Thursday, September 1, 2011

Toasting Toast

So remember that time I moved to California?

Our stuff is still in storage there.

Two years later.

I miss toast.

The toaster is in California.

Don’t underestimate the value of toast.

An egg sandwich on bread is so boring. On toast though, it is both tantalizing and tasty.

There’s other stuff I miss too.

I know the items are only possessions and I shouldn’t attach so much sentimentality to things, but I can’t help it.

I miss my mom’s guitars, my great grandma’s shelf, and the rest of our monkey collection. Yep, we collect monkeys. Books, knickknacks, Halloween decorations, and my red tennies are there too.

Guess what?

Bobaloo is going to get our stuff this month.

It’s going to be like Christmas when that truck pulls up.

We can have our toast, and eat it too.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Last Friday Bobaloo took me to Red Rocks to see Atmosphere. I am not characteristically a hip hop fan, but since my little brother introduced me to the group, I have been rocking out to them on my iPod on my walks.

The show was fun and the company was awesome too.

Before last Friday, the most recent shows I saw were Widespread Panic back in June. Three days of fun, I tell ya.
The Panic shows were also Red Rocks.

Why does music sound better in the summer?

We bumped into an acquaintance of Bobaloo’s last Friday at the show and he commented that he could only imagine what is on our iPods at home with the different types of shows we go to.

Sticking to one genre is so boring, don’t you think? Variety is the proverbial spice of life.

I bought a record player a couple of months ago. On the weekends I like to go to Goodwill and Arc to comb through records. I’ve found a few gems.

I prefer records to CDs. I prefer CDs to iMusic. There something about listening to an album in the order it was intended and not just pushing shuffle.

Shuffling is chaotic. I enjoy the tidiness of an album.

What have you been diggin’ on lately?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Ketchup Incident

I am not sure when everything changed. I was shy when I was little and kind of nervous as a teenager. I always thought my unease with the world would be something that I grew out of.

My anxiety has only gotten worse, especially in the last couple of years.

Anxiety is tricky and awkward when navigating the world and people. I have been stressed and cried at the UPS store. I have had panic attacks at work and at King Soopers. If I am in a new situation with a crowd? Forget it. Plane rides at the moment are out of the question. My heart gets agitated. I get uncomfortable and upset.

A while back, Bobaloo and I were watching the Bears game and my eyes started welling up because I couldn’t find the nerve and got flustered about the idea of having to ask the waitress for ketchup. Bobaloo got me some ketchup. We often refer to this as “the ketchup incident.” I think that was the first time I realized how bad things had really gotten.

So if I am having a bad day and let Bobaloo know that I had a ketchup incident, he’ll know exactly what I am talking about. The problem with anxiety is that without it, I like meeting new people in new situations. I like going to concerts and being a part of the crowd. I like traveling.

I am anxious but not scared.

I have tried pulling myself up by the bootstraps, pulling it together, putting myself out there, and bucking up. None of these things seem to be very effective. I have tried different medications with varying degrees of success.

How do you ease worry and tension in your life? How do you keep the ketchup incidents at bay?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Liquid Superpowers

I carry a teensy weensy notebook around with me wherever I go in case I have a genius idea or thought. Genius thoughts usually do not happen. I want to be ready though, in case the big one hits.

I tend to be a mastermind when I have had a few cocktails. Who does not get liquid superpowers?

I was out on Saturday afternoon listening to music on a bar patio when I had another one of my “genius” thoughts. I quickly wrote down a few words, knowing that I would remember the significance of it all later.

old people

new people

old people were once new too

can’t get old, until you meet a few new

So, now it’s Monday morning and I have no idea what kind of note I was trying to write myself in a haze of fun.

Song lyrics, perhaps?

Does this ever happen to you?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I got dumped. I met him on Craigslist and he only charged twenty-five bucks an hour, which may seem cheap but he’s a college kid just getting by. My husband said go ahead, try to hook up before I get done with work so I can pick you up on the way home. I thought it’d work out with him and my life would be so much easier.

