Why I Should Probably Avoid Having Sugar Before Bedtime

Last night, I was so exhausted that I was asleep by 11:30.

Spoiler alert – not tonight!

I had McAlister’s for dinner tonight, which is always tasty.  I decided to have a sweet tea with my meal.  There are three things you must know about this sweet tea:

1. They are quite delicious
2. One serving is enough to satiate a horse
3. My endocrinologist is not supposed to know that I am drinking said tea since I am not  supposed to be having sugar anymore since apparently I’m very slowly on my way to diabetes, YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Before leaving, I decided to take a refill because clearly I enjoy LIVING ON THE EDGE.  This was a mistake since heaven knows how much sugar is in one serving, let alone TWO.  And it’s two am and I’m wide awake.  I’ve had quite a productive evening:

1.  Catch up on the factcheck.org summary and analysis of the debate
2.  Read an analysis of Romney’s and Obama’s proposed tax plans
3.  Not understand a word of them
4.  Work on a new cross-stitch project
5.  Work on actual work, i.e. stuff I do for a living


I do realize that participation in above activities on a Saturday night is more reminiscent of a woman three decades older than myself, but I don’t care.  My loved ones openly embrace my nerdiness and lameness . My dad already made fun of me today for wanting to watch the Jon Stewart/Bill O’Reilly debate for fun (but it WILL be fun!)

I should probably go to bed, right?




(now you realize there’s a reason why my friends have given me the nickname of “Lame Jenny”)


Files of a Clumsy Child – Kicking a Hole in the Wall (While Pretending to be a Figure Skater)

Do you know when I started liking figure skating?  During the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan scandal, of course.  Didn’t everyone? I was nine-years-old and highly intrigued by all the gossip.  My mother and I discussed it a great deal, and I would even do an imitation of Nancy Kerrigan screaming, “WHYY?” after getting hit in the knee with a iron club (I was a terrible, terrible, terrible child).

Intrigued by the gossip, Mom and I started watching the 1994 Winter Olympics, and were hooked.  My father and brother would groan whenever my mother and I would find a skating competition and sit in front of the television for several hours watching it.  I loved the costumes, the music, the grace with which the skaters moved.  (As you can tell from this blog, grace is a quality that I sorely lack.)

My obsession probably peaked during the 1998 Winter Olympics.  It was such a showdown – Tara Lipinski versus Michelle Kwan!  I was fascinated by the jumps – triple axels, triple loops.  While watching the Olympics, I saw one of the contestants prep for her jumps off-ice and watched her execute a perfect loop without her skates on.

“That looks easy!” My thirteen-year-old self did not have any concept of the immense training these athletes had to undergo since they could basically walk to pull off a maneuver like that.  Since it looked so simple, I was determined to learn.  I decided that I could practice my jumps myself.  After school, I would go into the backyard, run around backwards, and try to perfect my jumps.

God, this is so embarrassing.

I became obsessed with practicing my jumps, especially since my concept of self-awareness was still developing and I had no idea how stupid I must have looked.  I practiced my jumps everywhere – outside, in my room, in the hallway (when no one was around).  One night, I decided to try a jump.  I paused, pulled my leg behind me as I had seen the skaters do on television, and jumped.


“Jennifer Nicole, what the hell was that?” my dad called from the kitchen.  Note that this house was very small, so there was no hiding the noise I had made.  “Uhhhh,” I stalled, and looked down.  To my horror, there was now a hole where my heel had punched the wall.

There was no escape now.

My dad walked into the hall, bent down, looked at the hole, and then looked at me incredulously.  “How did that happen?” he asked.

Okay, so about me – I was the perennial good girl. I never lied, especially to my father.  And now I was very nervous.  I couldn’t come up with a plausible story to fool my father.  So I told the truth.

“I was pretending to be a figure skater and was jumping around.”

He looked at me and then started laughing.

My misadventure spread through the household very quickly, which was unfortunate, since it gave my then nine-year-old brother perfect ammunition to make fun of me.

The hole remained in our house for the remaining eight years we lived in it.  Eventually, the teasing about my being a figure-skater wannabe stopped, and everyone else seemed to have forgotten about it.  But not me – until we moved, that hole was an embarrassing reminder about my brief foray into the world of fake figure-skating.

Oral Torture, Part 2

About a year ago, I wrote a blog post called “Oral Torture,” which described the difficulties of making my retainer fit after a long period of not wearing them at night.

