Friday, November 15, 2013

Forgot About J

I was running at the park earlier this week.....

Well, not running exactly.  It's movement more akin to a grandmother shuffling around the kitchen in her house slippers.  It still gets my blood pumping, though, and it's always good to get some fresh air.

Anyway, I was shuffling around the park when an influential song from my past came on my iPod:  "Forgot About Dre" from Dr. Dre's legendary 2001 album.  I always had a hunch that Dre wrote his songs for middle class white chicks in their late 20s, but this time his lyrics spoke to me like never before.

"Y'all know me, still the same OG, but I been low key..."

It really made me think.  I'm the same original gangster I've always been, but like the good Doctor, I've been low key.  I haven't been writing.  I haven't been blogging.  I've basically fallen off the face of the world wide web.  But Dre got back on his horse.  Why shouldn't I?  And for the record, Dre, I never doubted you.

I've always connected with Dr. Dre on a personal level.  He's from the streets of Compton, I'm from the Village of Barboursville.  He attended the school of hard knocks, I had to pull myself up after a solid Catholic high school education.  He discovered Eminem, I recently re-discovered M&Ms.  Dre smokes chronic, I chronically misplace my car keys.  He just gets me.

I was inspired even further by Eminem's line in the song that says: "From here on out it's the Chronic II, starting today and tomorrow's anew..."

You said it, Slim.  Today is a new day.  This blog is back on track.  And to kick things off, here are 7 quick takes on why I fell off the blog-wagon, and what I've been doing since then.


I got a divorce last spring.  This is the first time I have stated that publicly.  It's not something I ever thought I would go through and I was sad, embarrassed, and ashamed.  I won't be discussing this in any detail on my blog because, let's face it, divorce is a highly personal situation with little to no comedic value anyway.  I just wanted to put it out there because I've always been candid in this blog, and I'm not going to stop just because the road got rough.


In July, newly discovered water issues in the basement caused the sale of our old house to fall through weeks before closing.  The repairs were paid for with stress, tears, and multiple new credit cards.  The good news?  Everything is now fixed, the repairs were overseen and documented by a structural engineer, and the next buyer gets a lifetime warranty.  So, feel free to buy our house.

I moved into a new house in late September.  It is walking distance to the local park, and has a little fenced in backyard for my pug friend.  I am working on a blog entry with before-and-after pictures of work I've done on the house.   Spoiler alert: There was bird poop on the kitchen floor when the previous owners left.


Also in September, two of my best friends and I went out for drinks... in France.  More to come on that topic.


 I'm still working a big girl job and going to graduate school for my Masters in Healthcare Administration.  Apparently there is something going on called the Affordable Care Act?  I'd never even heard of it!


I have been busy checking various things off of my bucket list, two of which were attending a murder mystery dinner and traveling to a Renaissance Festival.  Details to come.  Next on my list?  Attend a ball.

I finally, at age 28, learned now to correctly apply eye shadow.  I went to one of those kiosks at Macy's and asked a makeup artist to show me what to do.  I figured it's time I put on my big girl pants and learn how to do things I should have figured out back in high school.  Next step... getting my ears pierced.  

Just kidding.  I'm not a floozy.

Check out Jen for other Quick Takes this week.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Godsmack that Guy

Last night I went to Walmart to pick up a few essentials.  Thinking I could skip the cart, I awkwardly carried a 24-pack of toilet paper and a full-size broom in my arms (side note: the necessity for these two items is unrelated).  As I struggled to the checkout counter, alternating between dragging the broom on the floor behind me and carrying it like a weapon, I thought "I probably look strange right now."  This thought was short lived, however, as I soon came across someone arguably much stranger.

A 20-something male stood ahead of me in the checkout line, his face impaled by a variety of piercings.  He wore all black, including a toasty-looking winter hat, and appeared to be pretty pissed off.  I did not judge him in the least for his appearance, however, or I like to think I didn't.  No, the judging came from the fact that he was playing heavy metal music on his phone at maximum volume in the middle of a store.  No earbuds for this fella.

