“You Are An Obsession, My Obsession..”

I can’t just casually like something. Nope, not me. I’m either all in or nothing at all. I am that person who goes to the store, buys 50 bags worth of groceries and insists on carrying them all into the house in one trip only to drop them on the counter and want to give up. This is an issue. Take for example, this blog. Four months ago I was writing two posts a day, four times a week, then..nothing, blank spaces, crickets.

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Example 2: Cross stitch, sewing, crocheting. There was a point in time where I would stay up until 3 in the A.M. working on one large project or watching every how to Youtube video, only to shelf the whole unfinished project to pick up another hobby.

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The Facebook Album of where pinterest projects go to die….

Example 3: The gym. Probably the best obsessive hobby to have, there was a time when my husband and I lived at the gym…now, we send postcards and share fond memories when we can.

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My current obsession? Books. I’ve always liked to read, (I grew up without internet and cable tv…better, simpler times!) but college seemed to kill the ‘read for fun’ idea for me so I stopped. I picked it back up in October and now I am currently reading anywhere between 3-4 books a week, and we aren’t talking small books either. I go to bed with a book in my hand and wake up with a book in my hand.

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My goal was to read 50 books by 2020…half way through May and I’ve read 43..

Now, I know what you are thinking..It could be a lot worse…I could be obsessing over drugs, alcohol or even worse TWINKIES…(a twinkie does sound good right now….) but I am here to say this type of obsessive behavior is exhausting for not only me, my poor husband who has to try and keep up with me,  but my house as I am running out of room for the hobbies I take up only abandon months later.

A skilled proffesional would probably argue that this obsesessve behavior is my minds way of dealing with (or rather not dealing) stressors in my life. I could get behind that, but I have no time to meet up with said skilled proffesional, given all the unfinshed new AND old projects I have yet to complete…(ha)

Sooooooo In an effort to correct my obessive tendencies, my goal for this 2019 summer is, EVERYTHING IN MODERATION!! (except baseball…that love affair has been going on since the mid 90s). If I want to blog here and there, then read for a few days than put that book down and pick up some knitting needles to learn how to make a blanket, that is fine, but I will by NO MEANS, buy every size needle, every book available or hoard every color of yarn known to man to inevitably make half of a dish towel..(besides..if you have followed along this far…you should have guessed I already have a crap ton of yarn..)

 

So with that said..LET THE SUMMER OF MODERATION BEGIN! What should I write about first, or not write about until I’m ready to write..you know..in a non-obsessive way?

 

P.s. (do people still P.s. anymore?) I want to know if I am alone or not. Do you obsesse over something more than you wish you did? Please don’t leave me sitting alone on the crazy train, the trip is quicker with friends…ha!

 

Earworm of the Week

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Hear ye, Hear ye, may I now present to you for your reading pleasure, the inaugural post of “Ear Worm of the Week.” In this new weekly segment, I will share with you the one or two songs that have been STUCK in my head. Through this process we will either bond, argue or I will help you find your next favorite hit. So, lets jump into it, shall we.

I’m The Greatest Star-Barbara Streisand from Funny Girl

It’s no secret that I love musicals and Barbara Streisand and when the two worlds combine, even better. Last week while my husband was away for work, I traded out my Gilmore Girl’s marathon for a Barbara binge instead. Funny Girl was obviously on the list, and even though I’ve seen the movie a million times, it still managed to get lodged in my head for a week. Why do I like it? A lot of Barbara’s movies focus on girls that don’t fit the typical mold but overcome the stereotypes to get what they dream of. (Funny Girl, Yentl, A Star is Born, The Mirror has Two Faces) In this song she is trying to convince theater producers that she is exactly what they are looking for. It’s catchy, funny and I think it could apply to anyone who has ever felt underated and overlooked.

Favorite line:

I’m a natural cough
(ahoo, aheh, ahay)
Some ain’t got it, not a lot
I’m a great big clump of talent
Laugh!
(ha ha ha ha)

They’ll bend in half
A thousand jokes
(Stick around for the jokes!)
A thousand faces
I reiterate

 

Come Along- Cosmo Sheldrake

I rarely watch live tv, but I am a sucker for the award season and found myself watching the Golden Globes. One of the commercials was for Apple featuring this song Come Along. I was immediately drawn to it. Now, I know I late to the party as it came out in 2017, but my XM station is glued to either The Beatles, 70’s on 7 or The Bridge, so it takes a minute for current music to reach me. Why do I like it? One of my favorite things about Wings and the Beatles is their use of orchestral accompaniment and this has it for sure. If the Beatles and the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack had a baby, this could be it. Ok, that might be a stretch, but it works in my imagination. Also, this song makes my toes tap and I jog faster when I listen to it on the treadmill (which is always a good thing).

