Things have gotten pretty grim here in Kansas City, aka Romance Couplelove Wonderland For Lovers Only Paradise. The temperature has dropped so low that I have to wear wool gloves even while I do the dishes, giving me a case of "dishpan hands" so severe that I might be a medical marvel. Also, as you may have read, a recent debacle involving very ineffective composting worms has left us with a kitchen overflowing with wet garbage. Those worms are either truly lazy or truly dead. Worst of all, we have been faced with a sudden onslaught of seasonal allergies that threaten to ruin the season. Jamie and I were about to do some Holiday Stabbing (gotta keep the relationship fresh, am I right ladies?) when a sneezing fit caused him to carelessly fling the knife. "You missed the bullseye, stupid!" I cried. CHRISTMAS IS CANCELED.
With the holiday season drawing ever nearer, you're probably wondering, "What should I get Julia and Jamie for Christmas?" Well ask no more: we are only accepting His and Hers items this year. Fellow crafters, why not knits us some His and Hers sweaters? Fellow credit card holders, why not call up Lillian Vernon and get us some of those sweet monogrammed terrycloth robes? We aren't just two strangers living in an apartment together; we are a couple, dammit, and we want our robes, bath towels, mugs, keychains, ipod caddies, toothbrush holders, and shoe trees to show it!
Soon we'll have our own David-and-Victoria-Beckham-style fragrance, complete with a copycat ad campaign. The ads will gratuitously feature Jamie and myself looking underfed and sullen or on the verge of groping each other whilst wearing impeccably starched shirts and lounging on sheets with a very high thread count. The fragrance itself will have to scream "Oppulance," but also, "Sensible Budgeting," "Do It Yourself," "Home is Where The Heart Is" and "Superiority." In other words, I'm crafting this solely for the olfactory delight of one, Martha Stewart. Additionally, the fragrance needs to be distinctly Jamie/Julia. I don't know, I'm thinking notes of bergamont, sandalwood, jasmine, apple pie filling, high fructose corn syrup, Tide with bleach, and Pantene ProV. It will be offered in traditional eu de toilette and also in a gallon tub viscous format sure to be popular with society dames and those concerned about not being sticky enough.
Can we have an honest moment, you and I? Julia doesn't write this blog. I do. I started this blog as a joke (at the readers', and most of all, Julia's expense) and it turned into a year and a half long love poem to my friend-- caustic tone notwithstanding. Now that Julia has moved to Kansas City, it's getting increasingly difficult to generate topics. I actually started reading the blog that Julia and Jamie started together to steal topics, when I realized just how redundant that is. Basically, this new blog gives a much better (funnier, more accurate, more adorable) account of the G Rated exploits of Julia, because it comes straight from the source. So it is with some regret that I resign from my post as Julia Fredenburg's ghostwriter. I'm letting this blog go the way of the Edsel--lumbering into future obsolescence with noxious fumes blowing everywhere, a major embarrassment to America's once proud automobile industry.
Let's do our part, faithful readers, to keep Julia as internet-famous as possible. Check out the new Julia-Jamie blog here-- keep abreast of the romance of the century! I think Julia and Jamie can be the new Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens if we all pitch in. There might have to be a scandal involving racy pics; I'm not sure what shape this will take, as my creative stronghold on the public perception of Julia's life is effectively ended. As long as we're being candid here, might I just mention that if I didn't live in Sacramento I would be third-wheeling on this relationship like you wouldn't believe! Might I also add that I am so jealous that they are a couple who BLOGS TOGETHER that I am almost physically ill just thinking about it. In this world ripe with meaningless encounters and pathetic craigslist missed connections, the kind of love you can blog about (and with) is rare indeed.
If for some reason you are interested in keeping up with me and/or you just love total banality, go here. If not, then I urge you to check out the new blog, her flickr, and jump on my campaign to get Julia Back To California in 2k9.
We have literally sprung forward into our new life in Kansas City; as evidenced by these photos, we have trampolines placed at the entrances to each room. Ah, spaciousness unheard of on either coast! More glimpses into our obscenely sweet new digs are available here.
Tomorrow-- Jamie and I load up the Volvo and embark on our oft talked about journey to Kansas City, AKA The Greatest Romance Trip of the Century for Lovers Only! We hear they've got some crazy little women there and I'm gonna get me one...preferably, a Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader who will be amenable to the idea of doing odd jobs around the house. In 3 days time, we will begin our new life of affordability and pastimes of the landlocked. We've planned out a route that will provide us with the most hot springs stops. If there's anything I like more than eating boiled, white foods, it's having a therapeutic soak!
