Saturday, October 30, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010!

Well, I've put off this post until it was somewhat relative, but now NaNoWriMo is less than 2 days away, so here it is.  I'm a:

Those of you who write may have heard of it.  Those of you who listen to me babble may have heard of it (unless you've tuned me out).  And those you who follow me on Twitter may have seen me tweeting up a storm about it.

So what the hell is NaNoWriMo?

It's National Novel Writing Month.  Participants, from November 1st to November 30th, endeavor to write a novel that's at least 50,000 words long.  The idea is to turn off your inner editor and focus on quantity rather than quality.  Quality can be fixed later, but quantity has to get out there.  You can outline your brains out, but no actual writing until November 1st.

So, hopefully by the end of the month I'll have my crappy novel completed.  Winners (as in anyone who signs up and reaches the 50,000 word mark) get a free proof copy in book form, courtesy of Createspace, one of the sponsors of NaNoWriMo.

I'm prepared.  I've read the creator's guide to NaNo: "No Plot, No Problem," I've outlined way more that I ever have, read everything about the contest that I can, enlisted a NaNo mentor, have someone designing my cover, I'm downloading either Scrivener or Storyist as soon as the clock strikes November 1st, and have decided that my survival kit will largely consist of ZipFizz, hummus, Veggie sticks, and a pen and notebook.  Oh and my computer and internet.  Duh.

Wish me luck!  And if you're participating, add me as a writing buddy:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

You Are What You Read

So, Scholastic launched a social networking site today called "You Are What You Read" as part of their "Read Every Day, Lead a Better Life" campaign.  The idea behind the site is that users will connect based upon the five books that shaped their lives the most.

The little nerd in me that used to stay up past my bedtime to read under the covers with a flashlight is squealing with delight at the idea.  Especially after seeing that Taylor Swift and (eek!) Daniel Radcliffe (who, yes, lists "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" among the most influential books in his life, thankyouverymuch) have created profiles.

Then I remembered that most of my friends don't like to read for fun and that the books that I'll probably wind up picking are hardly going to make me look like the English major I was.

But of course I'll be creating a profile anyway.

Was there any doubt?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Garage Sale Finds

There are very few occasions that I will drag my lazy butt out of bed and out of the house in the wee hours of the morning.  I imagine that will change someday when I finally find a job and am paid to drag my butt somewhere that early.

But, for now, among these few occasions that I rouse myself from slumber that early, a few are garage sales.

I was dragged to garage sales every Saturday morning, without fail, as a child.  Mom would wake me and my brother up and among a great deal of grumbling and whining about wanting to stay in bed and not wanting to go, we'd be piled in the car, where we'd very likely sit and wait petulantly as she browsed the selections of various yards and garages.

I was too young to appreciate the thrill of the bargain hunt.

Now, however, things have changed.  Oh, I'm not saying I can always talk myself into getting out of bed for the sales, but I can appreciate them every now and then.  When I'm walking away with new books and an assortment of other things for under $10, it's hard not to.

But more importantly, I've learned to appreciate some of the crazy things that people try to sell or give away.

In the market for a pet?  I'm sure the people of this fine, reputable home of the spray-paint and plywood flier can assist you, gratis.

Everything BUT the kitchen sink?  Pah.  Amateurs.  Now, THESE folks  know how to turn a profit!

Give Bambi's Dad a home for only $20!  Come on, how can you resist those big, brown eyes?

Monday, October 18, 2010


Hey followers,

Posts'll probably MIA this week.  My grandfather passed away this morning, so the fam's got some difficulties going on and I probably won't have the emotional capacity for bloggy-blog time.

I'll be back soon.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'll make the joke just once: "RUUUUN, Jen-nay, Ruuuuun!"

I am not a runner.

I don't mind exercising, but I'll probably never like it.  I generally stick to riding my biking, riding a stationary bike, playing on the swings, or doing the elliptical for a while.  Maybe toss some crunches and lunges in there for good measure.

But I.  Do not.  Run.

So why have I been doing it every day?

Because somehow a good friend of mine (who used to profess that she "didn't believe in running") has convinced me to attempt to run in not one, but two different races.

These runs could not be more different.