I called him and arranged to meet at four o’clock on Tuesday. We would meet at the library for one hour. It started well, and we met up every Tuesday for a few weeks. I thought everything was going swimmingly.

Then, I got burned.

Math. He was my math tutor. And he dumped me. He stood me up. No text message, no phone call, not even an email.

How mortifying? It is hard enough sometimes to admit you need help and to reach out, and for this to happen? I am so embarrassed. My tutor quit me. And now I am left here to pick up the fragile bits and pieces of my arithmetic and algebra.

With the school year beginning again, I am faced with a problem. Do I spend a lot of money and time on remedial math courses to get to the one I need to move on? Or do I hire a tutor so I can test out, take the one math course, and move on? It all really comes down to time and money. Kind of a lot of money. A lot of money for courses that don’t “count.”

But on the other hand, we all know how the tutoring worked out. Am I that frustrating to teach? Probably. I don’t like to do stuff I am not good at, which is not one of my more endearing qualities.

To be fair, I haven’t taken a math class in more than ten years.

I am not great teaching myself math out of a book. Khan Academy is pretty cool.

Maybe there is a solution I am not thinking of.

Any suggestions?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Don't Let Me Down

When I was a teenager I used to form an opinion of how I felt about a person by what their favorite band was or which musician was their favorite. That was really shallow. I just thought it would sum up enough about the person for me to proceed however with the acquaintanceship, friendship, relationship, or whatever. I don’t know if that makes sense. Kind of snobby I suppose.

Some of my best friends listen to really crappy music. I still love them.

The night I met Bobaloo we had an exchange about Neil Young. If you like or love or appreciate Neil Young I will be devoted to you forever. If you don’t, that’s okay. Bobaloo and I had our conversation about the song Sugar Mountain almost nine years ago.

There’s a fun game I like to play (usually at happy hour). I love happy hour. It’s just so darn happy.

Sometime in my late teenage years I heard or read something (let me know if you know if you’ve heard this too.) about your favorite Beatles song and your personality. Basically, you can tell a lot about a person’s qualities by what their favorite Beatles song is.

Someone who loves Nowhere Man is going to have a totally different spirit than someone whose favorite is Blackbird or Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds or Help! or Strawberry Fields Forever and so on and so on. Well, hopefully you get the idea.

Now I know this isn’t an exact science to getting to know someone. It is fun though and even people who aren’t super into music have a favorite Beatles song (it’s usually Let it Be). The more booze, the better the analysis.

I have been playing this game for a decade now. My favorites get swapped as I get older and my life changes. When I was really little I loved Hey Jude, fifteen years ago my favorite was In My Life, ten years ago I would have said Blackbird, eight years ago Revolution 9. For a long time, I stuck with Here Comes the Sun.

The songs changed when my life changed. The songs changed my life and my life changed the songs. What?

These days, Don’t Let Me Down is the one.

Some people find the song to be kind of sorrowful; I find it sweet and sentimental which is how I am feeling these days I guess.

Go ahead, find your favorite. What does it say about you?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Smack Talk, Shuttlecocks, and Ducks

I enjoy games. Not a whole lot will make me happier than playing Yahtzee on the patio on a summer day. I also really like Jenga.

I am by and large not a competitor as I do not have an athletic bone in my body and never really get psyched for the big game. Badminton is about as badass as I get. Plus, shuttlecock is a hilarious word.

Invite me to play a board game, cards, or trivia though? BRING IT ON.

My trash-talking, ready-for-action self is ready for the cut-throat competition. I turn into a different person. One who uses phrases such as IN YOUR FACE! and PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT! There are other phrases loudly expressed but I can’t really think of them when I am not under pressure during an intense game of cribbage.

