Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Confessions of a Lurker

There's quite a few blogs that I lurk and love. The writing makes me salivate with glee while equally feeling like a loser because I cannot spin such magical webs. And I get paid to write! But no matter, it's not my words you should be reading. It's this. This post made me....well I don't exactly know how to describe it. It just made me. So read it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday: Undercover


So this is my neighbor, one street over, filled with an apparent overflowing of Christmas Cheer. I saw this house shining like a beacon in the night, and made Perfect Ryan go with me on a stealth mission to photograph it for your enjoyment. The picture is blurry because he took it quickly and without a flash - we didn't want to draw attention to ourselves. Of course, we were skulking around our neighborhood late at night, wearing dark hooded sweatshirts and posing for pictures in front of the Christmas Castle. I'm sure THAT didn't draw any suspicion.

And, I know this house doesn't hold any sort of record for most lights or lawn ornaments, but in our neighborhood, it's shocking. Most of the houses are still dark, or have a small wreath on the front door.

Chaos House

Monday, November 28, 2005

SoulO Again

Look, I was sad when Brad and Jennifer broke up. But there was also a part of me that thought, "well.....yeah".

But Nick and Jessica?? The Virgin Bride? The Newlyweds? I don't know where you stand on the Us Weekly/The New Yorker spectrum, but I feel like this separation should make us all a little sad. Even my Mom said "Not Nick and Jessica??!!" and she doesn't know that J. Lo never married Ben. Of course, Perfect Ryan thinks it's all a planned rouse by Dad Simpson to boost DVD sales and concert tickets. And even though I don't know them and never will and it's none of anyone's business what's going on in their private life, I just feel sad.

We had such high hopes.

Foxy's Thankgiving Turkey Leg

Top Ten Thanksgiving Highlights:

-Picking up my iBook EARLY and finding out that I owed ZERO DOLLARS. They didn’t even make me pay for the hard drive backup!
-Going to my Dad’s church in Beaver Dam, Kentucky and hearing this comment when Dad asked the church what they were thankful for: "Brutha Kelley, I'm right thankful I got me a der whilst I's sitting inma easy chair onma back porch there drinkin' coffee".....loosely interpreted "Brother Kelley, I'm thankful I got the opportunity to shoot a deer while I was sitting in my easy chair on my back porch drinking coffee. Thankfully I had a loaded gun within reaching distance so that I could easily shoot the deer without getting up from my recliner." And all the people said.....Amen.
-Eating dressing until I thought my eyeballs would pop out of my head, and then driving to the Illingworths and eating MORE dressing. And Deviled Eggs. And pie.
-Pulling up to Ma and Pa Illingworths and seeing several women park in front of the house and walk towards the front door. Ryan didn't know who they were, but we both assumed they were friends of someone. The three ladies walked into the house, and then screamed and ran out saying "THIS IS THE WRONG HOUSE!!!! WE WENT INTO THE WRONG HOUSE!!!!"
-Playing Taboo with Ryan's mom and laughing so hard I nearly puked. She's the sweetest lady in the world until you buzz her for saying a word that isn't allowed – then all hell breaks loose. (Of course, the near puke could have been from all the dressing. And pie.)
-Sleeping late.
-The A&E 24 Marathon on Friday.
-NOT showing up to Wal-Mart or Target or Sears or any of those idiot stores that opened at 5am. That's just not right.
-Playing Nertz with Karina and Debi and Ryan – and I will now wish Karina the Happiest Birthday of All. You are fabulous.
-Decorating the outside of the house with lights and such.

I am also quite thankful for so many things....including (but not limited to) Perfect Ryan, Illingworth Manor, my family (both Harris and Illingworth), Baby Eckert, the opportunity to write another book, having four days off from work, dressing, and pie.

Foxy and Turkey Leg

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Duck says -

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll!!

The Cat's (Pink) Pajamas

Overheard last night while standing in line at PetSmart behind a young woman unloading a basket full of tiny clothes. Mostly tiny pink clothes.

