Tag Archives: blogging

Please Don’t Make Me, It Hurts

31 Aug

It has been one great rotation of the earth since I have posted.  Where in the holy hellballs did I go?

No, really. The last time I posted was last September,  wherein I said I was “back,” whatever that meant. Apparently it meant that I had sincere plans to dive nose-deep into the pale, sweaty armpits of the Internether and perhaps never return.

I’ve come ever so briefly out of my little dark whole with the cockroaches and video games – out from the muck and the mire and all off the rolls of fat and shame that have accumulated since my last post. I’ve brought new toons as penance. Once, many moons ago, I asked Sir John Michnya to draw some for me hoping that by the time they were finished, the desire to update would stick my finger into the part of my brain that publicizes my thoughts and pull something gooey out.  Four months later, here it is.

The reality, my friends, is that life has been hard. Like, real hard. Like, “hey, I heard 2014 was pretty nice for you and got you a nice job and appreciation for family and stuff so HEY LET’S THROW DEATH AND CANCER AND HEARTACHE AND AWFUL IN YOUR FACE TO MAKE UP FOR THOSE GLORIOUS GIFTS ISN’T LIFE SO FUNNY!”

It’s all about balance. Seems fair.

All is well enough in Jackieland, have no fear. As well as it can be, given that I haven’t yet been transported to live my real, true life as a night elf in Azeroth. Someday, ducklings. …Someday. In the meantime I need something to make me feel like I don’t suck as much.  So I picked a half marathon.

You may recall that in 2013, my 365 challenge was to work out every day and culminated in a 10K. You may also recall my near-death in that experience, the amount of increase in my tendency to cuss, and a beneficial thinning of my thighs coupled with a promise that I would never, ever put my genetically underdeveloped body in that position again.

But I have a good friend who did the 10K with me and was happy to shame me into running an ungodly amount of miles, despite it being over twice what nearly killed me. The texts he sent me thereafter helped me to envision a dull, dark world where I had walked away from a challenge. They were almost Shakespearean.

This talk of half marathon is not an empty promise, friends. I’m in week nineteen of half marathon training. I can slowly jog more than eight miles in an ugly and haggard fashion.  I have my motivation board up and active, I have enlisted a personal shamer, a personal coach, and a personal cheerleader. The trifecta is in place.

The truth is I don’t really know what else to do. I don’t want to stop trying new things, I don’t want to have a tumbleweed blog, and I don’t want to have space in my brain for all the awful that this year has brought so far. So a really long and painful run is all I’ve got.

I sucked. Life is ebbs and flows of suck.  But what else can be done with it but to put it out there and look it in the face. It just gets bigger and fatter the longer I wait.

The older I get, the more I think that we’re all just flailing in suckery. The good eggs try to correct course. The bad eggs, for some reason that will forever dog them, don’t try. The glory is in the trying, I think.

Here’s to the good eggs. 

Shout out to a fan from the nether who greased up the ol’ contact form and told me to get back at it so that she could have a brief respite from her soul-sucking state job. I’d tell you her name but then the government would assign her a drone. Thanks for turning on the skillet.

The Myth of Balance

4 Sep

You might be wondering how my vegan adventure went and you might be wondering what has brought me to the surface. The answer to the former is that it was easier than I thought and the answer to the latter is that things are pretty bad and this is a cry for help.

I fell off the wagon a bit after the vegan thing. During it I was grand. I had an abundance of friends with diet restrictions and advice to share and an enthusiastic housemate who was so supportive that he actually got excited about Vegenaise. (Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.)

The biggest problem I faced with veganism began when I exchanged my penchant for junk food for a penchant with beer, which was one of my only remaining legal vices. Unfortunately after I finished the veganism, I decided to celebrate with my favorite non-veganism indulgences and didn’t drop the penchant for beer. From the time I set out to be vegan, did an bang-up job, wrapped it up, and returned to unvegan, I gained 15 pounds – a feat that genuinely surprises me.

I felt pretty bad about myself and tried to jump start things with a ride-my-bike-to-work-every-day challenge. It lasted zero days.

Ouch.

