Wednesday, July 25, 2012


This week. Is. Nuts.

But really, July is shaping up to be the best month, ever.

I just got back from my first real Las Vegas trip. 

Things I accomplished:

- Gambled a total of three dollars
- Ate a total of three snack bags of Cheetohs with my friend, Robin (Note: completely unashamed)
- Watched my friend Aaron have the best day of his life in the Peter Lik studio at the Venetian
- Learned the delicate finesse of sleeping in a hotel with seven people
- Partied at the most elite Cougar bar on the strip
- Realized that I love making lists

It was a superb weekend. Me and my fellow camp friends have been talking about this trip for over a year and it finally came to fruition! Lexi drove up from San Diego, Aaron from Tucson, and Robin from Boston. Tayler and her boyfriend, Tyler joined us from just down the street and our dear Las-Vegas-native friend, Natalie, was the perfect host. We were unstoppable.

This is what happens when theatre kids pose for a picture.
We of course spent most of our evenings drinking espresso with our pinkies out and contemplating the stock market and the benefits of ETF's and mutual bonds.

...We didn't get too crazy. That being said, I need to go back. I left feeling only partially accomplished. Who knows, maybe next time I'll bet four dollars. 

Last night I went to my first professional soccer game! Despite living in England for seven months... I never made it to one bloody match. I know. For shame. It was wonderful, especially because the Galaxy was playing Tottenham-- some of my old English flatmates' favourite (spelling intended) team. My sister-in-law Emma is English and her family and friends have been Tottenham fans for years. We had quite the tailgate:

...which of course was very different than my last tailgate... in Oakland for the Raiders game on New Years. The Tottenham tailgate had a lot of fresh, clean grass underfoot, old English men in boat hats, and coolers full of things like hummus and Sierra Nevada pale ale. (Though let's face it-- I have a soft spot for painted asphalt, children dressed as scary silver skeleton pirates, and coolers full of Budweiser and Budweiser. Can football season start already??)

The game was a blast. (Minus Beckham and Landon Donavan being absent for the upcoming All-Stars game... grumblegrumble).

Unfortunately they tied, which is never very gratifying... but a great game nonetheless. Here's a picture of me and my brother, Jason. He made this face so that I would be embarrassed and "not post it on any social media sites, JENNY."

Joke's on him. 
Speaking of ENGLAND... one of my dearest friends is visiting this week from my exchange student days in Norwich--- AJ! There were thirteen of us living in our humble little Norfolk Terrace flat-- three from America-- me from Arizona, Jenna from Colorado, and AJ from New Jersey. I haven't seen AJ for three years now, and I am so, so happy he's here. He's never been west of Tennessee so this is a big trip for him. It has been nice reminiscing about our silly English friends and our short-lived English accents we acquired. He'll be staying at the Jenny Inn all week and I am so happy.

Contemplating British brick usage on an outing in Norwich
Saturday morning I am meeting my dear friend Laura halfway to San Diego for beach time and mimosas! Laura is my very favoritest roommate ever from my freshman year at the University of Arizona. She's visiting from Texas and I just can't wait to see her beautiful face. 

Here are our 20 and 19-year-old selves eating a pizookie in Tucson with reckless abandon and no concern for social graces (see: my facial expression). 

And then... once Laura leaves... I pack up my various costumes and bug spray and head up the mountain for....


Every year, about this time, I get this sinking-pit feeling in my stomach. "What am I doing? That person is mean. Is this real life? This kinda sucks. I'm not cool. I forget how cool I am." And then Bravo comes around. A week away from real life expectations and protocol... a week where I can turn off my phone and only worry about which pajamas I want to wear to the pajama brunch, how many jelly beans I have left in my pocket, and what time I need to blow my whistle for line up. 

Bliss. Coming soon to a Jenny near you.

For now-- I'm hurrying home to meet my mom. It's her birthday! Look how I spoiled her this morning:

*note the handmade flowers and bicycle card. I'm really working on my pinterest craft skills.

We're going out with friends tonight for italian food followed by an obligatory Gilmore Girls sesh and these little bits of homemade yumminess. 

Texas Sheetcake Cupcakes. You're welcome, world.
As good as these look-- they are twice as delicious. For realz. (...except for that sloppy one on the corner... what the...? what is this, Candy Land?)

A very happy birthday to my beautiful, awkwardly cool mother. Here's to many more! 

Alright... off I go to see friends and shove cupcakes in my piehole.

Kisses, all. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I...really love your dress

Well. Another lovely Tuesday afternoon in beautiful Westwood, California. Eating a refreshing bowl of grapes, sipping coffee, and contemplating my life at work. There's much to be contemplated. For one, I have had the most amazing last two weeks. For two (...for two?), the summer is in full swing and I am having a GD ball, as my dear friend Calvin would say. And lastly, I am wearing the same outfit as I was yesterday. To work.

I know.

Allow me to elaborate.

Yesterday morning I put on one of my very favorite dresses to motivate me to go back to work after a very delightful weekend with friends. The dress doesn't exactly fly under the radar-- it's quite a statement in pink, green, and cream geometric designs. Very 1970s business-casual. Oh my... the magic of the internet... here's the dress below!

After a light day at work, I talked with my best friend Bryan for almost two hours over the course of driving home and making an artichoke for dinner. He's about to start an amazing new job/life in Kentucky and I 'm already strategizing a visit. I miss him so much. Anyways... every Monday night I drive over to my mom's with my cat, Frasier to have dinner and watch The Bachelorette  (yeah, okay, whatever, I'm sure you watch Battlestar Galactica or Real Housewives just stop that Judgey McJudgerson).

