A couple of posts back I listed my New Year's Resolutions for 2009.

I'm not going to mention the ones I didn't achieve, but I will go over the progress I made in the past year.

I DID drink less Diet Coke and more water, although I still have lots of work to do in that department. Aspartame is poison. I need to stop ingesting large quantities of it.

I cut down on the cheap crap. I carefully thought about my purchases and I am working on building a wardrobe full of nice quality pieces that I can mix and match. Now I just have to purge the pile of crap on my guest room bed and get it all organized. Baby steps people.

Next step, focusing on decorating some of the rooms in my house that look like college dorm rooms.

I have been replacing negative thoughts with positive ones on a case by case basis. I've also been working on holding my tongue. Maybe someday I'll master the art of Zen. Once again, baby steps.

I will also be on Twitter alot less. Since my Blackberry broke I realize how distracting it is. Sorry to be a buzz kill, but it's bad for my brain.

Finally, I want to pick a charity to work with this year with my children. I'm torn between a local soup kitchen and the S.P.C.A. We're animal lovers so I'm leaning towards the S.P.C.A., but then I think maybe working with humans is more important. Any thoughts?

I'll leave you with a prayer I'm going to look at whenever I feel challenged in 2010. I'm sure you're seen it. It's The Serenity Prayer, and it's not just for people in AA. It's really simple, and so profound. Read it, and think about it. If we could all live it, our lives would improve.

Many of us spend too much time anxious about things we cannot change: the economy, the weather, traffic on the freeway, or people who annoy us. As a result, we don’t have the energy to make the most of the opportunities we do have. Recognizing the difference between what we can and cannot change can help us live more peaceful and productive lives.

The Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things that I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Happy New Year.


Holiday Haunting

My girls got some Toys R Us gift cards this Christmas so I took them on a little shopping trip last night. As we walked down the toy aisle we stumbled upon a shelf full of Ouija boards.

I got all excited and grabbed one off the shelf. "Look at THIS! A Ouija board!!" I exclaimed.

Blank stares from the peanut gallery.

"What does it do??" My eldest daughter inquired.

"It's so cool, you can talk to ghosts...." stopping dead in my tracks, my daughters stared at me, wide eyed.

"Ghosts?" My six year old asked. "Are ghosts real?"

Aww shoot. Here we go.

"No of course there not, it's just for fun. You PRETEND ghosts are talking to you. Forget it, let's go look at DS games."

Bummer. How do you explain a Ouija board to your children without completely flipping them out? If you can think of a way, I'm all ears.

I remember spending countless sleepovers talking to Abe Lincoln on my friend's Ouija board. We would also levitate each other. Remember that? When one person would lie in the middle of the group and each person would put two finders under the victim. We would then repeat, "light as a feather, stiff as a board..."and then LIFT the victim up to the ceiling!!!

Good times.

At the time it seemed so NORMAL. When I tried to talk to my girls and their friend about it, it sounded just plain weird.

Am I the only weirdo around who played with one of these things as a kid?

I almost felt like buying myself a Ouija board and stashing it away, just for old times sake. Maybe I can invite some ladies from the PTA over to chat with George Washington and Jack the Ripper.

We could all wear pajamas, drink some wine and levitate each other.

Sounds like fun, right? WRONG.

Read this from Wikipedia:

Although ouija boards are viewed by some to be a simple toy, there are people who believe they can be harmful, including Edgar Cayce, who called them "dangerous."[24]

Some practitioners claim to have had bad experiences related to the use of talking boards by being haunted by "demons," seeing apparitions of spirits, and hearing voices after using them. A few paranormal researchers, such as John Zaffis, claim that the majority of the worst cases of so-called demon harassment and possession are caused by the use of Ouija boards. The American demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren stated that "Ouija boards are just as dangerous as drugs."[25] They further state that "séances and Ouija boards and other occult paraphernalia are dangerous because 'evil spirits' often disguise themselves as your loved ones—and take over your life."[25]

Demonic possession? Evil spirits harassing me and taking over my life? Why didn't anybody stop us when we were 12 years old? Were we in mortal danger and we didn't even know it?

