Monday, May 6, 2013

a recap-- and a major introduction!

I know!

I've been leaving you hanging for far too long. 

What's been going on in Jenny's life? Is she too busy or stressed out or too happy to write?! What's going on. What is her excuse?

I don't have one-- except for the fact that I have been absorbing every sunshine-y spring moment in the last couple of months. I have been traveling, workshopping, adventuring, multi-tasking, reading, planning, messing up, eating, not sleeping, and writing. 

Yes, writing. I re-discovered my love for writing for myself when I was on a little business trip to the Bay Area last month. I had many free hours to myself everyday to read, write, and think about my big 'purpose' in life. I reconnected with my own interpretation of the written word and fell in love all over again. The only problem is I didn't know why I was writing. And for who? My family? A small treasured group of friends I have collected over the years who are interested in what I'm doing?

Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for me to share my recent thoughts and little adventures. I've been finding pleasure dwelling in the recesses of private life. After looking at every moment in my day as an opportunity to tell a story-- it has been a nice vacation for my brain!

About a month ago I had a pretty huge "Aha" moment-- or "Aha" day, if you will.

For the past two years I have been an avid reader of Jess Lively's blog and her website, With Intention. Jess lives in Chicago and specializes in streamlining people's lives, small businesses, and homes. Here are a few of my favorite articles here, here, and here. Everyday I check her website to get a little pep in my step and more focus in my day. 

Jess recently started traveling the country leading weekend workshops (only a handful of people each) to help people design their lives and small businesses with intention. As soon as I read about it I thought--- man, what an opportunity! I think everybody could use a little guidance and a boost up in the world. After looking at the price tag, I put the thought on the shelf for later down the road. That was until I saw her post regarding an upcoming workshop in San Francisco-- and a scholarship spot for one lucky person under 25. 

And that very lucky person was me! I sent in a little bio about myself and what I hoped to get out of the workshop--- and I was so shocked and honored when I was selected. This is why you should always try, folks-- you never know what will happen! 

I booked my flight within an hour of receiving the email. Twist my arm... I have to go back to San Francisco!

I went in expecting to map out some plans here and there, think about goals, etc. I didn't really know what to expect-- and frankly, I was so scared. I love listening to others and working through their problems, but have a difficult time expressing my own issues--- especially when it means facing the reality of what needs 'fixing'. Jess was fantastic and really dug deep into the ways we limit ourselves and how we can find the right fit for us in life-- careers, relationships, health and overall intentions-- and how to get there. 

The Life with Intention workshop group. Me (in stripes) with many brilliant new lady friends. (Jess is in the chambray on my left). 

Several things came out of my experience in the Life with Intention workshop. 

I came out with a more vibrant, confident, optimistic approach to what I'm doing in life-- and what I want to do. I have re-examined some of my priorities and started working on projects that I had been been too apprehensive to pursue. I'm in the process of exfoliating unnecessary habits and routines in my life and creating new opportunities. 

Which leads me to why I'm writing this, right now. Though most of my new intentions are relatively personal and self-contained-- I do have one that I am very excited to share. For the past two weeks I have been hard at work on a new website/blog with a very particular audience.

I would like to introduce you to Wise Sister

Oh! I hope you can feel me smiling. 

What is Wise Sister, you say? If I told you here it would spoil all of the fun. What better way than to let Wise Sister speak for itself

Take a peek around. Acquaint yourself. Pass it along to a young lady you know (oops... look at me spilling the beans...). 

If you're looking for my writing-- you'll find me there. I'll be popping my head into Peas & Queues from time to time, too, I promise.

Talk with you all soon. Thank you for your love and support and everything in between.




P.S. I cannot thank Jess enough for giving me the opportunity to meet and work with her. I encourage each of you to take some time to really take a look at what you're doing, what you want to do, and how to bridge the two. Jess is brilliantly gifted in the art of communication and focus and I cannot recommend her enough.

