Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why I Hate Christmas

3 Reasons Why:

1) Jingle bells
2) The Little Drummer Boy
3) Silent Night

Just kidding.  Those songs aren't all that bad.  But they are pretty terrible in Holiday TV commercials.  And don't even get me started with all those diamond and jewelry commercials....  "Every kiss begins with BARF!" is more like it.

Ahhh the holidays...  I don't really  hate them.  But certain things about them make my heart beat a bit faster...buying presents, going to parties, parties, potlucks and more parties, eating sweets, planning, packing, procrastinating.... There's a lot going on.  It's a tough time.  But just give me the Harry Connick, Jr Christmas album, a bottle of rum and soy nog, and a plate full of sugar cookies and I'll make it through.

Trevor and I did our holiday shopping last weekend. Luckily, we did most of it online and earlier this month so presents should arrive in Colorado, Texas, and South Dakota on time.  We'll bring the New Jersey presents in our suitcase (and pray it doesn't get lost for 2 months!).

This year and most recently in the past couple months, I've become quite handy with my sewing machine.  So I came up with this great idea to hand-make dolls for the nieces and nephews.  Not just any ol' dolls tho.... Uncle Trevor and Aunt Julie dolls!  I went out to the craft store and bought cloth paper.  Printed out pictures of me and Trevor.  Cut out our faces. Sewed them into an old bathrobe. And  VWHALLA: Uncle Trevor and Aunt Julie dolls!....


Ok, so the dolls obviously did not work out as planned.  On the bright side at least we now have a present for our third wheel, Kevin....  On the down side.....

Trevor!  We need to do more shopping!

To give you an overview of our shopping habits.... I am the type of person who has a list and is on a mission.  I will write multiple lists. I will write lists of my lists.  But by the time I get to the store, I usually can't find any of them!  I think writing them down multiple times at least helps me remember the material.  I have a layout of the shopping mall in my head and I know what store I want to start at, and what sequence of stores I want to go in, and what I want to get who, and where.  Got it?  I won't eat, drink, sit, or sleep until I can check off every item on that list. 

Trevor, on the other hand,  is more of the 'I'll think of it when I get there' and 'I don't care where we go' type of shopper.  How refreshing.  I will be running around Marshall's like a wild woman combing the asiles for my items, frustrating myself to the high heavens when I can't find them, thinking of new ideas, forgetting the old ones, re-visiting the old ideas, indecisively weighing the old ideas vs. the new ones, realizing neither idea is a really good idea, then finally Giving Up!!!!

I need help!  Where's Trevor?!

Oh, there he is... He's found a lovely leather love seat in the furniture section and is checking out his iphone.

Me: "Ahh I don't know what to do!"

Trevor:  "Just get that."

Me: "Ok. Done. Thank you." 

Buying  presents for Trevor is even more of an anxiety attack in a box. (is that a common phrase? maybe it should be), because I can't go to him for advice if I want it to be a surprise.  We buy each other surprise presents all year round without cause or reason.  But the holidays adds that extra pressure that ok, now you have to get him a really big, everything-he's-always-wanted-and-more surprise!! But right now, I don't have anything in mind. I don't want to get him a shirt.  Or slippers. Or a beard trimmer or DVDs.   I had a couple bigger things in mind, but I also wanted to get his opinion before buying them.  But then that would ruin the surprise!  And I would also need him to lift it.  Plus I see him all the time, how would I hide it?  Grrr.

My one idea for instance, was a nice chair.  The boy loves school and so is very fond of his computer.  What I'm getting at here is he that spends a lot of time at his desk.  At home, we use a yoga ball as a desk chair or sometimes substitute it for the kitchen chair (a wrought iron frame with a makeshift cushion).  But he could use a nice lumbar-supportive office chair.  He is a big man in a little man's world.  He needs his back support.  A nice office chair would be a large, hard-to-hide, and slightly more expensive type of gift.  It's a big one.  I would want to get it right and get it right the first time....  But how do I get him to pick one out without letting him know I want to buy it for him....

We get to the shopping mall.  We go into Borders.  Trevor makes me wait in the children section and tells me he has to go get something and to stay put and not look around.  Looks like I'm getting something from Borders in my stocking...  Then we head over to the Sports Authority which is right next to Staples.  So I suggestively throw out the line, "Hey since we're here, why not just stop by Staples and see if they have any nice sales on office chairs?"  I make sure to emphasize "We don't have to get one today,  but maybe just look...?  ya know since we're here...?"  ..........bait not taken. 

