(setting: the kitchen, 8pm on monday night. with jer’s new schedule, i’ve been cooking more lately & spent this particular evening making homemade vegetable lentil soup. it wasn’t vegan on purpose, but i like to consume protein in forms other than meat a few times per week.)
jer: “smells good. what’s for dinner?”
jess: “i made lentil soup! taste it & see if i should add anything.”
jer: (rummages through the fridge, produces a tupperware of leftover pulled pork) “here! can we put pork in it?”
jess: “umm…” (stares at the pork.) “really? you want to add pork?”
jer: (realizing maybe the soup is vegan & maybe that was on purpose) “well…maybe we can just garnish it with pork?”
jess: (laughing) “yes. please feel free to garnish your soup with pork. just don’t touch my bowl.”
sometimes i forget we have different dietary requirements.
(setting: our apt, early evening. jer’s in the laundry room; jess is in the living room going through mail.)
jess: (mumbles to herself) “oh, that’s nice. i got a gift card for famous footwear.”
jer: (calling from the laundry room) “gift card? from who?”
jess: “…famous footwear.”
jer: (walks into the living room) “and why would they send you a gift card?”
jess: “hmm…” (purses her lips & cocks her head to give jer a sassy look) “for being an excellent customer?”
jer: (rolls his eyes) “how many shoes do you have that i don’t know about? do you keep them at work? somehow i see your office looking like carrie’s closet…” (yes, he made a sex & the city reference. he’s a fabulous husband.)
every time i feel the sharp poke of a kitty nail (frequently), i’m reminded that i should clip the cats’ claws. except i HATE that job. they’re squirmy, i’m unsteady, someone’s going to lose a finger. so, i got home tonight…and no nails when mimi jumped up to say hello!
jess: “hey! did you cut their nails!?”
jess: (feeling mimi’s toes) “even the back ones?”
jer: (clearly proud of himself) “yep, even the back ones…even the THUMBY back ones…”
i burst into laughter, but was still secretly impressed. the thumby back ones are a bitch.
after the indulge event last night, i was in the mood for a bubble bath. jer was working late, it was a thursday night & i wasn’t quite ready for bed yet. i grabbed a glass of wine, the new vanity fair and ran a super-hot, super-bubbly bath. i had just gotten in & settled back to read when i saw a black spider come crawling across the floor. really? it was big enough that i was going to need to get a shoe to kill it, which meant getting out of the bath, grabbing a shoe from the bedroom & then returning, at which point there was an 89% chance the spider would be nowhere to be found.
i let out an annoyed sigh, when suddenly max came creeping into the bathroom, her nose on the floor, following the spider. she stretched out one paw & smacked the spider, not killing it, but wounding it so it couldn’t really run anymore. i watched her playfully bat at it for another two or three minutes, until she killed it. once it stopped moving, she lost interest & left the bathroom in pursuit of another adventure.
mimi, who had been precariously batting at bubbles from the edge of the tub, saw the dead spider in the middle of the floor after max left, promptly jumped down, ate the spider & licked the floor where it had been.
i have never seen them be more useful. not only did i not have to sacrifice a shoe to kill the spider, i didn’t have to clean up the smashed guts or even get out of the bath. turns out they’re more than just pretty faces…
(setting: the vp of marketing was in town from denmark last week to meet with the americas team & finalize 2h marketing plans. it also happens that her husband is turning 50 this month & she’s throwing a 50s-themed party, complete with a rented pink cadillac & 50s band. naturally, it’s a costume party, so she was looking forward to doing some vintage shopping downtown. friday after work, i offered to go shopping with her.)
jessica: “where do you want to go? any place specific you saw online?”
elizabeth: “yes. i picked this one because it says ‘excellent selection with very high prices.’” (everything is ridiculously expensive in DK & elizabeth dresses well, so this does not strike me as unusual.)
