Category Archives: Uncategorized

I <3 Really Bizarre Fashion

I’m back! I didn’t have internet for the first month we were in the new house… at least not enough to really blog (blogging from my phone makes me want to fall over and die) but we got into the new house (an adventure that will absolutely find it’s way into a belated blogpost), went back to Phoenix for the Free To Be unschooling conference (which was hella awesome), and shot Phoenix Fashion Week again.

Which brings me to the actual point of this story… how much I love Rocky Gathercole.

People who know about fashion and who are into fashion like designers who make clothes you could possibly wear somewhere, things that aren’t too costume-y. But I am not someone who knows about or is into fashion. I am a gal who wears dresses from the Target and Ross clearance racks on my fancy days and dress like a pregnant college student on all the other days (I may or may not be wearing maternity yoga pants and a tattered tshirt I got in the 7th grade as I type this… only God can judge me) and the designers I like are huge and ridiculous and bizarre and make you raise one eyebrow and say “What the fuck?” with every new look that comes down the runway. And I LOVE ROCKY GATHERCOLE.

It started out with this…
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I am not even kidding.
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And to that I say HELLZ YEAH! Then he busted out a little bit of this…
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And ended with his daughter… in a Hello Kitty dress.
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Yep… that just happened.

And that, that my friends is why I loved most of the things I saw at Fashion Week but I ADORE crazy balls-to-the-wall wild ones like Rocky Gathercole. Seriously.

(Click HERE to see the rest of my pictures from the week.)

So My Dog is Definitely Racist…

My dogs are sweethearts. They’re big, they’re chaotic, and sometimes they’re very very noisy, but they’re sweethearts. Daisy (the pitbull) also tends to be fiercely protective of the kids and I… the time someone tried to break into our house in the night while David was gone I was only about 40% scared for me and the kids, the other 60% was scared for the poor robber because I knew the second he managed to jimmy that door open Daisy was going to end him. (He got the message from her snarling at him through the window and decided to move on to another house. Lucky for all of us.)

10% protector, 90% lazy spoiled creature.
10% protector, 90% lazy spoiled creature.

The family next door to us in this hotel are conservative Muslims who also happen to all be completely terrified of dogs. TERRIFIED. So every time we’ve run into each other while I was out walking the dogs it doesn’t matter how far away we are from them or how calm and friendly the dogs are being… they see the dogs and lose. their. shit. Specifically the dad who usually runs in front of his family yelling at me to keep the dogs away and generally panicking all over the place.

What I see is a man who has probably had VERY bad experiences with dogs in the past. I get it. My response is to turn around and walk the dogs the other way until they’re gone so they’re not uncomfortable because they’re a very nice family.

What Daisy sees is a large man acting erratically, running towards me (to get in front of his family), and yelling. Her response is the same as if he was trying to kill us all.

Which, as you can probably imagine, only makes them freak out more. And then it’s this chaotic spiral of increasing noise and panic and general chaos. It’s not awesome.

It’s been almost a week since I’ve seen them while I have the dogs (which is awesome) but occasionally now Daisy will just start barking at people. Just random people. I couldn’t figure out what was going on, she’s never done this before. But then I put it together. She barks at anyone dressed like a conservative Muslim. Her only experience with people who look like that has been this family.

So just like my neighbor sees a dog and thinks it’s going to kill him and his whole family (regardless of how it’s acting) because that has been his experience… my dog now sees someone brown wearing a hijab and thinks they’re going to kill her and her whole family (regardless of how they’re acting) because that’s been her experience. And there is probably no way at this point I could ever convince them to interact with each other long enough to realize their preconceived ideas are not based in reality. Ta da! That’s how racism happens!

And that, dear readers, is the story of how my dog became a racist. The end.

Funschool Sunday

What we did this week in the great land of homeschool. 

