when i don't have to go to work.

I sometimes make plans to walk the Brooklyn Bridge with S. It's a done deal until we step foot into a stationary store and/or locate a happy hour somewhere with four dollar margaritas. To shake things up a bit, I'll do something crazy like give the bartender my phone number or blow $100 on dinner afterwards cause that always seems like a good idea when you're trying to teach yourself a thing or two about saving money.

But mostly on my days off I have breakfast twice and I study Facebook like I'm still in college and I have a very important paper due the next morning. I tell myself I should get up and be productive, but then I cave into something as horrific as watching The City on Netflix, and it makes me feel terrible inside, so I only watch four more episodes and then I look around me and realize that if I were to suddenly die from some random freak accident, I would probably die again knowing people saw what a state I've been living my day in. So I get up and tidy the room. Pick up the the one or two raisins that fell from my midnight swoop of trail mix the night before, make the bed, maybe do some laundry. You know. Get my shit together. And in the process start considering what few hours are now left of the day and how I've limited my oyster.

I start thinking about the few friends I've made thus far and what they might have on the books for the evening. Chances are there's a gay club waiting to bedazzle the night and how fun would that be, except the idea hardly amuses me, no matter how hard I try to get amped about it. I'm tired of drinking. I don't even like it. At all. And though it would be nice to find myself surrounded with people, I don't particularly feel like talking to any of them.

So instead I make plans to fly solo to Barnes. The bookstore is always a great idea. I don't think anything quite fulfills me so simply as holding a hot beverage while taking inventory of all the interesting titles I wish I had the jail time to soak from cover to cover. I met someone once who said the same kind of thing. I remember getting goosebumps from the excitement in sharing such a hobbie with somebody. We used to go to Barnes together a lot. And let me tell ya- there was something very endearing about the way we'd sit there and get lost in our over priced pulp fictions together. At moments he'd break my escape, by rubbing my back or running his fingers through my hair. But I'd keep reading. Or maybe I'd tilt my head slightly to let him know I was there with him in that space between ficton and reality. Sometimes, I recall those times and I miss them. Really tho, I just miss having someone to hold my latte while I go pee.

It's dark out now. I've made a purchase and the only logical option I have is to begin the trek back home to Astoria. But I'm out now and there's foundation on my face and long lasting mascara on my lashes and I've read a thing or two that's got me feeling all inspired. Suddenly, returning to my dismal four by four living space, however tidy and slightly warmer it is at that point, seems incredibly lame. I live in New York City now. It's not even ten and surely there's something going on in this town. But I don't know where to even begin looking, so I just start walking. I walk for blocks and blocks. I walk and walk and at moments slow down as I pass a crowded bar. I consider the possibilities of just walking in and having a drink. But I've never felt comfortable just walking into a bar and sitting by myself. The only thing that ever comes out of that is texting the very same people whose plans I had already figured out and decided I wasn't interested in, liking everyone's recent instagrams, and finally paying for a drink that I didn't even really want to begin with. So I don't go in. I just keep walking. Some live music or something would be nice, but I don't find any good vibrating beats beneath my feet before I end up just hoping on the nearest N train. For a hard moment I'm disappointed. Maybe I should have just gone out with my friends to the gay club.

It's midnight when I return home. I take my coat off and I toss it onto the bedroom floor. It's an old coat that I don't care about and I've decided that now the room's too clean. I swoop up what's left of the trail mix, dropping a single raisin to cuddle up against my coat and I check Facebook one last time for the day. Someone else just posted their marriage photos. Cute.

My sister is online. I say hi and we chat for a little bit. I tell her how much I miss her and I tell her for the 29837th time that I can't wait for her to come out and visit me. She's doing really good. She just got some great notes from a casting agent and made a bunch of money bartending this past weekend.

I think about how far we've both come. From round one of LA to Orange County to back to Ventura to now.

I get a text message from Steve. "Hi."

 Some characters in life are just constant, no matter where you go.

I find myself lost in a blog post, the menu on Netflix, some old e-mail accounts I thought would be interesting to go digging through before I finally respond with a "Hello."

"Do u wanna live in Costa Rica for a month or two?"

I've been quite the Yes Man lately, but it breaks there. Tho Costa Rica would be nice.

It's almost two now and I'm sleepy. Somehow I manage to convince myself to get up and brush my teeth. I think about the whole day I had off from work and I'm glad I didn't go to the gay club. But I definitely should have squeezed the gym in, or gone to the High Line, dang it, that's what I should have done. I keep meaning to do that. Well, next time. Next time, Brooklyn Bridge and High Line it is. I'll bring S with me.

I write something short and far from eloquent in my journal and then turn out the light.


shoots and ladders.

Sebastion Reiser

As you all know, back in January when I started this blog, I decided I was going to try this thing called go celibate for an entire year and keep all things highly platonic. In a serious attempt to prove I wasn't totally humoring myselfI wrote an entire piece about it. 

Well. If you've been reading along then surely you've found word that my little science project has plummeted. And if you've missed word, then let it be known that I, jen, have miserably failed to stay away from the boys. 

I lasted a good five months without so much as having brunch with maybe one dude who I was reluctant to even climb into a car with. 

Then, much like the time Chandler had a cigarette to reward himself for not smoking cigarettes, I hung out with Steve.

And then I took an impromptu trip to SF where I met A, the Russian. Who did a marvelously fine job sweeping me off my feet in what I like to think was a pretty crazy twist of fate. I didn't even tell you guys this, but A actually flew down from SF to Ventura and spent my last weekend in California with me before I left. Very rarely have I ever had a dude come my way, let alone get inside an airplane to do it. You tell me how the hecks a gal is to say no to that? 

And now I've been in New York for nearly four months, and have definitely flirted my way into disaster with one pumpkin and totally embarrassed myself very recently with another. 

In summary, I've been very busy doing a horrible job avoiding the male race. So shoots to that.

But what I can say is this-- with only a month and half left of this year, I've given myself some serious time to not just dip my feet in several ponds, but not get lost or specifically glued to any one of them. I've enjoyed each connection as they've been bestowed upon me, without denying them or their significance, for better or for worse, for moments short or long, I've said yes. I've said yes without my usual agenda to commit, or expect, or sacrifice my own plans. I've managed to say yes while still staying single. And totally I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T. do you know what that means mang. 

minus my own house, my own car, and the two jobs.

Tho, I did have two jobs like two weeks ago, and I won't argue with the bad broad part, cause well. 

I kinda just got the biggest job promotion of my life thus far. 

I've been meaning to tell all of you, but really, it's taken me a couple weeks now to really grasp that a. it's actually happening and b. it's quite remarkable and also c. I will succeed and do fine. (insecurities get the best of me when big things happen.)

Today marks my third day training as a manager for my restaurant job. Of course, the anti-corporate America in me is banging it's head against the wall a little bit, but to deny an opportunity like this one, would be foolish I think. It's a very large corporation with pockets deep enough to secure me a nice apartment in the city, with salary, benefits, free sushi, the whole ninety yards.  + a promising future if I work hard enough for it. And so I've chosen to say yes again.

Kind of crazy how things continue to be working out. 

Of course, there's been a lot of the feeling homesick. The weight gain hasn't been delightful. And actually that first George pumpkin who followed me onto my 1 train did manage to get to me a little bit. More than I'd like to admit. But that's the first real slight heartache I've felt all year. And as far as my health is concerned, a little heart ache here and there ain't so terrible. I mean, it's not like I have a choice anyway. Ha- I don't know how to keep my heart anything but wide open all the damn time, I really don't, but I think it's better than all of those people who say no over and over, simply out of fear of rejection. Or disappointment. Or abandonment. 

