i ain’t lost, just wandering.

sometimes i wonder just how healthy blogging actually is. all social media, really. i mean no matter what the medium it kind of gives you unlimited possibility to recreate yourself, and to do so without any relation to reality. i wonder if maybe that’s good sometimes- if it’s a simplistic way of trying new things or learning more about yourself. but sometimes i wonder if people are only who they really are in print and then in person they slip into a more guarded and reticent demeanor and spirit. that can’t be good, or can it?

one of my main aspirations in life is to be consistent and full of integrity. i think i achieve that mostly, but today i feel awfully reflective about it. sorry for making you listen, but let’s be real, this is my blog and honestly if you were sitting beside me right now i would’ve voiced the same concerns to you in person, so really i’m just taking one step closer to my goal.

Sidenote:

remember when i pulled out the art pens and filled half my sketchbook with words? that was fun.

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lost in translation.

i’m about to be cliche, but i am sorry that i semi-neglected you dear reader[s]. it’s just that i don’t really know what’s happening in my life currently, and in the mixture of being home, feeling weird, processing, debriefing, jumping back onto the treadmill of activity that is still running like it was before i left, trying to find part-time monies, worrying praying about the future, and breathing, i just haven’t felt super inspired. i am in the process of making some things though, and that usually helps me get back in the saddle, so expect more soon. or expect less and i’ll pleasantly surprise you!

meanwhile, since i myself have been feeling a little lost in translation i decided to share with you an actual video from a time when i was not metaphorically, but ENTIRELY lost in translation. this video as you might guess is from brazil, and this a hilarious snl-esq skit these two liked to do that made even me (with my limited understanding) roll in the floor laughing. the guy on the left (who is brazilian and speaks no english) is “telling” a story by using a mixture of actual english words and syllables that create nonexistent words while the guy on the right (who also doesn’t understand any english at all) “translates” his story into portuguese. you’ll probably be completely lost the entire time, but you can watch it and marvel at how weird it is to listen to someone else communicate in another language.

(also, you should listen for the part where juao translates marcos’ “disease” as “Jesus”)

life in the fast lane.

this morning i was talking to a friend on skype and she urged me to write about what i was experiencing, so if this post makes you cringe more than cackle, please hold her responsible not me.

you might think that being here for almost 2 months i have at this point assimilated, but no, i still find myself nodding slowly with a creepy cheshire cat like grin on my face more times throughout the day than i ever expected to. although sometimes i think they ignore it, i’m pretty sure people understand this means i don’t really have a clue what’s happening. (sometimes both i and the other party just pretend i get it because it’s much easier that way than explaining say, a joke, or that all that girl said was she went to the store and bought a mango. we may not be on the same page very often, but when it comes to comprehension priorities we usually agree.) sometimes though there are people who are determined to make me get it. here are a few ways that manifests itself.

1. “fala para ela.” this means say it to her repeat what you just said while looking expectantly deep into her soul through her eyes. these words are the reason i only feel a little guilty about not working out at all while i’m here because every time i hear them (even if by some small miracle they aren’t being directed at me) my entire body tenses up. my abs are benefitting more from this phenomenon than they ever did when kelly and i were doing our run/core sterngthening/yoga workouts. even if someone says something that remotely sounds like these words-tense! it wasn’t always like that. at first it was like “oh, ok, yay. tune everything else out, put on the concentration cap, stare at their mouth, attempt to register words, say “nao entendi” and try again.” then it evolved into “tense up, oh no, fear, blush, try to get it, nod and smile” and finally “tense. pretend you didn’t hear. pretend you’re invisible. listen. distract by showing all of your teeth at once. use context clues to figure out subject matter. blurt out between one and three words that you actually know that maybe almost relate. and end by either laughing or looking away.” intense? yes, but successful.

