You are browsing the archive for Jen.

by Jen

This is not a recap

June 28, 2016 in general info, recap

Wow. Been awhile, internet. My apologies for our mess. We got hacked some and had some bad custom experiences with Bluehost (don’t use Bluehost) and then moved the site and then some fun site restoring processes, and locking down. But we’re back. And more awesomer than ever.

This is not a recap. We just had book club but Sarah hosted so that’s her job. ūüôā But I am going to quickly recap the books we read over the last few months so we have a record of them…

October:¬†‘Cuckoo’s Calling’ by Robert Galbraith

November: How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky’ Lydia Netzer

December: Long-form articles

January: ‘Furiously Happy’ by Jenny Lawson

February: ‘Life After Life’ by Kate Atkinson

March: ‘Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore’ by Robin Sloan

April: ‘All the Bright Places’ by Jennifer Niven

May: ‘Life and Other Near- Death Experiences’ by Camille Pagan

June: ‘Yes, Please’ by Amy Poehler
(but Sarah owes you a recap for this one, don’t let her off the hook!)

Thanks for checking back and we hope not to go offline again for at least another 5 years!

by Jen

The Cuckoo’s Calling – October Recap

November 23, 2015 in recap

Well, this won’t be the latest recap ever written – book club is still, like, SEVEN HOURS away so I’m way ahead of schedule at this point. The bad news is I can’t remember anything about the book club…

I know it was at my place – my NEW place! First Jen-hosted book club in Farmington Woods. Well, first book blub in Farmington Woods, period, but I’m just stalling at this point. Oh! I do remember that Des forgot that she was dessert, not appetizer, but it was a win for us since the brought over this awesome Buffalo Chicken Dip. Sarah did remember that she was supposed to bring an appetizer, and she brought over some veggies? And stuff? I made dinner. Which consisted of a meat of some kind. And some cheesy bread? I know there was asparagus! Right, that’s all I got.

We chatted about the book which – I am delighted to say – everyone liked even though it was British, and a mystery, which are not usually Sarah’s favorites. We talked a bit about J.K and why she chose to write from a man’s point of view. We talked about Adele’s new song and how the album was a little late for Des’s love life – thanks for nothing, Adele. We talked about integrating school’s because I am a moron and did not realize that Wake was the exception to school integration, not the rule. Pretty sure Des had just started seeing Lucas so Sarah and I had plenty of questions about that! And we talked about my (and Cam’s) wedding reception party thingie which was a mere week away at that point.

That is it. I mean, that’s probably¬†not it. We probably talked about WAY more stuff. But that’s all I got for you in this recap. If, in seven hours, Sarah and Des can help me remember more I will happily update this recap but until then, hope this is a useful record of Saloon’s past. Jen out.


by Jen

The Princess Bride ‚Äď July 2015: Take 2

August 5, 2015 in recap

So Des came over today to borrow one of my kick-ass suitcases and as we hung out talking I mentioned doing the July recap and she asked if I had remembered to mention that we didn’t invite her (I’ll come back to that)¬†and I realized that I wrote a recap about the wrong night. Yep. Sure did. I recapped June’s book club which 1. was not my book club to recap and, 2. has already been recapped beautifully by Des. But if you’d like a second perspective on that June 2015 book club, you have a rare alternate perspective available to you in this case. Congrats.¬†Now I feel like you do when you do your homework and then realize that you did it wrong and have to start over. But in my defense I am doing TWO recaps in the time is usually takes us to barely get one completed. This is also excellent documentation for the onset of symptoms when I get diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Ok! July Book Club actually started earlier that day when Sarah, Des, and I started texting back and forth about what we should do for dinner. See I was telling the truth when I said we were super-busy and I had stuff all over my house from the move out of Cam’s place, so hosting and cooking was going to be a challenge for this month. And Sarah and I both wanted sushi! And Des was being suspiciously quiet but Sarah and I were so busy and excited about the sushi that we didn’t really notice that Des hadn’t chimed in. We just kinda assumed it was cool (although in hind sight, DUH. Des definitely would have sent SOMETHING). Anyway, long story short, Sarah and I went to Sushi Thai and enjoyed appetizers and chatted while Des busted her butt to get to my place because she didn’t get any of our texts about the change in plan.¬†Whoops. Sorry again, Des!!

