Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Recently, our friend Aubrey moved in with us for a bit. He sleeps on the luxurious couch. And judging from the food he brought from his old house, Aubrey loves soup. A lot.
Aubrey loves soup.
He likes all kinds of soup, but mostly chicken noodle soup. Also, tomato soup and canned tomatoes. And Natty Light, the classiest of beers. Don't get me wrong, soup is great. I eat it every weekday. At work, my office is right below this big cafeteria that has lots of places to get food, like Subway, Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts (the most intimidating of coffee shops), this little stir fry place, and a little store that has fast things, like soup. 

Miriam, my coworker, and I eat soup every day, and here is why: 
1) It is the cheapest lunch available. You can get a big bowl of soup for only $2.50. The best. 
2) You get as many free crackers as you want! 
3) The soups are from Au Bon Pain, which makes us feel fancier.
4) We're basically best friends with the soup lady. At least on the days she is happy. Some days she is not happy, and it's scary.

The best soup is the broccoli cheddar. Miriam and I used to get that one and eat it together in our office, until Miriam read the ingredients and she discovered she can't eat it because she is Jewish and it is not kosher. That was one of the saddest days of the semester. Now, she just stares at me from her desk while I eat it. She also can't eat the Chicken Florentine, Beef and Barley, Italian Wedding, White Bean and Ham or Chicken Noodle. Oddly, she cannot eat the Vegetarian Minestrone either because we found chunks of bacon in it. She said she kept wondering why the soup tasted so good, but then we realized it was because she has never eaten bacon before and bacon is amazing. One would think that "vegetarian" means "consisting solely of vegetables," but not according to the soups at the little store at St. John's. Luckily, it's not one of the best soups anyway, so we don't care.

Miriam can't eat a lot of things, like pepperoni pizza, fish without scales and fins, and Sour Patch Kids. I'm not sure if she can eat reptiles. Wait, does anyone eat reptiles? People eat snakes, don't they? I remember watching an Indiana Jones movie or something adventury like that and they ate a huge anaconda. There might be a rule that you can't eat something without feet, though. The other day I was at preschool watching one of my teams, and they were singing a song called Down By the Bay in Circle Time. One little boy got up and went to the bathroom, but when the Team Leader got to the line "Have you ever seen a snake baking a cake?" the little boy ran out of the bathroom, pants around his ankles, and yelled "Snakes don't have feet!" and then ran back in. So, if you only eat kosher foods, you probably shouldn't eat anacondas. They don't have feet.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

brunners take manhattan.

Something big happened this year. Something epic. Something loud. The Brunners came to NYC. The Brunners did a lot of normal things, and some weird, Brunnery things.

The Brunners went to see them blow up the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons! The Brunners also made a human train and sang Christmas songs at the top of their lungs amongst the crowd.

It's a monster Smurf!
The Brunners went to see the windows at Macy's. Then the Brunners hung out in Macy's for 3 hours and ate mall pizza and ice cream for dinner. Logan wishes we could have gone to Macy's every day. He just loved it!

The Brunners ate amazing bagels and drank hazelnut coffee from Brooklyn Bagel Shop. Then the Brunners went back every morning and ate more bagels. Mom went back a few times a day to get their hazelnut coffee, which, in her defense, is the best. All Brunners love carbs and two Brunners love coffee.

The Brunners cooked a 22 pound turkey that Julie Brunner had to carry 4 short blocks and a long block from the butcher at 7 in the morning. Julie is really strong now. And there were only five of us on actual Thanksgiving day. Scott and I have a lot of leftover Thanksgiving dinners. 

The Brunners looked through their newspaper and saw that Best Buy was selling huge TV's for only $200, so they decided to go to the Black Friday sale at midnight. This is a big step for Brunners. We generally don't like shopping. We got there at 10:30pm, and apparently should have gotten there at 2pm because the line was 4 long blocks long. So we came home and ate pie.

Little Logan loves pie.
The Brunners went to see Mary Poppins on Broadway. It was incredible! Mary looked just like the real Mary. The set was amazing. I'm still in love with Bert. And we got to take flying pictures. It's a jolly holiday with Mary.

I believe in the magic!
The Brunners decided they just couldn't get enough acting, so they went to see Relatively Speaking right after Mary Poppins. And Rachel got us really cheap student rush tickets. 'Twas the best.

The Brunners multiplied on Saturday because Andy and his fiance Katy arrived. The Brunner's ate soup and then went to see "nature," aka Central Park. Then the Brunners went to the Guggenheim and saw the Maurizio Cattelan exhibit with Katy's dad. It was well worth seeing. We recommend it.

My mom always makes us order the Happy Family dish at Chinese restaurants. Because that's what we are. The dish is kind of gross, but we are not.

The Brunners did some things on Sunday, too. Logan had to leave us in the morning, so we ate waffles to drown our tears. Then the Brunners went to Astoria Park to look at the Manhattan Skyline. We came back and ate tapas and paninis. Then Andy and Katy had to leave us, so the remaining Brunners did laundry and crosswords.

Hello parents! Hello Manhattan!
The Brunners also came to see Julie at work. They ate in the cafeteria. Just like real college students. Then the Brunners had to go home. 

Thanksgiving was the greatest!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

alone time.

Sometimes I do weird things when I'm by myself for too long. Sometimes I listen to Cher Pandora and sit on my couch drinking cheap wine and singing at the top of my lungs. Other times I look at food porn for hours upon end. One time I created a dance to the song "Who's Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" by Shania Twain. Sometimes I also practice my street fighter moves. They're real. My friend Laura took me to a street fighter class and we learned how to dominate, Brooklyn style. Don't act like you're not impressed.

