This Friday, February 26, 2021, marks my 10 year blogiversary. It all started with a post about my puppy, Uncle Jesse.
In case you’re wondering, he’s doing well.
In 2011, after years in a beige-walled cubicle, I needed an outlet for my creative writing background. You know, something my mom could read for a chuckle. I didn’t expect that, within a year, I’d meet some of the most influential people in my life – creative, kind-hearted, hilarious humans who I’m lucky enough to call friends to this day.
Not sure what they’d call me…
This blog has seen me through divorce, dating disasters, job losses, career changes, a cross-country move, countless sweat-fests, ethical epiphanies, and more than a few woo-woo experiences. Most importantly, it documents my keen eye for talent.
I dare you to search “Darren Criss” (a.k.a. “Second Husband”) on this blog. …And noooo, I don’t find it all cringe-y that I jokingly called him “Second Husband” for two years and then ACTUALLY GOT A DIVORCE…
I originally called this blog “Go Guilty Pleasures!” and wrote light-hearted posts detailing my many (many) embarrassing obsessions. The presentation was silly, but brewing beneath the surface was my aching desire to help others feel at home in their own skin. No trolls, bullies, or bigots allowed. It wound up being fantastic training in diplomacy, improv (answering every comment with, “Yes! And…”), and memoir writing.
In fact, even after years of studying writing in college, I didn’t find my voice until starting this blog (at age 28).
A lot has changed over the years, and most of the old readership has faded away, but having this port to dock my creativity, during stormy and sunny seasons alike, has brought immeasurable joy.
But what have I REALLY gotten from having this blog? The bittersweet reminder that some things never change.
What I lack in posting consistency, I like to think I make up for in character consistency.
I think we should all take a moment to reflect on how far my PowerPoint skills have come since this.
This is the part where I could have put up photos of B-Man in drag, but I’m a good friend.
And it looked like not much had changed: HE WAS STILL INSIDE MY HEAD. So, I’ll let him cover the quarantine goals category, and I’ll gladly move on, my party hatslap bracelet firmly in place. (Although it’s worth noting that I already had the rest of this post written as part of my original draft, including the retro B-Man shout-out.)
Acquiring new skills seems kinda hard, anyway. Besides, if these are end times (and who says they aren’t?), what are the most marketable skills we already possess? How can we prove to our quarantine comrades that they shouldn’t eat us first? I’ll take a crack at it, and then I want to hear from you!
Go Jules Go’s Quarantine Survival Skills
1. …give fantastic compliments. Did you know you’re the only person I write this blog for?
Last Sunday, the stars aligned and three bloggy universes collided (much like my car with many, many rocks and trees).
Peg (Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings), Darla (She’s A Maineiac) and I stumbled across each other’s blogs eons ago, back when we were still trying to figure out how you posted the whosewhatsit up by the whatchamathingy. I’d been lucky enough to hang out with Darla before, but this time we upped the ante and met Peg in Portland, where she was visiting with family.
Any Catfish fan knows that meeting an online friend can go terribly, awfully, heinously awry – but not with these two. They’re every bit as hilarious, warmhearted and adorable as their words. Last weekend we were just a gaggle of blogging vets, inhabiting the same fresh Maine air, trying to fit four years worth of conversation into two short hours.
In fact, rather than try to cram all of the goodness into one post, I think I’ll let the two of them explain the rest. (Click on their logos below to check out all of the great things they have to say about me their accounts of our meet-up!)
It’s been 8 months and 11 days since my last post.
No tall tale explaining my absence could rival the truth. The past year was riddled with changes so epic, gains and losses so staggering, that I even considered shaving my ‘stache.
Clearly, I couldn’t figure out how to strike the perfect bloggy balance after a job layoff and divorce, so I did what any normal person would do – I went into hiding I sweat. A lot.
(In case you’re wondering, that was the Hamptons Marathon last September. 26.2 miles and all I got was a shitty medal and a stale bagel. Seriously? I drove all the way to Long Island for this? Seriously?!)
Now that the dust has settled, and now that I have dating stories too good not to share, I think it’s time.
It’s time to say hello to Go Jules Go 2.0: The Hot Mess Edition.
You’re welcome in advance.
So how the hell have you been?! Peg? Darla? Rache? B-Man? Anyone still out there?