Those things are inevitable and they will happen at one point or many points for ALL of us. I can't tell you how many times I've been disappointed. But it doesn't take away from all the soulful and ever-endearing moments I've shared with so many strange and wonderful individuals in my life. I wouldn't trade those glances, those laughs, those quiet duets for anything. 

Eventually, I know I'll find one that sticks. My darling dear, wherever you may be, your cold beer and Royal Tenenbaums Criterion Collection awaits you!

For now, I'm living the dream in NYC. Being a boss. Climbing ladders. Playing footsies wherever applicable. And saying shoots. Cause srsly- who the crap knew.


ok. time to get ripped. part two.

I had some legit canoli the other day in Little Italy. S and I were wandering about as we do on our days off together when I proposed we invite some gelato before dinner into our evening. And because there was a sign at the gelato shop that said "Best Canoli in Town" we thought, fine. Give us one of those as well.

It's too easy to say yes to food in this city. My conscious eating habits have gone completely idle and never have I ever seen this sweet tooth of mine prosper so shamelessly. It's been nice. Really nice. You bring me much joy, macaroons for breakfast, but alas, these fresh off the fork love handles=not cute.

I'm up 15 pounds now since I arrived in NY, and no, it's not the end of the world or anything. But girls will be girls. 

So basically I'm losing my shit a tiny bit, as I struggle to zip up my jeans and convince myself that oversized sweaters are the new sexy.

It's time for some serious Jennifer Lopez in the Enough to go down and I'm committed to making this my number one goal in the coming months. I've let too many emotions and expectations from various things get the best of me lately and I'm done with it all. It's time to toughen up, get moving and figure out how I can integrate my former workout routine here in the city. And yeah-- not eat nearly as many bagels as I have been. 

I wanna sign up for a half marathon and get back to running--would love some partners in crime if anyone in the city wants to train together. I think an accountability partner or two would do me some good. So if you're down, let me know, my dears! I'm game, in addition to hearing any suggestions, resources, tips you might have on how to stay fit in the city. Thanksss!


unofficial essay titled 'the truth about moving to a new city.'

I've been plotting to write a new essay titled "The Truth About Moving to a New City".

As you can see, I've decided to sit my ass down finally do the damn thing. However, if my honesty may have shotgun as usual, I'll go right on to admit that now wouldn't be the most fair of times to give a wholesome packet of insight. Nope, nope, nope. Certainly not as I lay pathetically in the Boston Cream center of what many have dubbed, "the homesick phase" in this little big city move of mine. 

I haven't moved very much from my bed the last few weeks. No, I'm not dying. And yes there was just like this huge Hurricane (which by the way really deserves the entire spotlight in any post at the moment. Praise God, I'm safe and ok. Also Happy Halloween.), but Sandy can only be held responsible for the last few bedridden days. As for the weeks preceding the storm: I've been in a monstrous funk.

Perhaps my on-again/off-again mild depression is to blame for this. Or exhaustion. Though I don't really think it can be that anymore, as I've certainly gotten myself caught up on sleep. I think it's just straight up home-sickness. Mixed in with what I like to call the mid 20s blues. You know, the whole... I'm 25-that's-five-years-away-from-thirty-and-I'm-completely-single-and-still-waiting-tables-with-like-not-very-much-money-in-my-checking-account-STILL-and-living-on-the-other-side-of-the-country-miles-and-miles-away-from-home-WHY-no-but-really-WTF-am-I-doing-in-New-York-City.

Eh, maybe that's just my own bullshit I'm spitting.

All I'm trying to say here is, the last few weeks have been very hard. Though I can feel proud and relieved to say my pockets are more financially stable, my mental and emotional state are having some problems. Lord knows I know it, but I've been escaping it all by hiding in bed with my Netflix and candy.

*ahem* Walking Dead and Hart of Dixie. Can I just say: I freaking love Rachel Bilson. 

As a result of this, I've gained a whopping ten pounds and have been dealing with said facts by doing nothing more than...eating more. Damn you, Maxim Cover, I don't think we'll be hanging out anytime soon. 

Needless to say:

I miss California. 

I miss freeways and driving in my car.

I miss driving my car especially after work when all I want is a little peace and quiet and direct control of how quickly I'd like to get home. In other words, not getting out of work at nearly 2 a.m. and having to walk blocks to the train station and then wait half an hour for my train to arrive only to get onto the one car where some homeless man threw up all over himself. Or the other car that is crowded with drunk hooligans migrating to their next Friday night event, screaming in my ear as if that's the sort of treat I'd like to follow my long evening of playing the patience game with the diners of New York City.

I miss not worrying about having to carry an umbrella all the time or buying ANOTHER one because I forgot mine again, or because the one I did remember to bring got STOLEN at DSW while I was trying on shoes. (Yeah that happened.)

I miss 70 degrees, all day every day. It's not even cold yet, and I'm freezing.

I miss the comfort of having a space that is mine. Not someone else's. Mine. With my things, my books, my DVDs, my pillows, and no calendar to remind me that I have ten days or less to pack up and find a new space to momentarily crash. 

I miss my friends. All of them. My OC friends. My LA friends. My hometown friends. And you guys-my blog friends. Truly, it's been so sad to have lost my rhythm with this blog and to have not been able to connect with all of you as much as I was able to before I came out here. I've just been up and down and everywhere in between with everything lately, it's been hard to keep up with all of this. Thanks for  sticking around despite my absence and for checking in. It really means more to me than any of you could ever know. Seriously, cause I have this huge fear of people forgetting about me. Which is a conflict of interests when my nature is to move around a lot, and away from people I've grown close to.

Mostly I miss my family. 

My sisters. Those biatches are my best friends, and it sucks to not be able to get fro-yo with them whenever the day calls for a good large cup of Yogurtland. 

I miss hugging my parents. 

I miss my little brother.

I miss Kevin at the gym.

I miss the fact that I was getting really freaking RIPPED there for a minute, like seriously- I WAS IN THAT GYM almost every day. 

Now I'm paying $90/month for a gym out here that I never go to because it's just a downright hassle getting to and from ANYWHERE in this city, and for the first time I'm really struggling-like really struggling- to adapt. 

Yes, that's an awful lot of bitching right there, I know, but my overall point was to simply state the following.

The truth about moving to a new city is that... it ain't easy. 

Any mama or papa could have let you in on that little secret already, but I'm here to confirm- it's ain't. Especially a coast to coast move. I'm the furthest away I've ever been from everything I know and everyone I love.

And ya know what. Lately, I've been feeling just downright foolish for it. Foolish for coming out here simply to live-not for school or for corporate America, but for me. Because I wanted to do something crazy and different. And while I do celebrate my triumphs, I feel guilty and sad when this choice has come with missing out on other things. Like my good friend's wedding and the holidays at home, and my mom's 50th birthday which is approaching in December. I'm missing these important things in life.. things that aren't going to happen twice. And for what? I start to second guess my decisions to come out here and in those moments I feel stuck and helpless. Suddenly, looking up and tapping my feet at the tall buildings isn't enough. I miss home. And I feel lost all over again.

But then I try to remember that I'm suppose to be feeling all of these things. That I can't be everywhere at once. That holidays do in fact come around every year. That my friends do forgive me for being miles away, (I hope). That my mission was in fact to challenge myself. That coming out here simply "to live" was not something to feel foolish about, but rather proud of. Because how many young folks really get up and move across the country just on the desire to go somewhere new, even when they were perfectly fine where they already were. 

And the great thing to remember: That I can go back any time I want. Next week if I wanted to.

