A bunch of stuff about Jen

I started making this list in 2007 and finally published it in April 2008. It was last updated in March 2015.

Stuff Jen Says about her family, friends, life and beliefs


  1. I have kept a blog since 1999, long before the term “blog” was commonly used.
  2. In 2014 I opened an Etsy store, wherein I sell gemstone jewelry that I make. Intrigued? You can check it out if you want: Dear Girl.
  3. I was born many years ago. I am a Virgo but pay no attention to astrological stuff. My birthstone is a sapphire. I do pay attention to birthstones because they are beautiful and sparkly and make very good gifts (hint, hint).
  4. I come from a long line of lifelong Oregonians and currently live in the Portland area. We recently were informed that we are right smack in the middle of the poor side of the nice side of the trashier side of the city. If you know where we live, that description (sadly) makes perfect sense.
  5. I have never smoked anything, and now I feel like it’s just too much trouble to start. I frequently dream about smoking, though. Not sure why.
  6. If you use bad punctuation and careless spelling, I will make a “disgusted” face and admire you just a little bit less. The things that irritate me most: misused apostrophes, unnecessary quote marks, two spaces between sentences, and overuse of exclamation points. I know, I know... I’m a mean ol’ schoolmarm.
  7. Laughter may be the best medicine, but Vicodin’s effective too.
  8. I am an ordained minister and can perform marriages. Why no one has asked me to do this for them yet, I do not know.
  9. I had C-sections with both kids. Katie was breech. Jack had a ginormous head. This means, of course, that I don’t have episiotomy scars that I can threaten to show off. C-section scars are totally unimpressive in comparison (I don’t know this for sure and have no interest in confirming).
  10. I’d rather clean a gas station restroom than my kitchen.
  11. It’s not NEWK-YOU-LER. It’s NEW-KLEE-ER, you idiot. It’s also JEW-EL-REE, not JEW-LER-EE. And REAL-TOR, not REE-LA-TOR. Come on!
  12. Chat-speak, LOL-speak, whatever you call it... it drives me nuts and I will hate you if you use it. “Too” and “to” are not the same as “2.” Please make a note of it.
  13. I am irritated by “clever” spellings of business names. Years ago when I was looking for day care I was interested in a place called Kiddie Care... until I found out it was actually spelled “Kiddie Kare.” That was the end of that. Fone Finder? Bizzy Bee? Kitchen Kaboodle? Don’t make me kill you, because I will.
  14. I can’t stand weird spellings of people’s names. I’m not talking about names that end with an “ie” rather than a “y,” necessarily, but the ones that are so far out that you have to be on drugs to even consider attaching it to a kid. I saw the spelling of “Casey”/“KC” once as Ksea. I’ve seen “Lisa” as Leissa. And “Jennifer” as Jeniphre? Bzzzzzz! Wrong! Even “creative” spellings make me sorta crazy, but only because having to spell your last name for people your whole life long is a pain; having to spell your first name, too, is just madness. Madness, I say!
  15. I was raised Seventh-day Adventist. Although I still have friends and in-laws that are active in the church, I have intentionally stepped away. I believe this is a much happier way for me to live my life.
  16. A pet peeve: people who assume that a person is good because that person identifies him/her self as a Christian. Good and evil come from a person’s behavior, not their beliefs. Remember that.
  17. I recorded a song in a studio in 1994 and it got local radio play for a few months. At least two times I turned on the radio in the car and my song was playing at that moment—very cool. Studios have the ability to make someone with a so-so voice like mine sound worthy of radio play. (Suddenly maybe Mariah Carey does not seem quite so talented, hm?)
  18. In November 2009 I was diagnosed with lymphoma. Many of my posts written since then discuss my cancer. I apologize for that. It kinda became a focus of my life, y’know? My cancer went into remission in December 2010. Thanks for helping me kick its ass!!
  19. My dad refused to let me drive his car. I got my driver permit at 17 but didn’t test for my license until I was 26. Bought myself a brand new car the very next day.
  20. I used to be able to get a tan. What happened? All the pigment has gone out of my skin, apparently, because now I’m, like, RAW CHICKEN WHITE no matter what. It is not attractive. Sometimes, at night, I cry.
  21. I slept very soundly as a child and peed the bed intermittently until I was 12 years old. Thank Jeebus neither of my kids inherited that trait.
  22. I’ve broken my feet numerous times, and continue to re-injure them. It is not rare for me to be seen in a brace on either or both feet. I am incredibly clumsy but also, apparently, very tender-boned. (hee hee... I said “boned.”)
  23. I get giggly when I hear some words. I know, it is childish and immature but I can’t help it. Sometimes if I stab myself with a pen I can turn my giggles into rage. Does that make you happy?
  24. I nearly died from a zit in 1986. I am not making this up.