Tonight, however, I decided to cut my own hair, because that's always a good idea. So I listened to the song "Man or Muppet" from the new Muppet Movie on repeat and gave myself bangs.

Try and tell me this song doesn't inspire you to turn over a new leaf, become a better person, and cut your hair. Just try. I know my siblings would never deny this. So now I'm Julie with bangs. I like to think that it makes me look more mature. I mean, I am an adult. And I look like this:
This is what I look like now.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

gus gus.

Before I get into the nitty gritty of this thrilling blog post, take a look at this picture and tell me what you think it is:
Murky mystery liquid in cup.
Milk was my first guess, too. And it is also the wrong answer. Because this, my friends, is good old quality New York City tap water. Yum. The first time I saw this come out of our tap was alarming. Here I was, all grown up and living in my big girl New York City apartment with no air conditioning in the 100 degree heat, laying on the hardwood floors eating cherries and dehydrating, when I crawled to the kitchen to fill the only cup I had (a disposable plastic water cup I got at some cafe in the city) with water. And it comes out like this. Fortunately, it eventually clears up, but not very quickly. Especially when you come back from a run and you're about fall over because you work too much to exercise regularly and all you want is some instant hydration.

My roomie says that it is carbon dioxide, or something chemical-ish like that, and it happens because I turn the water on too fast and our faucet needs a filter. Apparently, it might be unhealthy to drink it when it is this bubbly/cloudy because you don't want too much carbon dioxide in your body. He might be right. Oh, by the way, this is my roomie, Scott. He works with dead people. And he breaks bones. Yeah, it's exactly as gross as it sounds. But he also knows some things about science so I'm leaning toward believing him on the murky carbon dioxide bubble water.
I dunno know why you always have to be judging me because I only believe in science.
From this picture, it looks like NYC is a beautiful place where the sun is always shining and the water always shimmers. And in our case, the water does shimmer. It leaves little carbon dioxide bubbles all over the inside of your glass after you drink. It's special. I kind of like it a lot. Just like I like the subway rats. Both of those statements sounded sarcastic because you can't hear me actually talking, but I'm not joking. I honestly like the shimmery bubbles and the subway rats. Today I told my students that I love the subway rats and they now officially think I'm the craziest person on the planet. I mean, sure, they accepted the fact that I sing to Cher Pandora in my office at the top of my lungs and I wear socks with my flats (which is apparently not trendy) and I get insanely lost everywhere I go and I'm terrified to go to Dunkin' Donuts, but I think my love for subway rats finally pushed me over the edge. But I'm okay with that. Today, I saw one scurrying from a hole in the wall by the tracks. He was little and brown and super fast. And I named him Gus Gus.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I love coffee. I drink a lot of it, which could be because I love it or because I never sleep anymore. But I have some issues with NYC coffee that desperately need to be addressed. 

If you're from Missouri, you know that coffee is insanely hot. Like it will burn your mouth and your hands. And your legs when you accidentally spill it all over yourself in the car. But people from NYC are either much more tough than us Missouri-folk or else they don't realize that they're getting 3rd degree burns, because no one gives you cup koozies when you order coffee. I really don't understand it! The coffee is so hot I literally cannot touch the cup without fear of injury, but people just walk around drinking their coffee like it's no big deal. No, a napkin is not the same as a cup koozie. They're too slippery and don't provide a good grip and sometimes make me drop my coffee right outside the subway entrance. To make things worse, when I was telling my coworker, Miriam, about my koozie issues, she just laughed and told me that koozie is not a word. Apparently, people in NYC call it a "cozy" or a "sleeve."  Maybe that's why people never give me koozies; because they don't know what word I'm saying or what I'm talking about. 

Look what I just found when I Googled "koozy." A Ben & Jerry's ice cream koozy! I need this.
So, instead of giving me a koozie, they put my coffee in a bag. Yeah, a paper bag. I'm confused. Maybe it makes for easier transportation, but I don't like it. I guess they use special paper bags, because they have a little cardboard square at the bottom to keep the coffee flat, but that still doesn't answer my confusion about why they put my coffee in a bag. Which leads me to the issue of the terrible lids. Sure, maybe putting coffee in a bag is a good idea if the coffee lids don't spill, but they do.  And then the bag gets wet and threatens ripping and spilling it's contents all over the hallway at work. Everyone uses those flimsy flat lids that you have to basically rip a hole in to drink out of and then they never re-close.

It is also really intimidating to order coffee in NYC. It could be because there are always thousands of people in line behind you and the cashiers are always rushing you so that they can get all the thousands of customers in and out, but it's scary.  We just got a Dunkin' Donuts in my building at work and I went there with some of my students and it was terrifying. Everyone from the East coast already knows exactly what they like from Dunkin' Donuts, so I was just standing there wide-eyed and confused until I finally just said something intelligent like, "Coffee. How do I do that?" Then, I have to always remember to tell them that I want my coffee black, and then they look at me like I'm crazy because everyone here likes their coffee with tons of sugar and whole milk. Ew. I always thought whole milk was just for children. Learn something new every day.

Monday, October 10, 2011

best friend weekend.

This weekend was best friend weekend. What? You didn't know that? That means your best friends didn't fly across the country to see you and have the greatest times of your lives. That's too bad, because my best friends did. 

