Friday, December 4, 2009

I got mad skillz

Just yesterday my friend, P, asked my advice and I told her what to say, like I always do. P pointed out that I always know what to say in any situation. Whether you want to be passive aggressive, mean, funny, make someone feel better, lie, be critical but not hurt their feelings. I realized that she is right. I do always know the best thing to say.

Then Laurie asked everyone today what their skill was, and how were they average. I am telling you what I told her.

I always know they right thing to say and I can come up with best plans/schemes/scenarios for any situation. I see all the paths. It also helps when say the boss wants a sudden unexpected meeting - I can run the scenarios and come up every good reason for this meeting and I am thus prepared.
This same skill kept me out of trouble when I was a teenager. I knew how to run the game. It was very Ocean's 11 just so I could stay out all night with a pack of friends and not be in trouble - it's my skill. I felt mad smart.

Then I went to college. There is no scheming in Organic Chemistry - you have to actually work really hard and memorize. Turns out I am not as smart as everyone thinks. I do also have a good memory but I am lazy so I would have had to read the stuff to actually memorize it.

In HR and any business and I can put my planning and sweet talking to work for me. I think a lot of times people fall to where their skills lie as opposed to what interests them.

Science still interests me, but its not what I love. Bellydance is what I love and I do that too. It just doesn't pay the bills.

What mad skillz were you born with?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Because I win at life!

I know, I am not a good blogger. In the world of blogging, I am a baby so Coo! and shit. This is good enough for now. Wait until we move. Then I will wear you out with boring stories about me.

Aunt Becky has asked me some important questions, and if I answer them I could win a prize. That's inconsequential because I already WIN AT LIFE!

1) Do you like sprinkles on your ice cream? Yes, it is actually my favorite thing on ice cream. I also like the waffle cones

2) If you had to choose one word to banish from the English language, what would it be and why? Pussy when defined as kitty cats. I am okay that the guy at the bar is a pussy because he won't take the shot but I do like Fat Boogas to be called a pussy. She is a cat dammit, and she can kick your ass!

3) If you were a flavor, what would it be? Birthday cake (with sprinkles)

4) What’s the most pointless annoying chore you can think of that you do on a daily/weekly basis? Make the bed

5) Of all the nicknames I’ve ever had in my life, Aunt Becky is the most widely known and probably my favorite. What’s your favorite nickname? (for yourself) Jifenner

6) Your stuck on a desert island with the collective works of 5 (and only five) musical artists for the rest of your life. Who are they? ABBA, The Barenaked Ladies, Letters to Cleo, Copeland and Bach

7) Everything is better with bacon. True or false? True

8 ) If I could go back in time and tell Young Aunt Becky one thing, it would be that out of chaos, order will emerge. Also: tutus go with everything. What would you tell young self? Someday you be happy to be average. Average is not as average as you think.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Holy Basil, Batman!

Have I mentioned previously that I have a touch of the crazy? (My mom gets SO mad when I say things like that) I do. I have anxiety and mild panic disorder (read: freak out disease).

I have been on and off the prescriptions meds. I prefer not to take any more meds than I have to so when I feel okay I go off them (under Dr's supervision, I am not that crazy).

Most recently I went on Lexapro in 2007 (the year of the suck*) and have been off of it since early this year. With all the stress of moving my anxiety has been running high. I saw a magazine blurb about Holy Basil which is good for anxiety. The next time Chris and I went to the health food store to buy cat food - did you doubt that Fat Boogas eats better than us? - I got a bottle.

I took it on Monday and my friends had a good giggle about my hippy tendencies. We went to lunch and the waiter over filled someones tea, giggled about it and left. Then I got the giggles. All week all we can do is talk about how over giddy people must be on the Holy Basil.
Also, the bottle says to take it with warm water. My friend says this is because you take it with bong water which is already warm.

I can't really say that I feel better but I did stand in line for 3 hours for a midnight showing of New Moon and didn't mace a single 15 year old. That should be proof enough.

*My husband always makes mention when I call 2007 the year of the suck that we got engaged that year. I remind him that he pushed back his proposal plans two times because people in my family kept dying.

I found out that November is like blog everyday month. It was half over when I found out. I thought about boycotting and not blogging at all but then I had something to talk about. I give up.

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's on like Donkey Kong

I admit that I don't know what that means. My friend just explained that it's like how when you play Donkey Kong the Monkey throws a lot of shit at you while you are trying to save the Princess and stuff. That is to say that I am getting a lot of shit thrown at me. That is a true statement.

