Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sign of the times

Flipping through channels this morning, I come to Sesame Street..... and Tina Fey. But, unfortunately my first thought was 'Why is Sarah Palin talking to muppets?!'

Monday, September 29, 2008


@ Family's house on Sunday afternoon, fam playing cards, I am watching/eating/telling stories.

Me (to Aunt Dede/Mom/they might as well be the same person): 'I am going to see if I can go to the Obama rally in La Crosse on Wednesday.'

Aunt F: 'You want to actually SEE that black guy?!'

Me: 'Yep. And I am voting for him.'

Aunt F: 'I would never vote for him. Nobody knows nothing about him.'

Me: Sigh.

Same place, hours later, different aunt:

Aunt L: 'So you are moving to Russia, huh?'

Me: 'Yep. St. Petersburg. It's really far north, right by Finland'

Aunt L: 'So it's right above Africa then?'

Me: 'No.'

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Etsy eek!

I have been having great luck finding amazing things on Etsy.com lately. Great gifts and some great things for myself as well. The best thing I have found so far was at It's All About the Print on Etsy. The artist creates these really really fun pendants out of prints and scrabble tiles. I recently bought three as gifts for my two neices and my friend (who is also the choir director at church). Besides the music/bird one, I had a REALLY hard time picking these three out - I had about 30 favorites. Go and check her shop out here.

I like CAKE!

I just read a post over at 'Stephanie Says' about a mini cake you make in a coffee mug in the microwave in 3 minutes. This, of course, is horrible, but awesome. Here is link: Stephanie Says. Here is the recipe:
1 Coffee Mug
4 tablespoons plain flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
Small splash of vanilla

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well with a fork. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

Pour in the milk and oil and continue to mix well.

Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake might rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

Also, I have a big toe

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Health: commence

Recently I had a small breakdown about my life. The solution....health and weight loss. Of course, I have come to this conclusion before, many times. This time.... I am at my heaviest weight ever. EV. ER. This is not good, folks. Remember when I made weight loss one of my new years resolutions? Yeah, obviously that didn't happen. This time I am using the buddy system. This time I want to blog about my work, and often. Weight Watchers worked for me because it made me accountable for my eating and exercise. The downside was the expense, at $10 a week.

So the cheaper solution: you all. I am starting a new blog about my health and fitness, hopefully to make you all berate me about eating cheese curds and to help me through those nasty cravings.

The website is still under construction, but if you would like to follow me, come on over to Ruffage&Running!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


now: without sound!

What I've been up to lately

Cold Storage! Surrounded by thousands of dollars worth of delicious chocolate. (and yes, I used the song to spell delicious. what?)

March of the gingerbread cookies! Here they come...I have unloaded thousands of these tasty little assholes. About this many: This is ok for two reasons. 1. I am making money. This is the most important reason, by far. 2. When those assholes start to talk back, I just bike their heads off. And they are tasty.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

uh oh.

I am trying to tell myself that it is ok that I am staying in for the second night in a row. With nothing really accomplished today, I am having a hard time justifying my worth. It's hard not having friends around to cheer for you when things go well. I know, you all 'yay'ed at me in the comments and through text messages, and that's super great, but I wish there was someone here to share it with.

Absolutely no motivation today....

Friday, September 19, 2008

In case you are interested:

St. Petersburg


Yes, that's right. It requires capitalization and exciting punctuation. Are you ready? A quote from the ever longed for email:
Dear Jennifer,

Having spoken to Jim Nockels, it is my pleasure to offer you a contract with Language Link, Russia in St. Petersburg/ Petergof. In witness thereof I have attached a contract for your consideration. You will note that the Pay Grade offered is 12 or net US $1000 per month.

That's right folks! I could be living in St. Petersburg in (someundeterminedamountoftime) no time!

I have an interview with people from South Korea who (if they offer me a job) could pay me 3x that amount. So... Russia will have to wait for a response for the weekend. But ST. PETERSBURG?!! That's like my first choice of everywhere!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

If you love graphs...

You will love this site: http://indexed.blogspot.com/

My personal favorite!


The song that my choir is singing on Sunday is 'The King of Love My Shepard Is" and it begins with a three line solo. When we began rehearsing tonight, Julie (choir director) asked who would the solo. Well, I would like the solo, but I am not one to jump and say it. It implies too much about how I feel about my singing voice. So instead I asked if we could have everyone sing it once so that we remember how it goes. That went well, but afterwards Julie said, "Jennifer, would you like to do it?", in a voice known as 'you will do this, please'. So I said yes and now I have my first solo since senior year in High School. Pretty excited (read: Freaked Out) about it, as I know (hope) my days are numbered in the choir, the church, Madison, the US. Hope I can give a good showing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A waste of time

I cannot take naps. I cannot go to bed 'early' unless I am violently ill or I didn't sleep at all the night before. When I am tired in class (when class existed in my life) or at work, a nap sounds the the greatest pastime, something that should be done everyday, by everyone! I wake up and promise myself that I will go to bed earlier tonight, more sleep is worth it.

