Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sundays In My City #26 - Los Angeles Zoo

Do you know Unknown Mami? She's hosts a great Sunday theme inviting YOU to get out and take pictures of your city and/or Sunday to share with the rest of blogland. Click HERE to see Unknown Mami's Sunday in her City today.

Recently I tagged along with Godson's school class on a field trip to the Los Angeles Zoo. We had a great time and the kids were thrilled with every minute of the day.

This exhibit had several gorillas that were so gorgeous and regal, the kids stared at them, in silence (!) for a full five minutes.

On one hand, I was sorry to see them in captivity, on the other I was happy the kids were so engaged and interested in learning more about them. Maybe we'll have a future veterinarian in the class...

Several giraffes were showing off for us. This baby was especially sweet...

The lion's den was another big thrill for the kids.....

And yes, the teachers had to point out this sign multiple times....

Thanks gawd we came home with as many kids as we arrived with!

How's your Sunday?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna Jenkins

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Doing The "Hollywood Thing"

First things first-- The wonderful PJ of Seens From The Backs Of My Eyelids is having a fabulous GIVEAWAY for her one year blogoversary-- and I mean FABULOUS!!!-- As in multiple gifts including a $75 e-gift certificate from! You can enter once between Wednesday, 2/24 through Sunday, 2/28 so CLICK HERE to enter!

Every now and then I get to do the "Hollywood thing" and attend a movie premiere. In all honestly, some are more fun than others, but even the "duds" are pretty awesome in my book.

It's interesting to rub elbows with celebrities and watch the red carpet "circus" in progress with masses of photographers screaming the stars' names to capture the perfect shot.

I think it's actually pretty intense for the celebrities to be in front of so many cameras at one time, and honestly, it's a little unsettling for us "common folk" to watch from a distance-- There's a real "meat market" feel to it. But I admit, I get a kick out of seeing photographs in magazine that I've seen being taken.

Last week I was invited to a premier screening and party that ranked high on my "cool" scale. It was for a film called The Yellow Handkerchief that opens in limited release Friday, February 26th, then eventually goes wider in the U.S. and overseas. For my Australian friends, I know it opens there around June.

In the interest of full disclosure-- I know someone associated with this film which is how I was invited to the soiree, but I was not asked, nor am I being compensated to say, I LOVED THE MOVIE! I think my regular readers know me well enough to know if I didn't like it, I wouldn't be talking about it at all.

I got to meet the stars William Hurt (beyond nice-- so humble and such a gentleman), Maria Bello (OMG, she's gorgeous), Eddie Redmayne (he's going to be a BIG star) and the lovely Kristen Stewart of "Twilight" fame (she's a sweet young woman who seems a little intimidated by her movie star status).

When you see upcoming photos of Kristen in a stunning black mini dress with large rhinestones around the hem and side seams-- THAT'S the party I was at. Wink, wink. (And Diane, when I saw the dress I immediately thought of you! I looked it up-- She's wearing an Azzaro griffiti dress.)

The thing about this film, which is a love story, is that the performances are subtle and beautiful. And the cinematography is absolutely stunning.

Several times though the movie I thought about my blog friends who are so talented with their cameras and how much they would love seeing Yellow Handkerchief. It's set in southern Louisiana and the colors and images and style of the film are like watching a moving art exhibit.

The other thing I really liked about the movie was that it's a love story wrapped around real life dialogue that didn't include any profanity, nudity or exploding special effects! When was the last time you saw a movie like that? No body count, no F-bombs, no boobs, or butts-- just great dialogue, acting, directing and cinematography.

It's a PG-13 movie that I'll tell my 74 year old mother and my 18 year old grand-daughter to see. These kinds of films don't come along very often and I'm glad this one did.

What kind of movies do you like?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: © oxygen64 -
PS Hubby and I are on vacation for a long weekend.
I'll catch up with you next week, xo jj

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sundays In My City #25 - Street Colors

Do you know Unknown Mami? She's hosts a great Sunday theme inviting YOU to get out and take pictures of your city and or Sunday to share with the rest of blogland. Click HERE to see Unknown Mami's Sunday in her City today.

