Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'm Back, Back In The New York Groove...

As usual, my most brilliant thought of the day began as an idea for a potential facebook status. A lot of times that's the way it happens. I'll think of something, then decide to make it my facebook status, then, as I expand whatever would-be status I've chosen, it gets longer and longer until I think, "Whatever, I'll just make it into a blog". And so, here we are again, friends.

So now I bet you're wondering what my brilliant thought was. You're thinking, "Well, she's pretty random with these posts, and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason whatsoever. Which means she's probably going to make this post about howler monkeys."

While I do have a lot to say about howler monkeys and someday I do plan to make my opinions publicly known, that's not what this blog is about. Nope. This is a very special blog, about some very special little things. Things that often gets overlooked in the glitz and glamor of this day and age. Things that effects many different aspects of our lives, and we don't even realize it! These things are magical. These things are Awesome (the A was capitalized on purpose). What are these things?


That's right, you heard me, pistachios. I'm sitting here in my basement (where I've been banished to due to my grandparents' arrival), and for some reason we've got the biggest bag of pistachios in the history of mankind sitting next to the couch. It's like, ten pounds, no lie. So while I sit here being mildly entertained watching my brothers play football on the wii, I am also ingesting a semi-large quantity of these magical little green nuts.

First of all, if you live somewhere where pistachios are outlawed by penalty of death by decapitation, you might not even know what they look like. Allow me to educate you. Pistachios are yummy green nuts, encased in an impressively impenetrable shell. At first glance, you can only see the shell, except for a narrow slit, through which you can see the brilliant shine of the tasty green morsel inside. To get to it, you have to pry the sides apart and break the shell in half.

I remember eating my first pistachio. It was at my grandparents' house. My older sister (hi Nikki!) was eating them, and telling me how wonderful they were. I was like, "Um, no way am I eating anything green." Nikki explained that even though it was green, it tasted really good. Good thing I have respect for my sister's taste buds. Against my better judgement, I pried the shell apart and hesitantly placed the strange food on my tongue. I chewed. I swallowed. I was hooked forever.

So pistachios taste good. But are they blog worthy? What makes them more special than all the other stuff that tastes good? I am SO glad you asked! :)

1) Pistachios are better for you than any other nut!
2) They taste better than any other nut! (that's just MY opinion, but you're reading MY blog, so get used to it).
3) Without pistachios, humans might never have realized what fingers were for. (that part was what my facebook status was going to be).
4) Because of the fact that you have to pry the shell apart, the nut will taste better because you've had to work to get to it! It breeds a healthy sense of accomplishment and makes you feel like King Kong!
5) It makes you realize how hard work and perseverance pay off in the end, which will benefit you in all areas of life!
6) Breaking the shell in half allows us to expel an bit of our destructive energy with every single pistachio, getting it safely out of our system and freeing us to spend more of our time being creative and constructive.

So as you can now see and understand, pistachios are wonderful. They are Awesome. They are magical. They are the cornerstone of human civilization. If more people ate pistachios, we would see a decrease in crime, gangsters, and sadness, and an increase in artists, poets, engineers, and pistachio flavored things.

That being said, who's excited for Christmas?!?! ME! ME! I'M EXCITED!

That also being said, tonight's season finale of Psych was good, but not as epic as I expected. I think I psych myself up too much (bwahaha, get it?!).

That also, ALSO being said, I'm tired. It's 3:00 in the morning, and I'm starting to make typos. I want to go to sleep, but unfortunately my brothers are still playing the wii and it's kind of difficult to get to sleep with John Madden yelling in my face.


I dare you to try to sleep under those conditions. Those announcers need some serious Xanax. At least I've got a lifetime supply of pistachios to keep me company.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Mood Scale For Dummies

I've realized something today. I was in a really good mood (cause I've got two days off in a row), and I was trying to come up with a list of things that are pretty. Cause that's what I do on my days off, okay? Anyway. I kept thinking of things.

Diamonds=pretty. Fire=pretty. Snow=pretty. Christmas lights=pretty.

But then, I couldn't think of anything that wasn't pretty, so I started trying to think of things that are ugly. But it didn't work.

Coffee=pretty. Mud=pretty. Rain=pretty. Sand=pretty.

And that's when I realized something. When I'm in a good mood (and I mean a really good mood, like I am right now), any and everything will be pretty. All is well in the world, forever. Nothing can go wrong. It's like I'm high on happiness. And the Happiness mix on my ipod just makes me fly higher, and get happier, and feel like I'm on top of the WORLD!! :D

Then again, on the flip side, when I'm having a bad day, it takes a lot to get me to snap out of it. I was having a bad day the other day, and so I listened to my Happiness mix, hoping it would make me feel better. It didn't work. As a matter of fact, it made it worse. I was like, "I don't want to listen to this stupid, happy CRAP!!" Pretty much when I'm in a bad mood, I just need to be alone and gradually remember that life is better when I'm happy.

Enclosed is a scale to help you (and me) gauge the extent of my mood, good or bad, and act accordingly. I will begin at -5, my worst possible mood, and we will travel through the mood forest until we arrive at 5, which is the very best mood I could ever possibly be in, ever in the world. Hold on to your socks, it might get ugly.

-5: This is the WORST day of my ENTIRE life, I HATE everything, I don't want to talk to ANYBODY or think about anything except about how ANGRY I am!! (During this phase, do not come closer than 8 feet, do not try to talk me out of my bad mood or make me feel better, and DO NOT let me near pointy things or matches. Someday I'll come back to reality).

-4: This is a REALLY awful day, I'm either very sad or very angry or both, and all I want to do is drive very fast on deserted roads while venting aloud to myself. (During this phase, just ignore me completely and DO NOT try to prevent me from driving away in my car).

-3: I am very frustrated about something or someone specific, causing the other things in my life to seem worse than they really are. (During this phase, invite me to come watch Psych with you, which will immediately bump my mood to a level 3).

-2: I'm sort of annoyed at nothing in particular, moping around and trying to boost up my mood with things like coffee, new shiny things, or making plans with people I haven't seen in a while. (During this phase, just give me a hug and a cup of coffee and, if possible, make a joke).

-1: Life is meh, slightly worse than normal, but usually I don't even realize anything is wrong. (During this phase, smiling at me or saying "hi" will be enough to boost my mood back to normal).

0: I am apathetic and indifferent to everything going on around me, my mood is about to teeter one way or the other. (During this phase, do anything positive or put on a good song that I like, pretty much anything will be enough to teeter my mood into the "safe" zone).

1: Life is pretty okay, pretty much normal, or slightly above normal, for no particular reason. (During this phase, do not say anything upsetting like, "Psych has been cancelled" or "Tomorrow it's going to be 65 degrees", lest you unknowingly cause my decent into a bad mood).

2: Life is good, not amazing, but better than average, things are going my way, and all the street lights seem to be green. (During this phase, propose any fun activity and I will most likely accept without hesitation).

3: Life is wonderful, all is well, the birds are singing, the music is happy, and more than likely I'm buying things. (During this phase, I might be getting slightly annoying with how happy I am, but don't try to bring me down, because you will only succeed in doing the opposite).

