Pomp and CircumJanss

Pomp and CircumJanss 0

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No, this post is NOT about my younger brother Janss getting circumcised.

Get your minds out of the gutter, people.

Obviously, I am referring to “Pomp and Circumstance”, the song traditionally played at commencement ceremonies.

Obviously.

My wordplay is quite appropriate as Janss graduated with his Bachelors in Music from Central Washington University last weekend. Way to go, Janssy!

Janss and Jolie at Central Washington University Graduation

Janss now officially has his Bachelor of Arts in String Performance. Not nearly as impressive as Jolie's credentials -- she holds a Masters in Snuggling with an emphasis in Deli Meat.



Janss’ big day had all the ingredients of a classic W. family gathering….

 

Dad and Jolie asleep at graduation

These two fell asleep during the speeches.

Man Carrying a Dog Purse

Mark insisted on carrying the dog purse.

Janss wished he was Asian

Janss desperately wished he was Asian.



W. family at Central Washington University graduation

I abused self-tanner and false eyelashes.

Hayley and Janss at Central Washington University Graduation

And Hayley tried to shoot up the school. She was taken into custody immediately after this.

I want to make sure I don’t leave Janss’ girlfriend Ashley out. She pretty much rocks my socks off.

Janss and Ashley

She has a Harry Potter tattoo, hails from the greater Spanaway area and likes the same books as I do...this of course means that I luh her like a fat kid luh's cake.

Janss moved to Seattle  this week and has begun his job search. Finding that first position can be extremely difficult and I feel it is my sisterly duty to offer up some interview words of wisdom.


The five tips below come from my own personal experiences. Take notes, Janssy-man.

1. Don’t Pre-Funk at Dick’s Drive In

Dick's Drive-In Seattle

Their milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard.

Whatever you do, please don’t stop at Dicks for a burger and fries before an interview even if it is just across the street from where you’ll need to be. You will undoubtedly spill all over yourself, reaching an all-time personal low when you consider claiming the ketchup stain on the front of your shirt is actually a gunshot wound. In reality, you will arrive at your interview ten minutes late as you had to rush over to American Apparel and pay $78 for a unisex dress shirt that you’ll never wear again.

2. Don’t be sneaky

If left alone in a conference room, do not under any circumstance pass the time by perusing the copy of your resume that has been left on the table and is covered with notes from the hiring manager. Time flies when you’re having fun and you will be caught red-handed. The excuse “I was just trying to review my qualifications…” will not save you.

3. Avoid wearing hair extensions

You will undoubtedly spend the entire interview thinking “I wonder if they can tell I’m wearing hair extensions?” and miss several of the questions. Except the one where they ask if you are in fact wearing hair extensions.

4. Make sure you’re in the right interview.

My first job out of graduate school was working as a Web Designer for a casino in Upstate New York.  I showed up for my interview right on time and was escorted into a meeting room by a very friendly man who asked me to share my related work experience with him.

I dazzled him with the details of my Newhouse School education, elaborated on the valuable knowledge gained during my internship and explained how my experience as a freelancer prepared me to work confidently with a variety of clients and projects.

His response?

“That’s great. But have you ever cocktailed before?”

At this point I was ten minutes late for the interview I was supposed to be in.

I blame the misunderstanding on the false eyelashes. And possibly the four-inch heels, which I still argue were perfectly tasteful.

5. NEVER EVER go to an interview at someone’s house

This is perhaps the most important rule.

Not two weeks before I was mistaken for a cocktail waitress, I made a two-hour drive for an interview at a reputable advertising agency in Rochester, NY.

When I arrived in a cul-de-sac full of cookie-cutter homes I was convinced Google Maps had made a terrible mistake. But seeing as I was at least in a gated community, I knocked on the front door just to make sure.

As it turns out, I was the one who had made the terrible mistake.

Let’s just say the agency was less reputable and more delusional.

The woman who ran the place took me down to her basement where she interviewed me for about thirty minutes. And by “interviewed” I mean complained about each of her three employees while they were within earshot. How diplomatic.

She then requested that I conjure up a marketing proposal for a complete re-branding of her website, and present it to her when I was finished.

How I was supposed to create an adequate presentation with nothing more than construction paper, Crayola makers and a pair of rusty scissors remains a mystery to me.

