Is Zen the Trend or Will I Bend?

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​Lately I’ve been trying ​to save money so that I’m not completely broke before I hit thirty. In my efforts to not break the bank, I’ve learned that I have two modes: I Am The World’s Greatest Saver and Never Have to Spend Money on Anything Ever Again Because I’m Just So Zen with Living Off of the Earth & Fuck This Shit, Where’s My Credit Card?
 
My Zen Mode: On the days I am Zen Jen, I truly believe that I can save 97% of my paycheck. Food? Pshh, what’s that? Clothing? I’ll wear the clothes I bought in junior high. Shoes? I’ll walk barefoot in the snow 5 miles uphill. I check over my finances and physically cannot understand how I am seeing the amount of red charges on my screen. There must be some kind of mistake. Maybe my card was stolen. $8.07 for a salad at Prett? $39.45 for a tank top at Ann Taylor? $29.99 for a phone case from Amazon? No, no, no. Completely unacceptable. Never. Happening. Ever. Again.

My Credit Card is on Fire Mode: On the days I couldn’t be further from zen, I basically act as though I am single-handedly keeping the United States Stock Market afloat. I purchase everything from chewing gum (even though I have a huge box from Costco) to heels (which I will never ever ever wear) to exercise clothes (if you’ve read this blog even once you know that’s just laughable). I’ll buy a Groupon for a new restaurant, book a massage at a local spa, or sign up for Amazon Prime because, hello, who doesn’t like free 2-day shipping?

I sit and think to myself Why should I hold myself back from living my life? Do I work to live or live to work? (Also a very easy answer if you’ve read this blog.) Do I really want to eat frozen lunches every afternoon and skip the caffeinated Starbucks’ Caramel Macchiato that could very well save someone’s life when it enhances my mood significantly? I can’t imagine being one of those people who dies with a huge bank account and no plane miles under my belt, designer bags on my arm, or expensive perfume on my neck. What’s the point of going to a job day after day to earn a paycheck, yet all the while denying myself the tiny luxuries that make me not want to kill myself – I mean, um, the tiny luxuries that make my day better?

In the end, I have basically decided that the only healthy way to live is to be a mix of both Zen and Fire. If you are always frugal, you will not only be unhappy, but you’ll also get a reputation among your friends as the cheap, boring one who never comes out or gets anyone birthday gifts. If you are always quick-with-the-card, you’ll be in debt up to your eyeballs and will constantly have anxiety when every paycheck is spent before it’s even in your grubby little palm. Plus you’ll probably be a little fatter if you’re anything like me.

My Boyfriend’s Name is Joe: Trader Joe

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5331d65dedd3cMy actual boyfriend, Mark, and I went to Trader Joe’s after a coworker of mine suggested I try out their frozen lunch section. I had been telling her that I’d like to stop spending $6+ a day on lunch, without actually having to stop eating. She was heating up a Trader Joe’s pad thai lunch at the moment, and shared her enlightened ways with me as the smell of her delicious noodles wafted their way into my nostrils.

 

Needless to say, my copycat butt was in Trader Joe’s the very next weekend. With Mark watching in astonishment – which is kind of nuts, considering he Continue reading

Hippity Dippity Doo Doo

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If you read this blog, you know that I am not exactly the most upbeat person in the world. I’m not a Debbie Downer or anything, but I tend to have a pessimistic or, as I like to call it, a realistic view of what I see around me. I’m sorry that I can’t view a flat tire as an opportunity to be outdoors for a beautiful sunset. I can’t see having a job as a reason not to complain about a terrible commute. And I can’t stop myself from wanting to smack whoever can see the good in horrible situations.

That being said, my boyfriend, Mark, and I took our dog, Abel, hiking this weekend. After a two-hour hike to a beautiful lake, I thought, Yes, I can finally rest on the shore and EAT. However, instead of seeing a big, open space and stunning view of the lake I have seen so many times before, I saw what can only be described as a tribe of women. “Why a tribe, Jen? Why not a group?” you might ask. These chicks had lines and symbols painted across their faces and bodies, and they were standing in a circle, chanting. So, yeah, I’m going with “tribe.” Continue reading

Halloween Came Twice for this Couple

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cut_gatherI’m trying to decide if I love or hate the idea of a themed-wedding. And when I say “themed,” I don’t mean vintage, rustic, or floral, I mean themed.  I came upon an article on the knot, showing how a bride went all-out for her Disney wedding. In other words she may or may not have topped Ariel, herself.