We have officially decided to move to Owensboro. In December. I just resigned my job effective on December 11. It's on like Donkey Kong.

Also, please buy my house. (Jen's House)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Snuggie Pub Crawl

On October 17, I participated in the Knoxville Snuggie Pub Crawl. It started with an idea on Twitter. Then an event was created on Facebook (this is where I RSVP'd and my posse got on board). Soon it was phenomenon. Why do it? Because sometimes adults need to get out and be silly. As Seen on TV silly.

I lucked out and to make up for my crappy birthday, my friend bought me a pink Snuggie and a bedazzler! (not a real bedazzler a GeMagic).

I had 6 friends who weren't using Twitter (at that time, we converted 2) so I decided even if it was hoax or no one else showed up we would have a great time. But people came out. News media, marketing professional, lawyers, real estate agents, moms, dads, students... what did we have in common? Snuggies and drinking. It doesn't get much better than that.

It was friend who unfortunately got sick and couldn't come whom suggested that we carry our free book lights.

Now I got Tweeps (Twitter+Peeps) that I know in real life and can't wait for the next Tweet-up. I am already hooking up with Tweeps in Owensboro for when this move does finally come.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How I almost didn't get to Mexico

So, Chris and I just got back from Mexico. Which is a miracle since we almost didn't get there multiple times. We were scheduled to leave on Sunday. Everything was packed and I was cleaning the coffee pot before we started dinner on Saturday night. Out of no where Chris looked at me and said, " where are the passports?" I panicked and ran for mine and then looked at Chris and I knew the answer but I asked him, "Where is yours?" I am not sure if he had realized until I asked, the whole thing is a blur. "Did you get it from the bank?"
See we usually keep them both in the safe deposit box but I had only recently had mine renewed with my new last name and since our trip was in less than 2 months, I never took it bad. The really bad part is that 3 days before Chris had been to the bank to return our marriage certificate to the box. I immediately burst into tears and called our travel agent (as I told my mother, if I can cry during a Disney Channel Original Movie, I can cry for this). There was nothing she could do to get our trip moved but luckily we took out insurance so we cancelled the first trip and rebooked for Tuesday. I made Chris call our friends who were going with us to tell them we wouldn't be joining them for two days. I couldn't deal. Since we were rebooked I got my act together and felt okay.

When the bank opened Monday morning, Chris was there. Tuesday we boarded our plan promptly at 7:15 am. The pilot announced we were cleared to take off at 8:30! (I wish there was such a thing as capital numbers). Our flight for Cancun was leaving at 9:41 and by my calculations we weren't going to make it. When the plane landed we ran. I mean I RAN! and I don't run. Chris confessed that I made it a lot farther than he thought I would. And........we didn't make it. Barely. By minutes.

We got rerouted through Dallas to Cancun (yes, that is one more plane that we had planned). We would also be arriving at 4pm rather than 12 with another tight connection. I was on that sort of verge of tears the whole rest of the way because my nerves were so fried. We arrived and NO LUGGAGE.

Once we finally got to the hotel and met with our friends, all I could keep saying was, "We'll
decide what we are doing once we get our luggage. I had a swimsuit in the bag but only jeans and it was 90+ degrees so I wouldn't be going anywhere besides the pool.

Chris and I had taken a shower and were wearing our complimentary bathrobes and the bellboy called to say he had our luggage. He got a good laugh when we saw how badly we needed it (they were very short robes)!

From then on everything was perfect.

I am so the crazy American Tourist

Look at those rockin' tan lines.

And on a side note, even though I drank my weigh in Pina Coladas and had churros for breakfast, I only gained 2 pounds. Pretty awesome. Now back to the grind.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Bus

I ride the bus to work. I first started this when gas prices were really high then not long after I was in an accident that totalled my husbands car. We only had one car for a few weeks and then ended up with my Pathfinder, Helga, who drinks a lot. So I have been on the bus since March of 2008. I am spoiled by it. I get to drink my coffee, reader my blogs and then get dropped off and picked up directly in front of my building. BUT there is a stigma attached with the bus.

Yesterday I was in Target with a friend. We were looking at the new trend in finger tip less gloves. I said, "Would I look crazy if I got these to wear on the bus?" (so I can iPhone and have warm hands) My friend said, "Yes" I made a sad face and she followed up, "Only if you wear them on the bus. If you wore them other places, you wouldn't look crazy. People could see you had a purse and stuff and aren't homeless." That made me laugh. I like that the qualification for not being homeless is having a purse.