But I won't. Because I've worked really hard to get here, and I owe to myself to at least stick around a little longer and see what comes of this city. To really take some deep breaths, get out of bed, enjoy what this city has to offer (which is A LOT) and then come home and practice my discipline, rain or shine, to sit down and blog about it. Because even in my absence here, you guys continue to write to me and reach out to me and show interest in what I have to say and how I'm doing. And I want to share as much of this journey with you as I possibly can.There's been so much I've left out. A lot of which is much happier and cheerful than everything I've presented here this evening. As promised: A shoutout to S, who has absolutely been my best friend in this city-- I can't wait for you all to meet/read about my Bronx buddy who's been so wonderful and fun :)

It's a new month, and almost a new year soon. 

Consider this a head start to writing a new normal. And eventually an official essay titled "The Truth About Moving to a New City." Along with a new series of frequent posts. Seriously. Bring on the bloggy. I'VE MISSED YOU GUYS!

P.S. The aftermath of this storm is quite devastating for many. Lots of homes have been lost and damaged, many are without power still. I'm kind of a dick to even be complaining about anything right now-I suppose Sandy has helped me realized in ways that I need to stop feeling sad and sorry for myself, go outside and make the best of a situation that yes, is challenging, but far from terrible. I apologize for any insensitivity this post brings to everything going on outside of my own personal bubble. 


xmas miracles in september.

I think I have an angel friend looking over me or something.

No, but seriously.

I really think I do.

I cried last night for a little bit. They weren't sad tears. They were happy ones. Maybe slightly exhausted ones too. It reminded me of the time when a former boss of mine (who I miss and admire so very much) broke down for a second after opening a brand new restaurant, and I remember thinking, "Why is this champ crying right now. She fucking did it. She opened this beautiful restaurant. What are these tears?" Like a mind reader, my other boss who was standing right there, responded, "She's ok. She's just tired. It's been a lot of work, and now it's finished. We're open."

That's kind of how I feel right now. It's like a happy-tired mixed with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. And gratitude. I'm not always feeling God/Jesus/religion/praying and all that--I'll be honest about it, but man, I've done some serious praying since I started this trek and not only have things really worked out for me in general, but this week alone I've seen some specific prayers of mine be blatantly answered.

Have you guys ever prayed for specific things, and seen miracles happen? I love those kinds of stories. Please share them in the comments if you do :)

I have to tell you that I made some poor choices over the weekend. Some of it has made for a good story or two, but overall, I've decided the good story or two really weren't worth it. A good night to remember is one where you don't lose your friends, where your light-weight characteristics don't eat you up alive after only four drinks, where you started drinking for happy reasons rather than sad ones to begin with, and where you don't fall down on the sidewalk and wake up with cuts and bruises and holes in your very expenses pair of Hue tights. A good night is one where you stay classy, Ventura County. Not stupid and irresponsible. I'm still limping and suffering from that one night alone. And even though that single event has some funny notes, it wasn't worth it. It really wasn't.

Thankfully, my angel friend was present that night. Cause in the movement of losing my friends, I found myself in the company of an entirely new one who was kind enough to get inside a cab with me at three in the morning/hold my hair back in my own bathroom/and tuck me into my own bed. And in all of that, not rape, kill, or steal from me. That's a good fucking Samaritan right there. Thank you, very kind girl for taking care of me. And thank you to the other very dear friend who answered my drunk calls in the middle of night and didn't judge me for being a sloppy mess for the evening.

Those kinds of stories are not so usual for me. And I'm not proud of it. But, I tell you so that you can be rest assured that young ladies do sometimes go out and make an ass of themselves. They do sometimes go out and drink too much. They do sometimes make poor choices. And even though, I sit here now, singing,  "I'm never drinking again." I know that of course I will. I just need to be more wise about it in the future. Having something to eat before four shots of whiskey is probably a good idea. So are mixed drinks instead of just shots (wtf were me and my friends thinking?). So is not drinking simply because I'm in an emotional pickle. Don't do that. You'll always end up drinking more than you want to, or can. And it's just downright dangerous. Especially for a girl. I'm very lucky that I walked out of that bar with a kind stranger holding my hand. Very lucky.

Again, my parents probably aren't amused reading this. But for the sake of keeping it real, there it is.

[End Angel On My Shoulder Event #1]

Angel On My Shoulder Event #2

Landed an awesome new sublet for the months of October/November. As you know, I was hoping to find a more long-term situation/lease starting October, but decided it might be more wise to just go for one more sublet before I signed anything more official. This will also give me more time to save money for a security deposit and find a living situation that fits me and caters well to my writing rituals and necessities-- a comfortable and peaceful space is so important for a little writer-- I'm sure all of you know it. So-with all of that being said, I'll be migrating back to Astoria soon, and I couldn't be more excited/relieved. It's a nice space in a nice hood, and I quite fancy the NQR train line. It's much cleaner than the 1/2/3 and I just love those high-tech boards that tell you what stop is next, even though, I'm excited to say I'm relying on those boards less and less. Three cheers for becoming more and more of a New Yorker!

Anyway, the trouble here was that I had just the right amount of the money to hand over to lock down this space. And when I say just the right amount, I mean, I actually needed a couple hundred dollars more to hand over. I made plans to give money on Thursday night, and then realized that I was short and wouldn't have money coming in again until Friday, the day after. Not a huge deal-was probably gunna call my sister to spot me the money for a day or just call the dude I'm subletting from and see if he could wait till Friday for the money instead. Plus, I had last night's serving shift which, yesterday, I was thinking, "Who knows. Maybe it can save me. Fat chance since it's Rosh Hashanah & Monday-- it'll probably be really slow. But who knows." Following that thought, I said a little prayer: Dear God, please let me make two thousand dollars tonights. Please. If not, then two hundred would do. Thanks.

And then I went to work. And indeed it was slow. I probably would have made $50. But then something crazy happened. One of my tables decided to go crazy and spend over a grand on a casual family dinner. Oh, and then tip me almost $500.

Yeah. I got a $460 tip last night.

To date: that is largest single tip I have ever received in my life waiting tables.

And the craziest part: I didn't even really bond with the table. I didn't tell them anything about me, my life, my situation, nothing.

I just did my job.

I just prayed to God for something. Went to work, and did my job.

And that happened.

Tell me you agree: there's a fucking Angel on my shoulder.

I got off work last night and I walked thirty blocks thanking Jesus, God, the universe. Took some instagrams, and cried a little.

But they were happy tears. Somehow all of this is still working out. Heck, I'm still getting over the shock of being able to make ANY of it work to begin with.

Now I've got two more months to my name. Two more months of play, new friends, and MILKSHAKES. (Whiskey and I are on a mad break. Indefinitely.)

The hard work will continue these next sixty days, but how good it feels to know I got this-that the universe has my back, and that despite my bruised knee, my tight funds, my insane work schedule, and my lonely after-work strolls--I'm feeling joy. True joy.

Cause I'm working it out, y'all!

I'm open.

Give me what comes next.


she works, she works.

Oh man.

You guys have given me some gooood stuff to listen to. Thank you!

I'm gunna put a playlist together of all your recommendations and post it. We're gunna call it punky's train jams. And itunes is gunna beg for it.

