Monday, December 29, 2008

My New Years Resolutions

1. Give five strangers one sincere compliment per day.
Preferable in person but if I don't come across five unique individuals in a given day who are deserving of a sincere compliment, I can either give an insincere compliment or find someone online to be the recipient of a sincere compliment.

2. Be more social.
Sometimes, OK -- most of the time, I tend to be a bit reclusive. It's much easier to spend the evening in your PJs watching a movie than it is to go out somewhere... but you don't new people that way.

3. Celebrate every holiday.
Last year I worked on Thanksgiving; skipped out on Easter; didn't do much for Valentine's Day and didn't dress up for Halloween. This year I am going ALL OUT. Decorating, baking, carving vegetables, even celebrating the weird Holidays, you name it. I want to be borderline sickeningly festive.

4. Je voudrais améliorer mon français.
Translation: Improve my French. I have an Associate's degree in French but you'd never know it because I refuse to speak the language aloud. I want to change that. I also want to build my French vocabulary.

5. Plan/have one photo shoot per week.

I need to start pumping out stellar photographs on a frequent basis (especially now that I own some lighting equipment)!! I want to get paid for taking photographs (other than my etsy shop) and I want to arrange photo shoots with people outside of my comfort zone.

6. Make one good female friend who lives within 5 miles of me.
HA!! This one may be the hardest of all. I have been living in southern California for two years now and I have yet to make a good female friend in LA. I want to find someone I can just randomly call and invite over to have a craft night or watch a movie or go to the beach!!

7. Switch to all natural products.
I've already started to use natural toothpaste (Tom's) and the most delicious-smelling natural shampoo and conditioner (Hugo's Naturals) and the best natural face wash (Aubrey) on the planet. Now I want to use handmade natural soaps and try to find decent natural make up!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'M BACK!!!!! (on Blogger)

I spoke to an old friend today who I haven't seen to in SEVEN years!! The last time I saw him was during the summer after high school graduation. After a few Instant Messenger conversations (He wanted to date me, told me he was better than my ex but I got back together with my ex), we stopped talking completely. No hard feelings. Just went separate ways and took separate paths that never crossed until recently. As we chatted on the phone today, we summed up the past seven years of our lives in a mere 15 minutes. How we met our significant others, his new house, our job histories... in a matter of sentences. It just amazed me how we whittled 2,555 days into a small bullet points. Have our lives been that uneventful or was there just too much to tell??? I'm hoping for the latter.

And so, my message to you is this: Get up, get out. Do all the things delayed by procrastination!! Do something worthwhile, significant. Learn something new. Travel. Make a difference. Use the 24 hours given to you each day wisely. Live life to its fullest, not solely for an interesting story to tell but for an interesting path to unfold.

As for me and blogger, I've been M.I.A since November. My last real post hasn't been since September!! Since then I: was able to spend my birthday at home with friends and family; attended my cousin Vincent's wedding (the first big wedding in my immediate family!!) and was one of the bridesmaids; voted in this year's election and was ecstatic with the results; launched my professional website (; met Melissa Galt who has truly been an inspirational and motivational force; got a twitter account (I'm addicted); took a dip into the craft fair vending scene; attended Tony Hawk's charity event where I met Bam Margera; was a semi-full-time nanny for four weeks; worked a 12 hour shift on Thanksgiving at the L.A. auto show where I finally got to sit in a Smart Car; bought far too many things for myself on ebay; got over my annual winter cold; and was able to see one of my all-time favorite movies "Sunset Blvd" in theatres (58 years after its release) as introduced by Nancy Olson, one of the few remaining cast members!! And in less than one week, I will be heading home to spend the holidays with my family and friends. :)

And now we're up-to-date...

Monday, November 17, 2008


My website finally been launched!! Please check it out. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Etsy Shop Update!!

Keep summer alive all year round!!

Check out the latest additions to my etsy shop:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

KKP weekend in review!!

andrea and i spent the weekend visiting my friend kyle at slippery rock, PA this weekend... here's how it went:

7:27 PM - met andrea en route
11:00 PM - arrived at penn state/left andrea's car near her friend's apartment
11:30 PM - kyle picked us and we embarked on our trip to slippery rock
3:01 AM - arrived at kyle's apt.

after we toured kyle's apartment, andrea passed out on the couch and i made kyle give me a back massage. we probably went to bed around 4 am.