Something old: Well, not that old, but never you mind. Kate runs a very fun ‘Scribble Challenge’ on her blog. This weekly writing prompt encourages you to hush your inner critic because you’re on a time crunch – you only have 15 minutes. Let your creativity wander in whatever wacky and wonderful direction it chooses!
Something new: Kate’s blog design! Go ogle. Go compliment. It’s snazzy.
Something true: Kate’s a med school student, an avid reader and apparently a cartoonist. If she tells me she models in her spare time, I’m going to jump off a bridge. Look what she drew for me us! (Kate, please tell me where I can send you some complimentary ‘stache glasses and slap bracelets.)
After a year and a half of bloggy friendship and two NYC meet-ups, JM and I have officially crossed over. Get ready for raging jealousy: I met #5! The infamous, hilarious, bacon-loving #5! He showed me his fort!
In case you’re confused, JM numbered her stepkids 1-5; number 5 is the youngest, and only boy. He’s almost 10. (I was put to the test on Sunday night, trying to keep the names of 2 adults, 5 kids, 2 dogs and one AWESOME 1966 Mustang straight. I think I’ve got it.) I met nos. 1-4, too, and they were all sweet, social and funny. And seriously handy when it came to housework.
#5 (putting leftover steak in a large Ziploc bag and getting some ‘juice’ on the tablecloth): It’s okay. It only cost $12.
I can’t think of any stronger endorsement for JM than the truth: Thanks to this Freshly Pressed post, hers was one of the very first blogs I read and fell in love with. My best friend, Jenn, a talented writer herself, will tell you the same. JM’s not only a wonderful person, but an extremely gifted writer.
Nothing says ‘fun’ like Renee. (Exhibit A: Her winning ‘guilty pleasure gift basket giveaway’ entry.) I had the pleasure of talking to Renee on the phone for the first time recently, and we had so much to say, I killed her car! For reals. Her cell phone was plugged into her car and both batteries died.
But Renee’s internal battery never dies (eh? Like that?) – she’s full of positive energy and humor, just like her blog. If you’re not already reading, please head over there and say hello. I’m a huge fan of her direct (yet often poetic), funny and heartfelt writing, and she’s got something for everyone (that’s what she said).
And guess what? Even though Renee just had to splurge on a new car battery because of me, she still sent this!
Thanks, Renee! Too bad it’s just going to collect dust since everyone knows I don’t drink!
I started this blog in February 2011, but wanted to wait for a special occasion to share some of my favorite Google search engine terms. I’m talking about those unusual things you people type into Google late at night and think you’re stealth.
If that search led you to GoJulesGo.com, I know alllll about it.
Consider yourselves busted, you sweet, sick, twisted li’l Chipmunks.
Keep up the good work. I live for this shiz.
Do you have any search engine/internet stories? (PG-13, mmmkay? My neighbors read this blog.)
P.S. – I promise to stop putting up posts now. Until next week.
Oh-hoh am I ever looking forward to this issue, Chipmunks. Also I may or may not be wearing pants.
Given that I focused on lovely lady-bloggers last week, I figured it was only right to focus on steamy menfolk this week. Grab an ice-cold lemonade and fire up your Scoville scales because it’s about to get hot like Peppermeister‘s (Husband #1) peppers up in here.
Editor’s Note: For those of you still experiencing WordPress Reader issues, email firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll get you squared away. Thanks so much for the tip, Jess!
That’s right, I said guilty pleasure songs. FWH goes far beyond food and wine. And even if he didn’t, I’d still read, because food and wine are my favorite FWH is hilarious. His humor is fresh and fun, and when it comes to making a fine meal or infused vodka, he’s the guy I want on speed dial. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s one of my favorite posts.
If you need any more proof of his chipmunkitude, check out what he tweeted me the other day (don’t you want to follow him now, too?):
Dave at 1pointperspective is a riot. I don’t know what’s more thoughtfully funny – the comments he leaves around the blogosphere, or his blog posts. That is really saying something.
What’s more, he’s a fantastic artist. For k8edid’s “7 Deadly Sins” writing contest (which he’s already won twice, ahem), he also creates illustrations. Here’s my favorite – can you guess which sin this was for? (Just kidding, this one was done for another incredible story, Forty-Seven Shades of Pink or as I like to call it, Ode to Bacon.)
If you’re new to Dave’s blog, this is one of my favorite posts.