Friday, March 29, 2013


Happy Friday everyone!

Man, am I glad that it's Friday. I'm just done with this week. Monster Moon, getting almost attacked by a homeless man, the Cats losing last night...

Done, I tell you!

Luckily the weekend is very promising. I have friends who are in town and we are headed out tonight to celebrate the week being over. There are several locations around my apartment that I've been meaning to try-- so the plan for the night is to hit them all. (We'll see).

In other news... I feel like this "writing Monday-Friday thing" is killing my creativity. I'm partially placing the blame on the Monster Moon... but also on writing too much. I lose all motivation and it feels more like a chore than anything. Not good.

So. We'll see. I would much rather share quality Jenny blog posts than quantity any time. With that being said, I'm pooped.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend.

Now I leave you with this Wise Girl Easter classic:

Taken in Glamis sand dunes... circa 1995. Things to note: Jamie's cut-off Laughlin shirt. Falling eggs in the picture. The background (where are we and why are we...). My jellies and pajama set.

As we were easter egg hunting our siberian husky Keesha was eating our chocolate bunnies. An Easter for the books.



Thursday, March 28, 2013

on top of the world

I'm having a difficult time focusing today. Too much excitement going on! I'm catching up on work projects, figuring out details for the co-ed softball team I just joined, and then of course-- the U of A game tonight! I'm leaving work early to catch the game at 4:47pm against the Buckeyes. 

I'm meeting up with friends tonight and then hopefully (hopefully) celebrating afterwards. That would be ideal.

I thought today I would share some of my favorite music as of lately. 

First up: Imagine Dragons. Think the imagination and musical artistry of MUSE with a touch of folky Lumineers vibe. The album is absolutely fantastic. You might be familiar with their song It's Time or this one, Radioactive. This video is about an underground stuffed animal cock fight of sorts...(?) It's weird.

This is my current favorite Imagine Dragons song, On Top of the World. So happy fun. You can actually listen to the entire album, Night Visions, here.

Another song on repeat this week is Sweater Weather by the Neighbourhood. This song is so LA... so trendy, you guys.

I'm in love JT's new song Mirrors and I don't care who knows it.

Phillip Phillips' Gone Gone Gone. ...Redundant much?

Queen's Save Me. I totally forgot about this song... and then New Girl reminded me in the Tinfinity episode. 

And finally, Stubborn Love by the Lumineers. This song rips my heart out of my chest and stomps all over it. In a good way. Kind of.

Musical kisses...




Wednesday, March 27, 2013

monster moon

Happy Wednesday!

The sun miraculously pushed itself through the gloomy LA afternoon and I'm endlessly glad. I needed a pick-me-up. Today is such a Wednesday, amiright? I feel like I've been sitting at my desk for days and days. 

I just made the questionable decision of checking my horoscope. Of course it was vaguely ominous. I did love how the astrologer tried to comfort me by basically saying "Well yeah, it really sucks for you but it still kinda sucks for everyone right now, that darned full moon". She's calling it a "Monster Moon" and even encouraged me to catch the trend on twitter... #MonsterMoon. Stop it, Susan. 

If you want to check out your March horoscope you can do so here: AstrologyZone. Don't expect fancy graphics and such... Also, I just found this interview between Susan Miller and about Monster Moons. Feel free to stop reading after that. Susan makes things weird, as usual. 

Ashley finally gets home today from her long weekend away! Ashley's birthday was on Monday so she went home to visit with family and friends. Frasier and I have been going crazy without her and her little kitty Sophie. I jump at every sound at night and have no one to get frozen yogurt with at 10pm. That and Frasier has been playing a little too rough with me in his little sister's absence. (Or maybe it's just that #MonsterMoon #stopitsusan). I did get a chance to make Ashley a special Blondie/Cookie Cake for her birthday! Ta-da!

Belinda and I finally made it out to dinner last night, too.

We chatted, we laughed, we were glad Rodolfo wasn't there. The usual.

