Friday, March 30, 2012

Things you should not do:

Eat a cupcake over your keyboard. Cupcake doesn't mean "tiny cake". It means "a billion crumbs waiting to explode." Don't believe me, try this: Clean your kitchen floor to a sparkling hue. Clean your kitchen table as if your life depended on it. Seat a child at the table. Give that child a cupcake. This would have been a good lesson before eating a cupcake over my keyboard.

Get on a conference call with about 30 other people, forget to mute your phone and talk about how your wife is a pain in the ass. Oh no, its not because I don't believe you. I am a wife. I guarantee we can all be a pain in the ass at times.  But phones don't work like a Darth Vader voice synthesizer. Someone on the phone surely knows who are you are and well, it just seems like a rookie mistake. Oh, I am not throwing stones. You know why? I did this once on a con call I was leading, failed to press mute when a colleague asked me if so and so was on the call, and referred to this jackass we worked with by his nickname which sounded very similar to his last name, both of them very similar to a slang word for a naughty act.

Don't talk on your phone in the bathroom stall when you have to hold it between your ear and your shoulder so you can pull your pantalones back on. Or, if you insist on chatting away while going to the bathroom, better hold that baby in a Lou Ferrigno style vice grip between your shoulder and ear. Otherwise, you will be faced with a fork in the road, neither tine you want to take: Either leave your phone in the bottom of the toilet full of recycled water OR fish the phone out of the toilet full of recycled water. Sorry lady in the black coat in the airport bathroom I did not tell you this before yesterday.

Don't say "OH MY" very loudly when running on the treadmill at the gym and you discover the man next to you is dropping bombs and I don't mean the hydrogen kind. Oh, maybe you come from a family like mine with a few people who think things that come out of orifices are HILARIOUS. Guess what? NOT hilarious. Especially at 6 am when I had a few extra sips of vino the night before.  OR you do say OH MY and try to subtly fan your face because REALLY guy, do you HAVE to do that? Egads! Go distance yourself from where many other people are working out and therefore breathing heavy.  PS: My lungs are still pissed at you!

Don't laugh OUT LOUD when in an elevator and someone clearly makes a noisy sound, also from their downstairs region, and your tiny son says out loud, "You are supposed to say excuse me when you toot." Or do laugh out loud because that actually IS hilarious.

Don't make fun of a picture someone posts of themselves from the 80s, even though they looked like a cross between Madonna and Punky Brewster and not in good ways. Why should you not do this? Go look at your pics from the 80s, Cyndi Lauper. Yes, your hair looked awesome too. Especially really short on one side and long on the other. And that hair went well with your cut off sweat pants with your last name ironed on down the side in puffy velour letters.

Don't take your shoes off on the plane and then put your feet fully extended on the arm rest of the seat in front of you. Yes, I saw this happen. This is ill.

Don't close an email to a work colleage with the word "HOLLA". I should not even have to type that!

Don't use "US Weekly" as a resource you quote from. Better yet, don't tell people you read that. That is like saying Perez Hilton is your life coach.

Don't make fun of people who watch The Bachelor when you watch Celebrity Apprentice (this note is to me. Seriously, I only watch that show because I love the tasks!!!!!)

 Don't lie  to your son when he asks you what you are drinking (Bloody Mary) and tell him its "Green Bean Juice" so he wont want anything to do with it. He is smart. He will ask you why it is not green. Hope you have your thinking cap on Smarty Pants.

Dont go to a fancy fete with a price tag still adhered to one of your garments. ( I did this.)

Dont forget to say this on Saturday :ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK. My team is in the Final Four. Cheers and have a fabulous weekend.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Boomerang of Goodness

My good friend Kristy received a package last week from an unknown address. Inside the package were two items. One item was this note:


The other item, of course, her wallet with all of her ID, credit cards, and remaining  cash. 

This is awesome for a number of reasons:

People are good.
Good people attract good people.
You have just been provided a reason to do something awesome for someone else today. It doesn't even have to be a stranger.

The fact is, we are provided opportunity to help others countless times throughout the week. It is our choice whether we recognize or ignore these opportunities. And we don't have to commit these selfless acts so we can tell others. Simply knowing you did it is all the acknowledgement you need.

Get out there and spread the goodness. Its like a boomerang and you never know how it will come back and help you.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Why it is not a good idea to get wasted at the wedding....