As a brief aside – that blog post somehow ended up being one of the most popular blogs I’ve done, and for all the wrong reasons.  The word “oral” is in the title, for one.  I also facetiously refer to a picture of my fourteen-year-old Ugly Betty picture as “sexy.”  You would not believe how many variations of “oral,” “sexy,” and “fourteen-year-old” I have seen  popping up the searches leading to my blog.


A year later, I still find myself struggling with retainer fit, but I believe it’s all for a Good Cause (copyright).   There are times I neglect my retainers because – let’s face it – they’re the least sexiest thing ever.  Seriously, the only person who would get turned on by someone wearing a retainer would be either an orthodontist or someone with a fetish for metal.

I can only imagine how many gross searches I am going to get for "metal fetish." Might as well get more visitors to the blog. KATY PERRY BOOBS BOOBS BOOBS

So when I do decide to wear my retainers, my brain is all, “Really? We’re trying this again?”

And even though I’ve been wearing these damn things on and off for nearly half of my goddamn life, my unconscious self is still all, “WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?” and there are mornings where I wake up and find my retainer like, on my window sill, because apparently it still interprets it as a dangerous foreign object.

So Lame Jenny story time here – I don’t know if you all have gathered from my blog at all, but I tend to be an anxious person.  Like, for real.  I don’t talk about it too much and usually can manage it with exercise and sleep (it’s 12:30 right now, so I’m not getting a lot of sleep tonight YAY!!!).  But yes.  I can spout off statistics about flying (which is one of my biggest fears) and mortality rates (heart failure kills 1 in 5!) because I have sadly put time and effort into researching these macabre subjects (I’m not even going to go into the times I used to research airplane accident reports WHAT DID I JUST SAY THAT). When I make blog posts like, “Oh caffeine hates me,” what I mean is, “Caffeine turns my mind into a Michael Bay disaster movie and my heart rate increases to like 320 beats per minute and one day we are ALL GOING TO DIE!” Obviously, I avoid it as much as possible.

The reason why I mention my penchant for worrying is I feel like my rejection of my retainer is linked to an irrational fear that I will choke on it at night. Stop laughing and bear with me for a moment. So at some point years ago – maybe late high school, early college – I found myself in the hazy dream limbo where you’re still half asleep but conscious enough to realize what you are thinking.  And what I was thinking at that moment was, “I need to swallow my retainer.”

I am totally not kidding about this.  My brain really was like, “TIME TO SWALLOW THE RETAINER! THIS IS OBVIOUSLY A GOOD IDEA!”

It only happened once, but the idea that somehow, my scumbag brain was hijacking my dream-drunken self to swallow my retainer freaked me the fuck out and years later, a small part of me remains suspicious of my brain.  I know what you’re trying to do, BRAIN.  I AM ON TO YOU.

So on mornings I find my retainers on the windowsill, I understand.  I am only trying to protect myself from myself, overbite be damned.

Y’all, if I die from choking on my retainers in the middle of the night, it will be the most IRONIC DEATH EVER.

I kind of don’t want to wear my retainers tonight.

Files of a Clumsy Child – The Dangers of Stuffed Animal Tags

Today I took a First Aid course at work. I always enjoy them because learning about different lifesaving techniques is fun, even though I certainly hope I never have to use them.  It’s an opportunity to be silly with coworkers as you mime lying motionless on the ground as they assess why you aren’t “breathing” (though I failed at that completely, as I was laughing too hard).  The lame acting on the videos is always a treat too.

As I’m sure you have gathered by now, I’m a fairly clumsy person, so taking a first aid course is beneficial just so I know what to do in the very likely event that I injure myself.  For instance, as I was watching the lesson about burns, I remarked, “That guy is dumb” because the actor was juggling two cups of coffee in one hand when they spilled and burned him. This is coming from the same person who, just several months before, burned herself because she grabbed a hot pan that she had just taken out the oven moments before.

Watching the various first aid emergencies depicted in the video reminded me of the fun I put my parents through as a clumsy child.  I have an entire list of them in my misadventures tab, with the promise that I eventually will blog an entry for each one. You know what? It’s time to start.

I’ll start with…the time I was trying to lose my index finger from lack of blood supply.

I distinctly remember that it was nighttime and that my mother was pregnant, so this had to have been 1987. I was three-years-old and playing in my room with my stuffed animals.  My dad was watching TV downstairs, and my mother was relaxing in their bedroom, about ready to go to sleep.

