Making the Most of Facebook's New Privacy Features

I think we've all been in a situation on Facebook where we've learned to regret a comment posted to a broader group of so-called "friends." How do you even define the word "friend" now? Because I'm pretty sure Captain Sully may be awesome and listed as a friend on my Facebook list of friends, but I have never met him or spoken to him before :)

In a digital age where it is becoming increasingly more difficult to decipher between personal and professional personas, you're bound to have slip-ups, right? Oops, it turns out I don't use my company's product, or crap, if my mom sees this, I'm so getting a nasty phone call.

I know for several of my friends (my husband included), they flat out don't like the "intrusive" nature that digital components like Facebook and Twitter provide. I completely understand their issues, and to a large extent, agree with them. Unfortunately, in my line of work, I'm required to not only participate in these sites, but be active in them.

The trick is being active in the so-called "right" way.

Which is why I'm SO FREGGGIN excited about Facebook's new privacy settings. Some of you may have already gotten the screen asking if you wanted to keep your old settings or go to new settings.

Most of you probably stuck with your old settings -- why mess with what's working just fine for you, right? In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I get an invitation to join some lame group about wanting to bring back the old privacy settings. But people, change is good, and here is why:

I only have to show you what I want you to see. See the name of my blog, "Reconnaissance on Myself?" Yes, part of the point of my blog is the act of "writing" things out to better understand myself. The other element is only letting you see and know what I want you to see and know about me -- nothing more. With the new settings, I have the ability to only let certain people and/or groups see the content I want them to read. Let's say I had a super bad day at work. Someone stole my lunch, crapped in my cube as a practical joke and took my computer and smashed it to the ground in an evil revenge plot. If I don't know who did it -- but don't want to air dirty laundry about my crazy co-workers, I could literally send a post out on Facebook asking who the heck crapped in my cube. OR...

Maybe I'm pregnant (I'm not), but I only want the closest of friends to know. I can set up a list of those friends and send a status update to only them. Yes, phone calls are still the preferred method for sharing that news, but I'm just giving an example.

Still confused? Let me walk you through it:

Step 1. Find the "create a list" link. A little bit harder than you think, because sometimes Facebook can be an asshole. Yet I still love it and use it daily. I know, crazy. Anyways, you just click on "More" in that section on the far left of your "home" page and then click on "Create a New List." Here's some screen shots if you are still confused.

Step 2. Name the list and select the people you want in it. So this pop-up screen will appear, and you literally name your list and then start clicking on people's names to add them to it. My list is called "close friends and family" which only consists of about 20% of my total friend count on here. For those of you who find Facebook intrusive and don't like the idea of sharing all of your information with co-workers, your mother's second cousin or your best friend from band camp, I highly recommend making a list so you can still "be friends" with all of these people online, but you don't have to worry about them seeing anything that is meant for only a close group of people. Example -- college kids. If you post your crazy ass photos on Facebook -- or a friend does -- set the privacy settings to a more selective list so future (or current) employers don't see it. You'd be surprised how many people don't think of that.

Step 3. Posting crap. Obviously, I want everyone to know my husband is the best husband ever. So that little lock icon right next to the share button allows me to do that. But let's say I want some of my friends to know that yesterday he was a total turd. I'd hit that custom button before I did that and conveniently omit all of his family members from viewing it :) Not that I would ever do that... but now only a few people will know.
I think these privacy settings are a step in the right direction to getting the division of our professional and personal lives back. In the "always on" environment we live in, you never know who is reading what and misconstruing your words in a way you maybe never intended. So save yourself the awkward calls, comments and Aunt Jane (no, not you, Justin's Aunt Jane... just using "Jane as an example!) randomly coming up to you at Christmas to ask about a status update from six months ago and start organizing your online life. I promise you won't regret it.


The New Way to Bargain Shop

Boutiques? Too expensive and always full price.
The mall? Too crowded, picked over and half the time I leave disappointed.
Outlet mall? Fun, but only with friends and more than half the time I leave disappointed.
Solution? Online bargain shopping.

Holy crap, I've been in heaven the last week. With sites like RenttheRunway.com, Ruelala.com and Gilt, (the latter two also have iPhone apps for literal 24-7 shopping), I've been able to score some AMAZING bargains on classic designer staples for the cheap -- just in time for Christmas.

I encourage you to check them out. My favorite purchase so far has been a pair of Burberry rain boots that I've been searching for online and in the stores for what seems like years. I finally scored them at the price I wanted to pay. Yippee. They come next week :) I'm praying for rain.

And while I haven't used RenttheRunway.com yet, let me tell you that I am tempted to try it. I'm sick of spending money on dresses I only end up wearing once to events and weddings. For $50-200 (for the record, I'll only be renting the $50 ones), I get a dress that normally sells for $400-$2,000 (never spent that on a dress ever anyways, except my wedding gown), and you get to keep it for four days. If you want an invite for the site, I'll shoot it over to you. :)


Oh, Martha

I like to think that I'm fairly decent at direction-taking. I learned at a very young age to read directions all the way through first THEN get started with the task. (In fifth grade, we were given a direction-related project and the last item in the directions was, don't do any of the directions listed above and turn it back in. I think only two people "followed" the rule of directions. I was not one of them.)

Which is why I enjoy cooking. It's pretty hard to screw something up if you are following the directions in the cookbook to a tee. Though, I usually find a way to -- especially if I'm feeling "lucky" and try something new.

Last night I was watching a Martha Stewart Thanksgiving Special with Justin so we could figure out how to cook a turkey, should the need ever arise. And she made it look SO EASY. I was thinking about all of the horror stories I have heard in the past and thinking -- this has to be harder than Martha is letting on. I think the only one I would be able to walk away from doing in this special was the White Table Setting.

Which is why I stuck around for the next segment, called "Whatever, Martha." Two women (one who is her daughter) do a Mystery Science Theatre on Martha's ass and make fun of her while insulting her ability to make everything look easy. Because let's face it. It takes longer than 5 minutes to prep a turkey. Definitely check it out ;)


Driving Tip #35

Today's commute was weird. It started out fine: I got onto the highway, it was moving at a decent speed. Then I heard them. I looked in my rearview mirror and up the hill came two fire trucks, and ambulance and two cop cars, all in a row.