This morning a lady coughed on the bus and I thought to myself OMG Typhus (I am not sure what this is), I bet if she had coughed in a restaurant I would not have panicked. On the bus it is a different story.

And 2 other things. If you want awesome glove or arm warmers check out and you should try to ride the bus where you live. You mind end up like me and love it. Last week I had to drive to work and was very upset about it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Produce Beagle

My husband, Chris if you missed it, is from New Zealand. It is tiny island nation that is sort of like Australia's fat cousin. Everyone can remember Australia and facts about it but no one remembers New Zealand for anything except being close to Australia (and Lord of the Rings).
Since I have been to New Zealand, I think this is sad because it is really one of the most spectacular places I have ever seen.

Today my friend got a call from animal control. Her neighbor complained that her beagle was out of his pen. I am glad someone brought this to her attention. I mean have you seen Snoopy? The dog has a war plane in his dog house. And my friend's beagle? Named Maverick. She is just lucky he hasn't shot anyone.

Anyway, all this talk of beagles made me think of The Produce Beagle. When you come through US Customs or Mexico Customs or most places where they "check you". There is a German Shepard or Doberman who sniffs your luggage and checks for drugs of the illegal kind. New Zealand on the other hand is not concerned with drugs (Hello! The home of bungee jumping and zorbing, stoned people fuel their economy) but with produce. The number one industry in New Zealand is agriculture and the worst thing that could happen to them is for you to bring a rotten apple with some exotic disease into their country. So just like in the states a dog comes and sniffs your luggage but it's a beagle.
I watched him bust a girl with a banana in her purse. He just walked over and stood beside her bag. The agent came up and asked her if she had any produce. She opened her purse and gave the agent a half eaten banana in a ziploc. The agent then took it to the fruit bin. Once she threw it away, the dog who had been so calm got all excited to get his treat for doing a good job. It was too cute. I have found my next career. I want to be the lady who handles the produce Beagle.

Reprised from my travel blog Jen and Chris go to New Zealand which includes the best picture of my husband drunk in a paisley shirt evah!

It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to

So it was just my birthday. I'm 29 (because I know that you wanted to know). My birthday this year was totally lackluster.

1) It was a Tuesday
2) I was depressed (not about my birthday)

Anyway, it got me thinking about my best and worst birthdays.

Worst - 19. Nothing happened. I think my roommate got me a cake at the store but that was it. No going out, no fun time, maybe a present from my mom.

Best - 23. So Hurricane hmm, remember to google this Isabel was going to hit the Virginia Coast and since my best friends parents lived on Long Island (Isabel target #2) she evacuated herself to Knoxville. She always said it would take a Hurricane to get to Knoxville and it did.

Now I don't know how or why we decided I needed to have a monkey themed 23rd birthday party (drink much?) but we did. We printed out lots of pictures of monkeys and posted them up in my apartment. We also bought drink mixers and replaced all the recommended liquors with 99 bananas. That's right 99 bananas IN EVERYTHING! You could have a cosmo-monkey or a slut monkey or a monkeys naval.

I recall a few things about that night. I was quitting smoking because I said I wouldn't smoke past graduation, I recall this caused me to act out. I do know I wore my door wreath on my head at some point. I also bit a guy on the ankle.

See I was getting my MBA and my laptop was out and my friend (a classmate) was on it chatting with another classmate and pretending to be me. I tried to stop him and he put his hand on my head and smooshed me to the floor (yeah, you try to fight someone after you've had 97 of the 99 bananas) and so since I was down there I made a strategic move and bit his ankle. This is the only incident in my adult life that I have bit someone, I am much more of a slapper. Anyway, once you bite someone's ankle there is really no competing with that.

What is your best/worst birthday story?