I've gotten so many wonderful e-mails/comments/tweets from all of you and it's not fair how my time and energy is so very limited. I want to write back to each and every one of you and tell you how much I love/miss/appreciate you. I cannot say this kind of stuff enough. Which is why I bring it up in like. every. single. post. As always, please bear with me as I work through my inbox! I am so so behind :(

As many of you might be imagining that I'm having a wild feast of adventures thus far, I want to be the first to tell you: quite the contrary. I mean, yeah, OK. I did almost get kidnapped and raped in East Orange, New Jersey. (this is for real.) (and really not something to be stated so lightly.) (still I will add in a "ha")( ha. ) (cause it's over now.) (but at the time it was scurry.) (dad was not proud of my lack of street smarts.) (neither was mum.) And yes, I have been moving around like a gypsy monster while showing unemployment who's the boss. BUT because I came out here on so very little, it's been mostly all work and no play as I've been frantically trying to get my ducks in order. And no, it hasn't been super sexy and glamorous. It's been a lot of hard work. Truthfully, I'm exhausted. Just this week alone, I am working 80 hours between my two jobs. 80 hours!! And it's not so bad, since my social life is, ya know, non existent and all, but it is exhausting, and it does take away from the opportunity to go out and make some new friends, or go out with the many long lost loves I have do in fact have floating around.

I'm def starting to get a little bit cranky. And have been purchasing a lot of candy as a result of this. Mostly Mike and Ikes, if you must know.  

But, this is allll a part of the deal. I'm paying my dues.

Around here, it's necessary.

And yup. Once this getting-settled-and-financially-legit jig is up, IT IS ON.

You can bet all your dollars this girl is going to find a good partner in crime (or five) and rage this town.

Not really.

But kind of.

At the very least, I could go for a walk in the park. Maybe with an ice cream cone. STAT.

In other news, dudes who have girlfriends are especially lame. Can I get an amen?

(I think I picked the wrong city to be single in. Everyone here is taken. wtf. )



Sorry guys.

That was kind of a dick move to hit publish for the first time in oh, what two weeks? And for it to be for some hombre who followed me onto my 1 train.

Nevermind my man crazy ways for a sec. (I'm ridiculous, I know.)


I want to start with thanks.

THANK YOU, all of you, for checking in as often as you do and for not holding my lack of postings against me. I really cannot tell you how simply wonderful and fantastic it is to have an entire clan of awesomes cheering me on in this journey. You make me smile and dance and feel important+strong+bad ass. So thanks for that.

The good news is this: I found a job.

TWO JOBS, in fact.

(Si, many of these: !!!!!!!!!!)

Ha, there I was for a second mad stressing that I wouldn't be able to find even one job, and then at one point I had three jobs all at the same time, and basically had to choose which job to keep. (Not the worst problem I've ever had.) Then once I picked that job, I came up with a set schedule and went out looking for a day job to generate some extra pocket money.

Alas, I am now serving nightly at a Brazilian restaurant in the Gramercy and working in a cupcake shop in the mornings in the Fashion District.

Both great jobs with great companies. And it feels so good to now have an income.

As far as housing goes, I did a little bouncing around in Astoria with friends of friends as I described before, and when that ended, I was thisclose to heading back to Jersey for a few nights until I found a new spot to crash. Definitely was not looking forward to such an event. But then. By the grace of God, I found a one month sublet in upper Manhattan with some actors for super cheap and moved my ass in immediately. It couldn't have been anymore perfect how it all happened. Literally, the night before my last Astoria deal ended, I posted on Janelle's list and that night I got a response. Next day, checked the place out, signed a check, and moved in that night! So now I'm covered with a roof until October 5th. And the new 20 day challenge is this: find a more long-term living situation.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to pull off signing a lease come October, but it's a good goal to keep in mind. I think I can do it!

And if not, then I just do another short-term deal. No problem. At this point, my stress levels have diminished a great amount. Ha, it must be my California vibe kicking in (finally.)

I bought headphones yesterday which were much needed. Jams on the train are much, much better than no jams on the train. With that being said, I need some new jams. Will you help me friends? Tell me three songs you are currently obsessed with at the moment! 

Things are still a bit hectic as I'm still trying to get finances/budgeting/housing in order. And am working A LOT in the meantime. However, once things do settle a bit more, I have a school of things I want to do with this blog and I really cannot wait. Really, thank you from the bottomsss of my heart for all of your love and support.

It really is such a trip to be here. What a long way this foolish lady has come in nine months, huh.

Leaps of faith, my dear friends. Take 'em.


to the very handsome and hilarious man who rode the train with me this evening.

thank you.

it was nice.

(who needs CL missed connections when you have a blog. right?)

(i gave said homeboy my blog link.)


all aboard the 20 day challenge.

Mmk. So now that all my emotions have been disclosed--

Here's what's been happening.

I think for the sake of any new visitors here, I'll start by offering a little bit of a timeline/recap. From the top:

December 2011: Quit my full-time restaurant managing job in Laguna Beach, CA because I decided I wanted to finally pursue my life-long dream of living in NYC.

January 2012: Moved back in with my parents in Ventura to save money for the move. Got a part-time job with plans of getting a second part-time job to better finance my savings, but instead made a blog. This one. Cause there was a rough break-up that happened in December too. And I needed a fresh power source+something to keep me busy.

February 2012: Decided blogging was one of coolest things I had ever taken an interest in and wanted to marry it. Or at least learn more about it. So. Spontaneously bought a ticket to the Blogher conference in NYC. 

April: Purchased my one-way ticket to NY for July 26th. (NJ actually. But whatever. The East Coast.)

June: Starting freaking out over the fact that I never got that second part-time job, and was nowhere near my savings goal of five grand. 

July: Made the realization that practically speaking I was nuts, and totally unprepared financially to make this move happen. Posted about the strong likelihood of coming home post Blogher conference and giving myself more time and dedication to save money more intensely and more appropriately. Still, approached my journey as if I was indeed still moving to NY (cause it was still a one-way ticket, and who knows! Maybe things could miraculously work out.). And so I cancelled my gym membership, deferred my school loans, gave my car away to my little brother and sold 3/4 of my entire closet.

July 26th: Boarded my flight and landed in Newark, NJ with two bags, no savings, and about $1000 in my pocket, give or take. I should also mention that I had no job or city housing lined up. Just landed and said "here we go, come what may."

The last two weeks: Been staying with my cousin in West Orange, New Jersey where I've been hanging out with her darling twins and the rest of the time getting stranded (literally stranded) all over the state of New Jersey as I make my commutes back from NYC. It's an ugly commute. Ugly. I'll break it down for you, k.

To begin with, it's about a mile to the nearest bus station. Not so terrible except for the fact that it's stinkin' hot and humid out, and not fun to walk more than 200 ft. in fancy dress shoes. Or business attire that is quickly collecting sweat. Then once you get to the bus station, there's only one bus to Newark Penn Station every hour. So unless you've looked up the schedule for the day, you could very well be screwed waiting an hour for the next bus to come. (Lesson learned there.) Then, once you're on the bus, it's about a 25 min ride to Newark Penn. From Newark Penn you take a train to NY Penn, which is about another 25 min ride. All around it takes about an hour to an hour and a half to get to the city, but, let me tell you, there have been times where it has taken THREE HOURS. And getting home, well. THAT is a completely different nightmare. The reason being, that there are fewer buses that run late in Jersey.. and especially on the weekends. (God, if I had only known or even considered this! Seriously guys, I have found myself in some of the most sticky situations trying to find my way back to my cousin's.)

There's also a direct train into NY Penn going out of a neighboring town called Millburn, which I obviously prefer, but the trouble is getting to that station which is a good four miles away with no sidewalks to get you there. (It's a winding highway that connects West Orange to Millburn, and tho the walk to and from said station IS possible, it's scary as F. I know because I tried it one night coming home past midnight. And basically, I'll never do that again.

