Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Reality Check . . . and Because I'm a Little Ridiculous

Sometimes the little things that go wrong in our life can add up and start to feel overwhelming.  It can start to feel like "everything I touch turns to shit."  And, then something real happens that effects people in a meaningful way, and it can serve as a reality check. 

That happened today. 

Everything I complained about earlier is trivial stuff.  It doesn't matter if my car has a cracked windshield, a broken window, or lost papers . . . because I'm lucky to have a car.  I'm lucky to have hair to whip in the wind when the window won't roll up.   It doesn't matter that a watch that I haven't even used in six months is broken. 

Even the Tiny Princess's face will heal up.  In a few weeks, she will be perfect again.  In the mean time she'll get some extra attention, and that's not so bad.

Why the change of heart?  Some people that I know and love suffered a real loss today.  I won't go into the details because I don't want to garner a bunch of sympathy that I personally don't deserve.  But, it set me in my place.

I won't tear down my previous post, because it was how I was feeling at the moment (and I giggled a few times writing it).  But, I can't stand to have it be front and center on my page now.  Especially when, as you all know, it could be there for weeks, and there are much more important things to think about than my car situation.

JMo

Bad Things Happen in Three's . . . and, I'm up to Seven

I've had a post started for weeks on the virtues of planking, but it's not happening today.


source
So, if you are interested in reading all about planking come back in . . . oh, I don't know . . . probably about four weeks.  This is going to be so much more fun.

They say bad things happen in threes. 




For example, when Michael Jackson's death was quickly followed by Farrah Fawcett's, we all sat around waiting for the other shoe to drop. 



Sure enough, Ed McMahon dropped within the week. 

Well, folks, I'm currently up to seven.    So, I've more than doubled the Three's Rule.  While I'm not one to be all "woe is me" all the time . . . let's do this.. 

1.  The Death of a MercedesMy run of bad luck began on Valentine's Day when I totaled my "mom car."  I've already talked about this on the blog so I'm not going there again.  No need to beat a dead horse.   Although #4 below is related . . .  so maybe we'll kick it a little. 

Source

2.  Can't Even Go Here.  It's too personal for even me to talk about.  I'm fine talking about farting, my love of book porn, the smell of vodka when I'm sweating, and a whole host of other topics that are probably TMI in post people's books.  But, believe it or not I do have my limits. Even if you hold me down and tickle me until I pee my pants, I'm not talking.

3.  Windy Bug.   I'm now relegated to driving the bug full-time, which is okay.  Sometimes it feels a little cramped, but all of my children are now within smacking distance.  So, they've I've got that going for me.  Last week, on one of the colder days, the driver's side window fell down inside the door and wouldn't raise again.  Now, I'm real picky about open windows.  I don't like wind or wind noise. 



Don't say, 'But it's a convertible.'  Don't even say it.  Unless I want the top down, I want that bug sealed up tighter that Brittany Spear's thighs in 1997.   

4.  Car Title Inspection.  Apparently, when you buy a car out of state, an actual OK tag agent has to visually inspect your VIN.  If you don't, the state holds your title ransom.  And, if the car dealership tags your car for you, you may never know this (unless, unlike me, you notice that you never received your title . . .).  When your car is a pile of rubble in a salvage yard, it makes the whole thing a little trickier.



When you can't provide your title to the insurance company, you can't get a check for your car.  When you can't get a check for your car, relegation to the bug continues. 

5.  Garmin.   Last week, the great and Powerful Oz asked to borrow my Garmin for a run, and I pulled it out to discover that the strap had broken. 

How something that has been sitting inanimate in a drawer for six months can spontaneously break is beyond me.  But, like me, my garmin may never run again. 

6.  Tiny Princess' Beautiful Face.  Is still beautiful, but will have a little additional character now that she has six stitches in her chin.  While at a friend's house, I let her ride on a wheeled cart that wasn't really made for children.  She fell off and hit her chin on the curb. 



When I'm accepting my mother of the year award later this year, someone go ahead and trip me.

7.  Bug Windshield.  This morning, I got into the bug and noticed that the windshield has about a six inch crack in the corner.  Sure, a truck threw a rock at me on Monday when I was in Dallas, but when I didn't see a chip I thought I was in the clear.  Apparently, not and that's pretty awesome, right? 

