Thursday, December 27, 2007

simply inspiring...

ohhh Oprah, you always have the most inspirational guests.

i'm watching her show right now (yes, at 2 am) and i am in awe of her guests today. they are all people who are actively making a difference in the world simply by following their true calling -- a deep-rooted desire to help others.

one woman, Genevieve Piturro, started the Pajama Project after she realized children in shelters sleep in their street clothes. fast forward five years later, she has collected and donated over 85,000 pairs of pajamas!!

thanks to Oprah and her generous audience, they gathered 32,046 pairs of pajamas for Genevieve's program as well as raised $20,000 for the Pajama Project!!

the next guest, John Wood left his eight-year-long career at microsoft (which earned him millions) after an eye-opening trip to Nepal. John saw 75-80 kids crammed into a small, one room school with dirt floors. after john saw the school's "library" only contained 20 books, most being backpacker cast-offs that were inappropriate for children, he vowed to make a difference. "One of the teachers said to me, 'Many people have told us they will come back, but nobody ever does.'" so John started Room to Read, a literacy organization that helps children in Nepal and Vietnam by donating books and building libraries and schools.

"I was feeling the pull," he says. "I thought, 'It's been a great eight years, but I'm making wealthy shareholders wealthier. Meanwhile, there are 800 million people in the developing world lacking basic literacy. … What kind of a man am I if I don't go face this challenge directly or devote my life to this? … [People thought] 'Oh, you're having a mid-life crisis, and i thought wouldn't it be a crisis if i didn't follow my heart and make a difference?" John said.

John hopes to achieve his goal of building 20,000 new libraries by the year 2020!!

the final guest, Barbara Franklin began clipping (and hoarding) coupons in order to collect food for local poverty-stricken families. with the help of local church members, Barbara was able to start collecting coupons in large quantities, saving her hundreds at the grocery store.

"[Once] my bill was $187, but when I finished [using coupons], I paid $3.02," she said.

Barbara's program started by helping 10 families, then grew to help 100 families and then 1,000. Now, Barbara runs a food pantry (and a program named Action Against Hunger) that feeds 1,500 families a month!!

In addition to running a food bank, Barbara also runs after-care center for children, a Section 8 program and a senior drop-off food program as well!! Barbara was one of the semifinalists of Volvo's Volvo for Life Awards, earning her recognition for her continual service to her community.

one thing the women had in common... a supportive spouse!! which makes me thankful i have such a supportive boyfriend (as well as an uber-supportive mother, grandmother and family).

something to keep in mind: if you want to SEE a difference, MAKE a difference. (you can quote me on that!!)

other great mantras to keep while starting your personal crusade to help others (which by the way, is a FANTASTIC new years resolution):

"The purpose of life is not to be happy - but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all." ~Leo Rosten

"Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful." ~Author Unknown

"It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little - do what you can." ~Sydney Smith

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." ~Winston Churchill

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." ~Albert Pike

"Find a need and fill it." ~Ruth Stafford Peale

"If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart." ~Arabian Proverb

"The vicious count their years; virtuous, their acts." ~Samuel Johnson

"Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.... You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker." ~Helen Keller

"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self." ~Aldous Huxley, Time Must Have a Stop


and my new favorite:

"If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito." ~Betty Reese


now go out and help people by volunteering, donating or by committing to one random act of kindness per day... i garauntee you'll feel as uplifted as those who are receiving your generousity.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

check out my handmade necklaces!!

i am selling awesomely cute necklaces/jewelry on my etsy site now...

you can check em out here!!

each charm is handmade, OOAK (one of a kind)!!

more will be added soon, so stop by often for updated merchandise. :)

story of my missing cat

i was disappointed that my hexum cat was MIA when i arrived home from california. i figured i would see him the next morning, tapping his tail against the window screen until i let him inside. but day after day passed and the cold wintery weather continued with no sign of my little orange striped cat. he's an indoor/outdoor cat and the longest he ever strayed from home was four days -- the week my cousin and her kids came over to feed the cats while my mom and i were down the shore.

my mom was convinced an owl or coyote or fox had gotten the best of my cat (one time a fox had my cat up a tree), but i doubted the scenario. i didn't want to believe it. in my mind, someone found him and took him in, thinking he was just a friendly stray. hexum is slender, does not have a collar and one of his eyes is duller than the other eye (due to a mysterious, outdoor injury) so he could be mistaken for a stray. i thought about his eye injury and wondered if that put him at a disadvantage, making him an easy target. i wanted to put "missing cat" fliers in nearby mailboxes, saving one for the bulletin board at the post office.

it seemed like every pet product commercial featured an orange striped cat that looked just like my poor little missing hexum!! i started paying more attention to my mother's cat who's a good cat, but no substitute for my hexum.

he was obviously hurt or trapped somewhere because he always comes home when you call him. the day before Christmas eve marked one week of his disappearance. by this time i had checked the garage; my mom had checked the barn and we had been calling his name outside once or twice a day. about to accept his disappearance, i reminisced about the four years i spent with him.

my mom and i had just finished some last minute Christmas shopping (and a meal at ruby tuesdays) and returned home around 9:00-9:30 PM. it was a lousy day outside. all of the torrential rain had melted the remaining ice and snow. we carried some bags inside and my mom opened the door to take my dog outside. in runs a cat who jumps right up on the kitchen table. my mom assumed it was her cat, but it was hexum... soaking wet and hungry as ever!! i was in disbelief. i just pointed at him and called my mother into the kitchen. we were surprised and relieved. it was a mini Christmas miracle!! and the cutest part was yet to come...

after hexum devoured one can of cat food and a dish of dry food, he plopped himself right under our Christmas tree, as if he were a present!! i'm so glad he came home!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

i have a new appreciation for shopping carts...

what a crazy, hectic week this has been!! rick and i moved out of our nice, big apartment into something less nice and less big but it's located in a convenient area, dave grohl lives in the same town and we will be saving money... so it's all gravy. (let's bring that phrase back, hehe).

packing and hauling one year's worth of accumulated crap to the apartment was quite a challenge (not to mention trying to fit a large entertainment center into a small elevator) but thank goodness for tim and aldrin and shopping carts!! when we signed the lease the manager said, "if you're going to use shopping carts, don't leave them in the halls because they are a fire hazard." my face must have said "what the hell?!" because the manager then added, "some people like to carry their groceries or laundry up that way." ooooh.

well, thank goodness no one listens because i was able to find THREE shopping carts in the hallways and boy did those things come in handy!! unfortunately the apartment is not cart friendly. there's speed bumps in the parking area; you need to open the door to the elevator with a key; there are double doors that are kept shut that separate the hallways... a lot of obstacles. and on top of everything i was SICK. runny nose, fever, cough... all that good stuff.

rick and i worked every day last week but we managed to get a lot done by pulling a few all-nighters (and we basically had to in order to beat traffic). i have yet to see this apartment in the daytime. i left early on sunday to go home for the holidays, leaving rick behind with a yowling cat and our old apartment still 1/5 full of my belongings that needed to be packed and moved by monday and A LOT to be cleaned so we could get our deposit back. i still feel bad i couldn't help but because my boyfriend is the best ever, he didn't mind. in return, i promised: to keep the kitchen table at our new place perpetually clean (which is a quite a challenge for me); to keep our new apartment more organized in general; and rick and i vowed to never do anything THAT last-minute again.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

concerts took all my money.

i will be seeing 311 in las vegas AND i will be attending 3-11 day. :) and today i bought foo fighters tickets for two venues. so in march, i will be seeing them two times in one week!! needless to say, i am now broke. but at least i have some events to look forward to attend (and some excuses to travel)!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

12 DAYS TIL CHRISTMAS!!!!

have you finished you finished your holiday shopping??? i'm almost done!! i'm glad to be going home to spend the holidays with my family and friends but with temperatures in the 20s and 30s... i think i am going to freeze. :(

My Top FIVE Favorite Christmas Songs:
1. Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"
2. The Waitresses "Christmas Wrapping"
3. Lou Monte's "Dominick the Donkey"
4. Harry Connick Jr's "Sleigh Ride" ("It Must've been Old Santa Claus" is a good one too!!)
5. Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby"

My Top FIVE Favorite Christmas Movies:
1. A Christmas Story
2. Christmas Every Day
3. Home Alone
4. The Grinch (the animated version)
5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas... Happy Hanakakah, Happy Kwanza, or nothing (if you are a Johovah's Witness)!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

ok, i officially have the world's coolest boss

today instead of making phone calls for 8 hours (racking up a whopping $82.50) i am housesitting for my favorite boss mr. dave nagel who is en route to LA from a photo shoot in orlando. dave and his wife rent their house out as a location for photo shoots. my job is to make sure the production crew doesn't throw a wild party or snoop through his office. the photographer is shooting billy baldwin who has about five or six hats stacked on his head right now. he seems very pleasant and agreeable; a nice guy to work with. :) once the photos are published in parade magazine i will post them.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

fear and loathing... (another one bites the dust).

old news... but news to me. :(

Vegas bids New Frontier farewell
November 14, 2007

LAS VEGAS -- The New Frontier casino-hotel was imploded early Tuesday in a violent end to the second property to open on the Strip and the scene of Elvis Presley's Las Vegas debut.

