Category Archives: Just for Fun

Another Actual Conversation From an Actual Marriage

January 9, 2012

We’re sitting on our new couch. The very first piece of furniture we’ve ever purchased. Okay, we’re not sitting, we’re sprawling. His head is on one end, mine is on the other. Its a microfiber heaven. There’s really no reason for us to ever leave it.

And then I say “I’m thinking about writing a post on what my Christmas list would be if I could have absolutely anything. Guess what #1 would be?” (It was a tiny giraffe that runs on a treadmill, like on THIS commerial. People have actually tried to order them.)

But he says “A baby elephant?” And that stops me. Because not only did he guess some sort of infantile jungle creature (close, very close to my original number 1), but he was totally right. I would choose a baby elephant.

I have a fierce love for baby elephants. Ever sine baby Zuri was born at the Hogle Zoo. She was 251 lbs of pure joy. I went to see her 3 times after her unveiling. I once saw her resist a nap for so long that she fell asleep standing up and fell down. Another day she spent a full ten minutes trying to climb over a log and me and the whole crowd clapped when she finally made it. I almost peed my pants when a friend recently told me that Zuri taught herself to do headstands. Please watch this video of her if anything is wrong in your life. Or maybe this one. Your problems will instantly go away.

That’s when the following happened:

HUSBAND: If me and a baby elephant were tied to train tracks and you could only rescue one of us, which would it be?

WIFE: (Long, thoughtful pause. Then in a hopeful voice) Will it always stay a baby?

HUSBAND: Yes.

WIFE: Does it like watermelon?

HUSBAND: Loves it. And popcorn.

WIFE: Does it have theme music that plays wherever it goes?

HUSBAND: Yes.

WIFE: Will it ever get to be over 500 pounds?

HUSBAND: No.

WIFE: Can I ride it?

HUSBAND: Yes.

(WIFE pauses for dramatic effect. They both know what’s about to happen but WIFE wants to make it look like she’s at least a little conflicted.)

WIFE: (patting husband lovingly) I’m sorry. But I guess this is G’bye.

(Scene fades.)

Note to readers: If anyone knows a guy who knows a guy who might be able to get me a baby elephant, please email me promptly. I promise the elephant will have a very good home. A new split level house with a large garden, a room painted with tinkerbell fairydust, a nearby dog park for all her haloomphing, and a shihtzu to keep her company. Plus a devoted mother who will never tire of watching DUMBO with her and makes a mean batch of chocolate chip cookies.

And in case you were wondering, here’s what the rest of my fantasy Christmas list would be:

  1. Baby elephant.
  2. An old fashioned bath tub with feet. That I’d never have to leave.
  3. A chocolate fountain that runs 24/7.
  4. A sky blue T-bird convertible.
  5. For someone to include me in a flash mob.

Yep. That about does it.

 

The Sexiest Man Alive

November 23, 2011

First things first. This is Ryan.

You’re welcome.

And now for the obvious: WELCOME TO MY NEW BLOG!

Isn’t it dreamy?

I’ve been a bit absent the last few weeks as we’ve been trying to get this fabulous new design underway. We’re almost there. But I couldn’t wait anymore. I have about 30 post ideas a day and they’re starting to really gum up my brain.

Plus I really feel the blogging world needs my opinion on People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive 2011 nomination. Now, I’m sure this is way more information than you’d really like to have, but I’d have to say that over 94% of all my daydreams consist of me busting some kind of awesome dance moves and wowing everyone around me in a variety of settings (think Cameron Diaz in Charlie’s Angels). The other 6% consist of Ryan Gosling, Taylor Lautner (hair short, shirt off), and Patrick Swayze in the late 1980′s maybe singing “She’s like the Wind…”

Sorry, David. Maybe I won’t tell you about this post.

So imagine my surprise when in the checkout line this week I saw this cover:


Bradley Cooper.

Huh.

My immediate thought was: It should have been Ryan Gosling, but whatever.

The next day on the radio I heard that many other people had had the exact same thought but simply couldn’t let it go. In fact, groups of people have been protesting outside of People’s magazine’s HQ’s because they think he was robbed.

It was a weird feeling to realize that I am 100% in agreement with a bunch of crazed fans standing around the streets of NYC with Ryan Goseling masks on.

America, I’m completely with you on this.

So what’s your opinion? Who should have won? Cooper? (Said in bored tone to trombone overtones of “wah, wah, wahahahahah”…) OR, Ryan Gosling. You know, the one who was so amazing on The Notebook (banned from our household because David claims it makes me go “crazy.” Whatever.). Or the Ryan Gosling of Crazy, Stupid, Love that did that Dirty Dancing move that would have worked on me lickety split?

Chose the right. I believe in you.

“She Tried to Be Good”: Pulp Fiction Covers & Contest

September 7, 2011

Every writer has their inspiration. For some it may be the work of Dickens. For others, a particularly well-crafted work of macaroni art. But a select few, through no fault of their own, seem to find all manner of inspiration in 1950’s pulp fiction novel covers.

I happen to be one of those writers.

In fact, at the moment I am typing away under a large picture entitled “The Original Pulp Fiction Collection.” It is a framed photo of 5 Pulp Fiction covers titled Love & Marriage. It brings me no end of joy.

Perhaps you don’t know what Pulp Fiction is. Let me enlighten you.

Pulp Fiction refers to a collection of literature that spanned the first half of the 20th century. This was cheap and dirty literature, called “pulp” because of the inexpensive wood pulp paper the novels were printed on. A good one cost you 10 cents. A really good one could be as much as 25 cents. They multiplied like ants in American newsstands and were soon hidden under mattresses all across the country. They were dramatic, racy, shocking, and all around delicious.

I must admit I’ve never read one.

But that really doesn’t hinder my enjoyment. Because what I really love about these novels are their covers. They are bright, cheap looking, racy, colorful, and downright delicious. In fact, the covers were so important that it became common practice for an artist to create a cover then ask a writer to come up with a story to go with it. Their titles make me laugh. Their descriptions make me laugh harder, and their pricing make me absolutely giddy. Let me give you a sampling.

