Saturday, April 30, 2011


Today I went to Boston to visit my friend Amanda from Seattle who was in town checking out a Master's program. I of course was delighted to trek up to one of my favorite East Coast cities and spend the day in the wonderful spring weather, and we had a smashing time. We walked around Hah-vad as the Bostonians say, and went to a hilarious improv show and ate at Regina's Pizzeria which is apparently famous. Then it was time for me to return to Hartford, so I offered to drive her and the two friends she was with back to her hotel. "Oh no, we're fine!" they graciously protested. It was only ten minutes away, so I said, "No big deal! Really, it's fine--and then you can avoid public transportation." That is the last time I do anything nice for anyone ever again. Madge (GPS) decided that she wanted to be a hot mess and not get satellite reception and then go "Recalculating, recalculating, recalculating" so I couldn't tell where the hell I was supposed to be going and I had to drive past all these exits, swerving and trying to guess what I was doing. As I screamed at her to get her life together all the while realizing that this was probably not the best way to the end the day with two people who I didn't know all that well, and realizing that they probably were secretly fearing for their lives as three different cars nearly hit me because they weren't paying attention as they were changing lanes (there is a reason they call Massachusetts drivers 'Massholes'), I realized that all I wanted after this ordeal was the Whoopie Pie from Modern Pastry that I had ordered earlier that day.

Now, if you know me, you know that I love sweets--and nothing gets between me and a baked good: no man, woman, or child. If you don't know what a Whoopie Pie is, it's a delightful chocolate cake-esque sandwich--the outside is a really dense chocolate cake (kind of like a mix between cake and a brownie), with whipped cream in the middle. I think it might be an East Coast thing, because I'd never heard of them on the West Coast. Modern Pastry (this pretty famous bakery in Boston) makes delicious Whoopie Pies, and I had been craving one since SEPTEMBER when my parents and brother came to visit. You're probably beginning to surmise that mischief is afoot and this is not going to end well. And you would be right. So immediately upon dropping everyone off I hauled ass to make it to that Whoopie Pie carefully tucked into the Modern Pastry Box I'd been carting around all day--because that was the only thing that was going to make the whole ordeal feel better. As I reached in, my fingers went squarely into a pile of frosting. That's odd...Whoopie Pies are individually wrapped in cellophane...AND do not have frosting... NO. *GASP* I GOT A BLACK AND WHITE COOKIE INSTEAD OF A WHOOPIE PIE!!! This is NOT good news to find out while driving, and the pedestrians who were J walking were THAT close to being put in harm's way. Ohhhhh they were lucky I wasn't in the mood to go to jail for reckless endangerment that night...LUCKY. This was the f---ing icing on the cake, let me tell you (pun INTENDED) and it felt like a scene from a horror film where someone finds out some bad news and screams in a deep slow motioned baritone "NOOOOOOOOOOOO. ME WANT WHOOPIE PIEEEEEE." To make it worse, the frosting from the B&W Cookie had melted all over the Italian Rainbow Cookies I had bought!!! Some people would argue this might have made them better but NO. IT DID NOT. My girlfriends who came to visit me last summer would say it's my own damn fault because last year we went to Modern Pastry and received poor customer service that they were really not impressed with, and in fact Cassady stood outside and yelled at people passing by to not purchase anything from them. While I appreciated her civic activism, I didn't really care because their desserts are delicious, and I am living proof that apparently when your sweets are super tasty you can treat people like crap and they will still buy your goods. Go figure.

As I've come to find out, bad things come in threes, which was proven on my drive home when I went into a bathroom stall without toilet paper and passed a billboard for the Bon Jovi concert that I can't attend. I was able to do some positive self-talk telling myself that things weren't really that bad, but you know what, as I sit here and think about that Whoopie Pie I am STILL not over it...uuuuugggggghhhh...Modern Pastry you've BESTED me again!!! Oh, and City of Boston please do realize we are NOT on speaking terms right now, at least until another friend comes to visit You soon (I tend to be pretty wishy washy when it comes to holding grudges...LUCKY FOR YOU!!!)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Think I'm Losing My Appetite...

