Thursday, August 20, 2015

proposed break room rules

1. No fish. This includes, but is not limited to: no bringing cooked fish for lunch. No bringing cooked fish and leaving it in the break room refrigerator. No bringing cooked fish to work and warming it up in the microwave. No bringing cooked fish to work, warming it up in the microwave, and leaving it out on the break room table all afternoon. No buying fresh fish at the market on your lunch break and leaving it in the break room refrigerator for the rest of the work day. No bringing in fresh fish to share amongst your coworkers. No bringing in fresh shrimp to share amongst your coworkers. No bringing in a large bag of fresh squid parts in to share amongst your coworkers. No dividing up said bag of squid parts into small biohazard bags over the break room sink. No getting squid ink all over the break room sink and counter. No storing biohazard bags of squid parts in the break room refrigerator for the rest of the work day. No squid in the office full stop. I can’t believe we have to have this conversation.
2. That’s it. That’s all I care about.
3. Oh wait, also: throw out your old food. Maybe do a sweep of the fridge once a week or so and see if there’s anything in there that’s yours that you forgot about? Please don’t leave your pasta alfredo with broccoli in there for two months. We live in a society.
4. Label your stuff. If it’s something that will be in there for a while that you don’t mind sharing, like a bottle of ranch dressing, maybe include your name, the date it was opened, and something like “help yourself.”
5. If something is rotten, throw it out. Even if it wasn’t yours to begin with! Nobody will miss that shriveled plum, I promise.
6. Seriously, you brought fish again? NO FISH. Just. No.

Friday, August 14, 2015

gym class hero

I joined a gym. Wait! Where are you going? Come back!

Let me start over. I’ve never been one of those people who is, like, addicted to working out. One might even say that I hate it, or at least strongly dislike it.

I remember when a friend of mine came into town and asked if I wanted to get together. I was all ready to suggest lunch and then pedicures, but she said that she was going to a barre class and did I want to meet her? No thanks, I said. I’d catch her afterward at the sandwich place nextdoor. If we’re spending quality friend time together I’d like to ENJOY it.

I never want to go on a hike, so don’t bother asking. I’ll go on a WALK. Even an outdoor walk, through nature. But call it a hike and no. No thank you. I’ll sit here and read while YOU hike and we can hang out once you’ve gotten that nonsense out of your system.

Running (jogging) seems to be the only thing I can stand to do consistently-ish. When I lived in LA I would go running (jogging) around my neighborhood. Then, when I moved to San Francisco, my building had a little workout room so I would run (jog) on the treadmill. The machines in that workout room all had TVs with cable and DVD players attached. My apartment never had cable while I lived there, so it was a good way to get my Teen Mom fix.

When Niall and I moved in together, we moved into a building without a workout room. Niall seems to actually be one of those people who truly enjoys exercising, so he has been dutifully going to the gym the entire time I’ve known him (not to mention running, cycling, playing assorted sports, and generally making me feel like a sloth by comparison).

I tried a few things here and there.

I took an adult beginner ballet class. Not to brag or anything but I did ballet for several years in middle school and college, so I felt like it would only be a matter of time before the other adult beginners would be eyeing me and whispering “Shouldn’t she be in the ADVANCED class?” Instead, what happened was that everybody expected me to be really good since my shoes were so worn (see also: from college (see also: never get rid of anything!)), but I pranced around like one of the hippos from Fantasia. I quit after a few months because It was TOO HARD and not fun and I was not nearly as fairy-like as I had expected.

I thought about getting a fitbit, but they’re really expensive, so instead I bought the Jane Fonda workout and Richard Simmons Sweatin to the Oldies videos. I had fun doing these a few times. They’re not terribly intense workouts and they are also somewhat hilarious (see also: Richard Simmons's shorts). But for some reason there are too many steps for working out at home. I have to change into something I don’t mind getting sweaty and then switch the TV to the right mode and then scoot the coffee table over and ugh, maybe I’ll just sit down.

