Monday, February 27, 2012

February Vacation Highlights

One of the things I love about living in Massachusetts is this wonderful little thing called "February Vacation". Kids get the third week in February off from school...a nice respite from all the work, teachers and cooties that always seem to be creeping around the halls of academia this time of the year.

Some people like to take off for warmer climates during this break, but not us. Our excuse has always been "Well, you never know what the weather is going to be like during vacation" which normally would be true if it weren't for the odd, snowless winter we've had thus far. So technically we could have gone somewhere, we're just too lazy for that sort of thing.

And since I know you're dying for a highlight reel of all our February vacation glory, here it is...

My daughter literally spent an entire day on her laptop, on watching music videos. Remember when we used to do that with our actual TV's?

I played my ukulele a bit. Actually, I got very frustrated with my ukulele (mostly because I made a huge mistake in my lesson and it turned out I was doing it wrong the entire time) and almost went all John Belushi from Animal House with it. But I didn't. Which was good because I figured out what I was doing wrong and corrected it. Now my lessons have added several up strums and it's messing with my head.

Our one big day trip was to the MFA where my daughter became part of the art. This was something along the lines of a man made iceberg...there was some stereo under this thing that was a recording of the sounds actual icebergs make so when you sit or stand (or in my daughter's case) lay on it, you can feel the vibrations. I'm not sure I really felt them when I sat down on it, but it was a nice way to sit and take a break.

We had one day where the weather was very indecisive. One minute it was bright and sunny, then the clouds would roll in and it would pour for about 15 minutes then get sunny again. It did this on and off most of the day until it decided that rain was boring so it started to hail and snow. True to form, 15 minutes later it stopped, the sun came out and it was all gone.

Welcome to weather patterns in Massachusetts.

Last night was the last night of vacation, so we topped it off with Chinese take out and homemade Mai Tai's. I looked everywhere on the world wide of webs for a recipe that basically used what I had on hand and didn't call for some weird syrup I'd never heard of. Luckily I found one and all I needed to get was lime juice and pineapple juice. I had all the hooch I needed to make them (which is demented and sad) but hey, that's how I roll.

Of course, the Oscars were on last night so naturally we had to watch them. Mostly I thought they were a snooze fest (can we please get Emma Stone, Will Ferrel and Zac Galifianakis to host next year? They were the best part of the 900 hour show). While we commented on what everyone was wearing (somebody tell Angelina to put that knee away please) the one that garnered the most comments was Bradley Cooper and his 70's pornstache. My daughter said he looked like the guy from the Progressive ads. Seeing as I had Mai Tai's running through my veins, I picked up my iPhone and created this work of art:

Most people do wonderful and creative things with the miraculous wonder that is the iPhone. Not me. I do this. And I'm okay with that.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Scraping The Bottom Of The Creativity Barrel

So I think it's safe to say that we all know how I feel about photography. I take pictures everyday, mostly with my DSLR and my iPhone (I do have an Olympus Pen but it is currently in the shop as I type this because it's a giant piece of crap the dial for the settings came off and they are fixing it). What you may not know is that I will take said photos and put them in my Picture Of The Day album (or the POTD for those of us in the know, which is probably just me but that's okay). It's a nice way of honing your photography skills while capturing an entire year, day by day, in pictures.

It's a one stone, two birds kind of deal, really.

Anywhoo...the pictures in the POTD range from those of momentous events (birthdays, trips, getting a really great deal on a dress at Anthropologie) to the more mundane (I'm having coffee, I actually got out of bed today, I'm having more coffee). It isn't about perfection, it's more about capturing daily moments, no matter how big or small they are.

And apparently in my life, they are getting pretty small.

Friday at our house is known as cleaning day or the day where Jen has to get the whole house clean or she goes on a bender (I'm down with OCD yah you know me). And since I was running around cleaning, doing laundry and being anal, I decided to capture this on film. I mean, why not? It's a part of my crazy daily life. It deserves to be captured on film.

Fast forward to yesterday morning...with everyone off at school and work (and Cali in a coma on the couch) I decided to catch up on the POTD. While I had kept up on taking a picture a day, I was woefully behind in actually printing them out and putting them in the album (I'd like to tell you life got in the way but that's a dirty lie...I'm just lazy). I got my camera, plugged the card into my card reader and started to upload them to my computer.

Then I went to my album to see where'd I left off. I had several days to make up for, so I went back and discovered I had left off on Friday. I went into Photoshop, brought up my pictures and went looking for the best one I took on that day. Turns out, I only took one photo all day long.

It was of the bucket that holds my cleaning supplies and a few wrappers from rolls of toilet paper.

This is sad on so many levels no human can actually count that high. But what bothers me the most is this shot was the photographic high point of my day.

Yeah. Just let that sink in for a minute or so.

Honestly, I had considered not printing it out and putting it in the POTD because I was embarrassed. What I have I sunk to? Am I really scraping the bottom of the creativity barrel with my photos? According to the above photo, I'd have to say hells yes.

In the end I printed it out and put it in because 1) it's part of my daily life (however sad that may be) and 2) as a reminder to myself that I'm better than this and I need to start thinking outside the box to get more interesting shots.

Or at least outside the toilet paper wrappers. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Oh Ee Oh Ee Oh...

Last week, while I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed (why does it take twice as long to get ready for bed than it does in the morning? It's something that plagues me on a regular basis), I heard my husband and daughter discussing something in the hallway. When my husband came into our room I asked him what they were talking about.