4: Life is SO great, nothing can go wrong, everything going on in the world is only serving in making my day EVEN better! (During this phase, just ignore me, and I'll float back down eventually).

5: There is NOTHING in the WORLD better than life as I know it, life cannot POSSIBLY get any better, I feel like Snow White dancing and singing with woodland creatures, there are rainbows and sunshine and happiness raining from the sky!! :D (During this phase, don't go near me, don't try to talk sense to me, don't tell me I need a drug test, and don't let me near pointy things or matches. Someday I'll come back to reality).

So there you have it. Now you know beyond a shadow of a doubt what to do (and NOT do!) no matter what is going on in my life. The only trick is knowing what level I'm at on the scale. Sorry. I can't help you there. You'll just have to wing it, I guess. :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Idea Of Nightlife

It's been a long time since I had a really sleepless night. I forgot how boring it was. Laying here, nothing to do but surf the web and listen to music and buy things I don't need. But I pretty much do those things during the daytime hours. Maybe that's why it's so boring? I guess I need to find a hobby, or an obsession. That sounds fun. But what could I obsess about?

See, that's the thing. I'm pretty easy going. I don't really obsess. Sometimes something get's on my nerves, and I get really upset about it, but then I get over it. I move past it. I'm like, "Eh, it's too much effort to be passionate about this, so screw it."

Hobbies, I can do. Reading, drinking coffee, going to movies, generally spending money faster than I make it. So much fun. Until later, when I'm like, "Wait. Now I have this thing that I don't really want--or need--and I miss all that money I gave away to get it."

It's now six in the morning. I think the last time I was up at this hour had to have been the last time I had a sleepless night. I hate mornings. Actually, no, that's not true. I like mornings. I hate to wake up. Period. Waking up is the most awful thing in the world. Actually, no, that's not true, either. Waking up is okay, it's that moment after you wake up when you're like, "Oh no, I have to get out of my warm comfy bed now, don't I?". THAT'S the worst thing in the world.

So yeah. Like I said, I like mornings, I just don't think they're important enough to get up for. But this morning is okay. It's just starting to get light out and the trees are semi-frosted over and my windows have little fog/frost stuff around the edges. It's pretty. I like it. But at the same time, I totally wish I would've slept through it.

Don't get me wrong, staying up all night was a total blast, but I know from experience that for the rest of the day I'm going to feel terrible and be like a zombie. I'm going to feel tired and cranky and generally miserable all day long. On my day off, too, dangit.

Although, I sort of saw this coming. It's sort of a long story. See, I'm just coming off a cold, and I've been taking Nyquil at night for about a week now. I seem to remember this happening the last time I had a cold and took Nyquil, too. Maybe my body needs to detox or something?? That's me, your friendly everyday Nyquil addict! Just kidding. Seriously. I'm not addicted to anything except being awesome. Anyway, I figured today (my day off) would be a good day for me to feel tired and cranky and generally miserable, so it didn't interfere with work. That's me, dedicated to the core. :P

Strange. Usually after waking from a normal sleep I feel so wonderful, almost like the bed and I are one. Well right now, I'm sorry, but the bed is being very uncomfortable and I feel like getting out of it ASAP but I'm too tired to do anything about it. My neck has cramps, my back is sore, the pillows are fighting me and jabbing me all over the place...why can't I feel wonderful like after I actually sleep? Stupid bed...behave!

I have no idea if I'm actually going to post this blog. I really shouldn't. It's long and boring and pretty much useless and stupid. Actually, that sums up most of my blogs, so maybe I just might post it after all. Good thing I don't hold my blog to an incredibly high standard.

Please don't judge me by this blog, either. I am obviously off my game and unable to make coherent thoughts, let alone transfer those mangled, half-formed thoughts to anything worthwhile in a blog. But really, what else was I supposed to do all night? And no, this isn't the only thing I've done. That would make me a very slow typer. I've read things, drank things (not Nyquil), listened to things, watched things, bought things (Actually, I don't really remember buying anything. I remember thinking about buying things, and it would be weird if I didn't, cause that's usually what I do when I'm bored, but I don't recall actually pushing the "Buy it now!" button, so maybe there's still hope).

So hopefully, after tonight, my body has successfully detoxed itself (lol, I just like saying that) and come tomorrow night I will be back to my normal self. Hopefully I'll actually be able to enjoy a little of my saturday and not spend the whole thing sleeping. Here's hoping. *clink*

I am going to post it. Who cares. I spent a lot of energy on this blog. Oh, it might not seem like it to you, but forming words to make sentences after not sleeping for 23 hours (it took me like five minutes to figure that out, by the way) is actually a lot of work, and I'm pretty darn proud of myself!! And I'm going to stop now before my spelling gets any worse. (FYI, this is what happened just now when I tried to spell worse: "Woorse...wordsts...wrietn...srorse...worse.") Yay me! I'm awesome.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Soup

I'm sure you've probably made soup before. Start with some basic ingredients (hamburger, vegetables, noodles, whatever) and then start adding small amounts of stuff, like spices or bullion or chopped things. Then you taste it. Then you add some more of the spices, or pull out some of the chopped things, once you remember that you don't like celery. You know. A soup.

This blog is going to be a soup. Some topics of substance, then some smaller, less important stuff, then some more small stuff, then whatever happens to be on my mind at the moment. Which could really be anything in the whole entire world. Who knows.

First, let's get some substance in our pot!

So, today I was shopping. So simple. So innocent. No. You're wrong. There's nothing innocent about it. It gets very hostile. Imagine a huge land with thousands of lions, and all the lions are she-lions with five cubs each, and there is only one antelope running for dear life, and all the she-lions are fighting each other to get to the antelope, to save themselves and their cubs. Well, guess what. Welcome to shopping. And if you want to factor sales and mark-downs into the equation, it's the same scenario, just imagine that the antelope is missing a leg.

Any woman will tell you that there are a very strict set of rules to abide by when shopping. Actually, they probably won't. We don't really speak of it. It's a woman thing. So I'm probably going to be found tomorrow floating face-down in a lake somewhere, and all the men are going to be like, "What happened here?" and all the women are going to be like, "Don't know. Don't care."

Anyway, there are rules. I won't give you the entire list. I've given you guys enough lists lately. Plus, maybe now the women of the world will have mercy upon my soul. The rule I'm going to talk about right now is also the the one I broke about an hour ago. The rule is, if you're looking at something in a store, and somebody comes up beside you, it's woman-speak for "Get your butt out of the way, sistah, I wanna look at that!" And it's pretty much expected that you're going to get outta the way.

So there I was. Looking at scarves and mittens and hats for winter (YAY!). And this lady, like 70 years old is following me from rack to rack, enforcing this rule. I would go somewhere and start looking at stuff, and she'd come right after me and start looking at what I was looking at. So I'd growl inside and move to the next rack. Ten seconds later, here she comes, suddenly so interested in what I was looking at. I was getting very irritated.