I started to revert to pre-blog Jackie. Do you remember pre-blog Jackie? She was a hermity old coot who got winded on the way to the bus stop, left every social engagement early and miserable, and who hated going clothes shopping because she stressed too much over all the unknowns associated with dressing room processes. We were pathetically fond of her for a time but we don’t miss her.

…Do we?

Today's illustration is brought to you by the Dave.

Today’s illustration is brought to you by the Dave.

At times like this it feels like I’m always just trying to get away from that default setting of being out of control. I’m not sure what balance is; when you strip away all the aphorisms we hang around our house and pinterest boards, it appears to mean being fit, seeing people you love often enough, being financially stable, knowing generally where you’re going, having something you’re looking forward to, getting plenty of sleep, and staying well educated and adaptable while somehow also finding time to do absolutely nothing.

You know: that’s all.

I thought the whole thing about balance was that there was a point when it happened – when the energy of a thing transcends its individual parts and achieves a central harmony. There is a certain ease and weightlessness in balance. Grace.

I’ve never once even felt close to this. Has anyone? Is there really someone who feels like there was a time when you were spending exactly enough time doing everything there was to do? Why does it even feel like this magical land of bull hockey should exist? What in the holy hellballs are we thinking?  

Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by all these things that I become tired and a little scared and have to muster up the musteriness to keep on. Honestly, it’s just a lot easier and more natural for me to sit on the couch, keep to myself, and try to be occasionally clever. I can do that.That sounds doable and the longer I do it the easier it is to maintain.

This all started to feel familiar. Surely I’ve been here before.  I went hunting through my archives because I thought I remembered a time akin to this where I felt like I was slowly losing control of things in my life. Alas, I unearthed “The Great Filth Festering,” a post in two parts.

An excerpt from Jackie Blog Historical Histories:

“I’ve deteriorated again. I kind of have gotten into the habit of building a domicile of stench and humiliation. I guess that’s just how I operate lately. I’m busy and I’ve determined that one of the first things that can go is my sense of cleanliness and dignity.
 
I was swimming in my stench pool of an apartment this past weekend when I reached a new low in the land of Jackie: I invested in my first roll of fly tape. I almost felt bad about dooming the fools to a sticky, static death by goo but I was trying to take a nap between shifts the other day and they proceeded to swirl and flit and then procreate on me. 
 
You heard me correctly. I was attempting to nap on my couch and was frequently woken by the slight itch that accompanies two flies landing on your kneecap and fornicating. If you ever need a confirmation that your life is spiraling out of control and you need to get your act together, let flies bumping uglies on you in the festering filth of your stench cocoon seal the deal.”

I don’t know why it soothes me to read of similar moments of my failure. Perhaps it’s because my apartment is relatively clean right now so it highlights an area where I’m performing well at the moment. Perhaps it’s because I can say with certainty that I got past this particular scenario and it inspires hope. Perhaps it’s just because we don’t talk about it enough and it’s kind of liberating to just admit that I have a hard time keeping up with everything and having clean underwear at the same time.

I kind of wish we would all do it more.

Anyway, here I am. I would like to believe that a status update is the next step in propelling me back into the ring.

So humor me: in celebration of my exodus from the cocoon and in the name of the holy hellballs conjured earlier in this post, tell me a fond moment of failure. What’s your fly tape moment? Hook a sister up with some fellow failures.

You’re all swell. It’s nice to see you up here on the surface. Let me just clear some of the boxes of Cheez Its out of the way for us. 

Come to the Cool Kids Lunch Table

16 Jan

Look: I made buttons. They’re over there on the right. Remember how last time I said something about how if I was a nice person I might put all this motivational nonsense into one convenient location so that I can use my posts to talk about my unwillingness to do laundry in a timely fashion and my discomfort with everyday life situations and keep all my other stuff where I try to be a moderately better person over there in faraway land? Well there they are. Over there in faraway land. 

Now I need to put some things there and I want you to be the things. For now those fancy homemade buttons I fashioned with my own paint program and a google search lead curious ducklings to a previous post I’ve written regarding Lollipop Tuesdays, The Gaunlet, and 365 Projects. In an ideal world where my blog is cosmically awesome and you’re all supportive, those links will change to pages that instruct you how to start a challenge and links to people who have completed them and lived to tell the tale. So If you’ve successfully completed a 30 Day Challenge, a 365 Project, or a Lollipop Tuesday, and have documented the experience in any way, I’d like to tell people that you’re cool.