PetSmart Cashier: Are all of these outfits for your pet?
Girl: Oh yes!! He loves getting dressed up!
PetSmart Cashier: So, your dog is a boy, and he wears pink?
Girl: His favorite color is pink, he looooooooves pink!!!! Oh.....and he’s a cat!
Girl: Yeah!
PC: Does he have a questionable sex?
Girl: Ummm, no. He just loves pink!
PC: (still scanning outfits) And all of these clothes, the cat will wear these?
Girl: Yup! He loves it! He goes with me everywhere. I walk him on a leash!
Nivah interjects: You walk him on a leash?
PC: I’ve just never heard of a cat wearing clothes...and walking on a leash.
Girl: He’s a minx.
PC: A minx.
Girl: Yes, and he’s been getting dressed since he was 12 weeks old, so he just loves it!
Nivah and I: (Staring....aghast......)
PC: (Looking at register after final outfit is scanned.) You just spent $180.00 on outfits......for your cat.

Girl giggles, scans credit card, collects her bags and trots off. Nivah and I look at the PetSmart Cashier with bug eyes. No one says anything.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday: Too Early

SPT: Too Early

As we discussed earlier, yes, it's too early. But guess what? This Christmas tree fills me with cheer. And I like cheer. Love it, actually. Three cheers for cheer!

Happy Thanksristmas Year to you!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Because he's funny, that's why....

Instant Message I just received from Perfect Ryan:

I ate the cheese quesadilla Hot Pocket....and I think I had an orgasm in my mouth...

Weekend Update from Illingworth Manor

Ryan and I were gone to KY for the weekend and came home to an open refrigerator door. Cracked, really, but the light was on. And all the milk and butter and yogurt and carrot juice and egg nog* – warm and ruined. And smelly. And just plain ewww.

But there were highlights:
-We put up our Christmas tree and it’s GORGEOUS!!! GORGEOUS!!!!! Did I mention it’s GORGEOUS???!!!!**
-We saw Walk The Line with Joaquin and Reese. Go see it right now. Right. Now.
-Ryan helped build a life-size nativity scene for my Dad’s church. How cute is that?
-I lost 2 pounds.

*Look, I know it's not Christmas yet, but Perfect Ryan LOVES the egg nog. When they start selling it, he starts drinking it.

*Yes, I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and singing “Holly Jolly Christmas” and hanging mistletoe in all the doorways are activities best saved for Black Friday or thereafter. And I agree. But Ryan and I will be out of town Wednesday through Sunday night and then things get crazy for quite a while and yesterday was the only day to get it done. So there! I know it was wrong, but it was sooooooooo fun.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Do you ever get the feeling that someone is having a fake cell phone conversation just so they don't have to talk to you?

And I don't mean the Johnny Cash one...

I'm so so so glad it's Friday, even though The Mucus is still lingering. I’ve given up the fight. I can’t continue taking cold medicine. It makes me loopy and wooshy and high as an eighth grade cheerleader using those big fat markers to make a sign for the Winter Carnival. It also tends to give me hives. I often disregard this fact and dose up anyway, but this never turns out well. I constantly battle the struggle between feeling overly symptomatic (incessant nose blowing, headache, coughing, aches) or feeling drugged (spaced out, itchy inner-ears from the hives, feeling as if underwater). Neither option suits me. I’m jealous of those women who pound four Advil thereby squelching all aches and irritations. I take a tiny red Sudafed and I’m catatonic for two days. Usually I just suffer the symptoms and slurp mucus for a week.

But lately I’ve been thinking...what in the WORLD am I going to do if I ever have the opportunity to give birth? I’m not one of those strong granola-types who can squat, take the pain like a champ and then make pancakes for the family. And I fear that an epidural might induce a loopy drunken state for the first year of my child’s life and this would leave all the diaper brouhaha up to Perfect Ryan. And let’s be honest, he’s not THAT perfect. I like the idea of a medication-free midwife kinda birth. But I am equally freaked out by it – especially the “ring of fire” I’ve heard about. This does not sound like something I want to experience on purpose.

Not that I have reason to worry.
I’m not

Thursday, November 17, 2005

iBook, youBook we all fall down....