My best girlfriend Jillian is similar. She’s even more competitive and also has a knack for talking smack. Our cribbage games are interesting to overhear. We almost got into fisticuffs once over a game of Trivial Pursuit. If Jillian ever reads this: I am still right. Luckily, our friendship survived and we were able to carry on with our games.

Camping and Cribbage

Bobaloo is awesome and will play Yahtzee with me. He’s not such a fan of the trash-talk so I keep it to a minimum. Cooperation, not competition.

We also have had a two-year rock-paper-scissor tournament going on. He has consistently won EVERY game for the last two years up until a couple of weeks ago. I won, and the smack talk began. It went on for a good half hour or so. Yep. He wins 100 times; I win once and won’t shut up about it. He reclaimed the title last Sunday so my victory was short-lived. He is a quiet winner. Never bragging, never rubbing it in. Dignified.

Then something happened. Something unprecedented. The 4th of July duck races.

He won the first race (well his duck did).

He cheered his duck on.

Pictures were taken of the winning duck.

We even held a ceremony for the duck: Bobaloo won a tee shirt. We celebrated the duck victory hard (with a pitcher of beer).

He was a proud champion.

He was happy as a duck in water.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gimme Shelter

There weren't a lot of boundaries when I was a kid. There were a few rules to be followed and with the rest, my parents just kind of hoped good old common sense would kick in.

My dad has always been weird about safety. Safety Dave. He was a boy scout. If you take me camping, I'll be really prepared.

I will have my raingear and maglite, promise.

If you count from a flash of lightning to the next thunder and divide the seconds by five that is how many miles the lightning is from you.

I was three when I remembered hail for the first time. It broke the kitchen window and I sobbed when dad went outside by the tree to take pictures of the ice stones. The front steps were AstroTurf and the railing was wrought iron.

There, you can feel a storm coming. The barometric pressure makes your bones feel peculiar. The sky becomes eerie and the clouds develop into worrisome formations. Colors change. I am afraid of storms. My heart drops down to the pit of my stomach and I worry.

In the warm months of Minnesota, the tornado and thunderstorm and flash flood warnings are a fairly regular sound. Then, a lady's voice comes over the emergency broadcast speakers and tells you to seek immediate shelter.

This was a Safety Dave rule. Get home, get in the basement, have flashlights, listen to the radio, or watch the weather report.

My brother David was always in the garage watching the storm approach, the clouds change, and the lightning. I wanted safety. Sometimes my mom and dad were home. Sometimes I was alone. Sometimes I was with one brother or the other or with both. Thunder so loud it would reverberate in your chest. I waited storms out in the basement.

Weather can be terrifying. Especially, when you're a kid.

Colorado monsoon season is happening. Almost every afternoon for the past couple of weeks there have been thunderstorms. Rain, hail, lightning, thunder, fast water, etc.

The storms come in and roll out quickly here. Sirens don't go off very often.

Still, when the rain begins and I am rattled by the claps of thunder and the lightning I cannot help but want to go home and get in the basement. I don't use the phone or shower when there is lightning either.

I know I am safe. I keep myself safe.

Why are some fears more difficult to outgrow than others?
Do you watch the storms come in?

Monday, July 11, 2011


I like to be above the notion that women are mean and catty to one another over things insincere. When I am out and about, I try to treat people the way I would like to be treated. Some days and in some circumstances this is easier said than done.

When a woman looks awesome, I tell her how awesome she looks. There is no way and no need to try to measure how my this-and-that compares with her this-and-that.

It happens all the time.

For a number of years I was very sad, insecure, and extremely thin. When out, it was amazing how insensitive people could be to someone they did not know, about an issue that was none of their business. Their words damaged what little confidence I had.

Time has passed. I am physically healthy. I wish I could say past issues are gone for good, but every once in a while they creep back into my awareness of not being good enough and not measuring up.