A girlfriend recently went to a wedding. A lovely, traditional, expensive wedding. At the wedding, the brides grandparents stumbled across the groomsmen getting high on a secluded balcony. First, I love that the grandparents were perhaps seeking out a secluded balcony but better yet, hey groomsmen, you are idiots. NOT a good idea to light it up at your friends wedding when instead of wearing camouflage and blending in you are wearing TUXEDOS so everyone knows you have a special role. And have you smelled pot? It doesn't smell like wedding cake or floral arrangements. Why not burn popcorn in the microwave while you are at it which is another smell everyone can identify immediately. 

But it also reminded me of one of my favorite wedding stories:

While in grad school, a friend of mine, S., invited me to a wedding. I love weddings but primarily the weddings of people I know so I proffered up many excuses why I could not go. He promised it would be fun. And he didn’t want to go alone. Need I be the one to remind him that when you are in the wedding party you barely get to talk to anyone because you are busy. But he was a good friend so I agreed to go. Then he told me who the groom was. A friend of his from childhood I had met once during a basketball game. This man was crazy. And not Dukes of Hazzard crazy either. More like Deliverance crazy. Too late to say no, I asked myself how bad could it be.

Here is a tip: Never, ever ask yourself this question if unprepared for the answer.

At the wedding, the wedding party looked wonderful. I was a bit surprised that the entire ceremony lasted 8 minutes. And that included flower girls walking down the aisle. 

At the reception, I am invited to sit at one of the head tables since my friend is in the wedding party. No thank you. I mean, of course. At the large round ten top, I am directly across from the groom. He seems dipped in gin. He tells a highly off color joke. I had also seen him slap his wife right on the arse earlier. I begin referring to him as not as The Groom and instead as The Doom. 

S. goes to the bar and out of the blue, The Doom he asks me why I won’t date S. I don't believe he is really directing that question towards me but sure enough. I reply that we are just friends. He, with a pretty heavy scowl, continues to probe. He says S. is like a brother to him.  Do I think I am too good for S.? He only wants S. to be happy. I think to myself, do you? Start with shutting the ____ up. That will make S. happy, or since S. is not here, it will make me very, very happy. I seek out S. but, curses, S. is still at the bar. Now The Doom has the attention of all at the table. His scary bride nods in agreement.

The Doom is like a backwoods version of Johnny Cochran peppering me with questions.         S. and I had been friends for years. We did not date or want to date. But I don’t share my responses with The Doom or the entire table. Instead, I save my responses in my inner monologue. S. finally returns and listens to The Doom for one minute before redirecting the conversation. 

For about 20 reasons, I want to leave and The Doom is just one of them. We have a few cocktails and soon it is time for toasts. The best man rises to give his toast of run for your life lady to the bride of good luck and future blessings to the happy couple. Since I am also sitting in front, I can see all of the family members including elderly grandparents and aunts and uncles. As the best man takes the microphone, The Doom hops up and grabs it out of his hand. And by 'grabs" I mean kind of wrestles it away while teetering and kind of bumping into him. I am pretty sure I saw a dry hump in there too. I believe The Doom should not be near the candles as his amount of consumption has made him both toxic and flammable.

Into the microphone he says this in a slurry, spitty, bellowy fashion: It's my weddin’ day and I am going to get DRUNK and I am going to get LAID. 

He is on a MICROPHONE in front a very captive audience.  

What did I wish for? A video to capture this priceless moment and the bride’s face? No. I wished for paramedics to keep the bride’s grandmother from having a heart attack on the spot.

Once again a reminder, the grandparents do not like shenanigans!

S. turned to me and said, “You can leave anytime you want.”
Except I couldn’t hear him over the firing up of my ignition and gravel spinning under my tires. 

I have yet to attend such a "colorful" wedding as this. I am so lucky.  Why is it not a good idea to get wasted at the wedding? Because someone there is NOT wasted and will remember your every foolish endeavor. And since most people have technological wizardry at their fingertips, your foolish endeavors can be permanently memorialized. Had there been video capability on phones back at the wedding of The Doom, I am sure it would be on YouTube under "Dbag gives worst wedding toast. EVER."

Oh behave!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Indiana University: Not only good at basketball (this is about sex, so read it.)