So I just took my iBook over to Mac Authority (The Authority on Macs!) because of a minor disturbance last night that nearly closed my throat with panic. I handed The Beloved over to the girl with the green fingernails and the pink pants. I tried to cry a little, so Miss Pink Pants would let the technician know that I’m desperate and maybe a little crazy. She asked me what happened. I told her that it froze up and then the screen went blank. Twice. Then I added a whimper and bit my lower lip. My antics didn’t phase Miss Pink Pants. She had me sign a form saying something about "I promise to pay whatever exorbitant amount you decide to charge me even if it means I cannot get my wisdom teeth pulled or ever have children" and sent me on my merry way.

This is bad because:
1. My book is due to the publisher in nineteen weeks. For those of you who think nineteen weeks is a really long time, I hate you.
2. Ryan’s computer is currently dead. Fried. On the blink.
3. That means there are no computers at Illingworth Manor.
4. I cannot write 50,000+ words by hand.
5. I’ve heard rumors about the cost of having a computer fixed, specifically a Mac. Something about “more than my first car”.
6. I have a Mac.
7. I need to get a new driver’s license by the end of the month because my check card expires and I need to start using my new check card with my new last name but I cannot use it until I have a matching I.D. with the appropriate last name and I cannot function with my check card. Cannot.
8. That last one was just a bonus reason that has nothing to do with my computer, but really stresses me out

So the half-asleep technician called me back with good news and bad news.
Good news: It’s a problem with the logic board, which may be under warranty.
Bad news: If it’s not under warranty, it’s going to be just shy of $500.00 to fix, unless we find something else wrong and then it will be way more. WAY more. And we won’t know that for several days. Oh yeah, and there’s the holiday coming up, so add some more days. It won’t be ready for a while.


He also said...
Tech: Would you like anything from the hard drive to be saved?
Me: What?
Tech: Well, usually when Apple needs to fix a problem, they just wipe out everything on the computer.
Me: Everything? You mean my first book, my current working items for my second book, and my wedding photos? That stuff? YES, PLEASE SAVE IT ALL.
Tech: That will be $85.00 and three more days.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Scarlett, We're Not at Tara Anymore

I love being a Southern woman. I've lived the majority of my life in the south (minus a seven day stint in Bangor, Maine - which is a whole other story for a whole other ..... let's not go into it). I have enough of a Southern accent to count, but not enough to be asked to repeat myself. I use the word "fixin" to indicate when I'm about to do something. I love thunderstorms. When the restaurant server asks if I want sweetorun, I say sweet. (That's sweet tea for you Yankees.) A photo of me wearing a full hoop-skirt get-up complete with lace gloves and a bonnet with ribbons does exist. I refer to you as ya'll, I once owned a pick-up truck and I know all the words to Rocky Top.


It drives me right crazy when every single every news channel refuses to interview anyone but a toothless drunk in a wife-beater and a John Deer trucker hat with the bill pointed skyward who scratches his head or spits his chew juice during the entire interview. It sets my blood boiling, ya'll!!

The South had a wild night tonight. Warm air mixed with a cold front coming in made for an interesting drive home for everyone from northern KY to the TN/MS border. I'm not sure how many tornados were spotted, I lost count at 20. Golf ball sized hail. Wild whipping wind and driving rain. Strobe-like lightning and thunder that rattled the dishes on the shelf. I've been through more storms than I have hairs on my head, but this one made me get in the bathtub and hope for the best. Of course, this all made for a most exciting night for all the news personna to shine. (Sidebar: It's always amusing to me when the newscasters are shouting to you to TAKE COVER and THIS IS SERIOUS and GO TO YOUR BASEMENT while they are standing outside wearing a slicker, holding a microphone.)


Tonight at 10:00 was the storm wrap-up. The footage of damage and stories from survivors. And once again, Channel 4 News did not disappoint and managed to find the craziest hillbilly in all of Middle Tennessee to describe his "storm experience".

"Well I saw my daddy's S-10 git blowed over and them's porch ovare done neart blowed off. I took to runnin, I tell ya, I was scaret. That wind done blowed all crazy."

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you heard it hear first. Yours truly managed to survive the night the wind blowed all crazy.