Trevor: "Ehh no. Let's just do christmas shopping and go home."   Dangit.

Okkkkkk, forget about the office chair.  Need a new idea.  Next store: Sports Authority.  Scouring camping section for new gifts I come across this chair:

History: we were at a beach wedding in the Outer Banks, NC this past September and the Best Man had this chair at the beach party and Trevor was soooooo jealous!  Trevor detests the sun. He burns easily, the light hurts his baby blue eyes, and a day at the beach results in one energy depleted Trevor.  He'd much rather take a cool, overcast rainy day any day.  And so I knew he would love this chair.

Yes, I will get him this chair.

He's walking past the chair.  I know he's going to see it and be so excited.  I can't help but point it out.  And I was right.  He was so excited.  So excited that "Hey let's just get it right now!" .... "We might as well." .... "We've been meaning to get one."....  "We're here. It's here.  Let's just get it now."  .....AHHHHH

Me: 'Trev, I think we should just get things for other people and focus on the presents we set out to buy.' (AHHHH--How do I get him to give up on the chair?!)

Trev: "Well I just thought we've always said we would get a chair like this if we saw it and now we have.  It's here, we're here.  It just makes sense to get it now.  Come on, you wanted to go to Staples for a chair that we hadn't set out to buy..."

Me:  (Out of ideas...and out of energy to think of a way to trick him out of buying it without staight up telling him I will buy it for him but I want it to be a surprise.... grrrrrrr...... there's no way out....) "Fine, just get the chair then!"

When you are around someone all the time, you could probably guess what they want to surprise you with anyway.  If we didn't get the chair then, Trevor could have a fairly educated guess that that's what I got him.  Or at least he wouldn't be as surprised when he opened it up.  Surprises are hard when you know the other person knows what you want (think about it a little bit).  So after finishing shopping for our friends and families we decided we are not going to try to surprise each other this year.  Instead we will focus our efforts and finances into getting a piano.

Of course, once we give up on surprises I find out that this guy (see below) is playing at the Chumash Casino (just 20 minutes from our house) the week after New Years, so of course I got us tickets! 


Merry Christmas Everyone!!  from Willie

Happiness is a Lazy Bum

According to Real Simple magazine's guide to happiness, I have been practicing happy habits without even trying.  Little did I know I should be so happy!

Here is their 8-step guide to a happier, healthier you...

1) Think small and just look around you.
           Think small?  I'm lucky if I think at all! This Volkswagon ad pretty much sums it up:

2) Take off your high heels and put on a pair of cozy slippers.  High heels- sure I got em.  I buy a pair every so often when I want to look upcoming wedding, a work meeting, maybe my birthday, a holiday party might also warrant a purchase.  I always buy a new pair thinking this pair is going to be different.  This pair will be more comfortable than the last.  These ones fit better, or they have more support, or aren't as high of a heel.   I wear them around the house for a few minutes..maybe a half hour before the party's about to start.  Get a feel for them.  Get a little practice of increasing my center of gravity ever so slightly...  Complain miserably.  Worry about falling or looking awkward.  Now my feet are killing me.  Realize the extra inch isn't worth the pain, the embarrassment, the anxiety.   Then off they come.. destined for the closet with all the other nearly-new  high heel shoes that don't ever make it out of the house.  My slippers on the other hand have made it to the grocery store, to the bar, even made it to work several times...

3) Eat a piece of chocolate.   I currently have 2.5lbs of dark chocolate covered truffles stuffed in my desk drawer at work and it's going fast!

4) Watch a funny TV show.   Umm hello?  That's all I watch...

America's Funniest Home Videos
Modern Family
30 Rock
The Office
The Colbert Report
Arrested Development....

  There is no room for news, reality TV shows, or dramas in my TV Guide (sometimes sports will come on...)

5) Read a short story.
      New (to me) books by David Sedaris: Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk or also Holidays on Ice

6)  Hug someone.
      Come here, Trevor...

7) Wipe the crumbs from the kitchen counter...
     Lest the roaches return!   On seond thought I don't know how this one made it onto the "happiness list," but, sure I suppose crumb-free is the way to be...  I'll buy it.

Last, but not least....

