humor

I Was Working in the (Dating) Lab, Late One Night…

I have a confession.

I LOVE TikTok!

Assuming you filter for funny, likeminded people, this app can restore your faith in humanity. So many positive, hilarious, creative folks are putting their silliest feet forward and, unlike Facebook and Instagram, I walk away feeling more optimistic about myself and life after scrolling. One of my recent favorite TikTok videos involved a woman conducting a dating app experiment. She asked her matches, “What’s your most controversial opinion?”

The results were… troubling. And fascinating. Naturally, I decided I needed to conduct this highly scientific experiment myself. Which meant once again downloading dating apps on my phone, a practice that in the past had been entirely scarring and short-lived.

I’m not sure if it’s because I live in a relatively small town, or people in central Oregon have learned from their mistakes, but no one, absolutely no one, was willing to give a less than P.C. response. My favorite? “Pumpkin pie is actually not good.”

Another excellent submission.

Before I knew it, my experiment was turning into actual dates. Three four five six in a row. Hang on. This was just for giggles! I texted one of my girlfriends, Sara.

“This is Mr. Thursday. Do you know him?”

I had learned the hard way to vet any first dates with my single girlfriends. I had also learned the hard way not to get too excited before the first meeting – and to arrange said meet up as quickly as possible. Text messages do not an accurate impression make.

Take, for example, Kyle.

Kyle was Mr. Saturday Night. Kyle had a great smile. Kyle said allllll the right things.

Even if he didn’t spell them correctly.

I was sure -absofreakinglutely sure- this date would wind up in Smooch City. I wore my date-iest shirt and assembled my date-iest hair. When Kyle got out of his car (15 minutes late…), I was still sure. Kyle looked like a young Bon Jovi.

If you remembered that I’m a Jersey girl, that should explain everything.

“Do we need to wear masks?” Kyle asked as we approached the bar.

“Oh, yes, everywhere inside,” I replied, trying to cover my surprise. Geesh, he really doesn’t get out much. “But you can take it off as soon as you get your drink.”

We ordered our drinks and quickly went outside and stood near a picnic table, not far from the raging fire pit. It was a chilly, drizzly October night in central Oregon’s high desert. I stuck my free hand in my coat pocket, wondering why we weren’t sitting down. Radiating nervous energy, Kyle immediately blurted,

“My sister has COVID.”

“Oh no!” I replied. “Is she okay?”

“Yeah, no symptoms. After a week, she was going stir crazy, so today she came into town and went shopping.”

My jaw dropped ever so slightly.

“I’m not vaccinated. I have a rare blood type that doesn’t get COVID,” he went on. “Are you vaccinated?”

Soooo I’m thinking making out is off the table.

“Um,” I paused. “Yes…fully vaccinated…” Holy f@%* how did I miss this on his profile?

Just as I tried to recover from this news, Kyle dropped another bomb.

“I have a 10-year-old daughter,” he said, pulling out his phone to show me a photo. “I didn’t know she was mine until she was five. I dated this woman 10 years ago who was engaged to a guy who couldn’t have kids, so she was using me for my sperm, but I didn’t even know she was engaged.”

“10, wow, well, that’s a great age…” I said, peering at his phone and gulping my wine.

Instead of sitting down, Kyle kept inching closer and closer. I shifted back ever so minutely as the conversation continued.

“I don’t believe in abortion,” he said without missing a beat. “I’m pro choice, but I don’t believe in abortion for me. And women wouldn’t need abortions if they didn’t sleep around. How about you?”

“Well,” I replied, unwilling to part with my wine in order to toss it in his face. “As a woman, I believe women can do whatever they choose with their bodies, including sleeping around.”

Unfazed, he released his third bomb of the night.

“Have you ever seen those TV dramas where the kids don’t realize they were raised by their grandparents?”

“Uhhh…maybe…?”

“Yeah, that was me. I thought my grandmother was my mom. My mom had me when she was 16, so we have more of a friend relationship.”

Before I could comment, he unleashed Bomb #4.

“I was at my brother’s funeral this summer with a friend. She’s 6’4″. All of my guy friends were asking about her because I guess they thought she was hot. I just don’t think women that tall can ever be hot. Yeah, my brother died in June. We think it was a drug overdose.”

“I’m so sorry. Wow…you’re giving me a lot to process here,” I stuttered. “I was thinking we’d start with our favorite pasta shape.”

“Well I don’t really care what you think,” he said.

“That’s kind of a rude thing to say,” I said, my eyebrows threatening to reach my perfectly coiffed hairline.

“I only really care what you think of my brother dying. I don’t want you to think I’m not ready to date yet because of that.”

