Saturday, March 31, 2007

never again.

today i met up with my friend hal to take some photos. we met at a place known as "top of the world" which is basically a road on top of a mountain. the road there wasn't too bad -- very windy and desserted, but nothing treacherous. there were a few "rough road ahead" signs that could be taken with a grain of salt. i took some kewl polaroids that i will post within the next few days. the plan was to hike around for a bit and then go pick up hal's girlfriend from her job interview for the Getty. everything was going good... we trespassed (if you wanna get technical), took some good photos, we could see the smoke from the hollywood hills fire. (my beloved sign was unharmed, thankfully). hal was using his NEW 5D so let me use his Rebel. we saw some AMAZING views and awesome houses. one dark-colored gothic-ish house in particular that my dad would have loved to live in. i pet a white horse and fed it grass and i saw thee largest prickly pear cactuses ever (i hate the word cacti).

there was even this girl who was driving ahead of us, stopping at the same spots we were to admire the view. she drove off then drove back to where we were just to tell us there was a better spot up the road with a nicer view and better parking. i was impressed. that was really thoughtful.

so i made friends with the white horse and then i followed hal down the mountain. (here comes the NEVER AGAIN PART...) the road back down was THEE MOST WINDIEST ROAD I HAVE EVERRR BEEN ON. if you look at the road on google map, you wouldn't believe it. hairpin turns, falling rock, landslide warning signs everywhere, one lane road, alllll downhill. i felt like i was downhill skiing... in a car!! i couldn't tell whether it was my car that smelt like burning or hal's (i think it was hal's) but by the time we finally reached the bottom, my brakes BARELY wanted to stop my car. and i was driving in low gear!! so i freaked out and pulled over to the side of the road and bailed out of the rest of our photo adventure. never again will i let hal take me down a mountain or a "short cut" or both. i felt bad for cutting our adventure short, but after that incident, i didn't want to drive any further away from the apartment.

soooo... next time, i am driving to hal's neck of the woods (read: relatively flat land) and we will embark on another, longer photo adventure. perhaps even rick will want to come along. :)

Thursday, March 29, 2007


introducing NEW merchandise!!!!

now you wear your favorite jena ardell photos!! i created a line of photo tee shirts which feature one of my polaroid photographs in the center. there are many different styles and colors... each is fully customizable. CHECK EM OUT!!

ALSO, there's only a few days left for voting for JPG MAGAZINE issue 10 you can vote for my submission here. you have to sign up for an account first, but it's quick and painless (and free)!!

as of now, the photo has 408 Views and 90 Yeahs and 10 people call it a favorite. my goal is to break 100 Yeahs!! so please help me out. :D

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

work and movie review.

tuesday i worked as assistant for dave. the shoot was in pasadena in a bike shop for a magazine article. it was thee easiest job... one light. one person. one hundred shots. quick and painless. dave and i were talking about movies and i mentioned that rick and i saw Shooter and dave said, "you know mark wahlberg is my neighbor, right??" i accused him of lying because i thought he meant next door neighbor, but really dave meant mark lives RIGHT NEAR his house. so on our way back to his house, dave showed me mark wahlberg's compound and demi moore's house too. then i organized dave's photo equipment shelf in his garage and he showed me some photo programs (photoshop cs3, bridge and aperture). i'm not quite sure what new features photoshop cs3, but i bet the upgrades from cs2 are insignificant (at least, to me).

monday night: rick and i watched the movie Thirteen and it was HORRIBLE. yes, the point is that the main character is "growing up" too fast but the plot jumps ahead waaay too quickly. one day the main character is shunned by the popular, bad girls at school and then the next day they talk to her because she's wearing "cool" clothes. that wouldn't happen. i was expecting to learn that the main character was raped by her mom's boyfriend by the way she'd freak out and have mini flashbacks every time she saw him. the dialogue is lame and the story becomes unrealistic at times. whenever the bad-influence best friend wanted sympathy and didn't want to get kicked out of the main character's house, she'd just say her uncle burned her and pushed her into a fire. VERY UNCONVINCING both in the way the lines were delivered and the fact that the character only had one odd scar on her back. i'm not sure why this film won awards and nominations especially in 2003 and 2004 because seemed outdated. i think i'd be more understanding (and less critical) had the movie was made in the early 90s... it seemed cheesy enough.

bottom line: you can tell a thirteen-year-old co-wrote the screenplay.

