Jan. 31: Silliness

Just for you, because I like you ‘n stuff…




OK, this next one isn’t really funny and scared the you-know-what outta me.
Keep looking until you see why.
I promise, it’s not one of those things that will suddenly scream at you…
but when you see it, you’ll want to scream:













That’s all I got.


Jan. 30: “Smash” = smash

SmashWhenever I watch TV shows at nbc.com, I see a little ad for Smash in the corner. Last week I finally clicked the link and OMG! I think I have now found my new favorite show. The full-length premiere episode is online now, even though it won’t air on the network until February 6.

This article describes the show quite well; it basically follows the creation of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. Smash has a great cast, as well as a superb behind-the-scenes team (including Marc Shaiman, who wrote the songs for Hairspray the Musical and the must-see Funny or Die video, Prop 8 – The Musical). Here’s what I love after watching the first episode:

  • Debra Messing—I forgot how much I enjoy her.
  • Megan Hilty—she played Galinda/Glinda in the Wicked tour that came through Portland a while back, and was fantastic. I think her Smash character, Ivy, is going to be kinda evil. I already love her.
  • Jack Davenport—he played Norrington in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. He looks so different in Smash, but that voice is very recognizable. I keep waiting for him to mutter something diabolical about Jack Sparrow.
  • Anjelica Huston—I don’t have any special fondness for her, but she’s a great actress and seems perfect for her role as a producer.
  • Will Chase—he played Roger in Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway so I love him.
  • The original songs! The performances! The characters! And did I mention the original songs?

Watch Smash here and don’t be surprised if it makes you finally comprehend just how very much Glee sucks.


Jan. 29: Like your 4th grade self was any better…

‘Member when I told you that my new glasses are just like my old glasses? I finally found a picture of my old glasses:


While it turns out my old glasses are much rounder than my new glasses, they are the same color. But finding this photo brought up additional questions besides WHY DID MY MOM LET ME GET THOSE???, such as:

  • WTF has happened to my hair in the past 35 years? I mean, besides having it all fall out and turn grey ‘n stuff. It was totally blond back then! It verged on cute! Can I have my old hair back? You can keep the pink sponge rollers; they totally gave me Dwight Schrute bangs.
  • Can I have that perfect skin again too?
  • And the denim vest? (You can’t see it, but I remember: it was the cutest denim vest you ever did see, and I knew the day I got it that it’d be PERFECT for my fourth grade school picture. I was oh-so-right, obvy.)
  • What’s the deal with that smile?

OK, maybe I couldn’t pull off the denim vest again. I don’t think I’d even want to try. But the skin! Oh, the smooth, smooth skin of 8-year-old Jen. It almost makes up for the ugly glasses.

I know, it doesn’t even come close to making up for the glasses. I was a troll.


Jan. 27: IDCEAYWTPFriday

ponchI’m glad this week is over. So glad. Partly because Friday means that it’s time again for an I Don’t Care Enough About You to Write in Transitioning Paragraphs Friday post, or what I like to call SHIRTLESS PONCH, and partly because this week beat me all to hell and I was done.

  • Thanks for all your suggestions about where Victor and I should go for our 15th anniversary! We heard from exactly NONE of you, which makes me assume these things:
    • Nobody reads this blog
    • Nobody cares where we go
    • Everybody TOTALLY cares, but nobody has any ideas
  • Don’t worry; I know it’s a combination of the first two. I’m just sittin’ here, talkin’ to myself…
  • (I’m totally okay with that. Sad, huh?)
  • This week we ran a fundraiser at the school that required sharing names and addresses of family and friends, and a lot of us felt very uncomfortable with it. We were tempted not to run it at all, but it was a very quick turnaround and there were fun incentives for the kids. It cost us nothing, and today as I packaged everything up to return to the company, I decided that since we brought in almost $650, it wasn’t the worst decision ever.
  • (Mostly I mention this just to say that I’m thankful for the families that participated, and totally understanding of the ones who chose not to. Of those, I especially appreciate the ones who did NOT make a big fat stink about what a bad idea it was, claiming that because it was wrong for them it was wrong for the entire student body. Those people were not very nice. Why is that that the ones who complain are also the ones who rarely help out at the school? Nobody even knows who they are until they make noise. Pfffft.)


