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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Biggest Fears

Last night, I found a little spider in my house.

My first instinct was to panic and scream, but I was all alone and there was no point in screaming when, eventually, I would just have to deal with it myself (or risk LOSING SIGHT of the little demon, which would mean that when I went to sleep, all alone and vulnerable, there would be a spider loose in my home).

I tried several different tactics. I gestured at it with the remote, encouraging my dog Shadow and my roommate's puppy Remix (a little black lab) to eat the little thing.

No luck. They just kept trying to bite the remote, which is NOT the type of habit I want my dogs to get into, so I stopped that tactic pretty quickly.

Then I tried a stare-down. That lasted about three seconds before the little bugger started to move and then I had to act, which I did, with a rolled up magazine (Glamour, in case you cared).

Squish. Then I went back to reading Lolita.

After I was done with the spider issue, I started to think about our biggest animal fears. I don't have big fears of insects like a lot of my friends do, except for (some) spiders. Little ones, I'm totally good with. But as soon as I see a brown recluse or a black widow, I FREAK out. This, I think, comes from having an ex pass away due to complications after a bite from a brown recluse spider. Now, I'm panicky about spiders (especially around Boyfriend), unless I know for SURE that they are little harmless ones, or the big wolf spiders that look scary but I don't think are dangerous (Jesus, I hope they aren't. If they are, someone please tell me).

I don't hate bees. I hate ants, but only because they are SO IRRITATING (ditto with mosquitos!). I love dogs, even (and sometimes especially) pit bulls. I'm fine with cats. The only thing I'm really scared of is (don't laugh):


I hate sharks. In fact, I really dislike swimming in the ocean after I found out that some sharks can attack in like, 18 inches of water. That's where I had always felt safe! Now where can I hide? Weirdly, the safest I've ever felt in the ocean was when I was snorkeling in Hawaii. Then, I could look down and see what was beneath my feet. I hate that feeling of treading water and knowing that below you, there could be fish, sting rays, jellyfish, biting fish, and SHARKS.

Shudder shudder shudder.

What scares you the most?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Day in the Life

I saw this done on some other blogs: a Day in the Life. So today, I figured I'd give you an unclassified version of the Day in the Life of Jenna Candelaria. I chose a Monday for you. Enjoy!

6:15 am: First alarm goes off. I snooze it and sleep in some more.

6:30 am: Second alarm goes off. I yawn like a lion and drag myself out of bed. Thankfully, I shower and set out my clothes the night before, so it only takes me 15 minutes to get dressed, step into some flats, brush my teeth, throw my hair back off my face and (maybe) put on some eyeliner. I kiss Boyfriend and head out by 6:45.

7:15 am: Arrive at work. I turn on my computer and while it is warming up (which takes forever), I fill up my water bottle and eat a granola bar for breakfast. Then I chat with my coworker Louie and my boss Daniel.

7:15 am-11:00 am: During this time, I work on whatever is pressing. I do a lot of generic safety information for my company (like the hazards of working near bees/bears/coyotes), as well as professional documents. If something important has happened, I write a press release and spend some time trying to talk to people for quotes. But other than a few things that happen consistently, I don't have a set schedule. I work on whatever peole need me to!

11:00 am: Lunch! I either eat a Lean Cuisine and a Diet Coke or I head to the bowling alley to grab something to eat with my coworkers, where we discuss football/Derek Jeter/soccer.

11:30 am-4:45 pm: Again, work work work, then I start heading home.

5:15 pm: I make it home. At this time, I start making food for Boyfriend (my specialties are lemon pepper salmon, lime tilapia, nachos, eggs in a basket, and salsa chicken with black beans and corn!) and we argue over what to watch on cable. (I usually win with some What Not to Wear or Teen Mom.)

6:15 pm: Boyfriend heads off to work and I settle in with Shadow to watch some TV and unwind.

7:15 pm-8:15 pm: Around this time, I try to clean up the kitchen, the bathroom, or our bedroom (one at a time, not all of them every day! I'm not crazy! Lol). The chores I hate most are vacuuming and cleaning the shower. I actually happen to excel at sweeping (all those years at Texas Roadhouse sweeping up the peanuts) and washing dishes (which I love to do, with lots of hot, soapy water and my rubber gloves).