Words hurt. Yesterday a woman told me that I was gorgeous, BUT, I should really drink more water for a better complexion, do stomach exercises, and suck in my tummy. She went on about my flaws for a fair amount of time. I said nothing. I drew in each mean word and said nothing.

She was a stranger that I had only met an hour before.

She crushed me.

I am ashamed I sat there and spoke with her any longer after her words; I am angry I didn’t tell her to shove it. I am irritated that at twenty-eight this shit still bothers me.

I am embarrassed that I went home and cried.

And now I am blogging about it, because I cannot let it go.

One person’s words wrecked me yesterday.

My skin has gradually gotten a lot thicker in the last few years. I can deal with the vicissitudes of life a lot better now.

I have always been easily hurt by mean words, a little vulnerable. Maybe that is something that shouldn’t change.

I am not sure I want to become unfeeling or desensitized to meanness. That would imply that it is okay to be unkind. And it’s not.

I used to have a treasure chest Got so heavy that I had to rest I let it slip away from me Didn't need it anyway So I let it slip away. -Neil Young, Silver and Gold

Friday, July 8, 2011

Right on Target

MapQuest is made for people like me. I love it and do not feel comfortable going somewhere I have never been without having directions printed out. Also, I do not have a phone with internet or a GPS navigator so directions are a necessity. I can manage okay when people tell me “ go right” or “take a left at the stop sign,” but when people start throwing around words like “West” or “North” I freak out a bit because my sense of direction is pretty poor. This is especially frustrating in Colorado where every Smart-Alec feels the need to remind you that the mountains are always West.

This simple little reminder makes my blood boil for three reasons:

1. You cannot see the mountains at night.

2. Some of the roads go diagonally.

3. You cannot see the mountains in the city.

4. This “friendly” reminder is always said with a bit of condescension.

Also, I have just noticed that when Bobaloo is driving I always look out the passenger-side window when riding in the car; I never look forward and never pay attention to where the car is headed. Therefore, I never really know where I am or how I got there (insert life metaphor here).

This is where Target comes in.

He left and I was alone in a new city for the first time left to my own devices and sensibilities (or lack thereof). The one place I knew how to get to? Target. I took a drive to Target and was able to find Subway and the hardware store from there. From that point forward all I had to do was remember where things were in relation to Target. Why this was easier than finding things from home, I have no idea.

After a year we moved to the City of Golden. Do you know what makes Golden awesome? The Target is attached to the mall! Same story, different town. Again Target was located in such a location that it was easy for me to remember which highways or major roads were by if they were heading towards Target or away.

Maybe I should just get a compass.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Technology and the Sibling Relationship

I started school on Tuesday. My younger brother Kyle is a freshman up at Bemidji State in Minnesota. I am generally not someone who texts a whole lot but texting is his primary mode of communication.

Sometimes with our age difference it is a little difficult to find things in common to chat about. My brother is awesome at letting me know what is hip in music these days and has gotten me to enjoy Atmosphere and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros quite a bit. I still don’t know much about that Kid Cudi fellow, but I am working on it.

Kyle is very interested in economics so I was pretty excited to share my vast knowledge that I had gained in one class with him. This is how it went:

Jill: Had my 1st economics class last night. Are you proud? Dad said if i need help to call you first, him second.

Kyle: Awesome! Is it micro or macro? Yeah i can totally help you out anytime.

Jill: Macro. But the amount of fun i am having is micro. Ha.

Kyle: Haha macro is my favorite im actually taking it right now

Jill: Yeah, i had to make a decision at the margin and after weighing my opportunity costs, i chose macro.

Kyle: Haha nicely put

Jill: I am trying to use the vocab in real life so i can remember it. Bobaloo is not going to enjoy this.

Kyle: Haha so he’s a negative externality?

Jill: I haven’t gotten to that word yet. I’ll let you know!

Kyle: Haha sounds good

*Also, when he responded to my first text I was in bed sleeping (I feel old and lame) so the rest of the conversation happened this afternoon.