Motorists don't exactly know how to behave in this scenario. I'm sure that it was taught to us in Driver's Ed, but let's face it -- unless you are 16 and a newly minted driver, you don't remember. Some came to a complete stop in the middle of the roadway, casuing other cars to almost hit them. Others bailed out onto the grass and almost hit each other, some people didn't care and kept going, almost causing accidents themselves.

I was already in the far right hand lane, so I slowed to a crawl and tried to avoid getting hit myself and staring in horror at all the near misses I was witnessing.

And as the posse of emergency vehicles went by me, you sort of say a little prayer for whoever may be hurt on the road ahead. Because clearly, someone is seriously hurt and been in a car accident.

Or not. And with that, I bring you Driving Tip #35, especially for emergency personnel.

#35: When answering a call in rush hour traffic on a major highway, causing hundreds of people to veer off the roadway in an attempt at letting you pass, don't travel half a mile and then turn off your lights and give up trying to find the accident. You just screwed up the flow of traffic (and people's attempts to get to work on time) and pissed off a majority of the drivers. Instead, keep going with your lights on until the people you pissed off don't see you anymore, then turn off your lights. Yes, that would technically be lying, but everyone will still think you were going to save the day instead of possibly using your lights to get through bad traffic. Sincerely, a pissed-off motorist.


It's Called Duh, People

I don't know what it is about people thinking their invincible online -- from continual trash-talking on popular Web sites to posting ridiculous crap on their Facebook and MySpace pages -- it's really gotten out of hand.

It's like a friend of mine said who works in Human Resources -- social networking has made their job a lot easier.

For those of you who still have a big "?" hanging over your head on what the heck I'm even talking about, let me break it down for you. What you post online WILL come back to haunt you.

Don't believe me? Here is the evidence:
Annoymous bloggers: Friends, if you offend the wrong person, you'll have to come out. And it isn't that hard to find you. Exhibit One: "The Coming-Out Stories of Annoymous Bloggers" from CNN.
Murder & MySpace: I can't tell you how many stories I've read about people getting murdered, assulted or someone commits a high profile crime, and the first place media turns to -- tour social media accounts. Exhibit Two: Law.com's article on "MySpace Entry Admitted as Murder Evidence."
Losing Your Job: Remember the Domino's Pizza YouTube video? Ick. They totally lost their job and will most likely have a tough time finding a new one. Any employer that takes two-seconds to Google their name will quickly realize they don't need that liability. Exhibit Three: NYT article on the fall-out from the YouTube video.

Despite all of this "evidence", I still see friends continue to post ridiculous crap online. That picture of you with the pipe? Yeah, bad move. You getting super wasted with your friends in Las Vegas when you called in sick that day? Kiss that job goodbye. Looking for a job, but in your profile you state your hobbies as "procrastinator", "ultimate slacker" and "love to hit on the ladies while at work" - uh, good luck with that.

But it even goes past the obvious, right? There is a reason why the slogan on my own blog says "My Life, How I Want You To See It." The fact of the matter is, your online persona paints a picture of you that may or may not be true. But most of the time, people see it as the truth. So play it safe.

The overarching lesson of this blog: before you upload a picture of yourself looking like a total tool (or doing something borderline illegal), stop and think to yourself -- do I plan on looking for a job in the next year, is my boss also a "friend" on Facebook, will this come back to haunt me in ANY way?

And if you pause before answering, consider the answer "yes" and avoid it.

This is Jenni's PSA to you.


Driving Tip #34

Given today's foul weather, I think it is an important reminder to everyone that you should slow down and pay just a little extra attention to the roadways. And with that kind reminder, I give you driving tip number #34.

#34: Typically, the right side of the road is the first to puddle with excess water. So watch out for that water, or else you will hydroplane, look like a moron and possible pee your pants. Sincerely, the girl who didn't slow down and hydroplaned. (yes, that would be my idiocy providing today's tip)


I have a problem

Hi, my name is Jenni, and I’m a romant-aholic.

Unlike some addicts, I know exactly when my love for all things romance began: unrealistic, fictional literary classics. The original purveyors of chic-lit, Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, are like Pop Sensation Madonna’s of the romantic novel/movie movement. Sigh. Let me break down just exactly how bad it’s gotten.

Stage One: Sixth Grade. As a child, I loved reading as an escape from my lowly existence as an adolescent trapped in the clutches of over-protective parents who wouldn’t let me go to Wet ‘n Wild in the summer for fear of ear infections. So instead of getting cancer-causing rays like the rest of my tan friends, I won the Mesquite Library Award for the girl who read the most hours that summer. And as a prize, I got an autographed book of Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg (which I still have). That. Is. Dork.

And that winter holiday, Mom took my sister and me to Half-Price Books to get us through the holidays and we acquired a book which still sits on my bedside table today (seriously): Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster. Thanks to Google, you can now actually read the book for free online (which I recommend), and this short novel was the start of my unrealistic dreams of marrying the perfect (and well-to-do, could sing and dance and look “dashing”) man. It also had a nice women’s lib angle to it, which was an added bonus.

Stage Two: Seventh Grade. Unfortunately, not much had changed by a year – just the reading challenge. In my reading class (which I’m sort of shocked still exists… I don’t exactly understand the difference between Reading and English, but I’m not the educational expert, so I’m sure someone will enlighten me), we had this competition where we had to take computer tests on the books we read – if we got enough points, we got to skip out on school and go to Six Flags. The more difficult the book, the more points you got. So my mom suggested one of her favorite books, Jane Eyre. Which is now my favorite book. And the beauty of Jane Eyre? Mr. Rochester was kind of a jerk. He kept to himself, had some stuff hidden in the closet (or in this case, the attic) and was not the perfect man. But I got my first taste of what love is between a man and a woman – loving despite flaws – and I was hooked. I ended up having to read the book again in high school and college, which made my addiction even worse.

Stage Three: High School. This is totally embarrassing, but the books were cheap, so why not, right? Cheap, trashy romance novels. What’s even more hilarious is that I’m such a prude that I skipped past the chapters that go into detail around the “love making.” LOL. Unfortunately, these books are so formulaic, predictable and unrealistic, that they are perfect when you’re feeling down in the dumps. Which is like, all of high school.

Stage Four: College. Because I was never allowed to watch Pretty Women – or really any decent romantic movie at my parents’ house, college provided the opportunity for me to watch whatever I wanted. Drug of choice? Movies like What Women Want, Miss Congeniality (1 and 2), Bridget Jones’ Diary, etc. (and then, of course, Sex and the City the TV series) And nothing beat watching them with other addicts, in PJ pants, with cheap wine coolers.