After what felt like three hours of watching crying muscular guys and awkward kissing breakups, I passed out on the couch, despite various wakeup attempts by my mother. I was exhausted. So this morning when I woke up without enough time to go home and change my outfit (...but enough time to eat fresh swedish pancakes... priorities), I decided to just... go to work. You see, no one was coming into the office today except for me and my co-worker Chris who is more or less oblivious to my fashion choices... and my friend the mail lady had the day off, too... so it seemed safe.


I walked into the bathroom. Crystal,  the business woman who works down the hall with silver dreads and sassy outfits, whom I had seen briefly in the elevator yesterdaywas standing at the mirror.

Oh! Hey girl, I wanted to let you know that I really loved your dress yes--...

She looks down at my outfit. Back up at me. Look of confusion/disgust. Silence.

I uhh... I... really love your dress.

Oh, thanks! Thanks so much!

Smilesmilesmile... Trying to close the stall door...

Yeah, it's uhh... very flattering on you. You look great.

Oh thanks... I uh... I love it, too! Heh heh...

Stall door closed. Silence.

Here's to hoping the rest of me looked classy enough that I didn't look like I had just committed the ultimate walk of shame... leaving my mother's house. Or hopefully she just thinks I'm like Doug Funnie or Hey Arnold... and I just wear the same thing EVERYDAY. Yeah. Maybe she thinks I'm an eleven-year-old from a 90s Nickelodeon cartoon-- real cool, Jenny. Nice job rationalizing.

Whatever whatever... I'm still 23. I have a couple more facepalm moments until it gets downright unacceptable.

I really can just blame my poor judgment and laziness on the busy weeks that came before. This last weekend was spent playing Scattergories, eating post-party meals in Hollywood, karaoke-ing, BBQing with new friends, walking to mythical popsicle shops, late night talking, Walgreens' techno/corn-on-the-cob-food-truck grand opening, snickerdoodle partaking, Old Pasadena shopping, and Rose Bowl walking with my favorite handsome friend, Spencer. Quite the perfect leisure weekend, as some might say.

And the week before that? My sister was here.

Sister-sharing calamari in Santa Cruz.
I dropped Jamie off at LAX last Monday after a perfectly long visit. As much as seemingly evil  optometrists make me cry, leaving my sister makes me cry harder. We're both a little too wild and Nelly-Furtado-I'm-Like-a-Bird to be in the same place right now, which is fine--- but we really do love each other. Well, I'll speak for myself-- I love my sister.

My mom and I were very lucky to have her out here for a whole week, since she's in between jobs and in between moving--- to Boston! That's right, my Chicago visiting days are over. So long deep dish pizza and Garrett's popcorn! (Though she did of course bring us slices and some fresh classic caramel and cheese popcorn. She understood that it was non-negotiable for me to pick her up from the airport). She's moving out to tackle new dietetic challenges and be closer to her bearded beau, Paul.

An awkward couple is the best kind of couple. 
I am patiently waiting for her to settle in so I can go have a tea party/massacre while eating baked beans with my terrier. ...Right?

Okay, facepalm-bad-joke-at-23 strike #2.

Our little Jamie holiday got off to a bit of a rocky start-- my mom had to go to the hospital! As soon as I picked Jams up from the airport, we took poor little Mums to the ER. We're not sure exactly what was wrong, but it was something along the lines of a bacterial or viral infection in her stomach which gave her some pretty gnarly symptoms. (Though according to Jamie and my WebMD sleuthing, we were both positive it was either E. Coli, stomach cancer, or amoebic dysentery--- until we realized that we were, in fact, not on the Oregon Trail).

We spent the first night and morning in the ER with my Mama pumping her full of fluids and doing tests. We went home a couple hours later with plenty of prescriptions but she was still very out of service. For the next couple of days Jamie and I had a lot of happy sister time, which was much needed! Luckily Mom was feeling better for the 4th of July. We spent the day with my brother Jason and my very favorite Wise Family and kids. 

4th of July Wii-fest. (not a World War II fest... just to clarify)
The next day we packed up the car and headed out to Santa Cruz! My dear Grandpa Dick just turned EIGHTY so we decided to meet up with my grandparents and Uncle Steve to celebrate!

He's a tough guy.
We spent the weekend laying on the beach, eating plenty of fried seafood, hiking around our little resort hideaway, and finding little treats off the beaten path in Solvang, Castroville, and Monterey. Driving up the coast has always been my very favorite trip. The green... the wineries... the artichokes aplenty...

Look at those lovable scamps.
...yes, folks. That glazed look is definitely a result of true artichoke love.  *note... I ate all of those.

And to round off the trip-- Jamie and my friend Kathleen brought over some authentic Gino's East pizza brought all the way from AJ's specialty food store in Phoenix for us to have alongside my homemade stuffed artichokes. Mm mm mm!

...Jamie needs to be put down.

So yes. I am in a happiness coma these days. And onto the next adventure... my first official Las Vegas trip with my irresponsible twenty-something Camp Bravo friends! I can't wait. All I have to do is get through this week and then I'll be slinging that yard-long drink across my shoulder in no time. In a classy lady-like way, of course. Well, hell, I am twenty-three after all.

Okay. Until then. Off I go to get some things done. My plans for the night include thai food with Belinda and perhaps finally starting to watch Breaking Bad. Finally.

See what I mean? I'm a little bit happy these days.

Kisses all.