8) Sit down and do nothing.
    9-5 baby (Saturdays and Sundays of course =)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

For All You Stats Nuts Out There

I recently found the stats info button for my blog.  So in case you were wondering.....

People who clicked on Jolly Bloggin originally searched for :

"jolly bloggin

"julie erickson jolly noggin"

"emanuel and the fear"




"flight from north carolina to new jersey"

"ben franklin kite experiment"
  (wonder if they learned anything...)

"betsey johnson sequins blue and yellow animal print"

"blog bless america"

People from these countries have viewed Jolly Bloggin this many times:

United States   
United Kingdom
Saudi Arabia  
South Korea
Look at me, little miss international blogger!

And the all time Favorite Blogs by YOU the viewers:

1) How to Get Along With Girls    Oct 7, 2010, 3 comments 104 Pageviews

2) 9 Days a Week    Nov 15, 2010, 1 comment 92 Pageviews

3) Fly Me to the Moon   May 24, 2010, 1 comment 71 Pageviews

4) Encyclopedia of An Ordinary Life    Oct 19, 2010, 5 comments 66 Pageviews

5) A Month in a Nutshell   Sep 15, 2010, 4 comments 66 Pageviews

6) They Called Me Snaggle...More Than Once   Dec 13, 2010, 4 comments 47 Pageviews

7) Sh*t My Grandma Says   Jul 12, 2010, 4 comments 44 Pageviews

8) 101st BLOG! 101 x 10 = 1010 TODAY is 10-10-10   Oct 10, 2010, 4 comments 41 Pageviews

9) Putting the Fun in Funeral   Dec 3, 2010 41 Pageviews

10) What's Up Pussy Cat?   Aug 19, 2010, 4 comments 40 Pageviews

Go ahead re-visit them. You know you want to...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

All My Things are Back in My Hands!

Sing it 10 times fast!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Money for the Prostate

Thanks for donating to Trevor's prostate health!

In "Julie News," I cut and sewed my old K-Mart bathrobe into a fabulously new fleece outfit!  It's not just awesomely cool, but also comfortably warm and stylishly fashionable!......

Monday, December 13, 2010

They Called Me Snaggle...More Than Once

I have found a blogger role model.  She writes a blog called Hyperbole and a Half (which you should check out because it is pretty entertaining).  She draws all her own cartoons and in her Frequently Asked Questions section, she mentions she makes enough money from blog advertisements that she can pretty much blog as her full time job. (Hence, the newly visible ads in the right side of JollyBloggin....tell your friends)   

After reading through Hyperbole and a Half,  I started thinking of my own funny stories that that I could illustrate in my blog.  So in pure copy-cat mode, I began drawing my own cartoons too.  They're not too good so give me a break or have few drinks before you look at them...

 This memory is of a particular experience of the "Miss Piggy Game."  Which isn't actually a game at all, but rather a cruel form of torture where one party, usually the bigger, older, stronger sisters, gang up on the unsuspecting ignorant little sister.  They first mention that "hey, did you know that if you hold your nose up like miss piggy and someone smacks you on the back, your nose will stay like that forever!" Then they proceed to hold your hands down while one sister holds up your nose and the other starts wailing on your back while you scream in fear of forever having a piggy nose and oh what types of names they will call you at school!!! Yep. It happened to me.  Sheer torture.  Now you know a little more about where I'm coming from...

My mom oftentimes dressed us up in matching pink dresses, because oh what sweet little angels she wanted us to come across as to strangers....

Devil Children

This memory is from one time in college....
I was at a bar in New Brunswick, NJ called the Golden Rail.  It was a couple weeks after I had an ultimate frisbee-induced stress fracture in my foot.  I had to use crutches for maybe 3 days, and then I had to use a rehabilitating walking boot for the next couple weeks.  Oh poor little me.  Fresh on my newly heeled legs and out on the town again, I decided to strike up a friendly conversation with this stranger at the bar who, oh look what we have in common!, is on crutches.  For lack of anything else to talk about I start blabbering on about crutches and how much they suck. 

"Aren't they the worst?!  I mean people are always looking at you funny..The crutches rub your armpits the wrong way. and then you get this painful rash.. You trip up on chair legs.... Trying to carry anything, while getting around- Impossible!  Crutches are so annoying!  But don't worry, it's only temporary.....I should know, I just got off them and, phew what a relief!"

