Oct. 31: Month in review

oct2013 Time for my summary of October 2013.

Special days I celebrated this month and how:

  • Sherilee and I had a mini girls’ weekend in celebration of our birthdays (mine last month, and hers the other day). We stayed at the Hotel Rose, had dinner at The Melting Pot, saw Gravity in 3D (still nauseous), met up with Lisa H-S for breakfast the next morning at Mother’s Bistro, and wandered in and out of stores all over downtown. So much fun! Thank you, Sher!
  • On October 21, there were posts all over the ‘net about it being the exact date Marty McFly travels to in Back to the Future II. But it wasn’t 2013 he went to; it was actually 2015. Here’s the countdown clock to the real date, at which time we’ll all have flying cars and food hydrators. I can’t wait! (One of my favorite parts about the 2015 scenes in that movie is their reliance on fax machines and pay phones. Such advanced technology!) This article from earlier this year lists the things BTTF2 actually got right.
  • Our giant puppy, Lucy, turned two years old. She celebrated with extra loves and carrots, which is pretty much the way she celebrates every single day. Here’s a video of her singing along with Katie on the piano (this might be the first video file I’ve ever embedded in a post, and I apologize if it takes eleventy years to load).

I was in the audience:

  • Last weekend the four of us went to Spamalot at the Cottage Theater in Cottage Grove. It was so much fun! Sometimes community theater is really well-done and that makes me happy. Why did we go all the way to Cottage Grove when we could have seen it in Lake Oswego in September? Because I didn’t do very thorough research, obvy. :(
  • Lisa and Sher suggested I watch Sherlock. It’s quite clever and if not for the combo of fast-speak and British accents, I might not have to watch each episode three times before I get it. Season 3 will be airing on PBS back-to-back with Downton Abbey in a few months! That loud sound you just heard was me falling over from all the awesome.
  • My review of the new TV shows I’ve seen: The Blacklist – OMG yes. So good. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D – Meh for me. Victor likes it. The Goldbergs – I’ve gone back and forth with this one. The first two episodes were really funny, the third was stupid, and the fourth very subtly referenced Sixteen Candles and in doing so, may have won me back. Ironside – You’d think more Blair Underwood on my TV would be a good thing no matter what, but you’d be wrong. I’m not surprised it’s already been cancelled. Super Fun Night – I wanted to love this, I really did, but it’s just not doing it for me. The Millers – I watched the first episode and thought it was funny, but I need to watch more before the show gets a spot on my Hulu subscription list. Brooklyn Nine-Nine – So dumb. Sean Saves the World – I do love Sean Hayes, but this show seems like it’s trying soooo hard. I’m on the fence. The Michael J. Fox Show – Meh. This is another show I really wanted to love.
  • I watched the first season of Girls. I liked it fine, but can someone tell me how this show is not exactly like Sex & The City? I mean, besides the absence of ridiculously expensive shoes.
  • Since early in the summer, I’ve watched all seven seasons of The Closer and both seasons of its spinoff, Major Crimes. That’s a lot of time spent with Homicide Division; I feel like I got to know each character pretty well and I already miss them. Also, I know Provenza’s not old enough to be my grandpa, but I wish he was anyway.

Books and things:

  • This month I went to the Jamie Ford event at Powell’s. He was charming and fun, and it was fascinating to listen to him talk about the backgrounds of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet and Songs of Willow Frost. My mom wanted a book signed but couldn’t make it to the reading, so I asked him to be kinda snarky. Here’s what he wrote:


  • Powell’s is pretty much the King of Author Events ‘round here. If you’re curious about upcoming dates, check out their calendar. Amy Tan will be here in December with a new book!
  • I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned BookBub before, so this might be a rerun. If you enjoy ebooks—on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, whatever—sign up at BookBub.com to get daily emails with discounted and free ebooks. You can choose the genres that interest you, so if the emails suggest you buy books you don’t want, it’s your own fault.