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Fortunately Sushi Thai is not that far from my place and while Des wasn’t in mood for sushi she was able to find something else to eat. This was also good news for Sarah, who got Des’s leftover mini corn veggies (see exhibit A). So we hung out, relaxed, vented about our crazy lives, and talked about the book. (For this section I refer you back to the previous recap because I was fairly accurate in the book discussion, thank you very much. I just didn’t remember WHERE it happened).

Exhibit B (you’re welcome)

Since it was Salooniversary we followed up dinner with ice cream! Goodberry’s is right down the street and it was a nice warm summer night so we headed down there and sat outside with our concretes and chilled for a bit longer. I also drove the ladies past my new place which is very close by, and which I cannot resist detouring past anytime I’m in the area. Then we headed back to our cars but AGAIN! we definitely went to see Magic Mike XXL a couple days later (see exhibit B). Cause, hello, another chance to show Channing Tatum’s abs? Yes, please!) which was awesome because we don’t usually get that chance.

One final shout-out to Des, the very good sport who brought dessert because she thought we were meeting at my place. And therefore I still have Snickers Ice Cream bars in my freezer. Which are awesome and delicious. Thank you, Des!

by Jen

The Princess Bride – July 2015

August 1, 2015 in recap

As usual, things were chaotic. It was my turn to host but we had just closed on Cam’s place and moved all his stuff so my house was a pile of boxes and spare furniture that didn’t fit into storage. It was also half-birthday time for both Des and Sarah, AND it was Salooniversary! So we decided to go out.

We had a lovely meal at Oak City Meatball, which allows you to make your own meal with a mix of meats in the meatballs, sauces to adorn them, starches to mix them with, and sides to pair. Everything was very good AND we were introduced to brocolini, the coolest new veggie out there – a mix of asparagus and broccoli!

We started with a beer at the bar and then moved to a table and talked. I love these ladies. And I love that we have¬†book club to let us catch up on each others crazy lives every month! Des didn’t actually care for the book – she didn’t like that the narrative was often interrupted by the author (which is an excellent point). Sarah and I, who have seen the movie, talked about how amazingly true to the book it was; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book more accurately portrayed in film. And since Des hasn’t seen the movie, we wonder what she’ll think of it, if she does ever get around to seeing it…

We talked about lots of other stuff, some of which was in the current events section of the site, most of which was not. Mostly we just enjoyed each other’s company on a rare and lovely evening in downtown Raleigh. And when we were done we went to Busy Bee so Jen and Sarah could have dessert (is that true or am I mixing up nights?) and Des could have a drink (since she’s avoiding sweets – or are you avoiding beer now? DAMN. I suck at recaps!). AND later that same week we got to go see Magic Mike XXL together! TWO events in one week! Which is crazy awesome, just like Channing Tatum’s dance moves. And abs. So WIN.


See you next month!

by Jen

Ready Player One – April 2015

May 18, 2015 in recap

Whew! Here we are again, in the shadow of next month’s book club, writing last month’s recap. Well, we’re consistent at least!

Let’s see. Book club for April was at my (Jen) house. We had lots to talk about since it was in the midst of wedding planning and we¬†hadn’t seen each other in awhile. Sarah made an appetizer that I remember I really liked but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was. Des brought strawberries. And… something? I also had food available. Yes, this is the worst recap ever. Wait! I made spinach¬†and¬†turkey meatballs, in a sauce of some kind. I remember people liked it and Des ate green stuff. That’s all I got.