Jamie and I sold off much of our furniture and lesser electronics at a garage sale on Saturday. Rachel, eyes clouded with tears, took many of my old clothes, probably hoping to fashion some sort of bizarre shrine or icky doll in my likeness.
I'll disclose my new address soon. Please send Mexican food, the beach...
Go ahead, buy me these for every birthday, Christmas, anniversary, housewarming, boat christening, or "just because" present for the next 5 to 10 years!
Left paw up= luck Right paw up= money Both paws up= protection for the home Having over 25 of these placed in every room of the house= no cancer ever, getting good at gambling, Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes winning, learning to turn negative feelings into bricks of REAL GOLD, levitation, depilatory ease.
Recently, I removed my dad's blog from my list of links. I was embittered over the 9 month period that went completely update-less. During that dry spell, he spent most of his time training the dog really, really well-- she is nearly well behaved now! He's started writing his blog again, using his typical "gonzo journalism" style to keep us abreast of Fredenburg family travels to places where there are an abundance of white people, observing them in their natural habitats (Canada). You may view it here.
After thinking about it for an agonizing three hours, I decided that all my San Francisco plans should go the way of yesterday's paper. I sacrificed the prestige that comes from being a Petco photographer and quit my job. I'm moving to Kansas City, Missouri, instead. San Francisco is too expensive. Additionally, San Francisco does not have enough tornadoes or general inclement weather. There is not enough gingham. There are not enough kitchens decorated exclusively with Mary Englebreit cutesy kitsch (I never tire of her "life is just a chair of bowlies" malapropisms!) I want to be closer to that midwestern axis on which my world turns-- Chicago Public Radio's This American Life (Ira baby, I'mma comin'!). In Kansas City, open containers of alcohol are allowed in the street. This is information that hardly applies to a teetotaler like me, but is strangely enticing nonetheless. Fratboy friends I haven't yet made will feel inclined to visit, I'm sure.
While my California friends are biting their nails reading The Omnivore's Dilemma and pretending that the organic kale they bought at the under-the-freeway farmer's market doesn't taste exactly like dirt, saving every last dime to afford their basement-level tenderloin apartment that they share with a pot dealer inexplicably named Sandalfoot, I'll be slathering strip steaks in K.C. Masterpiece, wearing a Kansas City Cheifs starter jacket and drinking beer out of a red party cup downtown, suddenly feeling a strange pride in an Irish heritage I may or may not even have.
My only fear is that in my absence, Rachel may become more like this guy.
Julia "Maui Tan" Fredenburg here with a special report on mother daughter time. It being nowhere near her birthday and with Mother's Day long past, what better time for a salute to dear Mama? After all, there's no one like mother to me-- which is why I dismissed the whole "struggling to form my own identity" thing as whiny teenage rebellion and have wasted no time in becoming just like her! Below is a list of the ways that I've succeeded so far.
1. My mom and I go running together, with matching running shoes and a single ipod shuffle between us, playing the latest podcast of This American Life. Though I haven't discussed it with her, I'm willing to bet that she shares my crush on Ira Glass. I mean, he is the closest thing NPR will ever have to a heartthrob, and we Fredenburgs are put at ease by other people in quirky, thick-framed glasses.
2. We compete over whose shoes are more "sensible." Are those Danish clogs? You win this round, Mom!
3. We both fall asleep after a meat based meal watching English mysteries on PBS. Oh Poirot, but you are fussy!
I have been moved out of my adorable Santa Cruz apartment for a couple of weeks now, marking the true end of my college days. No more late nights bent over the math book (or toilet). No more polite gatherings for pie (check your sense of abandon at the door; inhibitions welcome!) in the breakfast nook. It is truly the end of an era... an era that ended for most of us a year prior. I would like to be able to report that, after a month of frustrated searching, Rach and I have finally found that illusive San Francisco apartment, sans cat pee, not in Bayview, and with a window, but that would be a lie. I am now pseudo-homeless, apportioning my time among Sacramento (because I find temperatures above 100 "pleasant"), San Fransisco/Oakland for my jobs, and Jamie's Santa Cruz apartment, which only serves to remind me of the S.F. life that could be with the fragrant aromas of the neighbor's "incense" and the urine of about 50 cats wafting through the window. It seems the one thing that isn't hard to come by in this rough-and-tumble world where jobs and houses are scarce is cat pee. Whose cats are those anyway? Seriously.