Here are some of my favorite Belinda-isms from the evening. The important thing is to read it in a hyper-intelligent, no blinking, soft but curt tone with a very light whispery voice.

You want to do stand-up? On a stage? Like live? Well. I admire you. I wouldn't even be able to stand up-right onstage. 
Hold on let me take a picture of our food. Do you want to be in it? Never mind. (I start telling a story). Hold on, let me instagram this. (Huge sigh). Honestly sometimes picking out a filter is the hardest part of my day.
I mean, he looks good on paper. Really good on paper. But that's not what you want. He's a... he's a fancy blanket. Fancy blankets look nice but what you really want is that old warm fuzzy blanket. Let's be real. 

Words of wisdom, as always. Belinda was also the one who told me about the #MonsterMoon. She would.

But hey, now we're in good company--- now we all know that things are going to suck for us. (Sorry I put that evil on you, Ricky Bobby.) Eh, I've decided to let it roll off my back more or less. I'm forging ahead in a positive way. It is the spring of the juju after all.

And now, to invite friendly #MonsterMoon juju, play us out Van Morrison.



Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Today I am handing my blog over to images, videos, and voices of compassion. If you're thinking Well... this is interesting. Jenny doesn't usually get political on her blog--- you're right. I don't get political. And this is not a political issue. This is about human rights. So without further ado, I dedicate this blog post to the Human Rights Campaign and for equality for all. I support same-sex marriage and am proudly wearing red today.

LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones, and they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage.  
-Hillary Rodham Clinton 

Richard Dorr and John Mace, who became famous from this video were featured on CNN just days before New York legalized same-sex marriage. That's what love looks like, friends.

The Empire State Building lit up celebrating the approval of same-sex marriage in the state of New York.

Taken this morning in Washington DC.

From HBO's GIRLS, Season 2.

"I want everybody to marry everybody."

Young supporters Harry & Lily with their handmade equality signs, Washington DC.
Today, March 26, 2013.

The American Academy of Pediatrics declared its support for same-sex marriage for the first time on Thursday, saying that allowing gay and lesbian parents to marry if they so choose is in the best interests of their children... A large body of evidence demonstrates that children raised by gay or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive and social functioning as peers raised by heterosexuals.

And on that note, here is a list of organizations that also openly support equal rights through same-sex marriage:

Ellen Degeneres discusses same-sex marriage in her stand-up special, The Beginning (2000).

And this video. This is the clincher. Please watch to the end.

Stand on the right side of history.

Kisses and equal rights for all,


Monday, March 25, 2013

a jogging story

Nighttime Jenny is a little too optimistic about morning workouts. I always set my alarm for a completely unreasonable time--- and then Morning Jenny wakes up and laughs out loud. Get over yourself, I'm not getting up.

There used to be a time, about seven months ago, when I would wake up every morning at 5:00am to make it to the cycling class at my gym. Long gone are the days, let me tell you. My only rule now is that I must be out of bed at 7:00am and doing something-- out for a jog/hasty walk, cleaning the house, making breakfast, workout videos... anything other than lying in bed or sitting on the couch watching the Today show.

This morning I dragged myself out of bed, laced up my shoes and strapped on my old lady wrist weights and headed out the door. 

The running path outside our place is just one more reason I love living where I do. People walking dogs, college students on their bikes, old couples holding hands... I feel rewarded every time I head out the door in the morning. The gym really can't compete with this stuff.

ran by this little beauty.

This morning was particularly interesting. As usual, I can be very paranoid about my safety when I'm out by myself and no one knows where I am. The running path I take runs from Burbank to North Hollywood and can start to get a bit shady if I get too far. I was just slowing down from a jog when I saw him. Tall, scraggly, dressed in heavy sweats that were stained from body sweat and dirt. He dragged two large market carts behind him loaded with his belongings. He was big and he was strong. As he turned the sharp corner we made eye contact. I was very alone at the time and my heart was pounding. I decided to fight my judgment and fear and kept my pace towards him along the path. Look forward, keep going, calm down Jenny, nothing's going to happen. As we passed I looked into his face and gave an earnest smile. Maybe it was the only smile he'd get today. He just stared back. I looked away. Great. My awkwardness knows no bounds.  I ran along further until my usual turning place.  Annnnd now I have to go back. I could see his carts perched along the corner of the diverging paths. 

