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Monday, January 27, 2014

They Kept Telling Me Winter Was Coming, But I Didn't Want To Believe It.

I’m particularly well qualified to discuss how to and the differences between dressing for winter in both New York and Florida, as I am from one and currently live in the other.

How To: Dress For The Winter in New York.
Is this the face (eyes?) of a happily dressed child?
Step 1: Get out of your warm, cozy comforter cocoon and turn your alarm off. It’s a new day, jerkface, and you’ve got to face it whether you want to or not.

Step 2: If single: Dance around a little to warm up while grumbling about the weather.
-If living with significant other: Grumble about the weather loudly enough to wake them up, and when they wake up, rudely tell them to go back to sleep in their coziness and that you hate them and all that they stand for.
-Other option for if living with significant other: Cuddle up to them and suck up some of their warmth before getting out of bed. Then commence hating them.

Step 3: Stick out tongue at Boyfriend’s sleeping form. Think about the terrible things you are going to do to him later, to punish him for having the ability to sleep longer than you and continue to be warm.
-These evil and delightful thoughts should carry you into and through your shower.

Step 4: Linger for a couple extra minutes in the hot shower as you psych yourself up for getting out of the shower. Just remember: No coffee will magically appear in your shower.
-Mmmmm. Coffeeeeeeeee.

Step 5: Dry off as quickly as possible. Try not to kill yourself hopping around in your tiny NYC bathroom while drying off.

Step 6: Be pleasantly surprised at how warm your apartment is. You don’t know it yet, but this one is going to come back and bite you in the ass. You don’t control your heat, the building does. It’s very sauna-like at times.

Step 7: Dress yourself in a “base layer.” For the coldest days, a base layer includes leggings or thermal pants THAT ARE NOT REAL PANTS. Real pants will still need to be worn over these.

Step 8: Regular layer. Usually a sweater or long sleeve shirt and actual pants. The problem here is trying to figure out how much is too much. You don’t want to die of your nipples frosting over in public, but you don’t want to melt into a sweaty Jew-y puddle at work, either.

Step 9: Outer-outer layer. On coldest days, you’re talking hoodie, then heavy jacket, scarf, adorable winter hat, and gloves.

Step 10: Have to take off gloves and sweat for a couple minutes in your sauna-like apartment while you make sure you have everything and take your vitamins and grab your keys. Pretty much everything is impossible to do while actually wearing gloves.

Step 11: Waddle out of the apartment in your approximately 7 layers of clothing. I hope you remembered underwear. I didn’t list it here, because I felt that should have been an obvious one. If you forgot, you’re screwed. You have like 6 million layers on, and you want to go back inside and start all over? Ridiculous. Just go commando that day.

Step 12: Freeze to almost death on the way to the train, then wait for the train in the cold while starting to get pissy again. You know that meaniehead is still warm and cozy at home, asleep.

Step 13: Get on train and immediately start sweating and regretting the layers. Some de-layering may occur.
-Optional, often-utilized de-layering: scarf, hat, gloves, and unzipping at the neck of your jacket. Must have pockets for all de-layered items. Holding them just sucks.

Step 14: When getting off the train, re-layer and proceed to walk to work.

Step 15: Get to work and begin the process of fully de-layering down to your basic base and regular layer. Possibly sweat anyway in a hot office.

Reverse process for going home.

There is an optional additional step that includes getting sick in the really cold part of the winter. What's worse that having a cold? Having a cold that basically keeps you imprisoned in your apartment, because I think Jewish moms will tell you that you shouldn't be wandering outside in the cold when you're sick. Or they might just tell you to wear a sweater and EAT SOME SOUP!

Just one reason why we don't have a dog.

How To: Dress For The Winter in Florida.
Step 1: Wake up in your nice, cool, air-conditioned home.
-If living with a significant other: Grumble about the having to get up loudly enough to wake them up, and when they wake up, rudely tell them to go back to sleep in their coziness and that you hate them and all that they stand for (and will ever stand for. Things you stand for change as you get older. Gotta cover all the bases here.).

Step 2: Almost freeze your face off getting out of a nice warm shower. Curse the air conditioning for a minute while drying off as quickly as possible. Cursing in more than one language is encouraged.
-During this process, toes are often banged into the side of bathtubs. More cursing may ensue.