the next morning we walked through town and kyle gave us a tour of slippery rock university's campus where he is finishing up his master's degree. i shot a lot of photos of andrea (who is always a willing model) and kyle (who is uhhh, not so much but he was moderately patient with us). it was pretty hot outside -- which i wasn't expecting. we walked back to kyle's apartment; shot a few more photos; and andrea found kyle's "missing" keys. ugh, boys. after we browsed (and made fun of) party city's halloween costume inventory, we headed to Pittsburgh where we ate some REALLLLLY good thai food. our waitress was extremely pleasant, she even hooked us up with 6 MORE fortune cookies after we gushed about how good they were. Mmmm!! after dinner, we parked near a cluster of bars and clubs and walked around the docks. then we headed up the hill so i could take some night shots of the city. the skyline was pretty impressive and overall, Pittsburgh was much more appealing than i imagined. andrea and i ducked in a grumpy ice cream shop near closing time and managed to get ice cream cones. "do you have sprinkles?" andrea was almost afraid to ask. "ugh, yeah," the owner sighed. "as long as you don't get them on my floor." we were all pretty tired on our way back to kyle's but after a mini back massage session, we got our second winds and filmed some hilarious videos of awkward relationship moments (based solely on real-life events). after laughing hysterically at the finished products, we watched "Juno" and went to bed around 4:30 or 5:00 am. we slept in til 11 am; packed up our belongings; took some g'bye photos and were on our way. stooping to an all-new desperation, we managed to give each other massages during the car ride. at one point kyle was massaging andrea's knee while she was massaging my hand because it was ailing after i massaged kyle's back. we're obsessed!!

1:03 PM - left slippery rock
3:30 PM - arrived at penn state/i drove andrea's car to new jersey
7:00 PM - arrived in new jersey. ate chinese food with my mom and her beau.

andrea still had two more hours of driving ahead of herself.

total time i spent in a vehicle during the entire weekend: approx. 13.5 hours
andrea's total time spent in a vehicle during the entire weekend: approx. 18 hours

...but it was worth it!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Where you can find me...

My etsy shop along with a brief interview will be featured in Martha's Blog "The Dancing Monkey Jewelry Chronicles" TODAY. :)

You can also find me on

My "Pool Triptych" print is featured in Casa Sugar's Summer Style: Pool Photography blog.

I contributed to The Star Ledger's Great Destinations book this summer. You can find out more info about the project here.

My self portrait "Eve" was featured on Catherine Buca's Sunday Flickr Favorites (for July 27th) as well as my photo "Chinako on the Polaroid floor" (for June 29th).

And here is a link to my profile on JPG Magazine.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

McCain proposes 100 new plants in the U.S.

Published: June 23, 2008 12:00AM

Nearly three decades after the Three Mile Island disaster, Sen. John McCain is proposing an American nuclear renaissance.

As part of a weeklong focus on energy security, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said Wednesday that he wants 45 new nuclear plants to be built in the United States by 2030 and another 55 in later years.

Currently, there are 104 reactors in this country, and they supply a fifth of the nation’s electricity; many of the new plants proposed by McCain would replace existing ones. That’s because no new nuclear plants have been built in the United States since the 1970s, and many of the facilities still operating are nearing the end of their useful lives.

As are a growing number of Americans, McCain embraces nuclear power as a clean, safe alternative to traditional energy sources that emit greenhouse gases. It’s an unqualified enthusiasm that brings to mind Homer Simpson’s memorable prayer thanking God “for nuclear power: the cleanest, safest energy there is. Except for solar, which is just a pipe dream.”

If McCain is elected president, he will attempt to end a long-standing American aversion to nuclear generated power, which sets this country apart from the rest of the world.

In contrast with the United States, France gets nearly 80 percent of its power from nuclear plants and has a robust building program, as do Japan and Finland. Britain is encouraging companies to build new reactors, and Italy recently lifted the ban on nuclear plants it imposed after the Chernobyl meltdown in the former Soviet Union two decades ago. Across the world, more than 100 new plants are either in the planning or construction stages, roughly half of them in rapidly developing nations such as China and India.

The United States should be in no rush to join the parade. Despite McCain’s glowing assessment and the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nuclear power still has serious shortcomings.

Modern nuclear plants are certainly safer than their Chernobyl-era predecessors, but accidents remain a problem. The Union of Concerned Scientists recently reported that 41 U.S. reactors have been shut down at least 51 times for more than a year because of safety problems.

While security has been improved since Sept. 11, nuclear plants remain worrisome targets for terrorists. They are also sources of waste that can be used to create weapons-grade plutonium.

Meanwhile, the question of how to dispose of the radioactive waste from existing U.S. reactors, much less the new facilities proposed by McCain, remains unanswered. Radioactive waste from nuclear plants can remain highly toxic for thousands of years, and no permanent storage facilities have been built in the United States — or anywhere else in the world. Congress long has struggled to build a U.S. disposal site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, but relentless opposition by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promises to delay its opening for another decade — and perhaps longer.