“That’s definitely not what I was thinking,” I answered honestly.

DEFINITELY not what I was thinking, Kyle.

“I’ve had other girls message me on Bumble, but you’re the only one I’m interested in. If this doesn’t work out, I’m deleting the app.”

“So what if I said I just wanted to make out?” I questioned, strictly for research (*cough* blogging) purposes.

“If we made out, you’d definitely want to go out with me. I’m an amazing kisser. I’m very confident. I know what I like.”

“You are not like your texts,” I confessed, my brain continuing to slowly turn itself inside out. “You seemed so shy.”

We had now migrated halfway around the picnic table in my efforts to stand as far away from him as possible. He hadn’t noticed and continued to invade my personal space.

“What do you do for a living?” I asked.

“I work in cryptocurrency,” Kyle replied, and then began to describe something that, in fact, sounded like a pyramid scheme.

“So you work from home?” I asked and he nodded. “Do you live alone?” In a town like Bend, Oregon, this question often yielded unexpected results.

“I rent out two rooms.”

“Oh, so you own and rent out two rooms?”

“I don’t want to talk about my living situation.”

I almost choked on my drink. That’s the topic that’s off-limits? He gave me a dramatic once over, leaning to look at my backside.

“I like what I see. I love thick girls.”

“Um, so, I’m going to go,” I said, the two of us now standing a full five feet from where we’d started our conversation a half an hour earlier. “I don’t think either of us is going to get what we want from this.”

The last thing I saw was his taken aback expression as I bolted through the bar, placing my half full glass of wine in the plastic wash bin near the door. I debated shouting, “Six feet from that man, people! Or maybe sixty thousand!!!!”

On the upside, he unmatched me before I even got home.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

humor

Christmas Letter: 2020 Edition

Dearest Friends, Family & Adoring Fans,

Wow, can you believe another year has come and (almost) gone? It flew by in such a haze of joy, stability, and stocked shelves! I’m so excited to share some of my 2020 highlights – and, gosh, I hope your year was as awesome as mine!

In January and February, good friends gleefully gathered for birthday parties, clothing swaps, tubing with drag queens, and snowshoeing…

This is going to be the BEST YEAR YET.

In March, I–OH MY GOD FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE WHA-? WHY? HUH? TOILET PAPER??

I, like many others, focused on what I could control.

And by that I mean my carb intake. (I did not make this. I know my limits. I bought it here.)

I wasn’t worried about the calories because, hey, this would all be over soon and I was training for a marathon! Which wound up being steeped in cheers, medals, and merriment.

Wow, Uncle Jesse, look at this turn out!

Speaking of, April also found me “celebrating” my birthday alone, surrounded by friends I found in magazine pages.

Guys. GUYS. Wait’ll I tell you my summer plans!

And then I hit a new low.

…Why do you exist?

Once I realized the answer to my expanding waistline wasn’t in cauliflower form, I began weightlifting with a generous COVID bubble friend/former personal trainer.

Stacy, you say, “You made vegan mac and cheese 14 days in a row” like it’s a bad thing…

Feeling a little better immediately, I made the monumental decision to get bangs accept my first date in weeks months let’s not talk about it.

Quickly remembering why I don’t date, Uncle Jesse and I planned a series of hikes where no one would tell us they never called like they said they would because they were waiting to see if they could take someone ELSE out on a date that weekend (YES THAT’S A THING THAT HAPPENS).

We first tackled a spectacular canyon hike and had a great time both got burnt paws.

And then, a month later, just when we were sure things couldn’t get worse…

It would be many weeks before we trusted each other again.

Well, no matter, later in the summer, we scaled new heights during a hike that was supposed to have one of the best views in central Oregon!

The future looks so clear from here!

For our next stunning hike, we climbed on our hands and knees for a half an hour and found a pile of rocks! I wondered if we would need them before the next toilet paper run.

I am dead on the inside!

Not to be dissuaded, I sought my next pile of rocks atop the infamous South Sister Mountain.

The universe, sensing someone might be feeling a droplet of joy, quickly reminded us that it was still 2020.

Not fog. Wildfire smoke in Bend, OR (September 2020).

By Halloween, the only people willing to come out from under their blankets were:

The Witches of Bend, OR.

Early November summary:

And then, butt-puckering Election Night was upon us.

And soon (maybe “soon” is a tad subjective) signs of hope sprung up.

Feeling buoyed by thoughts of 2021, I buckled down on my new business venture

Which resulted in no fewer than 1,000 photos like this.

And I think we all started to see what would soon be in the distant past…

…Making way for something merry and bright.

