Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

Even with the complete lack of privacy nowadays, where anyone who is curious can find out every little thing about you, THANKS Facebook and Twitter, one thing will always remain private: A diary.

Wait, let me rephrase that: one thing should always remain private: A diary.

File this in the DUH category: Diaries are not meant for other people to read. They used to come with tiny LOCKS for Christ’s sake.

The reason they are so private is because a diary is the one place where someone can write their deep dark secrets and true emotions without fear of anyone else reading it.
(Unlike an email, the words are not meant to be shared or copied and pasted...or read by Big Brother.)

Which is exactly why some guys really, really want to read them: The diary knows everything.

Is she cheating??? Does she like my best friend? Am I really the best lover in the world?

I know these are all deep burning questions and it’s super tempting to search for the answers in handwritten pages.

But, it’s never, ever, ever OK to read your significant other’s diary, even if it’s sitting in front of you like candy.

Worse than reading someone’s diary that’s sitting in front of you like candy? Scouring someone’s entire house to find it.

That certainly was Steven’s mission when he combed through my friend Abby’s house when she was out of town.

Steven knew Abby had a diary, because when they dated SEVERAL YEARS PRIOR, he was always insecure about it.

Abby has filled four diaries since 1994, regularly writing down her thoughts and emotions and everything else she wants kept between her, herself and her.

Steven and Abby reconnected four years after they broke up, and they both decided there was no reason why they couldn’t be friends, even though it wasn’t a very nice breakup.

They liked each other’s company and it had been FOUR YEARS, so Abby thought they could water-under-the-bridge-it.

But, Steven, naturally, wanted to be more than friends. Abby said he began asking her uncomfortable questions every few weeks like, “Would you ever marry a guy like me?” “Do you enjoy being with me?”

And then the more obvious: “I love you, can we make it official?”

Every time, Abby responded with no.

Steven didn’t seem fazed by her response, and they continued to be friends. When Abby went on vacation to New York last week, she even let Steven house/dog sit.

Before leaving for New York, she decided to hide her diaries from their usual spot on her bedside table to INSIDE A BACKPACK IN THE BACK OF HER CLOSET BETWEEN TWO WINTER COATS, since Steven was staying at her house and he knew they existed.

When Abby returned from New York, she walked into her house in horror to find that the entire place was spotless.

Steven had done some cleaning while she was gone. He cut the grass, he repainted the outside trim...and he tidied up her closet.

Steven hadn’t said anything about finding her dairies when they spoke, but Abby noticed quickly upon her return that he started acting completely strange...like someone who had read her diaries from 1994.

And she nervously checked her closet and noticed that the backpack did look a little...straighter than before.

Abby was suspicious. And it didn’t take long to do some probing about why he decided to clean the house so thoroughly and why he decided to clean the closet, when Steven broke down and admitted his guilt.

He used the unwelcomed cleaning as an excuse, saying he wasn't looking specifically for them.

But apparently, he felt that if he found them, IN A BACKPACK IN THE BACK OF HER CLOSET BETWEEN TWO WINTER COATS, he had full right to read them.

“Even if you found it doesn’t give you an excuse to read it!” Abby yelled.

Yet, Steven’s plan ended up backfiring. Because, another reason not to seek out – and then read—someone’s diary, aside from the obvious invasion of privacy, is you might not like what you read.

“There was a single paragraph blurb about how he has a big belly and a small dick and was totally unsatisfying on so many levels,” Abby recalls.

“But that’s OK, karma’s a bitch he also read pages upon pages of hot sexy fun times with others. Needless to say we aren’t talking.”

Damn. Haha. That’s going to be a good entry.

-Jenny

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rain-cation

If you can’t think of a time when rain ruined an outdoor event, congratulations. You live in a desert. Or on the South Pole.

Because for people who live in this hemisphere, rain has been the demise of at least one (hundred) outdoor events over the years, including weddings, graduation parties, uh...ENDYMION PARADE 2011.

We’re supposed to be smarter than rain, you know, with our Dopplers and satellites and 24-hour weather channel.
But our technology only detects rain a week or so away and things like wedding dates are decided well before then.

Same thing with vacation beach rentals.

Glorious!

No one could have predicted a month before Labor Day that not just rain but a NAMED STORM would blow over the entire Gulf Coast during the long weekend.

It was certainly bad timing for me and my sun-loving friends who rented a beach house in the Florida panhandle, right in the path of the storm.

We nervously checked the weather as the weekend approached and realized that our ability to get tan was slim (and the possibility of getting hit by flying debris was increasing).