Stage Five: Post-College. Post college, I have diversified my portfolio to include any book written by Jane Austen, any movie that mentions Jane Austen, anything Twilight related, any book that mixes Jane Austen and the undead (think Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or Mr. Darcy, Vampyre… yeah, I’ve read both… twice). I still am a sucker for the related movies (BBC or Kiera Knightly versions of Pride and Prejudice do the trick quite nicely, as does the Bollywood version Bride and Prejudice) and I still watch with other addicts – except our food choices have luckily changed to wine and cheese, which is probably not @fatroll approved.

It’s a problem, but unlike other addictions, I have no plans to stop! You’ll have to pry Sense and Sensibility, New Moon and the Shopoholic series from my death grip. And it won’t be pretty. Ask Justin.


Ham vs. Hog -- Society Needs to Become a Vegetarian

Growing up, I will be frank -- I was a total ham. I would see a camera, immediately try and get in front of it and then throw a fit when someone (my dad) would try and put the focus on someone else (my sister).

It's not to say I'm still not a ham (i.e. my front row action at the DMB taping... thank you again awesome Warehouse Fan Club!) -- but at what point does it go too far -- where you become a hog?

Jon Gosselin won't stop invading our televisions (my recommendation -- lay low and stop granting media interviews) and now we have Balloon Boy. The latest -- the whole family, from the six-year-old to the parents, where involved in pulling one over on us in the hopes that they would get a show on TV (innocent until proven guilty though, but it's looking like something wasn't right with this story).

Of course I blame the idiots trying to make a buck off of the media buy selling their selves (and kids) out. But shouldn't the blame also fall on us? We continue to watch reality shows (even Biggest Loser, which I adore) and it breeds this type of behavior. Are people are so desperate to make a buck, that they're willing to sacrifice their family to see their name in lights?! Really?!

I don't get it. Maybe when I have kids and I think they're the most awesome, gorgeous, talented kids in the world and EVERYONE must know them, I'll get it. But right now, I just don't.


My Twisted Web of Social Media

Every so often, something occurs in one of my social media realms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs) that causes me to step back and reassess exactly what (and more importantly, why) I’m posting content online. This time, it’s been a series of items over the course of the last two months that just leave me a little confused and wondering if I want to keep up this rat race.

I spend way too much time worrying about what people are saying on Twitter (and figuring out what I should be saying and how I should say it), wondering what I should be posting as my latest blog entry here or at OoCFR, browsing through the plethora of junk on Facebook to find out what my friend is doing this weekend; it’s just so tiring. And why do we do it?

Does it really matter that I let you know on Tuesday that I was tired? Did you care? And why should I feel a slight tinge of sadness if no one responds to something that I know was hilarious on Facebook (well, hilarious to me at least)?

And to be honest, I’m seriously debating whether or not to close my Facebook and Twitter accounts to just a few close, personal friends (like less than 20) just so I don’t feel this pressure to watch what I say to avoid offending others, be obligated to respond to messages from people I barely know, and to just save time. And don’t think you judge people who have less than 50 friends on Facebook and think people must be soooo cool if they have over 500 friends… you do. Or if you don’t, God, I really am pathetic. ;)

I see my husband, making a complete mockery of Facebook by adding every person he can as a friend (even though he has no idea who they are… and these people actually accept him), and he makes a complete mockery of social media. And I love him for it. He has so much free time because it isn’t spent browsing through photos or trying to insert myself into very public conversations/exchanges about whether or not blue or purple is the best color (purple is by the way), and simply enjoying life not in front of a computer screen 24/7.

When did social media become a chore, like opening up bills in the mailbox or screening your phone calls for telemarketers? Except no one is trying to sell you anything or make you pay for something – they just bombard you with the mundane-ness of everyday life in the hopes that social media will somehow make their life more exciting. I just want it to be fun again.

And I continue the trend by posting this rant (and hell, my weight) online. Sort of funny, and all kinds of ironic.


Car Driving Tip #33

Let's all be honest. If you live in Texas (particularly the great city of Austin), the "wave" negates any road action you might "accidentally" do. For example, there are two lanes of traffic at Southwest Parkway and N. Mopac always trying to get on the highway during rush hour, but only one lane actually has the right-of-way. The lane that doesn't have the righ-of-way actually moves up to 2-5 minutes faster by simply "butting" (not cutting... too harsh of a word) in front of someone else. Yeah, it's technically wrong, but everyone does it (sigh), and the wave negates it -- particularly when someone waves back. One time, I even saw two people wave using the "hook 'em" sign -- it was an awesome day to be a Longhorn, and may have brought a tear to my eye.

However, when you don't wave, you're being an asshole. Thus brings you car driving tip #33.

#33: When cutting in front of someone, you must wave, or risk offending the person who kindly slammed their breaks (or motioned you over) to let you in. To the person in the Hyundai with a rosary hanging from mirror - you didn't wave, you gave driving Catholics a bad name and you waited until the last possible minute to make the maneuver. Bad form, ma'am. Bad form. Sincerely, an insulted Catholic, car-waving driver.



I honestly don't know when this happened. In the mirror, I look the same, talk the same, even act the same. But at some point between college and now, I turned into... a Fanboy.

Growing up, I never watched Star Trek or Star Wars. In fact, I made fun of the freaks who were really into those movies. And then I'd really go to town on the freaks who would discuss the merits of Star Trek versus Star Wars and which one was better. Whatevs. They're both dumb.

Then right after Justin and I got married, we decided to rent the first Star Wars for me to watch. And uh, at about 2 a.m. in the morning, I forced the poor chap to return to Blockbuster to pick up the next two... and then we watched the newer versions. I was hooked.

To be fair, a true Fanboy knows all of the crazy trivia and has a deep-seeded hatred for Trekkies. I know none of the trivia, and kinda liked the remake of Star Trek JJ Abrams did (because I heart anything that man comes up with, Alias, LOST, MI:3 - yes, even that horrible movie).

And I REALLY liked the movie Fanboy. In fact, if you enjoy the Star Wars and Star Trek movies, you MUST rent this movie. If just for the fact that Seth Rogen plays three different characters (including a hard-core Trekkie). Trust me, you'll thank me later!


Car Driving Tips #31-32

In Austin, you know if it's raining during rush hour you'll need to leave an extra 30 minutes to an hour before you normally do. But here are some not so obvious tips to keep your sanity during a wet commute into work.