The only problem is that, when the time comes, it seems like such a waste of time. When you sleep, absolutely nothing gets done. You don't experience anything, you don't learn anything, nothing is accomplished. Now, I am not an overachiever or workaholic by any means, but I HATE wasting time. Even watching TV counts as doing something. Reading Dooce from beginning to end is productive somehow.

This is the main reason why I hate being hungover. Not only do you feel like crap FOR A WHOLE DAY, you can't get anything done. The whole day is wasted. Really, you might as well opt to die a day sooner, it's about the same. That would have been an accurate description of Sunday for me, if it weren't for the magical wonders of coffee. I had one cup of coffee before choir rehearsal (at 8:45) and it kept me functional (and happy and great!) until noon, exactly when I didn't need it anymore. Church was excellent - the choir sounded better than usual. I talked to Amanda afterward about Russia and Kansas City.

On Russia - Don't shy away out of fear. Any place can be dangerous.
On Kansas City - I am still welcome for the leadership institute in October.

I am very grateful that I got to talk to her about how frustrated I am with certain regions of the world and that I got her opinion on things. This was one interaction that I have had with her (or anyone practically) where I can't look back and berate myself about the stupid things I said or did. I was really on the downswing of my caffeine high, so I was too tired to be anxious about saying the wrong thing and stuttering over words and cracking jokes. I just laid it out there. It was very honest and it felt good.

Then came the hangover, full force. By the time I made it home, I was so hungry and tired and cringing with a headache that I couldn't really function anymore. I found my wallet (!) and called in Chinese food. Took miracle medicine. I felt better but was still exhausted. Got nothing else done.

Today was a wonderful day. More about that later, if you are lucky.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

To Dance?

My ex roommate just called and invited me to a dance party tonight, being thrown by one of her friends I have met a couple of times. A dance party?! That sounds like fun. Too bad I am exhausted from working and vowed that I wouldn't go out tonight because I have been really busy in the last three days, and I have to be up and leaving the house at 8:30 tomorrow morning in shape to sing.

But I probably will go because I can't logically turn down a chance to be social. You want me there?! Ok! Hopefully I avoid a scene (which I admire from afar, truly) such as this.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Meet my new best friend, Alex. He is a 12 year old Samoyed, who follows me around the apartment constantly, lays at my feet and sometimes sleeps in my room. Such a sweetie.
Like I said, he follows me constantly. The problem is, I am not that great at sitting in one place for very long, so he has to get up over and over again to follow me around. I know that it hurts him to go from lying down to standing and back again. :( He is also used to sleeping all day while mom's at work, so I am probably a very tiring friend for him. I don't think he minds though.

It's 1am....

That means that it is 8am in Poland. Please email me before I FREAK OUT!

Also - probably the best Chuck pic yet

Must share

So...Never drink Mountain Dew at 10:30. Or ALWAYS drink Mountain Dew at 10:30, I don't care. I am giddy as a goose, which might be why I was literally crying at this Dooce.com post, circa 2005.

I am spending HOURS reading Dooce.com from the beginning. I started in late spring/early summer, and I still have THREE YEARS to go. Thank God I am unemployed.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mike from Florida

Today I had the anxiety producing experience of not being able to connect to the internet anywhere in the apartment. So I fled. The fleeing was planned in advance, so I guess it doesn't count as such. Anyway. When I returned to the apartment(after spending 90 minutes at Panera Bread where I freaked out because the stupid power button on my laptop is kaput and I didn't have the remote. And yes, my laptop has a remote) it STILL wasn't working. So Roommate called Charter. Got it fixed up, but not before almost having a verbal war with the Charter lady... it was entertaining. BUT! Whilst this was happening, I accidentally put my computer on stand by. On stand by, the remote doesn't work either, so I was freaking out, thinking that I couldn't shut my computer off, so I would have to wait for the battery to die, and do you know how long that could take on STAND BY?! Then I remembered that I could take the battery out. Success! But, the internet STILL wouldn't love me long time like it should.