Step 3: Put on whatever feels good and is within arm’s reach. Only one layer is necessary.

Step 4: Walk out of the house and immediately start sweating and regretting everything in your life and every decision you’ve ever made. Glare at the sun for a moment.
-This would also be the time to wonder what the heat is doing to your hair.

Step 5: Sweat the entire way to work, because it’s not far enough away for your car to get super cool.

Step 6: Get to work and go ahead and put on that hoodie you keep at your desk because it’s so cold inside.


This is my life (the NY one, obviously. Not that I'm bitter about the cold or anything!). This awkward cycle of hot to cold to hot.

Am I doing it wrong? Is there an easier way??

On the other hand, New York has these two AMAZING times of year, called “Spring” and “Fall,” in which you can wear a hoodie and jeans and be totally comfy, and the weather is amazing, and it’s the perfect time to wander around the city and see the few trees with their leaves changing, and it’s just the best parts of the year. Really, it’s awesome. I wish it were Spring all the time!

(Spring is better than Fall, because Spring leads to hot, beach-y Summer and Fall leads to toes falling off from frostbite and snow in your shoes.)

Perfect example of why Florida is awesome in the winter! This is from 1/2/14!

**Things I have put a lot of thought into lately: cheese, muffins, and hula hoops. Also, Alvin and The Chipmunks. (Clarification: not cheese muffins. 2 separate things.)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How 'Bout We All Agree Not To Ask Stupid Questions?

Why is it ok for complete and utter strangers to ask newly married couples when they are having kids, or regular couples when they are going to get married? These are common, yet rude questions. I mean, I get that it’s usually done with good intentions, but you know what they say about those...

What if the answer is “we can’t have kids, but thanks for bringing that up in public, I’m going to go cry in the corner now.” or “We aren’t getting married because one of us only has a week to live. GUESS WHICH ONE.”

More importantly, why is it ok for strangers to touch a pregnant woman’s belly? I live in New York. New Yorkers have a healthy respect for everyone’s personal space. Maybe because there are so many of us here, and we have to guard that little bubble, so we respect it. A LOT.
Probably because we have all been here.
When my sister was pregnant, complete strangers would walk up and pat her belly, give unsolicited parenting advice, and sometimes even tell horror stories of labor-gone-wrong or painful deaths.

If I were pregnant, I’m PRETTY POSITIVE that the last thing I’d want to hear is a story from the cashier at the Stop n’ Shop about how her aunt’s-cousin’s-sister almost died while giving birth.
Even though I’m not planning on having kids right now, I feel like I need to put this out there. If you ever see me, ever, and I am pregnant, or with anyone who is or might be pregnant, for the love of cheese, don’t tell me about how your friend once had a miscarriage, your aunt nearly bled out during birth, or how your own labor was so painful that even 10 years later, you feel the ghost of the pain on rainy nights.

How can people not see that that is horrific and rude and terrifying to a woman about to shove a tiny human out of her??? Oh jeez, now I am thinking about that and it sounds scary.

Speaking of. Birth is weird. Babies are weird.

I love kids. Not just like them, like a lot of people. I may be childless, but I’m an incredibly loving aunt to three shorties whom I adore more every day. I like to smile and wave at stranger’s children who stare at me at TJMaxx or in restaurants. I like babysitting and playing with kids and just seeing what comes out of their weird, imaginative heads.

But that does not mean that I romanticize kids. Kids are sticky, loud, annoying at times, they look kind of alien-y for those first few weeks, and they makes messes out of anything. They’re also a gigantic responsibility and money-pit, too, but I digress.

I told my brother once that watching his kids go from infants to growing up, was somewhat like having a puppy that slowly learns to talk. Unlike some people (like the ones on!!), he thought that was both accurate and hilarious.
This dog has a lot to say, if only someone would listen!
Kids are amazing. They don’t have the limits yet that life puts on us as we get older. ANYTHING is possible, anything can happen, everything is brand new to them. It’s so cool.

I took my niece to her first movie in a movie theater when she was about 3 and a half. She was SO EXCITED. We were on the way, and she kept saying “Aunt Jyssica, I can’t believe we’re going to a MOVIE. THIS IS SO EXCITING.” And then she’d ask, “Aunt Jyssica...what’s a movie?”