He is obviously not interested in talking to me at all, which makes me nervous, which makes me fill the awkward silence and continue to blab about crutches and how awful they are and I even go as far to say "I know how you feel."

Which at that point he sternly cuts me off with, "You have NO IDEA how I feel!!!"

I finally look down and see that he has one leg.  He is right.  I have no idea how that feels.  And I hope no one else has to feel as awkward as I did at that moment.  [Insert Foot in Mouth HERE]  Hang your head and walk away.

To end this post on a happier note, I leave you with a more uplifting and slightly less awkward college story...

This story takes place right around the time as the previous one.  A couple of my high school girl friends came up to Rutgers for the weekend and we are headed out to a list of parties.  One party in particular I was invited to by a guy I had met the weekend before at a Jell-O wrestling party on Hamilton Street.  At this Jell-O wrestling party I was still wearing my walking boot from the aforementioned frisbee-induced fracture, so I did not partake in the wrestling aspect of the party, nor did I stay very long.  But I was there long enough to grab the attention of a certain Rutgers Track and Field star wearing a green disco ball earring (kid you not) who approached me with the ever-famous pick up line of "Hey, aren't you in my physics class?"  To which I replied,  "Uhh I suppose, Van Heuvulin at 2:30 in the physics lecture hall, over on Busch?"   It was enough of a response to warrant an invitation to the next Track party the following weekend. My hometown friends were conveniently around to let me know their first impressions.....

Well my one friend's first impression was.."yea, he's pretty cute, but who is that hunk of a friend he's got!?"  AND there goes that friend for the rest of the night....

Like most of college, the details of the rest of the night were a bit blurry,  (I blame it on sleep deprivation) but the ending of the night could not have been more memorable.  Trevor walked me home from the party because my friend was no where to be found.  We were hanging out on my front porch and eventually Trevor gets a call from his friend who is with my friend and says he is going to come by and drop off my friend and pick up Trevor. Got it?

We wait a few minutes and Trevor's friend's car pulls up, but no one gets out right away.  We can see they are in the midst of a good-bye smooch.  Me in my I'm-so-funny-mode decide that this is the perfect time to startle and embarrass them by putting my mouth and nose up to the car window and blowing some steam at them interrupting their lovers' embrace.  Overly-excited by my newly formed idea and excitedly aware that there is a very quickly approaching window of time in which to pull this stunt off, I quickly stumble down the porch stairs with my mouth open and !!surprise attack!!! shove my face up against their window....teeth first and... CRACK...there goes my tooth.....again...

Yes, Trevor wore a pink tu-tu that night,..

And that my dear friends is how it all started.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Who Scalped Butterscrotch?

Trevor:  Did you see Butterscrotch today?

Me: No why?

Trevor: Just curious.  He had something funny going on with his head.  Like there was some big white thing in between his ears.  I think it might have been his skull showing...

Me: What the heck?!

Sure enough Butterscrotch came a knocking the next night and what was ripely white the night before was now a bloody, pussy ear-to-ear open wound atop his dirty little head.  Ah our poor little, fake pet cat.  Some days he's losing his hair.  Some days he walks with a limp.  Some days he has fleas jumping in his ears and nose.  Some days his ribs show more than others.  Lately he's been plumping up and someone put a collar on him, so someone's gotta be taking care of him....  but what the heck ate the skin off his head?!  What a pathetic little animal.

Later in the week Trevor and I went out to dinner and then to see the comedian, Brian Regan, at the Arlington Theater.  Trevor forgot his wallet so I paid for the meal.  We were at the theater a half hour early so were contemplating whether or not to head to a local bar for a drink to kill some time or head in early to the show and get our seats.   For lack of a nearby bar we gave up the alcohol and headed in early....Only to be pleasantly surprised that they have recently opened up an outdoor patio bar at the theater.  How convenient...

The bouncers immediately turn Trevor away for not having his ID.. But, luckily his sweet-talking girlfriend was able to save the day because, come on bouncer dude, if I'm 27 years old do you really think this guy is younger than 21?!  Have you ever seen an underage guy with as much facial hair as this man?  Yea, I didn't think so.  We both made it through the gate and headed over to the bar.  We'll take 2 Amstel Lights,  please and thank you.  The bartender lady pops the bottle tops and hands over the goods.  That will be $10.  No problem, here's my credit card.  Sorry, honey, this is a cash only establishment.  Ok dokes, well, crap, I only have $9. Uhhhhhh   Trevor interjects, well ok, we'll just get one beer then.  The lady looks at us like we're special.  At this point I am a stuttering muttering mess, apologizing out the wahzoo for not having any money.  The lady took pity on our poverty and just handed over the other bottle for free. Oh just take it, I can't sell it without the cap on anyway.  Thanks Lady!