May 2021 bring EVERYTHING you have on your wish list. Unless it’s Justin Timberlake. Dibs.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Kvetching, New Jersey is breathtaking, PSAs

WTF? You’ve Been SERVED.

citation note pads

Earlier this week I told you about THOSE G.D. CHURCH BELLS that go off at ALL HOURS one block from my new apartment.

Church-bells

After four months in this neighborhood, I’m starting to wonder what the ever-loving chipmunks is going on. The church bells are just the beginning. Odder still, this town is a mere two miles from where I grew up, and yet it’s as if I’ve stepped into The Upside Down. Nothing here makes sense, and it’s starting to scare me.

stranger-things-winona-rider
New Jersey: As confounding as Winona Ryder’s comeback.

Since everyone else seems to have accepted this lunacy as status quo, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands.

That’s right.

Go Jules Go, keeper of peace, server of justice, lover of being alone and eating peanut butter straight from the jar without any interruptions thank you very much, HAS ARRIVED.

Jules-old-timey-sheriff
Helloooo, sweet, cinnamon-swirly justice!

First order of business? Handing out citations to the town’s most egregious offenders. Aside from His-Church-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, behold:

CITATION #1

Wile-e-coyote

A few weeks ago, someone left -I’m not making this up- a red package labeled “TNT” on top of a mailbox on my block. A passerby notified the police, and within moments, the bomb squad arrived. These cartoonish hijinx shut down my street and kept me from enjoying the eight cases of wine I’d just purchased from Trader Joe’s for an entire hour.

WTF-citation-coyote

CITATION #2

sad-dessert

Hi. Meet my dessert. She comes from a restaurant around the corner from my apartment, where they also consider Bachelorette tea parties the height of merriment. Don’t they know it’s not dessert unless you hate yourself afterwards?

WTF-citation-dessert

CITATION #3

citation-tree

The town center’s crowning Christmas jewel, and the view from my living room all December long.

WTF-citation-tree

CITATION #4

And last, but certainly not least…

Neighbor-note-doctored

I found this note in my mailbox on Tuesday, from someone I had only briefly met when I first moved in. “Phoebe” later revealed her question via text: “Hey, would you be interested in swapping apartments [from your studio to my much more expensive 1-bedroom]? My boyfriend and I just broke up :(.”

WTF-citation-neighbor

I’m sure this won’t be the last of the nefarious acts in my new topsy-turvy world. Stay tuned. Stay vigilant. Stay safe. Sheriff Jules, over and out.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Any heinousness happening in your neighborhood?

~*~*~*~*~*~

Kvetching, New Jersey is breathtaking, PSAs

For the Love of All That’s Holy

Church-bells

Dear Catholic Church One Block from My New Apartment,

Since moving to your neighborhood late last year, your house of worship has turned mine into one of horrors.

Today, a cold, rainy Saturday perfect for staying in bed, your bells rang out at 7:24AM, 8:00AM, 9:37AM, 10:32AM, 11:24AM, 12:00PM, 5:24PM, 6:29PM, 8:01PM and counting, each time lasting no less than one full minute.

Have you a gargoyle in training?

gargoyle
ALL THE BELLSSSSSSS!!! Photo credit

I wish I could say this event was extraordinary, but alas, your belligerent bells remind me daily that sleep is for sinners. Were I to understand the reasoning behind your inventive cadence, perhaps I could rest soundly.

Concerned Heathen Citizen,

Jules

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Can anyone explain this? Am I missing something (besides sleep)??

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

New Jersey is breathtaking, PSAs

This Can’t Be Good.

This week has been filled with a delightful series of diversions. It’s amazing this post even ma–


Whoa.

What the…?

Is that my backyard?

I got home yesterday and someone had planted flowers. Lovely purple, orange and yellow, ah, daisies geraniums I-don’t-know-’ems, just to the side of my door.

I assumed it was the landlord, but even still, like any New Jersey native, my first instinct was suspicion.

I immediately texted a photo to Babs (my mom).

“Check the house. Is anything missing?” she replied in two seconds flat.

“Maybe he’s just trying to be nice?” My words sounded weak, even in writing.

“Did he use the flowers from your flower box?” she asked.

“No…” I answered.

“I hope they’re not flowers FOR YOUR GRAVE.”

“I hope I don’t come home tomorrow and they spell, ‘YOU’RE EVICTED.'”

It’s not that my landlord is a bad guy. No, no, no. He just, well, he seems to be of the more frugal variety, and in almost two years of renting, I haven’t seen any other display of Mother Nature’s bounty.

I’ll keep you posted. Random acts of kindness must not be trusted.

