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December, 2008

Dear Diary 2008


January 1, 2008

It’s 2008 already, holy cow! And I have no resolutions – who’s got time? Besides, why create a reason to disappoint myself? I have enough issues on my plate. Well, I survived another annual New Year’s Day Party. Denis and I have hosted one every year for the past 5 years and every year I say I won’t do it again – it’s too much work. I decorate the house and then I bake all the desserts. But I keep doing it. We had a blackjack tournament and a great psychic. There’s always a line of people to see the psychic, I guess wondering what the new year will bring. The party was a lot of fun, but I’m not sure I want to do it again…

January 6, 2008

How did we live without the internet? I love it. I just heard from an old friend from the 60’s. He was a band-mate I used to play drums with and now he has grown children. He’s in the first photo in my photos galore, bands I’ve been in, the top left guy. I love that you can find people on the internet, educate yourself, play games, shop, but mostly learn. It’s been pouring rain all weekend and now it’s finally stopped. The air smells so good after it rains, I took my camera and went walking in the canyon. Here’s a picture I took.

January 11, 2008

So I woke up last Monday with my cheeks all red, somewhat swollen, neck red and itchy, and puffy circles under my eyes. Not a usual sight for me and my healthy, glowing skin. I was at the dermatologist’s office by 9:30. “I have a photo shoot in five days! What’s going on?” I said. His professional opinion? “This is a reaction to something.” No kidding. I could have paid myself for that diagnosis. The big question was… what? I made a food diary from the day before and there was nothing new. I didn’t use any new skin products. So neither he nor I have any idea what caused it. He gave me some cream and antihistamines and assured me it would be gone by the photo shoot. That was today and it wasn’t exactly gone but it was much better. What the cream and pills didn’t fix, Photoshop will. Now I’m afraid to put anything on my face, even sunblock. So I’m starting with all new stuff for sensitive skin and we’ll see. But I got my new photos taken. I might need them for the big thing that’s coming to this website in about two weeks. I can’t wait.

January 17, 2008

My skin seems back to normal so now I have to test every product individually to see if I get a reaction. I had a group meeting this week with everyone involved with that big thing I’m planning. It’s just a few days away and today was spent with my new (and fantastic) assistant, Damon, setting up a camera and lights to make a video about the big thing. It’s happening this month so we’re all getting excited. I made chicken soup today.

January 18, 2008

With Damon’s skilled camera work, we recorded the videos today. I did my own makeup and hair which will never be as good as the dream team I had at the talk show, but they are in Chicago and I’m here in L.A.. It’s fun to see a daytime show on TV and when the credits roll, I see someone’s name that worked at my show. I miss the staff, especially the crew since they were there for most of my 12 years in Chicago. Sometimes, I tune in Oprah or Jerry Springer just to see my old cameramen in the shot. I made oatmeal-raisin cookies tonight.

January 19, 2008

Ran errands all afternoon. The drug store, beauty supply, health food store, hardware, and Target.

January 24, 2008

I’ve hardly slept the last few days anticipating the launch of Jenny’s Heroes and it’s finally here. It’s been three months of preparation, and starting today I’ll begin fulfilling this dream. I can’t remember being this excited about something in a long time, probably since I got my talk show. I hope it’s well received.

January 25, 2008

Did I say I hope it’s well received? (see yesterday’s entry below) Oh my God! It’s through the roof! I woke up at 6:30 this morning and went right to the emails. I was in my pajamas and ready to work, but my internet was down and I was going crazy. It’s scary how dependent we’ve become on the internet. So I sipped my warm water and lemon juice (my regular morning beverage, followed by green tea) and the internet finally came back up, thank God. We now have over 1300 applications. I’m reviewing them all myself so pretty much every waking minute that I’m not sleeping or eating, I’m reading. And I love it. I already see how much good my money is going to do. It’s been pouring rain for days now so it’s easy to stay home and read the emails. One of the best things is receiving emails from friends saying, “What a great idea.” I know that now.

