What do you get the gal who has everything and you’re too cheap to buy jewelry?  You get her, her very own website of course!  When I told Jerry I wanted my very own blog I thought he’d scoff and scold and declare me ungrateful for the little blog he set up for me here.  But much to my surprise he did not!  Instead he went out to the wild territory of the internets and got me my very own domain, LadyJessop.com where I’ll be blogging from now on.  Please come visit me there.

Look at this!  I got a new theme. I made it myself in my new Artisteer software Jerry bought me.  It took about 5 minutes to do.  And then another 5 days to figure out how to install it on WordPress.  Jerry bought me another neat surprise which I’m working on.  Things are changing my friends.  Things are changing…

I think I’m having a mid-life crisis.  I’ve heard about these things but never really knew what it was all about.  Now that I know, I’ve got to say, it’s not all that exciting. 

I am coming to this slow acceptance that this is it.  This is my life. It’s not a bad life.  In fact it’s a pretty good life with marriage to a great guy and a steady paycheck from a fabulous job.  But that sense of anticipation I always used to have, that feeling that I’m working toward something, that’s gone.  Maybe if I had kids who were graduating from high school or something I’d understand why I was feeling this way but since I don’t it’s kind of confusing.  Instead I just keep realizing that this is it.  This is my life. 

The feelings that come with this are kind of like a mixture of boredom and depression with a general lack of interest in anything.  I’m guessing that some people may not tolerate the boredom too well and end up doing something new and different, like the guy who buys a motorcycle (ahem) or the woman who goes back to college.  Or people who seem to have an constant stream of drama in their lives with divorce, family drama, troubles at work or constant financial worries.  I realize there are things in life we can’t control, but maybe sometimes people create unnecessary drama because they don’t want to deal with the eventual reality that this is it?  This is life.

Luckily for me, as well as my husband and co-workers, I’m kind of a chicken so doing something crazy to shake things up is unlikely.  I may buy an outrageous pair of shoes or learn to cook, but otherwise I think I’ll keep the life changing drama to a minimum and ride this out because acceptance of your own reality is the only way to know where you really belong in this world.  And this is it.  This is my life. 

True statement made by me on the phone the other day to my mom:  If you don’t know the difference between writing on someone’s wall and sending a private email maybe you shouldn’t be using Facebook.

This was not said because some horrible family secret was made public.  This was actually part of a broader conversation about technology and the internet.  For some reason my mom, who is very sweet and the best mom a kid could have by the way, thinks I’m some kind of expert on these things.  That shows you how much she knows. 

She may also be reading this right now. 

Hey Mom! Just in case you are reading this right now, this is not an email.  It’s also not Facebook.  This is a blog…which the whole world can see…but only 3 people read.  But the whole world could read it if they wanted.  Even China, as long as I don’t say anything negative about their government, which I maybe just did, so probably not China now. 

Anyone out there reading this who wants to say hi to my mom, please do so in the comments section.  It will confuse the hell out of her but it would be really nice. 

Remember several years ago when there was all this talk about the tobacco companies adding extra nicotine to cigarettes, causing smokers to become even more addicted?  Well, I’m convinced the snack food industry is up to the same thing.  I’m not sure exactly what they’re adding to the food that is stocked in vending machines but whatever it is it’s got to be addicting.  I know this because I’ve developed a serious problem with cheetos ho-hos and I need to quit before I get too far and one day find myself free-balling red vines and diet coke. 

For those of you who are lucky enough to avoid this trap, please heed my warning: STAY AWAY FROM CHEETOS!  They are clearly a gateway drug. 

I never considered myself a to be prone to such things.  Sure, I dabbled in the occasional fiddle-faddle and beer when I was in college but that’s not really junk food.  And besides, I never really tasted it. 

When I finally discovered the joy and comfort of the afternoon cheeto snack a few months ago I was foolish enough to think I could handle it.  Dear god, was I wrong. 

It started as a Friday afternoon treat.  I’d hit the 3pm low and rather than try to struggle with focusing on work for another few hours I started treating myself to a bag of cheetos from the vending machine to celebrate the upcoming weekend.  Gradually I started including Mondays as well, to help get out of the rest of the week blues.  Before I knew it I was having a bag everyday.  But at that point I still thought I could handle it.  I mean, we all need an afternoon snack right? 