For some reason, I decided that twisting the tag on my stuffed teddy bear around my finger would be a great idea.  So I ran around my room, twisting the tag around my index finger.

I then noticed that the tag was wrapped around my finger pretty tightly.  I tried removing it but had no luck.  Since I was three and thus stupid, I had no idea that this was a bad thing.

At some point, my dad must have noticed that I was quiet, because he came by my room.  “What are you doing, Jennifer?” he said.  “Look Daddy!” I said and thrust my index finger in front of me with the teddy bear attached to it.

My dad took a look at my finger.  I can only imagine what must have been running through his mind – Are all toddlers this stupid?  Maybe the second one will be smarter.  Maybe she’ll grow up to be pretty, at least.

“Come here,” he said, and I followed him to his bedroom.  My mom was reading a book, her pregnant tummy making a round shape in the covers.  “What’s going on?” she asked.  My dad showed my mom my finger.  I don’t remember her reaction, but my dad must have calmed her down, because I don’t remember her participating in any first aid.

Luckily for me, my dad was either training for first aid at that time or was about to train to be an EMT.  Either way, I was in good hands and he knew what to do.  He took a small pair of scissors and gingerly cut the tag off my finger.  It was starting to turn a different color.  Maybe blue? My memory is only so good…I want to say it turned blue, but then I think my dad would have been more freaked out about it if it had.

My dad applied first aid and then had me stay up with him so he could monitor my finger.  I remember snuggling up next to him, watching TV and feeling special because I was allowed to stay up so late.  My finger was fine.  Crisis averted.

The next day, my mother went in my room and cut off the tags on every single one of my stuffed animals.

Next time, I’ll share how I tried to kill myself at age two by sticking a key into an electrical outlet.


Clean-Up on Aisle 2…

Last week, I went grocery shopping with my mother.  I like shopping with my mom, but not necessarily grocery shopping.  This is after years of hearing my mother say things like, “This will be just a small trip,” and then see her pull a list two miles long from her purse.

When I do go grocery shopping with Mom while on my breaks at home, I like to do as much as I can to expedite the process.  Usually, we’ll split the list, and I’ll go speeding through the aisles and cramming my arms with as many groceries as I can.

On this trip, Mom gave me the toiletry items.  After briefly studying my scrap of a list, I dashed to the toiletry aisle, shoving as many groceries into my arms as possible.  At one point, a skeptical bystander asked, “…do you need any help?” I don’t like accepting help unless I really need it, so I politely thanked him and hurried away, even though toiletries were threatening to fall out of my arms.

I was halfway to my mother’s grocery basket when I realized that I’d have to stop; I was on the verge of dropping the toilet paper and paper towels.  Finding a spot, I tried to set some items down in hopes of rearranging items in my arms.

It was at this point that Windex fell from my arms and crashed with elegance to the floor.  Fluid. Went. Everywhere.

Like someone in shock, I could only stare at the fluid cascading around the floor.  I stared at my mess for about ten seconds when I thought, Oh God, people are gonna fall and I’m going to get sued.

I placed my groceries down and hurried away to find a store employee.  I’m usually all for the idea of cleaning my messes myself, but there was just too much fluid; I figured it’d be better to have someone mop it up before someone got hurt.  Sure enough, as I was flagging down an employee, I nearly slipped from the Windex that I had stepped in.

I was very apologetic, and he luckily was very kind, rebuffing my offers for help and saying he had it taken care of.  Someone walked by the mess, and I said urgently, “Wet floor! Don’t fall!” The shopper looked at me quizzically, and said, “Thank you.”

I was just about back to my mother’s basket, red-faced, when I heard the employee say over the intercom, “We’re going to need a clean-up on Aisle 2.”

“You hear that?” I said to my mother as I approached.  “Oh, yeah. That was me.”

She laughed and said,  “You know, you were the first person I thought of when I heard that. I thought to myself, ‘Nooooo, it can’t be Jenny.'”

Oh, but it was.

Lame Jenny Meme Part 2

My friend Tap called me yesterday.  “I’m just letting you know in advance,” he said, “that I made another update to the Lame Jenny meme.  I’m kind of asking for your permission to make fun of you, even though I’m posting it anyway.”

He posted the picture on my Facebook wall this morning, and it made me laugh out loud:











The Lame Jenny Files: The Spring Freak-Out Edition

Yesterday I was walking outside after a short run.  The weather was sunny and beautiful, and I found myself thinking how much I love this time of year.  I started reminiscing how much I used to love Spring Break when I was in high school, but how I would usually spend my vacation time worried about my performance on tests.