(we shut down our computers, head out the door & make small talk while stuck in traffic for a bit. it’s 5pm downtown on a friday night, so parking spaces are sparse. usually VOCALLY against parking in garages, i decide walking 15 blocks when she’s still wearing heels is a bad idea & pull into the garage three blocks from where we’re going.)
elizabeth: “whoa. it’s just like the movies.” (starts making hitchcock-esque, shower-scene stabbing noises) “eek! eek! eek!”
jessica: (rather surprised by the serial-killer reaction) “really? like the movies? don’t tell me you don’t have parking garages in denmark?”
elizabeth: (quite matter-of-factly) “ah yes, we do, but they’re underground.”
jessica: “you have UNDERGROUND garages & you think this is creepy?! this one has windows! there’s daylight! underground is way creepier.”
(we park the car & enter the vintage store, a very short three blocks away. we browse around through musty old clothing, some of it very cool, some of it hideous.)
jessica: (picks up one of the ugliest, poofiest, gaudiest dresses in the store to show to elizabeth.) “here! you could wear this.”
elizabeth: (laughs) “riiight.”
jessica: (looks at label) “oh, wow, it’s vintage dolce.”
elizabeth: (surprised, but impressed) “really? let me see it…”
(i hold it up & we both stand back to look at it, in all it’s hideous glory. it’s still ugly, but being vintage designer makes it instantly more appealing.)
& there you go. our parking garages may be different types of creepy, we may struggle to communicate sometimes & we may have a 15-year age difference, but style is a language every woman, from any continent, can understand.
i LOVE dc. i’m reasonably certain i was meant to have been born an east-coaster. between dc, nyc & atlanta, i could be happy for a long time. there are so many things that are just different enough to feel like the east coast is worlds away from the west coast.
at any rate, sam took me out to see the town on saturday night, after i dropped luggage in my hotel room. we had just finished an epic dinner of delicious ethopian food & were meandering through the neighborhoods while sam chain smoked british cigarettes & i blabbed his ear off. as dusk fell, we were right near a patch of grass & i saw little flickers of light.
jess: “omg! fireflies! LOOK!”
sam: “yep, they have fireflies out here. i forget if it’s a mating technique or a ‘stay-the-fuck-away-from-me-i’m-poison’ technique.”
jess: (literally staring, open-mouthed, trying to resist the urge to catch one) “wow! there are a ton of them!” (suddenly notices a small movement from the bushes & watches a small animal creep across the grass.) “HEY! sam, look! what kind of animal is that?!”
sam: (looks at me like he can’t really believe i’m asking this question) “um…that’s…a rat, jess.” (the giant city rat immediately stands up on its back two feet & lets out a very ratty squeal.)
for the record, i was really fixated on the fireflies. and it didn’t look very ratty from far away. and it was dusk. stop judging me.
(setting: sunday night, 10pm, watching sex&the city in bed. jer is eating cheese popcorn, straight out of the bag. jer eats popcorn in such a way that, of any given handful, approximately 63% of it makes it into his mouth. that’s better than half, but not by much. furthermore, i’m not a HUGE fan of food in bed. couch? fine. bed? i’m undecided.)
jess: (watching disdainfully as aforementioned 37% of handful of cheese popcorn misses jer’s mouth & falls on the covers.) “hmm. if i wake up with a breakout, i’m going to blame you eating cheese popcorn in bed.”
jer: (through his mouthful of popcorn) “oh yeah? i was going to blame your period.”
jess: “really? REALLY?!”
jer: “yeah. think about it. i ate cheese popcorn in bed, BUT it’s period time too. that’s a pretty strong argument against the breakout being caused by cheese popcorn.”
with the fabulous summer weather we’ve been having, jer & i have picked up one of my favorite summertime activities: after-dinner bike rides. doesn’t matter where we’re going, if i’m on my bike, i’m happy.
(setting: just a couple of blocks from our apt, approaching the first stop sign. jer almost always leads the way, since i’m pretty much like a seven-year-old on a bike - i’m waaay too concerned with looking at scenery than watching for cars.)
approaching the first stop sign, as we lay on the brakes, we hear a very loud “scrreeeeeeech….”.
jer: (immediately turns around with a horrified look on his face) “was that YOU?!”
jess: (already knowing that if, indeed, it was her, it would involve stopping, lubing, greasing, adjusting, testing, etc.) “um…no?”
jer: (grumpy face) “hmm.” (keeps riding)
jess: (continues riding, when zooming up beside her comes a scruffy-looking, maybe homeless? guy, with a beater bike and a trailer full of cans he’s clearly going to recycle.)
