My name is Genna, which is relatively uncommon. Growing up there were never ever ever keychains or bike licenses or anything trinkety with my name on it. Sometimes there was a Jenna, but rarely. Never even a Gen. Sometimes I would be like….I could get the Gina and just pretend…..

Now I’m sure Jessicas and Janes and Jennifers are all pretty over hearing their name said aloud in movies and TV by all sorts of folks, but there are so few instances of Genna/Jennas that whenever they do occur, I feel like the stars are aligning. If I am lucky enough that a handsome gentleman is saying the name, I swoon all the more. Here are the G/Jennas that I am aware of in cinema and television (actually they’re all Jennas, wah wah, but no matter – MARK RUFFALO IS SAYING MY NAME):

A. Jenna Maroney, played by Jane Krakowski on 30 Rock

Jenna Maroney aaaa I love this character to no end. Lady needs an Emmy already. Witness your face to become smiling!

And for all the G/Jennas out there, here is Alec Baldwin and then JAMES FRANCO saying your name, though he is actually in love with a Japanese body pillow named Kimiko…

B. Jenna Rink, played by Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30

Another title with the number 30 in it (whaaa?), this movie is a fine movie. It is a fine movie! Judy Greer is also in this movie! And they do the Thriller dance! And lovely scruffy Mark Ruffalo plays the guy. Sigh. He chews so good.

Here’s a pretty strange/awesome fan video with few Jennas sprinkled around:

C. Jenna, played by Jacinda Barrett in The Last Kiss

JEEBUS another Jennifer Garner movie! What is this! I wasn’t kidding about the cosmic alignment.

Oh wait. It’s not. Hahahaha! Just a shitty generic movie with Zach Braff. Oh I never saw it. Heard it was preeeeetty bad.

D. Jenna, played by Fiona Gubelmann in Wilfred

Oh god I love Wilfred…it’s strange and beautiful. And Elijah Wood is in love with his next-door neighbor, a Jenna, so he says her name a lot. And Elijah Wood…I find him a bit dreamy. Her dog, Wilfred, also says the name. Like here’s a pretty sexy scene:

Another COSMIC CONNECTION is that Chris Klein plays Jenna’s boyfriend in some episodes, and Chris Klein is also the name of my uncle. Yeaa.

E. There aren’t any more so:

Real famous folks whose name sounds like mine:

Jena Malone is great…

Jenna Fischer, sure…

Jenna Elfman – she’s pretty boss! I happen to own Keeping the Faith on VHS I do.

uh…

Jenna von Oy, child star, with whom I am unfamiliar………

and finally, Jenna Jameson.

and that’s pretty much it.

hahaha!

Much love! Genna

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When I was little I thought that in songs and things when they said “pouring rain” they were saying “foreign rain”. I guess it sounded more romantic to me? Ha! Even after a thorough sarch, I can’t come up with any song I would have thought this about, except Maroon 5’s She Will Be Loved, but I wasn’t a child when that came out, and don’t have any inclination to think of it as “foreign rain”.

When I was little I also thought that the subheading of Highlights magazine, in actuality being “Fun with a Purpose”, was “Fun with a Porpoise”. I really should make a drawing of that.

I love those aha moments when you realize for the longest time you were reading/saying/understanding something wrong! I pronounced Hermione /herm-wan/ until book four came out and Viktor Krum or Grawp or someone had to be instructed to say it. Another reason I love rewatching movies and rereading books I loved as a kid.

Today it’s cloudy here, and I’m downing the chai.

Cheers, Genna

I love to make things. Always have, always will. Still, I get bogged down sometimes and go for weeks without creating something new. It feels good to have a challenge! My creative outlet for the past year or two has been making rad rag rugs, which is something I want to continue to experiment with (bowls? purses? pattern experimentation? purely ornamental things?).

Last month I wove that neon green-ish thing in the picture. At first I hated it, and folded it on the corner of my bed and hated at it. But then I realized it was perfect as a wall hanging, and I pinned it up, and imagined it was something very special. And I still do look at it very proudly every night when I climb into bed. It is calming. And I made it. And it was tricky to figure out how to make!

In the past month I have been experimenting making himmeli, a Finnish (possibly other ethnic origins) ~Christmas traditional craft. It’s actually a funny story. I went to the feed store a couple blocks away (love living in the sticks!) and asked if they had straw. He said sure it’s $6. And it’s about 60 lbs. I weighed this in my mind…….60 pounds of straw? Genna are you a crazy idiot? YES! So I drove away with a bale of hay in my trunk. I get home, open the trunk, and realize ALL THE STRAW IS CRUSHED, laaaaaaaaaugh! and proceed to chuck the bale chunk by chunk into the dumpster. There goes $6! It was worth it! It was worth it.

Then I went to the HOBBY LOBBY!!!! (oof Michael’s is way better) and bought a small pack of intact wheat for the same price. Le sigh! <don’t have pictures yet blergh!>. Something badass like this is next.

Another creative activity always going is of course cooking – I baked a loaf of bread! It was tasty! More yeast-related adventures to come! I have also been making pizzas! Gonna make that ice cream too!