This guy was hardcore.  He didn't adhere to social norms.  He didn't care what anyone thinks.  Sure he was buying a pint of Ben & Jerry's, but that's only because his mother specifically told him not to.  And anyway, it wasn't a popular flavor.

The cashier and other customers glared at him, shaking their heads.  The thing is, these dirty looks only fueled the fire.  It was like watching people feed a bear at the zoo.   He was aiming for shock value, and  they weren't disappointing.  One song finished, and another one started.  It was then that I made a quick executive decision.

I discretely pulled my phone from my pocket and Shazaamed that shit.

I put my phone away and looked up at my new hardcore pal and smiled.

"Godsmack fan, huh?  Sweet.  I love them!"  I nodded at him excitedly, still holding a pack of Angel Soft and a corn-bristled broom (good for indoor and outdoor use).

The Godsmack enthusiast looked at my khaki shorts, side ponytail, and grocery items and winced.  He was probably asking himself the age old question:  "If a dork like her likes Godsmack, is Godsmack still hardcore?"

Within seconds, he switched off the music on his phone.  I can only hope it was because I created in him an effect similar to when my mom would try to listen to the music I liked in middle school.

All-in-all, I'd call my Walmart trip a success.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

RIP Mail & Professional Matchmaking

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." --  Inscription on the James A. Farley Post Office Building in New York City

Raise your hand if you have ever received a letter from your Postmaster.  If your hand is raised, was this letter included with the remnants of your mail in a small plastic body bag?  

The following was in my mailbox at work the other day:

When I flipped the bag around, I found this (and laughed until I cried):

RIP Junk Mail.
The USPS basically cut off the finger of my mail and sent it to me.  This will not stand, man.  Who handled my mail?  Captain Hook?  Wolverine?  A bear?

Still, I appreciate them sending me the remains of my mail so it can receive a proper burial.  Some may have been embarrassed by the condition of this letter and let it somehow slip through the cracks.  But not the U.S. Postal Service.  They are big enough to own up to their mistakes, and for that they have my thanks and admiration.

And receiving that letter wasn't half as bad as the receiving this email from Kaplan's LSAT Prep Department shortly after:

"Dear Jenna... I came across your resume from several years ago and was hoping you could help us with finding candidates for an open position we have in Huntington.  We are hiring a LSAT prep instructor to teach a course at Marshall University... Do you happen to know of anyone that would meet our qualifications and be interested in teaching part-time?  We are in a bind in finding a potential instructor... Sincerely, Will"

I honestly had a business contact me regarding my resume to ask if I know of any legitimate candidates.  Ouch.  It's the professional equivalent to finding a date on and meeting them for a drink, only to have them ask you if you have any attractive friends that might be interested in them because they are desperate.

What am I?  Chopped liver?  Instructor recruitment is your job, my friend, not mine.  

I take it back, Will.  I will help you.  

But only if I get a referral fee AND you send me a video of you singing the song "Matchmaker" from Fiddler on the Roof.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dear Diary... In 7 Quick Takes

Good news everyone!  I found my elementary school diary.  Want to see what's inside?


I wrote my first entry on March 13, 1992, a month after my 7th birthday.

This entry is rated PG-13 due to adult themes.  Also, my brother's friend would have been 12 at this point.  I had mad game.


When I was little my mom would tell me I was a 50-year-old man trapped in a 7-year-old's body.  Phrases in my diary like "life is going fine" prove her right.


Please look past the blatant bigotry in this post and focus instead on the fact that I asked my diary, an inanimate object, to help me get revenge on someone.


Talk about a love/hate relationship.  And what 7-year-old describes people as "having a kind heart?"


