Glitz & Grammar

Life and Times of a Wannabe Writer

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This is your art on drugs

I’m going to be honest with you, I haven’t done a ton of drugs. I mean, I’ve dabbled. I’ve definitely dabbled. Enough to the point that I could never like, be elected president of the United States or anything. Which is a total bummer because otherwise I had that shit in the bag.

Anyway, one time I took a Sudafed PE and my mom had to rush me to the hospital because my heart was beating so fast everyone thought I was going to die. The doctor diagnosed me with an allergy to Pseudoephedrine, and ever since I kinda figured that if I can’t even handle a little cold medicine I ought to steer clear of any of the hard stuff.

Still, I’ve always had this crazy idea/dream/bucket list item to write a story—one same story—while under the influence of different drugs.

But apparently some guy beat me to it. He used a different creative medium—painting. But essentially he did what I’ve always secretly wanted to try. He took a different drug each day, then painted a self-portrait while under the influence of each.

Here’s his story:

Do you think this is cool or crazy? Maybe “cool” is the wrong adjective. Perhaps “interesting” is a better choice. I dunno. What do you think?

Screen shot 2014-04-10 at 11.09.14 PM
^ Photo credit: Elite Daily

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It’s Opening Night and I’m excited

I will never forget the day I fell in love with baseball. It was a few games into my first season of little league (yes little league…I wanted to play with the boys) when I hit my first home run. My homer was only mildly impressive, given that the ball never made it past the pitcher’s mound. But the fumbly pitcher kept knocking it back and forth between his ankles, long enough for me to make it around each of the bases. As I rounded third and bolted for home plate, I could see the fiery pride in my coach’s eyes. My coach was also my dad.

Before I could even realize what I’d done, Dad was screaming with joy and lifting me up into the air in celebration. “That’s my girl! That’s my girl!” he chanted to the bleachers while pointing to the back of my jersey which donned the number 9–a number I’d only chosen because it was his growing up. I hugged him hard and beamed inside, because the feeling a little girl gets upon receiving the approval and recognition of her daddy is truly unparalleled.

Anyway, this post is in honor of my favorite holiday ever—Opening Night/Day. Let’s go Padres :)

Slugger^ The little slugger herself

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Break UP

I remember my first breakup as if it were just yesterday. It sucked and I wanted to die. I was 23 at the time (late bloomer) and my boyfriend of two years had fallen out of love with me about a year into. Why he stayed with me that extra year is still a mystery, though all signs point to: I’m really great at oral.

Now, a seasoned ex-girlfriend, you’d think I’d have the hang of things. But I don’t! Breakups still bring me to the brink of death. Every single time.

Especially this time.

For those who hadn’t noticed (I did, after all, update my Facebook privacy settings to hide my current relationship status [#nunya]), my most recent boyfriend of a-month-shy-of-a-year and I split up. The only difference was that this time around we both still really loved each other. It was the quintessential “I love you, I’m just not in love with you” breakup. And let me tell you what, those are the fucking worst.

The truth of the matter is that many people in our situation would have continued on to the next logical step, which would have been, of course, getting married, followed shortly thereafter by having not just spur of the moment but purposely devised, unprotected sex to lead to the popping out of offspring via my vajay. I mean, not to sound smug or anything, but from the outside looking in, we were the perfect couple. We lived together, we took vacations together, we packed lunches for each other with cute little notes on the napkins, we took killer Christmas photos. And despite the fact that we were both pretty decent human beings who thought the absolute world of each other, the spark we shared in the beginning of our relationship—the one that old cartoon couple from Up still felt 50-some-odd years later—had been missing for quite sometime. And if any two people ever wanted what Carl and Ellie from Up had, it was he and I.

Knowing we weren’t meant to spend the rest of our lives together didn’t make our breakup any less painful, however. And these past few weeks have been among my life’s most difficult. Brink of death difficult.

