PSAs

I’m Gonna Get REALLY Weird With It (Part 1 of 2)

Last Wednesday I drove down a long, winding, forested road, glancing at Google maps and praying the cell phone service wouldn’t cut out. I wiped a sweaty palm on my pants and watched the mailbox numbers go mysteriously up, down, then back up again. It was almost 9:00am and another unusually balmy day in Maine, halfway through my week-long getaway from New Jersey.

I tried calling the number I’d jotted down, but the phone automatically hung up before it even rang. Sh*t. I should just turn around and go home. Right then, I spotted a mailbox that read St. John.

*record scratch*

“HANG ON. HANG ON. Jules, I think you should keep this story to yourself.”

“Oh, C’MONNN, Jules, it’s SO COOLLLUH.”

“That’s exactly what you said about that bedazzled Justin Timberlake shirt.”

Jules-Justin-bedazzled
“I thought we agreed to stop using this photo?!”

“It’s not like people take us seriously anyway.”

“True. That ship has sailed.”

Hi. Welcome to the inside of my head. This is the conversation that’s been playing on a loop for the past week. I have SUCH A COOL STORY, but it’s… out there. In fairness, I did warn you -when I blogged about oracle cards and taking a “Meet Your Spirit Guides” class at Omega Institute– that things were gonna get WEIRD here on Go Jules Go.

Jules-eating-dog-food
And we all know I’m a woman of my word.

If you’ve been reading lately, you know I’ve been exploring “metaphysical curiosities” in depth for the past year, deciding to come out of the woo-woo closet in March. I realized how many people are just as fascinated as I am, but nervous about dipping their toes into the mystical waters.

Jules-Crazy-Eyes
Looook into my eyes and let me show you the way.

While in Maine (a.k.a. my future home) last week on vacation, I took things to a whollllle new level…

I turned down the gravel driveway, passing the mailbox marked St. John, and parked my car on the far right, not wanting to block the driveway. I had no idea how many people lived in this charming white house. I checked my face in the rearview mirror, grabbed my binder and headed towards the front door.

“Julie, welcome, welcome, it’s so nice to meet you!” A slim, smiling woman opened the door and gave me the kind of hug you’d offer an old friend. “Come in, come in.”

Oh hell. There’s no air conditioning? Seriously?!

“Dagny! So nice to meet you! I’m sorry I’m a few minutes late!”

Dagny offered me water and explained we’d be starting our 3+ hour session in her living room.

“So what brings you here?” she asked once we’d settled in, jotting down notes on a piece of paper she assured she’d give me before I left.

“WELL,” I said, tears springing to my eyes. I took a deep breath. “I guess things really started about two and a half years ago…”

I explained The Great Awakening of 2016 that had led to my vegan lifestyle and pursuing a Masters degree in Humane Education, which had then brought me to meditation and re-contemplating my navel higher purpose.

“For over a year now, I’ve been…sensing things,” I said shyly. “Questions about ‘the other side,’ so many unexplainable coincidences, dreams and intuitive hits, things and people from the past that seemed to have risen from the ashes…”

“Mm-hmm. Yeah. Of course.” Dagny nodded and smiled. “So how about I tell you more about my process? After we talk for a while so I can get to know you and your history -and that could be a good hour- we’ll set your intention and review the questions you brought to ask your higher self. Then we’ll head upstairs and bring you into a light hypnosis and see what comes up.”

I nodded, unfazed. I had done my research.

“I guess I’m ultimately looking for a breakthrough – in any area of my life,” I continued. “A brand new way of seeing things. I’ve had my share of standard talk therapy, and still feel like I’m struggling with a lot of the same issues.”

Which is exactly what led me to her, Dagny St. John, an “intuitive soul reader” practicing out of her home in mid-coast Maine. We were in the midst of a Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique (QHHT) session and I was certain I’d never been more nervous in my life. Who does this? Have I really lost my mind? What if hypnosis doesn’t work on me? What if something disturbing comes through? What if, oh dear god, NOTHING CHANGES afterwards?

Three hours later, I left Dagny’s house in a blissed-out daze. I felt like I’d need days to process. Weeks. Months. Years.

Stay tuned next week for Part Two!

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Dating, humor, TV Junkie

Stranger Danger: The New Dating App Sweeping the Nation!

“So what dating app do you use?”

“Mostly Tinder.”

“How is that going?”

“It’s fine, especially if you’re not looking for anything serious.”

