So Sad
Thursday, August 31, 2006
I got really excited to see this last night, walking home from the eL stop.

Then I realized how depressing it is to become elated that gas is at $3.25/gallon.


You got a haircut? Which one? (yuk yuk)
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I'm cheating on my hairstylist tonight with another man. His name is Donovan. I was flipping through photos in a magazine last night, wondering which direction I should take with the ol' mane...every picture I saw? Done it. Been there. Gelled that. Here is the hilarious and retina-scorching evidence of my many hairy blunders.

(in chronological order)

Kindergarten - my first set of bangs!

1st grade - still rockin' the bangs, but now look mysteriously like a boy
Not like that button down helped. Thanks, Mom.

Junior High - So begins my ill-fated love affair with wearing my hair half-up and half-down. All that energy spent on my hair, that clearly should have been applied towards rethinking my wardrobe.
Interestingly, I remember those earrings specifically -- they were from Claire's and were the biggest earrings my mother would allow. Good thing I paired them with that shirt - it clearly needed to be spiced up.

High School - Grade 11 - This is the year I began dating for the first time. I had two dates that year. I think we all know why:
This is my fake smile - the one that is supposed to be hiding my anger at arriving to school with my hair in a ponytail and FORGETTING IT WAS FLIPPING SCHOOL PICTURE DAY. (I had a habit of doing this...that is why you don't see my sophomore year photo here. Yikes) Anyone with naturally curly hair knows that once you put your hair up? It's up, sucka. Also, I was attempting to hide my braces. Go Huskies!

Part II: "The College Years and Onward" coming tomorrow. Stay tuned!

What is the world coming to?!
Purell, anyone?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I have never given much thought to the idea of an apocalypse -- whether it be the actual ending of the world as we know it, or some major catastrophe of political, natural, or social nature. Today's Trib has an interesting article about the upcoming disaster drill that parts of the downtown area will soon take part in.

I had no idea that this website existed - I wish I had known about it sooner. Damn fine idea, and a great resource for Chicagoans.

Order in the Court
Monday, August 28, 2006
The defense wishes to submit the following photos into evidence that Jamie has completely lost her mind in preparation for her real estate closing, including sleeping in the living room (near the a/c unit) and using her former bedroom as a staging area for boxes and disassembled furniture.

Jury, please be advised that Jamie's bizarre (and yet terribly organized) behavior has monumentally confused, and perhaps forever scarred, her adorable dog. As a result of being made to living amongst this cardboard confusion, he has now taken to sleeping in her sock bin. This is most probably a result of the missing pile of dirty laundry in that space that he is usually busy sleeping in.

Is all that ends well actually "well" for this offender? Will the dog ever return to his normal sleeping locations such as his bed, and (gasp!) the big bed, or is he doomed to forever reside in one of the undergarment bins which makes him look like an enormous, lop-eared rabbit? It is a mystery - much like the mystery behind why Jamie feels she needs to label the bin "socks" when it clearly contains socks. Perhaps we will never know...

Time Not-so-Well Wasted
Sunday, August 27, 2006
I'm really not a regular viewer when it comes to award shows, so when I ran across the Emmys when I was flipping channels earlier...well, let's just say I didn't camp out on the couch with a bowl of popcorn.

I cannot express how irritated I was by Ryan Seacrest's RIDICULOUS red carpet interview questions, particularly the little spat he had with Leah Remini. Not only is his voice like fingernails on a lemon zester, but he over-mystic-tanned and wasn't nearly as interesting as I thought he might be. He actually told Portia DeRossi she looked "comfortable" in her Zac Posen gown. Gee, last time someone told me that I looked "comfortable," it wasn't a compliment.

What a tool.

Are These Results Scientifically Significant?
Friday, August 25, 2006

Click to enlarge

Are we truly the lazy generation?
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
One of my favorite blogs is Tall-N-Lucky, which is the online journal of a wonderful woman in Canada. Her son recently celebrated his first birthday (Happy Birthday, Nolan!) and she has expressed concern over getting her partner to share in his portion of the thank you cards for the gifts given to their child.

She concludes this entry with a question on division of labor. I found her comments board particularly interesting. On the subject of thank you notes, specifically, MANY of her readers are suggesting that if a person RECEIVING a gift and the person GIVING the gift are both present for the OPENING of the gift, that no thank you is necessary. Their logic implies that if you can say thank you in person, no further effort is needed. I find this discussion ludicrous.