Finally, I moved to a rack of scarves and began to sift through the rabble, hoping to find a diamond in the rough. What? Who is this coming over? You're right; it's the rude old woman who gets her kicks by pushing young girls around at department stores.

No no no no no. I had actually found a scarf that I liked, and the rack held more possible buys. The woman came closer. No. I'm not going anywhere. If you're gonna abuse your power, you're gonna lose it, lady. She edged closer. I didn't move, just kept sifting through the scarves. She actually started feeling the very scarf I was looking at!

I turn my head to look at her, as she is almost hip-to-hip with me now, and it's beginning to get very uncomfortable. He smiles a little fake smile and says, "hi,". I'm sure she thought that was the end of it and I would move out of her way so she could follow me to the next rack. She looked at me expectantly. I smiled back at her, then turned back to the rack. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see her giving me that incredulous look that says, "I can't believe you aren't giving me whatever I want! I am old and wonderful and waaay better than you."

Eventually she flounced away to find some other young girl to terrorize. I stayed at the scarf rack until I was done, finding two scarves worthwhile, as well as two pairs of mittens. Yay for winter!

A seasoning in the pot:

This morning I signed up for classes at SCC. I'm excited for school! Actually, I'm not really excited for school, I'm excited to graduate from school. And I guess before you graduate, you have to start. So I'm starting, so I can graduate in two years, and make money.

Another seasoning:

I've made a miraculous discovery! You know those people in the mall, who wait out in the middle of the aisle with a bottle of some sort of hair product in their hands? They scan the crowd, looking for girls who have long-ish hair and look like they have money to blow. Then, before you know it, they're ambushing you while you're on your way to your favorite store, asking if you've ever had a bad day EVER BEFORE IN YOUR LIFE, and promising that if you buy whatever crap they're selling, you'll never have another bad day, your boyfriend will ask you to marry him, you will be the most popular person in the world, and you will receive your very own pony. GUARANTEED!

Now, these guys drive me crazy. I avoid them like I avoid Bubonic Plague. And trust me, I DO avoid Bubonic Plague! But sometimes, you need to do more than avoid them. Sometimes, they seem to know where you are. They see you trying to slink past them unseen. They smell your fear. And they move in for the kill.

Never fear, ladies, Johanna knows your pain, and has found a solution! If you're on your phone, they won't bother you. It's true. And how are they to know if you're actually having a real conversation or talking to yourself INTO your cell phone? Oh yeah, they DON'T! So. Whenever you go past the scary, over-aggressive conditioner-sellers, just put your phone to your ear. You don't even have to speak. Even better, pretend you're angry at whoever you're talking to, and you're just hoping some random person will come up and say something to you so you can bite their head off. Trust me. Then, they will avoid YOU like Bubonic Plague! :)

And some more seasoning:

I love this weather. Just saying. After my last post, winter moved in. Did you notice that? Just think: light, fluffy snowflakes tinkling down from the sky, roaring fireplaces, crackling and popping as you sip hot apple cider and cuddle in blankets.

Please, like winter. Please. If I'm the only one having fun, it's no fun at all. :(

Okay. I'm out of spices for my soup. It's pretty tasty, I think, for a blog. I'm pretty sure it's got angel hair noodles, chicken, some of that green stuff that makes soup taste good (not celery)...pretty much I'm thinking of that chicken soup stuff that Nikki made after Dad had foot surgery. That's what this blog would taste like, if it were an actual soup. And for those of you who didn't have that soup, it was awesome, and you missed out. Just think of this blog as the most wonderful soup ever. Yum!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dear Winter, I Would Like To Be A Cannibal

Dear Wintertime,

I would just like to start out by saying, you are my favorite. You take away all that awful heat and cursed humidity that reigns unopposed for so many months of the year. You send it far, far away, running it out of town for a few wonderful, blessed (but oh-so-short) months. And for this, I love you.

*Ahem* However. It is nearing mid-November and I have yet to see much sign of you. Usually you've set up shop and made yourself comfortable by now, and I'm really beginning to wonder if you've forgotten about us, or if you're just still sleeping or what. I'm not angry or anything (well okay, that's a lie, I'm a little bit angry), I just really really miss you, that's all.

And so, because I acknowledge that you might be behind or still recovering from last winter (which would be understandable), I have enclosed a list of everything that I (and, I'd like to imagine, everybody else in the world) would like to see from you in the very very VERY near future.

1) We'd like to see some freakin' SNOW!!! Last winter, we had accumulative snowfall in mid October. That was wonderful, in case you didn't know. We all loved it (except for most everybody I talked to, but that's beside the point). So I'm sure I speak for everyone (or not) when I humbly ask, nay, DEMAND the most giant dump of snow that you've got.

2) I'd like it very much if it would get AT LEAST cold enough to make the leaves turn a color other than green, and then fall off their respective trees. That probably should have been number one...but I just REALLY want snow. Seriously.

3) I'd really like it if the temperature would get so cold that I could walk outside and spit and it would freeze into a blob of frozen spit before it hits the ground. You know. If I wanted.

4) I want the snow to get so high that there is no physical way for me to get to work. So much snow that people all over the city have to gather together in small tribes to survive the winter, hunting wild game (but of course, all the animals have died by now, so we abandon that idea really fast), making tunnels through the mile-high snowfall, building fires with sticks and hunting other tribes to eat them, since all the animals are dead and survival instincts say it's kill or be killed. In essence, we will turn into savages and cannibals.

5) I want you to stick around for a long time. So like, don't leave until June. Or August. Heck, you might as well just stay for a year or two, or 12, or 80. Just tell that stupid Summer that there's a new sheriff in town, and send it to the gallows.

6) I don't want to see another stupid robin for the rest of my life. They're STILL HERE! It's November! They should've packed up and moved out MONTHS ago! Get. Them. OUT!

7) I'm tired of defending you to everybody and their mom. Please show the world how wonderful you are. Some ideas include: Making it snow big, fluffy flakes, instead of the ice-needles that stab you in the eyeballs. Keeping away the ice, and just giving us the snow. Prolonging the weeks leading up to Christmas, so everybody can properly enjoy it and not feel rushed and stressed out. Not having periodic days when the weather is 60 degrees (if people don't remember it, they won't miss it as much). Making it snow a little bit every day, so we won't ever see the nasty dirty snow that accumulates on the side of the road. There are some ideas. Get on that.

I guess that's all for now. It's a good start anyway. I'll probably think of more later, but for now let's start with these.

Wintertime, you are wonderful. I know that. You know that. Sooner or later, all these crazy people will know that. Still. You need to come back to us. We miss you.

Fondly, your BFF,


Monday, October 25, 2010

Fantasy Or Nightmare??

I need to learn to say "no" to people. To look away from the big pleading puppy-dog eyes, harden my heart, grit my teeth, stand my ground, and say "NO!" But I don't. I don't have what it takes. I do try, though. Like when my little/big brother Josh was like, "Hey, you should do Fantasy Football this year!" I was like, "Well, I don't really know enough about football. I don't think I want to."