  • Wednesday night was the Relay for Life 2012 kickoff. I am so excited about this event—we’re going to have a great group again this year! Mark your calendars—it’s July 7-8. You’ll hear lots more about it in the coming months.
  • Yesterday I posted my migraine remedy. I need to add one small clarification: it does not actually work. It worked for an hour or so, yes, but then my head started pounding again. What I think happened is that the Percocet worked so well that I just plain did not CARE that my head hurt; once it wore off, I cared again. I cared big time. And I was grouchy the rest of the night and am still kinda grouchy and I bet you’re glad you’re not married to me today.


  • If you know anyone who is thinking of moving to this part of Oregon, tell them not to visit right now. Our weather was terrible this week—it sucked more than anything that’s ever sucked in the history of sucking. January is really just the worst month, always, amirite? Can we just skip it?
  • Today was 80’s day at school. We sure wore some frightening stuff back then. The kids had us pegged good.
  • In the battle of Hulu Plus vs. Netflix at our house right now, Hulu is winning. If we were bigger movie watchers, it might be a tougher decision, but Hulu has most of the TV we want, we can watch it on all our devices, and that makes for four happy peoples. Eventually Hulu is supposed to be available through the Wii, and that will be even better. 


  • I’ve been watching The Riches and it makes me feel all dirty. The show has a superb cast, but the premise is OMG! so wrong and evil. I’m super-hooked though. Good thing there are only 20 episodes.
  • I’m going to try a weird recipe tonight. I’ll let you know how it comes out because you care. You care even more about my weird recipe than you do about our 15th anniversary, I bet.

Nighty-night, all.


Jan. 26: Dr. Jen to the rescue

Here's my recipe for curing a migraine:

  1. Wake up. Otherwise you're dead and the migraine won.
  2. Whine to no one in particular because your husband's on the early shift and isn't there to hear or soothe you.
  3. Keep whining. As Michael Jackson once said, don't stop 'til you get enough.
  4. Take a shower. It won't help the headache, but you smell like pee-sweat and last night's dinner.
  5. While still in the shower, squirt a whole bunch of saline up your nose. DO NOT USE A NETI POT UNLESS YOU LIKE THE FEEL OF DROWNING.
  6. Stay in the shower until the hot water is gone and you can hear your 11-year-old daughter trying to fake illness so she doesn't have to go to school with unwashed hair. Your son, who has not yet bathed in 2012, does not seem to need hot water. Ever.
  7. Exit the shower. Dry off. Wonder how a newly washed towel can smell so very much like theater popcorn.
  8. Throw on whatever clothes you can find because you are NOT going anywhere today.
  9. Spray oxymetazoline up both nostrils. The no-drip kind works. The other kind doesn't.
  10. Drink some coffee. Caffeine is a good migraine treatment.
  11. Drink more coffee.
  12. A little moooore...
  13. Cry.
  14. Email everyone you were supposed to see today because you're not going anywhere. Be secretly glad that Fancy Lori denied your lunch date request, but try to make her feel bad anyway.
  15. Cry some more. Lunch with Fancy Lori would've been fun!
  16. Give up on all the over-the-counter, holistic, herbal, and veterinary treatments. They don't work for shit.
  17. Take an Ativan (for the crying), a Percoset (for the pain), and chase them with coffee. Toss in another Ativan to this cocktail for good measure and because you forgot you already took one.
  18. Find a pillow, cuz you are DOWN.
  19. Have a long, weird dream about peeing and peeing and peeing.
  20. Wake up and get in the shower because that wasn't a dream.
  21. Towel still smells like popcorn. You might now be hungry for popcorn.
  22. Migraine has decreased by 85% and you are awake. Win-win!!
You're welcome. You can always count on Dr. Jen for good medical advice. And don't forget, she's also a reverend.