I openly concede that a lot of etiquette expectations have changed over the last century in wake of our rapidly shifting cultural, societal, and social expectations. However, gratitude is not some Victorian notion that fell by the wayside, a victim of the feminist movement or any other historical event/era. If someone gives you a gift, you thank them in writing. It's just what you do -- no amount of fawning in person replaces the need for a written note. Who are these people who don't send anything out -- particularly the parents?! If one if truly grateful and thankful, wouldn't they want to show their appreciation? I'm sort of angered by the entire debate. Rigid and harsh as it may sound, I have a hard time imagining anyone voluntarily ditch the idea of being polite.

Emily Post is rolling over in her grave as we speak.

Get a Grip, Grandpa
Dear Old Man at the Bus stop this morning:

I see the 151 coming. So does everyone else. Whatever your reasons were for standing directly in front of me were, I assure you, there was no need. I don't ride the 151 - you could have just said "excuse me, miss." But no. You chose to sidestep in front of me, then teeter perilously on the curb in front of me. I wasn't standing near anyone -- did you imagine that I was in line for a bus that didn't exist? And if you did indeed imagine this, was it so important for you to get on the bus before me? Age before beauty? I don't understand.

It took all of the willpower in my being NOT to take one very strong, very determined, very young index finger and push your saggy, old man ass over the curb and into the street. It also had something to do with public decency, but we won't get into that now. Let's just say that if I see you again, I plan on admonishing your behavior aloud, in front of all your freaky old lady bus friends.

Instead, I will just take a picture of your non-existent butt and post it for the whole wide interwebnet to see.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Cross smelled like soap, and like the rain we'd come in from, the smell of the earth in spring. Our bodies did not touch at all, but sometimes our clothes did - our sleeves, the legs of our pants. I didn't know if this was a thing anyone besides me would notice.

It's a sickness, really
I have been packing all summer long in preparation for my upcoming move (which is still 3 weeks away). Not only has it confused the dog profoundly, but it has shed some light on a serious problem of mine -- organizationus hyperanalus crazycitis. I treat every move as a golden opportunity to purge unnecessary, material possessions -- donate clothes, have a yard sale, sell things on Craigslist...and yet, I still have things to pack. OH, THE THINGS I STILL HAVE TO PACK. Why do I have so much shit lying around? Where did all of this come from?!

Packed this weekend: DVD, VCR, throw pillows, towels, my mind
Not packed this weekend: Electric griddle, blender, crockpot, weird shoe rack thingy

I thought moving was supposed to be an emotional catharsis - lose the unnecessary, gain a fresh perspective, you know, a generally enlightening event. Yeah, um, not so much. All of this prep work had better pay off on moving day, because I am about to lose it.

Friday, August 18, 2006
When I learned how to be calm-submissive with my wife, it improved my marriage 100 percent!

Thanks, Jeff!

So Flipping Cute that My Eyeballs May or May Not have Popped Out of Their Sockets
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Adventures in random capitalization!

I've been thinking a lot lately about getting a second dog. In reality, this would be completely insane. In my head, this is the perfect plan because it involves squishiness, soft fur, teeny baby dog prints, etc. It would also give Doc a little canine sibling to kick around, tease, play with, and scare by telling them that they're adopted.

I won't get another dog for awhile, but in the meantime, I'm going to continue to read this hilarious post by one of the funniest ladies on the interwebnet. Ohhhhh, that puppy is almost too much for me to take.

Sad Tidings Indeed
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Actor Bruno Kirby Dead at 57

Personally, his character in "When Harry Met Sally" was the best one - and the most commonly overlooked. I'll never forget the pathetic look on his character's face when he has to carry the wagon wheel coffee table out of the brownstone. Classic.

27 years ago, Sally Field was on a hospital bed outside Atlanta, recovering from the birth of ME. And the world was never the same...

My sister and I went to the Dixie Chicks concert last night to celebrate. It was so much fun - the entire arena had such a great vibe to it. We had gay men in front of us, PHENOMENAL seats, a couple little girls and their moms next to really was a diverse crowd. My tie-me-up-tie-me-down high heels were hurting by 10:45pm, but BOY was it worth it. I would have taken my camera, but frankly, I didn't want to lug it around. And the photos I took with my cell phone suck. So you're just going to have to use your imagination on the visuals.