2. following closely on the heels of number one is when people say

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the drifter and the gypsy.

i know that girls everywhere are going to be ashamed of me when i say this (except for the feminists of course), but i have never really been a jewelry girl. i love pretty jewelry especially necklaces, but i never wear them. and my ears aren’t pierced, so i don’t really do backflips over earrings often, but i do love love love rings. i have lots of favorite rings, but i really only wear my turquoise ring that Alice and i found when we were hunting for vintage pretties and since i wear it every day i don’t usually wear another one. uuuuuntilll i found a new ring the other night at the praca. (which means square and on the weekends it’s full of food, jewelry, and clothing venders) now i wear two rings all the time, and it’s kind of funny because they’re kind of way different from one another; however, they’re both a lot like my personality, so whatevs.

turquoise is my favy fave, but i love the emerald color too.

the metal-work on my silver one i love, but how cool is the braided band?!

look! they're best friends.

i think they say “hey i’m kind of different in a weird-ish way and i like tribal things while i appreciate dainty beauty and wish i could be a victorian.” which is exactly what i try to say every day of my life, so i’m going to go ahead and declare this match a win-win.

(and sidenote: isn’t brazil lovely from my balcony? it’s about 100 degrees though)

also, you can’t tell in this picture because my hair is up and in a shadow, but the sun has made my hair blonde while i’ve been here.

american summer 2010.

brazilian summer 2011

(and, the first is from a picture where i was standing in the sun and i cropped some hair out of it, the second is a picture taken directly of my hair while i was in the sun. neither was taken with a flash.) i hope it fades; is that even possible?

feliz natal.

Psalm 67.

1God be gracious to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us– Selah.
2That Your way may be known on the earth,
Your salvation among all nations.
3Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
4Let the nations be glad and sing for joy;
For You will judge the peoples with uprightness
And guide the nations on the earth. Selah.
5Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
6The earth has yielded its produce;
God, our God, blesses us.
7God blesses us,
That all the ends of the earth may fear Him.

 

  • today is christmas.
  • Christ is Lord.
  • my suitcases are overpacked and probably overweight.
  • there are things left to get in order, but i haven’t showered and i’m lounging with the fam jam.
  • i think these are the prettiest cookies; i love gingerbread.

  • this is me and my friends during christmas in july.

  • this is me and my santa beard during christmas in december.

i'm ho-ho-ho-ing

  • this is me second guessing both the beard, my dirty hair, and my sanity.

tomorrow i leave for brazil. i am scared.

the danger zone.

see what they did here?

If you’ve been a part of this attempt at maintaining sanity silly endeavor of mine for very long you might recall this post from this summer when I had the weirdest day ever, and got hit on by some pretty ridiculous diverse fellas. Some people found it amusing, so I think it’s time to share stories from the Danger Zone with you.

I like Target; I go there often, and usually my trips there result in me wandering aimlessly around carrying a latte in one hand and a $3 rug I found on clearance that I’m trying to justify buying at 97% off even though it would probably be making the space under my writing desk its home because I don’t really need it. Rarely on these trips, I venture to the electronics section. It’s usually rare because the things they sell there are either expensive or impractical in my life, and neither of those things appeal to me. That is previously the reason I abstained from visiting that particular section, but recently, I have had some experiences that I believe provide sufficient justification for my decision to avoid/rename the Target Electronics Section.

Picture it: Sicily 1965 I’ve decided to be the fun camp friend and make my whole staff a mix cd, so I go to Target (with purpose for once) to buy a million blank cds. As it happens there are 2 brands, similar in detail, one on sale, one better priced pre-sale, and both stocked in the wrong place. I’m confused; I’m reading; my latte sits neglected on the shelf beside me. Kind Sir walks past the top of the aisle, waves and it begins.

(click there. it gets better.)
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Happy Birthday Marines.

Sometimes (and by “sometimes” I mean always) my life is weird. I like it; I get to go to weird and fun places and meet talented people and do cool things. This past weekend I went to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball with a complete stranger. I’d cross it off my bucket list, but I don’t know whether that qualifies as “be spontaneous” or “lose your mind.” I knew this would end up in the blog, so I’ll give you some background about what I initially thought. First, I creeped on Facebook.