Monday, March 26, 2007

steve martin and loquats... two of my favorite things.

this weekend was pretty mellow. on sunday rick and i went to his parent's house and did laundry. we hung out with aldrin, picked up magoo food and checked out head units because mine is busted. i ate A LOT of loquats because they are amazing. for those of you who are unfamiliar with the loquat, it is a small, fragile fruit with the most indescribable taste!! they have a semi-fuzzy skin that needs to be peeled off and about six smooth seeds in the center. the seeds feel really kewl in your mouth when your teeth slide across them. the fruit that you need to eat at least a half dozen in one sitting. my boyfriend's parent's have a loquat tree growing in their back yard. i tried to start one in NJ, but no luck.

one spring, my best friend andrea and i were visiting rick and we raided his loquat tree while he was at work. we ate THIRTEEN of them... EACH!! we were savages!! you should have seen our fingernails!! they were so gunky. we scouted the biggest and best in the tree and i stood on andrea's back trying to reach them. after we told rick about the lengths we went to get the good ones, he asked "why didn't you guys just get the ladder that's sitting right alongside the house???" hahaha.

rick and i wound up eating dinner at chilli's with aldo, tim and his girlfriend morgan who is on spring break right now. we all are going to go hiking this week and aldo and his friend jen want to go to the griffith observatory. i've never been there but i've seen it in the movie Bowfinger, hehe. of which, i had no idea steve martin wrote the screenplay to Bowfinger!! he never ceases to amaze me. he's an amazing writer. i love his voice, his talent and his movies. he's timeless. he's a good looking man and i bet i'd even enjoy watching scary movie 3 (my least favorite movie) if steve martin narrated it.

some facts (from you may not know about mr. steve martin:
*He was chosen as #6 in Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time.
*He was considered for the role of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).
and... *drum roll*
*Contrary to popular belief, Martin was never a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" (1975). However, he holds the records for guest appearances (25) on the show, hosting (14 times), and hosting in a single season (3). He is also the only person to have hosted a season premiere, a season finale, and a Christmas show.

"All I've ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work." ~steve martin

Saturday, March 24, 2007

is it my birthday or something?!

friday night was pretty awesome. rick spoiled me rotten. i got home and he had done the dishes and bought me fruit... lots of fruit. a cantaloupe, strawberries and grapes. Mmmm!! i was pretty exhausted so i took a little nap while rick cooked dinner for me. then we went to the movies to see Shooter and rick bought my ticket. and then rick said...

rick: damn, i am hooking you up to-night guuurl!!
jena: i know!! is it my birthday and i just don't know it?!!
rick: no, but when your birthday rolls around and i don't get you a daaamn thing... remember this night.
jena: hahahaha.

the funny part is right before rick and i went to bed i realized that it sort of was my birthday... it was my half-birthday (on saturday)!! so i am officially 22 1/2.

anyway, rick and i both thought the movie was really good. i was thoroughly entertained. the plot kept me intrigued from beginning to end. mark wahlberg is fantastic... he's like a modern day McGuyver, but better looking and more sarcastic. his character is cunning and smart. i'm not a huge fan of action movies, but this movie was so packed with plot that i just kept moving along with it. i bet most of the naysayers of the film are going to be people who believe every word their government tells them. yes, this film depicts government officials in a bad light, but what or who doesn't? i'm sure in reality it's much worse. don't let political beliefs interfere with seeing this film; it's a good time no matter what side you are on. it's intense but not overbearing. easy to follow but complex. and you'll be impressed with wahlberg's character. wahlberg excels in playing characters who are determined to make an impact. after seeing i heart huckabees, mark wahlberg has quickly become one of my favorite actors. he totally kept that movie alive. i added Fear to aldrin's netflix queue after rick explained what a psycho his character is that movie.

so after our little "date night" was so successful, rick and i decided we need to have more "date nights" and i proposed a "craft night" since i am having withdrawls because my best friend andrea and i always would always get crafty when we were together. that girl needs to accru more vacation time faaast so she can come visit meeee!!!! i miss her damnit!!!! i need to keep in touch with my friends from high school more because i had no idea my friend lindsay was going to mexico until she texted me about it the night before. i am so out of the loop!! i'd say 80% of my friends are people i met in middle school/high school. 15% are people i met in college. 5% are friends of rick's. i need to meet some kewl chicks around here to hang with and do girly stuff with like go shopping or sit by the pool reading magazines.

