Tag Archives: Janice

This Week in Janice: Music Tastes

9 Sep

these people probably touched

Mom: Are you listening to Otis Redding?
Me: Yep!
Mom: He’s boring. You know he was considered frat boy music when I was in school. Boys would put his music on at parties because it gave them an excuse to squeeze a girl tightly when they danced.

Mom: I was more into Jimi Hendrix when I was young. I was a hippie, when we danced we raised our hands to the sky and just sort of wiggled around. There was no touching involved.
Me: What about free love? That involved touching.
Mom: That was just in California. In the South, all the hippies were still virgins.


This Week in Janice: Learning to Text

18 Aug

This is my mom’s first attempt at texting:

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This Week in Janice: March Madness

26 Mar

Ohio State vs. Kentucky: Two schools I don't care about

Last week, my mom called me while Paul Newman* and I were watching basketball.  We talked for a few minutes and then I told her that I had to go because I didn’t want to leave Paul Newman alone, lest he start raiding my pantry and making things into salad dressing. “Okay, have fun” she told me, “And tell Paul Newman that if he needs help picking teams for his March Madness bracket, I can help him out. When I was in college, my boyfriend and his friends liked to bet on football games and they’d always get upset at me because I didn’t know anything about sports but I somehow always picked the winning team. I’m really good at predicting outcomes.”
“Oh, really?” I said to my mom. “Then how about you pick the winners of the Sweet 16?”  She agreed.

So here are Janice’s predictions of the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament.  Schools in bold are the schools that she chose to win. When she emailed her predictions to me, she titled the email: “As Mr. Sheen says, WINNING!!!”

1.    Ohio State University vs.  University of Kentucky

Actual Outcome:  Kentucky.  Janice gets one right. Also, Claire’s bracket is screwed.

2. Marquette University vs. University North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Actual Outcome: UNC.  Wrong.

3. Duke University vs. University of Arizona

Actual Outcome: Arizona. Janice is 2 for 3.

4. University of Connecticut vs. San Diego State University

Actual Outcome: UConn.

5. University of Kansas vs. Richmond University
Janice didn’t pick this one.  “I CANNOT DECIDE BETWEEN KU AND RU,” she wrote instead.

Actual Outcome: Kansas. My mom asked about this game later and I told her who won. “I don’t know why I couldn’t decide,” she said. “I bet it was a close game and that’s why. I just couldn’t tell.” Kansas won by 20 points.

6. Virginia Commonwealth University vs. Florida State University

Actual Outcome: VCU. Nice one, mom.

7. Butler University vs. University of Wisconsin

Actual Outcome: Butler


8. Brigham Young University vs. University of Florida

Actual Outcome: Florida.

Four out of seven (with one abstaining vote) is a pretty good record.

Before posting this, I called my mom to ask her to choose the Elite 8.  She said she couldn’t do it verbally and I had to send her the match-ups in an email.  When I told her that she’d gotten most of the Sweet 16 correct, she wasn’t surprised. “Insight runs in our family,” she said. “You just think of the two teams and then suddenly you can decide which one wins. But if you focus too hard you won’t pick it up. It just disappears like smoke.”

“Uh, Mom?” I said. “You realize that you’re basically claiming to be psychic?”

“I’m not psychic,” she said “I just have insight. It’s part of our Polish heritage, from our great grandmother who was a peasant.”

So there you have it. Polish peasants make excellent March Madness brackets.

*Name has been changed to protect the semi-innocent. It has been changed to Paul Newman because, well, he was hot.

This Week in Janice: Cheating the System

1 Feb

This is an actual email exchange between mother and daughter that occurred moments ago. It began when Janice sent me an email urging me to sign up for some sort of free wedding contest.

From: Janice

Subj: Enter to Win Crate & Barrel’s $100,000 Wedding Contest

Getting married or know someone who’s engaged?

$100,000 Ultimate Wedding contest
Crate and Barrel is throwing one lucky couple the wedding of their dreams, designed by celebrity wedding planner Yifat Oren.

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This Week in Janice: Austrian Adventures

25 Dec


Merry Christmas! While you’ve been roasting your chestnuts by the fire, Claire and Janice have been trouncing around Vienna, having conversations such as:

Complaining that a restaurant won’t let her smoke indoors…
Janice: Nicotine is an addiction. But it’s a legal addiction. And yet they make up all these rules about when and how I can be addicted, and when I can practice my addiction. No other legal activity is like that.
Claire: Well, actually—
Janice: It’s not like I’m asking to take my clothes off and roll around having sex naked in public or anything.

