Thursday, May 31, 2007
School...Almost Finished
Three student days left of school. We teachers are all tired, cranky, and sick of the mass epidemic breakout of PDA. (Seriously, you are going to see this person next hour. Do you REALLY need to make out NOW? In FRONT of me? I have very sensitive gag reflexes, and I am NOT afraid to puke in public. Especially on teenagers.)

Anyway, more later on this subject, but here's a great visual demonstration on the general mood of a teacher at the end of the year. By the way, the cat would represent a student, in case there's any doubt. (Oh, and just ignore the stupid, peaceful sentiment in the end.)

  posted at 10:40 PM  

Monday, May 28, 2007

Camping—the great American pastime—especially on three day weekends. I tried to find the percentage of Americans who camp over Memorial Day, but came up with nothing. But here’s my statistic: A whole stinking lot of ‘em—that’s how many citizens of the US of A are camping right now.

Seventy-five people from my church, including friends and friends of friends, are camping right now. I abstained. Gave them the shut out. Exercised my God-given free will and elected not to go.

And though I’m now a little sad that half the state of Arkansas is camping together and no doubt having a grand old time without me, I know it is for the best.

I. Do NOT like to CAMP.


I said it.

I don’t.

I’ve done my time. Tangoed with mosquitoes. Burnt marshmallows over a roaring fire. Got steamed like a bag of rice while sleeping in a tent in the summer heat. Or held on for dear life as the wind swayed my camper in a storm, and prayed that God’s glorious surrounding pines wouldn’t smash my shelter like a Coke can.

My friends and church-mates go camping every year. And part of their pre-camping preparations include harassing me for days at a time about my lack of participation. We campless ones are an unspoken minority in this land of the free. I will not tolerate it anymore. Campless ones, unite! My name is Jennifer Jones, and I do not like to camp. I don’t like to rough it. And I don’t like peeing over a hole. Naysayers, you harassers of innocent non-campers, stand down. We will not take it anymore.

Since I am not partying it up lakeside, I had the time to compile a list of reasons you, too, can use if you find yourself discriminated against. Use them with my blessing and sympathy.

Excuses to give for not camping: (For maximum effectiveness, please utter statements below with fierce face and stern voice.)

1. “The existence of Big Foot is still up in the air, and given the fact that your last boyfriend/girlfriend kind of resembled him, I really don’t want to risk it. He/She could be following your scent.”

2. “When campsite toilets flush and have soap, then I’ll consider it.”

3. “Sleeping in a sleeping bag is just an open invitation to skunks to invade the tent. Spray me now, while I’m wrapped up like a burrito and rendered immobile.”

4. “I have no place to plug in my flatiron.”

5. “You want me to bathe where???

6. “Because I’d rather stay home and read___________.” (Insert name of really big, intimidating book here. I recommend: War and Peace, The Odyssey, the complete works of Shakespeare, or The Bible—in Hebrew.)

7. “No, I don’t want a hot dog. I know what they’re made of.”

8. “The Israelites camped for 40 years. I owe it to them, as their descendent, not to make that 40 years and one night. Newsflash: The promised land was found. And it now has electricity.”

9. I find the quality of toilet paper in the Johnny-on-the-Spot abrasive. I insist on two-ply!”

10. “Do you hear that noise? That’s the sound of a mosquito giving me West Nile. Are you happy now?”

You get the idea. Come up with a few on your own, but take heart, shunners of the camp ground. It is OKAY to not want to camp. It’s OKAY not to WANT to sleep with rocks sticking in unmentionable places. It’s OKAY not to want to wake up in the middle of the night, sweating in your Artic-ready sleeping bag, convulsing in a panic because you can’t unzip yourself and get free to breathe.

We are the Non-Campers. And we will be silent victims no more.

  posted at 11:16 AM  

Thursday, May 24, 2007
When Your Boyfriend Has Fangs
Jordin Sparks won American Idol. I will be fine. I will get over it. She was my pick initially. But then I crossed over to the Melinda camp. Mel’s just so humble and such the power house. She will be fine though, I’m sure.

Jordin is only seventeen. They only say that every thirty seconds on Idol. I think it was their secret signal to Ryan Seacrest—a reminder that he couldn’t hit on her. “Wow—and you’re only seventeen.” (Hands off Seacrest.)

What was up with Kelly Clarkson’s outfit? WHO dresses her? Did you see her on the CMA’s? Same thing. Cover that girl up. If you don’t have biceps and abs, you can’t wear those barely there shirts. You just can’t. And if you have even a small amount of flabalanche, you can’t wear super low riders. I may be dumb enough to paint my bedroom John Deere green, but I know the
basics of clothing. And rule number one: If it jiggles—cover it up.

I finished the book New Moon this week. Pretty good. Longer than it needed to be. But it’s a good resource for all those girls out there struggling with the day to day complexities of dating a vampire. Come on. You know who you are.