Friday, March 23, 2007

work is good.

thursday was a lot of work. dave's wife mary and i prepared and organized a storage room for inventory. the room was PACKED with women's clothing. the clothing company is based in London so they ordered a ton of wool and corduroy. needless to say, Los Angeles is not the ideal market for wool or any other heavy material. dave's wife was really kewl and she was wearing an awesome shirt that she made. it was a black long-sleeved shirt with this beautiful silk swan she stitched on the back that was originally part of a vintage kimono. although the work was tedious and tiring, it was rewarding to SEE the result of our hard work. we moved A LOT of stuff.

friday i worked for john again, assisting a shoot for his friend's clothing line. the day started off pretty hilariously. we were halfway to pick up his friend who was also assisting the shoot when john realized he forgot the seamless (big roll of paper for the background) so we had to turn around to get it. we were a bit more than halfway to pick up his friend the second time when john realized he forgot his laptop which we decided wasn't really a big deal. thirty seconds later, john realized we HAD to go back to his house because he forgot his camera. haha. it was a rough start. to top it off, a model tripped over a tripod and broke john's camera and lens the day before so john had to rent a camera for the shoot. but O'Quinn was an easy job. there were four, young semi-professional surfer guys modeling the clothing, mostly tee shirts. they weren't the most polished models... but at least they were all really chill and cooperative.

i might be doing some photoshop/retouching work for john this monday which i'm pretty excited about. on tuesday i'm assisting dave for a small shoot for a magazine. and the ebay lady is getting back to town on tuesday so hopefully she'll arrange some times i can go in and work again. i'm really satisfied with having a bunch of different jobs because the work is always new and fresh. i get bored easily and hate even the slightest bit of monotony. i would go going nuts if i was sitting in an office doing data entry. schedules don't agree with me, but appointments do. nearly every day i am thankful i never got that job i applied for in the leasing office. office politics and getting all dressied up to go to work just doesn't appeal to me. i want to be DOING something, CREATING something, BEING A PART OF A CREATIVE PROJECT whether it belongs to someone else or myself. that's where my passion lies.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

great quotes, new polaroids.

"Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go." ~William Feather

"In my view, you cannot claim to have seen something until you have photographed it." ~Emile Zola

Originally uploaded by jena ardell.

malibu diptych
Originally uploaded by jena ardell.

hollywood walk of fame
Originally uploaded by jena ardell.

hotel roosevelt
Originally uploaded by jena ardell.

opportunities and gratefulness.

today dave called, offering me a two-day job helping his wife. dave's really been looking out for me and i really appreciate all of his help. he figures if he keeps me busy, then i won't go get a full-time job which means i can assist for him whenever needed. that sounds pretty ideal to me. so tomorrow i am working 9-4 for his wife mary, doing inventory at a warehouse for a clothing line she manages. should be tedious, but i'm sure i'll manage to have some fun. i will only be able to help out tomorrow because...

on friday i will be assisting john hildebrand again (this time for cash) in huntington beach where john will be photographing his friend's new clothing line called O'Quinn. expect more updates later... now i must run off to dream because i will be getting up EARLY tomorrow.

in the meantime, watch me morph into a chimp.

and an ending thought/story/rhetorical question:
my cousin broke his ankle and his foot fourwheeling on sunday and finally told someone about it today. his parents are visiting his grandmother in florida and he "didn't want to bother anyone" so he's been driving around using his left foot!! what is it with guys and their stong adversion to medical help?!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

i got paid to take photos of maggie gyllenhaal's shoes

"Linear thinking does not come naturally to me, moreover it kills my imagination. nothing happens. no bells rings. no moment of HERE and NOW. no moment that says YES. Without those moments i am not alive. and so, rather than driving at a goal, i like so much better to go thru' a spiral." ~courtney love

the quote above is an excerpt from Dirty Blonde, one of the many half-read books i have been hoarding from the library that i had to return today. i have a bad habit of checking out waaay too many books at the same time and then never getting around to finish any book completely. this habit really bugs rick... especially if i rack up late fines on books that i checked out with his card. but that only happened once and it was $3 (big deal) and i paid it.

i don't recall anything extraordinarily eventful occurring on monday... but who's to say my actions on that day have not set the wheel in motion to a plethora of future significant events. ha, you never knows. anyway, today i worked for dana (a nice lady who runs an ebay store that sells used designer clothes... most which were previously owned by celebrities). my job was to write descriptions and take photos of the items. it was more or less a trial run to see if i'd work out and if she'd like me.

i photographed a bunch of crap from maggie gyllenhaal like prada, mui mui and louie vutton heels, some blouses and a few jackets. nothing too wonderful but there was a retro-looking pair of LAVENDAR (i refuse to spell lavendar "correctly") synthetic lizard-skin prada heels that i dug!! they were pretty kewl, but they were a size 9 and i doubt they were comfortable. miss gyllenhaal appeared to be the biggest name there. i didn't recognize a lot of the other names i saw. the work went well so once dana returns from her mini-vacation i will be working for her again. and once i get the hang of how she wants things labeled and shot, then she will just give me a key to her office so i can come and go as i please. (yay for making my own hours!! i really needed that).

