Monthly Archives: March 2013

pictures pages! picture pages!

First this, for your pleasure (also, I hope you’re old enough to remember these. If not, get the hell off my lawn, ya whippersnappers):


I just read an article that said if you want more people to visit your blog site* you should include pictures.

Pictures, pictures, pictures get you noticed. Which makes sense in appropriate and inappropriate ways.

But before you get all hot and bothered disgusted and vomit-y, let me assure you this site will continue to be safe for work. Mostly.

I like the idea of including more pictures. I imagine that the illiterate are an underserved demographic when it comes to this sort of thing.

In high school, I had a friend (ok, I still have her – there was no friend un-making) who always always ALWAYS had a camera with her (or it sure seemed like it). We totally teased her about it at the time, but damn! Do I wish I had the foresight to be “that person” because OF COURSE she has all kinds of great pics now. I never remember to use my camera, even if I’m lugging it around in my purse ALL DAMN DAY. And then I get home, and regret that I only took two lame-o pictures. I think part of me is irrationally afraid I’ll look like some kind of intrusive dolt if I’m constantly snapping photos, and the rational side of my brain (the side that says who really fucking cares? You’ll thank yourself later when you have pictures documenting the time that one guy at that one party took his cowboy boots off his feet and tried to walk with them on his hands**).

My BFFF is like that too (not drunkenly hand-walking, just so we’re clear) – she always has her camera at the ready when a good photo op presents itself. And, of course, she had gazillions of great photos to show for it.

These two are my heroes (HS friend and BFFF…not cowboy boot guy, just so we’re still clear), so it stands to reason that I would try to be like them. So here I am, officially putting it ON THE RECORD that I want to remember to take more pictures, social awkwardness be damned. I’m not saying this is going to be blue ribbon-winning photography or anything, of course. But I do hope to document some of the oddness that seems to surround me daily. Or at least, shit I find funny. Like this, from the lunch menu at my workplace’s cafeteria:

Just the one, please. Don't want to go overboard.

Just the one, please. Don’t want to go overboard.

The photo quality is poor, but damn did this make me laugh last night. Hope this makes your day, too, even if it’s not quite as weird as a guy with cowboy boots on his hands.

Did I mention he was wearing fishnets?



*I hate the word blog. Like a lot. Like so much it makes my teeth hurt thinking about it.
**Nah, I did take pictures of that. There’s also video. Heh heh.

Saint Willie Style

Okay, sometimes when I get caught up in something awesome I start using phrases that don’t normally come out of my mouth. “My heart is filled with joy” is a good example – it just popped into my head last night as I tried to describe (to myself, who also happens to be my best audience) how I was feeling. It sounds so freaking cheesy, or like I’m preforming a church hymn spoken-word, William Shatner-style. It just don’t sound right.

But, sometimes, even if it sounds all weird coming out of my mouth, it’s true.

My BFFF n’ her Husbando are picking themselves out a gaggle of children. Okay, maybe not like that, but they’re in the process of adopting some kiddos. Today is their first (or only?) home visit, which sounds super-intimidating and like something that I would miserably fail if I were in their shoes. To say that I am excited for them would win gold at the Understatement Olympics. This is where the “my heart is filled with joy” business comes in.

So, in an effort to be all supportive n’ whatnot, I decided to dive into my Catholic roots and see if there was a patron saint of adopted children, and if there was some kind of Special Prayer I could shoot his way. If you know anything about Catholicism, you know that DUH. Of course there is. There is a patron saint of (almost) everything.

One quick question to Uncle Google later and BAM: St. William of Perth, also sometimes called St. William of Rochester, for reasons that I didn’t feel like reading about because this was approximately 1:00 am this morning.

Anyway, I didn’t find any specific prayers I could send up to Big Willie, so I just came up with something on the fly. And then I decided to find some sort of pictorial evidence of this guy. I felt BFFF’s Facebook wall needed some decoration.

Enter good ol’ Uncle Google, again.


Pretty standard Saint portrait, though I’m a little weirded out by the snakes. I thought that was a St. Patrick thing? But hey – St. Patrick’s pretty awesome, so I guess this makes Big Wiliie awesome by association. Right?

But surely I can find something snake-less.


Oh, now, that’s much better. THIS St. William juggles all kinds of animals, apparently. Even baby sea lions, or whatever that cute thing is at the bottom. This guy’s alright!  Surely there is some good juju flowing to BFFF and co!