It’s also unclear that nuclear power can play a timely role in fighting climate change. Because many of the new nuclear plants proposed by McCain would replace existing ones, it would take many more than the 45 new plants that he proposes by 2030, or the 100 he proposes in the long term, to achieve major reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases.

Nuclear plants also take large amounts of time and money to build. Current licensing and testing requirements would delay construction for at least five years, and new nuclear plants require investments of between $5 billion and $10 billion — investments that Wall Street is unlikely to make without huge federal taxpayer subsidies.

McCain’s Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, has a more realistic and safer view of nuclear power. While he acknowledges nuclear power may prove necessary to meet aggressive climate goals, he says it should not be expanded until the challenges of cost, safety, disposal and nuclear proliferation have been addressed.

Palin: wrong woman, wrong message

By Gloria Steinem
September 4, 2008

This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can't do the job because she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn't say the same about a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years' experience.

Palin has been honest about what she doesn't know. When asked last month about the vice presidency, she said, "I still can't answer that question until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?" When asked about Iraq, she said, "I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."

She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular, and she's won over Alaskans mostly by using unprecedented oil wealth to give a $1,200 rebate to every resident. Now she is being praised by McCain's campaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax. Perhaps McCain has opposed affirmative action for so long that he doesn't know it's about inviting more people to meet standards, not lowering them. Or perhaps McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department, of putting a job candidate's views on "God, guns and gays" ahead of competence. The difference is that McCain is filling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency.

So let's be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can't tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom. If that were not the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows what a vice president does and who has thought about Iraq; someone like Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. McCain could have taken a baby step away from right-wing patriarchs who determine his actions, right down to opposing the Violence Against Women Act.

Palin's value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves "abstinence-only" programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers' millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn't spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

I don't doubt her sincerity. As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Assn., she doesn't just support killing animals from helicopters, she does it herself. She doesn't just talk about increasing the use of fossil fuels but puts a coal-burning power plant in her own small town. She doesn't just echo McCain's pledge to criminalize abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wade, she says that if one of her daughters were impregnated by rape or incest, she should bear the child. She not only opposes reproductive freedom as a human right but implies that it dictates abortion, without saying that it also protects the right to have a child.

So far, the major new McCain supporter that Palin has attracted is James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Of course, for Dobson, "women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership," so he may be voting for Palin's husband.

Being a hope-a-holic, however, I can see two long-term bipartisan gains from this contest.

Republicans may learn they can't appeal to right-wing patriarchs and most women at the same time. A loss in November could cause the centrist majority of Republicans to take back their party, which was the first to support the Equal Rights Amendment and should be the last to want to invite government into the wombs of women.

And American women, who suffer more because of having two full-time jobs than from any other single injustice, finally have support on a national stage from male leaders who know that women can't be equal outside the home until men are equal in it. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are campaigning on their belief that men should be, can be and want to be at home for their children.

This could be huge.

-Article by Gloria Steinem, an author, feminist organizer and co-founder of the Women's Media Center. She supported Hillary Clinton and is now supporting Barack Obama.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Week down the Jersey Shore

back from the beach!! i spent last week down the jersey shore with my mother, her boyriend, my boyfriend ricardo, my cousin vincent and my best friend andrea. lindsay stayed over for a night too. :) we had a lot of fun and i took a lot of great shots. everyone was getting testy about my compulsive photo taking but everyone always wants copies of alllll the shots i take... which is kind of uh, hypocritical. i took a lot of photos, but i wish i took even more. you can see some of the photos here.

here are some highlights of the trip: buying boogie boards and only using them once; lindsay and vincent doing sake shots; getting kicked off the beach at night; having an audience at the photo booth; some drunk lady asking "are you going to put these [photos] on youtube?!"; playing tennis for the first time in over a year; buying over $200 worth of groceries at the beginning of the week and then continually buying food every day after that; honey straws; getting kicked off the playground at night; suntan lotion back massages; seafood fest night; my italian cousin and his irish drinking songs; the ghetto shot glasses i made; vincent and rick quoting movies alllll week long; my mom's boyfriend thinking someone stole one of his flip flops; begrudgingly going jet skiing; embracing the octomat; heckling anyone who might be "doing a stinky poo-poo"; our new found love for the game of life board game; buying painted sea shells for 50 cents from the kids down the street; and the tan line the "hulk out" removable tattoo left on rick's arm.

i will be in new jersey for a month, visiting friends and family and taking lots of photos. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


a look back on my busy, busy week...