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1. They wanted to have sushi so we tried a new place and some new kinds we’ve never had. 
2. We went for lots of nature walks where the kids found sap. So I told them about sap, they touched/poked/squished/explored it and tried to find more, then we read about it at the library. 
3. They did lots of art on my phone. 
4. Big Truck Days in Beaverton. They had semis, tractors, firetrucks, ambulances, cranes… you name it. All that the kids could climb on, climb in, and explore. The people who drive those trucks were there too to tell them all about each one while they explored. 
5-6. This week’s NatureMobile at the library was all about earth worms. We learned all about earth worm anatomy, what they eat, how they move, and who eats them. They plastic spoons and popsicle sticks (“Spoons of Science” and “Popsicle Sticks of Perpetual Discovery” as they called them) to dig through tubs of soil to find worms and watch them move and learned about what’s in soil and composting! They also had a mole (picture 6) which are natural predators of worms. It had these tiny back feet and massive shovel like front feet to burrow through the ground. 
7. Swimming! This week Verona got comfortable jumping in from the side by herself. Now she can’t be stopped. 
8-9. Saturday there was a Polynesian Festival in Beaverton. We heard music from different islands, saw hula dancing, and explored a new cuisine. The kids chose octopus balls and I got poke, a dish of raw tuna and onions tossed in a spicy sauce and served over rice, then we all shared.

What did you learn this week? 

Kids are Cooler Than Grownups

Being in a hub of technological companies (this suburb is the hub of Intel and about five other large Intel-related companies) the hotel we’re staying in is very multi cultural. Since being here I have met more people from more countries than I can even begin to count, just off the top of my head in the last couple days I’ve hung out with people from the Poland, France, Canada, Argentina, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and spend time almost daily with a guy from Spain my dogs have made friends with and two kids from the Netherlands my kids have made friends with. It’s a fun place to be. 

There is also a lot of conservative Muslims here which has been interesting. I’ll sometimes see the little girls at the pool wearing their conservative swimwear which consists of ankle length pants, a long sleeved tunic top, and hijab… all made out of swimsuit material. It’s like the extra serious version of the rash guards you see rich white kids wearing. 

Anyway yesterday was the first day we actually ended up at the pool at the same time as them. All the kids in two large families came bounding into the pool area, ready to swim and one little girl runs up next to Verona.

Verona looked at the little girl, then pointed at her head to toe swimming getup and screamed “YOUR SWIMSUIT!!!!…”

I immediately cringed. What was Verona going to say next? Anyone who has kids is vividly remembering their own moment when their child announced to a stranger in the grocery store that they were fat, or asked someone with severe acne in an elevator what was wrong with their face or why it looked so messed up. Kids are not known for their ability to distinguish what is and is not appropriate to say to someone they barely know… and Verona has enough racist relatives that I had the added fear she’d overheard something once when I wasn’t there to immediately counteract it (even though I really really try) and was going to choose this moment to repeat it. 

The other little girl looked down at her own swimsuit, then over at Verona’s, and Verona continued, “IT’S PINK JUST LIKE MIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEE!” Then both girls squealed with glee over their commonality, grabbed each other by the hand, and jumped into the pool together. 

And that, my friends, that is why kids are cooler than grownups. 

Remember How I Might Be a Hoarder?

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The packing process is (mostly) done and all this shit’s going to Goodwill. I don’t know if this picture accurately reflects exactly how much stuff this is… cause it’s a lot of stuff. And all stuff I don’t need. *shakes head in shame*

That blue thing to left is a humidifier in the shape of a penguin. Problem is the head has been missing for I don’t even know how long. No idea where it went.

Do you know who keeps headless penguins? People with a problem, that’s who.

The post where I admit I haven’t been super healthy lately.

I can’t think of a good way to start this so I’ll just jump right in.  I haven’t been very healthy for a long long time, mentally at least.  Without going into any of the gory details I have a really warped relationship with food and my body… like, really pretty messed up.  It hasn’t been fun, it hasn’t been good, and it hasn’t been healthy.

Everybody suspects the super skinny girl of having a messed up self image, people usually expect the same of the morbidly obese girl.  But that slightly overweight chick?  People don’t worry about her.  Which made it really easy to hide what was going on.

The weird thing is, I really didn’t hate my body.  I mean, I have ‘cry in the bathroom because the jeans barely fit’ days just like anyone, don’t get me wrong… but over all I was always pretty happy with myself when I was truly honest.  I didn’t hate my body, I felt guilty for NOT hating my body.  Because as that over weight girl I’m suppose to, right?  How is anything ever going to change without a healthy sense of self loathing?  Nobody gets skinny by appreciating the amazing things their body can do… right?

It was all a really bizarre clusterfuck of competing emotions and it spilled over into my actions which got more and more unhealthy as it went on.

