Friday, September 21, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (7)

Check out Jen's 7QTF here
I am using this this week's quick takes to update you on my current life pursuits.  I have been really busy, and absolutely loving it.


Last week I got an unexpected call from one of my best friends from high school, Zack.  We had not seen each other in over 5 years, but he called to tell me that he was in town from Minnesota and wanted to meet up to discuss a writing opportunity.  It turns out that Zack is being sponsored by the University of Minnesota to write a book on a local motorcycle club that is part narrative non-fiction and part history, and wants me to be the editor.  The next day Zack took me to one of the motorcycle club's annual events.  I had an amazing time, and got to ride on the back of a motorcycle for the first time.  I am really excited for the opportunity to work on this project.

Have you ever seen anything more awkward than me on a motorcycle?

I am still taking child abuse and neglect appointments, and while it challenges me, I really enjoy my work.  I am learning a lot and love being a part of the legal community again.


I am going back to school to get my Master's Degree in Healthcare Administration, with a focus on healthcare policy.  The past year I have done a lot of soul-searching and brainstorming about what I want to do for my long-term career (in addition to being an international bestselling author of course).  I want to do something where I can make a positive impact on the people of West Virginia.  

Several recent articles and studies have flaunted the fact that West Virginians are one of the nation’s most unhealthy populations.  The people tend to be older, less educated, and have more chronic disease conditions than their national counterparts.  We have a high prevalence of tobacco use, obesity, prescription pill abuse, and poor access to health care.  I'm convinced this affects much more than our state's overall picture of health.  It affects the economy, and the number of people qualified to work.  It affects the state's crime rates, and its level of happiness and satisfaction.  And I see firsthand the affects these issues have on West Virginia's children through the child abuse and neglect cases I am involved in.  

Anyway, I am midway into my first master's degree class, and I hope that my law degree plus this masters degree will put me in a good position to start improving the lives of the people in my state.  Because whatever problems our state is experiencing right now, West Virginians are still the kindest, friendliest, and hardest working people I have ever met.  This is the state that raised me and I'm excited to give back.


I just accepted a job with a local healthcare organization where I will spend several days a week doing compliance, audit, and legal work.  I am excited because this job will give me healthcare experience, and bridge the gap between my legal education and my up-and-coming master's degree.  It will also allow me to keep taking abuse and neglect work, which is something I want to continue.


I am still devoting one day a week to writing, editing, and submitting my work to contests and magazines.  I have gotten back several rejection letters, but I am not letting that slow me down.  I have an Excel Spreadsheet that shows me which stories I have sent where.  I love making spreadsheets.  And lists.  Man, I love lists.  Anyway, keep your fingers crossed for me!  


Obviously, I'm still blogging.  Every time someone comes up to me and says that they read my blog, I want to give them a big hug (and usually do).  This blog is such an awesome escape for me, and I'm grateful to everyone who takes the time to read it.  As always, I am enjoying the Google keywords that have led people to my blog.  This week my favorites are "jokes on popsicle looking good," "uses of the buffalo," and "ssbbw (also known as super-sized big beautiful women) using a walker."  I hope these Googlers found the answers they were looking for.


I'm still redoing the downstairs bathroom, and it is nearing completion!  My friend Josh is helping me install the floor, and we should finish tonight.  Once I install the new toilet and sink, I will post pictures for your enjoyment.  Even if you don't think it looks good, tell me it does, okay?  It will just be a little white lie and God will forgive you for it.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thoughts that Keep Me Up at Night

I have been blessed with the ability to fall asleep quickly.  Rarely do I lie in bed hoping to fall asleep and stressing out because I can't.  Before you get too jealous of my narcoleptic capabilities, however, know that I often wake up throughout the night consumed by worry about complete and utter nonsense.

About a month ago I woke up with an insatiable thirst for knowledge about the Concorde Jet.  I couldn't believe that I knew so little about it, so I got out of bed, retrieved my computer, and consulted Wikipedia.  The Concorde cut the flight time from New York to Paris from 8 hours to 3 1/2 hours.  The Concorde's only fatal crash occurred in July 2000 in France.  This crash coupled with economic concerns (the flights were hella expensive) are thought to have led to the Concorde's demise.  Interesting factoid: The Concorde's first post-crash passenger flight occurred on September 11, 2001, landing right before the World Trade Center attacks.  But, I digress...