But, as is often the case with Uncle Googs, things get weird quickly.


Not 100% sure who this chap is, but he looks like he knows how to party– fancy party. Is that a sprig of fresh herbs in pitcher number 2? Bravo, sir! I’d accept the engraved invitation to your garden party anytime. I’m sure you and your other pearl-snap-shirted compadres make a mean hummus.

I wonder if he invited these guys?


They kinda look like they could use a freshly-muddled drink. Well, Righty looks less-than-happy. Lefty seems to be enjoying himself. Maybe he just finished grinding some chickpeas for the shindig tonight.

Wait. Where was I? Oh yes. St. Willie of Perth-sometimes-Rochester and the weird world of Google Images.


I’m pretty sure these are children at a St. William of Perth school, but I’d prefer to think it’s representative of the big ol’ happy fam in store for my friends.

A heart filled with joy, indeed.

“Play next episode?” is Netflix for “Put off washing the dishes for another hour?”

If you’re looking for a way to eat up a large chunk of your free time, might I suggest becoming (temporarily) obsessed with a television show?

The process of finding a show and really getting into generally begins spontaneously, but if you’d like to expedite the process I’ve outlined it below. Just follow these simple steps and you will soon be well on your way to rabid fandom.

1. Turn on the television while you are performing some sort of mundane task, such as trimming your nails or ironing your work pants. 
Originally meant as background noise, you will catch something interesting and your ears will perk up. When you glance up at the screen, you see someone doing something that catches your interest. Perhaps this character is kicking down a door to get at a Bad Guy. You like it when Good Guys kick down doors. It is exciting. You want to know who this Good Guy is, and what the Bad Guy did. Maybe Good Guy is saving his partner in police officer-ing, or firefighting, or time-travelling, or detective-ing, or astronaut-ing, or Army-ing. Either way, they lead gritty lives and have gritty careers – the kind that gets them into all sorts of trouble – and you want to know more. Also, they are devastatingly handsome.

2. Find out what the hell show this is.
Wait. Is THAT what this show is? No freaking way! I’ve totally heard of this show! I see it on all the time but I never watched it. Huh. Oh, there’s another episode on next. Maybe I’ll check this out. I had no idea this is what this show was about. This is way cooler than I thought. 

3. Settle in for the next episode.
Become completely sucked in: How did these people get there? What the hell are they talking about? Is that a Good Guy? Does that person know that other person is a Bad Guy? Are these dudes brothers, or what? Who’s this chick? Why do they keep talking about x, y and z? Is that important to the Plot? I think it’s important to the plot.

This sure-as-shit better be on Netflix instant streaming or I’m going to cut someone.

4. Plan your schedule for the next month-or-so accordingly
Start thinking up excuses for being late/absent to work. Or not meeting up with friends. Or putting off mopping the floor, or taking the ferret to the vet, or bathing yourself. Because “I only have 8 episodes left in this season, and only 4 more seasons to go until I’m caught up” might not be an excuse that others “get.”

Because they obviously have no taste, but whatever.

Doctors Without Boundaries implies a much different charity.

In an embarrassment of first world riches, I got super-dupes frustrated when trying to go through my insurance co’s website to pick a doctor recently. Way too many categories, y’all. Narrow search by when he/she received their degree? Whatever. I’ve known some great 160-year old physicians and some shitty Doogie Howser-types. I could care less about those kinds of things. Really, when it comes down to it, I just want someone who smiles.

Have you ever seen a doctor who didn’t smile? It’s unpleasant. If you smile at me, I will be nice to you. And even though I might be the 7,836th patient you’ve seen in the past three hours, maybe I will make this 45 seconds a pleasant interaction for you. Just saying.

If you smile at me, I will be more forthcoming with information. Your furrowed countenance makes you look as if you want to show my temple the business side of a 10-blade. In this case, I will want to make our conversation as quick as possible. “So, Julie, you say that you are having blinding pain in your side?” “Uh, no. Forget it. Never mind. I’ll just go home to die alone in my bathtub.”

If you smile at me, I will think that you care (even if you actually don’t, and I don’t really hold that against you unless this turns out to be a regular-appointment kind of deal). And if I think you care, I will give you the whole story. “Well, I did spend some time in the Amazon a few weeks ago with a balloon of coke crammed up my poo chute, now that you mention it.”