The first one takes place on January 29, 2011.  It is called the Warrior Dash.  The course is 3.02 miles long, but this is no mere run.

There are 12 different obstacles.  You are expected to sludge through Alligator Alley, crawl under barbed wire, tire hop, and more.  There is one water station half-way through.  If, at the end, you have survived, you are gifted with a free beer, a fuzzy warrior helmet, a T-shirt, a medal, a race bib, water, bananas, and granola.

And then you get to participate in drinking, feasting, and revelry.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon on February 27, 2011.

This course is 13.1 miles (GAH) and is all about celebrating your inner princess.  Y'know... while you sweat like a pig.  Oh.  Excuse me.  Princesses glisten.  While you glisten like a pig.

The big draw of this one?  It's Disney.  You start and finish the half-marathon at Epcot, you run through Cinderella's Castle, and you keep a 16-minute mile pace while either running or walking.

You get a medal at the end, and (in my opinion), major bragging rights.

So, will I make it to the end of either of these races?  I guess only time will tell!  If anyone has any training advice, by the way, it's more than welcome.

Check them both out for yourself:  Warrior Dash 2011 and Disney's Princess 1/2 Marathon Weekend 2011

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Laws of the Lane

Has this ever happened to you?

You run into Wal-mart for something small.  Something minor.  Like... oh, I don't know, let's say bread.  You didn't use yours to make a grilled cheese sandwich like you meant to and now that you're finally ready for one, you don't have any bread that's not expired.


BUT once in Wal-mart, you locate your loaf of bread.  You stride to the check-out area, but for some reason the entire world has decided to fully restock their pantries, refrigerator and freezer.  Have you ever seen carts quite this full?  As they unload it onto the register's conveyor belt, organizing it (frozen foods, cans, cold stuff, boxes) as they go, you're not too sure.

But wait! There. 3 registers away, there is a self check-out. There's only one other person there compared to the 5 or 6 people in other lanes.

You join that line feeling triumphant. You'll be out of here wayyyyy sooner than everyone else in these lines.

Or so you thought. Because the person in front of you is violating every single unspoken self check-out rule that has ever been.

1) You watch, aghast, as they first violate the cardinal rule of the self check-out: treat it as an express lane. They scan item after item with sloth-like speed. How many things do they have in their cart?  Sweet Jesus.  One, two, ten... THIRTY! There are thirty things in that cart.  In the self check-out line. Sacrilege.

2) Oh, but it doesn't stop there. They've toted their produce along for the ride.  Do not bring produce to the self check-out.  I guarantee you that if you have to look up a "popular item" that you have to weigh, another customer is standing behind you wanting to... well, cut you.  And if you're buying more than one? May God have mercy on your soul.

3) You watch, trying to appear nonchalant despite mounting frustration, as they frown at the screen and flag the woman who monitors the self check-outs down. They did not just ask for a price check in the self check-out.  This isn't a speed bump in the process, it's a freaking roadblock requiring a detour.

4) OH MY GOD, ARE THEY ACTUALLY WHIPPING OUT COUPONS?! YOU NEVER BRING COUPONS TO A SELF CHECK-OUT! There are some things that are just plain inconsiderate.

5) The saga is ending.  They hit the button to get to the payment stage.  You cheer internally.  Okay.  Stay cool.  All that's left is for them to swipe their credit-- why are they counting out dollar bills? The self check-out lane should be for electronic purchases only.  Because we all know what's coming next.  That cash isn't going to be acceptably crisp.  Aaaaand yep.  There they go.  The machine denies the bills, they painstakingingly rub them on the counter's edge, and they add around 5 or 10 minutes to this already excruciatingly long process.
    Unfortunately, it's happened to all of us.  But hopefully you'll make the effort not to violate the laws of the lane again.

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Need a laugh?

    My friends and I killed a good half-hour watching this kid lip-sync to different songs. This one was my favorite. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did... a lot of laughter ensued.

    Here a link to the whole channel: Countless videos of this kid lip-syncing to your favorite songs (I also particularly enjoyed "Telephone" and "Teenage Dream") and singing some.  I don't recommend the singing ones.  They're not really funny... just sad.

    Win or lose... we still-- well, you know.

