Thursday, May 31, 2007

perhaps dentures and Botox are right around the corner?

I've always admired bloggers that are ridiculously open and honest about real things, i.e. topics of actual substance (as opposed to posts about The Best Retail Experience Ever, although let's face it, that was pretty f'ing great). unfortunately, this is not one of those blogs where you will get thoughtful, well-written, insanely personal commentary about topics like religion, or raising children, or world poverty, or the Inconvenient Truth of global warming... more like "hey! here's a purty picture of Austin! and guess what! I got drunk the other wknd! woot!" or "hey! I am working 24/7! isn't that exciting to read about? oh, and I traveled to yet another random place!"

it's a good thing there are only about nine of you reading (ten on a good day, maybe 15 when I blog drunk).

I will say, however, that the topic that is taking up a lot of mental space lately is my age. it's funny, because I spent some time talking to my family about it this past wknd, and none of us "feel our age." I still think I'm 22, my dad is in disbelief that he's turning 60, I think it's funny that my brother is almost 30, my mom forgets that she's in her 50s, etc. then again, there are times when I look at other 22-year-olds and think "are you kidding me?! grow the F up!" -- and it makes me wonder about the expectations we have of age. why don't I believe that I am 26? I'm pretty happy with my life (I generally feel insanely lucky and grateful, actually), so why do I recoil at the idea of being 26? it's a perfectly good age, just as good as 24 or as good I'm hoping 27 will be, so why is the idea of being 26 so hard to stomach? I don't know if it's so much the aging process as it is the pre-conceived ideas we have of what we should "be" at each age.

the topic really struck home when I was attending wedding #2 of the wknd (Nay's fabulous wedding extravaganza, complete with ice sculptures, 10-piece bands, personalized light displays, and made-to-order omelette stations at the morning-after brunch). I sat at a table with some of dearest buddies from college, my beloved sillyhoos, and as I looked around our table I had a sudden realization: I was the Token Single Chick. it wasn't even that every single person at my table had brought a date and I was flying solo, it was the fact that every single woman was wearing either a diamond ring or a diamond ring and wedding band on her left finger.

it was then that it hit me: we're getting old! I'm 26! my peers have somehow reached the point of maturity where they are ready to make Real Adult Decisions, like Getting Married or Buying a Home. next thing you know, they'll be popping out BABIES and swapping toddler-training tips while I sit at my ad job and daydream about what I want to be when I grow up! crap. apparently I didn't get the memo.

it's very bizarre, this concept of age. on one hand, women of my generation are taught that we can be anything we want to be. you want to be an astronaut? knock yourself out? you want to be a supermodel? it's your choice. want to be a chemist? here's your lab coat. but when the options are seemingly limitless, they can also be a bit daunting at best... and somewhat paralyzing at their worst.

there's no neat and pretty ending to this post, since it was mainly a motley collection of my thoughts as opposed to some neatly organized argument with thesis statement + detailed support points. in lieu of a proper ending, then, I present you with a pretty picture of me with the aforementioned Married/Engaged Mafia, and, just for kicks, the Insanely Bad-Ass Ice Sculpture:

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

5-day vacation

sorry for the lack of updates, people. I've been suffering from the Raging Sore Throat From Hell and Fun Dizzies That Unfortunately Have Nothing To Do with Alcohol since I got back into town and have spent most of my time a) sleeping in and coming into work late, b) spacing out and feeling dizzy at work when I should be working, c) wondering if 4:30 is too early to go home and lay on the couch, d) wishing I had some live-in help that would fan me with palm fronds and go to the grocery store to buy me fresh orange juice.

but! sickness is no excuse, and I must forge ahead with the sharing of my wknd adventures. I left Austin on Thurs for a nice, long FIVE-DAY WKND, which, now that I'm back, was exactly what the doctor ordered. we didn't do much on Thurs, and on Friday I slept in and bummed around the house with my mom... but then we went shopping and I had the Best Retail Experience Ever (theme of the post = Excessive Use Of Capitals), which I absolutely MUST tell you about.