This one is my absolute favorites and hangs on my wall for all to see. There are so many things I love about it that I’m not sure where to start. Here we have the typical Tall Dark & Handsome (alternately known as black-haired Ken doll) hoisting a buxom blonde whose blouse seems to be coming undone. There’s even a hint of a bed which suggests hanky panky. But not too luridly. This novel screams “sexy with a moral.” And who doesn’t like their morals sexy.

This one is a close second. I love the delicate pink blossoms and whimsical daisies that suggest vitality, youth and spring. I love that she is pink-cheeked with love while Tall Dark & Handsome is completely out of place in their pastoral haven, decked out in a jacket and tie. I also find the pipe to be a nice touch that brings a touch of class to the scene. I try to model my own love affair after this image.

First off, the title is a homerun. Because if there’s one time in your life that should be downright shameless it’s your honeymoon. Obviously this author gets that. I love her gigantic lacy boobs, the placement of her left hand, and the way Tall Dark & Handsome stands shaving in the background in a wife beater and high waisted trousers. Please, let us never be parted.

This cover and I have a history. But I just saw the book’s subtitle for the first time and immediately started howling. In fact, David just asked why I was “cackling” and after I showed him made several remarks over the next twenty minutes or so along the lines of “Where did I find you? You’re perfect for me.”

BTW – THIS IS WHERE THE CONTEST COMES IN!

I made the mistake of taking a journal with this cover on my study abroad to London with a very conservative Christian school. I made a bigger mistake when I accidentally left it out in the common area of our house’s living room.  Unfortunately, it was found and deemed trash. If only they could have read all the sultry details inside.

I AM GIVING AWAY THIS SAUCY LITTLE JOURNAL TODAY.

(Guaranteed to up the sauciness factor of your life by at least 17%).

To enter, post a comment to this post. To enter multiple times subscribe to my  blog via twitter, facebook, email or RSS feed (located under “Subscription Options.”

Oh I love you Green Lemon readers. I will announce the winner on Friday.

Now here’s a title I can work with. It’s more like a challenge. I also love the diversity of our characters. We have a blonde AND a brunette. And, I’m not sure, but one of the Tall Dark & Handsome’s appears to be a redhead. This is obviously a very progressive novel

You have no idea how badly I want a copy of this. First off, the dress is fabulous. So is her dreamy, faraway look. And the brilliance of the three ghosty heads (are they triplets?) adds all kinds of mystery. And what is she writing? So many questions and so few answers.

This one speaks for itself. Please notice the authorship.

Men didn’t marry her kind. The mirror affect is positively alluring. I can hardly tear my gaze away. And look at the drama captured in that one claw-like hand. How does she destroy everything she loves? And why is that man so angry?

There are 38 words on this cover. That’s longer than a dissertation I once wrote on the aspirations of potato bugs. Please notice that this one had not just 3 printings, but 3 LARGE printings.

And finally:

Ohy, the irony. This girl is clearly no bar of Ivory Soap. And what horrific tragedy affected her hair but missed her brows entirely?

I’m sorry I’m not more sophisticated. Some of you may be thinking along with my husband “Where did I find her?” And to that, I would respond 7th grade gym class and www.thegreenlemon.com respectively.

Don’t forget to enter the contest!

 

Glistener the Goldfish

August 17, 2011

I have this thing about fish.

They make me want to do the icky dance for minutes at a time. I will have full on panic attacks if I think one has brushed past me in open water. I stare at the carpet in the reception areas of Chinese restaurants because if they have a tank of giant, bloated scaly fish there’s a very good chance I’m not going to enjoy my General Tso’s Chicken. And if I were on Fear Factor that would be my challenge—to lay in one of those pet store tanks and let their creepy little bodies swim all over me. You get the point.

But the other day I was talking to David about childhood pets and remembered that I wasn’t always this way. I once felt genuine love for those slippery little guys. Particularly one named Glistener.

I generally consider fish to be heartbreak in the making. Fittingly, most of them have the life span of a goldfish—which is roughly equivalent to the time it takes for a small child to name and become attached to it. I was 7, and my sister Ally was 5, when the Great Goldfish Tragedies began.

Our first visit to the pet shop was magical. Ally chose a small, sensible gray fish that she named Madeline. I chose a flashy gold one named (uniquely) Goldie. Within 24 hours Ally and I were knocking excitedly on my parents’ bedroom door to tell them that we had taught Goldie his first trick—swimming on his back. Our parents drove us back to the store for me to pick out a new one. And this pattern continued for several months. Poor Madeline saw more death than an exterminator.

I was particularly attached to Sunshine, who lived almost 3 weeks. After so many fish I think my parents realized I had suffered a huge amount of heartache for a 7 year old. So instead of the usual toilet bowl ceremony my dad buried Sunshine under a large pine tree in the backyard. I made her a headstone out of some chipped up brick and brought her some flowers. Then I bowed my head and told her I would never forget her. And cried. 20 minutes later I found the strength to move on. And it was back to the pet store.

And that is when I first met Glistener. She was a flashy, bright orange with perfect black lips that said “O” over and over. She reminded me of a Vegas showgirl, which I had aspirations of becoming. I knew it was time to bring out the name I had been storing up—the most beautiful name I had ever thought up. Glistener. Adjective made noun. Poetry made Piscis.

My parents knew love when they saw it. While I kept my eye on Glistener they summoned the teenager spending a disgruntled summer working a job at the pet store and he got his obligatory little net. The fish knew what was coming and scattered like confetti in the wind. But finally Glistener, my Glistener, who truly glistened, was cornered and scooped into a little plastic bag full of water.

When I got home the next day after school the ever astute Ally pointed out something astonishing. Glistener’s lips weren’t very black anymore. We stood in front of the bowl in shock for a good 3 minutes. I was trying to be fair but I had a feeling that Madeline had something to do with it. Just before I began the accusation my mom poked her head into our bedroom and we told her the news. “Hmmm,” she said. “Sometimes fish change when they get to their homes. Glistener must be a very special fish.”

