Category Archives: Life

Jenna’s Knockout Workout Playlist

Even though my workout playlist changes weekly ,  I thought I’d jot one down in print for kicks. And also because people ask me all the time what I’m listening to.  Hearrya go…

1. Kings of Leon – Use Somebody (RAC Remix)

2. Everything Everything – Photoshop Handsome (Disclosure Edit)

3. Mansions on the Moon – Satellite (MotM x Deadmau5)

4.  Remady – No Superstar

5. Matt & Kim – Cameras

6. Penguin Prison – Golden Train (The Royal Palms Mix)

7. Miike Snow – A Horse is Not a Home

8. Miike Snow – Cult Logic

9. Miike Snow – Black & Blue

10.  Empire of the Sun – Walking On a Dream

11. Memories (ft. Kid Cudi) – David Guetta

12. The Whitest Boy Alive – Golden Cage (Fred Falke Remix)

13. Katy Perry – Firework

14. Kings of Leon – Radioactive

15. Kings of Leon – Pyro

Running:

16. Phoenix – Run Run Run

17.  Phoenix – Too Young

18. Desperately Wanting – Better than Ezra

19. Pearl Jam – Corduroy

20. Incubus – Dig

21. Semisonic – Closing Time

22. Kings of Leon – Sex on Fire

Cool Down

23. Barenaked Ladies – Pinch Me

24. Local Natives – Cubism Dream

25. John Mayer – Neon

26. John Mayer 3×5

Not such a wise decision by me,  I’ve been working out with my Bose headphones lately. I realize the risk factor involved with the combination of sweat and not being able to hear ANYTHING.  But I do it anyway. At least this week I have.  Maybe I’ll start making this a monthly post…

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INTRO: All Jenna Could Jet. 9 Cities in 40 Days.

A week before I planned to move back home after my college summer job, I spotted quite possibly the greatest facebook status I have ever read: “Just bought a JetBlue All-You-Can-Jet Pass, 1 month unlimited traveling, $499. Fly anywhere jetblue flies from september 6 to oct 7.”

The status belonged to a friend of mine, Emily, to whom I immediately commented back with a disbelieving “No way!”

The minute I realized the deal was real, I made moves to buy the pass.  According to Twitter gossip, it sold out within two days last year. I was taking no chances.

Once I recieved the confirmation email, I had exactly ten days to create the itinerary. I would be going alone, just the way I wanted – however this meant the pressure was on to connect with friends. 

I know enough people in random cities throughout the United States, I knew I could make it happen.

So I called everyone I could think of. I called old childhood best friends, study abroad friends from Copenhagen, friends from the University of Oregon, my brother’s friends, my brother’s girlfriend’s friends, and pretty much everyone in between.

After days of drawing maps and configuring plans, calling, texting, emailing, facebooking, and changing flights (for free!) – my plan was finally made.

First, I would be visiting my study abroad friend Eliza in Austin Texas. Next, my childhood best friend Georgia in New York city; my brother’s girlfriends friend Nikki, my childhood friend David, and college friend Saramaya all in Chicago; my childhood friend Lauren in Boston; high school softball teammate Paige in Buffalo; childhood friend Allie in Washington D.C.; college friend Brett in Seattle; and lastly my boyfriend Kevin in Los Angeles.

Finally with a plan, and a brand new blue suitcase, I was ready to go. Woohoo!!!! And nervous as hell… haha

More to come!