Official Tangent to Tell My Story About the Best Retail Experience Ever
setting: Montgomery Mall

so I dutifully followed my mom and my aunt into Ann Taylor, despite the fact that I haven't bought anything at AT in probably a year and a half. they immediately begin attacking the sales racks, and I wander aimlessly around the store while I wait for them. and that's when I saw it. The Best Work Bag Ever (again with the CAPS). I had been looking for a good work bag that I could take on biz trips for a looooong time now (ever since I bought a cheap one from Target that broke during a trip to Munich due to the ridiculous weight of my ginormous laptop), and I was officially staring at the Mother of all work bags. it was large. it had small pockets on the outside for boarding passes. there was a space for my cell phone and another for my blackberry. there were zip compartments, and separate compartements for work documents. it was black, leather, had sturdy straps and was stylish enough so I wouldn't look like a moron taking it to meetings.

the price tag said $168, which was a bit steep but I decided it was completely worth it, because hello. Best Work Bag Ever. I decided to suck it up and pay the price and headed over to the cash register. while I was walking over there, I was suddenly hit with the remembrance that OMG! I have an old Ann Taylor merchandise credit in my wallet that's been sitting there for years. I pulled it out, asked the cashier to check the balance, thinking it'd save me 20, 25 bucks at most -- and then she informed me that I had a credit of $108. SCORE! so I happily handed her the bag, and as soon as she rung it up, she told me that it was on sale for $99.99. WHAT?! I love you! and THEN she took off another 15% for a tiny scratch that I had discovered in the corner that will probably come off with some good leather conditioner.

summary: I found the best bag ever, it was marked as $168 and I only paid $85 (and used up a credit that I had left in my wallet for years).


[thus ends the long-winded tangent]

now that the tangent has ended, I'm pretty sick of this post, as are you. heh. sorry. I will tell more wknd stories at another time, but the short version is that I hung out with old buddies, spent lots of time with family, attended two very lovely weddings and came back to Austin happy, well-rested, and sick.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

disappearing for a while here...

while I head home to pay attention to my other job, which is Professional Wedding Guest. yessiree folks, if I hadn't mentioned it before, aside from my ad job which keeps me in the money and on the road to strange little towns across America, I also have a job a Wedding Attendee Extraordinaire. I'm quite good at it by now, actually, and even have experience as a Bodacious Bridesmaid, Minxy Musician, Crazy Calligrapher and Coordinated Coordinator.

I'll also get some much-needed down time while I hang with the fam and delicious food. will resume official blogging duties when I'm back in the ATX next week. will also post soon about the awesome night of Austin-ness that I experienced a week ago. there's nothing like a beautiful summer evening, a large picnic blanket, beer, good buddies and some free live music with a view of Austin's beautiful skyline and Town Lake to put you in a good mood... plus some wine and cheese afterward. people brought families, some people were drunk, there were hippies, hipsters, old people, young people, punk rockers, yuppies, and everyone managed to get along nicely and appreciate the live music. it pretty much everything there is to love about this town, and then some. also, Bonnie Raitt is a ridiculously awesome bad ass.

back to lounging...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

geeky ad humor

trust me, I won't hold it against you if you don't visit this link but as an ad-person I found it somewhat amusing:

real posts to come soon, I promise. I'm a bit out of it because I was in Knoxville, TN for one of those less-than-24-hours fly-in-and-fly-out business trips (side story: when I asked the hotel clerk to recommend a good restaurant in downtown Knoxville, she told me she doesn't know any because downtown is "really, really far" and she never goes there. customer service issues aside, I was confused because on the map it had looked relatively close to my airport hotel. I asked how far was far and she said "really far -- like 10 miles away." I tried really hard not to laugh. and then I got in my rental car, drove myself downtown and circled until I found a decent-looking seafood restaurant, where I had a half-dozen deliciously fresh oysters on the half shell with lots of tabasco and horseradish, some incredibly rich crab bisque, a few bites of calamari, and a large glass of wine. bon appetit!).

although Little Rock and Knoxville were both perfectly nice places to visit for a brief business trip, let the record show that moving to a place like that would basically constitute cruel and unusual punishment. there's just... not much there.

ok, back to work now--

Sunday, May 20, 2007

easy like sunday morning... except not at all

ahh... nothing says "lazy sunday" like an entire day SPENT AT BLOODY FREAKING WORK.


had a very magical oh-so-Austin night last night, though... will blog about that soon.

back to work. 25-cent diet coke, anyone?

Friday, May 18, 2007

things you do not want to hear during the focus group you're moderating

me: "so, by way of introduction, I'd like to get to know you guys a little better. tell me about your career choices. why did you want to be a general contractor?"

respondent: "well, you know, it was the only job I could land with my criminal background."

me: "oh. right. so, moving right along...."


me: "so, thanks again for coming. we really appreciate all of your feedback and insights. as promised, here is an envelope with $250 as a thank you for coming by and talking to us."

respondent: "maybe you can help us spend this money by coming to the bar with us for drinks."

a different respondent: "yeah, did you know you have a beautiful smile?"