If you smile at me, I will tell my friends good things about you and you will become rich and famous, like Dr. Oz, except with scrub tops that properly cover your biceps.

If you smile at me, I will heed your advice. “No more sticks of butter for breakfast? Okaaaaay, but only because you asked me so nicely.”

So you weren’t Numbero Uno in your class at Prestigious Medical University. I don’t care if you completed a fellowship at Prestigious Medical Center. It doesn’t matter to me that you set up some charity in Random Third World Nation (though, props if you did). Just try to pretend like you care, and I’ll come back to see you.

Unless that’s not what you want. In that case, forget you. Just for that, I’m making an appointment once-a-frickin’-week. You wanna see unpleasant? Just wait til you hear what I’ve been keeping in my bum. Just for you, doc. Just. For. You.

Did I really just write that last sentence?

I’m sorry.

party like Norah Jones

Every two months I have a scheduled three-day weekend, and that glorious, glorious day has finally arrived. To say that I am excited is an understatement. More like “paralyzed with glee.” Seriously. For the past week, I’ve been going about my business, when suddenly I remember holy crap I have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off and then I start clapping like some deranged cross-eyed seal. And yes, there is squealing.

I have a basic framework of plans right now, but plenty of in-between down time to fill with whatever my little heart desires. And that, dear reader(s), is what really gets my biscuits burning.

Some ideas:

Party like a rock star
…minus the hotel-suite trashing, drug-doing, groupie-banging bit, of course.
Though, after that, I’m not sure what’s left. Maybe “rock star” is a little much. What kinds of stars go on hikes and read books and sit outside drinking coffee? I’m imagining some sort of piano-playing, songwriting, Soft Rock star. Norah Jones, maybe? or Kenny Loggins?*

Finish the damn baby blanket I started almost six months ago – holy crap
…I’m not what’s known as a “fast” or “skilled” crochet-er.
Also at this point I’ll never be done, because I just keep having to make it larger and larger as the kid grows.

Do some research for my Fantasy Baseball team
…Namely, figure out how the heck I put players on my team. Or keep score. Or make trades. Or sign up.

Clean my apartment
…Oh, Julie, you crack myself up.

Finish just one of the 80-zillion half-posts I have saved for this site
…except I can’t remember what made most of them post-worthy in the first place.

F) All of the above

G) None of the above
…I’m totally okay with this one.


I am a die-hard list-maker, by the way. Note:

This was a (mostly) good day - Sonic picnic in the park with my buds while we took creeper pics of the weirdos and made our Bucket Lists.

This was a (mostly) good day – Sonic picnic in the park with my buds while we took creeper pics of the weirdos and made our Bucket Lists.



*”Return to Pooh Corner” Kenny Loggins. Not “Danger Zone” Kenny Loggins. Or “Loggins and Messina” Kenny Loggins. Just so we’re clear.
Also, I don’t know anything about Norah Jones. I’ve heard she has a lucrative career, and even sings something other than than that “Don’t know why” song, but don’t quote me on that.




It seemed like a good idea at the time.

It was – almost entirely – not my fault. If Diana Ross hadn’t been such a damn diva, none of this would have happened. I’m – almost entirely – sure of it.

Oh, Diana Ross isn’t her real name. Keep up, folks.

I think it was Whitney Houston’s birthday party – one of those whole-nine-yards, ordering Pizza Hut and sleeping over kind of deals. I. Was. Stoked. Had I even been to a real sleepover before? I’m not sure. I think this was about fifth grade, which sounds sort of late to be attending one’s first sleepover. But this is also the girl who didn’t watch MTV until she was probably 19.

Where was I? Right. Sleepover.

After we’d eaten our pizza and chased Whitney Houston’s little brother around the upstairs of their house for awhile, we settled down in the family room to decide sleeping arrangements. Whitney’s house was sick. She had one of those big-ass L-shaped sectionals, and we promptly began squabbling over who got to sleep on the sofa and who was stuck with the floor. We oh-so-generously allowed the birthday girl to sleep on the couch, leaving one coveted spot remaining. And I was this close to finagling my sleeping bag on the L…

Enter Diana.

“I have allergies,” she says dramatically. “I need to sleep above the floor.”