Favorite Line:

Come come come come come along now,
Run away from the hum-drum,
We’ll go to a place that is safe from
greed, anger and boredom

So there we have it, the first week is in the books! What song or songs are stuck in your head this week?

The Elephant in The Room…

I need to address the elephant in the room…one sided relationships.

We’ve all been there. You think you know someone. You develop a relationship with them, begin to trust them, count on them. You really think you will be together forever. Then, they start to get lazy. Missing things, getting sloppy and making excuses. Sure, you try to work on the relationship, and it’s good for a week or two, then they are back to their old ways. You are forced to part. It’s the good ol’ “it’s not you, it’s me” scenario Except in this case, it was all them and not me. You take a few weeks off. Partly to heal but also to avoid falling for the rebound. Then, out of the blue when you least expect it, you find the one. In this particular scenario, I found the one in the “Trending Deals For You” section of Amazon.

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Now, I know I am not the first person in their 30’s (wow that still feels weird to say) to comment on how exciting it is to get a new appliance, and I know I won’t be the last, but I just got a new vacuum cleaner and I feel like I could run for President.  Our President wants a wall (sigh), and I just want a vacuum that doesn’t empty its contents the minute I turn it off. Vote for me!

She gets here today and while her reviews on Amazon are very promising, I can’t wait to give her the Shidler test.

What was the last item you purchased that brought you unlikely joy?!

300 Writing Prompts # 12: What’s The Last Thing You Searched on The Internet?

What is the last thing you searched on the internet and why?

What better way to gauge the weirdness of a person by snooping through their search history? Lucky for you, my search history will not let you down. It took me a minute to even figure out how to locate said history, but before long I was staring down the last six things I managed to Google, most of which had to be at 3 a.m. when I was not able to sleep. Let’s get to it, shall we?

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West Wing Remake?

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My husband and I LOVE the West Wing. We usually watch it from start to finish once a year (usually when all the election non-sense begins). The show is almost 20 years old, and with the recent flux of 90’s & 2000’s shows being remade today, we have often wondered what a West Wing reboot would look like. Oddly enough, we started our annual West Wing binge on New Year’s Day and a week later an article popped up hinting at the idea that cast members and writers were in SMALL talks about a remake. I read it, was excited, but wanted further confirmation that this wasn’t all bologna, so I took to google for more concrete evidence.

How many ounces in a gallon?

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One of my 2019 goals was to drink more water, actually, only water. I can say that 14 days into 2019 the only non-water beverage I have had is 2 diet Mt. Dews. I have had no milk (wow), no juice and no Starbucks. On New Year’s I bought the biggest athletic bottle I could find (64 oz) and I needed to know how many times I had to fill it to make it to my gallon a day. The answer is 2 times because there are 128 ounces in a gallon!

Medical Alert Systems?

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As I have mentioned before, we moved my mom in with us 2 years ago while she undergoes treatments for end stage kidney failure. One of our biggest hurdles is Matt and I’s ability to get out of the house for alone time but not stressed or worried about mom being alone at the house. We found that a medical alert bracelet would help ease our mind. There are tons of options for medical alert systems and the services they provide vary, but we finally found one that checked all the boxes.

How many birds can’t fly? And is a racoon a marsupial?

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Welcome to the “I googled this at 3 a.m.” portion of our post. I honestly have NO memory of searching for these, but I am not surprised, this sounds exactly like the trivial type of stuff that would keep me up at night.

How much does the average person spend a week on groceries?

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My husband and I are working so hard to get his student loans paid off quicker than expected that we have been trying to see where can make cuts. It is no secret that buying and preparing all the groceries for a week is  more budget friendly than eating out, we just wanted to make sure we were in the right spot.

 

For better or for worse, here are my most recent internet searches. What is one of the last few things you have searched for?

Have I aged?

