Blogger Name: Jules
Blogger URL/link: House of Jules
Blogging since: I turned years of harmless threats into a promise in April 2007. I'm proud to say that at times my friends and family are not only thrilled, but also horrified.
Manic: So, your Blog is titled House of Jules. Have you ever been to the House of Blues?
Jules: That sound you just heard is everyone who knows me personally spitting out their beverage after reading that question.
Manic: Ooh, good, so that means you’ll be telling EVERYONE to come read Manic!
Jules: Yes, and of course I've been to the House of Blues; here in Chicago, and many of the other HOBs across the country. I'm a little bit obsessed. The one here is like my second home.
Manic: Ooh, I’d like a second home like that. Who’ve you seen perform there?
Jules: I've seen lots of concerts there: Etta James, Pink Martini…
Manic: HOLD IT! Stop right there! There’s a band called Pink Martini! I am sooo checking that out!
Jules: … And George Clinton, Sophie B. Hawkins, Russell Crowe's band (before that whole telephone-throwing incident, back when he was the hot gladiator and not a crazed asshat).
Manic: Ooh yes, he was a hot gladiator, was he not? What was his tagline in that movie? You wanna piece of me??!?! No, that’s not it… Bring it on?!…no… You can’t handle the truth!
What does he say to all those bad guys?
Jules: Ahem… So, anyway, some of the employees (ok, just the bartenders) even know me by name--but in a GOOD WAY--not because I'm a bad tipper or something.
Manic: Anytime a bartender knew ME by first name it was also in a “good way” if you know what I mean! Winka Winka!
Jules: The House of Blues is my favorite place to hang out in Chicago and if you haven't been, they should get there ASAP. It's the best place to meet fun and friendly people, and isn't a meat market.
Manic: Until you hang out with a bartender in a “good way!” Hee hee.
Jules: I've had MANY of my own best weekends there, a couple of which I don't even remember (just kidding). It is seriously my happy place.
Manic: What happens if they find out you've stolen their logo; will they come kill you?
Jules: Probably not; their company slogan is, "Help Ever, Hurt Never!"
Manic: My slogan is … well, I don’t have one actually. I’m feeling quite like a failure right about now. I need to get one.
Jules: If they found out I’m House of Jules, I'm sure they wouldn't get violent, they'd probably just test me to make sure I know all the words to Soul Man, which is a test that I would pass with flying colors.
Manic: How totally ironic that Ajers asked me to buy Soul Man from itunes to put on his iPod. Legendary tune, I tell ya. What are the odds that you tell me about this random song, and I’ve just purchased it from itunes!
Jules: By the way, I met Dan Aykroyd there once. He was in town for a charity event, performing at the club with Jim Belushi and their band. He refused to give me Jim Belushi's number. I have a little crush on Jim Belushi.
Manic: About Last Night—one of the best movies in the ‘80s! Now, back to Belushi—what’s the attraction there?
Jules: Even though I usually go for the hot, English-as-a-second-language type; my taste runs a broad spectrum (sense of humor=BIG points), as readers of my blog are
Manic: You might like Mr. Manic then. He has many, many times been likened to Will Farrell; In fact, at a wedding in NY once, some chicks thought he really was Will and they started chanting FRANK THE TANK! And at my reunion someone said he reminded her of Dane Cook. The humor brings out the sexiness in men, don’t you think! Who’s that dude you’ve photoshopped on the photo?
Jules: It's Jeremy Piven, another of the many famous men I claim as my own. I've loved him since the Gas 'n Sip scene in the movie Say Anything…
Manic: For the record, I just watched that clip and got MAJOR GOOSEBUMPS!!! “I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen!” Lloyd Dobbler—Love him! One of my all-time fave movies EVER! And that’s where I first heard this awesome song, and we actually played it for our second dance at our wedding.
Every time Mr. Manic or I hear it on the radio, we call one another. We are such soul mates. Anyway, speaking of relatives, I had the opportunity to meet your sister the other day! She’s quite famous!
Jules: Yes, Melisa Wells! Can I assume that when she gets picked for her "Minute With Manic" that you'll ask her about having me as a famous sister?
Manic: Jules, you know being picked for Minute is completely utterly and fairly random so one never knows.
Jules: Anyway, she's the author of the fantastic book Remembering Ruby: For Families Living Beyond the Loss of a Pet. She was born to write that book, and it's already helping a lot of kids and their parents deal with the animal-sized holes in their heart left by a beloved pet. Everyone should buy a copy and tell 10 of their friends to do the same. Also, it would make great stocking stuffers, and they're currently on Amazon's (buy)-4-for-(the price of)-3 special! Can't beat that!
Manic: Which holiday do you loathe the most and why? And you cannot say Thanksgiving cuz that’s just right around the corner!
Jules: I would have said Thanksgiving if you wouldn't have said that one is off limits.
Manic: I am a psychic. Which is EXACTLY why I said you can’t choose that one! I know things. Like I know next up you’re going to talk about the horrendous Thanksgivings you’ve already experienced.