“Bullshit!” I cried. Well, I would have cried that if I’d cried such things as a ten year old. But I was thinking it, and instead probably responded with a “Uh, really?” I may not have swore back then, but I was still a smug little smart ass.

This is where Diana went into some detailed explanation about her being unable to breathe below sea level or some shit, getting every single other girl on her side in the process. I tried countering her arguments; at this point, I didn’t even care about sleeping on the couch – I just needed everyone else to know how full of shit she was.

I still lost.

The next morning, my parents and Brother arrived to pick me up. Overall, I did have a good time, and was all gush-y about ohmygosh how much fun I had. But I hadn’t really slept. And I was so fucking tired and all I wanted to do was go home and sleep in my own bed, curled up amongst my Garfield sheets.

But we weren’t going straight home. We were stopping at Sam’s Club first. Sigh.

When we pulled into the parking lot, I laid down across the rear bench seat of Juanita’s Bronco. Maybe I could just sleep for three or four seconds? Or wait in the truck while they picked up a pallet of coffee filters or whatever-the-hell was so urgent?

An impatient Get up, Julie answered my question.

So I lifted my head to get up.


What the fuck?

Why couldn’t I move my head?

Why was my head stuck?

Frantically feeling around, I discover that a chunk of my long, long hair is stuck.

In the clicky-end of the seat belt.

I gently tug my head to free myself. Nothing.

This is when I started panicking.

“No no no! It’s okay!” my parents are telling me, trying to get me to calm down. Why I freaked the fuck out, I’m not sure. “We’ll go inside and get some scissors!”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” I howled (again: why? Did I imagine that my father would run into the Sam’s Club, bellowing for a pair of scissors? MY DAUGHTER IS A DUMB ASS WHO GOT HER HAIR CAUGHT IN A SEATBELT! SOMEONE BRING ME SCISSORS SO I CAN SET MY DAUGHTER’S DUMB ASS FREEEEEE! To this day, I have no idea).

I think my Dad was actually on his way into the Sam’s Club when I decided, screw it, and yanked my head up as hard as I could.

Juanita gasped.

Okay, so when I say “a chunk of hair” was stuck, I mean about a 1/2″ piece of hair. Like, many many strands.

WHAT DID YOU DO? cried Juanita, but I was suddenly calm. There, problem solved! It surprisingly hurt like hell, but I was free. Come back, Dad! No scissors needed! Let’s buy these damn coffee filters and go home, please!

YOUR SCALP IS BLEEDING! cried Juanita, and I touched a small, now-bare, spot on the top of my head.

Whoops. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that.

The entire time we were in Sam’s, Juanita kept inspecting my head, blotting it with tissues (yes, we still finished our errands. One minor head wound wasn’t going to come between our family and a 5-pack of Tombstone Frozen Pizzas). I can’t believe you did that! she said over and over.

“Yeah, me neither,” I said. “Is it obvious?”

“Well, your head is bleeding.” 

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I guess.


After we got home, Dad gave the seat belt a proper haircut. I can’t remember what it looked like with the entire chunk of my hair sticking out of it like some sort of mutant rattail, but I still remember how it looked for the next few years we had the Bronco: a little tuft of red hair, trapped forever in the corner of the seat belt.

“I used to rub it like a rabbit’s foot,” Brother told me a few days ago.

“That is so weird,” I said.

But, then again, so am I.








shopping with Juanita.

A store called Nordstrom Rack opened in town a few months ago.

Now, Juanita and I had never been to a Nordstrom, but we’d heard they were ex-fucking-spensive. So, we reasoned, a Nordstrom Rack would be a bunch of discounted Nordstrom merchandise, priced to Normal People Levels (also, probably full of holes but meh. Details). So this morning we went over there to check it out.

The Nordstrom People had kindly placed a display of decorative throw pillows in the window under a sign that said SALE $17.95.

And this is when we knew we should have just turned around and went home.

Some highlights from the trip:

Juanita, on seeing a $200 handbag: “We should go back to KMart where we belong.”

Juanita, picking up a pair of stilettos: “You could kill a mouse with these things!”

Juanita: “Are those bedroom slippers?”
Me: “No…they’re called Toms.”
Juanita: “You’re sure they’re not bedroom slippers?”

And, the best of all:

Me: “I don’t know if I should get these boots. I don’t know how often I’d wear them.”
Juanita: “Well, you can’t wear them at all if you don’t buy them.”