Caution: Irritation Ahead

I’m just irritated. I have valid reasons why, but I don’t feel this is the place to air said reasons. Suffice to say – I AM IRRITATED AT WORK. I understand that I must work in order to have money in order to pay bills. I also understand that in comparison to the general populace, I have it pretty good. I also understand that I probably (actually) have nothing to complain about. But that does not and shall not change the fact that I am irritated.

Maybe it’s the trickle down effect of me getting the work that others don’t want to do (which, I realize, I do to others as well)
Maybe it’s the cold and rainy weather that’s really got me down
Maybe I’m finally fed up
Maybe it’s that time of the month (although I think this is a lame excuse)
Maybe I’m meant for other things, but it’s not quite time yet
Maybe I’m on the brink of a big change
Maybe the current state of things around the office has me so stressed out, The Mucus has taken up permanent residence in my head
Maybe I should start drinking
Or smoking


Self Portrait Tuesday: Carrot Juice

Carrot Juice

In order to prevent more of these kinds of visits, I've been chugging Carrot Juice every day. You must know, my idea of eating healthy is not picking the carrots out of my fried rice. So The Carrot Juice has been challenging for me. And gross. But yet I drink it.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Pillar shirt

Did you hear about this missing girl? Stories are circulating that this 14 year old girl from Pennsylvania was out late with her 18 year old boyfriend. When she got home, her parents were angry about her missing curfew. Fight escalated. Boyfriend shot parents TO DEATH and left with the girl. There's an amber alert out for the girl:

Ludwig, a white male with brown hair and brown eyes, was last seen driving his parents' red Volkswagen Jetta with Pennsylvania license plates EHH-0994. Borden is described as white, 5-feet-1 and 100 pounds, with brown hair with blonde highlights. She was last seen wearing a black sweat shirt with "Pillar" across the front, blue jeans and black sneakers.

This story, obviously, is horrifying enough on its own. But what I can't shake is, this girl is a fan of one of my bands. This girl is the one that I write marketing plans for - the target audience. She's the one who goes to Pillar shows and buys their merchandise and wears it proudly. I guess I always picture "this girl" in my head as a happy go lucky teenager who loves Pillar and her parents. Who studies and goes to youth group and hopes to someday be a psychologist or a pediatrician. Not the victim (or possible participant) of a homicide and a kidnapping.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I'm It

I've been tagged by Cool M for a Meme. Does that rhyme?

Two names you go by:
1. Jo – obviously, since my name is JoAnna
2. Girl – my parents rarely ever call me by my name, and instead call me Girl. Well yes, I am a girl. Thanks for noticing.

Two parts of your heritage:
1. Indian horse thieves
2. English/Scottish royalty of some sort
(now isn’t that a good balance)

Two Things that Scare you:
1. Midget hands
2. These Beasts

Two of your Everyday Essentials:
1. Diet Coke
2. A window to look out of

Two Things you are wearing right now:
1. My Ryan charm
2. My Wedding Ring

Two of your favorite bands or musical artists:
1. Dolly Parton
2. Imogen Heap
Bonus: Ryan Illingworth

Two favorite songs (at the moment):
1. Goodnight and Go – Imogen Heap
2. The Christmas-y theme music from Home Alone/Elf that I tend to sing out loud 365 days a year. I cannot stop myself. I sing it every day in my head, and sometimes it escapes out of my mouth. This usually happens in front of my husband, who thinks it’s funny. But I’m not doing it to be funny.

Two things you want in a relationship (other than real love):
1. Balance
2. Laughs

Two truths:
1. Having a lot of money doesn’t make you rich
2. Being rich doesn’t mean having a lot of money

Two physical traits in the opposite sex that appeal to you:
1. Shoulders
2. All of THIS

Two of your favorite hobbies:
1. Making up jingles that rhyme
2. Dressing the Duck. This morning Ryan and I dressed him as a Lady Pilgrim - photo soon to come.