I ended up finding an ATM and tried to give the lady the $5 I owed her.  But she said no, that's ok.  I think her exact words were "seriously, honey, we're cool."  We are cool.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Someone's Gotta Case of the Mondays

Take your vitamins.

Drink your orange juice.  

Wash your hands.  

Count your lucky stars.

Because being sick is the worst...

I have recently been clamoring on about how I have not been sick in 4 years, and oh how strong my immune system is and blah blah blah.  My recently sick friend warns me not to share his drink and I reply with some gassy response that oh a little sickness never hurt anyone and in fact it's probably more helpful than harmful [insert scientific jargon about the benefits of antibodies and natural immunity].

That was Saturday.

Sunday, our friends, Kevin and Serena, have a sore throat.  I continue to gloat about the strength of my immune system.

Monday, nothing.

Tuesday... does my throat hurt?  Mmm maybe a little bit, but it's probably nothing.  Maybe just my allergies.

Wednesday.... Nope, throat definitely hurts and it is definitely not allergies.  I'm tired, not really feeling too good.  Maybe I'll leave work early and take a nap.   That was at 3pm....

Thursday.. wake up at noon from 20 hour nap.  Head full of snot.  Eyes are burning.  Throat is burning.  Nose is drooling with boogers.  Ears feel like exploding.  Teeth are throbbing.  Do not get out of bed till 4pm.  Move to couch.  Do not get off couch.

Friday... Snot Explosion.  Green chunks galor, heading down to the lungs. Piercingly painful, hacking, "productive" cough as doctors call it, but starting to feel better.  At least am able to get out of bed and move about the house. 

Saturday... I am ALIVE!  I survived the cold from hell. 

Sunday....Trevor mentions how it's funny he hasn't gotten sick and that he must have a good immune system.

Monday... Trevor's throat hurts...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What Would A Snail Be Thankful For?

We spent Thanksgiving at one of our favorite places, Jimmy and Sally's House of Snail.  This weekends cast of characters included Jimmy's little brother, Timmy, his girlfriend, Astrid, her sister, Flo, and our good friend Joe Joe (oftentimes confused by my mom for Bo-Bo).  On actual Thanksgiving day,  a few more guests came over from Jimmy's grad school.

Activities included....
picture taking

walks in the woods

tether ball

fruit picking

drinking with friends

drinking with friends

drinking in the kitchen

drinking with drums



and dancing

more music

more music
music watching
and drums on the pot

and PIZZA !!!!!!

This guy will be here all night, folks

Later we played an assortment of games....

Above: As Jimmy is demonstrating, this is the game where you have to pick up a cardboard cookie box with your teeth without letting any part of your body touch the ground besides your feet.  While holding the box in your teeth you wrip off a piece of cardboard and put the remaining box back on the ground for the next person to try. 

Paul had a series of face plants towards the end of the game.  He was OK though. No concussions that we noticed.

In the game below each player has a piece of paper with a person's name on it taped to their forehead.  They do not know what the name is.  You go around in circles asking yes or no questions to try to figure out who you have taped to your head.  Trevor was Jesus, I was MC Hammer, Sally was Walt Disney, Joe Joe was Quenn Latifah, Kevin was Charlie Sheen, Serena was Elton John, Jimmy was America Ferrera, Astrid was Jack Sparrow, Timmy was Corky from Life Goes On, Flo was Charlie Brown... that's all I can remember.
We went wine tasting on Black Friday and the wine guy served us for free!  So we invited the wine guy and his friend back to the Snail House for more games and jam sessions.

Wine guy =  top right

Candid shots:





Joe Joe

Saturday we went into San Francisco, ate food from Senegal, danced our booties off, had Burmese food for breakfast and walked around Golden Gate Park where we found a random circle of rollar disco dancers.

Then we headed home on Sunday.  Till next time....

Photography: compliments of Timmy O'Donnell!