Tuesday, December 31, 2013

more of my mom

Seeing my mom is always a joy, a frustrating, baffling, spectacular joy.  Whenever I go to stay with her she's always prepared to keep me as comfortable as humanly possible.  This Christmas was no exception.

Mom:  Now, Jenna, if you get cold I normally keep the thermostat at about 68 degrees, so please feel free to turn it up in the middle of the night if you need to.

Me:  No problem, mom, I'm sure I'll be fine.

Mom:  I'm serious, just turn it up and don't worry about me, I like it cold but I don't want you to freeze.

Me:  I'll be fine.

Mom:  Do you know how to work the thermostat?  You just push the up or down buttons--

Me:  I know how to use it, I'll adjust it if I need to.

Mom:  --cause I just hate the idea of you being cold if you'd rather just turn it up.

Me:  Mom, I'll be fine.

Mom:  What temperature do you normally keep your apartment at?

Me:  I normally keep it at about--

Mom:  --I'm going to just go ahead and turn it up to 70.

Me:  *head explodes*


And, of course, no visit to her house is complete without her showing me where all the necessary documents and trinkets of inheritance in her house are located.

Mom:  Now Jenna come here, I just want to make sure you know where everything is when I go.  *opens cabinets*  

Here is where the power of attorney is and all the paperwork on my retirement and my will.  It's all divided up between you and your brother and sister.  Your brother and sister are getting 33% but I'm giving you 34% because you're the youngest and you don't have any kids (?).  

Now come in here and I'll show you the lock box where I keep the uncirculated state quarters.  The quarters are hidden throughout the house, this is just one set.  Make sure you check throughout the house for them, I don't want them to get into anyone else's hands.  And they are for you, not for a husband or significant other, they are YOURS.  I had a set for your father but he's not getting them now.  

I also have the marbles you used to play with as a child, do you want those now?  I think your brother might fight you for them so why don't you go ahead and take them home with you?


And there was the time she tried to take a picture of my boyfriend and I in front of the tree with his phone and she mistakenly turned it backwards so we saw a screen full of her puzzled face searching for the view finder.

Jenna, I don't see anything.  I can't find the hole that I look through.  I can't see!


The worst part?  As I said before, I am just like her.  I'm on a 35 year delay, but soon enough I'll have my house guests rolling their eyes and begging me to stop.

Jenna, please JUST STOP (interrupting the movie they're watching to talk about the time I got into a fight with my brother at a Wendy's / showing them things they don't need to see or things I've shown them a million times before / trying to make them comfortable while ironically succeeding in making them uncomfortable).

Fucking heredity.


Friday, September 27, 2013

death to WA

I've never claimed to be a sane person.  Overall, though, I think I come across as relatively normal and composed.  But this post isn't about those typical, stable moments of my life.  This is specifically about one of those moments in my life where I have looked truly, absolutely and most splendidly insane.

I'll set the scene.

2003.  High school.   Chemistry class.

I hated Chemistry.  Of all the classes, Chemistry is where I felt like I couldn't find my ass with both hands no matter how hard I tried.  So I spent most of the 50 minutes of class doodling on one specific sheet of notebook paper that I had contributed to over a span of weeks.  The page was entirely covered with little trees, or bug drawings, or random phrases, or stick people, or whatever I could think of that was not related to Chemistry.

Behind me sat a gum smacking, chair kicking, loud talking, ditz of a human being.  I  may sound like a bitch to describe someone like this, but hear me out.  Let's call her "Wendy Anderson."  She was like the type of person that was a  member of every esteemed academic club a school had to offer, Student Government Association, National Honor Society, Good Job Kids You'll Get Into College But This Shit Doesn't Actually Matter or Make a Difference in Your School or Life Club.  Even if she asked questions like "wait, for years I thought the Japanese were the good guys in World War II, but now we can confirm that I was wrong about that, right?" she somehow aced every AP test.

Day after day I would doodle on my paper like the angst-ridden quiet psycho I truly was, and day after day she would kick my chair as she readjusted her feet to rest under it as she talked to the guy sitting next to her who looked like Skeletor, saying something like "yeah, but Mr. Holmes said we can work in groups for the project, Skeletor, didn't you say that, Mr. Holmes?" *loud laughter, gum smack, chair kick, repeat*

I couldn't take it anymore, I wrote "Death to WA" in a tiny corner of my notebook paper amidst the chaos of doodles.  Nobody will notice this, I thought, like a fucking idiot.  Brace yourself, folks.