monday: retouched photos for my favorite boss dave. :) i love working with dave because he's so easy going; a great person to talk to; and sometimes we even accomplish A LOT.
tuesday: modeled for james. i secretly love getting my hair and makeup done. the photos came out great.
wed and thurs: retouched photos for my favorite boss dave. and i even passed on getting pinkberry. wow.
friday: dealt with my car. retouched for a few hours and babysat from 6 pm to 12 am.
sat and sun: worked a two-day promotion.
monday: finished retouching photos for my favorite boss dave. ate thai food with rick and james. packed.

i have been incredibly busy lately... which is GREAT!! especially because i am taking a looong vacation and heading back to NJ til october. yes, i'm probably crazy for staying that long but i think it's a wise decision. my cousin is getting married in october so instead of flying back and forth, i decided to extend my stay in order to spend more time with family and friends. my grandmother recently broke her femur bone so i am glad i will be able to keep her company while she is living in a rehabilitation home. my birthday is in september, so i will be able to spend the day being showered with gifts from loved ones. ;) hahaha. as much as i enjoy living in california and am SO grateful for the opportunities i have been given, sometimes i feel like i'm missing out on the simple things in life... like being able to hang out with your best friends or spending the weekend with my mother. luckily nobody has a problem with visiting me in california (hehe), but being able to go back to the comfort of your childhood home is priceless.

Monday, August 11, 2008

sunday is funday

i went biking with my friend hal this weekend and we shot a lot of great photos in venice beach. you can see some of them here. we also grabbed "breakfast" at 2 pm and swung on some swings. (i'm a BIG fan of swingsets). the highlight of day occurred around 9 pm when hal and i were riding bikes to his office to pick up a few things. as much as drivers in Santa Monica seem conscientious of bikers, i was hesitant to ride to hal's office because our bikes didn't have lights and it was dark outside... but hal assured me we would be safe.

moments later...

*while laying on the horn* an angry driver yells to hal: GET OUTTA THE ROOOAD!!!!!
the angry driver goes through the intersection and meets up with hal again, driving closely next to him yelling "YOU'RE IN THE ROAD!!!!"
hal's retort??? "YOU'RE DRIVING A CAR!!!!

HAHAHA, it may have been one of those you-had-to-be-there moments, but it was hysterical!! the driver would have retaliated but hal's un-insulting insult sort of befuddled him. the irony was that hal was riding IN A BIKE LANE!! this person was just crazy.

p.s. i tried Red Mango for lunch because i was eager to taste their frozen yogurt since they were established before pinkberry and are more natural and... yeee-uck. the pineapples were canned, not fresh, and the raspberries were mushy. i tried a sample of the green tea flavor but opted with original and boy was i was disappointed. from now on, i'm sticking to pinkberry when i want of overload of sugary artificial frozen yogurt that appears healthy. are you a "crackberry" baby too??? check out the comic i made based on my experience at the pinkberry in beverly hills...

Saturday, August 2, 2008


i've added two NEW acrylic pendant necklaces to my etsy shop!!

and they're FIVE DOLLARS OFF... check them out!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


i've added new entries to my environmental blog: End Second Hand Smoke.

Please check them out!!


Monday, July 21, 2008

Scissor Envy

I haven't cut my hair in 1 1/2 years but now more than ever, I have an urge to chop it into a bob (angled so that it's a little longer in the front than it is in the back).

My hair is the longest its been since pre-kindergarten. I'm not sure why I keep growing out my hair. It wraps itself around my arms when I swim. It tangles itself in knots when I leave my car windows rolled down. It clings to my back when it's humid outside and I'm wearing a tank top. If you run your fingers through the carpet in my apartment, it will look like you've just dissembled a tumbleweed. Before I can vacuum, we (and by "we" I mean Rick) have to CUT through a wad of my hair that is continuously wrapped around the rollers of the vacuum cleaner.

But when hair gets this long it becomes an entity - a body part you're reluctant to amputate. I want the happy-go-lucky feeling dogs get when you shave off their fur for the summer, but I'm worried I may regret going scissor-happy. Every time I ask someone's opinion on cutting my hair their first reaction is always "NO!!" followed by the obligatory "but it's your hair so, do whatever you want." Yes, I can trim off three or four inches but I hate the in-between length - so it's all of nothing!!

I'll cut my hair when it gets in the way of every day life like using the toilet, for example. Once my hair is long enough to dangle in the toilet bowl, it's getting cut. In the meantime, I'll keep reminding myself how badly I wished I looked like a long-haired Roxy model back in the day (hello 9th and 10th grade!!) and just deal with this hair.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

what to bring to your first appointment with your plastic surgeon...

there is a promotional dr. 90210 game you can play at E! online where you can psychotically build your ideal face using celebrity body parts. i had no idea it existed either, but i built a face. try to guess whose parts i used!! (the answers are in my tags... but don't cheat!!)

face one:

(maria bello... is that you???)

face two:

(freakishly resembles oliver martinez!!)