It was a gorgeous day on Thursday so I made a trip to the Fashion District in downtown Los Angeles. In addition to numerous manufactures with retail stores there are also several jammed pack blocks of fabric stores.

The bolts of fabrics line the front of every store....

Yes, even in the Fashion District, it's a jungle....

These were a dollar a piece....
I love going to this part of the city. You can't help but be happy with all the fabulous colors and textures....

Maybe I'll apply for a job....

How's your Sunday?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna Jenkins

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Not "Mad Men"

The fifth grade was when I decided I wanted to be a famous "window dresser" in New York City. Actually I wanted to be a famous bulletin board designer for school classrooms in my hometown but my teacher, Mrs. Fischer, suggested I stretch my career goals slightly higher.

Of course the fact that I always volunteered to "design" the classroom bulletin board and spoke with a slight French accent when I worked on them earned me the reputation as a bit of an over-the-top brown nose, but I figured that was the price of fame.

Fast forward to real life and "window dresser" wasn't a listing in the Help Wanted section of the newspaper so I moved on.

Eventually, I got into the advertising business in a roundabout way via a friend of a friend who knew a guy that had an entry level position available. It was a cool job for a real NYC publisher of a food magazine and the whole "creative process" kicked back in.

No, it was nothing like Mad Men. After all, I'm significantly younger than that era. It was the 80s-- *ahem* very early 80s. Honest.

Since then I've come to viewing advertisements with a different eye than perhaps those not in the business. I'm more critical and always wondering who the target audience is. But lately, say the last ten years, I've come to wonder who the heck the advertiser is too.

It seems advertisers are trying to be so cleaver and hip and cool that the brand name isn't mentioned until the end of the commercial or only in tiny type, if at all. Target stores has mastered this technique with their wildly successful bull's eye logo but most others-- not so much.

During Wednesday night's Men's Snowboard Finals on the Olympics I saw this ad and it cracked me up. But after watching it I couldn't remember what product was being hocked, so I looked it up on YouTube and soon found that not only was it not a new ad, it was also very popular-- Which told me the company was targeting younger males with their message (snowboarders), not middle-aged women (trying to stay awake late enough to see who won the gold metal).

Regardless, I loved this ad and although it would never motivate me to buy the product for "my man", I thought you might get a laugh out of it too.

What's made you laugh lately?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna Jenkins

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cool Factor Upped-- Slightly

It's not everyday I do something considered "cool". And by that I mean cool by teenage standards.

I've gushed about my recently turned 13 years old Godson in this space more times than I can count, but it's never been about anything cool I actually did.

Well, today that all changed. I got the rarely seen "you rock" smile-- the one that curves the corners of his lips ever so slightly so as not to actually lose his cool factor, but enough for me to know I'm getting a thumbs up from him.

It was easy really, all I had to do was listen to one song over, and over, and over again-- Blasting as loud as my car's stereo would play-- With all the windows down-- For 32 minutes on the drive home from school.

Yes, I thought I would lose my mind, but it was worth those curled lips and sideways glance from my guy letting me know I was rocking it for him.

Although the song is still banging around in my head several hours later, and even though I have absolutely no idea why he requested the "Ghostbusters" theme song, I have to say, it totally made my day.

And yes, I'm easy-- I'll do it again for that brief, shining, "cool" moment.

Done anything cool lately?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: © Andrea Berger -

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sundays In My City #24 - Love & Chocolate

Do you know Unknown Mami? She's hosts a great Sunday theme inviting YOU to get out and take pictures of your city and or Sunday to share with the rest of blogland. Click HERE to see Unknown Mami's Sunday in her City today.

This Sunday is all about L.O.V.E. and let me tell you-- My heart runneth over. I'm not a Valentine kind of girl, but today I am especially reminded of how many people I love and how blessed I am that so many love me too. I have a lump in my throat just thinking about it.

It's been a very busy February-- You might have noticed I've been missing in action lately. Most of my time has been spent with doctors, thermometers, heating pads, medications, tests, needles, scans, x-rays and everything thing that goes with annual check-up, flu bugs, mystery symptoms and the usual on-going junk associated with chronic illnesses for me and loved ones. But at the end of the day, we're all okay, if not a little exhausted from all the angst and running around.