10 years later, after Glistener had been dead for 9 and 5/6 years, my parents felt I was ready to handle the truth. While I had been at school that first day they had found Glistener doing the back stroke while Madeline swam blithely beneath, probably with the tune of “Another One Bites the Dust” swimming through her head. They panicked. They knew I couldn’t handle one more loss. So they cruised back to the store and demanded Glistener’s exact replica. Apparently this took about 10 minutes of shouting and pointing at 1 out of 10,0000 fish. Finally they gave up and just caught one. Its lips weren’t quite as black, but they hoped it would do. They called it “Glistener II” whenever I wasn’t around and prayed its little lips would get blacker. And I never knew a thing.

So I guess this goldfish story is actually the story of two very good parents.

 

The Fifteen People You Will Meet on Facebook

August 3, 2011

I have a few words of advice for all you Facebook virgins. (If there are any of you left out there.)

Facebook takes time. Lots of it. You will spend hours checking out pictures of people you don’t really care about, and days reading status updates that make your brain go numb. You could spend entire years of your life getting to know the intricacies of your old high school friends’ daily lives, what they watch, what they eat, and who “It’s Complicated” with.

And that’s what concerns me.

You see, I know you have limited time on the Internet. Time that should be spent reading The Green Lemon. Or telling others about The Green Lemon. Or staring into space. And because I am so devoted to my readers, I have come up with a plan to save you all that precious time.

Rest assured I am well qualified for this. I have put in my time online, and it is my theory that while there may be over 750 million people on the network, if you break them down into categories, there are really only about 15. I know these people likes. I know their comments. And I know their profile pictures. Using my patented process which I like to call EVERYONE YOU WILL EVER MEET ON FACEBOOK you will soon call yourself a truly connected person. And today, for the first time ever, I am willing to share that with you.

You’re welcome.

 

THE PERSON YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW WHEN YOU ACCEPTED THEIR FRIEND REQUEST, BUT SOON REALIZED YOU DON’T: He looked sort of familiar when the “Friend Request” came up, but the accompanying thumbnail photo made it too hard to tell. Now you wonder why you’re receiving updates about a complete stranger’s trip to New Jersey to visit his in-laws. Would it be rude to delete him?

THE MOM: This woman is a champion, but she’s been consumed. By babies.  She posts about breastfeeding and asks for tips on breast pumps. At weird hours. And she’s replaced all photos of herself with photos of babies in gigantic daisy bows.

 

THE CRYPTIC PARTIER: You generally have no idea what this person is trying to say, as his status usually says something like LAST NIGHT -=WAISTED. Sometimes you wonder if you should correct their spelling. Or tell them it makes them look dumb to post pictures of themselves flipping off the camera.  But then you take a second look at the crazed look in their eye and decide maybe you shouldn’t get involved. He looks unstable.

THE INAPPROPRIATE FAMILY MEMBER: This is perhaps an aunt or distant cousin that you actually really like—in real life. But then they catch the Facebook bug and start creeping on your game. Maybe you’re trying to connect with some attractive girl you met at a party the night before and you write: “Hey Sara, great meeting you last night. We should get together sometime.” Inappropriate Family Member somehow finds this comment on your new friends’ wall and then comments directly below you with “YOU SHOULD REALLY GO OUT WITH MY NEPHEW HE IS SO AWESOME EVEN IF HE HAS THE WORST GAS EVER, LOL.”

THE MLM: This is someone you knew in college but haven’t spoken to in years. One day you’ll get a very chatty message from him asking how you’re doing, how your life is, and if you want to catch up. You think, “How nice, it would be great to reconnect.” When you reply he jumps right in with asking if you would be interested in selling large bottles of magical pineapple juice as part of the MLM he now swears by. He swears you will be driving a Ferrari within 6 months. You delete him.

YOUR EX BOYFRIEND: You know he’s there. In fact, he was probably the third person you looked up after getting your Facebook account. You note with satisfaction that his new girlfriend is nowhere near as cute as you and that she sort of looks like your ex-boyfriend’s mom. And after this chain of thoughts you now have to recognize that you are not a very good person.

THE GIRL WHO TAKES PICTURES OF HERSELF IN A BIKINI: There’s no reason she should be in a bikini. She’s standing in her (cluttered) apartment alone, with her head cocked as she takes a picture of herself. In November. In Minneapolis. And you’re pretty sure that her tangerine colored skin is neither natural nor healthy.

 

THE TEENAGER: We’re not sure they’re speaking English. Posts are frequent, very frequent, and generally say things like: TTTOOOMM CCC ISS MY BOOOYYYYYY, followed by approximately 37 equally unintelligible replies from Teenager’s friend.

 

THE NOT SO GORGEOUS FRIEND FROM HIGH SCHOOL WHO TURNED OUT TO BE GORGEOUS: You are fascinated with this person. Last time you saw them you’d have described them as “nice.” As in “plain.” Now they are smoking hot, and judging by their pictures, living it up. You’ve looked through their complete album of pictures about 4 times in the last month.

THE “WE’RE SO HAPPILY MARRIED” COUPLE: This couple uses Facebook like a love letter. They are constantly writing about how much they love Husband or Wife, using creative words like “honey love,” “pumpkin muffin,” and “schnooks.” You’ve heard rumors they hate each other.

 

THE WILDLY SUCCESFUL JET SETTER: This person is going to make you hate your life. They travel to the coolest places with their coolest job in the coolest clothes. Try not to dwell.

 

 

THE STALKER YOU’VE NEVER MET: You can’t remember accepting this person’s friend request but one day you realize that a man with a middle initial (like Jaren R. Collins) has commented on every single one of your photos. He also sends you a message saying that he’s looked at all your pictures and thinks the two of you would really get along, and maybe you should meet up? And don’t worry, he only lives a few hours away. You start locking your bedroom door at night.

THE THOUGHTFUL QUOTE PROVIDER: This person’s aim is to inspire. You will hear about sunsets. And why you should live each moment as if it’s your last. And receive daily reminder to follow your dreams and/or heart.

 

 

THE PERSON WHO DOESN’T REALIZE THAT FACEBOOK IS A PUBLIC FORUM: Somehow she didn’t get the memo. She posts things like “Just called in sick to my stupid jerk-face boss. I need a day at the mall!!!”

 

 

THE 25 PEOPLE WHOSE PHONE NUMBERS YOU KNOW: These are the people you would say hello to if you saw them in the grocery store. Call you old-fashioned, but you usually just call these people when you want to talk.