Seriously, I would get really creeped out when we played with this thing.

Don't you think we should stop Parker Brothers from distributing this dangerous toy? I'm shaking in my boots just thinking about it! No wonder my daughters looked so disturbed.

Okay, somebody get me a Xanax.

(The previous post is an example of my adult A.D.H.D. I sat down to write my New Year's resolutions and this is what I came up with. Forget the Xanax, somebody get me some Adderall.)

Did I do it?

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. We are taking a pit stop between Maryland and Vermont so I thought I'd pull out my New year's Resolutions from last year and see how I did.

Here they are...

1. Drink More Water Sounds like a no-brainer, so this is the resolution I'm most likely NOT to break. My sister has a book that says we should drink 2 gallons of water a day!!! That's alot of trips to the bathroom for the old Jillster, but I'm going to try to drink at least 8 glasses a day, and have better looking skin, less headaches, more energy and be in a better mood!!! My life is going to change, and it's all because I'll be drinking more water.

Okay...onto the next one.

2. Make some money. Both kids are in school, so the heat is on for momma to bring in some moola. As you know, my husband has me set up with a new business. We're still putting the finishing touches on it, but you WILL be getting details very soon. Will I break the resolution to bring in money? I certainly hope not, and I think my husband would love me so much more if I were bringing home the bacon AND frying it up it a pan.

3. Stop buying cheap crap I have a closet full of low budget purses that I picked up at Target and Old Navy. They give me a quick thrill because I love getting designer knock offs that I read about in Lucky Magazine, but the novelty ends quickly and the bags fall apart. Then I'm left with more clutter. I am going to make a concerted effort to buy good quality, classic pieces, that will last for years. This will be a toughie.

4. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. I'll admit. I think bad things. Like when someone is driving 20 miles an hour in the fast lane, I'll size them up and think, "What the f-ck are you doing you ugly red neck??" Or, I'll wake up and think. "I have so much g-d damn laundry to do. I'm so buried." From now on, when I'm thinking hostile thoughts, I'll replace them with upbeat positive ones, such as; "That unfortunate fellow. He must have done poorly in Driver's Ed. What a pity. And I really like the mud flaps on his 1978 Camaro. What a stylish chap." Or, "How lucky I am that I am healthy and, able to clean toilets, wash and fold laundry, mop the floors and take out the trash! I'm a very fortunate woman."

If I can keep this resolution I will be a ray of sunshine, who will brighten the lives of all I meet.

And finally...

5. Hold my tongue. I am a reactor. When something sets me off, I respond...INSTANTLY. From now on, I'm going to count to five, THINK and then take action, if necessary. And I will remember the words of the Greek philosopher, Epictetus

"It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters."

Since I'm going to break them anyway, I might as go hog wild. Here goes...in addition to my list, I'm going to workout everyday and become a hard body. I'm going to work at a soup kitchen every Saturday and go to church every Sunday. I'm going to learn French. I'm going to keep my house spotless and make wild passionate love to my husband every night, AFTER I cook him a gourmet meal. I'm going to sew my own curtains....to be continued...

HAPPY 2009!!!

Sooo...which ones did I do? Which ones did I break? What do you think?

While you're guessing, I'll be busy making my 2010 resolutions. Catch y'all later.


Venting for Jesus...

Your voices have been heard. I feel like a high schooler with a bunch of friends who are a TERRIBLE influence, but since I want to hang out with the "cool crowd" I will bow to your will do a little Christmas vent.

I love the IDEA of Christmas in it's purest form.

The Christmas story is beautiful for its simplicity.

It’s a story of giving, of God coming to earth to make a way back for a fallen planet.

I wish we could find a way to keep Christmas about the quiet and and wonder of that wondrous night in Bethlehem.

Some say that Christmas isn't about Christ. I hate to break it to you folks, but the holiday is called CHRISTmas. And even if you're not a Christian, you can't deny that the original holiday was, in fact, a celebration of the birth of Jesus CHRIST.

In that vein, I often wonder what Jesus thinks of this whole debacle.