Jan. 26: Thursday Thirteen

13In an effort to return to semi-regular blogging, I’m trying on some old habits again. Here’s a Thursday Thirteen, which I haven’t done in ages.

Yesterday Jack came home with a National Geographic Kids Weird but True! 3 book—300 outrageous facts. I think they’re playing “outrageous” a little fast and loose here, as a lot of these facts are pretty dumb. A handful of the 300 are worth sharing, though. (“Handful” = 13, today only.)

  1. A man once ate 49 glazed doughnuts in eight minutes. Anyone who’s sat in the car with a warm box of Krispy Kremes on their lap knows that is totally doable. Well, tempting, anyway.
  2. Scorpions glow under black light. Does black light ever detect anything anyone really wants to see? I mean, you never hear about people using a black light and screaming, “Look! Next to the scorpion and semen stain and blood drops! A tower of money!”
  3. Some moths drink the tears of elephants. Poor, sad elephants. I’d cry if I had moths hanging out on my face too.
  4. A ripe cranberry will bounce. Gotta test this.
  5. The bombardier beetle can shoot hot poison from its rear end 500 times a second. I’ve changed diapers that suggest humans are quite capable of this as well.
  6. Male woodchucks are called “he-chucks;” females are called “she-chucks.” Fascinating, no? Yeah, um, NO.
  7. The oldest chocolate ever found was inside a 2,600-year-old pot in Belize. And here I thought the oldest chocolate ever found came from the stash of prizes we gave out at last year’s school carnival. Hm.
  8. You are more likely to be in a bad mood on Thursdays, according to a recent study. Really? What increases my likeliness to be in a bad mood is when people tell me I’m in a bad mood. Shut up.
  9. Studies show that painting your room blue could make you more creative. My bedroom is blue, and so is my office, and I don’t think it’s helped my creativity one bit. Now, if this said “painting your room blue could make it messier than it’s ever been,” I would totally believe it.
  10. Months that begin on Sundays always have a Friday the 13th. Pretty simple math, this one. There are three in 2012.
  11. Smelling good scents, such as roses, when you sleep may give you happy dreams. I am sooo trying this. The scary TV shows I’m newly addicted to are giving me whatever the polar opposite of happy dreams are. Gah.
  12. Mosquitos prefer to bite people with smelly feet. Camping = no showers = extra sweatiness = smelly feet = mosquito bites = malaria = death. That’s why I hate camping. Because camping makes you die.
  13. Raw termites taste like pineapple. Can you imagine the research dares that led to this conclusion? “No, you taste the termites.” “I’m not tasting the termites!” “Fine, I’ll taste them, but that means you have to lick the bombardier beetle’s butt.”

Happy Thursday, y’all! I’m gonna go get in a bad mood now. Apparently I’m supposed to.


Jan. 23: Beer me.

melOne of my earliest memories is sitting on my Uncle Mel’s lap at my grandma’s dining room table, him with a can of beer in his hand, encouraging me to take a sip. I was about three years old. We were surrounded by other uncles and my older cousins, laughing at the scene, and I’m pretty sure neither my mom or dad were anywhere in the close vicinity. Yesterday I said that all of us Saltmarsh kids got an early start on beer-drinking thanks to our uncles, and my cousin Deanna said, “Well, in this family, God forbid you don’t learn to drink it!”

Yes, Saltmarshes are beer drinkers, and yet I have never really acquired a taste for it. My immediate response to the taste of beer is usually either “Yuck!” or “Ya got anything back there with an umbrella?” I just don’t really like it. While some might say this is a good thing, the not drinking of the beer, not liking the taste of it has made me feel like I’m faking it as a Saltmarsh. I haven’t been to a lot of our big family gatherings since I turned 21, but when I do go, I don’t usually drink at them because there’s no blender or bright green liqueur or piña colada mixers and, well, I kinda require those things. I likes me them girly drinks.

