Posted by jennschaal

This Made My Day

If you aren’t already following @WeSingYourTweet on Twitter, you should be.

These guys are amazing. They take a tweet that they like, put it to music, sing it, and send it back to you in a video. It is hilarious.

It was the best thing ever to see a Re-Sweet from them this morning of one of my tweets! Check it out here.

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My Holiday Card 2011

For the first time ever I just ordered Holiday photocards from MagnetStreet.

Photocards are something I make fun of. You know, the pictures of someone and their fiance (I hate that word) in matching sweaters awkwardly frolicking in the woods? I mean, what are you supposed to do with those when you get them?

What I like to do is cut out the eyes, then hang them up. You know, so they stop judging me. It makes it awkward when peeps come over, but I don’t care. I have to do what’s best for me (says my therapist).

Take a sneak peek here.

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Oh, Holidays

Dear Everyone:

You know how the older you get, the more crazy you realize your family is? Yeah. It’s amazing to visit with other families and to see their dynamics and compare them to your own. I mean, I know there is no such thing as “normal”…but…

But first, some back story.

When my brother, John, and I were younger, we used to get so excited for Christmas. (Yes, I’m a recovering Catholic) Typically, the tree was decorated not too long after Thanksgiving and presents began to pile up under not long after. I mean, what 8-year-old can even HANDLE seeing a brightly wrapped present with their name on it and NOT try to snoop as to what it might be?

(sidebar: I’m not really good at acting. Once when I was 5 I found the Care Bear slippers I hadn’t ever mentioned to my mom in her closet and then proceeded to nonchalantly mention to her that I wanted Care Bear slippers. She obvi knew I snooped. Not smooth.)

So, my brother and I were young(ish) when we got the brill idea that we could actually open our presents without our parents knowing as long as we made sure the presents were wrapped back up as carefully as possible. I’m pretty sure this was John’s idea (in case you are reading this, Mom). We went ahead with our plan, armed with loads of scotch tape. It was like a CSI episode, which, I know didn’t yet exist since we’re talking late 80s here, people. DNA testing was not a thing yet, so I thought we were safe. I matched the sh!t out of that scotch tape making sure it looked like those gifts had never been opened. It was covert.

I’m nearly positive that my parents had our house under surveillance on closed circuit television because THEY. ALWAYS. KNEW. EVERYTHING. THAT. WE. DID. I’m talking everything. Anyway, my mom figured out that we’d seen all of our gifts (was it the Care Bear slippers that gave it away?) and although nothing happened to us then, we’ve been paying for it for the last 20 years. Let me explain…

I give you Christmas with the Schaals:

The scene: Christmas morning (like, 9am. Seriously). The tree is lit. Coffee is brewing. Brunch is served. Christmas music is playing. I’m already jonesing for my first alcoholic beverage just to “take the edge off”.

The presents are under the tree – without any gift labels on them. Except, of course, for the ones from me or my brother. Those have labels on them.

We are all sitting in the living room.

Entering the room is Pam Schaal, playing the role of “Mom”. She holds a sealed manilla envelope (think Ernst & Young at the Grammy’s) which she carefully opens to reveal THE YELLOW LEGAL PAD OF GIFTS. This is the master list that Mom consults before she allows anyone to open anything.

Mom: Who is going to play the role of Santa?
Me: John
John: Jenny
Dad: …
Mom: Johnny, can you find T-4 and give it to Jennifer to open?

Yes. Although there are no NAME tags on the gifts, there ARE in fact number/letter codes on EVERY. SINGLE. PRESENT. This is my mom’s way of combating the “my kids snooped and saw all of their presents” battle. The funny thing is that this shit has been going on for TWENTY YEARS. I’m 34. My brother is 36. We’ve lost all urge to “snoop” for presents…but, alas, our mother will not let this die. I digress…

John: (digging through piles of presents and visibly getting frustrated) Mom. I’ve got T-7 and T-11. Can she open one of those?

Now, instead of answering, my mother simply consults THE YELLOW LEGAL PAD OF GIFTS master list. After about a minute of scrolling:

Mom: No. She can’t open those yet. I need you to find T-4 first.
John: visibly sweating at this point JESUS CHRIST THIS SHIT IS GETTING OLD

And so forth.