Over 1,000 pounds of explosives felled the 16-story hotel tower as reporters and bystanders watched. An $8-billion resort bearing the Plaza brand will rise in its place and is set to open in 2011.

Elad Group owner and Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, a partner in the new resort project, offered handshakes and hugs after the tower came down.

An easterly breeze helped to quickly dissipate the dust.

With a cowboy motif, the New Frontier was the Strip's first themed casino. The low-key gambling hall opened as the Last Frontier in 1942 and later took on a Space Age look before returning to its Wild West roots.

Over its 65 years it played host to such entertainers as Ronald Reagan, Wayne Newton, and Siegfried and Roy. Presley performed for the first time in Las Vegas at the resort in 1956. It had become known for bikini bull riding, cheap rooms and $5 craps before it closed its doors for good in July.

IDB Group and Elad Group, the owners of the Plaza hotel in New York, said the new property would include a luxury hotel with about 3,500 rooms, private residences, retail space and a casino bearing the Plaza brand to reach the highest end of the market.

The destruction of the New Frontier was the latest step in a dramatic, and expensive, face-lift for the northern Strip. The Stardust hotel-casino was imploded in March.

"It's another budget option on the Strip that's gone," said David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. "The future is really high-end."

The first of Donald Trump's gold-glass, billion-dollar-plus condominium towers is to open behind the New Frontier site early next year.

Steve Wynn plans to open the $2.2-billion Encore in early 2009, and the $2.8-billion Fontainebleau is scheduled to open farther north later that year. MGM Mirage is planning its own multibillion-dollar resort with Kerzner International and Dubai World at the north end of the Strip for 2012.

"It just became an epicenter of Vegas," said Phil Ruffin, who sold the 34.5-acre site to Elad for $1.24 billion in May. ~LA Times
:(

las vegas has become too expensive for my taste. all of the good, themed hotels containing what little history vegas has have all been imploded and tall buildings which all resemble each other will be built in their place. here's one big sarcastic "yay."

so many of life's lessons can be extracted from las vegas's teachings: nothing is permanent; never get to attached to places or things; money rules the world; donald trump has bad hair; explosives are cool; and change is good (especially if someone can make a shitload of money off of it).

before the stardust hotel was destroyed March 2006, the Boardwalk Casino also vanished from the strip. what i don't understand is why builders only limit themselves to the strip. they have a whole freakin desert!! the first hotel in las vegas was built on fremont street. the strip is only 4 miles long... so why not expand instead of destroying every hotel that was once kitschy and kewl?! make an uppity section of high-end casinos for all the yuppies and leave the old school hotels alone.

on the bright side... i am seeing 311 in vegas this feb. my plan is to stay in one of the oldest hotels on the strip. circus circus may be an option since it is next on the list of deceased casinos.
"The hotel may be demolished and rebuilt. According to an MGM Mirage report, the Circus Circus site "does not make economic use of the 44 acres that it sits on, therefore, we feel that demolishing the current property and rebuilding it in a different fashion (while still keeping the Circus Circus name) will be in our best interest." ~wikipedia.com
better get to the remaining "oldies" fast... the imperial palace will be gone soon too:
"During a conference call with investors on November 20, 2005, the Chairman for Harrah's, Gary Loveman, did not surprise industry analysts when he said that both the Imperial Palace and neighboring O'Sheas "are going to require very substantial modifications or complete tear-downs and rebuilds" in order to make room for a Harrah's and/or Flamingo expansion on the Strip." ~wikipedia.com

the tropicana will be receiving a facelift, but no demolition is planned to execute the renovations:
"On November 2, 2006, Columbia Sussex publicly announced a $2 billion renovation of the Tropicana. Unlike previous Las Vegas projects however, there will be no demolition of the entire resort. The existing Paradise and Island towers will receive both interior and exterior renovations and 4 new towers will be built on the property (the last will be branded as a separate hotel).

Also unusual, is that the resort will remain open during the renovations, which will increase the size of the hotel to over 8,000 rooms. There are also plans to add a 600,000 square foot convention center to the resort, which will be the 5th largest convention center in Las Vegas..." ~wikipedia.com
the luxor will also be remodeled:
"In July 2007, owner MGM Mirage announced plans to thoroughly renovate the Luxor, spending $300 million to remodel 80 percent of Luxor's public areas, removing much of the ancient Egyptian theme and replacing it with more adult-oriented and modern lounges, restaurants and clubs.[1] Among the distinctive changes to the exterior occurred in mid-2007, when management covered one of the pyramid's massive black faces with a 15-story sign that advertises Absolut vodka." ~wikipedia.com
oh great, just what las vegas needed... more over-priced yuppy lounges!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

don't feel bad if our Christmas cards are better than yours.

so my mom and i ordered our Christmas cards tonight that we are sending to family and friends. we've never done this, but this year we opted to create the annoying picture-postcard kind.

here's the conversation we had. just TRY to guess our "theme," hahaha:

my mom: which one do you want to be?
jena: why?? are there going to be arrows pointing to who's who??
my mom: no, but in my head i'm thinking of who i wanna be...
me: which is susan serandon??
my mom: what?? no, you look more like geena davis...
me: well, i'm just asking. i dunno who's who!!


to help you visualize our holiday postcards: we uploaded a photo of the two of us on the Grand Canyon Skywalk. next to the photo, it says "May your Holiday Season be one Grand Adventure!" and underneath... "Love, Thelma & Louise." hahaha!! i love my mom!!

(feel free to reread the title again now... ;) hehehe).

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

apartment hunting SUCKS.

friday: tough day working for dave... not. it's always more fun than "work". :) went to "ski dazzle" at the LA Convention Center with rick and aldo. free lift tickets with the entry purchase... not that i'll be using mine. rick and aldo got a good deal on snowboarding bags and i entered every contest i could. i'm still waiting to hear that i am a winner for a weekend getaway in utah... but i won't hold my breath, hehe.

saturday: worked. looked for apartments. ugggh. still haven't found anything DECENT. we have totally ruled out 90% of Van Nuys. yuck.

sunday: honestly don't remember... i think rick and i played scrabble and he won. (what's happening?! hahaha). then rick stayed over his parents' house because he had a dentist appointment in the area early in the morning.

monday:awful. spent alllll afternoon looking for apartments. the eh-ones had no vacancies and the yuck-ones were too yuck to even consider ANNND (this is the best part...) i got a $50 parking ticket for being parked on the street during the last 15 min. of posted street cleaning time. not a street sweeper in sight... nor a cop and the irony is i was only parked there for a matter of minutes while i hopelessly walked up and down the small stretch of street looking for a vacancy among a group of shitty apartments. i dunno how i didn't see anyone near my car and i wasn't the only car parked there. (i was parked behind two other people). needless to say, i was about ready to give up after that not-so-pleasant incident. screw those apartments!!

today: i started a new job. it's a full-time position until i go home for the holidays then when i get back (after new years) it will just be part-time so i can continue to pursue photography. (figures i finally get offered a flexible part-time job riiight before we move out of the area). it's a pain-in-the-ass job making phone calls for a production company that distributes substance abuse materials (i made over 200 calls on my first day!!) but it's easy and the guy who works there is really nice and chill (reminds me of my cousin anthony!!) and i don't have to dress up... which is definitely a plus. i HATE fancy schmancy work clothes!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

what i've been up to the past two weeks...

monday, nov 12: had a job interview for a p/t receptionist position at a political consulting firm. "so i see you have a bachelor's degree... why do you want this job???" the lady asked. then she told me i was "over-qualified" for the position. lame.