You, yes you could put yourself through a serious challenge of discomfort in social situations, a dedication to completing one daily task that you struggle with, or to repeating the same small achievement every day for 365 days. And in return, I will grant you a link on my website, which statistics have shown could perhaps have some sort of percentage of my readership click on if they are absolutely without anything else in the world to do at the time.

So there we go: I’m made little image linky things over there on the right for you. And kind of for me. Mostly for me. But a little more for you, and I think that’s worth something.

And I had my dad draw my cats for you.

cats

© 2014 Jackie’s Dad

Aren’t they precious? I love them so. Lola is the frazzled one and Hobbes is the one who is grumpy because his cake is gone. They’re very accurate. I’ve begun to harass my artist father to doodle things so I can steal the doodles and design my blog after them. That’s right: change is coming. Lots of uncomfortable change. 

See? I have new buttons and I’ve gifted you cartoon cats. Join my page of cool people and let me link to you.

Seriously, if you’ve completed a 365 Project of any kind, successfully completed a 30 Day Challenge, or tried a genuine Lollipop Tuesday and have written, virtual proof of it, I’d love to invite you to the cool kids lunch table. I was never really invited myself, so I thought I’d start my own and invite everyone.

Read about the things on the buttons, do the things the buttons say, get added to the buttons. For those of you who want to be added, hit me in the face with a link. For those who’ve thought about starting a challenge, may the half-promise of perhaps-fame embolden you.

Do it for cake-starved Hobbes. 

Pressed and Pegged and Oh-So-Flattahed

19 Jun

Hello ducklings old and new, and Happy Wednesday. It’s time for a post.

The coveted badge. notice Peg's fantastic skills in the application, "Paint". It's part of her appeal.

The coveted badge. notice Peg’s fantastic skills in the application, “Paint”. It’s part of her appeal.

There are a few honors in the blogging world that are super exciting for writers. Like when you get a batch of new subscribers or get a spike in hits or, you know, anything that reminds you that actual human beings can hear you talking to yourself online.

My first blog-related pants pee was the first time I was Freshly Pressed. For those of you unawares, Freshly Pressed is when WordPress wizards, the people who happen to host my blog, round up some of what they consider to be good material and promote them on their homepage. It brings in a lot of traffic, and back in the day when featured posts lingered several days before turning over (now it’s several hours), it meant the holy blog gates had been opened and traffic would rush to your doorstep.

My first time Freshly Pressed was a stroke of luck, really. I wrote about Regis Philbin and he just happened to announce his retirement the next day. I wrote about how memorizing trivia in case I get the chance to get on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire minimized my mental storage capacity for the rest of my life.

Since then I’ve received the honor a few more times and have discovered a slew of great writers by reading other featured posts. One such writer is Peg over at pegoleg.com. She’s been Freshly Pressed a bajillion times, like for this one and this one and this one, to name a few. Now a seasoned Freshly Pressed Expert, Peg has started her own curating process and dubbed it Freshly Pegged. She invites hand-picked bloggers to select a post that should have been Freshly Pressed but was not. She refers to herself as a digital superhero, handing out honors to posts that have been robbed of their rightful glory.

She recently trudged through the muck and mire of my brain bits to ask me to shake the dust off of a former post and slap a Freshly Pegged badge on it and so I am oh so very flattahed to be featured today. Check it out here.

I highly recommend latching on to Peg’s musings of the mind featured above – particularly her condemnation of her sister for ruining the economy by deciding to diet at Christmas.

Thank you all for reading. I think you’re just the bestest. Here’s a picture of a unicorn.

by LadyAlora - click to visit her at Deviant Art

by LadyAlora – click to visit her at Deviant Art

You’re Gonna Miss the Train

3 Apr
This is the awesome train. It's leaving soon.

This is the awesome train. It’s leaving soon.

I’m sure that you thought since we’ve passed April 1, I’m going to leave you alone about the whole Gauntlet thing.

But I’m not.

This is my last chance to convince you that in 30 days you could be better at something you suck at, proud of your progress, and filled with hope for a future full of sunshine and unicorns.