My eyes darted back and forth between two women, a friend and a fellow partygoer, having one of those conversations that went from ‘Nice to meet you’ to ‘I’ve been in therapy for eight years’ in 7.6 seconds.

“What kind of guys are you meeting?”

“A mix. I have a thing for dark-haired guys.”

I opened my mouth and…took a big gulp of bubbly. I was pretty sure my only dating apps had been designed by guys who looked like the dad from 7th Heaven.

7th-heaveh-dad-daughter
“Now listen up, Mary. Just because I’m a known child molester whose left hand could be headed anywhere doesn’t mean my dating advice blows.”

Frequenting such upstanding apps as eHarmony and Match had resulted in stories like this. And this. Annnnd this.

Match-misguided-selfie
Spoiler alert.

“Oh really? You would like the guy I just met a couple of months ago. Caramel skin, dark hair, green eyes…”

“Why didn’t you like him?”

“Too young for me, but he’s perfect for you.”

I watched the conversation between my friend and a complete stranger unfold, wondering if it would outlast the Prosecco supply.

Jules-Holiday-Inn-balcony-2
‘Cause then we might have a problem.

“I’ll see if I can find his number.”

“Okay!”

I blinked. Hang on. What just happened here? A stranger we’d met an hour ago was giving my friend the number of a stranger SHE met three months ago and… My head started to spin, not unlike when my girlfriends plan things.

funny-owl
I want my Mommy.

Then I started to wonder… Was this really any less creepy than swiping your finger across a stranger’s likeness to indicate that you might want to share awkward conversation and unlimited breadsticks? Was this, in fact, a far more appropriate vetting system?

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I know I just met you, Rose, but I’m telling you. Don’t ever let this one go. #titanicpuns Photo credit.

The next morning, the woman from the party called my friend.

“Hey, it’s Stranger Lady from last night! Great news! I found Stranger Guy’s number!”

Without a moment’s hesitation, my friend texted Stranger Guy with a few cute lines and a couple of photos of herself.

What do you think? Should we create an app for this? 

Go-Jules-Go-Stranger-Danger-app

~*~*~*~*~*~

humor

One is Silver and the Other is…Old

“When you’re a kid, age matters a lot,” Babs, my mom, said the other day. We were lounging on her living room sofa killing time before her friends, Dick and Fern, came over for dinner.

Hang on. What’s that? You think I’m lying about their names being Dick and Fern? Would I lie about something like that? Babs even gave me permission to use their real names in this post! (Then again, Babs also gave me permission to paint my aunt’s house as a surprise gift…)

Dick and Fern have been friends with my parents since before bottled water was a thing.

Dick-and-Fern-timeline

“You know. If you’re seven and the neighbors are ten it’s a huge deal,” Babs went on. “Then you get into your 20s and it really doesn’t matter at all.”

She took a gulp of wine.

“Then it starts to matter again.”

She paused and gave me a look.

Hmmm.  Not good.
You know the look.

“Dick and Fern are a few years older than us so they’re in their 70s now,” Babs said. “And just look at this.” She whipped out her phone and showed me the text message that Fern had just sent.

Fern-text

“Late because of rain! At least she finally got a smart phone this year,” Babs went on. “Before that she was doing the texting where you had to hit the number keys over and over!”

I didn’t have the heart to remind Babs how recent her own memorable smart phone purchase was.

“Yeah,” I replied. “It also seems like there’s get-off-my-lawn-seventy and I-AM-JUST-GETTING-STARTED-B*TCH-SEVENTY.”

go-jules-go-old-vs-young-phones

This, of course, got me thinking of my own friendships. Had there ever been an age gap that suddenly became too pronounced? Is there ever a “cut off” when you can no longer relate, whether it’s on a surface level with cultural references, or emotionally based on various life stages?

Go-Jules-Go-2018-dream-birthday-Darren-Criss-1
What I’m really trying to ask is: Do I need to stop talking about Darren Criss?

So far, at 36, age has never been an issue in my friendships, though it’s still certainly bittersweet when they fade for other reasons: Distance, difference of opinion, or interests in chipmunks and priorities that no longer align.

My advice to Babs? Might as well stick it out. At least you’ll get to tell your favorite stories over and over.

As long as it’s not raining, that is.

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Blogging, humor, Just For Fun, Veganiness

My First Time at a Hippie Commune, I Mean, Omega Institute

“Do you think they’ll have coffee?” my sister asked, peering over the edge of a wide toll bridge that would take us past the Hudson River towards a small town in central New York state.

“I was just thinking the same thing!” I said, slapping the steering wheel. “We’ll have to ask as soon as we check in.”

