Friday Five - Heroes

1. As a child, who was your favorite superhero/heroine? Why? Probably wonder woman. I remember watching the show and acting out some of her scenes with my friends. I think I even had the outfit - I definitely had the bullet-proof-ricochet bracelet things. I was young, but I remember her being so pretty, yet kicking everyone's ass!

2. What was one thing you always wanted as a child but never got? Do we have to go into this again. OK, I was 12 and I wanted a monkey. Is that too much to ask?

3. What's the furthest from home you've been? Canada? Costa Rica? Virgin Islands? Not sure which is furthest.

4. What's one thing you've always wanted to learn but haven't yet? How to play the guitar. I bought one last year and several books, just never got around to teaching myself. I guess I should get some guitar lessons that will make me learn and practice.

5. What are your plans for the weekend? Something outside!! It's supposed to be nice this weekend and we're going to take full advantage of it!


It's Official

I had a conversation with a friend of mine the other day that basically confirms I'm old. My personal theory on the matter is that it's all how you feel, and I really do feel like I'm about 27. Among other things, I'm pretty active, I stay pretty current in the music scene, and people most often mistake me for someone in my twenties. On the other hand I do listen to NPR. I like the entertaining stories and world-at-a-glance news segments the most. Oh, and you can't beat World Cafe.

So the conversation went like this:

Him: "What do you think about a person when you get in their car and they're listening to NPR?"

We were listening to NPR, by the way.

Me: "Well, I personally like NPR, so I think they're...um...current?"
Him: "What did you think about them when you were in your twenties?"
Me: "I thought they were old and boring."




Well, I was out of town, so I missed it. On January 23, 2003, deep blue day turned one.

Happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday deeeeeeaaar deep blue day,
happy birthday to you.

I started this thing because I felt like I need to express myself in some different way that I was already doing. As a matter of fact, my first post was exactly this: "The first day. After reading and reading and reading so many blogs I've decided to do my own. I'm not sure at this point what exactly the purpose of it will be except a snapshot of my billions of daily thoughts. My name is Jen. Hi Jen."

More than that though, I had this strong feeling that I was forgetting things. Probably something about being the age that I am (and that's a whole other post), but I feel like I'm losing some memories - even recent ones. So I started this to be able to go back and sort of relive those things through my words.

Happy (belated) birthday, deep blue day.


Lomo Update

Get one. Then shoot like crazy for the mission. You could win the prize.

9 Steps To Win:

01: Inhale the current mission
02: Shoot like crazy, but be sure to fulfil your task
03: Prepare your best results for upload
04: Garnish every picture with a sassy title
05: Tell us nothing but the truth and
06: Never forget the correct shot-location
07: Mentally command your peers to "view" your image
08: Be prepared for the final judgment of the most incorruptible Lomographic Mission Jury
09: Don't ask any Questions

So Sweet Dave and I had a great weekend finally. Seems like forever since we've been away but it's only been a few months since our amazing honeymoon. We drove up to Birmingham (Alabama) this weekend to catch ColdPlay and Ron Sexmith. They performed in this great little place that seats about 3,000 people. The acoustics and visual show were both awesome.

And so I finally got my Lomo. I brought it with me this weekend to see if I could get some cool shots. I didn't have time to get batteries and film before the show, so I was pretty bummed after the great light show. There's always next time - Tori Amos in February.

The next day we made sure to get some batteries and film so we could walk through some of downtown at night and get some neat pictures. And I guess the testosterone in me thought I could get by without reading the manual. Wrong. I thought I had loaded the film in correctly. I thought I was taking pictures all night. And there were some really great shots. By the time the counter got to 30 I knew something was wrong. After all those awesome shots, the film never advanced. Well, at least I learned my lesson. Don't order the special. Oh, um...no I meant I finally read the manual the next day and loaded the film properly. Now I just have to figure out all those settings.


Friday Five - Body Parts

1. What is one thing you don't like about your body? I had a birthmark removed from the center of my back when I was five and it left a pretty big scar. It's probably the thing I'm most self conscious about.

2. What are two things you love about your body? That it's all there and healthy.

3. What are three things you want to change about your home? Hmm, since it was built in the 50s, I'd like to add some insulation, especially with this cold weather. I'd also like a deck in the back and a bigger kitchen. Of course, we could just buy a new house.

4. What are four books you want to read this year? I'd like to read the Lord of the Rings books before the next movie comes out. I'm on a short story kick too, so I've got about 5 of those lined up.