Jules: I mean, the food is fantastic but we've had some horrendous Thanksgivings with our extended family that no amount of sweet potato casserole can erase.
Manic: Not even sweet potato casserole with pecans and brown sugar?
Jules: One day we'll be able to look back and laugh but there were a couple of years there where I was ready to put the entire month of November on moratorium.
Manic: One year, no lie, my sister grabbed a turkey leg and hit my mom with it, or maybe it was the other way around, I can’t remember, I was probably drunk. So, favorite holiday then, since we all agree Thanksgiving leaves us with some emotional wounds?
Jules: I guess I'll go with Valentine's Day because I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love having a specific day when you can give a red construction paper heart glued sloppily to a doily to someone and not be looked at strangely, but I hate that it's so commercialized. I send out Valentine music mixes that I painstakingly put together every year for my loved ones instead of buying $6 cards, because I enjoy sticking it to the man.
Manic: “Sticking it to the man” … What man? Is that a sexual innuendo? You mean Cupid? In college, my roommate and I were so depressed because no one loved us that we made black construction hearts and pasted them all over our dorm room. Then we went to a party, kidnapped this dude who was wearing a black fedora, took him back to our dorm and forced him to buy us a pizza. It was the best Valentine’s to date! On the subject of holidays, did you know they are playing holiday music on the radio already! They usually don’t do this till after Thanksgiving!
Jules: I worked at Hallmark all through high school, and they start playing holiday music (and install the ornament displays) EVERY JULY.
Manic: OMG!!!! Jules!!! I worked at Hallmark in high school too. Yorktown Center! But I am slightly, just a teeny bit older than you (but also slightly, just a teeny bit younger than your sister!). I remember having to listen to Elvis’ Blue Christmas like thirteen thousand times during one eight-hour shift! And we were forced to wear Elf caps!
Jules: Well, then you know, you’ve never met people less enthusiastic about the holidays by the time they roll around than employees at your local Hallmark store. You know, last year I put that photo of Jeremy Piven and me in some nice black photo cards and signed it, "Hope your holidays are filled with love, from Jules and Jeremy.”
Manic: OH! I KNOW THIS STORY!!! Your sister told me!
Jules: You would not believe how many people thought I somehow got engaged without them even knowing I was in a relationship. I got a lot of angry calls from people who wanted to know why I shut them out of the loop of my love life. It was hilarious for the first few calls. After that it was just really, really sad to keep reiterating that I wasn't engaged, especially to--of all people--Jeremy Piven. Maybe this year I should have gotten all of those people HBO subscriptions so they would get the joke. I'm a glutton for punishment though, because this year I have another one in the works. I realize this is very much the boy who cried wolf and that when I do get engaged it's likely that nobody else will even care. Except for my mother, who will be somewhere in the distance, pumping her fist in the air with happiness.
Manic: Unless she can’t stand the dude. Speaking of dudes, Santa or the Grinch… Who’s cooler?
Jules: Sorry, I have to go with the Jon Lovitz SNL character Hanukkah Harry. "Oy, presents!"
Manic: You can’t say A WONDERFUL LIFE (which, for the record, I have never seen!), but what’s your favorite holiday movie?
I always watch Home for the Holidays just before Thanksgiving to gear me up for our own family gatherings. Ours will never be as dysfunctionally entertaining as that movie so it relieves the anxiety. If you've never seen it, I recommend it for the cringe factor alone. The past couple of years I have also watched The Family Stone for that same reason.
Manic: Ooh, I did like that one. Some hotties in there! I just saw Dan in Real Life, and it was vaguely similar to The Family Stone.
Jules: And for the feel-good flick, it's always the TBS marathon of A Christmas Story. My friend Shoni and I keep our TVs on the entire time (while doing other things around our respective homes)…
Manic: Like licking flag poles, eating soap, shooting your eyes out, getting out that special holiday leg lamp, saying the EFF word? LOVE that movie!
Jules: You didn't ask this question but as long as we're on this subject, I always like to play all of my Harry Connick, Jr. CDs during the holidays. His "When Harry Met Sally" soundtrack is perfection, just like his pretty, pretty face. I mean voice.
Manic: No Jules, I didn’t ask that, but my motto is (now!) Help Ever, Hurt Never so I won’t give you a hard time for throwing in your two cents on that one! Whew Jules, you’ve tired me out! But one last question for you… Resolutions—What do you resolve to do every year?
Jules: I just resolve to keep doing things that are involuntary. You can't go wrong with something like, "I resolve to close my eyes everytime I sneeze" or "I resolve to keep breathing." If you break that last one, you have more important things to worry about than a broken resolution.
Manic: True! And hey, thanks for playing Minute With Manic, Jules. You did so much of the legwork for this interview, I think you might have a knack for this kind of thing yourself!
Jules: I look forward to seeing lots more of Manic's fabulous and funny readers and their comments over on my Blog now, too! It'll be like a pub crawl, but without all the beer. Wait, what am I talking about? I meant that it'll be like a pub crawl, but without all the crawling.
Manic: Aww, come on, can’t we still have the beer?