My best friends are named Abby and Andrea and we just dominated this city. And here is how we did it, in no particular order. On Friday, I heard the doorbell and ran down the hall screaming, in a normal way, not in a psycho way. Then, since we've all been dieting in preparation for this weekend, we decided to go shove food in our face pretty much continually for 4 days. Burgers, the most amazing Thai food in the world, omelets, french toast, pizza, pickles, brats, fries, ribs, sauerkraut, popcorn, and obviously, an unhealthy number of bagels. It was basically Girls vs. Food. Our diet starts tomorrow.

Our diet starts tomorrow.
We did other things besides eat, too. We took the subway into Manhattan, got lost, grabbed a cab and then went down to the 9/11 memorial. Though we couldn't get tickets to see the pool, there is something amazing about being with hundreds of people in one area for one reason. And it can all be wrapped up in the old woman who was walking in front of us wearing an American flag hat and thanking the police for all they do.

We hit up Central Park, watched some people play soccer, ate more bagels, and went shopping at H&M, the store that seems amazing but always ends up being terrible because they never have enough people working the check-out. We also went dancing at Gleason's, which we have now renamed Bones2 (if you are from Jeff City, you will understand that, because it was just that classy). Then I fell on the ground and sprained my ankle because my chair fell off a step and we watched our friend Aubrey and 8 other guys dance and sing naked on a stage. Then we went to a bar and hung out with the cast and became best friends with the bartender who was wearing a candy necklace and the transvestite with amazing legs and hot pink lipstick who was singing karaoke. And then Aubrey took us to a bar where he used to work and we created our own dance floor. Because that's what we do.

Then it was Sunday. So we walked to the beer garden in our neighborhood and made friends with the Czech waitress who decided to teach us profanities in her language while Andrea tried to convince us to be friends with some vampires and instead opted for befriending some normal people, which was definitely a better decision. So we took a cab ride with the greatest cabbie ever to my roomie's and my favorite pub and played darts and made friends with the only other Cardinals fan in the bar.  We also spent some time staring out my back window and watching the crazy cat lady with the tin foil windows feed the cats that live in our backyard, which is actually just a concrete slab with two tiki torches.

See those windows that are kind of shiny? That's aluminum foil. That's where the cat lady peeks out and whistles for the cats. That's where she lives.

Abby and Andrea are my BFF's and that means best friends forever.

Monday, October 3, 2011

eight and counting.

Our cockroach total has increased, and I'm not happy about it. Last night was generally terrible for me. I went to bed at 11pm and then laid there not asleep for approximately seven hours. At one point I got up to go to the bathroom and drink some tea in hopes that it would make me tired, but as I walked into the bathroom and flicked on the light, five cockroaches started running underneath the bathtub. Some of them were little and some of them were not little and were extremely fast and terrifying. This is worse than that time I lived with my grandparents and a mouse ran across my foot in the basement bathroom. At least mice are cute.

Apparently, everyone has cockroaches up here and we're supposed to buy this magical little container with cockroach poison that kills them. I don't like this. This is not normal.
It looks like this. Maybe it even makes the roaches glow like in the picture.
I was just becoming comfortable in destroying the Missouri spiders that used to live in our apartment (but only because I had to. My old roomie, Danielle, was even more terrified of spiders. We kept spider spray at our front door so that we could attack any bug that dared enter our premises). Actually, I think I might be lying and I think I'm actually still terrified of spiders. Once I saw a spider the size of a baseball in my driveway. No, I'm not exaggerating. It was monstrous and I could tell it wanted to attack me. And I bet it was poisonous. So, yes, I'm still scared of spiders. But I'm also scared of cockroaches. Because they scuttle and they're disgusting and Scott says you can hear their little gross cockroach feet when they run across the hardwood floors. What if one touches me? What if they crawl on me while I'm sleeping? What if I have to go to the bathroom at night again?

It was possibly one of the most terrifying things I've experienced in New York City. That and learning about bed bugs. My coworker, Miriam, always tells me these terrifying stories about bed bugs and how they live in all your clothes and your mattress and you can never get rid of them and they come out at night to suck your blood like little vampires and you can get them practically anywhere and how she once saw some crawling on a person in the subway and how they can jump and she could have gotten bed bugs from that person. They look like this:
I found this bed bug picture on the internet. That means it's real.
So here's hoping that I never get bed bugs and that I can sleep all the way through the night so that I don't have to risk entering the cockroach bathroom. I really don't like this.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

sleeping is giving in.

If you know me very well, you know that I need sleep (actually you probably know this even if you don't know me very well because I talk about it a lot). I love sleep. I get scary when I don't sleep. Nobody wants to be my friend when I'm lacking sleep. Sometimes I yell. But I have something to tell you all. That was Old Julie.  Old Julie had to have a full 8 hours or she would just start crying for no reason. Old Julie would drop everything she was doing when bedtime rolled around and Old Julie would go to bed at 9pm every night, no matter what.

Yes. This is the picture that comes up when you Google "old Julie."

Now I'm New Julie. 

New Julie works 12-14 hours a day so she can get all of her work done. New Julie goes to bed late and wakes up early. New Julie hangs out until all hours of the night, especially when her brother and his girlfriend come to visit and then New Julie wakes up at 6am to go to work on the weekends (Andy was so proud of me, and for good reasons. If my family is reading this, just remember how scary Ecuador Julie was. Yikes.) New Julie might get sick a little more often, but she can still function and usually she functions normally. Sometimes New Julie can't form complete sentences, but that is when she drinks more coffee.

New York doesn't appreciate sleep like Missouri did. New York laughs in sleep's face and  closes certain subways on the weekend so that you end up getting home 2 hours after you thought you would (this could also be because the subways hate Queens on the weekends). New York sells coffee on every corner because it knows that it is depriving people of sleep. And New York has bagels. They wake you up, too. And I like it. Sleeping is giving in. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

sappy times.