I've compiled a sort of "Best Of" here... CAT PEE ON THE 'NET 1. This site suggests that there are underlying causes for this cat urination problem-- mainly anxiety about other cats. So I should have a "bit of a sit-down" with all 50 cats; see if I can get them to open up. Chances are they will say, "Look Julia, I'm needing to constantly re-establish my territory through urination because there are 50 of us and not much territory to go around, see?" To which I will reply, "I understand where you are coming from, Mr. Boots, I mean, hell, we've all been there." Then, logically, I would lift my own leg on the apartment, as an act of solidarity... 2. This self-proclaimed cat pee expert knows a few handy concoctions of household products you could use to cover up/eliminate the cat pee smell. Recipes double as mouthwash or salad dressing but not both. 3. The South Park "Cheesing" Episode. Only click on this link if you aren't my parents or grandma.
While you losers were out having heated, yet unimaginative discussions about Obama at the local dive, spilling Stella Artois on your slacks as you move to pound your fist on the bar, or inside playing Scramble on Facebook for days on end, forgetting what toothpaste even tastes like, I was out making a name for myself. That's right-- job acquired. I'm now Petco's Official Pet Photographer, serving those members of the community who would have their portrait's taken at Sears, if Sears was a little more lenient about fecal matter. After doing this for one day, I'd say the key to capturing images of pets is to emphasize the bond between animal and master through a nurturing, holistic approach involving both patience and threats of harm and punishment. Keep bringing those untrained, highly excitable german shepherds my way, folks, and I'll keep snapping portraits that you are guaranteed to treasure forever. Finally, life is on the upswing. Only thing left is to find an apartment.
I think puncture wounds from dog teeth probably heal pretty fast.
Hey gals, do you ever just wake up with a sudden revulsion for everything in your wadrobe? You're feelin' blah and you want a new look? Well that happened to me just the other day. I decided, at that point, to get extensive Botox injections, and then cover my entire face, body and clothes in white powder!
Oh, also, I am the recipient of UCSC's prestigious Irwin Award for my photography. The ceremony is this week. I made a modest little invitation for the event, if you feel so inclined to go. But, you know, don't trouble yourself if you'd rather be at home reading that thorough, thrilling campaign coverage on the website of the newspaper that you read in print form just a few hours earlier. I won't mind. It's not like we winners of this sought-after honorable distinction were busting our humps for weeks organizing this event, subjecting ourselves to ridiculous 1920s socialite style portraits to bring an iota of class to Santa Cruz. It's not like we did that.
Also also, Rach has been writing in an infuriating Wonder Years style about her boring adolescence here. Keep your fingers crossed that she deletes it soon out of embarrassment and good judgment.
I hope to see you at 5pm sharp (punitive measures for stragglers-- will be denied water crackers, to say the least) at the Sesnon gallery this Wednesday for the presentation of my award-winning work!
Artsy type photography internship in the bay: check
Job that pays money: not yet House that doesn't, for whatever reason, reek of cat/former tenants' urine: still M.I.A. (Plenty of the urine-soaked kind are available-- check craigslist now! Specify "ground floor/basement," "student friendly" and "no credit--no problem!" in your search). Overpriced loafers with dogs heads embroidered on them:check check check! The absence of these babies is probably the root of that gnawing inadequacy I'd been feeling, and once I get my hands on some handmade black lab slippers with dogbone print fillagree, the job and apartment will just fall into place without even having to try.
So I'm trying to move to San Francisco, right? This is a task more easily accomplished with a bay-area job to foot the rent. I keep foolishly checking craigslist and other "legitimate" job boards for jobs for which I might be qualified--- photography, artsy stuff, etc. But meanwhile, an often overlooked faction of the crafting community is becoming profitable: the Cat Humiliation Industry! Julia, it's time to re-assess your career goals. It's a proven fact that pet-owners will pounce on any opportunity to belittle their furry friends. Starting tomorrow, I'm sweeping the charred remains of my carefully crafted resumes and cover letters into the wastepaper basket (burning them first in a highly symbolic ceremony... all invited...butter-based snacks and popov vodka will be served, respectful silence requested and business casual dress, 10:00AM-11:00AM) and picking up the polyfibers necessary to make my ownkitty wigs!
Really, I think wigs could look good on cats, and that's important. What's more, I think wigs could embarrass cats, and therein lies the profitability.
I just graduated from college, and it only took 5 to 7 years. Congratulations, me! Now Rachel and I can begin our tireless search for a reasonably priced apartment in San Francisco. With any luck, we'll find our dream apartment: two bedrooms, $1500 a month, quaint victorian era detailing, atop a taqueria or bail bonds office, cloying scent of urinal cakes-- origin untraceable. I know, I'm building castles in the air, right? I'm keeping my cursor on the craigslist pulse, just in case that palatial estate turns up.
