humor, I'm Going To Chop My Ear Off Any Day Now, Kvetching, Project Management, PSAs

The Career You Should Pursue if You Hate Being Happy

gojulesgo_the-career-you-should-pursue_title-graphic_30jan19

I love my coworkers and get to do a lot of cool things at my job. Last week, however, involved the kind of work you should only do if you hate joy.

Event management.

Now, I’ve done a lot of event planning in my day, and it can be hugely rewarding. But even in those cases, it’s filled with chaos and unpredictability. No matter how much you plan pray, anticipate, pray and prepare pray, nothing ever goes 100% smoothly. You just have to hope no one else notices.

Jules-losing-it-FB-post-inside-out-pants
Kind of like this.

When I got to the event location last week, my stomach dropped. Not enough chairs. I had requested more chairs the night before, but it still wasn’t enough; people were filtering in late and filling the aisles, disrupting the meeting. In four years, we’d never had such a turn-out. A great problem to have, but once again, experience and pre-planning did diddly-squat, resulting in me looking like an incompetent asshat.

I stood against the wall trying to tell myself it wasn’t a big deal, my stomach knotting as I begun to realize there was no way we were going to have enough time to transition from the current meeting set-up to the one beginning 15 minutes later.

And I was going to have 100+ people, including The Big Boss, there to witness me not making things happen.

I braced myself like Michael Richards circa 2006.

michael-richards-seinfeld
“Sooo, 13 years later and you still can’t go out in public? Impressive.” Photo credit

When the dreaded 15 minute transition period hit, the A/V crew ran around plugging and pulling things from the podium while I frantically tried to set up my laptop and connect to the new audio conference line.

go jules go event planning
Six minutes ’til showtime.

“Is the speaker here?” Big Boss asked.

I smiled serenely. “He is! [Coworker] just went to get him!”

I returned my gaze to the computer screen, checking to see if I had the updated presentation materials that had come in minutes before. Hurry, hurry, hurry, I thought, knowing pretty soon my screen would be projected in front of 100 people so I’d better get the hell out of my inbox.

Okay, download new slides to desktop, close Outlook, sound off, Instant messenger off, PowerPoint slides open for each of the speakers, oh crap you need the webcast link from the email, open Outlook, get link, dial in, is screen working yet, where is the new A/V team, why can’t I hear anything on the line, do we have enough lavalier mics, where is the handheld, holy crap it’s loud in here and I can’t hear the operator, this is never going to work, oh my god, why did we think this was going to work, is the speaker here, is he mic’d, oookay now everyone is seeing a picture of my dog (just kidding I totally wanted that to happen), does Big Boss have her intro notes

go jules go desktop uncle jesse
You’re welcome.

Okay. Okay. We have lift off! Holy sh*t what is that box on the screen and how do I get rid of it? Okay, okay, we can just slide it over here in the corner… okay, we’re fine, we’re fine…Oh my GOD that’s the wrong slide deck, say hi to Uncle Jesse again everyone…okay, we’re moving along now…oh for the LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY his mic isn’t turned on…

Once the main speaker took the stage, the next 45 minutes went by in a blur, my only thought being, Please please please let that be the updated version of his slides WITHOUT ANY EMBEDDED VIDEOS DEAR GOD PLEASE and let everyone on the line actually be able to hear. The speaker was a pro and fielded questions from a lively, engaged audience, allowing me to convince myself that in the end, the entire thing was a smashing success.

As soon as it ended, I grabbed my lap top, made a beeline for the parking lot, and wept into my ice cold coffee.

Jules-pout
A *gulp* smashing *sob* success.

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To event planners everywhere: I bow down to you (which you probably can’t see because you’re too busy wiping snot off your travel mug). …Can you please share your secrets?

