Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Whats In My Purse!

Keep in mind that my purse is larger on the inside than it appears on the outside.

Gone With the Wind (it's my moms super old copy. The cover is somewhat scandalous, you know, the old movie poster with Rhett holding Scarlett and she's busting out of her slinky red dressing gown. If you just glance it looks like I'm reading a trashy romance novel, and I like that.)

Lolita (because one book just isn't enough. Do I want to read the passionate prose of Nabakov, or the epic romance of Scarlett O'Hara, and Rhett Butler. I want both options at my finger tips at any moment)

Doctor Who DVDs (series 3 if your interested)

Wallet (one day we'll play whats in my wallet. It is a post unto itself)

Mittens (because Baby, it's cold outside)


mobile phone

mobile phone charger

MP3 player

MP3 player charger


Mace (it's a scary world ladies)



A myriad of pens

small notebook

Tampons (be prepared, not scared)

nail polish



eye drops

It seems like a lot, but I can't think of anything to take out (except perhaps the DVDs) but honestly, every time I don't have two books with me, I end up wishing that I did. Perhaps I'm more high maintenance than I realized.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas, or an example of my family not understanding me.

Mom: (to grandma) When Jenna was little you made her this long quilted nightgown, and because it was quilted it was kind of stiff, and it dragged on the ground, so when she walked, you couldn't see her feet or her knees she just sort of floated around like a...
Me: Like a Dalek.
Mom and Grandma: (utter silence)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


When I get dressed in the morning and look in the mirror I like to think “Is this the sort of outfit I could fight crime in? What about adventures through space in time. How would I look wearing this outfit if I was running really fast? What if I was caught in brief slow-motion?” and then I think “Jenna my dear one, you watch too much TV.”

But theres a reason that I always wear converse instead of heels.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Salt Lake City

I wandered around downtown with my mum, something I usually try to avoid, because she makes comments like "I love this place because it doesn't feel like Salt Lake,"

How is Salt Lake supposed to feel? Maybe these places that you love are the real Salt Lake, and I begin to realize that I've done what I swore I would never do when I was a teenager. I love Salt Lake. I love milling about the basement of Sam Weller's. I love getting tarts at Carlucci's bakery. I love getting Taco's from the Taco stands on State Street. I love loitering in the sitting room at the Broadway, and wandering through the expensive boutiques on 9th and 9th.

Today we went to Tony Caputo's and sampled gourmet chocolates. It was a day filled with metropolitan delights in our very own lovely city. Gee, but I'm lucky to live here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Most of Us Need the Eggs

I am going on another date with the boy who was, more or less, the subject of a previous post. I feel like such a twit, because this is what I thought I wanted, but all week, along with finals, I've been worried about it.

"What am I supposed to do? I don't know what I'm supposed to do!"

I don't really like hand holding. It's ok for a bit, but then my hand starts to get sweaty and strange, and I just want it to be in another position, but I never know how to extricate myself without being off-putting. It's long-term hand holding that upsets me. If actions speak louder than words how does one explain "It's not that I don't like you, I just can't bear to hold you're hand any longer."

Also, I feel uncomfortable when people spend money on me. It makes me feel pressured to be fun and exciting. I feel like I have to provide enough entertainment to justify the cost of dinner. It would be different if I was going out with a Doctor, or a CEO, and I knew they could afford it, but everyone my age is poor. Conversely when a certain boy (who shall remain nameless) never spent any money on me, I accused him of being cheap.

It's all such a pain in the neck...and yet...I think Woody Allen says it best:


Monday, December 8, 2008

Looking to absolve myself.

Today on my way to my car I came upon an elderly man who had fallen down. Instead of rushing to help him, I stayed back and watched him struggle to get back up, under a silly pretense of not wanting to hurt his pride. I do a few good deeds from time to time. I have been known to shovel the neighbors driveways, to befriend the quiet person in the class, and to help people who have dropped things. I offer my seat on the train to old ladies, I hold open doors for women with strollers, but I didn't help him, and I know I should have.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Movies

Movies have ruined me forever. Everything I think I know, is from the movie. Any flirtatious behavior I may have picked up is not from real life, but from the movies. Everything I know about life I was taught in the movies. Speech patterns, romance, what you’re supposed to do when your sad or happy. The movies taught me what was charming, what is beautiful. Sometimes I wonder if I had never seen a movie who would I be? Where would I learn who to be, on whom would I pin my personality. Would I expect the same things from men if there weren’t hours of Romantic Comedy’s rolling around in my head? Would I expect the same things from myself if I didn’t have 70 years of beautiful actresses staring back at me in my mind’s eye? If I had never laid eyes upon a young Marlon Brando would I think that the actual boys that I met in real life were more attractive?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Jenna on Loneliness: an excersize in vague self pity.

I went on a date on Tuesday (you Jenna? A date? With a male? Yes, shocking I know,) it is now Saturday and he hasn’t called me. I’m no expert in these matters but even I know that’s a bad sign, and because I refuse to be a glutton for punishment I have given up hope.

It’s not as if there was an undeniable spark, it’s not that I think he’s the one, the love of my life. There was nothing miraculous about the affair, and yet at the same time, there was something miraculous about it. I thought we had a good time, we like a lot of the same things, and I thought that as far as first dates go it was pretty good, which is a little miraculous.

He loves This American Life and is baffled by the critical acclaim of Stanley Kubrick! Oh be still my heart! He is tall and has lovely brown eyes. I began to imagine, as the evening went on, that I could date him, I imagined us settling into a casual comfortable relationship in which we frequented art house movie theatres and took long walks around 3rd and 3rd down town.

I really don’t understand what the problem is. He seemed to enjoy himself, and while I am cautious about liking people, I thought that at least a second date was in order.