A further challenge (though somewhat less under my control) is my involvement with my parents’ landscaping project. They are letting me put together a small vegetable garden (alluded to previously) in four smaller round and two huge bowl-shaped terra cotta pots. I love the idea of planting snap peas to grow up a bean pole in the center of one of the larger ones like a fountain.

So truly, my life is not devoid of creative endeavors. However! Looking through these supremely inspiring websites this evening, I have decided that regardless of how much simpler my life is with only one sort of raw material in my room (thrifted, cleaned, ripped up bedsheets), I need to continue to test my limits and build my skills. So here is a list of five things to do to challenge me creatively in the next few months:

1. make a 3D cardboard animal or something

2. make something like this himmeli-like geometric jewelry with the crap in the bead box – hello Christmas gifts!

3. jigsaw and sand a cutting board from salvaged wood

4. new designs for the shop

5. make colorful quilted potholders

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Creative geniuses at work…

I’m pumped!, Genna

Oh gosh one of my favorite things is to mash bananas into sticky rich chocolate ice cream. And OH MAN looking at the top photo in this is making me salivate. WANT! BANANAS! MASHED! INTO! STICKY CHEWY CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM FROM SWENSEN’S! I don’t live up the hill from Swensen’s any more. <sadface>. I’m going to have to make that ice cream! Crap! It- you just mix it and freeze it – WHY HAVEN’T THEY THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE!? IT MAKES ALL THE SENSE!! I WANT TO MAKE ALL KINDS OF VARIATIONS! THIS IS THE NEXT STEP IN ICE CREAMERY!

Listen to this. It is Ball And Biscuit by The White Stripes. SO BOSS:

As I wait for the state to process my license, I’ve been driving out to the coast most weekends to do yard work at my parent’s house, which has been mostly digging-related activities. There’s just nothing like showering and eating dinner and then relaxing after a day of outdoor labor in the dirt when the rest of the week you’re mostly inside at a computer, because that’s really what I do all week. Having not started my job. Because the state is processing my license. It’s taking them a full eight weeks. Hey thanks, state! Thanks.

So digging has been going great! My parents are relandscaping the yard after years of it being kind of spottily barren. They got all kinds of pretty drought tolerant plants and they’re also going to let me put in a little vegetable garden. They’re camping this weekend so today I finished up with the tasks I know about (shaking dirt out of sod clumps so the garbage guys don’t hate us, smoothing out dirt over the fixed drainage system) so tomorrow I’m going to put in some of the garden, maybe buy some tomato plants and strawberry plants, and more seeds. I want to try to get seeds for plants that will produce good seeds. My understanding is that this means heirloom seeds. I need to research this.

I have some seeds saved from my last garden in San Francisco. It was also my first garden, and it was so much fun! My gardening style is definitely to smell those roses and enjoy every transformation, and to put love into moving the dirt around and helping the plants grow and then harvesting and then collecting seeds. And being sad if something dies, but no matter! So it goes! Lesson learned! I learned, by the way, that arugula is the hardiest fancy thing to plant. It’s nuts! The stuff is so so tasty and grows like a weed, and then it goes to seed and the seeds are ridiculously easy to collect and sow again. I have to thank my garden partner and old roommate for pointing out the seed collection possibility. It’s all I care about now! My garden was so weak that I would just let everything go to seed, and I got my gardener’s satisfaction from gathering the seeds!

So I have this collection from all over, from fruits and vegetables I’ve eaten, plants I’ve passed, etc., and who knows if anything will grow true. But I really enjoy the experiment!

Well it’s evening now and I am worn. out. Even with just, really, a few hours of work. Now I’m sipping my wine and patting that black dog when she comes to bother me and put her head on my lap. Aw, dog! I love you too. Time to make pie!

Love, Genna

Today I got a compliment, granted it was from a desperate lady in a booth at the farmers market by the mall, but she was selling hand-dyed, semi-local wool, and so she knew a thing or two about colors, maybe. The compliment was, “your shirt is exactly perfectly in style – it has every color in fashion right now.”

And I kind of goose-stepped and waggled my hands and said I know I know I am so fashionable la di da!

She went on to describe how the Pantone folks put together color palettes several seasons in advance, and that she just got the colors for next fall. I had heard about this before – in college I took a psychology seminar (only like 10 people, yo! big deal in my huge university) that was all about color. One of the girls in the class had had an internship or something at Pantone or some other serious color prognosticator, and she was like really good at color. I love colors, but really I’m just a hobbyist and appreciator who goes with her gut and her nose (of course my gut and my nose being the product of absorbing tons of other folksoutput/finds).

But yes. looking at that Pantone website, it does appear that my thrifted Brooks Brothers Oxford shirt is on the money for Fall 2012, containing such colors as: Honey Gold, Pink Flambe, Ultramarine Green (well it’s a bit of a stretch), and Olympian Blue. Crap! I’m early! No one will understand my modish-ness unless they are like really into colors. Luckily the shirt is also a bit boxier than it should be, the sleeves looser, so I am not so confusing. But for reals: last night in the previews for Wanderlust (David Wain! I love you! Paul Rudd!), there were like three previews where the girl was wearing some sort of slim-fitting plaid shirt. Not news, of course, but, just: NOTED.