Of course, my cousin has given me rides when she has been able to, but she's been out of town quite a bit, and also had surgery several days ago. So, I've pretty much been on my own as far as commuting goes. Which is fine. I've had quite the adventure going in and out of the city, and tho I now know my NJ to NYC commute like a boss, I have no desire to continue it any further. It's simply just not practical, not safe, and rather expensive (roughly $16/day roundtrip).

Which has now brought me to Astoria, Queens. Where I am currently crashing the couch of a friend of a friend of a friend's. Ha. Sometimes all you need to know is that one person who knows everyone else, huh. Anywho-- cutest apartment ever, and the gals who live here are rad. Actually, I haven't even met the one who is letting me crash, she's out of town, but dang. How chill is she to just let me roll in as a total stranger? Of course, I am paying her a couple hundred bucks to crash for the next ten days, but still. 

From here, I'll be crashing another pad in the same hood, from another chick via the same friend that hooked me up with this place (Thank you Sarah Jaye!!!). So that's ten more days for another $200. And after that, I'm pretty much goin' to be on empty financially. 

SO- what all this means is, HOORAY (!!!), cause miracles do happen. I landed some cheap and chill housing in the city, but.. now.... A JOB. I need one. Stat. Cause in twenty days or less, my money is going to be completely gone, and then I'll have no choice, but to return to my cousin's and then California.

If you've been keeping up with my latest posts, then you're probably confused right now. Cause yes, at one very recent point, I announced that I did in fact land a job. Well, I did. Sort of. And then it fell thru.

To rewind a bit: I've applied to a small handful of restaurants/companies since I've arrived, been on a total of two interviews. Both for management positions. The first interview was hands down, one of the best interviews I have ever been on. It was fun and easy, and I felt like they really liked me! Though perhaps the joke was on me, cause I didn't get the job (ha), and yeah-I'm still pretty bummed out about it. Especially since I've become incredibly obsessed with the company and it's products having now had the chance to check out a couple of their stores here in the city. Not to mention, I was totally blown away by their company's corporate office and the kind of culture and vibe I got while I was in there waiting to be interviewed. And not just cause there were twenty shiny MAC screens smiling at me when I first walked in (apple lovers, you knowwww) , but because there was a professional energy in there that I felt really fit me. I'm still sad that I never heard back.

Then the second interview was meh. Didn't quite compare to the first, and I was pretty indifferent to hearing back from them, until I did an hour later. "Can you come in on Monday and train?" Yes!!" I shouted. Was I totally stoked on this place? No. But then again, A job? Monies? Means of financial support? Job offer after only two interviews in the city? YES. I'll take it.

And so for a little bit there, I had a job. Faith was restored, happiness returned. I could take a stroll in Central Park and enjoy it for a few minutes, cause I got a job!

 And then I went to my first day of training.

Went in and worked nearly six hours managing a restaurant floor on my own. Why they even called it "training" I'm not sure, because I was pretty much running the show-- seating guests, busing tables, comping and voiding things for the servers, interacting with the tables, organizing, cleaning, just straight up WORKING/doing labor, all the while the general manager was downstairs in the office. Granted he did come up and check on me to see how I was doing, but, let's just say that in most training situations, especially on the first day, trainers don't hand you the reigns while they go disappear. This is not to say I was struggling on my own or even complaining about it, I was fine, but as the lunch rush was ending, I just really wanted to sit down and talk about scheduling and my pay, and you know, sign official paperwork saying I was for sure hired and stuff. (Please don't ask me why I didn't inquire about all of these things the second I walked in to work... I've already gotten that lecture from my parents+five others. I'm an idiot, I know.) 

So after ordering some lunch and eating it, the GM finally sat down with me and explained that I wasn't in fact hired yet. And that in fact, there were about three other people being trained simultaneously for the same position, that he would like me to come in for a second day of "training", and from there they would decide who to offer the position to. My favorite part? The part where my lunch was "on them", to make the six hours of labor I just did "worth my while." 

Um. Yeah. That happened. 

For the sake of keeping it professional here, I'm not going to add on to all of that. So I'll just say that that was that and now I'm here. Back to square one and hungry for some work. Any work. (that pays, plz and thx.)

Between me and you, now that I'm IN the city with a smoother commute, conference is over (still much to share on that!!!) I think my chances of finding something are pretty good. I have an awesome resume and killer references. And I'm hungry. Both mentally and physically. I want this. I want it more than anything.

But I do still worry. Emotions and anxiety are still high, and as any other passenger on this train, I have  a long-standing fear of failure. 

I know I'm crazy for taking this leap of faith. For coming out here on as little as I have. For being fearless in my wandering and maybe not as street-smart as any given broad should be. I promise I'll try to be more street smart. (Mom & Dad, I'm talking to you) But I'm glad that I'm out here, that I haven't thrown the towel in just yet, that I'm riding this one out, straight on down to the last penny and borrowed quarter. 

Twenty days to find a job. In the words of the handsome Barney Stinson, Challenge Accepted.

Excuse me now, friends, as I go suit up.


punky IN the city. a preface. if you will.

This evening marks two weeks for me here on the East Coast.

I've been eating a lot of pastries. And snacks lately. Yeah, snacks. My cousin has seven year old twins and so there's a snack cabinet here. And it's filled with snacks. For days. So I've been eating all of them, along with the rest of my feelings. Otherwise you can find me sitting. In the shower. A movement that is often inspired by troubling times, if you feel me.

Cause a lot has happened in the past fourteen days. A lot has BEEN happening in my head the last sixty days. And while I've had every intention of sitting down and blogging about it, I've felt very overwhelmed. Sometimes you have so much to say, you don't know where to begin. So instead you grab yourself a go-gurt, a capri sun, and some cheese-cracker sandwiches and you turn on the Olympics. The blogging can wait.

Except it can't. And I don't want it to. Cause everything that is happening right now is huge. This first actual chapter of Punky and the City is crucial, right? It's been hard. I want to write this down. I want to tell you exactly how I'm feeling right now, the stories I've gathered thus far, the ever-evolving facts as they scatter every which way, so that somewhere down the line I can look back at this struggle and marvel at it. So I can tell the next crazy young woman who decides to up and move across the country with no savings to back her up that it's NO piece of cherry pie. That it is in fact really stinking foolish, dreadfully confusing and remarkably lonely. You'll probably cry a lot. And eat a lot. And shower a lot. And maybe even eat while crying in the shower, (but hopefully not, cause I just pictured that in my head and it was really, really sad looking. Ha! [I haven't gone that far myself]) Basically just be all kinds of dramatics. But rightfully so, cause it is hard. This up-and-moving and chasing-your-dreams-shit is incredibly intense. And you'll start to ask yourself how much you really want it after all.

You'll ask yourself a hundred times with no clear view of a precise answer, until you realize you're still here. You're still going.

And there's your answer. You're still here. You're still going.

So you do want this.

You want this even though it's rough to live in a climate where your entire world is circling high above your head and you can't describe a day beyond it. "up in the air" is no easy feeling. Neither is a pair of empty pockets to go along with it. Or this god forsaken humidity. (Seriously, NY?)

But then the tiny holes fill, where you often miss them. They fill in ways that only now you notice because the situation is pressing. And as you're forced to look up, there you see your world. And it's a good one, rich and filled with love. And heavy. Heavy so that it may bring your feet to eventually touch the ground. To bring you back down to the earth where you are reminded that choices such as these in life are worth it.

