humor

Crap. I Am So, Like, Totally That Girl.

Well, we may have survived the Mayans’ prediction, but this holiday season still brought forth The Darkness.

Before I go any further, let me say that there’s no gift better than a homemade one. My mother, Babs, makes the most extraordinary gifts.

I actually danced when I put up the star this year.

Peppermeister’s aunt cross-stitches intricate, beautiful ornaments.

Aunt-Michele-Ornament
What truly lights up the tree.

Then, too, are the thoughtful gifts. The funny ones. The ones that say, I get you.

I don't know why anyone would think I'd want any of this.
I don’t know why anyone would think I’d want any of this.

I absolutely adore these gifts.

Deep down, I’m sentimental and romantic to a fault. I can’t write a serious card to save my life, but I treasure heartfelt words, and sometimes even carry letters in my wallet for good luck.

But.

Then.

Well.

On Christmas Eve, this happened:

Jules-Kate-Spade

I got a Kate Spade bag. From my brother’s girlfriend. She totally forsook the Secret Santa price cap. (For anyone not gasping, this is sort of like the Mercedes of purses.)

I’m not proud of this picture. Look at it. Eyes that might roll right onto the tissue paper-littered floor. A smile that could crack marble. Pure, unabashed joy. I don’t even remember it being taken.

“You said you didn’t care about designer labels,” Peppermeister (Husband #1-Who-Didn’t-Buy-Me-This-Amazing-Present) teased once he saw this up on Facebook. “I’ve never seen you this happy.”

At least I think that’s what he said. I was too busy staring at my new purse, planning our future together.

What’s the overly indulgent gift you’re a little embarrassed to admit you want[ed]? 

Music, Vlogalicious

I Promise This Will Never Happen Again!

Well, cherry-nosed Chipmunks. Last year Second Husband, Darren Criss, regaled you with We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

This year, I wanted to kick things up a notch. But where do you go from Second Husband and my favorite holiday tune?

Cue First Husband, Peppermeister. You may recall he’s a musician, and the former guitarist for the awesome reggae band, Echo Movement. He agreed to perform a song for ya’ll, on one condition…

…I sing.

Oh god.

Merry Christmas! …I love you. Maybe too much.

Giveaway Junkie, humor

Holy Sheet: A Holiday Giveaway – The Winners!

Seasons-Sheetings-2012-FINAL

Chipmunks! It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for!

In case you forgot, the prize is totally amazeballs.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with the caliber of your Holy Sheet: A Holiday Giveaway! entries. My heart is as full as Santa’s jiggly jelly belly on Christmas Day. Thank you doesn’t even begin to express my gratitude for your creativity and support.Bacon-Ornaments

The Byronic Man and I had a very difficult time narrowing it down. In fact, it was so tough, we picked runners-up, too! My runners-up will each get one of my world-famous bacon ornaments. (You’re welcome.)

Check out The Byronic Man’s winners on his blog!

Holy Sheet: A Holiday Giveaway – The Go Jules Go Winners

1st Runner Up

25ToFly

Sheet-Entry-4-25tofly

I love Becca’s entry because she captured something so very real about the holidays that never would have occurred to me – her dad’s notoriously terrible photography. It’s charming, funny and creative, and I absolutely adore it.

2nd Runner Up

Keeping It Real

Sheet-Entry-KeepingitRealMom

Anka’s entry speaks to the alcoholic graphic designer in me – doesn’t it look like something you’d see on a greeting card website? Except one that’s actually fun? Not only that, but she had a very clever title for her card (Dreaming of a White Christmas), and, well, I heart clever titles.

Grand Prize Winner!

steadily skipping stones

I think we can all agree this video screams winner – Michelle went above and beyond to deliver a vlog that captures the ‘real’ side of the holidays. It’s thoughtful, well executed, and most importantly, hilarious. If you haven’t already, please watch it. And if you have? Watch it again! It only gets funnier.

Congratulations, ladies! Hopefully you’ll all have your prizes by Christmas! And as a reminder, The Byronic Man and I will also make a Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund donation in the winners’ names.

To see The Byronic Man’s winners, head over to his blog

Thank you again, everyone, for your spectacular entries. My sheets told me they want to sleep with all of you.

Giveaway Junkie, humor

Holy Sheet: A Holiday Giveaway – The Entrants!

Seasons-Sheetings-2012-FINAL

Chipmunks! The bad news is: The deadline for Holy Sheet: A Holiday Giveaway! has passed. The good news is: Now you get to see all the entrants!

The Byronic Man and I asked you to tell us, creatively (through a card / image / blog post / description), what the holidays ‘really’ mean to you. You did not disappoint.

You can check out the rest of the entrants on The Byronic Man’s blog, and we’ll announce the winners tomorrow, December 21, 2012!

In case you forgot, the prize is totally amazeballs.
In case you forgot, the prize is totally amazeballs.

And now, in no particular order, LET’S DO THIS.

(CLICK ON ANY OF THE PICTURES TO ENLARGE.)

