Tuesday, January 29, 2008

voicemail i just can't erase

and the "voicemail-i-just-can't-erase" award goes to my best friend andrea who left me this hysterical message awhile back...

"ohmygod jena, you'll never guess who just added me as a friend on facebook. let's see, it's someone from our past who we gave psychological counseling to... no, not **** *****, but good guess." ~andrea

the best part is it's true, and i knew exactly who she was talking about.

sigh, i love my best friend.

Monday, January 28, 2008

box office weekend

this weekend i worked in the box office for Art LA, a contemporary art fair in santa monica that represented sixty-four unique local, national and international galleries.

despite the long hours, it was fun playing box office with a group of eclectic locals (actually, very few were locals. the majority were transplants like myself).
the dynamics of a group of freelancers never ceases to amaze me. there are always type-cast personalities, but this time those personalities were even more specialized. i worked with quite a bunch of characters. the cast included:

the bossy, take charge, been-there/done-that/know-it-all, 20-something "stunt woman" and her nice boyfriend (also into stunts), a theatre geek all grown up.

the middle-aged worldly writer who was trying to absorb as much as she possibly could. although she has lived in the united states for however how long, she still pretends she hasn't grasped "american" ways and phrases.

the likable, well-dressed, high-energy actress who quickly becomes every body's best friend (but not in a negative, fake way).

the bohemian art child with a unique name, soft-spoken annunciation and hippy clothing (also very nice).

the poor-luck guy with an outdated haircut who always gets suckered into doing all the bitch work because he's too compliant to say "no" and very few people pay attention to what he mutters under his breath.

and then... me. the cynic who nominates herself the "normal one" as she quietly judges all of the other characters, honestly not caring what they must think of her.

despite the awful weather, the event brought in quite a number of celebrities. patricia heaton (who plays the wife in everybody loves raymond) promptly showed up at 11:30 AM on opening day.

saturday celebs included daniel stern who was modestly dressed in attire that resembled what he wore in home alone (he played marv). he was also the voice of the narrator in the wonder years... i had no idea!!

karolina kurkova showed with a three-man entourage of guys who could easily pass as roadies. (the one with long blond hair was cute though).

keenen ivory wayans bought tickets for himself and his "sweet valley twin" brittany daniel toward the end of the night.

james franco was on the VIP list and was rumored to be inside, but nobody saw him enter the building.

todd oldham came to my line on sunday. he was so modestly dressed (in a blue sweatshirt, corduroy-ish khakis and with a backpack on his back) i wasn't sure it was him until he spoke in that gentle, todd oldam voice. he was so very pleasant and down-to-earth.

i didn't start conversations with any of the celebrities but when adam raspler (311's manager!!) was buying a ticket, i had to go over and say something!!

matt dillon snatched a VIP ticket and darted across of the box office to the front door like a weasel who just stole an egg from a hen house.

my stunt-woman coworker gave dustin hoffman major attitude. she didn't even so much as glance up at him because by the end of the night her goal was to say as few words as possible and make the the minimal amount of contact with people. hoffman seemed amused by her attitude (those infamous, twinkling character lines appeared in the corners of his eyes). i sat in disbelief and just as he was about to leave, i offered him one of the Art LA canvas tote bags (since miss stunt wasn't about to hand him one). he came back for it but i think it he was just being friendly because i highly doubt he really wanted the tote bag... although they were a hot comondity!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Ones We Love

check out TheOnesWeLove.org to see some of my polaroids as well as other beautiful shots from photographers from around the world that honor the people who mean the most to them.

my photos can be seen here. (just click the arrow to the right after you read my little blurb).

Billy Baldwin photos

here are the photos feaured on PARADE magazine's website of Billy Baldwin taken the day i babysat my boss's house during a photoshoot. only one photo was chosen for the physical copy of Parade.

photo credit: Larsen & Talbert for PARADE

you can read the article that accompanied the photos here.

it was awesome to have witnessed the photo shoot and to now see the final results of the production and it's also really awesome to know (by looking at the photos) exactly where william baldwin was standing and to have taken photographs/been photographed in the exact same spots. here's a polaroid i took of that birdfeeder he is standing in front of and here are shots of me in dave's dining room:

Photo Credit: Court Leve

and on the infamous swing...