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

am drunk bitchesssss

yay f9r alcohol'

yay for alc0h0l tha ti s purchased by other people

work peoplet hat are reps

i won't ever give them business but they can give me halibut\\

halibut rocks

halibut! but not haalliburton. because halliburton = diciikk cheney = bad. plus MC rove which is also bad; if you arfe a politician you AR YOUOR BRAND STUPID and rapping for middle age white men = bad. what staffer lsot their jobb over that incident?! haha

oktired n ow

*EDITED TO ADD: OMG you guys I am laughing hysterically because I TOTALLY FORGOT about this. I didn't realize I had written a drunk post until I saw the comments in my inbox this morning. freaking hilarious. E, I will do my best to drunk-blog more often. dear lord above. okay, back to work now*

good morning sunshine

last night I went to bed around 11 pm. this is REALLY EARLY for me, but I knew I had to be at work by a disgustingly early 7:30 am the next morning, and I decided to be all responsible-like for once in my life. so I congratulated myself on being all adult-ish and responsible-ish (I figure age 26 is as good a time to start as any) and hopped into bed. I was sufficiently exhausted from my 11-hour work day and figured that I'd be counting those proverbial sheep in no time.

here is a timeline of how the rest of the evening went:
  • 11:30 - so I'm still awake. that's okay. it's only been half an hour. I'll be asleep in no time. and then I will be all well-rested for my meeting! is great! I am a real adult! finally!
  • midnight - hmm. it's been an hour. this is not good. okay, must focus on falling asleep. sleep is your friend! I love the letter z! ZZZZ, damn it!
  • 12:30 - shit. the hour mark has come and gone. why am I still awake? this sucks. I hate everyone.
  • 1:00 - double shit. this is serious now. WTF? this makes no sense. I am tired. I know I am tired. I know I must wake up early. WHYYYY does my body hate me?
  • 1:15 - well, hell. at this point I feel like I should order some pizza and make it a slumber party. I mean, really. come the fuck on.
  • 1:30 - tomorrow is reeeeeeally going to suck.
  • 1:35ish? - blissful zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • 3 am - WTF WAS THAT?! (outside my window: thunder, lightning, loud noises, general biblical-ish monsoon weather) okay seriously? someone hates me.
  • 6:15 am - BEEP BEEP BEEP time to get up, I don't care how little sleep you've gotten.

sigh. and thus went my evening. but I'm here. I made it to my meeting, showered and looking presentable and immediately started chugging the coffee they'd provided.

does this still count as responsible adult-like behavior?

Monday, May 14, 2007

other items of extreme insignificance... entertain you with (since the last post was about my weekly social calendar, i figure i may as well continue with theme of "random crap that is on my mind that you probably don't care about anyway"):
  • i am covered in mosquito bites. i feel like i am ALWAYS getting attacked by mosquitoes. i hate mosquitoes. i also hate that high-pitched buzzing sound they make when they are really close to your ear. that's generally when i start channeling my inner mr. miyagi and chase after the bug myself, expecting to somehow catch it and squash it using my bare hands (or maybe a pair of chopsticks).
  • i bought new shampoo (i know! don't you find yourself overwhelmed with how much you care?). it is fancy-pants expensive frederic fekkai shampoo. we will see if it was worth the price ($20 at target).
  • speaking of target, how is it that i can never get myself out of there without spending gobs of money? i am one person. single. no pets (well, aside from cowboy, but he is fairly low-maintenance, even for a fish). no children. how is it possible that i can spend triple digits during a quick stop that was only supposed to be for lotion and toothpaste?
  • i am currently eating organic peach yogurt with a knife. i usually have a stash of plastic utensils stolen from whole foods in my right-hand desk drawer (it's my little way of sticking it to the man), but my stash is currently low on supplies. once i retrieved my yogurt from the fridge, i had two options: plastic knife or splintery wooden chopsticks. which would you have chosen?

and thus ends the list of meaningless thoughts that are rolling around in my head right now. aren't you disappointed that you just wasted three minutes of your life on that?

(also, can you tell that i'm procrastinating at work right about... now?)

(you can?! aww, you're so smart. here! have a prize! splintery wooden chopsticks, just for you!)

i'm alive

sorry for the lack of posts, people. I promise you all that I am alive and somewhat well (well... well enough. ha. how many times can I use the word "well" in one sentence?), just buried at work and experiencing some overall malaise. I've decided to pack what little free time I have with plenty of activities to keep me going... this week I'm looking forward to a benefit concert tmw night, some more quality time @ the Alamo Drafthouse this Fri (we're going to watch another pancake theater event, where they do sketch comedy around a hilariously bad movie... this week's selection is "pretty woman"), and then an outdoor concert on Sat (how DID Austin becoming the live music capital of the world? hopefully I will be able to tell you soon).

let's see if it works.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

o caffeinated, zero-calorie bliss

oh happy day -- they've replaced the old soda machine in our kitchen with a new COKE BRAND machine that sells DIET COKE for a QUARTER!!!!!!!!! no more yucky diet pepsi for ME, bitches!!!!

my life is now complete.