    As a student at UCF, I attended my fair share of college football games.

    I'm not sure if you're familiar with our fine football program.

    But if you're not... well, half the time, we're rather abysmal.  I'm talking blow-out games, embarrassing season records, and fans so angry that they threw turkey legs onto the field.  This is after the golden days of Kevin Smith, of course.

    In a Sports Illustrated survey, we were named the rudest fans in Conference USA.  It's pretty easy to believe, and it's gotten worse since the days when I was a freshman and we didn't even have an on-campus stadium.  During tailgates, it's routine for fans to get so drunk that they can't make it to the game, spill drinks, and lose property.  I typically remain sober during these tailgates and serve as a sober driver, therapist, argument mediator, baby-sitter, and photographer, very often wrapped all into one.  Drinks are stolen, people pass out in the grass, and fans of our opposing school are harassed.

    This is not to say that we don't have the fans that actually enjoy the game itself, despite our "teetering fan base."  In fact, one game, a friend (you know who you are) was taken to my car by the paramedics because she could not walk on her own.  I took her to get some food (and water) in her, then took her home, where I thought she'd sleep it off for the rest of the day.

    She hassled me mercilessly.  She "just loves football.  Football is [her] passion.  It's all [she] look[s] forward to all year, is football.  Please, please, please, please..."

    She made it to the game.

    This is not me.  I would never care that much.  As an alumni, I am tired of pretending.  So, hear it is:

    I don't give a rat's ass about football.

    I know that once in the stadium, the excitement can be contagious, but more often than not I'm bored to tears, watching our team lose again (yes, yes, I know we won yesterday. Whoop-dee-do).  And I don't care whose fault it is, I'm not going to start chanting "Fire O'Leary" in the stands, much less make shirts with the message.  I have tailgated at all three home games this year (soberly, so, it might not count to some people), but I haven't made it to a single game.

    Because the thing is... football's not what I'm there for.  I'm there to see my friends.  Sometimes, rarely, I'm there for a drink. I'm there to wear black and gold attire, enjoy the varying types of weather, and pose for pictures.

    And that's ok with me.  Because we may not win 'em all... but we've never lost a tailgate.

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    And the hits just keep on coming

    And now I have literally just received an e-mail addressed "Dear (Applicant's name here)" from Eagle Eye Advertising (also listed on

    Seriously, what is wrong with these people?

    Rip-off Report!

    I was supposed to have an interview today.

    I had even allowed myself to become cautiously optimistic yesterday when scheduling it.  After receiving an e-mail from a man named Barry, I received a phone call from a woman named Carol. She seemed nice and answered all of my questions. When I told her, quite politely, that I've run into a few businesses that advertise their positions as marketing ones, only to have you go door-to-door in an attempt to sell their product, and quite frankly that's just not something I'm interested in.

    She assured me that that was not the case with their company, so I hesitantly agreed to schedule an interview after getting a website address and physical address.

    I would have gone to the interview.  I couldn't find a whiff of wrongdoing or scamminess about the company (called A. Events) online. Sure, the website for a glass company didn't seem to match the claim of being a marketing company, but I was going to give them benefit of the doubt and show up.  Perhaps A Events was just what Pinkerton Glass has dubbed their Marketing Department.

    But then, while at the gym, I got an e-mail from a woman named Alexandra, for a different company, with the exact same address, right down to the number.  I barely had time to furrow my brow in confusion at my phone, when it was ringing.  Huh.  Same number as "Carol." I let it go to voicemail, and then listened to the message.

    "Hi Jennifer, this is Lynn with Prospect Advertising.  Blah, blah blah,  looked at your resume.  Blah blah blah, would like to schedule interview."

    A millisecond later, I receive another e-mail, and it is at this point that I actually notice that all of the addresses are only Gmail accounts (which... y'know, could be legit, but now is just another point to add to the list).  This e-mail is from "Megan," saying that she tried to reach me by phone.

    Well, now I Google "Prospect Advertising" and check them out on  Oh.  There they are! And, in fact, they are a door-to-door company.  Apparently they have you walk around neighborhoods and check for chips in car windshields, and then you proceed. I guess "A. Events" is their new cover name to escape the stigma of Prospect Advertising-- located, by the way at 400 E. Semoran Blvd, Suite 202, in Casselberry.