Satisfied that I could now hold my own in a conversation about supersonic passenger aviation, I went back to sleep.  But my eyes quickly popped back open.  Concorde Jets were criticized for the loud noise they make while breaking the sound barrier.  But...dare I's true...I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT SONIC BOOM SOUNDS LIKE!  I quickly got back out of bed and this time consulted YouTube.  After watching multiple videos of jets breaking the sound barrier, I was finally able to fall asleep.

A few nights ago it happened again.  I was woken by what can only be described as gut-wrenching regret.  I could feel my pulse racing as I realized that I am not... I repeat...not... a Delta SkyMiles member.  

I know what you're thinking.

"Jenna, you've flown Delta quite often, so why had it never crossed your mind to sign up as a frequent flyer?"  And you're right.  There should be some sort of crime against this level of stupidity.  I immediately grabbed my computer at 3 a.m. and signed up for Delta SkyMiles.  This, naturally, made me reflect on all of the hotel rewards programs I have not joined.  That is how on September 17, 2012, I also became a Hilton HHonors Rewards Member.

My point is, the next time you have trouble falling asleep at night, soothe yourself with the thought that it could be worse.

You could be completely and indisputably crazy.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (6)

Conversion Diary Link


Last weekend was Marshall's first home game of the season.  My niece, Lola, sat with us and had a blast.  I tried to teach her to say "go Herd!"  Instead, she yells "go, go," which also works.  As long as she isn't yelling "Let's go Mountaineers," I'm happy.  My brother will strongly disagree.


I saw a commercial for a WSAZ (local news station) travel contest and it suddenly dawned on me that I don't enter nearly enough contests.  There is plenty of good loot up for grabs if you look for it.  This week I decided to keep my eyes and ears open for any and all contests.  An ad for the "IHeartRadio Music Festival" came on the radio, so I texted the keyword to enter.  I went to WSAZ's website to enter their travel contest.  I put my business card in a drawing for free lunch at a local restaurant.  Tickets for the 2013 CMAs?  Entered.  Trip to Vienna courtesy of the Travel Channel?  Sure!  $25,000 dream trip from the DoubleTree?  Why not?

Then I discovered that there is a large group of people who spend hours each day "sweepstaking" (see this article on point).  Some of these people even think they have figured out a way to beat the odds in these contests depending, for example, on what kind of envelope they use.  Others mail their entries out while on vacation, in order to enter the contest from multiple mailing addresses.  How can I possibly compete with these pros?  I think I'll go back to being sweepstakes apathetic.


I received this in the mail a few days ago.  Obviously the word "fragile" doesn't mean anything anymore.  I think the postman actually dropkicked this particular package to my doorstop.


Scott and I started a fantasy football league with some friends.  It is a free league that was put together at the last minute, but it still keeps things interesting for me on Sundays.  I named my team "The Southern Jennatools," based on a cute nickname my brother gave me when I was in elementary school.

No one is taking this league seriously, which I completely understand, so I tried to liven things up with a little trash-talking to my opponent, Jeff.  This is the conversation that ensued (it really got me fired up about the game):


I absolutely LOVE wedge salad with bleu cheese.  I could eat it every day.  Especially if it has bacon crumbles.   Mmmmm....bacon crumbles...

Art in food form.

My step-sister's daughter, Haylee, can hold her bottle with her feet.  I find this both impressive and adorable and wanted to share:


Yesterday was Barboursville's Fall Fest parade.  It included plenty of firetrucks, candy-throwing, homemade floats, sketchy carnival rides, and overpriced games.  I had a great time, even when Lola decided to stick a chewed-up cherry Starburst in my hair.

Disney World parades have nothing on the Fall Fest.
Lola and her daddy eating candy and watching the parade.
No festival would be complete without
the winning of a goldfish.
I hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shoot for the Moon!

"Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."  I think I saw this on a popular girl's AOL profile when I was in the 8th grade.  Regardless, it resounds today more than ever before.