January 27, 2008

It’s POURING rain and I just found 5 leaks in the house. Three are coming out of a beam in the ceiling and two are coming from under windows. The lawn is so saturated it’s like waking on slush. Denis and I ran into an old friend at El Pollo Loco yesterday. Andre was my travel agent when I had the talk show. We were standing next to each other and neither one of us recognized the other but Denis spotted him. It was great to see him again. With today’s rain, it’s a good day to stay inside so I’m baking bread and going through the Jenny’s Heroes applications. There are so many good people out there wanting to help others. I wish I could find a way to do more.

January 31, 2008

It’s not easy getting up at 5:00 am but that’s what I did today to go on the radio. The interviews were on the east coast starting at 9 am there – that’s 6 am here. Thank God they couldn’t see me. It was pajamas, sippers, and morning hair. I appeared on the KTLA Morning Show yeterday and recorded it but I can’t watch it. Even when my talk show was on, I always avoided watching myself. I’m so critical: “What’s with my hair?” “Why did I say that?” “Is my butt really that big?” It’s too stressful. But it was fun and the hosts were terrific.

February 3, 2008

I took time to bake some bread this morning. It made the house smell great while I went through more applications. But I finally got caught up and have read them all, so I took the afternoon off and Denis and I went to the Grove. It was cold and windy but I needed to get away from the computer. We bought some pillows and ate at the Farmer’s Market. I made soup tonight because I know it’s going to be a busy week.

February 5, 2008

My day started at 5:30 am, trying to wake myself up enough to go on the radio in Miami live at 6 am (9:00 there). I then did an hour of a satellite radio tour, where you call into a main studio and they connect you to various stations around the country. It was all to talk about Jenny’s Heroes. Since I was up so early, I baked fresh cinnamon rolls. They were done by 10. The electrician came to fix some outside lights and I spent the rest of the day, where else, at my computer. We decided to buy a new computer for Damon, my assistant, to facilitate all the work he’s doing with my million dollar giveaway. We got a new imac and all I can say is wow! That’s all, just wow! I still like my older model that swivels, and I’m afraid if I got a new one like that, I’d have to be surgically removed from this chair.

February 6, 2008

The days are getting busier but I always have time to bake muffins. It was oatmeal-banana this morning. I finally got out of the house and went to Bed, Bath & Beyond tonight. I had bought a toaster oven last week and went back with my coupon to get the 20% discount. Saved $30.

Febuary 10, 2008

What a crazy week it was. Announcing the first “Jenny’s Hero” who turned out to be such a nice guy. Travis is prominently featured on the Heroes website. He’s been on his local evening news, in the newspaper, and tomorrow morning he and I will be on the radio together. And the best part is that people from all over are emailing him messages of congratulations. I didn’t expect that that would be my favorite part of this program, or that so many people would respond personally like that. Adding to the anxiety of last week, we switched the Heroes site over to a new design that is more accesible to me and Damon. We’re having awesome weather this weekend and I finally took a little time to enjoy it. In fact, I did a little Christmas shopping yesterday. The fabric store was selling all their holiday ribbon at 90% off. Ninety percent! I’ve never bought anything at 90% off so I got $80 worth of beautiful Christmas ribbons, the kind with the wire, for $8! I fet like that woman in the Ikea commercial…. “Start the car!! Start the caaaar!!!!!

February 12, 2008

I woke up at 2 am and couldn’t feel my left foot. It was a wierd and scary feeling. It was completely numb from the knee down and I had no idea what was going on. I sat up and wanted to walk but still couldn’t feel my foot. So I supported myself and slowly stood up and stood on it for a few minutes. The feeling started coming back but it freaked me out and I couldn’t bet back to sleep for over an hour. I’ve had my arm go to sleep like that but never my leg. Anyway, it’s fine now. I spent the day searching for the next hero and have a great one in mind. Denis’s cousin came to town and we all went out to dinner.