First, I didn't understand that you are supposed to kiss the page with lipstick, not draw lips on the page with lipstick.  Second, this love diamond I devised cracks me up because it also links Nathan and Shane together.  Apparently, I wanted to convey that Nathan loved me, I loved Shane, and Nathan and Shane loved each other.  Kinky stuff.


I sound half-human/half robot in this entry.  "The temperature of the pool was 87 degrees."  Did I bring equipment to test the temperature, or was this pure conjecture?  We will never know.  


This was typical of my childhood.  Mom and Matt go do something fun, while my Dad and I stay in to watch Star Trek.  But that Will Riker sure was dreamy...

Check out Jen for more Quick Takes!

Monday, April 8, 2013

We Treasure Argghh Chests

On Saturday I ran in the Dirty Girl Mud Run.  The Dirty Girl is a 5K mud run and obstacle course that raises money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.  It is a brilliant event on so many levels.  

First, the run is an opportunity for women to do one of their favorite things:  make clever t-shirts with racy puns about boobs.  (You'll notice the word "racy" in the previous sentence was a double entendre.  Impressive, I know, but please hold your applause until the end.)  I was impressed by a number of clever t-shirts and team names, including "All Guts, No Nuts," "Save 2nd Base," and "Hakuna My TaTa's."  My team opted for a pirate theme with t-shirts that read "We Treasure Our Chests."  Arghhhh!

Second, this event gives its participants the chance to complete ridiculous obstacles while getting covered with goop, allowing me to finally realize my dream of being in a situation similar to the show "Double Dare."  Only without those pesky trivia questions.  Or Marc Summers.  Or green slime.  Actually, this event was nothing like "Double Dare."  Nevermind.  Back to square one.

Third, the event isn't timed, which encourages teams to work together instead of getting too competitive.  You might think this is a downside, but as a girl who gets genuinely excited about ties, I think it's great.

Fourth, workers hand you beer at the finish line.  I think this is to help dull the pain you feel from crawling around in gravel-filled mud, and to prepare you for the freezing hosing tent they refer to as a "shower room."

Anyway, my team consisted of me (duh), my step-mom, Tammy, my sister-in-law, Brandy, my best friend, Sarah, and several of Brandy's awesome friends (Michelle, Marlena, and Sarah).

Here is my team before the run.  Notice the lovely accessories
that, sadly, will not all make it through the race.
Oh, I got to wear some pretty sweet fake tats for the race.
Nothing honors one's mother quite like a temporary tattoo on one's chest.
The fact that this gun tattoo was almost too big
for my "guns" made me feel weak and frail.
Here is one more clean and pretty pre-race picture. Brandy has a tiny gun
tattoo on her finger.   Our team was sponsored by the NRA.  Obviously.
The race was a 5K trail run at Coonskin Park in Charleston, and had 12 obstacles spaced throughout it.  One obstacle was a giant inflatable slide that sent you flying straight into a pool of muddy water.  There were also tarps to army crawl under, giant rope walls to climb, and pools of cold water to wade through.  It was like a playground for adults.  A wonderful, mucky, slippery playground.

Now for some action shots:

Sarah tackled me in the final mud pit.
I would have expected nothing less.
Here is my team post-run.  Somewhere along the line
I lost my bandana and my wristband.
There were only two downsides to this race: the communal shower tent with sub-zero water temperatures and waking up the next morning with whiplash.  

All-in-all, totally worth it.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Little Big in the City

I have been incognito recently due to my inability to adequately balance work, school, and blogging.  I took a final exam last night, and I'm off work for the rest of the evening, so I'm going to break from being a productive member of society to regale my readers.  Don't expect much.  I'm a working adult now, which means I am probably losing my sense of humor.  Pretty soon I will start blogging about escrow accounts, and bitching incessently about neighborhood dogs pooping on my front lawn.  Wait.  I still smiled at the word "pooping."  There is hope for me yet.