tuesday, nov 13: i don't remember.

wednesday, nov 14: worked for my favorite employer dave. called ad agencies and employed dave's new targeted marketing strategy which seems to be working. saw dr. 90210's (aka: robert rey's) wife hayley at the grocery store. zero makeup. skinny. looks exactly how she looks on tv.

thursday, nov 15: worked for dave again. :) ate lunch at a lil greek place.

friday, nov 16: assisted a shoot for james which consisted of shooting 30 amplifiers at a small place where they're actually made. the brand is called Matchless and the amps are used by such artists as: johnny rzeznik, sheryl crow, carlos santana, joe perry, aimee mann, michael bolton, lenny kravitz, and jewel. pretty damn kewl. ate mexican food for lunch.

saturday and sunday: MADONNA INN with the polaroid nerds.

monday, nov 19: escaped a 7-hour-long video game focus group and hung out with hal all day long instead. tagged photos for him. ate lunch at wahoo's fish tacos. started to seriously plan our business venture. met hal's friend naomi. went wallpaper shopping. got lost in the fog on my way home. too embarrassed to say where i wound up.

tuesday, nov 20: re-shot a couple of amps with james. ate a late lunch. taught james some new diner table tricks. :)

thanksgiving: made a cheese pie. went to rick's sister's house. ate an early dinner. watched the beginning of shrek 3. colored. chatted. played with rick's nieces. spent the night over rick's parents' house (they were in mexico).

black friday: woke up at 7 am to go shopping. first time rick and i ever participated in crazyness of "black friday." hit up radio shack, kohls, the mall and a board shop. scored some good deals. bought a nice sweater zip-up from pac sun. covered a few bases for christmas. ate lunch with rick and aldo. jonathan stopped by. watched a marathon of the dog whisperer with rick and his brother. rick's parents returned home from mexico.

saturday, nov 24: my grandmother's birthday!! i worked a cosmetic promotion. rick went back to his parent's house to spend some more time with his brother (who is visiting until sunday). watched My First Mister which was eh, alright. definitely sad. the part that was the most unbelievable was the fact a 17-year-old girl drove herself from Los Angeles to Albuquerque, NM. and didn't get stuck in traffic to there or on the way back. yeah riiight. ;)

sunday, nov 25: polaroid nerd meet up in LA. tomorrow is not going to feel like a sunday to me...

flickr timeline and stats

december 6, 2005: i join flickr for the first time.
early april 2006: i abandon my account. (tant pis).
september 17, 2006: i make a new account and rejoin flickr.
november 19, 2007: a generously lovely canadian girl named jacqueline purchases a pro account for me and the addiction ensues...
november 1, 2007: flickr extends my pro account by 1 month!!
december 1, 2007: my pro account will expire. (but a renewal would make thee perfect [early] christmas present ;) hehe).

and so... between Sept. 14 2006 - Nov. 24, 2007 I:

♥ favorited 2,551 photos uploaded by other people
♥ uploaded 1,557 photos (617 of which are polaroids)
♥ made 4,839 comments on other people's photos
♥ and my flickr has been viewed 58,202 times (wow!!)

♥ the photo in my stream that has been viewed the most amount of times is "palm trees" (with a grand total of 2,749 unique views)

♥ the photo people favorited the most is "pink azaleas" (33 people call it a favorite).

♥ a close runner up is "pool" (with 29 favorites)

♥ and also with 29 favorites is "miss gray's great big eyeball"

that's a lot of numbers.

you can view my *most interesting photos here.
*flickr determines which are "most interesting"

Thursday, November 22, 2007

madonna inn trip recap!!

who: LA + SF polaroid nerds (11 of us in total).

what: two days, 1 night of mind blowing photo making.

where: thee madonna inn.

when: nov. 17 - 18, 2007.

rooms: "pony room," "round room," "irish hills" and "just heaven."

highlights: seeing the inn all decked out for christmas!! unlocking new rooms as if we were advancing to the next level of a video game. kim making deva (our stellar pink-tie-wearing breakfast waiter) blush. the urinals. squished penny machines!! crashing a wedding party. romping in the stench of the SF boys ;) just teasin. the amazingly awesome pool!! (i wish i brought my suit, damnit!!) julia's vintage dress selection and gnarly strobe skills. lou's anti-cookie-crushing episode. getting reacquainted with mr. and mrs. brilliant. (yes, that's actually their last name). plastic babies. making new friends. the room decor!! holy goodness!! figuring out who was in which room/who had which key/which key unlocked which door. ::confusion:: the 3-ipod, pretzel-eating car ride with miss rutabega and lou o. everybody acting like kids in a polaroid candy store. needless to say, good times had by all.

see all the photos i took during the trip here. more to come, so stop by again soon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

the perfect idea!!

soooo lindsay, andrea and i are trying to come up with new years eve plans. all we know is:

1. we want to get dressed up.
2. we want dancing to be involved (or at least andrea and i do, hehe).
3. lindsay probably wants mojitos to be involved. ;)
4. we want to have fun.

one thought was to throw a theme party (as for the invitees, that's another story), another idea was to go to atlantic city and another idea was new york.

i have no solution as to the "where" aspect of our dilemma... but i do know what we will be wearing because i have the best idea everrrr!!!! :) and instead of just telling andrea and lindsay... i am going to send them a little note. :) muahahaha.

the best part is... it's something we're each going to MAKE.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Little Green Gnome

as many of my flickr peers have done, i decided to open an etsy shop. it's called "The Little Green Gnome" and i am now selling a few crafts online. you can check out my store at jenaardell.etsy.com

i am selling things like these awesome pacman magnet sets:




and this super mario brothers magnet set (that glows in the dark):

and these cute wire flower bouquets:


and this cute little frog prince:

and this LOVE magnet:

waaaay more items to come... so visit often!! :)

LINK TO MY ETSY STORE.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

pleasant and not-so-pleasant finds.

friday night i burnt our steamer pot again, for the third time now. i had just washed the dishes and prepped all the veges before rick called on his way home from work. i was all proud of myself for having everything started before he got home so we could actually eat dinner before 7 or 8 pm. after i threw some chicken into the oven, i turned on the stove. i heard some clicking noises but just assumed it was oven warming up. when i got up to stir the vegetables (10 minutes later), i noticed the smell of burnt steamer pot. Mmmm!! turns out i forgot to add water in the bottom pot. (i know, i deserve a "duh"). and so i ruined all the vegetables. :( but i did beat rick in scrabble later that night. :)

so saturday night rolls around and rick and i are hungry. the burnt pot is still sitting outside, full of water, on the balcony. we decide to check out a new thai restaurant for dinner that just opened by our apartment. on our way to the car, i collect the mail that we've neglected to get this afternoon. by the light of the car interior, i sort through it... there are two bills, the daily assortment of supermarket flyers and an envelop addressed to me with no return address, just "Court Leve" which threw me off because it was dark out and I only saw the word Court, but then I made the connection... it was from Dave's friend. inside the envelop was a check for $100 and a note:
Jena-

Thanks for your modeling help a few weeks back at Nagel's - I really appreciate you spending the time with us.

All the best

-Court

P.S. Send me some neat images to look at sometime.

my jaw literally dropped. first of all, this man did not have to send me a check. he didn't hire me to model. he wasn't even expecting a model!! Dave hired me because he thought it'd be more fun and he knows i need money and he knows i appreciate getting the work. that said, Dave paid me that day before i left. so this pleasant surprise is above and beyond the realms of generosity, WAY beyond. and so a HUGE thank-you to Court whose awesome work can be seen here!! :)

ohhh yeah... earlier today, rick and i checked out that guest house we were hoping to rent. the owners were super nice but the place was TINY. the bedroom looked like it would barely fit our bed!! there was a small bathroom and one kitchen/living room/dining room area. the deal breaker for me was the positioning of the house... it was attached to the backside of their garage making it constantly shaded. add in the small heater and tiled floors and we'd be freezing our butts off all winter long. and it was so far out in the middle of the woods that neither of our cell phones got service. :( and so the apartment hunt continues...

***update: even IF we wanted the guest house, the owners went with someone else, but we were "a close second."

when good songs sell their souls to the devil... or in this case Apple.

dear CSS,

whyyyyy???? :(

~jena~

dear jena,

because we like money.