But he kicked my legs out from under me. "But Jo, we've got to have one more player, or else we won't have enough people and we won't be able to do it." Then he cinched the deal by giving me the big sad puppy-dog eyes. What was I supposed to do?

Option 1) Stick to my guns, harden my heart, stand my ground, and say no and feel like Cruella Deville for the rest of my life.
Option 2) Play the stupid Fantasy Football, and quite possibly look like a fool.

So I did what any good sister would do and joined the league as Team Scrubs. And just as I suspected, I was no good. I just didn't care enough to prowl the free agency waiting for people to drop people I want or pick up guys who maybe might be sort of good next week. Didn't care enough to memorize who's the best on which team and who's got a buy week when and which match-up works well with who and all this other nonsense that I don't care about.

I like football. I do. I know which teams I like and I cheer for them, and I know which teams I don't like and I cheer for whoever they're playing. I know the rules and which positions do what. That's all I know, and that's all I care about. Sorry.

That was last year, and I vowed that I wouldn't do FF again this year. Even when BOTH my brothers hit me hard with the puppy-dog stare, I steadfastly refused. No thank you, I was humiliated last year, and I'm not interested in a repeat performance of THAT.

Then I made a mistake. I embellished on my faults. I said, "Besides, I don't even know who's good and who isn't." And my brother Jim took that and threw it back in my face. "Well, why don't you just pick the guys by how good looking they are?" Dangit. I could, couldn't I? And then I said yes. I am such a sucker.

I've tried to be better this year. Actually, no, that's a lie. I haven't really done anything different this year except for choosing my team based solely on their physical appearance and naming my team The G.I. Jo's. I'm still awful. 0-3 :S. I still don't care enough to try. I want to care. Really, I do. But I don't. So I've made a list to help all of us who are trying to play better Fantasy Football.

Things you have to know and care about to compete in Fantasy Football:

1) You have to know who's injured, how badly, and when they're coming back. And you have to know it the minute they get injured. Like, before they even know themselves.
2) You have to know how many points everybody's made the past few games. Even though that doesn't really help, cause they seem to know when they get put in your starting lineup and then decide they don't really feel like playing good that day. Every time. Seriously.
3) You have to know how good they are compared to the other guys on their team. But really, you should've known that before the draft, and then just gotten those other, better guys instead.
4) You have to know who they're going to play (I guess it's called a match-up?) and if they're good in comparison. Even though so often the underdog wins anyway, so why are we even stressing about this?
5) You have to watch all the freakin games (even games you don't care about in the least) and know which rookies are actually showing promise, for next year. I asked my brother why I couldn't just think about that next year, and he gave me this look that indicated he felt very sad for me, and my poor shriveled brain.
6) You have to trade your players for other players you want, and if someone sends you a trade you don't like, you have to respond with a counter offer or risk looking anti-social. I don't know, but apparently this is a big deal.
7) While in the presence of your fellow FF league members, you have to talk about football, and nothing but football, and stats and players and plays and hopes and fears and football football football. If you don't, you're automatically antisocial and ignorant about stats and we hate you.
8) You can't take football advice from anybody, especially people in your league. The answers they give you will be shrouded in their own hidden agenda to either get your good players for themselves or make your team play poorly. We'll deny it, of course, but it's true.
9) You have to shift people from your starters to your bench and back constantly. You can't just leave all the best guys as your starters. No. That's ridiculous. You must be stupid.
10) You can't pick up the very last, worst guy on the player board thing during the draft, as this is known to cause an uproar with your league members, cause now they know for sure that you aren't taking it seriously, and you'll be the subject of dirty looks and constant hounding about dropping the guy for the rest of your life.

Now, I've made another list for those of you who love Fantasy Football and can't get enough of it. For those of you who live, eat, and breathe football and stats and think that anybody who doesn't must be without ambition in life. Here are some things to keep in mind.

1) If you are at a party, and another person who is in your Fantasy League is also there and you run up to each other while everyone is laughing and talking about things other than football and start babbling about Adrian Peterson's last touchdown and Tom Brady's two interceptions and Denver's match up and the last two seconds of the Pittsburgh game, don't be surprised if somebody throws water or some sort of corrosive liquid in your face.
2) If somebody in your league has a player starting who you don't especially think ought to start, if you hound them day and night and send them emails and try to explain that they are making the biggest mistake of their entire life and try to hack into their fantasy account to change it yourself, you are only going to make that person want to do other things that you hate, just to spite you.
3) If you ask someone in your league what they thought of the Jets game, and they say flippantly that they didn't watch it, it doesn't necessarily mean they had something earth-shattering to do, it just means they didn't watch it. It's okay. Not everybody in the world watches every game religiously. It happens. Breathe.
4) Just because somebody who has a fantasy team doesn't prowl the free agency and stalk other fantasy league members and fall asleep in front of the TV memorizing football stats doesn't mean they automatically fail at life. It might just mean they have a job. That happens too.
5) If someone says they like football, don't assume they know who won the Super Bowl in 1953 or what the score was, or who was playing, or their stats. Don't assume any of that. Just assume they like football, that game where a guy throws a ball and another guy catches it, and the guys wearing different colors try to stop them.
6) Don't try to tie football references into everyday conversation. If somebody says "Mmm, this drink is good." Don't say, "You know what's good? Brandon Lloyd's last catch of the Miami game. THAT was good!" Don't say that. Another corrosive liquid might be coming your way.
7) If somebody in your league picks up the very last, worst player from the draft board and tries to trade him every day for your best players, that person is not stupid or naive or mentally insane. That person just has a sense of humor. :D

Fantasy Football. Some love it, some despise it. Some mock it, some can't get enough of it. Whichever side you're on, be sure to keep everything in perspective. It's a game of a game. Granted, it's a fun game of another fun game, but that's not the point. Point is, you either love it or hate it, so do everything in your power to make life miserable for the other side. That'll be fun.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Found The White Patches!!

I don't get sick much. When I do, it's here today, gone tomorrow (just like my stuff that I hide, remember?). Every now and then I get a cold that holds me in its clutches for a month or two, but really, I'm pretty proud of my immune system. "Good work, guys! Go team!"

However. About once or twice a year I do battle with a bout of strep throat. Strep throat has been in my life forever, like that annoying relative that just won't go away. They aren't around you all the time, but it seems like just when you're having the time of your life and nothing can go wrong...BOOM! There they are. It's like that.

When I was little I used to get strep like, a million times a year. Or maybe it just seems like it because it was always such a traumatic experience for an impressionable youngster like myself. Many of my childhood memories involve me, or one of my siblings, or both, curled up on the couch in a heavy blanket, lethargic and glassy-eyed, feeling positively awful, or retching into an ice cream bucket while Mom holds your hair out of the way with one hand and holds your head up with the other. Thanks, Mom.

One more thing that I remember about those times. Mom would always--always!--tell you to open your mouth wide, after which she would peer inside for an unimaginable length of time. She would ho and hum and squint, intently searching for something deep inside your mouth. And you would have to hold your breath while she did it cause you don't want to get Mom sick, of all people (who would take care of you then?)! Finally, Mom would be satisfied, take a step back (finally giving you a chance to haul in a breath of air), put her hands on her hips, sigh and say, "Yep. You've got the white patches."