But alas! I find myself alone again, naturally, and because I imagined our casual hip future together this fact seems to be weighing on me somewhat at present.

Loneliness is an emotion I feel I am particularly familiar with, having a chronic difficulty with the opposite sex, and a persistent adolescent sense that I don’t really belong in the real world. I feel that I am keenly aware of loneliness, so much aware of it that, for me, it has shed some of its negative connotations.

There is something deeply romantic about loneliness. In my personal world view romance is less about being in love and more about longing, about never having that which you want. I’m talking old school romance; knights who devoted their lives to a single woman and never even touch her, the idea that longing is sweeter than having. If this is the case then I am one of the most romantic people on earth.

Right now I am home alone, making spaghetti (my homemade marinara is particularly magnificent if I do say so myself) and listening to Frank Sinatra. Later I intend to watch Roman Holiday and sigh frequently. I don’t feel sad, but wistful perhaps, and this is the first chapter. This is where in romantic comedies we meet our heroine; all alone making spaghetti on a Saturday night. The most fantastic thing about being alone is it means that anything can happen. You’re not with someone, so you could, potentially meet anyone.

I went to Blockbuster today and rented “Love Actually” whose splendors I intend to wallow in tomorrow. I love going to Blockbuster because one of the employees always gives me one of my movies for free. He is sneaky and says that I’ve earned a free movie on my rewards card, but there is no way I am earning a free movie each and every time I go into Blockbuster. Sometimes we talk about movies (once he confused the Coen Brothers with Wes Anderson, how embarrassing!) I like to think that he looks forward to my blockbuster visits. That he secretly pines for me. It makes me feel good to think that I am inflicting pain on someone else, because quite frankly, it’s just my turn, and feeling bad that I can’t love him back makes me feel like I’m a good person.

My aloneness allows me to cultivate weird pretend relationships like the one I just related. There’s Lonnie the TA who has no idea that while the professor spoke long on eastern Europe and the development of film editing techniques I was imagining his lovely jewish nose rubbing against mine Eskimo style. It was really Lonnie’s nose that made me love him. When I occasionally see him on campus my heart does a strange plummet like that of seeing an ex, even though I never spoke more than a few words to him.

There’s the crazy haired bespectacled boy at the library help desk, whom I like to pretend notices when I come in to use the computer lab, and longs for me to have computer problems, so that he may lean over my chair, catch the subtle bouquet of my perfume, then say something seductive and brainy like “It’s a problem with the motherboard, may I buy you a Chai Latte from Chartwells?”

I balance these fantasies simultaneously going from one to another as the feeling moves me, like improvisational dance for my brain. They keep me company, and my imagination in good, if somewhat sentimental form. It is something to do, while I wait for someone who likes This American Life, Art House Cinema, and me.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My two cents.

I went to see James Bond today, and one of the previews was for the new Star Trek prequel. They're trying to make it cool and sexy, but the reason we love Star Trek is because it's campy, has low production values, and is the unsexiest thing on earth. All of it's charm lies in it's shortcomings. No one can ever beat Shatner and Nimoy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Oh, Disneyland

I spent fall break in Disneyland with three of my very best friends in the entirety of the world. In some ways one feels foolish waiting in line for Snow Whites Scary Ride when one is 21 years old, but really and truly I believe that Disneyland is much much better when you are older.

Don’t get me wrong, it was great when I was a kid too, but everything was great when I was a kid. My mother, pleased to find an artistic streak in one of her children indulged my over active imagination, and my predilection for fantasy and make-believe made every day fantastical. Remember the day in summer when the fireman checks the fire hydrants. Cancel my appointments because my day was booked. There were weeks were I sat in my backyard and played with mud every day. A trip to McDonalds was frenzy inducing, and being torn away from the ball pit at the Burger King Kids play place was tragic enough to elicit tears. Between mud and fast food what did I need with Disneyland? I felt that kind of magic joy almost every day.

But sadly I grew up (well…sort of) and things that captured my attention for hours on end no longer held the same power. I think I could probably play with mud for a few hours now, but not for an entire day. I have no desire to go throw myself into the shooting waters of the fire hydrant, and when I go to McDonalds now, my meal doesn’t come with a prize, and all I can think about is the empty calories.

Instead of dancing happily through life I began to worry about boring things like money, jobs, and boys (mostly the lack thereof) all things I swore up and down I would never worry about when I was a kid.

But when I go to Disneyland those things disappear. The last night of the trip S and I went on Splash Mountain by ourselves because M and B didn’t want to get wet.

“We won’t get that wet,” I assured S who had never been on the ride, “You’ll get sprinkled but it’s not bad,”

But of course we sat in the front and I emerged soaking wet. But the night air in Annaheim was warm, even in October, and the complete dishevelment effectively obliterated the last vestiges of restraint and inhibition.

We sweet talked our way into the wheel chair entrance of Peter Pan, we ran madcap through the all but deserted temple of doom, come to think of it. We ran everywhere. When I was a kid, if a place was worth going to it was worth running to and I found the energy to run everywhere, and that night it was back. We ran all over the parks, past families and “too-cool” teens and we threw ourselves onto every ride with a breathless excitement. I wasn’t thinking about tomorrow or yesterday, only about now, running with fireworks exploding overhead, music playing everything was right with the world, because everything was right now.

