Archive for the 'Love' Category


My quasi-identity crisis

Identity Crisis

Yesterday, some of you got an e-mail that I’d started a new blog.

And I had a good reason. I just didn’t feel like “me” anymore. I’m in a new city, a new job, a new life, new schedule. I felt like the Jacque Jo that lived and breathed in Charleston was a distant memory.

And the two posts I put up, which you can read here, felt pretty good when I put them up, but then the more I thought about it, the more I thought, “blah.”

No matter what the scenery is (and for me, right now, the scenery is Ruby Memorial Hospital, Room 954), I’m still Jacque. I’m saving the other blog — those of you that have been with me for a long time know my radio show used to be called “The Show That Never Ends” and I want to keep the site in case I need it down the road.

But maybe the “identity” crisis is just a surface issue of a deeper swirl inside — an unsettled feeling, if you will. Here’s a crash course for those of you just tuning in:

I moved, which was a full-scale disaster from a technical standpoint. Two days later, I started my new high-demand job (that I absolutely love and feel fulfilled and challenged and what I should feel). Four days after that, my family’s life got turned upside down when my Dad went down with a spontaneous massive brain hemorrhage. Since that 7 a.m. phone call from my sister, I’ve spent 50 hours or so a week working in DC and spending weekends in West Virginia. I’ve not had a single weekend in Washington to sit around, see and do things we read about, do laundry — you name it.

Now, I’m not bitching that the man got sick — I’m here for my father because I love my father and I get so moved and thrilled when I see the amazing progress he’s made in four weeks. Two weeks ago, we thought we were going to lose him. Today, we watched him laugh when I said my sister’s house that she’s building looks like a Pizza Hut.

I’ve not had the time to make new friends outside of office friends. We’ve only had a couple of nights (including last night’s Duckpin Bowling adventure, but more on that later) to actually do real, normal, average “couple” things like going out to dinner or see a movie. I’m tired as hell when I come home and then I’m gone all weekend.

It was difficult to do it, but I decided that I wouldn’t be coming to West Virginia for July 4. We’re going to spend it with oh, a couple million of our closest friends down on the National Mall. We’re going to do all of the stupid, touristy things we want to that day and spend the night watching the biggest fireworks display in the country.

And I shouldn’t feel bad — I had a good friend remind me that I shouldn’t feel bad. She reminded me that I’ve exceeded anything that a normal situation would have expected out of me and then some. I tend to shoulder more than my share of responsibility for anything and I’ve done that as much as I can with my Dad’s illness. Every weekend driving to Morgantown to be at his bedside is as much as anybody could have asked out of me from Washington.

So, what’s the purpose of getting it all off my chest? It’s what a blog’s for, right? And I’ve had so many people tell me they miss my blog and they miss me. I miss everybody a lot, too. If I haven’t called you or written you back yet, it’s because I’ve been trying to adjust to a world I can’t control right now, but I’ve got nothing but love for you.

And as for the blog identity crisis, Jacque Jo’s going to stick with this one because after sleeping on it, it’s what feels right.




T-minus about 48 hours. The movers will be here Thursday. Predictably. I needed them Friday.

Things aren’t going well. They’re not going terribly either. They’re just going fast. They have no choice but to just go. It’s time for the next phase of life and it’s here. What seemed like an idea a month ago is actually here now.

I’m fine, I promise. Just drained. I’m tired in every single way a person possibly could be right now. But there’s a light at the end. I just have to keep moving closer toward it.

I read somewhere that the five most stressful things anybody can go through are:

1. Birth of a child (I’m clear here)
2. Moving (I’m ass-deep in that.)
3. Changing jobs (Monday’s coming. Quickly.)
4. Going through a divorce (… check.)
5. Death in the family (I’m clear for now. But with my luck, someone dies Saturday.)

I’ve completed 60 percent of this list in eight months. Who says I’m not an overachiever?


Don’t come between a woman and her weiner.

Hot Dog!

One of my favorite phrases to toss around at my house is, “I’ll cut you.”

And, of course, I don’t mean it. Well, I haven’t really meant it yet. Only once I was I really close, but then he apologized and I realized I was being a bit irrational, so we watched “The Big Lebowski” and forgot about it.

But this woman in Florida? She meant it.

Wife accused of stabbing husband over hot dogs
Orange County, Florida — Now here is one you have to read.
An Orange County wife is accused of stabbing her husband after a fight over hot dogs for dinner.
Authorities say 28-year-old Alfreda Van Bladel made hot dogs for her husband, Anton, for dinner.
Apparently he snatched the plate from his wife. Authorities say that’s when she stabbed him in the shoulder with a steak knife.
They say he then grabbed a gun and pointed it to her head saying, “I’m going to kill you.”
Both were arrested and face a number of charges.

(For some mugshot goodness, click here.)

Holy. Crap.

Maybe he would have preferred Hot Pockets instead.

Or a pot pie.

Mmm. Pot pie.


Vote for Erinn and Mike

My friend Erinn and her husband Mike are entered in a contest at for “Best Couple.” I can’t think of very many couples I would bestow this honor upon, but this is one of them.

Erinn and Mike

You can vote for them by clicking here.

Vote early. Vote often.


‘You have really shitty taste in music, baby.’

Natalie Dee

It snapped me back into the car.

Where I was in my head was an entirely different place. In my head, I was bobbing along singing, “If I had a million dollars … If I had a million dollars … I would buy you a house …”

“What?” I asked as I looked over at B, who by this point was mocking the movement of killing himself with a gun to the head. “You don’t like Barenaked Ladies?”