scruffy-looking, maybe homeless? guy: (gives a grin that’s missing 4-7 teeth) “it was me.” (continues to zoom past jer & blows the next two stop signs.)
jess: (pulls up beside jer) “he totally heard you say that.”
jer: “well, that was a terrible sound. no bike in MY fleet would sound like that.”
after a hell of a week, jer & i headed over to loyly to unwind. sunday afternoons are coed at the swedish spa and usually full of couples. jer & i walked in, suited up & started to sweat out the week immediately upon entering the sauna.
we came out for some air & i noticed a rather large, rather hairy, rather sweaty man…with an AMPERSAND tattooed on his back!
he walked into the sauna & i followed, cause i’m a creep:
jess: “i like your tattoo…i have one too.” (i stand up & turn to point it out, as though it’s not noticeable enough when i’m in a bikini.)
ampersand man: “i guess we’re redundant.”
(end of conversation. we sat there & sweated together in silence for another 15 minutes. CLEARLY we’re besties.)
“i mean i respect that its quick traveling and dangerous if not taken care of, but if we’re at the second highest level of pandemic and the advice is cough into your arm sleeve…”—stefani, on manbearpig flu. not too much faith in the cdc there, lady.
poor grammar, oxford commas & viagra. just another day at the office.
i spent ALL MORNING testing an email that kept going to spam, so i solicited some outside users to let me send to them. stefani is a nazi editor, so i knew she’d have some good feedback:
ste: i love this: “start with solid hard disk protection, add an unprecedented level of control over system devices, application use and internet access, then top it off with fully integrated remote management capability.”
ste: but i think it needs ice cream or cherries or something to the top also
jess: it used to say “rock-solid hard disk protection” but i thought that sounded like viagra.
jess: ps, do you know that song by vampire weekend? it was written for you, i swear.
ste: um i have heard of vampire weekend and i bet i’ve heard the song but i’m not sure without hearing it. which one is it?
jess: who gives a f about an oxford comma
ste: the only other thing i’d change is in the second bullet … robust disc protection ensures THAT computers.. i’d take that out. unless it leaves one word on the last line
jess: okay…noted. this copy is from the same lady who wrote “have you got time in your schedule for this?”
ste: ick. i hope you said “my schedule does not have time in itself for this.” is she british?
i love using punctuation to express emotion…except when it’s just f*cking annoying.
i recently became facebook friends with a girl from high school. we were acquaintances, really. (we’ll save the whole “should you facebook friend people you weren’t really friends with in high school because they friended you first & you’ll feel like a jerk if you reject them now because you rejected them then” debate for another blog. suffice it to say i gave in.) at any rate, every time i log into facebook, i get an update of her life, which is not so bad in itself (i’m extraordinarily nosey anyway), the primary issue here is that it’s punctuated exclusively with exclamation points.
a look at erin’s weekend:
fri 2:03pm: “erin is getting ready to go out with my mom and sis to dinner and a movie!”
fri 10:10pm: “erin just got home from seeing, Confessions of a Shopaholic! Such a cute movie! Great girls night movie!” (nice random comma. i hate you.)
sat 12:29pm: “erin is going out with my family to run a couple of errands!!” (apparently running errands is really exciting, hence the pair of exclamation points.)
sat 3:18pm: “erin is relaxing at home for a few minutes before I get ready to go over to my aunts house!”
sat 5:17pm: “erin is going to my Aunts house!”
sun 7:26am: “erin is feeling like crap! Hangovers suck!”
mon 12:42am: “erin is going to bed!” (unless going to “bed” means you’re going to “have sex”, this does not warrant an exclamation point. if you are indeed having sex, i applaud you and retract the snarky comment on this particular status update.)
mon 11:31am: “My Hubby is taking me out to lunch! I am so excited! Maybe I could talk him into a movie!”
mon 3:48pm: “erin just got home from lunch and a movie with my hubby!”
mon 4:42pm: “erin is going swimming with my mom! Although the hot tub is sounding pretty good too! I might do that instead of swimming! Relax before the long week starts!” (this is my hands-down favorite.)
mon 6:14pm: “erin just got home from swimming and is going to chill for a bit before going to bed! I am going to enjoy the final hours of my last day off!”
besides the blatant disregard for any punctuation beyond the exclamation point and flagrant abuse of capital letters, this is just tmi. get better.