Two things you want really badly:
1. The ability to write full time
2. French fries

Two places you want to go on vacation:
1. Europe
2. NYC

Two things you want to do before you die:
1. Have children
2. Have fun

Two ways you are stereotypically a chick/dude:
1. I own more than 3 bottles of shampoo at any given time and an entire drawer of make-up, creams, potions and lotions that I will never ever use
2. I cry at weddings, commercials, touching stories, baptisms, songs at church, Extreme Home Makeover, movies..................

Two things you are thinking about right now:
1. That guy laughs like a chipmunk
2. My book deadline is in 20 weeks

Two stores you shop at:
1. Here
1. And here

Two people you would like to do this:
1. Server Girl
2. The Bohemian Princess

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Do you watch Lost?

Because OH MY GOSH.




Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Imogen Heap

Don't miss this, like I almost did. If you saw the movie "Garden State" and loved the song "Let Go" by Frou Frou then:

1. We can be friends for life.
2. You know what it sounded like to be kissed by Ryan Illingworth in the Flicker parking lot when he was your intern and you were his boss.
3. You know the beauty that is Imogen Heap.

There's a new CD, that I somehow managed to miss knowing about. Maybe I've been listening to too much talk radio. I have it now, so all is right with the world. If you've ever listened to me in your life, then listen now. Go buy this CD. It will not disappoint.

In the meantime (and if you don't know our fair Imogen) listen to some tracks here and bask.

Self Portrait Tuesday: The Sneeze

SPT:  Sneezing

Monday, November 07, 2005

To the other side....

Quote I just read:

"I guess every generation goes through their drug thing and some people get through it and get clean and some don't. But you know what, I'm sick of the people that are sober. I think sobriety is wrong. You can call drug addiction evil. And you can also call sobriety evil. This is a commandment by God: You're supposed to party on Friday night, and if you don't, you're going against God's wishes. If you look at the great art movements, everyone's dabbled and experimented [with drugs]. Again, I'm going to preface that by saying addiction is stupid. But the lack of experimentation is affecting the music today, and as a result, the music is stale. They need to break on through, man!"
-Perry Farrell
Formerly of Jane's Addiction


Mucus: 1 Jo: 0

Hello friends. What’s that? You want to know how my weekend was? Well I’ll tell you.

Thursday: Didn’t feel so well. Had to blow nose constantly. Throat started feeling scratchy. Went home and let husband cook and dote.

Friday: Woke up feeling like the Mucus Factory in my head had an overnight explosion of some sort and all hell was breaking loose. Called in sick. Felt the room spinning. Crashed. At 10am I heard a pounding on the front door, threw on a robe and rushed to answer it. It was a repairman coming to look at the vent in the front bedroom. And even though I was obviously sick, he still told me a fifteen minute story about a guitar amp he found once, how much it cost, how cool it was, how much he loved it, and how cool my husband’s guitar amp was, equally. I coughed on him hoping it would help the story end. It did not. I went back to bed. At 12:45 the pounding on the door started up again. This time it was a repairman coming to fix the garbage disposal. I showed him in and while I was explaining that the garbage disposal had suddenly stopped working and….....he flipped the switch and it came alive. I was aghast and demanded to know how he did it! I….um…..plugged it in, he said. Ok. Great. Thankyouverymuchforyourhelpinthisdesperatematterweareidiots. Good-bye. Don’t remember much of the rest of the day.

Saturday: Tried to take a shower, nearly passed out from exhaustion and nose blowing. Did little else.

Sunday: Made it to church but had to leave half-way through from sheer onslaught of the Bad Stuff. (The bad stuff is my nice way of saying “The Mucus and its evil ways”.) Watched Extreme Home Makeover and Grey’s Anatomy. Went through three boxes of Kleenex.

Now it’s Monday and my nose is raw and chapped and my throat is sore and the Bad Stuff is still clogging up my will to live.

But I’m feeling much better. Thanks.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Post Where I Tell A Story That Won't Be Funny To You But It Made Me Laugh So Hard I Got a Cramp.

My friend Jen is moving to San Diego. This is so great for her - so bad for the rest of us. Last night Karina and I took her to Las Palmas for farewell chips and salsa. Jen didn't disappoint and gave us a classic Jen-ism.

