things to do on a snow day

1. Learn how to french braid from watching video on YouTube.

2. Make pretzels.

3. Think about going out into the freezing rain, think about getting on the stationary bike, think about getting out of pajamas, think about what the weather is like in California.

4. Drink almost entire bottle of Chianti.


anti-bridal quote of the day

I checked out a website my mom passed on called BRIDE TO BRIDE BOUTIQUE. Matthew saw it and said, 'What's that?' and I told him, 'The bride to bride boutique.' He waited a minute and said, 'I don't think of you as a bride. I think of you as a bitch getting married.'

And that made me so happy. That? Is understanding.


status update #485

Sitting in the shadows of the living room listening to Joy Divison Closer on vinyl and drinking a glass of Chianti.

It's good to be home.



Last weekend I went on a roadtrip with Lori, Halle, and Renee.

We drove south from Cincinnati towards the bourbon trail AKA central Kentucky where a bunch of old 18th century Scotch and Irish immigrants settled and started making a new kind of whiskey (bourbon!) out of corn. Our first stop was Woodford Reserve in Versailles, KY.

The whole point was to get out of town. And hang out with girls I haven't seen enough of in, like, years. And learn about bourbon. Which we did, oh yes. Halle was the big nerd of the group, taking notes since she would return to the Berkshires and give bourbon lectures to the employees of the restaurant she manages.

We all geeked out in our own respects, though. Renee clapped during the video on the history of Woodford Reserve, Lori became moderately obsessed with the barrel roll tracks between buildings, and I asked mathematical questions about gauging the proof of the liquor during the distilling process (?). I was also linguistic coach and protector of the Kentucky accent.

On the drive down Halle wondered how to pronounce Versailles. Ver-sigh? Like the French?

"You guys," I said from the backseat, "I'm one hundred percent sure they say Ver-sales." They chuckled and did not believe me.

Later, after we'd been through the Woodford and Maker's Mark distilleries and were headed to Louisville to eat after a quick side trip to the Zappo's outlet, we stopped in a liquor store. Halle wanted a few gifts for homies back in Massachusetts and scanned the bourbon shelf.

"What's this?" she said, pointing to Bulleit Bourbon.

"Oh, that's good stuff," I said in my insider perspective/Kentucky resident tone of voice.

She asked the cashier about it, pronouncing it uncertainly, "Boo-yay...?" all French-like. The cashier and I responded at the same time, "Bullet."

The cashier was also wearing a shirt that read I KNOW JACK SHIT...I MET HIM IN NASHVILLE.

Renee and I decided that a good goal for me would be to have a limestone house one day if only because it'd be funny to be able to say when people annoy me, "I'm sorry, I can't hear you from behind my limestone walls," and then go inside.

I learned to call moonshine "white dog" and learned that it will make me feel crazy if I take a sip before I've really eaten breakfast. Which leads to the next recognition: those charred white oak barrels in which bourbon ages make that pure grain alcohol DELICIOUS. Especially after 6-8 years of soaking in the flavors of caramel and vanilla that our tour guide, Melissa, swears come out of the wood. Melissa, I believe you. Because you rule.

We had an accidentally private tour of Woodford and Melissa, a retired schoolteacher, really took her time with us, letting us creep around slowly, asking lots of questions and taking in the atmosphere. Which made our next tour at Maker's Mark seem abbreviated and sub-par. We toured the Maker's grounds with a lot of other people, some of whom were men cracking jokes about how much they drink. Which, FYI people, is RARELY funny. It's almost certainly tedious. Drinking too much can be fun. Making lots of jokes about it is boring.

The tour was quick and the guide had either drank a gallon of coffee that day or was secretly doing poppers behind the fermentation tanks. Or just has a great prescription to anti-depressants that I need a copy of.

Maker's is a bigger operation than Woodford but still very family. People work there for years on end and everyone on the assembly line seemed cordial. I wondered how, if I worked on the assembly line dipping bottles in red wax and boxing the finished product, I'd deal with a constant stream of visitors coming through taking pictures of me (like I was doing). I decided I'd either get real hatery and eventually fired or I'd go in totally the opposite direction and start wearing push-up bras and tons of mascara and vamping it up for each photo op.

Conclusion: Drink more bourbon but don't make jokes about how drunk I get and return soon to check out the Four Roses distillery.


Waking up in Versailles, KY

I did not technically wake up in this room seeing as it is the Woodford Reserve distillery but considering I didn't FEEL awake until I drank a cup of their bourbon-flavored coffee, it counts.

Chocolate pecan pie in a jar.

No, that does not sound good.

Total savings: $518.05

When I look at this receipt, I see not the money I spent, I see only the money I saved.

$518.05! Are you kidding me? I feel so crafty and pleased with this amount "saved" that it completely negates the fact that I don't need any more boots for approximately six years.

The fact that I would never pay $529 for a pair of boots is a non-issue. So what if I consider buying boots that expensive a criminal act akin to telling the Amazonian Indians that I can drill oil from their rainforest because they only own the SURFACE and somehow forgot to mention that in the treaty we signed.

I recall walking down Wiener Strasse in Berlin with Charlie this time last year. He told me about the haute couture boutique he worked at in Melbourne and the thousands of dollars customers paid for one piece of a designer's clothing.

"What the hell is it spun with?! Gold?" I asked, shocked.

"Genius, darling!" Charlie said. "It's spun with genius."

I don't know if it's genius that I now know that the Zappos outlet is within driving distance from my house but I'm going to gloat every time I wear my bargain hunter handcrafted Italian boots to Steak 'n Shake.