#31: Don't swat at mosquitos while driving. You will only hurt yourself and still manage to get bit. Just roll down your window, brave the onslaught of rain coming through your now rolled-down window, and let the wind do the rest. Sincerely, your left hand (still throbbing from your failed attempt at mosquito death)

#32: Don't change lanes, a la Office Space. You will be Peter Gibbons and it will be frustrating. Sincerely, the Blue Hond Civic who cut you off, only to immediately want to turn left (with no turn lane available), sufficiently blocking traffic in your lane for five minutes while cars in the other lane speed by mocking your stupidity.


Car Driving Tips #28-30

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you'll see every once and awhile that I get fed up with drivers in this town. I've decided to switch these tips to my blog, just so I can describe the scenarios better. Today I bring to you Car Driving Tips #28-30:

#28: When on a highway, if a person changes lanes who is more than five seconds in front of you, at a rate of speed faster than what you are currently traveling, there is no need to slam on your breaks to assess the situation before returning to your regular speed. Sincerely, the person behind you.

#29: A yield sign is there for you to yield. Therefore, don't ignore my first horn blow as a mistake and give me a weird look they second time I honk. You have a yield sign. I don't. Right-of-way goes to me. Sincerely, the person who honked at you twice and still couldn't believe you were confused.

#30: Hot guys who drive Navy Range Rover's with lush brown leather seats should be banned from the roadways. Sincerely, the person who almost rear-ended the white Silverado while looking at said car/hot guy.


Dear God: What Hurts My Heart

Hi God:
The last several months have been quite trying. For some reason, odd-years always seem to be my bad life cycle or something. It’s actually kind of funny. Even years included graduating from high school, my marriage to Justin and the purchase (cough, mortgage payments) of our own home. Odd years were just funks -- jobless, fatness, and now broke-ness? That’s not a word and we’re not quite broke (though the legal fees and Justin’s lack of a job are getting us there fast!), but You get the drift.
But none of that bothers me as much as the liars, cheats and fakes that have plagued my life for the past six months. People that claim Jesus is their Savior yet their multiple decisions prove their is no Light in their hearts; individuals who are too scared to stand by what they believe in and what is TRUE; outright liars who are more concerned with saving their own butts at the cost of others; greedy individuals (not just around money, but with the term “but it makes ME happy”). Sigh.
All of it just makes me question this rat race. It makes me wonder about Christianity and its dark side -- people that praise Your name on Sunday and when it suits them. It makes me cringe at the thought that I may have inflicted any of the above unintentionally on others in the past, because I’m seeing first hand the damage that it is causing in my life and those around me. But I don’t think I have, thank goodness. And if I have, I ask for Your forgiveness and that of the people I hurt.
You know I’m not one to normally wear my beliefs on my sleeve for a variety of reasons (it’s personal (between You and me), it has the potential to come off as less than genuine, I respect and value others’ beliefs and decisions, etc.), but golly, is it really that hard to be a nice person? Is it really that hard to stand behind truth and what is RIGHT? Because I am more than happy to fall on the sword of my own making -- especially if it saves others from the brunt force of it. I just wish others had that same courtesy.
So, if you could, continue to help me be the person that others don’t have the strength to be -- strong in Your way, upholding of truth, considerate of others and the ability to forgive. Because right now, I’m having serious difficulty with that last one.
Thanks in advance,


This Week

It's weird. I can't tell if I'm looking forward to this week or not. I mean it starts off amazing but then the middle scares the crap out of me, and by the end of the week, I'm going to be struggling to eat appropriately during happy hour. :) Here's the rundown:
  • Monday: Leave work early to stand in line at the CMB for the DMB ACL taping. Um, awesome. This is going to blow my mine, at least, I hope it does, because I'm skipping my weekly Pilates class for this.
  • Tuesday: Day trip to Houston for work. Sounds miserable, but I'm presenting on a topic that I'm growing pretty passionate about (Twitter), so it's worth the five hours in the car.
  • Wednesday: Mediation day. Many of you may or may not know that Justin has been without a job since late March and is being sued by his former employer. I'll leave it at that, because I can't really say more than that. But I will say that Wednesday it may be all over -- and God -- that would be really nice. Working from home that morning to spend time with Justin prior to the meeting, and depending on my nerves, may go into work or hang out the house scared and worried.
  • Thursday: Weigh-in day!! Given I'm blowing off Pilates Monday, traveling Tuesday and will be a worried ball of mess Wednesday, I don't really know how that's going to result on the scale, but I'll save that analysis for another blog.
  • Friday: Breakfast meeting, work lunch and happy hour. Eww. That screams of "eat too much." Good thing I work out with my trainer on Fridays.
Wish me luck!


Justin + DMB = True Love

2000 was the year I was destined to experience love in a way I had only dreamed about in via cheesy romance novels or romantic comedies. I remember orchestra banquet that year, and Justin was my date -- I had asked him because, well, my first two choices wouldn't go with me. Ouch.

I remember walking up to Justin in the senior section of the school cafeteria (that was littered with underclassmen) and I was so nervous. I don't know why, because at the time, I didn't think I had a crush on him. Maybe it was because I didn't want to have yet another person turn me down.
And I remember his answer, "I'll have to check my calendar." Oh God, I remember thinking, that's it, I'm becoming a nun. Seriously, I looked into it and actually e-mailed a nun in Austin, where I'd be going to school that fall.

Later, Justin would tell me he had to clear it with his parents and actually make sure his schedule was clear. I'm sort of glad it was.

The night of the orchestra banquet was a total blast and I had an after party at my house that totally sucked because my mom had to work the next day and we had to be quiet. Sigh. But when Justin left that night from my house, it looked like he was going to kiss me. And I'm pretty sure I was like a deer in headlights because I was not expecting it. He chickened out, but luckily had the balls to ask me out about four weeks later.