As I cautiously approached the area I saw him holding a blunt object. A short dark wooden bat.

My hair stood up on the back of my neck. 

He was going to clobber me. He was going to clobber me and I'm an idiot.

I froze. 

Then he reached down and picked up two more of the short, dark wooden bats. He looked me in the eyes as a smile spread across his face.

Good morning! he said. 
G-g-good m-morning. I replied.

Then he proceeded to toss them into the air, one at a time. He caught them. They went back up. Smiling all the while.

He was juggling.

He came out here, to this little nook of grass alongside the bike path, with all of his belongings in tow, to practice his juggling. And he was excellent.

I was in shock. A very happy, relieved shock. 

I watched for him for a few seconds, trying to process everything. I smiled, wished him a good day, and headed back along the path. I could have skipped all the way home.

There's no better start to the day than a dose of sunshine and exercise and faith in humanity, right? 

I hope you all have a surprisingly inspirational Monday!



(Oh... and I would like to wish my dearest roommate Ashley a very happy birthday! Thank you for being the very best! I don't know what I'd do without you.) 

Friday, March 22, 2013


It's Friday already? Perfect. I sure do love when weeks fly by!

It has been wonderful writing again this week. As I promised in my Wednesday post, I have some plans/ambitions to share. First, some plans for this blog:

 Peas & Queues

1) Write Monday through Friday.

2) More concise posts. I mean, yesterday's post alone was over 1400 words and 27 photos. That's ridiculous. (If you read through all of my posts... I want to marry you). In general I would like to make my content more streamlined. Sometimes I'll write more, sometimes I'll share a review of something I like, interesting article, or silly story about some embarrassing thing I just did. You know, the usual-- just a bit more digestible, enjoyable, refreshing.

3) Expect a new look. New design, new set up, new "About Me". I'm looking to create a stronger presence on my blog and something that looks edited and pulled together. I am taking Belinda out to dinner next week to discuss plans. Yes, not only is she one of my best friends but she is also a website guru-- lucky me! A fancier blog also means that I need to teach myself photoshop, HTML, and other various technological acronym-things that come in handy when blogging so I can update things myself.

4) All posts come out at 3pm. That's the plan. It's a completely arbitrary time I've chosen-- but I like it. Noon is too soon. 5pm is too late and stresses me out. 3pm, Monday through Friday. Be there.

Moving on.

Jenny Ambitions

1) I'm signing up for an improv class at UCB. And then a sketch class. It's happening. I went to see one of their shows this past week with Kathleen and I just have to get myself back in the game. I'm keeping an eye on the class list and waiting for the section I want to open up with a teacher Colton recommended. I'm so antsy. I need to play again.

2) On that note, I'm going to do some standup. Yes. I'm looking into finding a little place that's safe and cozy for the time being. In the mean time I'm polishing off some thoughts about working on a dairy farm and why dog owners look like their dogs... and then I'm off.

3) I'm considering relocating to somewhere else in California-- in a year from now. I'm about 70/30 about it. Two nights ago, sitting in UCB, wanting to jump on the stage so terribly-- I never wanted to leave Los Angeles. But then there I was last night, sitting in traffic for over an hour and a half to go fifteen miles in a manual car-- and all I wanted to do was run far away to San Francisco and ride a cable car into the sunset fog. A year is a long time. We'll see how things play out.