One of my "patients" made me this lovely Valentine card. He's truly one of my all time favorite people in the world and this card was made by him in between sleeping and a sour stomach while he camped out on my sofa missing a few days of school last week. I love the card and him too. It made my Sunday perfect.

I have to admit, I am surprised at how much I've missed reading blogs and catching up with blog friends over the past few weeks. I kept meaning to get to it but the days simply weren't long enough with so many appointments to attend to. But now that the doctors are mostly behind us (we're all okay) I'll be back reading and commenting and sharing the L.O.V.E. again. Because, really--If you don't love blogging and connecting with great people, what's the point, right?

And speaking of great people... In the middle of all the craziness last week, the lovely Debbie of Suburb Sanity had a rocking good giveaway that I WON. Thank you Debbie!

In case you don't already know, Debbie's recently started a second blog specifically for reviews and GIVEAWAYS! And let me tell you, she gives away some really great loot! Like this.....

It's a gorgeous ceramic plaque that was practically made for me-- Seriously, have you seen my profile begging for chocolate? I L.O.V.E. it. A million thanks to Lorrie Veasy, a designer for Our Name is Mud - a National Pottery Company. She's a great blog friend of Debbie's and her work is beautiful. You can see more of Lorrie's great work at her Etsy shop.

So this Sunday I'm sending you all L.O.V.E. and hoping yours is a relaxing Sunday filled with chocolate.... Which I'm hoping Beloved Husband will deliver with his Valentine card very soon. Because chocolate for breakfast is, in my opinion, the breakfast of champions.

How's your Sunday?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna Jenkins

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Weather Or Not?

It was a relaxing and easy Saturday until I got the brainstorm to take a power walk with Beloved Husband around 4pm. After a couple of days with massive amounts of rainfall, I had cabin fever and thought the break in the clouds would be a nice chance for us to get some fresh air and a little exercise.

We started off well enough, schlepping up and down hills that define our neighborhood, as we worked up a good sweat. The sun was out and shades of blue sky peaked from behind big, white, billowy clouds.... Until it changed-- In an instant-- To a very dark sky with heavy rain drops big enough to drench us before we made our way the last seven blocks to our house.

By the time we got inside, Beloved and I were freezing. At the chance of sounding like a West Coast wimp, soaking wet and 57 degrees outside is cold for this old girl.

Since the house thermostat was set at 60 degrees, the only way to warm up fast was a hot bath. Great idea until the power went out just as I was about to step into the tub.

I don't know about you, but our bathroom has only a small window with minimal natural light so it was pretty dark for a bath. I was hoping it was a momentary outage, because afterall, it wasn't "storming" anymore and the worst of the rains were a few days ago.

So I pulled on sweatpants and a cozy sweater in an attempt to warm up and waited for the power to come back on.

I waited.

And waited.

And waited, and there was nothing cozy about it.

After 45 minutes, Beloved pulled out the flashlights while I called the power company who, via recorded message, told us the power would probably be out until sometime Sunday.

So there we were, cold, sweaty and looking a mess, in the dark. Oh yeah, and it was nearly dinner time. So by flashlight, we tried to pull ourselves together and drove to a local joint of a restaurant that we knew had dark lighting so as not to scare the waiters.

Yes, the restaurant was just around the corner from us had power. Turns out in our pocket of the neighborhood, only two blocks were blacked out, including ours. How special.

Beloved and I ate as slowly as we could but how long does it take to eat a bowl of soup. We naively thought we might get lucky and the power would somehow be back on, so we headed home after 90 minutes. Wrong.

By now it was complete darkness in the house and frankly a little spooky. So we headed out again to get coffee at our favorite deli. Since we'd already eaten dinner, we thought we'd hang out at the counter and read the newspaper. Mind you, we'd already been to the deli that day for breakfast so the staff was a little surprised to see us again-- especially with our sweaty, rained on look.

Three hours worth of coffee and a piece of lemon meringue pie the size of my head later, we drove back home for a long, cold night.

There is a reason I never enjoyed camping, roughing it, or anything less than ideal sleeping conditions, but I toughed it out and didn't complain.... much. I pulled on some leggings, a long-sleeved cotton turtleneck shirt, sweatpants (that just happened to be neon orange and easy to see in the dark) a UCLA sweatshirt and toe socks in all the colors of the rainbow. Add that to the wild sweaty/rained-on hair and let me tell you, I was a vision.