One day, Skeletor got a wild hair up his ass and noticed me and my Ted Kaczinski-inspired sheet of notebook paper.  "Hey what's that?"  He said as he grabbed it from me.  "Whoa, this is weird, you've been at this for a while!"  I turn around, and watch in disbelief.

*loud laughter, gum smack, chair kick* "Hey let me see that," 'Wendy' said. *snatch*

"....wow...this is....Death to WA.....is that me??"

Now, I'm not one to think on my feet all the time.  I never anticipated her finding this corner of my twisted brain.  I'm always the last to react in an emergency situation.  If Leatherface came running toward me from 50 yards a way, it would take me until he was 5 yards a way to even realize I was in a potentially dangerous situation.

"Yes," I said.

"Uuuuuhhh....whoa...I didn't realize you felt this way..." she said, laughing nervously.

"You always kick my chair..."  I said, shrugging it off and sweating profusely.

I don't remember exactly what happened after that, the shock of the situation and extreme embarrassment that followed shifted to instinct and survival as my mind went blank.  Like when you get hit in the head with a baseball and it hurts like hell but you just keep smiling and pretending like nothing happened and you're okay. Even as you're slowly dropping to the ground, you give a little wave to everyone standing around you to let them know everything's fine, demonstrating that primal need to save face.

To this day I don't think I've ever looked crazier to another human being, and that's saying a lot coming from a girl who once swept spilled sugar from a conference room table into her hand as she was having a one-on-one meeting with the director and founder of an Architecture firm.

Wendy Anderson has gone on to what seems like a fantastic life, Facebook tells me (she friended me, probably to keep track of my state of mind and geographic location).  I have no doubt she's still laughing loudly, smacking her gum and kicking the world's proverbial chair, but that won't stop her from acing every "real world" AP test, which I guess would be promotions and 401Ks and other indicators of a successful life.  I haven't changed much, either.  I'm still that psycho, doodling and just a few chair kicks from a minor meltdown.  But at least now when someone asks if I want to kill them I'll have a better answer than yes:  "...No."

Friday, September 6, 2013

that southern maryland look

If you grew up in Southern Maryland, as I did, you know there is a certain look among Southern Maryland men that is easy to recognize.  If you did not grow up in Southern Maryland but would like to achieve this look, I have created the diagram below to help you:


A.  Gel bangs.  Hair must be properly gelled with "bangs" combed flat against the forehead.  It is necessary to piece out the bangs in order to show separation, however the most important part of this hairstyle is the blunt line across the forehead.  Like a modern-day, redneck Julius Caesar, you are going for timeless style that says "not only is my hair immovable, you can also use it as a level when hanging up your 8 x 10 of Joe Gibbs in your family room."



B.  Diamond earring.  You shine.  You sparkle.  Everyone knows it, because they see a diamond earring in one or both of your ears.  Elizabeth Taylor was right.  These have always brought you luck, as well.



C. Facial hair.  This is absolutely necessary.  If you do not have a thinned mustache, soul patch and centralized chin beard you cannot be a true Southern Maryland man.  I'm sorry, you just can't.  I didn't make these rules.

D.  Gold chain and Redskins* jersey.  You may choose to wear one gold chain, or several, but it is important that you have at least one.  Depending on your preferences, they can be plain, or come with a pendant of some sort to show off your personality:  #1 Dad  or Yankees or Shart, however you decide to express yourself, the choice is yours.  The oversized jersey is also a key piece to remember.  Please note: It has to be oversized.  If people can look at you and have a general idea of the size of your torso, you're doing it wrong.  It has got to be at least 2 sizes larger than your actual size.  For example, if you comfortably wear a medium, you need to buy an XL.  You get the idea.
*If you do not have access to a Redskins jersey, in a pinch, a Ravens jersey is also an acceptable piece to include in your SoMd ensemble.  In select cases, a Cowboys jersey will also suffice.

E.  Keys to a lowrider truck.  If not a lowrider, an F-150/F-250/F-350/F-CHRIST WE GET IT YOU HAUL SHIT SOMETIMES, ENOUGH ALREADY.

F.  Flat brimmed sports cap.  Put it on your head.  Loop it on your belt.  Dedicate a room in your house to your collection of flat brimmed sports caps.  Take pride in that cap.  Spend a lot of money on that cap.