8:15 pm: At this time, I either read for a while or spend some time playing with the puppies, who have been playing underfoot since Boyfriend went to work. I take them outside to go potty and to play for a while and allow Shadow to be a guard dog and little Remix learn to be a guard dog.

10:00 pm: Boyfriend heads home while I shower and get ready for the next day. I go to sleep after saying good night and he plays video games in his room until roommate Thomas comes home.

And that's a day in the life! Sorry it's so boring and vague... working with the Government has some limitations. Have a great rest of the week!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thanks, Work Bonus!

This weekend, Boyfriend and I (after seeing Lion King in 3D because I love the opening scene so much that I sing it in the shower almost every night), got a little bored, so we went to the bank to cash  my bonus from work.

Then we went SHOPPING.

And this is what I got:
Born shoes! My mom (a principal) SWEARS by these shoes. I have high arches, so my feet really start hurting if I walk around in flats too much, but I don't like wearing heels (especially at work, where I'm constantly walking on gravel or around dangerous equipment). I already love these shoes. I love the arch support, the neutral color (nude with some shine), and I love the flower on the toes!

I also got this beautiful embroidered dress from American Eagle on sale. It's so beautiful! I wear it over leggings and a camisole. It's super cute and still appropriate for work. Plus, who doesn't love a good sale?

Rockport Women's Faye Over Knee Boot
I also got some over the knee boots! I'm really excited about these. I have boots but they got a little droopy after one season. These seem so stable; they stay up on my legs without even touching my skin.

Boyfriend got some Oakleys. Boys, right?

I also got some new sunglasses myself, but those were from Marshalls and came in at a whopping $7.99. I'm too hard on my sunglasses to ever spend too much money on them!

Now I'm watching reruns of the Big Bang Theory! Have a great night!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bachelorette Party!

On Thursday evening, I went out with my friends to celebrate Adriana's last week as a bachelorette before she ties the knot with her love, Chris! And we had a great, great time.

Thursday is kind of a random night for a Bachelorette party, but it worked out perfectly due to my off Friday (I'm on the Government schedule of 9 hour days Monday-Thursday, then 8 hour days on our on Fridays and off every other Friday). We met up at Si Senor and enjoyed margaritas and lots of chips and salsa while playing a dare game bought for Adriana.

And, of course, we had some, ahem, naughty items for Adriana like the inappropriate straws for our beers and margaritas! (Also, this is one of the first times that Kaitlyn and I have had a restaurant drink together! I'm so glad she's 21!)

After dinner, we headed to the bar in the bowling alley for some more fun.

Now, I can't exactly disclose everything that happened because, hello, it's a Bachelorette party! There's a code! But we all had a great time and I can't wait for her wedding.

Today, Boyfriend and I are spending some time with Shadow, who has hurt his paw roughhousing with the new puppy, and watching football. Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Growing Up

Today, after a long day of work, I met up with my friend Kaitlyn to eat dinner at Texas Roadhouse (my old place of employment, where I served steaks and beer for years and years... it was a great college job!) before we headed out to shop for (gulp) a bachelorette party gift and a wedding gift for our friend Adriana, who is getting married October 1st.

Kaitlyn and I kept saying, as we walked through Bed, Bath and Beyond clutching the registry, that it feels so weird to see our friends going through such big moments in their lives. Thursday evening is the Bachelorette party, which we are excited about. Adriana, Kaitlyn and I, along with Val, made a fierce foursome my senior year of high school. We hung out all the time and had some really great memories, calling ourselves the Sisterhood. We drifted apart from Adriana in college for dumb, high school reasons, but I'm so thankful that we've come back together to be friends just in time to see her go through a huge moment in her life. She has two beautiful daughters (seriously, two of the prettiest girls I've ever seen) and a great fiancee and is about to buy a house... she's in such a different place in her life than I am in mine, but she seems happy and her life seems really perfect for her. She's a great mom and still as hilarious as I remember her being in high school.

From Top Left: Kaitlyn, Adriana, Val, and Me.

We went to high school dances and they were there with me when I was named Winter Ball Queen.

We were especially skilled at celebrating birthdays: we'd always plan an elaborate surprise for the birthday girl, like sneaking into her bedroom while she was away and decorating it from top to bottom with balloons, a cake, and streamers, or kidnapping the birthday girl early, early for a birthday breakfast. We'd go out to the desert with our guy friends and build a bonfire at this little desert area called the Pit, and we'd stand around the fire and just talk and laugh and enjoy being in the dark, huddling around the heat of the blazing bonfire, being with each other.