Monday, March 19, 2007

the weekend.

saturday: (st. patrick's day) rick and i went to his parent's house and did some laundry. rick washed my car :) and i rode on tim's kick-ass longboard skateboard (i soooo want one!!) rick's dad made us delicious BBQ chicken and tritip and ribs. tim and aldo and jen stopped by and we all bought chocolate bars from rick's neice isabel for a school fundraiser. it was funny because we originally bought the chocolates from rick's mom (who had previously bought a whole bunch) so when isabel showed up, rick's mom gave us our money back so we could "re-buy" them from isabel, hehehe.

adorable photo my mom took of roxie:

sunday: aldo came over and i finished his haircut. rick evened up the sides and back with some clippers and we all went to the mall. i redeemed a coupon for a free pair o' underwear at victoria's secret (i never pronounce the 's in victoria's...) and i got some hemp hand cream at the body shop. i also bought a really cute wallet at pacsun for $3!! (it was 70% off). it's gwen stefani's harajuku brand. and although i'm not "just an orange county girl," the orange is highly adorable.

we watched Little Miss Sunshine, which is semi-predictable and way overrated. i can't believe it was nominated for "best picture." i hate when pseudo-indie B movies get over hyped solely because the movie SEEMS unique to the average viewer. perhaps i am too harsh because i expected a lot more from the movie, but instead it turns out to be a tragic national lampoons road trip.

how to identify a pseudo-indie B movie:
*characters are extremely stereotypical (or purposefully anti-stereotypical) and their characteristics are extreme. example: moody teenager who won't speak, father who is more preoccupied with work and business than his own family, grandfather who curses and snorts heroin.
*what could go wrong, goes wrong before the characters' goal is attained. example: car trouble, emotional setbacks, business setbacks, death of most amusing character, they just miss the deadline.
*characters appear to be stuck in a time warp although the rest of society is in the present time. example: clothing styles, dance moves, lingo, vehicle.
*at least one main character is played by someone well-known who is in role that appears drastically different from his/her previous roles.
*at least one main character is played by an actor/actress who is an unknown and after the movie is release he/she is over hyped.
*there is no happy ending. there is not even an unhappy ending. the ending leaves you in the same mental state you were in when the movie started which makes you feel as though you just spent two hours walking in a circle...

proof that just because it's labeled "not mainstream," doesn't mean it's GOOD. beware, the following movies are NOT "indie" movies, they are merely B-rated movies (at best) in disguise:
"Little Miss Sunshine," "Napoleon Dynamite," "Party Monster," "Punch-Drunk Love," "Swimming Pool," "The Last Kiss," "The Virgin Suicides," "11:14," "13 Moons." (there's plenty more... but those are what currently come to mind).

Friday, March 16, 2007

busy. busy.

yesterday i worked for dave. he rented out a studio in hollywood and held a casting call. i wound up an hour early because i didn't expect traffic to be so light. there was a good turnout: one hundred twenty-five actors/models showed up... almost at once. we were there from 9 to 5 but the majority showed up around 3. and of course there were about a dozen girls who showed up and said they had to be at work/another audition in twenty minutes and expected to be able to jump in line. i only allowed two or three to cut ahead because it really wasn't fair for all of the other people who had been waiting.

overall, it was an easy day. i love working for dave because he's so down-to-earth. at one point a model was asking dave which comp card or headshot he wanted and dave said something along the lines of "it doesn't matter, i know they're all retouched and like four years old anyway." hahaha, i couldn't believe he said that but i was so glad he did because it's true!! and although dave's blunt, he's a lot of fun and likes to talk, so the models instantly warm up to him. a lot of models were relieved once they saw dave shooting the people ahead of them. he had something positive and nice to say to everyone, even the people he knew he'd never hire.

i got lunch on melrose and the warm city of los angeles welcomed me by issuing me a parking voilation. that's right, my first parking ticket. :( i was too damn worried about the hours on the NO PARKING signs and almost getting sideswiped by a truck to notice that there were meters. (PLUS i'm from jersey... we don't pay to park!!) but i should have figured there's no such thing as free parking in LA. luckily for me, dave is such a nice guy he let me keep the $30 that was left over from lunch to pay for the ticket.

of the one hundred twenty-five people dave shot, he's going to choose fifteen to shoot for his stock images. up until the shoot, i'll be helping with office work and once it's time for the shoot, i'll be his second assistant. AND Spike TV wants dave to do eight photoshoots a year now, so he's going to let me do all the preliminary work like contacting agencies and models and booking locations for those shoots!! so i'm really excited to be getting involved with the entire process.