~css~

Music Is My Boyfriend?
Apple's iPod Touch Ad is a Hit
By Erik Gunther
Fri, November 09, 2007, 9:48 pm PST

The crafty folks who work on Apple's commercial campaigns have done it again. After creating a smashing success with Feist and the iPod Nano ads, buzz on the new iPod Touch commercial is busting out all over.

The spot features a quick-cut tour of the gadget's features backed by a rhythmic beat and an enchanting female voice. The tune starts with the words "music is my boyfriend" and searchers got busy looking up that phrase. However, those words aren't the song's title.

Truly intrepid diggers turned up the real title—the naughty sounding "Music is My Hot Hot Sex." Searches on the catchy tune have jumped from zero into the thousands just over the past week and related queries on "music is my hot hot sex lyrics" and "music is my boyfriend lyrics" are surging.

So, who's behind this catchy tune? None other than indie fave Cansei de Ser Sexy (also known as CSS). Searches on the Brazilian band are up a whopping 300% this week. Not bad for a band whose name means "tired of being sexy" in Portuguese.

As for Apple, it's another buzzworthy win. Their agency took the commercial's brilliant concept from a British college student and reaped the rewards. Searches on "ipod touch commercial song," "ipod touch," and "ipod touch review" have all jumped over 50% this week. Hot hot, indeed.

o geeze. i love it when a song from 2004 becomes a "new" hit in 2007. i was telling people to download that song in April. but now prepare to hear it be overplayed by every annoyingly loud clothing store with overpriced stuff in small sizes. guess i will have to find a new ringtone... :(

i also love how the author of the article credits APPLE for the success of the song because of course the musicians had nothing to do with anything.

this whole situation has me disturbed not because i care THAT much about the song but because i realize i am one of those people who hates something she liked after it becomes mainstream and trendy. uh oh.

Friday, November 9, 2007

consider yourself updated...

my grandmother broke her hip. :( she is still in the hospital but she is doing better. i talked to her today and she was pretty drugged up. the conversation went like this:

me: so did they replace your entire hip???
my gma: no, they just put a piece of metal in it
*after slurring jibberish for about 15 seconds*
my gma: they replaced it with almond with brown trim...
me: what?!!
my gma: the kitchen cabinets

then she asked what we were talking about and told me not to believe anything she was saying because she is drugged up. my poor grandmother!! hopefully she'll laugh at this post when she's back to normal and back online. please keep her in your thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery. :)

i've been watching a lot of mediocre movies that i haven't tore into yet... so here are some harsh mini-reviews:

Friends with Money: people who like B movies will think they're watching a clever "indie" flick but will soon be disappointed when the movie just ENDS without much resolution of conflict, character or... anything. once again Jennifer Aniston plays the role of the misunderstood, less fortunate chick and Frances McDormand plays a neurotic.

The Machinist: hmmm... insomniac hallucinates and creates an alter-ego scapegoat in his head. in the end, we learn the scapegoat doesn't exist and it was the insomniac who was self-inducing havoc upon himself the whole time. sound familiar?? hey The Machinist, Fight Club called and pointed and laughed at you. looks like Christian Bale wasted his time starving himself.

Down and Out in Beverly Hills: so bad it's not good. Richard Dreyfuss plays the fussy, short-tempered husband. Bette Midler plays his over-the-top wife. and Nick Nolte is the stranger (or in this case, the bum) who enters a dysfunctional family, solves every one's problems and in doing so, pisses off the man who took him under his wing. typical and predictable. you should be watching What about Bob? instead.

Knocked Up: if you thought Anchor Man, Wedding Crashers and Grandma's Boy were funny... then we would not get along ;) but you'd also like this gem of a B comedy that will leave you saying "hey, isn't that that fat kid from Super Bad???" (the answer is "yes").

The Lost Weekend: rented it because i like Billy Wilder's work (ok, just Sunset Blvd.) but after watching this, i felt like i was the one who lost their weekend. despite what some fanatics say, The Lost Weekend is laughable dated. had i seen it when it debuted in 1945, maybe i would have thought it was edgy (the movie is about an alcoholic) but now it's as cheesy and exaggerated as Wiona Rider in the remake of Mr. Deeds.

Psycho: a classic. no complaints. Alfred Hitchcock is the man. :) i even watched all of the special features/making of Psycho. did you know the infamous shower scene took ONE WEEK to film and a body double was used??? to keep the public (and potential viewers) on their toes, Hitchcock even announced he was casting the role of mother and thousands of resumes were sent in. oh, that twist ending. ;)

friday: i have a job interview and aldo is spending the night.
saturday: rick and i are looking at a potential place to rent since our lease is up in december but i am thinking about moving back to jersey, so this all could be a waste of time. who knows...

funny stuff...
me: let's pretend it's friday and have some fun!!
rick: what, because we can only have fun on fridays?!
me: yesssss.

HAVE A GOOD FRIDAY EVERYONE. :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

call me slow but... NO MORE JANE MAGAZINE?!!! :(

so i was on a freelancing spree yesterday because i have some short stories and poems that i would love to see published (i've had some work published in my college's literary journals, but to me that doesn't count) so i'm online looking for publications and i think... "Oooo, what about JANE magazine, they publish short stories in the back of their issues!!" so i go to janemag.com and i get redirected to Glamour magazine. what gives?? and then i see this... dun dun dun.
Dear Jane Reader:

With regret, Jane and janemag.com is no longer being published.
In its place, we invite you to explore Glamour magazine and Glamour.com.
We think you’ll love Glamour.com. Like Jane, it’s packed with everything smart, sexy women want to know—about your body, your beauty, your relationships … and more!

Sincerely,
Jane Magazine

WHAT?!!! Glamour is no substitution for JANE... that's why i never renewed my subscription to Glamour when it ended years ago!! (but this does explain why they keep sending it to me).

so i google this situation and discover this isn't news... this is OLD news!!
August 24, 2007 -- FORMER Jane magazine staffers are livid that Conde Nast is sending their one-time readers copies of Glamour now that Jane has bitten the dust. "I want all the Jane readers to just cancel, rather than get Glamour," one ex-staffer griped. "I hope they call and say, 'I don't want this. Give me GQ, anything but this.' " Jane subscribers were informed by Conde Nast, "We think you'll love Glamour. Like Jane, it's packed with everything smart, sexy women want to know." But those who worked for Jane editrix Brandon Holley say, "Glamour is not at all like Jane . . . It's the exact opposite. They preach fake empowerment of 'loving your flaws.' Jane doesn't point out flaws. Glamour is still preaching that women aren't good enough." A Jane staffer who was once courted for a job at Glamour told us she "was asked for a list of 'Jane-type' story ideas, then told, 'we will then need to dumb them down for our readers.' " A rep for Glamour declined to comment on the subscription pitch, but told us, "We don't comment on why specific people don't get hired, but it's safe to say that with two National Magazine Awards in the past three years, we don't dumb down our content." ~nypost.com

JANE was my FAVORITE magazine!! the ONLY one i'm subscribed to!! COSMO is for whores. Glamour is for housewives. and JANE was for hip, "irreverent" artsy chicks. even the paper it was printed on was different and kewl!! not that uber-glossy always-stick-together crap. and JANE wasn't loaded with perfume ads and the photography was creative and the covers used to be awesome (those extreme close up shots) and there were always GOOD articles... not "10 sex tricks to convince your boyfriend he'd rather spend time with you than his friends." NOOOOO!! in JANE, the message was "screw him if he's rather spend time with his friends... here's 10 great roadtrips for you and your girl friends."

but truth be told, we should have seen this coming. ever since Jane Pratt left and Brandon Holley took over JANE, it was all downhill. no matter how many ads tried to lead us to believe that Brandon was "So Jane!" it wasn't the same. Brandon started squeezing out all the kewl features and replacing them with pages of indie music recommendations. (oh goody!!) don't get me wrong, Brandon was blunt and honest and covered some great features, but... I BLAME HER FOR ALL OF THIS. ;)

luckily i have a pile of back issues i haven't read yet (since they still get delivered to my mother's house). i hear BUST magazine is a fair, even sassier, substitution. R.I.P JANE magazine.

Monday, November 5, 2007

english language... not so easy to understand.