They were there for me throughout my awful years when I was carrying a torch for this guy that definitely didn't deserve me (isn't that always the case?). They were there for me when good things happened and when bad things happened. We cried with each other, laughed with each other, fell asleep huddled togeher in sleeping bags at slumber parties.

We've grown apart, of course, as we grew up. Val has gone into more of a dance/concert scene (with techno music from DJs I've never heard). Kaitlyn, the genius that she is, is getting ready to rock Boston University with biochemical engineering after she graduates this year (seriously, the smartest girl I know... and did all this while being in my sorority!). Adriana, of course, is getting ready to marry the man she loves, has a stable home-life, and two beautiful daughters. And I'm not quite sure where I am. But we're a long way away from all being in marching band (nerdy, I know!), talking about boys and going to dances together, discussing where we would be in ten years. Back then, we were all pretty similar: our interests overlapped, our class schedules overlapped, we saw each other every weekend. A lot has changed since then.

And yet, not a lot has changed. I've seen my close friends grow but, if both parties are interested in growing together, I've found that it has been easy to keep at least these three in my scope. We check in with each other and actually care about what is going on in each other's lives. And while we have all changed as we grew, it's wonderful to have a group of friends that know my entire history (all of my mistakes and my successes, who I was and who I am, my weaknesses and my loyalties).

And come October 1st, I can't wait to be there to witness my friend's step into becoming a wife.

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Favorite Moments

My favorite moments:
  • Waking up on my own, before my alarm, and knowing I still have a few more minutes to be all warm and cozy in my bed.
  • Seeing the one I love for the first time all day.
  • Watching Shadow and Remix play together all day... and then take naps snuggled up together.
  • A really cold glass of milk wtih a chocolate chip cookie.

  • Finishing a difficult editing task... and then looking at the before and after products to see how much I have fixed the document!
  • A surprise bouquet of flowers from Boyfriend. (These aren't them, but they look exactly like them. My cell phone pictures don't do the beautiful flowers justice!)
  • Laughing really hard with my mom.
  • Celebrating big moments with friends. This started early in life, but it became especially important when I was a Dama in three friends' Quinceaneras, and the feeling has only grown with being a bridesmaid or being involved in bachelorette parties or in getting that text that says a friend is going to the hospital to have her baby. The fact that these great friends have chosen me to be involved in their big moments (as a Dama, as a bridesmaid, as a bachelorette party-goer, as one of the first non-family to see a new baby)... it's an amazing feeling.

  • Being around Boyfriend's family. They've always (especially his aunt Brenda and uncle Ric) made me feel so welcomed and always like a part of their family. Last weekend, when we watched the Ortiz-Mayweather fight at his uncle's house, I realized what a great feeling it is to be so happy with someone... and to be happy with my future in-laws. Not everyone is so lucky to be so welcomed.
  • Hearing the song that I've had stuck in my head all day on the radio as soon as I turn on my car.
  • A great movie on TV.
  • A spectacular football play from the Raiders or the Ravens.

  • Awesome naps.
  • A book that is surprisingly addicting.
  • Finally sneezing when you've had that tickle in your nose forever.
  • Having faith... and seeing it work out.
What are your favorite moments?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Nights

Fridays have always been my favorite part of the week, especially Friday nights. It started back when I was a little girl and had piano/voice lessons on Friday evenings, and then went out with my mom and my pseudo-family (her two best friends Leigh and Arlene and their husbands and kids, who are around my age) for Friday Night Dinner, a tradition that I just came home from right now.

Tonight, I celebrated Friday with a glass of St. Claire wine with my family at dinner and then went home and continued the celebration with... cleaning.

As I've mentioned before, I'm a very clean person and I clean often. So tonight, I took an hour to sweep and mop the floors and then cleaned the bathroom. There's still a lot to do left (cleaning the shower and vacuuming), but just getting a little done has relaxed me enough to allow me to head forward and enjoy the weekend.