A couple weeks before the wedding I decided I wanted to work out a little. Not to lose weight or tone up, but just to help my endurance a little and ensure I wouldn’t collapse and die from dancing the night away at our wedding reception.
So I asked Niall if I could go with him to his gym to check it out, super casual like. We went, and they were having some ‘friends and family’ dealie so I signed up for a (basic, totally chill, I-can-quit-anytime-I-wanna) membership.

The gym guidelines, as I explained to Niall* are:
- He can’t ever shame me for not going or not wanting to go to the gym
- If I ever bring up that I’m thinking about going to the gym, he should enthusiastically encourage me
- He can invite me to go to the gym with me, but he can’t ever suggest that I should go to the gym
- He can’t criticize what I do at the gym

Now it’s August, and that means I’ve been a gym member for a little over 2 months. For some reason I have been able to go to the gym, despite the fact that, yes, I do understand that this involves FAR more steps than working out at home does. But I guess I don’t mind the steps as much? Maybe it’s easier because it’s more of a routine. My living room is where I hang out, eat, relax, but the gym is only where I do gym things. There’s no possibility I’m going to go all the way to the gym and then sit down on the floor of the locker room and read a book instead.

So far I have spent my time at the gym running (jogging) on the treadmill, with very occasional uses of the cross trainer peppered in here and there. HOWEVER, I reserve the right to go to the gym, do a couple stretches, and then sit in the hot tub if that’s what I’m up for on that particular day. And that will still COUNT as going to the gym. I need motivation and a reward system that is beyond “staying healthy” because clearly that’s not enough or else I would be joining Niall as he bounds out of bed every morning for his run like a goddamn kangaroo. The other good thing about the gym is that it is located in a little plaza that also has a Ross and sandwich place and a grocery store. So sometimes after a run (jog), I’ll take a little stroll through ross or treat myself to something yummy for lunch. Running: not its own reward.

I had to add a new one over the weekend which is:
- He can’t make fun of my gym outfits/accessories.

I’ve said this before, but I’m a person who likes to have all the accessories that go along with a thing. I like having my little gym bag and a purple lock for using the lockers at the gym. I have my sunglasses and my headphones that are specifically gym-only. I also have my gym clothes. Niall was chuckling the other day because I was trying on various new gym clothes and preening in front of the mirror, while he is perfectly happy to work out in old crappy shorts and tee shirts. I explained to him that I know I COULD wear regular old clothes at the gym, but having my cute little shoes

and outfits

are much more enjoyable and THEREFORE make me much more likely to actually GO. This is my Gym Outfit that I wear to the gym, GOLD STAR FOR ME.

Really, the whole point of this post was to show you my new purple gym outfit.

*Niall hasn't ever body shamed me and I'm not worried that he would, I just wanted to be explicit with my gym-interaction-expectations.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Last weekend Niall decided to make meatloaf. The concept had previously not appealed to him, which makes sense given its name. Meat... loaf. However, he realized that he likes all the ingredients that typically go into a meatloaf, so he thought he’d give it a go. I found him the Pioneer Woman’s recipe online and he modified it in an apparent effort to include as many animals as possible (ground beef, ground lamb, bacon strips over the top).

The baconey drippings from the meatloaf got a bit scorched in the oven while it was baking, which meant that our fire alarm went off and we subsequently learned that our fire alarm is the least alarmed sounding alarm in the world. It makes a pitiful little meep noise and also says the words “Fire. Fire.” I don’t feel like our fire alarm takes its job very seriously. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it a fire alarm. It’s more of a fire calmly announce.