Lily

Sheet-Entry-7-Lily
It’s hard to appreciate via this image, but Lily sent a snail mail card in which the orange female bird insinuates the red male bird is a total pig.

Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings

As part of her blog post entry, Peg entered:

Sheet-Entry-PegoLeg

Misty’s Laws

Sheet-Entry-MistysLaws

Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride

As part of her blog post entry, Susie showed how she made her incredible 2012 holiday cards:

Sheet-Entry-SusieLindausWildRide

blissflower1969

Sheet-Entry-blissflower1969

Undercover L

It’s hard to do the poem Undercover L submitted justice here, so check out the full entry/post. This is a sneak peek:

Oh, my dear friend, I hate your Christmas greetings.

When I get them I wish you would get severe beatings.

Your Christmas letter makes your life look so nifty.

But I know better.  Your card is so shifty…

Keeping It Real

Anka sent us this, entitled Dreaming of a White Christmas:

Sheet-Entry-KeepingitRealMom

Girl on the Contrary

As part of her blog post entry, Girl on the Contrary made a snow cookie angel:

Sheet-Entry-GirlontheContrary

Steadily Skipping Stones

Wino on a Ramble

Sheet-Entry-WineonaRamble

Rachel’s Table

Christmas Card for Jules and BMan

Want to see the rest of the entrants (yes, you do)? Head over to The Byronic Man!

Thank you so much for your incredibly fun and creative entries – this has been an absolute blast! Byronic Man doesn’t know it yet, but we’re going to have contests like this every month.

Winners announced tomorrow, December 21, 2012, at 6am EST!!!!

Just For Fun

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.

Boscos-office

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

I'm Going To Chop My Ear Off Any Day Now

Christmas BLT: Bacon, Love & Talent

Well, Chipmunks. There are Christmas crafts and then there are Christmas crafts.

I’m not even sure you’re ready for this, but we’ll give it a whirl.

Last year, I convinced my two bestest friends to come over and get their gingerbread on, because it’d be fun fodder for my blog. Fueled by vodka and armed with duct tape, this [eventually] happened:

Gingerbread_2011

Needless to say, I was sure I’d scarred them for life.

Nay! This year, they asked for Christmas Crafty Corner!

I smugly set out to find a worthy craft. And, oh-hoh, I found one.

“Even if we do a sh*tty job,” I explained, “all will be right in the world [if we make these].”

Thus, Jenn and M-Dazzle showed up on Saturday afternoon, full of optimism booze; things soon got so intense, the conversation came to a screeching halt.

Bacon-Serious-crafts
Silence! …But please pass the googly eyes.

‘Twas not long before Jenn attempted to make a finger puppet out of her craft. This is the PG version:

Bacon-finger
I can’t take her anywhere.

Then something magical happened. In one shot, Peppermeister (First Husband) captured…

Bacon-collageSo what the fudge were we making? …Are you sure you’re ready for this? Really? Okay then.

BACON ORNAMENTS!!!

Yes. You heard me.

Bacon-Ornaments
Honestly, I have no idea how we pulled this off.

The craftiness doesn’t stop here, my Chipmunks. On Friday night, I received my much-anticipated Seussical Christmas tree from Peg, of Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings!

Peg just opened her own Etsy shop, Peep, where she sells beautiful items made from repurposed materials, namely wool and cashmere.

Peep-tree

And look what she included in the package!

I love you, Peggles.
I love you, Peggles.

Life is good. Almost as good as bacon.

I seriously can't stop making these. ...The scarf was Peppermeister's idea.
I seriously can’t stop making these. …The scarf was Peppermeister’s idea.

***P.S. – Speaking of craftiness – you still have until MIDNIGHT PST ON WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19th to enter THE GREATEST BLOG GIVEAWAY OF ALL TIME!***

humor, New Jersey is breathtaking, PSAs

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?

Blogging, Project Management

I Would Do Anything For Blog Love (But I Won’t Do That)

Yesterday, Chipmunks, I could have struck bloggy gold.

My department held another all-day staff meeting. This meant not one, not two, but three “ice-breakers.”

The “Minute to Win It” team-building exercise back in May was such a smash hit, they put a Part 2 on the books.

For those of you not still losing sleep over the story, let me refresh your memory:

COME ON, JULES. Get the penne on the spaghetti or WE ALL LOSE.
COME ON, JULES. Get the penne on the spaghetti or WE ALL LOSE.

So, you see, I had to ask myself a very important question: Would attending the meeting be worth the follow-up post potential?

It didn’t take long to answer that question.