Yet, I obliged. I had driven two hours after all, I might as well humor her.

My positive attitude quickly went south when a mangy cat jumped up onto the table and dragged its filthy backside across my half-completed mock-up as if to wipe itself.

I ran out the door and never looked back.

********

I’m pretty sure after reading this Janss is wondering why on earth he should take advice from me. With all of the interview disasters detailed above, there would need to be some sort of miraculous occurrence for yours truly to land a secure position at a credible organization.

You say “miracle”, I say “handbag”.

I owe my career to this little puppy:

Jolie the dog with my Louis Vuitton handbag

My precious.

The purse, not the dog.

Let’s rewind to last September, the day I was scheduled to interview for my current position. Not five minutes before I needed to be out the door, this little gem was delivered to my front door by the UPS man. I knew I should wait until after the interview to unwrap my new treasure, but I just couldn’t resist.  I quickly ripped open the package, and transferred all of the contents from my old, schleppy purse, into the new, glorious handbag of fabulousness.

I then of course had to readjust my outfit to match the new accessory.

This may have put me back a few minutes…OK more than a few. No matter how quickly I sped down I-5, there was no way I was making this interview on time. I was beyond fortunate to be only five minutes late.

Not only had I sabotaged my chances by being tardy, I quickly realized that showing up to a non-profit carrying a handbag that costs more than my monthly rent was pretty much interview suicide.

Fortunately, I have an extremely stylish boss who has informed me on more than one occasion that my Louis Vuitton bag is the only reason he hired me.

This is how I know God has a sense of humor.

Janss, I hope after reading this the Prada clutch I gifted you at Commencement makes a little more sense.

I also hope that despite your potential new position at Petco, you never let a cat drag its bum across any of your personal property.

They may take our mock-ups, but they can never take our dignity.

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Naked people! On bikes!

Naked people! On bikes! 2

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Most people train for a marathon, triathlon, or maybe even a challenging hike up some dangerous mountain in Tibet.

Just today, I was sharing with friends over brunch how Scott and I were hoping to travel to Tanzania in 2012 and spend a week hiking to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro before going on safari.

If Jessica Biel can do it, why can’t I?

Jessica Biel climbs Mount Kilimanjaro

I heard she cried when she finally reached the top. What a baby.

As coincidence would have it, one friend had climbed Kilimanjaro just last year. She claimed I would have no problem reaching the top as long as I did some training before hand.

Training? As in doing cardio a few times a week and camping in my backyard so that I might become accustomed to “roughing it”?

I took her giggling to mean “not quite”.

Apparently this “training” would involve several hikes in the Cascade mountains so that I am prepared to rigorously travel long distance on foot, and acclimate to dramatic changes in altitude.

On second thought, I think we’ll vacation in the Caribbean after all.

And the only training I’ll be doing is for the Fremont Naked Bike Race.

Really, I’m just in it for the body paint.

Body Paint at the Fremont Naked Bike Race

I'd want to be painted to look like Kate Middleton in her wedding gown. Gotta keep it classy.

Who am I kidding? The last time I rode a bike (on vacation in Hawaii) I could barely keep up with the group and had multiple near-crash experiences.

I imagine the only thing worse than falling off a bike is falling off a bike while naked — there are just some places that aren’t meant to have scabs.

I can’t even take spinning classes at the gym anymore because the bike seat is far too uncomfortable.

I imagine the only thing more pain-inducing than a bicycle seat, is a bicycle seat wedged up into pure nakedness.

The only other time I rode a bike in the last decade was in Whistler, BC on our honeymoon.

Katrina biking in Whistler

"I'm pretending to enjoy this as I'm a newlywed, and don't want to let my husband know how lazy I am until at least the second year."

I broke the high-end rental bike in the above photograph and narrowly escaped paying $1,000 to replace it.

I imagine the only thing worse than breaking a bike is breaking a bike while you happen to be, you guessed it, naked.

In fact, I don’t even have to imagine what that would be like, as Scott has explained the scenario to me in great detail.

Every year, the naked bike race passes right past our condo. This was obviously a huge selling point.