As you most likely know, I love cupcakes. Any type of cupcake will do. Pink frosting, vanilla cake, carrot cake, lemon frosting, sprinkles, chocolate cake, it doesn't matter, a cupcake is a CUPCAKE. And I will eat it as soon as possible. But I was troubled to find THIS article on "Manly cupcakes." I didn't know cupcakes had gender, I simply knew they were delicious. I'm very confused. And frankly, if men only eat "manly" cupcakes, they're missing out on a lot of delicious goodies...ahhhh the social institution of gender and how it is now invading our kitchens...BLEH!!!

2. Manly Cupcakes

I came across this via Neatorama. Apparently someone decided men couldn’t enjoy regular cupcakes because they’re too feminine, soButch Bakery was born. The Butch Bakery Man-Ifesto? “We’re Men. Men who like cupcakes. Not the frilly pink-frosted sprinkles-and-unicorns kind of cupcakes. We make manly cupcakes for manly men.”

Each cupcake is topped with a chocolate disk in such designs as Woodland Camo and Checkerboard and flavours include “The Driller”: maple cake with chocolate ganache and bacon bits. The flavour on the main page of their site is the “B-52.”

I’m not too keen on the bacon bits idea, but other than that I usually believe the more cupcakes, the better! What’s interesting is what it says about what’s unacceptable for men (eating pink desserts) and what’s considered manly (red meat and military motifs).

Use That Sociological Imagination!

Sssssuuupppeeeerrrr interesting--turn your sociological imagination on the next time you hit the movies!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"It was late when I finally went to bed, and I lay there, unable to sleep, wondering if God were watching. It was an uncomfortable feeling, being watched. What if I were in the bathroom, would He watch me in there, too? I guessed He had access to anywhere people are suffering, which, thinking back on my Thanksgiving meal, surely included the bathroom."

--David Sedaris, "C.O.G"

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Waiting Take 2

I just told my friend Rob that if a certain situation in my life didn't work out how I wanted then I was going to renounce God, because I couldn't deal anymore. Every once in awhile I like to say really childish things like this. While perhaps moderately entertaining for the person at the other end of the conversation, it's really troubling to know that I haven't really given up my flair for the dramatic since I was two and flinging myself on escalators at the mall as people stepped over me when I didn't get my way. Things change, and yet they stay remarkably the same.

But then I logged onto my neighbor Scott's Tumblr which I love following because he has such a delightful perspective on life and always has an interesting find--and he's the pinnacle of all that is Seattle, so I feel very connected to the Pacific Northwest. I found this gem:

After I read it I got my composure about myself. I imagine I'm in a Saturday sort of place right now. That waiting place, where all you can have is hope. I hate this place almost as much as I hate BJ's (evil twin of Costco). But how do we learn to find beauty in waiting and disappointment? I don't have the answer to that question yet. I suppose this is really what Easter is all about anyways--hoping in what we cannot see, which brings me to one of my favorite verses:

"For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is not seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?" Romans 8:24

Good question, Paul. If we can see it, feel it, touch it, know what's coming, then why do we need God at all? And while I would greatly enjoy it if God would decide to write what it is that is going to become of my life, preferably through the use of neon signs or perhaps a nice musical number, this is not how God operates (though THINK of the possibilities if that were the case!) nor requires faith or hope. So for now, I will have to keep hoping in the things unseen, because that is ultimately what faith is...(although I daresay that a bottle of wine might make the medicine go down a little easier...? Hrm...)

“Waiting is our destiny. As creatures who cannot by themselves bring about what they hope for, we wait in the darkness for a flame we cannot light. We wait in fear for a happy ending that we cannot write. We wait for a ‘not yet’ that feels like a ‘not ever.’”
--Louis Smedes

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Best Part of Waking Up... (or is it...?)