  25. Fire both fascinates and frightens me.
  26. I hate mornings. Be advised that you should not talk to me in the morning until I have given you permission. (I’m looking at you, Mother Mary...)
  27. Good manners are important to me. I’m always very appreciative if someone holds a door for me, or gets out of the way, or shows random acts of kindness. It makes me love you!
  28. Bad manners? They piss me right off.
  29. I have lost all motivation to put up with people that are hurtful or mean or rub off on me in ways that make me not like myself. If I haven’t contacted you in a while, it does not necessarily mean you’re one of those people though, because nowadays, like most moms, I have little time for anything outside of my family. So either I don’t like you, or I still love you but am very, very sorry I’m a negligent friend. Good luck figuring out which one applies to you.
  30. I believe in karma.
  31. When ending a phone conversation with a family member or any of my closest friends, I say, “I love you.” You just never know. It’s great comfort to me that that was the last thing I ever said to my dad.
  32. Although my Myers-Briggs evaluations always come out a little different, the most common result is INFJ.
  33. Monkeys are hairy little poo-throwing people and creep me out as few things can. Chimpanzees are the worst.
  34. Victor and I once appeared on The Tonight Show. Really. If you can find a VCR, I’ll show you the tape.
  35. I hate camping. I mean, I really, really hate it. Why would I want to sit around and be cold and dirty or hot and dirty? Why would I want to sleep on the ground? Why would I want to pee outdoors? Why would I want to shower in a public restroom, just to get filthy on the way back to my camp site? If you ever invite me to go camping with you, I will thank you for thinking of me but say no. Although I might show up for some food. Camping food can be pretty good.
  36. I have no idea how to change a tire (that’s what AAA membership dues are for) and am not allowed to pump my own gas (thank you, Oregon law). When in Washington state, I avoid having to fill my tank because I’m so bad at it, the gas spills everywhere and I become quite flammable.
  37. Also, Washington state has sales tax. Pffft.
  38. I like Washington state very much—west of the Cascades, anyway—in spite of their crazy gas-pumping laws and sales tax.
  39. I love to wash my car. Love it, love it, love it. It’s one of the best things my dad ever taught me to do. You’d think I would wash my car more frequently, then, but you’d think wrong.
  40. Why anyone would put raisins in baked goods is a question to which I demand an answer.
  41. I hate fresh tomatoes. So do Vic and Ed and April and Jim. My mom thinks it’s insane and can’t believe we all found each other.
  42. I think cotton candy is delightful.
  43. My favorite cookies are Double Stuf Oreos and Pepperidge Farms Brussels. I also like Pecan Sandies, Nilla Wafers, frosted sugar cookies, and snickerdoodles. And stroopwafels. And shortbread. Aw hell, I love just about any kind of cookie, as long as it doesn’t have raisins.
  44. Funnel cakes are the only reason I can think of to go to a state or county fair.
  45. I enjoy bacon even though Leviticus and Jenny Craig say I shouldn’t. I am, in fact, an animal lover but I just can’t bring myself to eat vegetarian. How does the saying go? “Fun to pet, better to chew.”
  46. I enjoy cooking but only for special occasions. Everyday cooking bores me.
  47. I loved college. I did a lot of stupid stuff, didn’t study enough, and changed my major too many times, but I have mostly great memories of those days. Living with my friends, whether in the dorm or off campus, was one of the best parts.
  48. I graduated from Walla Walla College (now Walla Walla University) with a B.S. in Business Education. It took me a very, very long time to get that degree.
  49. My parents divorced when I was nine years old.
  50. My mom and I graduated on the same day from the same university.
  51. I can tell my mom just about anything and not worry what she’ll think of me. This has not always been the case, but I love that it is now. She is truly fabulous.
  52. My dad died unexpectedly in 2005. I was stunned at how much physical pain comes with grief, and how little of it disappears over time. I miss Dad terribly but many memories of him make me smile, for which I am very, very grateful. I also am aware that he was a real butthead sometimes. I haven’t forgotten everything.
  53. My paternal grandmother was an angel; my maternal grandmother, not so much. She was a textbook narcissist; nothing was ever her fault. Sadly, my sister turned out exactly like her. What these relationships have made me understand: if there’s something you don’t like about yourself, blaming it on someone else is easy if you decide they’re “toxic.” (cue eye roll...) Narcissists have no idea the path of destruction they leave behind in their journey to be their best selves—and even if they did, they wouldn’t care.
  54. One of my ancestors was condemned for witchcraft and hanged in 1692.
  55. Victor and I met when I was 14 years old.