Yet, with a deposit already paid for and plans already in place, an impressive 14 of us made the trek from New Orleans to Grayton Beach, Florida anyway.

Maybe the rain will stay off the coast! We thought. Maybe it will move more west and we’ll have clear skies!

Hmmm. Not so much.

But not all was lost.

I did learn something very positive about rain over Labor Day weekend: it has the uncanny ability to get people to bond in ways a sunny beach doesn’t.

For example, it renews your love for board games.

The 14 of us played countless board games over those four days including Catch Phrase, Apples to Apples, Scattergories, Pictionary and Monopoloy.
(although not everyone wanted to play Monopoloy because it causes massive fights over Park Place and Pennsylvania Avenue and whoever owns all the railroads is an A-hole and usually wins.)

My favorite game was Apples to Apples, because you can be creative.

See, you get a list of cards of random things like this:

Danny Devito I love your work!!!

And then a friend/judge turns over another card with an emotion or description on it like fun, happy, glorious, luxurious, superficial, etc. and everyone has to discard one of their cards that fits in the category. (Schlinder's List would NOT be a good pick for luxurious.)

What makes this game fun is that you must play wisely and consider what your friend/judge will find the most appropriate, since they pick their favorite among the cards.

For example, I knew that one friend/judge looooves Mardi Gras, so I threw that card no matter what the emotion card was. I won that round.

This also turns out hilarious conversation among those whose cards weren’t chosen –
HELLO! HOW IS AN EMAIL NOT “SUPERFICIAL!” COME ON!!!

We also played other games not sanctioned by Hasboro, like Never Have I Ever (mom don’t ask) and the ABC game, where you go around in a circle and everyone says a word starting with a letter of the alphabet that fits a particular category.

Popular categories were words that describe sex, drugs and rock n roll. (Acid, butt sex, Creedance Clearwater Revival, respectively.)

We also played an indoor baseball game with an empty box of Kleenex as a bat.


And there was gymnastics.

A ten from the Russian judge!

We were able to venture outside on the beach for exactly 2 hours and 22 minutes one day, and even though it was overcast and quite chilly and the Coast Guard said we couldn’t get in the ocean, we still managed to make the most of it by playing in a nearby lagoon.

Fun in the (non) sun!

But you know what? It ended up being a super fun vacation.
Even with the tropical storm winds and forced bonding.

Much like when a wedding or graduation party is moved indoors because of dumb rain, it ends up being a good time anyway because all that matters is the awesome, crazy people you’re with.


Plenty of alcohol helps, too. Ha.


Thanks to this rain-cation, I now know people’s “never have I ever” secrets and I know my friend Meredith and I are RIDICULOUSLY GOOD partners at Pictionary.
Also, I’ve been meaning to stock up on more photos of me and my friends all sitting in a circle.






We're all winners.

-Jenny

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How NOT to plan a high school reunion

Part 1


First of all, let me say that my ten-year reunion this past weekend was really fun. People came that I actually hadn’t seen in ten years, the food was delicious and only one person noticed that I accidentally got drunk and knocked over a trash can.


I don’t remember why I volunteered to plan the reunion in the first place, since I was definitely NOT the valedictorian or salutatorian or a member of any committee whose responsibility that would fall under.


(Unless you count me being the secretary of the classic film club. Which really shouldn’t count for anything. Man, that club was so awesome.)


Anyway.


The thing that’s so different about planning a high school reunion from planning a birthday party (or, uh, a Christmas oyster roast) is that a reunion is a long-standing tradition. Filled with expectations! You only have one ten-year reunion after all. R-e-s-p-e-c-t!


As such, it deserves more planning and structure than simply putting together a Facebook event and hoping someone brings Wii Dance Party to your house (and, uh, a Wii).


No! You have to think about the reunion’s true purpose (catch up with old friends! Reminisce about old times!) and you have to figure out how to make it as painless as possible for your fellow Catholic girls’ school graduates (see: food, alcohol, various distractions).


But I didn’t think of all those things when I volunteered to plan it. All I thought about was a venue and a date.


First, I wanted it to be on the back deck at this bar near our high school because large gatherings outdoors are fun and celebratory and everyone looks better surrounded by twinkle lights.


Next, I had to pick a day, which posed several challenges living in New Orleans.


It couldn’t be during the summer, because I didn’t want everyone looking like they just got slapped in the face with a wet washcloth while mingling.


And it couldn’t be in the frigid 50-degree winter either, because no one likes hovering under heaters and that doesn’t make for a good photo.