I made a delicious tofu and vegetable stir-fry for dinner last night (marinated tofu, asparagus tips, bok choy, red bell pepper, shrooms, some ginger, garlic, and chilies with a soy/black bean sauce) and will enjoy the leftovers for lunch today with an ICE COLD DIET COKE.

(this past wknd I had another culinary victory when I made my first risotto... springtime risotto with green garlic and leeks. delicious! yay for Kim O'Donnel, best food writer ever!)

(also, apologies for the lame/random collection of words and photos that are masquerading as real posts. I know I have not fooled you o wise readers. am just swamped at work if you haven't guessed that already. the bad news is that I've been glued to TV screens, reviewing footage of my Arkansas interviews, searching in vain for the perfect quote to support our creative ideas. the good news is that I've perfected my Arkansas redneck accent -- elongated vowels, drawn-out last syllables, frequent pauses -- and can sound as Southern as they come. yee-freaking-haw baby!)

oh how I wish I could be doing this instead:

back to work. back to diet coke. back to craziness. someone help me.

Monday, May 7, 2007

more photographic gold

when I saw this picture I was sure that I was going to die in Princeton, TX, and that my body parts would be chopped up and used as animal feed:

and then I met the dog and realized that, aside from his preferred activity of terrorizing the pet chickens, he was a big fat baby who just happens to look like the meanest son of a bitch to ever set foot on this earth...

(I love how he is staring down at the chickens like "who's your daddy?! yeah, you know it! say it again, bitch!" and the dalamation is looking off to the side with the expression of "sigh. here he goes again with the chickens. why, God, WHY ME???")

Friday, May 4, 2007

identity crisis

CITY JEN (the dominant personality):

(featuring cameo appearance by the lovely Di Johnston. also, notice the near-nip-slippage of the left boob. heh. apparently even small boobs need double-sided tape?)

COUNTRY JEN (only comes out during business trips to rural Arkansas):

("hey there Billy Ray! tell the dog to get the hell out of my way! I'm a-comin' through! hey wait, who took my beer?")

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

country roooooooooads, take me hooooooooome

that has been the theme song of the past three days, a.k.a. "how many miles can I put on a rental car while I drive through the backwoods of Arkansas and the boonies of Texas to interview John Deere owners about their tractors and mowers?"

the answer: hundreds and hundreds. all driven by me. all driven in crappy rental cars (our Arkansas car -- a Ford minivan -- was affectionately referred to as "the crappy lunchbox" because it looked like a big, boxy rectangle, our Texas car is a Chevy Impala that drives okay but is extremely uncomfortable to sit in for extended periods of time).

I've met more hunters than I've ever met in my entire 26-year lifetime, I got to drive a riding lawn mower (that was fun), I checked into a crappy roadside hotel and then checked out a few hours later and made my travel department put me up in a swank hotel in downtown Little Rock when I realized the first hotel was around the corner from a state penitentiary (also when my interviewee said "ooooh... yeahhhh... make sure you lock your doors at night"), I drove around for 40 minutes in a desperate attempt to find a decent expense-account lunch that wasn't a) McDonald's b) Burger King or c) Sonic (I love Sonic, but come on... if you want to sit at a table and prep for a business meeting you don't want fast food) and had to settle for Pizza Hut, I drove past a sign that said "Penitentiary Area - Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers," I interviewed a man who leaves his John Deeres in the garage but parks his cars in the driveway, I met another man who prefers to drink a six-pack while driving his riding lawn mower, I had an interview where the man put some Skoal into his lower right cheek as soon as our interview was over, I nearly got eaten by a Doberman Pinscher (the sign on their gate had a silhouette image of a Doberman that said "I can get to the gate in 2.9 seconds. Can you?") then realized he was a big baby who wanted to lick my face off, and I've met some lovely people who have truly proved the age-old adage that you can't judge a book by its cover.

it's been good times, people. it's a long cry from some of my past biz trips (e.g. flying international business class to Munich, staying in the Ritz Carlton in Miami Beach, long jogs on the Santa Monica shore and cruises on the Mexican Riviera) I'm exhausted and sore from all the driving in shitty cars, but I can't say it hasn't been fun. I'm too brain-dead to write much more, but I will upload pics soon. yee-freaking-haw!