Thursday, January 24, 2013

casual hello

Well. A very casual hello to you, dear readers.

I am a vision of happy, tired, maxed-out Jenny right now. I must be doing something right.

Our office is slowly trickling out as we make our way to the Shrine Auditorium for the show this weekend. There are scripts to mark, credentials to double-check and stairs to walk up and down for hours. I love this time of year-- the busyness, the list of things to do, the glamour...

By this time next week the show will be done with and I'll be sending out thank you notes.

It seems so far away from now.

It's going to be a wonderful show! If you've never seen the SAG Awards-- it's time. It's different than other awards shows in that it's extremely concise (done in two hours), it's only about the actors, and there's no host. Such an entertaining show. But who knows, I'm biased.

Make sure you tune in.

Whoa, that's a big picture. I must mean it.

This is all I could muster for now. Just wanted to check in so you know I'm still kicking. There's lots of updates to come-- a Disneyland trip... a broken laptop disaster... fainting spells...

Soon. I promise.



Friday, January 18, 2013

fickle friend friday : babylon

It's Friday, it's 78 degrees outside, and I'm eating a bomb salad. Living the California dream, I tell you.

Sure I eat salads. I live in LA.
A group of my work friends and I visited Green Leaf in Century City today and it was delish. I made my own salad (as most salads in this city are built for people pretending to eat and not necessarily for flavor... or they just have bleu cheese in them. Blech.) and I was happily surprised. Romaine, grilled corn, turkey bacon, garbanzo beans, avocado and this delicious gluten/fat-free ranch dressing for good measure. I'm not usually a "look-at-my-food!" kind of person but this salad deserves to have its picture taken.

I'm really pleased with how this week turned out, despite it's bumpy beginnings. Things have been ironed out and I'm feeling confident about the show coming up. I'm so excited for next week. Excited with a side of completely panicked. But I got this.

During rehearsals last year.

But enough of that. I don't have to worry about work again until Monday morning! I've got plans this weekend, people. Big plans. But first-- let's all simmer down for some FFF.


First of all, I've been on a huge David Gray kick these days. He's the only music artist speaking to me right now and I ain't fighting it. Here are two of my favorites for your listening pleasure:

Classic. Don't bother watching the video though... really any of them. He has the most awkward music videos I have ever seen. Worse than Uptown Girl.

Without fail, this song turns me to mush. Every time. You need to download this song right now if you don't already have it. Do it for me.

(Other David Gray notables: You're The World to MeThe One I Love, Sail Away, Be Mine and Babylon (posted at the bottom). So good.)

Winning a million awards at the Golden Globes.

Lena. Dunham. 

This girl is changing the face of Hollywood-- or at least she's making the first step. Lena produces, writes, directs, and stars in HBO's GIRLS-- at twenty-six years old. This lady is a firecracker. Lena is unapologetically quick, honest, and true to herself. Though I do believe that all women are 'real', her depiction of Hannah on GIRLS is incredibly real -- and brave-- as she's frequently very naked. Very naked and very herself. There have been some terribly rude things said about Lena's unconventional body and I'm just sick of it.

From the New York Post, about GIRLS:

It's not every day in the TV world of anorexic actresses with fake boobs that a woman with giant thighs, a sloppy backside and small breasts is compelled to show it all. It's a boon for the out-of-shape and perhaps a giant economic loss for high-end gyms.

It then goes on...

Interestingly, the gorgeous Marnie is the one who is now totally unlucky in love. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to be smart, breathtakingly beautiful, nice and kind. Not when there are blobbies who are willing to take their clothes off in public constantly.

...What! You're a blobbie! How rude.

Luckily I stumbled upon this article-- The Audacity of Lena Dunham and Her Admirable Commitment to Making Us Look at Her Naked, which made me feel all the better. It's a definite read-- very insightful if you're in this industry or not. Let's not hate on every girl that doesn't look like January Jones, shall we?

Annnnd we're back to topical coverage of things I like.

LIKE THIS DUSTPAN. Squeee! So cute.

My sentiments exactly. Most of the time I don't know what I want to do in the grand scheme of things-- but this seems like a good itinerary:

1) Go places.
2) See people.
3) Learn things. Experience things.
4) Live somewhere inspiring and alive.

I feel like I'm on the right track. Phew.

I find Switzerland incredibly enchanting. Consider this on the itinerary.

...Apparently Instagram has linked up mobile accounts with the internet a la Facebook. I don't know why it exists yet. But it does.