Have you had any surprises lately?

P.S. – Seriously, guys. What the hell kind of flowers are those?

~*~*~*~*~

 

Blonde Moments, Just For Fun, PSAs

I Got Stuck In A Stairwell (And I Liked It)

endless-stairs-jules

Last week, I spent a few days in New York City, watching many months of work come to fruition. As a project manager in the pharmaceutical industry, my colleagues and I had been planning a bioethics-themed symposium for ages. Finally, the event had arrived.

The symposium took place on the 40th floor of 7 World Trade Center. The views were spectacular.

7-world-trade-view

Things were going well on our first day, but I was anxious. There was a “networking lunch” at noon. Trying to pretend I knew anything about anything compassionate use of medicines for an hour and a half, among some of the country’s foremost ethicists, seemed daunting.

For the first few minutes during lunch, I checked my email in the hallway, doing my best to look busy and important. When I glanced up, I noticed an exit sign.

“I could do a little exploring,” I thought. “Stretch my legs.”

There wasn’t any indication that this was an emergency only exit, so off I scampered into the obviously post-9/11 constructed stairwell. The stairs were wide and well marked with fluorescent tape.

As I descended, I noticed each floor bore signs that read, “Nearest re-entry on floor 36.”

The floors in between had only locked doors, not even a pad to swipe your badge – if you had a badge.

The 36th floor did have a pad, but I decided onward and downward was the way to go. Also I had no badge. No doubt some floor would have public access, and if not, I could piggyback off of one of the people I was bound to see.

And I did see someone. Around floor 20. By then, I was determined to see this thing through. Because surely -surely- I could exit on the ground floor.

The final floors were daunting. There were no doors at all, and large, brightly lit ticker tape signs announcing, “EXIT THIS WAY >>>>>>>>>.”

I finally made it to the ground floor, wobbly-kneed and decidedly damp, only to see this:

emergency-exit-alarm

Knowing there was a red ‘call if you’re a moron’ phone back on the 11th floor, I turned around and began my long ascent.

When I reached the 4th floor, a tall, brunette man in a fleece jacket appeared.

“Can I help you?” he asked suspiciously.

He looked like Brody from Homeland.

“I’m trapped!” I blurted.

“Yeah. You’re supposed to be on the 40th floor.”

Which is when it hit me. Nicholas Brody had been watching me for forty. Floors.

“Come with me,” he said, leading me to the 5th floor. He looked like he knew 17 ways to kill someone with a rubber band.

Ma'am, you're, like, not even CLOSE to the 40th floor.
Ma’am, you’re, like, not even CLOSE to the 40th floor.

When he opened the 5th floor door and I saw it wasn’t an interrogation room, I breathed a sigh of relief.

“Bless you.”

He found someone to babysit me on the way to the proper elevator bank, and when I eventually made it back to the 40th floor, I ducked into a bathroom stall and desperately swabbed my head with toilet paper.

When I felt fairly certain I’d stopped sweating, I emerged from the stall and washed my hands. I looked up to see my entire forehead covered in toilet paper bits.

Guess it coulda been worse.
Guess it coulda been worse.

Have you ever gotten stuck in a compromising position?

~*~*~*~*~*~

Family Ties

So Wrong, It’s Right.

So things in hell are going well, thanks for asking. Selling your house For Sale By Owner during the holidays is super fun and festive.

I especially like it when the tree topper falls off and more lights go out every five g.d. seconds.

2013-tree-lights-out
Ah, Scrooge it. It’s only two days ’til Christmas.

Speaking of tree toppers… Every year, my mom, Babs, decorates a beautiful, live tree and places her beloved star on top.

Not a star star, of course. Don’t be ridiculous.

GOGP_Edward_tree
Edward Cullen.

GOGP_JustinB_Tree
Justin Bieber.

GOGP_Chipmunk_Tree
My blog mascot, a chipmunk (featuring my former blog name).

Babs likes to stay current, as you can see, and was hemming and hawing over this year’s “star.”

“I just don’t know,” she sighed.

“Miley,” my dad replied, turning back to his New York Times and coffee.

Yes. The man who seemingly only put up with this tradition out of a desire to pick his battles, proved himself the fourth wise man of Christmas 2013.

2013-Babs-tree-Miley

2013-Babs-tree-Miley-CU
Well done, Mom & Pop. Well done.

Merry Christmas, Chipmunks!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Kvetching, PSAs

I Did It All For The Stickers

Oh, hi blog, it’s me, Jules. You probably didn’t recognize me because I’VE LOST MY F%$&%@ MIND.