 

 

Is the grass is any greener over on Google+?

How I Almost Became a Famous Blogger

July 29, 2011

This morning I woke up to excellent news. I had a new comment. Which I love. But not just any comment, it was a potentially profitable business comment. This is what it said:

Hi! Sorry I write you via comments. But I could not find contact e-mail or feedback form on your site.

My name is Martin Dumont and I represent PAKBB Agency. We are making an advertising campaign for Lacoste Company (it is a French company producing clothes, footwear, perfumery etc.) and we would like to place their banner at your site http://www.thegreenlemon.com. We are interested in banners of the following sizes: 160×600, 240×400, 300×250, 336×280, 468×60, 728×90. What can be your price for one banner (banner should appear at ALL pages of your site) of abovementioned sizes (please specify the place for the banner – top, bottom, left, right)? Please mention a normal link for banner, without javascript code and set prices in US dollars per month.

P.S. Please, delete this comment.

I had stars flashing in my eyes. What could be more exciting than someone named Martin Dumont asking to put Lacoste ads on my Green Lemon? And paying me for it! I had finally made it. I was going to become blog royalty.

I ran to show my husband, who knows about these things, and seemed at least willing to concede it looked real, and that it does take a lot to get through my heavy duty spam filter. “But don’t do anything till I get home from work,” he said. “It could still be a scam.”

So I indulged several fantasies over the next 10 minutes or so. One of me running on the beach in a tasteful polo dress with my husband and (heretofore nonexistent) babies in crisp polos with iconic alligator stitched to their breast pockets. Another of me wielding an apple juice at a cocktail party telling the story of “How I Accidentally Become a Very Famous and Full Time Blogger.”

And then I googled Martin Dumont.

Damn him.

And all spam.

Bad Fiction Contest

July 28, 2011

One day while working my way through one of my dad’s work storage rooms (aka, a room of things he can’t get rid of for sentimental/monetary value but may secretly wish  would be blown away like Dorothy’s house in Wizard of Oz) I came across a stack of papers that took me off task.

Okay, that’s not hard to do.

It was a print up of entries for a contest called  the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Each entry was one horribly inflated, engorged, overworked sentence and I realized what it was: a bad fiction contest. Namely, a bad opening sentence contest. And the contest was inspired and named for the famous opening line to Edward George Bulwer-Lytton’s book Paul Clifford: “It was a dark and stormy night…”

Okay, I only knew that from Charlie Brown.

I was ecstatic. I love literature. I love good literature. And I love bad literature. And a contest like this was right up my ally. In fact, my husband has a tiny notebook that fits in his church jacket so I can write bad novel opening lines for him during church. (Sorry, we’re trying to grow up.)

A friend recently sent me an article about this year’s winner. Sue Fondrie of Oshkosh, Wisconsin won with this tiny display of literary atrocity:

Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.

I know. Such talent.

While mine pale in comparison I thought I’d share a few of my bad fiction starters:

#1. A cloud settled over the humid church, and the sound of old ladies flapping their fans masked a growing sense of danger; it was only a matter of time.

#2. As he emerged from the pool, water dripping off him like a broken strand of pearls, the woman thought, what have I done?

#3. The sweet puddle of melted ice cream had attracted dozen of ants and insects, much like Sara’s ability to attract despicable men.

Vote on your favorite in the comments please. Or, better yet, add your own.

My Life as a U2 Fan

May 25, 2011

So there are about 100 things I should be doing right now, but after the concert last night I am having a hard time doing anything but buzzing around the house listening to the 45+ U2 songs I have on my Ipod.

Some people know this about me, some don’t. But the fact remains: I am a serious U2 fan.

Last night I went to the concert with my dad and sister. At the last minute I also talked my husband into taking our extra ticket. David has known me since we were 13, and we’ve been together almost 8 years and I still feel like he got to know me on a whole new level last night. I was telling him all my favorite U2 stories and decided it might make for a good blog, if for no other reason than getting all my excess U2 energy out.

Before I get into this, can I tell you I’m not the crazy fan type? I’ve met a lot of famous people through my parents and rarely have I felt overwhelmed by anyone. But U2 is different. Okay, you’ve been warned.

The Introduction.

I start listening to U2 at 14 when I buy a CD for a high school friend. He is a huge fan and I soon realize why. Soon I’m hooked as well.

My first concert.

I was 19. U2 came to SLC for the first time in about a million years and I completely missed out on tickets, as they were sold out in about 3 minutes. I was a tiny bit devastated but tried to be brave. My mom and dad were at one of those posh gala type things and someone won a U2 package including 2 tickets, Bono’s autobiography, and a U2 purse. The man who won hadn’t even heard of U2 but somehow word got around that Richard Paul Evans had a U2 crazed daughter, and maybe he would buy the tickets off him? This transaction occurred. I almost peed my pants.

I went all out getting ready. I had a pair of crazy sexy knee high boots and some very cool jeans. When Ally and I arrived at the concert I handed over my tickets and a giant Irish bouncer-looking guy with about a million tattoos yelled over to me, “Hey, cool boots.” I thanked him and gave him a huge smile because I was going to see U2. When we came through the line Irish Bouncer grabbed my tickets and slid them through a machine that had a screen on it. Nothing happened on the screen but he held up my tickets and announced “Looks like we have a winner.” I had no idea what that meant and he caught on to my clueless look. He leaned forward and said, “How would you like be in the center of the stage? Right by the band?” My jaw dropped. It was clear that I had not in fact won anything, but here he was offering me the best seats in the concert. I asked if I could hug him. He opened his arms wide and said “Sure.” I jumped on him like a monkey. Then he gave Ally and I some special wrist bands and led us under the stage to the center of it. Again. Almost peed my pants.  Poor Ally, I wouldn’t even let her go to the bathroom, I was too scared our places were somehow going to get taken away.

After what felt like 2 hours Bono came onstage. I cried. He sang “With or Without You,” my favorite song of all times, and I cried. It was ridiculous and truly one of the greatest nights of my life. Unfortunately I wasn’t one of the girls taken onstage (which is probably the reason Irish Bouncer ushered me through), but it still was incredible.