(see 1:25) I totally look like Emily Blunt in my shirt.

Speaking of fashion, how cute do they dress the Jane character (and Penny too!) in Happy Endings? Ooo here’s a good post. Aaaa want the skirts…the shirts….everything…….she’s awesome. It’s a total uniform. She also wears a lot of plaid shirts. Others have noticed, as seen in this drinking game. Speaking of which: Happy Endings is fantastic. It’s a just absolutely fantastic show! The one with the most consistent laughs and some effing lovable characters. I guess I am the target demographic. How fun!

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At the farmers market today I bought a bunch of guavas (mmmmmmmmm guavas!) for $4, a big bag of oranges for $4, and some local honey for $8. Seemed fair to me. Then I came home and made faux pho and watched My Best Friend’s Wedding and finished a baguette with sea salt and a ton of this really good California olive oil I got. OH MAN SO GOOD! It’s kind of dumb that I didn’t just hold out and buy Temecula Olive Oil Co. olive oil, but whatever.

I love My Best Friend’s Wedding. I have seen it probably every year of my life since I was nine or ten, and every year I discover some new joke or throwaway line that I hadn’t before. I mean – MBFW is – I know what kind of a movie it is. And it has a special place in my corazon. On this viewing what particularly struck me was how Julia Roberts is supposed to be 28, this frighteningly powerful food critic, finishing a book tour, and just such an adult. Cameron Diaz’ character is supposed to be TWENTY and she is getting MARRIED the jerk.

I had the same feeling about Elizabeth Bennet when I realized she was also not one and twenty. DAMN HER!

Rookie magazine covered this topic and it is just – when I was a kid I expected that – oh yeah, sure, 28? That is SO OLD. Of course she is so mature (aside from, you know, sabotaging weddings) of course she is so successful of course her life is fully directed. Not that my life isn’t directed now…just my dialogue and social life sems so lame and childish in comparison. I mean I’m reading teen content. GRANTED IT IS AWESOME TEEN CONTENT, but you know what I mean: I should be beyond this! Adult!

I am so not an adult, in so many ways. I do feel the nudges of it coming on, though. The desire for a stocked, organized home, where everything is something I have picked, baby thoughts, or, at least, thoughts of like, oh I’d totally start having kids if I were in the right circumstances. FINALLY the desire for a guy pal who is not just an asshole punk, but someone I would be a family with. OH LORD.

And then I tell myself: Genna you are 26.5 and you are starting a grown-up job and you will be fine and you will not recognize yourself when you are 28 just like the 24 you is preeeeeetty different from what you are now.

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A. Listening to a lot of tracks from Midnight in Paris:

B. Found this today, combining three of my favorite – FOUR of my favorite things: Star Wars, yoga, hilarity, and Etsy. I think all it needs is a hearty AMEN.

C. HECK YES ladies from Community.

D. Watching this in the background:

It’s ridiculous, but it’s also awesome – I totally have weird rituals and feelings about inanimate things – like, oh now this shirt is dirty, or, fuck this pen I need this pen OUT OF MY LIFE, or, I should show that plant a little love right now, or, me and the dog are having such a connection right now.

I love you so much, Genna

TAKE IT!!!!

Take action, I mean!! Not my plant!!! I love my plant so much! Did you know it has grown maybe four leaves since it has been mine? I got it free – snapped a piece of it off my friend’s roommate’s plant because the thing was effing monstrous and my friend was like hey- hey Genna see if you can take a part of that plant out of my apartment because my roommate is CRAZY AND LOVES PLANTS TOO MUCH and really, I think she knew I was crazy and loved plants too much also (kindred spirit crazy plant ladies represaaaaaant).

So I got this piece of plant and after a couple weeks of it sitting in water I stuck it in dirt and it has SURVIVED and THRIVED and it is my favorite.

Well I like my rosemary too. And the spider plants!

And the skinny grass-looking succulent I snapped off a plant in Berkeley. Oh Berkeley! I miss Berkeley.

My friend’s roommate also gave me another plant, a year later, because she is a soul sista, so I have an African violet too. It’s really pretty crazy how much time and love I invest into building my plant collection without buying anything.

Well that was before I had job prospects! In the past month I have purchased TWO PLANTS!!! One is a jasminum polyanthum <insert photo>, and one is a sweet broom <insert…photo….NO IT’S COLD AND LATE AND IT’S DARK>.

Oh these two each smell just delightful! I love them. I love them so much! I really hope they don’t die. I bet they so would, and I’d feel like a chump for paying money for them at Armstrong Gardens.

What’s really pretty stupid is that you can buy these plants at the store and they look so much prettier than the ones I cultivate on my own, and they can be like only five bucks, which isn’t a lot <says my brain as I have JOB PROSPECTS>. So it’s tempting to buy them! Only my apartment here has really terrible lighting so I really shouldn’t invest in houseplants right now. Like for real I have no direct light into my room. Whereas the previous place was just FLOODED. So it goes! I would spend all day just lying on my bed in the sun, with the cats.

It was the best. Genna