Before you keep reading this post, I have a warning for you. This post is sappy. Like the these-are-the-reasons-I-do-what-I-do kind of sappy. Like my-coworker-and-I-have-cried-at-work-every-day kind of sappy. Consider yourself warned.

My students are amazing. I keep thinking that I've met the most amazing student in the world and that no one could match their story, and then I talk to another student. This week has been intense, to say the least. My coworker, Miriam, and I get to work around 8am and work until 9pm every day, and just when we think our sleep must be more valuable than making a poster with directions about how to make a paper fan on them, one of our students come in and remind us why we come to work every day. They remind us why we sacrifice sleep and meals to make sure we are ready to serve them and the preschoolers we work with.

It all started when one of our kiddos (which they may be referred to as for the rest of this post, in an endearing way) came in and told us why he wanted to get involved in Jumpstart. When he was younger, he was homeless for about 5 years. He told us that while his siblings took it extremely hard, he pushed himself to learn as much as he could because he realized that his education was all that was going to help him get out of that situation and succeed in life.  From there, he has risen above all obstacles and though he is pre-med and plans on becoming a pediatrician, he has become a leader in Jumpstart and an advocate for education and for the preschoolers that we encounter.

Another one of our students just lost her dad to cancer this summer.  In his honor, she wanted to run the Boston Marathon to raise money for cancer research, but after looking at all the different charities available on the marathon site, she decided to run for Jumpstart instead, because her dad knew that it was so important to her and would be a perfect way to honor him.

We also have a freshman this year who I immediately loved for his eagerness and willingness to work in the classrooms and with Jumpstart and for his awkward freshman-ness (you know what I'm talking about). He came in to fill out some paperwork, and in the process he embarrassingly told us that both of his parents had died this summer and he has no other family, so his permanent address actually is St. John's now. Heartbreaking. And while I worried about whether the other students would accept him for who he is, I went to training the next day and watched as his unknowing team embraced him with compliments about how excited they are that he chose to do Jumpstart and how happy they are that he is a part of their team, calling him "their newbie."

When I took this job, I didn't know how I was going to live without being in a preschool classroom every day. Now, however, I am so continually humbled and in awe of all that my students are doing and the passion and dedication with which they do it that I am thrilled and honored to get to work alongside them this year and onward. My students have dreams of changing the world, and I have no doubt that they will do so.

Monday, September 12, 2011

some little updates.

I ate popcorn for every meal this weekend.

I also ate an amazing ice cream sundae with banana and honey.

I also made the greatest ever grilled cheese today. Mozzarella, tomato, green olives, grilled and served with marinara sauce for dipping. Pizza grilled cheese = genius.

I do have things that happen to me that aren't food related.

I promise.

Today, my old neighbor stopped me on my run and asked me why I would want to run since I'm already skinny. Love him.

A creepy guy came up to me in the subway and told me I was beautiful. Don't so much love him. I did the subway-car-jump, where you pretend like you're getting off at a stop and actually sprint to another car.

Our sink is clogged. It smells.

Today is trash day. It also smells. And by "it" I mean all of New York City.

I think I'm going to start doing yoga, because that is what real New Yorkers do. I think. Or else they just carry yoga mats around because they think it looks cool. And it does.

I just realized I don't know how to deposit a check. My dad used to always do it because he worked at the same place as our credit union. I'm an adult.

I watched Battlestar Galactica for 8 hours yesterday. Productive.

I'm currently obsessed with the song Metamorphosis One by Philip Glass. It's beautiful. And it was in an episode of Battlestar Galactica.

I'm also obsessed with the band The Head and the Heart. I will listen to you forever and a half.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Since I'm a real resident of NYC now, a big part of my life is riding the subway. That's right, I'm a commuter now. Big moves. But, my commute takes about 50 minutes so I've had to find exciting things to do while I'm riding, and let me tell you something ("I'm Fire Marshall Bill!"), it's always a thrilling time in the subway dungeons.

Usually, I pass the time waiting for my train to come by searching the subway tracks for rats. Because they're mutants. And Queens rats are kind of cute. Sure, they're still rats, but at least they are rat-sized, not dog-sized like the rats in dirty Brooklyn. I'm not joking, in case you thought I was. Brooklyn is dirty and I saw a rat the size of a small dog. Or a large cat, take your pick. Anyway, Brooklyn rats are mutants because they're scary big, but don't let the Queens rats fool you...they're still mutants because they can walk on the subway tracks. The electric subway tracks. Today I saw an umbrella that someone dropped onto the crack in the tracks and I really wanted to jump down to get it so I could replace my half-umbrella, but then I remembered that I WOULD DIE because I'm not a mutant rat. Unfortunate. Thus, I got really wet on the walk home because I was stuck behind a lot of slow people with whole umbrellas. But if I ever try to drastically change my career path, I may choose Rat Whisperer so I could tell the subway rats to bring me treasures from the tracks. This could be my future.

Other times, I stand on the platform hoping the M train will come before the R train to take me to and from work. The R train, like Brooklyn, is dirty. And it might be because it goes all the way into Brooklyn, but I don't know (maybe I have something against Brooklyn because that is where I lost my iPhone and I'm still a little bitter; but I'm not sure.) It has gross orange seats that always have trash and stains on them and it doesn't have the electronic stop schedule above the seats to tell you where you are, so if for example, you are really into this book you're reading and don't look up and don't hear the muffled sounds of the conductor telling you where you are, you will end up on the fast track to Brooklyn. And then you'll, hypothetically, have to get off the train in Manhattan and get back on a Queens bound subway. Hypothetically, of course.