"Some bird that was spotted in Wellfleet on the Cape but is only seen this time of the year in West Mexico."

I had a mouth full of mouthwash at this point, but I really wanted to know what kind of bird it was because seriously...what kind of bird is spotted way up here in Massachusetts this time of the year when it's supposed to be seen in Western Mexico? It's not like the weather patterns are real similar, even for the weird winter we've had.

But seeing as I'd just started swishing the mouthwash and wanted to get the full allotted time so it would do its job, I mumbled to him "Hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm?"

He looked at me (not too nastily) and asked (not too nastily) "What?"

I then put my arms out to my sides and started to move them in an up and down motion (while still swishing the mouthwash). He looked at me and said "Oh...what kind of bird was it? The Lazuli Bunting." Then he turned and walked into our room.

I finished up in the bathroom then walked into our room as well. I looked at him and said "I love that our relationship is so finely tuned that you knew what I was asking."

Without blinking an eye he looked at me and said "Well, you either wanted to know the name of the bird or you really miss Morris Day and The Time."

Truth be told? I do miss Morris Day and The Time. Especially Jerome. Oh ee oh ee oh.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI (Or Why My Husband Is A Great Guy)

In case any of you are living under a rock (or you hate football in which case I don't blame you) yesterday was Super Bowl XLVI, which in Latin means New England was playing New York and no one outside of those two areas really cared.

My husband is a football guy. It's the only sport he enjoys watching (he refers to baseball as Major League Boring) and the New England Patriots are his team. As a child growing up in Massachusetts, he was used to them being losers. The Patriots never went to the Super Bowl, and if they did, they lost. That is until 10 years ago when they went and beat the St. Louis Rams 20-17 thanks to a last minute field goal kick by Adam Vinatieri (I cannot tell you how much is pains me that I know this).

It was during this game that I saw how much of a football/Patriots fan my husband was. During that last minute kick, he was on the living room floor on his hands and knees watching the game like his life depended on the Patriots winning.

I was a little shocked, to say the least. I mean really...this was the man I married and had a child with? We had been married 7.5 years by that time and I'd NEVER seen him act this way. Over anything. Including me. So yeah, it was shocking.

Last night was the fourth trip to the Super Bowl for the Patriots, so I figured we'd have a party...a Super Bowl soiree, if you will. But seeing as we live on the East Coast and the game didn't start until 6:30 PM and everyone had a job to be at the next morning, it ended up being a smaller affair...

It was me, my husband, our daughter, my sister-in-law and my niece.

That's right. My football fan of a husband spent the night watching his team play in the Super Bowl with four girls. Make that five. The cat is a girl too. At least she used to be.

And the mere fact that he watched the entire game with us and never once commented about being surrounded by so many females on a very manly night is exactly why my husband is such a great guy.

That and a few other things, but I shan't discuss them here because really...something should remain private between a husband and wife. 

Love you babe.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just Say Jenny

Hello dear friends of the world wide of webs and welcome to my third attempt at writing a blog Just Say Jenny!

Like how I said third attempt? You'll see why...

I started blogging January of 2006 with a little site you might recall, Scrappin Jenny. I started it when blogging was still fairly new and cool and everyone seemed to have a blog of their own (I desperately wanted to be one of the cool kids). It was a time when I scrapbooked (hence the name) and I always kept my camera on Automatic (oh how the times have changed). While I loved writing that blog and have so many fond memories of it and the people I met while doing so, by June of 2011 I just felt it didn't fit who I was anymore so I moved on...

To A Body Of Photography. When I started this particular blog, I thought it would be a fantastic way to showcase my love of photography and what I wanted to do with it. Well, I did showcase some of my pictures and I never really did figure out what I wanted to do with it so it went the way of the Dodo after 6 short months.

But lately I've found myself thinking about blogging more and more. Did I want to do this again? Is there really anymore room out there for the so-called Mommy Bloggers? I mean Dooce and Pioneer Woman have pretty much cornered the market in that particular area, haven't they? Not that I have anything against them. Quite the contrary. If anything I envy them. Anyone that can make a living off of doing this is beyond awesome in my book.

While I ate a granola bar this morning (this is the exciting kind of stuff you have to look forward to), I posted on Facebook "Just sitting here, eating a granola bar, thinking about starting a new blog...". I wasn't sure anyone was going to leave a comment but low and behold, several did. And they were all very supportive of this idea. In fact they were more than supportive. As my good friend Dana put it "Good. I miss reading you." That alone made my day and made me want to give her a big ol' hug.

So here we are...the newest and shiniest version of my blog to date, Just Say Jenny. I had been struggling with what to call it...I wanted something fun, something kitchy, something that said "Hey! This is my blog!" And so Just Say Jenny it is. Plus, it was one of the few names I had come up with that wasn't taken so booyah.

I'll bet you're wondering "What do we have to look forward to on this blog Jen?" Well, let me tell you...just about EVERYTHING! I plan on writing about my attempt at learning to play the ukulele (as of yesterday it was going well until my teenage daughter, who plays two instruments, said to me "You're not actually playing the song, just the melody"), my obsession with Jadeite (and one of the biggest reasons I hate Martha Stewart), my kid, my husband and my cat (who may or may not write as a guest blogger here. I haven't decided yet cos she's got an attitude), photography (and tons of photos) and pretty much anything that I feel like because hey, it's my blog, I can do what I want.

And on that note, I leave you with this:

See? Attitude. And a little creepy to boot.