The music was a nice blend of pickin-n-grinnin, their old albums, and their new stuff. Very little was said of the 2003 controversy regarding their thoughts on our Chief in Command, although I did see one woman with a shirt on that read, "I hated Bush before it was cool." The Dixie Chicks also mentioned how much they liked Chicago because it was child-friendly, and that they had been enjoying the city with their families. This made me oddly happy, like when a friend from out of town compliments you on your home. It was nice to know they think well of our city - I hope they come back soon!

Thanks for a great birthday celebration, Jo! Love you!

My New Favorite Show
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
SO MUCH BETTER than the Osbornes

On Being a Redhead
Monday, August 14, 2006
Lately, I've been noticing a lot of poorly executed red dye jobs. Folks, there is a reason only 3% of the world's population have red hair -- only certain types of people can really pull it off. I only know a handful of women who have the right complexion to successfully dye their hair ANY shade of red. I say this with the utmost respect for women who try to capture the right's hard work, and from what I hear, pretty damned expensive.

Here's a quick lesson for anyone out there who is thinking about taking the plunge. (Oh, and to the woman I saw on the bus this morning with magenta/purply/eggplanty hair? Franke Potente did it already. The jig is up. Your hair looks like a wig. I'm just sayin'.)


Honorable mentions to Geri Halliwell of Spice Girl fame, who recently returned to her roots (quite literally), and Rene Russo who is back in action after a long, dirty blonde hiatus.


Honorable mention to Kate Winslet, who seems to have abandoned her gorgeous, natural ginger color and chosen a sickly, wash-me-out-makes-Jamie-pout dishwater blonde. COME BACK TO US, KATE. PUH-LEASE?

OK, I feel better now. Rant over. Consider yourself educated.

The Technology Equivalent of White Pants
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Wandered into the Apple store on Michigan avenue this weekend and was struck dumb by all the white computers. I haven't used an Apple computer since junior high - specifically 1992, when I was the captain of the KJHS computer club and "Oregon Trail" was the coolest computer game known to man. That being said, the Apple store was a bit of a shock to see. WHAT IS WITH ALL THE WHITE COMPUTERS? It looks like a weird set from a Mel Brooks' film. Am I the only person on earth who feels this is a bad choice in design?!

Let's be honest. It's just going to get dirty, and unlike socks or sheets, you can't toss your iBook into the wash on hot with bleach straight up.

Celebrity Sighting
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Who: Lisa Loeb, singer/songwriter
Where: outside Blockbuster video at intersection of School & Lincoln Ave.
When: 8:45pm, Wednesday night

She crossed the street right in front of my car, so NORMAL looking that I actually stared at her for awhile just to make sure it was really her. I don't know why, but I always feel like celebrities should have this white aura about them, so they can be easily identified. It was -- she was wearing a white, boatneck tank top, black capri-length exercise pants, and her hair was in a ponytail. I think she must have been walking home (?) or somewhere from the X-Sport Fitness.

She was also wearing her signature (and irritating) cat-eye glasses.

She has really bad taste in gym shoes.

I considered yelling out my car window, "Can you introduce me to Cynthia Rowley?"

Check yo'self - Don't wreck yo'self
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
I'm busy. So go read these amazing people instead-->

Not That You Asked...

Mama Likey




Power to the [short] people
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Forget that multiple studies have been done about how tall people are perceived as more confident, more powerful, and occasionally more intimidating. Forget how there are VOLUMES of research on how taller people get jobs more easily, are promoted sooner, and never had to skim the dowdy, middle-aged racks of Petite Sophisticate when they were 15. (okay, maybe that last one was just me)

I thought of YET ANOTHER reason why it's better to be tall(er).

Tall people don't have to stare at crotches on public transportation. Plain and simple.

I was sandwiched between Sir Tall Guy and Crazy Tall Amazon Lady this morning on the bus. You think I'm exaggerating, but I'm really not -- my head just barely met their shoulderblades, collectively.

When the bus filled up, I had an epiphany. Of course, it was brought on by this incredibly disgusting guy standing in front of me-- you know the type: pleated navy Dockers, a weird plaid short-sleeved shirt, coke bottle glasses, and a cell phone that rings to the tune of "ode to joy." And OF COURSE, he spent the entire commute scratching the everloving hell out of his balls.