After a two and a half hour car ride from our hometown in New Jersey, we arrived at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York on Friday afternoon, leaving plenty of time to have dinner before our weekend workshop began at 8:00pm.

Go-Jules-Go-Omega-title-image

Omega is a nonprofit, mission-driven, and donor-supported educational organization. For more than 40 years we’ve been a pioneer in holistic studies – helping people and organizations integrate personal growth and social change, moving beyond ‘the way it is’ toward ‘the way it can be.'” –Omega Institute website

We wound through bumpy, forest-lined roads until we pulled into the main driveway. A tan, golden-locked young man greeted us with an easy smile and glazed-over eyes.

“Hey there! Staying here or are you a commuter?”

“Commuter,” I replied.

“Right on. You can go ahead and park in either of these two rows. Have a good one.”

When we’d spot him later that evening, we’d find him still perched at his station, but holding a guitar. We parked the car in the gravel lot and joined a long line in front of a building at the main entrance.

Eventually receiving welcome instructions and a map, we moseyed uphill towards the dining hall.

“I feel like I’m in Dirty Dancing,” I said, gazing at the casually dressed men and women wandering through Omega’s plentiful cabins and gardens. There was something serene about the timeless energy surrounding us. Or maybe it was just the lack of wifi.

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Someone definitely needs to put this in the corner.

As calm and quiet as the campus seemed, the institute was fully booked for the weekend and the food hall was hopping, hundreds of people lined up at the (mostly) vegan buffet.

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Commuters like us (we were staying at an off-campus AirBnB) had to pay a mandatory $110 “commuter fee” on top of the workshop registration fee in order to enjoy the food and campus amenities. (Coffee, the staff assured us at registration, would be available in the morning, along with milks made of everything from hemp to rainbows.)

We filled our plates and fruitlessly searched for the vodka station balanced our cups awkwardly as we tried to find a table outside.

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I think someone forgot to turn on the air conditioning…

All of the tables outside were large enough to accommodate at least eight people; luckily, I’d spotted the phrase “communal dining” in the brochure and had spent the prior two weeks practicing my fake niceties.

“What workshop are you here for?” I asked the man across from me, wondering how many chanterelle mushrooms I could shove into my mouth between questions.

“Psychic Detective,” he replied, spearing a chickpea and giving me the kind of bright-eyed, smiling response usually reserved for preschool teachers and cannibals. “How about you?”

I inhaled dramatically before replying with jazz hands, “Your Spirit Guides Await!”

Omega-spirit-guides-await-registration-letterHe nodded as if I’d just said “the sky is blue” and we went on to cover all of the other usual platitudes for the next hour before finding an excuse to leave. The question he never asked, and that I imagine you’re wondering at this stage:

What the f&@% are you doing here?”

I blame meditation. After just a few short months of daily meditation, my sister and I found ourselves exploring other metaphysical curiosities, from oracle cards to crystals to chakra-balancing. Poking around these avenues ignited a spark in both of us that felt too intriguing to ignore.

Jules-gypsy
Plus those crystal balls really bring out the crazy in my eyes.

With time to spare before our workshop began, my sister and I made our way down the hill towards the community lake, passing several people lounging in hammocks. We plopped down in two empty chaise lounges by the water and watched a few kayakers drift lazily in the distance. One of the staff members raked the sand in front of the water for a solid fifteen minutes, a concentrated frown on her face.

Omega-pond-raked
The result of her efforts.

“Do you think she misunderstood the term ‘Reiki’?” I asked at one point.

My sister rolled her eyes at my pun and answered, “Do you think people take the kayaks out just to smoke pot?”

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A solid theory.

Neither of our questions were answered because we spent the rest of the weekend sitting barefoot in a small, brightly lit room with one instructor and eighteen strangers, meditating and channeling spirit guides, angels, and for one unlucky classmate not used to a plant-based diet, farts.

Omega-institute-fart.png
Elizabeth Harper, a walking fairy our instructor, explained in a lilting British accent that we all have one main spirit guide with us throughout our lives, along with one main guardian angel, but you might have other spirit guides with you for specific life events or goals. You can tap into these all-knowing, all-loving energy forces at any time, most especially through meditation. I would tell you more, but apparently I can make a lot of money offering this kind of instruction.

Elizabeth-Harper
Photo credit

So, did I receive any meaningful guidance or insight throughout the weekend? Yes.

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My classmate Gale received this channeled message for me from my spirit guides, including the symbol. Obviously, I am destined for superstardom.