So I called charter back, and this is where I met my new husband, Mike from Florida. He had me doing backflips on my computer, all 'run' this and 'ipconfig' that. Sigh. I learned that I had only been to the 'good, country' parts of Florida, and that if I had gone further south, all they have are cubans, more cubans and confused white people. I asked if they had a lot of OLD people, and he responded "Yeah, those are the confused white people". We had a small spat about who has the worst drivers though, but I think it's just cause we love each other so much - it was a lover's quarrel. I still maintain that FIBs are the worst, but I could see how hoards of confused old white people in motorized vehicles would be frightening. After 22 minutes we were married AND I was back online. It was all I ever wanted, and more!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Door Company, continued.

I know you all have been waiting for the rest of the Door County story. Wait no more.

I successfully (that word has THREE instances of double consonants?!) slept in a tent, on the ground, in the wide, wide world three nights in a row. Please, hold the applause.

Being out in the woods with zero artificial entertainment, I began to revert to my childhood. By the end of the weekend, I was cracking stupid jokes, leaping around, randomly running because I wanted to... and having laughing fits about absolutely nothing with a good friend. It was like I was 12 again.

It wasn't all fun and giggles though. The first morning was a nightmare. I woke up, and my first thought was, oh, ow. Wow, ow. My back hurt and my uterus was showing signs of revolt in the near future. This condition worsened considerably throughout the morning, despite arming myself with one Midol. My uterus laughs in the face of one Midol. I did alright when I had to walk to where we are served food, at the other end of the trail. But by the time breakfast was over, I was lying on the ground on my stomach, unable to move or breathe. When Jack poked my leg with a stick I swear I nearly bit his neck and swallowed his adam's apple whole. A stern, don't fuck with me voice I said, "No. That is NOT OK.", if I remember correctly. Nikita and I had to walk back to the tents to do something. Maybe change clothes and get things we needed for the day, I can't even remember. Note that this walk back is at least half a mile. Half a mile in total agony. I know that Nikita was uncomfortable walking with me, I was visibly shaking while walking like half a mile an hour, and threatening to puke every ten steps. But she was a saint, only mentioning one time that she was glad that I wasn't going to be sea kayaking with her today. Back at the tents, I took two Advil Liquidgels (Sidenote: I love Advil Liquidgels. I love them so much, I commonly refer to them as miracle pills) and I used the 'restroom'. Standing in a small, reeking, spider filled outhouse, I decided that this was probably the worst possible thing that could happen to me. I couldn't hardly stand, I was surrounded by my worst fear, and I couldn't breathe without wanting to vomit from the smell. Then, I was angry. I mean, it was totally unnecessary that I feel that way. And these spiders? Why do they want to be in the outhouse? I hate them with the power of 10,000 burning suns (or what was that declaration of hatred, Haute?) Anyway, I survived the trek BACK to the eating area/parking lot area. While waiting for the miracle pills to take effect, writhing on the ground a while longer helped somewhat. Eventually my lower torso was numbed, and I was free to be a human again.

While I was in agony - and really throughout the weekend - I kept thinking about my old Hoofer friends and how much I missed them and wanted them to be on this trip. Andrea and Patsy, this trip would have been even more awesome had you been there. I knew Patsy would have something to tell me to make me feel better, or, she would have at least prevented Jack from poking me, that asshole. Plus, we used to really have fun together, and I could really see you guys on this trip. I was probably hallucinating, but if you would have just popped up around a corner, I wouldn't have been surprised in the least. The feeling was very strong and came quite early in the trip, so many of my memories of the weekend are a little clouded by the memory of a year ago, when we were together and my life was better because of it.

Ok, so. That was the 'bad' part of the weekend for me. The first afternoon (when I rose from the dead) was spent in Sister Bay, at a coffee shop. I had a little cup of cream of carrot soup and a San Pellingrino. The SP was NINETY FIVE CENTS. That is so freaking cheap. I even told the clerk. We pay like three times that in Madison. And it is so good. The coffee shop had the internet, hence my abbreviated update that weekend. Then I bought another San Pellingrino. Andrea (different from above Andrea) and I looked through some pottery and antique shops, then relaxed in the dining area at the park. We also went on one awesome hike, where I learned about the existence of thimbleberries and these really cool pods that explode like confetti poppers when you squeeze them.

Day two a group of us biked to Washington Island, biked across Washington Island to School House Beach and then biked back. We took the ferry obviously. I haven't honed my telekinetic powers to be able to bike on water... yet. It was fun, but when we got back, my ass bone was so sore, I couldn't hardly sit on it. Dinner was ready when we arrived, and I am not sure I have ever eaten a brat and drunk a beer so quickly in my life. I impressed/horrified the whole picnic table with three enormous belches in my 5 minutes of consumption. That made room for another brat! Bring it! I then learned how to play Kubb (pronounced 'Coob'). It's totally confusing and awesome at the same time. Then I drank three mini Mt. Dews in about 30 min and I got extremely hyper. This was about the time that Nikita and I decided it would be AWESOME if we went back to our tent and tried to take a picture for an eventual READ poster. You know the ones I am talking about. Bill Cosby, Oprah, Everymajorcelebrity. We were like middle school girls, laughing and carrying on while getting ready for bed, brushing our teeth and so forth. Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of yourself and a friend reading in the dark in a tent? HARD. We got one crotch shot, a shot up my shirt, three of just me, and so on. We finally got an acceptable picture, and I managed to turn it into a poster - like thing.