You know this. You’ve heard this. And there’s something already on your mind that you might try but you’ve filled your head with excuses, tried to talk yourself out of it, and generally been a big, sucky baby. Haven’t you? You big, sucky baby.

I was a big sucky baby once. Actually, I still am. It’s why every once in a while I still get out for a good old fashioned Lollipop Tuesday. In fact, I have something incredibly embarrassing and pee-inducing coming up this week.  And then after that I have to run a 5K. And then after that I have to run a 10K.

These things are not easy for me. They’re not easy for lots of people. Everyone is working, not getting enough sleep, needs more time to relax, and all those other things that get in the way of taking care of your own needs and desires. Let me assure you that even though I’m in the midst of a fitness-related 365, every day is a challenge. The good news is that all you have to do is 30. And even though the intrinsic rewards should be plenty to make you feel like it was worth your time, I’m throwing in the chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card just for participating. 

Today’s shout out for joining The Gauntlet goes to Georgia’s Bath Products, who has decided to spend a little bit of time every day for 30 days doing something to improve her small business. That’s pretty fantastic. You can follow her journey here. Or you can just drop by and tell her how awesome she is.

In addition to Georgia, I’ve had people contact me to share stories of their challenges and the ways they’re going to get involved. They include:

  • Reading every single day to help conquer a pile of books that have accumulated on the wish list but have never gotten lovin’
  • Writing of all shapes and sizes – novels, paragraphs, blogs, poems… Did you know April is National Poem Writing Month, also known as NaPoWriMo? How perfectly aligned this all is. 
  • Fitness, fitness, fitness. This comes in a variety of forms – yoga, stress relieving activities, doses of sunshine – people everywhere are using The Gauntlet as a good excuse to take care of themselves and see what sticks after one month.
  • Job hunting.  What a great idea, right? If you’re unhappy with your current money-making situation, why not do one thing every day to better it? People are vowing to browse job boards every day, apply for jobs and internships, and work on projects that will better their positions in the workplace.

So what’s the thing nagging you? Is it a house that needs spring cleaning? Is it a project that’s sat in the corner of your room forever? Is it something you’ve been all-talk and no-walk about for an embarrassingly long time?

The Gauntlet was set up so that you could easily start April 1st and end April 30th, with over a week to spare to contact me to tell me you completed it. But you can start any time. And you can start up until April 9th and still be on board for the $100 Visa gift card and a host of other folks supporting your endeavor out there in the blogosphere.

So comment below or click that link on the top of the page or on the right sidebar that lead to the rules and deadlines for The Gauntlet. Drop a line about what you’re going to commit to, or find your favorite form of social media and tell me there. Use #TheGauntlet for me to find you on the Twitter Machine.

This is my last push for The Gauntlet – next week I won’t be trying to convince you of anything. I’ll be talking about my cats or something. And hopefully you’ll be 1/4 of the way toward being infinitely more awesome.

By the way, once upon a time I was a big fat whiny baby with a lot of excuses who ate a lot of pizza and didn’t get any physical activity aside from walking from my front door to my car. And then I logged into Sparkpeople yesterday and was greeted by this:

sparkpeople update

 

You know, just saying. Progress can only happen if you start. 

Peace out, kids. I hope to hear from you. And thanks for all your cheerleading thus far. 

I Fought the Law and the Law Didn’t Win

6 Mar

Happy Lollipop Tuesday, my dearest dearies. I so adore you all that I’ve decided to go to a gig with Dave, whip open my laptop, and tell you about a time that scared me out of my wits instead of socializing with humanity. Because right now I’m having trouble with a big girl decision I recently made. I decided to try to do something very difficult and it’s scary and adult and since those sort of things make me want to curl up in a ball with a block of cheese and a bucket of hot fudge, I thought I’d instead open up this laptop and be reminded that I am the creator of Lollipop Tuesdays and I shall not be daunted by the great open plain of adulthood. After all, I have gone to a pole-dancing class and reenacted The Battle of Manassas and competed in the World Pinball Championship. I shall remind myself that even though I’m scared to death to go outside every single day, I do it because by golly, my resume reads like an adventurous person and I do therefore I am, dammit.

So let’s talk about the time I decided to represent myself in court.

Oh! Happy Lollipop Tuesday ladies and gentlemen.