Tomorrow, we'll be busy with Boyfriend's family (his cousin's high school football game early and then the Tito Ortiz fight that night) and then a full day of football on Sunday. But tonight, I'm going to settle in with a Dos Equis and watch the VH1 movie of the night: You Got Served. I can only watch such awful/awesome movies when movie-snob Boyfriend is at work, so this is the perfect night.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Facebook Phenomenon

I understand that it's easy to judge another person when you're reading their blog and seeing their priorities day after day. It's also easy to get to know who a person really is when you're working right next to them or when you grew up next to them. It isn't, however, as easy to get to know a person on Facebook unless you truly know them already.

You might be thinking, "Hey, it's absolutely easy to get to know someone! They're constantly posting their thoughts and their feelings! How can you say that?"

Recently, I've been thinking about how people actually present themselves on Facebook. You have a couple different classes: people that are constantly sad about their life (always posting how awful their life is), people that are always upbeat ("my life is PERFECT, so lucky to have my amazing boyfriend/kids/job!"), the oversharers, the vague ones ("why do i keep falling for this?" or "really? again?").

I don't think I'm part of this phenomenon to any extreme, but I would say I'm more of a happy, upbeat person. I'm not the type that airs dirty laundry. And I'm a generally happy person anyway, so I tend to look at the cup as half full.

I'll expand on this sometime in one of my upcoming columns, but I wanted to see what you all thought. What type are you?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Football Football Football

Last weekend, as many of you know, was the start of the NFL season and I, for one, couldn't be happier! Football is one of my favorite things. I grew up going with my dad to NMSU football games, where he tirelessly explained the rules to me and held dozens of conversations like these with a tiny, 7 year old Jenna (I'll let you guess who is who in these conversations):

"Why don't they go 2.5 yards each down?"
"They want to get 10 yards as soon as possible."
"But then they don't have to go 10 yards each time. They can just go 2.5."
"They want to get 10 yards as soon as possible."
"Why did they just go one yard?"
"They tried to go more, but they got stopped."
"Maybe they were trying for 2.5."


"Why was there a flag?"
"Pass interference."
"What does that mean?"
"It means that the defender stopped the other guy from catching the ball."
"But... but I thought that was what he was supposed to do."
"Well, he is, but not illegally."
"Then how is he supposed to?"
"He has to block the ball, if he can, and make the catcher nervous."
"So he has to interfere with the pass."
"But not too much, because that's illegal."
"Yes. I guess."

And on and on and on! He was a very patient father. :o)

So this weekend, opening game for the Ravens, I proudly donned my Ray Lewis jersey and let Boyfriend borrow my Ed Reed jersey. Together, we headed out to a local sports bar to watch the Ravens play (gulp) the Pittsburgh Steelers, our rivals and the team that knocked us out of the playoffs last year.

But little did I know that my little Ravens had come to play. With sack after sack, interception after interception, Ray Rice run after run, we came away with a whopping 28 point victory (35-7), ending the Steelers' 8 year opening game winning streak and smashing our habit of playing within 4-7 points of the Steelers every game.

It was unbelieveably sweet.

This was also my first attempt at Fantasy Football (which, really, will be another post in itself!) and I did well. Okay, I did better than well. I DOMINATED!

All hail the Raptors (my fantasy football name)! I got 127 points in my league, more than every other person (all men, and all sports fanatics) by more than 10 points. I had Carolina Steve Smith (who blew up with 28 points!) and the Baltimore Ravens defense (with a whopping 24 points with that sweet, sweet win over Pittsburgh!), which gave me a huge advantage. I also had some other great players like Witten (awesome tight end), Cedric Benson, Andre Johnson... it was a great, great weekend.

I'll update more on my Fantasy team (as well as the men that like to run their mouth and who expected little from my little team) soon but Thomas's labrador puppy, Remix, is looking up at me with big, snuggly eyes and I think it's puppy time.

Have a good night!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Getting Away

Lately, I've been itching for a vacation. I start by feeling sorry for myself about how much I've been working and how good I've been about really staying on top of my job. Then I remember... I went on a lot of vacations very recently. Since April, I've gone to Phoenix three times and Vegas once. Almost every month, I've had a vacation, the most recent at the end of July.

I have no reason to be itchy for a break, but yet, I am.

At first, I tried to talk myself out of it. I'll be fine not taking any vacations! I can save up my vacation days for next year. Plus, where would I go? It's better to save money.