I’m not sure why breakups take such a lofty toll on me. It’s not like I’ve ever been the white picket fence type of girl. As much as I respect those people—the ones who have seemed to master the art of life what with their nine-to-five jobs and all, their mortgages and gorgeous families, complete with a Pop Warner-playing son who is exactly two years older than his ballet-dancing sister—that’s just never been my style. That’s never been what I’ve wanted or strived for. For one, I tried the nine-to-five thing. I worked in a prestigious law firm that closed multimillion dollar deals on the weekly and let me tell you what, that shit was BORING. Also, I have enough trouble committing to a yearlong apartment lease, let alone signing my life away to live in a single house in a single city in a single state in a single country for ten years plus or however long it takes to pay off a home loan. No thank you.

I guess the hardest part for me—and this is some spill your guts out gore about to be spewed up in here—but the hardest part for me is that I know I’d be a great mom. And as I get older and older and continue to experience failed relationships, continue to turn my nose at perfectly eligible future baby daddy candidates, I realize I may very well pass up my opportunity to be a mother. They say it starts getting tougher to have a baby once you hit your thirties. Last month I turned 29.

But if there is one thing I want more than to be a mother, it’s to fall head-over-heels in love with the one person I was meant to share my life with. And as nonconventional as I have lived my life thus far, the common thread I have shared with humanity is my belief in true love and the fact that there is one person out there who was meant to spend forever with me. And until I find that, I am not willing to settle.

And I will venture to the brink of death a thousand more times if it means finding my Carl. Even if we’re like, 90 when it happens and I have to adopt or whatever.


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My 2014 Resolutions/To Do’s

Technically the new year doesn’t start until midnight, but I thought I’d post my resolutions a few hours early. Not because I’ll be too busy celebrating the welcome of 2014, but because I am a bartender living in Las Vegas, which means at midnight tonight I’ll be deep within the weeds, serving the loudest, drunkest, most obnoxious group of humans enough liquor and cheap champagne to fill Lake Mead twice over.

So without further adieu, here is a list of resolutions/to do’s/bucket list items…whatever you wanna call it:

  • Take a photography class
  • Get First Aid/CPR certified
  • Host a “Game Night”
  • Bungee jump or zip line
  • Surf
  • Swim with sharks
  • Take a self-defense class
  • Travel to a foreign country
  • Visit far-away friends/family members
  • Learn to play a musical instrument
  • Get out of credit card debt
  • Join a gym (and actually go to it)
  • Get a writing job
  • Save $20 per bartending shift to put towards a travel fund
  • Volunteer somewhere cool
  • Put all bartending paychecks into savings

Happy New Year, everyone. From the bottom of my heart, I hope it’s your best yet.

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App of the Month: Notes

Remember when I said I was going to start reviewing iPhone apps, one per month? Well, it should come as no surprise that I never followed through with that. However, I did review Snapchat that one time and I am about to review another of my all-time faves: the “Notes” app that comes standard on pretty much all iThings.

I give Notes ten out of ten possible stars, even though I’m pretty sure my initial scale maxed out at five. Why such a high rating, you ask? And that’s a legit question. Because there’s nothing really special or cutting edge about the Notes app. It’s just this virtual notepad-ma-bobber wherein, using a thumb and/or index finger, users are able to jot down….notes. That’s it. But I love it!

Notes can be used for a variety of one’s note-taking needs. I imagine normal people utilize this app for writing down grocery and to do lists for later reference; perhaps they store reminders of upcoming events. But that’s not how I use it.

As a writer with the attention span of a toddler and memory of a goldfish, I’m often not inclined to sit down and write at the exact moment an idea strikes. But I also have a hard time remembering all my Pulitzer-worthy ideas later down the road when I’m ready to pound ‘em out.

Enter the Notes app.

For me, Notes is a place to quickly get down any idea I may have, the second it pops into my head. All I need is a phrase or two–“how to pack light for a long trip”; “Disney characters who were probably gay”; “a cheapskate’s guide to tipping like a not-jerk”–to serve as a trigger for a later time, a time during which I might actually feel like writing an article, essay, or blog post in its entirety.  In this regard, the Notes app is quite the handy little tool. But functionality is hardly the reason I rated it so high.