Photo Credit: Dave Nagel

more polaroids i've taken at dave's house can be seen here.

Monday, January 21, 2008

mexican food. uncle jessie. and an old chair.

i'm writing from hal's apartment. he's on his way to the studio to pick up a soft box so we can partake in a late night photo shoot. tonight was a lot of fun. hal, his roommate megan, his friend nick and i went out to eat at El Cholos in Santa Monica. my dinner wasn't quite what i expected. i ordered the Chicken Tostadita which was described as "An Array of Fresh Garden Vegetables, Avocado, and Grilled Chicken Breast, Served in a Crisp Flour Tortilla" and more or less was served a salad with four large chips. it was good though. on our way out i spotted John Stamos sitting with a young lady and another couple right by the front door. he's cute. kinda skinnier than i imagined and lots of facial hair. i gawked for a few moments while we waited for the valet to retrieve hal's car but i didn't bother him for a photo. that's right - i saw UNCLE JESSIE and didn't get a photo with him. that my friends is called will power.

after dinner, hal, nick and i rode to "top of the world" in hope of taking some awesome night shots. despite the fog, we managed to capture a few good shots. then we headed to the Santa Monica pier. windy roads plus a full stomach... not a good combination. i felt like i was going to vomit. luckily the feeling subsided in the restroom of Bubba Gumps. hal shot some good photos of nick in an alley near the pier and then we went on a mission to find an outdoor electrical outlet so we could use hal's strobes. on our way toward venice i spotted an awesome chair on the side of the road. better yet, it was near an outlet. but the backdrop sucked (minus the guy peeing from around the corner. he was uh, kewl). i took some good shots of hal and nick near an abandoned blockbuster (where we were thinking about dragging the chair). now here's the kewl part about hal... we pass a chair on the side of the road. i suggest we take it (it matches our new backdrop perfectly) and hal thinks it's a great idea. so we wedge the chair in hal's trunk that was already full of equipment. luckily the door of the truck was heavy enough to hold it in place and we didn't have far to drive.

UPDATE: we set up our backdrop with the chair and shot some REALLY AWESOME shots. all. night. long. (til 1:30 am). hal shot me in a pink 80s dress (that i scored at a goodwill for $8) and a tiara. i shot hal through a wine bottle. hal shot nick with a guitar. we had fun. i can't wait to see more of the results!! and of course i will post some shots.

now hal and i are scheming up our next plan... an 80s party to launch our photo business!! stay tuned. :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

text messaging is the new instant messaging.

we've all been guilty of texting mini paragraphs to our friends instead of simply calling them (or at least most of us have). texting a quick yes/no question especially if you're limited on time is very convenient but recently i found myself making plans through text messaging. and no matter what you may think, text messaging (especially on an ordinary cell phone) is much more time consuming than actually having to make the dreaded phone call. a general rule of thumb should be if you dread having to call someone that much to simply make plans then maybe you're really not in the mood to hang out with that person. in fact, there are only three reasons why you should text someone instead of calling them:
1. it's too noisy for you to make a phone call
2. you're at work and shouldn't be using a phone
3. you just want someone to know you are thinking about him/her

you should NOT use text messaging:
1. to make plans
2. to flake out/cancel on someone
3. as a substitution to a phone call

the best situation is when someone you haven't spoken to in a really long time texts you and asks things like "how are you?/how's life?/what's new?" sure it's nice to hear from them, but it's also impossible to answer such questions via text messaging.

people now rely on having conversations without having to see/hear/be near the other party. sure that's convenient but it's also making people more socially awkward. so the next time you're compelled to text an interesting anecdote to your friend, call instead. not only will he or she appreciate hearing your voice but you'll both do something you probably haven't done in a while -- have a a real conversation.