And thus started our "summer fling" of no commitments, just enjoying each other's company. Look how that turned out:

  • Long-distance relationship between UT and Pepperdine with Justin and I running up thousands of dollars in phone bills
  • Long-distance relationship between UT and UNT until Justin could transfer into UT that fall with Justin sneaking down to visit me every once and awhile
  • Engaged by 2003
  • Married by 2004 (first dance -- and only dance -- was to DMB's Lover Lay Down); Walter joins the family
  • First home by 2006

But back to the summer of 2000 -- or as I like to call it, the Summer of DMB. Justin's car had a 12-disc CD player that had nothing but DMB in it. That's all he'd listen to, so by default, it's all I listened to in his car as well. I remember hearing Seek Up for the first time, and I simply fell in love. Over the years my favs changed from Seek Up to Satellite to the Stone to the Last Stop. But I have since settled on an oldie but a goodie -- Song that Jane Likes. The only time I've heard in it concert was in 2005, the first day of a two-day stint at the Woodlands in Houston (we had gotten Fifth Row seats the following night, which were amazing). Anywho, I think I cried. But I cry easily, so not a big deal. Ha.

It's so weird, because I feel like DMB's music has chronicled so many chapters of my life, good and bad (bad chapter is going on right now).

And today, I found out that I got tickets to see DMB at the ACL taping this Monday night on the UT campus -- the campus where Justin and I shared so many memories. It's just too much.

And it totally blows that he can't go. Like, I almost don't want to go (but I still am) because he won't be there. For me, seeing DMB without Justin is like attending your wedding sans groom. Luckily, I'll be going with Ashley -- but still. Totally blows. I hope he can get back from Dallas in time, but it's not looking likely. Breaks my heart.

So the plan is to sneak in my flip cam and then record the entire concert on my iPhone so he can listen to it. Hopefully I won't get kicked out, but Justin has been through so much this year, that he needs this. So I'm going to be the team player I am and deliver.

Because to me, DMB has a silent member and his name is Justin. Check out my Facebook page for some additional retro pictures.

I'm Back, Really... This Time for Real

I'm seriously hanging my head in shame. I haven't updated this blog since some friends of mine and I started @fatroll.

Anywho, I've realized I do need an outlet for anything I do not related to freakin' losing weight OR exercise. So here is the random thought:

Is it wrong to still want to hang up a picture of Zach Morris...err, Mark Paul Gossellar in my cube at work? It's like a grown-up high school locker anyways. If you haven't checked out the latest version of People with the whole gang together again (except for loser Screech)

Freakin' yum.


Do you have an out of control fat roll?

I do! I'm now a founding blogger/contributor to Out Of Control Fat Roll -- a blog/contest designed to help me lose weight through the fear of posting a picture of me in my bikini if I lose. My first posting is located here. Enjoy! And get motivated!


My New Love

I’ve started dreaming about it, already spent way too much money on it, and over the past few months, my love for it has grown so much that I can’t hold it in anymore and have to share.

No, I’m not having a baby. And I wouldn’t announce it on my blog if I was. Actually I would. I’m already off topic though, which can’t fare well for this blog entry.

What I’m really talking about is my love of a game called golf. Back in fourth grade, my left-handed dad tried teaching me the basics of the game at the driving range at Town East and Belt Line. Given my hand-eye coordination had never truly been tested up until this point (I never played a sport in my life) and I’m right-handed, the lesson ended with me declaring golf to be the “stupidest game ever.” (I tend to speak in absolutes to this day)

In my early college years, wanting to woo the man of my dreams into a lifetime of blissful and uncomplicated marriage, I decided I should watch golf on TV and, on occasion, maybe even tap a ball or two in the general vicinity of a hole in the ground. I ended up having the hots for Phil Mickelson, the most adorable leftie on the PGA Tour, but still never got into the “swing” of things. Love me some puns.

Then about three years ago, I decided to get serious. We purchased some golf clubs for me and went to the Hank Haney golf range in North Austin (now a lovely shopping center with a Home Depot, a now-closed Circuit City and a Golf Galaxy) to get some one-on-one lessons with the best golfer I know, my husband… hehe.

Unfortunately, my hand-eye coordination was much the same as it was in fourth grade, and the majority of my swings made little to no contact with the ball in front of me. Aggravating sport!

But it all changed with the discovery of a little shindig called the Butler Park Pitch and Putt, conveniently located across the street from Peter Pan Putt-Putt and about 10 minutes from the house. It’s essentially a nine-hole, par-three course where BYOB is encouraged and may help your score. Once I was able to take what I learned on the range and apply it to a “real-life” setting, the lessons I was receiving suddenly made more sense. You can’t “play” on a range forever, right?

And now, my new favorite course to play is Lions Municipal Golf Course that is at Enfield and Exposition. A relatively flat course, it’s easy to walk and play and get a great understanding of the game. And shockingly, in the two times I’ve gone there, my score has dropped another seven shots! WHOA! The best part of the course? In the evenings, it’s less than $8 to walk and play nine holes. It’s like brining golf to the masses. Genius.

One side note, the University of Texas owns the land this golf course is on, and is currently trying to boot the golf course in favor of “development” – i.e. condos, apartments and retail. Because apparently this city needs more of that, right? A bunch of condos-turned-apartments and empty retail shells. Booo. Lion’s is the only centrally located municipal (or private) golf course that is reasonably priced enough for anyone and everyone to play. Plus, its unique history should solidify its place in Austin. For more information or to sign the petition, visit: http://www.savemuny.com/.

So move aside running, I’ve officially found a new hobby that I’m not too bad at (anymore).


Because it's fun to look back

Since this reposts to my Facebook page, I'll just fill it out here :) Hope everyone is doing splendidly! May is turning out to be less drama. No resolution, but at least less drama...

Okay, here we go!

**** 15 YEARS AGO (1994)****
1) How old were you? 12
2) Who were you dating?: OMG, I think I was still dating Ben Hagan. I can't even believe I was technically dating someone at 12. I also think it lasted less than two months ;)
3) Where did you work? I was in sixth grade, so nowhere.
4) Where did you live? Mesquite, Texas
5) Where did you hang out? My front yard, slumber parties at friend's houses
6) Did you wear contacts and/or glasses? No
7) Who were your best friends? Brandi Fluent, and I believe there was some fallings outs with some other people. Oh, elementary school drama.
8) How many tattoos did you have? Err, zero.
9) How many piercings did you have? Just my ears
10) What kind of car did you drive? Well, I rode in an Izuzu Trooper and a Ford Taurus. The 90s owned.
11) Had you been to a real party? Definitely not
12) Had you had your heart broken? Probably. Crushing on boys is what you did in sixth grade
13) Were you Single/taken/married/divorced: Taken I suppose
14) Any kids? Considering I was one, no.