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Blogging, Family Ties, I'm Going To Chop My Ear Off Any Day Now

What I’ve Learned from My Past Lives (yes, I did just say that)

Often when time passes, feelings fade, memories go fuzzy, and lessons learned take a backseat to everyday demands. One of the many curious things about undergoing a “past life regression” hypnosis session last month (yup, that’s totally a thing!) was finding that the very opposite occurred. The thoughts, smells, sights and sounds that I experienced during hypnosis have become hyperreal, and I’ve spent many long walks trying to squeeze every ounce of insight that I can from them.

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Wanna hear what I’ve got so far? Oh good. I knew I had a blog for a reason.

Go-Jules-Go-title-graphic_What I've Learned from My Past Lives

LESSON 1 (of 3): It’s Okay to Want Less

In many ways, the two past lives I witnessed couldn’t have been more different. In one life, I was a woman, the other, a man. In one I was wealthy, the other poor. I hated my job one time, enjoyed it the next.

None of this mattered.

As both a wealthy Victorian woman visiting her grandmother in the English countryside and a poor-as-dirt laborer in rural Maine in the mid-20th century, the only thing that mattered to me was this: Being with my family, surrounded by nature. I longed for nothing more than the sight of those rolling hills and the water – except maybe a cup of tea and some James Joyce! No part of me was vying for a 4.0 GPA or learning yoga or reading self-help books. And I felt zero guilt about it. The pursuit of peace and pleasure was enough.

Maine-wine-sunset
Ahhhhh, that’s better.

This was a powerful lesson. All I truly desire today is exactly the same – except now it feels devilishly indulgent. A simple life with fewer responsibilities? How dare I! This experience was a much-needed reminder to take a breath and remember that all of the accomplishments in the world are meaningless if I can’t enjoy what matters most. I don’t need to adorn this life with the trappings of success to have a successful life.

LESSON 2 (of 3): Why I REALLY Struggle with My Weight

I thought, between decades of dieting and multiple therapists, that I’d covered every possible reason I struggled with weight.

It wasn’t until I heard my “Higher Self” speak during hypnosis that a new idea took form: My weight was the physical manifestation of carrying others’ burdens. I had never allowed this theory to surface because I thought it made me sound like a self-righteous martyr.

“She tries to be like a mussel. Clean the water. It doesn’t work,” my higher self had said, speaking in third person. “She just wants everyone to be happy. She doesn’t have to be responsible for anyone [else’s happiness].”

How might I approach my relationship with food if I looked at it through this new lens? Would I speak up, set boundaries, and share more of my authentic self? The short answer? YES. It’s already happening! But I’ll confess: I haven’t changed overnight. The road ahead still looks pretty curvy (pun soooo intended). Nevertheless, I’m more optimistic than ever before that I’m dissolving a toxic pattern.

MORE VEGAN FOOD HACKS
It’s especially tough when you crush it in the kitchen like I do.

LESSON 3 (of 3): “If You’re Happy, You Will Save the World”

This is something else my higher self relayed midway through the session, and it strikes me as almost heartbreaking in its innocence. Wasn’t there some wise old (wo)man somewhere who said we can recognize the truth by its simplicity?

I’ve often heard people say that we’re on this earth to experience joy, and despite how things may appear on this blog, I often do a sh*tty job of it. Which links back perfectly to #1 on this list: It doesn’t take much to be happy (and THAT’S OKAY)!

Perhaps instead of living life like one giant checklist, I’d make a bigger, brighter impact on the planet I love so much by doing things daily that delight me (like using alliteration…check!).

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And photoshopping myself next to Darren Criss, of course.

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Do these lessons resonate with you? Do you struggle with them like I do?

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Animals, Food, humor, I'm Going To Chop My Ear Off Any Day Now, Uncle Jesse

That Time I Ate Dog Food

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you purchase the linked product, at no additional cost to you. I only ever link to products that I truly love. Like this.

Guess what? Today is Uncle Jesse’s 8th birthday!

And I thought, “What better way to honor him than to steal his food?”