Well, The Folger's Video has made its way back into my life. This thing is beginning to haunt me wherever I go, however as someone pointed out, it could be much worse (think Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian and you'll probably catch my drift). No, this is just some good ol' wholesome (and really cheesy) college fun. Back in 2006 when this sucker was made, for one reason or another my friend Rob was really into the Rockafella version of the Folger's theme song, and he passed his passion on to us. I mean their harmonies WERE really admirable. Thus, The Video was born. We thought we were so hilarious. And maybe we were (or weren't)--I don't really have an opinion on the subject. All I know is I was a college sophomore with time on my hands and friends at my side. Anyways, my friend Krichael decided it was so hilarious he would like to post it on this new trendy website called "Youtube," and, lacking foresight for my future, I said, "Sure! Go right ahead!" And thus my rise to Youtube stardom was born.

As I mentioned, the Folger's video seems to haunt me wherever I go. It turns out, while I often forget about the Folger's video, it doesn't forget about me. Approximately a year-ish later, there I was minding my own business in my "Media and Communications" class. The professor was talking about people putting things on the internet, and how people tend to not think about who might see what when they post things on the internet. And then he said, "Here's a video that some SPU students made" AND HE PLAYED IT IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE CLASS. And there I sat with my friend Julia holding my hand as I rapidly turned the color of ketchup and nervously giggled. And then my professor looked at me and said, "Oh--is that you in that video?" YOUR POINT IS PROVEN. I REALIZE THE IRONY. And furthermore how did you NOT recognize me--I sit in the front row and there are only about 35 people in this class! AND I PARTICIPATE like a good student should! But I wouldn't take it back with the exception of better sound editing and perhaps advertising for a better product. Who wants to wake up to Folger's? A nice latte? Yes. Folger's? Nay.

One might ask themselves, "Gee Jess, wouldn't you contact Krichael to take the video off?" This would be a logical step, however it turns out I have an incredibly short memory, and every time it crossed my mind I thought, "Oh yes, I'll do that tomorrow" and low and behold here we are three years later. Anyways, flash forward to a few weeks ago when I passed a resident in the hallway. "I saw your video!!!" she said. WHAT. I instantly knew which video she was talking about because I have no other ones floating around in cyber space (at least to my knowledge...). "How?!" I asked her, in my head very illogically thinking that was in Seattle...I'm in! and then realizing we were talking about the INTERNET. It turns out someone had posted it "randomly" (I say this because nothing is really ever random, but I don't have another word right now), on a student's facebook wall, and this student recognized me, and as news likes to travel fast here on the Saint Joseph College campus my entire staff had seen it by the end of the week. So, I am not hiding anymore!!! Here we are, loud and proud, the debut of the Folger's commercial on my blog! I'm putting it all out there--no more secrets! I've been living with this burden for too long! I embrace my past and look forward to a youtubeless-future (as in...I will not be posting videos of me dancing to commercial jingles any time soon or EVER). I stated could be worse...

The real question here is how does this thing have nearly 30,000 views? Who has time to be looking up videos about Folger's instant coffee? I may never understand the phenomenon, but since this is the closest I'll probably ever be to a celebrity, I've come to accept my fate.

P.S. McAuley Quint I know you're watching...shout out!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thank Goodness for...

BON JERSEY. Who, you ask? Isn't it supposed to be "Bon Jovi?" Stay tuned.