Chasing down a Senator.

I am at a fundraising event and spot Senator Orrin Hatch. I know for a fact that he knows Bono, as Bono mentioned him at the concert and my dad had confirmed that they are in fact friends. I chase down the senator wearing a ridiculously high pair of high heels and demand any information he has on him. All I got was “Bono, yes, he is a great guy,” and a look like I’m crazy. Oh well. A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.

Dublin.

I am on a study abroad with BYU in London and we take a week’s excursion to Dublin. All U2 fans know there is really only one reason to go to Dublin. To stalk Bono. I decided to not be the crazy type to go to his house, but I did convince a small group of fellow students to wander through a super scary part of Dublin looking for the “U2 wall,” part of a building where they recorded their first album. We were stopped not once but twice by nice concerned Irish people who wanted to know why we were wandering around such a scary part of town. Finally a guy asked, “Are you looking for the U2 Wall?” then he pointed us in the right direction and told us to go see it then get out of that neighborhood as fast as possible. I convince the group that we are going to be totally fine and we press on. I take my pictures and touch the wall. Then we run.

On that same trip I saw a U2 cover band in a fantastic pub. They apparently are the actual band’s favorite. They were so impressed that they gave the cover band a bunch of equipment.

I’m also told that while on a tour bus I went from dead asleep to an upright, alert position in less than ½ a  second when I hear the name ‘Bono’ mentioned by our tour guide, who is pointing out Bono’s home. I am ridiculed for this for about 3 weeks.

Why?

So I’ve been trying to decide. What is it that I love so much about them? They had already been around for a lifetime by the time I was listening to them on my portable CD player in 9th grade. Is it that they just have amazing music? Yes, I really think they do. (I also strongly believe that everyone should see “Sunday Bloody Sunday” performed live, it’s incredible.)  But I think it’s more about the fact that every part of my life now has some kind of U2 song linked to it. Last night when they played “I Will Follow” I remembered goofing off with our nannies in Florence, making videos of ourselves dancing with a large sombrero that was inexplicably on the wall of the home we were renting. Or when they played “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m looking For” I remember listening to my CD alone in my room during high school, experiencing for the first time just how bad getting your heart broken feels.  Or when they played “Sunday, Blood Sunday” I remembered walking to ASU on my first day wondering if I really was brave enough to have moved to a city where I knew no one to try to figure myself out. Or when they played “All I Want is You” I remembered the year David and I spent apart and suddenly realized that just like the song said, things had worked out. And now I have this new memory. Every time I hear “She Moves in Mysterious Ways” I’m going to remember being 25 at a concert with  my wonderful husband of 3 years, both of us freezing and trying to fit into one sweatshirt, and wondering what the next phase of my life is going to bring.

Funny how music can be that big of a deal.

 

A, B, C, D, DD and beyond: A Memoir of Breasts

May 10, 2011

Astries, Bazookas, Bongoes, Cha-Chas, Dingos, Ear Muffs, Fog Lights, Gazongas, Hush Puppies, Jibs, Kongas, Lulu’s, Milk Shakes, Nancies, Oompas, Pillows, Rib Cushions, Spark Plugs, Tatas, Umlauts, Wahwahs, and Zingers.

Wow. This list truly speaks to the true creativity of the male mind.

But it’s not just men. Sometimes I think we all might be slightly obsessed with breasts, and I’m not quite sure why. I once had a friend tell me that I could rule the entire world, with no other qualifications than my cup size. His comment was completely inappropriate, but still interesting. Why did we get so obsessive about something as boring as breasts? And why is that some cultures don’t even seem to notice them? (Think of pictures you’ve seen in National Geographic of topless women in Africa or South America and compare that to the craziness that surrounded Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” here in the states).

Every woman has some kind of relationships with her breasts, and I am no exception. And as weird as this is going to sound, I am going to tell you my life history through The Girls.

The Emergence

As a teenager I was a serious ballerina. I took classes every day and in the summers danced for 40 hours a week. This all changed when my family moved to Europe.  Suddenly I was dancing a lot less and eating a lot more. During my first summer there I gained 10+ lbs and a brand new set of boobs (that I am still convinced may be made up completely of gelato). I had always considered myself very graceful, but this new addition, which came on fast, completely threw me off and I started falling down constantly. I fell down the stairs, I fell up the stairs, and occasionally I fell under the stairs. Soon my mom started to recognize the sound of me by a crash. I also started spilling yogurt on my shirt constantly. I think there were about 11 full days of my sophomore year that I didn’t have yogurt on the front of my shirt.

Detective Work

I was a bit traumatized. Where had these things come from? And from whom? I am not from a family of large-chested woman and I was concerned that I was some kind of freakish fluke. After some digging I learned that one of my Italian grandmothers was a bout 4’11”, with a very large chest. Apparently I have May Pearl Zitto to thank.

The Harassment

I think I was one of about 7 girls in my entire (tiny) school above a B cup, and along with my new balancing act I suddenly had a lot of attention I had no idea how to deal with. This ranged from the immature (year–long games of groups of boys trying to throw rocks down my shirt) to the offensive (being groped onstage during a school play). I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to like this attention or not. It made me uncomfortable but it also seemed like most of the girls wanted attention, so wasn’t I supposed to be enjoying it? Most days I wanted to shove at least 3 different guys into the bushes, but in general I just laughed it off. And got more and more bugged. Yay repression.

A Rescue

One day after school my Vespa ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere. And I mean nowhere. I was somewhere in the rolling hills of Tuscany, and no one was going to find me. I tried calling my family but as usual the phone line was so I started pushing my Vespa. Remember when I said rolling hills? I meant it. I pushed that stupid scooter up and down hills for what felt like miles. Almost every car that drove past me honked, but no one was stopping to help. Finally, when my arms were killing and I didn’t think I could make it one more step I did what I had to do. I took off my coat to reveal a tight shirt. The next car pulled over.

I’m going to go ahead and admit I’ve repeated variations on this maneuver since.

An Introduction

After high school I moved back home and started hanging out with a guy who 5 years later would become my husband. Once we started spending all our time together he told his friends about me and they gave their blessing with the following: “Jenna? She has big ol’ boobies.”