Once upon a time I worked at a fudge factory. I know that sounds ridiculous but it’s true. I was the office manager and I signed sheets for people that read “fudge packer” because that was literally their job and I tried every day to be mature about the whole thing. But then they kind of lost some money and had to lay people off and I was one of them. So I claimed unemployment for 5 weeks and then began working for the woman who wears fashion capes to work and I felt like Anne Hathaway before she quit to pursue a writing career.

That’s where you all come in. Right there with that Jackie who is an executive assistant and blogs about being the Jane Goodall of the corporate jungle.

Anyway, here I am three years later being all zen with my recent decision to go to grad school for two masters degrees at the same time, and unemployment sends me a random piece of paper in the mail that states that I was not laid off three years ago, that they were taking the money back they gave me from insurance, and that if I didn’t agree with the charges of fraud, I had the right to hire an attorney.

Let me tell you, that’s some seriously adult stuff right there. I miss being a kid when I get a letter like that in the mail.

pigs in space

This is what my friend drew at the bar while I sat on my laptop and wrote a blog post instead of talking to her. Let”s call her Navi. All hail Navi.

As it turns out, I couldn’t afford a lawyer and hiring one would have been the same amount that they were going to take away from me so no matter what I was screwed unless I could 1) represent myself and 2) win. But I was scared and the paperwork was confusing and I wanted to play video games instead. So I told myself to make it a Lollipop Tuesday, told everyone I was going to do it so I couldn’t back out, and did the dang thing.

Let me tell you: it wasn’t fun. There’s a lot of really complicatedly simple and stupid paperwork to do and then you have to ask people who know you to go to court and be like “yeah, she was laid off. we all were” and then go to court and swear to tell the truth and sit in a tiny room in a tiny place with a tiny man who is very stern and records you and asks you the same questions over and over and then decides if you’re lying and mails you a letter to tell you so.

I put myself on autopilot so I can’t remember much except when I was waiting in the lobby to review my file (that’s a real thing. It’s pretty much like it is on the movies, don’t worry. You just act like you’re demi moore in a few good men). There were a bunch of lawyers there with briefcases looking very serious and I realized that all I was doing was staring around the enormous room like an idiot so I tried to look busy and got out my phone and contorted my face very seriously and played Hay Day.

It’s like Farmville. I’m embarrassed that I play it but I do. I’m sorry. I’m trying to quit.

So I planted digital corn and milked digital cows very seriously and when I was let in with my witness, we told him all about the day I was laid off 3 years ago and he was all stiff and grumpy and we finally made it through to the end. He tells us we’ll get a letter in the mail and ends the recording and hits the gavel and we’re done.

And then something amazing happened; he began to tell us his life story.

I kid you not – the moment that gavel landed, he suddenly lit up, and began to tell us about the first time he went to court and about how it’s a procedure people used to know and now no one does anymore and how he got his pilot license and how one day he got pulled over by the police for speeding and got out of the ticket and a bunch of other crap that I didn’t want to hear because I was paying for parking in the garage next door.

But I listened. Because this guy was about to send me a piece of paper in the mail telling me if he liked me or not and I didn’t know what else to do.

And then two weeks later I got a piece of paper that said he believed I did get laid off from and I could go about my life in peace.

I fought the law and the law didn’t win.

That’s the moral of the story I suppose: I can do anything. Anyone can do anything. We just tell ourselves that we can’t and if there are people out there who can climb Mt. Everest and stand up for social injustice and be social workers and make products that change the entire world, I can suck it up and go to court.

So tomorrow I will embark on my new journey. Because it’s an incredibly small thing to do in comparison to all the things people are doing everywhere else. And someday I think that’s how you become one of those people: by being bold.

Please excuse the sincerity of this post. And the fact that I’m ending it with a quote. Just pretend it didn’t happen and go read one about how I can’t stand being trapped in an elevator.

Every day I’m hustlin’.

Ooooh, Shiny.

6 Feb

It has been quite some time since I’ve done any housecleaning or upkeep around here.  Last year I was all “let’s add a custom header” and “yay widgets!” and this year I’m, well, lazy.