` I love Disneyland because it allows me to be a kid again, and I excelled at being a kid. I feel sad that an evil faceless corporation can give that to me, but so it is, and I will continue to pay great amounts of money to live completely free of reality. I live reality every day, I don’t need it in my vacation. So here’s to the child within, here’s to spending a few days in a bubble! Here’s to Disneyland!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


There is a fly in my room, whom I have christened Edouard (franco-spanish spelling of course) He seems very fond of making his presence known at night right before I am about to fall asleep.
I am lingering blissfully on the subtle ledge between sleep and consciousness when a gentle but disruptive,
bzzz bzzz bzzz bzzzz bzzzz bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

For all my having named him you might think that Edouard and I have grown to love each other, like the cricket from Mulan, he might become a tiny companion.
But in fact I try to murder Edouard almost nightly. I chase him about with a shoe for some time, but my room has peculiarly high ceilings and i think Edouard knows i can't reach him there.
Worn out by failure and futility I go to sleep vowing "Tomorrow night Edouard, tomorrow night!" and occasionally I shake my fist at him to let him know I really mean business.
But Edouard, on his lofty perch, laughs a tiny fly laugh.
He's buzzing about my lamp right now, and oh how I despise him.

Once I found a spider in my shower, and I couldn't bear to kill it. I can't explain why. Could have been my very young readings of Charlotte's Web. It could be the strange affection I've always had for them. I used to make pets of them when I was too young to know that they were supposed to be frightening.
In any case, I didn't kill her, and named her Lucy. I only saw her about once a week. I've no idea where her web was, I never saw it, but when i sould see her scurrying across the wall I would smile and say, "Hullo Lucy,"
But in a plot twist strangely like Charlotte's Web, I started noticing that instead of seeing Lucy once a week, I was seeing several smaller Lucys.
Lucy, whom I had treated as a guest, had had the bad manners to reproduce in my home, and where one spider is a charming eccentricity, several is unacceptable, so I killed all of Lucy's offspring.
Sometimes I ponder the moral question here. Am I a better person for letting Lucy live, or a worse person for killing all her children. Would it have been better for me to kill Lucy to begin with, and therefore have less spider deaths on my head? Some of them probably escaped, does this redeem me?
I think like most big question, there is no easy answer, except perhaps that I live in squalor.
Strangely I've never felt any great longing to spare Edouard.
I think maybe flies are like chickens: they deserve to die.
Chickens are savage stupid animals and I don't think they can process emotions like happiness or misery. When I worked at "This is the Place" There were always several cases of Baby oh-so-cute-and-fluffy chicks brutally pecking and trampling their brethren and sistren to death! One time I found a dead chicken in my yard. It's eyes look the same living or dead. No life has gone out of them. They are always blank and alien.
They're not like sheep, or pigs, who are feisty and lovable. The best thing they can do is be food.
I guess the lesson here is really, the only animals who deserve to live are the ones that are easily anthropomorphised.
But I still eat sheep and pigs, so maybe the real lesson is that I am a carnivorous hypocrite.
One thing I know, Edouard and I shall meet again and he shall curse the day he pupated!

Destiny waits for thee, Edouard!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Jenna battles the freshman 15 at 21

It's supposed to happen when you go to college. You're metabolism changes, and you inexplicably gain 15 pounds. I went all these years without this great misfortune, but I discovered a little over a month ago that I had, indeed, gained 15 pounds. With shock and horror I threw myself into healthier eating habits, but progress has been slow and often discouraging.
Losing weight is a bitch.
It should be against the laws of physics, that you can't gain weight any faster than you can lose it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Was There a Kangaroo?

So today at work I was in the back, where I always am, and Norma said.
"Jenna, come up here you have to see this,"
So I went up and Pat had a Baby Kangaroo. It was wearing a diaper and i petted it, but it's ears were not as soft as I had expected.
"Ok, I gotta take you back up to your mama," Pat said, taking the Kangaroo away.
"Why did Pat have a Kangaroo?" I asked, and everyone laughed, but didn't answer my question, so I went back to work.
A little while later I went back out and said, "Seriously why did Pat have a Kangaroo," and everyone just laughed again, but still no answer.
I believe that this is an actual reality that happened today in my life. But after telling the tale to incredulous listeners and looking back it all seems so surreal, that suddenly I'm not sure that it really happened and I am a little worried that I''m losing my mind.


Megan tagged me, so here it goes. I'm supposed to write about 6 quirky things about myself (only six?) so here it goes.

1. When I get ready in the morning I pretend like I'm being interviewed on Oprah. I dislike it when i have guests in my house because these interviews are always out loud. i think that everyone does this, they just don't want to admit it.
2. Every time I walk on ice I have to stop talking and tuck my tongue safely behind my teeth because I am afraid that one day I will slip on the ice, fall forward on my jaw, and bite my tongue off, and then no one will ever marry me. It's a real fear.
3. I have aided in the capture and killing of at least two rattlesnakes.
4. I hate cooked fruit, it is disgusting.
5. When I was a kid my favorite outfit was a pair of purple jeans, and a pink fluffy shirt. One time I dreamed that I drank a bottle of Sprite, and died whilst wearing that outfit. Fearing it was a premonition type dream I never wore that outfit again, because if I was never dressed like that, then I could never be poisoned by Sprite. To this day my mom doesn't now why I forever refused to wear those clothes again.
6. I hate when people touch my things without asking. it fills me with completely unreasonable distress. One time when I had lost my debit card my mom went through my entire wallet, and cleaned it out, without my knowledge. I was so upset that I couldn't talk to her for several days. I rarely let people come into my room because it upsets me so much. I think it stems back to my mother cleaning my room for me when I was a kid and afterwards there was always some sort of reproach. "You really shouldn't treat your clothes like that," and "You really shouldn't keep a box of cookies in your sock drawer." She would touch my stuff and then I would receive a reproach, therefore conditioning me to fear every time anyone touched anything of mine. But that all seems rather Freudian, so maybe not.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


So I watched "Be Kind Rewind," yesterday because Michel Gondry is a creative king, and while the movie wasn't great the idea was. In the movie the process of remaking your favorite movie yourself is referred to as "Sweded" and many people have since been sweding their own movies, and I think this is maybe the best think I've ever seen. The voice of Falcor is particularly magnificent. Watch and enjoy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Jenna's Completely True Confessions.