That Fun and Quirky Last Page of Every Magazine – MJ Monaghan
If you need a friend -or a laugh- in this cold, cruel world, please head over to MJ’s blog (or follow him on Twitter). I’m especially fond of this post.
And let us not forget he is our best hope for getting In -N Out burgers:
I’m woefully behind on reading your blogs, and even on responding to some of your comments. It humbles me beyond words that you continue to visit Go Jules Go despite my negligence. Thank you. I have vacation time starting next week. Which means I’m about to stalk the shiz out of you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Now. Please shower these smokin’ fellas with attention and compliments in the comments section below, and/or let us all know what else we should check out in the blogosphere!
Sometimes I feel like I love you so much I want to cut you into pieces and carry you in my pocket.
But I don’t have any pockets.
Because, as I told you in the second sentence of this post, I’m not wearing pants.
Well. Chipmunks. Well well well. I promised you a guest post from my best friend, Jenn, this week, and she has begrudgingly graciously obliged.
You’re in for a treat.
Which I hope is clear based on the fact that this is my first guest post in a year and a half of blogging.
No pressure, Jenn!
As all you fabulous and wise Go Jules Go readers are aware, I am the lucky soul who gets to call herself Jules’ real-life BFF, as well as her heart’s — or at least her liver’s — inspiration. You wonderfully literate folks also recently learned that last Tuesday was my birthday.
When I’m not busy reading flattering blog posts penned in my honor, I like to think of my birthday as infrequently as possible. Way less than annually. Every four years like the Olympics actually sounds too frequent.
Like a double chin dented by the rubber band on a party hat, birthdays over a “certain age” remind us that, although the cake is gone, the scars remain. The buoyant charm of youth faded long ago, but the birthdays keep coming. Like Groundhog Day, with epsom salt.
I still recall (who knows for how much longer) the days when I’d carouse for hours, stumble to bed at dawn, and then pop up at the alarm, ready to start another glorious day of being young. These days, mornings at my house sound like a wounded herd on the move. A herd that knows its way around childproof caps.
I didn’t always hate birthdays. Once upon a time, nothing pleased me more than getting another year older.
As an old man once said, youth is wasted on the wrong people.
These days… let me not mince words. These days, I hold birthdays right up there with fungal infections and rectal exams. Both of which, you’ll be tickled to hear, multiply exponentially with — you guessed it — birthdays. Sigh.
While I still have my faculties, let me leave you with a final thought on the aging process. The more birthdays we have, the more we realize that we travel from cradle to grave at a breakneck pace, and not all our body parts will cross the finish line. So enjoy your kidneys and your knees and your ability to sleep through the night while you can.
And live each day as if it’s not your birthday, my friend. Because time is one big Donner party, and you are magically delicious.
How do you cope with birthdays/the aging process? And how much do you love Jenn? (Well, just forget it. She’s mine.)
Last February, he tried to explain how great WordPress was, and how I should use it as a vehicle to start writing again. I knew nothing about blogging, but then I read a hilarious WordPress blog and thought, “Oh. Well. This could be fun.”
And now here we are, a year and a half later, Peppermeister begging me to write him a birthday post. I mean, he just won’t shut up about it.
Please note: That last paragraph is all lies.
Except for the part about his birthday, which is today.
How do you do someone named Peppermeister justice? This is the man who texted me on Friday to say, “Want to know what the best part of making chicken tacos is?”
And then followed-up with this picture:
How do you measure up to someone with whom you once had this conversation?
“She’s going to be home in 5 minutes,” I said, hanging up the phone. It was June 2003 and we were a month into dating, cuddling on the couch of a friend’s apartment. My friend let us hang out there because Peppermeister and I both still lived at home [with our parents].
“Great,” Peppermeister replied. “That gives me 3 minutes to convince you, and 2 minutes to do it.”
“Two minutes?” I answered, raising my eyebrows.
“Yeah. I thought we could do it twice.”
How do you write a post for someone who cordially invites the dog onto the couch, complete with trumpet calls? Or tells you you’re “pretty” and “svelte” every day? Or convinces his whole family, after stubbing his toe on a boat in the Bahamas, that he was bitten by a shark? Or plays a mean harmonica? Or finds fulfillment in teaching cognitively impaired children?
Well. You don’t. You just give him another funny t-shirt, bake some cupcakes and hope he doesn’t realize you didn’t clean the bathroom he could do a lot better.