Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's Just Who I am, Bitches.

In case there is anyone left out there who noticed, I shut the blog down for awhile in an attempt to conceal past entries from the outside world. Why? My answer, simply is I want to take a stab at being a "serious" writer and I feared that what is contained in the archives of Swank or Skank would somehow take away that dream.

Looking back, I've realized thinking that way is just plain silly. Like it or not, every post I have written on this blog is directly related to who I am...Or was at the time.

My good friend "I.Marzipan" and I started this blog with the intention of rating people, places, things, and ideas, on a sliding scale and percentage of "swank" or "skank." Example: Lindsay Lohan is 100% skank" and The Republican National Convention was 25% swank, 75% skank (If Lindsay would lay off the coke, cut the attitude and decide what her sexual preference is she may just lower her skank to 99.7%, and if there were less instances of participants of the RNC being ripped off by hookers their skank quotient would go down considerably.)

With all that being said, I've decided that shutting this down isn't fair to me, or my past posts, like Fancy Fruity Blue Martini's or Breakfast and Porn with the Parents, some vintage Random Salad and one of my personal favorites, My Life Is a Mess...".

So, I plan on posting more, maybe even throwing in some of my favorite vintage posts in the mix partially in an effort to reclaim my identity, but mainly to relive my glory days when people actually read this mess.

Ah, memories.

P.S. A shout out to Dr Ken is in order for making this all possible...You can pat him on the back, or send him hate mail. Whatever blows your skirt up.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A New (Now open to the general public) Venture

I've been busy.

Wait, let me clarify. I've been busy doing something productive. (Waiting for the shock and awe to subside)

Being that I am for all intensive purposes "unemployed," and in the midst of writing a book, I've decided to take my mad sewing/reupholstering skills and put them to work for me.

It all started a few years ago when I needed to get a baby shower gift for a friend, and was sick of the same old, same old. While paging through a magazine I came across an article about Etsy that featured a woman who sold handmade baby blankets. I found an adorable one, and ended up forking over the $75 bills. (The blue fabric is actually the same as the blanket below, but my boarder is MUCH more adorable!)

When I got it in the mail I was thrilled, it was SO cute, and while looking it over I thought how I could most probably make the same thing. So for the next baby shower I did just that. I also made one for the next one, and the next one....

I received so many compliments, everyone just LOVED them. I started getting requests to make them. Friends, friends of friends, random strangers. It became something that I enjoyed doing, and I could make a little money at. It was a win win!

After making blankets, I decided to venture out and make bags and clutches, while also incorporating my hobby of finding, reinventing and reupholstering used furniture.

It's a love of mine I finally have a little more time for and am excited to share with others.

So, I'm sharing them with you, all 3 readers I have left! Stop by, I'll be adding many new things shortly to my Etsy store and website, and of course, blog.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Just to make you think...

This is a tough one.

For the last week or so I've been following the story of Daniel Hauser, a 13 year old Minnesota boy who has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and is refusing chemotherapy.

His family is Roman Catholic and practice the "do no harm" philosophy of the Nemenhah Band a Native American and religious group based out of Missouri, that believes in natural healing methods.

After one round of chemo earlier in the year, Daniel and his family decided that they would instead treat his illness holistically, through a whole foods diet, herbal supplements, vitamins and ionized water. After his previous doctor caught wind of this he alerted the authorities and were eventually the Hauser's were served with allegedly medically neglecting their son.

Last week Daniel and his family were ordered to obtain an oncologist and have an x-ray done to determine the severity of his condition. The x-ray showed that his condition is not getting better and if he doesn't receive some sort of medical treatment in the near future, it will be too late. And to add a twist to this story, when it was time to go back to court there was no Daniel and no mom.

With Daniel and his mom on the lamb, there is now a nation wide search to recover them and bring Daniel back home and directly into the hands of foster care.

As someone who has overcome an illness through natural means, despite the lack of support, faith, and adverse reaction from her rheumatologist, it's hard for me to figure out who's right and who's wrong.

Obviously, he's 13 years old which makes a huge difference. He's just a kid who's depending on his parents to make the best decision for him, but who's to say what the best decision is? A judge? The parents? At what point does the judicial system go from looking out for the best interest of the child to overstepping their bounds?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday Lola!

I realize that I don't update as often as I should, but every year (except for last year) I always make it a point to say "Happy Birthday" to my sweet dog, Lola.