Then you have to consider that from July to November is hurricane season so you’re kind of crossing your fingers there. And finally you have to plan it around LSU football games, because Tigers beat reunions.


In early spring, I decided the date of the event would be September 17, and then did nothing for six months.


Other than make it everyone else’s problem, that is.


First, I imposed on a fellow graduate the responsibility of letting everyone mail her their checks, because I’m really bad at math and I’m incredibly unorganized.


(Also, mailmen have a hard time finding my basement apartment in which to deliver things.)


Then, my roommate mentioned that her work could cater the party, so naturally I made her order all the food and figure out pricing.


With all that taken care of, I sat back and played on the reunion’s Facebook event page.


That is, until I Googled “planning my high school reunion” and panicked when I was told by Miss Manners that I needed to have some sort of party favor, like at a wedding.


A party favor? I’ve never given out party favors before.

I took a quick poll of my friends.


We initially decided on personalized beer koozies, because you can never have enough koozies or have cold enough beer.


But then a non-drinker friend (I know...can you imagine!...kidding mom) said a koozie would be useless for non-drinkers like her, and shot down my claim that people sometimes use koozies for sodas.


So I decided on getting plastic cups (which we call “Mardi Gras cups” down here) which can be used for both water AND beer, ThankYouVeryMuch, and I’d get them personalized with the reunion date and high school logo.


Three weeks before the reunion, I spent an afternoon designing the cups online (which was super fun) and when they arrived, they only had ONE typo!


Success!


Google also told me that people want to be reminded of high school at their reunion (Really? Why???) and things like a slide show or name tags with senior year photos on them are “super festive.”


I chose a slide show. I solicited classmates to email me photos, and then forgot about it until TWO days before the reunion, when I spent all night scanning.


THE DAY OF THE REUNION, with all the scanned photos in a nice folder, I (illegally) downloaded songs circa 2001 to accompany the show and felt proud of myself.


But then I hit a snag when I realized I had no idea how to get the slideshow from my computer onto the TV at the bar.


Thankfully, my dear friend Meredith offered up her cord that transfers things from computers to TVs and then let me borrow her computer, because I realized two hours before the reunion that mine wasn’t compatible.


As I was picking up the computer and cord, I made my parents and aunt spend their Saturday afternoon tearing drink tickets for everyone.


I thought everything was in place until FORTY-FIVE MINUTES BEFORE THE EVENT when I went to the deck to test out the slideshow.


The good news was that my best friend and fellow graduate’s boyfriend had surprised everyone and spent all morning decorating the deck with lights and our school’s mascot.

(Yes, I made the reunion his problem, too.)


The bad news was that when I tested the slideshow, it didn’t work.


I plugged in the cord from the TV to the computer but the screen remained blue. I checked everything twice, ran back and forth to both devices but nothing worked. Then I had a nervous breakdown.


“JOHN!” I wailed over the phone to my friend who works on computers. “I’M GOING TO DIE!”(Dramatic? Who’s dramatic??)


Thankfully, John lived nearby and came right over. He found me on the deck gnawing my face.


In less than ten minutes, he figured out how to change the settings on the computer and immediately, my awkward high school photos came up on the large TV screen.


I jumped on him like a monkey as a thank you, soliciting odd looks from everyone enjoying afternoon drinks on the deck.


I then realized I now had exactly one half-hour to shower and get ready for the reunion, which meant I didn’t have time to shave my legs or check myself in the mirror (hey...just like high school!)


Yet, with the deck already decorated, my roommate already picking up the food, my friends already making the slideshow a GO and my parents’ already portioning out everyone’s drink tickets, I really didn’t have that much to do.


(Except get drunk and accidentally knock over a trash can.)


The moral here is that I’m incredibly fortunate to have such an awesome roommate, friends and parents who are willing to help me with my odd reunion-planning decision.


(This also applies to the awesome photographer, my former co-worker, who agreed to come and take pictures in exchange for food and booze).


So, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU FRIENDS! I absolutely, 100 percent, couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you.


And I’d also like to thank everyone who came, without which there wouldn’t be a party.


Cheers!!


Now someone else plan the 20-year.


-Jenny

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

Movies and TV shows have already showed common lines men use to gain sympathy and/or get what they want.


“This is my last day on Earth.”

“I’m going to die tomorrow.”

“You don’t want to die a virgin do you?”


It’s always an ultimate, I’m-leaving-forever-and-this-is-your-last-chance plea. DON’T RESIST TEMPTATION! YOU MAY NOT GET ANOTHER CHANCE!


I’d be more swayed if guys who used these lines in real life were actually telling the truth.