Friday, July 11, 2008


my boyfriend just met dave grohl!!!! rick stepped out of work and saw the peter pan of rock n' roll eating lunch and called me and asked "should i get my picture taken with dave grohl???" my reponse was "WHAT?! OHMYGOD, YES!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! DID YOU EVEN HAVE TO ASK?!! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!" hahaha. when i got the photo via my cell phone, i started jumping up and down. i'm probably more excited than rick is about it. hell, i feel like i was the one who met him. hahaha. but i didn't. :(

lucky rick!! (and lucky dave grohl too, hehe).

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

NEW!! Handmade Acrylic Pendant Necklaces

rick and i finally made necklaces... and they came out GREAT!!!! check them out:

Cotton Candy by the Sea
Originally uploaded by jena ardell.

Elvis in Palm Springs
Originally uploaded by jena ardell.

each necklace is one-of-a-kind and takes 1 hour to create!!

each pendant is "cooked" in a high-pressure HOTTTT pot. they come out rough, until they are ground and polished to perfection.

why acrylic?
because it's LIGHTER and more DURABLE than resin. also, very rarely are there air bubbles embedded in the pendant. these pendants are virtually indestructible and will last a lifetime!!

available in my etsy shop:!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

my latest addiction: POLYVORE.COM

i stumbled upon the greatest, girliest gem of a wesbite called polyvore where you build your own outfit by mixing and matching articles of clothing and accessories. if you love fashion and collage making... or have a uterus, you will love this site.

here's how it works: there are thousands of items to browse or you can search by brand or color. you simply drag the items onto your work space and arrange them however you want. you can collect as many items as you like and even add non-clothing objects like food... basically anything you can find online. if you're feeling even more creative, you can add backgrounds.

***shopaholics beware... if you hover over a particular article of clothing, a thumbnail will appear with a link that will take you directly to the website that is selling that item. i'm already tempted to order two things i've included in one of my ensembles.

here are some sets i created (then lightly edited in MS paint). check them out:

the site is pretty easy to navigate. if you have ten minutes (or are bored at work), you'll figure it out in no time.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

most fun work day

i worked for my favorite boss dave on thursday and it was thee most fun work day i ever had!! it was very mellow, but very productive. first, dave shot photos of me with an iphone... mostly torso shots that would make killer iphone ads. then dave's neighbor's daughter arielle came over and i shot photos of her on dave's swing and photos of her with her dogs. then dave shot photos of her. then dave shot photos of me and arielle doing cartwheels. then i shot photos of arielle doing handstands and some mid-air jumping shots. then dave's wife mary came home and became a mid-air model. dave took some really good photos of mary with their foster dogs. then dave shot photos of me, arielle and mary jumping. and finally, i shot photos of dave and mary jumping. we shot exactly 1,000 photos... lots of good ones dave can hopefully sell on getty images which is why i can't upload them onto here. but i will post a link after they've been accepted by getty!! so stay tuned. :) :) :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

hard work.

today was a grueling day of work at nagel photography. i love working for my favorite boss, but sometimes it's more work than i anticipated. i started at 6:30 am and was so busy i didn't get a chance to sit down until 3:00 pm!! i had to clean alllll of my boss's camera equipment; program his computer so lightroom would stop screwing up; iron and sew a VELVET backdrop that was 14 x 20 ft long; build an entire set (basically from scratch) for our upcoming baby shoot, edit 283 images; give his dogs a bath; set up his digital cable; make him lunch AND fold his laundry. sure, those seem like manageable tasks, but his phone would not stop ringing AND i had to quickly learn japanese in order to talk to the adobe help tech who was walking me through the new beta version of lightroom. i cut my finger on a shelf while i was organizing all of my boss's camera gear in his garage but luckily, my boss let me take a two minute break to get a band-aid (he's such a nice guy). he also let me work two minutes overtime. i didn't get home until 7:15!! and then i had to cook dinner.