(Hi mom! Yes, you taught us the technical terms, but "balls" sounds better than "scrotum and testes." Also, do I really know exactly which part he's scratching? NO! And I wouldn't want to judge a stranger, because you always taught us to be open-minded and accepting as the day is long. Thanks for that, by the way - hey, did you know that I call you Sally Field on this blog?)

When I'm seated on a bus, or train, my head is directly in line with the crotches of those people who are standing in the aisle. GOD FORBID I forget to pack myself a book, because then I have no choice but to stare out at whatever is in front of me. Tall people aren't forced to stare at...ahem, all of that. They at least get a good view of buttons, or pocket protectors, or perhaps a cute handbag!

What is even more depressing is that when I don't pack a book or magazine, I should be thinking about how I can help the homeless, stop the killings in Darfur, create the next "it" drink for Starbucks (and name it after myself), or perhaps pen the next great American novel...but I'm distracted by all of my involuntary proximity to the nether regions of complete strangers. But we won't talk about my inability to focus on something worthwhile, because that has nothing to do with my height.

Or lack thereof.

Ch-ch-ch-Check It Out
Monday, August 07, 2006
Here's the story of a girl who lurked on a beauty review website. She loved the site, but was sad that she couldn't use many of the products she read about. She wrote in suggesting a redheaded perspective, and landed a fun gig! Lucky girl!

Click Here for the Scoop

Warning: The article includes frightening photos of my albino eyes sans cosmetics, and a somewhat manly bio photo of me. Good, clean fun for the entire family. Enjoy.

Weekend Update with Jamie Jamerkins
Early Dog Walk Proves Unexpectedly Bizarre
Puddles of fresh, human blood, accompanied by a visible trail of bloody footprints and handprints discovered in apartment building courtyard Saturday morning while walking dog. Cops called, incident added to long list of reasons why building management needs to have their licensing revoked.

Resident redhead caught dancing around in underwear by neighbor walking outside. Innocent bystander sues for damages (claiming damaged retinas) while offender promises to always doublecheck blinds before playing Track 9 of K.T. Tunstall's new album.

Medicinal Efforts Prove Futile
Dog attempts to celebrate restored gastrointestinal health by chewing on loose pieces of tempered automobile glass in alleyway. Owner nearly breaks said dog's neck pulling him away from glass, and is forced to poke through canine's mouth to ensure no glass has been consumed. Dog is immediately dragged home, whether he had to pee or not, STUPID DOG.

Daughter Misunderstood
Efforts to explain to her very conservative mother why E!'s "Girls Next Door" is this season's most hilarious television show backfires. Conservative mother is forced to watch anyhow. Daughter fears permanent, disappointed judgments have been made and promptly blames white wine served at dinner

Laundry. Again. Procrastinator fears eventual nudity is inevitable, and plans run to bank for rolls of quarters, while placing blame squarely on evil landlord.

Instant Replay: A Blowout of Colossal Proportions
Friday, August 04, 2006
No sooner had my foot touched the first step of the first flight of stairs, and I immediately knew I was in for a long night. The stench was unmistakable and increased in intensity the closer I got to my front door (which was locked). The theme from Jaws started playing in my head as I opened the door, and peered around the corner into the living room.

There he was, digging and burying wildly in his crate, hiding the massive shit-plosion. He froze in place, and looked at me with hot guilt in his eyes. I took him out immediately, cleaned him up with a wet washcloth, and we left the mess to take a walk.

While cleaning the crate and blankets, it dawned on me that the incident must have happened mere minutes prior to my arrival home. There is no way to describe the guilt I felt -- as in, "Geez, Jamie, if you'd just left work a little earlier, your poor dog wouldn't have had to go through this inside," and my heart broke. Just a little. I might have cried. Just a little. Now, as I think more about it, I cannot comprehend what my mother must have felt when something happened to one of us kids while she was at work. Simply cannot comprehend.

Luckily, we don't blame her for working -- rather, we appreciate the opportunities and skills we gained because of our "latch-key" status. But after a bath, a trip to the pet store for a new crate mat, and some cuddling, I can't shake the feeling that he's still mad at me. GAH.

What kills me most is that I'm always the one telling others, "It's just a dog, he'll be fine." Most of the time, I'm also convincing myself of the same thing. But some of the time, he's not just a dog -- he's my little buttface, poopypants, hairy monster, and best friend. He loves me more than I'll EVER love myself. I guess I just need to make peace with my inner "crazy dog person" and embrace it.

