Kills on Contact

Goldrick: Wait will you look at this with me? Is that a roach?
Me (looking at her ceiling): No, I think that's a spider. I mean, have you ever seen a roach in our apartment?
G: Well, not since the fall.
G: Well I've only ever seen like three in here. And it's not during the winter, it was when the weather got warmer.

After replacing the current roach traps with the four unused ones we had in our apartment, it was decided that I would look into more traps today at CVS. Unfortunately, CVS is well stocked for every other insect in the world- ants, fleas, yellow jackets - and were sold out of roach traps. Not a good sign for the neighborhood, if you know what I mean. So I perused the spray cans to see what they might have in stock and found one for roaches, which was clearly labeled "KILLS ON CONTACT."

I immediately got up and left without buying anything because, contact? If there is contact with a roach, you can pretty much guarantee that I'll be passed out next to it instead of calmly spritzing it to death.

Nashville and the Night of the Seven Cosmos

Hello there, you. I bet you thought I disappeared or went off the deep end or both. But look! Here I am:

Don't we just look like a Hallmark card? Yes world, it's true; I spent ANOTHER weekend in Nashville. I had a conference for work which I combined with visiting the lovely Muhlenberg ladies (er... Vanderbilt). Dinner and Scrabble at Lindsay's and Origins' face masks with Skershy. Joy!

Does that photo look a little blurry to you? I can't tell because I'm basically still hung over from the conference we were at. Let's just say that professional development has never been so synonymous with SEVEN COSMOS before last night.

Here are pix from Lindsay's (featuring Robin the boyfriend and Sasha the DOG!):

In case you were wondering, the English majors just barely beat the Scientists in a thrilling game of Scrabble.

Speaking of scientists, I also met up with an old friend (as in, she came to my 4th grade birthday party) after almost 10 years of not seeing each other! It is official: everyone I know will, at some point, go get their PhD at Vanderbilt.

I know what you're thinking. "Does Jen ever take that blue sweater off"? And the answer is, never, not even during the night of the seven cosmos, not unless I'm wearing the same one in pink.


The most literary town EVER.

Steve, Mom and I spent last weekend up in Concord, MA, where we visited Thoreau, Emerson, and Louisa May Alcott's homes. We also checked out the bridge where the first shot was fired in the Revolutionary War (ironically, I was the Red Coat that day...). The photos came out really well, but I don't have enough time to post them all, so for tonight I'll just post the cool text-y ones:

And this one is my favorite:


Quiet company on a quiet night.

There are typically about 12 people in our Wednesday Pilates class, but tonight the line stretched all the way past the ladies' locker room and around the corner. To be honest, we were completely cramped in that workout room, but no one seemed to mind. It was nice to have the company, as well as the distraction. As we stretched before class, someone whispered to her friend, "it's so sad. I haven't stopped thinking about it all day." And half of the room murmured in agreement, smiling timidly at each other from neighboring mats. No one was in the mood for a particularly high-energy workout and our teacher, whose joints are made of silly putty, sensed it and did more demonstrations than normal, giving us extra time to lay quietly and watch.

I left a voicemail for a friend earlier this evening: "I don't know what to say; I'm sad and I thought you might be sad too."

Is it because he was basically our age? Or because we grew up with Heath Ledger as a Hollywood-er of our generation who made brave films? Or because he made a beautiful baby with Jen Lindley and chose to live in bohemian Brooklyn?

Once again, death sweeps in and makes another move that I can't begin to understand.


The Drapes of the Face!

So I wrote an email to my former students in Paris yesterday, filling them in on the latest news from NY. And in this email I wrote:

"J'ai eu 27 ans la semaine derniere, et je commence a regarder les rideaux a la visage..."

I looked at it for a good five minutes. And then I did the lazy thing and sent it off, still feeling a little uneasy about my word choice, but unable to figure out the problem.

As it turns out, "rides" is the word for "wrinkles." "Rideaux" is the word for "curtains." So yeah, turning 27 is a good time to check out the drapes on your face. The thing about the French language is that, even when you screw it up, you still sound like Baudelaire.


You know FAFSA is wack.

Me: Well, maybe one day I'll sell you my car.
Steve: For how much?
Me: I don't know, $4,000.
Steve: I'll just take Mom's car and she can have yours.
Me: Well, if it's Mom, it'll be $5,000. It's like FAFSA- you could submit your finances to me and I'd decide what you can pay. But it will always be like 10 times what you can afford.
Steve: FAFSA: F'ing Assholes...
Me: F'ing Students...
Steve: Anywhere.
Me: YES.

Deciding your student loans: F'ing Assholes F'ing Students Anywhere.