4) Learn things. Think about Grad school. I have no idea what I want to study yet-- which, from what I understand, is a very important part of going back to school. Therefore my plan for these next several months is to figure that out through some classes. Colton (obviously I've been talking with him today) told me about a website called Coursera-- where you can sign up for various online courses from serious universities. I am currently signed up for Introduction to Psychology and the Fundamentals of Programming at the University of Toronto and Writing II: Rhetorical Composing at Ohio State University. Hopefully this can put me on the right track before I think about taking on a monster loan.


So that's where I am right now. Thoughts? Yes? We'll see how it goes. Look at me-- embracing Spring and all. I've got my juju back.

Also good news! If you have ever tried to comment on my blog and failed... it was because it was apparently blocked. Sheesh. Good thing I'm working on things around here. Comment, or something!

And look... staying true to my P&Q plans... It's 3pm. It's concise and relatively digestible. Good start.

P.S. Here are headshots/nice pictures of my face, as promised!
**I'm available for birthday parties, awkward social situations, and any part that calls for a so-called "All American girl-next-door".
***These were taken by the fabulous Sabrina Hill Weisz of Sabrina Photography. I am so pleased with how they turned out, especially because I was incredibly nervous and stressed out about it. I can't recommend her enough!!

Happy weekend, everybody!



Thursday, March 21, 2013

grand champion ornamental bird

Good Afternoon!

I had to tear myself away from the new Kate Spade Saturday website... sheesh. These are dangerous times.

...Yes, the website already knows my name.

True to my word-- let's recap San Fran, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tucson. All at once?! She's crazy. Yes, yes I am. 

San Francisco.

I was mostly sick the entire time I was there but braving it with a smile and a secret stash of tissues. The weekend was so jam-packed that I almost (almost) forgot I was sick. Spencer moved to a new apartment and boy oh boy is it lovely!

That's the view from his window. He's fancy.

I did miss the old Haight/Ashbury neighborhood... but I must admit the pretty green trees lining the street and the lack of homeless twenty-somethings trying to sell me drugs was a nice change. I flew in late at night-- just in time to see the new Bay Lights display on the Bay Bridge, with a perfect view just a couple blocks from Spencer's apartment. 

Check out the website here for background information and videos.

Lovely! Just lovely.

I spent sunny Friday with Jimmy. Jimfi, my main man. He and I could talk for hours and hours-- and we did just that. Jimmy moved to the bay area recently so I haven't seen him in a few months. We lounged in various parks before wandering through the city to a macaron cafe that Spencer recommended. It was a very windy walk.

I hope you can see the motion going on in this photo.
The wind was practically knocking us over.

After calming down from the windstorm with tasty macarons, we headed to Spencer's office to share some cookies and play some ping pong.

As soon as 'work' was over, we hit various bars in the city, the highlight being "The Tonga Room"...

The three of us shared this... 

I'm not sure if you can tell from that photo above, but this Polynesian-themed bar most certainly has a pool in the middle of it. And the live band is in the middle of it, floating on a boat. Just as weird as it sounds. We finished our punch bowl-sized drink and headed to the waterside dance floor. After much festive dancing we went home, dressed up half-assedly like pirates, and attended a midnight screening of HOOK that Spencer's friends had arranged. The theater was full of silly people, it was BYOB, and we had a big bag of popcorn. A perfect evening, if you ask me. Spencer is quite the host.

And really, you can't beat Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook. 

Saturday morning we stopped for some irish coffees at the Buena Vista Cafe before heading to the bocce ball courts by the bay. Spencer just became a member (sheesh) so we spent a couple hours getting in the swing of it. Not quite the most athletic game, but very fun nonetheless! In the afternoon we caught the Arizona basketball game at the Brick Yard, grabbed some ice cream, and then unintentionally called it an early night after falling asleep on the couch while watching Chapelle's show. 'Twas a good day.

Sunday Spencer and I caught a cable car (...I'm easily wooed by SF charm) into town to pick up a couple of things and get some lunch. The better part of the day was spent at Fort Mason soaking up some much needed sunshine.