How is that not so frickin’ cute? We saw Tangled, and she did so well in the theater. When sitting on the theater chairs, her tiny feet only came to the end of the chair, but she had so much fun. When was the last time you went to the movies and left having had a magical, amazing, new experience? NEVER, that’s when.

You jaded bastard.

My almost-4-year-old nephew wants to be a train when he grows up. A TRAIN. He doesn’t want to be a train conductor or a railroad worker or someone who collects train tickets. He wants to grow up and magically one day turn into Thomas the Tank Engine. That’s awesome.

For my nephew to be that excited and into trains is just cool. Obviously, he can’t become a train. At least, not without some extensive and expensive surgeries. But it’s so cool that he loves them so much that he would literally become one if he could. I love cheese like that. If eating too much string cheese and eventually becoming a piece of string cheese was a legitimate danger in life, I’d have been long cheese-ified and eaten. Probably by Boyfriend. He likes cheese, too.
Christ on a cracker, I love cheese.
I also have a little 11 month old niece. I don’t know what she wants to be yet, but I can tell you this: There is no cuter kid in the world than her in her footie PJs that have a giraffe-head hoodie and a tail on her little baby butt. If this kid wants to be a giraffe when she grows up, then I flippin’ SUPPORT THAT!

I don’t know why, but some people feel the need to explain to kids that stuff isn’t real. My 6 year old niece recently told me that her classmates have teased her and told her that fairies aren’t real, when right now, she believes they are.

Listen here, parents of 1st graders in DC: Suck it. If my niece wants to believe, at 6 years old, that fairies exist, then I am encouraging that stuff and you better keep your Debbie Downer kids away from imagination-land. You don’t see my Jewish niece running around telling your jerky kid that Santa isn’t real. Because this kid is encouraged to have as much imagination as possible and to believe in kid stuff while she still can, and no one needs your mean little stickyfaced 6 year old saying any differently.

We sat down and practiced saying “I can believe whatever I want!” to other kids who try to tell her what is and isn’t real.

Being an aunt has been among the most rewarding experiences of my life. Some people say that they “feel old” as their friends and family members are getting married or having kids, or as they approach 30 (which isn’t even one-third of the average allotted life span of an average American person), but not me. I feel young. I feel young and silly and like I’m still growing and learning all the time. I feel like I have so many great people and things in my life and that I have about a bajillion more amazing experiences and people to come in my life in the future. Why wouldn’t I look forward to that?! And having the nieces and nephews to love and watch grow (too fast, stay this little forever!), just makes getting older even better. You have new tiny people to toss around in the air, wrestle with, tease, and teach things to. Love it!

Right this moment, though, I’m mostly looking forward to skydiving in New Zealand. :)

**Things I have put a lot of thought into lately: zebras, skip-its, and string cheese. And penguins. I’m always thinking about penguins.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Dad Can Out-Caption Your Dad.

My dad sent me a picture from his epic new adventure in New Zealand. The email's subject line only read "Attitude."

Inside the email was a picture of a sheep. The picture was captioned "baaaaaaaahhh this motherf*****."

I asked my friend Carly how much knowing the above information made her want to see a picture of a sheep.

Her exact answer: "I'd say on a scale of one to 10, at least a 12."

My dad sure knows how to caption a sheep. Though I am not sure this is a truly marketable skill, I have to admit that I hope it's one I inherited.

I sent an email back to my dad that said "That sheep looks like it's smiling suggestively at you. Wink wink heyyyyyyyy."

Surprisingly, I have not yet received a response. Typical dad, he's probably out gallivanting with his new BFF, the sheep. Ridiculous, epic sheep. 

In another email, dated about 2 and a half minutes later, I got this, with the caption "The intensity of Christmas in NZ."

Whoa. Back off, New Zealand, you're taking all of our Xmas sparkles. Hold your sheep and give us back our Christmas cheer. 

If the stores in NYC are empty next year, I think we'll know why.

I should do like a “Dear Abby” type of thing. I feel like I’d give super awesome advice. I have before. Remember that one post about how to make your baby awesome? That was me.

Send me questions. I want to make a post answering people’s problems. I’m sorry in advance if any of my solutions cause your problems to catch fire or something.