Take Todd, for example. He and my friend Alice dated in high school, but they broke up and he immediately stared dating Alice’s best friend.


Furious, Alice yelled at him, and his response in typical high fashion was, “You know, in a perfect world, I could date BOTH of you.” (ugh)


When things fizzled with the friend, Todd came running back to Alice, who refused to see him again.


Todd apologized, he begged to take her to him back, he told her that he missed her so much he couldn’t stand it. But she wasn’t budging.

Then he pulled out a trump card.


“My ROTC class is going to Iraq for 48 hours for a special mission,” Todd said. “And I might be killed.”


Alice didn’t say anything for a minute. He...could be killed?


She had seen footage of soldiers heading overseas to Iraq, and it was very, very sad. She had no idea that high school ROTC classes were now being sent for “48-hour special missions” to the country.


This was right after 9/11, and Alice softened up a bit. Then she talked to her parents about it.


“You can’t even GET to Iraq in 48 hours,” her parents told her matter-of-factly. “No, the army is not sending an ROTC class of 16-year-old boys to Iraq.”


Alice called Todd back and repeated the lack of logic in his story.


Yet he stood firm that he and his fellow junior ROTC soldiers-in-training were packing duffel bags and big, black boots at that moment.


In addition to the fact that he was lying about a “48 hour special mission” (I mean, really, what were they gonna do, pop each other’s zits in the direction of the enemy??) it was especially annoying that his fateful trip was supposed to make up for his previous bad behavior.


Oh, you’re going to Iraq? Well, then I forgive you for dating my best friend. And fantasizing about dating the both of us.


Alice didn’t buy his story and they stopped talking altogether -- even when she really, really, really felt like calling him during the “48 hour special mission trip” to ask why he was still in the New Orleans time zone.


She considered throwing MRE meals at his house.


-Jenny

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Things that really grind my gears

In college, my opinion writing professor told us never to write rants.


He said it was pointless. Everyone bitches about everything on a daily basis – bad drivers, texting at dinner, rude homeless people who turn their noses up when you hand them a sensible breakfast bar (uh for example) – and he said no one wants to read about it. It just makes them really angry.


I always thought rant-writing would be something to bond over. Like, UGH I hate drivers who don’t use turning signals, too!!!


But, I took his word for it, and have never written about anything that specifically grinds my gears. Other than toolbags.


(Confession: I did write a blog post bitching about people who post photos on Facebook of their naked newborn baby boys in the hospital with their apricot-sized balls, but decided not to post it. Because it was a rant.)


Today, however, I’m breaking the rules.


Today I want to talk about the Louisiana Unemployment Commission. (Something even more horrific than baby boy balls!)


Have you ever had to file for unemployment? It’s not as easy as sobbing, “I GOT LAID OFF! HELP ME!!” and a magic check appears.


No. It’s far more annoying than that.


In order for them to even consider paying you, you will need at least an hour, a fax machine, a landline telephone (thanks mom and dad) and the internet, to click a million boxes that ask you the same thing over and over.


No, I’m not in the military

No, I was never in the military

No, I’m not married to anyone in the military


Then, you have to fax them your embarrassing “I got laid off” papers and spend another hour on hold waiting to talk to someone to make sure they received your embarrassing “I got laid off" papers.


In about a week (still not being paid), they mail you a letter with how much they’re going to pay you, which is only about HALF of what you were getting, and they send you a credit card to access your funds.


“But I don’t want a card!” you will probably say. “I want direct deposit to the account that’s already linked to my online payment things!”


You’d think they’d ask you if you wanted a card before taking time and money to mail you one. NO! No one asks you anything!


You then learn that if you want direct deposit, you must fill out another form they didn’t tell you about when you originally filed and....surprise! Fax it over.


And then spend another hour on hold on the phone making sure they got your fax.

I hate jumping through hoops.


Then you figure you’d be paid. Look at my “I got laid off” letter! It’s legit! Here is my bank account! Deposit money! GO!


It was now two weeks later and was getting more broke by the day.

I kept checking my bank account but not seeing any deposit.


During week three, I called the office to ask where my money was. I waited on hold for 44 minutes, only to be told that they don’t pay you for the first week.


“WHAT THE HELL?” I screamed. “LIKE A GRACE PERIOD?”


I then may have waxed on about how ridiculous this is, and how I’ve been working full-time for six years G-dammit, gimmie my money. I think I cried.


Then they tried to make me feel better by saying their office is super swamped and some people don’t get unemployment for two months after they file.


“WHAT THE F*CK??”


“You’ll get your payment on Monday,” someone finally said.