I don't like the color orange. Or trash. Or dirty looking walls. Hm.
But at least since I go out to Jamaica, Queens and not into Manhattan in the morning, it means I get my own entire bench to sit on and I love it. Maybe it's because no one wants to go to Jamaica, Queens. Or maybe it's because they like to stand with their faces in each others armpits as they cram into the popular trains to go to the hip destinations. I vote Queens. Because I want every subway car to feel important and included.

Also, since I'm an adult and wear dresses to work now, you have to remember to hold your dress down when the subways enter and leave the station because they bring with them a huge gust of air. Which is awesome when it is stuffy and hot on the platform, but not so awesome when it blows your dress up so you accidentally flash everyone around you. Hypothetically.

When I finally get on the train, I usually do one of four things.
1. Stare at people around me until they notice, then smile and look away awkwardly.
2. Read a book and hope that I don't miss my stop.
3. Eat bagels. Duh.
4. Read all the posters that are hanging on the subway walls. Like this gem:
People actually do cross through the subway cars. While it is moving. Don't they know the tracks will electrocute them and they COULD DIE? Don't they realize they could be sucked underneath the subway while it is running and they COULD DIE? Don't they realize the subway cars could smash them and they COULD DIE? Come on, people.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

right now.

Right now it is raining and 60 degrees and our windows are open and I'm sitting on my couch in a sweatshirt and sweatpants. I've been waiting for this day for oh so very long. I don't even care that my umbrella is broken and is actually a half-umbrella and I get half-wet every time I go outside. I love fall.
This is my umbrella. But that is not me. I don't think I've ever been this unhappy. Or Asian.
Right now I'm watching "Battlestar Galactica," or BSG for those of us who watch it, and I'm not embarrassed because it's addicting and amazing. I highly recommend it. Especially if you have a ton of free time, or if you have a hurricane weekend followed by a 3-day weekend. 

Right now I can barely lift my arms and I almost fell down the stairs because my legs are so sore from doing a cardio kickboxing video from Netflix. It hurts so good.

Right now I'm so tired I could collapse because I woke up at 3am last night and couldn't get back to sleep. But I'm going to make myself stay up until real bedtime so that I can actually sleep tonight. And I'm going to take some melatonin.

Right now I'm wearing my pants inside out. Oops.

Right now I'm finishing off some steak and potatoes. Sarah came to visit me this weekend and we decided that a dinner number three of midnight steaks and garlic mashers would be the greatest idea of all time. And it was. Dinners number one and two were also excellent. Dinner number one started out as a "sushi snack" and quickly progressed to sake bombs, double sushi rolls and dumplings. Because we're classy.

sake bomb-sushi-sake bomb-sushi

sake bomb-sushi-sake bomb-sushi
Right now I'm going to go eat some ice cream and watch another episode of BSG. Because that's what I do every night.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Some things are happening. And here they are:

I turned 26 this week! That means I'm a real adult. I mean, I have most of the characteristics of a true adult: a salaried job, my own apartment, big city life, a credit card, high heels, and dangling earrings. If only I were more mature. However, to the casual passer-by, I definitely come off as a real adult. I mean, I'm closer to 50 than birth right now.

There was an earthquake for my birthday. It was short so I didn't even have time to crouch under my desk with my hands over my neck like I learned in elementary school. My favorite sister was here for my birthday so she got to experience earthquake world as well! I'm glad we got that special moment to share with each other. I was sitting at my desk in my office, which is in the sub-basement, meaning the dungeon, of our building and Rach was sitting in a chair, living the dream. And then the door started swaying and I thought it was because of the construction they are doing on the floor above us. But it wasn't. It was an earthquake.

There is a hurricane coming to New York City. I don't really know what to do about this. I'm from Missouri. We're supposed to lose power tonight and Scott thinks it may be out for a while. Like 5 days. That's a long time. We have candles and water and food and my grammy sent me all these tips on surviving hurricanes and we're all sipping on Manhattans (because we live in NYC. And we're classy). We're going to fill our bathtub with water so that we can flush the toilet (Scott's a genius, seriously. If I lived alone I would be thirsty, hungry, and my bathroom would smell terrible).
There I am. Right in the pink "Extreme" category. Good times.

I lost my iPhone (this is when I wish I were a little more mature). However, I lose things like it's my job, so I'm actually impressed I made it 4 months before losing it. Unfortunately, I also get lost every time I go anywhere and iPhone was my only lifeline to a GPS. But there is a hurricane coming and all the subways are shut down anyway, so I don't have to attempt to go anywhere. Except the Apple store next week. My BFF Abby told me her new life theory and I've decided to embrace it. And put it in here in my blog with the special "quote" format. Because Abby is my smartest friend:
I've decided that you can do anything if you say "oops" afterward. Then people know you didn't mean it.  -Abby
So, oops. I lost my iPhone. Since I have those other characteristics of an adult, like a salary, I am just going to have to buy another. I can't say it is all bad not having a phone, though. Last night I got to tell this guy at the bar that I literally don't have a phone so no, you cannot have my number.

Friday, August 19, 2011


I want a pet miniature donkey. Like whoa. I had a four day weekend last weekend and I thought it would be an opportune time to head back to Missouri for a visit. My mom got me flowers for my room and they were beautiful.

She loves me. And I love her.
And, sandwiched between Jeff City Night Out and a relaxing time in Owensville with Grammy and Papa, I got to experience the Missouri State Fair. They have wonderful things there. Things like...