 

Things I loved: 
1. Her bright red hair (duh) and seashell clip-in.
2. The fact that her husband actually participated in this.
3. The priest wearing Mickey Mouse ears.
4. Her bridesmaids dressing as the Disney princesses. Continue reading

Bar Hopping For One: Yay Or Nay?

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This post is inspired by a JenAndMen reader, who I’ll call Michelle, who wrote me the following message:

I’m going through a divorce and all my friends are married with kids. Can I just go to a bar by myself? Is that Lame Sauce or A-OK? Love your blog!

This is a really great topic to debate about: Is it okay to go to a bar alone? I’m going to say “No” — and not just because of the lameness factor. I have compiled a list because (a) it’s easy to read and (b) it’s really fun for me to both compile lists and use the word “compile” on a daily basis.

1. Bars are filled with horny, possibly crazy people…who now have access to alcohol. I honestly just don’t think it’s safe for a chick to go to a bar all by her lonesome. I mean, if the night goes really well, and you end up meeting a guy, who’s going to be able to tell the sketch artist what he looked like if you should suddenly go missing when he walks you to your car?

2. Who’s gonna distract the ugly friends? It’s also good to a have a wing-woman with you — someone to keep the gross friend or friends busy while you mack it to the guy you like. Guys think having a wingman is where it’s at. They haven’t met me as a wing-woman, yet.

3. You look really Continue reading

Instagram Scheme of Things

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rsz_woodyInstagram. The new Facebook — which was the new MySpace, which was the new Aim, which was the new LIVE talking. It’s all the rage these days. It’s the way we show affection to those we love, throw jealousy at those we hate, and tell the world just how deeply inspirational, artsy, and deep we are. Not to mention cool. Yes, it proves just how much James fucking Dean we exhibit on a daily basis.

And without Instagram, think of how unfulfilling our lives would be. Every beautiful sight would just be a view to remember. Continue reading

Pour Some Coca Cola in that Melting Pot

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Everyone knows the only reason to watch the Superbowl is to see the awesome (and sucky) commercials that are especially made for the big game. And when the “big game” isn’t so big, as you all saw, the commercials really help soften the blow.  Only two commercials really stuck out in my mind — Coco Cola’s and Budweiser’s.

I’ve heard a lot of controversy over Coco Cola’s decision to have people from about a million different races, cultures and religions sing America the Beautiful. Haters feel that Coca Cola stepped over the line. I’m just not sure how. Continue reading

Bruce Jenner or Jen Brucer?

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So I’m reading (and seeing) that Bruce Jenner is pretty much on his way to a sex change operation. Now, here’s the thing: I don’t actually care. I do care, however, that he refuses to admit to this. Dude (and I use that term loosely), you have hair plug, ombre that nicer than mine, and a shaved Adam’s apple. Do you really want to continue this charade? I totally get it. If I was married to Kris Kardashian, I’d Continue reading

Justin Bieber Is A Baby, Baby, Baby, Ohhh…

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According to Complex.com, and just about every single person on my Twitter feed, Justin Beiber was bitch slapped by some basketball player named Blake Griffin. I’m just going to take a moment to say that I think he can be Kim Kardashian’s ex, Chris Humphreys’ identical twin, but moving right along…

Apparently Bieber was trying to order a caramel apple machhiato (do these exist and can someone buy one for me this second) shirtless, and went nuts when the barista told him that he had to be clothed to order. Come on, dude, you’re going to go nuts over that? The guy has just about the least amount of power of any profession in the United States of America. You couldn’t just let him feel like he won? Continue reading

I Retired Jeter’s Jersey Long Before He Ever Will

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So I can’t believe I am once again posting about sports — but it’s not my fault. I am being hit over the head with it from every angle — first the Superbowl, then the Olympics, then the whole Griffin/Bieber bonanza, and now Derek Jeter. (Don’t worry, though, I have a mean story to go along with it!)