The major denial began when I started grabbing a bag at lunchtime as well.  I knew lunchtime cheetos were trouble but wouldn’t let myself see the truth.  Instead I lost myself in their salty, cheesy goodness and pushed the guilt aside, twice a day. 

I kept this up for about a month before I added ho-hos to the mix.  It started one morning when I saw the pack staring at me from behind the vending machine glass.  I could practically hear that thing telling me how good the chocolatey, creamy cake could taste with my coffee.  I knew it was wrong but I went for it anyway.  I didn’t care.  And man did that ho-ho deliver!  It was indecent how that ho-ho tasted in my mouth.  I obsessed about it for the next 24 hours and before the week was up I was adding a ho-ho chaser to my afternoon cheetos. 

That’s when I got scared and decided to stop.  And I have to sayIMAG0023_edited a double cheeto/ho-ho habit is not that hard to break.  V-8 juice seems to satisfy my taste for savory stuff and fage fat free yogurt with fresh blueberries gives me my creamy-sweet.  And when I absolutely must I pull out a bag of baby carrots.  The sure don’t look like cheetos but for a brief moment their bright orange color fools me into thinking I’m reuniting with my old friend.  

One of the problems I have with blogging, and the reason why I don’t do it more often, is the fact that I have a lot of ideas about things I want to say and get across, I just don’t know how to say it.  Too many times I will start out with a post and end up deleting it because I end up with long rambly mess.  Let’s see if this one makes it.

It actually seems like a simple and easy to fix problem when you think about it.  Why not get the whole long rambly mess out and then pick out the good stuff? 

I guess that’s one of the things about the discipline of writing (yes, I totally think that writing should be treated as a discipline) that I need to practice.  Picking things out of the messy stuff.  It’s hard because I don’t like messy stuff.  I think it’s fair to say that most people don’t.  Dogs maybe and probably weird crazy people.  And I guess there are also some people who don’t like messy stuff but they can tolerate OK and are good at cleaning it up. 

But the rest of us, ie: me, can’t even tolerate messy stuff.  I hate it and try to avoid it at all costs.  I have to pay someone to clean my own toilets for god’s sake!  I tip toe through messy stuff when I do have to deal with it.  God forbid I actually have to create it when I try to write and then try to pick good stuff out of it.

Like this whole freaking post I’m stuck with now.  What’s good about any of this?  The tiny bit about the dogs and weird crazy people maybe, and the fact that I have to pay someone to clean my own toilets.  And I like the phrase “long rambly mess.”  But according to my spell check, “rambly” isn’t even a word.

See? 

I was 12 when I first read Forever by Judy Blume.  I didn’t sneak read it either.   judyblume-foreverWell not really.  I got my grandmother to buy me a copy during my annual summer visit.  It was horrible of me I know, taking advantage of my grandmother’s implicit trust in my literature selections.  She would have been horrified if she knew.  The thing is, any disapproval the adults in my life would have had about my reading such a book is unfettered.  I was still a virgin when I graduated high school and Judy Blume gets at least 75% of the credit.  The remaining 25% goes to my desire to avoid the guilt efficiently instilled by my mother and the Catholic Church. 

If you are a woman who spent her teenage years locked in a closet (or you are simply a man) and you haven’t already figured it out yet, Forever was a book containing graphic sexual material.  And while it was the story of a teenaged couple who falls in love it was not something I would describe as a romance novel.  To me it was a story about life and its consequences.  And the key to teaching teenagers about the seriousness of sex is to hammer home (tee hee!) the consequences. 

Unlike it’s poor excuse for a counter-part, Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones, where we learned nothing about sex other than it is guaranteed to get you pregnant the first time, the consequence in Forever is a broken heart.  For some reason, that hit home for me at age 12 way more than the threat of pregnancy.  Like any other 12 year old I was fascinated with the graphic descriptions of Katherine’s first experiences with sex but that graphic nature also helped me understand the seriousness of the act.  Why do something like that with a boy, I reasoned by the end of the book, if there are no guarantees that you will be together forever?  It was a pretty good lesson, I think, and far better than anything I would have gotten out of a book about a girl who would do anything for a teenaged vampire. 