Did one of my spirit guides look like Zac Efron? Yes. Did I love not stressing about finding vegan food to eat? Yes. Did I mention the farter every chance I got? Yes. Would I go back?

Jules-meditating-Zac-Efron-spirit-guide.png
Um…YES.

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Dating, PSAs

My (Big) Little Secret: Win Over Anyone You Want

I’m going to let you in on a (big) little secret.

I know how you can win over ANYONE YOU WANT.

Are you ready?

No… You’re not. You’re not ready. Stop. I see your face. You’re not ready. I’m not messing around.

Are. You. Ready?

Oh. Okay. Fine. You want my credentials:

  • Years 0 through 21: Unrequited Love
  • Years 21 to 31: White picket fence
  • Year 31.5: Divorce
  • Year 32: Rebound from Hell
  • Year 32.5: Rebound from Hell: Fully Reloaded
  • Year 33: 10 Dates in 10 Weeks
  • Year 33.5: (Elective?) Celibacy
  • Year 34: Well…but he’s so nice…
  • Year 35: (Elective?) Celibacy Reboot
  • Year 36: TBD

So.

Where were we?

Right.

Go Jules Go_My Big Little Secret Win Over Anyone_title graphic.png

Do you think it’s looks? Do you think it’s money? Do you think it’s who you know?

You’re wrong.

I’m not the funniest, smartest, richest, or most beautiful person you’ll ever meet.

Jules-Crazy-Eyes
I know. This is coming as a shock.

I’m not being modest. I’m being honest. If they paid me for cellulite and drunken snafus I wouldn’t even have to be writing this right now.

But look at Year 33.

See that? Ten dates in ten weeks. That’s not an exaggeration. That’s a thing I did. Me. A textbook introvert who would rather Tweet-watch a show with a group of strangers than have an actual conversation. I think MeetUp is a place where people go to avoid their families on not-real-holidays like Memorial Day. (Or at least that’s what I tell myself as I eat tortillas in front of the refrigerator wearing pajama pants held together by a safety pin that I may or may not have inherited from Laura Ingalls Wilder.)

And out of those ten dates? Eight of them asked for a second one.

Why?

Go-Jules-Go_Win-over-anyone-list.png

During this phase of, er, prolific dating, my hair changed. My weight changed. I think my job even changed. None of that mattered. No one cares. People only care HOW YOU MAKE THEM FEEL.

Except a few.

A few people who really love you.

And why am I telling you all of this?

Because no one asked me for a third date those few people who really love you need to include YOU.  I grew up feeling rejected (see: years 0-21), and now, I suppose, to prove a point, I can (kinda) get anyone to (sorta) like me anytime I want. And so can you.

But it doesn’t mean a thing.

And if you don’t love you?

Well. I do. So.

SUCK ON THAT.

(…See? I just got you to like me, didn’t I?)

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Blonde Moments, humor, PSAs

Top 5 Signs You’re Losing It

I admit it, Chipmunks. I’m slipping. Between working full-time, embarking on a 130+ hour practicum project, writing a Masters thesis, and designing a new website (…stay tuned!), I’m starting to crack. I’m even getting other people to write posts for me.

On the upside, this post totally wrote itself.

Go Jules Go Top 5 signs you're losing it title.png

1. You find yourself posting things like this to Facebook:

Jules-losing-it-FB-post-inside-out-pants
Always the butt of your jokes, I am.

2. You Could Give the 3 Stooges a Run for Their Money

I have spilled not one, not two, not three, but FOUR dinners in the past few weeks. First, there were the freshly grilled veggie burgers that flew out of the container and down the stairs, making friends with all of my stinky workout shoes. Then there was the bag holding popcorn kernels that gave up on life just as I was about to dump its contents into a pot. And let’s not forget the tray of vegetables that took a detour from the grill to the house via the grass on Mother’s Day.

features-roasting-pan

The crowning jewel was a tray of general Tso’s tofu, smothered in bright, red sauce, gleefully leaping from the confines of my plate and landing all over my gray living room carpet. I’m still finding sticky sauce in fun places, like underneath the dog’s bowls.

I would have recreated some of these moments for the photo op, but I promised Uncle Jesse I’d stop scaring him.

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For the love of God, woman, sit down. Sit. Down!

3. You Can’t Even Select the Right Address On Amazon

I’ve now sent a grand total of three packages to my parents’ house this month. Luckily nothing too embarrassing. Like ‘stache bleach.

bleach-stache-apply
I’m kidding. It totally was ‘stache bleach.