About two months ago my brain seemed to suddenly snap back to normal and I could clearly see what had been going on and how messed up it was.  So I started being proactive about getting better, taking care of my body the way something this awesome deserves to be taken care of, and going balls to the wall about developing a good relationship with my body again… namely giving myself permission to love it and tolerating nothing less.

Does that mean I wouldn’t be healthier losing 20lbs?  No, I totally would be.  But right now I have other things that need fixing before I can tackle that.

Almost a year ago in the midst of it all I realized I had an entire pinterest board just of grilled cheese sandwich recipes and decided I was going to have a grilled cheese month, where I made different grilled cheeses every day and tried them all. I thought it would fun culinary adventure, something great to blog about, and who doesn’t like a good grilled cheese?

Then I thought “But I’ll do that once I lose some more weight. Fat bitches got no business eating grilled cheese every day.”

And now it’s a year later and my weight has gone up and down and round and round and I’ve never gotten to a place where I felt like I deserved the right to tell the world that I’m eating a grilled cheese.

Now how messed up is that?  How outrageously sad way to live life is that?  My worth and what I can or cannot do is not contingent on whether or not I can get those size 7 brown pants buttoned… it’s not.  I’m done telling myself “I can’t do that until I’m skinny.” or thinking I’m somehow unworthy of awesome-ness because of a number on a scale.

Not to mention, there’s no reason a healthy diet cannot accommodate one grilled cheese a day, my issues with it are 100% mental bullshit.  A truly healthy diet can absolute include grilled cheese… the warped nonsense I was involved in before is what couldn’t accommodate one grilled cheese.

So today I’m coming out. My name is Jenna and I’m overweight.  I currently wear a size 10 or 12 depending on the brand, and my stomach is so covered in stretch marks from baby making if I lifted up the bottom of my shirt you may very well think I’m wearing a tan and purple stripped tank top underneath it. Verona calls them my tiger stripes and says I’m a tiger woman.  I have not, nor will I ever have a thigh gap. Unhealthily skinny 17 year old Jenna didn’t even have a thigh gap so fabulously curvy post baby Jenna is absolutely never going to and I’m 100% ok with that. I’m over weight but I’m in pretty good shape physically.  I sweat like a crazy lady on the elliptical (because it makes me feel good now, no longer because I want to make myself waste away), I can hula hoop like a rockstar, and last night I did three sets of 130lbs at the gym like a motherfucking badass.

My name is Jenna, I’m fucking awesome, and pretty soon I’m going to start my month of try-all-the-grilled-cheeses… and I’ll blog about every single one.  So be ready!

True Facts about Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, for those of you unfortunate enough to not be familiar with his work, is probably the greatest singer/songwriter of all time.  Go listen to If It Be Your Will or Everybody Knows again and just try to argue with me.  There were many times in high school when I threw myself down on my bed in a fit of emo angst and declared that Leonard Cohen was the only person who understand how I felt.  (Full disclosure, that never literally happened… but it could have, because I totally still feel that way sometimes.)

A picture of Leonard Cohen and I hanging out.
A picture of Leonard Cohen and I hanging out.

Here, for your amusement, are a few completely true facts my friend Joe (the only person I know who fully understands the magic, joy, and all around amazeballs that is Cohen) and I came up with this afternoon while discussing how under appreciated Cohen is.

-Mozart, Beethoven, and The Beetles have all cited Leonard Cohen as their biggest influence.

-Abraham Lincoln was once quoted as saying “I hope I can be as cool as Leonard Cohen when I grow up.”  He was 34 at the time of the quote.

-God has a Leonard Cohen playlist on spotify, he was actually listening to it when he created the world… that’s right, Leonard Cohen’s music doesn’t mirror the nature of the world, the nature of the world mirrors Leonard Cohen music.

-Leonard doesn’t write any songs. They have all existed since the beginning of time locked behind an magical electrical field constructed by Nicola Tesla himself who was inspired by the angelic sounds Leonard had not yet made.

-Despite being born in different centuries Leonard Cohen and Nicola Tesla are best friends, they even have matching BFF necklaces, because their combined awesomeness surpasses the normal laws of time and space.

-Leonard Cohen was born because God wanted to put words in the best order possible and needed help.

-Every time a baby is born it’s just because a sperm was so determined to hear the music of Leonard Cohen that it went to all that trouble to make it happen.