Monday came, and then Tuesday came, and I still didn’t get any money.


“WHERE. IS. MY. MONEY?” I asked another person, after waiting another 45 minutes on hold.


“Oh, you didn’t file on Sunday,” the second person said. “You’re supposed to file every Sunday for the upcoming week.”


“No one told me that.”


“Well, you were supposed to. Now your case has been closed.”


“WHAT THE F*CK??”


So then I had to walk through all of the original filing over the phone all over again--- NOPE, STILL NOT IN THE MILITARY!


A week after that, I got paid.


My first paycheck in five weeks!

It was exciting.

I got a pedicure.


I properly filed the next Sunday, as instructed, but then hit a snag the third week because I started working at a non-profit.


The problem was, my new job hadn’t paid me yet. So I did the honest thing, I clicked the “I worked at a job this week” box, but put $0 in the how much I got paid box.


And then I didn’t get paid that week from unemployment.


“WHERE. IS. MY. MONEY???” I repeated for the fourth time to an unemployment person after being on hold for another 45 minutes.


“You said you got a job.”


“I DIDN’T GET ANY MONEY FROM THEM!”


“Well if you’re volunteering then you shouldn’t have said you got a job.”


“I’m not...I just...haven’t gotten paid!!”


“You’ll get your money Monday.”


Monday came and Tuesday came, and I still didn’t get paid.

It had been seven weeks since I got laid off and unemployment had only paid me for two weeks.


By then, I had gotten a paycheck from my new job and didn’t feel like wasting 45 more DAYTIME minutes calling unemployment, so I dropped it.


I’M DONE WITH YOU PEOPLE! I thought. NEVER AGAIN!


Right?

Wrong.


Today, my new boss called me into his office to tell me he’s got something “a little awkward” to discuss.


THE UNEMPLOYMENT COMMISSION sent him a letter saying I fraudulently filed for unemployment when I had a proper job, and they are doing an audit on me.


And on them.


OMG.


WHAT???


My boss was very nice about it, saying it was probably just a misunderstanding since I didn’t get paid right as I started, and he’d fill out paperwork on his end. But unemployment was THREATENING TO TAKE MY FUTURE PAYCHECKS.


(See: Smoke coming out of my ears.)


“WHAT THE F*CK??!” I screamed an hour later, at the fraud investigator over the phone.


She said records show my new job started on the 11th. And I filed for unemployment that same week.

I’m such a criminal.


“BUT I HADN'T GOTTEN PAID YET!” I said. “I WROTE THAT I GOT PAID ZERO DOLLARS AND THEN I NEVER GOT A PAYMENT FROM YOUR OFFICE ANYWAY!”


“That doesn’t matter,” she said.

HOW DOES THAT NOT MATTER??


I now have to write a letter to an unemployment “investigator” explaining my “situation” to get it straightened out. And spend 44 cents on a stamp.


BASTARDS.


Oh, I’ll write a letter.

It may include pictures of naked baby boys' apricot balls.


-Jenny

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

You’d think that after meeting a guy at a bar and talking for 45 minutes and him asking you for your number that he’d be into you.


At least that's what my friend Sara thought after she spent most of her time talking to Scott at her kickball league’s after-bar last week.


They both found each other interesting enough that in 45 minutes they actually learned more about each other than some one-night stands do (Uh, so I’ve heard).


She even decided to stay at the bar and chat with him even though all of her fellow teammates left.


Scott was in the Navy. He was raised super, super Catholic and said his parents followed the Bible to the point of being embarrassing.

He was one of five kids total, two sisters, two brothers (Catholics indeed!)


Sara and Scott had cute banter, and she thought he was smart and funny. She teased him about being in the Navy, asking him how many pushups he can do and things like that.


He got her number, and said he’d call her next time he dropped to do 20.

When Sara said she had to go to the bathroom, he pretended to be crushed.


“You have five minutes exactly,” he said sternly, joking. Sara laughed.


Her grin faded THREE MINUTES LATER, when she came back to the bar from the bathroom and another blonde had taken her seat next to Scott. She observed them for a minute. He was definitely flirting with her, exactly the way her had been flirting with HER, pre-bathroom break.


Sara’s feelings were hurt. Wasn’t she guaranteed his attention for at least the time she was still AT the bar?


Three minutes ago he was “devastated” that she would leave him to go pee, now he had replaced her immediately?


Rolling her eyes, she went up to the bar in Scott’s line of vision and asked the bartender to close out her tab.


“Hey, woah, what are you doing?” Scott asked. “You’re not closing out are you?”


