave me this:

It’s like people think I drink a lot or something.

I love you, Thoughtsy. Look how happy we are (we’re even happier later. In the bar):

I didn’t learn anything new in the lecture, except that I really need to start a Go Jules Go Facebook account. Apparently Facebook is the number one way bloggers get traffic and buzz. The other advice will probably sound familiar to you, too:

  • Be consistent both in voice and lay-out
  • Use the same name across all social media sites (if only that Mexican dude would give up his @gojulesgo Twitter handle! Por favor?). In other words, make it easy for people to find you
  • Keep your design/lay-out simple and fresh (no colored font on black backgrounds, I’m afraid, and no music playing!)
  • Post regularly
  • Don’t be self-depricating; believe people want to read what you have to say
  • You don’t have to be serious to take your blog seriously (ah, that advice sounds familiar…)

The second lecture I attended was about when to spend money marketing your blog. The advice can be boiled down to:

  • Consider your time as money
  • When you find yourself spending more hours on marketing your blog than you can ‘afford’ to, it might be time to invest in someone to help you (if you don’t think you market, remember that every time you read and comment on another blog, you’re advertising yourself)
  • If you’re on a self-hosted platform (like WordPress.org), hire a web designer (it sounds like it’s a few hundred bucks)

After that it was time for lunch and guest speaker, Katie Couric. Katie defies the laws of nature; she is ageless. We were all the way in the back, so I didn’t hear much, but got to meet some other wonderful bloggers at our table (this is where the business cards came in handy!).

Thoughtsy, JM, Misty and I weren’t really interested in the next panel of ‘celebrity’ speakers, so we loaded up on swag instead.

This was my favorite swag piece. Uncle Jesse immediately claimed it as his own:

My favorite part of the day was hitting the hotel bar to chat (why do you assume I suggested this? Well… you’re right). We plopped down in a circle of comfy chairs around a low table; it was mellow and quiet – the perfect atmosphere for caring and sharing.

This was exactly why I came to BlogHer; not to network or take frantic notes, but to meet JM, Thoughtsy, Misty and a few of their bloggy friends. It was divine.

That’s a Long Island Iced Tea smile.

JM and Thoughtsy had to leave in the early evening, so I crashed a sushi dinner with Misty and the beautiful and hilarious Johi of Confessions of a Cornfed Girl. It was the perfect end to an altogether satisfying outing.

I am going to dream about this sushi.

In fact, I even saw Michelle Williams on the walk back to the train station! We made eye contact and I should have said hello. We have history.

And now, as promised, I’m about to stalk the shiz out of you and your blogs. I love you. (I really do. Well, some of you. Some of you I just like a lot and we’re not there yet. But I bet we’ll get there if you compliment me enough.)

P.S. – I apologize on behalf of both NJ and NY to any out-of-towners visiting lately. Yes, it really IS this humid and NO, you are not inside someone’s mouth.

Dear BlogHer ’12 Conference: Are You Ready for Me?

Dear BlogHer ’12 Conference,

Right after I send this, I’ll be en route to Manhattan for you, my first blogging conference.

I must confess: Every time I say that, my inner nerd pushes up her taped-together glasses and giggle-snorts in anticipation. Then the other part of me rolls her eyes and goes, “Blogging conference? There are conferences? For blogging? Really?”

You can undress, I mean, address me ANY time, Mr. President.

How many conferences do you know of, Jules, that get the President of the free world to speak? I can almost hear you saying.

That’s right. On Thursday, Barack Obama addressed the BlogHer ’12 crowd!

Today, thanks to you, I will see Katie Couric, Soledad O’Brien, Christy Turlington Burns and Malaak Compton-Rock. Not too shabby, but *pssst*, not nearly as cool as seeing JM, Misty and Thoughtsy.

Did I ever tell you Misty runs a “Weekly Whacked” series displaying greater Baltimore’s finest fashion faux pas? In her honor, I’m wearing her favorite clothing pet peeve: Stretch pants! (I’m sure you remember my see-through stretch pants disaster from a previous trip to New York to see JM? I’m an old pro here.)

And thanks to my beloved Chipmunks, I’m armed with the most kick-tail business cards a blogger could hope for:

Do you think I should promise a follow-up post tomorrow, or will you be so full of awesomesauce that it’ll take me until Monday to get a post up?  …Okay. Fine. Let’s say Monday.

Love,

Jules

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Have you been to any type of conference or convention for your passion? If not, have you ever met a pen pal or online pal? How did it go? 

Photo Credit (Obama)

Because Therapy is Too Expensive

I read a couple of exceptional blog posts yesterday, by two of my favorite writers:

Truth and Cake: Select Truth and Social Media: TMI or Not Enough?

Kristen Lamb: Making Heroes Heroic-Why Flaws are Important

These posts talk about flaws and sharing those flaws, whether they’re the flaws of your fictional characters or yourself. Please don’t mistake this, however, for the social media ‘over share’ disease. The intent behind this movement is to allow yourself (or your characters) to connect on a more real level.