All my life I was baffled by the mysterious white patches that Mom saw on my throat when I was sick. Over the years, I tried so many times during my bouts with strep to see them in the mirror, but never could, and it drove me crazy. Fast forward to modern-day Lincoln NE, to a house, to some people, to a tickle.

So there I was. Sitting quietly minding my own business. Or quite possibly not. I could've been tormenting any of my various siblings...but that is neither here nor there. I was doing something. I felt a tickle. I cleared my throat. The tickle got worse. Fine, if you're gonna make me work for it! I put my fist to my mouth and coughed. The tickle settled down into a sharp-ish pain in the area of my tonsils. I looked at my watch. Yep. It's about time for my bi-annual strep throat diagnosis. Aw, man.

So I continued my day to day activities, waiting for the inevitable chills to wrack my body from the inside out or the twinge in my stomach, shortly preceding a hasty trip to the bathroom which would seal my couchridden fate. For two days, nothing seemed amiss, other than my declining throat and dilapidated tonsils. Everything else appeared to be in working order. Odd.

That night, at work, my sore throat was beginning to become unbearable. Against my better judgement, I didn't drink water all evening because it was too painful. Finally, I found a mirror, curious to see the extent of the damage. What I saw made me stop cold and my heart skip a beat. My eyes widened and I could hardly believe what I was seeing. A zillion memories flooded through my mind of my mom saying, "Yep, you've got the white patches...white patches...white patches..."

I was staring at the back of my throat, at the legendary white patches that Mom had so often seen inside my throat. I felt like a treasure hunter having finally dug up the long sought-after X marks the spot. Like Columbus getting his first glimpse of the New World. Like Mario after finally rescuing Princess Peach from Bowser's Castle. There was a moment of magic and a feeling of triumph. I've finally seen the white patches!

Then I remembered that my throat was on fire and every time I swallowed it felt like I was swallowing broken glass. And this morning it took the doctor all of 2 seconds to make her diagnosis, write me a prescription, and send me on my merry way after making me promise to come back if everything gets worse (it always makes me nervous when they say that).

Several minutes later, I was standing in line at Walgreens (who should totally give me something for saying their name in my blog), prescription in hand. When it was my turn, the pharmacist guy was asking me all these questions and all I could really do was grunt in the affirmative or negative, as my tonsils were doing their best to close around my esophagus.

So now, here I am. Waiting for the Amoxicillin to work its magic. I don't care if you're a believer or not, but antibiotics are beautiful things. Think of all the simple sicknesses that used to be deadly, but now all we have to do is take a pill twice a day and we're fine?? And the doctor told me the antibiotic would either cure me completely or make me break out in a rash.

Hip hip...hooray??

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'm Lost In My Own Maze Of Awesome Hiding Places.

I misplace things. Here today, gone tomorrow. Story of my life. On any given day, I'll see something a million times until I feel like hurling it out a window, and then when I actually need the thing, it's gone, never to be seen or heard from again, the end. Take two minutes ago, for instance.

So there I was. Giggling to myself like a stupid idiot because it's cold outside for the first time since summer ended and there are leaves falling off the trees and the Swedish blood in me gets really happy and excited whenever the weather gets cold. Anyway, I'm all excited and grinning like a stupid fool, cuddling in blankets and deciding what to get people for Christmas. Then I decide I want my slippers (the ultimate sign that Fall us upon us). I love my slippers. They are big and warm, and have rubber on the bottom so I can walk outside while wearing them, and they come over the back of my feet so they stay on. They're wonderful. And I wanted them.

So I go to my bedroom to get them, laughing to myself and dancing around on the inside. FALLFALLFALLFALL!!! Inside my bedroom, I've got a shoe hanger thing on the back of my door. That's where my slippers had been for the past six months. Nope. Not there. Not anywhere. I searched and searched with nothing to show for my efforts, except that I found a few things that I used to love, and although they're useless to me now they still hold some amount of sentimental attachment. That was mildly amusing, but my feet were still cold.

The worst part is, I distinctly remember at the end of last winter, putting my slippers somewhere and saying to myself, "I am going to put these in a special place so I will remember where they are so I will have them next year when my feet get cold after this cursed summer is finally over!" I put them in a place so special and secret that even I can't find it!!

And that's just one example of many. Hundreds. Thousands. Hundreds of thousands. Examples aplenty. I won't tell you about all of them. That would make a very long and boring blog.

I think I need a list. Yes, a list of all my secret hiding places where I put my stuff. But then, what if I lose the list? I need a list to tell me where the list is. But then where does the chain end? It'll end up like that song. "There's a germ on the flea on the hair on the wart on the frog on the knot on the log in the hole in the bottom of the sea..." only it'll be a list and it'll go,

"There's a pen in a pot in a box in a crate in a chest in the dark in a room in the middle of my basement..."

Maybe I just need to not hide my stuff like a raccoon. But then I lose it. What am I supposed to do? Not have cool stuff? That's an idea. I know what you're thinking, "But Jo, a place for everything and everything in it's place." Yeah, well guess what? Some people aren't OCD about having a place for e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g in the world. Some people actually think about things other than keeping the world clean and being a slave to their neatness. I'm free, thank you very much. Free to take off an article of clothing at the end of the day and throw it up in the air and let it stay wherever it lands. Free to climb into a messy bed at night and curl up into a snug little nest, not having to worry about sleeping like a board so I don't mess up the sheets while I sleep.

It also means I'm free to lose my stuff and spend three months scouring the house for whatever it is, only to become frustrated to the point of buying a new one (Like how I just bought new slippers this afternoon). But you know what? I think it's a good trade. It's more fun and relaxing than spraying 409 on everything I touch and breaking into a cold sweat whenever I see someone step onto my carpet with their shoes on. Good grief. Lighten up, wouldja?

That being said, I don't think we should all be trashy and throw our stuff everywhere and be dirty and live like pigs. No. Please do not misunderstand. To an extent, we should all be tidy and orderly. Admittedly, I do fall short there sometimes. BUT! Throwing a shirt on the floor once and a while is OKAY!! Having a water fight with your little/big brother every now and then is OKAY!! BEING MESSY SOMETIMES IS OKAY!!!! Hooray! :D

*Cue dramatic Scottish William Wallace battle cry* FRREEEEEEDOOOOOM!!!

(Though sometimes I do wish I could find stuff...)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Psst, I'm Alive!

It's dark. It's quiet. Everybody is asleep. Not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse. Hopefully Santa Claus doesn't show up. It's not late by anyone's standards (except for everybody in this house, seems like). They want me to conform to their ways, but I'm stronger than that.

In case you were unaware to my whereabouts (lol, that sounds funny!), I am currently in northern Minnesota. And when I say north, I mean it. Seriously. I'm waving at the Canadians right now. We're shouting things back and forth at each other like at football games, and shouting "yo mama" jokes. Not really. That last part isn't true. I don't tell Canadians "yo mama" jokes because last time I did that they threw snowballs at me.