By contrast, my old building’s fire alarm system was absolutely MILITANT about its job. Whenever I cooked pretty much anything it would start shrieking at me and I’d have to open the window and fan the alarm unit with a towel until it shut the hell up. If there was fire detected or an alarm pulled in any of the common areas of the building, there was a speaker inside every apartment that would make siren noises and ALSO shout at you:
[short pause]

This would repeat on a loop over and over until whatever happened was figured out, at which point we would usually get an announcement like “Thank you for your attention, this has been a false alarm” or whatever. The longest it ever went on while I lived there was probably only about 15 minutes, but that FEELS LIKE ETERNITY when, say, you’re woken up from a sound sleep in the middle of the night.

Last night I made brownies and I went to bed right after I took them out of the oven. I woke up this morning feeling unusually warm. The whole apartment felt unusually warm. And then I found out that I had accidentally LEFT THE OVEN ON ALL NIGHT.

I think I may have mentioned this previously, my cousin once used her blow dryer and then put it away under the sink in her bathroom and then left for work. When she came home that afternoon she found that HER HOUSE HAD BURNED DOWN. (She’s fine, her family is all fine, but house = gone.)

Burning the house down is one of my nightmares. And I left the oven on! All night! What if something had caught fire? What if the house had burned down? If I left the oven on, what if this means I might leave OTHER things on and forget about them also? OHMYGOD I’m going to burn our house down, or not put the emergency brake on my car when I park it on a hill and have it roll down and hit someone, or turn on the garbage disposal when somebody is fishing out a spoon, or leave a vulnerable person or animal in a hot car, or SOMETHING TERRIBLE IS OBVIOUSLY GOING TO HAPPEN AND IT WILL BE ALL MY FAULLLLLLLLLT.

My fire calmly announce may not be very alarmed, but I certainly am.

Friday, August 7, 2015

get well soon gifties

My nephew has Perthes disease, which basically means the ball and socket joint of his hip grew all wonky causing the blood supply of the joint to get strangled off and the bone to start dying. It was caught pretty early in his life, thanks to his grandpa, so he's doing well.

A couple years ago I was driving to the hospital to visit him after one of his surgeries (he's had several major hip surgeries, poor kid). I had bought him some nice headphones, but I decided to stop at Target because I felt like I needed something else. I ended up picking out a stuffed frog.
photo from
He liked the headphones, but he LOVED the frog. He slept with it tucked under his arm and watched TV with it sitting next to him in bed. It reminded me that he’s a big strong kid, but even big strong kids can be comforted by a stuffed animal. I haven’t conducted extensive research on this, but I feel like a stuffed animal is kind of a universally pleasing item, especially when you’re not feeling good and/or stuck in a hospital bed.

When I stopped at Target on the way to the hospital, I also bought this game.
photo from
My nephew was too tired and out of it to ACTUALLY play even that game, so we modified it. He would roll the dice and it would land on a letter. Then the rest of us would have to come up with a word that started with that letter and my nephew would pick his favorite word out of all of them and the person who picked the word he liked best was the winner of that round. It was a fun for everybody and my nephew could doze in between rounds.

Something else that was a big hit with my nephew? Silly putty and a newspaper. Proving that even 10 year old boys get tired of video games eventually.

Can't go wrong with a classic blankie. Bonus points if you happen to know that VIPs at the hospital are given a specific color blanket. (Which is actually a thing, I swear.)

Another winner? A coloring book and some crayons/markers/colored pencils. I'm particularly fond of this one.
photo from

I use these acrylic drinking cups ALL THE TIME.
photo from
They are excellent for holding icy cold water (or your beverage of choice). Also, they are good if you are perhaps not operating with all of your mental faculties and more prone to spillage.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


I've started getting up a little earlier so I can stop at Target on my way to work. It's the BEST. I get my coffee, because apparently that's part of my life now. And then I take a little stroll around the empty, pristine Target which is Ah May Zing.


I love Sharpies. I wanted to write a whole post about how much I love Sharpies, but that's basically all.


I went to the doctor for a checkup the other day. She asked me how many times in the last 3 months that I had more than 3 drinks. I say "Maybe three times?" And I got a lecture about cutting back, AND a follow-up email with tips for slowing down and trying to drink less. "Set your glass down in between sips!" Okay, but. Really?