Well, well, well, for those of you fond of college sports, you know Indiana University has a long-standing history of being a great collegiate athletics program. And congratulations to them for making it into the Sweet 16 (along with my Kansas Jayhawks.) But what you didnt know is that Indiana University is not only good at basketball.  An article today in Forbes revealed some very scintillating details. Ladies, you will like it. Men, you will like it. (If you are my Father or brothers, feel free to skip out now and see you back here in a few days.)

Here is the headline:

Here's an incentive to exercise: Women report experiencing orgasms in the gym

(Study shows orgasm 'is not necessarily a sexual event')

Although the phenomenon was first reported in 1953, 'little is known about exercise-induced orgasms,' according to scientists from Indiana University. To fill in the gap researcher Debby Herbenick and her team surveyed hundreds of women aged from 18 to 63 who said they had experienced exercise-induced orgasm or sexual pleasure. Herbenick said that the mechanisms behind exercise-induced orgasm and exercise-induced sexual pleasure remain unclear and, in future research, they hope to learn more about triggers for both.
So, you know exercise is good for you already. But this potential added twist? Very interesting. I can say this has never happened to me and I hope it never does. Making your O face at the gym only happens in certain movies (a friend told me.) However, I am intrigued. And I appreciate the dedicated researchers at Indiana University will spend more time on this in the future.


The study, published in the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy, did not determine how common it is for women to experience exercise-induced orgasm or exercise-induced sexual pleasure.
However, the authors noted that it took only five weeks to recruit the 370 women who experienced the phenomenon, suggesting it is not rare.

I am quite certain you would have NO trouble gathering volunteers. And a resource told me IU is one of the leading institutes on sex, gender and reproduction so big applause for that as well. And IU, if you want to do more research on orgasm that will procure details and data and could one day lead to them being as readily accessible as shamrocks in Ireland, well, I think we would all be interested in learning more.

Now, try not to think about this at work all day. You are welcome.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Your pants are on fire.

Many years ago, pre JohnnyMac, I was driving in town when my cell phone rang. I picked it up, viewed the identity of the caller, and opted not to answer the phone. That night, that caller, a gentleman I was fraternizing with, let me know he had tried to call me earlier that day. I said I was sorry I missed his call but I was in a meeting at the time.

"Or, " he replied, "I was driving in Buckhead, directly behind you and saw you pick up the phone and put it down."

WOW. There is not a readily available list of retorts to that. Oh, except, that is what you get liar, liar, pants on fire.

This story recently came to mind when I saw this hilarious post on Facebook:


I have seen dozens of autocorrect postings but this one made me laugh out loud. That is what you get liar, liar, pants on fire. Sometimes it feels good to laugh at clear and obvious fails. Thankfully, my beforementioned situation can never be captured via video or phone and later posted on Facebook.

Its 80 degrees in Atlanta and we have a fun weekend planned. I hope you do too. Happy St. Pats and don't tell lies to anyone.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

BFF

After my post last Monday where I sassed all over the place, I forgot to add one thing: Also on that list should be the brain trust who decided to make Hangover III. Now, I love a solid reflection on how the world would not be as fun or interesting if it weren't for some of the people who do things you would never do. But my friend and fellow blogger Vanilla commented how easy it is to live 'annoyed' and I get his message. We must laugh in the face of absurdity, try to fight injustice, but also be aware that if we are clacking away on our laptops, drinking fresh water, have a friend to talk to, have someone to love or can freely spend an evening watching cable television, we have it better than a majority of the world. So in my perusal of newspapers, I also saw this:


Cute family, yes? This is Julie Jones. And five beautiful kids. Kids who look not only beautiful but happy. And these kids are not Julie's. The Atkins kids lost their father two years ago and then lost their mother to cancer six months later. So Julie Jones, already a mother of three grown boys, opted to raise her best friends children. So first and foremost, no child should lose their parent. I am 40 and can't fathom what that day will be like when my parents are no longer alive. These kids ranged in age from 4 - 10 when their parents died. But the bigger picture is to see a picture of a happy family and the realization that all families are not made the same way. And this group found a way to move it forward. As a Mom, it hits me in all the right places the power and benevolence of people.

And our general happiness is very contingent upon who is central in our lives. So you already know your 2012 mantra should be "No Toxic People" and we all seem to know one or two. And another mantra should be to be as great of a friend as you can be. Maybe you wouldnt need your best friend to raise your child should there be a tragedy but it made me think not only as a Mom but because I am the best friend to a fabulous woman.