I love road trips. I love being able to drive away from whatever town I live in and just drive and drive and drive and not come back. My motto for every road trip is "Pack the essentials: underwear and technology, not necessarily in that order. The rest are bonus points." Actually, that's not my motto. I've never said that before in my life. But it sounds pretty good, so maybe someday it'll become my motto.

Anyways, even though that's not really my motto, I made absolutely sure I packed my technology. My iPhone, my computer, and so on. Actually, just my iPhone and computer. That's the only technology I own, I guess. Anyway, even though we're headed into places even people who live in the boonies don't venture, my grandpa has wireless internet, which is oh-so-sweet, and makes staying in Nowhere oh-so-much-better. But what do I find upon my arrival? Their wireless isn't working. NO!

So for the last few days, I've been unable to make contact with the outside world, save for short snatches of internet signal my iPhone is able to grasp at random times throughout the day, like a drowning man gasping for air. Usually, though, the signal doesn't stick around long enough for me to actually DO anything with it. So I've been stuck.

Actually, it's been pretty okay. It's nice sometimes to just think; "I'm a million miles away from anywhere. Nobody can call me. I can't call anyone. I can't get email. I can't text. The only thing to abandon my electronics (which is sort of why I went on vacation in the first place), go outside, and have a good time." So in that regard, it's been a positive adjustment for me.

Aaaaand in other's hasn't. Sometimes I think; "I'm a million miles away from anywhere. Nobody can call me. I can't call anyone. I have no connection whatsoever with the outside world. For all I know, terrorists have bombed Lincoln Nebraska, my home is a heap of rubble, the U.S. retaliated by nuking the terrorists, and now World War III is in full swing, and I WOULD NEVER KNOW!!!

So after a few days of living in a tug of war between relaxation and mental turmoil, I have crept, under the cover of night, to my grandparents' computer, to see what is happening in the world outside. I sort of feel like somebody in the witness protection program, using restricted computers late at night (well, not really late at all, but whatever) to let their families know they're not really dead or seeing what's happening in the world beyond the safe-house. Sort of like that, but waaaaay more relaxed.

Anyway, vacation's been fun. Went hiking with the sisters, took lots of pictures (which I had planned to have in a facebook photo album by now, but with this internet thing I'm not holding my breath), played on some hay bales, rode the four-wheeler, went to a small county fair, went on another hike and got verbally chewed up and spit out for "leaving the group" when pretty much the group left me, and it wasn't an issue either way because the group and I know perfectly well how to navigate Grandpa's woods, so, pretty much, who cares if we separate or not?!?! (I don't have a chip on my shoulder, what are you talking about?)

It's always good to get up here, though. There may be no internet. They may want me to go to bed early (keep trying guys, really). It may be a zillion miles away from civilization. But it's a good place. You really relax when you're here, whether you want to or not. And that's what I need right now; to just relax. It takes some getting used to, and sometimes it drives me nuts, but this is where my roots are; this is a place I love, and a place I'll probably always come back to, even when I'm old.

So I guess this is it. Goodbye, world!! Be good, sit up straight, don't open the door for strangers, live well, love much, laugh often, and for goodness sake don't start World War III without me!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

This Means War!

So I'm sitting here at my computer at one in the morning, cause that's just what I do, and I do it pretty good, I think. I'm having a good time, laughing at funny websites, listening to music, wishing I could hack into super-secret government computer systems like in the movies, and spending money via Etsy and Ebay for things I don't need but really, really, sort of want, and then I feel it.

A bead of sweat blazes a trail down the side of my face and ends up dangling from my chin, waiting for another drop to follow in its wake and set them both airborne.

There are more signs, too.

My clothes sticking to me slightly. The air in the room (or lack thereof) is heavy with good ol' Nebraska humidity, giving my lungs a horrible drowning sensation. Breathing itself is becoming a chore, something at which I have to actually concentrate.

So what is it, you ask? It is war, my friends.

My parents are soul mates. Made for each other. Inseparable. Faithful to the end. They've got each other's backs. They're watching each other's six's. They agree on everything. Almost.

Every couple disagrees on things here and there. Most work through them, or settle things peacefully through gentle compromise. The same is true for my parents...most of the time. In one area, though, there will be no compromise on either side. Nobody is backing down. All must choose a side and stick to it with all your heart.

The Thermostat.

I have never known a time when the temperature inside the house was agreed upon by my parents. And I guess to be fair, they can't really help it. Mom is always cold. Dad is always hot.

Not that the room temperature has ever been the topic of arguing or a marital stumbling block. My parents prefer to keep this little battle on the hush-hush. Almost like the Quiet Game, mixed with Capture The Flag, King Of The Hill, Mafia, Dark Finger, and Chess while acting like ninjas. The only catch is that the game never ends. "...It just goes on and on my friends..."

And they're always recruiting new ninja pawns, because the more ninja pawns you have working for you, the more ninja eyes you can have watching the thermostat when you aren't around. That's the way the game/war works. Dad's got his army, and Mom's got hers. And actually, new intelligence suggests that even the neighbor kids are getting involved, though these allegations have yet to be confirmed.

Over the years, the game has evolved into something much more complicated. Whoever your "leader" is (either Mom or Dad), can be making hand signs from across the room, even while other, opposing players are in the room, instructing you what to do with the thermostat or what number to set it to.

And let's not forget the importance of position. In other families, in normal homes, who have normal conversations and act normally at any given time, people might walk casually into the family room in a relaxing fashion and pick a chair or place on the couch at random, or perhaps based on whichever looked most comfortable at the moment. Not so, in my house. See, there's a chair sitting directly under the thermostat control panel. Prime seating, baby. This is the way it goes:

*Someone from Team Dad* "I'm going to go watch TV."
*Someone from Team Mom* "Yeah, me too."

The two share a short glance. In that glance many words are being said. Dares, trash talk, threats, goads, and battle cries are all being communicated in a four second glance. More, if you allow time for facial expressions. And after that, the race is on. The two will bolt into the family room, stampeding over whatever helpless objects (or siblings) happen to be in the way. The lucky one who makes it to The Throne Of Power first will be king (or queen) of the hill, for however long they sit there. Unspoken Rule Of Warfare: NO instigating battle with anyone sitting in The Throne Of Power. If they're there, they're there for as long as they want to stay there. Usually Dad is there.

So now, back to present time. After feeling that terrible heat settling over me like a mink comforter in this cursed summertime, I wasted no time in steeling downstairs and turning the AC to something a little more compatible with staying alive.

Score one: Team Dad! Semper Fi!

"Nowhere Man" --The Beatles.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

You're Stuck With Me!

Tonight at work, I was talking to one of the old ladies I take care of. She was telling me all about her family, and brothers and sisters, and likewise, I was telling her all about mine. (That's right, guys, I DO talk about you when you're not around, and I tell all the stories, too!). While we were talking, we found out we each had five siblings. All her siblings were still alive and lived relatively close by.

Anyway, she was talking all about her siblings, and offhand I asked her, "When was the last time you saw them?"