To me, the true potential of Notes is only ever realized months after typing an idea into my phone, months after whatever the hell that brilliant idea I had made even a scintilla of sense. These notes, the “what the?” ones, are the reason I love Notes as much as I do. Because the entertainment value in stumbling across a note like the following I just found, one I wrote myself at a moment I was probably certain I’d just come up with the perfect scenario to turn my novel into a bestseller, blows Candy Crush or whatever you’re into out of the water:



Edit: This was an actual story told to me by my father. I remember when he told it to me! I just don’t remember how I thought it would relate to my book about a zombie apocalypse…

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Happy Fish

Today was a hard day. I don’t really want to go into it anymore than that, but I do want to document—if for no one else other than myself—that I made it through a super tough 24 hours.

My heart is heavy but hopeful. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Now here’s  a cool pic of some happy fish I met at a sushi bar last night:

HappyFishLittle dude had no idea what was happening to his buddies just a few feet away. Perhaps ignorance really is bliss.

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Adorable Mess

As self-deprecating as I can be both on this blog and in real life, when I re-read old journals or revisit old photographs I often think to myself, lol Jess, you goober. You are such an adorable mess. I love you.

Recently I accidentally deleted all photographic evidence that I ever spent a month backpacking through Thailand because, well, I’m an idiot. The good news is I went on said trip with an ex-boyfriend I still get along with (sometimes) and was able to retrieve copies of my missing photos since I was smart enough to save a folder of the same onto his computer back in 2010.

Anyway, I found this one pic of myself in some grungy hotel in Bangkok (which was actually quite awesome at the time, considering it had a toilet and running water) shortly after getting a “Monroe” piercing for 10 American dollars. The piercing nearly cost me my upper lip, but it was super cute for about a day and a half.

IMG_0025lol Jess, you goober. You are such an adorable mess. I love you.

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Pale Blue Dot

I wake up most mornings with the immediate realization that the day, like any other in my adult life, is going to be a struggle. Because even though I am grateful for my life and the amazing people in it, I know that in the grand scheme of things I am a nobody. And that’s really hard for me to swallow. When I am feeling especially low, I watch this video and remember that even my heroes, in the grand scheme of things, are nobodies. To most that may sound like a depressing or even morbid notion. To me it’s a reminder to do the best with what I’ve got. To keep going, keep trying. And to remember that the world doesn’t revolve around me. It revolves around the sun, and even the sun is a nobody in the grand scheme of things.

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It’s Just a Flat Tire

I was going 80 on the 215, heading home from a 48. 80 mph is an acceptable speed at which to be traveling on Highway 215, especially when you’re running late for a Walking Dead date with your current boyfriend because you lost track of time at your ex-boyfriend’s 48-hour film festival.

It was just past the Decatur exit that Penny Lane (my 2005 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible) began to wobble. A wobbling car going 20 mph is scary. A wobbling car going 80 is terrifying. The smell of burning rubber filled the inside of my car and nostrils as I fought a wave of panic to make my way over to the shoulder without dying. Cars and trucks zipped by on either side of me, oblivious to my impending doom.

I made it, but just barely. About a foot from the solid white line that designates the boundaries of the slow lane, I felt safe enough to turn off my car. I took a moment to gather myself, then slowly opened the door and poked my head out to confirm a flat tire. Back left. A semi truck doing at least 160 roared by, nearly ripping off my door and face. I realized a foot probably wouldn’t be enough room to change the tire, but since I know exactly enough about cars to think that moving mine at that moment – even just an inch – would cause the entire thing to blow up, I left it.

I slammed the door shut and pulled down my vanity mirror, one of a few vehicular functions with which I am familiar. To my own reflection: “Why do bad things keep happening to me?” No response. It had been exactly seven weeks since my last flat tire. Tears began flowing with the power of the Nile. As I sat there alone, crying in the dark, I thought about all the other bad stuff that had happened throughout the past seven weeks. My grandmother’s Alzheimers had progressed, my dog started having seizures, and my relationship was beginning to lose its magic. It was a trying couple months and the last thing in the world I needed was to come face-to-face with death-via-flat.

