coming back to blogging

I watched Mortified Nation–the documentary about Mortified performances across the country last night and this morning. I loved it. And sat there wondering what my journals were like. I went looking this morning and found the ones from college and after college. My others are in a box in the garage I think. So, I didn’t get to read embarrassing/funny entries for elementary, middle, and high school. I was so surprised by how much I wrote in my early/mid 20s. Then I started blogging–which is less personal. And then, I stopped blogging altogether. So I’m not journaling and I’m not blogging. I’m not writing at all except a little bit for work. My writing is deteriorating–not in a dramatic way, but I don’t have the opportunity (which I would be giving myself) to reflect back on my life and develop my voice. It’s a little bit sad. I’m stopping up my own creativity. And it feeds into this other issue I’ve been having, which is wanting to do independent “thinking” projects outside of work. I’m so burned out that I don’t do much at home. I don’t foster my interests in any sort of way. I only think about the independent projects I could do. I’m posting this 2-year-old photo of myself here because it’s my motivation to always live up to the creative and independent standards of me back when I wore my fake yellow glasses and winter boots in the house while doing my “writing” on the chalkboard table. 2yearoldJen0001

So, here I am. I reset my password. I’m posting a little reflective entry. And hopefully, I’ll start writing here again. Hello world!


ImageI realized something lately, because I love fall. The falling leaves, the crispy temperatures, the gloomy rainy days that make the changing leaves look like an impressionist painting. I am happy to tramp through the woods in the fall. I am willing to drive further or be more creative about finding outdoor space. 

I realized that the summer makes me depressed. And to be more specific, summer in the city makes me depressed. I hate the heat and humidity of Chicago. I hate the smell of the city. I hate the El in the summer. I hate the headaches I get from the constant pressure systems. And I hate working during the summer. It makes me decidely grumpy. I am happy when I’m out of the city. Or when I’m not working in the city. I’m not so resentful. And I like my job so…

Anyway, I grumbled all summer about finding woods and reprieve from the city-ness of the city. And a couple of weeks ago, I went for a walk in a prairie which was ok. Today, I checked out another piece of the Cook County Forest Preserve system. And it was awesome! I saw a couple of deer. There was a trail that wasn’t paved. I walked along a bit of a stream which was really pretty. There were little rolling hills (not too big since we are in Illinois). I spent an hour and a half wandering around the trails. People even trail ride in the woods that I walked in. It was pretty cool. And by the time I was done, I felt relaxed and ready (kind of) for the week. I love fall. 


10 Things I like Right NOW

  1. long form magazine articles like this one
  2. Radio lab stories (on NPR)
  3. clicking on the radio mid-story, and then turning it off mid-story only to imagine how it ended
  4. the library
  5. laughing at work
  6. phone calls with friends where people say things that would never get said out loud in public anywhere without royally offending someone, but said on the phone with friends is perfectly acceptable because you’ve known each other THAT long.
  7. the Yom Kippur service/Kol Nidre service that I went to, which actually touched on real issues and real feelings and felt authentic and worth my time.
  8. Big family events where I may hang out for a little bit with an 8th grader, laugh about twitter and facebook with a high school freshman, and expound on Russian foreign policy with adults within 1/2 an hour. Oh and then drive my great aunt home.
  9. protein shakes with almond milk, a little bit of peanut butter, frozen banana, vegan protein powder, a little cinnamon, and one Truvia packet.
  10. changing leaves. fall is my favorite season! (but I wish it stayed light longer)

So, I went to Israel, but I haven’t really talked about it

Everyone asks me about my trip. It’s weird, for me, to have this little mini spotlight on something I did/was awarded. I have a canned answer now for work. And a different canned answer for my friends. And my parents/sister got more of a play by-play. Here’s a list of things I may not have said:

  • On the flight there, I had a seat between me and the window, which was awesome.
  • I think that I liked the HBO comedy “Girls” but I don’t think it’s the voice of a generation or something like that. But the characters remind me of people I know.
  • Using massive amounts of saline nasal spray, saline eye drops, and ayr saline gel was a successful venture–I didn’t get a cold after the plane ride there or back.
  • Buying a pack of cucumber face wipes was the BEST idea ever. I used them on the plane, after a hot day, on the bus. It was perfect.
  • I think that if I wanted to live in Israel (I don’t) I’d probably live in Haifa. I fell in love, but barely spent any time there, so rationally speaking, how could that possibly happen? But I always like the integrated/diverse places.
  • I can’t figure out what it’s like to live by the Mediterranean Sea, I kept wondering how that affects culture. Because there are lots of times I kind of forget I live a mile from Lake Michigan…
  • My favorite part of Israeli cuisine are the frequent juice stands and the fact that everybody carries around massive bottles of water. Oh and that they sell gelato most places, which means that I can get sorbet. My favorite though, is Max Brenner–get the melon and the coconut. Yum!
  • I got tired of schwarma. Yes. I did. Because sometimes it was the only good gluten-free option around.
  • And I really found it much more difficult to “eat on the street” in Israel gluten and dairy free. So much bread! Everywhere! Even though I ate a ton of salad.
  • I forgot about how much I like Aroma’s food until I was in the airport and got a salad from there. Yum. Why had I missed out the whole trip? (really, just wasn’t near an Aroma at a meal time)
  • While I didn’t mind traveling alone during the day, (this is something I’ve said before) my night-time brain got very anxious. Needless to say,  for the most part, Israeli transportation continues to be great.
  • Oh and did I mention that I’m in love with the Jerusalem tram that the natives apparently hate? Love love love.

On TV (and books)

It’s 10:30 at night and I’m currently debating whether I should stream something on the computer or stay up for another hour so that I can watch a rerun of New Girl on regular TV. It’s a funny mental debate. I think bed is going to win, and I won’t see either another episode of something or other on the internets or on TV. I’ve only watched one episode of New Girl. It was funny. But, I was born with a comedy appreciating deficit. I usually blame my parents for never letting me stay up and watch Saturday Night Live. But, I could just not enjoy comedy as much as most people. I wish I did. I really do. In other news in the TV realm, I was incredibly sad when I finished the Wire. Since then, when I watch the news or hear the news on NPR, I think about episodes of the Wire while listening to the urban tales of drugs, murder and crime. In lieu of the Wire, I watched a really well-produced Australian teen show called “Dance Academy”. It won all sorts of awards in Australia for being a quality kids show. I must admit, I kind of loved it. But, I watched 2 seasons and the 3rd hasn’t been produced yet (or shown at least). Today I watched CW’s LA Complex, which is apparently a remake of a CBC show (Canada). The jury’s out. I have a feeling I’d like the other version better. And, I watched 2 episodes of Mad Men last night. I liked it. I see why people like it. I’m not sure why everyone is gaga over the clothes from that time period, but whatever. There were certainly a lot of profundities/platitudes in the first two episodes. I’ll keep watching. And I plan on watching Friday Night Lights this summer, too.

Just so we’re all reassured that I still do tons of reading, I read a great book the other day. Mr. Churchill’s Secretary was most definitely the best piece of historical fiction I read this year. I loved it. But, I can’t say that it was the most historically accurate because I’m not an expert on the UK during WWII. I also just finished Rules of Civility, which I liked quite a bit. It apparently has a playlist! How cool.