...NOT. ;)

Friday, June 27, 2008

why i envy people who have perfect teeth.

today i went to an orthodontist who did a full x-ray on my mouth and i found out (after had been told i have none in the past) that i have a wisdom tooth. :( i went to an orthodontist because i've been putting off getting a tooth implant for many years (because i was scared shitless of having something drilled into my gums) and now my teeth have shifted which has created more problems.

here are the procedures i need done:
*gum grafting (because i have a thin gumline) (hopefully never)
*braces again for 2 years (approx $4,000)
*new retainers made (approx ($350)
*surgery for tooth implant ($2,000)
*tooth implant ($2,500)
*wisdom tooth removed (who knows)
*i also want to replace two or three mercury fillings (approx $350 or $400)

i have neither health insurance nor dental insurance and the cost of all of these procedures is going to be over $10,000. so starting today (which is good because i went shopping yesterday), i am not spending money on anything that isn't a necessity. the worst part is... i've already had braces on my teeth for over 4 years... that's why i had huge cavities on all my back molars. but i don't mind the fact that i'll have braces, it's the gum grafting i am NOT looking forward to.

i could go another route and not have any orthodonic work done and just get a bridge (to cover the gap), but that will ruin two healthy teeth and my bite will still be off which will cause jaw and possibly more tooth problems in the years to come.

so i am hoping i will be hearing from the IRS soon because (hopefully) i will be receiving some sort of compensation in lieu of my biological father falsely claiming me on his tax returns for many years... which, this year, prevented me from receiving a stimuulus check.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

what i had for lunch...

medium sized original with three toppings: strawberries, raspberries and pineapple.

on my "lunch break" from working with my favorite boss dave, i stopped at pinkberry in beverly hills. driving in beverly hills SUCKS. especially during tourist season. i watched a car attempt to pull out of a parking spot onto beverly blvd. he, of course, was blocking the road but mr. angry man had to pull up right behind him and laaaay on his horn. the guy backing up acknowledged him, then proceeded to back up even further (in attempt to get out of the way) but in doing so, wound up backing right into angry man's car. thus, making him even angrier.

back to me and my lunch... pinkberry and i have an odd relationship. it's sort of become my guilty pleasure. the first time i've ever tried it was back in march when my friend lindsay was visiting me. before then, i never had any desire to try pinkberry... it seemed too trendy and i couldn't understand why it was such a popular place when it only served three flavors... none of which are pink. so i got an original (because the green tea sample tasted nothing like green tea) and it tasted like sour milk... not so much as spoiled milk, but sour -- as if it was trying to taste like lemon but couldn't overcome the pungent taste of plain yogurt. i couldn't even finish the small and rick took one spoonful before tossing it in the garbage. lindsay, on the other hand, got the coffee flavor with raspberries and LOVED it.

so flash forward to me working a promo on a hot day, somewhere within walking distance from a pinkberry. i went there on my break, i tried it again... and it wasn't so bad!! so i'm guessing it's an acquired taste. it's not a habit i go out of my way for (yet) and i'm hoping it will never become one because a medium original with three toppings is almost $6... and that seems pricey for almost-sour-tasting frozen yogurt so i usually opt for no toppings. rick still thinks it tastes awful. and lindsay thinks i'm blatantly addicted. i still think pinkberry is waaaay overrated but i'm not going to lie, i sorta look forward to eating it now. O:)

Monday, June 23, 2008

highly social weekend (and a record of my spending)

saturday: drove to rick's parents house at 10 am so he could go pick up a refrigerator for his mother since his parents are in mexico. now this is the funny part... i got up, put my glasses on, gathered up some stuff and left. on the way there (it's about an hour away) i started falling asleep in the car. and once we got to rick's parent's house, i took a nap. i guess i tired from... sleeping?! i have no idea -- but it was the best nap ever. i woke up around noon or 1 pm, i forget. then we went to the mall to buy rick's dad some dress shoes. i wound up blowing $68 at victoria secret. thank goodness we passed the store because i forgot about the semi-annual sale!! which isn't really a sale at all... it's just when VS decides to price items with a 10% markup instead of 30%. and sometimes even the "sale" prices aren't that great. ($27.99 for a BRA... on sale?! you kiddin me???) underwears are marked down to $3.99... but with tax (7.25%) they wind up costing $4.28 per pair which isn't really a deal because you can buy underwear there for 5 for $25 alllllll the time. yet women (like me) go NUTS and spend LOADS of money during the semi-annual sale. when i was at the cash register i could hear other people's totals and all i heard was $105... $117... $87... etc. .

after our mall excursion, rick and i picked up some crazy chicken (el pollo loco) and ate it at his parent's house while watching "50 first dates" on TV. then we met up with rick's friend james and james's wife and their daughter at a free outdoor concert... it was EDDIE MONEY!! i dunno how old Eddie Money is now, but his voice still sounded really good. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Eddie Money, he sings "Baby Hold On [To Me]" "Two Tickets to Paradise" and "Take Me Home Tonight" among others -- all of which i am SURE you've heard at one point (or multiple points) in your life. we stood really far from the stage (it was at a huge park) but it was still a good time with a 4th of july vibe.