Moving on... Last Friday, for the first time in years, my dad and I had a father/daughter night out.  My dad won tickets through a museum fundraiser to see Little Big Town at the Keith Albee and asked me to go with him.  The tickets were for front row, center seats, which was fairly awkward considering I know as much about Little Big Town as they know about me.  At the end of the concert, one of the band members leaned down and asked me to pass one of their guitar picks back to a fan two rows behind me.

"Hey awkward girl in the front row, will you pass this souvenir to a real fan?"

"Sure thing boss."

Nonetheless, the show was fun and I was happy to share the experience with my dad.  On an aside, every time I see a cello, I picture a giant picking it up and playing it like a violin.  It's the little things...

The highlight of the night was finding out that Kacey Musgraves was the opening act.  I love her voice, and if I could I would steal it and store it in a seashell just like Ursula in The Little Mermaid.  Does that make me a bad person?  No.  Just misunderstood.

Anyway, I love Kacey's voice and her songwriting, and I have already pre-ordered her cd which comes out this month.  It's not my favorite of her songs, but I like how Merry Go 'Round is eerily applicable to small town West Virginia.  Also, she commented on how pretty our local theatre is.  What a class act.

On Saturday, I spent the day at the mall with my sister-in-law, Brandy, and my niece, Lola.  We rode the mall train, climbed giant vegetables in the play place, and bought some new duds.

While we were in Macy's, Lola grabbed a black and pink bedazzled Hello Kitty shirt meant for a pre-teen.  She nonchalantly placed it in her stroller and said, "this shirt is one of my likes."  (When Lola is pleased with something she either says it is one of her likes, or that it's delicious.)   When Brandy tried to put the shirt back on the clothes rack, Lola shouted "But it's just my size!"

Lola also insisted on sitting on the bottom part of her stroller, like this:

Rollin' through the mall in my stroller,
sippin' on milk and juice, laid back,
with my mind on my paci and my paci on my mind.
Brandy asked me how long it would take for another mom to judge her for allowing this.  Within five minutes, a woman came up to us and said in a snarky voice, "um, your child is falling out of the stroller."  I wanted to respond with, "what child?"  Take your criticisms elsewhere, fun sponge.

Finally, I got a drink on Sunday with my friend Sarah so we could discuss a matter of great importance.  Sarah is thinking of joining the local roller derby league.  The problem is, she needs a nickname to put on her jersey.  The nickname needs to be clever and lend itself easily to cheers and heckling.  It also can't be too offensive because her family will see it.

I suggested Sarah go by the name "Rack Kuhn," since her last name is Kuhn.  She likes the idea of wearing a black Zorro mask, and I like the idea of heckling the other team members with things like "Hide your cat food, here comes the Rack Kuhn!" or "Hope you had your rabies shot!  Viva Rack Kuhn!"  We aren't sold on the idea, however, so any suggestions you have would be welcome.  Also, what is roller derby?

Friday, February 15, 2013

7 Spam Quick Takes (16)

I am dedicating this week's Quick Takes to my 7 favorite "spam" comments posted on my blog.  These comments are automatically blocked from public view, and probably give your computer a deadly virus if you click them.  Luckily, Blogger saves these comments for me in a "spam" folder so I can peruse them at my leisure, and share them with you now.


"I all the time used to study piece of writing in news papers but now as I am a user of net therefore from now I am using net for content, thanks to web."

There is a thought in there somewhere.  I am sure of it.  Just keep using net for content and studying piece of writing in news papers.  You'll get there.


"San Francisco Fays?  I suggest you learn our language, as, to best of my knowledge, there is no word Fay.  What stereotypical thinking you have.  You must be quite boring individual.  Have look at my web blog.  Zachary Lee."

Zach... can I call you Zach?  I will try to learn your language.  Is there a Rosetta Stone for Engrish?  Seriously, though, I appreciate the constructive criticism.  I will especially take to heart the part about San Francisco Fays.  Or I would, if I knew what you could possibly be talking about.


"My penis is very skinny, will it ever get wider or what can help the girth? Want to see my webpage?"