Entire stands dedicated to corn dogs. I'm not sure if you remember how much I love corn dogs, but let me just tell you that it is a lot. I would have to say it is my favorite way to eat a hot dog. And my favorite way to eat cornbread. And if you've never had a Missouri State Fair corn dog, you are seriously missing out. And I'm not just saying that because I'm biased toward all things Missouri. I'm saying that because it is true.

Quilts. And who doesn't like a beautiful quilt? No one. One time, I lived with my grandparents. Papa taught me how to take leisurely bike-rides and Grammy taught me how to quilt. And I made a quilt and I entered it into the Gasconade County Fair and I got a blue ribbon and won $12. Big day.

Couples who wear matching outfits. Can you spot them? (It's kind of like Where's Waldo? except there are less stripes and it's insanely easier.) I also like the cutoff t-shirts.

Wooden cutouts where you can stick your face. This is my dad. His name is not Moe. But doesn't he look happy to be at the State Fair!?

And of course, miniature donkeys. Oh Mylanta, it's adorable. Yes, I would ride this little guy around New York. Yes, I would buy him an unlimited subway card so he could ride with me. Yes, I would name him Clancy. Yes, I would make it special cupcakes made with hay and apples and other things that donkeys love.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

things that are gross.

There are some really gross things in New York City.

Take trash day, for example. This actually means the streets smell like rotting death. Literally. Sometimes I exaggerate, but I'm completely serious.  It's so bad that I just throw up constantly when I walk down the streets. Okay, that was an exaggeration, but I really do gag a little. Just think about this: there are probably like 30 people in an apartment building and about 50 apartment buildings on each block. Now, multiply the amount of trash produced by the temperature outside and you get mountains of hot, smelly, gag-worthy trash. Gross.

Then, I went running last night, which was not the gross part. And I was running down this little side road to a sculpture park that overlooks the NYC skyline. Which was also not the gross part. The gross part happened when I was running up the block and could see a middle-aged man shooting a snot rocket right in the middle of the sidewalk right in front of me. Then he just smiled and walked into his house like it was no big deal. I didn't realize that was socially acceptable. I thought that was only reserved for hiking and other activities where people are not in sight. Disgusting. Oh, but it gets grosser. When I was about back to my house, I glanced across the road and saw this guy in scrubs full-out picking his nose at the crosswalk. I've never seen so many grown men playing with their snot in my life. And I hope I never have to see it again. But alas, the subway seems like the haven of grown-up nose pickers. So I fear I'll never escape it.

Speaking of the gross subway, I was riding the subway to work the other day. And I had some iced coffee in a water bottle, not because it's super trendy to drink iced coffee, which it is, but because I like iced coffee. So, I was drinking it, trying to be extra careful not to spill all over myself on the moving train when I dropped my lid. Face down on the subway floor. And then, my only options were to just screw it back on my bottle, carry it until I got to work in 30 minutes, or wipe it on my pants. So I just screwed it back on.

Then, as if this week could get more disgusting, my parents sent me some dishes in the mail, so I didn't have to eat off of the one tupperware bowl that I had for the rest of my life. However, one of the ceramic pans broke in transit, so I had to take a picture of it to send to the shipping company. But, while I was taking the picture, a baby cockroach emerged from the pieces of shattered pottery. I don't like it. Not one bit. That raises our apartment cockroach count to three and apparently, where there are three roaches, there are actually millions. Great. However, my friend Aubrey, told me that there is a little non-cockroach that just looks like a baby cockroach, so here's hoping that's what it was. We'll never know, though because I smashed it with a shard of pottery.

I was going to insert pictures of a baby cockroach and the non-baby-cockroach, but all the Google images really creeped me out. And then I was going to put a picture of a guy picking his nose, but that is just gross. I hate boogers more than any other body excretion. So this post shall remain picture-less. Deal with it.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Sometimes when you live in New York City they do construction on the subway on weekends so you spend most of your day trying to figure which subway will get you out of Manhattan. Then you sometimes get on 3 wrong trains in wrong directions and end up standing by yourself on a platform in the 100 degree weather until you ask the subway driver how in the world to get home and in between announcing the next destination tells you to just get on the train and take the next stop.

Sometimes when you live in New York City you have to do laundry at a laundromat. Sometimes the laundromats don't have air conditioning. Then you may sometimes get all the way up the street and to the doors and realize you forgot your detergent so you sometimes have to walk all the way back home in the 100 degree weather to get it. Sometimes you also have no idea how to work the washers and dryers so you stare at other people doing their laundry until you figure it out. And sometimes people might think you're a little creepy, but they smile at you anyway. 
Sometimes this happens, too. I don't know what it is, but it happens.
Sometimes when you live in New York City you go to the beach and eat pretzels on Saturday. And sometimes you really want ice cream so you walk to the store in the 100 degree heat to find that a pint of Ben and Jerry's costs $6.75. Sometimes you buy it anyway because some people will do anything for ice cream.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

today has been brought to you by the letter h.

Help: Today I got lost. I decided it was a good idea to take the Metro to Trader Joe’s. It wasn’t. For one, I really wanted to buy ice cream, but I couldn’t because it would have melted before I got home. Then I got lost. First I got on the wrong train and ended up going to Times Square until I asked some girl for help. Then I switched, while carrying my heavy groceries (it was also not a good idea to buy beer. Holy heavy) and had to ask this guy for more help.  Then I got off at the wrong Metro stop where I consulted my phone for assistance (there is no cell phone service in the Metro dungeon). Fortunately, I was only about a mile from home so I could give up on public transportation and walk.