Lola's had a busy year. She loves hanging out with her little bro, Burton, going for walks, stalking squirrels, and cuddling under the blanket when it's cold outside.

She's made my life better and I don't know what I would do without her, so "Thank You" Lola, and "Happy Birthday!"

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Same Old.

Sometimes you just don't even know where to begin.

These last few months of unemployment have been a whirlwind of emotions bordering on pre-midlife crisis.

"What do I want to do with the rest of my life?" being pretty much the theme, and right when I think I've come close to figuring it all out something happens to point me in a completely different direction. Why does life have to be so complicated?

Right now I'm reading a book titled, "PUTTING YOUR PASSION INTO PRINT." I think it may have been the boldface caps that caught my attention, as if the book was screaming at me yelling something like, "HEY...HEY...JENNI! WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR ?" I've had numerous people tell me I should write a book about my journey with RA and how I have taken my life back. Usually, my response is, "Yeah, I get that a lot."

Being that I am so passionate about diet and exercise and can sit and talk about it for hours on end makes me think that maybe these people are right?

So, in the meantime, while I figure it all out, I will try to keep up with the writing, periodic updates and checks on my sanity (what's left of it anyway).

Oh, and if anyone is still out there, missing some smartassery from me, you can follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/sunshine76. With that being said, as a courtesy, I will make no claims that my life is particularly interesting, and will not be responsible for blatant offense, hurt feelings, or overall poor grammar.

Some things never change.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Fancy Blue Fruity Martinis

Man, time sure does fly.

I can't even begin to recall where the last few weeks have gone. I've spent the majority of my unemployment so far familiarizing myself with new and completely exhausting classes at the gym, and I have gone to a few lunches, one of which started at noon and carried on until 1:00 am.

This particular lunch was with a friend of mine who incidentally, is also unemployed. We had decided earlier in the week to get together to purposefully and maliciously mock those that are gainfully employed, even possibly throw things at them (more specifically pads of butter because of their ability to stick and smear) all in an attempt to make us feel better about ourselves. Our intentions were good, it's not like we set out to drink $50 worth of booze in four hours. Actually, it was more like $50 A PIECE. Fancy blue fruity martinis are expensive.

Our waiter, Willie, who although was very kind, was grossly inexperienced. Apparently the regular bartender didn't arrive until after 5 o'clock because the demand for swanky umbrella drinks at noon on a weekday is slim to none. They obviously didn't expect our arrival.

We vented, we complained about how insensitive corporate America is and how smug and entitled the CEO's of these large corporations have become. More importantly we drank the restaurant out of fancy fruity blue martinis. At this point any normal couple of unemployed chicks would have taken this as a sign to call it a day...Not us. I believe the phrase was "What else ya got?"

It was now about 3:30 and we were actually locked in the restaurant. That's right. Locked in. They weren't letting anyone else in because they were in between shifts. So it was us, Willie, and the four foot tall Indonesian dude who I assume was the chef who would walk by and smile at us every so often.

So, Willie walked us through the menu of drinks that he "knew how to make." The list was short and we were stuck with a Mojito. He proudly delivered my Mojito and when I took a sip I thought "Gee, this tastes rather coconutty." However, I really didn't care. It was booze, it was cold, and it would do. About ten minutes later Willie came over and asked how it tasted. I overentheusiasticly said "Great!" He looked at me strange and asked, does it kinda taste like coconut, because I accidentally used Malibu instead of regular rum.

Here's another instance where ordinary folk would ask that the drink be comped and another one to be made. Not us, we decide that it's absolutely fabulous and that we think it should be added to their drink menu as the "Williejito." And then we order two more. Yep.

After going back to my house and playing a few games of Wii, joined by Josh and a few more of our friends, we decide to head to the local dive bar for Friday night Karaoke. Thankfully for all that is sacred and holy, we were pretty much the only patrons in the bar besides, "Big Daddy" himself, the host and owner of "Big Daddy's Karaoke."

To set the stage for this establishment, I ask you to picture a seedy bar, the seediest of seedy. Two pool tables, a few high tops, a small bar all contained in around 1000 square feet and smack dab in what could be considered a boarder line ghetto. The sign out front boasts weekly specials such as Tuesday night "Ladies Night", Wednesday Night "Poker Night", and what I have affectionately named Thursday night "Homicide Night" after driving by one evening to find the entire joint roped off and surrounded by five squad cars, a black suburban belonging to the CSI crew, and a rather large blood stain outside the front door.