Sometimes, when I'm at work I go into the back room, and eat string cheese and listen to "All You Need is Love" from the Across The Universe soundtrack over and over again. One time I was in there for an hour.
This has been a completely true confession.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Why I want to be an Author

1. I can stay up until 1:00 or 2:00 am, and wake up at 10:00 or 11:00 every day.
2. I can stay home and watch Oprah, and Days of Our Lives.
3. I can live wherever I want. Move to the English countryside for a year? Why not! Spend the Winter in a Buddhist monastary? Go for it! I can write anywhere.
4. I get carte blanche for any eccentric behavior, because I am an artist.
5. My opinions will matter more because I am published.
6. My artistic reputation will give me an added air of mystery and will make me seem more attractive.
7. I can take advantage of the perks of vague celebrity.

Why do I think that any of this is a feasible possibility?
Because if Stephanie Meyer can do it, then honey, anyone can.

Observations of the Young Single Male Populous

For reasons that I can't completely understand it is difficult for me to find boys who are interested in me. I am a reasonably attractive person and I think that I move through society somewhat successfully. My point being that while I may not be Heidi Klum there are uglier, more socially awkward people that are dating all the freaking time.
So what is the deal? I hear men say all the time that they just want an easy going low maintenance girl, and yet, what do we find? Time and time again they go chasing after the perfectly manicured peroxide blonde models. Do they not understand that these girls require almost constant maintenance? Do they not understand what low maintenance really means?
Mr. Knightly tells us that "Men of sense, do not want silly wives." So why do they want to exclusively date the silly girls? My scientific observations show me that the dumb silly girls get ridiculous amounts of attention from the opposite sex. I'm no Marie Curie but I am an intelligent and cultured young woman. I used to think that the boys my age were immature and insecure and therefore wanted uncomplicated women in their life, so that they could feel superior and good about themselves, and one day they would grow up and become men of sense and they wouldn't want silly wives. But today Newsweek told me that the men of my generation aren't growing up. They remain in a perpetual "guyland" where they go out with their friends and drink and score chicks throughout their 30's. The women of my generation are going out into the work place and making more money than their male counterparts. The women are out there kicking butt, and the men are doing nothing to deserve us. It seems generally unfair.
Speaking of unfairness, I know that blanket statements about the opposite sex are unfair, and I know that it isn't true about every man in the world, but I must speak as I find, and my own experience has brought me to this point. I don't want to come off as a man-hater, I really like men, which is why I am so distressed that they don't seem to like me. I am afraid that it is a fact that every time I get up the guts to talk to a boy there is little or no interest expressed, and I move on trying to maintain some sort of dignity. Perhaps I have to let go of dignity completely before I can get a date. I think further sallies into the social world are necessary, but I will keep you abreast of any scientific developments.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bob Dylan Live and in Concert!

It hadn't rained for months. For the better part of the summer not a drop had fallen, but of course, on the night when I was going to see Bob Dylan live and in concert, outdoors there was forecasts for severe thunderstorms.

"We'll just be prepared," my amazingly reasonable mom reasoned. "We'll bring jackets and umbrellas and we'll be all right,"

"We'll be struck by lightening!" My unbelievable unreasonable Father surmised, "We will die,"

"Shut up both of you!" said me, the daughter who wished that her parents could just relax and be cool.

We drove down to Park City some two hours early, hoping that we could get a good spot. Dad thought that we were leaving too early and nobody would be there, because nobody would want to go to a concert in the rain, but upon arriving we saw that he was obviously wrong.
The line extended through half of the parking lot. And the smattering of people! There were hippies, punks, goths, yuppies, granola's, all manner of people that you could imagine, at every conceivable age all brought together by love of Bob Dylan and his general excellence.

I wished I could have found someone to go with other than my parents. They are yuppies.

We took our place in line and waited, settling down for the hour and half wait before the gates opened. In front of us there was a group of middle aged teachers who had come up from Nevada to see Dylan. They had brought a cooler of booze, and were playing bartender in the parking lot, mixing up margaritas, and martini's in red plastic cups. Behind us was a man who had attended Woodstock. "I feel like a teenager again," he said, "Waiting for a concert in the rain," At that point it was only a light drizzle and the general feeling was optimistic that maybe the storm would pass.

Some people were oblivious to the fact that rain was coming at all, judging form the clothes they chose to wear. Sandals, flip flops, shorts, white pants, mini skirts, bare feet, entire groups of people without a jacket between them. and because I worry for other people when they don't take the time to worry about themselves, I took a few moment to worry for the unprepared.

I was also worried about Bob. The stage was covered but it was supposed to be rather chilly, and he's an old man now. I was worried that he would get cold and not be able to play or sing well for us.

It began to really rain while everyone was looking for seats. The sheets of rain were taken by most as a personal challenge and was answered by a series of scattered "Woo's!" Hail was greeted in much the same way, and the simultaneous thunder and lightening that crackled above our heads just elicited a more unified "Woo!" it was like Mother Nature was opening for Bob Dylan.

The weather was truly torrential as we waited for the show. My parents and I huddled under a tarp and ate pasta salad, and sipped Diet Coke, and I began to be afraid.

I had heard a lot of different things about Bob Dylan in concert: He's boring, he's lost his voice (was it all that good to begin with?) you can't recognize his songs, you can't hear the words.

What if it was terrible? What if I waited in the pouring rain to be dissapointed, was it worth it?

I decided that regardless, I wanted a souvenirs, and sometime during the time that I spent buying t-shirts and posters the rain slowed, and then at 7:28 the rain stopped, and a shock of blue sky began to make it's way over the dusky green mountain tops.