I unfortunately had a flight later that night which cut into any big plans. We had some fancy tapas and wine before I reluctantly took a cab to the airport. Time to work... in Las Vegas!

I am so lucky to work with Camp Bravo as the Assistant Director and a traveling liaison for the program. I can't say enough good things about Camp Bravo and how it has changed my own life-- and I see it happen for kids every summer. This is the second year that I have traveled to Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tucson to talk to high school students about Bravo (I'll be in Northern California next month). First it was off to Vegas, where I stayed with Ashley's lovely family and was upgraded to a Toyota RAV4 from an economy car. Score for me.

This might be the next car I get. If I can ever handle the pressure of a car-purchasing-situation ( 2070).

I spoke with schools during the day and had the afternoon and evenings to do what I like. Last year I spent most of the time on the strip with friends, seeing bizarre hypnotist shows and gambling $20. This trip I spent the whole time with Ashley's siblings-- they're a hoot! I picked Angela up from middle school, watched a marathon of The Client List with Ana, and helped AJ build a leprechaun trap. I felt like the (honorary) oldest Nunes sister.

Building stairs so the leprechaun can climb into the box from the ground.

Before heading out of town I got to meet up with my dear friend Katie from U of A and Natalie from Bravo! I love the two of them so much and I'm so lucky they call Las Vegas home. 

Natalie and I ate some naughty italian food. 

I dropped off the rental car and flew to Phoenix to visit more schools. Jamie's friend Erin opened her home to me, which I appreciated endlessly. And the bonus? She has an english bulldog named Winston. I was in doggy heaven. ...I also just realized I'm in a bath towel in this video. Awesome.

After talking with Phoenix schools and judging the entire area for it's poor taste in mascots (Boo ASU)...

Phoenix... there has to be more options than devil-themed mascots.

...I drove down to Tucson! Hallelujah! I had the next four days to spend with Alison and fam/friends.

Wednesday night we went to see West Side Story in theaters. That movie is just too good. The romance! The music! The dancing! Go watch it again. Even if it is just to watch all of Tony's songs and stare at how many teeth he has in his mouth. It's crazy.

This is the best teeth pic I could find... go watch... and count.

The next couple of days were packed--- with pictures apparently.

Homemade pizza with Alison

Chicken cordon bleu with my favorite second family!

Sunset admiring. This is with no instagram filter, you guys. Arizona magic.

I drove to Phoenix on Saturday to get Jamie and Paul--- who were visiting from Boston! Paul is deciding between two grad schools right now, so on their way out to visit University of Washington they made a stop in Arizona. You know... cause it's on the way. It was actually purely coincidental that we were in town at the same time; in fact Jamie and I haven't been in Tucson together in over three years. This was Paul's first time visiting the Tucson side of our family... and I think he had an interesting experience.

I mean, it is Arizona, after all.

Paul's first visit to In-N-Out

Jamie and I also had plenty of time to catch up on memories of our very colorful childhood. Like plaques for our Grand Champion Ornamental Bird (the artist formerly known as Trudy the turkey) hanging on the wall. 


Hanging out with Marley-- our pool has a brown bottom, it's not dirty.
That's what we like to call natural solar heating.

This palm tree randomly is yellow? And still living?

The little chickies.

The good ol' goat stanchion-- back in it's heyday and now.

We worked on our darts skills... 

...And Paul got to experience Guadalajara Grill and the magic of tableside fresh salsa.

Lots of food. Lots of laughing. Lots of family time.

I was gone for a total of eleven days. Eleven! I had such a fantastic time-- breakfasting with friends, sipping strawberry eegees, going to a family friends' St. Patrick's Day celebration. Believe it or not though I was a bit relieved to be back in my own bed by Sunday night. I do love adventuring but there's something oh so charming about being snuggled up in your own bed with a warm kitty. Yes?

Thanks for reading. More updates tomorrow. And hopefully more concise posts in the future... One can dream.