But, it could always be worse.  The Bug could look like this:





That's it for now.  Some people say, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."  I say, "When life gives you lemons, make it a club special." 



While I wait for #8, I might just have one.  Have a great spring break.

J #everythingitouchturnstoshit Mo

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I Love Wieners

Elizabeth hates . . . and, I mean HATES . . . the word "wiener." So this post is dedicated to her.



Let's face it. This blog is about food. Sometimes I throw in a little exercise stuff because those two things go hand in hand. And, sometimes it reads like a guidebook in bad parenting, which has nothing to do with food but everything to do with why I'm an emotional eater.


Sometimes the food is good.



Sometimes it's bad.



But 99% of my posts are about what I ate, what I wanted to eat, or what I saw someone else eat.

Today the food is bad. So, so, so bad. And so, so, so delicious. If you are one of those people that are "killing it" every single day, good for you. I'm not.

I believe in living life to the fullest.



And sometimes that involves a big old wiener.



Today I was in Dallas and my friend Christa took me to a new hot dog joint called Hoffman's Hots.



The hot dogs were fantastic, but the decor was even better. The twelve year old boy in me couldn't quit giggling.



I had a bacon and cheese German frank.



I promise you that it left absolutely nothing to be desired.  I made a happy plate.



However, I kind of wish I had gone all the way with the kielbasa.  I really do love sausage.

Side options included onion fries, tater tots, mac n cheese, and coleslaw. You don't really need to ask what I had.   I had some of each (except the coleslaw):







And just when I was stuffed full of wiener and thought I couldn't take any more, the manager brought us a complimentary cookies and cream custard shake.


He said he chose us because we looked like we could take some more but I think he was eavesdropping on our conversation, which revolved around restraining orders, orgies, and plastic surgery. (I was in Dallas folks. You know what they say about "when in Rome . . ." .)



Here is my recommendation: If you are in Dallas and are in the mood for a wiener, head across the tracks for the best dog in town. It was five stars out of five stars.  I don't think you could go wrong with anything on the menu.

Now, if you are thinking, "what about Lent, Jenni?!?"  Well, let me tell you.  On  the second day of lent, I was on my way home from my daughter's Valentine's party, and I wrecked and totaled my car (that is not an admission of fault or liability and should not be construed as such). 



We've already established that I'm an emotional eater.  So, when I found myself stranded on the side of the road with a dozen oreos dipped in white chocolate . . .




 . . . well, I think we all know how that ended.   And, it all went down hill after that. 

Don't you dare judge me.  The big man upstairs is taking care of that. 

Happy Hotdoggin',

JMo


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

It's that time of year again . . .

If you don't know what today is you are probably going to Hell.  Or maybe you just aren't Catholic or it's close cousin, Episcopalian.

Because its the first day of Lent!




As an Episcopalian, the Lenten sacrifice is nearly mandatory. You can give something up or take something up . . . as long as you are improving yourself.  Most Episcopalians choose the former since we are generally more interested in punishing ourselves.



Since this whole blogging thing started as as a means for documenting Lent last year, people have been asking what I'm giving up this year.

It took me a while to figure it out. I didn't want to do the exact same thing again. So after much deliberation, I decided to give up desserts and seconds.



I actually think that the seconds will be the harder of the two. Because I'm a seconds . . .


. . . and sometimes thirds . . . kind of girl.

I know what you are thinking, but there will be no cheating.

Source


I won't be doubling my firsts.  No matter how tempted I may be.

So, with the impending sentence of no desserts/seconds looming, are you wondering how I handled Fat Tuesday?  Well, in the words of Elizabeth,

"I ate like it was the end of days, not just the beginning of Lent."

I was in Dallas for lunch. When it was my turn to order, I told the waiter that I wanted a large bowl of lobster bisque and a slice of carrot cake. He said, "together?" And I answered, "Yes please."

Imagine my discontent when my soup came out alone.



That led to the following conversation:

Waiter:  How is everything?

Me:  Wonderful. Can I please get my cake? 
Waiter:  Oh you were serious?