after the concert, rick and i went back to james's house for rootbeer floats and vanilla ice cream with blueberries. (can you guess who ate what?! haha). i know i've mentioned this in the past, but james's wife sarah is one of thee nicest people i've EVER met. she's #2 on my nice meter. (#1 is mrs m, my former 2nd grade teacher turned close family friend). people like sarah (and mrs m) are rare, but i'm sure you know one person who is SINCERELY nice to EVERYONE... we're talking pure, selfless, unbiased niceness here. these people are all heart. not one ounce of deception or manipulation. anyway, i've hung out with sarah a few times now and i had a feeling she might enjoy, so i told her about it. within a few minutes we were online and i was showing her my shop and other people's items that i adore. one minute led to twenty minutes and twenty minutes led to an hour... i never knew sarah was into thrift shopping or craft making!! (her medium is polymer clay) so now we want to do a craft night. :) i'm bringing shrinky dinks.

sunday: rick and i woke up relatively early to attend a birthday brunch at la paz for rick's friend mike's wife jessica. (got all that?! haha). la paz is a mexican restaurant that has money tacked to the ceiling; a collection of antique bicycles (also suspended from the ceiling); and a mexican/american buffet on sundays complete with mariachis that serende every table. of course, i wound up eating the most un-mexican food there -- belgium waffles piled high with fruit, hahaha.

after brunch, rick and i made a pit stop at our apartment before heading to dodgers stadium to meet up with his friend jonathan to watch the dodgers beat the indians. it was about 104 degrees and because i assumed we'd be in the sun all afternoon, i decided to wear long pants and close-toed shoes. bad idea. luckily, we were seated in the shade but it was still sweltering. and we had a bit of a walk since parking cost $15 and dodgers stadium doesn't accept debit cards or credit cards and rick and i didn't have any cash on us. but hey, saved us $15.

monday: went to the post office, put gas in my car (gas prices are ridiculous here. i've seen it as high as $4.86 and as low as $4.53 this week). then i went to the mall and spent even MORE money in victoria's secret. this time my total was $71. i bought two beach coverups (like i needed more of those) and a looooong comfy sweatshirt (as if i will need to wear it anytime soon) but everything was on sale. i also bought a nice, long-ish purple and white striped tee-shirt from express (on sale for $10) and a rainbow striped tank top from forever 21 ($14) that will look great in polaroids. i get major buyer's remorse... i ALWAYS feel bad after i go shopping and usually regret having spent any money at all. i was thisclose to returning that sweatshirt to victoria's secret while i was still in the mall but it was the only one left and i could picture myself all curled up on the couch wearing it. on my waya home, i called my friend lindsay (who is even more of a shopaholic) who consoled me by saying... "pffft, $100?! i spend that on my lunch break." haha, thanks lindsay.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

polanerd adventure to the middle of nowhere

yesterday i went on a little polanerd outing with kim and chinako.

sanctuary adventist church
Originally uploaded by jena ardell.
our first stop was a cute abandoned cottage in the middle of the nowhere lancaster, california. kim had driven past this place but never had the nerve to explore the interior alone. (i don't blame her).

left to rot
Originally uploaded by jena ardell.
the cottage was a MESS. there was the usual evidence left behind by one too many drunken minors -- beer cans and bottles, smashed walls, bullet holes and broken tile. (just so you can get an idea of how dirty the place was...) but this house had a terrific blue room and hardwood floors... the perfect backdrop for kim's brilliant idea.

hole in the wall
Originally uploaded by jena ardell.
we shot some photos then kim didn't waste any time tossing polaroids around the room, covering the floor with the "bad" shots she no longer wanted. chinako and i couldn't believe what she considered to be her "bad" shots... but apparently kim has very similar perfected versions of the photos she left behind. chinako and i hoarded a few we couldn't bare to leave behind.

we proceeded to shoot hundreds of photos around the house and took turns lying among the polaroids on the floor. although the floor was visibly dirty, it didn't seem so bad.

down the road from the cottage was some sort of compound. all of the buildings appeared to be abandoned but there were cars and dogs and seemingly normal outdoor table with a pitcher of water, iced tea, glasses, binoculars and a pillow. running 1/8 mile along one of the buildings was this creepy fence covered in skeletons of mythical creatures. skulls and bones were wired to the fence to create things like a devil and an angel. near the end of the fence was the "skeleton" of this alien creature

after i showed my boyfriend photos of the skull fence he said, "ohmygod jena, haven't you ever seen the texas chainsaw masacre?!"