When the wise men came to Bethlehem to present the new savior with gifts do you think the sweet baby in swaddling clothes was pissed that he didn't get a Zhu Zhu pet?

Do you think the Wise Men spent countless hours driving from mall to mall and store to store maxing out their credit cards to buy a bunch of crap?

Did Mary demand a birthing gift from Joseph, maybe a David Yurman bracelet? Did Joseph yell at Mary for spending too much on a bunch of cashmere sweaters from J. Crew?

Hell no!!! Come on people. Jesus is a tolerant man, but I think he's stressing out right about now.

I don't think this is what God had in mind when he sent us his only son.

For most people this time of year is the exact opposite of that silent night in Bethlehem. It's all about the things that I hate; chaos, deadlines, way too much rushing around, piles of STUFF everywhere that I'm expected to organize, and absolutely no alone time to reflect or enjoy a moment of silence. (Or perhaps go on Facebook.)

In the midst of all the craziness, I have to remind myself to take a moment, and a deep breath, and remember the joy and magic my children are experiencing this time of year.

I sat at my daughter's holiday concert yesterday and looked at all the sweet faces singing holiday songs and all the proud parents adoring their children. THAT'S the stuff that makes Christmas special.

To make things even nicer, my husband decided to take us out to dinner, my daughter handed me the most adorable sweet Christmas card that she made just for me, and suddenly all the hustle and bustle and stress and pressure all seemed somehow manageable.

Peace On Earth.

Enjoy this special holiday. Give your loved ones a big hug, and take a quiet moment, if you can find one, to thank god for all your blessings.

And if someone steals your parking space at the mall, don't give them the finger. Just lean out your car window and wish them a "Happy Christmas."

And then, after they've gone into the mall, pour a milkshake all over their windshield.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Have yourself a merry little breakdown...

So after school yesterday, my six year old daughter Catherine told me a lovely Christmas story.

"Mommy, Christopher's mom is in the hospital. They were at their new house that they are building...she is really happy about the new house even though their dad ordered it. Well, she started acting really crazy, even though she wasn't drunk. Then she fainted. Now she's in the hospital."

Hmmm..1 huge house under construction...4 kids, 3 days before Christmas...mommy acts really nutty and passes out.

Now I'm not one to pry, but it sounds like SOMEONE could use a little Xanax. Or a few days of rest in a very special hospital. It really is perfect timing. It sounds like this woman is a genius.

Do you think they might have a room for me? ;)

Tis The Season to Plagiarize a Vent...

Since I'm so busy reflecting on the meaning of this wonderful season and the wonder of God's greatest gift to mankind...I'm too frazzled to write my vent, (right now) so in the meantime...here are some holiday rants I found on the internet...stay tuned for the Caffeine Court holiday rag...coming real soon to a computer screen near you!!! Remember...these are not written by me. (Mine is much worse...)

Christmas is great I guess if you're either a little kid or you're rich and can through money around on crap. None of those applies to me. I had wonderful warm family Christmases growing up...but those days are behind me now. If you love Christmas...good for you, seriously. No offense. I'm just venting here.

Buying shit. Having to buy shit. Not being able to afford shit. Charging shit. Returning shit. Buying shit to wrap shit in.

Holiday parties. I'm sorry.....no. Not for me. I spend 40 hrs a week with you motherf**kers and it's a treat for me to have to bring food from home that I have to spend money on and make and eat your funky ass food and pretend to like it and sit around together and make small talk and play little get to know you games and shit while I have an anxiety attack? How about this? NO. Why is it a custom to be forced to hang out with people I don't want to really on holidays? I'd rather just watch TV and smoke dope.

Eggnog. Yeah, I know lots of people like this shit, but I personally find eggs in general completely disgusting. A drink? F-ck no. Get your stinking eggnog away from me.

Christmas cards. I hate buying them, signing them, mailing them and getting them...well sorta. I mean it's kind of a nice thought...but again, it's spending money on a stupid thing just because and it's just gets either thrown out or recycled. A waste. Most people can't even write something original...it's printed on there for them and they just sign it. Wow...sincere.

I hate getting forced to attend midnight mass by my drunken Catholic relatives every Christmas eve.