Heat: Today I actually ate a real lunch! It is so hot up here in my non-air-conditioned apartment that I literally just lay on the wood floor in my underwear while someone fans me with leaves and feeds me grapes off the vine. And by that I mean I point a fan at myself and feed myself cherries then try to spit the seeds into the trashcan across the room. I have a lot of time on my hands. I was supposed to start my job on Tuesday, but then they had trouble getting my background check put through, so I don’t start officially until Monday. Thus, I’ve been lying on the wood floor in my underwear with a fan and a bowl of cherries. Anyway, today I ate a Trader Joe’s Spring Onion Rice Noodle Bowl; however, in retrospect it was not my brightest lunch idea BECAUSE IT IS 100° OUTSIDE. Note to self: stick to cherries.

Hello: Today I went running in my neighborhood and despite the fact that I almost passed out from heat exhaustion, I realized that I live in probably the most exciting place ever. Seriously. I’m right in the middle of everything. Shopping, grocery stores, Laundromats (my computer just capitalized Laundromats.  Am I missing something? I had no idea that was a proper noun! And to think I won the spelling bee in 5th grade. I definitely would have lost if I had gotten that word…a capital L? Really?!), tons and tons of bars and restaurants and coffee shops, fruit markets, bagel shops. And I’m right in the middle of two Metro stops.  So, this is your invitation. Come to me. But the heading for this paragraph is “Hello” so I bet you’re wondering where that comes in. Well, while running, this little boy on a stoop (Stoop Boy! Leave your stoop!) yelled hello and asked me if I was in a race. I told him I was racing myself. But that must mean I look fast!

Holla: And finally, an orchestral version of Big Pimpin’ is currently playing on my iTunes. Holla.

Monday, July 18, 2011

bagels are my aeroplane.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about carbs.  So what else is new, right? Anyway, my friend Abbey and I have devised an all-encompassing bread question that we are determined to ask of everyone we encounter: if you could only eat one bread product for the rest of your life, what would it be? Here are your options:
A.     Loaves
B.     Rolls
C.     Pastries
D.    Bagels
E.     Pretzels
F.      Flatbreads

I choose bagels. I love bagels with all my little heart and, fortunately for me, I just moved to New York City. And you know what the best part of NYC is? The bagels. Sure, there’s the skyscrapers, the diversity, the opportunities; but I choose bagels. I may or may not just eat them every day. And, since NYC loves bagels, too, I could probably eat at a different bagel shop every day for every meal for years. But, to make things easier, there are 3 bagel shops on the block that I now live. God is good. And you want to hear my other favorite part about bagels? Cream cheese. And by “cream cheese,” I mean that when you order a bagel at a bagel shop, you get to choose from approximately 25 different kinds of cream cheeses, from flavors like fresh berry to roasted artichoke to sundried tomato. The possibilities are endless. Bagels, you are my favorite carbohydrate. Always and forever.

bagel, I will eat you every day.

I thought about ending this post here, but I guess I’ll tell you about the non-bagel part of my life, too. I just signed a lease and moved into my big-girl-grown-up NYC apartment! I live in Astoria, which is a neighborhood in Queens with a friend of a friend from Buffalo, NY. I ride the subway. I go shopping at fruit stands. I do the New York Shuffle. You know, the walk/run that New Yorkers do in their business suit with shoulder pads and their briefcase and cell phone in hand, as they wave down a taxi to get to some very important meeting that determines the future of some very important business. It’s all the rage.

Something very important is about to happen and the shuffle will commence. 

 Look at all the shuffling! I can hardly contain myself!

Yesterday, I went to the opera with my friend Laura. Then we went to a townie bar to watch the women’s soccer finals and random people talked to me the whole time. So, nothing has changed at all! My life is very much the same; I’m just not in Missouri. That, and the only furniture I have in my apartment is an inflatable mattress.

Friday, June 10, 2011

i will bake for you.

Laundry, I despise you. You're not fun. You don't make me happy. I hate how you sit in baskets in my room, staring at me. Taunting me and getting all wrinkled.  I don't like sorting you. I don't like putting you in the washer. I don't like having to remember to switch you to the dryer. And I especially don't like folding you. Which is why I never do it and am now probably known as "that wrinkly girl who obviously leaves all her clothes piled in baskets around her bedroom."

Sometimes, I sit down with myself, staring over the vast mountainous terrain that is my laundry and vow that next time I wash my clothes I will fold them immediately when I take them from the dryer. I did my laundry yesterday. It isn't folded. It never is and never will be. The only thing I like about laundry is the smell of the detergent. I mean, not in a weird I-sniff-laundry-detergent kind of way. Just in the normal I-take-an-extra-long-smell-when-I'm-doing-laundry kind of way. You know, the normal way.

So, Future Husband, I hope you like laundry because once we get married, I'm not doing it anymore. Don't worry, I'll reward you with all the baked goods you can eat. And I'll make you homemade ice cream, like this Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream that I made for my BFF Abby's birthday party tomorrow. Just think. I could make this for you every day. All you have to do is the laundry. And you can even wash all the colors together. And I'll love you forever. Well, I'll love you forever even if you don't like to do laundry either. In that case, at least we can be that wrinkly couple and people will just look at us and think to themselves, "Well, they may be wrinkly, but they sure are happy!"

Why thank you, future Google Images stock photo husband! Laundry and a smile.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

the good life.