In honor of my Uncle Mel, who died on January 10 and whose funeral was yesterday, I drank beer this weekend without making THAT FACE. And I even learned a handy little beer-related skill—my cousin Jeff taught me how to take the cap off a beer bottle using a butter knife. Jeff is now my Jedi beer master (fitting, really, since Uncle Mel was his dad). When I told another cousin, Kenny, what I learned, he was all DUH, YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT? See? It’s apparently a common family skill. I’m a bad Saltmarsh.

Uncle Mel would have gladly guzzled a beer or six with me, I bet. I would have drunkenly toasted him for my initiation 40 years ago, apologized for being such a late bloomer, and then, as I set up another round using my fancy new technique, sliced off my thumb with the butter knife. And, not even noticing the blood, he would have turned to me and asked, for the hundredth time, “Which one are you again?”

R.I.P., Uncle Mel. You will be missed. Red heart


Jan. 20: IDCEAYWTPFriday

ponchTime again for an I Don’t Care Enough About You to Write in Transitioning Paragraphs Friday post.

  • Our 15th wedding anniversary is coming up next month. Vic and I plan to leave town but we don’t yet know where we’ll be heading. We’re thinking Oregon Coast, but maybe—to change things up a bit—a place on the coast we don’t usually go. It’ll be a Wednesday-Saturday trip. Suggestions?

  • I got some exciting news this morning. Last summer I heard about the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education program, which offers grants to parent groups. Our PTO wrote a grant proposal to update and fancy-up the courtyard (outdoor classroom) at our school, and yesterday we found out we won! Lowe’s is sending us $4,000 to make it all pretty. This is the first grant we’ve ever applied for, and we’re feeling quite proud of ourselves! Actually, I’m proud of Wendy, who wrote the proposal, and Dina, whose vision for courtyard improvements got us motivated to apply. Yay us!

  • I watched the first two episodes of the new show Alcatraz, and was pretty “meh” about it until the last scene of the second episode. Now I’m mad because I’m hooked in big-time. Stoopid TV shows, being all interesting ‘n stuff. (P.S. No dinosaurs in this show, even though I keep expecting them.)

  • First there was Words with Friends (Scrabble-y), then Hanging with Friends (Hangman-y). Now there’s Scramble with Friends (Boggle-y). I’m not playing Words anymore, and I sometimes play Hanging. Scramble is my new favorite, at least for the next week or so.
  • Pamela Ribon’s new book is available for preorder, to be released July 3. She’s my BFF, y’know. Totally. I can hardly wait to read it!
  • How awesome is this video my neph posted to FB yesterday?

  • Next week is the kickoff for 2012 Relay for Life. We’ll find out the new theme, form teams, etc. I kinda love our team name from last year so much that I don’t really want to change it to fit whatever this year’s theme will be. What will it take for us to keep “The Hoe-Downs”? Maybe if the theme is “Gardening” or “Dancing” or “Double Entendres” or “People Likely to Have STDs” or “Things That Rhyme With Other Things.” Then we’ll be good. Go, Hoe-Downs!!

I’m done with you. Have a good weekend!


Jan. 19: Welcome to Addington Place (it’s no Melrose)

I took a screen shot of the Google Earth view of our house a bit ago to put on Facebook, and I also made a zoomed-out one because I don’t think I’ve ever taken my blog on a tour of my neighborhood. Wheeeeee! Oh, and it’s not so much a tour as it is a picture of our roofs and a few arrows that I added. Also some landmarks (stars) and notes. And don’t forget that instruction about Dina’s driveway. That’s what she gets for laughing at me for walking out of school today carrying a robot, like that’s weird or something. Whatevs, Dina.