How confusing is English to learn? Try on these sentences for size:

1. We have to polish the Polish funriture.
2. How can he lead if he can't get the lead out?
3. A skilled farmer sure can produce a lot of produce.
4.The dump was so full it had to refuse refuse.
5. The solider decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
6. No time like the present to present the present.
7. A small-mouth bass was painted on the big bass drum.
8. The white dove dove down into Dover.
9. I spent all of last evening evening out the pile.
10. That poor invalid, his insurance is invalid.
11. The bandage was wound around the wound.
12. They were much too close to the door to close it.
13. That buck sure does some odd things around the does.
14. The absent-minded sewer fell into the sewer.
15. You sow! You'll reap what you sow!
16. The wind was way too strong to wind the sail.
17. After a number of injections, my jaw finally got number.
18. If you don't object to the object, I would like to subject the subject to a series of subjective objectives.

(taken from Uncle John's UNSTOPPABLE Bathroom Reader, hehe)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

promo from hell/i need to get a "real" job.

i signed up for a five-day promotional gig for an office supply store. the hourly pay was decent and there was a $40 gas reimbursement, so i didn't mind the hour-long morning traffic commute. i was a little suspicious when i saw there were three other promoters working the gig because the store wasn't that big. then we were given a map...

our job was to travel in our own vehicles, distributing 75 coupon booklets (that we were supposed to call "free gifts" instead of "coupon booklets") to businesses within a 20 mile radius of the store. the goal of the promo: to distribute 1,500 coupon booklets to 1,500 DIFFERENT businesses. maybe i over-reacted a bit, but i was pretty pissed when i found out i had to use my own car because the promotional company failed to state that in the gig description. had i known that, i would have not signed up for the promotion. (i NEVER had to use my own vehicle DURING any other promotion). and that $40 gas reimbursement was not a daily reimbursement... it was $40 FOR THE WEEK.

most businesses wanted nothing to do with the booklets and made me feel like an unwanted solicitor. although we were told we weren't solicitors and to enter businesses that had "no soliciting" signs posted, i did not enter these establishments. despite the heat and the fact i was wearing all black, i walked to most places. then i drove within my designated area and became highly frustrated when i was told at two separate strip malls that one of my fellow promoters had already been there. so i passed out a whopping 25 coupon booklets and took advantage of the promotion by shopping at the dollar store, eating at el pollo loco and sitting in my car for an hour and a half. i wasn't about to drive around all day.

i called the woman who booked me for the promo and left a voicemail saying how disappointed i was in the promotion and how, had i known i would have to use my car, i would have not signed up. she gave me attitude when she called me back and i canceled the rest of the days i was supposed to work. since i didn't give 24-hours notice of my cancellation for the next day, i am being fined/deducted $25.00.

and so... i need to find a "real" job. this would be an easy task for a normal human being but to me, this is a death sentence. i try to keep my schedule flexible so i can assist photographers whenever the opportunity arises. i also visit my family a lot (who are on the east coast) and get a lot of visitors, so receiving only two weeks vacation would be a problem. i understand everyone would love more vacation time and i should chalk it up to "that's life" and deal with it. i also understand that whatever two-bit job i find wouldn't be permanent, but one of the reasons rick and i live in california (and pay outrageous rent) is because there are ZERO photography/graphic design jobs in my home state. if i wind up as a receptionist in an office building, i might as well be living at home where at least i would be with my family.

and so i applied for three RANDOM jobs online (a tutoring job, a human resources job, and a marking job). all which i feel i can handle with what little or no experience i have in these fields. despite all of this, there is a sliver of a silver lining... or false hope, whichever. tonight i received an email from a photographer who replied to an email i sent her on APRIL 24th (6 months ago)!!

"I've received you e-mail a while back and at the time had no openings but I liked you message and saved it. Could you send me your phone number, I'd love to give you a call and talk to you about office work/second shooter opportunities."

unfortunately her studio is located too far to be worth it for a daily office job(one of the many reasons why i should move closer to LA despite the fact i never want to live in a majorly congested city), but hopefully some of the second shooter opportunities will be within a reasonable distance from my apartment. to justify my decision to sabotage a job opportunity because i do not want to commute that far, it should be noted that gas money and wear and tear on your vehicle (while you sacrifice at LEAST 3-4 hours of your day in traffic) is not worth the pay rate.

and so the internal struggle continues... but at least this random email has inspired me to email another extensive batch of photographers/potential employers before i sell my soul because i really can't imagine myself not working in the photography or art industry. i simply do NOT have the capacity, desire or blind dedication to ever work for a large corporation. i know our country wouldn't be successful without big business, but i'm one of those people who believes big businesses are distracting us from our own lives, polluting our environment, sucking away our money by convincing us we need their products and creating monopolies we don't even know exist. (not to mention making it IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to start an ethical small business). end of rant.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

always an adventure.

on saturday rick, tyler, andrea and i were planning on hiking in hollywood but we nixed the idea after we realized what little time would be left to explore andrea's heaven on earth, the griffith observatory. so we took took lots of photos in front of the hollywood sign and ate at the crazy chicken. i read online that you could park and hike to the observatory instead of driving to the LA zoo to take the shuttle. whoever posted that information said the hike would only take 15 minutes. this information would have been accurate had it not been pitch dark outside and had we seen the entrance to the path we SHOULD HAVE taken. also, we would have not hiked over 2 miles uphill on this road (our path is in red):

despite tyler and rick (mostly rick) complaining about my "bright" idea and telling me not to believe everything i read online, it was an adventure. andrea (who is used to my crazy ideas) appreciated the fact that we were not following the normal procedure. thank goodness we didn't hike in hollywood, otherwise we would have REALLY been exhausted. we were still pretty exhausted but the hairpin turns and buses and groups of cyclists with headlights on their bikes kept us on our toes.

when we FINALLY got to the observatory (all hot and sweaty), we had a good time seeing all of the exhibits, discovering our weight on other planets, taking lots of silly photos with Albert Einstein and looking at the moon through the GIANT telescope. and since it was the first saturday of the first quarter (who knew), the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers were gathered outside with their telescopes, showing us the moon and an interesting "stick man" star cluster.

and then it was time to attempt to get back to our car. at this point, the santa anas were in full-force, causing VERY strong winds so the plan was to see if a friendly shuttle driver wouldn't mind dumping us off at the bottom of the hill... but no luck. the shuttle driver wouldn't even let andrea finish her sentence. we asked someone in the parking lot if he wouldn't mind driving us. he told us he wasn't leaving yet, but to ask one of the park rangers. we explained our situation to a guy with a walkie-talkie who advised us to take another path down. the park ranger was equally as useless.

walkie talkie guy: do you guys have a flashlight???
us: no...
walkie talkie guy: well then, you should be alright. the moon could be your light.


he then proceeded to tell us there hasn't been any reports of mountain lion attacks in griffith park in a year. the observatory employees seemed concerned but didn't offer a solution. the park ranger gave us some BS excuse as to why he couldn't take us and the guy and the walkie talkie started to explain where the location of the mysterious alternative path. i muttered "assholes" under my breath and went outside to catch one of the few vehicles left in the parking lot. luckily i found couple who belonged to the Astronomers Club who were willing to drive us down in the back of their pickup. when we got to the most drastic hairpin turn (almost there!!), a ranger stopped us and told us the road was closed. so the Astronomer Club folks had to drop us off there, turn around and drive back up the hill. we were MORE than thankful to have gotten a ride to that point as we gladly walked the rest of the way (less than a half mile).

lesson learned: either take the shuttle or bring a flashlight... probably better off with the shuttle.