  56. I think my husband is my perfect match. He would probably be happier with someone—anyone!—else, but I’m glad I got him.
  57. He’s half Indonesian and half Japanese. That means our kids are gorgeous.
  58. Vic makes me laugh more than anyone else in the world can. I adore that about him.
  59. We have vastly different tastes in movies, most music, and books but I forgive him because I’m very, very generous that way.
  60. Also, he does the dishes and most the laundry.
  61. I will never, ever leave my husband. His parents are delightful, and I would endure a vile, hateful, evil husband before I’d ever let them go. He knows this but so far has not taken advantage of it.
  62. He snores so god-awful loud that I can now understand why old couples have separate rooms. I’m pretty sure we will someday.
  63. I have told Vic that if I die when our kids are still living at home, he’s going to have to wait until they’re out of the house to find a new wife. I know this is totally unfair to his happiness but that’s just how it has to be. Same goes for me. This is because I had an asshole for a stepdad and I don’t want my kids to ever have to deal with step-parents. Ugh.
  64. Vic was raised on Disney (just like me) and his parents played movie and Broadway soundtracks (just like mine). Yes, we have accepted that our kids will eventually hate us... but not YET! :)
  65. The moment I told my dad I was pregnant is one of my most precious memories of him. It was perfect. Re-telling the story just doesn’t do the moment justice.
  66. When I was pregnant the first time we decided not to find out the baby’s gender. I was thrilled to hear “It’s a girl!” in the operating room, partly because we had never settled on a boy’s name. I also knew I could never handle that kind of suspense again. During my second pregnancy we found out the gender as soon as we could and had it confirmed four times.
  67. I gained a lot of weight with both pregnancies and my body has decided to hang on to most of it. I’m all for de-cluttering, so this really pisses me off.
  68. I had horrific post-partum depression after Katie was born. It was not quite as bad after Jack, but I doubt I could have survived another one. This was a huge factor in us deciding to stop at two kids. But also I think my uterus might have fallen out with #3. For reals.
  69. I have absolutely loved experiencing familiar things through my children: Disneyland, riding bikes, old movies, OMSI, Christmas mornings, books, Crater Lake, baking cookies... it is probably my favorite thing about being a mom.
  70. Katie looks like Vic on the outside, but inside she’s just like me. This sometimes causes me great frustration but also gives us a different kind of connection than what my mom and I had when I was growing up.
  71. My friend April punched a girl at a club once. If you know April, you know why this is one of the most unbelievable things, like, ever.
  72. Debi and I almost always order the same thing when we go to restaurants together. I believe she has superb taste.
  73. One of my favorite friend stories: Kim F’n-W was helping some friends move out of the dorm and was waiting for the elevator. When it opened there were two big guys in it, holding either side of one of those little dorm refrigerators. Kim had one fridge under each arm. She’s not a beast or anything, just freakishly strong.
  74. When Madonna was filming a movie here in Portland, my friend Paula went to watch them work. She waved to Madonna and in response, Madonna flipped her off. It’s one of the reasons I hate Madonna.
  75. Annalee represented Washington state in the 1995 Miss America pageant. She shoulda won.
  76. Because of my friend Deanna, I am four degrees from Homer Simpson.
  77. Lori’s brother-in-law is the drummer for Journey.
  78. My roommate Karen and I used to sing entire Celine Dion songs, replacing all the words with one naughty one.
  79. Doug is in some of my most fun college memories. After graduation he was a pilot for Andre Agassi, based in Las Vegas. We visited him once and he gave us a tour of the hangar and the city. He seemed really proud of his life and we had a great time with him. Later he was a commercial pilot and we laughed about how funny (and scary) it would be to get on a flight and hear his voice over the intercom. A few years ago he shot and killed his wife and then himself. I still find it hard to believe.
  80. I love to read and am currently working down a list of classic novels, old and new, that I have somehow missed over the years. I throw in a little David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell, Pamela Ribon, and Amy Krouse Rosenthal here and there for kicks.
  81. I kinda sorta helped Pamela Ribon write her novel, You Take it From Here. My name’s in the back and everything. I can’t shut up about it.
  82. With the exception of wedding bands, I think jewelry on men is kinda creepy.
  83. I like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and jigsaw puzzles, but not those crazy impossible ones.
  84. I would rather shop on the Internet than deal with parking and crowds at the mall. I can almost always find some kind of good deal by looking online. This is sometimes time-consuming and not always worthwhile, but, well... meh.