Enough of that.  So I’m starting small with a shiny, new widget on the right hand side labeled “Down the Rabbit Hole”.  There, you can click to go out to a random post somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain of yore.  Don’t get too excited, but I might even add a picture there eventually.

Today, I shall encourage you to use it for your weekly fix. 

And I’m still working out, by the way. In case you were curious, I have not yet suffocated under a pile of Ranch Doritos in front of my computer, scrolling the Health and Fitness category of Pinterest, wishing I could be doing the things in the picture instead of shoving my fat face.

Operation Fat Ass 365 is still a go. 

Fat Ass, out. 

Fievel Goes North

9 Jan

 

I made a frenemy. 

That is, he believes he’s my friend, and I am most certain he is my enemy.  Well, I suppose “it” is more appropriate than “he”. 

…He’s a gnat.  I named him Fievel.

Like most things that leak out of my brain and onto my computer keyboard, this is going to sound a little strange, but bear with me: I’m quite certain Fievel is following me.

It all started on my couch, when I noticed his faint black pencil-dot of a body swimming around my head.  I fancy myself a fly-swatting monk so naturally I whipped out my skills, only to find that he evaded them.  Again and again and again and again and again.

Since being a monk is all about patience and self-control, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that it was a simple gnat and it had only a few months to live and that if it chose to carry out its days by buzzing around my general vicinity then I should grant it that small pathetic desire. After all, he’s a gnat and I’m a human.  I must be quite a startling thing to behold.

I was eventually able to tune him out of my sensory experience, though I knew full well that the black speck whizzing in front of me from time to time was Fievel the Frenemy. I didn’t think much of it until the next day when I sat at my very favorite spot on the couch again only to find him still buzzing and flitting around my skull.

In a moment of weakness several moments of weakness, I must admit that I attempted his murder again but failed. Apparently monk-like capabilities matter not when your monk-like fingers are awkward sausages with plenty of nooks for death-dodging.

Image

An artistic rendering of the criminal. Since he doesn’t have wings I guess we’ll assume he can flap those arms real fast.

Fievel lived on

This repeated for a third and fourth day. I began to think that perhaps he was like the Who from Horton Hears a Who and that he had some sort of message to bring me, but I quieted everyone and everything around me only to remain unenlightened.  Then I thought it possible that he was the culmination of some sort of curse or witchcraft and that if I could just figure out his name, his power over me would be released.  But I found his name and his name was Fievel and it made no difference whatsoever to him or to the powers that be that I knew it.

I slowly started to become aware of my own teetering insanity and decided to think nothing  particularly extraordinary about Fievel and simply wait for him to die.  I thought the best remedy would be getting out of the house before the furniture started to speak to me, so I went to a gig with Dave this week to hear him play and as I sat, was greeted by none other than Mr. Fievel.  

Son of a.

Friends and acquaintances who spoke with me throughout the evening made side comments about him as if he was just some nuisance at the bar, but I insisted he was my nuisance and that I brought him from home, which, in retrospect, is probably one of several reasons no one sat at my table and is a small piece of a very grand pie chart explaining why my social life is strained.

I again attempted his murder, they attempted his murder – it was the whole bar against Fievel and Fievel prevailed.  He’s like the terminator of the gnat world. 

Fastforward to yesterday, same couch, same situation.  After his grand display at the bar the night before, I was feeling pretty aggressive and wanted him out of my life for good.  It had been days of his whizzing and buzzing and flittering nonsense and I had enough it.  So I proceeded to waste the next 15 minutes of my life trying once again to eradicate him.  I had made up my mind to not stop until he was brought to justice. Fueled by anger and humiliation and the apparent slipping of my monk abilities, I swatted and clapped and made a mess of myself until red-faced and sweaty, I finally opened my hand to reveal little Fievel, hiding in a crevice between my sausage links.

Whereupon he swiftly flew up my left nostril.

I suppose it’s the ultimate win for him.  I can’t very well harm him while he’s swirling around the gooey insides of my brain and he can live out his apparent dream to stay by my side until he dies.  And when he does his tiny gnat corpse will get tangled up somewhere in the regions of my brain and get caught in the neurons and synapses and such.  He will become part of me forevermore. At least I hope so.  Because if instead he was actually on a mission from the land of the gnats to infiltrate a human and to take command of their brain, well, he’s succeeded.  And I’ve just become the downfall of the human race.