Friday, September 11, 2009

An important update

1 - go vote for me in the Aunt Becky Goes Places and Does Stuff Contest, it's #10

2 - my at work WW may not make. This means I will have to go with the masses to the WW main office. I will still go but reserve the right to complain about it. For reals people - the WW it works. It is worth the money - would you pay money for someone to wave a wand and make you thin? Yeah, so then you should pay for this (of course it's not magic fast but nothing is and the point is in 5 years when you haven't lost any weight you will be all like Dammit! I should have listened to Jen)

3 - The flu. I do not have it. If you think you have it then stay home. Do not touch me. Do not touch people who will touch me or things I will touch. I am not a baby about being sick (unlike every man ever) but I am dancing here in 2 weeks and going on vacation here the week after that and if you ruin that for me I will haunt your sweaty flu dreams.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

THE Weight Watchers

I do Weight Watchers (jeez, that feels like a confession). It's true. Without disclosing my actual weight lets just say in 2003 and again in 2008 I topped out at exactly 100 lbs more than I weighed when I graduated high school. For reals.
Anyway, in the interim of athletic to tub I tried LA Weight Loss - I don't remember this working at all, South Beach Diet - lost 40 gained 60, Slim Fast - lost 28 gained 48, and something I can't remember the name of but I could have any salt - lost 10 in week and binge drank it all back on in 1 hour. Weight Watchers is the first one of these plans where the weight hasn't magically melted off. It is also the first plan that hasn't made me say, "Man, as soon as this diet is over I am going to eat _____."
So on the one hand WW is frustratingly slow (read healthy) and on the other hand I feel like I could do this forever and not continually to yo-yo my way up to 300 lbs.
I thought I would lay out the back story so I could share a bit about how WW is going on the blog.
I am worried about moving and being weeks and even months without a meeting. Hopefully, I can make is seamless and only miss a few. I use etools which is the online tracking so I can still track even if I am without meetings.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nearly Fat Free Buffalo Chicken Dip

My friend Kelley and my mom both make the same recipe for the most incredible buffalo chicken dip. Mmmm....
Alas, it is not low fat. I had a serious craving for it one day and because I was terrified that fat police (and possibly my weight watchers group leader) would magically appear and take my cream cheese away I had to get to substituting.

First, you need some chicken. Kelley's recipe calls for canned chicken. I think that would work in mine too but I haven't tried it. I had been boiling chicken breasts and shredding them but tonight I cheated and pulled apart a rotisserie chicken. This was much more chicken and also got
mushy as it cooked - I like mushy but you might not.

Then I add:
1 can low fat cream of celery
8 oz fat free sour cream
1 packet dry ranch seasoning
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (not pictured) - 1/2 cup is the minimum, we are wussies when it comes to the heat

See all the store brands, that's the husbands doing. He is very cheap frugal.

Tonight we mixed it up and added chopped celery right to it. This gave it a nice crunch.
Let it all cook and when it is hot through and through you will have a delicious orange glop.

Chris and I do good to get it on plates and then scoop it with baked tortilla chips and celery (except when we jump the gun and put the celery in it).

If I were going to take this to a party I think I would put it in a small casserole dish, pour a little extra wing sauce on top for a nice orange color and then put a little pile of chopped celery in the middle because I am fancy like that.

You should make this and have me over, or better yet just bring it here. I will put my bathrobe on.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You are moving! OMG! WTF! LOL! NSFW!

So this blog wasn't meant to be live yet. I thought it would be fun to do a blog about moving so I set it up, made it pretty, did a few introductory posts and then I was going to let it sit until we moved but what happened was I entered a contest and that post just wouldn't seem right on my other blog. So I decided to go ahead and publish this one.

Here are the facts:
1. We are moving to The Boro
2. We don't know when
3. We have very mixed feelings about it
4. I am an extrovert and like to talk about my feeling on the interwebs

I would also like to take this time to apologize to my husband who is a private person and does not like his shit out there. I love you and you knew what you were getting into when you married me.

Chapter One: In Which We Take Aunt Becky to Dollywood

Preface: See it all started when I became concerned that I would end up like those moms (you know the ones) who can only send pictures of their babies and put their Facebook Status as "the baby is finally asleep." I am sure that having a baby does change everything but hopefully it won't change me into a robot, zombie, diaper changer. So in my quest for moms who rock. I found Aunt Becky, and the first thing I found when I got there was this.

Chapter One: In Which We Take Aunt Becky to Dollywood

They say you can't take Aunt Becky anywhere. But if you were going to take her somewhere it would be here. Dolly doesn't judge.

We started out leaving town and I had to take a picture of the Sunsphere because it is slightly phallic and has wigs in it.
Getting to Dollywood is an ordeal because it is in Pigeon Forge. If you ever go to Pigeon Forge you will see a lot of old people. That is because they have been stuck in traffic since 1986.
I got bored in traffic and had the camera out.
So here is me, trying to undouble the chin by angling my shot (it only made it worse, it only ever makes it worse),
and here is Chris wondering why we are taking business cards on a trip and if his wife is off her meds (answer: yes).