This month’s disappointments:

  • I really was hoping—for Jack’s sake, not mine—that his football team would make it to the playoffs. Bummer.
  • My laptop died. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a laptop and been happy about it—it’s always an emergency to replace the busted one. Grrr. My new one has Windows 8 and thus I have begun my slow descent into madness.
  • The blogging streak of September didn’t continue. I actually hoped to post a little more often this month. I guess I was too busy watching all that TV and screaming at Windows 8.

newsy bits from in and around our family:

  • Jack came back from Outdoor School alive and not even very muddy. He had a blast.
  • Katie’s cross country team won the league championship.
  • Jack made a touchdown in his last game of the season. I’ve seldom seen that boy so happy, and that sooo makes sitting through all those games worth it.

Anything else noteworthy:

Just some funny tweets, courtesy of Huffington Post.

image.jpeg image.jpeg 

image.jpeg image.jpeg 

image.jpeg image.jpeg 

image.jpeg image.jpeg 

image.jpeg image.jpeg

That’s it for October. Happy Halloween!


    Oct. 26: What brung ya

    When I heard that Google changed the way searching works, I didn't much care. But then I realized that Blogger—a Google product—would no longer tell me the search terms that have brought people to my blog (not as easily, anyway, and with far less detail). THAT, I care about. Sometimes those things are way-funny head-scratchers.

    I had been collecting the best ones in a draft post, and I might as well share them with you now since the list won't be getting any longer. Stoopid Google. Here are some of the words and phrases that brought people to Stuff Jen Says.

    • contra dancing adultery
    • I’m not crazy now get away from my unicorn
    • someone clumsy
    • my leg hurts
    • searchtermsfunny shit to post on Facebook
    • lh[[,/,'n,\gyjhb
    • mccain look alike
    • non cancerous causes of mild mesenteric fat stranding
    • perfectly cooked quinoa close up
    • naughty giggly lady
    • diana’s fingernails
    • diaper straightjacket
    • frightened sucking thumb in corner
    • girls with swagger
    • hot straitjacket girl
    • Mr. T Christmas
    • I shouldn’t have said that Hagrid

    For the first time in years, “Zac Efron pantsless” did NOT make the list of Things That Made People Leave Jen’s Blog Super-Disappointed. I never understood that one.


    Oct. 23: Hey! Hands off the magnificent rack!

    browwax There’s a salon near me that I love to go to for pedicures—it’s huge, appointments are almost never necessary, and someone always offers me booze. Yay! I also go to this salon for brow waxes. Although I usually have the same aesthetician, today’s was a different one. I think she might have been new. Most of the employees don’t speak much English, so it’s not like I chit-chat with them, but this one wasn’t that I’ve-seen-you-before kind of friendly.

    No, she was a different kind of friendly altogether.

    She started out like all of them, spreading the wax along my lower left brow. But this girl, just before she rips the wax off, puts her hand on my boob. I’m a little startled, but then I feel all this unforgiving pain in my forehead and forget I’d just been groped. I feel her line my upper left brow with wax and, again, she puts her hand on my boob before ripping. I open my eyes to see if my glasses, which I’d rested on my chest, have slipped. Maybe she was moving them back?

    Nope. My glasses are right where I’d left them.

    It is nothing less than super-weird. But it has to be an accident, I think. Right? I mean, she does see that I have boobs, doesn’t she? And that her hands are very near them?

    She starts in on my right brow and it’s the same routine: wax, fabric strip, feel me up, rip. Wow—I thought the pedicure chairs got up close and personal! This is just all kinds of crazy, or as Jack says Dina would say, IT’S TOTES CRAY-CRAY. (Jack makes Dina sound like a dork.)

    What’s going on, then? Does this poor girl just need leverage? It’s not like I was overdue for a brow wax and it was extra-hard work or anything. Maybe she has terrible depth perception? But no, she shapes my brows beautifully; vision does not appear to be a problem for her. Is she new at this and figuring out what’s appropriate? Was she taught to give full-service procedures? If so, what the hell kind of perv beauty school did she go to back in her home country???

    I leave feeling bewildered and violated, albeit with two perfect brows. What’s worse is that, in my confusion, I think I tipped Caligula-san too much. I’ll find out in another three weeks if she read anything into that.