No.  I don't want to see your webpage.  And I don't know?  Maybe your penis developed an eating disorder due to its poor self-image.  Discussing it publicly on the internet certainly won't help.


"Awesome.  The awesomest post!  I have got much clear idea regarding from this paragraph."

That's funny, I have got a much less clear idea regarding from your paragraph.


"Its enormous paragraph about education and entirely defined.  Keep it up all the time."

This kind of reads like a poorly written and incoherent rap lyric.


"Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?  I'm kind paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard on.  Any tips?  Click here."

He who smelt it, dealt it.  You can't fool me, hacker.


"Its like you read my mind!  You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.   I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that this is a great blog.  An excellent read.  I will certainly be back.  Look at my weblog."

This comment was in response to a post where I discuss being so sick with clostridium difficile that I couldn't even make it to the bathroom.  With this in mind, are you trying to tell me that I sound like I wrote the book on soiling one's bedsheets?  Furthermore, you want pictures to drive the message home?  Well, okay.  You are one sick puppy.

Check out Jen for more Quick Takes!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Stuff White People Like

Monday evening I went straight from work to Chili's to eat dinner with Scott, Sarah, and Billy.  I didn't have time to change before going to dinner, and I was running a few minutes behind, so I parked, hopped out of my car in my business attire, and rushed inside to meet my friends.  During a brief lull in conversation, Scott piped up with "I'm going to address the elephant in the room.  Is it just me, or does Jenna get perpetually whiter with age?"

At first I thought Scott was commenting on my smooth ivory complexion, but then I realized he was referring to my personality.

"What makes you say that?" I asked, curious as to what brought this comment on.

"Jenna," Sarah responded, "you accidentally brought your brief case into the restaurant with you."

I looked on the floor beside me.  So I had.

Then Scott added, "And earlier in the conversation, you called 'dubs' on something instead of 'dibs.'"

"And what about your recent infatuation with brunch?"  Mmmmm, brunch.

"How often do you visit Starbucks and Panera Bread?"  Sarah added.

"Since when did it become a crime to enjoy a warm breakfast pastry and a cup of hazelnut coffee?" I retorted.

"And didn't you mention the other day that you'd like to learn to play the banjo or the fiddle?"

Okay, okay.  You've made your point, you bunch of racists.

Brief silence.

"Do you like the band Fun.?"  Billy asked.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Doggie Buttons

This weekend I asked Scott if I could take Penny, our pug, to get her ears pierced (back off, PETA, it was a joke).  That way, people would stop referring to her with gender mistaken nicknames.  We had a plumber come to the house to fix our sink and he kept referring to Penny as "little guy."  I know that if someone kept calling me "little guy," I would find it quite offensive. It can't be good for Penny's self-image, especially since her chest hair has been growing in even thicker recently.  

Anyway, back to the ear piercing remark... Scott responded to my comment with "why stop with her ears?  Let's get her belly button pierced, too."


"She has a belly button?"

"Duh," said Scott.

I mean it makes sense.  I understand the biological need for umbilical cords, and I know puppies are born with them.  However, what exactly does a dog's belly button look like?

I immediately researched the issue, both in person and on Google.  I set Penny on her back and stared at her belly.  I squinted as if trying to find the hidden picture in a furry Magic Eye book, but all I saw were patches of fur and a couple of nipples.

Do YOU know where my belly button is?
Me neither!
Google informed me that it's likely I can only find my dog's belly button by feel, because it is scar tissue under the skin and isn't visible to the naked eye.

Doggie belly buttons are the braille of navels.  How cool is that?

Anyway, if you want to learn more, check out this article from Perfect Puppy Care.  