Yay! It's too late now. We spent money! I must say I like how Dolly puts her picture on everything. I might start putting my picture on everything.

Okay, so we tried to take a picture of ourselves and I can tell what I was thinking. I was thinking, "Chris is so tall. I will have to look up to be in the picture." Don't judge me.

Luckily one of Dolly's illegal immigrant photographers so good they must be imported took pity on us and took our picture.
The first thing we did was take the train that goes around Dollywood and into the Smokies. Dolly cares a lot about the Smokies and protecting them for the future, which is why she has a train that burns 5 tons of coal and 5,000 gallons of water a day. Don't worry I am drafting my letter.

The best thing about the train was the woman giving a baby (since I don't have a baby I cannot speculate the baby's age but let's say this baby could sort of stand up and maybe walk if holding something) a diet coke. Now I will cut a bitch for a diet coke but I am pretty sure if you aren't supposed to have one when you are pregnant that you should not be giving it directly to the baby.
Then we were hot so we went on a log ride. This was really the only ride all day wear I could take a picture without fear of death, at least for the camera.

So it turns out that Dolly loves the eagles - no, not those Eagles although I bet she loves those too.
That is a real eagle. It creeped me out because it looks plastic.

OMG, eagles just pick up any kind of crap for their nests.

Chris made his only request of the day. (Well, besides don't spend too much money and don't eat 10 funnel cakes and then cry about how you are fat.) He wanted to see the eagle show. I have a picture of an eagle in the show but I like owls and this is my blog.

After the show it was time to hit the good rides. It was 100 thousand degrees (on the Jen scale) so there weren't a lot of people or long lines. Here we are in line. I look happy, I must have just had a snack.

Here we scope out the view. That is the newest ride that is sort of like the Space Needle on steroids.

There is a lot of weird crap in Dollywood.

Chris was excited that the coffin was long enough. I went ahead and bought it.

This was some sort of moonshine device. Dolly seems to support the shine. It makes me wonder if she knew Popcorn.

Finally, we went to see Sha-Kon-O-Hey which is the current big production about living in the Mountains at the time the park was created. In was really good. I think most people can agree that Dollywood puts on a good show. I admit I teared up a little when Grandma decided she wasn't gonna move out West.

And of course what trip to an amusement park would be complete without strategic product placement.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Things I Need Where I Live

  1. a good farmer's market
  2. sushi (good sushi is implied)
  3. reliable 3G coverage
  4. a place to dance
  5. an amazing wine list
  6. a store that sells Boogas brand of cat food
  7. Dunkin Donuts (seriously, if you open one, I will keep you in business)

The rest is history

This is a blog about adventure and exploration. The adventure is moving, working with family, starting our own family and sharing what we love with people who might not get it. The exploration is figuring out our values, what we really want and finding out if our dreams will only come true in a certain place or if we can take them with us where ever we go.

A little background on my relationship with my hometown.
I hated growing up in Owensboro. I don't think I am alone on that count either. I mean really? What does it have to offer? Good schools, low crime, a sense of family. Does that shit matter when you are 16? No. I was disaffected youth all the way.
The minute I graduated high school I was off to college in Miami. I wanted to get as far as I could still be on the East Coast. Even when I visited I think I couldn't wait to get back to SoFla. I loved everything the city had to offer. Graduate school brought me to Knoxville, TN. I love it here. It has everything I want and nothing I don't - except maybe poor air quality.
But fate has dealt me an unfair hand. Through twists and turns of career paths too high to count I wound up with a Master in Business. Then I married an engineer. I have become my parents (which isn't bad my parents are cool).
So there it is folks. Eleven years later, we are going back to work at my family's engineering business. I should have been a school teacher, married a doctor.

I think my dad described what moving back to Owensboro will be like to a tee, "Owensboro has tripled in size since you left but it hasn't changed one bit."
Well, I have changed. And now I am a changer. Part of the reason any young adult hates their hometown is that they can't leave and they can't do anything about it. I am looking forward to seeing what I can do to spice up things in the Big O. A part from helping my mom run the business I am going to continue my journey as a Middle Eastern Dancer and begin teaching proper Bellydancing in the Boro. Let's just see how this goes.