MarciaGarcia and I met in law school. We were a tight knit group of eight and operated inseparably during that very academic, very challenging and very fun investment of time and focus. And our friendship has changed and grown from nights were were drinking dollar pitchers of Keystone (don't mock) and dancing to 80s music (you know you love to do this) to raising children. Our philosophies on life compliment one another but doesn't always work in perfect synchronicity. We agree on certain things, we support one anothe regardless and we operate under a very open and honest way of communicating. And I am so lucky to not only have that type of friendship but recognize it. And when we were sipping Keystone Light out of pitchers (way to go, classy time) and bellowing out the lyrics to Electric Avenue, we could not have predicted the adventures ahead. Adventures that include amazing elements of fun (NYC Fashion Week) and life challenges that force you to grow. I admire her so much as a leader, a friend and a Mom at the same time that wise, witty, sarcastic friend I have had for 17 years. And if my son had to go and be raised by my best friend, I know he would be cherished and loved the same way we cherish and love him now. I know he would learn so much and have every opportunity to grow up to be an amazing man.

As we get older, it is very easy to make surface level friends. These are the equivalent to the "friend" in class you never talked to after the semester was over, or your post-college cocktail pals from work. Developing real friendships takes work but we all know some friendships are just much easier, more fun and more worthwhile than others. And I love to have a friend who can see me at best and worst, stood in my wedding, was there the day my son was born, is his Godmother and loves our child, cheers me on to run a half marathon, applauds me when I sing karaoke, reads my blog daily, shares ideas, shares recipes, shares fears, tears it up in New York, tears it up in Vegas (my word that trip was crazy fun), stay home and make a family dinner for our kids, shares advice, shares critique when needed, disagrees when needed, guides and responds. The deepest friendships are truly rare. I have learned so much from you MG and know that statement will ring true for decades to come. 

I hope you have amazing friendships in your life and that the people you love know exactly how you feel about them. 

From Chicago, enjoy your week.
JennyMac

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Suck it up

Yesterday at the airport, I was sitting in the Sky Club reading email and applying one of my new favorite products:

Quick sidebar: Do you know this new tinted lip balm from Burt's Bees?  I love the long lasting lipsticks. However, I do think we are getting carried away with 24 hour lipstick, because really? Some of that is harder to remove than superglue. However, this lip balm is awesome, smooth AND has color. Perfection. I was not as familiar with their products until MiniMac was born and we received some of their amazing baby products. But recently,  a friend gave me a care package FULL of all sorts of Burt's Bees goodness. I am loving their Radiance body lotion with a little hint of sparkling reflection (think pretty sunlight when I say that, not Britney Spears covered in glitter.) If you thought Burt's Bees only covered babies, revisit.  No, I am not being endorsed. Just like I raved about the Cuisinart Immersion Blender which is a must have, I like sharing great product info.

NOW, back to my story. I love, love, love conversations I hear at the airport. I am sure they would be entertaining in many other venues but since I spend a lot of time in the airport these days, this is the source. A handsome elderly couple was seated next to me. I guess their ages to be late 70s to early 80s but oh how they are spry! She is concerned about the length of the flight. He explains the flight to NYC is only 2 hours. She responds she is concerned for their flight to Australia, not New York.

He picks up her hand, kisses it and says, Babe (yes, he called her babe in such a sweet, young Robert Redford kind of way.) But he says, in a kind but stern voice, "Babe, I am taking you to Australia for one month because that was your dream. (slight pause) As for the long flight, suck it up."

And she laughed and smiled at him.
Me: You two are awesome!
Him (to us both): Sometimes you just have to suck it up.

I asked him how long they have been married: 62 years. WOW. I loved this charming elderly couple, still  in love, still kissing hands, still traveling, still making jokes, and still being real. Yes, sometimes you just have to suck it up. Thanks for the perspective, Mr.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Stop: Hammer Time

I read an article yesterday that a woman in South Wales received a fine for littering when a thread from her glove fell onto the sidewalk. Oh no, you read that correctly. A thread from her glove fell on the sidewalk unbeknownst to her and in turn she received a fine of 75 pounds. She asked if the surly officer meant to take that much money off a pensioner, and he told her to take it to court. Well, this is almost too crazy to be true...except it is true. So you take your littering quite serious, don't you sir? And while I certainly don't think you should pick on a sweet elderly bird, I think your demanding nature, high standards and strict level of detail could prove beneficial. Therefore I am quite certain I need to invite you, and all your surly bastard persona, to the United States to do some serious OVERHAUL on the sea of idiots committing the following (and I must say far more serious) violations:

For example: 

People who are still yapping away on their cellphone while driving. Hands-free, ding-dongs, hands-free. I am sure you can buy a headset for about $1 on eBay.