Then I start bargaining with myself. If I can go until November without going out of town, maybe we can plan a weekend there. If I can save $3,000 by December, we can go on a tiny, little trip. Maybe to New York? New York's little! (Right?)

Then I remembered. I'm an adult, darn it. I can do whatever I want. One of the best things about being an adult is that pretty soon, Boyfriend and I will be true DINKs.. Dual Income, No Kids. Right now, we're OINKs... one income, no kids, but that still gives us one pretty good income (and his good part-time one) with which to be reckless and irresponsible.

Since I'm a Type-A, super-planner, super-organizer, even my thoughts about being irresponsible consist of tiny, weekend vacations so I don't use too much vacation time and won't bankrupt us because I'm saving for a house/marriage and also, what would we do with Shadow?

I'm the oldest 23 year old ever.

REGARDLESS! Relative irresponsibleness is, in my case, pretty reckless, so my conscious and my tiny early-adult rebellion will just have to meet in the middle. I guess New York isn't really an option at this moment with us, oh, trying to save money and, oh, New York being SUPER EXPENSIVE (plus, I was just there last year! Chill out, Jenna!), but a little weekend trip to a cabin in Ruidoso or back to Phoenix would be ideal.

Any ideas, loyal readers (mom)? Where should I go that is relatively inexpensive and not too far away, but still fun?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Way to Enjoy Real World 101

So to all of my readers (mom, Boyfriend, love you both), I just wanted to share a new way to follow my posts on Real World 101! Up at the top, right under my header, there's a way to subscribe withot being a blogspot member. If you'd like to receive notifications about my posts, simply enter your email and click SUBMIT. Then you'll get notifications about when I post new entries about Shadow or Boyfriend or other amazingly interesting things! :o)

Thanks, always, for reading. I appreciate it more than you all know.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Tonight, Boyfriend and I (along with Shadow, of course) are house-sitting for Boyfriend's mama (who travels often for her job). Now, because she travels often, we rarely spend the night at her house. But tonight, we have something small, warm, and cuddly to watch over.

The small, warm, cuddly thing is little Madison. She's an Australian Shepherd puppy (just like her big brother Beni, Boyfriend's mom's other dog) and just a few weeks old. She's adorable and both Boyfriend and I love her already.

As soon as we got here, we carefully introduced Shadow to her. Keep in mind Shadow is a 70+ pound dog and is still a puppy, really, just over a year old, so he gets a little... rambunctious. But he did great! He licked her face and sniffed her very carefully. The biggest issue right now is Beni, who is also a puppy but has so much energy that he just barrels around like a bowling ball. He's been a little rough with Madison, playing too hard, so we were a little nervous about combining the three of them.

Our worries were not unjust. Beni came rushing at Madison, who started crying immediately (from previous experiences with him, of course). She's just a few weeks old, of course, and Beni is practically a giant to her... an uncoordinated, energetic giant.

Imagine our surprise when our dog, our wonderful, handsome, sweet dog Shadow, growled the deepest growl I've ever heard, jumped in front of Madison, and squared up with Beni as if to say "Back off, buddy".

Beni didn't hesitate; he rushed again at Madison. This time, Shadow snarled and pinned Beni to the floor, standing over him with a low warning growl rumbling in his chest. Whenever Beni got too rough with Madison, Shadow growled and pinned him. If Beni ran at her, Shadow jumped in the way. Only when Beni was gentle and sweet did Shadow allow him to come close to her. Madison, in return, licked Shadow's snout over and over. I think she was saying thank you for protecting her.

Since we've gone through so much with Shadow when he was sick as a puppy (check it out here), I've always been in total mom mode, protecting him from anything I can, be it cactus needles, slippery floors or the garbage truck (Shadow's mortal enemy). I never thought of him as a vicious, vicious guard dog until tonight when I saw his protective side. I've always felt safe with him (mainly because his bark is so deep that I figured it would scare off any potential muggers/ruffians), but tonight, seeing him protect Madison so fiercely, I knew that Shadow has grown up into a great guard dog and a great companion.

Shadow is not an aggressive dog, he's not a rough dog. He's sweet and gentle and loving, but when he saw something small and vulnerable being bullied by a bigger dog, he sprang into action like a little, furry Superman. I know now that he'll protect Boyfriend and me from anything and when we have kids, I know he'll show them the same protection and love that he's shown us. Dogs are the best.