I introduce you to Addington Place, origin of the assface-iest homeowners association EVER, and the place I’ve called home for 14+ years (click it if you can’t read, Einstein):


BTW, I’ve forgiven Cristina for turning me on to Grimm; otherwise there would be a swastika over her house instead of a cute star. A swastika or a Mr. Yuk sticker or a Twilight poster or maybe a bonsai kitten. Something evil, for sure.


Jan. 18: One year!

noojJust a quick health update…

Last week I went in for a CT on my chest/abdomen/pelvis. I’m still on the every-six-months schedule for post-cancer treatment, and was actually a little overdue on getting it done. Didn’t matter, though—everything looks great! We got the radiologist’s report that same day because I’m sleeping with someone in the CT department (don’t tell my husband).

Yesterday I had a couple gallons of blood drawn and we met with my oncologist to review the CT and blood tests. Again, everything looks great. The first couple years after diagnosis are when the risk of recurrence is highest, and she said what they are really watching for is cancer that comes back with a vengeance—that’s the nasty stuff that proves it doesn’t respond so well to chemotherapy. My past three CT scans have shown no new growth and, in fact, a slight decrease in the fibrous stuff left from where O.J. once lived, which is fabulous news. While Dr. O was excited to tell me what my test results meant, she still said all those “BUT” things like “there are no guarantees” and “this is why we test so often.” She’s encouraging but honest. It’s a fine line. Very fine.


Ugh, I just wrote three long paragraphs on coping and cancer recurrence and reacting to good news and jackasses. It was all just too damn depressing, so I deleted them. Let me simplify my thoughts and close with this:

Good news from the oncologist! I’m officially one year cancer-free! Yay!


Jan. 17: Snow, snow long ago

coldIt’s been snowing in the Portland area for a couple days. Where we are—apparently the banana belt of the city—nothing’s really sticking so there’s school today and that means every kid in the district is bummed out. The forecast keeps changing but it says more snow is on its way. This is a big deal because Portland absolutely SHUTS DOWN when there’s even an inch of snow on the ground—no one knows how to drive in it and people totally freak out. It’s funny because it’s true.

I went to school in Walla Walla for five years and THAT place gets snow. One of my favorite memories of winters there is watching the snow fall from the warmth of my dorm room. It was so lovely and calm—not anxiety-inducing, like it is here. There were a few times over those years that I got out in the middle of the night and played in the snow with friends. Such happy times, walking down the middle of College Avenue in the peaceful, dark silence of white. Beauty, that.

Not so beautiful was, when the temps dropped to single digits, having my nose hairs freeze the instant I walked outside. Every time—EVERY TIME—I was convinced I had something in my nose and would subtly but furiously paw at my face, hoping to dislodge it. How anyone ever gets used to that weirdness, I don’t know. Maybe they don’t.

This morning as I shivered in the 39° car, I wondered how I ever kept myself warm during those five very cold snowy seasons of college. I didn’t wear stocking caps (they would have ruined my hair), and I didn’t wears boots (unless they matched my clothes). How did I not freeze to death? OK, I wore gloves and thick socks, but there’s no way that was enough.

And then I remembered The Coat. There was a tiny hole-in-the-wall Eddie Bauer outlet in Spokane, and it had super-discounted prices—not like the slightly discounted prices at Eddie Bauer outlets nowadays—so we drove up frequently to shop. Kim F’n-W (she was just Kim Eff back then) and I each nabbed trenchcoats with removable goose down linings that were marked down from $200-some to just $35. We thought we were rockin’ awesome for finding these stylin’ coats. We were eager for winter to arrive! The coat’s down lining was so thick that it almost felt hot in the biting cold air—it was like walking around in a sleeping bag. With a belt. And no lower leg coverage. And hand holes. You know what? It was nothing like walking around in a sleeping bag.

Never mind.

I was warm.


Jan. 14: Readin’ the funnies

I have many funny things to show you. Sit down and prepare to LOL.

Laughing is good. We should do it more. So says I.



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