rick and aldrin were waiting for me at the apartment. when i got there, we ran to costco, got some grub and then i cut aldrin's hair!! it's short!! and it came out pretty good. i just have to even out the sides with a pair of clippers. here are some photos of the drastic transformation:



soooo then i checked my email and noticed i had an email from john hildebrand's representative asking if i would be interested in helping out with a shoot tomorrow. and so i did. i think i got john confused with another photographer because i expected him to be older, light-haired, married with children. to my surprise, he was like the bam margera of the photo world: he's young, has a rocker-ish style, a pseudo mohawk and LONG doe-like eyelashes. his friends are either starting their own clothing line or production/party company and most of his shots include girls in bikinis.

anyways, the shoot is part of an ongoing project for a swimsuit calendar to raise money for Surfrider, a nonprofit organization that protects our coasts, and might possibly raise money for Heal the Bay. in other words, nobody got paid-- the shoot was strictly volunteer. there was also another assistant, a Brook's student who graduates in September with a degree in "oh-shit-i-shouldn't-have-went-to-Brooks." john went to Brooks as well, he graduated in 2001. the impression that i get from Brooks is that you don't need to go to Brooks and here is why i hold such contempt for Brooks...

"I would like more information about the class action lawsuit against Brooks. My husband graduated from there over a year ago and has yet to work! We are facing over $100,000 in student loans and all he has to show for it so far is a $2,500 large format camera (that he obviously does not use!) We were told upon his entry that they had a 97% placement rate with a starting salary around $75,000. BIG LIE!!! He even attends their "job fairs" which promote placement into jobs such as...starbucks - no joke! $100,000 in student loans and they want him to work at starbucks!"

and there's more complaints where that came from!! the red-flag for me occured while i was attending college. i called Brooks to request more information and they called me within an hour. what school is THAT desperate for recruits?! perhaps i shouldn't talk too much trash about Brooks but look at where Brooks is sending its students... to work for Brooks graduates FOR FREE without giving the students any sort of course credit. hmmm. seems to me that Brooks is just fueling the unethical practice of established photographers getting away with "hiring" assistants as "interns" to work for free or next to nothing.

but anyway, the shoot was extremely laid-back. it consisted of two models, a make-up artist, john, his two friends, me and the other assistant. the location was AWESOME. it was on some guy's beachfront property in malibu. the layout was insane though... we had to carry equipment down (and back up) 107 steps... and through narrow pathways. (and of course the other assistant grabbed the lightest items). there was a sand pit, a sauna, a little shack to get changed in, a small blue-tiled bathroom and a surfboard bar... all right near the beach. definitely an ideal party location. i found it funny that, although we were together for four hours, none of the crew made it a point to learn each other's names. all of the guys just refered to me as "sweetie" or "sweetheart" because they had no idea.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


i'm cutting aldrin's hair this week!! :) (finally!!) so i was browsing for some ideas and i got sidetracked (big surprise huh) and started looking at girls' hairstyles. i found one i really like... but i highly doubt my hair would behave if it were that short. but it's really tempting, oh so tempting. for some reason, whenever my hair reaches the length it is now, i feel compelled to chop it all off.

sidebar/jena factoid: my hair has been: blonde, brown, orange, black, dark red, multi-colored, chunked, layered, highlighted, permed, short short (in 2nd grade) and loooong (past my butt!!). i thought i liked it best when it was blonde, but i'm currently satisfied with the dark color it is now because once you start dying your hair lighter, you're sucked into dying it allll the time.

so today i was supposed to meet with the ebay lady and she pushed the time back from 11:30 to 3:45. i am soooo glad i checked my email BEFORE i left the apartment... that would have sucked. i wish i knew ahead of time so i didn't get up so early today because now i feel and look like a zombie. ah well.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

sights and sounds

why my grandmother's computer has viruses:
"yeah, all her jokes say 'spyware' on them... i thought that was the name of a company." ~my grandmother

new additions to my flickr...

sundaes & sandwiches
Originally uploaded by jena ardell.

metro station apartments
Originally uploaded by jena ardell.

i'm working for dave this thursday!! i'm going to be acting as a "model wrangler" while he's casting for a stock shoot. should be fun!! i'm also meeting up with a lady who is in need of a photographer/assistant to list designer clothes on ebay. she is offering $12/hour so if all goes well, it will be a great spare-time job. i am also hoping to do some office work for photographer Dorian Caster (whose travel and fashion photos are lovely!!) AND perhaps i will get a chance to work PA for CJ Burton if his regular assistant cannot. hopefully all of these opportunities will pan out because i really want to remain working in the creative industry and not in a stuffy office (and i really need some rent money). so keep your fingers crossed!!

songs to add your playlist:
*Angels and Airwaves - Do It For me Now (i swore it was a blink182 song...)
*Blue October Into the Ocean (don't worry, this song is waaay better than "Hate Me." i can't stand that one).
*CSS - Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above (a gem from 2004).
*Incubus - Punchdrunk (new incubus... i dig it).
*Lily Allen - LDN (incredibly catchy).
*Muse - Starlight (expect KROQ to overplay this one).
*Peter, Bjorn & John - Young Folks (check out the video too... it's awesome!!)*Stars - Elevator (very chill).