(author’s note: i only half-apologize for the snarky tone to this blog, but it’s my blog & i can do what i want. today i felt snarky.)
i came across this story while perusing the willamette week in the kitchen at work on thursday & made it my immediate new life goal to be interviewed for it. i’ll let you know when that happens.
until then, i’ve made my own feature. besides the obligatory cell phone, wallet & birth control, if you opened my bag right now, you’d find:
a) four lip products (gloss, lip stick, chapstick & lip tint) b) my hipster-style aviator sunglasses c) my passport d) travel-size tums & zantac (i don’t want to talk about it) e) reading glasses f) aquaphor for my tattoo g) my travel mug h) an expense check, the heat bill + the last three pay stubs i) digital camera j) my current book k) my ipod & headphones l) my camera charger & cell phone charger m) three pens, two tampons & one unopened chamomile teabag
and that, ladies & gentlemen, is why my right shoulder is slightly shorter than my left shoulder.
how do you know? how do you know this one is the right one?
today we went & got pedicures. jer patiently helped me pick out the perfect nail polish & sat while the very small asian woman clipped, rubbed, patted & massaged his feet. now, we both have fabulously smooth, callous-free feet & bright pink toenails.
after that, we ordered a cheese pizza and ate sorbet while watching the first season of weeds.
i think the way i feel about birthdays is the way the media presents a new year. the difference between 2008 & 2009 is less significant to me than the difference between being 24 & being 25. i feel like birthdays are a true new year. a fresh start; time to re-dedicate myself to the things i love and renew the fight against my vices once more.
turning 25 is freaking me out more than i’m comfortable admitting. it doesn’t seem that old, & yet i’m HALFWAY done being 20. i’m in my mid-twenties. in five years, i’ll be thirty. mostly i feel like my life is on track. i have a good job in a shit economy, i’m engaged to my best friend (and we’ve finally set a date of 7.7.09) & for all intents & purposes, i’m happy & healthy.
there’s always room for improvement though, and turning 25 has renewed my vigor to be better: a better partner, a better friend, a better employee, a better person all the way around. i know that most resolutions fail because of over-commitment. Instead of making grandiose plans to change, i’ll start with a few simple things.
can i run the portland marathon this year? probably not. but can i commit to running 3-4 times per week & sign up for that 5k i’ve been putting off? yes. is my 25th year the year i’ll turn into a top chef? unlikely. (sorry, jer.) but can i cook more often, try harder at it & remember to heat up the pan BEFORE i put the veggies in? yes.
this is the year i’ll become mrs. robillard; the year i’ll run my first 5k; the year i’ll keep my side of the closet organized. i can quit flipping people off when they cut me off in traffic, start eating more vegetables and learn to appreciate the moment instead of always being so impatient. i’ll still have a shoe addiction, i’ll still eat cereal for dinner when jer’s not home & i’ll still choose to veg out on the couch with a movie sometimes instead of working out. this year i hope to be more understanding & less judgemental. i hope to continue growing the friendships i have; nothing puts my problems into perspective more than laughing at them over gmail chat or martinis with my girlfriends. i’ll always be snarky; that’s my nature, but i’ll decrease my anxiety if i keep working to understand that i’m not able to control everything all the time.
hopefully i’ll look back next year, when i’m turning 26 (which is only four years away from 30, not that i’m counting), as jessica robillard, with at least one 5k under my belt, eating more veggies & fewer cookies & feeling more comfortable in my own skin. i’m certain i’ll still have a shopping habit and i’ll occasionally still forget to run the dishwasher, but all of the small efforts will make me a happier, healthier, more satisfied woman.
after spending four days in the palatial venetian hotel in vegas, it was quite the letdown to come to the orlando hampton inn, miles from anything worth seeing or doing. our hotel doesn’t even have a hot tub, and suffice it to say that after five days of working my ass off and four days to go, all i really wanted was to lay back & have a soak.