After dinner we discussed the book. Des and Sarah both said they enjoyed it even though they’re not quite “children of the 80’s.” They haven’t see ‘Wargames’ or played many of the games from the book, but they still found it fun after it got going (was a little slow to start). They also liked several of the gamer characters, especially ‘H’, and the Steve Woz-like guardian overseeing their attempts to beat the “game.” Anyway, at least they found it entertaining.

We didn’t have too much in the current events so we mainly talked about teaching,¬†looked at a very cool school for inner-city kids that was breaking the mold, considered Gilmore Girl quotes, and got a teeny bit excited about the fact that Spielberg may direct the “Ready Player One” movie. Then we watched movie trailers.

I know, I am a truly awful person and this is not only an late and incomplete recap, it’s also exceptionally boring. What can I say. It was an uneventful night, but awesome for the fact that I got to hang out with my two best friends and relax. Three cheers for book club!

by Jen

The Language of Flowers – January book club

February 2, 2015 in recap

Turns out we all survived the holidays – barely – but in all the chaos of the new year we got a bit behind. Flu season hit hard, there were a couple funerals to attend, and getting back to work made for a seriously overwhelming first couple weeks of 2015. And so it was that we managed to get together at Jen’s house, albeit a week or two late, for the discussion of “The Language of Flowers” and for some¬†severely overdue catching up.

Sarah got us started with peppers and hummus for an appetizer and Jen made rice and peppers with jalape√Īo chicken sausage and cheesy kale. Des was a real trooper – so many¬†veggies and she tried them all! We caught up with Jen’s traveling, Des’s dating, and Sarah’s job woes. And lots of other things.

Dessert was cookies from Des which we then took into the living room to begin the book and current event conversation. In general, the book was a pretty big hit. There were some actions that characters took that some of us thought didn’t make sense or didn’t match with their personalities. And not surprisingly, Sarah was extremely uncomfortable with the scene where Victoria, the main character, temporarily abandons her baby. But we did like the story and enjoyed the index of the meanings of all flowers in the back of the book. That alone was kind of great, simply to have as a reference.

Our current events were a bit sparse but somehow we still managed to find lots to talk about. Stupid people not vaccinating their kids, the church’s that hurl insults and insist that “the gays” are trying to brainwash us, a massively successful kickstarter of exploding kittens! We also talked – as always – about parenting, this time in the story of the “world’s worst mom” who let’s her kids be “alarmingly” independent in a world where helicopter parents have raised kids who can’t even work out an argument with their roommate without intervention. And then we watched the best video ever on how to talk to your kids about s-e-x. Brilliant.

We spent a lot of time talking about our various plans for the year both personally and our fun group plans! We are WAY behind on our movie days and we discussed plans for going away to celebrate D-DAY!! (That’s Des Divorce Day) We also decided we need to go see “50 Shades of Grey.” None of us are going to read that book and anyway this might be more fun from a visual perspective. If you know that I mean. ūüėČ

So that’s another book club and I’d like to point out I’m turning over a new leaf here getting this done on only the second day of the following month. This is A+ work, people.

Here’s to another brilliant year of books and awesome friends.¬†‚ô•

by Jen

All the Light We Cannnot See – September Book Club!

October 14, 2014 in recap

Ok, I swear I wasn’t¬†trying¬† to wait until the last minute to post this, it just happened. But I really think I may have taken the award for latest post, at least so far. I’m sure someone can beat me.

Naturally I remember nothing that we did or talked about so this will truly be a pathetic recap. I just got super-excited when I finally remembered that I made tacos¬†for dinner. Yay tacos! That’s it. That’s all I got.

Adding to my confusion is the fact that, though it was my turn to host and I made dinner, we actually had book club at Sarah’s. I feel that this justifies, at least in part, the next several paragraphs.

Appetizer was Sarah’s and I’m just gonna go ahead and say it was cheese and crackers. And grapes maybe? Close enough. Then I made tacos. Yay tacos! And Des brought dessert! Dessert was a “disgusting thing” Des brought. (These are her words not mine. I liked it! But it was really sweet.)