Me:  Damn straight.
 Voila.



The cake was excellent. It was end of days cake. It was death row cake.  And, I owned it.




And then, I did it again at dinner:






I can't remember the last time I had two desserts in one day.  I feel kind of disgusting today.

But, now I'm ready for Lent.  Bring it on.

JMo


Friday, January 18, 2013

These Brussel Sprouts are Money, Honey.

Holy Mother.  My friend Chelsea, who channels Katniss Everdeen,

stopped shooting arrows the other day for long enough to tell me about a brand new breed of brussel sprout. 

So, without any further ado, let me introduce you to my new best friend:

Chelsea's Holy Mother Bourbon Sprouts



Directions: Roast a package of Brussel sprouts on 450 for approximately 30 minutes or until you achieve a desired level of crispness. Flip 1/2 way through. Remove from oven. Drizzle sprouts with bourbon and honey (just a little of each). Toss.


You are probably thinking that they look slightly charred. But, that is exactly how I like them.

I tried to restrain myself from eating the entire pound in one sitting.  Really I did.

But, I didn't stop until I had eaten all but four.  My mom ate two (she concurs that they are delicious), and I saved the last two for Elizabeth.

So go on.  Get drunk on brussel sprouts this weekend.  Just don't go to the gym right afterwards like did.

Happy Friday,

JMo 







Monday, January 7, 2013

Reporting in . . .

The other day the Great and Powerful Oz and I woke up to a puddle of piddle in the middle of our bed. Now, I know what you are thinking: one of us peed the bed. But, no.

NO.  I promise.

The Tiny Princess, who frequently relocates during the middle of the night, was strangely still fast asleep in her own bed (she got candy for that). Easy E, who lapses into a death-defying coma every night, was also still asleep in his room.  However, Drama, who sleep walks and has been known to pee in trash cans when doing so, was in the kitchen checking out a recently constructed Lego set. At 5:30 in the morning. Hmmmmmm.

Also suspicious, Thing 1 was in the corner of our room licking himself most inappropriately.  Sorry I couldn't get a picture of that.  You get this instead.



Drama swears that he didn't do it. But he also has no recollection of walking across the bed one night a few years ago and standing over his brother while peeing on him. So I'm not sure that we can trust his version of the story.

And, the cat is strangely silent.  So far, this has been the big mystery of 2013.

Moving on, a number of friends requested that I follow through with my promise of a book report of my recent reads.   In order of preference, here are my top twelve mind-candy mind-blowing books from 2012 (I'm not including Fifty Shades because I've already reviewed it).  Also, please bear in mind that I can only say so much without spoiling for you.

1.   Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Buy here

I love this book. REALLY LOVE IT.

It's possible that I listed it first because I just recently finished it. Maybe other books further down the list were better. But, books are like ex-boyfriends. As time passes, the reasons why you liked them become less apparent.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves hard, seventeen-year-old love.  This book has it all. She's a high school senior with a clean record and a quirky adopted mom. He's a bad boy with a record of violence and family tragedy. She doesn't want to like him, and as soon as she gives into it he walks away. This book twists and turns and will rip you inside out.  It's got more drama than a Chris Brown - Rihanna reunion.  I'm certifiably dead inside but got goose bumps at least twice while reading it.

So, I say READ IT!  Unless, you have unresolved issues with suicide or child/sexual abuse. Then, forget I said anything.

2.  Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

buy here


I talked about this book a few months ago. It really tickled my fancy.

In this book, we've got college kids with college size baggage.  It wasn't written by a Mormon (i.e. Twilight), if you know what I mean. But it wasn't written by Heidi Fleiss either. It's somewhere beautifully in the middle.

He is a handsome bad boy and is untamable until . . . of course . . . he meets our heroine.  Since she's the only girl on campus that doesn't throw herself at him like Taylor Swift on a boy band member, he can't resist her.  Naturally.  But, all is not what it seems since our good girl is hiding a childhood that could rival Meadow Soprano's.