Scott happened to be taking Jolie for a stroll when out of nowhere, a girl painted as Neytiri (the blue creature in Avatar) almost crashed her bike not ten feet away from him. Her chain had fallen off, and she was desperately, yet unsuccessfully trying to put it back on.

Neytiri

"I knew I should have ridden my unicycle. Far more reliable."

Scott wanted to help her. Really he did. But he couldn’t get over feeling like a pervert by offering to help some strange woman covered only in body paint and a synthetic tail.

The other spectators seemed to have less of a conscience as they circled around the poor woman, despite not having any knowledge of how to actually fix the bike. Scott described the scene as  being similar to that of a poor baby fawn encircled by wolves.

Eventually a well-adjusted man stepped in, fixed the chain, and sent Neytiri on her way.

He was immediately beat up by the other men for freeing the naked creature from their circle of oogling.

So, unless I magically become more coordinated, figure out how to attach a pillow to a bicycle seat, and can afford to hire a repair crew to follow me around just in case, I won’t be participating in next year’s parade. It seems that for now, my naked adventures shall remain limited to embarrassing myself at the  spa.

But I’d at least like to remember to watch the stupid parade.

I missed the event last year as I was out of town.

I was all geared up for today’s race, prepared to camp out on the sidewalk with Jolie, my lawn chair, and a bag of chips.

I’m a girl, so it’s not considered icky.

Unfortunately, I was distracted by housework and forgot about the entire thing.

So while Scott was stuck in traffic, enjoying views of female cyclists painted as various deciduous trees, I was at home folding his underwear.

Something about this seems extremely unfair.

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Hair of the dog

Hair of the dog 4

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A dog walks into a bar.

Well actually, a dog walks out of a bar.

This is why I’m not allowed to tell jokes.

Scott and I decided to take Jolie to the Ballard Locks for an evening stroll after dinner last Friday. Much to our dismay, the Locks closed the instant we arrived.

Luckily, mi’lady was content sniffing dried seagull poop outside the gates and growling at small children. Always a class act, that one.

As we headed back home, a dark, handsome fellow dog emerged from the Kiss Cafe on Market Street.

 

Jolie was instantly smitten. After performing the obligatory butt sniff she gazed up at us and said….

Jolie wants a boyfriend

“Dat beez my boyfriend?”

Yes Jolie, dat beez your boyfriend.

The girl really does need a man in her life…

Jolie wearing a dog Snuggie

“I’z sick of Friday night in the Snuggie wif Jersey Shore. Snookie get all the juicy Guidos. Jolie just get Gramma.”

No offense, Grandma.

Jolie’s new man candy happens to be Waylon, the “house dog” of the Kiss Cafe.

That’s right, we stumbled across the only thing in the world better than the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.

People of Seattle, I give you…….your very own dog bar.

Kiss Cafe Ballard Dog Bar

Isn’t it beautiful?

Moment’s later, Jolie and I were inside enjoying some quality girl time.

Jolie and Katrina drinking wine

It was just like “Sex and the City”.  Jolie’s totally Samantha.

Scott entertained himself by making Waylon do tricks for some dog biscuits, which were placed in a jar for all to share. Jolie was green with envy.

Scott feeds Waylon dog treats

“Quit stealing da boyfriend, Dad!!!”

Don’t worry Jolie, I’m pretty sure this guy’s still on the market.

Rip Van Stinkle

We never did get catch his name, Scott just started calling him “Rip Van Stinkle”

Jolie and Rip are going on their first date next week. Here’s hoping it goes better than the last one.

Jolie and Vito

“Jolie no good at small talk. And why iz we naked already?”

I still can’t believe we’ve unknowingly lived five minutes away from a dog bar for the past two years. After some quick Google-ing, I discovered that there are several dog bars in Seattle. Who would have guessed?

When you think about it, allowing dogs in various public establishments makes perfect sense. Even if they don’t tip as well, canines are almost always on better behavior than us human-folk. Particularly in a bar setting.

Jolie actually comes with us all over Seattle– bars, restaurants, movies, the doctor, a graduation ceremony–she’s done it all. Our secret? We keep her concealed in a dog purse that completely encloses her, while still allowing her to see and breathe through a camouflaged mesh window. Jolie loves her bag. Here she is waiting patiently as I try on clothes at the Gap.