Because there was no electricity, we did not turn on our security alarm that night. We knew it has a back-up battery but we decided not to test it's powers. Since the electric company's trucks were actually parked at the end of our driveway, with massive lights on generators, working on the repairs, it pretty much lit up the outside of our house so we felt safe.

What we didn't know was that the alarm automatically turned to the back-up battery when the power goes out. But as the battery started to fade, it also started "talking to us" in the middle of the night--letting us know that the battery was running low.

Yes, the alarm system "speaks" or rather "barks" words at us. It didn't dawn on us that even though the alarm was technically "off" the battery had in fact kicked in so the security company could still keep track of our property.

Anyway, at about 1am, in the middle of a deep sleep, I heard the alarm barking loudly "YOUR BATTERY IS LOW!" After I shook out the cobwebs from my exhausted and very cold brain, it was clear I needed to take action otherwise the "voice" wasn't going to shut-up.

If that wasn't enough, there was also banging on our front door.

As I fumbled around for the flashlight's on switch (They should make them glow in the dark!) I finally made my way to the front door-- And no one was there.

I headed to the kitchen to get my cell phone, to call the security company, to get the talking alarm to stop, because by now the talking also included a very loud and annoying high pitched beep that could wake the dead-- But, apparently, not my husband.

As I was talking to the security operator on the phone, the door banging started again, so flashlight in hand, I made my way to the front door.

Did you know you can't see squat through a peep hole in the dead of night?

The operator told me it was their "armed response guy"-- Translation-- A big guy with a gun, and that it was okay to open the door.

That gave me pause.

I stayed on the phone with the alarm company, rigged the flashlight in the crook of my arm shining up on my face and opened the door with my other hand. Judging by the guard's reaction, I looked worse than I thought. He jumped back about 3 feet when he saw me.

When he caught his breath, he explained we had to go to the "main alarm box" for the security system, and that my friends, is in our basement-- The basement you get to from an exterior door-- Which meant I had to go outside-- In the dark and cold-- Down a bunch of stairs-- Into the basement-- And then into the furnace room-- Where spiders live.

Did I mention Beloved was still sound asleep and oblivious to any of this?

Anyway, after about five long, cold minutes, security guard and I figured out how to turn the alarm completely off, locked things back up, dusted off the cobwebs, headed back outside, trudged up the stairs, into the house and then I sent the security guy on his way.

Finally, I returned to the bedroom-- to a snoring and very soundly sleeping husband. I then did what any loving, freezing cold wife would do... I took off my toe socks and planted my ice cube feet on his.... At which point he woke up and asked what was wrong.

"Nothing honey, go back to sleep."

How's the weather in your neighborhood?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: © Orlando Florin Rosu -

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sundays In My City #23 - 100th!

Do you know Unknown Mami? She's hosts a great Sunday theme inviting YOU to get out and take pictures of your city and or Sunday to share with the rest of blogland. This is the 23rd time I've participated and I have to say, I've met some really great bloggers and seen parts of the world I might not otherwise ever have had the chance to experience. I highly recommend joining in. I think you'll be glad you did. Click HERE to see Unknown Mami's City today.

Sunday is a big day around here. Beloved Husband and I are going to a party-- A
100th birthday party for our dear friend SG.

I've had the great pleasure of helping SG, along with his daughter, plan his centennial gala for the past year. Every detail has been taken care of, family and friends from across the country have arrived and at 6pm sharp, the celebration will begin. To say SG is excited his big day has finally arrived is a gigantic understatement.

Even at 100, SG has been extremely hands-on with all the party planning. He's burned up the cell phone and his computer tracking details and coordinating logistics. Yes, he's an Internet-surfing, computer savvy wiz with all the latest electronic communications gadgets. Amazing, huh?

When SG and I were at a meeting on Wednesday for a charity we're both involved with, they surprised him with this cake....

He was as thrilled as a little kid and I was choked up with joy for him.

Tonight Beloved and I will "officially" say Happy 100th Birthday and cheer SG on along with 163 of his closest family and friends.

