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 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 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.