    So now I'm annoyed that they almost managed to waste a portion of my time.  But I've got a limited mount of power... so I'm blogging about them. And filing my own Rip-off Report.

    Oh, and I gathered all of the e-mail addresses I had for them and addressed an e-mail thusly:

    Subj: A Events and Prospect Advertising

    Dear Barry, Carol, Alexandra, Lynn, and Megan,

    Thank you for your interest in me and my resume, however upon further research and reflection, I do not believe that I am a good fit for your company, companies, or whatever the case may be located at 400 E. Semoran Blvd, Suite 202, Casselberry, Florida.  I will not be attending the previously arranged interview tomorrow at 1:30 PM and have no further interest.

    Jennifer Baggiero

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    Heyyy, where da party at?

    Remember the days of attending a child's birthday party or similar function?  You'd search for balloons attached to a mailbox, as good as a herald, crying out "Here.  HERE!  THE PARTY IS HEEEEEEERE!"

    Such subtlety is so 90s.

    No.  If you want to tell everyone where your event is, say it loud and say it proud. offers an invaluable service wherein, somewhere between the hours of midnight and six o'clock A.M., they will flock (pardon the pun) to your yard and festoon it with signs ranging from flamingos, to race cars, to scales of justice.

    Surprise your friends! Make your party awesome! Get revenge on your shitty neighbors!

    ...But only if you live in the Chicago area.

    There goes that last idea.

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    Job-hunting sucks

    So this little in-between phase I've found myself in?

    Well, it royally sucks.

    I like hostessing, to my surprise.  The people I work with are friendly and sometimes I even have fun while at work.  But it's not a career. And I work part-time, so it's barely enough to cover my utility bills.

    After my freak-out the other day, I edited my resume. It's still not exciting, but I've been sending it out because it's what I've got.  I'm all up in Career Builder, Monster, and ummm... Craigslist.

    Browsing the listings for entry level jobs that I may or may not be qualified for is... well, it's slim-pickings, but I need a big girl job. I love my Mom and Dad and I'm grateful that they're helping me out still, but I'm tired of relying on them. I feel faintly pathetic for not supporting myself yet.  Unfortunately, I'm 99% sure that these entry-level "Marketing" jobs that I'm sending in a resume for are those glorified scams involving "promote these nightclubs and if enough people come out, maybe we'll pay you some commission."

    Here's hoping I can find the needle in the haystack.  The diamond in the rough.

    Hell, the legitimate full-time job in a sea of crappy part time ones.

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    I'm a .net!

    So I finally manned (womanned?) up and bought a domain name for my lovely little corner of the web here.  Welcome to!

    I'm pretty excited about it, even though it's a small step.

    Baby steps lead to grown-up steps, right?

    I wish I liked...

    There are a lot of things that I really, really want to like.

    Unfortunately, I am a finicky eater and drinker, and thus do not like a great deal of things.   But topping my list of things I want to like are:

    1) Wine.  It's that whole classy, cultured atmosphere, y'know?  There's something that makes me feel so grown-up when I have a wineglass held in one sophisticated hand.  Unfortunately I've taken to filling it with Diet Pepsi.

    2.  Coffee.  I cannot abide the strong flavor of it, but want the caffeine fix it offers so badly.  I settle for a Diet Sunkist or some other soda option most mornings in order to get going.  But, I'm 99% sure that Coffee is the grown-ups drink of choice

    Meet Larry the Lettuceman.
    Actual photo.
    Yes. His clothes are ALSO
    stuffed with lettuce.
    3. Vegetables.  Aren't adults supposed to like these things?  I'm supposed to be over recoiling in fear from a bouquet of broccoli or a head of lettuce... or the lettuce man my friends hid in my bathroom on my 21st birthday to terrorize me.  (True story. Maybe I'll tell you sometime.)

    4.  Finally, I wish I liked beer.  It kind of goes the opposite way of the other things on my list.  It's not particularly adult, or classy in any way.  But you know what?  It's cheap.  In fact, it's usually free for me.  But since I can't stomach it, I usually wind up paying for my own drinks.
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