Worth it to be reminded of how much you really freaking love your Dad, cause he checks up on you three times a day and it's just the kind of steady support a young girl of the world needs. Worth it to realize how much you love your friends, the true ones, who go out of their way to make several phone calls to old friends, inquiring about couches they may have. Worth it to realize the value of your Twitter friends, cause in the middle of the night when you are feeling the most alone, you know you can send out a tweet and someone, somewhere, who you've possibly never even met, will hug your cry and tell you to stay strong. Worth it to be reminded of how much you miss the accessibility of a mother or a sister in the next room, the comfort of a familiar voice and how nice it is to hear it on the other end of a telephone. Worth it to be reminded that mostly, the only person you can count on is yourself--that you are, in fact, your own greatest fan. So when you have had a few glasses of champagne at a blogging conference, of course you should drunk text yourself saying, "I love u. U got this." Worth it to be reminded the next morning what laughing at yourself feels like when you read said text, and why laughing at yourself is necessary in every faucet of "moving forward". Worth it to be reminded that I'm young, and what's the worse that I can happen? I end up back in California? God, what a tragedy that would be.

I'm 25, broke, and totally wandering on the East Coast right now. I think once I'm done freaking the f out about it, I'll be able to say, "hey, I'm doin' alright. In fact, I'm doing pretty good."

My many apologies for the blogging hiatus. Many specifics to come in terms of the job and scheduled couches the next month and OH yes, BlogHER! Stay tuned :)


k. so i'm alive. and also LIVE at #blogher12

in the breath-taking and amazing New York City! And guess what. I'm staying! Yup. I found a job and housing and errthing.

And my choice of grammer slash lack of abilities to keep up with the blog posts lately, is probably why I have come to this monster of a conference without business cards to hand out. In fact, even having a little conference pass with my name + 'Punky and the City' clearly situated below it, makes me feel a little embarrassed/a lot of silly for some reason. What can I say? These big money-making blogs all around me are intimidating. And I'm secretly (now not so secretly) scared for these big kids to click onto my blog and think "hmm. cute blog, Punky." key word: cute.

I am an amateaur blogger. It's true.

....thus why I am here. To learn. To grow. To make some new friends. To define what it is exactly "I blog about."

And really, to score some free swag.

Mostly when I say that, I mean food. And alcohol. 

However, there is one particular thing I especially have my heart on...a contest--to get a make over/billboard in times square of my face and blog link. Cause you know. That would just be the ultimate cocktail of a little bit embarrassing/a lot of silly. So let's do it, huh. Go big or go home. Heh, who needs business cards, when you've got a billboard in times square---- you know what I'm saying.

But i need your help to make this epic-ness happen. 

so if you love me, which obviously you do (cause you're reading my blog right now), just simply take another moment in time following this one and tweet the following:

' I vote @punkyandthecity for #WalgreensBrand Times Square Billboard Contest. #Blogher12 '

and tell all yo friends!! The contest ends TONIGHT AUGUST 3rd (so vote asap plz), and the winner will be announced tomorrow.

Ha! Could you imagine if I won. I would laugh for days. AND BUY YOU ALL CANDY.

I promise there's going to be a post(s) to get the interested caught up on things, it's been one hell of a week so far. Lots of stories to tell, and I really can't wait to share all of it with you! +get the new design up finally+ get myself into a real groove with this blog and serve it's title. 

Cause it looks like I'm officially starting my life as a city girl.

And I don't think I've ever felt quite this happy before.


ny update: I'm getting on a one-way flight in three days.

Hey friends.

I wanted to stop by for a quick little update on all that's been happening the past week or so. I feel awful because I've really put this blog on the back burner this month as I've tried to get everything in order for this trip/move. Also in the process, I've had some serious writer's block. It's a total bummer, especially since I do feel so much inspiration to sit down and write. But then when I do, my thoughts are just all over the place, and I've found myself struggling to get the words to come out in a tasteful fashion. Even now, I'm feeling not myself in the way these words are hitting my screen! So bare with me as I try to set the forecast here.

A couple things to begin with: 1. I got my photos from the shoot I did with Anna, and they came out so so good! It's been a loooong time since I've had any professional pictures/headshots done, so it's great to finally have a fresh batch! I've already shared many of them on personal Facebook page, and will probably pick a few to put on my blog page. Feel free to check them out. And Anna as well. She's an incredible photographer, and also, a dear friend of mine. Next step: send these bad boys on over to Dana, so I can get the new blog design up and running.. yesss.

2. I have been chosen as BLOGGER OF THE WEEK on Gentri Lee's blog !! Ah, this is so exciting/bananas. Not just cause Gentri Lee is awesome, but because, I have most def been one of those hopeful bloggers who have clicked onto Gentri's blog often and thought to myself, "Dang, I wanna be a BOW." If you can imagine my surprise when a few weeks ago Gentri e-mailed me and said, "Hey wanna be my next BOW?" I thought maybe she e-mailed the wrong girl or something. This is a HUGE honor! I feel so happy and flattered. Check out the post if you'd like, and please find a way to shake hands with Gentri if you haven't already. She's one of my bestest blog friends and I promise you, you'll love her. And her blog!

As for the move... well. It is complicated to say the least. If you read my last update, then you know that I've basically decided it's my best hand to return to California post Blogher and start saving for the move in a more appropriate and serious way. I still believe this is probably the best route, and will be more than ok to execute this plan if my mind continues to have a say in it. However, as of right now, I still have no return flight purchased, and I am currently in the process of applying to several jobs out there. Surprisingly enough, since I've announced postponing my move, I've had a lot of people reach out and offer housing/potential job leads, which has really been a fantastic package of miracles. So, my attitude now is: try and make it work. At least try. Or as my Dad put it, "test out the water." If the timing is right, it'll work out (however difficult that will still be). And if the timing isn't right, oh well. Then I come back home knowing exactly what I need to do and how much I need to come out with to make it work the second time around. Either way, I win. But, still, it is all scary and nerve-racking and I have been just a mess of emotions as each day has been approaching. Some days have been filled with happiness and excitement, and others... stress and emotional break downs.

I have no clue what the next three weeks/months are going to look like, and it's a little terrifying. Being unemployed with no savings... is terrifying. Being unemployed with no savings in a big city thousands of miles away from my family and friends... is terrifying. But you know what? This is an adventure. Like a REAL one. And it's starting now. Ha ha... let the games begin.

I want to say thank you again, for the tremendous amount of love and support I have received from all of you-this blogging community has been a God send every morning. There's so many of you who I miss and am excited to have as new readers and I want to apologize for being a lame blogger this month. I'm going to do my best to keep up with everything that is going on. Whether it be here or on Twitter.... feel free to follow and know that I'm not intentionally ignoring any of you who are commenting or sending me e-mails--I promise I will eventually get back to all of you! I'm just trying to get outside of my head and enjoy this journey at the moment. Along with survive it.

Lots of love.


my longest (& possibly dumbest) vlog to date.

A couple months ago some folks and I came together and said...

"You know what? LET'S VLOG."

So we did. And it was good. Real good.

So now we're back for more. And we sure hope that you'll join us. We're talking about BUCKET LISTS this time around. Mine is HUGE. I tried to narrow it down to a few and still, I broke the vlogging rules and went beyond four minutes. I went for eight. That's even after editing, gosh darnsies. Of course, the first min and thirty seconds is me rambling about nonsense that has nothing to do with bucket lists, but eh... it could serve as some good back-story in the future maybe. Also, my sister Shannon makes an appearance in this one! Nevermind how I sound like some stage mom asking her questions like she's four.

CHEERS. (this vlog is whack. If I had time to re-do it I probably would. Please don't hold my cheese against me.)

PS Can someone please give me advice on how to get rid of those AWFUL bags under my eyes? Good Lord. Why do I get those so badly? It's not cute. PSS Poor Kevin. Let's pray he never finds this or else it's done. Psh, Curling my hair?! For some dude at the gym. And then vlogging about it. Who am I......