Thanks guys. A glowing review.

Cancer Scare

When I was 20 I finally told myself I had to go to the doctor. For several months I’d felt a lump in my left breast and I knew it wasn’t going away. I made an appointment with my doctor while I was home from ASU for Christmas break. The doctor assured me it was going to be fine, but he wanted to take an X-Ray to see what it looked like. After he saw the x-ray he told me that it didn’t look fine and that I needed to have surgery. Soon. The lump was solid so they wouldn’t be able to tell me if it was malignant or benign without a biopsy.

That was a really awful moment. I remember sitting in my car thinking, what if I am 20 years old and have breast cancer? How many times have I passed billboards and thought, that will never be me?

I was supposed to be getting on the road to meet my then boyfriend in Las Vegas but instead I met with a surgeon. A few days later I was laying in the recovery room of the hospital deliriously trying to convince my mom that what I really needed was a banana split. Once I was coherent (and had eaten my ice cream) the doctors told me that what they had thought was a small lump had actually turned out to be the size of a golf ball. I know. Traumatizing.

But it was a benign golf ball. And somehow, my only memento of the occasion is a scar that I almost never notice. A few weeks later, when my stitches were out and my bruising had gone down a friend hugged me with a golf ball in the left breast pocket of his shirt. I laughed for a straight 15 minutes.

Nannying

My sophomore year of college I began a job nannying for an adorable 3 year old boy (this is not the NYC boy I talked about in an earlier post) who I’ll call Will. His mom was stick-straight triathlete. So was his previous nanny, and I perplexed him to no end. One day Will pointed to my chest and said “Jenna, what’s that?” I wasn’t totally comfortable with his parents yet and wasn’t sure how they’d want me to respond, so I practiced the distraction technique.  “It’s just my body,” I said cheerfully. “Want to play trucks?”

But the question continued, and soon I could tell he had really been thinking. “Jenna, you have a big tummy,” he said to me one day, patting my chest knowingly. “You had a lot of lunch.” Another day he was sure he knew the answer.  Jenna,” he said. “You have a baby in your tummy.”

Finally one day he’d had enough. I clearly wasn’t giving him the answers he needed, so he took matters into his own hands. Literally.  While we sat on the floor reading stories he suddenly stood up, grabbed the neckline of my shirt and yelled “JENNA, WHAT IS THAT?” before looking down my shirt. And that is how I introduced a 3 year old to breasts.

Married Life

This is about to be TMI, so please skip ahead if you’d like. I warned you.

One day I was washing the dishes and David came home, walked up behind me, and performed the Kitchen Sink Grope. You know what I’m talking about. It had happened about a thousand times before but this was the first time I’d actually given it a name. Not only that, but our sink was in front of the kitchen window and I just knew that one day a small child was going to see this and be traumatized. I decided it was time to lay down the law. I whirled around, pointed a soapy finger in his face, and said, “How would you like it, if I just walked around grabbing you all the time?”

I’m sure you can guess his response.

Today

Today, I am generally happy with my size. I don’t fall down (much) and have found the world’s greatest sports bra ($70, but well worth it). As for me, I am trying to be extra accepting. It’s interesting to me how often other girls will tell me how lucky I am when I’m thinking the same thing about them. Will we ever learn to be happy with what we’ve got? I’m going to try. Even if the bras in my size at Victoria’s Secret sort of remind me of utility belts.

Parting Thoughts & Questions for Womack

March 15, 2011

As I watch “After the Final Rose” I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. Another 3 months of wasted Monday nights. And for what? For a chance to watch a totally fake relationship rise and crash, with me tagging along right behind it.  Here are some of my thoughts on Brad’s season:

1. Why did Emily not have a personality until the last hour of the show?

2. Is there some type of Bachelor handbook that  feeds them phrases common to all bachelors and bachelorettes? Phrases would include:

  • This has been such a journey.
  • I never expected to feel this way.
  • I’m really falling in love with —, and its really a scary feeling.
  • I haven ‘t had these feelings in such a long time.

3. When will a Bachelor finally tell the truth when he is rejecting the last woman? I’m waiting for the moment when Bachelor says, “The truth is, I’ve fallen in love with someone else. And his name is Chris Harrison.”

4. Why does Reality Steve have to be so annoyingly correct?

5. Why was Emily dressed like an angel and Chantel like the devil?

6. Why was Michelle Money-Money-Money! (sing it!) in trouble for leaving her daughter, and Emily got no flack for it?

7. When will I stop believing that these two are going to make it? For crying out loud, I thought Jake and Vienna were going to make it.

8. How creepy was it to watch Brad’s twin? They even moved their hands the same.

9. How awesome were Chantel’s boobs? (had to throw that one in, really, that girl was gorgeous)

10. Tell the truth. Every time Brad started talking about his counselor did you get bored and wish they’d cut to a scene of him with his shirt off?

11. How much do you think the commercials right before the proposal cost?

12. Wait, did I miss something? Show just ended and I still don’t know who the new Bachelorette will be? Help please.

 

I guess its time for me to have a life again. Until May anyway. All of your Bachelor insights would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

How to Tell if the Child You Nanny Hates You

February 20, 2011

I called him Timothy. He called me “not you again.” This is the true story of one autumn spent working as a nanny in NYC.

Being a live-in nanny should have come very naturally to me. First, I was working for family friends Laurie and Kate, two of my favorite people. Second, I was a seasoned babysitter. As the oldest child I was babysitting and changing diapers for my own family by age 9, and by 12 was being payed $6 an hour to babysit neighborhood kids while their parents spent a night out. And these kids liked me. In fact, I thought I had a sort of Mary Poppins charm. Until Timothy.

Timothy was 3 years old when his regular nanny Miriam, who had been with him since birth, took some time off for maternity leave. I was 17 and after graduating a year early from high school, had nothing but spare time. Mom had the great idea that I could be the fill-in nanny, Laurie agreed, and I flew to NYC to begin what I thought would be a successful career.