***10 YEARS AGO (1999)****
1) How old were you? 17
2) Who were you dating?: Kenny Dykes
3) Where did you work? Hmm, during the summer that year I worked at a photography studio
4) Where did you live? Sunnyvale, Texas
5) Where did you hang out? To be honest, I don't even remember... Kenny's place, my place, I believe there was a bowling alley. We would go shopping at North Park sometimes. See movies -- that kind of stuff.
6) Did you wear contacts? No
7) Who were your best friends? Orchestra girls
8) How many tattoos did you have? Zero
9) How many piercings did you have? Two! Look at me being a rebel!
10) What kind of car did you drive? Ironically, the same care I had ridden in back in 1994. A turd colored Ford Taurus with no air conditioning. It was awesome. I will be working three jobs to keep my kid from driving around in a car with no air conditioning during a Texas summer if I have to.
11) Had you been to a real party? Yeah, there were a few. Had to be careful around that orchestra crew ;)
12) Had you had your heart broken? Yes. But it's all good now. To be young and foolish, right?
13) Were you Single/taken/Married/Divorced? Taken
14) Any kids? Err, once again, no.

1) How old are you? 27
2) Who are you dating? Are you still dating when you're married? Justin Balthrop
3) Where do you work? Waggener Edstrom
4) Where do you live? Austin, Texas
5) Where do you hang out? My house, Pilates, Work, Town Lake, various happy hours, etc. I believe I have a better social life than I did in high school. Ha.
6) Do you wear contacts and/or glasses? Not really -- only when I'm stressed and my head starts hurting.
7) Who are your best friends? Ashley and Justin -- but I have so many awesome friends that I love dearly.
8) How many tattoos do you have? Still zero
9) How many piercings do you have? Back down to one
10) What car do you drive? Depends I suppose; Usually the Mazda Tribute, but if the husband is feeling generous, I drive the 2009 Lexus RX
11) Had your heart broken? Not in a long time.
12) Are you Single/Taken/Married/Divorced? Happily married for five years.
13) Any kids? Not yet :)

Amazing how much life changes. And I can't believe that my 10-year high school reunion is only one year away. I feel old.


In case you were wondering...

I have gone a tad quiet over the past month. Without going into details, please pray for Justin and me, but more importantly for honesty, truth and integrity. 2009 is going to be a tough year, but we are all put through difficult situations for a reason. And while we haven't exactly figured out what this reason is, we're going through it with our heads held high and knowing that good things are just around the corner.


Jenni’s Getting Cut

And by cut, I don’t mean ripped or super fit – although next week I begin my training for the Danskin Triathlon in June (technically it is a “sprint triathlon” – half-mile swim, 12 mile bike ride and 5K run), so maybe I’ll be “cut” in a few months.

Today, I’m cutting off about three years worth of hair growth, or roughly eight inches (my hair grows pretty slow, as the typical person’s hair grows about a half-an-inch a month).

Some of you may know that Justin’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer back in October, and she just began chemo treatment this month, which causes your hair to fall out. So while I had planned to get a few inches cut off this year, part of the reason for the more drastic option is out of respect for Karen. I thought about shaving my head (seriously), but in the end, I just can’t go through it. I keep having visions of Britney with the umbrella. By the way, looking at that picture again makes me realize how far she’s come in the last year and a half. I can’t wait to see her in Dallas in less than two weeks! Wee!

Back on topic. For any of you looking to donate your hair at some point in your life, I recommend researching organizations thoroughly, because some organizations will actually just throw your hair out if you don’t meet certain requirements, like:
*Hair must be at a minimum between 8 to 12 inches
*In a ponytail when you donate (some people apparently send in swept-up hair off the ground, which is just gross)
*No hair dye, or certain types of dye only

That last requirement is what made the whole donation process tricky for me. For example, Wigs for Kids does NOT except any type of hair that’s been dyed, even if it was semi-permanent (washes out 4-6 weeks… used mainly if you’re coloring over grey hairs). Other organizations let you donate if you have colored, but not bleached (so any highlights during the past five years and you are out of luck). But whatever you decide, make sure you follow the directions carefully and researched the organization thoroughly. For example, Locks of Love WILL throw away or sell your hair if it is too grey, too short for their wigs, or is sent to them in a braid instead of a ponytail. Seriously.

For my purposes, I found an organization that lets you donate if you have colored your hair, thank goodness. If any of you have seen my hair in person, you know that it is incredibly thick, and I think would be great for a wig. Children with Hairloss is an organization based out of Michigan that caters to children who need a wig due to a medically-related condition.

And if you are strapped for cash – or just a greedy jerk, you can also grow your hair for money – and can sell it for upwards of $1,000 depending on the length and overall health of the hair.

I’ll post pictures this evening of the new hair style on Facebook over the weekend. Most likely it will be a picture with me and Perez Hilton, because I’m totally going to his book signing at BookPeople tomorrow. So look for my hot mug on Perez’s Web site next Friday. Haha.


Picking Yourself Up

I’ve discovered I have a bit of a character flaw. Involving wheels. Stay with me here...

About three years ago, I had this brilliant idea to buy rollerblades. Back in the day, I loved rollerblading. Jumping off of curbs, spinning around until I was dizzy. To me, it didn’t really feel like it was that long ago. Apparently, my sense of time is a little whack.

So I get the rollerblades, and start doing my thing, going up the driveway, and immediately decide to jump the curb. Because, it was so easy only, I don’t know, 15 years ago. It didn’t seem like more than a decade. But as I saw my feet fly up, looking up at the sky, I realized ten years was a lot longer than I previously thought. And as my butt and back smashed into the concrete and my husband is yelling at me to see if I had a concussion, I had to laugh.

What the heck was I thinking, right? But like a good girl, I got back up and tried again. And fell three more times.

And after going home sick from work the following day because I was so sore, I swore to myself that I would put those stupid things back on and try again.

Three years later, they’re right where I left them, in plain view, inviting me to try again. But I don’t.

Apparently I have a limit to falling down and picking myself up again.

And it isn’t limited to rollerblades. About a month and a half ago I bought an awesome new road bike. And I fell -- about three times I think. And I haven’t been on it since, which is a bit of a problem, since I’m supposed to do a triathlon in June.

What on earth happened to my fearless sense of adventure that I had as a child? I never thought of the risks associated with riding a bike or rollerblading back then -- I just did it without reservation.

I want that ability back. But I don’t know how to find it. It’s so weird to know I felt that way at one point in my life and I can’t re-wire myself to think that way. Simply picking yourself up and trying again doesn’t work, and I have the scars and bruises (literally) from trying it.