G.  Oversized jeans.  See D. Redskins jersey.  If a person can look at you and know the size of your lower torso/legs, this is incorrect.  For best results, go to St. Charles Town Center or your local Burlington Coat Factory to find the latest Marc Ecko and/or Sean John styles.

H. Basketball shoes.  You haven't played basketball since you were in high school, possibly not even that recently.  But it is imperative that you have a pair of white basketball kicks.  Please try not to be concerned with the fact that the right shoe in this diagram is facing the opposite direction it should.  This is not necessary to achieve the style.  It's just that I'm lazy and didn't feel like making this drawing 100% accurate.


So there you have it.  With these accessories, you too can look just like a Southern Maryland man.  Bonus points if you are related to someone named Buck, Sherry, Cheryl or Crystal, if you live on Cobb Island or if you own and wear Bud Light swimming trunks.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

you are your mother

Life is funny sometimes.  You're a kid, glaring at your mom, swearing up and down you're going to be nothing like her when you're her age.  You're going to be way cooler and so much more put together.  You're not going to do awful and embarrassing shit to your kids if you have them.

And then you wake up and your 27 years old.  And you are your mother.  It happens so slowly, so gradually, you don't even realize at first.  But you are your mother.

You're choosing from 50 similar shades of pale-to-medium pink/fuchsia nail polish even though you would always say "Mom! Christ, is this the only color of nail polish you own?"

You're defending yourself when people ask you harmless questions.
"Is that a new skirt, Jenna?"
"No, why?  Should I have worn a new skirt?  Is this dinner supposed to be fancy?  WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?" 

You are sitting in a restaurant, asking the person across from you if you have anything in your teeth, and if they say yes you are remaining at that table, trying to get the broccoli or gummy candy out of your molars using your pinky finger.  You're not going to the bathroom to do this in private like you swore you would ten years ago.  You're taking care of your business right there in front of the whole restaurant.


When I was in middle school, to get to the bus stop I had to walk about 0.2 miles from my house to the top of a hill.  I was often joined by 3 or 4 of my neighbors and friends who were all about my age.  I had to be at the bus stop by 6:50 am because something is seriously wrong with the school system in this country that makes kids get up that goddamn early.  During the wintertime that often meant it was dark and foggy when I stood there in the morning.  While I was there, my mom was always at home, getting ready for work.  Running around upstairs in her pantyhose.  Slip on, curlers in her hair, Fruit of the Loom underwear pulled up just below her breasts.  Panicking, assuming I was at the bus stop by myself, thinking of all the terrible things that could be happening to me while she was putting on her foundation in the bathroom.

I stood at the top of the hill, at the bus stop with my neighbors, trying my best to be a cool middle school kid, which was all but impossible for a middle school kid.  I was in my wide leg jeans and Airwalks, it was still kind of dark, the sun had barely come up and it was foggy, I couldn't even see my house from where I was standing.  But through the fog, I heard a voice.

"Jeeennnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa??"

I knew exactly where it was coming from and exactly who it was.  And one of my neighbors asked, "is that your mom?"

She yelled again, from her second story bedroom window that faced the bus stop, this time more desperate, "Jeeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaaaaaa????"

"....yes.  That's my mom."  I responded to my neighbor quietly.   "MOM I'M HEEERREEEEE!!!!"  I called back to her, mortified.

"Okaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy!!" a voice called back from the fog.

I know now that she was just worried.  I know that she loved me and didn't want me to be scooped up by a hillbilly volunteer firefighter or eaten by a fog monster.  But that took time to learn.

If I have a daughter, I know that that will be me screaming from that bedroom window.  Just Quit Tryin Fuschia painted on my nails, gummy candy in my teeth.  And my daughter will curse me under her breath and yell back "MOM I'M HEEEEEEEEERRREEE."  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

shitted on

This is simply too good not to share.  This is the Facebook status update of a former high school classmate.


I'm speechless.  Give me a second to process this.  I'm just trying to...  I don't totally...  WHAT?

You know what I think is the scariest part?  26 people liked this.  Either 26 people are cracking up, "L-ing their AO" like myself, or 26 people can relate to her story, have been through what she went through and decided to like it out of solidarity.

We can all laugh as much as we want at this poor mother of two, soon to be three, but you never know when you're going to be the one getting shitted on by your 4 year old son while he's peeing on your fence in your backyard.  That's a sobering dose of life right there.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

the bathroom stall lady: a new chapter

As I explained before, there is a lady where I work who I have previously referred to as Bathroom Stall Lady.  She grunts, she groans, she moans.  She yearns!!  She poops.  And all of that scares me.  But she can smell fear, so I put on a brave face, wash my hands, and get my ass out of the bathroom before she comes out of the stall most of the time.