“Yea,” Sara said. “If I can’t hold your attention for five minutes while I’m gone, what’s the point?”

(Also, all of her friends had left already.)


Even though Sara admits she “kind of lost it,” she had a point.

I mean, how annoying!


HE’S the one who had gotten her number and acted like he couldn’t be away from her for five minutes.

DOES PLAYFUL BANTER MEAN NOTHING ANYMORE??


“I mean, I know that I’m being crazy right now,” Sara said, as she signed her tab. “But I just think that’s rude.”


Scott then either became self-aware, or tried to smooth things over. The new blonde girl had gotten bored and left.


“No I mean sorry, I guess that’s an asshole thing to do,” Scott said.

Sara nodded and left.


He never called, but that’s OK.

Sara didn’t even pretend to be devastated. She forgot about him after five minutes.


-Jenny

Monday, September 12, 2011

KK's turn


When my twin sister Joy and I were infants, our mom taught our older brother, Franklin, how to tell people how many months old we were.


It was a tip from Twins Magazine about how to make sure the older “single” sibling won’t feel left out.


Franklin was almost two years old when we were born, and didn’t have an identical twin for strangers to fuss over.


“Oh, look twins!” people would say in public, astonished.


(Twins were a bigger novelty in the 1980s than they are today.)

“How old are they?"


This was always the first question everyone would ask.

Instead of answering, our mom would nudge Franklin.


“Five months!” he’d say, and then the strangers would pay attention to him -- “oh what a smart little boy!”


Then they’d ask him how old he was, and he’d just shrug. (Ha. Just kidding.)


It wasn’t easy for Franklin having younger twin sisters who demanded a lot of attention and who always found his toys more fun to play with.


(In home movies, we saw there was indeed a gated off area in the corner of the living room labeled “Franklin’s space” and Joy and I were not allowed to enter.)


Joy and I ruined a lot of things for Franklin.


He got his own phone line when he turned 15, but then Joy and I abused it and it got taken away completely.


His Sega Genesis video game had the same fate, after Joy and I were caught playing Earthworm Jim when we should have been studying.


When Franklin was old enough to drive, we insisted that he---and only he---drive us to parties and the mall because he was way cooler than our mom.

(His girlfriend at the time was not pleased with our demanding social lives).


Even today, we still call him by his nickname “KK” which we named him about the same time he was telling people how old we were.


Clearly, it was all about us growing up.


But not today!!!! Today is Franklin’s 30th birthday!!!

THIS TIME I’M TELLING THE WORLD HOW OLD HE IS!!!!

And today, this blog is all about HIM.


Franklin is actually quite a big deal these days, despite not having someone who looks exactly like him.


He edits movies in HOLLYWOOD and my mom picture messages me the TV screen with his name in the credits. Of legit movies!!!


She’s so proud.


His movies have been submitted to film festivals, he’s jet-setted around the country and Leonardo DiCaprio once tapped him on the shoulder at an after-party and asked him to order him a beer.


SWOON!!!


If someone told Franklin when he graduated high school that he would be a movie editor by the time he celebrated HIS 30TH BIRTHDAY he would have nodded his head approvingly.


In middle school, Franklin would write his own horror movies and shot them with our dad’s big heavy camcorder balanced on one shoulder.


Early 90s fashion was so cruel.


He would even cast me and Joy in supporting roles.


Despite the fact that we usually played “scared girls number 1 and 2,” saying things like “help me!” and “be careful!” to his best friends, who were the heroes in the movie, they made for some pretty fun Friday nights.


They always centered around scary things like monsters and burglars.

Sometimes, though, he’d made a fake basketball shoe commercial with his Air Jordans.

(Incidentally, my favorite movie he ever did, obviously, was the one where he cast me as an attractive stranger getting out of a convertible. In slow motion. Hahaha)


Franklin is also really funny, and Joy and I would count on him to make us laugh during long car rides, family vacations…or trips on the emergency room.


On one memorable vacation in Tennessee, Joy and I decided it would be fun to race each other down a mountain. (We were ten years old, and should have known better.)


I lost my footing but won the race by tumbling down the mountain and needed to get stitches on the underside of my arm.


We were on an Indian reservation and the hospital there wouldn’t take me because I wasn’t an Indian. I remember my mother screaming.


Fifty miles later, I was scared and nervous and in an odd makeshift hospital waiting my turn and Franklin was making me and Joy laugh.


He pretended to be the doctor, looking in cupboards and drawers with his pants hanging down like a plumber whenever the nurse came in.


“Ok, we’re ready for you to go into the operating room,” the nurse finally said. “You can pick one person to go in there with you.”