Don't forget to show my co-hosts some love and check out all the other vlogs/yay:

{Becoming What I Always Was // Hope Squared // Life as a Young Mom //  The Way I Am // Thoughts By a Petite Brunette}

Then link up! Because you can and you want to! FUN!!!

me, myself, and i.

(and some trash cans!)
I think because I'm officially unemployed again/ about to get on a one-way flight in a week or so, I've lost my writing mo-jo joe-joe. I've just had a lot on my mind and it's been hard to sit down and get my fingers to do the talking. All I can muster out is, "hey kids, wanna go for some vodka?" And before I can really mean it, I resort to my bed where I end up napping for a good five hours. Only in between episodes of wishing Barney Stinson was a real person who I could marry.

Ah, I'm ok. Shit's about to get really exciting in my life. And I'm excited. I really am. But I'm also freaking out a little. Cause I'm a bit of a control freak at times and I do like to have a plan even though I dream about being "the girl with no plans".

Like I said, my writing mo-jo joe joe is out of commission at the moment and so I think I will participate in a link up right now. 

My girl Kristen is hosting this one so obvi I want in. Plus I think this might be a nice way for some of you to learn a thing or two about me, aside from the fact that I REALLY want to live in a New York ASAP and that I take wayyyy too many pictures of myself. 

So. Here are the ?s

1. What is your biggest phobia?

Definitely death. But not really death itself, more like, time of death. I am scared of dying young. Or dying before I have the chance to experience the things I want the most out of life. Not to say I'm not enjoying every moment as it comes or that I haven't been blessed with some incredible experiences in my life already, but there are other things that I desperately want for myself... like being a mother and having some tall, dark and funny lumberjack looking dude (or a Barney Stinson character) getting down on one knee. Ha ha, probably not in that order. But either way, I want those things. I also want to go places and see things in the world. I get scared of staying in one place for too long, for fear that I'm missing out on oceans of other cultures and experiences that at any moment can be stripped away from me in some horrible freak accident. I think I watch too much "1000 Ways to Die." I need to stop that. 

2. If you could relive any day of your life, which day would it be? 

Hmm. World Cup 1994? 2002? Brazil winning is always an emotional event that doesn't quite compare to anything else I've ever felt in this lifetime. And for the record---I know everyone always rolls their eyes or says "ugh" whenever it comes to the Brazilian team, cause we're so "full of ourselves"... blah blah blah...but whatever, dudes. We are the world's greatest soccer champs. Of course we are going to take pride in that. Of course we are going to celebrate and get loud and butt hurt whenever anyone else takes our crown and steals our thunder. I think that's only natural.

To be honest, I'm not even a huge soccer fanatic. I don't know all kinds of details about all the players on the team, or who's training where or when, or what games outside of World Cup are going on. But when the FIFA comes around every four years, you can bet your bottom dollars, I'm tuned in with the rest of my family. And we rage. I can't wait for our next victory. And until then, I'd love to relive the ones of the past. Those were some very happy days in my life. Not just cause winning feels good, but because celebrating a part of who you are feels good. 

Come on, 2014!!!!

Sisters and cousins goin' on a pride parade thru Ventura. We do this shit every World Cup... win or lose. 

3. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?

This is a tough question because I've only lived for 24 years, and so I only know the life and times of a 24 year old. I think naturally, I'd pick to stay "forever young"... in my mid 20s now, but I don't know. They say sex only gets better with age... I think my 40s are going to be a pretty ravishing time, not afraid to say it. I also look forward to retirement someday. Sure, I'll be all wrinkly with gray hairs and stuff, but I'll have a garden and grandkids and season tickets to the regional theater. Maybe a porch? Sounds pretty chill. I also look forward to being old so that I can look back and do my favorite: analyze and reflect on every god damn thing that ever occurred in my lifetime. 

I hope blogging is still cool when I'm 70. 

Did I answer the question at all. I guess young? 25? I'll let the cliche win. P.S. I turn 25 next week... eeeee!

4. What celebrity do you get mistaken for?

Oh gosh. There's a few....

1. Amy Winehouse: Not so often anymore, but when my hair was black, I'd get it all the time.
2. Anne Hathaway: I don't see it. At all. But I'm totally flattered!!
3. Marisa Tomei: MOST common and my favorite. I do a happy dance every time anyone compares me to her. Have you guys ever seen My Cousin Vinny ? So good.
4. Punky Brewster: dur. 

For comparing/contrasting purposes...

1. A photo of me in case you don't know what I look like. (or forgot.) 
2. A photo of my Amy Winehouse hair days. Not the best photo, I'm aware. I most definitely look like I'm having an orgasm to some random fantasy novel. Also, I did something ridiculous with my hair in that specific photo, so don't be thinking that's how I walked around with my hair did. In summary, that was me circa 2006/2007 with my black hair. Being a strange person.

5. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?

Ah, so many songs that are near and dear. Here's a few of the constants:

Crimson and Clover : Anthem of my youth :)

Beautiful People : Such a perfect and beautiful song about loving your neighbors and being a friend to every soul you meet. I am constantly fascinated and interested in all kinds of people, so this song def speaks to me.

Wild is the Wind & Real Love : Brilliant songs that resonate with my ideas of what real love is and feels like. These are the love songs of my life.

Isn't Life Strange : A song my Dad used to play all the time. A little over the top, but I love it. A perfect song for my reflective soul.

Go West : Ok, this song is just SUPER DUPER corney, but it's another song my Dad used to play in the car and it's just so damn up beat and awesome. You know you agree. It's totally my "wake up and do epic shit today" jam.

Starlight : This is also my jam. I share it with my sister and we get gross excited every time it comes on. Also, Muse is my favorite band. Forever.

Suzanne : All I can say about this song, is...... Fuck. So beautiful. I know this song means so many different things to so many people, but for me it's all about letting go. Opening your heart and having faith in people/life/things. It's about living. feeling. believing. 

The Greatest : Another songs that speaks to my often defeated spirits. On letting go and not being too hard on myself all the time.

Stay or Leave : A song for some of my toughest break ups. This one says it all. 

Like A Prayer : Need I explain? Hands down one of the best songs ever. I go all out for this time. Everytime. Anywhere.

Weeeee. Happy Tuesday.


so today I learned about 'no-reply comments'

That was fun.

I'll be sure to touch base with all of that in a sec, but FIRST: how about some non-related instie's, eh?

The last couple of days have been absolutely gorgeous here in Ventura. It's been hard to let the recent realities that have hit me win, when the reality is this: I'm already winning-- I live in a charming little beach town in Southern California where the weather is perfect and brilliant and currently doing wonderful things for my skin tone. Thanks, Cali sun! Also, thanks sister Michelle for being rich the way you are and having more clothes than you know what to do with, so you just give them to me. Like pictured top above. (the brand is WILDFOX for those who wonder, and the image is a heart surrounding the NYC skyline.. #perfectmuch) Hooray new top! (And Robeks. Yum.)

Secondly, I want to say thank you for all the incredible comments on yesterday's post. Woww, friends. I am still working my way through responding to each and every single one of them. I believe I'm about halfway all have given me a lot to think about/respond to, so it's taking a little bit longer. Also, in the process of doing so today, I stumbled upon this peculiar detail:

'no-reply comment' aka

um yeah.

Have you guys been conscious/aware/checking for this when replying to comments via e-mail?? Cause I most certainly have not.