Timothy was a classy little guy. At 3 he enjoyed eating takeout sushi while I pushed him home in his stroller from preschool. He also enjoyed spending time at Battery Park, Superman ice cream pops, and watching movies on his portable DVD player while eating out at trendy Soho restaurants. What he did not enjoy was having a new woman in his life—me. This became abundantly clear when he began vocalizing his complaints about my care as well as an outspoken hope for my annihilation. Phrases like “I already have a nanny, Jen,” (my name was always spoken with an exaggerated despicability) “and she’s a good nanny. Her name is Miriam.” I found this particular phrase quite well thought out for one so young. He didn’t come out and say “You are a terrible nanny, I like my other one better,” he went the long way, implying that there was a “good nanny” and that good nanny was not me.

Another popular phrase involved his dog Tribley, a small, elderly terrier. “Tribley,” Timothy would command imperiously, “Eat Jenna!” The alarming part was that Timothy always seemed disappointed and surprised when Tribley didn’t obey. After a few disappointing moments had passed, and I still stood there intact, Timothy would say resignedly, “Jen, why won’t you just go home?”

Most of the abuse was hidden from his moms (who were later mortified to hear of Timothy’s treatment of me) except for
one evening when Kate was giving him a bath. “Mama Laurie! Can you get my duck?” Timothy yelled from the bathroom. “Sure, Timothy,” Laurie shouted back. There was a pregnant pause, and for some strange reason I knew what was coming. Sure enough Timothy suddenly yelled in a surprisingly deep voice, “Not you, Jen.” He had mistaken Laurie’s voice for mine.

That I was unfit to be a nanny was not all I learned in NYC. Kate and Laurie felt it their duty to expose me to all things cultural, so I was regularly sent to the theater, the opera, the ballet, and the movies. During one particularly memorable outing, I went to an experimental show that had the whole audience standing while people strapped in harnesses flew around in the air above us spinning around and gyrating sexually. There was also an audience participation segment in which attendees were strapped to performers by pelvic harnesses and taken up into the air. When a cast member grabbed my arm I yanked myself away, hard, and ran.

I also made friends with a lot of people. Mostly construction workers. After so many days alone with just a small child (who hated me) for company, I started responding to their cat calls. “How you doin’?” one guy yelled at me. “Great!” I yelled back. They always seemed slightly alarmed by my response.

I also had a first-hand experience with a little something called “Crazy Nanny Syndrome.” One day at the park a little boy fell backwards from the monkey bars, hitting his head. When the child started wailing, his nanny, a large Russian woman with a heavy accent to match her backside ran to the child, flinging him over her shoulder like a sack of potatoes. “WHO DID THIS?” she roared, looking at all the children nearby who could have hurt her small charge. “WHO PUSHED YOU?” The child just cried louder in response and nannies began running to retrieve their children. “Not who,” one timid Korean nanny said (New Yorkers love nannies from different countries who can teach their child a second language) “he fall down alone.” By this point Russian Nanny’s face was a deep red color that matched her bright hair and I knew she was after blood. I darted into the battle zone to pick up Timothy and we ran.

On my last day as Timothy’s replacement nanny I tried to get some sort of sign—a confirmation—that I’d done okay, that having me around hadn’t shattered his young life. “Timothy,” I said, kneeling down so we were eye level. “I’m going home now. I’m not going to be your nanny anymore.” Timothy looked at me, and for a brief second I thought I saw a sign of sadness, but then I realized what it was. It was triumph. He had won. I sighed and pulled him in for a squirming hug that he fought against tooth and nail. And that ended my career as a nanny.

I see Timothy and his moms in December when they spend a week skiing in Park City, and Timothy (now 10) and I never tire of reminiscing about all of the terrible things he said to me when he was so young. He has grown into a lovely, talented, sweet little guy, and for all that we went through together, I think it was worth the stories.

How to Pretend to Know What’s Going on While Watching Football

February 7, 2011

Me not getting football has been a recurring theme in my life.

Exhibit A: Me standing in the stands of the U Stadium with the MUSS, wearing a bright red sweatshirt, sometime forgetting why I was even there.

Exhibit B: Me playing Powder Puff football in high school. In my school there was a yearly girls’ flag football competition, Freshmen vs. Sophomores vs. Juniors vs. Seniors. I was always playing defense because 1. I could not throw the ball. 2. I could not catch the ball. 3. I had no idea what was going on when we planned out our plays. However, I was excellent at pulling people’s flags without pantsing them.

Exhibit C: Dad taking me to play Thanksgiving football with the guys when I was 13. I was immediately deemed worthless when I attempted to tackle a man who was about 20 years older than me and on my own team.

This complete lack of understanding is not entirely my fault. In my defense, I have tried to get with it.

Attempt A: In fourth grade when I realized playing the pink Power Ranger with the boy I liked wasn’t getting me as far as I’d hoped, I checked out a book that claimed it could teach a girl to throw a football and make it spiral. I felt this would be an excellent way to really get things going. Turns out checking out books from library on how to do cool things is not the best way to get a guy into you.

Attempt B: I asked for a tutorial from my football loving cousins. We were at a diner and they used condiment bottles and salt and pepper shakers as visual aids. All I saw was ketchup.

Attempt C: Dating the high school quarterback my senior year. I knew he was excellent choice when he picked me up and did bicep curls with me. I faithfully attended every game, but all I remember is checking out he and his teammates butts in their football pants and taking sweaty pictures.

Now, I consider myself an intelligent person, who is in fact excellent at many things, but football comprehension is not one of them (I have a similar argument for my remote, for the first 6 months of our new TV I would yell “I am an intelligent, college graduate, why the $#%^ can I not work this thing!” One day a written list of instructions (in my husband’s handwriting) appeared on the coffee table and I’ve been much calmer ever since, but back to football–) The fact is, if you live in the U.S. celebrate Thanksgiving, pursue secondary education, or live anywhere near a man (even if he is a computer software engineer), you are probably going to be exposed to regular doses of football and you are going to have to come up with ways to combat your social ineptitude. Learn from my methods:

1. Always know the bare minimum: what sport, what teams, and which color you’re supposed to be cheering for (but don’t refer to a team as being a “color.” This gives you away instantly.)