At 7:30 Bob came out. I couldn't hear anything the announcer said because of feedback , but then all of the sudden there he was, walking out of the backstage darkness dressed like a Civil War general, wearing a tidy tan hat decorated with a delicate feather in the band.

I jumped up and down, I cheered, I felt my heart thrill, and I basked in the glow of my fellow Dylan fans. Without saying a word he launched into Rainy Day Woman #12 and 35, and everyone sang along with the chorus.

"Everybody must get stoned!"

and some people did. There was a magnificent aroma that was a mix of Marijuana, booze, nag champa incense (thank you for the heads up Kim!), pine trees, and fresh air. It's how I imagine the 60's smelled.

We weren't as close as I would have like, but I looked through my Dad's binoculars and I could see perfectly that iconic profile and I died a little inside because it was so amazing. Bob and the band rocked harder than anything on any of the albums and the set list was especially wonderful.

Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35
When I Paint My Masterpiece
Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
Not Dark Yet
Don't Thin Twice, It's All Right
Million Miles
Desolation Row
The Levee's Gonna Break
Honest With Me
Simple Twist of Fate
Highway 61 Revisited
Queen Jane Approximately
Thunder on the Mountain
Like a Rolling Stone

I squealed and cheered. Everyone was dancing and singing along. It sounds corny, but you could really feel the love all around. There were so many great moments. When Bob Dylan wandered over and quietly selected a harmonica, the frequent wry smiles towards the audience, and when he came out to play "Like a Rolling Stone" for the encore, and everyone sang along, and it was awesome because I saw Bob Dylan perform "Like A Rolling Stone" live.

It was a great great concert. I know I sound like a gushing school-girl, but that's how I feel. It was the coolest thing that has ever happened to me, and I wish that I could run away from my current life and follow Bob Dylan and his band around for the next few months. There aren't enough positive adjectives. Love! Love! Love!

Saturday, August 30, 2008


When I went to see There Will Be Blood I got an especially delicious roast beef sandwich from the Jordan Commons deli, and now whenever I see a picture or hear a clip of Daniel Day-Lewis, with his especially luxurious mustache, speaking in his husky There Will Be Blood voice I immediately think of Roast Beef. Conversely whenever I have a roast beef sandwich I think of Daniel Day-Lewis. Weird.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Marie Antoinette

I'm a big fan of history, I read historic biographies the way some women read paperback romance novels. I go crazy for them. Generally I'm a fan of the big power players, Napoleon, Henry VIII Alexander the Great, and of course the incomparable Queen Elizabeth, who is my hero, and I frequently find myself thinking, when I am in a difficult situation "What Would Queen Elizabeth Do?"
But strangely one of my favorite historic figures is Marie Antoinette. I first read Antonia Frasiers book about Marie some five years ago, and I have read it several times since then, and while no one else seemed to like it, I love Sophia Coppola movie with Kirsten Dunst. I'm not sure why I love her, she did almost nothing, beyond getting decapitated, though admittedly the last few years of her life were rather heroic.
Perhaps my love springs from all girls wanting to be princesses, and the ones with any ambition want to be queens. It's hard to get more extravagant than Versaille, and while people tell me that you can't buy happiness, I'd sure like the chance to try.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bob Dylan

In exactly one week I will see Bob Dylan live in concert, and one of my great dreams in life will be fulfilled. So in honor of this momentous occasion I thought I'd discuss my love for Bob.
Bob and I first met some three years ago (only three years? It seems like ever so much more) in the midst of one of my periodic Beatles frenzies. My love for the Beatles is forever strong, but is interspersed with bursts of peculiar passion. I was reading "The Beatles: A Biography" and it kept talking about how influenced the Beatles were by Bob Dylan and how they thought he was the best...la la la...etc. and I thought to myself "Well if he's so great, I better listen to him."
So I went Circuit City and bought Blonde on Blonde, and went home to listen to it. I anticipated that his music would forever transform my life, and so I drew a bath, and nestled in with a diet coke and lime, and put on disc 1.
I was greeted with Rainy Day Woman #12 and 35 declaring that "everybody must get stoned!"

"All right," I thought, "that was fun, now the real music will begin," but it didn't. It was just this whiny voice speak singing about Visions of Johanna, and the Memphis Blues, and Leopard skin pill box hats, interspersed with prolonged harmonica solos.
"What is this?" I thought, "This is terrible" But I was in the bath, and I couldn't reach the stereo to turn it off and I just had to listen to it.
I had spent the money, so I figured I might as well listen to the whole thing, so I threw in the second disc, and somewhere in the midst of Sad Eyed Lady of the lowlands was the moment that I first loved Bob Dylan.
"Oh my gosh" I kept thinking, "He's singing this song for me I swear," so I listened to it again and again and again, until his voice didn't sound whiney, it sounded comforting and safe. Like the voice of an old friend.
I started buying up his albums in a frenzy, two at a time, which when you consider my income at the time was a huge purchase, and my head was flooded.
Subterranean Homesick Blues, Girl From the North Country, Tangled up in Blue, Don't Think Twice it's All Right, Like a Rolling Stone, I couldn't get enough. I read his biography, I read his chronicles, I watched documentaries. No matter how much I found out about him there always seemed to be more, and even now there are Bob Dylan songs that I've never heard. It's good to know that they're out there.
And whatever happened in my life, there was a Bob Dylan song for it, and he always seemed to say it better than I did. There was a whole summer where I don't think I ever took "Highway 61 Revisited" out of my car stereo.
I feel like Bob is one of my friends, because his voice has narrated so much of my recent life. And when you read about his life, one comes to realize that he is one of the few people in the world who plays by his own rules, who lives on his terms, and I almost can't believe that he's a real human being. He's too mythic, too epic, to be true, and that is why I can't quite comprehend that I'm actually going to see him next Sunday.
I know almost no one else who enjoys Bob Dylan, and I understand completely, but I feel a little sad that they don't hear what I hear.
Quite simply I love Bob, and I love his music, and to try and explain why is pointless, because there simply aren't words, so "love" will have to be enough.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Jenna: the emotional journey.