As someone who swims in the memoir genre pool, I’ve stuck to the shallow end a lot. Deliberately so. After reading these wonderful posts, I thought, “You know what? Sure I’m shameless about sharing my silliest guilty pleasures, but I’ve never even used the word sex on my blog, and my memoir’s working title is Virgin!”

Aw cruddy stink nuggets, you’re probably thinking. It’s like someone just told me Danny Tanner is totally raunchy during his stand-up routines.

I know exactly how you feel (c’mon, Bob Saget), and I promise, I won’t get too inappropriate on you. Or too sullen-like-Edward-Cullen.

In Virgin, I wrote about things that made me uncomfortable, that could even get me in some hot water. It’s no Shades of Grey, but it’s not rated G, either. I wanted it to be raw and honest; I’ve never cried harder than I did writing that first draft. I called it Virgin not to sensationalize, but to capture the heart of the story. Being a virgin influenced almost every event the book covered, something I couldn’t have realized until looking back.

Ultimately, I wanted to write the kind of book I love to read.

While I worry I hold my feet too close to the ‘over share’ fire in Virgin (and in this post!), I’m willing to take that risk. I’m Go Jules Go now, and I want to tell you about the ugly awkward stuff, too. Awkward stuff like flaws. Like the flaws below.

That’s right, Chipmunks – here is some major, major ammunition if you ever want to hit me below the belt (like Babs). At least you’ll be prepared if Virgin ever sees the light of day.

I have massive (pun intended) weight issues. I’ve lost and gained over 100 lbs multiple times in my life. I (voluntarily) went on my first diet when I was 9, and it’s been a hot, gooey, cheese-covered mess ever since. Food is my ultimate vice. Speaking of vices…

I worry I drink too much. But that usually goes away after a couple of drinks.

I married my one and only boyfriend. I made the first move. If you don’t think that’s a flaw, well, just know that my chronic singlehood wasn’t for lack of trying, heaven vodka knows. I have enough rejection stories to, well, fill a book. I’m still shocked when the male species says anything nice about me, but…

I think I’m pretty. In clothing. With the right make-up. From the right angle. With good lighting. All of the pictures and videos on this blog are very carefully selected and/or executed to make you think I look a lot better than I do (read: I’m vain). Except for that one time when I was high on those heroin cough suppressants.

I want everyone to like me, and sometimes keep opinions to myself and agree just so they will. But you know what? I don’t like everyone. I don’t like a lot people! (…Did that make you paranoid? I’m sorry; I totally wasn’t talking about you. You still like me, right?)

I used to have panic attacks. I assume they stemmed from either abandonment issues or bullying. Or both. They were so bad I missed a year of middle school, and…

I never went to high school. I got my GED, took the SATs, and went to college, but I never got to wear an embarrassing prom dress still feel very intellectually inferior. Don’t ask me about chemistry unless it’s the kind between Jim and Pam from The Office.

Well there now. Don’t we all feel better? …No? Just me?

Zest and Zeal, my life coaches.

How do you feel about sharing flaws in a public forum (yourself and reading others’)? Do you think it’s necessary for honest writing? If you’re uncomfortable with all of this, who’s your favorite character on The Office (mine’s Jim. Duh.)?

Photo Credit (“It’s all your fault”): stickerchick.com.

Ask Me About My ‘Stache…And Win Your Own!

So, I think it’s pretty clear I’m an addict.

I’m not even talking about the chipmunk thing.

They’ve been quiet lately. This concerns me.

Or the Second Husband fixation.

Quite frankly, committing to one husband is just plain near-sighted.

Or the vodka dependency.

They cancel each other out.

I’m talking about giveaways.

Now that my slap bracelet giveaway/comeback campaign has wound down, I feel a little empty inside. Or I did, until I realized something.

‘Stache Glasses.

No caption could do these glasses justice.

Those amazing glasses in my header and profile picture! Why did I not buy them when I had the chance?! Back in April, I simply tried ‘em on, took that picture, and moved on. While I loved them, the price tag seemed steep. I had no idea they’d become the new me.

Last week, I realized I had to rectify this grave error in judgment. Immediately. So I went hunting for that same pair of mustache-y goodness.

I was deeply moved to find there is an entire ARRAY of ‘stache glasses to tickle your follicle fancy. (Note: I am in no way associated with this company, but am happy to sell out at the first opportunity, so please. Email me.)

Now that I’m marvelously mustachioed once more…

…I am going to share my bacon with you.

That’s right. I want to send you a pair of mustache glasses! So, in the comments section below, ask me a juicy, probing question (PG-13 or safer please, Chipmunks; Babs [my mom] reads this blog).

I’ll  choose a favorite and answer the question in a post on Friday, June 22, 2012. This winner can pick a pair of ‘stache glasses (by browsing here), and I’ll have them shipped as a gift, from my guilty pleasure-full heart to theirs. 

Deadline: 12pm noon EST, Thursday, June 21, 2012.

…I love you.

Print that’s as fine as that Liam guy from “90210”: This giveaway is open to anyone who is willing and able to ask a kick-chipmunk-tail question, and to email me their address in the event that they’re the winner. If you have any trouble leaving a question in the comments section below, you can ask your question via email: Julie (dot) Davidoski (at) yahoo (dot) com. Multiple submissions are acceptable.