Maybe they’ll make a movie about me. In case it’s posthumous and any of my readers survive, tell them I want Amy Adams to play me, okay?

Thanks.  I knew I could count on you guys.  You’re the swellest.

So I guess that’s that.  Either I have a gnat corpse in my brain juices or my body will soon be a mere vessel for a bug, a la Men in Black.

Wait.  That’s a movie.  They’ve already made a movie about this.  I’ve been commandeered by a gnat that will lead to the eventual downfall of the human race and I’m too late to even have a movie made about  me.

Son of a. 

P.S. It has recently come to my attention that several of my readers mistook my announcement last week that I would be embarking on a 365 this year to mean that I would be blogging 365 days a week about said experience as well.  This is a falsehood. I am committed to working out every single day and to running a 10K this year.  Isn’t that enough for you people?! Just kidding.  But seriously, I can see the confusion. And honestly, I could use the accountability.  So if you’d like updates about my Project Fat Ass 365, as explained in last week’s post, go to the top right side of this page and click the big button to follow me on Twitter, where I will Tweet my way to a 10K. I think it a fine compromise. Feel free to follow and harass me.

Project 365, Round Two

2 Jan

Well, it appears that I’ve renewed my domain for another year, so here I am on the couch again on a Wednesday night wondering what I have in my head to share.

By now you all know the answer is absolutely nothing.  And I appreciate you sticking around to listen to it.

It’s been exactly 2 years since I wrote my very first post in my very first 365 Challenge: to fire up a blog I once adored and had let sit dormant for years. It was far more successful and fulfilling than I could have imagined and I’ve become an advocate for 365 Projects, much to the irritation of my friends and family.

So it’s a new year and I need a new 365.  I didn’t do one last year; I think I was right to have taken a break.  It was a big challenge and a big payoff.  And I really missed that sense of satisfaction when the ball dropped of knowing I’d spent 365 days working on making one very specific thing about myself better.  I mean, what a waste of a year, right? 

Well not a waste, but you get what I’m going at here.  Last year was good to me.  I got out of a corporate job that was sucking the life from my body and replacing my blood with black sludge.  Instead, I decided to go back to school to get a dual masters, not knowing how exactly that looked or how I would pull it off financially.  I lost twenty pounds and put ten back on (I’m choosing to celebrate the net -10), and I spent more time with my family and friends than I have in a long time.  All in all I’d say that’s a pretty darn good year.

But I’m a monster that can’t be satisfied with mere short-term human achievements.  And let’s face it: if you’re going to force me to keep writing by continuing to read, I’m going to need some subject matter besides awkward elevator conversations, how upset I get when old ladies cut me off when I’m shopping for produce, and my soon-to-be-famous million dollar ideas (if you have money to waste and want to sponsor me, please reference Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C and then wire me the money directly so I can squander it on my inventions).

I was going to tell you something when this all started.  Oh, right.  I’m going to run a 10K.

Oh man I just wrote it.  It’s right there staring at me, all big and 10Kish.

Well I thought about how it felt to finish a 365 the first time and I thought about what thing I could spend 365 days working to improve that would best-affect me in the future.  And that answer is my fat ass.  I shall dub it the Fat Ass 365.  I will spend every single day of this year doing something fitness-related for at least 20 minutes and I will celebrate my success with a 10K.  I already looked up the race.  I have the race.  It’s a go.

I thought I’d invite you all to join me and we could get jackie blog t-shirts and make a team and conquer world hunger or cancer or the dwindling population of honeybees together, but then I realized that if I did that you might actually come and I might have to deal with the anxiety of meeting several completely foreign people and that I might die of a panic attack before I even get to achieve my resolution.

So no, you can’t know which race. You might find me and inadvertently cause my death. That would be a shame.

This is somewhat about the 10K and much more about the fact that I need to seriously incorporate movement into my daily life.  It is a simple fact that I am happiest when stuffing my face with junk food and watching television or playing video games.  This will never change about me.  I mean, I can do other things and try to replace it and even if I’m successful, I’m always going to wish deep down that I could just be in front of a screen stuffing my face and filling myself with disgusting self-deprecation that will breed in my mind and cause my own self-destruction over the course of several years. So this year, in order to help keep that natural adoration at bay, I’m enacting Operation Fat Ass 365.