I don't think it's really any secret that I have a history emotional instability. When I first went to college I realized that I didn't know what I really wanted, and what I thought I wanted, turned out to be not what I thought it would be, and so I spiraled down into craziness. I was trying, genuinely trying to put myself out there, and I got no results, and so I felt terrible about myself, and I gave up entirely. But then I went to the amazing Dr. T, and I started to pull myself together, and everything started to look better.
About three months after I finished therapy my brother died, and everything crashed, so I had to go back to therapy, and it seemed that I was starting all over again.
So basically the last 3 years have been about retaining my sanity, and surviving. I didn't have the energy or the will to put myself out there, to meet new people, or date, or be a young person. My life was too scary for me to do scary things like be in social situations, or make eye contact with the opposite sex.
But recently I feel like it's time for all of that. It's time for me to Carpe that Diem, and that I'm ready to risk feeling like an idiot in social situations, and work up the guts to approach a boy. I am a good looking, generally hygenic girl, and there is no reason to be so afraid. I'm declaring my independence! Wish me luck.

Friday, August 15, 2008


The original plan was to go bowling, but B was depressed because S had said "Goodbye" and we all decided to be indulgent and do what she wanted to do, and B wanted to go to a club. Because M is only 20 we decided to go to Area 51 where you only have to be 18 to enter, even though Area 51 is a place for scuzz goths, or so I had heard.
I had heard right. We parked on the street in front of the "No parking" sign, and across from the "Jesus Saves" mission. None of us had brought cash so we had to go across the street to the bar where Punk Band with gender neutral front man played relentless chords that throbbed rhythmically in my chest.
Earlier in the day I had gone to the impressionist exhibit at the museum, after lunch at aristo's and I hadn't changed. I didn't look like someone who belonged at a club, I looked like someone who belonged at a museum, casually discussing Monet's use of color. As we walked to the doors I tried to fake it. I threw my shoulders back and I looked directly ahead of me, "I can pull it off" I thought to myself "I'm wearing converse sneakers aren't I? Everyone loves converse."
At the door I handed the 700 lb bouncer my five dollar bill and my ID (which glowed under the black light. Who knew?) entering the establishment only confirmed what I had already suspected. I didn't belong there, there was nothing "me" about this place, and I felt like square Jenna from squaresville.
"I'm not sexy enough to go to clubs" I thought as I walked past the smoke filled dance room where the bar tenders bump and grind. I marvel at the bump and grind, it is something I am not capable of.
Most of my "dance" experience has been through musical theatre, and I find it difficult to dance without Jazz hands and a Vaseline smile. My self preservation instincts told me that it wouldn't be acceptable to do a jazz square whilst Nelly tried to convince us "It's getting hot in here."
In an effort to escape the oppressive smell of cigarette smoke we slipped through the door to the smokers porch, where the fresh air at least alleviated the smell, and we could at least hear each other talk.
Across the way, dressed like a goth pirate was a flamboyant young man who made me think of ducky from "Pretty in Pink" and I wanted to know about his life. How did he feel about the world, what were his thoughts, and I wanted to ask "So Goth Ducky, what is your philosophy?" But then B wanted to go back inside, and I felt sick to my stomach.
Sick from not belonging, and cigarette smoke and loud music, and how sad it was that B was doing all this to prove something to someone who had said "Goodbye" and was never going to hear about it.
On the car ride home, I could smell garnier fructise mingled with cigarette smoke in my hair, and I felt like I was going to fall asleep. I thought about Goth Ducky and wondered about what his life must be like, and how different it must be from mine. B sniffled in the front seat, while M drove and comforted her, and I felt my eyelids drooping, and thought about how I wished that my life was more like a Wes Anderson movie...no one goes to clubs in Wes Anderson movies.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just another existential crisis

I wake up and I look in the mirror and I find that my face doesn't look like it used to. The cheek bones are a little more defined, the lines more mature. I'm getting my grown up face, and I don't care for it, because it is less recognizable to me, and I'm scared of growing up, and change.
I don't know who I am, so how can I expect anyone else to?
Why don't boys like me?
Why don't they even see me?
Why is it so hard to lose weight?
Why is my self confidence at such a shocking low?
I feel like I'm running really fast, just to stay in the same place. I feel too old, and it's getting embarrassing to be me at my age. I feel like my life is an quirky independent film, and I'm just waiting for the pacing to pick up, for the plot to unfold. When will things change? When will I change? Or am I just a flat character?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Crash: the story of my car accident poorly told.

I took a trip to the library to return the terrible books I’ve been reading, and I mean truly dreadful books. So dreadful, in fact, that I’m somewhat ashamed to tell you what they were, but for the sake of honesty I shall confess my literary sins. The first was Nick and Norah’s infinite playlist, which wasn’t so much bad as adolescent, but the two are practically the same thing. The second was Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks. I know, I hate myself too, but I had never read any Nicholas Sparks, and I thought “Maybe you’re cheating yourself out of an enjoyable summer read, because you always insist on being such a snob.”

It wasn’t enjoyable and my snobbery has come from years of disappointment of this very kind. Anyway, I went to the library, which consequently had nothing that I was looking for, and then proceeded to take the Van Winkle Expressway to St. Marks Hospital. Consequently, Van Winkle is one of the best names for a street I have ever heard.