summer heat
Originally uploaded by jena ardell.
we drove further into lancaster county and stopped at a beautiful poppy field. i shot some awesome polaroids of chinako lying on a mexican blanket kim had burried in her trunk.

then we ventured further into the middle of nowhere to the infamous sanctuary adventist church AKA: the kill bill church. when we got there there were three guys taking photos with their camera phone of the church (which is a fully functioning establishment).

total fucking badasses
Originally uploaded by jena ardell.
all and all, a wonderfully sucessful and fun trip. i shot 420 digital photos and 25 polaroids. of those, a selected set can be viewed here. check them out!! some of the photos taken that day can be purchased in my etsy shop:

inbox full

i usually have to delete a text message in order to receive one because i never delete them... some are just too amusing to delete. here some of more recent ones:

andrea: Oh! I love it! And i think i just mooned the guys fixing the wires.

mom: I'm at aunt roses for dinner. she's drunk. THE END. LOL HELP!!

ricardo: Yea. but i'm not into yoga n don't have half a brain. i would like to make love @ midnight but i can't stay up that late.

zac: I made it home. Sleep tight don't let the stick bugs bite.

lindsay: heidi is a jackass.

(she was referring to heidi montag).


ricardo: ill let it slide. youre lucky youre too cute. Thanks. love you.

ricardo: i had a dream that the dad from '10 things i hate about you' was trying to pimp you out!

kevin: P.S. Ur cat needs to join an 80's hair metal revival tour with its sweet vocal skills.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


...or i just finally created my own header. regardless, it looks pretty spiffy. :)

i revamped my environmental blog too!!

R.E.M - Supernatural Superserious
No Doubt - Leftovers
Jason Mraz - I'm Yours
Alanis Morrissette - Underneath
Jack Johnson - Banana Pancakes
All Saints - Pure Shores (always on my summer mixes)
Bob Marley - Three Little Birds
Al Green - Here I Am (Come and Take Me)
STP - Interstate Love Song
Mazzy Star - Fade Into You
Kaiser Chiefs - Rudy
Beck - Earthquake Weather
Lenny Kravitz - I'll Be Waiting
Radiohead - House of Cards

Friday, June 6, 2008

my most recent ebay purchases

i'm like an addict... but i can't help it if i still wished it were the late 90s!! seriously though, ALL of these items are things i was buying/would have bought in the year 2000. i guess i haven't changed...

i finally retired my old roxy wallet that i've used for the past 8 years... (not by choice, it was falling apart) and i purchased this gem - a pristine roxy wallet circa 1999-2000. i figured if i'm going to replace my favorite wallet, might as well replace it with something similar:
i have these shoes in white/lavendar and black/hot pink... now i have them in gray/pink: i have a thing for straw bags. i love how they look but i rarely use them for fear of ripping them. stupid, i know. this one will look great in photos. :)
they don't make this style anymore. :( i have a pair of periwinkle/white platform vans (circa 1997) that are very similar to this and are probably my favorite pair of shoes everrr. i used to have these shoes in white and another pair in navy, but they got pretty beat up and i had to toss them. in 2005, vans made second-wave of platform sneakers in three colors. i bought the white/pink when the first came out and now i'll have the blue/yellow.
here is something else that's been looong discontinued. roxy's "hula" perfume. according to roxy, their "first" scent called "roxy" was launched in summer 2007... which is an utter lie because their first fragrance was roxy "hula" which was launched in 1998!! back when roxy clothes looked more like surf clothes... but i addition to these items, i've also purchased polaroid film, vintage issues of LOOK magazine and 51 issues of workbasket magazine circa 1950-1970.

oh dear, i need to stay away from ebay.

Friday, May 23, 2008


four days of sunshine, ten days of rain; baking a VERY LARGE cake shaped in a 5 and a 0; surprising my mother on her 50th birthday; going to walmart far too many times than i'd like to admit; mother's day eggplant parmesan; shopping with lindsay; calvin the beta fish; visiting nicole and talking for four hours straight; my cousin's graduation from the police academy; best friend foot and back massages; skateboarding; playing cranium (andrea and i won of course); grocery shopping at 2 am; bowling with andrea, justin, zac, my mom and donald; becoming the scrabble champ; fortune cookies; scanning loads of old photos; ice cream/art outing; babysitting my cousin's kids; ginormous rainbows; eating an obscene amount of utz pretzels.

due to the crappy weather, i only took 15 polaroids (7 of which are utter garbage) and i bought a lot crap i don't need... like picture frames, fabric paint and more summer clothes.

movies watched: the letter, waitress, 13 going on 30, ghostbusters 2 and charade.