Friday, October 19, 2007

hello, it's 80s night, dress accordingly.

thursday: andrea and i spent the day eating fruit on the balcony, making pumpkin pie innards (my famous anti-recipe recipe without the crust), dancing around, chilling by the pool and playing guitar hero. after watching The Departed (andrea had never seen it), we got ready for 80s night.

we went allllll out (too bad people still don't dress like that!!) and i took some awesome polaroid shots. to our surprise, when we got to 80s night (all decked out from head to toe), NO ONE ELSE WAS DRESSED IN 80S CLOTHES. not a single pair of leggings or even a graphic tee in sight. we felt self-concious for about 2 minutes until a guy approached us and complimented us on our ensembles. he wound up sticking with us (err, rather, andrea) for the rest of the night. throughout the night, the outfits made us more approachable and we received a lot of compliments. two guys even asked for 80s dance lessons since we seemed to be "the experts". so regardless of everyone else being lame for not dressing the part, we were a success.

friday: tyler came up, we went to malibu and took lots of silly photos and videos on the beach. (and yes, there were naked men there... and no, we didn't take photos or videos of them). after we got back, we walked to the store to buy some hamburger fixins. on our way home, rick called me and asked where i was because the front door was wide open. apparently one of us didn't close it on our way out and little miss gray was MIA. :( rick thought he heard her meowing but she wasn't on our balcony. so rick met us in the street and i was REALLY not looking forward to trying to find a cat in the dark, near a busy street, in an area with coyotes. :( but luckily little miss gray didn't go very far. as we approached the apartment, andrea spotted her chilling on our downstairs neighbor's patio... which bumps up miss gray's cuteness factor to 110%!! i can't believe she didn't try to run away!! she's an inside cat who was left outside for at least 30-45 minutes!! rick thinks that just proves she's stupid, but i know that just proves how much she loves me. ;)

so we ate burgers and went to Coldstones for desert. the kids working there were awesome. KID 1 would mix the ice cream and KID 2 would grab the cup and walk 10 ft away and KID 1 would fling the ice cream (lacrosse stylee) to KID 2 who would catch it perfectly in the cup. it was pretty impressive. i held out on icecream because i was more interested in the pumpkin pie goodness i had waiting for me at the apartment... Mmmm!! when we got back, we started watching Sin City which put us all to sleep. Zzzzzz!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

cat butts and rent-a-cops.

today, i had an audition at a place i found while browsing craigslist. i went on whim. last night i went to Staples and asked for 4 prints to be made (3 photos, 1 to be copied twice) to use as headshots. of course the guy behind the counter was too busy to make 4 copies, so he asked if i could pick my photos up the next morning. i accepted, begrungingly. i get to Staples this morning and the woman explains there were no instructions so there's three of every photo and of course all of the photos are badly pixelated/stretched out/badly cropped. she attempted to fix them, but i had no time to wait around, so i bought two crappy copies of the photo i wanted to be printed twice.

my audition/interview went well (it's been so long since i had to interview for anything!!) and luckily i didn't have to drive far. i was asked to do a cold read which went well but my best acting occured after the woman told me the cost to find me an agent would be $319.00 and i pretended to still be interested. i asked if they would find you multiple agents and was told that California law prohibits you from having multiple agents... so $319.00 to find ONE agent. and of course "it would be beneficial to take some classes to brush up on my commercial reading skills..." for $385.00. uh, i doubt it. the worst part is... DJ Tanner's (Candance and Kurt Cameron's) MOM works at this place!!!! there were little book marks on the front desk promoting her NEW book "A Full House of Growing Pains." (could the title be more lame???) hey Mrs. Cameron, for one low cost of $385.00, i'll help you come up with a better book title. ;)

luckily only 45 minutes of my time was wasted. after i got back to the apartment, andrea and i headed to the mall where we found some great sales and bought 80's style wrist warmers to wear to 80's night tomorrow. :) andrea bought chanel perfume and some cute work clothes. i bought a top that was on sale for $3.99!! and a funky green elephant necklace for $4.60. andrea also bought rick some cat butt coasters for "putting up with jena and andrea all week." they're pretty hilarious. my favorite has to be the Persian cat butt:

when we got back to the apartment we ate vegan soup on the balcony and listened to the Foo Fighters. then we took a series of photos that reveal little quirky "secrets" we have. (look for them on my flickr soon). rick met up with a friend in santa monica. andrea and i ate dinner late. and i was forced to watch Grandma's Boy. (*rolls eyes* that movie is sooo NOT funny).

after best friend back massages, andrea and i went in the hot tub... only to be kicked out 15 minutes after we got in by:

unfortunately we simply complied but here are...
10 things we thought to say to the rent-a-cops after the fact, in response to their question: "excuse me... do you know what time the pool closes?!!"
1. no, but this sign might be able to tell you.
2. can i at least finish peeing first???
3. yes, that's why we're not in the pool.
4. yeah, well at least we have cat butt coasters!!
5. no habla inglais.
6. are you guys brothers??? or are you just both bald and ugly???
7. hey, would you mind taking our photo for us???
8. "your shit's weak!! your shit's weak!!" (quote from Grandma's Boy).
9. aw, you guys are dressed up for halloween already?!!
10. "this is the only relief i've had from my constipation all week... are you going to spoil for me now?!!"

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

after being accused of being 15, jena and andrea defy gravity... or at least attempt to.

my best friend andrea is visiting from NY this week and here's what trouble we've gotten ourselves into so far...

monday night: we exchanged belated birthday gifts, ate thai food, bought crap at walmart, went food shopping (andrea bought us groceries), and rick and andrea passed out early.

tuesday: went to the bank to cash some checks and one of the managers said to me: "this is the first time i've seen you without your boyfriend!!" then we went into an overpriced boutique-ish store where the owner asked...

owner: can we help you find anything??
me: no just looking...
owner: are you looking for homecoming dresses?? what school do you go to??
andrea: no, we're done with school.
me: we're 23...

then they went on and on about how looking like we're 15 is a good thing and how we'll be thankful when we're 60 and how they'd like to know what our mothers look like.

do we look like we're 15?!!

...i guess so.

afterward, we hiked up the canyon, got some jamba juice and headed to malibu. it wasn't the warmest day for the beach. in fact, we were the only people on the beach (besides one couple) but we climbed on some rocks and attempted to take photos of ourselves jumping in the air at the same time with the self timer. we weren't too successful... but at least we have some unflattering photos of ourselves, hahaha:

not even close...

whoa...

nope, try again...

not yet...

almost there...

finally!!!!

reason #2435 why we need a camera guy/crew following us around at all times. ;)

after the beach, we went to the library. andrea read about space and black holes (she wants to marry an astrophysicist) and i read People and skimmed through a photography magazine. later, we watched Shaun of the Dead, gave each other best friend foot rubs and went on and on about how cute miss gray is... oh wait, i do that alll the time. ;)

Friday, October 12, 2007

10-12-07 stream of consciousness

i already ate breakfast but i go back to the fridge for two more almonds but two becomes four and four becomes six. and six becomes more pretzels. i crouch down and hug the cat, lifting her front feet off the floor so she's standing upright. "this is what it'd be like if you were a human," i whisper.

i want to reinvent my way of writing because i haven't written a worthwhile poem since i had to in college. i spend an embarrassing amount of time copying and pasting a stranger's fragmented thoughts into a word document and file it away for inspiration. unlike her i don't have the booze, the drugs or the crazy friends (nor do i want them) but i wish i could write like her. i know she thinks she can't write, but she can.

my editor (aka my grandmother) calls. "i think you meant 'secluded' but you put 'excluded'," she says. and she's right. my problem is i can't stay focused. there are too many things i want to create. poems, photos, jewelry, greeting cards, tee shirts. you name it. the dishes still aren't in the dishwasher that leaves soap crystals stuck to the the plates.

i edit photos and realize i haven't left the apartment today. i need to cash two checks and dust my bedroom. my best friend comes to visit in three days but i haven't spoken to her in two weeks. i turn a fisheye shot into an interesting double exposure, make it pink and green and title it "if malibu were a snow globe." a phrase that inspires a lovely shell of a poem in my head. if only i could write poems again.

it's fall and it's cold, but not as cold as it would be if i was home. (although my body is convinced there is no temperature difference today). i add dish soap to the dishwasher because the crystals don't work and we don't have anything else. five minutes pass and i'm scooping suds off the floor with a paper plate. swirly piles of foam fill the kitchen sink. the last time this happened was when i wanted the dishes to be "extra clean". miss gray meows for food. i shake the bowl and she thinks it's new. i wish i were that easy to please.

i'm eating the pretzel nuggets my grandmother mailed me yesterday which reminds me i have things to mail. my boyfriend calls. it's about the perfume i want that the store doesn't carry. so i have to find it online. my best friend calls. she's packing. it is supposed to be in the 70s while she's here so i told her to bring layers and 80s clothes. we're going out on thursday. "i have to pick out ice cream toppings and bake fifty cupcakes for sunday," she complains. she used to like making cupcakes. she's keeping an eye out for a new job because she's tired of dealing with a bitchy boss and coming home late and getting up early, but she loves the stockings and work clothes. (i hate the word pantyhose).

there's a washcloth pocked with mascara marks my mother draped over the tub. i'm hesitant to throw it in the laundry basket because time will make it seem like she hasn't been here in a week. she's home, living out of her suitcase and has a lunch date tomorrow but she doesn't know what to wear. it's either a striped long-sleeved sweater that she she bought me for Christmas one year or what she wore on Mother's Day.