If you're not following me on Instagram yet-- now's the time! jennymwise

I'm going to Disneyland tomorrow. Alison and a couple work friends are driving up from Tucson for a little Disney weekend-- and lucky me, I get to tag along! I need a break from reality and I can't wait to see my best friend! Space Mountain, skipping, and popcorn have been tentatively scheduled. Pictures to come.


Just because I can't get enough-- here's David Gray's Babylon to kick off your "Friday night" (Those are the first words of the song...)


And now, if you'll excuse me... the guacamole has been set on the table in the office... and the margaritas are a'plenty. Mother may I! 

Have a lovely weekend, favorite fickle people. 



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

compton booty

The days are happy and bright here! (At least that's how I'm looking at it). We're in the swing of things and getting stuff done. This week I have a huge list to knock down before the craziness of next week begins-- lots to get in order and learn. Though the days are packed with work things-- I've been balancing it out with a lot of warm happy Jenny things, too. 

I got home last night at 8pm after a quick grocery store drive-by for some sweet potatoes, changed into my workout gear (you know, old tank top and dance pants I've had since middle school), and headed to Power Yoga with Ashley. We were expecting a hot yoga class, preferably in the dark, so we could de-stress and stretch out our lazy muscles. What we got was very different.

Our instructor was INSANE-- in the best way! I didn't stop laughing from the moment he walked into the room. His name is Averill and I have never been more entertained and challenged in a fitness class in my life. Here are some of his quotables from the evening:

My little Asian accountant-- Yeah, you! With the glasses! You! So... you definitely haven't taken this class before. 
 Don't look at me, I'm pulling out a murphy. Don't look at me!! (fixing his wedgie?)
Why do you think you guys are here?! Cause you don't have a booty. I don't deal with other kinds of booty. I don't deal with Pasadena booty. Or van doors booty. I only deal with the Compton booty. I-ONLY-DEAL-WITH-THE-COMPTON-BOOTY! (while simultaneously slapping his ass with both hands)  
 (Narrating for us out loud) "I hate you! No you don't! Shut up! You shut up! 
What is he making us do? He's a black leprechaun! No I'm not! Shut up! There's no pot o' gold!
(While walking by me in modified triangle pose) Ahh!! Look at her leg! Her shaky stripper leg! Keep that heel up! You need it!
(While grabbing Ashley's foot during three-legged dog) This little piggy went to Compton... this little piggy went to Compton, too... Aw hell, they all went to Compton!! 
Don't you pass gas on the person behind you! And don't you pass gas on me when you leave this room, I hate it when you do that. 
Oh! Oh! (rolls over, sitting on the mat holding his foot) Don't look at me don't look at me. Let me get this ingrown toenail. If you don't know what it is look it up. Let me do this. LET ME DO THIS

I will never miss a class again.

Besides his crazy antics and ridiculous facial expressions, he was an absolutely incredible instructor. His 70 minute class was chock full of challenging sequences and poses. Ashley and I can hardly walk today. We're working on our Compton booty.

We came home, made some very healthy dinner, watched the incomparable television threesome (Ben & Kate, New Girl, and The Mindy Project) before calling it a night.

Luckily for me, I have the ability to fall asleep within minutes. Literally. Which comes in very handy for me when my days are as packed as they are.  All I need is 7 hours of sleep and a solid weekend and I'm good to go.  My last weekend was just what the doctor ordered: friends, cookies, music, and relaxation (not necessarily in that order). 

These are Ashley's pumpkin chocolate chip cookies--- my favorite cookies at the moment. Maybe I will share the recipe sometime soon... I could eat these for days and I sometimes don't feel bad about it. They're vegan. Which really means nothing health-wise for a cookie, but it does in my head.

Friday night I went and saw Django again-- which was all the better the second time around. Christoph Waltz... the music... the dialogue and twists and turns... 

It definitely wins the Peas & Queues award for Best Film of 2012.

Do yourself a favor and go see it.

Saturday was spent taking my poor little car into the shop ($300 later...), exchanging the last few things from Christmas at the Americana, and then hanging out with Ashley and her visiting friends!

Ashley, Tallie, and Ellory grew up together in Las Vegas. They've been wanting to visit Ashley in her new Los Angeles habitat so they made the drive out for the weekend. Ellory goes to school at Chapman and Tallie is currently studying at Tisch at NYU. They were lovely guests and really brightened up Ashley's week. And mine, too!

We started out at Jackson's concert at WitzEnd in Venice Beach. Jackson is my good friend Daniel's younger brother and he's incredibly talented. He's studying at Berkelee College of Music and puts on a lovely show, complete with a ten-piece band of wind and string instruments. Very Sufjan Stevens, if you're familiar with him. 

Here's one of my favorite songs by him, Fine Tooth Comb. This one is oh so mellow and lovely.