Kentucky postcard challenge #4, 5, and 6

I guess I owe an apology to Kentucky and the US Postal Service.


not from Norway

Has anyone else seen the movie Death Race?

Hahahaha, does it suck. Although is not without redemption in the form of Jason Statham. Both me and someone else around here (my boyfriend) have a crush on Jason Statham.

We recently went to Blockbuster and separated to pluck movies off the new releases shelf. We reconvened ten minutes later and compared our choices.

His: a Ryan Reynolds film called Chaos Theory and two action movies, Death Race and Wanted with Angelina Jolie. Mine: a coming of age story set in Norway.

Oops! I meant to temper my impulses since we agreed we wanted to get out of our heads that night, not further into them. I put my tender coming of age story back on the shelf and purchased Aeon Flux because Charlize Theron is co-crush #2.

And then I couldn't stop saying DICK.

Because oh-my-god-testosterone. The Angelina Jolie action flick was silly, whatever. She pouted and stared and stalked around, cat-like, and implausible things happened. But Death Race? SO amped. SO cocky.

"My dick is so big right now," I said during another scene of prisoners trying to kill each other on the racetrack, "My dick hurts." Matthew looked at me out of the corner of his eye.

"This is so not a Norwegian coming of age story."

(Chaos Theory was good. Really good.)

poppin' a wheelie in a blimp

If one more person asks me if Matthew got down on a knee to propose, I will be forced to make up more ridiculous lies.

You know what would have happened if he'd gotten down on a knee? I would have gotten down on a knee as well to help him look for the contact I'd have assumed he lost. And then if he'd asked me to marry him when we were both down there, I would have tackled him just to be funny.

You know how a lot of people have fixed ideas on how things should be? Not me. There are rituals that I respect, rituals that I cannot think of right now but am positive exist. And I've spent far more time in my life wondering IF and WHY I'd get engaged rather than dithering over the details of what that would look like.

Here's how it went for us. We met and then I left town. We wrote and I came back. We decided we were bf/gf and then I left town again. We talked every day and he visited me on the road and again I returned. We both had a feeling all along that we were going to stay together so one day he grabbed my shoulders when we were standing outside and said something like, 'Look! Will you just marry me?!' and I was like 'Yeah, I will.'

We met a custom jewelry designer, Keith Farley, and I told him that I don't like engagement rings and I don't like diamonds. I said I wanted an industrial-looking asymmetrical piece of metal. I wanted the ring to be more interesting than pretty, chunky not dainty. A week after Keith finished the ring, Matthew took me to dinner and put it on my finger. We whispered to each other, smiled, and kept eating.

And then I slooowly began telling people. Why slowly? Because I'm uncomfortable with attention and I'm allergic to high-pitched squeals. But I'm learning to deal. And I'm not saying that people shouldn't be excited, I'm just saying don't be surprised if I flinch.

But this question of the KNEE. Are you all just fucking with me? Do people really do that? If they do, I'm sure that's very nice for them. Matthew, however, had the good sense to understand that I would have made a mess of that plan. The other night Sara asked me if he got down on a knee. No, I said, but he did perform a gymnastics routine involving several back handsprings and an aerial.

Later, I got an image of a blimp.

'What if you took me up in a blimp to propose,' I offered to Matthew, 'And then popped a wheelie for emphasis.'

He pointed out that you cannot pop a wheelie in a blimp because there are no WHEELS.

'Well what's it called when stunt pilots flip the plane around?' I asked.

He told me, 'Barrel roll.'

'What if you took me up in a blimp and did a barrel roll?'

We laid in the dark imagining how much that wouldn't work and then I thought of another, 'What if you took me to a Shell station and bought a scratch off and made me scratch it off and inside it said Jessica will you marry me?'

'That's very trashy,' he said.

I told him, 'That's what I'm going for.'


Angel in dreadlocks

I'm at a coffeehouse and a guy at another table just turned to me and said, "Do you ever feel so good that you feel like you're floating?"

If someone else asked me that question, like, anyone from the house party/rave I was at last night, I might make fun of them because you kmow how easily that question could be fueled by ecstasy, weed, and PBR. I mean, I'm actually pretty pleased that in this new year, I've already been to a makeshift club in a house where people hung handmade signs that said BEER 4 SALE IN THE KITCHEN and then sold us cups of PBR from a keg AND apologized for the high price (two for $5.00) but that doesn't mean I don't want to crack jokes about it. Neither were they embarrassed by the sign taped to the wall over their head: KEGSTANDS $1.00. God bless their hearts.

I also feel okay about the fact that after Matthew finished his DJ set on the "second stage" AKA the fifth floor living room, I searched for a bathroom and only found one lacking toilet paper so I wiped myself with a sponge from under the sink WHICH I THEN THREW AWAY. I'm sorry, I was desperate. And this is what went through my head after I was asked if I ever feel so good that I'm floating.

I answered evasively, mainly because I don't usually spill my beans to strangers but also because I was stuck on the verb floating. You gotta feel really good to float. Even when I have much to be thankful for and much to look forward to, do I float?

Then he says that he is feeling float-worthy good and wanted to share with someone he doesn't know to remind himself and a stranger that even though life is busy and distracting and difficult, we can change anything and be anything if we are focused and positive.

I say, "That's wonderful," and I mean it.

A few minutes later he asks if he can share one more thing and I say okay and he SINGS ME A SONG in pidgin English and his language from Nigeria. And I didn't even feel silly. I may have blushed a little but mainly just smiled and said, "Thank you. I appreciate that."

He went back to his table and turned around one more time to tell me that some people think it's weird to share with strangers and tell him he shouldn't do that. "No,' I say. "You should do that."