There seems to be this trend going around on the Facebook where you post your first ever Facebook profile picture along with your most recent profile picture and see how much you’ve “aged.” Well luckily for me, I don’t need the comparison of two pictures to tell me I’ve changed over the last 14 years, but it’s been a slow day so I’ll play along.

The very first picture I posted was on Dec. 6th 2006. It was from my Junior prom and was shot with a Sony Mavica camera,  ok probably not, but I bet the quality was close. The picture size was so small and pixelated that I don’t feel that it fits the need of the task at hand. (Kids today will never know the struggle when it comes to adequate picture quality)

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Because of the terrible picture quality, I cheated a bit and chose the next picture. Oddly enough both pictures are shared with the same person in almost identical poses.

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Here I am, (on the right of course). Let’s talk a little about the girl young lady in the picture for a minute, shall we?

  • She’s 19 years old
  • In her 1st year of college at Indiana State University
  • Is pictured with her freshman roommate Molly who just happens to be one of her closest friends from high school.
  • Her eyes and heart in this picture say “smile for the camera” her stomach and her brain are asking “I wonder if it’s pierogi night in the dining hall”
  • She just died her hair for the first time and feels like she is on top of the world
  • Is wearing a low-cut shirt, which is surprising because her standard attire in HS was sweats and a hoodie..
  • Wearing a shell necklace that was a pain to put on and her hair always got caught in it
  • She’s never had a boyfriend, hence the hair dye, silly necklace and low-cut shirt
  • Not wearing any make up, but doesn’t appear to need it (yet).
  • She is smiling but not fully because she needs braces and is a poor college student who can’t afford them

Now, let me introduce my current profile picture

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  • Right off the bat, it must be noted that I am only allowed to take pictures with my left side showing…
  • This picture was taken in October of 2018
  • She is 30 years and living in Texas
  • Her hair is dyed once again partly because it makes her feel better but also because she doesn’t know what her real hair color is anymore
  • She’s not wearing a shell necklace because she is a busy lady who doesn’t have time for articles of clothing/accessories that are uncomfortable
  • She is pictured next to her first boyfriend who is also her Husband of almost 9 years
  • She is smiling with her teeth because she worked hard her sophomore year of college to pay for braces at the age of 21
  • Her face is loaded with make up because the sun, hormones and stress have not been kind to her over the years lol
  • She’s gained weight, lost weight than gained weight back. (She’s losing it again btw)
  • She’s pictured at a mall which is big for her because she prefers not to leave the house 80 % of the time
  • Her eyes say “yay! A cute picture with my husband!” His eyes say “Hurry up, people are looking at us weird!”

 

So, have I aged? Well duh. There is a 12 year difference between these pictures. I don’t think 2006 Jennifer had the slightest clue what 2018 Jennifer would be doing, but even with all the curve balls life has thrown her, I doubt she imagined her life could be this good.

Have you done the “have I aged challenge” on facebook? Were you surpised with your findings?

 

 

300 Writing Prompts # 11: What’s Your Morning Routine?

What are some of the first things you do when you wake up in the morning?

I’m not a morning person, but I don’t need to tell you that, you are about to come to that conclusion all on your own. Now, may I present to you a morning at the Shilder House.

  1. Try to figure out where the annoying sound is coming from
  2. Kick a cat or dog off my legs so that I can roll over to search for annoying sound
  3. Frantically searching night stand and floor for annoying sound
  4. Find annoying sound under my back because I fell asleep reading Wikipedia again.
  5. Hit snooze.
  6. Sleep for 8 more minutes
  7. Try to figure out where annoying sound is coming form
  8. Remove said pet from legs again
  9. Locate phone that is still in my hand
  10. Utilize quick math skills to calculate if there is enough time to hit snooze again
  11. Terrible math skills wake me up enough to realize I need to get up.
  12. Look at phone notifications from Text/Facebook/Wordpress/Cnn while avoiding anything that says Trump, shutdown or wall
  13. Spend 2 mins trying to remember what Dr. appointment mom has that day
  14. Reassemble all hair that has fallen out of my pony tail and put it back
  15. Let dogs out for potty break
  16. Feed the overly dramatic cat before he goes on strike
  17. Potty break
  18. Re-evaluate whether I have time to go back to sleep for a minute
  19. Brush teeth
  20. Let dogs back in
  21. Get half way dressed
  22. Lay down In bed with clothes on until 2 minutes before we need to leave
  23. Swear to myself that I will go to bed at a reasonable hour tonigh.