Wow!! These people are bitter!!!


Have it YOUR way!

I only have one post left in me before Christmas, and I want to give my reader's what they want, just like my third favorite fast food restaurant Burger King.

So, here are you choices...

Would you like me to write a holiday gratitude post about all my Christmas blessings?

Or should I reveal my holiday stress/PMS angst with a holiday vent?

Remember...gratitude posts never get me into trouble. Vents are dangerous territory.

I'll leave it in your hands.


Went to Anthropologie...

And exchanged this:

Stormy Sea Necklace in Ivory ($48)

For this: From O'Keeffe Necklace...$48

As many times as I tried, I just couldn't pull off the first necklace. My husband and daughters looked flabbergasted when I put it on.

Too much! (For me.)

The second necklace looks sooo good on. Go ahead, go to Anthro. Tomorrow.

Try it on.

You'll be glad you did.


Don't let my rough exterior fool you....

As I travel from blog to blog I notice that so many people are sharing cute pictures of their holiday decorations and adorable holiday stories.

I, on the other hand, have stories about murderous dolls and drunk 4 year olds.

What is WRONG with me?

Why do I always have to be inappropriate?

Is there a psychoanalyst in the house?

I promise you, I do like Christmas.

Here are some of my favorite things about this time of the year.

1. I actually feel like going out and socializing. Don't get me wrong, once I get my butt out the door I ALWAYS have a good time, but sometimes I'm slow to commit. When Christmas comes around I feel the goodwill towards my fellow man, and I love to celebrate.

2. The excitement that my children feel.

3. Photo Christmas cards. I LOVE getting them and seeing how all my friends' and relatives' children have grown.

4. Our annual tradition of traveling to a farm in Pennsylvania and cutting down the family tree. So far the farmer hasn't caught us, so it's all good. ;)

There's more, but I'm sleepy, so I'm going to bed, with visions of sugarplums dancing in my nutty little head.

(Oh and one more thing, for as much as I love Thanksgiving and Christmas...I HATE New Year's Eve...seriously. HATE it.)

The Drunken 4 Year Old Who Stole Christmas...

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WTVC-TV) - A 4-year-old boy, beer in hand, is accused of stealing Christmas presents from his neighbors. It's a strange story, but also a sad one.

April Wright is 21 years old and is going through a divorce with her husband who is in jail. She says she is not sure how her 4-year-old managed to get out of the house, open a beer, and steal the neighbors presents from under their tree. Now she's just glad he's okay and says she won't let it happen again.

The child, Hayden Wright, was found around 1:45 am Tuesday, wandering the streets of his neighborhood. In a police reports, officers said he was wearing a little girl's dress and drinking a beer. The police report says the child had to taken to the hospital to be treated for alcohol consumption.

April Wright said, "Biggest concern was him being out there, getting kidnapped, getting run over, the alcohol, having to have his stomach pumped."

Wright says she woke up that night at 1:45 am and panicked when she found Hayden was gone. She says she put safety devices on all the doors so her kids couldn't get out, but Hayden was able to break the safety device off the doorknob and get outside.

Once out, Wright says her four year old followed his father's footsteps and was found on Blue Spruce Road, drinking.

"He runs away trying to find his father," she said. "He wants to get in trouble so he can go to jail because that's where his daddy is."

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office report says Hayden rang the doorbell a few houses down and the neighbor answered, finding the child holding a partially consumeed 12-ounce beer.

Wright said, "He got it out of my father's cooler in the back and how he got it open I don't understand because it was one of those tab beers."

But it doesn't stop there. The report said Hayden then snuck into a neighbor's house through an unlocked front door, and stole five wrapped Christmas gifts. One was a girl's brown dress which Hayden was wearing when police found him.

"Going to the neighbor's house and taking their presents, very embarrassing," said April.

She admits she was not just embarrassed, but scared, and rushed to the hospital that night with Hayden. She said she tries to be a good mother and loves her son, but now feels like a failure.

"Kids do things like this and it's out of your control, you can do the best you can as a mother, everyone makes mistakes, it was an honest mistake," she said.