This May Bon Jovi will be coming to Connecticut. "Don't you have a ticket Jess?" Answer: Unfortunately: no. While I have had the privilege of seeing Bon Jovi three times during three consecutive tours, unfortunately Jon's ticket prices are well above my means this year (as Mom usually treats me...). This means I have to resort to option A: stalking the band at the casino they will be playing at or the other viable and less illegal option B: Bon Jersey. Bon Jersey is a Bon Jovi tribute/impersonation band, and one of my best finds of 2011. AND tickets are $10 verses $150 and being the deal-lover that I am this greatly pleases me. The difference, I imagine, would be comparable to perhaps eating ice cream verses frozen yogurt--while the difference is evident, and perhaps the real deal is better, the fro yo will do just fine to satiate your appetite. All I know is that this is a delightful thrifty and economical find in our tight economy and it is good to know that I will still be able to enjoy Bon Jovi's music regardless of whether he is actually the one singing it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


This past weekend I was super active, which I l-o-v-e. I ran my first 5K, rode my bike around, and played some frisbee. Yes, immediately after my 5K I decided that this day could not go on without a disc, and I ran to Target to pick one up, and then dragged one of the RA's out to play with me. I'm beginning to understand my labrador retriever more and more. My friend Melissa also invited me down to Groton, CT to do some hiking, so we meandered around the state park for awhile, and I was able to see Rhode Island from CT. She also bakes really delicious cupcakes, so I like her even more :)

My friend Melissa and I. I look REALLY tall.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"You can take the girl out of Seattle, but you can't take Seattle out of the girl."
--my friend Beth

Wise words friend, wise words.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Do Something New-Run a 5K!

Well folks, I completed my first 5K and let me tell you--methinks I might be on my way to being a regular racer. This Saturday my friend Beth and I set out to run the "Burn Calories For Fuel" 5K that supports people in Hartford who cannot pay their heat or utility bills. Now, now, I'm not going to be like those crazy MARATHONERS...but I'd consider a 10K (maybe several months/years from now). My goal was to run the whole thing--and I did it! My first experience was wonderful! I finished 148th out of 197, which frankly I was a little bit disappointed in until one of the RA's told me that she finished second to last in a race and the guy behind her had heart problems, so I'll take what I can get and run with it (PUN INTENDED! I just crack myself up). While my first 5K was certainly a wonderful experience I did have a few qualms:

1. I eat breakfast every day--except today. Gee, that sounds like a great idea. To quote Winnie-the-Pooh--I had a rumbly in my tumbly (as you can see that two out of three of my qualms involve a huge heaping of ME).
2. I wouldn't think to myself, "Hmmm two days before this race I will go on a light walk in my cute little flats" because I would then proceed to develop a huge blister on my heel that will hurt like someone is holding a lighted match to my ankle. Thank goodness for friends with Neosporin!!!
3. You know that phrase "What goes up must come down?" That didn't apply to this course. I felt like I kept running up hills, thinking "I'll get to come down soon!" and was wrong every time--HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?! (and why didn't we run the opposite way?)

As I kept pushing through and waiting for that downward part of the hill that never came, I couldn't help but think that while I had put "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John on my "5K" mix, I had epically failed by not including Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." I finally crossed the finish line to the Glee kids' "Stop in the Name of Love/Free Your Mind," which just made me think of men in jazzy tuxedos like the guys on the show, which had virtually nothing to do with anything. My friend Beth met me at the finish line (she ran with me and was my cheerleader on my first race!). Ra ra yeah me! I know that this is just the first of many to come!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lent Reflections

more and more i need you now
i owe you more each passing hour
the battles between grace and pride
i gave up not so long ago
so steal my heart and take the pain
wash my feet and cleanse my pride
take the selfish, take the weak
and all the things i cannot hide
take my beauty take my tears
sin soaked heart, make me yours
take my world all apart
take it now, take it now
and serve the ones that i despise
speak the words i can't deny
watch the world i used to know
fall to dust and blow away
i look beyond the empty cross
forgetting what my life has cost
wipe away the crimson stains
that dull the nails that still remain
take my beauty, take my tears
sin soaked heart, make it yours
all the things i cannot hide
take my beauty take my tears
take my world apart, take my world apart