Admit it.  You're intrigued.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Napkin Etiquette & Other Humiliating Tales

Sounds like something a classy woman might say
to her husband when she isn't in the mood.
I spent several days at the Greenbrier Resort earlier this week, and used the time there primarily to edit the most recent draft of my book.  The Resort occasionally does a "Tribute to the Virginias" special where West Virginia and Virginia residents get a discounted rate for the Resort.  I finally took advantage of this, as I had never stayed at the Greenbrier before.  My friend Sarah stayed with me the first night, and we ate dinner in the Main Dining Hall.  I get incredibly nervous at resorts like this, because I know I don't belong.  I feel like I am biding my time until I am discovered as a fraud.  It's the same feeling I get when I go into designer clothing stores, like I am probably labeled a shoplifter or a sightseer based on my poor fashion sense and obvious inability to afford anything in the store.

Store clerk:  "Can I help you?"
Me:  "No I'm just looking."
Store clerk:  "I'll bet you are."

Anyway,  it only took me about three seconds to make my first social faux pas in the Dining Hall.  The hostess asked Sarah and I if we would like dark napkins.  I didn't understand what she was asking, so I just stared at her blankly.  When she repeated her question I said "I'm not sure.  Should we?"  Apparently her answer was yes because she swiftly picked up the white napkins from our plates and laid two darker counterparts in their place.

As I saw the waiter approaching us, my nerves got the better of me.  (Maybe I should specify.  We had a water waiter, a wine waiter, and a food waiter.  This was the water waiter.)  Before he made it all the way to our table I shouted "Hi! How are you doing?" at him.  Then I dropped my head and said "I was supposed to let you ask me that first wasn't I?"  He just laughed.  Luckily, Sarah is a good sport, too.  The last time we went out to a nice restaurant I began my order with "I'd like a glass of your cheapest Chardonnay, please!"

The rest of our dining experience went fairly well because not much was expected of us, and the wine had calmed our nerves.  We knew to work our way from the outside in as far as silverware is concerned, and I tried not to slurp my onion soup.

Sarah and I before dinner, still ignorant
of the existence of dark napkins.
Today, out of curiosity, I looked up this whole dark napkin concept.  I found an entire webpage dedicated to napkin étiquette:

"You should place your napkin neatly next to your plate or if the plates have already been removed, you may place it in the center of the setting. Never put your napkin on your dinner plate. You should neither refold nor wad up the napkin."

"If you must leave, you will find yourself facing an etiquette controversy.  The underlying principle, is that guests should not be subjected to your soiled linens.  The least controversial approach appears to be to leave your napkin, soiled side down to the left of your dinner plate. Some recommend placing your napkin on your chair, but others find this gravely offensive, as you might soil the host(ess) dining chair."

"If the napkin is a breakfast or luncheon sized napkin unfold it completely.  If the napkin is a dinner napkin, it should remain folded in half lengthwise."

"Do not be surprised if your light colored place napkin is whisked about by the host(ess).  During fine dining, you may be supplied with a dark napkin if you are wearing dark clothing."

Research also showed me that these dark or black napkins serve several purposes:  They won't get white lint on dark clothing and they conceal lipstick or red wine stains.  I would have been fine with a lemon scented wet nap or a roll of paper towels.  No high class napkin preferences for this gal.

My most awkward experience, however, came not from dinner, but from my visit to the spa the next day.  I made an appointment for a massage the day before.  When asked what kind of massage I wanted, I said "I'm not sure, but I have trouble with tension in my shoulders and neck."  "We have just the thing for you," they said.  Boy, did they!

Now I've had massages before, but they were very simple.  The masseuse stepped out of the room, while I stripped down and got under the covers on the massage table.  Before I got up, the masseuse would leave the room while I got dressed again.  My experience this week was quite different.

If I had to assign my massage a name, it would be the Car Wash.  In fact, let's run with that theme now.

Part I:  The Soak

My masseuse, let's call her Bubbles, led me into a small room lit only with candles.  In the corner of the room was a bathtub full of steaming hot water.

"Now if you'll take off your robe, I will help you into the bath," Bubbles said.

"Now if I what what?"  I replied.