Hark! Who goes there?
Thursday, August 03, 2006
It is I - Maiden Jamie Hates-her-apartment-a-lot!

Gettin' a little punchy in these parts, sorry.

So I spoke with the owner of my rental management company - I felt it was necessary to drop in unexpectedly since I came home last night to the SAME DAMN PROBLEM. The staff of my rental mgmt. company had turned my AC down to 60 degrees, they had left dirty paper towels in a heap on the floor, and neglected to lock my front door when they left. Again.

The conversation was quick, diplomatic, and after I slapped him across his gap-toothed face, I left with a $100 discount on next month's rent.

Yeah, so, um....thanks for nothing.

So there I was, bored as hell, at the Target in Murfreesboro, TN. (I hadn't yet resigned myself to trips to the movies alone as a form of entertainment) My hair fell down my tank-topped back like unkempt ivy - emphasis on the unkempt. I was cranky, having discovered that very morning Chik-Fil-A's policy of closing on Sundays. Apparently Jesus doesn't like to see poultry die on the Sabbath. I didn't care who saw me, didn't understand my new surroundings, didn't want to take the time to bother acclimating. I was too depressed and self-centered to consider my bravery as such.

It was late summer, 2001, and I needed a pick-me-up. I was coming down off of a summer of dancing, stress, graduating college, commuting between Tennessee and Illinois, leaving friends, taking new jobs, and the list goes on. I knew myself well enough to know that I'd be spending the rest of the day crying if I didn't snap out of it already. So I found myself wandering Target, curious about this Nelly Furtado person that I kept hearing on the radio. Her first CD was just out, and so I picked it up -- I figured that would be cheaper than getting clothing or food. Ten minutes later, I was sitting in the hot, sticky drivers seat of my tiny Suzuki, tearing off the cellophane and waiting for the AC to cool down.

I drove the 1.3 miles home, around the corner near the BBQ restaurant and pottery store. GOD, it's still so clear in my mind -- years later! Weird. By the time I pulled into the driveway, I was dancing in my seat. I still think of that CD as ushering in one of the most fertile personal growth periods in my so-called adult life. This crazy CD, with its nutty, ethnic, pop-but-not-really beats lifted me out of my funk. I cried the first time I realized (in 2005) that the CD was scratched and would need to be replaced.

So for whatever strange reason, I feel intrinsically tied to this new album. So far, so good.

Pretty Please
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
CLICK HERE to tell me what you really think of me.

Seriously, I think it would be interesting. Even if you don't really know me, but want to contribute your uneducated opinion. I want to see what kind of functionality this little thingy-majig has.


Maybe there is something to this superstition thing
As I left my apartment yesterday morning, I noticed that some men were setting up tall ladders in our courtyard -- ostensibly to do some sort of roof repair, or maybe windows. Laughing in the face of superstition, which I'm not entirely sure I believe in, I crossed underneath one of the ladders and continued on to the bus stop.

Events that occurred yesterday that were clearly brought on by my bad karmic behavior:

1. Deadline shift on work project which will involve much wringing of hands while I wait for someone else to complete something so I can wrap things up

2. My favorite flip-flops broke

3. Blogger still won't let me attach photos to my NASCAR wrap-up post, which is several weeks old now

4. My pants broke -- at work

5. Those guys? The ones doing the repairs? Yeah...they let themselves into my apartment to do something with the windows, set MY APARTMENT up as their storage space (it is now full of windows, window pieces, screens, you name it), TURNED MY AIR CONDITIONING UNIT DOWN 10 DEGREES and left it like that for me to find when I returned home.

6. Oh yes, and they also left my door unlocked. UN. LOCKED.

7. In my fury, I went downstairs to inspect a "sign" that had been posted about the repairs and promptly locked myself out of my apartment.

8. Except the door was unlocked, which means that in UNLOCKING my apartment, they also managed to break one of the locks. I now have to jiggle my key just the right way to get the damn door to open.

Somebody needs a cocktail.

Next up on Feet Firmly Planted...Adventures In Having the Biggest Forehead In the Known Universe! And after that? A repeat showing of "Facial Contortions: How to Look like a Man and Visually Detach your Chin - all in one, easy motion!"

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

This is my attempt to make sense of the period that followed, weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I had ever had about death, about illness, about probability and luck, about good fortune and bad, about marriage and children and memory, about grief, about the ways in which people do and do not deal with the fact that life ends, about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.