Day three we packed up and spent some time at Whitefish Sand Dunes Natural Area. We hiked around. I got to be a nature hike tour guide. The stupid pamphlet had at least two typos. We got to see another side of Lake Michigan. It was like the adventure! side (if that's even possible), with 3 foot waves, a Dangerous! riptide and a rocky shore riddled with sea caves. Around mid afternoon we packed up and rode home, with a shortish stop in Appleton for some yummmmy pizza.

All in all, it was a pretty great trip. I couldn't have asked for much more to round out the end of my Hooferdom. To really picture the above, click on my picasa web albums link on the sidebar.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


So... I missed the Democratic National Convention. Actually I saw about 30 seconds of it before bawling because my dad made some offhanded comment about it and 'those fuckers'...yeah. I have seen conventions before though, and I am currently watching John McCain speak at the RNC. I admit that everyone running is quite charismatic. If we are to blindly agree with whoever is speaking, then great! Vote for everyone! But someone is lying, and there is half a country who's buying it.

Conventions freak me out. The way I see them, from the calm comfort of my living room, they look like meetings of cults. The close ups of the attendants. Average looking people absolutely crazed by what someone is saying. Really? You are THAT excited? They all look like brainwashed idiots, on both sides. Wide eyes, huge smiles, jumping, screaming! Skeptics must not be allowed in the door. I guess it wouldn't be as moving to see people squint and golf clap when a nominee makes an iffy statement.

It's Coming!

I know nobody really wants to hear this, but that doesn't change the fact that Christmas is on it's way. It must be if election day is only 61 days away. And it's only 55 degrees outside. All signs point to winter.

To get everyone's minds primed, I found a great great website for gifts.


Here are a couple more of my favs:

etsy.com - All homemade crafts
mightygoods.com - A great compilation page of fun stuff!
buyolympia.com - Where I got my new planner... Awesome.

Sorry to bring that all up, but I couldn't hold back Violet.com. I am just too excited about it.

Because I have a problem

I bought this online today. My mild obsession with planners is longstanding, just accept it. That's my motto.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Without the Internet, September 2nd, 2008

Visited Q today. I knew when I began dialing that there was the distinct possibility of the experience being awkward, but I decided to chance it. Called around noon to see if her family was in town, even though I should have known that they would be since it was the first day of school. Q would have to work, Emily would have to GO to school.

We chatted about the usual chatty things – the weather, politics (which I will always avoid talking about with everyone. Including Q. And you. Don’t even try it), we shared the new things in our lives. It wasn’t awkward at all. Emily gave me a tour of the house and we picked out clothes for her to wear at school the next day. When I was getting ready to leave, Q shared some very kind words with me. I had forgotten how happy it used to make me to spend time with Q. Maybe that’s why I was always around in high school; twice a week at show choir rehearsal and at her house, either babysitting or taking voice lessons. She seemed genuinely happy that I came over too. Things went so splendidly, we might meet up at her family’s lake house this weekend or next. YAY!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Door Co. Wisconsin, USA

Three days of perfect weather with good friends, yummy food, and fun activities. That's the short story. The long story? Ok.

A fun, entertaining 4 hour drive to Door Co with Doug and Nikita. We arrived at Newport State Park in the dark at about 10 pm. The sky was BEAUTIFUL. I hadn't been away from Madison for a while - too long - to remember ever seeing so many stars. The night sky was sparkling - like glitter, I tell you! And then I looked down, and realized that the stars were all that were visible. I couldn't see my hand in front of my face, and I had forgotten my headlamp. If there was one trip where my headlamp would have been useful, it would have been this one, and I forgot it. Sigh. So I had to have a buddy if I wanted to do anything during the evening. Oh well.

Newport State Park is at the VERY end of Door County. It's a pretty good sized state park with about a dozen of wilderness only campsites. Here is a doctored up map:
Please note that the route that I colored red is probably more than half a mile long, it took a good 10 minutes to go from the parking lot to the campsite. We made this journey many times this weekend because at the parking lot was the little open area in which we had all of our meals and it was also a general congregating area.

More soon...