Tonight, I held hands with a celebrity

29 Jan

We had an event downtown for work tonight to raise money for two of our programs, as well as to get young people interested in our organization. I was working the registration/donation tables in the front when I noticed a man walk in who looked just slightly out of place. He had an air of confidence and was definitely wearing clothes that were more expensive than anyone else’s who was there (and I have no doubt there were people attending that had more money than him). I had a flash of recognition when I saw him, but I couldn’t place him. Then he came up to my table, and I felt reasonably convinced that he was who I thought he was. He wanted to donate, so I walked with him over to the credit card machine (old school swipe style, that’s how we do) and began talking to him. He introduced himself, and I replied with, “I thought so.”

“Do we know each other?” he asked me.

“No, but I’ve seen you,” I responded, oh so non-chalantly.

“What’s your name?”

I introduced myself, and we talked about the organization and what he was doing in town, and then he went his way, and I stayed at my table, a little impressed with myself for not being overly impressed with his celebrity.

You see, this man is a main character on a very popular cable television show*. He wasn’t clean shaven, so he looked a little different than he does on TV, and seeing someone in real life is not the same as seeing them on tv (he was a little shorter than I thought he’d be, but he has great skin, and I believe the scarf he was wearing was homemade). Plus, in real life he’s not an asshole. Although he seemed a little on the eccentric side. But I probably am, too, so I shouldn’t judge.

About 30 minutes later, he walked up to me and held his right hand out. I gave him my left hand, but then took it away and gave my right to him. “I’m not sure which one you want.”

He let go of my right hand and grabbed my left, and we were standing facing each other. “This is the one I want.”

He told me that he needed to go, and I asked him why. He said because of where his car was parked. I felt like at that moment, if I asked him if I could go with him, he would’ve said yes. Part of me wanted to, but most of me is much too sensible to do anything like that. So I let him squeeze my hand a final time, and I said good night.

*I didn’t give his name to try to seem like I think that I’m that cool but because I don’t think it’s fair to post details about other people’s lives without their permission.


My year in numbers

22 Jan

I turned 28 on Thursday, the denouement of what I considered to be the “year of Jenna,” as self-centered as that sounds. But that’s what I needed it to be, as I redefined my life.

As hard as it is to say it, I’m not where I wanted to be at 28. And as difficult as it has been to accept that, it’s brought me to have the best year of my life. Things were dicey at the outset, but right now, I have that feeling you have when you finish a delicious meal without overeating: completely satiated and content, having enough energy to dance in the living room without worrying about needing to throw up. I’ve found happiness in knowing that if I were at where I’d thought I’d be by now, I would’ve realized that it wasn’t what I wanted.

So, to better explain where I’ve been this year, here’s a list:

1: new apartment

17: pounds of love. Also known as Pierre, my cat, if you hadn’t figured that out yet.

3: cans of Fancy Feast I feed him every day


1: time that Pierre broke my screen and jumped out my second floor window

2: dresses I sewed without patterns

5: refashions of my old clothing (and only 1 failure that had to be thrown out!)

6: skirts, all by patterns I made myself or modified existing (again, 1 failure that I plan on making in to a shirt, that is, when I figure out how I’m going to go about that)

6: men I went on at least one date with

1: guy I called a boyfriend

1: breakup

2: rejections

1: concert I went to by myself (Amos Lee, who’s amazing)

2: concerts I’ve performed in

6: days I went on vacation by myself to Seattle


5: days it rained while I was there

2: trips to LA to see my favorite 4 year old and her mother


2: times I dyed my hair (the only 2 times ever)

2: times I cut bangs (the voice of a French hair stylist telling me that my forehead is too big to not have bangs still rings in my ears)

1: plant I killed. It was a begonia. My mom says it’s ok.

4: hot yoga classes in the last week. New hobby.

14: Christmas cards I received this year (for me, that’s a lot)

5: hidden object game apps I’ve downloaded for my ipad. I’m obsessed. It’ll be 6 by tomorrow.

1: story I sent in to the New York Times to have published. They actually emailed me back, too, so I’m reasonably sure someone read it.

4: out of the 5 goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year that I actually accomplished. And, yes, one of them was the one I wrote about here.

Infinite: amount of love that I have felt from friends, family, and random people on the street who always seem to show up to give me the compliment I didn’t know I needed. I have never felt more loved than I have this year.

I have new goals for this next year. Some are already in motion (I’m going to Spain!), others aren’t fully formed. But I’m not going to let this upward momentum lose its speed.