"Worlds Apart"
Jars of Clay

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

I'm in the midst of a waiting game right now. Waiting for a lot of reasons, and to this I say BLEH! It's a great big pile of BOO. I hate waiting. Like most human beings, I want to know what's going to happen next...and hoping that the outcome is one that is going to be conducive to my schedule. While I'd say that I've become remarkably content with life in the past year, it turns out that every now and then God likes to send things my way just to rile me up. The dangling of the proverbial carrot on the stick if you will (yes, God uses carrots because carrots help your eyes--YES THAT IS A METAPHOR FOR GETTING CLEARER PERSPECTIVE/VISION). Well, I'm not sure if this is God or not (depending on how theological you want to get), but it's the way that life seems to go. "How content are you REALLY?" God says to me. "Erm..." I say, as I squirm. "RRReeeaallllyyyy content????"--the tone in my voice starts low but then slowly crescendoes to a high pitched squeal because I am bold faced lying. But it makes me wonder why we can't just take a deep breath and say, "Okay" and enjoy it. But "NAY" Jess Miller's brain screams!!!

One side of Jess's brain (we'll call this side A): "Wow, isn't this fun! You don't know where your life is going! This is very exciting! Yay for being spontaneous! Hoorah for new horizons! Yippee for new adventures!"
Brain, Side B: "Quiet you! This is horrible! Egregious! You should be able to plot your life out on a map!!! WHAT IS GOING ON!? What if things don't turn out like you want? I feel uncomfortable."

This is right around the time that I turn the Chicago song "Will You Still Love Me" up really loud to drown out the voices. Peter Cetera--what passion (song choice has absolutely no correlation with why I am currently waiting--I just love it)!!! Yes, I have listened to it 96 times in the last 2 days. Anyone walking by my door probably wants to scream because they've heard this song so many times.

But really what makes everything so incredibly irritating about waiting is that I find myself consistently wishing time away to appease the anxiety. While I normally find myself excelling in being a moment savor-er (you only have so many after all), and I believe I generally find some joy in everything I do, I find that when I am in a waiting period I want to speed everything up and find out the end. But, as that one quote says, "It's the journey not the destination." This irritates me to no end, but I know it to be true. Even as I reflect on faith, it seems like a majority of the Bible is about waiting--take Moses out in the desert, everyone waiting for the Messiah, then once they GOT the Messiah, waiting for him to resurrect, then waiting for him to come back AGAIN (which is where we still are), and well, you get the picture--take out waiting periods and you take out about 3/4 of the Bible it seems. But I'm guessing that the manna from heaven and the Promise wouldn't be so appreciated had Moses only had to wait like a day in the desert, and especially if he lived today and had a nice hotel room in Egypt complete with Room Service. Not a very impactful story. This is particularly harrowing for a culture that enjoys getting ish DONE as quickly as possible: this is why we love iphones, emails, microwaves, fast food, credit cards, speedy internet, airplanes, etc. Everything can happen in 3 seconds or less. We want things to be done, and done NOW dammit! Our culture has warped our sense of sitting quietly, waiting patiently and enjoying the process. One more reason I love American culture (why yes my third language IS sarcasm...I think I speak it quite well)... But I really do believe that in so many ways it has robbed me of not only the waiting part, but the richer outcome and appreciation when everything finally comes to a close.

So for now, I find myself trying to teach myself the art of savoring those moments of waiting, take a deep breath, and heed those oh-so-wise words of Tom Petty:

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day see one more card
You take it on faith
You take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

"The Waiting" By Tom Petty
And as I sat nursing my cup of coffee in a coffee shop today staring at the man in the muscle tank top with a mullet I wondered why the 80's had to end and why Jersey Shore had to begin...

Friday, April 1, 2011

I'm really hoping the NorEaster we're supposed to get tonight/tomorrow is an April Fool's Joke from the Weather Channel. Future Christmas present for the state of Connecticut: a giant weather-based mood ring. Forget trying to balance the budget Governor Malloy, let's put all our eggs in THAT basket.
Courtesy of my friend Scott's Tumblr