5. What are five promises you have kept to yourself? (1) To not let people take advantage of me, (2) to make better, more thought-out decisions, (3) to be thorough in work and general life, (4) to keep my priorities straight, and (5) to never neglect myself again. I'm sure I'll let you know how that goes.



There is a reason I live in Florida. I like the water, the scenery, but most of all I like the weather. Until I saw the forecast for my flight home today.

From Weather.com:

Fair, 33 degrees, feels like 21 degrees.

When I wake up there in the morning it will feel like 10 degrees. There is something just so not right about that.


Come Back Now, Ya Hear?

I'm leaving at the crack of dawn in the morning to head to Key West. Unfortunately it's for work and it seems we always work twice as hard at a client site, so I may not have too much time to update. I'm going to try, though. At least it will be relatively warm there.

So I'm done. After several days of looking at blank pages and a little thought, I finished adding my part to the first couple pages of the journal I got in the mail last week. When I was thinking about what would be my contribution, I decided that instead of making an entry about what's happening and on my mind right now, that my contribution would be mostly about me. So here it is...

The inside cover and page one. Some pretty random stuff.

Pages two and three. Lyrics to a song that I've always connected with and a picture of Beth Orton.

Page four. Pictures Sweet Dave took a couple months ago and one of my favorite quotes from my favorite movie.



Do you ever get to the point where you feel like one more thing, and you just can't keep up anymore?

There's just so much that I feel like a piece of taffy and I'm being pulled until I'm so thin in the middle that you can see through me. I'm treading water and only my nose is able to make it above the water line - one more thing and I go under.

Hmm, that's panic, because I can see that one thing coming.

And it wouldn't be so bad if it didn't all happen in the same month, week, day, whatever.

The Friday Five - Jobs

1. Where do you currently work? At a software company as a software engineer.

2. How many other jobs have you had and where? Hmm. Pre-college graduation - bank teller, Kmart, Little Caesars, TCBY, and an apartment building. Post-college graduation - programmer for a finance company, developer for an accounting software firm, and my current job. So I guess that makes 8.

3. What do you like best about your job?The challenges I'm given and trusted with and most definitely the flexibility.

4. What do you like least about your job?The politics.

5. What is your dream job?I guess I have two - this job, just working for myself, or owning some kind of small business, like a bistro, bar, or bookstore. Sweet Dave and I have discussed running a bed & breakfast when we retire - now that's some hard work!



And now may I present, The Rules Of Jen - this amazingly accurate list of how to deal with Jens (and definitely me).

courtesy of, of course, a Jen



Too often it seems I'm too late to participate in a lot of the online projects. Usually the maximum number of people have already signed up or the project has just fizzled. Since this time last year I've been trying to be a lucky participant in the 1000 journal project. At first I'd go to the site two or three times a day, hoping there'd be an available journal. As my enthusiasm waned, I only tried once or twice a week, then maybe three times a month.

Well, about a month ago, it finally happened. I went to the web site and sitting there on the screen was an available journal. I fumbled through the keys trying to log in as fast as I could and it turned out I was the first person on the list to receive the journal.

I just received it in the mail this weekend. The cover art is great and the blank pages taunt me, just waiting to be filled.

Front cover

Back cover

I'll be posting my additions soon.



So I must join in on the Bloggin' Lovefest today. And I guess I would like to pick two bloggers that I look forward to reading the most.

The first, a small victory. I started reading her blog almost two years ago, at first mostly because I laughed out loud just about every day I read her entries. Then I couldn't wait to tune in daily for her entries related to 9-11. Not being there, it was nice to be able to experience the whole event through someone else. Now, her rants are still there, she's as funny as ever, and is still one of those bloggers that appreciates her readers and is thankful for the opportunity to share.

The second, a life uncommon. I can only say that's it's a very inspiring blog to me. One I also return to every day too see the world through her eyes. As far as I can remember, she is also the one who opened my eyes to the lomo.



Another One?
The Blame Game


Past or Present?

"One year ago today, the time for excuse-making has come to an end."—George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 8, 2003
The Friday Five - Location, location, location

1. Where are you right now? Unfortunately, at work. I do love my job, but I love play time way more.

2. What time is it? 10:56 am CST

3. What are you wearing? Jeans, sandals, (it's 65 degrees here) and a shirt I found on sale at Target for $4 that was originally $27. Yea, thrifty me.