Clearly, that night we weren't at all concerned for our lives as I can't even count how many songs we sang. I will however admit that I performed a super rendition of "Funky Cold Medina", mainly because the majority of the song is spoken and I don't think at that point in the evening I could carry a tune to save my life.

Towards the end of the evening Big Daddy himself invited us on a road trip to...Wait for it...IOWA. Yes, we were given the opportunity to travel to the great state of Iowa with Big Daddy and become his entourage. We would tour the countryside in a rented RV, stopping at various bars and establishments where karaoke was needed, and more importantly loved.

After the conversation of how I would claim the "Funky Cold Medina" as my theme song, allowing no one else to sing it during the Tour de Iowa, Josh decided that it was time to go.

I can't say that the next day was pleasant. It felt as though there were little gnomes in my head with little gnome power tools doing what one would expect little gnomes to do with power tools. It was horrible. My voice was gone, the thought of anything blue, or alcoholic gave me great pause and I spent most of the day being rather miserable.

Looking back on this, I've learned three very important things. 1). Not only am I no longer 22 years old or in college where recreational drinking is encouraged, my tolerance on a scale of 1-10 is a negative 4. 2).If you're not a bartender, you have no business being behind a bar, even if two women name a drink after you. and 3). When your microphone mysteriously shuts off mid song it's time to go home.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Opening Doors

Yesterday I was unceremoniously laid off. Yet another casualty of the banking/auto industry.

Ironic, since this was the first, and most probably last time George W and I have had or will ever have anything in common.
Working as an indirect lender "Rep" for the auto industry during this shit-storm of an economy has proven to be a recipe for disaster.

But honestly, I am not upset. A little shocked, but definitely not surprised, if that makes any sense. Most importantly, it was time. I needed a push and I got one, complete with three months pay and benefits.

A friend of mine said something that gave me pause, "Your job does not define who you are-It's just a means to provide." I thought about this and realized that he is right, my job that I had did not define me, but maybe the job I am seeking needs to. I would love to find something that I am passionate about. An opportunity where I can use my writing and creative abilities to do something that I love that will in turn allow me to provide for myself.

Thankfully I have time. Time to do some soul searching and time to figure some things out. Another friend of mine who was recently laid of wrote me "Embrace your unemployment!" Which is what I fully intend on doing...I just wish I could embrace it in July instead of February. Typical.

So, here's to a new beginning! Here's to discovering more about who I am, learning how I can bring myself into my career and create a path that will be both rewarding and exciting. Here's to my future-Today is a new day and tomorrow will be even better.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What Matters Now

The gym I belong to sends out a magazine every month with articles pertinent to health and fitness. In each issue there is a letter from the founder and CEO. I wanted to share a portion of this month’s letter as I found it to be fitting for what is going on all around us.

In the letter, he acknowledges that given the current economic climate, it’s quite possible we “won’t soon experience the same sort of financial abundance many of us enjoyed in recent years”, however it’s all the more reason to think about how we can create a more “meaningful, stable and satisfying sort of abundance-by consciously cultivating and appreciating the resources that are within our control.”

He then outlines “five areas of potentially unlimited plenty” You can all obviously take what you want from this, but I hope it can help put some things into perspective, as it was a good reminder for me as well.

1. Health- Energy, vitality, focus and endurance are the rewards of good health, and they are essential to accomplishing our other goals. They’re also crucial for withstanding stress and anxiety. Staying healthy and fit helps you ward off expensive medical bills and leaves you well equipped to handle whatever life throws you way. So, if there was ever a time to make staying well a top priority, it’s now. Eat well and simply and get plenty of exercise, fresh air and sleep. Your body will pay you back with interest.

2. Simplicity- Research into the realms of happiness shows us that beyond the ability to meet our basic needs, material wealth does not increase our satisfaction in living. In fact, a surplus of accumulated stuff and clutter actually contributes to stress. This is a great time for clearing clutter, donating unneeded goods to charity, and re-engaging with simple pleasures like clear surfaces, room to move and time in nature. This is also a great time to rediscover the pleasures of unadulterated, unprocessed foods (note: in terms of nutritive value, most organic produce is far less expensive than either soft drinks or fast food-fare.)

3. Time- This is arguable the most precious resource over which we have direct control. The way we spend our time is central to our quality of life, and while having plenty of money can make managing our time easier (because we can purchase “time-saving” goods and services), an overemphasis on material wealth can distance us from the satisfying moments, connections and priorities that really matter. Even when we are busy, worried and overworked, it’s possible to avoid the grip of “time poverty” by staying focused on the present moment, doing daily check-ins with our core values and vision, and deeply appreciating the relationships and blessings that are ours for the keeping.