My sister: "Hey! Where did you get those chips?"
My 3 year old niece: "It's celery."

It was not celery.


I spend a certain percentage of my job on the phone, and I sometimes have to spell out medication names. And sometimes I’m spelling those medications to people with bad phone connections or hearing problems. I really should just bookmark this page because if I’m in the middle of spelling something I panic and say things like “Okay it’s simvastatin. S as in syrup, i as in impossible, m as in muppet, v as in voluptuous, a as in Appalachian…”
And because my brain is my brain, I ALSO start thinking of even worse ones “P as in phlebotomist” or "t as in tsunami.”


On a more positive note, I have successfully transitioned to saying “my pleasure” at work instead of “no problem” when somebody thanks me. I always felt a little odd when I said no problem because I feel like it still sounds like “Well this is kind of a problem, but don’t worry, I’ll do it anyhow as a favor.” My pleasure, however, THAT’s customer service.


I cut my own bangs last night. And now I remember two things: why I don't usually do that, AND where my original avatar pic came from.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

inappropriate feelingsiversary

Timehop reminds me that three years ago I flew home from NYC the day after being sexually assaulted.
Which, in turn, reminds me that last year I wrote a post that I’d rather not talk about. I’d prefer to take it down and pretend it didn’t happen. But instead of that, Imma try and woman up.

Last year I had some inappropriate feelings and I expressed those feelings in an inappropriate way.

Rather than talking to people, I was passive aggressive and selfish. I won’t go into details, but, well... that blog post is a pretty good example. “HEY I’M MAD THAT MY FRIENDS WENT TO BLOGHER BECAUSE I SHOULD BE MORE IMPORTANT TO THEM” she shouted to everyone and no one. I’m not proud of this behavior.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about it since then, and within the past few months I think I’ve figured some things out:

1. It is not up to other people to emotionally take care of me. That’s my job. I shouldn’t expect other people to do that and I should DEFINITELY not get mad at them when they don’t.*

2. I need to manage my inappropriate feelings in an appropriate way. It reminds me of the following touchy analogy: If you’re sad and upset that you’re struggling with infertility and your friend is having a baby shower, you can tell your friend that you’re having a hard time and you can decide to not go to her baby shower, but you can’t get MAD at her for having a baby shower or tell your mutual friends that you’ll be upset with them if they go. That’s inappropriate.

3. So instead of throwing a fit last year, I really should have just done what I did this year: pull back from my social networks a little, lower my expectations, reign in my feelings, take medicine, and give myself little treats.

4. I’m putting this here to remind Future Jules.**

*I think part of the reason I had a lot of trouble with this was the very nature of the sexual assault trauma. I’ve felt dependent on external validation—people telling me it wasn’t my fault, that it was real, that I’m doing okay, etc. I’ve ALSO been trying to change that perception, but it’s not easy.
** It's gonna be okay, Future Jules. Traumaversaries are no fun, but you can handle it. Now go get yourself a little treat.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


I was going to call this post “mishaps” but then I decided the things that happened weren’t ACTUAL mishaps, they were just little stories of some things that went differently than I had expected-- nothing I wish I could go back in time and change. Mis-happenings, if you will. And THEN since they are wedding related items, I decided to call them MISSUShappenings. Get it? Get it? See what I did there?

Moving on.

1. This wasn’t a mishap or a happening at all but it keeps annoying me so I’ll mention it here: When the hell did it become customary to EXPECT there to be a flash mob or a choreographed dance in every wedding? I had several people ask me if we were “doing something fun” like a flash mob or choreographed dance at the wedding.  So the options therefore are either yes there will be one of those things or no there will be nothing fun at my wedding at all. No fun. A non-fun wedding.
Flash mobs can be shocking and fun and choreographed dances can be entertaining, but neither of those things are Niall’s and my style or things we wanted at our wedding. And also, if EVERYBODY has a flash mob, doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of a flash mob? Okay I can be done ranting about this now.