We talked about the book, which everyone agreed that they liked – huzzah! People liked several of the characters – the dad, the housekeeper, the boy, Werner. We agreed it was hard to read some parts- Werner, the young Nazi,¬†is not a bad person, but is a victim of circumstances . It’s a beautiful tragedy, and while it’s lovely that the blind girl (Marie-Laure) lived to a ripe old age, you can’t help but be sad to never know what became of her father, and to feel like the jewel is a bit wasted hidden in the ocean. Anyway good.

We talked about a couple things – not many posts this month but still interesting. ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ is coming out soon, and we’re all so excited! We talked about a couple other movies – trailers are out for the new Hunger Games and Des and I wanted to go see ‘Gone Girl’ (and we did!). We talked about what a dick Kanye is (he wants people in wheelchairs to “stand up” for him, ugh). So it was a very light, fun, musical book club and now I have (somewhat) accurately recalled it for posterity, and officially taken the “latest recap post” award since it’s now 30 minutes into October book club. GO ME!


by Jen

American On Purpose – June 2014

July 12, 2014 in recap

Hello book clubbers! Here we are at the recap for June, 2014’s book club and I confess: it’s been a few weeks. I just like to wait to post so I can check to make sure I don’t have Alzheimer’s yet. Which will be a much less funny joke when I do!

Ok, so we started off with some food- dip with veggies courtesy of Sarah. I made a cheesy chicken casserole which Des was a very good sport about eating since it had spinach in it and broccoli on the side. Not only that, but the “potatoes” in the casserole were actually cauliflower so Des wound up have a very healthy, veggie-filled dinner, completely unbeknownst to her. MuhahaHAHA!!

We’re still on Sawyer-schedule so we got down to business pretty quick and went over the book, American On Purpose, by Craig Ferguson. This was timely for several reasons. First, it was humorous, which we all thought we could use as a change of pace after¬†our last few sister-killing, child trauma books. Two, it has to do with Ferguson’s love of America, which I thought was nice coming up on July 4th. And Craig is in How to Train Your Dragon, Part II (great movie, go see it!) which came out around this time so I thought, why not?

For the most part we liked the book. Des didn’t think it was quite and enjoyable or funny, but in many ways it’s not. Craig is a very funny man but he had many tough years and many parts of his story, specifically his alcoholic years, are tough to hear. That said we thought he was a great writer, a funny guy, but also sentimental without being too cheesy.

We then chatted about the handful of articles we had posted… A mom writing about not wanting her son to share made a case that we¬†found compelling despite ourselves. We talked about the meaning of names (“Des is super chill”), women letting women make choices without judgement, and the HI-larity of celebrities¬†reading tweets (nice work Kimmel!). ¬†We also talked about an Arab¬†woman, stoned to death for marrying a man who had previously killed his first wife – ugh. Our conversations came back to how grateful we are that we live in a country where we can be free to make out own choices “right” or “wrong”, and how much we enjoy late-night comedy. And we talked about how great Des’s cats are.

Dessert was Des’s chocolate-covered strawberries (mmmm!) and then we headed home for a (relatively) early night. Next month is at Sarah’s, but in the meantime we have brunch planned to celebrate Salooniversary 2014 – year 3! It’s so crazy. Good work, us!

by Jen

A Little Princess – March 2014

April 14, 2014 in recap

I dare you people to put up a later post than this. DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU. It’s 6:10pm and book club for April starts in 20 minutes. So I think I officially take “slacker” title for the month.

This was our first book club away from Sarah’s house post-Sawyer so that meant 1. yay Sarah! and 2. a very quick book club in between Sawyer feedings. But that’s ok, we’re pros at this now! We can power through these things double time.