In other news, today is my birthday. I wouldn't mind receiving this stunning, lifelike garden statuary, if you feel so inclined to purchase it. I'd like to place it in the yard in hopes that it might scare away some of those pesky real squirrels. I sure hate 'em!
Thanks to finance mismanagement or something else awful, my favorite yogurt is now gone. Folks, if you never tried water buffalo yogurt, then you missed out on a flavor sensation. It had the taste and consistency of ice cream and cheese cake, but, you know, healthier. Discouraged, but ever-committed to quirkiness in the face of all obstacles, I picked up some other non-cow yogurts to eat in its stead.
Here's the verdict: goat yogurt-- a little zippier than cow yogurt, and a whole lot runnier. Not at all comparable to water buffalo variety. sheep yogurt-- I don't know how else to put this: it tastes like sheep. Would only eat again to impress "daredevil" types.
Originally, I started this blog to catalogue my baby steps into the world of crafts-- a world dominated by new, young mothers wearing Camper shoes and fixing tofu scrambles in their secret nucleus of Portland, Oregon. They're looking for a way to fill the hours until their husbands get home. They're turning to crafts, because advertisements in a magazine with feminist leanings they found at the health food store seem to suggest that knitting is somehow subversive, empowering, and hip. They're "learning so much" from their kids, who are soon tragically dressed in miniature felted wool suits, clutching lumpy stuffed animals, and fussing with the strings of an unnecessary hat (each handmade by mom and affixed with a little embroidered tag that says so). Then they get an Etsy account. Frankly, the craft scene leaves a lot to be desired. I've separated the wheat from the chaff as it were, deciding to eliminate all traces of children from my craft life. You know what that means-- little Mackenzie Rose has got to go. Act now and I'll throw in these creepy retouched headshots.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say here is that I got an ETSY! Buy my adorable dresses! Or at least stop by for the best use of alliteration since Beowulf!
How do you like me now, craft-blogging elite? Someone new and noticeably childless walks in your midst! (Let's all see to it that Mackenzie finds a suitable home. You're just as responsible for her as I am, at this point).
If you're unfamiliar with Etsy, I found this BlogTalkRadio interview with its vice president of communications that's quite comprehensive. I know--a talk radio show about blogs. How redundant...how dull... and yet, how strangely compelling.
Attention family, friends, and e-stalkers: I am now the photography intern at the esteemed and world-famous Scott's Valley Press Banner! My supervisor told me that I'm the best intern they've ever had. He also told me that I am the only intern they've ever had. Unprecedented!
Reading this blog, for me, was kind of like finding a really accurate horoscope (for those of you who care for that sort of thing). Very eerie, especially topics numbered 36, 38, 39, 44, 46, 47... well, the list goes on.
I hope you all enjoyed Valentine's Day, and experienced love in one way or another.
For over a year now, I have been searching for oatmeal of the thickest viscosity to please my finicky, housecat-like pallette. Many experiments took place, with unsatisfactory results (might have accidentally made dog chow/low-grade explosives/brass polish/bootleg hooch/clear blue liquid gel/an improperly cited wikipedia entry). Just recently, though, I made a discovery: If I just boil a mess of granola the way I would normally cook oatmeal, then I get the desired consistency. Yum Yum! I have incorporated it into my morning routine, where it is taking the place of both a hamburger and an hour's worth of troubling New Agey rituals. My message is simple: granola-cooked-as-oatmeal is not only a part of this complete breakfast, but might also be so satisfying to the part of you that craves spirituality (and acceptance!) that you might gain the strength to finally leave that money-sucking cult!
Big changes are in store next month for Madame J. Fredenburg (that's me!). I'll be graduating. Also, the rent on my house is going up by about a trillion dollars, so I'll be leaving my cozy little Santa Cruz nest, which, as you can recall, was the site of many wild parties. Time to wake up and smell the future! Time to bury the remains of my untamed college days.
Step 1: Quit the egg creams. I'm assuming I'll have to do this cold turkey, as I don't think the egg cream patch/gum has been approved yet in this country, or even exists. Step 2: Acquire a more conservative pair of glasses. My current thick black frames might confuse potential employers into thinking that I'm Sir Elton John. No autographs, please! Step 3: Cancel New Yorker subscription; replace with Wall Street Journal and Cat Fancy Step 4: Create a "real," more professional-looking website to showcase my photography. Take steps to hide this blog from the art world. Check it out!
Blink 182 said it best: "Well I guess this is growing up!"
Have fun voting today ladies and gents! As far as I know, Hilary didn't instate my "wild tiger woman" campaign facelift idea. I predict that this will only hurt her at the polls.