Monday, March 12, 2007

hot and bothered.

today reached 99 degrees!! (and some say global warming is a hoax...) the mystery of the closed-library has been solved. rick and i drove to the library only to discover it was closed. this is the third time this has happened to us. once was on president's day tho... apparently, as we discovered today, the library is closed on mondays. DOH!!

i am loving daylight savings time... the extra hour of sunlight has already proven to be useful today when rick and i played tennis. we got there late, when the sun was just shy of setting and stayed until about 7:00. i haven't played tennis is over a year and rick hasn't played since sixth grade... so needless to say we were a bit rusty. regardless, we managed to have fun. i wouldn't let us leave until we successfully hit the ball back and forth ten times. we got twelve!! we plan on playing again tomorrow if we aren't too sore. if i want to play again, i will also have to pop this lovely blister i got from hanging on the monkey bars yesterday when rick and i walked through the park. ye-ouch.

we finally finished watching Sybil. it seemed like a long movie (i can't believe it was originally a made-for-tv movie!!) but it was REALLY GOOD. sally field is one of my favorites. for those of you who aren't familiar with the movie, Sybil is based on a true story of a woman suffering from multiple-personality disorder. while we were watching the movie, rick noticed a scene was shot in the Ambassador Hotel which happens to be where 311 shot their album cover for "Evolver." the sad part is The Ambassador Hotel, a historic 500-room hollywood resort in its heyday, was torn in february 2006. los angeles seems to be infamous for reinventing itself and renovating, but unfortunately the city has no respect for the preservation of historical sites. despite protests, the city opted to demolish the hotel in order to build more schools although there is ample space in the surrounding areas. while destroying the site, the builders discovered methane gas, so the schools can't even open. this will only add to the $270 million budget. and so this discovery inspired me to create...

(beside the fact that it is far from my family).
1. smog/pollution.
3. constant contruction and building/lack of respect to historical sites. A LOT of kewl places simply don't exisit anymore :(
4. THE HEAT. the sun is nice and all but not when it's burning your skin off while you are sitting in traffic.
5. overall wastefulness. (ie. sprinklers that face the pavement/street that are actually only wetting the cars that pass by).

1. the weather. as rick says, "california has two seasons: summer and not-so-summer."
2. LOTS to see and do.
3. career opportunities, especially in the creative industry.
4. palm trees. no lie... i am obsessed with those gangly trees!!
5. my strong, indescribable affinity to the area... perhaps a magnetic force at work?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

the rest of my mother's visit...

thursday: went to malibu. my mom saw martin sheen (with his grandchildren) in that little plaza with ralph's. (i missed him because i was driving). we bought some snacks/lunch and ate them at the beach. it was pretty cold near the water so after lounging there for a little while, we headed back to the apartment and sunbathed near the pool until the sun set. but first we stopped at jamba juice!! after the pool, we went to a paint-your-own-ceramics place and we painted mugs for each other. it usually takes about 3-4 days to get them back (you glaze them then they fire them) but we had ours expediated so my mom could take hers home with her. they came out pretty awesome!! i made my mom a coffee mug with little designs all over it and my mom made me a large mug with a gnome on it (she even painted roxie next to the gnome!!) they both came out reeeally cute.

friday: my mom and i drove to carson to pick up my car. that took a few hours due to traffic and poor directions. my mom and i told rick we got tattoos and he believed us until i told him mine was a gnome. we finally got new cell phones (that we hate) and picked up our mugs. we stopped at albertson's and bought some more food, then we made cornflake chicken!! (rick couldn't eat it though, because was a friday during Lent). tim stopped by to pick up the communal ipod. my mother and rick passed out in the living room EARLY... like 10 pm. i tried my hardest to keep them awake by suggesting we go for a walk and by reading trivial pursuit questions aloud, but my attempts were futile. even roxie fell asleep on me... so i went online, hehe.

