Sunday, September 30, 2012

Single and ready to mingle, if by mingle you mean...

...choose a plot at St. Mary's. 

In the last couple of months I have heard the following statements:
  • "I didn't get married young. I was older. Waaaaayyyy older. I was, like, 28."
  • "I can't imagine how it would feel to be in my thirties and still not married."
  • "Men need to straighten up. We're the reason we're not getting married until we're older. I mean, I was thirty before I got married."
I am thirty-one. 30+1. 31. And I have never, no, not once, not ever been married. Ever. 

Now, if you are reading this and you happen to be one of the wordsmiths who crafted one of these quotes, do not fret. I do not remember who said them. I am the most interesting man and/or woman in the world. Just keeping up with all the crap I say is totally hard. I don't have time to remember the specifics around what others say. 

Do I want to be married? I think so. Do I feel inadequate for not being married yet? Not usually. 

Sometimes I see really gross/mean/stupid people wearing wedding bands and wonder how they found someone to make it work with but I can't. Obviously I stop to make up stories about their gross spouse, who may or may not be part or fully mule, and the disgusting way they met and the stupid ways they keep the fire burning. Then I'm late for a very important date or my 16 gallons of ice cream have melted all over my cat food and body pillow cover*. So thanks for that, married people. Thanks. 

To sum things up:
This is totally worth clicking on to view larger.
Duh - it was made by the most interesting man and/or woman in the world.

*This has never actually happened because I don't like ice cream** very much. It may have happened with peanut butter m&ms though. That's what I get for shopping at Florida's Finest Outdoor August Candy Shop - Now shade-free!

**This is probably why no one wants to marry me.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Still Love You

Sorry Jen hasn't updated her blog much lately. You look good though.
(And she has some things planned.)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Obsession Confession Sunday

5 Things I'm Currently Obsessed With:

  1. JC Penney. No really. The clothes have gotten sooo much better and the prices aren't bad. I think their new slogan should be "Not just for grandmas anymore."
  2. Yo Yos. The fabric kind. I need 2,000 of them to make a queen-sized quilt and I estimate that it'll only take about 300 hours to make them. Only. 300. Hours.
  3. Face brushes. Specifically the Olay Pro X, cause that's the one I have. I swear my face looks and feels smoother. 
  4. Home Improvement. I replaced the vanity light in my master bath today. I'm hoping it will inspire me to complete the other projects I started (months ago) that are keeping my house in disarray. A girl can dream.
  5. My Kitchenaid mixer. Because it stopped working. What? I thought Kitchenaid was king of the world or something.
What are you thinking about?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Touché Tuesday Advice: On Honeymoons & Jobs

Need some Whitfield Awesome advice (about anything)? Fill out this form   

One of the following questions concerns honeymoon activities. If you allow your seven-year-old to keep reading over your shoulder, it's not my fault. Can seven-year-old's read? I have no concept of child development. Do they even have their eyes open at this point?

The above image has nothing to do with anything in this post because this is my blog and I can do that.

Dear Jen,
I'm getting married soon and it's a pain. Also, my fiance's parents are making everything more difficult than it should be. I think this is because my fiance is an only child and his parents have nothing better to do than interfere with everything in his/our life. Anyhow, I want to know if I'm being a complete b***h or if wedding stress is just getting to me. My fiance's parents have very generously offered to pay for a really expensive and totally awesome trip for us for our honeymoon. But there's a catch.

They want to go too. Yeah, because the trip is that awesome and they don't see their son that much (he moved across the country to live with me). Now, if it were any other trip I don't think I'd have a problem, but I'm supposed to be banging the living daylights out of their son on this trip, and if his parents come along, I don't think that will happen. Actually, I know it won't, because I'm going to be a b***h and not put out. So am I really being an ungrateful b***h on wanting my honeymoon to be just the two of us? Am I being stupid for turning down an awesome trip just because my in-laws want to come along?
Frustrated, Sexually on my Honeymoon

Deary SOMH,
Um, no. Your in-laws cannot go on your honeymoon. That's insane and they should know that. Since you technically are not their "daughter" yet, your fiance should put a stop to this. Try some subtle hints like:
  1. Hey guy, it's your mom or my vagina. Ball's in your court. Balls won't be anywhere near my court unless you tell your rents to stay home.
  2. I got a new book for the honeymoon. It's called Your Mom and no one has sex in it.
  3. I can't wait for you to see the wedding night panties I got...for your mom.
  4. Yo momma's so fat (pause) I won't have sex with you.
  5. Is that a banana in your pocket or your dad?
I'm dying to know how this turns out. Keep me posted. (And since everything in the whole wide world is ultimately about me, let's all take a moment and acknowledge that I just won the internet with #2 up there.)
♥ Jen

Dear Jen,
You've written about job loss and job gains before, so hopefully you can help. My sister just lost her job due to financial layoffs. She's trying to make the best of it, especially since she wasn't happy with her employer. She's been actively job searching while figuring out if she should go back to school or what kind of job she wants. I think she's doing great dealing with it, and I feel it's totally reasonable for her to have some bad days mixed in with the good. On those tough days, what can I do to help her? I will support any decision she makes, and speak with her often, so I'm there telling her that it's okay to take a morning or day off (of job hunting) and relax, but I'm also there to encourage her to get a move on after a day break.