Gift opening lasts about 6 hours and there are only 4.5 of us. (.5 if you count 1.5 yr old Vinny).

And you guys wonder why I drink so much.

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Oh, Dating.

Dear Every Person:

Just once I would like my love life to be simple. JUST ONCE. I mean, I’m a nice girl. I’m funny. I’ve got some sass. I HAVE AN INCOME. And a life. I drive a Hyundai Elantra, for Christ sake. I can talk – or not talk – (anyone?!) forever. And people generally like being around me.

I have had some many dumb relationships and/or dates. Like, enough to write a book. Some highlights:

7th Grade Brian
My first real boyfriend. He was the star basketball player, I was Student Council President (and pretty good at basketball, myself). A total match made in heaven. And, my longest relationship to date. Did I mention I’m on the verge of turning 34?

Yes, I just cried, too.

Brian and I had a lovely go of it – over a year, in fact! Minus that two-week period I dumped him for a certain 8th grade man, but then realized the new guy might like boys just as much as me (He watched Golden Girls every night at 10:30pm) (Also, I mark this point in my life as the beginning of my love affair with the gays. Hay gurls!). Brian and I persevered. He now lives with his girlfriend in Phoenix, AZ. Not that I keep taps on him or anything…

The Sequence of Matts
Yes. I dated three “Matts” in a row in my 20s. It got a little confusing referencing them with my girlfriends so we deemed them 1, 2 and 3. Imagine how a conversations went. Nothing too remarkable about anyone of them except Matt 1’s uni-brow. Hopefully his wife “JENNY” (do you see a pattern here?!) has helped him out with that.

Alcoholic Kevin
When my mom asks me why I’m not married, I often defer to Kevin. Oh, Kevin. I met Kevin in a bar (wha?!) where he used the go-to pick up line of “What do you do?!” I told him I played triangle with a local band because “…every great band needs a triangle player…” You should know this was eons before Will Ferrell and the infamous More Cowbell skit. What can I say, people?! Sometimes you just get blinded by the hotness. And, Kevin was very hot. And a closet alcoholic that lived in his mom’s basement. But, when you are 26 this kind of stuff doesn’t matter as much as when you are 34. At 26, you can make these kind of mistakes, because you don’t have mature adult dinner parties or charity events to attend. Instead, you are dancing to the house band Mayslack’s and taking Jag Bombs twice a week. Or at least you were in 2002.

The hotness almost always masks a whole lot of crazy, too. Like, sitoutsideyourhouseandwaitforyoutocomehomeatallhoursofthenight crazy. See, Mom? You should be proud I had good enough judgement not to settle down with Alcoholic Kevin.

One Hand Guy
Now, this one is a crowd favorite. My friends make me tell this story at least a few times a month, annnnd usually upon meeting a new friend. So that’s…awkward.

This is a story that boasts the true testament of set-ups. Please, please note the sarcasm. One of my old girlfriends had a brilliant idea of setting me up with one of her friend’s boyfriend’s friends. Get that? He called me, so, that’s a plus. And we decided we were going to meet for drinks at the Loring Pasta Bar.

This is where things went bad.

When I walked in, he was already seated at the bar with his hands in his pockets. He got up to greet me, we shook hands, no big deal. He was decently cute, but after speaking for all of 1 minute his douchey-ness was raring it’s ugly head. Gross. He told me ALL about his job selling payroll systems. Riveting. He talked a big game about how much money he made. Annnddd managed to be extremely racist.

Thankfully, one of my old college friends was bartending that night – she definitely made sure I was adequately lubricated to make it through the remaining date. It was brutal. Absolutely brutal.

Once I finally got out of there, I called my girlfriend from the car. Our conversation went something like this:

Friend: So, how was it?
Me: Ummm…
Friend: What did you think of him?
Me: Ummm…
Friend: What did you think about his hand?
Me: What?
Friend: Yeah, he only has one hand. Born that way, I guess. What did you think?