As luck would have it, our latest shipment of V-Dog plant-based kibble just arrived!

V-dog-kibble-30-lb-bag
30 lbs. Also the exact amount of weight I’ve gained since entering grad school.

Two weeks ago, I mentioned that this was one of my favorite vegan food hacks, albeit one enjoyed by my fur baby and not so much me.

Uncle-jesse-eating
Until (spoiler alert) NOW!

I was keenly aware of the bag’s poundage, and my own, as I lugged it up two long flights of stairs and into the tiny apartment.

In a recent post, I said that this plant-based kibble smelled so “decent,” and Uncle Jesse loves it so much, that I might actually try it myself. And that if I did, I would, of course, blog about it.

Because why stop at peeing on houses when you can still sink a little lower?

pee-cottage

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m getting hungry.

…If this goes viral, I’m not sure how I’ll feel about it.

If you’d like to celebrate how much we love our furry families, and every kind of love, I hope you’ll consider doing what I just did and buy a copy of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s new children’s book, “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo.” Proceeds go to The Trevor Project and AIDS United. (And if you really want to geek out, check out the line-up on the audio version!)

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

Nailed it.

Once upon a time, I fancied myself quite the crafter.

GotC-bacon
I literally couldn’t find any examples of my crafts that didn’t involve bacon.

I even got two of my closest friends on board for an annual Kristmas Krafty Korner. Or at least that’s what we called it until we realized we were holding yearly KKK meetings.

Gingerbread_Jenn_WTF
That’s the house where we gather to burn the books!

This year, I thought I’d combine my crafting and planet-saving endeavors to make soy wax candles out of recycled wine bottles.

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I mean how hard could it be?

I’d seen this amazing glass-cutting trick involving yarn, nail polish remover, and fire, which I think we can all agree sounds like a good time. My mom, Babs, and I diligently emptied wine bottle after wine bottle all week, until we had enough to get going.

We wrapped those bottles in nail polish remover-covered yarn, lit them on fire, and…

Nothing.

I checked the YouTube videos again. And again. We tried a different nail polish remover. A different yarn. Heck, we even tried 90 proof booze. Nothing was burning through these babies. Finally, I sucked it up and bought a glass cutter from Michael’s, which looked like a cross between a guillotine and a giant protractor.

And that was great. Except for the part where that didn’t work either.

nailed-it-wine-bottles.png
A cruise ship bathroom door makes cuts better than this. (If you didn’t get that, I insist you drop everything and read this post.)

Here’s where you probably think I gave up. But nay! Babs had mason jars.

And at last:

nailed-it-mason-jar-candles-blog

Any other holiday miracles happening out there?

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

Are Polygamist Pumpkins Legal?

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.

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My real-life sister and I took things to the next level this Halloween.

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!

Congratulations Lone Grey Squirrel and Peg-o-Legs Ramblings! You WON!

In response to my question, How would the world look if YOU were in charge?, you submitted the following gems:

halloween-2016-lone-grey-squirrel

halloween-2016-peg-o-leg

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.

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Babs (mom) isn’t sure I can hack it.
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Most of the carvings were a YUUGE hit. This one was just a six.

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.

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Next, the design transfer.

And lastly, the expert carving.

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If only you could see what my floor looked like at this moment.

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!

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A chipmunk crest will be forever emblazoned in their vision, turning them immediately vegetarian.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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Don’t let #47 stay up too late eating candy.

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Giveaway Junkie, I'm Going To Chop My Ear Off Any Day Now, Vlogalicious

EPIC POST ALERT: This Year’s Custom JACK-o-Lantern Winner Is…

SQUEE! It’s time! It’s finally time!

For this year’s Custom Jack-o-Lantern Giveaway Contest, I asked you to describe a FrankenFood – some odd food combo that you invented or sampled. Your submissions were spooktacular. Thank you!

It was a friiiiightfully difficult choice, but the winner is:

Marta from Oh My, Marta!