The light sort of went out of her eyes, and the smile died on her face. She got a sort of vacant look, and didn't say anything for several seconds. At last, she licked her lips and said, "Well honey, I guess it's been nearly ten years since I've seen any of them."

I felt like something coiled itself around my stomach and squeezed. How could that be? How could people--siblings!--who love each other, grew up with each other, stood at each others' weddings, cuddled each others' children, laughed and cried with each other not even VISIT each other for TEN YEARS?! How is that even possible?

And it got me (here it comes, you knew it was going to happen, it's inevitable when somebody says something semi-important or serious to Johanna) it got me thinking. Thinking about my own siblings. This woman's story was eerily similar to my own. I thought about my own family.

My little sisters, Rachel and Mary, who cuddle in my bed in the evening listening to me read Jennie McGrady mysteries until I force them into their own rooms to sleep out whatever is left of the night.

My little (big) brother, Josh, who does crazy, spur-of-the-moment things with me, staying up late playing Gin and having movie quote wars, laughing at Psych episodes and Weird Al Yankovich, playing games, and arguing about the rules of Risk.

My big brother, Jim, who loves to hang out with me even though he's newly married and busy with school, who makes me laugh harder than anybody else I know, and always stands ready to help you out with school, general advice, or chasing away bullies who are pelting you with snowballs. :)

My big sister, Nikki, who encouraged me as a young girl to excel, to learn, to be smart, to stand for things even (or maybe especially) when nobody else will, who used to let me sleep in her bed whenever I was scared or had a bad dream, read me books and told me story after story, teaching me the joy of using your imagination.

All of my siblings, I love them. I can't even remotely imagine going ten years without seeing even one of them. I love them too much. Even when we all get old and have families of our own and move to different states or whatever, I hope we all still make an effort to see each other. It just makes me so sad to think of siblings not ever seeing each other. Seriously. I want to cry just thinking about it.

So, this blog goes out to my siblings. You guys can't get away from me! Understand? There's nowhere you can hide. No way am I going to let ten years go by without seeing you, so you're just gonna have to come to grips with that. You're stuck with me, kid, and that's all there is to it.

"Many Roads" --Andrew Peterson

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Great Skunk Fiasco!

Why is it all my most exciting and dangerous stories begin with, "So there I was, minding my own business..."? I think maybe I need to stop minding my own business, it's far too dangerous. I need to start poking my nose where it doesn't belong and spying on my neighbors. Then, just maybe, I'll stay out of trouble. Or something. Anyway, that's not the point. The point is, once again, I was minding my own business, and something terrible happened. It went like this...

I walked out to my car, stars twinkling above me and the crickets chirping their happy nighttime songs to whoever might me listening. I slid behind the wheel and immediately cranked the (recently fixed!) air conditioner. After selecting a good driving-home-after-a-long-day-at-work song, I drove away from my place of employment and headed for home.

I was excited. While at work, I had received a voicemail from one of my friends, Rachel, saying she wanted to hang out after I got off work. Ahh, the good ol' days, getting off work and hanging out with Rachel, drinking coffee to our hearts content, talking, laughing, and hanging out into the wee morning hours, when the rest of the city had long since said goodnight.

We hadn't done that in a long time, so needless to say, I was happy and excited to get her voicemail. But seriously, I didn't want to hang out in my scrubs. I'd been in them for nine hours already, and I was ready to get into something more comfortable. So I raced home (in the figurative sense...maybe) and changed into some capris, a T-shirt, and flip-flops. Ahh, much better.

So we were both pretty undecided on a place to hang out. First it was her house, and that didn't work out. I never suggested my house, because really, I live with like millions of people and it's not always the quietest place, even at night. Then we thought maybe a coffee shop, but they were all closed, so Rachel gets the bright idea, "hey, let's go to Holmes Lake!" Yeah, sure, why not? Little did I know...

We parked our cars by the dam and began walking towards it. Rachel wanted to go right up the side, and to be honest, so did I, but I was wearing flip-flops, and who knows WHAT is crawling around in that waist-high grass, so I made the decision that no, we're going to go around. It's not like we're on a time crunch, right? So that's what we do.

We walked across the dam once and it probably took us about fifteen or so minutes, time mostly spent trying repeatedly (and sometimes successfully) to scare each other (cause it's dark out, you know?), and talking seriously in-between the scaring bits. After a while, we turned and began making our way back.

We were a little more than halfway back when I saw it. There. Standing off to the right, not moving. I threw my arm in front of Rachel, stopping her mid-stride. My mind still hadn't registered what I was looking at, but I knew enough to be scared. "Rachel!" I pointed at the thing. My mind began to function through the haze of fear. About the size of a cat. Black.

"What is that?" Rachel whispered to me.

The thing hissed. My mind was still trying. Black. White stripes. Bushy tail. It could only be a..."SKUNK!" I shrieked. Rachel and I stood frozen and unable to move, and my mind was trying to speedily come up with everything it knew about skunks. I knew they did a handstand before they sprayed, and since it wasn't doing one of those I was slightly reassured, but the fact that it was standing there, clearly not happy, and staring at us, was beginning to freak me out.

Rachel and I began to back away, towards the edge of the dam. In hindsight, I probably should have lunged at it or something. Since it wasn't in a to position to spray me, it probably would've ran away, right? I mean, I'm no skunk expert but...

Anyway, from the moment I saw the skunk to this present time in the story, it's probably been no more than ten seconds. All I was thinking about was getting away and the fact that I was totally FREAKED OUT! And as Rachel and I began to back away, my mind brings up this ridiculous saying I've heard about a million times: "Don't worry, it's more afraid of you than you are of it." Um, whoever came up with that is STUPID because I'm pretty sure there is no "more scared" than I was right then, and I'm pretty sure that stupid skunk isn't scared at all because, what does it do? IT RUNS AT US!

When that thing came at us, I don't think I've ever been more scared of anything in my whole life. One of us screamed. And I mean really SCREAMED. Funny, I don't know who it was. For all I know we both did. And then we ran. Terrified, unashamed, down the hill, through the waist-high grass, we ran for our LIVES.

The going was slower for me because of my flip-flops. For the first three or so steps I was trying to stay alive WHILE keeping both my shoes on my feet. After that, I gave up on that, figuring that my life was worth more than a $10 pair of shoes. I made it part way down the slope through the grass before one fell off. I kept going. I couldn't imagine that the skunk was still chasing us, but then, I couldn't imagine it chasing us at all until, whoa, it's CHASING US!

Halfway down the dam, I slip. I lay there in the tall grass, my heart beating about a million times per minute, and I was trying to decide what was worse, staying where I was and hiding until the beast was gone, or making a break for freedom. I had no time to think about my erratic heartbeat or my shoe hopelessly lost in the weeds somewhere around me, though somewhere in the back of my mind, I vaguely wondered what had happened to Rachel. In all the terror and fight-or-flight reactions, I had lost sight of her.