it's nearly 7 now and we haven't eaten dinner yet. andrea was supposed to call me in an hour but an hour was hours ago. she's probably still packing. i'm eager to see the photos dave and his friend shot of me yesterday when i was wearing the pink wig that made me look like natalie portman in "closer." the wig was too kewl not to ask to borrow. my minds churning with ideas for halloween. we still need to buy candy. yesterday i was a model, tomorrow i am a PA, next week a beauty consultant. it's like halloween every day.

it looked like rain all afternoon and tonight it finally burst. there's still foam in the bottom of the dishwasher so i run it again on "light wash." next time i'll do them by hand. my boyfriend started calling the cat "PITA" (Pain In The Ass) and gets mad when i ask him to throw the asparagus into the steamer pot because the cat is comfy on my lap. after dinner, miss gray purrrs in his face and throws herself onto his lap and he forgets what a PITA she is.

it's almost 11 and i'm back on pretzels in front of the computer. two nights ago rick and i played scrabble online because we're too lazy to set it up in the living room but it took even longer to play. i take two nuggets out at a time, hoping they'll be the last two but two becomes four and four becomes six. we just finished watching the special features to "one flew over the cuckoo's nest." i never saw the movie in its entirety but i knew something happened to the Indian at the end. i remember my mother being happy with the outcome.

my bedroom is still dusty but the dog crate is finally out of the spare room. "why don't you read over here?" i ask my boyfriend who is still in the living room reading a Brian Wilson biography. i convince myself this is the last pretzel so he won't have to read over my pretzel crunching. there are new dishes in the sink and the cat box still smells but there's always tomorrow. i'm a procrastinator, but at least i'm consistent.

maybe tonight i'll fall asleep in our bed instead of the spare bed, convincing myself under clean sheets that i'll just lie down for two minutes. but two becomes four and four becomes six and pretty soon it's time for my boyfriend to crawl out of bed to turn off the lights, shut down the computer and return me to where i belong.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

headlines

• Off-duty Wis. deputy sheriff kills 6
• Official: Iran opens 5 border crossings
• Chopper escorting Musharraf crashes
• S.Korea sure of early nuclear settlement
• Trio shares Nobel Prize in medicine for stem cell research
• Study: Police use of Tasers inflicts few serious injuries
• Officer uses pellet gun to save skunk stuck in jar

and so guess which headline i chose to read...

Officer's shots save skunk stuck in jar Sun Oct 7, 8:36 AM ET

CARROLLTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Officer James Kellett knows it's job to serve and protect — even when it comes to nature's stinky black and white creatures.

When a skunk with its head stuck in a salad dressing jar wandered into the Carrollton Township police station's parking lot, he grabbed a pellet gun and shot at the jar from about 40 feet away.

The shots cracked and shattered the jar, leaving a glass collar around the skunk's neck. With its head free, the skunk ran off.

"I didn't want to use deadly force, and it is a residential area," Kellett told The Saginaw News. "The way he was when he took off, he was able to eat, breathe and spray — and do anything else skunks like to do."

Kellett didn't get much in the way of gratitude, but he's grateful the skunk didn't spray. But there is one bonus — the makers of T. Marzetti's salad dressing are sending the officer coupons good for free dressing as a reward.


the part that i find most disturbing is that T. Marzetti "rewarded" him with yet another bottle of salad dressing that will probably wind up stuck around another animal's head... :(

Saturday, October 6, 2007

GRAND CANYON ROADTRIP




Oct. 1: packed up and drove 352 miles to Kingman, AZ. along the way, my mom and i fell in love with XM radio. we weren't aware of this, but our rental car was one of only four cars available with it. lucky us!! we found one alt. rock station named Lucy that we listened to the ENTIRE trip!! i think we only heard 4 or 5 songs ever repeated within the four days we listened.

once we arrived in Kingman, we attended the free beer/drinks/juice and popcorn event at our hotel. after browsing piles of brochures, we went out to eat Thai food (at the only thai restaurant within 32 miles). afterward, i bought a really kewl sterling silver ring at a gas station gift shop (around 9:30 pm). then i stood in the middle of the street to take photos of the Route 66 signs stenciled on the turning lanes. :) when we got back to our hotel, my mom and i watched the hills.

Oct. 2: woke up early, drove to the west rim to the Hualapai grand canyon skywalk. the drive there was actually a lot of fun... with a long segment of windy, bumpy "wash board" roads. there were also a lot of "cattle guards" sporatically dividing the streets. still amazes me that a thin grid prevents cattle from crossing their boundaries. and it was even more odd to see BULLS chilling on the side of the road without being fenced. and of course, i loved all the joshua trees. :)

the skywalk was pretty awesome - it's a glass horseshoe-shaped "bridge" suspended 40,000 feet above the grand canyon/colorado river. the first step was a little delicate but after we got over the fact that the floor is transparent, we were walking around like champs, even lying on our stomachs with our noses to the glass. each side of the skywalk is frosted [glass] so people who are afraid of heights don't actually crap their pants. it was hilarious to see people clinging to the railing and only walking on the frosted section. one Japanese man (there were hundreds there) inched past me and my mother during our photo opp and actually clung AROUND my mother who was leaning against the railing.

we spent all afternoon hiking around the west rim. on the way back there was a looong stretch of empty road surrounded by mountains, so my mom and i took A LOT of photos of us lying/jumping/standing/sitting in the middle of the road. (they came out awesome... you'll see them on flickr soon). there were houses nestled at the bottom on the mountain, in the middle of nowhere. no street lights. no trees. just desert. don't know if i'd ever want to live somewhere THAT secluded, but the view of the stars must be amazing. (and the lack of housing developments is majorly appealing). when we got back to town, we ate dinner at Dambar.

Oct. 3: my mom and explored what little there is to explore on "Beale Street" in Kingman. there was an abundance of antique and thrift stores, but a handful were closed. after seeing all there was to see, we drove 115 miles to Williams, AZ and stopped at a kewl general store/gift shop along the way on Route 66. only an hour and a half east, Williams was a lot greener and the weather was much cooler.

shortly after arriving in town, we drove 63 miles (1.5 hrs) to Grand Canyon National Park to explore the south rim. we spent a lot of time in the car, stopping at various view points, saw lots of wildlife, took lots of photos and caught a sunset... which was gorgeous. when we got back to Williams, we ate dinner at our hotel.

Oct. 4: woke up at the crack of dawn (4:30 am!!) to catch a sunrise over the grand canyon before heading back to california. little did i know my mother would have us hiking 4 miles around the rim trails. regardless of the sleep deprivation, we had a good time. on our way there, we saw three wild elk grazing alongside the road. we also returned a nice digital camera we found on a bench to the lost and found. had a huge LCD screen too. (such good Samaritans we are ;) hehe).

after our hike, we drove back to CA... only to get caught up in confusing car pool lanes that diverge onto other freeways and traffic. we had a lot to unload from the car which looked pretty lived in. after we were got settled in, we ate dinner at the apartment.

overall, a very FUN trip. :)

total miles traveled: 1,400
total number of postcards purchased: 10
total number of cameras i brought: 5
total number of photos taken: TBA (too many to count)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

clothing optional?

so my mom and i found an awesome little beach in malibu where the seascape is something out of europe. you seriously feel like you are somewhere abroad. when we went during the week it was pretty secluded, but on sunday there were more people. we attempted to go to Point Dume, which we nicknamed "7-dollar-beach" because you had to pay to get in, no refunds, no re-admittance. nothing special there, just a giant rock protruding from the coast. so we headed back to our favorite little beach. it's an ideal location, but there is one little issue... the beach is a magnet for weirdo guys and for some reason (i guess because the beach is secluded), these men think they can take off all their clothes. and it is NOT a nude beach. and even when the weirdo guys are wearing bathing suits... it's still just as bad. as we were about to leave there was a man climbing up the stairs in front of us, wearing an ill-fitting bathing suit (not quite a speedo, not quite short shorts) whose hairy ass was staring us in the face. especially when he bent down to fix his sandals. so we waited until he got to the top before we headed up the stairs.

weirdo naked guys aside, a lot of friendly, talkative people (especially foreigners) flock to this beach, but i doubt i will ever go alone.

mon-thurs: GRAND CANYON!!!! :) :) :)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

what we've done so far.