What can I do or say to help her during this tough time. I know she's sick of people saying "you'll find something" "enjoy your time off" "oh, it's like a vacation, right?".

Hopefully you can help.

Sincerely, Sister Sister

Dear Sister Sister,
It sounds like you are doing a great job of being supportive and encouraging, yet firm. When I was given notification of lay-off, I was ashamed. I knew it wasn't my fault, but I couldn't help feeling like a failure. I really didn't like people talking to me about it at all. I wanted to pretend that no one knew. BUT my sister is one of a few people in my life I can be completely transparent with. I am immeasurably thankful for that relationship. I'm  glad your sister has you.

On those tough days, let her be sad or angry or whatever she needs to be. But mostly, treat her like you always do. Job loss can feel dehumanizing. Someone who treats you like you instead of like you without a job is refreshing. She knows she needs to find a job. It's probably consuming her every thought. It's unlikely that she needs folks reminding her to find a job or making light of it (vacation comments, ugh). 

Dear Jen,
I love getting my career started but I hate other people, managers, having a say so in said career path. How should I accept not being the boss of me entirely? I am not used to this method of work.
Boss Lady Attitude, Eyelashes B.

Dear B.,
My career has always included working for someone else. I do a bit of freelancing but have never relied solely on my freelance income. I don't know how it feels to be the boss of me entirely. But I do know that there are perks to working for the man. 

Things like a steady paycheck come to mind. A sense of security. Not having to deal with crap like payroll, benefits, making budget, reimbursing unhappy clients, etc. There can be something supremely easy and relaxing about knowing that someone else makes sure there is a place to work and projects to work on. Allow yourself to enjoy just doing your work and not worrying about the rest. 

Or be a complete diva and act like you are still the boss of you entirely. For some strange reason, people who act that way in the corporate world receive promotions. And cookies that someone spat in.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pretty Much the Coolest Thing Ever: A Digital Quilt Project Update

You know that kid in college that always screwed up the curve with their smarts and whatnot? Well, in the land of Whitfield Awesome, that kid is Veronika. Check out the quilt she made using illustrations from my Digital Quilt Project. It's pretty much the coolest thing ever.

Confession: I'm behind on illustrations. I just completed the one below and I plan to knock out quite a few this weekend. If you haven't submitted a word or phrase yet...go to here! Or read more info here! Or see all the illustrations here!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Nontraditional traditionalist. Or whatever.

Clora here is obviously a type 3 - must be impressive and attractive to survive.

Hello. My name is Jen. And I love personality tests. My coworkers and I all took this Enneagram test and will be discussing the results/how to work effectively as a team of humans later this week in a personality workshop.

The Enneagram divides human personality into nine behavioral tendencies. Ideally the results of the test reveal a main personality type that is quite dominant. I took the test three times, on three different days (which tells you a little something about my personality) and got the same results each time...two different types within two (2!) points of one another. Type 4 (individualism) just edges out type 1 (perfectionism).

Type 4 (The Eccentric) - must be unique to survive, romanticize differentness, edgy, creative/artistic, intuitive, authentic, nontraditional,  revolutionary, non-conformist, peculiar, abstract, alternative, experimental, complex, random, attracted to the mysterious,  prone to excess, intense, mystical 

Type 1 (The Dutiful Worker) - must be perfect to survive, obsessive compulsive, attention to detail, focused on the narrow, ethical, hard-working, orderly, traditional, prefers structure, disciplined, practical, cautious, logical, goal-oriented, success-driven, achiever, prefers routine

So basically, I don't make sense. Tell you something you don't already know, right?

Have you taken the test? If not, go to there. What's your type?

P.S. I'm also an INFJ.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Touché Tuesday Advice Column

Need some Whitfield Awesome advice (about anything)? Fill out this form.   

This is the space where some really terrible advice for you could be.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The concentration camp formerly known as my stomach.

On this week's episode of Jen Does Dumb Things So You Don't Have To - The 3-Day Military Diet.

Have you heard about the 3-Day Military Diet? Apparently it's been going in and out of style since the eighties. Lately I have gotten way off track on my low carb diet. I was hoping 3DMD would help jump-start me. I followed the diet exactly. I even ate the grapefruit, which I find to be one of God's most vile creations. I can't not make faces while I eat it. And I feel like I'm going to cry the entire time. It took me a full hour to eat half of a stupid grapefruit. On the plus side, the rest of the diet sounded really easy after that. 