    Oct. 18: It’s Friday

    ponch[2] Time for a list and funny photos.

    • My laptop died this week and I replaced it with a netbook. The things I love about this new toy are the size (it fits in my purse), the layout of the keyboard, and the touch screen. The things I hate? Windows 8. What I really, really hate? Windows 8. What I hate hate hate so much that if Windows 8 had a neck I would choke it? Windows 8. Gah.
    • I have never felt so stupid using a computer as I do with Windows 8. I have no idea how anyone uses it without a touch screen. I’ve spent more time this week installing and customizing than actually using the computer; I’m still adjusting to its differences and it’s a very slow process. This was supposed to be a practice post but I decided I might as well say a little bit o’ stuff too.
    • I also had to have my phone replaced this past week, and although there’s nothing new version-wise, having to restore all of my settings is the biggest pain ever. I know, I know… first world problems.
    • Dina, Lisa H-S, and I saw author Jamie Ford at Powell’s last night. He was delightful—all-around charming and funny and honest and normal. He wrote Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet and Songs of Willow Frost, if you’re not familiar with him. I haven’t read Hotel yet, but Willow Frost was a lovely story.
    • Tonight Val and I FaceTime’d Sunshine. I like her face.
    • This week I’ve been doing crock pot meals almost every day. One thing I’ve discovered is that when a recipe seems too easy, there’s a good chance it’ll taste like it was too easy too. Although everything I’ve made has been perfectly edible, only one (the pot roast) was truly delicious. I’m not giving up, though—just looking for better recipes.
    • Jack got home from Outdoor School today. I haven’t heard all the details yet, but it sounds like he had a good time. I feel like I should send his counselor a long apology letter, because Jack was in the same cabin as most of his friends and OMG, when they get together...










    Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos is full of things that will make you squirm and laugh. Here’s one:


    Alright, I’m falling asleep and that means it’s time to publish this pointless post and get to bed. Happy Weekend, friends!

    Oct. 7: Sports are for… momma?

    footballmomAs I’ve bitched about mentioned already, Jack is playing tackle football again this year. It’s an incredible thing to watch each game. And by “incredible,” I mean “frightening,” because the combination of not-too-serious and very-scary-looking injuries, refs who don’t make the calls they should, and that one horrid mom sitting too close to me (just my luck her kid had to be on Jack’s team)… well, they cause my blood pressure to spike, my anxiety levels to go sky-high, and my skin to do something it shouldn’t. I don’t know exactly what my skin does, but I just read that stress is not good for women’s skin. Thanks, Idiot Scientists! Like we didn’t know that stress is pretty much bad for everything.

    And Katie is competing in cross-country again this year. After not-great finishes last year, she’s finally grasped the importance of building up her stamina. sueheckEven so, every time she gets home from practice, she whines and whines (don’t know where she gets THAT) about how exhausted she is. I remind her that cross-country is exhausting—the name of the sport implies such—and also that no one is forcing her to do it. Pretty sure she’s in it for the Nikes and the season-end pizza party—I mean, she only played soccer in first grade because of the post-game snack.

    The fact that our kids’ two chosen sports share the season is no picnic for me and Victor; our afternoons are different every day and therefore impossible to remember. It’s really only our sync-ed online calendar that keeps us sane.

    Mondays: Jack gets home at 4:30, Katie stays at school for CC practice and I pick her up at 5:15.
    Tuesdays: K&J get home at 4:30, Jack has to eat a hearty snack and get his gear on so I can take him to FB practice near the school at 5:15, Victor picks him up at 7:45.
    Wednesdays: I pick up Jack at school at 4:05, feed him quickly and head off to Katie’s CC meet 4:35-6:00 at a park or school in the district, Jack’s FB practice is near school at 5:15 (hopefully he can hitch a ride with a teammate; otherwise one of us misses the CC meet), Victor picks him up at 7:45.
    Thursdays: Jack gets home at 4:30, Katie stays at school for CC practice and I pick her up at 5:15, she showers quickly before they both have piano lessons 6:30-7:30
    Fridays: K&J get home at 4:30, Jack has to eat a hearty snack and get his gear on so I can take him to FB practice at a local park at 5:15, Victor picks him up at 7:45, or they end at 7:00 if there’s a HS football home game that night and the moon is full and you’re holding your head just right.
    Saturdays: Jack’s football game, anywhere from Sandy to Hillsboro, anytime from 9am-5pm; he has to be there an hour and a half before kickoff—Victor usually takes care of this delivery, thank Buddha.