4. Love- If there’s any great gift in times of challenge and doubt, it’s that we get a very clear sense of who our true friends and loves one are. To feel the heartfelt, steadfast support of those who care about us-and to give our care and affection in return-is one of life’s most extraordinary (and least expensive) pleasures. Whether you hug your spouse, play catch with your kid or take a long walk with a friend, seize the opportunity to connect and care deeply. Give thanks for the good fortune you have to love and be loved, and for the opportunity to grow this hugely renewable resource day by day.

5. Giving- Acts and attitudes of generosity contribute to a climate of hope. Giving to others makes you feel better-about yourself, and about life in general. Whether you can give money, time, energy, advice, encouragement, or even just a kind word and smile-give. Even if you can only give a little, giving makes the world a better place: It helps us all become better people, and that makes the future even brighter.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Women Fight Back...

Being that I often get these "Why Dogs Are Better Than Women" type emails, I have decided to come up with my own response... And "Yes" many of these come from personal experience...You can thank Josh for being a "typical male."

Ladies, enjoy...This one's for you....

Why Some Women Have Dogs and Not Husbands...

10.Your dog's friends don't come over, drink all your beer and clog up your toilet.

9.Your dog doesn't constantly loose his car keys and then expect you to know exactly where he lost them.

8.Your dog doesn't sneak up from behind and pretend like he's humping you while you're trying to make dinner.

7.Your dog doesn't smack your ass in the middle of the living room while yelling, "YEOW MOMMA GIVE DADDY SOME SUGAR!"

6.Your dog doesn't fart, and then blame it on another dog.

5.Your dog won't mope around the house when you tell him that you "have a headache."

4.Your dog doesn't snore with a decibel level that could wake up an entire city block.

3.You can neuter your dog to curb "bad behavior."

2.Your dog doesn't claim to know everything about all things mechanical.

And last, but certainly not least…

1.Your dog would never not leave the house simply because he has the ability to lick his own balls.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Just wanted to send out a friendly reminder for all of you to get out and vote...That way we can send the above idiot back to his village.

Happy Election Day!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Screw it...

Still gainfully employed.

Just got back from Fort Meyers Beach, Florida where the following image was a welcome break from the daily grind.

Screw the economy that's in shambles...I went on vacation and spent my money...Just doing my part to help out our economy...Such a dedicated American, I am.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Writing's on the Wall

Check out this email we received today from our marketing department regarding an order of pens that we were supposed to receive to pass out to clients. I have my own theory behind this...

"Hello, Marketing is holding off on the pen order until the final alignment of the sales region structure. I will keep in touch with marketing for updates."



Prepare yourself. The majority of you are about to be unceremoniously laid off. Spending billions of dollars to bailout other corporations who have found themselves up "Shit Creek" aside, we feel that giving you a $25 box of 250 count pens to be excessive. We will not provide parting gifts, nor will we allow you to never have to buy a pen again for the next 10 or so odd years. If you should need something to hand out to dealers, we have some golf tees at the back of the supply closet that we can send you, providing that you pay shipping and handling and include them on your expense report.

Get your resume ready, it's "go" time.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Beautiful Night in Minneapolis

Despite the fact that I am surrounded by Republicans, I have to say that this week has turned out to be beautiful.

I was inside doing some cleaning when I looked out the window and saw the most amazing sunset.

So, I hopped on my bike and ventured down to the lake to snap a few pictures.

I am so fortunate to live in a city where I can travel but a mere three blocks from my home and look at something this amazing.

It's good to be me right now...I hope everyone's night is as beautiful as mine.

Good night all...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Cows are Taking Over the World.

According to this article, European scientists have discovered through the use of Google Earth software that cows are magnetic. Apparantly, they are aligning themselves with Earth's north-south magnetic fields while they graze or rest.

Not only are they now a cud-chewing compass, but they also excrete enough methane gas to blow up Russia, and I have reason to believe that they are responsible for crop circles.

Holy shit. Cow's are going to take over the world.

Forget Al Queda, alien invasions, or guerilla warfare, "It's What's For Dinner" that we all have to worry about.

Being that I'm a vegan, I am hoping they will spare my life. I will try and save as many of you as I can, but I am not sure if I can fit all of you in The Rollerskate.