They are together.  They are apart.  They are together.  They are apart.  You will want to beat her on the head at some point.    But, it never gets old.  And, I will happily get to reread it all over again from his point of view this spring when the not-really-a-sequel comes out.


pre-order here


3.  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

buy here


It's been a while since I've read this one so it's feeling like my seventh grade boy friend at this point. I can't really remember the details but I know it ended badly.  But I also know this: when I was there, I loved it.

Unlike most books that I figure out before the crucial point, Gone Girl kept me twisting in the wind. We are talking about the height of marital disfunction here. Boy meets girl. Boy marries girl and lives . . . happily ever after . . . until girl goes missing.  All evidence points to foul play.

So who did it? Did he? It would seem so but I'm not telling.

4.  Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan

buy here


Sigh.

Emma is a high school senior just trying to make it through the last year before college. She lives with her uncle and her physically abusive aunt.  She never makes mistakes because to do so means that she won't be able to walk for a week.  And, she doesn't let anyone get close.  Of course.  That is, until a good boy from the right side of town takes notice.  It's all rainbows and unicorns from there. Well, until the next time her aunt beats the crap out of her . . .

You won't be able to stop your self from immediately downloading the sequel, Barely Breathing.

buy here


And, you won't be able to breathe yourself until the third installment comes our this spring. Look at me now, I'm turning purple as we speak.

5.  The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen


buy here


Let's go back to high school again. Are you picking up on a reoccurring theme here?  Callie is a strange girl with serious issues. She doesn't relate to her peers. She doesn't date.  So, you know that something has to be wrong with her.

Fast forward to college. She's almost a different person, but an old acquaintance from high school jeopardizes her new life. And, he really gets under her skin.  The problems are aplenty here. She MAY have sexual abuse issues that manifest as an eating disorder. He MAY have daddy issues that leave him damaged. You will begin to believe that there is no way that these two can work it out. And, you'll wait with baited breath for the sequel (due this spring).

Other books that I have read recently that are worth mentioning:

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
The Intituion Series by Amy Bartol

Stay tuned for my next installments of "How to train for the NFL with a broken toe" and "How to make Mondays worse than they already are by fasting."

JMo

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Dissolutions and Resolutions

Hey there.   Remember me?  I just wanted to drop by and wish everyone a



Facebook is full of well-wishers making big promises for the upcoming year.  Before I can think ahead, I'm going to look back and reflect on the previous year.

12 Highlights of 2012

1.  Started and quit blogging.

It's self-promoting.  It's narcissistic.  And, I love it.  I love having a couple of glasses of wine . . . or, today, a couple of bloody mary's . . . and just sitting down and writing whatever comes to mind.   I love pretending that I'm funny.  There seems to be a direct correlation between the number of glasses of wine that I have and how funny I think I am. 



So,  if I love it so much, where have I been for the past two months? I haven't had much to say . . . so I said nothing at all.  I think we were all happier that way.

2.   Gave up sugar and then got right back on that wagon.

This blog began as a chronicle of Elizabeth and my struggle to give up sugar during Lent.   For forty days, we were devout.  But, as soon as Lent was over, sugar started sneaking back into our diets.  First, it was just sporadic little lapses of judgment.  Then the lapses started to get more frequent.

Now, it's more like I'm trying to maintain a constant sugar-induced coma.  For example, for breakfast this morning, I had a piece of Oooey Gooey Butter Cake, two Chocolate Chip Cookies, and . . . to level out the sugar . . . some of  my mom's Mac n' cheese.  For reals. 

3.   Discovered a love of angsty, young-adult dys-fictional love.

Additionally, I haven't been blogging the past two months because I wanted to step away from technology and re-engage with the real world. 

I'm totally kidding. 

I've spent every free minute glued to my kindle or iPad.   I have read twelve books during the last eight weeks.  None of them were works of literary art that are going to grow my middle-aged mind.   But, ask me about them and watch my eyes light up.  I love disfunction.  The more trauma and drama, the better.  Basically, I love love . . .  but only if it is hard.  My next blog post will likely be a review of all 12 books.  I know that you can hardly wait.
 
4.  Decided that I want to write a book rather than a blog.

All the reading got me to thinking that I would like to write a book.  Not about me.  Who would want to read that?  No, if this dream comes to life, it will naturally be full of angsty, young love.  Elizabeth and I are working on the story line.  The Great and Powerful Oz has some good ideas too.  I need to leverage this into a movie option.