My original copy of Forever is long gone. Seeing as how it was one of the few obtainable copies available to the 7th and 8th grade girls of Mendenhall Junior High, I lost track of it the summer before my freshman year of high school.  My hope is it made it through at least another 3-4 years of being passed around before pages 73, 100 and 125 fell out. 

P.S.  Through the wonders of Google I just learned that in 1978 there was a made for TV movie made based on this book staring Dean Butler of Little House on the Prairie fame as Michael and Stephanie Zimbalist (never heard of her) as Katherine?  As it does not appear to be available via Netflix I will be releasing the dogs in search of this little treasure immediately! 

Here’s a little known fact about me and Jerry:  we skate.  Twice a week we head down to Cal Skate in Milpitas and skate.  It’s good exercise and we enjoy it.  Jerry especially.  He’s like a completely different person when he’s spinning around that smooth pine floor.  He’s relaxed, he smiles…it’s like he gets in some special Zen Zone. 

We’ve been skating for about two years and last night we celebrated by attending a late night party at Cal Skate.  No, seriously it was late.  Like 11:30pm to 3:30am late.  So it’s with bloodshot eyes and weary fingers that I type this today. 

All the people we know from the normal sessions were there so it was like any other skate night.  Except it was past midnight.  And they had food.  OK, they normally have food at the rink but it’s just popcorn and hotdogs from the snack bar.  This was real food like ribs and mac and cheese.  And they also said grace before serving the food which they never do when we purchase something from the snack bar. 

The music was a little peppier too.  And people were skating with more energy than usual.  The rink was completely full of people skating a they were  going strong when we left at 2:30. 

It was a good skate night.  Except the grace part was a little weird.

I had an unexpectedly pleasant experience with AT&T Customer Service last week.  Unexpectedly because overall my experience as an AT&T Wireless customer has been most undesirable, what with those dropped calls and pathetically slow 3G service (fastest 3G network my ass!). 

But after all this I’m here to say KUDOS to AT&T for connecting me to a call center that is actually located in the U.S.A!  Not only that but KUDOS to the customer service representative Debbie, who not only spoke very clear English but also giggled at my mocking remark about how I was hoping I’d be able to explain my problem before the call dropped. 

Unfortunately the kudos stop there.  Because as helpful as poor Debbie was, the tip she gave me to fix the voice mail problem I was having did not help.  She’ll never know though.  As far as Debbie is concerned my problem with AT&T has been solved.  I even told her that a few days later when she called back to check on me.  I’m not lying either.  As the proud new owner of an EVO with an unlimited data plan from Sprint, all my problems with AT&T are OVER! 

When my friend Ninalei contacted me the other day and asked if I wanted to meet her and our other friend, Kirsten at the 7:15 showing of Sex and the City 2 I was really excited.  It wasn’t the movie I wanted but rather, I just wanted the whole girlfriend experience.  And seeing Sex and the City 2 with your girlfriends is the only way I would recommend seeing this movie. 

Knowing the movie had received bad reviews I was prepared to be disappointed.  As such I was able to tolerate the complete lack of plot, tension and conflict. What I wasn’t prepared for was the sense of fantasy incited by all the glamour and fashion and over the top luxury.  And while the two sex scenes were pretty raunchy, the thing that really turned me on was the depiction of that first class flight to Abu Dhabi, whoa baby! 

In addition to giving me an evening of escape and time to visit with two friends I have not seen in a while, Sex and the City 2 also helped raise my self-esteem a bit.  Due to the last minute nature of the outing I was completely unprepared for it.  In addition to spending the majority of the day feeling like I was carrying around a 10 pound bloat baby I was also in dire need of a gray root touch-up and was in my extra special dowdy-wear.  I walked in the movie theater feeling fat, old and unattractive, but after 2 1/2 hours of seeing Sarah Jessica Parker on the big screen I walked out of there just feeling fat.