I learned: don’t get him too mad, don’t get too attached to the wildlife around you, you will always eat more cheeseburgers than him (which will make you feel fat), and don’t think you can beat him at Jeopardy—at least in the history category. If he’s lived a few centuries, he’s gonna be all smart and stuff. “Queen Victoria? Yeah, I knew her…”

Some things were not addressed in the book though, and I thought that was very irresponsible of the author. So this is my public service announcement to all the girls out there dating those vampy boys. Taunting him with garlic will not amuse him. Throwing holy water on him is not a good way to win a fight. He will never be tan, and no amount of Banana Boat is going to change that. Love him for himself—his fangs, his questions like "So, are bell bottoms in this century or not?," and the fact that he’s the living dead and won’t show up in your prom picture.

Have a good weekend! And if you're totally bored, I just noticed my little interview with Novel Journey is up! Check it out. You can even win a copy of In Between. And no, Mom, you are not eligible. You already have like twelve.

  posted at 8:03 PM  

Saturday, May 19, 2007
Hand Me A Diet Coke and Nobody Gets Hurt
How Do You Know When You're Addicted to Diet Coke?

When you are out.
You’ve double, triple checked the fridge.
Yup, I’m out.
Open fridge door again to see if:
A. An empty fridge was just a bad dream.
B. Diet Coke has magically appeared since the last peek.
God had mercy and delivered my manna

No Diet Coke.

Next option. Thinking…thinking…

The store, three miles down the road is too far. Sonic? I’d have to wait. Those car hops have no sense of urgency.

So I get in the car and drive to the nearest golf course. Park across the street. Sprint across said street, scaring squirrels and other woodland creatures playing in the road. (Think to yourself: Huh. Why is it I’m only capable of running fast when I need food, throat burning drink, or my body is on fire?)

Toss change into vending machine. Change that I spent five minutes collecting from various sources—the couch, the car, the neighbor kid.

Change spits right back out.

No! I try again.

Change goes in.

And falls out.

Run back across the street to car. Yelling. Scare old lady golfer in high waisted shorts. But don’t care—because frankly her outfit and fashion violations scare me too.

Yell some more.

Rummage through purse for a dollar bill.

Find a ten.

Sob for twenty seconds.

Press my face against car window, pleading with my eyes at every passing car to have mercy on me.

Merciless heathens pay me no mind and mock me with their refusal to make eye contact.

Take one last look through purse.

And the heavens open up.

The angels sing.

My heart begins to beat again.

Because there, in the last place it should’ve been, next to the measuring tape and half of a two week old Snickers, is a crisp, beautiful dollar bill.

And that, my friends, is what I call a great Saturday.

  posted at 12:55 PM  

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Living on the Wild Side
Dear Cats,

It’s time we had a little talk.

When you see one of these:

It is not enough that you stare it down for ten hours straight. It’s not enough that you corner it in the bathroom for me to come pick up. I don’t want to pick it up. That’s what YOU’RE here for. Um...who's related to the Tiger in this house? Pretty sure it's not me.

What exactly is it you do to earn your keep here?

Monday I go into the bathroom to find Miller perched on the toilet seat. I got excited—maybe he's gonna be one of those cats that wants to use the toilet. Not so. Five hours later I go back in the bathroom and there he remains. Still sitting. Still staring.

I move the bathroom scale out a bit to stand on, and out scrambles a lizardy looking thing. Like I needed anymore proof that jumping on the scales is scary and can induce you to pansy-girl screams.

Because I’m all humane and stuff, I go get these to use to catch and release the salamander thingie:

I throw perched cat out, shut the door, and fearlessly pursue the dragon thing with a cup and plate. (Okay…um, maybe not fearlessly. I might’ve been chanting “Please God, don’t let it eat me. Don’t let it bite my face off.”)

I have him cornered and then the door opens.

And in walks Miller.

My cat, who frequently forgets where his own food bowl, is guilty of walking into walls, and who if he were human would be considered “special”, opened the freakin’ door. My cat OPENED A DOOR! He doesn’t even have claws. By the way, Miller, I am onto you. Your six year dumb routine is OVER. You can clean your own litter box from now on. (And I offer up exhibit A as evidence of his usual level of intellect)

So the door opens and out goes the snaky thing with feet. Right into my office.

I would like to include a picture of my office, but pride won’t let me. Let’s just say right now it looks like it was a victim of Katrina AND the Kansas tornadoes. So there was NO finding that slithery dude.

Forty-eight hours later, Miller is STILL on watch—but now in my closet. (That’s a good feeling), and I have yet to find the little reptile. I know he’s in here somewhere though. Waiting for me…

Cats, you have GOT to start pulling your weight around here. I give and I give and I give. Is reptile-catching too much to ask? No, I don’t think so. You SO deserve off-brand kibbles.

And Miller—tonight is trash night. If you can open the bathroom door all by your claw-less, thumb-less self, you can darn well take the trash out.