Now that I think about it, I’ve also gone to the grocery store and walked away with everything but the one thing I really needed, lost or misplaced an umbrella, a phone charger, a water bottle top, a child, and even ordered a Redbox movie and tried to pick it up at the wrong location.

Losing it Redbox rental
I didn’t want to hear you try to do a Russian accent for 141 minutes anyway, Jennifer Lawrence! …Yes I did. I so did.

Oh, and I asked the woman at DSW Shoe Warehouse last weekend why my gift cards weren’t working.

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Ma’am…those don’t say DSW anywhere on them.

4. You Mistake Someone for a Different Person…and They Look Nothing Alike

The other day my sister texted and said, “Come meet Joe and I at the pizza place!”

“Give me a few,” I replied. “I need to put on pants and stop crying over my nonexistent love life a really sh*tty Netflix movie.”

I greeted my sister and Joe fifteen minutes later, and after we chatted for a while, Joe said, “Oh, what’s your thesis about?”

I tried to cover up my confused expression. Hadn’t we just discussed this a few weeks ago over drinks in my sister’s yard when we first met? Was my project that boring? I bit my tongue and simply explained it again.

It wasn’t until the next day that my sister cleared up the confusion.

“Um… we had drinks with Chris in the yard. Wait. Wait. You thought Joe was Chris? They don’t even look alike!” she sputtered, breaking into hysterics.

“It was dark!” I tried to defend myself.

While she got her ab workout for the week, I realized, “Huh. That explains why only one of them had an accent.”

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I also think this is a normal-sized pretzel.

And the number one sign you’re losing it…

5. Halfway through writing this post, you realize you wrote a post with the same title six years ago.

Go Jules Go Losing It original post

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I hope you’ll share some of your own ‘losing it’ stories so I don’t feel so alone.

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humor

Maybe that Raisin was Just Trying to Get to California?

California-raisin-post-title

Have you ever stumbled upon a Facebook post and thought, “I’m going to need a lot more information”?

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This seems to happen to me a lot.

This is precisely what happened to me (again) two weeks ago when I read an alarming update from my friend, Robin. Rather than fill you in on the details, I thought I’d let the wonderful woman herself handle the job!

Let’s all give a warm welcome to Robin (and her four-year-old son, who plays a…surprising…role in this tale)!

Robin-with-son

How does a day that started off normal end with a trip to the doctors, tweezers, and California Raisins?

Let’s start from the beginning…

Baby carrier in tow, I walk into my four year old’s classroom.  He is peeing in the toilet, door wide open, a content look on his face – you do you, buddy!  By the time I grab his bag, he has finished his business and I notice something on his ear.

In typical mom fashion, I lick my thumb and go to wipe his ear.

“Ow!” he winces.

Well, this can’t be good…  

I lean in and take a closer look.

**shudder**

There is something IN HIS EAR.  

Instant panic.  Is it a bug?  Is it poop (he was just in the bathroom)?  Is it some other foreign object with which I am less familiar?  I grab his hand and leave.  

Sitting in the car I’m thinking, “What the actual f*ck is in your ear?” and I am not getting any straight answers.  He is clearly exercising his right to plead the fifth.  I call the pediatrician, who closes at 4:00, and hope they answer.  They answer!  I tear out of the parking lot, grilling this poor kid the whole way. 

It took the entire drive to the office to get the full story.  Apparently a little girl (who will not be named) was eating…wait for it….RAISINS at lunch and decided to put some in his ear.  While listening I am wondering, Were you a willing participant in all this?  Did she assault you?  Should I tell the school?  What the f*ck does a parent do in this situation?  Also, note to this young lady with the raisins: not the way to make friends!

Robin-son-raisin-in-ear
…Or is it?

Once inside the office the panic begins to subside.  Luckily we have an amazing pediatrician who was willing to see us right away and calmly removed said RAISIN from William’s ear…all while providing a teachable moment in a stern doctor voice.  

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“Now you listen here young man. Just because your mom got an AMAZING story out of this…yeah, no, never mind. Definitely stay friends with that chick.”

The whole drive home, after the raisin extraction, I was thinking to myself what is the name of that cartoon…with the raisins who play instruments…they are in a band?…

Robin, I believe you’re referring to the Emmy Award-winning band, The California Raisins, who catapulted to popularity in the mid-1980s.

Now that things have settled down, I think you and your son can both enjoy (and hear) a trip down memory lane…

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Any other surprising social media post-spottings out there?

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