My fridge is a work of art: everything on there has a specific and defined place. And this is what is at my eye level:


It’s my answer, and it shows up everywhere I go:


I’m going to keep my eyes open for it. It’s out there.

Flat Kitty

23 Aug

Story: I obsessed about and planned for a new cat for exactly 2 weeks before I got Pierre. (This time is not to be confused with the years and years that I talked about getting a cat–these 2 weeks were exactly 14 days of very specific cat-planning.) During this time, I readied my apartment for said cat, not knowing who exactly he’d be. Part of my preparations included sewing a cat bed of my own, as I had both the skills, fabric, and fiber fill to make one. I made it how I normally make  things for the first time: without a pattern, or any ascertainable plan. I had soft and colorful corduroy that I had used to make purses a year before that I thought any normal cat would love for a bed, and cut out two oval-ish shapes for the bottom, and 2 long rectangles for the sides. I sewed the short edges of the rectangle together so it was a lop, and then sewed that to the two oval-ish pieces of fabric, right sides out, leaving a small opening for both the sides and the bottom open so I could fill it up with the fiber fill. Once it was nice and plump, I sewed those closed, too. Miraculously, it was perfect!

However. I then adopted ginormo kitty. A cat that I had to buy I dog carrier for to transfer. Yeah, you think this cat bed fit him? No. It fit about one half of his butt cheeks (do cats have gluts? I don’t think so…). I had it sitting around my apartment for months, hoping that Pierre might start using it, but a couple weeks ago gave up hope and decided to find it a new home. And guess who has 3 cats but only 2 cat beds? My parents!

Which is where “Flat Kitty” comes in. Flat Kitty is what my niece calls one of the cats, Maima. (I think that’s how my mom spells it; I’ve never heard that name before). Maima is the weirdest cat in the world. And I’m not saying that as an insult. She has these huge eyes that are half the size of her tiny head, and skinny, skinny legs, and a square, fat body. She will rub up against your leg, and then run away when you try to pet her. She’ll sit and stare at you. And she looks possessed. However, besides that, all she does is eat, sleep, and poop, so she’s really not causing anyone any trouble. And now she has her own bed!

A taste of how strange Flat Kitty looks.

While Pierre might not appreciate my handiwork, at least I know there is an odd cat out there who does. An odd cat who is normal-sized and fits into normal-sized cat beds.

How I do

1 Aug

This weekend I co-hosted my first shower (congrats Margo!). Despite blowing the fuse in my apartment about 2 hours before the party, everything went smoothly, and it turned out to be so much fun.

I would like to take this moment, after having eaten another, to compliment myself on the absolutely delicious cupcakes I made from scratch (from here: except I doubled it and added 2-ish teaspoons of Watson’s vanilla extract; I say 2-ish because let’s be honest, I just dumped the bottle over the bowl).

However, this is how some of them looked, not that I judge, because, just like people, it’s the inside that counts:

It was like an explosion of cupcake up in here.

And I would also like to give a shout out to my talented mother who so adroitly made two gorgeous bouquets from flowers I got at the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market (after she judged me for saying I would’ve put the flowers in a vase how they were arranged by the growers):

Thanks for coming, everyone! And to those of you who haven’t experienced my cupcakes, oh, you will…

This is how I write in a Seattle coffee shop

26 Jul

So, it’s been, err, months since my last post. And I’ve decided to switch things up a little, and that’ll come through in my next couple posts. I’ve realized that one can only do so much to your apartment, and mine is pretty damn cute and basically finished. I’m going to start putting myself out there a little bit more.

I just got back from my first solo vacation to Seattle. One day a couple months ago, I decided I wanted to go on vacation this summer. Two hours later, I’d booked a Bed & Breakfast in and a flight to Seattle, one of the only major U.S. cities I’d never gone to, hastily deciding to go on vacation all alone. While, yes, I did move to an entirely new continent by myself  at the ripe old age of 22, there was something different, more mature maybe?, about going on vacation alone.

Anyway, enough of that. I made it a point to write every day, and here’s what come through my fingertips on Day 3:

This cookie isn’t nearly as good as it should be. The mocha is pretty delicious, but nothing more spectacular than what I could find in Minneapolis. I think it’s the chocolate in the cookie. You can’t put semi-sweet chocolate chips in a chocolate-chocolate cookie: they have to be milk chocolate. Dark might work, but milk is best. Or white chocolate. But never semi-sweet.