  85. I’ve known how to sew since I was about seven years old but I don’t do it very often anymore. I feel guilty whenever one of the kids’ things tears and their first comment is “Grandma can fix it!” because they don’t even know I can sew.
  86. I will use any excuse to paint walls. It’s another thing my dad taught me how to do the right way. (Tip: always use primer because primer rocks.)
  87. I took nearly ten years of piano lessons but you’d never know it to hear me play. I have a small repertoire of memorized pieces but can’t even read music very well anymore. [hangs head in shame...]
  88. I got my passport when I was 32 years old, at the same time I got Katie’s. She was a year old.
  89. I thrive on planning vacations. If you want to go somewhere, invite me along and I’ll plan it start to finish. You will love me forever for it because you will have the awesomest vacation ever. I like doing the research almost as much as I love the travel itself.
  90. The first time I left the U.S. was on a day trip to Tijuana when I was 25. I was 39 the first time I crossed the border over into Canada.
  91. I threw up on a plane on the way to Florida in 2004. It wasn’t an Exorcist moment or anything, but still quite possibly the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done at 30,000 feet. Victor was on the other side of the aisle and didn’t even notice.
  92. I hate flying out of the Los Angeles airport. I love the Orlando airport; it’s clean and airy and has good shopping.
  93. I broke my foot the week before I went on my first trip to Europe. I was five months pregnant at the time. That was a challenging vacation.
  94. San Francisco is one of my favorite places in the world. I’ve been there a million times and still find new and exciting things to see and do.
  95. I’ve been on two Caribbean cruises—both on Disney—and loved them but got seasick both times. Still, I can’t wait to go on another.
  96. I am not in the Mile-High Club. Not even close.
  97. The first time I went snorkeling (in Hanauma Bay) I was fascinated until I got bit on the knee by a fish. But the real reason I won’t go snorkeling again is EELS.
  98. I have never worked in food service. I’m pretty sure I would be fired if I ever did, because I would constantly find reasons to spit in customers’ food. Customer people are way too mean to service people.
  99. If not for my job at Word’s Out Productions in college, I probably would not be as font-crazy as I am. You created a monster, Lafe.
  100. I type approximately 95 words per minute with a minimum of errors. However, I purposely never learned to type numbers. Please don’t ask me to type numbers during a typing speed test. Thank you.
  101. We wallpapered our first child’s nursery and vowed never to do it again. If I ever start talking wallpaper, please remind me of this.
  102. One way I pamper myself: high thread count bed sheets and a thick, cozy down comforter. It makes it even harder to get out of bed, yes, but I think I’d be a big bitch if I slept any other way.
  103. Naps are awesome.
  104. I don’t drink alcohol nearly as often as I talk about drinking alcohol. If I ever STOP talking about drinking, then it’ll be time to worry. I would like to drink wine but I know nothing about it and don’t really know where to start. Someday...
  105. I am a law-abider, but-cept while driving. However, I always use my turn signal and try not to drive aggressively because that’s obnoxious.
  106. I taught preschool when I was in college. Even though I enjoyed it, I knew if I continued that I’d never want to have kids of my own.
  107. Good parking spaces are not an answer to your prayer. God gets a lot of credit he/she doesn’t really deserve.
  108. Positive thinking... it makes all the difference.
  109. Why can’t people shut the hell up about things that have nothing to do with them? (Against abortion? Then don’t have one!) If you don’t endanger me or the people I love, you can do whatever you want with your own life. Now go away.
  110. Reality TV is worthless.
  111. Many people in my extended family are hunters and I was raised around guns, taught to shoot, etc. However, I’m not a fan of guns. Too many people who have them don’t know what they’re doing. I don’t want guns in my house. I don’t like toy guns. I don’t like squirt guns that look like real guns. I do love Super Soakers. If you choose to keep guns, please use common sense and practice gun safety.
  112. Pet peeve: wearing navy blue and black together. They do not match.
  113. I do not understand how gay marriage has a negative effect (or any effect, for that matter) on my straight marriage. Give me one valid reason to be against it and I might listen, but truthfully? You’re nothing but a bigoted a-hole. Seriously, what is the big deal?
  114. Why is seafood appealing? It smells like seafood!
  115. (I do not like seafood.)
That is all.

1 comment:

  1. Great list! I just discovered your blog and am enjoying looking around.

    -Katie

    ReplyDelete

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