"Thank you very nice"

is what I said to the cashier at our local adorable book shop tonight. Why? Because I had just met a very cute boy and was flustered. And therefore combined "Thank you very much" and "Have a nice night."

What I should have said was "no thanks, I probably don't need this $22 book, but you're pretty cute so let's get a coffee sometime."

But in flustered speak, that would have come out as "Thanks, I need $22 and you need a pretty coffee," so, all things considered, I suppose it could have been worse.



I used to go to Pilates a bunch, so much so that I got pleasure out of holding my 'core area' together for more than a minute. But I haven't gone in a while. And by a while, I mean years.

Tonight's Pilates class was, as one might expect, a little like one glass of wine for a non-drinker. Hungover after the warm-up! Places that I'd forgotten existed were hurting and it wasn't until the end of class that I re-found my love of stretching.

This next thought might make me sound like a complete freak: I cannot remember the last time I stretched. Like, really stretched. Like pulled my feet and hands apart and not just that fake social hamstring stretching you do when you're waiting to grab the Elliptical. After this class, I'm a stretching convert. It wakes you up! It's better than caffeine! I am pretty sure that if everyone stretched for 5 minutes when they woke up, Starbucks would be out of business.

It already sounds good to you, doesn't it? Just reading this post makes you want to do a little stretching of your own. Yep, I know. It's like yawning. Well stretch away, my friends. Stretch away.

P.S. I typed the word "stretch" so many times in this one post that now it looks weird and wrong. Love it when that happens!

Getting a little punchy on a post NIFW publish high

Another long night of NIFW and another satisfied feeling as I'm off to bed. This is important, guys. Participating in stuff is important to the soul.

I know I say this every time, but I think this could be our best one yet. Read Goldrick's piece- it cracks me up. www.noisforwimps.blogspot.com.

Also check out the video I made! Yes, you too can find Microsoft Movie Maker on your computer and make a video. I plan on doing it often now that the first one has been birthed. Also- how funny is the song playing in the background? "A Laptop Like You"? HA!



"I saw all of my siblings turn 27 and they were all at their coolest." -Evelyn


On the Eve of 27

It's not that I feel that I haven't accomplished enough to turn 27. It's mostly just that I feel myself slipping towards 30. Which isn't a bad thing, persay. It just scares the shit out of me, mostly for stupid societal reasons like finding husbands and having babies and buying real estate.

And also when I think that John Keats died at 25 and had accomplished so much that he is taught in Intro to English studies at Muhlenberg.

I mean, talk about giving people a freaking complex. Geez.


Brooklyn Newsletter: Month One

Dear Brooklyn,

Today I took the subway uptown to meet the girls for dinner and ended up about 9 blocks north and 5 blocks east of where I wanted to be. Despite the fact that I've now officially been a Brooklyn resident for a month, my navigation skills on the New York subway still leave something to be desired. To be fair, I've spent much of the past four weeks in Yorktown and England, so I suppose I can argue transportation novice for another couple of weeks.

I started 2008 in England, visiting old friends in an old country. I felt really strongly that I needed to be away from New York for New Year's. Sometimes it seems that life here is so hectic and stressful that it isn't until I wake up on another continent that I can take a deep breath. My trip to England was exactly what I needed it to be: late-night talks, baking bread, walking in Wellies, parties in Notting Hill. I met so many new people and reconnected with some I hadn't seen in years and I would argue that this process, the introducing (or re-introducing as the case may be) of oneself is good for the soul every so often. Because when you meet someone new, you have to somewhat define yourself to them. And for someone who has been clinging to the indefinable for the past 6 months, it was good to feel like a solid person again.

One of the things that I loved most about my trip was spending time in real English households, a true benefit of traveling to places where you know people. It strikes me as completely stereotypical and yet true that British families do ten times more reading and radio listening than the average American. You might argue that it's the English major in me, but how can you not love a nation whose homes are filled with books, whose walls are specially designed for tomes upon tomes of fiction?

There is a beautiful spot on the Jubilee bridge (which looks a teensy bit like the Brooklyn bridge) where you can see the London Eye and Parliament lit up at night. I stood there, alone, for a few minutes the other night and thought about where I'd been a year earlier. 2007 was a year of deconstruction in many ways for me; so many elements of my life are different today than they were a year ago. For a moment it made me sad to think about, how far I'd come down this path towards the incredible unknown. But that is, of course, the challenge of happiness, the daring to imagine something better and the leaps of faith you take that just might get you there.

xo Jen


Bollocks, knickers and chaps

Back in Brooklyn and I'm knackered. But at least I'm not minging.

If you understood those two sentences, then you probably speak Brit.

I promise to get back on the blogwagon tomorrow but in the meantime, here's a bowl of Ostrich eggs to tide you over.