I'm going to show Stephanie Meyer and E.L. James how it's really done. 

5.   Broke up Team Shortstack.

I had the best workout group ever.  And, in May, I pulled a Yoko Ono and broke up the band.  I did it in the name of Indians and Crossfit.  I don't regret it, but I do miss the routine of hanging with my girl friends every morning.  Okay, maybe I do regret it just a little.  I also regret that I've gained 10 pounds since May.  See number two above.

6.  Discovered who my true friends are.

Nothing dramatic happened.  But, as one gets older, one begins to focus on the important things in life rather than the minutia.  What I have discovered is that I have some really great friends.  And, I have some pretty shitty friends, too. It's important to know the difference. 

7.  Ran into stuff.  

In April, I ran into a pole and split my head open.  While I was in Hawaii visiting a friend in November, I ran into a doorway and broke my little toe.  While at my in-laws' during Christmas, I ran into another doorway and re-broke the same toe. 

Basically, I run into stuff.  A lot.

8.  Got over the hump.

Elizabeth and I realized that we finally have gotten past the baby hump.  All six of our kids are now over three years of age.  Everyone has stopped peeing and pooping in their pants.  Nobody takes a bottle or needs a pacifier.  Additionally, it means that Elizabeth and I can actually sit down and talk while the kids play. 



There will always be the constant threat of a child requiring some sort of assistance or intervention, but it's nice that the kids have reached a modicum level of self sufficiency.

9.  Gave up showering.

If you see me around town, you may wonder if I gave up showering in 2012.  I usually break up my work day with a workout at lunch time, and I typically don't have time to shower until much later.  So, I'm stinky and foul when I'm doing the kid drop-off and pick-up thing.  

The great and powerful Oz thinks it's disugusting and I should really have more pride.   I think there is a whole blog post to be written on this subject. 

10.  Fell in love with Lavash.

The discovery of Joseph's Lavash Bread was a life changer.  And, then, like a fool, I told all of you about it and made it virtually impossible for me to get it.  Since Walmart is frequently out of it, it is a good thing that I keep a stock of at least five packages in my freezer at all times.  It's my only effort at prepping for armageddon.



If the world goes to shit and we all go into hiding, my loved ones and myself will live off of love Lavash.  The rest of  you are on your own.

11.  Started losing my teeth.

Yeah, this one sucks.  I've said before that my front teeth are loose.  Like, really loose.  During the summer, I did the responsible thing and saw a dentist and then a peridontist.  But, then I went into some sort of deep denial and haven't made any progress on resolving the situation despite being told that my teeth are "absolutely going to get looser and looser" and that at some point I'm "really not going to like the way I look."  By the end of 2013, I could have a whole new grill.

12. Asked for a raise.

If you know anything about my work situation, you know that I have a really sweet gig.   After 12 years with the firm, I have earned their trust.   No one looks over my shoulder.  I make my own hours.   I'm rarely in the office.  I have been told that I am like a unicorn since the young attorneys have heard I exist but have never actually had a sighting.  It's beautiful. 



. . . well, except for the hundreds of partners that I technically work for.  

I shouldn't complain.  But, after five years without a raise and a constant increase in my billable rate, I'm facing my own personal fiscal cliff.  So, at the close of 2012,  I decided to ask for more.   And, I was told, "Yeah, that's not going to happen."
It was awesome.  And, really closed out the year with a bang.  At least they didn't fire me for insubordination.
 The Year to Come

So that's a wrap-up of my year.  After reminiscing about the highlights of 2012, I should probably come up with a resolution for 2013.  I saw something on twitter (GS Elevator Gossip) the other day that made me laugh: 

My biggest New Year's resolution . . .
To not change a f*@#ing thing.

It totally resonanted with me. 
 
I hate New Year's resolutions.  They are usually overachieving, and, as a result, no one keeps them.   So, I guess my New Year's Resolution is to just keep on trucking.  Basically, I'm going to continue starting things that I can't or don't want to finish.   My motto is going to be "Yeah, that's not going to happen." 
 
It's going to be a good year.
 
 JMo