-The word “incredible” and every single synonym for it was created in an attempt to find a word that adequately described how great Leonard Cohen is.  Once people realized the word still doesn’t do him justice they start using it for other things instead.

Kristen is my Tequila. And also, the train went over the cliff again.

There is an order to everything in this universe, friendship is no exception.  In every adequately balanced friendship there is one person who is a little bit off their rocker, because that keeps shit interesting, and another person who keeps the chaos under control.  The second person isn’t boring, they just know when to hit the breaks to keep the crazy train from driving off a cliff.

Growing up my bff Tricia was that person.  There is no way I could ever count how many times in our 17 years of living in the same state that we came up with crazy and fantastic adventures, but then when I screamed something like “…and then we’ll all go to Canada!  Get in the car!” or “…and I’ll going to elope with him tonight!” or “…which is when I realized the only reason I can’t fly is because I haven’t been jumping from high enough!” she would counter by telling me that was basically the worst plan in the history of the world, because it always was.  There is a very good chance I would be dead or in prison if it weren’t for that little ball of Mexican sunshine.I always believed her because I understood and respected the nature of our relationship.  Tricia isn’t boring at all, not even a little bit, and we did plenty of insane things that I hope to god my children never do when they’re the age we were… but she possesses an ability to see when the train is heading for the cliff that I just do not and hits the breaks so it doesn’t.

Kristen and I have been friends for more than six years now and we should have known something wasn’t working right the first time we really hung out not at a gym.  We went out to dinner at CPK, the conversation veered in a weird direction, and suddenly,

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And while a “I know when to stop the train” friend would have said something like this,
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she said this instead,
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And from there it was like a ridiculous insanity spiral.
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And when we finally found a tattoo place that was open that late on a random Tuesday night and the man inside told us he’d just started, he was only the apprentice, and he really had no idea what he was doing we said,
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Just kidding!  That’s what a pair of adequately balanced friends would said.  We said this.
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And that is how we got the worst tattoos in the history of the world.And the last six years have been more or less a string or stories exactly like that.  Most not involving tattoos, but an surprising amount have.  If I had a quarter for every time one of us has yelled at our husband “Why do you guys keep leaving us together unsupervised?!?!  You should know better by now!” I would have enough quarters to pay for our next barely thought through piece matching of body art.So this morning Kristen came over to drink a million shots of espresso with me so we could crack out and clean the bajeezus out of our respective homes (here’s a picture of it)

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…and she told me about finding her neighbors pets outside and putting them back in their house for them because the door was unlocked my first thought, and subsequently the first thing to come out of my mouth, was
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to which she responded
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And with that the train was off, speeding perilously toward the cliff with nobody around to stop it.Flash forward 20 minutes and we had 100% convinced each other that OBVIOUSLY her neighbors had been murdered, the fact that their car wasn’t there was OBVIOUSLY an indicator that their murderers had stolen it, and since she’d put their pets back in the house the cat was probably eating their poor dead faces as we spoke.  And because there was nothing more depressing then imagining them rotting away in their poorly lit town home we OBVIOUSLY needed to do something.

The only problem was we both try really hard not to come into contacts with dead bodies unless we absolutely have to, and her husband Frank refused to go into the neighbor’s house and look for their bodies for us.We thought he should do it because he’s a man and there for dead bodies would be less traumatizing for him (Kristen’s reasoning) and because he secretly may not have a soul (my reasoning).  He thought he should not do it because he thought we were being completely ridiculous and nothing was wrong.

So we did what any reasonable, rational people would do.

Kristen called the police.

And while we chatted as she waited for the officer to arrive I suddenly realized, your neighbors are totally not dead.  They probably went to a movie or something and the door didn’t latch completely when they left.  The car is gone because they had to drive in it to get where ever they were going.

So, after promising Kristen I would get her totally crunk if her neighbors actually were dead… because that’s just good friend behavior… I was telling her about my friendship theory about the train and whatnot.

Kristen:  “But we’re not really like that… because we’re different types of crazy.”

Me:  “How so?”

Kristen:  “Idk…. trying to find a reason for you not to friend dump me.”

Me:  “Tequila shots: Should I do them less? Do they often end in embarrassing ways? Do too many of them make me forget how to act like an adult and/or keep all my clothes on? Absolutely. But I’m never going to stop, nobody can make me.  Kristen Fiorucci, you are my tequila shot.”