2. Blend in. When the crowd cheers, you cheer. When they boo, boo along with them.

3. Develop a disgusted head shake. When someone yells something at the TV or field that involves some sort of comprehension, something like: “They should totally challenge that call!” simply shake your head slowly and disgustedly, as if you are saying “I would get riled up, but I know it’s not worth it”

If you feel you need more than these cover-up techniques refer to the NFL’s Beginner’s Guide to Football. It might help.

How to Succeed as a Gold Digger

January 19, 2011

The term Gold Digger once conjured up the image of old prospectors, toting pick axes and dreams of finding precious metals in the Old West. I’m assuming you know I’m not talking about this type of gold digger. But as the future wife of an incredibly wealthy man, you really are not much different. You too have aspirations. You too have skills. And you too are willing to work for your money. I’ll open this article with a description of my favorite historic gold digger,

Peggy Hopkins Joyce: A Gold Digger’s Inspiration

Peggy Hopkins Joyce was one of the most inspiring gold diggers of the 19th century.  Born Marguerite Upton, Peggy ran away at the age of 16 to travel with a vaudeville troupe, later becoming a showgirl and actress.

Before the age of twenty she had scandalously married and divorced twice—and as her millionaire ex-husband began to stack up (6 husband + numerous high-profile lovers) she began to earn something of a reputation, particularly when she started doing things like spending over $1 million in a single week on pearls and fur coats.

Many have remarked that while charming, Peggy was not talented as an actress or dancer. Clearly her talent lay elsewhere. In one of her many interviews with the press (which she usually showed up to wearing something scandalous) she explained her secret:  “I may be expensive, but I deliver the goods.”

And therein lies the secret to success.

Preparing to Meet Your Millionaire

As Henry Hartman said, “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity.”  And if you’re going to have any hope at securing a long term position as a gold digger, you’d better prepare. Don’t think the opportunity will just be handed to you—along with hanging out in millionaire breeding grounds (casinos, high-end parties, clubs, charity events, etc.) you have got to be 110% prepared at all times to meet your Money Man. The following components are completely essential to your success, but whether these are natural or acquired through artificial means is entirely up to you:

DD’s + . This is crucial. Forget about the initial costs, think what an investment they are. And if you are ever involved in some type of flood think what an asset chest-level floaties will be.

Long blond hair. I don’t care what you have to do to get it. Check out my hair growth post, or invest in good extensions and a lot of peroxide. A few women manage to pull off the sexy brunette look, but don’t take chances—blond is tried and proven.

A Jamaican tan. In the past creamy skin was all the rage, but in the year 2011, it’s all about the tan. Forget about the health of your skin, all you need are a few good years to get you the riches you deserve. Consider nude tanning at least a part-time gig.

Big lips. Victoria’s Secret offers a great lip gloss that does wonders. Do not feel you need to invest in cosmetic surgery. There will be plenty of time for you to inject fat from your butt into your lips when you are a billionaire.

Consider a temporary career as a sex worker. This includes stripping (think Anna Nicole Smith), posing nude (Holly Madison), or being a show girl (Peggy Hopkins Joyce). Many Money Men are looking for a way to piss off their ex wives or inheriting children, so the trashier you are the better.

Act the part. In your role as an aspiring gold digger, remember, you are:  1) arm candy. 2) crazy about old, oftentimes decrepit men. Make it believable.

Facing Down Hurdles

Your biggest road blocks will be:

1.       Adult children. These are your intended’s children and your Money Man may have pesky attachments to them and what they think. Don’t let them get in the way. Any time a conflict arises over their father dating you, act as sweet as possible and then dissolve into tears the second you and Money Man are alone. Say things like, “Why do they hate me? I just want to make you happy.”  Or, “They may be older than me, but couldn’t they consider me more of a friend? How can they blame me for loving you?” NOTE: It is important to become a pretty crier. No floating makeup, blotchy skin or runny noses. I suggest waterproof makeup and artificial tears.

2.       Your conscience (Maybe.) Remember, you are NOT taking advantage of Money Man. This is strictly a business transaction.  Your company, beauty and dedication for his millions.

Good Luck! And if all else fails, marry the love of your life and hope for the best.

How to Survive a Trip to Blue Boutique’s Adult Room

January 7, 2011

This is a subject dear to my heart.

In case you do not live in Utah, I will give you an idea of what The Blue Boutique entails. Think naughty nurse costumes, meets body chocolate, meets stripper heels, meets candy thong. And this is just the front store.

In case these first items just aren’t what your depraved adult mind is looking for, then your next move is to walk discreetly to the back of the store, through a set of western-style swinging doors framed with suggestive neon lighting, partially hidden by a wall. Welcome to the Adult Room. It is a 12×12 room full of dildos, condoms, porn, vibrators, and some other things that to be honest I have no idea what they could be used for. Many things are battery operated. Many have photos of Jenna Jameson (whom I’ve always felt a connection with since when introducing myself in Europe many people would say “Jenna… Like the porn star?” But this is another story). And the room is always, always crowded with sheepish looking adults who are all trying not to look at each other.

My first 5 minutes in said room I always have a minor panic attack positive that I’ve just seen one of my church leaders, but at the point of me writing this, this has never been the case. Mostly they are people of all ages who to be honest, I’d probably rather not picture having sex so I follow in suite, looking closely at items, making sure my eyes are averted from others at all times.  If someone gets too close to me, risking eye contact or an acknowledgement that yes, we both  have sex, although of course, not with each other, then I become deeply immersed in the literature of whatever product I’ve picked up. I may be the only person to have read the ingredients of strawberry flavored lube, or the many features of a spiked vibrator. When I finally find the item I’m looking for (and by the way, why are condoms confined to the back room? It seems we should be handing them out like candy), I casually let the hand holding the item drop to my side and saunter to the counter as though I am at the grocery store purchasing a pack of gum, or a carton of milk.  (Ever notice how awkwardly you walk when you are trying to look natural?)

The sales people make the purchase the easiest part. They check my I.D., ring up my purchase, and suddenly I am on my way. I exit the store holding my opaque black plastic sack (that is always enormous by the way) and suddenly feel as though I have a great secret. Everyone in the store knows what that black sack means, but only I know what is inside. I feel a great swelling of pride and joy.

I have survived yet another trip to Blue Boutique’s Adult Room.