  • First flag: profile picture has some ponytailed man in the forefront of a nascar scene. I am of course trying to be positive though, so I give him the benefit of the doubt and convince myself that he’s just cleverly ironic.
  • And let me just say that after seeing “Music Interests: Nickleback, George Straight, and 3 Doors Down” I wasn’t feeling very confident in my assumption about his cleverness; instead I was slightly abashed. However, since “ACDC and Jack Johnson” were on the list too, I reminded myself that my favorite mix cd has Michael Jackson, The Kooks, Jack Johnson, and Fleetwood Mac on it, and most people who see my itunes collection think I’m schizophrenic, so maybe I shouldn’t judge too soon.
  • Although, by the time I got to “Television interests” and saw: “Baseball Tonight, Dog the Bounty Hunter, The First 48, Fox News, Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe” I was no longer physically able to suppress the groan that burst forth from the depths of my despair (that’s right, despair can groan now).

**I also resent the statement that I was being equally unappealing by creeping on his Facebook profile, and the fact that our lack of connections prevented me from even seeing an actual picture of his face will not, I repeat NOT legitimize that assertion at all.



Fast forward to the trip down to old FL. From the moment that I woke Clara up with my original “wake up Clara I think I got something to say to yooooouuuu” song, I knew that it was going to be a good day. If you follow me on The Twitter you will recall that I tweeted “is it weird that I relish awkward situations for the creative writing opportunities they bring me?” and I meant it. Of course the writer within me was secretly rejoicing because she knew that this event had the potential to be quite the amusing blog post, so for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to try and squeeze my journal into a clutch. Just so we’re all on the same page that would have looked a lot like trying to force a grown cat into a fanny pack. Thus was forced to consider resorting to my “handy dandy” notebook (I say this because it, like Steve’s from blue’s clues, would also have fit into my pocket); the risk here, however, lay in the fact that using this notebook would have kind of created a strong resemblance between me and Daffy Duck as Dick Tracey. Looking back, I probably should’ve cared but I didn’t; at the time I was actually desirous of encountering the weirdest people and things so that I could relay them to you, purely for your enjoyment; you are welcome.





Back to the trip though! I do love a road trip, so it wasn’t torture or anything, and Clara (whose blog I would link to here if she wasn’t so reticent and sly) did inspire confidence with words like, “this is already so ridiculous ” and “i’m not even really sure where we’re going.” And several near death driving incidences and 3 Glee soundtracks later, we were there.






Fortunately for me, Andy (Clara’s friend and date for the Ball) was really funny and amused by the whole thing as well which both made me feel less crazy while doubting my sanity all the more. We watched some football and chatted for a while and then of course my surprise entertainment for the night comes into the hall to say hello as I am in the bathroom. Now I don’t want to be crass here, but I think you need to know this to understand my mortification. I had drank a substantial amount of coffee that morning and water that afternoon and my bladder just isn’t that big, so there I was in the bathroom while everyone outside the door is all “hey, I’m so and so; nice to meet you…Jenna’s in there.” sighhhhh. Of course. Of course I was. So there’s an awkward “hey, what’s up” and all four of us standing in the hallway by the bathroom before we realize this is dumb and everyone slinks away to whichever football game is still on the TV.




At some point we decided it might be a good idea to get ready, and the regret crept in. Now I remember going to formal things in high school-you know, back in the day- and getting ready was the big to-do, but even by jr/sr my senior year I had arrived at the point where brushing my hair was getting all dolled up, so 5ish years later it’s hard to imagine being enthusiastic about taming my bird’s nest for someone I didn’t even know. So here’s what had happened; I had showered that morning, and then (as if that weren’t enough) I curled my hair. Furthermore, I curled it using the most minuscule of mirrors and I didn’t catch anything on fire. Maybe, I thought, just maybe this was a good omen. And yet, there I was, a cardigan and Toms wearing girl now with eyeliner and a crazy elegant dress on (although, I totally thought it was a brilliant idea to wear my black glitter Toms with the dress because, well, I needed something to keep me from feeling completely fake and ridiculous…). So much for good omens, I kind of wanted to throw up.

they blend well, right?
Dear Marine Ball Jenna, you were a hot mess of crazy. Love, Everyday Jenna