saturday: my mom, rick and i took a tour of the adamson house in malibu. the house was built in 1930 and the interiors and exteriors are adorned in beautiful malibu tiles. unfortunately you aren't allowed to take photos inside the house (i snuck one) but there are plenty of opportunities to take photos from the balcony of the home. after the tour, we ate thai food... Mmm!! we drove to michael landon's former home, but rick wouldn't drive up the driveway!! :( ugh. after stalking dead celebrities, we went over rick's parent's house. poor little roxie stayed home, locked in her crate until we got back around 10-10:30!!


sunday: my mom and i played scrabble until roxie trampled all over the board. temperatures reached 94 degrees!! my mom and roxie went home :( rick and i went for a walk (around sunset... the weather was beautiful then). we stopped at a playground and hurt our hands on the monkey bars (we'll probably have blisters tomorrow). then we watched sybil while we ate dinner. i never saw the movie, but always hear of it. i really like sally field. she's good.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

i didn't get my picture taken with chris rock!!

today my mom and i lounged by the pool/went swimming. we had tickets to see the late late show with craig ferguson. the guest was andy garcia!! we got there on time but had to park in the parking garage at the grove because the security guy told us the CBS lot was full (or so we thought). so we stood in line, got numbers on our hands and were told to sit on a bench. the taping of the price of right must have just ended because we saw dozens of audience members/contestants. about 80% of the price is right crew bought something in the gift store after the show and ALL OF THEM looked like they had just visited disney world for the first time... i never saw a happier bunch of people, hehe. so we're finally about to be called into the show... there were about 30 of us still waiting and one of the five intern girls comes out and tells us they've reached capacity. we were pretty pissed because their audience wrangling method SUCKS. people were RANDOMLY assigned bench numbers (1, 2, 3 or 5). we were 2's. the girl called bench 1, bench 3, THEN 2... they didn't get to bench 5 at all. some of the people left over were among the first thirty people there!! (REALLY sucked to be them!!) it was ridiculous. they KNOW there's only 150 seats, yet they let more people in. they didn't bother to number us according to the order we arrived. we even had to sit through two lame prep guys trying to pump us up for the audience. the part that really sucks is that we originally sat on bench 1, but then moved to bench 2 after we realized that we were on the "wrong" bench. (not like anyone checked). it was all just a bunch of BS. we were given a number to call that guarantees us "VIP" seats to another taping. "VIP" only meaning they will let us like they were supposed to the first time. sooo my mom and i headed back to the grove and went into a few shops there. i bought a big, clunky heart necklace and redeemed my free pair of chones at victoria's secret. we saw CHRIS ROCK just standing by the door in barnes and nobles. i wouldn't have even noticed him if two guys didn't go up to him and ask to have their pictures taken with him. my mom and i weren't even sure if it was him at first... he looks REALLY skinny and YOUNG (until you approach him, then you can see his gray whiskers). he wasn't nice or approachable, he just was standing there like he didn't want to be there. i think he was just [begrudgingly] out in public to spark attention to his new movie. my mom and debated whether we should ask for a photo because we aren't really fans of his, but it seemed like the thing to do. afterall, you don't see chris rock just standing in every bookstore. having just exited the craig ferguson fiasco, i didn't have a camera on me (shocking, i know... but they weren't allowed in the studio that we didn't even get to go in) so my mom takes the photo of me and chris rock with her camera phone. at the moment she is taking the photo: rick calls and, mom hangs up on him AND the phone battery is dying. my mom takes the photo and says... "i don't even want to admit what just happened." the photo couldn't be saved because her photo capacity was at 100%. story of the day. it soooo figures!! hahaha!! i blame everything on my blue eyeliner... last time i wore it rick, tim, aldo and i weren't able to see incubus on jimmy kimmel. ugh. so i took some polaroids on hollywood and highland and we called it a day. we got back to the apartment(after sitting in some traffic) then rick, my mom and i enjoyed a nice dinner at the cheesecake factory. at least that went well.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

my mom is visiting!!

my mom is visiting me!! :) here are some of the things we've done so far:

saturday: my mom and roxie arrived!! we sat in traffic. i took some photos of the kewl apartment complex/metro station in los feliz. (polaroids to come). we ate at the delightfully retro fred 62. rick went home to visit his brother (who was home for the weekend). i showed my mom around town and she somehow managed to score not ONE... but TWO free coffees at starbucks. she says they gave it to her because she had to wait for them to make a new pot of the coffee she wanted... i say the guys working there liked her. we got some groceries and after dinner we played scrabble and made some plans for the week.