It was only today that I even noticed that noreply-comment e-mail, looked it up and then realized CRAP, no way. I have been responding to handfuls of readers for MONTHS and THEY HAVEN'T BEEN RECEIVING A SINGLE ONE OF THOSE COMMENT REPLIES FROM ME! Ahh, what a total blog snob I must seem, you guys!!!

Granted, I DO NOT respond to every single comment on every single post, but I do try to comment back to as many as I can. Ha, It may take me like 2-12 days, but I DO reach back out. I DO click onto your blogs. And I DO appreciate every single person who takes the time to say "Hey", let alone read anything I've got to say here. It's important for you guys to know that, and gosh dang, I'm just so bummed that I've written novels to some of you and that it has gone undelivered!! That shit stinkssssss.

With that being said, I encourage ALL of you, right now to go double check that you have your e-mail attached to your blogger profile. Cause if you don't, that means you're missing out on responses that bloggers may be trying to get to you! This post will thoroughly direct you through making sure you're not a no-reply!

Also, I just want to reiterate that I will always respond to e-mails sent to me. Again, it may take a day or five to get back to you, but I promise you, I will! I've been very thrilled to receive a great number of e-mails as of lately in response to my How To Get Over A Breakup post, and I just feel so happy and flattered to have multiple people coming to me asking for comfort and advice. This is one of the things I am absolutely loving about this blogging business most and am excited to pay more attention to in the coming months. I want to help and encourage all of you in any way that I can. Just don't ask me for financial or budgeting advice, haha, because I will surely fail you there. But dating... (?) (?)....I'm all ears. Talk at me! I am beyond happy to offer up what I have learned in my many colorful life experiences. Of course, I still have MUCH to learn for a young lady, as you probably read in my last post, but basically I'm just sayin' that I'm here. And I'm social! So don't be shy--feel free to reach out--I want to be your friend too!

Final announcement: Some special homies and I are co-hosting another VLOG LINK UP. Do you remember when that happened the first time? Well, WE IS DOIN' IT AGAIN! This time we are talking about what's on our BUCKET LISTS. Should be killer. Check out Emily's post for all the details+some laughs. That Canadian lady is pretty funny, eh? I like her.

Ok and one final thank you, friends, for being the best. You all made yesterday and today 298374 times easier for me with your kind and supportive words. I'll be sure to get back to the rest of you in the next day or so :)


ny update: move is postponed.


Before you start throwing your hands up and chucking marshmallows at my homepage, please consider the possibility that sharing this news with you (and accepting it for myself) is not just very disappointing, it's embarrassing. I feel like a stupid idiot with a slightly broken heart at the moment. And nope, not even a whole box of jujy fruits could fix this. Or a bunch of marshmallows. But thanks.

Basically, me and my NY move this summer just broke up, and naturally, I feel terrible.

I will try as best as I can to explain myself here, though I am likely to feel like a total jack ass for weeks to come as I continue to explain myself to everyone who may have heard that I'm moving to NY this summer. Which by the way, most definitely includes all kinds of folks (like all of them) since I posted about it once or twice on Facebook. And you know, made a blog all about it and stuff.

So that's cool. 

Where do I begin?

I'm not moving to New York in two weeks anymore. I'll start by stating that one loud and clear. Tho, I will still be boarding a plane at the end of month to visit my cousin in Jersey and attending the Blogher conference, I will be purchasing a plane ticket back home to California two weeks later. 

I don't fancy the part where my "move" suddenly got swapped for a "mini vacay", but I would be lying if I said I didn't feel a small degree of relief in this decision. It hurts, but there is relief here too.

The fact is this: I am mentally, emotionally, spiritually, culturally, pretty much any applicable word that ends in -ally READY for this move, except for one very important one: financially.

Six months ago when I first set out to put this lifetime dream into motion, I told myself I was going to save up five grand. Not much for a city like NY, but I figured it would be enough to take off with, without having a job and housing lined up. Well, now fifteen days away from this long-awaited event, and I have zero dollars saved. ZERO. At this moment right now I have a very small 600-and-something dollars in my checking account and at least three bills to pay in the next five days that will wipe those precious dollars away in a heartbeat. Which then leaves with me, with not just zero dollars saved, but zero dollars to even leave with.

I know what you're thinking.

How, jen. HOW.

Believe me, friends. I have been asking myself the same question the last couple of months and it has been diligently eating away at me with each passing day. I guess I was having a little bit of a fairytale romance with the wannabe flower child in my head who likes to imagine it's 1967 and/or a movie I'm living, where I can just take off and "make it work" like Tim Gunn would say to peoples. Move to the city on literally two pennies and live the dream. Ha. Wouldn't that be perfect if I could be like Natalie Portman's character Alice in Closer: just move to a new city, walk down the street (looking fly as all hell) and not die from a car hitting me, followed by getting swooped up, saved and immediately sheltered by Jude Law? That would be perf, right? Except for the part where I'm more of an Anna. The kind that's a little less edgy and a little less codependent on others to survive financially. I'm also not a stripper, and have not had serious thoughts about becoming one in order to survive in the new city. My feelings today, anyway.

So what happened? Why didn't I pull my shit together and save five grand? Well, it's simple really.

Six months ago I moved back in with my parents to save money for this very move. Also six months ago: I started this blog. Little did I know it would suddenly become an almost full time job that collectively has brought me no benjis, but a lifetime supply of "yipees" and "this is awesome." I think like most of us bloggers, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. And I most definitely found myself quickly obsessed. Not just with the writing (though that is the best part for me), but Reading. Designing. Networking. Vlogging. Editing. Connecting. Going outside and taking pictures of like EVERYTHING... traveling long distances to meet up with other bloggers who I have come to love and admire. Scheming to attend every blogging and social media event there ever was/is.

All of those things took the place of getting myself a much needed second job to save for this move. Instead of working my buns off to make some extra monies, I stuck to my computer and I kept writing. I kept reading. (and yeah, ok, tweeting slash pinning slash instagramming too.) And I somehow managed to develop this small, but very lovely following that includes you+the confidence that I may actually be onto something here with this writing thing. And it's a good feeling. I have no regrets here with this blog. None.

But as for this move, well, last night I managed to finally say out loud: "I'm crazy. This isn't going to work." And as my wise father began to slowly nod from across the table, I finished that thought with, "I can't move to NY yet. I'm not financially ready." It was a hard thing to admit to, as my half eaten salad sprinkled with tears could have told you, but on the very same note, I felt so much relief from saying it.

It's not time yet. 

Unless, of course, it is. I mean who the hell knows. Maybe when I fly out in two weeks I'll meet someone who miraculously offers me a job, or at the very least housing in the city. Maybe I'll get hit by a car crossing the street and not die and wake up to Jude Law. Or Ryan Gosling. Or some hot man wearing flannel and a beard. Never say never, right. (Even still, I'm an Anna, not an Alice, so not sure I would let my pride and independence escape me that quickly. A job offer would really be the sweetest.)

As I sit here now there is a lot of back and forths going on in my head still. A lot of "buts" and "what ifs" and "ok, so I'm coming back, but do I buy my return ticket now or later?"

I don't know, you guys. But I guess I just wanted to share that, as of right now, I have greatly accepted the fact that I will mostly likely be returning to California post Blogher. This is not to say my journey to New York is over, and all of this planning and counting down has been a complete and utter waste--it has not. The journey continues. This is just a small hiccup, a small bump in the road. An honest realization that I haven't quite set myself up for success in all this quite yet.

So all embarrassment and sadness aside + deep breaths, let's do that. Let's go to Blogher, have a wicked time, and then come back and plan for this more accordingly. Last time I checked, New York ain't goin' anywhere.

Singing: patience is a virtue.