But here's my update: After a series of encounters, both accidental and intentional, I have pieced together the clues to reveal her identity.  However, since she works for another organization that shares my office floor, I still do not know her name.  Therefore, thanks to a helpful suggestion from my boyfriend,  she has been given a name: Pooping Witch.

Let me paint a picture: Caucasian woman.  Mid-40s to early 50s.  Short, spiky black hair with dark red highlights.  Burgundy lipstick.  Chalky white skin.  Mostly long gypsy skirts.  Occasionally black dress pants.  White Hanes socks pulled high.  All black, orthopedic platform sneakers.

Some recent encounters:
1.  I once entered the bathroom as she exited.  When I exited she entered again.  Probably to poop.  I dodged 2 bullets.  I'm not going to even tell you what those bullets are shaped like and what color they are.  That's for your imagination.

2. I saw her outside in the daylight one morning while I was walking into work.  Below is a file photo:


I'll keep you posted on any future encounters.  For now I'm just doing my best to learn everything I can about her.  She may not realize it but we are enemies.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Guang Xu: The Musical!!

My boyfriend and I are moving into DC together in June and our future landlord's name is Guang Xu.  I'm not sure he's a person so much as a Broadway musical title.  Haven't we seen this musical before?  Like back in 1980?

Guang Xu!  Starring Olivia Newton-John!  

A love story about a boy and girl from two different worlds!  Guang Xu where time stops and the magic never ends!



Nope, never mind, I'm thinking of Xanadu:



Thursday, April 18, 2013

holding the door open

Men: Thank you for holding doors open for me sometimes.

However:  Please do not insist on creating a really awkward situation in which we are both inconvenienced because you insist you have to open the door because you are a man and that is what you are supposed to do because I am a woman.  Please do not pretend like there is any imperative or justified reason anymore to hold the door open and INSIST a woman go ahead of you other than for you to stare at her ass as she walks in front of you.

Sometimes I am carrying a lot of stuff in my arms (boxes, groceries, anvils, multiple bowling balls, several dozen paperweights, bags of sand, etc.) and you hold the door open and let me pass.  That is really cool, thank you!

Sometimes I hold the door open for multiple strangers to pass through into a building and you stop, reach above me and hold the door and insist that I pass under your arm to go through the door.  You look at me like I'm insane and you're ready to challenge me if I give any sort of hesitation on this.  Seriously, I've had men INSIST I let them hold the door.  As though their penis would simply melt off if they let me hold a door for them instead.  Why the fuck do you need to do this?  The door is not made of burning coals and I am not made of paper.  You should just thank me and continue through the fucking door.  It's not 1800.  I can physically handle the amount of effort it takes to hold a door open for a long period of time.  I don't need my smelling salts.  And I don't need you to make me feel feminine, my vagina and my personal gender identity help me with that.

Thank you for listening.  Have a good day.  Really, please, I insist.

Friday, March 22, 2013

mr. hall

I caught up with my dad recently, it had been a while.  He didn't have the best news to share, but when he got past the bad news, he moved on to some light hearted chatting which was less like a dialogue between two people and more like a soliloquy/stream of conscious.  Here are some excerpts I managed to write down and remember.  The italicized parts are where I tried to contribute to what I thought was a conversation:

So how do you like your job?

I really enjoy it so far, a lot better than the last--

That's good.  You know, your sister is the nicest person in the world.  Do you remember that review her company did of her a few years back?  Where they said all those nice things about her?  Sometimes I get it out and read it because it makes me so happy.  I'm proud of all my kids, though.  You put yourself through the University of Maryland, that is a tremendous school, in the top 20, at least, I'd say.

Yeah, dad, actually I think for public universities they are number 18---

Their football team can't seem to make up their mind about their uniforms, though, all kinds of colors.  They're in the big 10 now, too.  They're doing that for the money, though.  Anyways, my minutes are running out, they don't reset until Saturday, so I should probably get off the phone here...

...I'm driving through Charleston right now.  There's a guy with a Redskin jersey walking down the street.  Fletcher jersey.  Line backer.  37 years old and still playing.  Amazing he's still playing.  He's played for like 17 years, he probably has 1 more year in him.  Yep.  RG3.  What a player.  They won their last 6 games or something because of him.  They would've beat the Eagles, too, if he wasn't injured.

