Category Archives: Uncategorized

Rule the World AND Win the Greatest Giveaway – Leave a Comment by Oct 21, 2016!

My Fellow Chipmunks,

It’s that time of year again! Orange heads at every turn, scare tactics full of fluff hay, stress eating Tootsie Roll pops…

And oh yeah, it’s Halloween!

That means you can enter THE BEST contest ever known to the interwebz for a chance to win a CUSTOM JACK-O-LANTERN, carved poorly by yours truly!!

All you have to do is leave a comment describing how you would rule the country. Or the planet. Or the universe.

Here’s how I would do it:

The Rules

Simply leave a comment below describing what the world would look like if YOU were in charge.

The Prize

A custom jack-o-lantern, carved just for you by Go Jules Go. Don’t think that’s the greatest thing you’ve ever heard? Think again!

For more on past winners, click here, here or here.

The Deadline

MIDNIGHT EST, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21st. (Winner Announced 6am EST, Monday, October 31st.)

gojulesgo-kid-Halloween-1993

I’m so excited I could pee brush my teeth.

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You Did What with a Toothpick?

“I saw there was a food festival in Flemington,” Babs, my mom, said on Sunday morning.

It was 10:30am and we were standing in my living room, the only two people in New Jersey who hadn’t escaped ‘down the shore’ (as we Jerseyians say) for the weekend. We were searching for something to do besides go to the movies. Again.

“I can only find times for 2015,” I groaned, looking at my phone. “And they say 4pm! Who starts a food festival at 4pm on a Sunday in August?”

After another five minutes of fruitlessly browsing NJ.com and Facebook, I looked at Babs.

“I feel like I want to see something I’ve never seen before.”

I said it facetiously, figuring I’d settle for some roadside tomatoes and a latte. We’d lived in New Jersey my whole life, a.k.a. 34 29 years. There wasn’t much we hadn’t seen.

Spank-Babs-Jules

This seems as good a time as any to remind you of the time we went to the theatrical rendition of 50 Shades of Grey.

“Well, there’s a toothpick sculpture exhibit in Morristown,” Babs said casually.

I put down my phone and stared at her, mouth agape.

“Seriously?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh my god.”

And just like that, our mother-daughter day went from mundane to magical.

All of this unexpected splendor got me thinking.

I’d applied for -and gotten accepted to- a Masters Program that started on Tuesday. On top of a full-time job, the syllabi for my first two classes seemed daunting. In fact, over the past two months, I’d spent more than a few days doing activities with what one could only call dutiful merriment. All things I had been looking forward to initially…

And yet.

Why does making plans two, four, seven months out always sound so shiny and promising, yet the closer they come, the more we say, “What the f&*@ was I thinking?”

I wondered if Stan Munro, the toothpick maestro himself, ever got halfway through a project only to think, “Well, this was a colossal waste of time.”

What, really, made the difference between, “This is just a stack of toothpicks” and, “Holy sh*t, this is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before”?

Sure, sure, sure. We all know about the power of positivity and points of view and pots of gold at the end of the 9-to-5 rainbow.

But what actually makes us choose the straight and narrow versus the winding road, stripes versus polka dots, coffee versus more coffee? And how can you know before you click ‘submit’ that you won’t spend hours, weeks, months or years second-guessing your decision?

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Do you think this was Stan’s Plan A?

Have you ever set a goal and regretted it? Not regretted it? Pretended it never happened?

P.S. – If you’re in the area, you can see the toothpick extravaganza for yourself at the Morris Museum through August 31st! (Who loves you?)

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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!

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!

My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours


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

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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)