You would think that at the age 31 I would be past the whole “But I don’t want to get up yet” tantrum, but yet here I am, rocking it.

So, Tell me readers, What does your morning routine look like?

Just A Quick Thought….

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I think my mom would do great in prison…..

Now, before you jump to conclusions, not now, or will she ever be in prison. She is one of the most honest and sweetest people you could meet, but I witnessed something today that is oddly reminiscent of an episode of LockUp. (An MSNBC docu-series that follows real life prisoners all over the country)

My mom is the mastermind behind an influential bartering ring at her Dialysis center. Instead of trading honey buns for extra pillows or the better bunk, she’s making deals with tootsie rolls and salami sandwiches (yeah, I’m not kidding).

What does she get in return? I haven’t figured it out yet. As she rolled around the room making her rounds, one person slipped her 5 dollars (for more candy on Saturday I think) while the others gave her a Godfather type nod as if there was an unsaid mutual understanding (could be a thank you, but I think this goes deeper).

I haven’t decided yet if I should be worried, or a proud (silent) investor. I’ll keep monitoring the situation and report back with my findings.

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It’s always the quiet ones….

The Late Show With Jennifer Shidler Presents: Top Ten Blogs of 2018..

At the beginning of the year I saw several posts from other bloggers, listing their most viewed posts of 2018. Well, I’m about 10 days late to the party, but I enjoyed reading through their lists and thought this was another way to give my new readers some insight on what you can expect to find here ( No suprise, it’s all satire). So join me as we count down my top ten and prove once again that I’m a trend follower and not a trend starter 😉

Car Shopping {ish} With Jennifer:

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We spent 2 months shopping and then 8 hours in the dealership the day of (insert eye roll here). So, in this particular post I take you along on our latest car buying experience where I outline 6 factors every person should follow when buying a car. None of which my husband found slightly relevant.

A Christmas Poem:

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Honestly this is one of my favorite things I’ve written, and even though it was written with only 7 days left in 2018, it still made it to #2. I thought it would be cute to bake my first pie from scratch the day before Christmas, and well…it didn’t end the way I thought it would. I expressed my anger artfully and wrote a poem to the rhythm of “The Night Before Christmas.” I had way more fun writing the poem then baking or eating the pie.

Halloween Costumes for the Practical Adult:

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Fueled by my hatred of what adult’s wear as Halloween costumes these days…aka anything with the word “sexy” in front of it, I outlined 4 Halloween categories that I felt were truly unrepresented and should honestly frighten any adult.

Quiz Me Friday: Spelling Edition:

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This blog post was actually a video, and whether you’ve just started following me, or have been here since 2012, you will know that I am terrible at spelling. We thought it would be fun for my husband to give me a basic, and I mean basic, spelling test. It was humiliating but fun!

I’m Offically a Texan Y’all:

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This post is me losing my mind after the verified HEB (a popular Texas grocery store chain for you non-Texans) Facebook and Instagram account commented on a post I made about them. This post is an exaggerated announcement that the grocery store chain and I are now best friends for ever and by doing so, cementing my status as a true Texan and not a Hoosier (an Indiana term 😉 )

Pet Grooming {ish} With Jennifer:

IMG_2318Oh! Another one of my favorites to write, not one of my favorites to experience however! If you have curious cats and use wax warmers in your house, you will want to read this one, so you know what to do in the event your cat tries to give himself a spa treatment. Fur and wax do NOT go together.

Cinema {ish} With Jennifer Toy Story:

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In this post I dissected the American Film Institute’s #99 movie Toy Story, but since we have all seen this million at least a dozen times, I used this  time to write a brief case study on Sid from Toy Story. Active imagination or pre-teen psychopath in training? I encourage you to read this and re-watch toy story with an open mind and decide for yourself.

Getting Old {ish} With Jennifer:

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After I turned 30 last year I still felt like I wasn’t considered an adult, so I thought if I applied for the job of adult and submitted a resume then maybe I would be hired. Still waiting for the acceptance letter, but the resume is still up for your approval or disapproval!