Wright did meet with child protective services today who told her she will get to keep custody of Hayden.


Nightmares Before Christmas...

So I got the elf. His name is Fred.

So far nothing bad has happened.

He moves around A LOT, and this morning, I caught him sitting on top of my laptop with a really pissed off look in his shifty blue eyes.

I think he read my last post.

Can elves read? I certainly hope not.

Or I'm in BIG trouble.


Freaky Psychotic Little Elf on the Shelf...

Have you seen him? The demonic little fellow with a mischievous look on his face?

Meet the Elf on the Shelf.

My neighbor introduced me to hers today and I was afraid to get near him. Just look at him. I don't trust this face for one minute. He looks like pure evil.

According to tradition...

this antique-style Elf, has an important job. This Elf is assigned to watch over your family and report back to Santa each night about who has been naughty or nice that day. By morning he's back but he's in a different place in the house for a daily hide-and-seek ritual that will delight your kids and adults alike.

Does that sound like Chucky or what?

My six year old daughter wants one. REALLY BADLY. I tried to discourage her, but she won't stop asking.

I guess I'll have to bring this scary little dude into my house, but I'm telling you, once the kids go to bed, I'm locking him outside. He might give Santa a bad report...

But I'm not taking any chances....


I'm so random.

You know that your blog is plummeting downhill when you resort to writing about foul, smooshy, bars of soap.

Unfortunately, I'm a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person. I run my blog, like I run my life, jumping from thing to thing.

Maybe the ladies at BlogHer will ask me to run a panel this summer. They could call it "How to Run a Blog with the Least Amount of Effort." or "Blogging Without Substance."

If you would like to attend a panel headed up by me, please contact the folks at BlogHer.

On another note, I've had some requests to review the MTV show "Jersey Shore." I have not been focused enough to actually watch the show in it's entirety, but I did catch some clips.

As a resident of the Garden State, I can tell you that while this show does not represent the majority of NJ's population, it is, in fact, very indicative of the inhabitants of Seaside Heights. I live a mere 45 minutes north of this pit of debauchery.

When we first moved to the area, I took my husband to Seaside here to show him, the sights. He wouldn't get out of the car. We felt like we were at the Drive-Through Safari at Six Flags.

I forced him to get his khaki clad butt out of the vehicle and up on the boardwalk where we marveled at the drunk, drugged up, scantily clad creatures who prowl the boards in search of a hook up.

The people on this show are actually BETTER than most of the people hanging out on the beaches of Seaside Heights in the summer.

Do I sound like a snob? If I do, then you've never visited Seaside. Trust me, it doesn't take a snob to be flipped out by the scene down there.

I'll leave you with an excerpt from the "Jersey Shore" web page.

If you’ve never pierced your privates or globbed on hair gel by the liter, then you might not be familiar with all of the Jersey Shore slang that was spewing about in the first two episodes.

For instance, with a little practice, anybody can be a slut, but in order to be considered a 'Jersey Shore [BLEEPING BLEEPING] slut,' one must consume at least four glasses of Ron Ron Juice. This typically leads to the removal of panties in a hot tub and the addition of another ‘BLEEPING’ to your slut label.

Thanks to Snooki, we were also introduced to the term ‘Princess Guidette.' Unlike regular princesses that typically kiss frogs, a ‘Princess Guidette’ apparently likes to lock lips with drunk fools.

‘The Situation’ that Mike found himself in with Ronnie was a ‘C**k Blocking’ situation, a term that was used quite a bit thanks to self-proclaimed ‘C**k Blocker’ Angelina. If you’ve never heard of a Co**k Block, then congratulations, because that means you probably don’t know what blue balls are either.

I'm sure there's lots more to be covered, so if you’d like a half-assed definition of any more Jersey Shore Slang Terms that you heard on the first two episodes, jot them down in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as I finish man-scaping. (Note to Pauly D: Thanks for the inspiration.)

'Nuff said.


Soap Talk

This has been on my mind, so I thought I might as well share it with you.

I've been thinking alot about soap. I wash my hands alot. Especially lately, with all the talk about H1N1.