Heather is in St. Marks, and I know that she is enormously fond of Jamba Juice, so I thought I’d take a detour, go to barnes and noble, see if they had anything that I was looking for, get a jamba juice for Heather, and return to the hospital.

Driving down the lovely residential 4800 south, listening to track number six of the soundtrack to “Once” and feeling good about life in general, when I peripherally see a car turning into me from the perpendicular street.

I slam on the brakes, which actually squeal a little bit, because I’m trying to swerve to avoid the other car, but it isn’t enough, and SMACK : I’m hit!. He pulls his car off to the side of the road, and I do the same, whilst unleashing a turrets like stream of profanity, but I take a few deep breaths, and get out of the car.

I assess the damage, and he walks over to me. He’s wearing a black t-shirt from which the sleeves have been removed. The fender is crumpled like green tin foil, and the tire is completely flat, bits of my hubcap are strewn about the road along with black skidmarks from my swerving.

“Where you pulling out of somewhere or something?” he asks.

“No!” I say snappishly, but then I draw it back in. I don’t want to be a jerk. “I was just driving down the street,”

“Really, cuz I didn’t see you,”

“Well, can I get your information,” I say trying to think what a grown up would do, and then realize with a sinking feeling that I am a grown-up, so why do I not know what to do.

“yeah,” he says and he goes to the car. “This isn’t even my car,” he tells me, “I’m not supposed to be driving, there’s a warrant out for my arrest, and my license is expired so I’m worried that if the cops come I’ll get arrested.” All this while he passes me the insurance information on his mom’s car, which I write down on a scrap piece of paper, and I take a moment to think “how very clever of you Jenna, to always have paper about,”

“Can I get your name and number?” I ask

“My name and number?”


“Well you already have the insurance information,”

“Well, you hit me,” I say, “I get that you don’t want me to call the cops, but you should pay for the damage on my car,”

He gives me his information and I wander away to call my parents. They do the usual parent panic thing, and then, “Well are the police there?”

“No, this guy is worried he’ll get arrested if the police come,”

“Well that’s his problem,” my dad tells me.

But when the guy with the arrest warrant finds out that I am calling the police then it might become my problem also. I’ve seen gritty realist drama’s, and I know about random violence happening to people who were just trying to do the right thing. It’s the middle of the day, but it’s a residential street and no one is around. I imagined it going down like this.

“Hi…so I am going to call the police, because it’s my parents car, and they want an official report and all that…so, sorry,”

“Oh, well then I will cut you and flee the scene…so, sorry,”

Of course that is not how it went down. Turns out the warrant is for his not paying tickets in the past, and not even a big deal, and when the police came they didn’t arrest him or anything, they just let him go and told him to take care of all that crap. They also gave him a hefty ticket for not having a drivers license and for not paying his ticket before. Then the policeman and my dad changed the tire and we took it to discount tires.

On the way to the tire store my dad remarks in a casual way, “It’s a good thing you were such a defensive driver. He could have easily smacked into your door and then you could have been really hurt,”

I hadn’t even thought of that.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A true story, in which nothing really happens.

I don't want to go Salsa Dancing, even though I said I do, because I didn't want to sound lame, as lame as I actually am.
It is just so far out of my comfort zone. It was fun once, but wasn't once enough?
Being the tall white girl in a sea of short Mexicans, every one of which moves their hips in ways that my hips have never considered.
Feeling self consciouse because B makes fun of my dancing.
"When you dance you hold your arms like the Weinerschnitzel hot dog!"
It was a funny thing to say, and I laughed, but the whole time I was thinking,
"Do I really look like a damn hot dog when I dance?"
and I hate being out there, not knowing what I'm doing, feeling like an idiot and a hotdog all at the same time. When I think about going I feel vaguely like crying, but everyone else seems so excited, and I don't want to be the pooper, so I say yes, and remind myself that I can always hide out somewhere and wait for everyone else to get tired.
I don't want to pay 6 bucks to hide out. I don't want to feel like a hot dog either.

And what will I wear?
All my clothes suck, and so do I.
I stare at my closet in despair: nothing.
It gets so hot in there with everyone swiveling their Latin hips and the thought of jeans seems grotesque but all my skirts and dresses seem prudish and formal.
I don't want to go.
Maybe my destiny is waiting there. Maybe I'll meet someone who will change the entirety of my life.
If my destiny is waiting at studio 600 on Salsa night, then I think I'd rather just let it wait.
I think about destiny, and my stupid clothes and the butcher boy out by the dumpsters.
The shop where I work shares a dumpster with a butcher shop, which means that the dumpsters are surrounded by the permanent smell of death.
On my journey to the filthy back ally ways of the dumpster land I came across an attractive boy from the butcher shop.
I was coming from, he was going to.
We did the awkward passing dance: "Which way will I go?" and then you both adjust in unison and for a terrible second you think that you will never be able to walk past each other.
He laughed and I smiled and I went back to work feeling happier then when I had left to go to the Death Dumpsters.
Mom called and asked me to get some chicken before I came home.
"I wonder if he'll be there?" I ask myself in passing.
I walk to the butcher shop, and he is there. We exchange smiles but someone else helps me. Does he remember me? I should say something...but what?
"I saw you at the dumpster"
but then what?
I think too much and I chicken out whilst buying chicken, which is appropriate, but only God and I can really appreciate the joke.
I should have said something, just so I wouldn't be regretting it now.
Maybe I would have regretted whatever I said.
Maybe the only way this could end was in regret.
Maybe he Salsa dances. Maybe I'll see him there, and then I can say it:
"I saw you at the dumpsters."
What a dumb thing to say.
I stare into my closet. all my clothes still suck.
Why don't we go to a coffee shop. I have clothes I could wear to a coffee shop, but not dancing.
Nothing to wear dancing.
I don't want to go!
but I don't want to seem lame, as lame as I am.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