It's just another exciting Saturday night at Grammy and Papa's house. You know, the usual: cheering on the birds for eating cicadas (we don't like cicadas. Did you know they live underground for decades and then pop out of the ground like terrifying zombie bugs? Sick), making peach cobbler, watching Antiques Roadshow (or "the auction" as Grammy and Papa call it), and eating kielbasas, potatoes and, most importantly, sauerkraut. I love sauerkraut. So much. I don't think there is any meal that wouldn't be better with sauerkraut. Sometimes I dream about it. Especially about that Sonic commercial with the hot dogs and that one hot dog from New York with all the mustard and onions and sauerkraut all over it.
There is no way you can convince me this isn't heaven on a hoagie bun.
I also want to eat the chili dog from that commercial. Because it looks incredibly amazing. And I love chili dogs. You know what else is good with chili on it? Practically everything. I think that I would especially like chili on a hamburger. And on potatoes. Oh and I just discovered how insanely good green chili is on my last trip to Colorado. I experienced it by devouring a soapapilla filled with grilled chicken, beans and cheese and doused in green chili. Oh. My. Goodness. I think I am going to start making it and eating it every day. And I also want to start being a beekeeper. I mean, I'm unemployed, I really like honey and I really want to wear one of those sweet white bee suits because they're so cool. Imagine being invincible to bees. That must be one of the greatest feelings on earth. And I would make so many friends because everyone likes honey and everyone would want to try on my bee suit and dance around in the bees. And I would feed people peanut butter and honey sandwiches and honey beer for every meal.  And we will be happy and allergy-free.
The look of sheer joy. And invincibility.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Today, my mother made me clean out all my Save Boxes in the attic. Growing up, Brunner children have Save Boxes. This means, my mom would get a big plastic tub and we could save things that were special to us. Apparently I had a lot of things that were important to me. Great things like that seed necklace I made at Girl Scout camp and that picture of me with Tigger at Disneyland (and yes, Beth Gandy, I am wearing the purple plaid Pooh Bear overalls. You can be jealous of my trendiness. I don't mind). But among those valued items, most of which are now in the trash, I found my Pog collection. And I'm keeping it. It will always be special and important to me. Especially that Pog with the hologram picture of a dolphin on it. And most importantly, my Apollo 13 slammer. When I was little I really wanted to be an astronaut. Fortunately, I did not pursue that career because I just heard that astronauts are about to not exist and we're sending the last group of people up into space very soon. Anyway, I have lots of space things that I found today, like autographed pictures of astronauts and fancy photos of the Hubble telescope. You know, really cool, non-nerdy things like that. And I like them. And I'm going to frame them all and hang them in my future single-independent-working-girl-Julie house.
It doesn't get any better than this.
And I found awards from things like the spelling bee and Destination Imagination that congratulate me on getting second place for something or another. And I found trophy's from that one year I thought it would be a good idea to try and play sports. And I found my bunny collection and my thimble collection and my rock collection and my bell collection. I tried to throw the rock collection away, but my mom wouldn't let me. She said the rocks are too shiny and special to throw away. My mom thought that everyone should have a collection growing up, so I guess I had 5. All I ever wanted to collect were shot glasses, but my mom wouldn't let me. I mean, come on now. What little girl wouldn't want to collect cute miniature cups that have pictures of bunnies on them? 
Bunnies and bowties. Things that children love.
But I guess my mom didn't want her 5 year-old to look like a huge boozer. So she just started buying me things like thimbles and bells hoping I would forget about collecting shot glasses. I didn't forget. For a while I tried collecting those little toothpick holders, but those are really weird so I stopped.  So, my point is that I now have numerous collections that will be gracing the bookshelves of that single-independent-working-girl-Julie house. And since it's my house I can do whatever I want. And I want to wear aprons, eat ice cream out of shot glasses, dance to Paul Simon and display my trophies, collections and autographs from astronauts.

Monday, May 9, 2011

so much excitement.

It is Monday. Monday's generally aren't very exciting for people. I mean, you're probably just sitting at your respective houses/apartments/coffee shops just waiting to hear about the most exciting part of my day. And I know you're thinking, "But Julie, it's only 10am. How could your day be so exciting already?" Well. I will tell you.

I'm in Owensville (exciting). At Grammy and Papa's house because I literally have only 2 obligations this entire week (exciting). One is a birthday party at McNally's, so I'm not sure if most people would really count that as an obligation, but I am going to. In fact, that is my favorite obligation of the week. I wish all my obligations involved pepper jack cheese sticks and a beer. But they don't, and in retrospect, that's probably a good thing. The other obligation is on Tuesday, which is not today. So, I'm in Owensville (double exciting).

On Monday/Wednesday/Friday mornings at 8am, Grammy goes to Old Lady Chair Aerobics at rehab (exciting). Yes, that is exactly what Grammy calls the class. Yes, Grammy took me with her this morning. Yes, it was all old ladies. Yes, it is just as good as it sounds. 

Just imagine a room full of old ladies sitting in chairs and doing bicep curls with 3lb weights.

Then, as if it could get any better, the instructor went to a closet and pulled out a bag with Pickle Ball paddles. What is Pickle Ball, you may wonder? Are you ready for this? Basically, everyone gets a paddle and a Nerf ball and you play life-size ping pong with each other (exciting). Yeah. Grammy has been telling me about Pickle Ball for weeks. It was awesome. Nerf balls flying all over the room, old ladies scurrying around picking them up, determined looks on everyone's faces. Love.

Maybe my impending unemployment isn't so bad. I mean, I could always move back in with Grammy and Papa and just play Pickle Ball every day. Roomies unite (exciting)!