    The whole sports schedule is chaotic, to say the least, because things like dinner, homework, orthodontist appointments, and piano practice have to happen in waking hours too. I still work occasionally, and those twice-a-day naps won’t take themselves. But there’s something that makes the crazy all worthwhile for me.

    No, it’s not alcohol.

    Well, it’s mostly not alcohol.

    Several of my friends with kids in cross-country (like Stephanie, Cristina, Dawn, and Julie) attend the weekly meets. Football games are all-Dina-all-the-time, plus some other fun moms. Not only do we get to hang out and sip from our flasks all stealth-like, we get to pretend we’re good parents while we cheer for our kids.

    Momma likes the win-win.


    Oct. 2: Birthdays and blog challenge review

    Before I do anything else, I want to offer sincere apologies to two of my friends whose birthdays I let pass unacknowledged. I am greatly ashamed, and offer the following super-duper lame explanations.

    Hawaii Laura, I don’t really have a good excuse but-cept that I was on Facebook for just a very short time on LaurApeber 30 and missed the reminder (not at all because I lost interest in the month after KimJenber/JenKimber ended). I contacted the Hawaii Department of Transportation and had these signs made and installed throughout the islands. My guess is that you’re too busy out paddling in the surf to travel via highways, so here’s a pic:


    Margaret, I’m gonna use the hardly-on-Facebook-on-Monday excuse for you too, and add that I’m also kind of a jerk. I rented out letters and space in the West Hills to apologize; here’s a picture in case you missed my message:


    (This is obviously that one section of the West Hills in which there are no trees and also let’s pretend there was blue sky this week. Yes, let’s do that.)

    Blog Challenge Review Time


    So. In September I challenged myself to blog every day. With one exception, I got a post up each day of the month, and it’s time to reminisce. Cue the music.

    • It was fun, mostly in the beginning. By the end it was a little less fun and felt kinda chore-like.
    • It prompted me to work on my blog design, which I hadn’t tweaked in a very long time. The background, the color scheme, the layout… it’s a big change. As it’s much bolder than I’ve had before, I’m not sure how long I’ll keep it, but for now I think it’s fun and cheery.
    • It sort of prompted my mom to start her own blog. THAT might be the best result of all. Yay, Mother Mary! (Check out what she posted this morning—a tale about my mother in all her passive-aggressive glory.)
    • There were days I felt extra-stressed to get a post written. Mostly those were the recipe days, in which I had nothing recently-made to share and knew I’d have to either make something or word the post so it sounded like I’d made it recently. My real accomplishment is that, except for the seasoning, the recipes I posted were made specifically for this blog challenge, but please do not ask me to do that again.
    • (Why were there so many recipe days? Because I created this challenge with Sherilee, whose blog is deliciously recipe-heavy. I must have been drunk when I sent her my list of topic ideas and said, “Add whatever you want.”)
    • I’ve tried bunches of different ways to write blog posts using my iPad, but nothing works as well as my tried-and-true method on my oh-so-cumbersome laptop. Knowing I would have to lug it out every single day was annoying.
    • It definitely helped my chances of success to share the challenge with someone else. If I hadn’t been worried about the Wrath of Sherilee™, I may not have lugged out the laptop every day.
    • (Sherilee is really not that wrath-y, but I know we would’ve given each other grief if either had failed.)
    • I can’t make any promises, but there’s a good chance the desired result—getting back into a habit of blogging regularly—might actually manifest itself. Mission accomplished, right?

    Thanks to all of you who tuned in throughout the month, putting up with my inane rambling and leaving comments here and there. ‘Twas cool to have you along.



    Related Posts with Thumbnails