I go to the supermarket and the drugstore a couple of times a week. As I browse the soap aisle I never EVER buy bar soap anymore. I just find it gross.

I don't mind it straight out of the package, but once it's been used, it gets so foul! I hate the way it gets all soft and mushy and it never completely dries. I also hate when it gets little hairs stuck in it. Who's hair is that? If you get little hairs on the soap, make sure you get rid of them for god's sake!!!

We also travel and visit relatives pretty often and we have overnight guests frequently. I do NOT want to offer my guests my smooshy used soap to use in our guest shower. Who knows what people do with that bar of soap?

Seriously. I am not a neat freak, but that is just plain gross.

I did some research, and my hatred of bar soap is not really valid. Pump soap can have just as much germs.

Bottom line is, if you ever come visit me, you will have a nice fresh tube of shower gel to use when you step into my bathroom.

I can't promise that you won't step in dog puke, but I can assure you that you will never, EVER, have to wash your face with a bar of soap that's cleaned the private parts of another person.

Pinky swear.


A little shmoozing....

My new (old) tennis team captain had the members of the team over today to her waterfront home for a little Christmas lunch.

She plied us with jumbo shrimp, fine wine, sushi, and a tower of desserts.

I loved every minute of it.

If she keeps up this treatment she might have me for life.

Is it too good to be true?

Stay tuned...


Garbanzo Beans

When's the last time you said "Garbanzo Beans?"

I'll bet you can't remember.

Let's say it together...

"Garbanzo Beans....Garbanzo Beans...."

Now, say it with a fun accent...perhaps French or Italian....ready? GO!!!

"Garbanzo Beans...Garbanzo Beans..."

Wasn't that fun?

Not only is it fun to SAY "Garbanzo Beans" they are also really good for you!

This might be hard to believe, but I, the original junk food junkie, have been eating large quantities of Garbanzo Beans lately.

My husband turned me onto them and if you bake them in the oven on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 20 minutes they make a delicious healthy snack.

Here are some more Garbanzo Bean facts:

Garbanzo Beans or chickpeas are the most widely consumed legume in the world. Originating in the Middle East, they have a firm texture with a flavor somewhere between chestnuts and walnuts. Garbanzo beans are usually pale yellow in color. In India there are red, black, and brown chickpeas.

Chick pea and garbanzo bean are 2 names for the same thing (Cicer arietinum) a member of the Pea family (Fabaceae). They are also called ceci (Italy), Egyptian pea, gram, Kichererbse (Germany), and revithia (Greece).

Garbanzo is the name used in Spanish speaking countries. The English name chickpea comes from the French chiche, which comes from the Latin cicer.

Chickpeas or garbanzo beans have 361 calories per 100g, and are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, phosphorus, calcium and iron.

So, go buy yourself a big old bag of Garbanzo Beans and enjoy a yummy snack that is fun to say, delicious to eat, and oh so healthy.

This post was brought to your buy the World Garbanzo Bean Growers Association.


A tennis post (with a little bit of bitchy thrown in)

Those of you readers who participate in USTA tennis may or may not know that the new ratings came out this week. This year was quite a shocker for many of us in the tennis world.

There was a huge surge of people who got bumped up a notch and the clubs are buzzing.


I keep expecting Jeff Probst to walk out to start tribal council.

The e-mails are flying, my phone is ringing, and secret lunch meetings are being arranged.

All the team captains are trying to secure the best players. There is a lot of whispering going on.

Last year I played on a team full of amazingly nice women. The only catch was, I could only play singles.

One of my best friends called me and made me an offer I feel I can't refuse. She said if I go back to her team, (which I played on years ago) I can play doubles with two of my favorite doubles partners (who I happen to be good friends with) and play singles too. She's co-captain of the team, so she said I can help her make the lineups for each match. If this is true, it's awesome.

The hard part? Saying goodbye to my old team, full of really sweet ladies, where I am low man on the totem pole into a perfect situation for me, but with a team captain who is not well liked in the ladies tennis world.

Did you follow that?

Tennis is easy.

Tennis politics? THAT will kill you.

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