Daniel rocking the percussion and back-up vocals. Siblings are meant to harmonize with each other.
Unless you're my sister. Then, no.
The girls were obviously very taken with the guys. Musical and emotionally-enthused men stir up something fierce with the ladies. Take note.

After hanging with Daniel, Ryan, Will, and Nikolai for a bit, we headed to Miceli's for a yummy Italian fix, complete with singing waiters and hot delicious rolls. MMmm.

We had one last stop before they hit the road-- Bob's gift to the valley-- Porto's

Ashley and I are just a block away from this little Cuban bakery and we're here a lot. Everything is delicious and so reasonably priced. 90 cents for a mashed potato ball? Yes, please!

Our new favorite: the Guacamole and cheese breakfast sandwich. It's ridiculous.

There are some benefits to living in the Valley-- Porto's, parking lots, and affordable rent. I'll take it.

Tonight my dear friend Grace and I are visiting another favorite Valley eatery, Summer Canteen. Their Summer Fried Rice is to die for. Picture this: shrimp, chicken, pineapple, curry powder, raisins, peppers, cashews, egg and onion. Oh my, I'm hungry. 

I took over for Grace this year on the awards, so she's showing me the ropes over some dumpling soup and edamame. 'Twill be a grand evening! Then I'm going to Pilates and making some apple crisp for dessert. Yum yum yum.

Hope your day is bright and happy, too.

Now back to work!



Tuesday, January 15, 2013


What a day!

I am exhausted and I'm still not quite done.

This day was packed to the gills with DETAILS.

Show details, flight details, family details, schedule details...

They're all fun details, generally. But details take time and I feel like I'm running out of it.

This day started bright and early at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Our production meeting brought back all of the magical feelings and experiences from last year's show. I didn't know it at the time-- sitting in that freezing cold building-- but this show was going to be the best. experience. ever. I can't believe it's time already to do it all over again.

This year will be a bit different as I have a new position. I won't be on the red carpet and updating social media from the main room-- I'll actually be in the production truck announcing each arrival to the media and sitting beside our Executive Director/Producer (my boss) as he calls the show and runs through the script. Very exciting stuff.

I do get to dress up! I'm shopping for my dress this weekend... gulp. Very last minute. Ashley recently became a bridal consultant so I have an appointment with her to try on some pretty things at her shop. I can't wait.

And actually-- I just got a message from a Los Angeles acquaintance to see if, anyone was doing my makeup for the show

Uh... yeah, that position is still available. 

Is this real life? Where am I? What's going on.

I also have some different guests attending the show. Last year I had a whopping ten bleacher seats on the red carpet for friends. This year? Due to an overbooking from an auction, I barely nabbed two. Unf. I also luckily got two seat fillers and one backstage buddy for the weekend, too. 

I'm looking forward to the coming weeks and all of the happy excitement that comes with it! (and two of my favorite people flying in for the show!)

To be honest with you all though, I just want to go home and fall asleep on the couch while watching my shows.

To be even more honest, I am instead going to a Power Yoga class and eating a sweet potato and protein patty for dinner. You know, cause I'm going to an awards show. When in Rome...

Send restful thoughts my way, I need 'em!



Friday, January 11, 2013

fickle friend friday : heebie jeebies

Happy almost weekend everyone!

If you're anything like me on this Friday, you need a break. From everything. Words, calendars, loud voices, ringing phones, traffic, sitting in a chair. Really anything that doesn't include me smiling and thinking happy thoughts-- I'm over it. 

The only thing keeping me writing right now is the no pressure, no high expectations and joy of Fickle Friend Friday. So without further ado, let's have Paul Simon and Chevy Chase kick us off:

This is and will always be my favorite music video. You know, for those of you at home keeping score. I am also endlessly in love with Chevy Chase. And Ladysmith Black Mambazo. And coordinated dance moves.

In the interest of keeping with my New Year's intention for Frasier's fame, I offer another approach besides internet meme. 

Frasier calendars, anyone?

Frasier originated that cranky face. 

In a recent special from Elle Decor I stumbled upon (my that makes me sound cultured!), Barnaba Fornasetti, a Milan based interior designer shares his story and very bizarre home decor. ...Bizarre and completely stunning. A whole lot of dark and whimsy with a touch of Edgar Allan Poe, Salvador Dali, and M.C. Escher, no?

Incredible, yes??

Favorite words of wisdom for the week:

That's simple enough, I think. 

Hockey is (kinda almost) back everyone!

Can't wait to see those Sharks again. Goal for 2013: See them play in the Shark Tank in San Jose.