February 16, 2008

Wow, it’s Saturday already. Valentines went by in a flash. But I did get chocolates and now they’re good for me so I had no guilt. And I gave Denis some reading glasses with his new prescription. Why is it that guys won’t go to the doctor and won’t get proper glasses? I had to harrass him mercifully just to get an eye exam. It wasn’t a romantic present but I did bake him some double chocolate chip cookies. There are two left. I ran errands today, the drug store for some bath oil, the light bulb store for a 20 watt T-pin bulb, and Whole Foods for groceries. I’ll spend the rest of the day trying to catch up on my Heroes applications and looking for the right recipient for this coming Friday.

February 18, 2008

I feel a little guilty for living in California when I watch the national weather report. But not so guilty that I won’t share a photo I took this morning of the new apple blossoms on my tree.

February 23, 2008

I expected to be headed for New York this weekend to appear on the CBS Early Show to talk about Jenny’s Heroes but that will be rescheduled. So it looks like I’ll miss those 9 inches of snow they just got back east. But it rained here today, too. I managed to leave my computer to run a couple of errands and when I went to buy a face cream, I got a gift with purchase. Then I went to my tea store and got three free samples! Two freebies in one day. Sweet.

February 24, 2008

I tried to watch most of the Academy Awards but I can’t sit still for that long. Hey, if it’s a long show to watch, imagine having to sit there, in a tux, or in your Spanx, for 4 hours. Jon Stewart was good. He’s always made me laugh and to appear as calm as he did with that audience?…was a feat in itself.

February 26, 2008

We announced our third hero this morning and I was in such good spirits for the rest of the day. Plus the sun was shining. These days, two things that take me away from my computer are cooking something, or taking pictures. Today I took this photo of a purple daisy-like flower in the back yard. click here to see it.

March 1, 2008

Wow, it can’t be March already. I was up early this morning to do a radio interview in Texas but when I called the number there was no answer. I thought I had written it down wrong but it turned out the station was sold yesterday and now they’re playing hispanic music. I guess that’s radio. I remember when one of the L.A. stations that played oldies, just started playing country music one day. No warning, no surveying the listeners to see if they wanted country music… what gives? Luckily, I like some country, along with oldies, rap, pop, as long as there are no long guitar solos. I love Rascal Flatts. And Chris Brown. And the Platters. And Simply Red. I went grocery shopping, which I also love, and made leg of lamb and rice pudding. And salad, always salad.

March 2, 2008

My Sunday routine seems to be wake up, feed the birds, bake some bread, and go outside with my camera. I highly recommend photography as a way to unwind. I took this picture of some peach blossoms. Last year I got 2 peaches but I’m hoping for more this time. Then we spent the afternoon in Hollywood. I never get tired of going to the Grove and it was great to get away for a few hours. And the best thing happened. Denis and I ran into Mike and Kara who had worked at the Jenny Jones Show and we hadn’t seen each other in years. We literally walked into each other in front of Farmer’s Market. Mike and Kara met and fell in love at the show and now they’re getting married. Should I get some credit for that?… 🙂

March 5, 2008

My car was due for an oil change so I had that done today. I always take it to a dealer but this time I went to a different one. The last place kept telling me I needed all this major stuff, big tune ups, etc. I finally called the manager and complained, saying I felt like I was being hustled. And it was expensive. He said, “You don’t have to do what they say, they are just suggestions.” I said, “They never said that. They make it sound like my life is at risk if I don’t do all this service.” And then it donned on me. “Are the service managers on commission?” I asked. Bingo! Of course he didn’t call it commission, he said they are “paid based on what they write.” Am I the only one who didn’t know that? Commission for car service?? What the hell….That’s wrong!

March 10, 2008

So I talked to my sister yesterday, she’s up in Canada, and I heard all about the snow going half way up the front door and I remembered what it was like growing up. I think I liked the show back then, I’m not sure. But I don’t like it now. I just went outside and took this picture. I hope my sister doesn’t see it, but damn it’s good to be in California. But then I also know that my front door could start shaking at any moment. I’ve missed all the really big earthquakes; otherwise, I might be living in Canada again. Damon and I worked all day on the next heroes but it never seems like work to me. I managed to run one errand and ordered two cushions for my kitchen stools. I contemplated making them myself but there is so little time these days. I did make the kitchen curtains and some of my living room pillows, but that was last year.