wednesday: went to a taping of the ellen show. my mom and i were on tv!! :) and everyone in the audience received season three of Grey's Anatomy. (mine's for sale on ebay because i don't watch the show). we saw ellen pull out of the parking lot AS SOON AS the show let out. she waved, but didn't stop like jay leno did. my mom and i still can't believe they make allll that money and only work 1 hour a day. i think i'm in the wrong profession. : P

on our way home, my mom and i stopped at Trader Joes (my mom wasn't impressed) and then headed to Whole Foods (bigger, better selection). we made tilapia and during dinner we watched The Pledge.

thursday: beautifully warm beach day!! hung out in malibu all afternoon. took lots of beachy photos (to be uploaded on flickr). saw a photo shoot Rachel Hunter (Rod Stewart's ex-wife). chatted with the AD. left my name and number with the photographer for possible future PA jobs - nice lady, but i highly doubt she'll ever call me.

aldo stopped by and ate dinner with me, my mom and rick. we watched Wild Hogs which was pretty funny. comedies usually aren't my thing though (unless they're from 1989-1999, like What about Bob? or Black Sheep). i beat my mom in scrabble AGAIN, hehe.

friday: rainy, dreary day. went to radio shack (to buy a camera charger for hal since the one rick ordered online wasn't advertised accurately). then my mom and i went to two estate sales, a yard sale, a vege/fruit stand, a gardening center, the food store and the bank. (busy afternoon!!) my mom bought an artist's (Bill Anton) print of a Marlboro-looking man with a horse. and i bought an odd statue of dogs dancing and some other knick-knacky stuff.

saturday: worked a cosmetic promo. met a nice guy named Lyndon who gave me lots and lots of shampoo and conditioner samples (in such cute little bottles!!) my mom booked all of our arizona reservations, went for a hike and lounged by the pool. she was itching to go to the Viper Room, but i wasn't too keen on the idea. i'm more of a homebody. here's how the convo went:

me: you should be glad your daughter would rather stay home and make crafts instead of going to the Viper Room!!
mom: no, YOU should be glad your mother would rather go to the Viper Room instead of staying home and watching Doris Day!!


(yes, i had checked out Pillow Talk from the library).

and then she called me a "deadhead."

we were also contemplating going to a local country western bar, but we went to PetSmart, made Roxie a dog tag, my mom bought cosmopolitan mix, we ate dinner and watched A Simple Plan instead. we're going to the Viper Room next week. :)

what we did to roxie in PetSmart:



plans for tomorrow: heading back to malibu. or going kyaking and visiting rick's parents. and packing. :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!

my b-day weekend...

saturday: i picked up my mom from the airport. :) and it was pouring. :( first time it rained in CA in a LOOOONG time (CA certainly needed it) but by the time we reached the apartment, the sun was shining. when we got to the apartment, there was a bday package waiting for me from lindsay. miss gray met my [mom's] dog roxie and hates her. poor roxie just goes about her business and miss gray actually stalks, chases and attacks her. after rick got home, we went food shopping but for dinner we ate in a local restaurant that has thee biggest, most widest variety of a menu. and we all passed out early that night.

sunday: my mother gave me my present in the morning. :) she had my dad's Valley Forge class ring made into a bracelet. it came out really nice!! my dad would have been impressed. (and i bet he's happy i'm wearing it).

later, my mom, rick, aldrin and i got all dressed up (i wasn't aware as to why at this point) and ate sushi in hollywood. which was nice because i've been craving california rolls!! then rick surprised me with tickets to Wicked. we had never seen it (except for aldrin who has seen it three times now!!) and it was really good.

monday: (my actual b-day) my mom had decorated the apartment with balloons and banners and gave me flowers and a b-day card full of lottery scratch-offs. then we went for a hike/walk with roxie.

after lunch, we went to a taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. the guests were The Rock, Dennis Kucinich and Dinana Krall. we noticed former SNL cast member Victoria Jackson sitting a few rows diagonally behind us in the audience. we got to see Jay do the "Headlines" segment and *drumroll* afterward, we met him as he was leaving the studio and he signed an extra ticket we had and my mom took my photo with him. :)

on our way out of the studio, we were handed tickets to see Late Night with Carson Daly. (they needed more people to fill the audience). we accepted them, but remembered we don't even like Carson Daly... so we were no-shows.

when we got back to the apartment, rick gave me a star wars b-day card (yuck!!) and some pretty purple orchids. we watched Shooter and ate dinner. then we ate angel food cake with strawberries... Mmmmmm. all and all a very happy birthday!! :)

me wearing my new gnome pjs pants (part of a gift from my grandmother):

i feel so loved...
total # of birthday cards i received from my grandmother: 4!!
total # of happy birthday comments on my myspace: 6
total # of people who called to sing to me: 4 (plus mom and rick)
total # of "happy birthday" messages received on facebook: 24
thanks everyone!!!! :) :) :)

tomorrow: the new Foo Fighters cd comes out!! and my mom and i plan on lounging poolside and visiting a Chumash Native American museum. and wednesday, we're going to a taping of the Ellen show!! :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

being a PA is better than being from PA.

trust me, i lived in PA for 4 years. : P

tuesday: worked for my favorite boss dave. :) i was mainly there to inspire dave to work, but i made a few calls to ad agencies, looked through a really interesting (and inspiring) photojournalism book from 1978 and got lunch. it was a pleasant afternoon. dave is letting me borrow his lomo action sampler camera so expect some fun photos soon!!

wednesday: long, tiring, productive day. i assisted a product shoot for james. he rented a studio in hollywood and shot boating accessories (wake board racks, speakers and lights that attach to the "tower," if that's what it's called). the pieces were all round and chrome so it was nearly impossible to shoot with the amount of resources (mainly white cards and c-stands) we had with us. but we did it!! and the man and his wife who designed and patented these parts were really nice. they were an older couple with southern-ish accents who drove in from san diego. james is a really great guy to work for because you always learn something. i'm hoping to work for him more often (assisting small product shoots in his studio) after he returns from new york. and i might even be one of his apparel models for a test/webpage shoot.

thursday morning: was ready and waiting to buy foo fighters tickets to the special album release show at the henry fonda theatre on my birthday. both rick and i tried to get tickets. we both clicked the button AS SOON AS IT HIT 10:00 and -sold out- ...how the hell??!! :(

thursday afternoon: worked for dave again. i e-mailed ad agencies and dave tested out his flash on me (since he has to use it on a friend's wedding this weekend). dave's not a wedding photographer, but he looooves shooting weddings... NOT!!!! i helped him pack, we talked shop and i played with his pseudo-dogs (that really belong to his neighbor). i can't wait to assist dave's upcoming stock shoots. :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

"Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" ~Auntie Mame

i like to watch old movies. recently (this week and last), i watched:

Inherit the Wind: good movie, great acting but i prefer the book... but i'm biased because it's one of my favorite books. i haven't read the book since 2003-2004 and i'm sure it states this fact, but i never pictured Henry Drummond to be that old. (Drummond is the attorney for Cates, the man on trial for teaching evolution in school). very few minor differences seperate the movie from the published screenplay.

Auntie Mame: long, but worth the watch. a tale of an eccentric woman/aunt and her nephew as told in classic 1950s style. (lots of upbeat instrumental jazz music between and during scenes; subtle innuendos; and awesome "modern" decor). the story was actually a play, once starring Lucille Ball.

most memorable quote:
"Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" ~Auntie Mame

Rebel Without a Cause: first time i've ever seen a james dean movie and honestly, i was expecting more. his acting was great, but i imagined him having a deeper, manlier voice and being more handsome. (but i guess he had that sensitive guy thing going for him). after watching one of the first scenes, i turned to rick and said, "i think james franco makes a better james dean."

cool part:
a majority of the movie was filmed at the griffith observatory.

My Man Godfrey: a classic "screwball" comedy. the plot: rich folks get their kicks playing scavenger hunts. one of the itmes on the list: "a forgotten man." (aka: a bum). girl falls in love with bum she finds at the city dump, makes him her family's new butler. comedy ensues. evil sister hates him because he wouldn't be her forgotten man, but there's more to him than meets the eye. rick and i both enjoyed it up until the very ending. we didn't want him to end up with her... but the movie ends before anything is official... so maybe he didn't end up with her. (don't worry, i didn't ruin the movie, you can still watch it).

funny quote from the movie:
Angelica Bullock: You mustn't come between Irene and Godfrey. He's the first thing she's shown any affection for since her pomeranian died last summer.