And on a side note—I am grateful to the British Army that Prince Harry will not be serving in Iraq, as promised. He has been forbidden. Thank God all my letters and calls got through. I knew my threats of a hunger strike would work. So thanks to me, Prince Har will not be in danger in the Middle East. And Britain? If you would like to take my cat as a replacement, you may. Apparently he’s got skills.

  posted at 5:45 PM  

Monday, May 14, 2007
I Heart Cavemen

Just when you think there’s nothing on TV, ABC has solved our problem. Why it was just yesterday I was thinking, those Geico caveman are so funny. Wouldn’t it be great if that one minute had 29 more! Yes, ABC is giving the intellectual cavemen their own show. Because Neanderthals have so much in common with Jack Bauer, Dr. McDreamy, and…okay, they have NOTHING in common with them. I just really don’t want to see the missing link dramatized on TV. Reminds me of boys I dated in junior high.

Paris Hilton. Oh, sighhh. Girl has a petition out for people to sign that will go to Governor Schwarzenegger, begging for her freedom. You know she is about to pee her pants right now. Mom Kathy says, "This is pathetic and disgusting, a waste of taxpayer money with all this nonsense. This is a joke." Are we talking about The Simple Life here or Paris’s sentence? Either way, I smell another reality series coming on. Or at least a Lifetime movie. What I don’t get is why did Paris drive in the first place? Why didn’t she think, “Hmm…wish I knew somebody who had a limo. Wish I knew somebody rich enough to drive me and Tinkerbell around.” I mean Dad has his own personal jet, so I’m pretty sure at the very least he could’ve fronted you some money for a cab.

Speaking of TV reaching a new low—so have I. I am reading the book Sink Reflections. It’s for those who are “overwhelmed, disorganized, and living in chaos.” It says it will change my life. I’m only on page 47, but I’m hoping a man is gonna pop out by p. 102.

Finally, the net is abuzz with the sad story of Star Trek’s Scotty’s ashes. They are lost somewhere in the mountains of New Mexico. The Trekkies are STRESSED. I don’t know why. Didn’t they WATCH Star Trek? The crew was lost every single episode, so you’d think they’d rejoice that the tradition continues even in death.

You know, when the world just doesn’t make sense, when I’m stressed to the max and yearn for things to slow down, I take comfort in remembering simpler times. I turn to ... Justin and Britney…

  posted at 6:45 PM  

Sunday, May 13, 2007
Happy Mother's Day!
In honor of Mother's Day, asked some authors to share their favorite advice from Mom. I got to participate!
Check it out:

  posted at 4:27 PM  

Wednesday, May 09, 2007
A Plague Has Befallen Me
There is a plague in the blog world these days. And I finally got it. New friend C.J. Darlington of tagged me, so I decided to play along. Plus, I have yet to process my feelings on the impending imprisonment of one Paris Whitney Hilton, so in the meantime, here it is.

The rules say, I must first post the rules. So, ahem, here they are.

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

8 random facts/habits about me ...

(insert whiny voice) I like the ones with questions better (less thinking) . But okay...

1. I couldn't touch the gas pedal of my first "real" car. I still can't touch the gas
pedal of my brother's truck. (Know if you laugh at that, you are no longer my
friend. I will know. )

2. When I was a teen, I had the OCD-like habit of "typing" all car conversations.
So when in the car (and when I wasn't driving), I would "type" whatever
someone was saying on my invisible keyboard. I wouldn't even know I was
doing it. I took my junior high keyboarding class VERY seriously...

3. I have a student bring me boot-leg copies of Gilmore Girls because my
cable company refuses to carry the WB--still! And they now refuse to accept
my phone calls. My lawyer says to just be patient.

4. I love to decorate, but I painted my bedroom a horrible green, and I get
furiously angry every time I walk in there. I've slept on the couch for the last
three months. And I now shower outside--under the water hose. I think it's
brought me and my neighbors to a new level of closeness though.

5. I can still quote some of my lines from my first grade play. I was
Mrs. Clause. "Tick-tock it's twelve o'clock. Time for Santa to come!"
Hollywood called after that, but my agent said, "No, stick with
elementary theater. I think it's gonna be big..." He was wrong. He now
works for Paris Hilton.

6. This summer my friend Kari and I are making ourselves read Pride and
It's our own book club called "Girls Who Would Rather Be
Reading a People Magazine."

7. I can eat a whole box of cereal in one sitting. For variety's sake, I tried a whole
box of catfood, but it wasn't quite the same. But I did shed less.

I've got a fever. And the only prescription is more cowbell!

Okay, I now tag: Salle, Heather, Kim, Tiffany, Jessica, Kari, Orlando Bloom, and Chris Tomlin.

  posted at 7:29 PM  

Tuesday, May 01, 2007
How a Book Cover is Designed
Novel Journey had a great post on Dog Eared Design, who creates covers for many Christian books. They did the cover for In Between, and you can see a little bit of the process toward the bottom of the article. It was cool to see their inspiration compared to the final result.

  posted at 3:01 PM  

About Me

Jenny B. Jones

Arkansas, US

I am a teacher in one of the largest high schools in the state. I'm also a writer of Young Adult novels and am currently working on a brand new series. Book three in the Katie Parker Production series, The Big Picture, will hit shelves in April 2008. Stay tuned!

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