In the footsteps of Sergio Leone

Once I've established myself as an interesting film maker I want to write and direct a gritty western. I suppose the writing it isn't as important as the directing it, perhaps I could adapt an interestinng book.
Artistically I want to direct a western because it is one of my favorite genres, and I feel like it's part of my heritage, having been born and raised in the west. I also think it explores a lot of interesting themes like what defines a hero, and man vs. wilderness, and the place of women in lawless society (which is enough for a blog unto itself, and perhaps one day I will write it) but there is a lot to explore within the genre.
Also I want to direct a gritty western because I want everyone to go see the movie, and marvel at it's intensity, and then look at sweet little me, and then marvel at my talents. I think this is part of my wanting to be taken seriously. I think I rarely am taken seriously by anyone. Let's face it, if I were to direct a romantic comedy, it would be considered a woman movie, and I would be considered a woman director, no matter how good the movie was. The movie's are a man's world, i can direct a romantic comedy after I've done my gritty western.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to direct a gritty western because I want to gather together a group of the hottest, most rugged, manliest men, dress them up like cowboys and then tell them what to do. I don't care if any of them fall in love with me. It will be enough just to bask in the raw masculinity that constitutes 65% of why I love westerns.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


This is the bicycle that I am dreaming of, my new job is close enough that I could ride it to work, so I can almost justify such an extravagant purchase. I am trying to cut down on gas, not so much because I care about the environment, but because I am poor, so it will be bicycles to work, and trains to school. It will be almost like I live in Europe! True, I do already have a bicycle, and on days when it isn't unbearably, sweltering hot I do ride it to the library and other such close locations. The problem is, it's a mountain bike, and is rather uncomfortable, and the tire keeps coming off, which fills one with a sense of impending doom whilst riding. While I do enjoy little jolts of adventure in my life, I think that the cars on the road do the job admirably. Oh beautiful bicycle, how I pine for you.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Holy generation gap Batman!

Can you believe that Batman went from this...
to this...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Happy good times

How wonderful is it to see an ex love interest on a day when you know that you look particularly gorgeous. And furthermore, how wonderful is it to see this person, with your lovely friends, who shoot him a series of supportive dirty looks. Good and happy times my friends, good and happy times.

It's so sad when they won't let her shop

My friend B and I have a joke about how you feel uncomfortable going to stores where you can't really afford to shop. You go in thinking you look presentable, but the sales person looks you up and down and says, "get your poverty-stricken ass back to Old Navy and buy yourself some 2 for $10 tanks." but they say all of this with their eyes.
I went to Nordstroms the other day with the intent to spend. I'm looking for a nude patent leather pump, and am willing to spend above and beyond my usual price range for such an item because it would go with everything, but once I got to Nordy's it was like I was invisible. Sales people were asking everyone around me if they needed help, but no one said a single word to me. Once I made direct and deliberate eye contact with a sales person. He smiled and walked away. Not even a "hello," or a "are you finding everything all right?" We were in such close proximity that it felt almost like he was going out of his way not to talk to me.
I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, except I wasn't dressed like a prostitute. It's so sad when they won't let her shop.
I really don't mind, I don't particularly like sales people helping me. They make me feel pressured and scared, and if they begin to agree with me I begin to doubt everything I thought I knew because a sales person is agreeing with me, and we all know what liars they are. I've been one, I know they are not to be trusted. It's not that I wanted their help, I just wanted to be offered it, so I feel like taking my business elsewhere. Perhaps to Old Navy where I can get some 2 for $10 tanks.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Going to the Movies Alone and My Love for Abe.

Being a fan of Hellboy I have been wanting to go see Hellboy II. Tragically, I seem to be the only person I know who feels this way, and yesterday I went to the movies by myself. It was a most enjoyable experience. I always thought that going to the movies on my own would make me feel like a huge loser, but it wasn't so bad. I have felt like a loser so often in my life that it takes something really impressive to throw me off.
Like the first Hellboy this is not quite great cinema, or great writing, but visually it is unbeatable. It's worth going to see just as a work of imagination, there are so few works of imagination in our modern world, I feel like it's terribly exciting to see something really original.
I also really love the Hellboy characters, and I think my love for them is what makes me like the movies so much. Anti-heroes are always more interesting, and while I enjoy watching attractive people run about as much as the next person, I relate more to the freaks. It's always difficult to feel bad for good looking people.
My favorite of all the characters is Abe Sapien, the fish man, though I liked him better in the first one when David Hyde-Peirce was doing the voice. If I could somehow jump into Hellboy world and marry Abe I think I would. Sure he's a fish man, and there would be some prejudices against our relationship, and who knows what our kids would look like. I know it would be overly complicated, but as far as personality goes, Abe is pretty much everything I've ever wanted. I could live in his sweet library room, and we could read poetry, and listen to classical music, and fight evil together.
At first I think I might be unnerved by Abe's ability to read my thoughts, but really I think it would ultimately be a benefit. He would, literally, know everything about me, and if he knew everything about me and wanted to marry me anyway, than that is the (fish) man that you want to hold onto. I couldn't hide anything, so I would stop trying and perhaps I could finally relax and be myself, whoever that is. Besides his being a fish, he's pretty much everything I've ever wanted in another person. Just another ideal fictional charachter.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Is it just me?

Is it just me or are men that you see in other cities simply more interesting? It seems that every time I go on vacation I am passing dozens of interesting men all the time. Maybe it's just because I'm looking around me, or maybe it's just the feeling of being on vacation that makes everyone and everything seem more exciting but Men beyond my home town seem infinitely more attractive.