Marta’s entry:

Marta-gravatarI so have this! I invented the best thing ever (still need to get in contact with someone about marketing this) when I was perhaps not low but ____. What you do is take two nacho cheese Doritos, the crumbs are the best for this, and then take a somewhat stale (staleness dependent on preference) chocolate raisin and sandwich it in between the Doritos. Pop it in your mouth and experience heaven. Seriously.

I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Could it possibly be good? I liked Raisinets, and I loved Doritos, but together?

Photo credit: http://1funny.com
Photo credit: http://1funny.com

I had to know. I called for reinforcements:

Has there ever been a more polarizing FrankenFood? The overall verdict: WIN! You are my hero, Marta. But I already knew you had impeccable taste, given our shared love of Leonardo DiCaprio.Titanic-pumpkin-gourdThus, I present your prize – a custom jack-o-lantern:

STEP 1: DESIGN OVERLY AMBITIOUS PATTERN

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STEP 2: RIP GUTS OUT OF PERFECT PUMPKIN

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Step 3: Tape Design On Pumpkin While Palms Begin to Sweat

Titanic-Pumpkin-3

Step 4: transfer design And question everythingTitanic-Pumpkin-4

Step 5: Tell Yourself, “There’s No Turning Back Now” over and over while shoving Raisinitos in your face

Titanic-Pumpkin-5

Step 6: Begin to Realize Self-Worth

Titanic-Pumpkin-6

Step 7: Marvel

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Congratulations, Marta! (And seriously. Get on this Raisinito thing, pronto.)

Oodles of thanks to She’s A Maineiac, Rachel’s Table, Accidental Stepmom, Cal-Hockley-titanic-3032768-720-540PEPPERMEISTER!, my family, and Magical Neighbor Jeff for your bravery. You are my double rainbow, the wind beneath my wings, the helpless little girl to my Cal Hockley.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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

Win A Custom Jack-o-Lantern from Go Jules Go!

Halloween-GoJulesGo

Yes. Yes. Yesyesyesyesyesyes!

It’s my favorite time of [the bloggy calendar] year! Time for…

The World’s Most Amazing Halloween Contest*

*according to me

The rules are always a little different, but the prize remains the same: A custom jack-o-lantern, designed and carved by yours truly. I base the design on you/your entry, and am so excited to see what this year will bring.

2011 Winner: Deb from The Monster in Your Closet

PumpkinPrep5_Deb

Pumpkin3_Deb

2012 Winner: Misty from Misty’s Laws

Pumpkin-GoJulesGo-2012-5

Pumpkin-GoJulesGo-2012-7

Jack-o-Lantern-GoJulesGo-Halloween-2012

The Rules

I mentioned in my last post that I made a spicy pepper-infused apple pie. Today you can find out it if it sank or swam on my hub, Peppermeister’s, blog.

Sometimes Frankensteining (eh? Get it?) a recipe together goes awry, other times it blows your mind.

To enter the contest, simply tell me about an unusual food or drink combo you’ve invented or sampled. You can a) leave it in the comments section below, b) blog about it and link back to this post (note: this contest is open to everyone – not just bloggers!), or c) email me: Julie.Davidoski@yahoo.com.

I’ll pick a winner based on insanity originality – it doesn’t matter if the recipe fails or flourishes, just that you gave it the old college try.

The Prize

A custom jack-o-lantern designed and carved by Go Jules Go.

Like this, only, you know, for you, instead of my dog, Uncle Jesse, (this is him cheating while playing Uno).
Like this, only, you know, for you. (This is my dog, Uncle Jesse, playing Uno, obviously.)

Oh and Uncle Jesse says there might be an autographed picture in your future.

He doesn't do this for just anyone, you know.
He doesn’t do this for just anyone, you know.

The Deadline

Monday, October 28th, midnight EST. Winner announced at 7am EST on Halloween, October 31st.

Happy Frankensteining!

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