Okay. Remember when I stated at the beginning of this relationship synopsis and I told you he was sitting at the bar with his hands in his pockets? Looking back I realized he. never. took. his. left. hand. out. of. said. pocket. He only had one hand! And I never even noticed.

Which leads me to this:

Dude was born with one hand. Which means, by the time we met, he had been living with out said hand for HIS WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE. Come on, dude. Embrace it, already. So weird that he was so self-conscious about it, no?

I compare this to guys that are bald. How? Let me explain:

Bald guys of the world, we know you are bald. You can’t hide it with a hat. And that’s okay. Bald can be sexy. Hair can be sexy. But even more so, confidence is sexy. Own what you got. Because when you go from that winter hat to baseball hat back to winter hat, I still know you are bald.

More on my dating exploits to come…

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Oh, Facebook.

Dear Every Person:

Sometimes I love Facebook. Sometimes, I hate Facebook. It’s fun to read up on what everyone (some of whom I haven’t talked to for 15 years) is up to, and all mostly before I get out of bed in the morning. I must admit, thought, that it gets old pretty quickly to read posts by “friends” that are constantly tooting their own horn, though, right?! Can I get an Amen? We are all just trying to live life, and no one’s life is 100% Robin Leach’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

I mean, I get it. You want people to think that you’ve got it all figured out. That your life is the best life. But really? All you are doing is turning people off. A lot.

People, all I’m asking is for you to consider a couple of things before you post:

a) Would you say this same thing live and in person?
b) If someone else posted the same thing would you consider them “douche-y”?
c) Just be authentic. It works every time.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on the peeps that take pictures of unsuspecting people only to post and rip them to shreds. There is a special place in hell for people like that.

Don't even get me started...

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You Are So Much More Mature Than Me.

Some guy boy from my past said that to me this summer.

Yes. You are right. I am. And it shows.

The most meaningful conversation I have ever had was during college. A friend blatantly pointed out to me that I had been acting like a complete bitch and alienating many of my relationships. Truthfully, my attitude was a result of an extremely difficult time in my life and I was completely unaware that it was manifesting in me the way it was. Just a simple “Jenn, you have been acting like such a bitch” brought me to a place of self-awareness that forced me to seek professional help and redirect my path. I couldn’t be more grateful.

Consider this post as me doing the same for you, Some Boy From My Past. Except, we were never friends.

You are just a charity case. Pro bono, of course.

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Learn to Love Donuts.

Dear Every Person:

Why write words of your own when someone else has captured the very essence of the point you would like to make?

Man, I was thinking about unrequited love. I figure it’s best to just walk that shit off. Find someone else to be excited about. It’s like if you love ice cream but your ice cream man friend won’t give you any. Maybe he’s got a good reason. It cuts into profits. Who knows? But he likes you as a friend and wants to hang out anyway. It just drives you crazy to hang out with that dude, even if he’s being reasonable from his point of view. So don’t hang out with him. What, you ONLY like ice cream? It’s ice cream or nothing? Don’t be an asshole. Learn to love donuts.

– Joey Comeau

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I just have a few things to say…

Dear Every Person:

This has been quite the summer.

Not like the summer of 1995 which I fondly refer to as the 90210 Summer Before Our Senior Year….but quite the summer nonetheless. For one, I think I finally grew up (a little).

I’ve come to terms with a lot of relationships this summer – some have warmed my heart and many have broken it. I’ve seen flaws in how I handle my relationships and am working hard to change some of those things. It’s pretty amazing to become more self aware and there are SO MANY PEOPLE I wish would also take a look at themselves. Especially because relationships are two-sided.

I’ve always considered myself a strong person, but I’ve learned that strong doesn’t necessarily mean stoic. Or stonewalled, for that matter. Although it sometimes appears Jenn Schaal doesn’t care about anything, the truth is Jenn Schaal cares about way too many things and is scared to admit it for fear of looking…weak.

If you know me personally, you know that I have a large social network, but just a few actual friends. If you knew me 4 years ago, the opposite was probably true. I think that’s a good shift though sometimes (often) it means I’m on my own. Solitude can be a beautiful thing, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes, too much of it allows you to think that you are really on your own – forever.

More to come.

It really does.

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