don't get me wrong, i'm not a text message-hater, but i just think people shouldn't rely on texting to keep in touch. can we honestly say our lives are "too busy" to make a 15 minute phone call???

as i mentioned before, texting to allow someone to know you are thinking about him/her is appreciated. here are some amusing texts i've recently received:

zac: I did a search on a new search engine to try to find your flickr page. I searched Jena Ardell and two porn links came up. One was about eskimoes. I won't be using that search engine anymore.

zac: P.s. I was reading all the old notes online. They are funny and most of the stuff is still true. I still want to kick mike in the sac.

mom: FwdIt's new year's eve & before i get drunk, high, naked and lose my damn phone.. Happy New Year! Best wishes to you and yours in 08.

lindsay: Ohmygod thats alot of underwear

ricardo: And you better be madly in love with me woman! i won't accept just a little bit of lovin!

scott: Ha ha no Jena its not ok you need to look your best 4 me ha ha jk i dont care lol Dork.

andrea: I have free texting now! lol get ready

and of course picture messaging is also a lot fun but relying on your cell phone to be your digital camera... ugh, that's another can of worms.

well that sucks.

Twins unwittingly got married in Britain
By Thomas Wagner, Associated Press Writer
Fri Jan 11, 9:31 PM ET

LONDON - Twins who were separated at birth got married without realizing they were brother and sister, a lawmaker said, urging more information be provided on birth certificates for adopted children. A court annulled the British couple's union after they discovered their true relationship, Lord David Alton said.

that sucks. but at least they found each other. y'know what else sucks...

i've been trying allll weekend to win "breakfast with the foo fighters," a private concert with KROQ's kevin and bean and all the other contest winners at 6 am on monday (dave grohl's bday). there's a chance to win EVERY HOUR all weekend long. and i've been trying A LOT. you have to be caller 20 and so far i've been caller 2, caller 10, caller 13, caller 15 (twice), caller 18 and caller 19 DAMNIT. (and these are all at different times, not consecutively). how beat is that?!! so wish me luck.

but here are some things that don't suck...

song you should download: Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby
movie you should watch: Goodbye Lenin!
youtube video every one is talking about: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=wonderingmind42

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Christmas and New Years

my generous, amazing boyfriend went above and beyond (waaaay beyond) this christmas and bought me my dream camera, a Canon 5D!! he even secretly contacted my boss dave to ask some questions about it. sneaky, sneaky. when i mentioned the gift to my mom, her face dropped... she was planning on buying me a Canon Rebel XTi because she didn't know rick was buying me a camera!! what an amazing mother and boyfriend i have. :)

this year i realized i enjoy christmas eve much more than christmas. there's just something more magical about christmas eve -- some sort of warm anticipation that's lost after it officially becomes christmas day. everything that has been decorated, purchased and planned suddenly becomes obsolete after christmas morning. i must have watched A Christmas Story at least four times on christmas. TBS should really just air the movie until 12 am december 26th, because i would have squeezed one or two more viewings after christmas dinner.

new years eve was a blast -- a dozen of us (me, my mom, my cousin, his fiancee, two of their friends, my best friend andrea and five friends from high school: zac, jess, scott, phil and his girlfriend jessica) all went out to eat chinese food at a restaurant my family has frequented since i was in 2nd grade. afterward we all went bowling -- a tradition we started last year.

my mom and i bought "bling rings" for all the girls and i brought along my infamous bag of fun.

the bowling alley supplied a lot of decorations too. everyone had a really great time. we used the coveted "strike necklace" again. (the prize you earn/lose each time someone gets a strike). each time it's passed, a photo is taken.

this year andrea wound up being the last recipient of the necklace which was long-deserved since she got robbed of it last year by justin who was the last bowler of the night. we were a very eclectic group -- some introductions were needed and it was the first time andrea and i had ever met phil's girlfriend (who was awesome... we totally approve, hehe) but everyone quickly became friends. being home made me miss my friends even more but knowing we can always pick up from where we left off reminds me how lucky i am to have such awesome friends. :)

HAPPY 2008!!!!