sunday: i planned on taking my mom to Big Sky Ranch in Simi Valley where they filmed A LOT of shows including Little House on the Prairie and Bonanza (my mom looves michael landon), but unfortunately it doesn't exsist anymore. the ranch endured an earthquake and a fire, but was no match to a housing development in 2005. the part that sucks is... who the hell wants to live in simi valley?!! nobody is going to buy these homes. simi valley is contaminated. so my mother and i went food shopping/food sampling food at costco instead. they always have good samples on the weekends... this visit included tortilla soup, homemade smoothies, clam chowder and chicken salad!! all supermarkets should be so generous, hehe. then my mom and i went hiking and i took some photos. my dog is LOVIN all the walks!! tim and aldrin stopped by during dinner time. my mom made some jalapeno poppers for them to eat while they played video games.

monday: my mom and i went to the verizon store because our cell phones are WAAAY overdue for upgrades. we didn't wind up getting new phones because we are still debating between two models. we went searching for a few antique stores, but wound up getting jamba juice and eating a quick lunch instead. then we relaxed by the pool. we took some really kewl polaroids. my mom, rick and i played scrabble. i won. naturally. : P

tuesday: my mom and i got up early and drove to santa barbara. we wandered in and out shops on state street. my mom bought two pairs of funky sneakers. i took some photos and tried on a really kewl sequin dress in a costume shop. we drove to the harbor and went kayaking in the ocean. we saw seals!! they were just chillin, sunning themselves on a buoy. we also saw A LOT of giant starfish, clinging onto the pier. we held one. i thought starfish were more compliable, but these suckers were stiff. we stopped at a little, hidden beach on our way home but by then the sun was going down and it was getting a little chilly outside. when we got back to the apartment, rick drove us to the library. we got a bunch of movies, including sybil (always wanted to see that), saved (because rick never saw it) and the original ocean's eleven. after dinner, we played scrabble and my mother won. after all the point deductions, rick wound up in second place... yes, that's right... for the first time EVER rick beat me in scrabble.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

strange find

"First of all, I must say it feels a bit weird to be sending pics of my poo to complete strangers...but all in the name of good sportsmanship! It felt even stranger to TAKE pics of my poo..." ~testimonial on

i was checking my gmail today and needed to open a new window so i clicked on whatever advertisement link was above my inbox. well, it turned out to be a link for this disgusting website. i've never seen anything like it. i don't know about you, but i wouldn't want a photo of myself and what came out of my colon on the internet. the even WEIRDER part is how some people went about taking the photos. it looks like most people used chopsticks to uh... dangle their crap in the air. one lady's photo looks like she might be holding her strand. other people used a coat hanger, tongs and a stick. one person even put their "results" in A COLANDER!!!! ewwwwwww!!!! so if curiousity hasn't gotten you to already, you have to check it out.

"Your product is truly amazing. I don't care if you use the pics on your site, but could you change my name or something. I don't want my pooh to make me famous...ha-ha. Thanks guys." ~another testimonial

Friday, March 2, 2007


9:25 pm: my grandmother calls (that's 12:25 am her time) all excited about her new discovery:

"how come nobody told me i could play music cds on my computer?!!!!" she wants to know.
i didn't even think to explain the CD-ROM feature because i figured she wasn't going to be using it that often. my cousin gave her a laptop over the summer and i taught her how to email, google and check my flickr -- y'know, all the important stuff. ;) since then, my grandmother has become pretty good at using the computer. (i'm so proud!!) she'll send me funny e-mails and comment on everything i post online. (i'm sure she'll have something to say about THIS post!!!! hehehe). i also got her hooked on text twist, a word game she refers to as "twix" for short. "well it's easier than saying "text twist," she'll say.

but anyway, back to my story...
"i never knew that all this time we could have played this cd in the player and it would come up on the tv with all these colors!! it must be a video too," she says.
"huh????" I ask.
"i put this soothing sounds cd in the computer and the music played and there were all these beautiful colors and designs and it played along to the music. one was called 'battery' and it looks like..."
YUP, that's when i realize what she is talking about: the default shapes that form on windows media player. hahaha.

she gets mad when i start laughing, but i assure her it is only because i thought it was cute. i love my grandmother!! xoxo

Thursday, March 1, 2007


not in the spotlight
Originally uploaded by jena ardell.
new polaroids from dave's house on my flickr!!!!!

check em out.

first poem i've written in a LOOONG time.

conversation of shadows
Originally uploaded by jena ardell.

conversation of shadows

on the patio
chairs converse,
symbolic shapes
form on walls.

talk of work,
weather and sports.

"what's there to do
in beverly hills
on a day like today?"
asks the one in ratan.

"nothing short of everything,"
the white chair replies.

and so they sit
stationary in shade,
dreaming big
in beverly hills.

~jena ardell~

...and i'm feeling pretty inspired.