“Franklin! I want Franklin!” I said. The nurse frowned and said no.

Ha.


Since living in Los Angeles, Franklin has turned into an adult way faster than me and Joy. (I’m still waiting…..any day now...)


This can be seen in small things like how he understands technology while both Joy and I exchanged smart phones for dumb ones and have antiquated MP3 players.


Last month I actually called Franklin AGAIN to walk me through the steps on how to download songs to my MP3 player. (It only holds 27 songs.)


And when I accidentally deleted all the episodes of HBO’s Treme on my parents’ DVR list, Franklin got them the season on DVD before my dad could yell at me.


He’s also an adult in that he’s super successful. When Joy and I visited him in Los Angeles a few years ago, he paid for everything. And we let him.


He always gets us really nice things for Christmas and birthdays, as opposed to me...spending no money writing people blogs for their birthday.


Franklin is also level-headed and when I call him and freak out because it’s a Monday. He separates the things that matter from the things that don’t matter, and he’s very good at giving advice whether it be work-related or toolbag-related.


Most recently, however, Franklin was a good brother and friend during the holidays last year a.k.a. the winter of my discontent.


I had just moved to New Orleans and was going through a traumatic breakup and was completely miserable and seeing him both Thanksgiving and Christmas for weeks at a time was a Godsend.


He listed all the reasons why it was great that I had moved home and made me feel better about being single.


And, somehow, he managed to make me laugh.


Thanks for everything, KK.

-Jenny

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My fantasy

If there was a fantasy league for women’s gymnastics, I’m sure a lot of guys would pick gymnasts based on their looks.

(At least the guys who don’t follow stats for how often they stick their landings would.)

You might not know anything about the sport, but at least you could make it fun.
Uneven bar specialist? I dunno. I'll pick her. She’s hot.”

This is the method I used for picking my fantasy football team: Players based on who I thought were the most attractive. (I don't care about stats or what a tight end does. Or who was spotted on an "anti gravity" treadmill.)

Here’s how it works:

1.) Go to ESPN.com and ignore all the distracting icons and put “fantasy football cheat sheet” into the search engine bar.

2.) Click on the first link that comes up.

3.) On that page, look all the way to the right and click on “Top 300” link.

4.) Start with player No. 1 and click on each name in blue to see their head shots. When you find a player that you would totally make out with at a bar, pick them. If you would NOT make out with them at a bar, move down the list, completely ignoring their rankings.

5.) Repeat step 4 until everyone has picked players.

6.) Rake in your winnings.

IT’S THAT EASY!!!

So, here is my fantasy team. Literally! Ahahaha. Good-looking, NOT AFRAID TO SMILE IN A PHOTO and each earning a billion dollars a year.*

Drew Brees – Quarterback

Look at those nice white teeth! Those friendly eyes!! Also, he can walk on water.


C.J. Spiller - Running back
I'd pinch those cheeks and press my palms against that jawline all day.


Fred Jackson – Wide receiver


Mmmm. Another nice jawline. And what tasteful facial hair you have!


Larry Fitzgerald – Wide receiver

AWWWW Look how happy he looks!!! I can just imagine how cute he would be in person, laughing at all my hilarious jokes. And there’s nothing wrong with a man who can rock the jewelry.


Calvin Johnson – Wide receiver


He looks a little naughty in this photo, no? I'm certainly not one to complain about frisky.


Lance Moore – Wide receiver

Moore is more!!! At least that’s what it says on dem black and gold T-shirts. He’s adorable. Also, I overheard a waitress say he was the most attractive person she’d ever seen in real life. So...jealously points. Score.


Owen Daniels – Tight end


Doesn’t he look like the cutest high school history teacher ever?? I can see him in khaki pants and a distressed leather belt. I wonder if he has a sexy pair of glasses he can try on for me...in bed.


Mason Crosby – kicker

To be honest, none of the kickers really did it for me. And this guy does have a Teen Wolf thing going on...but regardless...I want our baby to have his eyes.


Chad Ochocinco – Wide receiver


Google him. Shirtless.


Sam Bradford – Quarterback

Look how innocent!!! The cutest eighth grader ever!!! With great hair!!! Awww, Sam, let's get carded at R rated movies together.


Ben Tate – Running back

He looks chill. He doesn’t have a steroid face. He actually has quite a symmetrical face, if you stare at him…for hours.


Ronnie Brown – Running back


He looks sweet, like he'd keep a secret and write poetry. (He is also a sub for Rashad Jennings, who was my original pick but got injured. I learned how to trade.)