Strange things my sister sends me in the mail:

I have heard positive reviews about this book for years. Jamie just happened to buy the oldest copy she could find with the creepiest cover. According to The Five Love Languages, we all show our affection for each other in different ways: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, or physical touch.  This is with anyone you love-- friends, co-workers, family, and yes awkward Jamie, your 'mate'. Bleh... that word gives me the heebie jeebies. I'm excited to finally read it though! I'll report back ASAP. (This is also continuing my intention of Actively Loving Those I Love! Man, I am on it).

Sometimes --on dark, dark days-- when we have no intention of letting humans see us again in bathing suits (or in general public, let's be real)-- Ashley and I will make cookie dough and eat it out of the bowl. Like most of it. Sometimes no cookies are made.

We realize this plan does not offer staying power.

That's why I've been busy sleuthing the interwebs for ways to be naughty and still look naughty. (I'm sorry, that was weird for everyone). 

This is what I've found so far:

Mix together: 
One small container of Fage Greek plain yogurt (I used 0%)
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp real maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
Pinch of sea salt

Was it delicious? Yes, absolutely.
Did it taste like cookie dough? No, absolutely not.

The key here though is the delicious factor. Also considering that this thing packs a whopping twenty-two grams of protein-- it leaves you feeling satisfied and happily full. Ashley and I split this and even had a hard time finishing the little yogurt container. Isn't that sweet? We're so dainty now.

What! I want to kiss on a train!

On a final note, let us laugh at another Jimmy Kimmel, Celebrities Read Mean Tweets:

So funny.


Alright, get me out of here. 

Time for the weekend. I've got Daniel's concert to attend, a car to take into the shop, a mechanic to bat my eyelashes at, cycling classes to take and a handsome guy to pick up at the airport. 



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

can't stop won't stop

Today is a great day. Though my computer difficulties are spilling over from yesterday, I have decided to run with it. Word doesn't want to work today? So be it. There's always tomorrow. Time to get everything else done on my long list...

Like telling you about my weekend. 

It was the the best of times, it was the yummiest of times-- starting with a visit to Susan Feniger's delectable restaurant, Street right off of Highland and Melrose.

The handsome valet man took this pic.

My mother's favorite thing is eating food tapas-style. A little bite of this, a little nibble of that-- less commitment and more food options. I'm all about it.

Very excited about the Chicken & Bacon Waffle Croquette. It was tiny and fancy and delicious!

Saturday morning was spent taking apart my closet. (--aren't weekends just made for projects like this?) In the midst of my move to the new apartment, things were inevitably shoved into every nook and cranny behind my clothes. I re-organized, loaded up things to get rid of, and drove over my extraneous items to Goodwill. It's nice to start the new year with a fresh start and a slightly less disheveled closet.

While cleaning up around the house Frasier cleaned up his little sister. Or is this the cover of a kitty romance novel? You decide.

Don't worry, he only likes boy kitties.

Saturday night Ashley, Nikolai, Ryan, their friend Cameron and I went to Lóteria Grill in Studio City for some banter and downhome nachos. Delish.

Can you tell they're all actors?

Sunday morning I Zumba-ed some of the nachos away at the gym. Then I wandered over to meet my friends at my new favorite place, Tony's Darts Away to watch the Seahawks beat the Redskins.

I love the Seattle Seahawks for one reason: Marshawn Lynch.

Spencer introduced me to Marshawn last year and I've been laughing ever since. Here are three short videos to show you exactly why:

1) Marshawn taking the medic cart for a spin at the end of a Cal game

2) Beast Mode

3) Marshawn dominating Mario style.

Right? He's crazy. Aaron told me that during that last run there was actual seismic activity recorded at the time... which I'm sure Marshawn takes credit for. Also, when he does something good, the coach gives him Skittles.

This is not a joke.

And the crowd does now, too.

Sorry sorry sorry-- back to my weekend.

But now that you're a Marshawn fan, aren't you glad they won? (Tough RGIII, that was pretty gnarly.)

Me, Johnny, Lauren, Aaron, Ashley, James, and Nikolai sat around for hours, watching the game, enjoying ourselves and playing silly card games.

And eating, of course!

Ashley and I split this. Not the beer though, she's still a bebe.

Aaron also put on his Sunday best for the day.

Yes those are pajama pants. He assumed it was okay because he had to make the drive back to Arizona after the game. Acceptable? You decide.
And then... what would my weekend be without a trip to IKEA?

Actually to be honest, I went twice this weekend. But let's just pretend I didn't. Can't stop won't stop.