4. Any people or animals around you? Describe them. My officemate, also Jen. No animals, although Jen and I have been trying very hard to make management establish some kind of policy for letting us bring our dogs to work. We honestly don't think it's going to work, but it doesn't hurt to try, right?.

5. What are your plans for the weekend? Tonight, possibly bowling with some friends. Tomorrow, Sweet Dave and I are going to take Christina to a movie or bowling. I'd like to see a grown-up movie sometime this weekend too, maybe Narc or 25th hour. You know I *heart* Ed Norton.

So Christina (my "little") and I went on our first outing last night. She's so sweet and innocent. She didn't really enjoy "The Wiz" that much, so we ended up leaving after the first act. I was actually a little bored myself. Of course, we were up pretty high in the balcony - our tickets were donated to BBBS.

The highlight of the night -

As we were eating dinner she's telling me about school and boys and kickball. Then all of a sudden she's gets a little quiet, like she's thinking pretty hard. She looks up at me and says, "They told me it was always good to share my feelings." I said "Of course, what is it?" thinking she was upset about something. She said, "Well, I just want to tell you that I feel like this is going really well."

Made my whole night.


I'm a Big

So I'm a big sister now, for Big Brothers Big Sisters. For a long time, I've wanted to help kids by being some kind of role model. I had some great ones growing up and can't imagine what would have come of me had they not been there. There were a lot of times I counted on them because my parenets were either unapproachable or just simply not there. So I decided to volunteer for BBBS.

I just met my "little" yesterday. She's very sweet, outgoing, and starving for attention. We're actually going to see "The Wiz" tonight as our first little outing. She already seems so confident and smart - way more than me at nine years old. I imagine this is quite similar to having my own child, having so many expectations and wanting to lift her up to do whatever she sets her mind too.

My mom, though, is worried about me. She's knows how emotional I am. She knows how easily it is for me to feel sorry for people and take it upon myself to fix everything. I promised her I'd try to hold back and not get too involved. I just don't know if I can keep that promise.


Like "doughy"

Ouch. I feel old.

OK music maniacs - I'm doing it - you should too. Doesn't everyone succumb to peer pressure still? Find out more here. Sign up here. Deadline is Monday.

It takes a strong person to admit when they're wrong. And it takes an even stronger person to go up to the first person and beat the shit out of him until he admits that he's wrong. You may be called upon to do both this month, as a brewing disagreement among peers comes to an ugly head. And though you know you should stay out of it, you're just itching to use those novelty brass knuckles you just got at Urban Outfitters!

This is seriously speaking to me today. Well, except for the part about the brass knuckles.


Good Wife's Guide
Originally printed 1955 in Good Housekeeping and a home economics book

1) Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home, and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

2) Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

3) Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc., and then run a dust cloth over the tables. Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

4) Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

5) Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

6) Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

7) Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first -- remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

8) Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, and his very real need to be at home and relax.

9) Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquillity where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

10) Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

11) Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

12) Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

13) Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him. A good wife always knows her place.



Plans, Interrupted

5. What are your plans for the weekend? We're running in really fun race in the morning - it's going to be very cold, but the free beer at the end will hopefully make it worth it. Tonight we're definitely watching the Fiesta Bowl. I wish I could say I had bets riding on it, but it seems I've already lost in the college bowl pool. Saturday night we're going to check out a band we've been trying to catch for about 6 months and other than that - watching a couple movies and relaxing a little hopefully.

So we did not do very much of the above this weekend. After a relatively short happy hour, I fell asleep after half time of the Fiesta Bowl. I am proud to say that Sweet Dave won all of his pools and bets netting him one t-shirt, one beer, $20 in lottery tickets, and supreme bragging rights for a year. As for Saturday, no running - we drove a couple hours and found 2 letterboxes instead. We started watching a little tv that night and both ended up too sleepy to catch the band. And Sunday was filled with mucho shopping (Dave finally bought another digital camera) and playing a little tennis. We did end up watching one movie last night after dinner - so we're about 1.5 for 4?

On to what I originally was going to post...

I've written several times about the spam I receive. I've taken corrective measures to limit the amount I get - it used to be about 75 or so a day, now it's down to about 10 or so a day. Blocking an IP this morning got me thinking again. What kind of person actually reads, then responds to this stuff? I think I've narrowed it down.