My Quarter Life Crisis Bucket List:

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To piggy back off of the previous post, for my 31st birthday I was still not feeling too much like an adult, so I made a small bucket lists of things I want to accomplish before my 32nd birthday. If you are new to my blog you may already be familiar with this theme as I have posted an update to how my list is coming along.

The Ants Go Marching 1 by 1, Hurrah! Hurrah!

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Another one of my favorites. This spring (like every spring) we found ourselves with a bit of an ant problem. I took my annoyance to a satirical approach (like usual) and decided to turn my kitchen sink into a vacation destination for the ant community. I made a flyer and advertised like this was a Sandals resort in Jamaica.

So there you are, the top ten posts I wrote in 2018 as voted by WordPress views. I had alot of fun writing them, hopefully you have/had fun reading them!

 

300 Writing Prompts #10: What is Something You Purchased Used?

Listen, I’m a frugal gal who likes to stick to a budget, so if I can get a steal of a deal, I will. Below are some of my favorite items I have acquired 2nd hand.

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Every car I’ve ever owned! I imagine this will be a common response among people. The second you drive a new car off the lot it will depreciate by as much as 11% of its value, and can lose up to 30% in the first year (I googled that info. I’m not that smart I promise..) Now I’m not good with math or numbers…but 30% seems like a lot especially since no one drives cars until they die like people did when I was little. If you have the money to buy a brand-new car without a loan more power to you, but if you search and find a good deal on a used car that won’t let you down then WOOOHOOO!

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Books, lots and lots of books! Even in college at the book store (or on ebay) I would hunt out the used books first. Now, as an adult and avid reader, I get a thrill from digging through the shelves of used book stores as well as Goodwill! I wanted a book at Barnes and Noble the other day, 18.99. Found it at a local bookstore for 4.50. “But Jennifer, the spine will already be bent and worn…” Um, what do you think I’m going to do to it? Read it with white gloves and turn the pages with tweezers? I read in bed, in the pool and in the bathtub, that book isn’t going to know what hit it when I’m done with it!

My Pets! This sounds weird, but stick with me on this one. Every pet I have had has been rescued by us or adopted from rescues. For one reason or another their original owners realized they couldn’t take care of their sweet faces anymore and humanely surrender them to shelters. We came along, fell in love and brought them home where they are showered with kisses and treats daily.

So tell me readers, what is something you purchased used?

 

 

 

 

 

300 Writing Prompts # 9: How Would You Improve Airplane Travel?

Oh I am SOOOO glad this question has come up, because I travel by air frequently and one of my biggest pet peeves in life takes place at airports, and it’s not the size of the pretzel/peanut bags they give us either. Let’s dive into this topic, shall we.

All people in the terminal will be strapped in to their seats once they arrive to their gate. When, and ONLY when their boarding group is called, will the seat belts be unlocked, and passengers will be allowed to stand in a single file line to have their ticket scanned to board the plane.

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I don’t know if it’s the inability for 200 adults to follow simple directions or the traffic jam that is caused when everyone surrounds the boarding line like a football huddle, but I become filled with rage every time I fly. I mean, how hard is it? Look at your ticket, find your boarding group number, sit and relax and until the number on your ticket matches the number the gate agent has called out. They aren’t going to leave you behind if you’re at the right gate, and it’s not like your seat is going anywhere. (Double check first if you are flying United..) We all have tickets for the same flight and each of us has our own seat as well.

Also, I’m sure every major airline has conducted studies and focus groups on the best ways to load its passengers and have trained their flight crew to follow the best practice. Trust the process, they know what they are doing (most of the time).

Annoying traveler: “But Jennifer, I need to make sure I get on the plane before the overhead bin is full I only have carry-on luggage…”

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Well annoying air traveler, I understand your concern, and this is a risk we all take when not checking luggage. If this is a recurring issue for you, try investing in a suitcase that fits underneath the seat in front of you, they make them now for this specific purpose and they are great. Also, worst case scenario, if the bins are full they will courtesy check your bag and it will go to your final destination or will be waiting on you when you get off the plane.

 

There you have it folks, my suggestion to all the airlines. I think they would also agree how frustrating it is when people don’t listen to directions and crowd the boarding area. Someone just needs to take matters into their own hands and “tighten the buckle”

What is something you would change to improve air travel, let me know below!