Jolie in a dog purse shopping at the Gap

“Look mom, doze jeens give you da muffin tops!”

While the bag makes life pretty easy, it was really nice to have her out in the open for a change.

It was also nice of Jolie to refrain from commenting on my muffin tops for the evening. Homegirl got an extra biscuit for that one.

Don’t have a dog? Kiss Cafe is still worth checking out. The food is good and they actually have 99 bottles of beer on the wall. No more, no less.

I know because I counted.

OK, so maybe it was less like counting, and more like singing the song.

All 99 verses of it.

Whatever. I’m just happy Jolie finally has a place to wear her slinky red party dress.

Jolie's red party dress

Don’t mind Scott’s hand…we added it for censorship purposes–a lesson learned the hard way after our 2007 Christmas card photo disaster. I told you she was Samantha.

Really people, it doesn’t get much sexier than this.

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We put the “us” in “fungus”

We put the “us” in “fungus” 0

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I feel dirty.

So very, very dirty.

But at least I’m not dying.

On Thursday morning, I began to grow quite concerned, as what I thought was a pimple on my jaw line, had grown into something that looked pretty abnormal. After some WebMD research, I determined it to be nodular melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer of all, with less than a 25% survival rate.

Before you roll your eyes I should explain that melanoma isn’t too far of a stretch for me. I’ve had over twenty pre-cancerous and dysplastic moles removed, including one that required a day surgery to extract a golf-ball sized patch of skin, even after the mole had been removed. I’m genetically predisposed to be in the absolute highest risk group for skin cancer. Add to this the fact that I used to work at a tanning salon, where I would fake and bake on a regular basis, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Out of sheer panic, I called Scott to let him know I didn’t have much time left on the clock. He let out an annoyed sigh and suggested I schedule an appointment with my doctor if I was that worried about it.

I then began to send frantic text messages.

Skin cancer text message

By 6pm, the growth had turned scaly. Things were not looking good. I started selecting hymns to be sung at my funeral and showed my melanoma to Scott the instant he came through the door.

“That’s not melanoma.” he said with a snicker.

“Then what is it?” I fearfully asked.

He paused dramatically, a sly grin spreading across his cheeks.

“It’s ringworm.”

This has really not been my month.

If you’re not familiar with ringworm (and let’s hope you aren’t), here’s a brief description courtesy of Wikipedia.

Dermatophytosis or ringworm is a clinical condition caused by fungal infection of the skin in humans, pets such as cats, and domesticated animals such as sheep and cattle. The term “ringworm” is a misnomer, since the condition is caused by fungi of several different species and not by parasitic worms.

So the good news is that I don’t have parasitic worms.

The bad news is I have slightly more in common with sheep and cattle than I’m comfortable with.

So how did I contract this…fungus?

It’s very common among wrestlers, whose skin is exposed to bacteria laden mats during their workouts — it basically travels from skin, to mat, to skin.

Unbenounced to me, Scott picked up his own case of ringworm from the gym where he wrestles and transferred it to me.

That’s right. He’s wrestling again.

You’d think breaking his neck would be enough to discourage him from the sport.

Scott in his neckbrace at the beach

Nothing ruins a day at the beach quite like fractured vertebrae

And that’s where you’d be wrong.

If a spinal fusion wasn’t enough of a deterrent, I’m pretty sure this “mat herpes” episode won’t even phase him.

But that’s not what upsets me.

What upsets me is that somewhere in the greater Seattle area, there is a man whose nasty, rancid sweat somehow traveled long and far from the deep, dark crevices of his body into my little world.

And then it manifested itself as a fungus.

That lives on my face.

**********

Sorry…I had to go throw up for a second. Don’t worry, I’m better now.

As this is not the first time we’ve had ring worm, (I’m not even going to discuss the 2006 incident) Scott has a topical steroid on-hand that should clear things up in a couple of days.

Ringworm Medication

Scott's wedding ring just happened to be in the shot. I left it there for ironic effect. Thinking about framing this masterpiece and calling it "In sickness, and in health".

I  suppose all of this is what I deserve for being a jerk when I’m asleep.

Universe, I am not amused.

But my husband sure is.

Why do I get the feeling no one is going to want to sit next to me at lunch tomorrow?

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