Through sobs of self-pity, I searched for that red triangle button that turns your car into a disco ball, because I know enough about cars to know those flashing lights are a signal to really nice strangers who pull over to help you. But nobody pulled over. Eventually I realized I was going to have to save myself.

So I took out my iPhone and called my boyfriend.

“It happened a-fucking-gain.”
“What happened?”
“My tire! It blew! I’m stranded on the side of the highway!”
“Are you okay?”
“No, I’m not okay! I could have died!”
“Baby, it’s just a flat tire. Where are you?”
“215 and something. I don’t know! Past Decatur. Close to Jones, maybe?”
“I’m on my way. Stay put.”
“Where do you think I’m gonna go?!”

In less than five minutes, Mike arrived. He was wearing pajamas, the official uniform of our Sunday night Walking Dead dates. His hair was fluffy, which normally would have bothered me. “Your hair is fluffy,” I normally would have said, hoping he’d take the hint and throw a little product in there. He took me into his arms immediately. “You okay?” he asked, after kissing the top of my head. I nodded, still enveloped in his tight embrace. It normally would have bothered me, his hugging me so tight. “You’re smothering me,” I normally would have said.

“I’m going to move your car over a bit. Stay over there.”
“But I want to help.”
“Honey, please?”

He moved my car a few feet farther to the right. The engine didn’t blow up. I sat on my jacket a few yards back, my boyfriend lying in dirt to fix my car. When he got the bad tire off, I walked over to examine it/take pictures so I could instagram it. Another semi flew by, its force nearly knocking me over.

“Honey, please?” This time he said it sternly, which normally would have really irked me.

I moped back to my spot and plopped down on my jacket, then took another pic and decided a collage-type deal would be the best way to ‘gram all this. I was swiping through the filter gallery when my boyfriend caught my eye. I put down my phone and stared at him from afar. He’d been working out a lot lately, and it was really starting to show. His skin seemed tanner, too, and although he was a little bit sweaty, I found it sexy rather than gross. He looked oddly handsome until I remembered he’s a really handsome guy.

Sitting in my safe spot, gazing dreamily at a man who already belonged to me, I began to think that maybe I had overreacted earlier with all the sobbing and whatnot. It had been a shitty 7 weeks, don’t get me wrong, but perhaps it could have been worse.

“All finished,” my boyfriend said, wiping his hands on his pajama pants. “I’ll call my car guy tomorrow and we’ll get this sorted out. I don’t want your driving on that donut.” I know enough about cars to know a donut is a deep fried pastry with frosting and sprinkles, not something that you drive on. I thanked him anyway and he took me back into his arms. Then he kissed me. It was a strangely good kiss until I remembered he’s a really good kisser.

“Thank you again. I’m sorry I’m your girlfriend and bad stuff always seems to happen to me.”
“It’s just a flat tire, Jess. I’ll follow you home?”

The five-minute drive home felt like an eternity. I thought about all the good stuff that had happened the past seven weeks and realized it greatly outweighed all the bad stuff. I had the same revelation about my relationship.

When we got home, I changed into my Sunday night uniform and snuggled up next to Mike on the couch. We opened our DVR list to find The Walking Dead had been recording for about ten minutes, just long enough that we’d get to fast-forward through the commercials. I made him pause so I could go to the bathroom. Then I made him pause again so I could pour myself a glass of wine. I asked if I could pour him one, too, since I hate drinking wine by myself. Because he was already drinking his nightly protein shake, he declined, which normally would have really irritated me.

As Rick led his gang in their continued fight for survival in a world overrun by zombies, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for my own hero. I smiled and put my head on his shoulder.

“You okay, baby?”
“I’m fine,” I said. “It’s just a flat tire.”



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