I have a knack for applying for jobs that I am totally and unequivocally unqualified for.  About two months ago, I sent in an application for a General Counsel position at Marshall.  I thought it was a job posting for one of several General Counsel positions at the University.

Nope.  There is only one General Counsel attorney who also acts as the Vice President for Executive Affairs.  This is reminiscent of the time I applied for Marshall's Chief of Staff opening straight out of law school.

The most embarrassing part is that I called several of my old bosses and colleagues to ask them to be references.  I am sure they knew exactly what I was applying for, and were rolling their eyes the entire time.  These conversations went something like this:

"Hey Mister Judge!  It's Jenna.  Will you be my reference for the President of the United States position?"
"Why sure, honey.  Aren't you just the cutest thing?"

I also think it's hilarious that Marshall University is probably now accustomed to seeing my name in relation to their most prestigious job postings.

"Oh, here's Jenna again.  What does she want to apply for this time?"
"Her cover letter just says she is applying for 'everything.'"

There are worse faults than dreaming big, right?

Friday, September 7, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (5)

Conversion Diary Link

I recently had the good fortune to happen upon a "Where Are They Now" article for the Sandlot, and I decided to share it on this Quick Takes Friday.  Enjoy!  I bet Wendy Peffercorn is kicking herself now.  Lookin' good, Squirts!


I found another gem on Craiglist's local "rants and raves" section, titled "Women slutting it up:"

"Since when did whoring around become a 'quality' for women? How many out there would slut it up for a celeb even if they were married? 90 percent at least I'd be willing to bet. I don't what happened to you women, but you truly are a spiritually dead."

This man (I'm assuming it's a man) sounds like a true Casanova: trusting, non-judgmental, gentlemanly, spiritual.  Hopefully he will find one of the 10% of women who wouldn't slut it up for celebs.  I would like to see his statistical data, however.  I picture him asking women "what would you say is your best quality," to which they respond "I would have to say whoring around."


I made Amish friendship bread this week for the first time.  It is delicious and I have at least 3 slices a day.  The bad news is that I forgot to give the remaining dough to a friend, as is the entire point of friendship bread.  I'm ashamed.

Friendship Bread, I kept you for myself.
And that was wrong.

Jackie, winner of my sweepstakes (I am currently working on her stuffed animal), is doing a fundraiser for First Book, an organization that provides new books to children in need.  A donation of $10 buys 4 books!  Here is a link to Jackie's fundraising website if you would like to contribute!


I have been obsessively reading a post on Reddit that asks non-Americans what they like about Americans.  I know we have a lot to work on, but I will say I am proud that it comes up often in the post how friendly we are, even to complete strangers. Here is the link if you want to check it out.


This "tow-truck" I saw downtown looked questionable to me.

I want reassurance that this is not a crucifix delivery truck, or if it is,
that it at least plays music like its ice cream equivalent.

I had the honor of being in the room when my brother first saw his daughter, Lola Mae.

Now Lola is almost 2, and I still smile uncontrollably when I watch them together.  Here are some pictures of two of my favorite people in the whole world!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Buffalo Winter

I recently discovered my passion for turning on the "English transcribed" closed captioning option in YouTube videos, especially ones that feature foreign accents.  It rarely gets a single word correct, leaving the viewer with no clue as to even the general theme of the dialogue. Some may call it nonsense.  I call it poetry.  To illustrate, please read the following in your best William Shatner voice:

"They want to focus,
live nineteen fourteen weeks always alone,
they will say about the buffalo winter
belted into the eye and islands of slips."

This poem comes directly from the YouTube closed captioning of a rousing speech by Theon Greyjoy's in Game of Thrones.

What about Braveheart's Freedom Speech?  The great William Wallace rallies with a cry of: "For presenting your sales on this battle interview thanks uses apartment to join in juba on a demo mister Scotland!"

"Phantom stock but really was a seven b twelve!" the men respond.

Now let's look at Trainspotting:

"The truth is the unabomber password."  Now that is some deep stuff.

You get the point.  Anyway, if you are in the market for a new hobby you should try it.  At the very least you can use it to pad your resume.