Coming back in from a cigarette break outside….
Janice: I was looking at the buildings here and I don’t see any window units. I don’t know if they have good air conditioning here. Maybe that’s why you don’t hear about people flocking to Austria in the summer.
Claire: I think they do flock here in the summer. I think it’s just a smaller city so it’s relative. I think it’s a big destination for Europeans. Maybe Americans, if they’re going to go through the trouble of coming over here, are going to go to Paris instead.
Janice: Well, I’ve already been to Paris.
Claire: But not everybody has.
Janice: Britney Spears has.
Claire: ….Yes, probably.
Janice: I didn’t realize how close in age she was to you. It’s time for you to become friends. I’ll write her, maybe the three of us can go to Vienna together.
Claire: Uh. Okay.

While watching a Swiss television program in which everyone is disarmingly beautiful…
Janice: Why don’t I ship you over to Switzerland and you can marry a nice Swiss boy.
Claire: Only if he has a bank account.
Janice: Oh, well that’s a given.

While watching a Russian television program in which everyone is, well, not…

Janice: Why are the Russian girls so beautiful while the Russian men look like pigs? Look at the ears on those guys.

While in an art museum…
Janice: Are you reading the descriptions next to the art? You can learn a lot from those. I always read them.
Claire: I am! I try to read every single one, but often times I lose patience or my feet get tired.
Janice: I remember this one museum I was in….I think it was in Amsterdam? Or maybe Rome? Maybe Paris. Florence? I’m not sure. Anyway, there was all this artwork by….some guy. And the descriptions were explaining how you can tell if the artwork by that guy, or by a different guy. And I read so many of them that I finally started to understand what they were talking about, and now I’m an expert.
Claire: In art by someone whose name you don’t know.
Janice: Not a clue.
Claire: And you don’t remember what the trick to detecting his work was.
Janice: Nope!
Claire: Or the museum in which his paintings can be seen.
Janice: Nope!
Claire: So you’re not really an expert then.
Janice: Am too. I’m just a forgetful one.

Inserted randomly into a dinner conversation….
Janice: I wish I could be a hooker who didn’t have sex. Men could just pay me money and I could make them feel good about themselves by telling them how smart they are. But it probably doesn’t work that way, huh? I probably have to have sex.
Claire: MOM!!!!

During a different dinner conversation…
Janice: Stick with me, kid and I’ll take you to Vienna. This is your homeland!
Claire: But we’re Polish.

After touring the Sisi Museum, dedicated to Austria’s Empress Elisabeth, who was an anorexic, a compulsive exerciser, and who refused to be photographed after she hit 30 because she believed her youth had faded. She spent two hours doing her hair every day and may or may not have had an affair with a Hungarian count. She slept with a raw meat mask on her face and lived off of raw meat juice and ice cream. She was ultimately murdered by an anarchist.
Janice: ….I don’t know. She didn’t seem that crazy to me.

This Week in Janice: Condiments, Computers and Commies

13 May

Janice in a train station

I haven’t done a Janice email round-up in a while.  Here is just a small sampling of emails I’ve received from my mother within the past few months. As you will soon notice, Janice has learned how to use animated emoticons. For this I apologize.

Subj: Buzzzzz

nobody is following me on Google buzz still T C Love, MOM

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This Week in Janice: Mazall meets Claire’s Mom

31 Mar

This post is dictated by Mazall but typed by Claire.

So I went to visit my sister in Chicago last weekend. Obviously I had to meet Janice. First, she said she wanted to go to this restaurant called the Bourgeoisie Pig but then changed her mind and said she wanted to go to this place where she frequently “lunches.” Oddly, the place where she “lunches” is not open for lunch.

So we went to the Bourgeoise Pig after all. Janice picked me up in her Buick. She was wearing a pink shirt, sunglasses with rhinestones and a mink coat. We got to the restaurant and the place was packed. She told me to run upstairs with my “young legs” and see if any tables were open on the second floor. They were all taken. So we ordered sandwiches and ate in her car.  Also, we smoked cigarettes.
We talked about men.  Janice said I need at least three boyfriends at all times.  I need a regular boyfriend and two “back-up boyfriends.” She extolled the virtues of the back-up boyfriend. Apparently she had married hers.

Editors note: And then divorced him.

She thinks my roommates should “accidentally” confuse my boyfriends with each other. When I bring Ed home to meet them, they’re supposed to call him Brian. “Oh, this isn’t Brian?” They’re supposed to say. “Sorry, my mistake.”

Janice also told me about how she used to be an apartment building landlord in the 1970s. She got death threats and owned a Doberman. Claire used to take acting lessons when she was little.

Mazall met Janice and you didn't

Editor’s note: Yes I did.

But then she quit.

Editor’s note: Yes I did.

Janice carried three packs of Marlboros and has a twangy Southern accent. I wasn’t expecting that. If I had to sum up my luncheon with Janice in one word, I would say: ……Informative?