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7 Things I Learned as a Summer Communications Intern

I work as the Communications Intern at the Eugene Chamber of Commerce. I am responsible for creating written nominations for accomplished businesses in the community for the Chamber’s prestigious Emerald Awards ceremony in October. I’ve been working there for several months in a cubicle beside the Events Manager and the President of the Chamber. Even though I am slightly intimidated, I am excited to contribute, and also be recognized for being valuable to the office. Here are 7 things I’ve taken away from the experience, now that I am halfway through. Oprah-style advice is my forte, so here you go:

1. Be thorough when communicating with your superiors – Following through is so important. One e-mail reminder, or brief “Oh hey can you help with this” is very commonly not sufficient. More often than not, people expect to be reminded. Everyone’s busy with their own to-do lists. Be relentless, but strategic if there’s something you really need to get accomplished.
2. Be as genuine as possible – Honestly it took me awhile to figure out that the whole office really appreciated me. I was scared to contribute, make mistakes, ask too many questions, go to lunch when invited, ask if I could have a leftover scone from the morning meeting…Haha no but seriously. Work environments should not make you tense or nervous. If you are friendly, hardworking, and aware of what’s going on around you, you are set.
3. Accomplish the current most important tasks now – Know your timeline and your priorities – spend most of your time working on the things that will get the action first. If someone sends you an urgent e-mail in the middle of working on another project, stop what you are doing and reply back before you forget or too much time goes by.
4. Spend time figuring out the best way to organize – Not only should you maintain your work efficiently for your own sake, but for your co-worker’s and boss’s sake as well. You never know when someone will urgently need to look at your written notes, computer files, desktop or e-mail inbox for confirmation or clarification. Organizing does not necessarily come naturally to me, but I’ve learned how to create systems and have found the value in spending a little extra time doing so.
5. Bring snacks and hydration – It took me a good month to realize how much it sucks to be so severely hungry by 12, 1, or 2 o’clock because you didn’t bring anything to munch on. And never in my life have I been so careful to make sure my water bottle is in my purse before leaving my house in the morning. You’d be surprised how desperately thirsty and foggy headed you can get.
6. Check in with your advisor, often – Plugging away productively at a project for two days straight is great, but always make sure you’re steering in the right direction. Checking in with your advisor or boss halfway through the day is often a great way to confirm you’re on track. Sometimes too, your boss may give you a task that may turn unproductive halfway through. Trust your gut if something seems like a waste of time. Several times I’ve checked in and my boss has changed her mind about the assignment.
7. Learn consistency – This is hard for me. I like to change up my routine with anything and everything every day, depending on my mood, my patience level, the degree of importance.. But it is so important, because in a work environment, consistency makes almost everything better and easier! Your co-workers are able to pick up where you left of, and you will know exactly why or how you did something.  I have confidence in knowing that routines and rhythms come to everyone in time. Work at fine-tuning your habits so that you continue to be as sharp and helpful as possible.

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Man I’ll miss this.

I absolutely couldn’t resist writing a blog post about how much I’ll miss college when something like a drunk guy yells “THIS. IS. SPARTAAAAA!” at the top of his lungs outside my bedroom window at 12:56 am on a Wednesday night.

I live in a apartment complex on the corner of 14th & Hilyard. I call it the epicenter of life off campus. My apartment is not only two blocks from campus, it’s also no more than three blocks from Max’s, Taylor’s, and Renee’s, (and Fathom’s if we feel like counting it) – a.k.a “the campus bars.”

Suffice to say, I hear A TON of rowdy, often day-making hilarious, college kids. I moved into this apartment complex when it was first being built. It was around the time that Eugene started getting its major face-lift for the Olympic Trials in 2008.

I’ve seen nine roomates (not counting boyfriends) move in, study-abroad, transfer, graduate and move back in over the course of three years. I call my home, “life on the corner,” apartment number five. And I picked my bedroom based on its vibe and morning sun accessibility, all when it was just a wooden frame.

As much as I enjoy living here, I still envy the quaint Eugene houses further away from my bubble. It takes me five minutes ’till I shrug the jealousy off and smile because I have a beautiful park, washer, dryer, heat and my own bathroom.  Of course, I also love when people jolt me out of bed by shouting lines from Braveheart outside my window….Provides me a pitter-patter of lovestruck college joy I just can’t deny.

