Whew, I’m exhausted from sorting through all of the entries to my Halloween contest! I barely had time to dust off my slutty chipmunk costume.
Ha ha ha. Just kidding.
There were only two entries.
And I loved them all both. Almost as much as I love my sister wife and our 47 children.
In fact, I loved your entries so much that I tossed them into my cauldron and brewed up a batch of winning for everyone! That’s right. For the first time in Go Jules Go Halloween contest history, I’ve combined your entries into a single jack-o-lantern carving!
In response to my question, How would the world look if YOU were in charge?, you submitted the following gems:
Now that we have our winners, it’s time to get down to carving business. As usual, I was filled with self-doubt. Could I come up with a design worthy of Peg-o-Leg and Lone Grey Squirrel’s submissions? My fears compounded after visiting Rise of the Jack-o-Lanterns.
Based on Peg-o-Leg’s comment that if she ruled the world all IRS employees would have to wear the same uniform, the Julesie Crest Ensemble, I began my design.
Next, the design transfer.
And lastly, the expert carving.
Okay, so maybe you’re not impressed. Just wait until you hear what this REALLY is. A hacked up gourd? Oh, no, no, no.
In homage to Lone Grey Squirrel’s entry, this pumpkin is THE ultimate teaching tool for any Cat Sensitivity Training program – the only program of its kind aimed at reducing squirrel and chipmunk anxiety. If the felines fail to pay attention, all you need to do is turn out the lights, fire up a match, and BAM!
Oh chipmunks. Do you remember those days when I used to give away slap bracelets, shake hands with babies, and make rainbows out of rain?
I miss those days.
But wait! Thanks to the Simon & Schuster publishing house, we’re getting old school up in here!
That’s right – another giveaway! I’ve cleared the cobwebs, opened the Franzia, and invite you all to vie for a chance to win a copy of…
“I Know What I’m Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself” by Jen KirkMAN!
I don’t know why Simon & Schuster contacted me. Jen Kirkman is a hilarious, divorced, comedy writer with an empty refrigerator and flawless fashion sense.
Jen is also stand-up comedian, best-selling author, and occasional cradle robber. If you’ve seen her Netflix comedy special, I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine), you know this gal is the real deal.
I could give you a book synopsis, but I’d rather share my favorite quote:
“I looked at the second cheese board and lost my appetite. I was happy talking to Allison. I felt like myself again. I was happy. And when I’m happy I don’t abuse cheese. Cheese is a privilege.”
HOW TO ENTER
Simply leave a comment describing some of the worst advice you’ve ever given or been given (or observed being given). I’ll let the magnanimous Babs (mother extraordinaire) choose a winner, announced the week of May 1, 2016.
ENTER BY MIDNIGHT EST ON MY BIRTHDAY!!!! SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 2016 TO WIN!
P.S. – I’ve never stopped loving you. I’ve just been really busy. Reading this awesome book. And worrying about the apple slice I dropped between the driver’s seat and middle console of my car last week.
Okay. Here goes. The Reader’s Digest version of a blind date with a Miserable Bastard (MB) that ended up in a marriage proposal from hell.
The MB in question was a pompous ass lawyer. My friend set me up with him. I immediately began questioning my judgement in friends. During our first date all he could about was talk about:
2. how much he hated the town we lived in (my home town, his new town)
3. his former girl friend who was of Nordic descent (I’ll call her Icelandic Dream Girl)
I thought it was a “one and done” kind of an evening, but he wanted to see me again for dinner, not just drinks, explaining that he only asked women out on first date for drinks because he didn’t want to waste his time and money for a whole “dinner thing” if the woman wasn’t his type. Charming, huh?
I accepted his dinner invitation. Why?
Because I was:
1. drinking heavily at the time
3. drinking heavily at the time
4. had low self-esteem
5. drinking heavily at the time
6. didn’t want to spend the rest of my life alone
We dated for several months, during which time he berated me every chance he got, which was a lot. He even forced himself on me (like in rape) and blamed me for not liking it, which I apologized for due to (see above list).
After the rape thing, I kind of knew he wasn’t the MB for me. I tried to avoid him by making excuses not to see him. Clever MB must have figured out what I was up to. Icelandic Dream Girl must have pulled something similar.
In a moment of weakness (see above list), I agreed to go with him on an outside adventure. I’m not the outdoorsey type. He fancied himself an Olympian in canoeing. Out we went onto an angry lake in a yellow death trap. I sat on the floor of the canoe which was swamped due waves cresting over the sides, my hands were claws gripping the edges of the damn boat/likely casket. I thought his plan was to drown me. Imagine my surprise when he proposed marriage to me. I told him I had to think about it, wanting to be on terra firma when I told him to screw himself. Which I did.
Congratulations, Lorna! I’ll be in touch to award your prize. And a martini.
Any new run-ins with miserable bastards? Um, any plans for spring? Talk to me. I love you.
Recently, as part of a huge work conference I coordinated (okay, helped coordinate), we booked an external guest speaker. A guy named Shawn Achor.
Apart from having a viral TedTalk, Shawn is a New York Times bestselling author who’s even caught God’s Oprah’s attention. (If you do one thing today besides pretending to work, I hope it’s clicking that link.)