I lifted my head, looking for her, and saw her run the last few yards to the safety of the sidewalk at the bottom of the dam. No, Rachel! Don't you ever watch movies? Bad things happen when people split up! Then it struck me, if this were a movie, I would be the expendable one. The one that tags along with the hero for most of the movie, then gets tragically mauled by a rabid skunk near the end, only to be forgotten by the closing credits. Oh well.

I'm still on my back. I can feel the dew seeping into my clothes, and I'm still wondering what to do. I move slowly into a semi-sitting position. I turn my head around...and see the dark outline of the skunk not three feet from my face. The only thing that entered my mind was a vision of it jumping on my face and clawing my eyes out.

I jumped to my feet and sprinted the rest of the way down where Rachel was waiting for me. Once reunited, we raced to our cars. I absently wondered why there weren't any people outside on their porches, peering into the darkness, wondering what was going on, why girls were screaming. Sheesh, for all they know Rachel and I had just been brutally murdered by escaped ex-cons. I'm never moving to this neighborhood, that's for sure.

By the time we got to our cars, we were laughing hysterically, sharing dialogue of the past few minutes, and every so often, looking behind us, just in case.

It's now been several weeks. Somewhere out there, there is a skunk who is fearless in every way. A skunk who is the boss of Holmes Lake, and knows it. Somewhere out there, there is a black flip-flop, laying in the weeds, covered in mud and bugs. I think I might try to find it...y'know, do a little skunk hunting in the process. If those people don't care about screaming girls, I doubt they'd come running at gunshots. If anything they'd probably hail me their hero for saving them from the Legendary Skunk Of Holmes Lake. In that case, I'd better find an expendable sidekick.

"Captains Of The Sky" --Sky Sailing

Saturday, June 5, 2010

How Did This Even Happen??

Clothes shopping. It hasn't ever been in my fave five things to do in the whole wide world, but it's not something I sincerely hate, at least, not anymore. When I was like, 9 I honestly, sincerely hated shopping for clothes. I didn't get why everybody thought I should care so much about what I wore. In my mind, clothes were just there to keep us from being naked. Nowadays, I don't mind it. It's pretty cool, I guess.

So there I was. In Kohl's with Rachel. Clothes shopping. Now, let me just take a minute here to point out that there are a lot of worse people to shop with than Rachel. She's really easy-going, has good taste, and loves jewelry and sparkly things almost as much as I do!

So she and I were nonchalantly browsing the various racks of clothes, scouring the clearance racks for the diamonds in the rough, and all of a sudden, Rachel asks me, "Jo, is this too old lady looking?"

I turn around, and she's holding a dress up to herself, looking at me with big innocent eyes, and in a millisecond, I was miles away, lifetimes ago, looking at my own big sister while holding something up to myself, wondering sincerely if I had made a good pick.

I've never been any good at matching up outfits or picking out clothes or color coordinating. I wasn't good at it when I was younger, and honestly, I didn't really care. It was never a huge deal to me, and I eventually I came to terms with my own ignorance.

But my little sister is gazing up at me with big pitiful eyes, begging me to approve. And as surprised as I am that I am being asked this question, I am even more surprised to find that I know the answer! Unfortunately, the dress was indeed "old lady looking" as Rachel had so eloquently put it.

I broke the news as softly as I could, remembering all too well what it felt like to be told I had picked out something that didn't make the cut. And as we continued shopping, my mind wandered back through the previous days and weeks and months, only to remember time after time Rachel or Mary asked my opinion of a piece of clothing, or asked me to do their hair, or asked to wear my jewelry (or sometimes just wore it and skipped the pesky asking).

After Rachel and I got home, we'd barely gotten through the door before tearing our purchases out of their respective bags to show the rest of the family. Mom and Mary "ooh"ed and "aah"ed, while Josh and Dad looked on with glazed expressions. A few moments later, I was sitting with Mary on the couch, when she looked up at me and asked, "Jo, will you pick out a pretty outfit for me to wear to church tomorrow?"

There it was again! Not can you pick an outfit, but will you pick an outfit! It was then that I realized...I was it. I was the fashion authority. My word was law. Like it or not, somehow, somehow, I had gotten good at this. I had become the fashion guru for the Trexel household. How did this happen?!

Nikki has only been gone not even a year. Before she left, she was the one we went to with our fashion questions. She was the one to settle fashion disputes, the one to have the last word about anything pertaining to clothing or anything you could wear. Not that she enforced it, she just knew the most about clothes, that's all. Somehow when Nikki left, that baton must have been passed to me. Until further notice, I will be the acting fashion guru.

Heaven help us.

"I Will Glory In My Redeemer" --Sovereign Grace Music

Thursday, April 29, 2010


*cough cough* What on earth? *Blows cobwebs away* Wow. has it really been that long? what rock have I been under all this time? I'm sorry. there really is no excuse for my negligent behavior. except for the one about me not having a computer. yeah, that's definitely one. but if it wasn't for that excuse, I wouldn't have one, and I would feel totally ashamed.

Quick recap! I'm 21, still a Med Aide, I paid off my car, my back itches, coffee no longer effects me, I learned to play Pitch (my first game I bid nine without the ace, king, or queen and I made it! Eat it, Kelsey!), my back really really itches, and I'm planning on becoming a Phlebotomist. other than that, it's pretty much the same old me, back for more fun and fancy free. and now that I've got a computer, let's just assume that I'm back to stay! Woot!

And while I'm on the subject of new computers, I'm just going to take a minute here to give everyone I ever debated about how PCs were superior to Macs the chance to give a resounding, "I told you so!" yes, folks, it's true. I caved and bought a Mac. not that I was ever really against them to begin with, but back in the day I used to argue against them. just cause nobody else was. somebody had to. but now somebody else can. I've served my time.

However wonderful the new computer might be, it's at times like these when I wish I had a computer tech sitting on my shoulder. you know. like the devil/angel thing, but with a computer tech who would give me computer advice and then poof away so I can pretend I came to the answer by myself. my own personal Geek Squad Fairy, to say things like, "Uh, you really don't want to do that." or, "Psst, there's a faster way." or, "Hey, moron, stop clicking random buttons before you delete something important!"

For instance, a few minutes ago I was trying to move music from a file into my Itunes library, and a screen popped up and said, "You are running a script that Itunes does not understand." how is that helpful? what am I even supposed to do with that? explain it to Itunes? and here I thought I was the confused one. that's the bad thing, though; when a computer doesn't understand something, they mean it! they don't have a clue, and they're not interested in learning how to do whatever it is.

And having somebody explain something to me is even worse than trying to figure it out myself sometimes. they think they're speaking in common, everyday terms, but then they start talking about "interfaces" and "javascripts" and then they really get excited and start talking like R2D2 and using numbers instead of words, and by this time I'm usually half asleep and fading fast, forget about getting answers. I'm glad there are people in the world who can understand that stuff, but they need to stop trying to explain things to me. kudos for effort, but you're not going to make me understand.

Anyway. it's 2:30 in the morning, I have work tomorrow (today?), and I'm beastly tired, so I'm going to bid you adieu. I shall return, very soon...with endust!

--The Scientist, by Coldplay.