“They had this song, and maybe like five others that are decent at best. The rest suck.”

“You suck.”

Oooh … score one for me in the “How to Win Friends and Influence People” category.

This from a man who put “Fergalicious,” “The Milkshake Song” and “Hey There Delilah” on a mix CD for a girl. (In the interest of full disclosure, it accidentally found its way both IN my office and later in my Mac when I mistook it for a blank CD that I needed to burn some pics.)

But come ON! Three of the most arguably WORST SONGS EVER MADE were on that CD, and he wants to call me out for being a giant Foo Fighters fan (hey, I’ve been repeatedly told they suck, too), liking Barenaked Ladies songs and having an affinity for 1970s music?

Whatever. What. Ever. Hey there Delilah heard your taste in music’s shitty …

But, I digress. And it’s OK. If I got mocked for every mix CD I ever made for a person, the mockery would last well into the next decade. And that’s being generous. Very generous. I’d mock me until at least the next century.

This revelation that I, the one who always has music in some form playing, had “shitty” taste in music, was shocking. Sure, I love cheeseball classics like “Waiting for a Star to Fall” and “Saturday Night” by the Bay City Rollers. Who the hell doesn’t? Can any one of you tell me that you DON’T listen to crap every now and again?

Sweet Ann calls my AOL Radio ’90s station “Applebee’s Radio.” Mostly because every song you hear on that channel has at one time been played ad nauseum at America’s hometown restaurant.

Sometimes, when I get ready for work or going out at home, I put it on the 1970s or 1980s music channel on cable and turn it all the way up. Saturday before the wedding we were going to I was jamming out to some of the best 1980s music the channel had to offer — Mr. Mister, Whitesnake, John Parr (I felt the St. Elmo’s fire burning in me), Madonna — and I hear from the room down the hall, “Who has shitty taste in music? Who? My Jacque. That’s who.”

So, quick reader poll:

You hang out with me in some cases. Is my taste in music legitimately shitty or is “eccentric” or “random like a Jack FM” more appropriate?

What songs are you playing on your CDs you KNOW suck, but love anyway.

‘Cause right now, in the wagon I’m blasting some Biz Markie. ‘Cause baby YOOOOOOOOU … GOT WHAT I NEEEEEEEEEEEED.


Past performance is not indicative of future results (at least I hope not …)

I Don't Listen

This past weekend, I got to see a couple of my closest friends get married. It was a beautiful day with a beautiful ceremony and though it sounds cheap and cliche, you could see love. You really could. I felt it the entire time I was around it.

I’m not a poster child for love. In fact, most people would say that I suck at it. I don’t know why I suck at it, but I do. I don’t feel like I suck — I’m good at “words of affirmation” and “quality time” and even “acts of service.” All of those things that make people feel warm, fuzzy and, well, loved.

But for the majority of my life, I haven’t been able to get it right. Except for now. Knock on wood. Things are going really great right now and I’m about as happy as I’ve ever been in my entire life, but knowing me, I can take things from zero to SUCK in about 4.3 seconds.

Anyway, my friend Erinn came down for the wedding and as we were sitting there talking at the reception, I had this revelation. And epiphany, maybe. We got to talking about a party in 1999 and about a guy, who, at the time, I was so in love with it hurt. I was convinced that I had actually met the mythical “one.” The one I’d grow old with.

Then she said something that jogged the memory — at this party, he was trying to talk to me about something (granted, through a heavy haze of alcohol). I walked away from him. In the middle of his sentence.

He put his fist through a fence.

I could name for you at least 20 times during my marriage (which, well, we all know how that one turned out …) that I walked away. I thought back to a few weeks ago when B and I had a total blowout over something that started out totally stupid and derailed from there. He was trying to talk to me. I walked away from him. He didn’t react well to that. I didn’t respond well to his reaction … and repeat.

It all could have been avoided if I hadn’t walked away. If I would have just stayed there and listened. Not heard what was being said, but actually listened.

Am I afraid of conflict? Maybe a little. Do I avoid confrontation? At almost any cost. Was I giving into an irrational fear that our relationship would be damaged by having some kind of disagreement? Possibly.

If the past is supposed to be our greatest teacher, I hope I can learn to listen.

It’s not even just about disagreements with the men I pick … I do it to my friends, my family, my co-workers. I feel awful for doing it, too. About 95 percent of the time, it doesn’t even occur to me that I’m not listening. I just zone out. I’m thinking of 20 other things at the same time — how I want to respond, what they’re saying, what could happen if I respond the wrong way, whether I left the curling iron on, whether the Pittsburgh Pirates have a chance of going above .500 this season …

You get the point.

Sometimes, I just don’t listen. Most of the time, I don’t even realize it.

I’m learning though. I found myself this weekend not just hearing the words people were saying, but listening to them, too. When B talked, I didn’t just nod my head and say, “Yeah, I know!” or “You’re right.” I thought carefully about the words he said and responded with actual, real thought. Not just “OK” or “Yes.”

The last thing in the world I would want is to think I take him, or his thoughts and feelings for that matter, for granted. I don’t want anybody I’m close with to feel that way — even my Mom or sister who sometimes, I really don’t listen to. But it’s not because I don’t care. It’s probably because I just saw a midget on the side of the interstate or I was screwing around with my BlackBerry.

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July 2018
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