Why’s he so popular? Well, he’s super cute he studies happiness, for starters. And who isn’t obsessed with happiness but the most stressed out, miserable population since 1936 (I may have made that last part up)?
Shawn grew up in Texas, all set to become a firefighter, when he got accepted into Harvard on a full scholarship. As he tells it, no one was more surprised than him. He got to campus in awe, but eventually depression snuck up and bit him in the smart, adorable tuckus. Though he struggled, Shawn ultimately succeeded, and was even invited to stay on board as a resident adviser after graduation.
Over time, he noticed a glaring trend: He wasn’t alone. Every year, within a couple of short months, a huge percentage of freshman went from exulting in their good fortune to lamenting their overwhelming workloads. Gone was the excitement and gratitude they felt when they first got to Harvard; in swooped a laser-focus on stress and perfection.
What was happening to these kids? And why? And most importantly, could it be helped?
Through some truly fascinating and entertaining research, Shawn discovered -and forgive the cliche as I oversimplify- that happiness comes from within.
How many of us tell ourselves, “When I get that promotion, I’ll be happy”? Or, “When I lose 10 pounds, I’ll be happy”? Or my personal favorite, “When bacon goes on sale again, I’ll be happy”? When we constantly define success as a goal that lies ahead of us, we never feel truly satisfied.
The good news is: There’s something we can do about it. And we can do it now. In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn outlines simple Happiness Habits we can all adopt to reverse our negative thought patterns. By putting some of these practices to use, in 21 short days, you’ll report improved levels of happiness in just about every aspect of your life.
If that’s not convincing? Wait’ll you read about how companies embracing positivity are hiring. They’re not wasting their money. They have proof: Optimism yields results, and staggering ones at that.
Want to win a copy of Shawn’s bestselling book, “The Happiness Advantage”? Simply leave a comment below describing a funny (or otherwise noteworthy) run-in with a miserable bastard!
(…What? That’s positive! That’s funny! I totally get what this book is about!)
I’ll [entirely subjectively] pick an entrant to receive of a copy of the book and announce the winner next week! Contest ends MIDNIGHT EST on Sunday, March 15, 2015. Open to awesome people worldwide.
Disclaimer: I was not given any incentive, monetary or otherwise, to write this. I am just bored waiting for Shawn Achor to accept a second wife. I seriously love Shawn Achor, and this book.
Today I’m celebrating the fact that, despite all signs pointing to an early Death by Pork, I’ve officially lived to see 32 29.
I just returned to New Jersey after attending the most beautiful ceremony I’ve ever witnessed:
That’s right. Baconfest Chicago 2014. On April 26, hundreds of like-minded souls gathered to pay tribute to the almighty bacon gods.
The Midwest air outside was as crisp as the bacon that awaited us. You could smell it from blocks away. Everyone was in high spirits as they entered the UIC Forum. Speaking of spirits – your admission included 7 drink tickets! Seven! Yes. I truly was among my people.
Once inside, I had no idea where to start, so I got in line at the first station and just worked my way around. (In case you’re wondering, yes, my jeans and I did eventually regret this plan.)
Halfway through my trek, I saw Carriage House was serving Bacon Crispie Treats: Fried pork rinds (yeah, you heard me) in place of rice crispies, bacon marshmallow, and bourbon bacon caramel glaze, served with a side of bacon chocolate milk for dipping.
When I went to pick up a little square treat from the oh-so-tempting tray, 5 came along with it. I glanced up sheepishly, and the guy manning the table said,
“Take them all! There are no rules at BaconFest!”
And he was right. It was succulent lawlessness at every turn, dozens of people elbowing their way towards things like this:
Another highlight was Pigs in Mud from Farmhouse: A cup of rich, chocolate bacon custard, crispy bacon soil, topped with a sugar-coated gummy pig. This adorable concoction even earned them the “Most Creative Use of Bacon” prize.
The top 2 winners in my book?
1) Bacon balls courtesy of Mark Hemmer from Bridge House Tavern: A rich yet delicate blend of Nueske’s bacon, veal and foie gras with a Luxardo cherry in the middle, served with a cherry maple glaze over apple-jicama slaw.
(I scarfed this too quickly to get a picture.)
2) TheBSLT courtesy of chef Andre Christopher from Bistro Dre: Bacon crusted salmon sashimi with bacon tempura crunch, bacon mayo, bacon ponzu, micro lettuce, baby tomatoes and caramelized bacon red onions.
The line in front of the Bistro Dre stand proved I wasn’t the only one loving this creation.
I’d suffer bacon-less nightmares if I didn’t include a couple of honorary mentions:
1) Bacon Infused Scotch Egg from The Gage– bacon yolk, bacon bread crumbs, with smoked pork belly, petite greens with bacon vinaigrette, smoky-bacony kimchi broth:
2) Bacon Wrapped Dates from the Municipal Bar & Dining Co – jumbo date stuffed with brie cheese wrapped in applewood smoked bacon:
My only regret? I somehow managed to wind up with a leftover drink ticket.
What other food would you like to see celebrated, festival-style? Leave a comment by 12pm midnight EST on Sunday, May 4, 2014, and I’ll randomly pick a winner to receive a Vosges Mo’s milk chocolate bacon bar!