March 13, 2008

What a crazy morning. I called two of my newest heroes to give them the good news and it was just a comedy of errors. The whole story is in the “Latest Updates” section at www.jennysheroes.com. Our housekeeper forgot to bring her lunch today so Damon and I took her out for lunch. We had Mexican food and sat outside since it was another beautiful spring day in SoCal. Oh, and I found a couple of old videos and added them to the Vintage Videos page.

March 14, 2008

It was a pretty hectic week since we were announcing four heroes so we all celebrated with lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. It was a chance for me to thank my assistant, Damon, and the guys who developed and maintain both my websites for being so good at what they do. Here we are stuffing our faces with cheesecake and dessert. From left to right, it’s Nay, Danny, and Robert, then me and Damon.

March 16, 2008

How do people who work at computers all day do it? My back hurts. So I wore an ice pack today. Standing is okay so I spent most of the day in the kitchen making soup and pot roast for next week. And cookies… I always make cookies. Before I got my talk show, times were tough but I’m so glad I didn’t turn to prostitution. How would you like to be her parents? Or his wife? Or his daughters!? How does anyone recover? And you have to wonder about all the guys that don’t get caught. The world is running out of heroes and role models.

March 19, 2008

I’ve never had a pedicure in my life… until today. It turns out I have sciatica so I can’t do my own pedicure right now. I also can’t sit down, or bend over, or sleep with this much pain emanating from my back. So reluctantly, I drove (that hurts too) to a nail place and said, “My toe nails are ruining the good sheets so can I please get a pedicure?” Sure, no problem, no wait at all. Now I know why. The receptionist motioned vaguely to an area in the back while talking to someone else. I didn’t know what to do. Go to the back? Stay? Wait for the technician to come get me? Maybe she was talking to me. But I don’t speak Vietnamese. And it’s for sure that nobody there spoke English. When she pointed a second time, I headed to the back, still unsure where to go or what to expect.

Then, little Miss Thang pointed to a chair (she never introduced herself or I would have used her name) and I sat down. “I’ve never had a pedicure,” I said, assuming it might actually matter and assuming, of course, that she understood what I said. That’s a negative on both counts. This was not a good experience. She filed my toenails along with the skin underneath them. She faced me and surprisingly, actually spoke so I said, “Are you talking to me?” She stared at me and didn’t answer. Of course not. She didn’t speak English. It turned out she was talking to the woman behind her, the one who was watching a dvd and not responding. Then while she was abusing my tender feet with some sort of liquid sandpaper, she got a phone call. Thank God for bluetooth so the sandblasting could continue as she chatted away. Frustrated and offended, I finally said, “If this is important, you can go and take this call.” Again, no comprende.

It couldn’t be over fast enough for me. Rude. Indifferent. And oh, one more thing. Cash only. Before I left, I asked for the manager and said to her, “Would you like to know how my pedicure was?” I think her exact answer was, “Huh?”

March 25, 2008

I’m taking shorter baths to make my pedicure last longer. I need to be able to reach my toes by the time they need doing. Easter weekend was great – we had record heat and my sister told me it snowed today in Canada. I guess you could hide eggs by burying them in the snow. I wish I knew where the idea for the Easter bunny came from, or the eggs. Shouldn’t it be an Easter chicken? The warm weather always draws me outside with my camera and today I saw this odd looking bee. Take a look.

March 30, 2008

I went to the drug store.