Last night I watched fire dancers and an acrobat, trades that really need to be learned and honed. And I wondered who taught them, and if I could learn how to be a fire dancer or an acrobat. I thought that, yes, I probably could be an acrobat, as I’m strong and flexible and like heights. But where would I learn? I don’t know about fire dancing, as I would probably start either myself or a building on fire, maybe both. And, then, my thought turned to, is there a trade that I want to learn? Do I want to be a tradeswoman?

But just now, with the chocolate chips in a cookie, I realized that most people don’t know things like that. Most people can’t bake cookies without a recipe or measuring cups in a convection oven in another country, on another continent, even. But I can.

I’m also good at picking out clothes, for myself and other people, finding colors that look awesome together but that most people wouldn’t think to put together. Like right now, I’m wearing a canary yellow dress, cobalt blue shrug, and a lime green belt. And I’m rocking it. Everyone else is wearing black and blue jeans. And a couple guys are wearing army green shirts.

Back to cookies. I baked some of my best cookies in that convection oven. I guess because at home I stick with the recipes that I know are good. But that’s not what I want for my life. Good enough isn’t good enough for my life. I want awesome and horrible, because I know to get awesome you have to have horrible. To be happy, you need sad. To be in love, you need to have fallen out of love.

I know not everyone feels that way, but I do, and I don’t want to change that about myself.

Today I read a story about an 84-year-old woman who died after she had been struck by a boy on a skateboard. They quoted her husband of 65 years, who  said he was very lonely without her, as they’d been together since junior high school. And my second thought, after, that’s so sad! (well, maybe third thought, my first thought was most likely, “Shit fuck!, she got killed by a skateboard! That’s kind of an awesome way to go. (Go with me on this one.)), was, wow, they probably didn’t know what they were missing. Maybe they were really well suited for each other. But maybe they weren’t, and they didn’t know any better. If I ever get married, I want to go into it knowing my other options, and fully aware of my choice.

I’ve just decided, just this moment, that I’m going to start baking cookies without a recipe again. So I can know what I’ve been missing by using a guide these last couple of years.

Oh, yes, I did

22 May

It’s been about 3 months since a certain large feline moved in with me, and I have, certifiably, become a crazy cat lady. Sometimes, I embarrass myself slightly, but mostly, I think I’m awesome. I mean, for real, who does this:

I thought about making an imovie and adding a background track just because hearing myself talk to my cat is one of the most embarrassing experiences, ever, but…it’s hilarious. You’re welcome.

That’s right, I take my cat outside on a leash. He likes to eat grass and hang out. So far we’ve stuck to the grassy area outside my building, just so my neighbors know how crazy I am. Maybe one day he’ll be good enough on the leash that we can walk around the block, but I doubt it.

I’ll keep you posted.

Sometimes, elastic is the answer to all my problems

18 Apr

I’m getting things started with my goal of not buying new clothes, only refashioning old ones that I described in this post. I’ve got a couple in the works, but yesterday I was hella productive. It was one of those awesome days when I got a lot done and felt refreshed, instead of depleted. Awesome.

Details on one of my projects (another one I will tell you all about later; to tease you, it involves lime green paint).

So, I bought this dress over a year ago at my favorite store for super cheap.

I'm bent over to get a photo of the entire thing, which is why it's a little bunchy.

It’s a really cute dress. However, I’ve only worn it twice. Why, you ask? Well, in case none of you have ever noticed, I really don’t have boobs. Nope, Erica got those in the gene pool. So, the two times I’ve worn this dress, I’ve had some serious wardrobe malfunctions, a la Janet Jackson. But I don’t wear nipple tassels, so luckily my full-coverage bra kept the embarrassment to a minimum when my dress fell down to my waist. I’m sure those of you who know me well realize that really, it was more embarrassing for the people who saw it than me. Sorry, spectators.

Anyway, I wanted to get more wear out of the dress because it’s so cute, and the fabric and color is really my style. But, I really don’t like constantly pulling it up. I want the dress to stay. Besides getting breast implants, I figured my best (and cheapest) bet was to add straps.

Cue elastic. I found some really cute, shiny elastic at good ole Joann Fabrics, and bought 2/3 yard of it. I went with elastic so there wouldn’t be any chaffing on my sensitive neck skin, and, let’s face it, it’s a lot easier. No seams, no ironing, no real measuring needed.

Here’s what it looks like now:

And, yes, I think I might do too many push-ups.

But, here’s to no more flashing!