In further news, I’ll be graduating in three weeks. Interestingly enough my Facebook status today says “Graduation Anxiety.”  I cried myself to sleep last night for reasons I still can’t piece together. I’m confused, and sad, terrified and really just so overwhelmed with excitement about the future of my life and my childhood expectations becoming realized.

College was the coolest experience. I was planted, and then I grew, and then I blossomed – and now here I am at the end soaking the rest of it in after four amazing years.

But what I’m really thinking now is what’s next? Where will we all end up?

I am confident and prepared, and convinced we’ll all be just fine if we remember that we are able to feel those two things from here on out.

To the class of 2010 at the University of Oregon: May you never forget college friends, rowdy neighbors, rain soaked socks, singing Sweet Caroline at closing time, and the fact that you are now truly prepared for the real world.  Good luck, Go Ducks, and I love you all.

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Building a Stronger Network – With Work or Life in General

In response to a blog post by Journalistics entitled “Build a Stronger Network”

I’ve always agreed with the statement, “It’s all about who you know.” However, not until I started looking for jobs and internships did I realize it’s about how you know who you know that makes the most difference.

Jeremy Porter suggests some great tips about how to build a stronger network. These are some of the points I agreed with most:

1. Deliver Value – When it comes to having a conversation with someone new, my ears and eyes perk up when something of value is brought to the table. If someone is informed about something that I’m not, I am instantly engaged.

2. Don’t Judge – I firmly believe we’d all have more sincere relationships if we stopped judging others every day. First impressions are hard to escape, but we miss out on the opportunity to grow into a relationship if we cut others off short based on a rough one-minute first encounter.

3. Look in the Mirror – There’s this poster at the student rec center that I read nearly every time I see it that says, “Be Aware of What They are Telling You.” I’m reminded how important it is to check in with yourself and make sure that your intentions and your actions add up to what others are receiving.

4. Keep it Fun – It’s really hard for me to be entirely myself if I can’t relax and have a sense of humor. I think it’s crucial for people to be as true to themselves as they can when meeting new people, while at the same being able to keep a check on the level of professionalism if needed.

5. Build Relationships When You Don’t Need Them – There’s no reason to not always be on the lookout for new connections, or to at least be open to building relationships when the time presents itself. You never know when those connections will come through in the clutch.

6. Say Please and Thank You – I love when my roomate goes out of her way to say please or thank you even when borrowing my headband. She even leaves tiny notes saying “thank you for listening” after a long chat – it makes me feel really good and I always appreciate the thoughtfulness.

7. Be Sincere – My friend once said, “Jenna, that was a very genuine thank you. It made me feel good,” in response to a compliment she gave me. I will never ever forget it. Knowing the way that I said thank you could change her attitude like it did has made me conscious of my please and thank-yous ever since.

8. Everyone is Important – Wise wise advise! I love Jeremy’s example: The barista at Starbucks could be working towards getting her MBA and be your boss in five years. It is so true, it’s a small world we’re living in and and everyone really is connected. Never dismiss anyone or assume somebody is not relevant to the relationships you are looking to build. Treat people with respect or shoot yourself in the foot later.

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My First Half Marathon

It’s 8:41 pm and approximately ten hours and nineteen minutes before my very first ever half marathon. I’ve roughly been training for this now since January, but I think just as important as being physically prepared is the fact that I am now (after weeks of anxiety provoked anticipation) – calm and mentally ready.

Before last fall, I hadn’t ran more than one mile for my high school gym class. However, now that I am a student at the University of Oregon and a proud advocate of Track Town USA, supporter of the Olympic Trails held in Eugene last spring, fan of Phil Knight, Bill Bowerman, Nike and the running legends like Steve Prefontaine – my greatest goal since freshman year has been to be able to call my self a Eugene runner.

My roomate Whitney, who has already run three half marathons, has been my main source of inspiration through my mental preparation. I also decided to take a run/jog PE class last fall to see if I could ever make my running dreams a reality. As it turned out, I fell in love with it, and pledged to complete the half marathon six months later on May 2, 2010.