Jamie and I went up to Sacramento recently to, among other things, see some historical sites. Here we are in Rick's Dessert Diner fueling up on sugar and 1950s kitsch before a late-night run to the Stanford Mansion and The Governor's Mansion! Buildings of yore! We like to do our touring at night, when Sacramento is most seductive.
In the car on the way back to Santa Cruz, Jamie, Rach, and I discussed ways to revamp Hilary R. Clinton's public image. Since she is not particularly feminine, we think it would be fortuitous for her to simply discard any remaining vestiges of being a woman, and start slicking her hair back and wearing white suits. Maybe even disco suits. Maybe even Elvis' suit. You know, an attractive combination of verve, sparkle, and rugged masculinity. Drawn-on pencil-thin mustache is optional, but advised. And here's the clincher: She shall take a page from the Cal Worthington book of showmanship by riding into important public events on a fierce tiger. The tiger is symbolic of our nation's troubles, and you, Hilary, are the only candidate who can "tame the beast!" The pendulous (and totally optional!) gold chains hanging around both your and the tiger's necks will evoke the opulence of the new, increasingly prosperous America under your reign... if you'd only let us tweak your image every so slightly!
Call us, Hilary! We will turn you into the Liberace of presidential hopefuls.
Watch this clip to get the full flavor of what we'd like to achieve. You can skip minutes 1:39 till the end, where Cal Worthington is getting gnawed on (playfully?) by the tiger, and later getting "love" bites in the neck from what appears to be a bear buckled into the passenger seat of a Chevrolet. That part's not important.
I'm really glad to have found this egg cream blueprint online. Now I can make my own egg creams from home, and recreate that glorious high! Up until now, I had been "chasing the dragon" for weeks!
I think my insatiable need for egg creams (abbreviated from here on out as E.C.s) is starting to adversely affect my rich hobby life. For instance, instead of sewing, I just spent hours perusing this fake craigslist, looking for free give-aways, before realizing that it was just a hilarious fraud. Oh well, I guess I didn't really want those free cobra puppies, anyway.
In the meantime, I'll be watching what I like to call Egg Cream-o-Vision. It's barely audible, it's out of focus, and I JUST CAN'T GET ENOUGH!!!
When I was in New York last month, Jamie called me up and said, in a nutshell, "Hey Julia, wanna come with me to the midwest and deep south to retrieve the homemade raft that myself and several others used to navigate the Mississippi this summer/fall? You remember-- that life changing experience I had that involved many hilarious and scary brushes with the local law enforcement. Remember how myself and the other rafters became the hot topic on the local news and, with the aide of a generous lawyer seeking publicity and a somewhat bombastic news anchor we eventually made it to our proposed destination of New Orleans, even with the coast guard hot on our trails?" Well, ok, perhaps he said less than that. Maybe he said Come Get The Raft With Me. Bottom line: I agreed to go. It's amazing what I'll agree to do once I get a few egg creams in me! Lay off the sauce, Julia! Granted, there's no alcohol in an egg cream (that I know of!) but darned if I don't get riled up just thinking about them! EGG CREAM!!!!
So flash forward a couple of weeks: Jamie and I are driving through the south at breakneck speed, hell-bent on retrieving the raft in N'Orleans, only making brief stops to pee and immerse ourselves in a wonderland of Elvis memorabilia. Adventure around every turn! At one point, I believed Jamie to be lost in some thick brush. Even my dangerously high levels of egg-cream derived moxie couldn't make me get in that brush! I cursed myself for leaving my machete in Santa Cruz.
But listen, dear reader, all you really need to know is that the raft was secured eventually, and is currently resting, disassembled, in a garage in Kansas City, MO. This adventure has easily been the most exciting one of my life. I almost don't want to tell you too much about it, gentle reader, because, given the usual comically dull "style" of my blog (that you have, I'm sure, come to both enjoy and even revere as a sort of Prairie Home Companion alternative), it seems kind of vulgar to suddenly shock you with a lot of swashbuckling, folderol, and fanfare. Frankly, I have to assume that at least 70% of my readers have some kind of geriatric heart condition, and you old biddies probably don't welcome too many kicks. I mean, am I right or am I right, ladies? For those of you who probably won't suffer dizzy spells or shortness of breath in the face of a little excitement, feel free to have a look-see at my pictures from the trip.
Raft disassembly-- Deconstruction of some very large-scale crafting!
Another egg-creamless continental breakfast leaves me near tears at a Best Western in Donaldsonville, LA.
2008 off to a rollicking start! Happy new year, friends!