Remind me never to buy real estate again. In fact, remind me to never buy anything again, ever. Okay, maybe toothbrushes. Those get really gross after a while.

Trying to sell your house is like having to, every day for, possibly, ever, tell a 6-year-old Santa Claus doesn’t exist. You don’t know how bad it’s going to be, but you know it’s going to be bad.

Especially when you’ve lost your job and are convinced you can do everything yourself.

Case in point: Buying this year’s Christmas tree became a rushed, haggard ‘staging’ opportunity, as opposed to a magical, fragrant event wherein I blast John Denver and the Muppets and drink egg nog rum.

Christmas-tree-2013
Ever try to chop down a tree with a rusty saw and an eye that tells you 10 feet is 7 feet?

Case in point part deux: In the past month, I’ve learned things about my vacuum that, frankly, I think I was better off not knowing.

Three years together, vacuum, and NOW you tell me?
Three years together, vacuum, and NOW you tell me?

In fact, I was so desperate to get out of cleaning the downstairs coat closet, when Babs (my mom) mentioned needing help at the office yesterday, I gleefully volunteered. She works for an allergist, and while I was sure I’d be of no use whatsoever, she was more than willing to perch me in the front window for the day.

Questions I Was Not Able to Answer

  • Can I come in for a flu shot?
  • Can you talk to my primary care doctor about sending over my blood work?
  • What is your fax number?
  • Can I still have peanut and sesame oil?

Question(s) I WAS able to Answer

  • Can my child have a sticker?

Helping-Babs-for-Stickers
And may I recommend My Little Pony?

How often do you replace your toothbrush? When did you find out Santa Claus wasn’t real? Would you like a sticker?

Family Ties, Vlogalicious

How To Peel An Apple Like A Boss By Babs

apple-peel

Whoamygod. Today is [my mom] Babs’ birthday!

And because Babs is the Mommasita Extraordinaire, she’s giving YOU a gift instead.

Prepare to be amazed. Again.

Any burning questions for Babs? Did your parents perform any wizardry when you were growing up? 

P.S. – You still have one more week to enter my Custom Jack-o-Lantern Giveaway Contest! It’s so easy and fun you’ll think you did something both easy and fun!

Family Ties, Just For Fun

Dear Aunt and Uncle: You Didn’t Like That Wall Anyway, Right?

There’s something you should know about me.

I mean, just something I want to warn you about, should we ever vacation together.

I like to do things.

Come back! I like to do things, too!
Come back! I like to do things, too!

I’m not the Energizer bunny or anything, but to me, going on trips is more synonymous with adventure than relaxation. If you take me to the beach, I’m going to try to book one of those wave runner or zip lining excursions. If you take me to the city, I’m going to look up event calendars and comedy clubs.

And if you take me out to dinner after all of this doing of things, I’m going to drink. A lot.

I know everyone says they have great taste and a sense of humor, but seriously. My taste is phenomenal.
I know everyone says they have great taste and a sense of humor, but seriously. My taste is phenomenal.

And after I drink a lot, I might look around and think, “That wall should be blue. I mean, like a really classy, Nautica-looking navy blue.”

And before you know it, I’ll be painting your vacation home.

This is precisely what happened when first Hub, Peppermeister, and I, stayed in my aunt and uncle’s summer house in Long Island last week.

“Are you sure you want to PAINT on your vacation?” Peppermeister asked.

“It’ll be done before you wake up.”

“I don’t know why I asked.”

BEFORE

LongIsland-wall-BEFORE

AFTER

LongIsland-wall-AFTER-2

LongIsland-wall-AFTER
Booya.

I may have made a few other adjustments…

...bought candles and a of couple K's, painting one to match the new wall...
…Bought candles and a of couple K’s (my aunt and uncle’s names both start with K), painting one to match the new wall…

...and turned some of their trivets into a cool coffee table centerpiece. Oh and let's not forget the pillows, table runner and flowers! TA DA!
…turned some of their trivets into a cool coffee table centerpiece. Oh and let’s not forget the new pillows, table runner and flowers…

...and swapped the gray curtains with a spare bedroom's bright, cheery, gold curtains. TA DA!
…and swapped the gray curtains with a spare bedroom’s bright, cheery, gold curtains. TA DA!

So what do my aunt and uncle think of my impromptu makeover?

Good question.

I haven’t heard from them in days.

What kind of vacationer are you? Less is more or go-go-go? (For more of my Long Island adventures, check out how I almost died!)

Disclaimer: Though my aunt and uncle own it now, this is an old family home, and I checked with my parents before painting. It’s not as funny with the disclaimer, is it? I should’ve just let you think I was a presumptuous asshat. Dammit.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~