Why you ask? Because 1) I wanted an excuse to get outside again 2) I needed an activity to work towards and be proud of before graduating 3) I wanted to prove my strength of character with a demanding physical challenge

I fell in love with running overnight because I enjoyed the independence and the ability to explore. Yes, it helps with shaping up. It also helps put some much needed color on your Oregon face. But more than anything I love having the space and time to clear my thoughts.

Here’s my favorite part: Running is alllll about you. Every run is about you setting your own goals, as meeker or ambitious as you want them to be. It’s about finding your own voice and sense of adventure; and being just with yourself for as long as your feet and your head can take you.

Post-Half Marathon, Ten Hours Later:
Running the half at the Eugene Marathon was the most incredible experience. Aside from the throbbing ankle and the burning knees during miles one through twelve, by mile 13 I was cruising. I felt no pain as I sprinted past as many fellow participants as I could to the spectacular finish through the gates of Hayward Field.

The thousands of cheering fans and supporters, and my name on the loud speaker, provided the greatest rush of adrenaline I have ever felt. Suffice to say, I am proud of myself and so damn proud I never gave up.

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My New Perspective on Jazz.

After almost four years of filling my class schedule with required journalism, business and gen-ed classes, I finally took the plunge on my very last term as a college student to take the freebie credit class I’ve wanted from day one: Jazz History.

Since before I can remember, my dad and older brother Joe have quizzed me on music.  Even though mostly classic rock, my ten year old self was being trained to obsess over the details of music history in every aspect.  It started with a fascination for my brother’s fascination. I remember spying on him obsessively organize his CD’s into categories and ask my dad to confirm his understanding of the backstories and musical intricacies of Pink Floyd.

My interest for Jazz came about in conjunction with my passion for jazz dancing.  I’ve taken jazz classes since the age of four, and grew up hearing songs like “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck for days and weeks and years on end.  Jazz music is so much about sass, character and communicating without words – I couldn’t help but stay fascinated.

I’m currently heading into my fifth week of my last term in college, and my fifth week of my first official introduction into Jazz History.  Week one, our teacher brought in a full jazz ensemble to perform and familiarize us with the instruments and sounds.  Week two and three, we watched a brilliant Ken Burns documentary on “The History of Jazz.”  Our teacher is not only a passionate and shall I say “diehard” jazz enthusiast, but he practices what he preaches and performs the jazz rhythm guitar nearly every night at local music venues.

We’ve been assigned to not only listen to music for homework but go to local speakeasies and concert venues to listen to jazz for class projects.  For those of you who don’t know me should know that I would give a limb to be able to listen to music for a living.

Taking this class has definitely confirmed my love for music, but even more so has confirmed my love for Jazz.  Jazz music is about the grit and heart of American culture. The original sounds of jazz are outlets of the purest wordless emotions of the 1900’s.  The roots of jazz and the inflections in the music are so colorful and full of life – the concept is endlessly infectious to me.

I’ve caught myself turning my morning radio alarm clock and roomate’s car presets to jazz stations without intention. I’ve downloaded half a dozen albums full of Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane. And it’s still only Sunday before week five.

I think the real reason for being so compelled to write this post is because I’m looking at my daily grind differently since this class began.  I’m really paying attention, just like I am with these familiar Jazz songs I heard for years in the background of hotels and restaurants.

I’m trying to be more present and aware of the passion among my friends, people in general, and the things I’ve once enjoyed. I hate that once sparkling concepts, ideas and art forms lose their freshness like Jazz sometimes can.  I’ve been pulling out old diaries and playlists to remind myself that things shouldn’t lose their sparkle because it’s no longer novel. And for the maybe “already said” ideas and concepts of the people around me, I’m listening now with a sharper ear – believing something new will spark from it.  You have Jazz to thank for that.

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