People who respond to email in a terse or sarcastic fashion demanding answers that are written in the VERY email they obviously didn't read.

People on who confuse "dance floor" with "an area to dry hump one another like feral animals with musical accompaniment".

People who get a charge out of being rude to the waitstaff.

People who say they are vegetarian while eating scrambled eggs.

Women who refer to themselves as "cougars."

People at the gym who pour sweat on the machines but are clearly TOO exhausted to wipe it down when they are done.

Girls who still insist on displaying their thong underwear outside of their pants.

Men over the age of 21 who refer to other men as "Bra".

People who like to debate facts of which they have not a clue what they are talking about. If you find yourself up against this person, and we all do, I have three words for you: University of Google. Look it up on your smartphone mid-argument and show it them. Try not to laugh when you do it.

People who leave hideous "anonymous" comments all over YouTube video posts. Even video posts of like sweet little church choirs. Really?

People who start sentences with "Don't tell anyone I told you this" not because they are gossiping but because they really don't think you KNOW they have multiple other conversations with other people that started the same way.

People who disregard the "No Cell Phone Use" signs in the Doctor office or Court.

People who air very personal (and never positive) information on Facebook. Let's all look at it this way: Facebook is a bulletin board NOT a personal diary. 

People who claim they "never eat processed food" as they are eating non-organic, non hand-crafted store bought crackers. Is there a Keebler Elf in your kitchen making that for you? Another great scenario for University of Google. My suggestion of a search: Is it processed food when it contains 30 ingredients and I didn't make it in my kitchen with a trusty Keebler Elf by my side.

Our neighbor who bought a muscle car with some kind of exhaust system on it so you can hear it from 5 miles away like Huggy Bear or Starsky and Hutch. I empathize with your mid-life crisis but where in the ______ are you going every day at 3 or 4 in the morning??? And don't you have a job? You come and go about 20 times per day.

People who don't tip the bartender.

People who use the word "retard" to mean any thing other than to hinder or impede.

People who use the word "gay" to mean any thing other than merry or lively.

Whew, that was unfortunately all too easy. I know none of you do this so hopefully you have an entire week that is idiot-free.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Take A Bite Of: Momcatt's Banana Bread

Since I fattened you up last week with the trifecta o' goodness in the form of chocolate + cake + alcohol, I am counterbalancing that today. This is my Mom's recipe and it is incredible. Ironically, I love bananas and do not like anything flavored with bananas. Banana Pudding? No. Banana Bread Pudding? No thank you. Bananas Foster? I'll pass. Banana Cream Pie? The only thing worse than pie crust is pie crust full of creamed bananas.

BUT, I am changing my tune today. MiniMac helped me make this fantastic recipe I got from my Mom. And now I want to share it with you. Its 50 degrees here, which is rather on the chilly side to us Georgia Peaches, so why not stay in the house baking? There is no better option for this afternoon. Now, I modified this ever so slightly. And I have just eaten two pieces so clearly, I have come around on the bananas + other foods equation.

And it can't be all recipes my friends, the regularly scheduled blog posts return this week.

From my kitchen (and my Mom's) to yours, enjoy every bite.


Momcatt's Banana Bread
Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1-1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (3-4 medium)
1/3 cup sour cream
1-2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2  cup chopped nuts (optional)
*I added 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp of ginger and 1 tsp of cardamom.)


Directions:
Heat oven 350
Grease bottom only of loaf pan (she uses parchment paper and I use silicone loaf pans.)
Cream sugar and butter
Stir in eggs until blended.  (I use room temp eggs also.)
Add bananas and sour cream; beat 30 seconds
Stir in remaining ingredients except nuts just until moistened.  Stir in nuts. (This is optional and I shall never place a nut in a baked good so I skipped this.)
Pour into pan
Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  (9" loaf pan 55-60 minutes. 8 " pan about 1-1/4 hour)
Cool 5 minutes, loosen sides of loaf from pan
Remove from pan. and cool completely before slicing.