So we started out with food. Sarah was the winner because over-achiever new mom brought homemade dip and veggies. Turns out they were “homemade” by her mother-in-law but it was still better than Des and I. Des brought super-tasty Girl Scout cookies and I was the biggest slacker ever and made a frozen pizza. Go me.

We read “A Little Princess” by¬†Frances Hodgson Burnett. Des had never read it before; Sarah and I hadn’t read it since we were much younger. We agreed that it was a little bit predictable (though in its defense, it’s an older story and no doubt other stories have followed its concept). We also thought it was pretty absurd for her to be right next door to her future father and guardian and have him not know. We really felt for Becky, who had an equally hard time of it, more so without an education and good upbringing, but who remained a maid after Sara Crewe was rescued (albeit in better circumstances). All in all we liked it ok, and Sarah and I had a great deal of nostalgia in reading it, but Des, who taught us that there was apparently an unabridged version, wasn’t as impressed.

Our quick review of current events covered interesting topics like taking care of our elders (mandatory in some countries!), breast feeding in public (oh, the HUMANITY!), how to write an awesome Amazon review for pens (“I use it when I’m swimming, riding a horse, walking on the beach and doing yoga!”), horrible, entitled parents (Ooops! you forget to send a gift!!), and recognizing and dealing with anxiety amoung other things (I love parentheses; this thing shoulda been a run-on sentence 40 words ago).

So while a super-quick event it was FANTASTIC to catch up and check in and we really enjoyed our evening. Three cheers for getting out of the house and setting attainable goals! ūüôā And now it’s 6:27pm so I really MUST publish this.

by Jen

The Great Train Robbery – November 2013

November 25, 2013 in recap

Here we are, right in the middle of fall 2013 and so naturally we’re all super-busy. The book club caught me between UNC CAUSE and WordCamp conferences, was mere days after Sarah’s baby shower, and was during an unnaturally stressful week so no big surprise, we were all a little strapped for time.

What WAS a big surprise was the book! Since I thought I had read it but hadn’t. Nope, not at all. Yes, that’s against the rules. I made a mistake and was thinking of a different book- one I *still* can’t find. Anyway, this book was not a great book and so I had to begin book club by apologizing for this profusely. The only thing worse than the book was the movie, which we didn’t watch but saw a trailer for – oh, the agony! Yeah, not my finest hour.

We did eat food too. Sarah and Matt brought a veggie tray. I stopped at Whole Foods for turkey burgers and carrots and made some asparagus as well to avoid feeling like a complete slacker. Des and Tim brought us apple pie and whipped cream which pretty much disappeared from the face of the planet in under 5 minutes.

Music! Des found some great travel songs, which was my request. I changed my musical theme midway through song selection since I felt like the book we read was more appropriate for songs about crimes (the book I’m thinking of had way more travel involved- east to west on a trip in the Canadian Rockies… what WAS that book??). Anyway I chose some travel songs and some crime songs. And Sarah chose to exercise her right not to pick. Which was probably for the best since we were all over the map (literally!).

We found some time to chat about a number of hot topics: Hunger Games and the new movie coming out; female spies and their impact on the war (and good books about that!); make-up and Virgin Airlines new Safety Dance! We also talked about proposed changes to grading in Wake county: no 0 grades and the opportunity to do make-up work at any time, and the teacher HAS to accept it! I swear we have more ridiculous administration and stupid student discussions every month – we really should have a blog for that. We also talked about NOT touching pregnant bellies and Bean Glova made himself known at his first book club by kicking his mom for us. ūüėÄ

There were more discussions throughout the evening, of course, and Matt and Tim played a couple riveting (for them) games of whatever games they brought with them. Nala tried to make Sarah sneeze and get Des to pet her non-stop for 3 hours. So yeah. Just about the same as usual, if not a little more stressed. Of course we are moving into December so it’s not like things are about to get less chaotic, but we have Maggiano’s on the schedule and of course, everyone’s favorite: gift exchange! Looking forward to it!

Skip to toolbar