It's going to be a great, great celebration for an amazing man!

Have you ever wished someone a happy 100th birthday?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: Joanna Jenkins

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Love Is...

What is your idea of love? That's what YorksandBeans at Elemental My Dear asks in her current Blog Challenge.

I'm not usually much of a Valentine's girl myself but this year, times have changed.

This year our family is all abuzz and "love, love, love!" is sprinkled in every conversation, day and night, in person or on the phone, via email or snail mail-- you name it, LOVE is the word heard in our corner of the universe.

Let me explain....

Remember when I introduced you to my mother? She's holding my oldest niece, Queen M, in this picture below. The babe was literally minutes old. I was there, blown away, and took the picture.

Queen M grew up to be this beautiful bride last summer. I was there and took this picture too. She took my breath away.

Yes, our Queen is blissfully happy and very much in love with her Groom Z. Our entire family make jokes about all the lllllooooovvvveee these two share.

And it's a good thing their love runneth over. Because in June, they'll have a little more to LOVE and so will all of us!


The baby is due June 19th, and we are all absolutely in LOVE already!

So to answer the question, although my heart is full with many loved ones, at the moment, Love is.... PINK!

Join the Love Is Challenge HERE! Between now and Valentine's Day the challenge is to make a post, in the style of your blog, about what your idea of Love is... Then link up your post at Elemental My Dear to share the love with the blogosphere.

How about you?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credits: Joanna Jenkins

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Crazy Little Thing Called Blog: Part Nine - More Questions

Recently one of the sweetest bloggers your could ever meet logged on to find she had a new Follower-- A Follower whose profile photo was an up-close and personal picture of a woman's um, err, ahh-- "private parts"!

Seriously. A va-jay-jay was staring back at her!

When I first read the email she sent asking for assistance to remove said private part, I laughed, really hard, until I realized it wasn't a joke. A Follower photo of this type is not funny.

I checked around and found out how to remove the Follower and emailed back but fortunately my blog friend had figured it out and the photo, and Follower, were gone.

Here's how to block a Follower, and their photo, in Blogger:

1. Go to your Blogger Dashboard
2. You will see a test link for Followers--it includes the number of followers you have. When your cursor is over Followers the type turns orange. Click on Followers
3. A window will pop-up
4. Click on the nasty photo/follower
5. You will see another box and the words "Block This Follower"
6. Click on "Block This Follower" and they will be gone forever

I took a closer look at my Followers and realized that, although I did not have a bird's eye view of a you-know-what, I too had a few sex blogs in my posse. Perhaps that explains my increased number of eye-opening comments promoting a slew of "toys", teenage contortionists, male "enlargements", celebrity nudity, and grandmas doing the wild thing.

I promptly dropped the questionable Followers and hope my comments lighten up to PG-13 again. But if anyone can tell me who the Anonymous commenter is that continuously thanks me for helping with college work, I'd greatly appreciate it. It's totally bogus and I'm pretty sure the "Follower" is up to no good.

I'm also still getting various "Anonymous" comments selling junk, promoting questionable financial offers, and the likes.

Can anyone tell me how do I eliminate Anonymous Comments on Blogger? I don't understand the difference between "Registered Users - Includes OpenID" and "Users with Google Accounts" (In Dashboard under Settings). Which is the button I check and will it still allow everyone else (with a user name) to leave comments???

That brings me to my last question-- Are there subjects you won't blog or comment about?

Considering I've blogged about growing marijuana in my backyard and my Botox and cosmetic enhancements, you'd think little would be off limit for me. Au contraire.

Generally, I will not blog about...
--My husband's family. They can start their own blogs if they want their stories in print.
--Sex. In the event that it could ultimately bite me in the butt should I decide to run for and elected office, I'll keep this topic to myself.
--I don't write to "send a message". If I have something to say to someone, I'll do it in person before I do it in print.

On the other hand, I generally will not comment on...
--Sex-- No matter how funny or how well written the post may be.
--I try not to judge and tell bloggers what they "should" do.
--If I can't say something nice I won't say anything at all, at least not in the comment section.

How about you?

Are their subjects you won't blog or comment about?
Do you have any other blog "how to" questions?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna
Photo Credit: © sgursozlu -