I <3 Monsoons aka That Time I Realize I’m a Crappy Blogger

You wanna know why I love monsoon season?  This is why.

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Because the sky look like this every night… seriously, every fucking night.  Except it doesn’t look like this, it looks different; every night is a new and different explosion of insane color in the sky that I would just eat with a spoon if I could.  I don’t even know what that means… that’s how awesome these sunsets are, they melt my brain with their beauty until I’m saying things I don’t even make sense.

And that’s just a crappy cell phone picture I took from my car, imagine how great it is real life.

It’s not like that all the time but monsoon season man, monsoon season is the best.  I also love storms which makes it better for it’s own reasons… there’s a huge one going on outside as I type this.

A few nights ago Verona and I went to a pool party and on the way home the sky was upsettingly gorgeous so I asked her if she wanted go on an adventure with me and see if we could get up on a mountain to get a good picture of it and of course she said yes… she’s always up for an adventure, she’s a girl after my own heart.  So we drove around for about 20 minutes as the sunset got more and more gorgeous, trying to drive up one mountain than the next and always being blocked in some way.

V’s screaming “We’re going to catch the suuunnnnsssseeettt!” from the backseat so finally I said fuck it, I was going to try and drive up the steepest, most terrifying road to get to the top of this one place I know about.  It’s probably not all that dangerous, just highly terrifying so I don’t go up there unless I have to.  But I chanced it, I got all the way up there only to find there was some super fancy fundraiser for millionaires in tuxes and whatnot and we couldn’t stop there either.

I was super bummed, we hadn’t been able to stop somewhere and watch the sunset or get a good picture of it (although, for the record, Verona didn’t care even a little bit, she was having a blast) but as I was coming down off the road from hell I saw this.

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It wasn’t in a place where I could stop so I just slowed down, grabbed my camera, and quick shot this out my window.

A good blogger would in some way tie this into a life lesson, about finding beauty when you’re not looking for it… or not having to climb epic mountains to have a wonderful moment… but I’m not a good blogger.  I’m a weirdo from monsoon country who writes moderately inappropriate stories about my kids head injuries, bodily fluids, and affinity for small dead animals.

And since you’re still reading I’m assuming you’re cool with that.

ROAD TRIPPPPPP!!!!

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As my week without kids drew to a close (yes, I promise to catch you up on all the rest of it later) I realized I’d spent almost the entire time working on things and I should probably go on an epic adventure while I still had the chance.  As fate would have it, the magnificent, illustrious, and down right fucking awesome Rachel Ward also had a few days without children… so obviously the only reasonable course of action was a road trip.

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We started by heading up to Sedona… I cannot even tell you how much I love this place.  I’m rarely one to get head over heels over nature, but I can’t get enough of this place.  I think it’s all the bright colors, they make my soul happy.

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Speaking of bright colors making my soul happy, this is my new friend Molly.  She has the coolest hair of anyone I know.

The only thing that makes me happier than making new friends on road trips is making new friends with fabulous hair… or new friends with epic vintage analog camera collections like her husband Miguel.  He and I shot the shit about film love forever and showed each other some of the great pieces we’d collected over the years… I’d only brought four cameras but Miguel’s collection made me drool.

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After a while we headed up north to Flagstaff.

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Flag brought more new friends, this time in the form of an old artist Rachel had met a couple years ago at Burning Man.  We had what was probably on the top three list of best pizza I’ve ever had in my life, then went back to his house to see the crazy skeleton sculptures he’s made and put all over his property and his series of wild cat paintings… I never before imagined there would be a cat painting that I liked but these were insane and awesome.

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As it got closer to sunset we headed west towards Jerome, this funky little ghost town/artist community.  The drive to it through the mountains was gorgeous, we timed it just right.  See that road in the picture below snaking it’s way to the valley?  We got to rock that business with this view for like 30 minutes.

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And the plains in the valley below.

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It didn’t occur to me until way later that I didn’t get any pictures of the city itself on the digital, maybe I’ll show you some once I get film finished and developed.  In the mean time enjoy this polaroid.

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We ended with a late dinner at The Haunted Hamburger, this weird local joint on a hill that may or may not have multiple ghosts but definitely has some of the best fried pickles I’ve ever had in my life.