2. The wedding started at 2PM. The church coordinator lady wanted me to arrive by 1:45PM and my mom was in firm agreement. Evidently I was supposed to get there early and hang out in a hidey room so there would be time for me to take some deep breaths and fluff out my dress. Which, fine. Except for the fact that at this particular church the door to the offices and hidey room and so forth was RIGHT NEXT TO the main entrance of the church. There wasn’t some back entrance that we could sneak me into, I would have to go in through the front, presumably with people milling around before the wedding. Niall and his sisters told me that in Ireland, the bride is typically 5-15 minutes late. This made sense to me—they can’t very well start the ceremony WITHOUT me, right? So I decided that I would be the last to arrive. I’d leave the hotel in the last trip the limo made and just wait IN the limo outside the church until the last possible moment, then exit it at 1:58 and meet my dad in front of the church. Boom.
This idea threw my mom into such a panic that I ended up caving and left the hotel in the first limo trip and arrived at the church at about 1:20PM. Of course Niall and his groomsmen had just arrived also. Because of course. So my 4 niecemaids hopped out of the limo and ran into the church and to tell Niall to get the hell (sorry, HECK (we are in church, after all)) away because the bride is here and she needs to get to the hidey room! Shoo! Meanwhile, I’m in the limo outside and our priest opens the door, leans in and asks if the limo is going to make a trip back to the hotel because he forgot a book. Next to the priest, Niall’s uncle leans in and starts taking photos of me in the limo. I threw my hands over my face because I was so overwhelmed and annoyed and GAAAH GET AWAY FROM ME, NO NOT YOU, FATHER.
Finally, the coast was clear and I could make my way into the church. I stomped into the hidey room all aggravated because I KNEW IT I KNEW THAT WOULD HAPPEN, so it turned out to be a good thing that I had time to take some deep breaths and fluff out my dress. Plus, the hidey room ended up being a lot of fun. I told my niecemaids that THEY didn’t have to stay in there with me since I was really the only person who couldn’t be seen, but they were all "We want to be with you!" and were so enthusiastic and excited about unbustling my dress and helping me with my veil that it was just adorable.

3. During the rehearsal, the church coordinator lady had told my dad that once we got to the altar, he would shake hands with Niall and then kiss my hand and place it (my hand, not the kiss) in Niall’s hand. I nixed this because it felt waaaay too much like some sort of barter. “Here is my daughter, you own her now. And also this fatted hog and a small piece of land to till.” No thanks. So Niall and I practiced him shaking hands with my dad and then me giving my dad a kiss and taking Niall’s hand, but we forgot to consider the gigantic bouquet that I would have in my hand, so there was a moment of confusion and fumbling. It’s not noticeable in the video, however. We look totally smooth. This may be the single moment of my life where I feel like "Hey! I might actually BE less awkward than I FEEL!"

4. Just before our vows, the priest accidentally called Niall "Patrick."

5. At the reception, the venue forgot to put out our late-night snacks! This was the one thing I had made clear from the very beginning because I specifically remember being starving at several weddings in the past. I wanted there to be PLENTY of food (and alcohol, but that was already covered with the open bar). At the time I didn't realize that the snack trays never got served because I was having too much fun to notice, but if anybody went hungry during my wedding I reserve the right to be annoyed, because I had PLANNED for there to be snacks. Although, the upswing of this was the several hundred dollars that we (my parents) got refunded.

6. Also at the reception, Niall and I didn’t know how to cut our cake because… well we just didn’t. We ended up cutting the piece too small (my fault, I didn't want a huge piece of cake), so when we tried to use the server to pull out the piece, instead the piece went tumbling down the cake and landed on the table. It was fine, still delicious. But the photos of me during the cake cutting are particularly excellent since I look absolutely terrified.