Yeah, that shot of his knee in that game was awfu---

Well let me know when you plan on moving to DC.  Give me a call sometime soon.  Your dad's proud of you.  Love you.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

way to go, internet



I don't even know how the hell I found this, or where.  But I was cleaning out some computer folders and remembered that I saved this screenshot one day, because it tickled me so.  It's no huge discovery that any asshole in the world can make a website and dole out "facts" and "advice."  This is the internet's version of facts:

"The recent study" which was never named or explained, states that 1/3 of people drink alcohol.  (In the world?  In my apartment?  There are 2 people and 3 cats, so that...couldn't be true in our case, right?  And I can tell you right now, both humans and maybe one cat drink alcohol in our household)  Also, the people who like to drink alcohol are those ones from Europe and Russia.  Nowhere else in the world can there be likers of alcohol drinks.  This is because, laziness.  Bye.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

stay regular

I was scrolling through a WebMD slideshow about the importance of water, (what do you do for fun?), and one of the slides really caught me off guard.  Below is the picture they chose to symbolize "staying regular."  You know, pooping.


Way to spell it out for us, WebMD.  Jesus Christ.  Drink water so it can whoosh out of your colon!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

yes to the dress!!


Last weekend I had the pleasure of trying on bridesmaid dresses at the largest bridal clothier chain in these United States.  I'll give you a hint at the name, it rhymes with Bavid's Dridal.  Give up?  It's David's Bridal, you ass clown!

I have to ask, sorry to be sexist, universe, but what the fuck does some guy named David care about bridal gowns?  To David's credit, he created his first shop in 1945 and that was back when men didn't think women could handle much more than GIVING BIRTH TO CHILDREN.  I've never given birth to a child, but I'm pretty sure we can all admit that it looks HARD TO DO, like, I don't know, maybe one of the hardest physical things a human will do in their lifetime?  Anyway, I was in David's Bridal last weekend, trying on bridesmaid dresses for my brother's forthcoming wedding in September (which will no doubt be filled with me politely but actively rejecting the advances of one "swinging"[no really he is a swinger] groomsmen in a kilt who owns one square foot of land in Scotland--no part of this is hyperbole, but that's for another post).

Pretty sure these were my mom's bridesmaids
It was a full house, women running around everywhere.  It was a Saturday in February, wedding season is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER.  Women sprawled out on couches in the corner of a fitting room area, exhausted. Women smiling dry-toothed, painful smiles at other women trying on beautiful bridal gowns in front of 20+ family members and strangers alike.  Girls yelling at their moms for suggesting they wear a tiara instead of a veil.  I tried on bridesmaid dresses with three other women with boobs like over-sized kick balls filled with pudding, complaining that none of these dresses can successfully house their BIG HONKIN BREASTS.

I went looking for the bathroom with no immediate luck.  I walked over to a back corner and interrupted a party of one older woman with a Pete Rose haircut, surrounded by several 20-something girls trying on bridesmaid dresses.

"Do you know if there's a bathroom back there?"  I asked, pointing to a curtain behind them.

Pete Rose stared at me, eyes wide, darting left to right in exasperation, mouth agape, "Uuuuuhhhhh, I really don't know."

This was clearly not her problem and how dare I ask her such ridiculous questions at a time like this.  That bitch was FRAZZLED.  Turns out there was NOT a bathroom behind the curtain, just boxes and bags and boxes and bags full of--shrunken heads?  Unripe bananas?  AOL disks?  I embarrassingly shuffled away from the corner of stress and doom and finally found the bathroom.

As I'm peeing I hear a loud bell being rung in the building, like a cattle bell or something you ring in a barn, I don't know, I've never lived on a farm.

*RIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGG*

And someone came on the loudspeaker for the whole building to hear, "Ladies, she said YES TO THE DRESS!!!"

There I was, hovering over a toilet, urinating and clapping for this mystery woman.

I thought, thank you David, for this moment.  This is what it's all about, David.  Buying expensive dresses, spooking frazzled women who look like Pete Rose, and not being able to pee in peace.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

ewection sad

Aaaaaaaaaawwwwwwww :*******(


John Bay-nuh has a sad because his pawty wost de ewection but he had to go to de inauguwation anyway!  Tee-uuuuhhhsss!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I'm an asshole, but so is John Boehner.  On the bright side, he has a better tan than everyone, so that's something.