And then, as I’m laying here in bed giving myself a headache from thinking too hard, how do these two events translate into how I approach other, less physical activities? Is it even the same thing? I’ve given up on a few people throughout my life, individuals who, despite my best intentions, were past the point of my time and efforts. Similar to the bike or the rollerblade, there is literally only so many times that you can get beat down before you flat give up.

Ah, “giving up.” The point where you stop picking yourself up. I looked the term up on Google to see what’s out there, and it’s pretty pathetic. Though, it was sort of funny that the second result pulled is on Bill O’Reilly giving up his syndicated talk show. Really random. It’s sort of funny his name is associated with that term on Google.

Okay, so the term “giving up” is apparently for losers. So I did another search for “Picking Yourself Up” and I was quite pleased with the results. We have a Zen result listed, some Hindu... and again, randomly, a Fox News story. Seriously. What the crap is up with that?

I choose to ignore the Fox News story and instead focus on the Zen angle. It’s a story on the Zen Habits Web site called, “Feeling Down? 7 Ways to Pick Yourself Back Up!” The exclamation point speaks to me (along with the feeling down... why yes, I’m feeling down... I’ve managed to literally fall down several times this year and it’s only March) so I continue reading.

Reading these seven pointers is interesting, because I’ve managed to realize I’m not in that bad of shape. Apparently, I should make lists (I do regularly); take action (I do until I fall down); exercise (ha, that’s funny... that got me into this mess in the first place); shower and groom yourself (err... I don’t need to be reminded of that anymore, I’m not five); get out of the house and do something (both events was actually right in front of the house...); play some lively music (what do you think Britney Spears is??); and, talk about it (this blog).


Let’s try another search result, Swing Time by Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Crap, I wish I could dance in heels like that... but I would fall. A lot. Oh wow, the way Ginger’s dress swings around in 0:52 is pretty clutch. Random factoid -- did you know that Fred Astaire choreographed one of Madonna’s first tours, but she fired him? I read it in her brother’s autobiography.

Okay, so onto the next link from Hindu.com -- which turns out to be India’s National Newspaper. I love Bollywood, so I keep reading.

It ends up being a poem of sorts, which I enjoyed reading. I’ve bolded the good stuff that spoke to me. I hope you enjoy reading it :)

Three times I tried,
Defeat took all pride,
But each time I lost,
Everyone was saying,
Try, Try, Try again
For this is a saying
That hard work never goes in vain.
And I am still trying
Hope I succeed someday
Before I start crying.
You can understand,
How I feel,
After putting a lot of effort
No one wants to kneel.
To restart from the beginning,
It always takes time
And I am scolded,
For no crime of mine.
Yet with the burden on my shoulders
I gather courage to start.
But all my hopes are mined
When the chapters before me nastily laugh.
Oh God! What should I do?
In such mayhem caused?
Alas! I got an answer
With the inner conscience aroused,
Do not allow the fear
To make yourself pause
`Cause nothing is easy to achieve
What you can do is just
Work hard to please.
Last but not the least
Always remember
Nothing is impossible.
For hope sees invisible
And feels intangible
Hope never lets you die
Until you reach an ultimate high.
So just try and try again
As I am trying
And I'm sure that one day
Success will be mine.

Reetika Bajaj, XII Arts
New Delhi: Dayanand Model S.S. School, Mandir Marg


Walter, the Hamburgler

*Special shoutout to my pals Meredith and Angie, whose sweet Yorkies were kind enough to invite Walter to their fourth birthday party.

For any of you fortunate enough to meet Walter, you get the idea that he is a 75-year-old man trapped in the body of a 10-year-old dog. Seriously. He’s very particular, doesn’t particularly care for other dogs, actually enjoys going to the doctor’s office because it gives him something to do in his otherwise boring life, etc. And like old people, others tend to flock to him for sage advice or humor. Like my pal @kisngutz (Kim G.), who thinks I should go on vacation more often or get knocked up so she can watch Walter all the time (much like an old folks home).

With that background, Justin and I were slightly wary of bringing Walter to a birthday party for two Yorkies, Bella and Jackson. To be honest, we didn’t know what to expect – usually Walter does one of two things when he sees another dog: get excited too easily, which then causes the other dog to get mad at him; or, he pees on them accidently. Honestly, I don’t know if it is an accident or not. (Walter at the beginning of the birthday party)

So we took him anyways, and similar to a toddler birthday party, Walter is immediately swarmed by seven other dogs, sniffing, chatting via huffs and puffs, etc. I think Walter almost peed on one of them, but luckily the dog moved in time. After that, Walter went in search of places to pee, completely ignoring other dogs. Particularly when he stumbled across a rare, muddy find near the back of the property.

Most of you know, Walter has a fascination with tennis balls. In fact, his latest collection includes one the size of a basketball I found at Golfsmith in their tennis section, and a set of 48 I got him at Costco. (At some point, I’ll post the video of Walter playing with the huge tennis ball). But little known fact – he loves squeaky toys. I think because he hates the squeak and wants to kill it. Seriously. (Walter going to town on a fake hamburger)

So the hamburger toy squeaked. And it was Walter’s duty to the other dogs to de-squeak it. For about thirty minutes, he ignored everything going on around him and focused on this ridiculous toy. He entered the party beautiful and clean. Walter left it a muddy mess. Pretty cute, if we weren’t in a car with cream-colored leather. Whoops.

Anywho, the point of this story is that everyone needs to go to a dog birthday party once in their life. In fact, Justin and I (and Walter) had so much fun, we may have to throw one for Walter in June. (Walter after playing with the ball... clearly incredibly happy with himself. His parents, not so much)

Happy Fifth Anniversary, JB!

It only seems like yesterday that the better half and I decided to embark on that special life-long journey called marriage. *Swoon* Because I love quoting random stats, I was going to provide you with some sort of information about how “50 percent of marriages end in divorce after five years.” Turns out, that frequently quoted stat is based on historically flawed math and based on trends from the 1970s when everyone was swinging and high as a kite. Us 2000’s kids are much more refined. (Justin doesn't look too happy in that photo. More annoyed I guess)

Marriage statistics today, according to a New York Times April 2005 article (yes, it’s more almost four years old, but I’m trying to work with what I can find here), state that there are huge differences between people with a college degree and those who don’t have one. Turns out, only 16% of women who have a degree divorce within 10 years, compared to the more than 35% who don’t have a degree. Of course, if you’ve ever read Freakanomics, you can get numbers to tell you anything you want – like the fact that based on both of our names our parents are white and poor without any formal education. And we’ll most likely be naming our first born Quinn (that would be a girl’s name… which is lame. It sounds like I would name my child after a fictional television character). So you can really get stats to say whatever you want them to.