Jen: So did I tell you the funny story about putting Buck (Karina's cat) in my clear suitcase?
Me: Clear suitcase?
Jen: Ohhhhh, did I tell you about my new matress?
Me: No.
Jen (making a motion like pulling a suitcase): It came with a free suitcase, a CLEAR suitcase.
Me: What?
Karina: It wasn't a mattress, it was a comforter.

Long Pause

Me: So this clear "suitcase" it the plastic bag that the comforter came in?
Jen: Oh. Yeah that.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

14 Things You Should Know

1. Whenever I think about the name of my blog, “The Glamorous Life” – I sing the theme song to The Parent Trap. The 1961 version with Hayley Mills, not the 1998 version with Lindsay Lohan thankyouverymuch.
2. When Ryan and I play Dr. Mario on Nintendo - and I beat him (which is a challenge) - I do an annoying dance just to aggravate him. This dance includes singing.
3. I hate punk music
4. I do not eat exotic foods like “tofu” or “couscous” or “lobster” or “avocado”. This also includes anything that, cooked, resembles its living self. Therefore, crab legs night at Canton Chinese Buffet is wasted on me.
5. I often wonder what my course of action would be if I discovered that my children were socially handicapped
6. I tend to freak out
7. Sometimes I wish I were a guy just so I could wear the same jeans and long sleeve t-shirt every day and no one would notice. I hate picking out things to wear.
8. When I was in first grade, I got in trouble for talking too much – daily. One day my teacher had had it up to here (HERE!) with my incessant talking and pinned a note to my back for my parents to find. I suppose she pinned it to my back so I couldn’t reach it and I would surely get busted. I decided that I would just wear my winter coat over it and then hide the incriminating note when I got home. It was spring, and my coat was really only necessary in the mornings. That afternoon, Mom decided to run ENDLESS ERRANDS after school. I was sweating. Red-faced. HOT. Going in and out of store after store. Mom kept telling me to take my coat off but I refused! I finally made it home and put the note in the bottom of the trash. I don’t know if my parents ever found out.
9. This weekend I ate no less than SIX highly caloric, highly fattening, highly GLORIOUS desserts. They included:
*Chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory
*The Wall of Chocolate from PF Changs
*Homemade cheesecake (FROM HEAVEN)
*Puffy Muffin chocolate cake in the shape of a pumpkin
*Wedding cake
*Strawberry something fabulous cake something
10. I am now on a swift path to Weight Watchers Anonymous – the POINTS, they are calling my name (and they sound mean)
11. I love that feeling right after a good, hard sneeze
12. I have a toothache that I have chosen to ignore because I am afraid to face the inevitable
13. The words are starting to come back....the new book will be written. It will!
14. The darkness that is now descending at 5:30pm is robbing me of my very soul
Bonus: I crack my knuckles, even though I know I shouldn't

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Reason #31

Reason #31 Why I Love Ryan Illingworth:

Because I just got home at 9:30pm expecting to walk into a dirty house with dirty floors and piles of dirty clothes and a dirty kitchen with piles of dirty dishes and too much leftover candy and a mountian of mail.

Instead, I came home to the hum of the dryer and the swoosh of the washing machine. Vacuumed floors and clean kitchen counters. Organized mail and a clean kitchen table. He even dusted the ceiling fan in the bedroom. He DUSTED the CEILING FAN in the BEDROOM.


I love this man.

Get Off My Lawn!

Ryan spent so much time creating the perfectly mean and scary pumpkin. But. We carved fairly early so that I could have Jack-O-Lanterns for my Boo Bunco party. Therefore, by the time Halloween rolled around, Ryan's scary pumpkin had turned into this crotchety old man pumpkin that hates the kids on the lawn! Darn kids!

Get off my lawn!

Crotchety Pumpkin did not, however, keep the kids off the lawn. We had cute trick or treaters and scary trick or treaters.....even dead ones.

Me, after seeing the cute little girl wearing the Snow White dress and scary make-up on her face: Oh my! Are you scary Snow White?
Scary Snow White: NO! I'm DEAD Snow White.

Self Portrait Tuesday: Still Happy

SPT: Still Happy

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