"Hand me your robe and step into the tub."  So I did.  Bare naked with another human being helping me into a tub of water -- I was four-years-old again.  Only this time, I had already eaten from the forbidden tree and was quite aware of my lack of clothing.  Bubbles left the room and told me she would be back in fifteen minutes or so.

The water temperature was perfect.  The mineral water was soothing and smelled good.  And the candles were relaxing.  But all I could think the entire time was "thank goodness I requested a female masseuse."  In fifteen minutes, the masseuse returned and helped me back into my robe.

"Okay, on to the massage!"  I thought.  I was wrong.

Part II:  The Spray

Our next stop was a large room with an entire wall full of shower heads.  Sixteen shower heads, to be exact.  My stomach churned.

Bubbles directed me to hand her my robe, and to stand facing the wall in the center of the shower heads.  This is when things got weird.

Bubbles went to a contraption about 10 feet behind me and pulled out what appeared to be a pressure washer.  "I'm going to spray you with water," she informed me, nonchalantly, like a waitress telling you to expect your food out soon.

You know those games at fairs where you shoot water from a gun at a target, and win by moving your horse across a racing line first?  That is basically what happened here.  Only instead of a target, it was my back and bare ass, and in this instance, nobody won.

While being bombarded on all sides by water, I lost my mind.  I started laughing uncontrollably.  "If we did this in Guantanamo Bay," I thought to myself, "would it be considered humiliation and torture or a luxurious treat?"  Kudos to Bubbles who kept her composure and professionalism through this entire experience.  Had Ashton Kutcher popped out from behind me yelling "you've been Punk'd!" I would not have been surprised.  It would have actually explained a lot.

Also, please Google image search "scotch shower" and look at the first image that comes up.  It will give you a better picture of the situation.

Part III:  Buffing

I had no issues with the massage itself.  In fact, it was quite relaxing.  The blankets were warm, the music was nice, and the masseuse was very good.  The prep leading up to the massage was by far the worst part (much like a colonoscopy, from what I hear).

Please don't take this to mean that the Greenbrier Spa was anything less than first rate, or that my masseuse wasn't completely competent and professional.  I am just not equipped with the maturity and self-confidence necessary in order to enjoy such treatment.

Hell, I might even open up my own luxury spa.  I will put someone in a bath before turning on the shower head and shooting them in the back with super-soakers.  I'll even do it at half the cost.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


The New Year is a time for self-reflection.  A time to resolve to be a better person; to work on one's shortcomings.  When I was 9, my teacher asked my class to each write a letter to ourselves addressing what we like about ourselves and what we need to work on.  Here is what 9-year-old Jenna came up with:

Even at the age of 9, I had perfected the art of a shit sandwich.  Compliment.  Criticism.  Compliment.  "I like you a lot..." "Mean stuff..." "You're an OK person!"  That way I wouldn't take it too hard when I found out for the first time what I actually think of myself.

I picture myself composing this letter while shaking my head with a smirk.  "You may be smart, but you're no Einstein, honey."  Also, I think it's funny that at 9 I had already developed, recognized, and criticized one of my big shortcomings.  Talking non-stop.  Yet I still do it.  I was born with diarrhea of the mouth, and if there's a cure, I haven't found it.

And how about that ending?  It's a punch to the gut.  "I guess you're an OK person."  You guess?  OK?  Ouch.  That's a terrible excuse for a compliment.  In summary, the best I could come up with is that I was good at writing poetry (which no one cares about), I was healthy (which I had no real control over), and I don't get in a lot of trouble.

What about that episode of Star Trek Next Generation I wrote in the 2nd grade?  What about my ability to bend my thumbs behind my hands?  And that 3rd grade science fair project on the water content of common foods.  What was that?  Chopped liver?  I'll tell you what it was.  Years of hard work culminating in self-proclaimed failure.

No wonder I always struggled with low self-esteem.  I was living with an impossible-to-please ruffian inside my head.