In the spirit of giving the people what they want, here goes nothin': Derek Jeter is retiring after 19 years of playing professional baseball with the NY Yankees.

Jeter, who will be 40 when he retires, has had 3,316 hits (ninth most all-time), 256 home runs and 1,261 runs batted in. He’s been on 13 All-Star teams and won a Rookie of the Year award, as well as five Gold Gloves and five Silver Slugger honors. He also refused to nicely wave Hello to me 5 years ago. So screw him and his shiny yellow gloves. Continue reading

The Gods of Mount Olympics

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So the 2014 Winter Olympic Games began on February 7th, 2014. We can choose between watching alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsleigh racing, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, ice hockey, luge, nordic combined skiing, short track speed skating, skeleton racing, ski jumping, snowboarding, and speed skating. I totally just Googled that.

Much like the Superbowl, I feel like the Olympics can go one of two ways: Either you’re obsessed with it or you couldn’t care less. Unfortunately, I fall in the second category. I don’t even watch baseball or football, so I truly have zero desire to watch anyone compete in sports I’ve never even seen anywhere but in the Olympics. Unless, of course, one of these people are on the screen…

If you’ve read Hot People Get Away With More Because We Like Looking At Them, then you know how I feel about good looking people. Continue reading

Why Children Shouldn’t Be Allowed in Restaurants, Salons, Stores, Movie Theaters, Real Theaters, Resorts, or Public Transportation

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photo1Look, moms, I get it. You have 18 kids and haven’t seen the inside of a salon in five years. Your hair is split and unhighlighted, your cuticles are nothing short of grotesque, and your eyebrows are beginning to frighten the neighbors. You decide there’s no possible way you can go on living looking like Cousin It’s hairier sibling, and decide it’s time to have some hardcore maintenance done. The problem? You’ve used up your babysitting favor-asking with every single one of your friends and family, and no one offers to watch the little nose-pickers, leaving you with what you believe is one choice: Bring the screamers along.

Sadly, you don’t have one choice. Plan B? PAY Continue reading

Baby, It’s Frigid Outside

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photoWith the risk of sounding like I am trying to make small talk with you, readers, I feel I have to talk about what we are all thinking every single second of the day: It’s coooooold outside! And not in the fun Dolly Parton, Rod Stewart way. In the way that makes me flick tiny icicles off my nostrils as I ski down the streets of New York City. New…York…City, you hear that Mother Nature? Not freaking Anchorage, Alaska! What the hell is going on here? My hands have that old-man red, dry, cracking and bleeding thing going on that I’m sure everyone around me (especially those who have to shake it) are totally appreciative of. Continue reading

I Can’t Belieb This

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It’s baffling to me just how much press Justin Bieber is getting for his arrest. I mean, really, people — this is what constitutes as news nowadays? What about the fact that people (including myself) don’t have jobs or health insurance? What about stories from Washington, DC, so we know what the hell’s going on in this country?; what about acts of heroism from police officers and firefighters? I’d even take hearing about this brick weather and seeing video of little kids sledding in Central Park. But, instead, I get to watch an over-privileged, under-masculine, all-around annoying white boy get cuffed on his LAMBORGHINI after snorting up all his easily earned money. Super. Continue reading

Grand Re-Opening of JenAndMen.com!

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meI know I’ve been MIA for a long time now…and I’m sorry! I recently renewed my domain name, JenAndMen.com, (wouldn’t want any porn sites snatching it up), and now I’m back in business. I’m switching up my posts a bit. As you remember, I have a long-term boyfriend now, Mark. This means I won’t have my same crazy bad date stories, because I won’t be going on any bad dates lol (unless, of course, I catch him staring at a waitress’ boobs, or something, haha. Don’t worry, I’ll still have my super insightful views, funny anecdotes and, of course, my friends’ insane dating sagas. Keep reading, faithful readers!

Best,

Jen :-)