I remember when I was just knee high to a grasshopper envisioning my 20’s.  Specifically, my late 20’s. I pictured what most lower middle class kids picture: a family and a nice house and great holidays and a job I don’t hate.  Of course then I grew up to be a member of the Boomerang Generation, a bunch of over-educated late bloomers with poor job prospects and an abnormally high sense of cynicism.  So I can’t really have any of those things little Jackie envisioned for herself at the moment (Sorry, little Jackie, but someday you’ll grow up and realize being a kid is all about being stupid and wrong all the time. Deal with it). 

There is, however, one thing I envisioned that I can absolutely do – and that’s be in the best shape of my life.

I mean it’s now or never, right?  I turn 27 this year.  That’s like, 3 years away from 30.  I have to imagine that someday in the near future, kids, self-loathing, and hips twice my size are coming my way and before I give up all hope of ever being the kind of person who can run for 6+miles and/or fit into single-digit clothing, I’d like to give myself a fair shot by forcing myself to face my fat every single day for 365 days.  And then of course running a 10K so I can be sure something tangible came out of it: a certificate and a t-shirt.

There’s no doubt in my mind I’m going to hate it.  But that’s okay because I’ll have lots to write about.  I love to write about things I hate. And eventually I’m going to get sick of running and I’m going to have to do things like take dance classes or go to Zumba (Lord, help me).  And those, my friends, count as Lollipop Tuesdays.

I’m already in the midst of my next one. Tune in Tuesday for the goods.

So that’s what my 2013 looks like: sweaty and disgusting. I hope yours looks fantastic too.  And in all sincerity I hope you consider a 365 Project (it’s not too late!) or at the very least, one single Lollipop Tuesday for yourself.  That way when I cross the finish line we can both celebrate.  

Happy New Year folks; thanks for reading – especially the seven of you who were with me from the start.  You’re all puddings.  Now tell me what your 2013 self challenge is. 

By The Power of Grayskull. ♣

It Lives.

21 Nov

Hey there, my beautiful ducklings!

Too much? Too much.

Where on earth have I been? Actually, that’s a good question.  An even better question: where on earth have you been? A hermit girl starts a blog to help herwy stop being a hermit, she stops going on adventures, stops posting, and you just go about your day!? I COULD HAVE DIED IN THERE.

“There” being the cocoon I just broke back out of.  I could have died in the cocoon.  I should have mentioned there was a cocoon.  Speaking of cocoons, did it not occur to anyone that I recently posted that I was going to attend a UFO Convention for my next Lollipop Tuesday and then never returned to post about it? I could have been abducted.

Actually, I’m sure that would make for some pretty great material.  

Anyway, I didn’t get abducted and I didn’t even go.  Instead, I started the pathetic and classic Jackie downslide, wherein I stop doing constructive things (posting on blogs, trying new things) and instead do deconstructive things (playing a lot of Fat Princess, eating Cheez-Its).   Anyway, I’m out of it now, no thanks to you.  It’s just guilt that brings me back, not your scores of pleading.  Just pure, unadulterated guilt.  It started as a week I forgot, it went on as a week I intentionally skipped, and before I knew it, BAM – it’s National Blog Posting Month and I have yet to post on my blog.  I haven’t participated in No Shave November either.  No blog and no beard; I have failed you, November in America.

I thought about you all a lot.  I really did.  I thought about you lots of times.  When it was my fourth day unshowered and I caught a whiff of my armpits while watching television, I thought of you. When I attempted to be constructive and try some craft pins on Pinterest and horribly, horribly failed, I thought of you.  When I thought I was gay for Jennifer Lawrence and then didn’t because she said she liked Honey Boo Boo but then did again because she went on Ellen and was perfect, I thought of you. 

look at what you let me become. LOOK AT IT.

So this Thanksgiving, friends, I’m thankful for you.  Thanks for sticking around even when I didn’t bother to visit.  Thanks for subscribing and following, and thanks for letting me come barf all my crazy on you.  You’re the swellest.

Have a Happy Holiday and here’s to firing the blog back up.  Now go eat so much you pass out with your pants unbuttoned. 

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