When I was in high school, we had dreaded exams called “Performance Standards.”  These tests counted for up to 50% to 75% of your course grade, which I guess was preparing us for college. But back then, I thought this was bullshit because I wanted everything to be easy.  I spent much of my high school career worrying about making a C. I suppose you can guess what a great and sheltered childhood I had if the worst thing that could happen to me was making a C, but there you go. I didn’t make my first C until college, so there was a lot of angst and worry over nothing. Unfortunately these are traits I did not lose as an adult.

Thinking of my high school days yesterday made me smile, so I’ve decided to wade back into the Lame Jenny files to see what life was like for Lame Jenny as a teenager in the spring 2000.

While flipping through my journal, I found an entry dated Monday, April 20, 2001 that is too stupid not to share.  I was sixteen and a junior. I won’t type the entire entry, but I’ll write just enough to give you a gist of what it talks about:


After that hormonal freakout, we now return to our regularly scheduled programming. Here are some entries from a week in 2000 that sum up my high school years pretty well.  I was fifteen, a high-school sophomore, and like many teenagers, I thought very highly of myself and my supposed abilities.  And like many teenage girls, I over-dramatized any situation remotely resembling a disagreement.

This first entry is dated Wednesday, March 1, 2000.  This entry mainly rants about my English teacher. I thought I was too good for that class.  All we ever did was work on sentence corrections, and I found that very boring because I was good at grammar (don’t judge me by anything I write in here. IT’S NOT BEING GRADED, OKAY?) While she lectured, I penned horrible fiction – poetry, plays, and my first “novel,” which was so god-awful.  But don’t tell that to 15-year-old Jenny, because she thought she was the shit.

My present-day comments are underlined.

Hi! I’m so sorry I never finished my letter yesterday!  This week has been really busy.  Every morning I’ve been going in to work on my power point presentation. (Back then, we were learning power point for our Chemistry class presentation.  It was a very involved task back then that took me days. Now I can put the same presentation together in less thirty minutes.)

Mrs. H is such a WITCH!  With a CAPITAL W and B! (Wow, so edgy of me).  I told the stupid blank (yes, I actually wrote “blank,” OH GOD) that I turned in my folder in after my retest.  She said it wasn’t smart.  EXCUSE me!  No one’s going to insult Jennifer that way! (I wrote out my whole name in the entry, but figure for the sake of privacy/anonymity/ embarrassment, I’ll keep it to myself.)  Then she said, a sub was there, and I said, “No, you were here.”  Then she got all pissed off and finally I said, “It was the retest.”  Duh!  She said she’s holding me responsible if she can’t find it.  To hell she will. I am not going to pay for it.  What a worthless bitch.  (I’m having a hard time following what the issue is besides a lost folder of assignments.  I was not the best storyteller).

I’m sorry. I know I’m not supposed to lose my temper like this, and be so disrespectful to adults.  But when your damn English teacher is an IDIOT you’ll catch my drift.  Just to let you know I do not cuss in real life. (HAH! My language has sure devolved since then). I only write them when I’m really, really angry, and that’s different.

Skipping over two pages where I talk about boys

This entry is dated March 3, 2000.

I feel so severely depressed right now.  I feel so terrible like I’ll never be happy again.  You’re going to laugh your head off when you hear the reason.  I think I failed an Algebra Performance Standard.  I really think I did.  I think I failed miserably. (Oh my God, please shut up).  This was the one I was supposed to do well on, too. I made a 75 on the other one.  I’m just sucking right now in math.  Pat failed one, too. He made a 68 on his math P.S. (I don’t see how any of this is relevant, like my brother’s failure was supposed to make me feel better. Classic sibling schadenfreude.)

Skipping over more whining about my test and talk about boys

M. is being stupid so I’m mad at her.  Probably permanently.  She told me that she could give me a makeover.  Me. (I resembled Ugly Betty in high school, so looking back, I don’t understand why I was so self-righteous about this). ME.  “Well, your shoes,” she said.  Mama bought me those shoes.  Then she had the nerve to tell D. WHY I was mad at her!  I can’t afford to stay friends with someone that catty, stupid, idiotic, etc.

Skipping over more talk about boys. Also, I passed that performance standard, so Lame Jenny lived to see another day.

Stay tuned for the next edition of the Jenny Files, in which I make your adolescent existence seem meaningful compared to mine.