Jacoby Ford – Wide receiver

“The other Reggie Bush” a.k.a the guy who looks a lot like him, only not a pansy.


Chris Cooley – Tight end

Ahhhh! The frat boy I never dated! With blue eyes!!



WELL???


I did pretty good, huh? They’re all tight ends in my book!!! Ahahaha
(Sorry, bad Cathy comic joke. Yes, Cathy comic. ACK!)

Um.
Anyway.

After showing my fantasy picks to my football fanatic friends, I’ve been told I made some critical mistakes (despite the fact that it's the best-looking team in the draft).

Most notably, the fact that I picked "shitty" running backs.

(It’s not MY fault that wide receivers in this league are a better-looking group!!!)

Also, people say it’s not a good idea to have two running backs from the same team on a fantasy team.

I tried to defend my picks: “But if you have two of the same players, than that means at least one of them is definitely getting the ball!”

Right??
(Wrong.)

The truth is, I didn't even notice they were on the same team, let alone held the same position when I picked them.

Basically, I'm making a mockery of the sport.

No matter!!! Let’s get this show on the road!!!

I want big plays!! Touchdown dances!!!

Take your helmet off and wink at the camera as often as possible!!!!

Game on.

-Jenny

*If by chance you are one of these players reading this, CALL ME! I promise I won’t write about you in a Toolbag Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

My friend Brenna’s birthday was coming up, and the guy she was dating, Nick, suggested they go to New York to celebrate.


Nick's family owned a fancy condo with another family and it was empty that weekend --- a perfect place to celebrate.


Brenna was excited about the trip. She loves New York and these accommodations were far more luxurious than sleeping on the couch at her friend’s tiny apartment.


And it made her feel good that Nick suggested the trip in the first place. He liked her enough to travel on a plane from New Orleans to New York with her!!

SCORE!!!


Brenna and Nick knew each other in high school, but had never considered dating or even becoming good friends until 10 years later.


They both found themselves back in New Orleans after being away for school, and started going out on cute dates to the nicest restaurants in the city.


One night, after a delicious dinner, Nick said they had to buy their plane tickets to New York that night.


They decided to pay for their own tickets separately, with Nick expressly stating that the ticket was the only thing Brenna would be paying for during their entire New York excursion.


“You’re really serious?” Brenna asked before clicking “PURCHASE TICKET.”


“Oh yea,” Nick said. “The condo is amazing. We can walk to all these places.”


The whole thing was so romantic. They’d go to a museum, maybe catch a Broadway show, eat their way through the city.

(After purchasing the tickets, they went to bed...to celebrate.)


The trip was two weeks away. Brenna got in touch with her friends who live in New York to plan a night they could all go to dinner.


She was excited for them to meet Nick, the man who liked her so much he invited her to stay with him at his parents’ New York condo for a weekend.


The whole thing was shaping up to be the best birthday ever.


Brenna even went shopping for new clothes, a birthday present to herself.


Then, TWO DAYS before the trip, Nick came over.


With no warning or real reason, he said, “I’m sorry…but I’m not feeling this relationship anymore.”


Brenna’s jaw dropped. She suddenly felt weak standing up.


“Wait…what?” she asked shocked.


“I don’t think this is going to work out,” Nick said.


Brenna was furious and embarrassed. What happened?

All of her and Nick's hopes and dreams shattered in her head.


“What about New York?” she asked.


“I’m canceling my ticket,” Nick said. “But you should still go. You’ve got friends there, right?”


Brenna felt like throwing a fit.

WHY WOULD SHE WANT TO GO ALONE?? This was supposed to be their trip TOGETHER! IN HIS PARENTS’ CONDO!!


She had just spent $300 for a plane ticket!! For a trip HE SUGGESTED!


Brenna hadn’t even considered getting travel insurance to refund her ticket. But really, who can predict a canceled flight due to a toolbag who "isn't feeling it" for some reason TWO DAYS before your trip???


ON YOUR BIRTHDAY WEEKEND!


Brenna ended up saying "eff it" and taking the trip to New York by herself.


She arranged to stay with her friends and still had a good time going to dinner, museums and a Broadway show.


I suppose there are worse things than celebrating your birthday in New York.


Like having your birthday beach vacation get rained out because of a Tropical Storm.

Which is exactly what happened for Nick's birthday at a beach house this past Labor Day weekend.


It had been clear and sunny for the past month and right as the weekend began, the sky opened up and everyone got pummeled with rain for all three days.


Brenna smiled more than once thinking about it.


I guess God just wasn’t feeling his birthday this year.


-Jenny

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