Sunday night was spent lounging on the couch, watching Silver Linings Playbook. I'm not really sure how I felt about it. I like to surround myself with happy things so it was a tough watch-- all of the mental illness, etc. Luckily the movie threw me a freaking bone with the ending. So it was enjoyable overall. Wonderful performances by everyone-- Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro. Superb. (Can't wait to see them at the end of the month! Woo!)

My job really is a dream and they take such great care of us. 

There was a big meeting in the office today and I got the leftovers. Score.

Besides the scrumptious food scraps, everyday in the office our PAs have a different yummy theme:

Mondays are waffles...

Tuesday is fancy wine and cheese...

Jen. Let her at 'em!

Wednesday is bagel day (I was good and had a smoothie and one singular pumpkin pancake at home), Thursday is ice cream social, and Friday is happy hour. How glorious is that? I have to be careful navigating the deliciousness. A few missteps and I'll be out of shape for show day. Round is a shape though, right?

Lucky for me it's still January and my gym motivation is going strong. That and my sweet roommate motivates me too! She left me these post-it notes for me to find on my way out the door for my early early gym sesh.

So sweet.

Anyways, back to work. I needed a break. I was busy working all last night and today on a very intricate project --and then-- I went to save. And Word decided to die and pretend like the document never existed. The tech savvy in the office and myself are completely stumped and we can't find it.

So you know, that's cool. Just letting it roll off my back, guys.

Hope you have a lovely Wednesday. 



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

nine times

It's Tuesday!

But boy oh boy does it feel like a Monday.

I'm having a rough day at work today. Not like I-want-to-cry-under my-desk- rough... just not great.

It all started with my computer. It also ends with my computer.

There's this massive folder of documents on my work laptop that is supposed to be helping me right now. But it no longer exists, for some reason. The assistant that came before me was legit-- a wonderful friend and a serious lady in the office. She organized everything together to make things easier for me in my transition. And now the folder is gone. But to be honest... I never saw it in the first place... So who knows?

All I know is that it's gone and I'm basically starting from scratch. Womp womp.

The bad day saga continues.

The internet in our office is possessed-- kicking me off a number of times-- sometimes  for up to an hour. Microsoft Word has unexpectedly quit on me more times today than I can count. My external hard drive just died, so there's no hope trying to collect any of those old documents I need or have started.

Just restart your computer, you say?


I've had to restart my computer NINE TIMES today.


I was feeling overwhelmed before. Now it's almost comical. It's hard for it not to be at this point.

The day is looking up though. During my most recent computer shutdown, I walked into the office and saw the PAs cutting up cheese... and laying out crackers...

In my exasperated anguish I forgot--it's Tuesday! Wine and cheese day!

Thank the cheese gods. (P.S. If you are not familiar with Wallace & Gromit... it's time).

My desk is now graced with gouda and a very excellent Danish fontina. Complaining is simply out of the question from here on out. That and I have a very promising evening.

After getting home from work at the ungodly hour of 8:00, I am teaching Ashley how to make my favorite go-to pasta, hitting the gym for a late Power Yoga sesh, and then fast-forwarding through the commercials of my three favorite network TV shows: Ben & Kate, New Girl, and The Mindy Project.

...All before I turn into a pumpkin at midnight. Then I am going to pass the heck out.

In conclusion, I might have to catch you up on my weekend tomorrow. Hopefully.

But! Before I leave you, I have to wish my dearest sister Jamie, a very happy birthday!

I am so very lucky to have her as my sister. She's kind and thoughtful, funny and clever, cuddly (sometimes to a fault) and affectionate, smart and humble and beautiful and a happy free bird.

I miss her every day. We haven't lived in the same city since I was 18 and though it's tough-- we make it work. Lots of chatting and skyping and visiting, as much as we can.

So happy birthday, sweet sister! You're old and I think you're great.

Here are some pics to celebrate!

Being trolls in Chicago. Note the classic awkward Jenny face and awkward Jamie outfit.

This pic is from my grandma's house.
Jamie and I made these Pilgrim and Native American toilet paper rolls when I was five and she was eight.
Feel free to notice the um... Sharpie boobs we put on the two girls. Especially my lopsided one.
We got in trouble for that. And we've been laughing ever since.

At my graduation from U of A!

In Boston.

And now the picture to end all pictures... The grand finale...

Jamie and I on Easter morning in Glamis-- located in the Imperial Sand Dunes of California. We were camping out of our van... in the desert... and we did this every year. When this picture was taken our Siberian Husky, Keesha was eating our chocolate bunnies.

Make sure you don't miss the following:

Jelly shoes, bizarre facial expressions, bed head, and most importantly-- falling eggs. The eggs will getcha.

Happy birthday sister! I'm glad your bearded beau is taking care of you!