I Would Do Anything For BLog Love (But I Won’t Do That)

  1. Engage in any sort of therapy-inducing torture, including, but not limited to: team-building exercises, Bikram a.k.a. hot yoga (sorry, JM), Magic Mike Citizen Kane viewings, and sober anything.
  2. Accept guest posts from advertisers. I will, however, continue to hope that the makers of Pipe Palz, glass smoking pipes with mustaches, follow through on their offer.
  3. Review reading glasses for a free sample. (Contact me again in another two years when my eyesight is completely shot from checking my blog Stats page every seven seconds.)
  4. Remember to pass along the blogging awards that readers so kindly bestow upon me. I am genuinely thankful. Will you please accept my apology and this picture of Uncle Jesse as a token of my affection?Uncle-Jesse-pillowcases
  5. Plug the living shiz out of my own contest. Just kidding. I will totally do that. COME ON, GUYS! It’s the best thing I’VE EVER DONE. And it’s for a good cause you might get to make-out with The Byronic Man.

Bloggers: Where do you draw the line? Blog Readers / All: What really turns you off about a blog?

Giveaway Junkie, Vlogalicious

Holy Sheet: A Holiday Giveaway!

What can we say? Sometimes there are bloggy collaborations (Exhibit A and Exhibit B) too magical to let go not to exploit in the name of holiday fun.

And you’ve GOTTA check out The Byronic Man’s corresponding video blog! Especially because he actually knows what he’s doing when it comes to vlogging. Isn’t he the cat’s pajamas sheet set?

The Rules

Make a card depicting what the holidays really mean to you. You know, the…less-than-pleasant moments or traditions that signal ’tis the season. Maybe it’s hiding in the closet with peppermint schnapps, or your uncle’s drunken conspiracy theories. You tell us.

Use any format you please: a picture, a video, a blog post or drawing. We’ll even consider especially descriptive comments. If you do a blog post, we’ll Tweet it and/or link back on our blogs.

What I’m trying to say is: If your card makes people uncomfortable, you’re probably on the right track.

Submit your entries to Julie.Davidoski@yahoo.com and byronicmanblog@gmail.com.

The Prize

You guessed it – a Go Jules Go or The Byronic Man sheet set! The perfect gift to yourself this holiday season! One size fits all […queen beds]!

Pillowcases-Instagram

The Byronic Man and I will each pick one favorite and award that winner with our sheet set.

We’ll also make a Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund donation in the winners’ names.

The Deadline

Wednesday, December 19th, 12 MIDNIGHT PST.

We’ll announce the two winners on Friday, December 21st, 6am EST.

Seasons-Sheetings-2012-FINAL

I'm Going To Chop My Ear Off Any Day Now

A Bout of Sincerity

It must’ve been my recent return to poetry, Chipmunks.

Lately, I’ve felt somethin’ coming on. Sometimes I mistake it for melodrama. Or, at best, awkward earnestness.

That’s right.

Serious writing.

Though never insincere, I wasn’t always all guilty pleasures and goofy PowerPoint presentations. In my teens, humor only crept into my writing via dialogue. Everything else was angst-y and maudlin. I filled dozens of journals with lovesick poetry. Some of it wasn’t half bad.

In college, I discovered writers like Bill Bryson and David Sedaris, and realized that was the genre I wanted to pursue: humorous memoir. I’ve always found the truth more profound with levity. I like it when a protagonist’s journey makes me laugh despite the tears.

Nevertheless, the old poetry itch is back, and I don’t want this blog to suffer for it; we all know this place is the Uncle Jesse to my Aunt Becky. So today I thought I’d just quickly mention something a liiiittle more serious. A little behind-the-scenes look at my writing life.

I spend a lot of time on creative exercises and figuring out how to find and follow my passion(s). I handwrite, stream-of-consciousness style, for 30 minutes every morning, first thing. I take a daily walk, and once a week, I try to go on a mini adventure that sparks my creativity. On Sundays, I spend about an hour or two ‘checking in’ with myself, writing about recurring issues and the little miracles that happen when you get in touch with your creative nature.

Artists-Way-stache-glassesThese practices are, yes, a huge time commitment; I shower at night and get up at 5:30 in the morning to write before I drive an hour to work. But these exercises are a lifesaver for me, and if they sound familiar, you probably read about them in The Artist’s Way. Much like blogging, Julia Cameron’s books have changed my life in unimaginable ways.

They’re the reason I volunteered to help Marlene film the pilot webisode of My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours. The reason I had the nerve to attend my first blogging conference, meet up with Rache from Rachel’s Table, and sign up for that web design class.

Thanks to this blog and The Artist’s Way, I’ve identified concrete goals and watched them spring to life. I’ve learned that if you ask for a creative helping hand, and open yourself to possibility, the universe always delivers. Some of you have been the messengers!

I’ve never met Julia Cameron, have no affiliation with The Artist’s Way, and never thought I’d talk about this here, but my blog has always embraced the things we all love -however logical or…not– without shame. And so: I love these books.

If you’re feeling stuck and really ready to make a change, they might help you, too.

Have you ever read any of The Artist’s Way books? What inspires (or blocks) your creativity?

P.S. – Lest you think I’ve fallen off the guilty pleasure wagon, I’m drinking vodka right now and I’ve got somethin’ spectacular in the works for you later this week. It might be the most bloggy fun I’ve EVER HAD.