While we're talking gross, let's talk cottage cheese. Almost EVERY time I am eating cottage cheese and get about half way through, I sort of panic. I think "this cottage cheese is old. It's old and I'm probably going to die after eating it." But I usually don't die (never say never). The only way I enjoy cottage cheese is with tomatoes. There are no tomatoes on the military diet. 0 tomatoes + 0.5 grapefruit = not right.

Also, there aren't many feelings lower than counting out five saltines to go with your boiled egg and cup of cottage cheese for lunch. But don't worry, I redeemed myself Saturday at a church lady progressive dinner. Bean dip, creamy grape salad, shrimp and cheese grits and fudge. And cheesecake. And whipped cream that was supposed to go on something but I just put it on my tongue.

Guess how much weight I lost!!! 0.00 pounds. The diet was really easy to follow. I didn't feel hungry much between meals and I might just start eating meals like those SOME of the time. But I obviously won't be doing the diet again given it's lack of results.

What dumb things have you done lately? Make me feel better about my poor decisions. Please.

Discipline. The only thing grapefruit is good for:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Obsession Confession Sunday: Mad About Mad Men

Five Mad Men-esque things I'm currently obsessed with:

Coulda been my career.
  1. Advertising/business. I have a degree in advertising. I fell into making the internet by accident and made a career of it. I once thought I would work in an ad agency, preferably making billboards. 
  2. The clothes. Oh my. The clothes. I need Joan's wardrobe.
  3. The furniture. I'd like to refurnish my house with Mad Men set pieces.
  4. Peggy. Sometimes she's awful. Sometimes she's inspiring. But aren't we all that way.
  5. The cigarettes. I'm pretty sure I have contracted lung cancer through the television now. 
What are you watching?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Touché Tuesday Advice Column: That Thing You Do

Need some Whitfield Awesome advice (about anything)? Fill out this form.  

Chadwick likes to collect hot sauces and pretend to be Joy Behar.

Dear Jen,
Someone I met for the first time today asked me the question, "What do you like to do?". I froze. It's not that I don't like to do things, I do, it's do you answer that question. I'm a stay at home wife (and happy about it), jobless (and happy about it), and childless (and happy about it). It's not that I sit around doing nothing either (okay, sometimes I do...). But I'm new to the area, and have been occupying my days cleaning, unpacking, organizing our apartment, and occasionally checking out the town.

My go-to answer is "I love to cook", which I do, but then people have these expectations of me being the modern Julia Childs (Happy Belated B-day Jules!). That's cool and all, but I don't hold a wonky whisk to Julia.

Maybe it's me being self conscious and worried that my single answer to this question will define me and lead to peoples disappointment in me down the road.What do you think? And how would you answer this question if a new acquaintance asked?
Frustrated, Likable Lisa

Dear L.L., answer just changed to "I like to daydream about being Likeable Lisa". When asked this question, I usually just say whatever comes to mind first. It's often pretty lame. Like "watch TV" or "count opossums" or "think about how much more fun it is to say opossum when you pronounce the o." Lately my go to answer has been "I like to blog/write and make dumb illustrations". 

I understand the nagging feeling of letting folks down - it's likely the reason I don't always give a serious answer. I think sometimes we just need to stop and remind ourselves that liking to do something doesn't mean that we must be experts. That expectation is self-imposed and probably not racing through the minds of passing conversationalists. So do your thang, girl. And be proud of it. I'm certain you're better at it than you give yourself credit for.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I'm not dead.

Hey kids, guess who is still Barely.

As you may know, I started a new job last week. I am now a web geek for the marketing department in a hospital. It involves coding classic ASP, a normal work environment and giving a crap - three things I haven't dealt with in quite a while. And I pretty much love it. But. I'm so insanely tired. My commute is a bit longer and I actually have to show up on time and NOT skip lunch to leave early (my last job was pretty really, really flexible with time). I've been sort of zombie-fied every night. This was convenient while I was boarded up for Hurricane Isaac. Not so convenient for the ole blog. (Yes, I fully understand how lame this sounds.)

I did, however, find the time and energy to...
  • dream about Neal Patrick Harris. I made him feel me up. Shamu was watching. They both cried. I'm having trouble finding this in the dream dictionary. 
  • start watching Mad Men. How have I not been watching this show?
  • discover that when I ignore my Google Reader account for a week, it stacks up with 1000+ posts.
  • eat more peanut butter m&ms than I will ever admit to.
I should be back to my regularly scheduled features and random oddities next week. Anything new and tiring going on with yous guys?