The Ideal Computer User (from the perspective of a spammer)

o gets excited when a subject line contains multiple exclamation points and garbled words
o needs to accept credit cards
o gets excited when someone sends "the information you requested" or "forgot to return your call"
o is intrigued by the possibility of making money at home
o needs to attact the opposite sex with fragrances
o needs to copy DVDs
o wants cheap web site hosting, likes the idea of registering domains for $1.00, and definitely wants to be #1 in all search requests
o has a small penis, needs Viagra (or some mysterious blue pill) and lots of it
o is not adverse to taking investment advice from strangers
o needs a free cell phone
o is curious about a message with a subject of "If you read nothing else, read this!!!," and gets a bit apprehensive when a message reads, "Last chance!"
o is in debt, has tax problems, has a house that's being foreclosed, and has poor credit that needs fixing
o wants to get high with legal herbs
o wants to get stronger with legal herbal steriods
o needs to lose 33 pounds in 14 days
o is addicted to porn, and wants free passwords
o is really interested in purchasing discount life insurance
o is flattered to read that someone "saw your web site"
o likes the idea of free cash
o is thrilled about getting in on the ground floor of a new casino launch
o is thankful that someone would actually reveal their best-kept business secrets
o can read Chinese, Korean, German, and Russian
o has an IQ of about 63
o is really interested in pretending to be the heir of some rich guy who died so they can get a piece of some multi-million dollar inheritance



Announcing his candidacy on the Today show Thursday morning, John Edwards answered the first and last questions put to him this way:

Q. Why are you running for president?
A. Because I want to be a champion for regular people.

Q. What's the one reason people should vote for John Edwards?
A. Because I will be a champion for regular people in the White House every day.

Think there might be a common theme there. I think I'm going to get sick of those words and it will quickly be on my list of banned phrases.
The Friday Five - Body Extras Edition

1. Do you wear any jewelry? What kind? Very little - just my wedding ring, a watch, and the diamond earrings Sweet Dave bought me for Christmas. During the summer I wear several different toe rings too.

2. How often do you wear it? I wear it all just about every day - sometimes I go without my watch.

3. Do you have any piercings? If so, where? Both my ears are double pierced, but I let the second holes close when one of them was ripped out as I was brushing my hair one day. Ouch - one of the downfalls of having long curly (and tangled) hair I guess. I had another piercing at the top of one of my ears but it got infected so I had to let that one close as well. I've always wanted to get that one redone, just figure I'm too old for that now.

4. Do you have any tattoos? If so, where? Nope - Sweet Dave and I talked about getting one each this summer, but chickened out.

5. What are your plans for the weekend? We're running in really fun race in the morning - it's going to be very cold, but the free beer at the end will hopefully make it worth it. Tonight we're definitely watching the Fiesta Bowl. I wish I could say I had bets riding on it, but it seems I've already lost in the college bowl pool. Saturday night we're going to check out a band we've been trying to catch for about 6 months and other than that - watching a couple movies and relaxing a little hopefully.


Canis feteo

Our dogs fart. I don't mean the occasional poof - I mean 10 times in an hour. They fart so bad sometimes, that you have to leave the room or at minimum hold your breath for at least 3 minutes. The worst part is, they're silent, deadly, killer farts. Only once have I actually heard one of the farts, and unfortunately I just happened to be about 2 inches from the source. I don't think I've ever moved so fast in my life.

They always smell the same too. Like some odd combination of eggs, rotting meat, and asparagus. With maybe some old mayonnaise added in there. I'm pretty sure it's not Sweet Dave blaming his on the dogs. Of course those times when it's just us driving in the car and he says, "SOMEbody FARted", I'm not so sure.

So anyway, I think I can actually handle the farting. It's a natural body function, blah blah blah, release, blah blah blah. But, it gets worse. They also eat their poop. (No telling what kind of disturbing search requests I'm going to get from that.) I've been told it's a pretty normal thing and reasons of everything from the animal instinct of hiding their scent to lack of nutrition. I'm not really sure what nutrients poop provides, but heh, I'm no poop doctor. So honestly, I'd be completely fine with it if the dogs weren't so sweet and cute. Have you seen that commercial where the dogs drinking from the toilet and then the owners come home to a sweet-licking-the-face-welcome from the dog? Well, it's like that times two. Pretty high on the puke-possible scale.

We've tried the no-poop-eating pills. We've tried obedience tactics. We've tried being present at every moment outside. They're sneaky, ruthless poop-eating maniacs. So we've had to resort to scooping the poop on a daily basis. It's really like a mine field out there. Old and new, stinky and hard as a rock. I don't think they have a preference really, just as long as it's in their mouths.

Our neighbors must really think we're crazy, casing the yard at all times of the day, carrying a shovel.