Birthday Break

26 Nov

As some of you may know, I have never had anyone guest post on this blog. I’ve wanted people to post here, but as time went on, the pressure built up as to who the first person should be. The Chosen One.

My best friend/roommate approached me with the idea of writing a guest post for my birthday. When I realized I’d be able to take a day off during NaBlowMe, I wept with joy. This is better than any material gift a person could buy. Turning Sexy years old 32 years old has never been so great.

Please welcome my best friend Aric, President of the Hooked on Tonic Fan Club, and lead exotic dancer in my dreams. (P.S. He’s single, ladies! Inquire within.)

•••

Hello fans of Jen, one and all! I’m here to celebrate the awesomeness that is Jen and Tonic on her special day. Her birthday! You are all very important to her. She values the closeness and sense of  community you each have a part in creating at Sips of Jen and Tonic. I thought it would be worthwhile to give you all a peek into what life is like living under the same roof as this fun-sized, creative tornado.

Please ask any questions that you may have burning in your hearts about Jen in the comments section. My intention for this post is for it to be interactive, and I’ll gladly tell all! It’s hard to expose a woman who exposes herself to strangers regularly, but, you know, I’ll try. My name is Aric by the way. It’s nice to formally make your acquaintance. I’ve heard great things about most of you, and some terrible things about some of you. Rest assured, your secrets are safe with me, and her, and the neighbors. Continue reading

Unbreakable

25 Nov

Last night I became so enraged that I threw something.

This is highly unusual for me. I’m not the type of person who gets so angry that she throws a punch, or starts breaking her dishes. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten upset about things, but I’ve never even considered getting physical.

One of the reasons I’m going to therapy is to get in touch with my emotions. I’ve spent most of my life being rather robotic in this regard. I experience setbacks, I stuff my feelings down, and I move on with my life.

This is not a method I recommend to anyone. You’ll think it’s working, but what’s really happening is that your feelings are lingering just beneath the surface. You can run away from them, but they’ll always catch up to you. Continue reading

In Total Control of Myself

24 Nov

bette davis, quote, bitch, women, opinionI’m a very straightforward person. I don’t blow smoke, and if you ask me for my honest opinion I’ll give it to you. I always exercise tact, but I never exercise kissass-ery.

“You were being kind of bitchy.”

That’s what a manager told me after a brainstorming session years ago. Someone had suggested a marketing initiative that was not only outdated, but completely out of tune with our core audience. I said as much; apparently I had offended a few people’s delicate sensibilities in the process.

I was flabbergasted when he took me aside and accused me of bitchery in the first degree. This was the same manager who had completely lot his shit on several occasions, acting completely unprofessionally towards his subordinates. He prided himself on “getting results” and asserted that it sometimes meant “stepping on peoples toes…hard.”

The majority of my career has been spent in Sales which I don’t recommend unless you like being surrounded by people who suffer from delusions of grandeur. It’s a male-dominated field predicated on having a commanding presence, and a “do what you have to do” approach. Continue reading

Writing Chose Me

23 Nov
virginia woolf, quote, writing, writer, writer's digest

Credit: Writer’s Digest

I don’t remember the first time I thought, “Hey, I’d like to write.” Some people have a specific incident they can point to as the exact moment they decided to become a writer. Truthfully, I think writing chose me.

I remember lying in the grass during summers at my grandparents’ house, staring up at the clouds and noticing them taking shape. I’d see dinosaurs, faces, hearts and bears. The idea that I may be the only one experiencing this kind of magic made me feel lonely. I desperately wanted to share what I was seeing with another person.

In junior high, our class read the book Where the Red Fern Grows together. We had to read some parts at home, and some parts were read aloud in class. The ending is quite sad, and I remember looking around the room and seeing my classmates crying. The idea that we were all sharing the same emotion, just because of a book, made a huge impact on me.

As I got older, books really began to give gave me a way to understand the world around me. I loved nonfiction, or fictional works which were (or seemed like they could be) based on true stories. I wanted to know about life, about real life. I understood that there were things happening outside of my very small world, and I wanted to know about all of them. Continue reading

Doing My Part

22 Nov

ronald reagan, quote, we can't help everyone but everyone can help someone, volunteer, philanthropy, helping otherI think I’ve talked about this on my blog before, but because I’m such a fan of my own work I can’t remember.

I want to change the world.

When I was a kid I’d see those Sally Struthers commercials for the Christian Children Fund, and would cry. The idea that there were so many people suffering killed me, and even at a young age, I understood the magnitude of global hunger.

Children were starving to death, and there was nothing I could do about it.

My high school required all of its students to volunteer as part of their yearly academic requirements. They were trying to raise the future leaders of America, and believed that service to others makes you a better human being.

When I was a sophomore I volunteered at an armory which had been turned into a homeless shelter/soup kitchen. It was clear that the man who ran the program loved what he did, and that his enthusiasm was a bright spot in the day of the people he served. Continue reading

The Truth About Jen

21 Nov

Yesterday I played “5 Truths and a Lie” to test you, my readers, on your knowledge of the real Jen. As a recap, your options were:

  • I’m an emergency preparedness nut
  • I know a martial arts technique which focuses on pressure points
  • I placed in a state free throw competition
  • I worked at a collection agency
  • I was dropped on my head as a kid
  • I have ear problems that cause church bells to go off in them every once in awhile

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of you guessed correctly. I am not, in fact, a martial arts badass who could take you out with the touch of a finger. A girl can dream.

I suppose the plethora of correct answers means that you are learning more about me from reading this blog. This shows how far I’ve come.

When I first began Sips of Jen and Tonic, I only wanted to post humor here. I like writers who have strong writing voices, and whose work is consistent. I recently told Le Clown that my goal has always been to write one way so well that you could identify my work even if my name wasn’t attached to it. Continue reading

5 Truths and a Lie

20 Nov

I was telling a friend that one of the things I love most about writing is how it allows me to make connections to other people. In a way, a blog is often like an online diary that we let other people read. Some people get very personal, and visiting their blog can feel like having a conversation with an old friend.

But can you really know everything about a person just by reading snippets of their lives? Or at least make an educated guess about who they are in real life? Well, we’re about to find out.

I’m putting my Hooked on Tonics to a test. We’ll see how well do you know the real Jen, the one who exists outside of WordPress. Below are five truths, and one lie about me.  Can you tell which is which? Continue reading

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