My longwinded point is we’re still married. Horray! We’ll be having dinner at Jeffrey’s here in Austin and then head back home to hang with Walter. If you have any good recommendations on what to get at the restaurant, I’d love to hear them. Just DM me at @jennijewel. (Picture taken at our fourth-anniversary dinner at Finn and Porter)

And what cool things have we gotten each other? Well, I’m glad I asked on your behalf. Both of us had been struggling to figure out what to get each other (actually, I’m lying… Justin apparently knew this whole time). Fifth anniversaries are usually celebrated by giving something made of wood. Or if you want to go more “modern” instead of traditional, silverware is the gift of choice. I’d like to consider myself a mod kind-of-girl, but why on earth would you give a guy silverware?

Anywho, back in college, Justin had this fascination with a game called Go. I think he read somewhere that really smart people play the game, and he fancies himself a smart person. Plus, it is understood to be one of the most complex games in the world. It turns out that playing Go causes you to use the right side of your brain more and decreases your chance of Alzheimer’s. Justin never got a board in college, because they were too expensive and we were both poor. It was forgotten about, until about a month ago, when I remembered his love of a game he’s never played before, and more importantly, the fact that this game happens to have a wooden board.

And what did the swell boy get me? Well, about a year ago, as I was really starting to learn how to play golf, Justin made a deal with me. If I could score 60 on nine holes (pathetic, right?), he would get me a driver. On a fateful day about a month ago, I actually got a 47! Granted, it was at the Butler Park Pitch and Putt, but I’ll take what I can get! And so last week, he surprised me with a trip to Golfsmith to pick up not only a driver, but a hybrid as well! Woot! To understand my seriousness at this decision, my final choice was between a purple Ping driver and a TaylorMade. And while I loved the idea that I could have a purple driver, I went with the one that I hit better. And then we went to the golf range, where I hit that driver 200 yards! It’s my best friend now, displacing Ashley. Haha. Kidding. Sort of. As a quick history of the game – drivers are technically a 1-Wood. Hence the gift. (Picture taken out at Horseshoe Bay last summer... by my husband.)

So all in all, a very good five-year anniversary. And more importantly, an awesome five years! BTW -- if you ever want to experience our ridiculous relationship in-person, feel free to crash at our house anytime you're in Austin. Just give us a 24-hour heads up. :) We usually take guests to dinner AND pay. So it's really a win-win.


Nostalgic Gaming, a.k.a. Zach Morris died of Cholera

So my last post was six months ago! Whoops. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize my life hasn’t been bloggable during that time. There have been plenty of things go down, but some events are better left unwritten.

But I’ve decided to break my dry spell with this awesomeness. I was reading my favorite blog, Gizmodo, yesterday, when I stumbled across this: Oregon Trail iPhone Game Hands On.

For the young-ins reading this blog (or those who did not grow up playing on Apple II’s during computer class at the school library): The Oregon Trail was an educational game developed back in 1971 by student teachers using a mainframe computer. Honestly, the fact that student teachers even knew how to use a mainframe computer is somewhat impressive – they’re hard to use now! Anywho, the game became so popular that it was sold on floppy disk in 1985 with another updated release in 1991 and again in 2001 (Thanks, Wikipedia!)

The premise of the game was to take you and the family (which you had the opportunity to name) along the Oregon Trail with limited supplies, money and food – which you then collected along the way to get to the final destination. Of course, random people would die off of various diseases or unfortunate accidents, and most likely if you ever played the game, you got to write on your own tombstone final words of wisdom that could be read by others. (Which most immature people would take that as an opportunity to show-off their newly learned vulgar vocabulary from an older sibling. Clearly, I went to a public school.)

It turns out that I shared a common theme with my husband (who went to the elementary school a few blocks down from mine) – we would name our Oregon Trail posse after Saved by the Bell characters. We would also kill too much buffalo – because let’s face it – we enjoyed shooting. Ironically, as much as the settlers did, since they almost wiped them out back in the mid-1800s. And history repeats itself in a school library. Fascinating.

And after reading the review of the Oregon Trail app for my iPhone, I knew it must be mine. My only hesitation was this – it was freakin’ $6. Up to this point, I had never paid for a single app on my iPhone. Maze Finger, Word Warp, Trace, iGolf, iBowl, Air Hockey, Whoppie Cushion (I will never forget eighth grade algebra and putting the whoppie cushion on the teacher’s seat, and it not working… LOL) – and my awesome metronome and tuner app for when I play violin – I grabbed them all for free.

But after discussing the potential purchase with my husband (which was most likely similar to talking with two seven-year-olds – we had reverted back 20 years), I bought it. And I couldn’t be more delighted. Both of us spent the next hour and a half choosing names for the family (Papa, Nana, Justin, Jenni and Walter) – which accidently got deleted when Ashley called to tell me about how awesome the LOST Season 4 finale was (I’m very excited she has blown through the whole series in the matter of a month, BTW) – we ended up sticking with the default names and went on our merry way.

I’ll say this – the hunting, picking fruit, floating the river – is way better than the Apple II version, yet stays true to the original game. While Indians are not narrowly picking off my family (which was apparently PC back in the 80s… but not in the 00’s), one of the children did get carried off by a bald eagle and was found two days later in a tree.

I’m still on the trail – and I’m doing this in easy mode until I get the hang of it – but all in all, I’d say this game is worth every penny – just because I can sit there and play it with my husband while we talk about the old version and reminisce about the olden days. We sound like we’re already 75 apparently ;)

So if you went to elementary school in MISD – or remember playing this game at school back in the day, grab the game on the iPhone. Better yet, if you are a true dork, download the original version for the Apple II here for free: http://classicgaming.gamespy.com/View.php?view=gmfiles.detail&id=128. Reading the comments even reminded me that it was a two-disk floppy game! Ah, the memories!

And if you were one of the punks that would leave the vulgar tombstones – now you’re free to do that in the comfort of your own living room without fear of a goodie two-shoes (i.e. ME) ratting you out to the school librarian.

“RIP Zack Morris. You were so hot and I wanted to marry you, even though I’m only 11.”