And we were off.
Immediately my mind started racing as I wondered how on earth I was supposed to get my recording device iPod (WHY DIDN’T I BRING A RECORDER?!?!) out before I forgot all the glorious material that was being presented to me. Texting during this time would have been absolutely the most rude thing to do and I couldn’t work out a way to document things while the iPod was in the clutch or in my lap without it looking like texting, so I decided the best option was to claim that I had a bladder condition so that I could frequent the bathroom at dinner and safely take notes. (I considered IBS at first because that would certainly give me more time, but as it was kind of intense and a little gross, I felt it would serve best as a last resort) I did not do any of this however, so let me just tell you how it went down. There were 2 other couples at dinner then Andy/Clara and me and the boy. The other people said, “so, how do you know each other” (why? i knew it was inevitable, but why?) and Andy said, “well I met Clara over the summer, and Jenna is someone we picked up on the side of the road her friend.” I don’t know what the other people thought of me at that point, but I know what I would have thought of me and that thought alone made me blush. I don’t know why, but I have this weird embarrassment thing and it always triggers my blushing mechanism; I wasn’t embarrassed myself, I absolutely do not take myself seriously enough for all that, but I was embarrassed for the hypothetical person in my place. Fortunately, at this point I realized the boy and I would be friends because he said, “oh we go wayyyy back; I mean it’s been like what? At least 30minutes; we are bffs 4eva.” PTL for the bond of sarcasm and irony. And that’s pretty much how dinner went, way funny and good food. Which leaves only the actual Ball.



Here is where I wondered what I was doing with my life. When we started mixing and mingling I realized I was the only non-pregnant girl wearing flats, and I was certainly the only one wearing Toms. Look, some people perform their civic responsibility by becoming a Marine, some people buy shoes (if you just said, “who are you?!” you were not the only one). We got a pretty awesome history lesson and saw lots of historical things (the Ball was in an awesome aviation museum) and then something happened, the worst sort of thing, something I should’ve seen coming but didn’t.



There was dancing. I’m surprised I even survived to write about it because I think the SBC is about the equivalent of the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter. Just like the MoM knows when and where you’ve done magic, the Convention knows when you’ve danced. After that first step onto the floor someone had very purposely ordained for dancing, sirens started going off somewhere in the Bible Belt, and I was a marked woman. However, to my surprise and chagrin, nothing extreme happened, and I was forced to participate. At first, I felt a lot like i was in Dorothy Parker’s “The Waltz” but without quite as much animosity and pain. Apparently, it’s a Marine thing to twirl; I’m not sure if they teach it in basic or what, but looking around, all you could see was twirly mctwirlysons everywhere. There are two things wrong with that: 1. I have bad depth perception. 2. I get motion-sick. hey vertigo heyyy. Luckily, my date didn’t care about dance-dancing all that much either, so I got by the least amount possible, and the majority of my time was spent belting out tunes like a crazy (the band was super amazing and heavy on the 80s and solid oldies) while sticking with what I do best, which is karate-chopping like a champ and imitating John Travolta circa Saturday Night Fever (I would say the two safest and most acceptable forms of dance for silly baptist-raised white girl). The funny part in all of that is that looking back I’m not even really sure where he was most of the time. There was this whole awkward, maybe I should care where you went and tell you when I’m going to wander away and dance with whoever is standing near me, but maybe I should just be all nonchalant because neither of us really cares all that much either way, thing going on. I was trying not to be rude, but I mean I kind of kept forgetting his name (he kind of looks like Spencer Pratt and once I realized that, it was over–the result of being way too good at the word association game) and I was the one who only knew 3 people out of the 1,000 that were there. Pretty sure I had license to do what I want.

hey girls heyyy.

Overall, it was a pretty fun night, and certainly an experience I will put on the list of things I never intended to do, but had fun doing. But let’s just go ahead and acknowledge it, there’s a reason matches are made in heaven and not at the Marine Ball.

that’s us…being dumb, minus the date who was serious.


See ya Never, September 24 2010.

Today was the worst sort of day ever. I made myself sound like a 13 year old in an attempt to reach out to a friend (who was like on level one friendship, so completely not in tune with crazy Jenna). And then I messed up something at work, got frustrated with several other work tasks, and had a tiff with my mom which resulted in me crying (ugly crying). Plus I was soo tired all day long and chose today to attempt to process things, things that I’ve ignored, but the Lord has been making me deal with. I was not emotionally stable to say the least.
So here’s what happened. I went home. Made a fort/cocoon and stayed there until I felt like facing the world. I’ll show you.

Cozy, no? I’m so glad today is over.