after dinner (a fabulous little latin place the cabbie took us to) i was whining on the way back about how i REALLY wanted to hot tub. sam decided that was a good idea, so we took a scout around & found the holiday inn only two hotels down with a hot tub & the gate still open. we raced back, changed & ran back to the holiday inn, only to find the gate locked - apparently it closed at 10. instead of jumping the fence or giving up, we simply knocked on the door (since we lacked an actual room key for that hotel), sam flirted with the front desk manager & within five minutes she called security to unlock the gate for us. after a 25-minute soak, i’m not only feeling super relaxed, but pretty rebellious too…
on a side note, our hotel breakfast sucks too, so i’m going next door in the morning to the marriott to get complimentary waffles before the show. meet me in the lobby at 745 if you’re interested.
“im goin to get a tape at you know where today! i hope i see beebs and accidentally punch her in the face.”—kel. and no, we don’t miss old job. or beebs. or the anger that comes with remembering what a b*tch she is.
(setting: the kitchen, 8:47pm. jer’s making popcorn. he has a “man box” he keeps a bunch of random crap in. it’s a cute kiehl’s tin that acts as a bookend for our cookbooks. it currently resides on the top shelf in our kitchen - you know, the one above the cupboards above the oven that’s incredibly inconvenient to reach? that one.)
jess: (grabs a kitchen chair & moves into the kitchen) “hey mister, i need to get into your man box.”
jer: (making popcorn at the stove, kind of annoyed at having to work around jess on the chair now) “why!? what do you need that’s in there?”
jess: “calm down. i need the needle & thread. the button fell off my coat today.”
jer: “oh.” (cranes his neck to see what’s in the box) “look at all that stuff. is my name stamp still in there?”
(jess moves a texas instruments calculator, jer’s old wallet, two different colors of thread and an ink pad to reveal his cursive “jeremy” stamp)
jer: “yeah! there it is! do you know how long i’ve had that?”
jess: (disdainfully picks up the cell phone shell from the cell phones we had two cell phones ago) “good thing you kept this.”
jer: (shoots jess the stink eye) “you’re going to wake up with a jeremy stamp on your forehead.”
and below is what jer’s mom emailed back. it was sent to all of us, but addressed to jer. i’ll admit, i DIED laughing.
using yourself as the poster cover ….. totally you!! your thighs have really filled out from all your bike riding and your new glasses really are the epitome of coke bottles.
dad has placed “rules” around the donning of the sweaters. we all now have to depart just before dinner and “dress” for the occasion. i see you have spared no one and the babies have to participate ~ you’ve just earned a puke on your shoulder from our dear ezra, and you now have bath duty with maia….no problem you say…she now poops in the bath. we all know how you like to join the babies at bath time in the tub, so we’re certain you will enjoy yourself this year!
prizes to the best of the worst, hosted by your dad! and we all know who must win…me, me, me!
way to go jer, we had a million laughs picking out our gruesome cotton. bring your cameras and your appetites, should be the best robillard holiday ever!
a) a regular customer brought me a pair of hand-knitted gloves. she thoughtfully made them fingerless, so i can wear them & still handle money. they’re awesome.
b) an old couple walked up & ordered coffee. when i asked for their names, the old guy said “adolf.” the old woman giggled at him & said “eva braun.” i hope when i’m old, i’m still that rad.
c) i said “happy thanksgiving” & smiled a ton. it was well worth it when i counted up the tips. work it…
d) i had the best “do you have espresso here” convo yet:
middle-aged woman: “do you have espresso here?” me: “sorry, we only have drip-to-order coffee.” middle-aged woman: “so do you have mochas?” i’m telling you. it’s like slamming my head against the wall.
e) a minimal amount of bullshit change was exchanged.
(fyi: bullshit change is a term i’ve coined - pun intended - to denote anything smaller than quarters. i don’t want your nickels & dimes. please don’t pay for a $2 cup of coffee in dimes. likewise, please don’t empty your change into my tip jar. really. i don’t want your pocketful of pennies any more than you do. i’m not even going to count it; i’m going to give it to rick & pretend it’s a present. i realize this sounds ungrateful & i don’t mean it that way. i just don’t think coins less than twenty-five cents count.)