March 31, 2008

I called our 10th hero this morning, a dentist in Bozeman, Montana. I still can’t believe I’m able to do this, give away my money. I feel like that guy on “The Millionaire” tv show from the 50’s, John Beresford Tipton. You never saw him but he would send Michael Anthony to people’s door with a cheque for one million dollars and then we watched how it changed their lives, and not always for the better. In my case, it’s always for the better. I remember watching that show as a child, along with Bonanza, Toast of the Town with Ed Sullivan, Leave it to Beaver, and the Honeymooners. Now I like Boston Legal, Monk, Closer, and Ugly Betty. Oh, and Eli Stone, and Pushing Daisies if it ever comes back.

April 2, 2008

Today was “Damon Appreciation Day” so Denis and I took him out for Thai food lunch. We got really lucky in finding Damon and just wanted to let him know how much he is appreciated. Later, our handyman, Al, came by and did some repairs.

April 6, 2008

It won’t be long before this website’s new design is ready to premiere. Robert, who is my web developer, says it will be easier for me (okay, Damon) to access it so I can add more stuff. I can update text, but Damon has to upload videos and anything fancy. It’s looking good and I hope we can make it live soon. I definitely need to use some newer head shots. That one of me with the wavy-curly very-blond hair is about seven years old but it’s one of my favorites. Anyway, it’s going into the archives shortly.

April 8, 2008

News Flash: Someone (a nice lady named Rhonda) just let me know that American Idol’s David Archuleta, the cute 17-year-old who just might win the competition, appeared on my show back when he was 11 years old. Our talent shows were always my favorites but at that time, I only remember him as “David” on our show about “Future Latino Stars.” I do remember that he got a standing ovation and when you see the video, you’ll know why. His performance was awesome. It’s a grainy video but worth seeing. It’s on my homepage, or you can just click here.

April 10, 2008

There was a dead rat in the pool. Or maybe it was a gopher… I don’t know. But it was all puffy and sad looking. I guess he was sad because he was dead.

April 13, 2008

I created a new recipe for breakfast and liked it so much, I added it to the recipes section on this website. It’s oatmeal pancakes and they turned out great. I was afraid that using whole grain flour would make them heavy but they were light and delicious. My back is almost back to normal. I can tie my shoes and by next week I should be able to do my own pedicure. Yay! It was like summer today so I took my camera and staked out my hummingbird feeder. They didn’t come around so I went inside and found a red shirt and put it on. When I went back out the little birds were practically dive-bombing me. They kept zipping past my head and I even had to duck once. I read somewhere that they are attracted to red, and I guess they are. That’s how I got this picture.

April 16, 2008

I watched the debate tonight. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see a politician just answer the damn questions? Like this: Q: “Do you agree with raising taxes on the middle class to help restore the social security system?” A: “Yes, I do.” Why is that so hard? The truth might hurt but it needs to be told. It’s just like when somebody tells you you’re fat. You don’t like it, but it’s probably true.

April 20, 2008

Every once in a while I treat myself to something special, and this time it’s a luxury I didn’t even know existed until two weeks ago. It’s a zero-gravity chair. Oh my God. It’s like being floated up into a cloud outside the atmosphere where there is no gravity, and no pressure anywhere on the body. I hardly got anything done today because I kept trying it out all day. I did manage to leave my new chair long enough to bake some Kitchen Sink Cookies (see my recipe) and roast a chicken. Well, no more time to write – I’m headed back into the clouds….

April 25, 2008

Ugly Betty is back. I made some popcorn, sat in my new zero- gravity chair, and watched it. I hope Betty winds up with the sandwich guy. There’s too much baggage with Henry. Betty doesn’t need any baby mama drama, unless it’s her own. I got my hair cut and colored yesterday so I’ll have good hair days for at least a week. Sometimes, when my hair turns out especially good, I go out even if I have no place to go. Last night I dreamed I was singing backup for Wayne Newton again. The show was starting but I couldn’t get to the stage. I couldn’t find my way backstage, every door I tried didn’t work, and none of the crew knew me. I wonder what that means…

April 29, 2008

Spring is here! It’s so nice outside, I seem to split my time between this computer working on Jenny’s Heroes and the back yard taking pictures… like this.

May 2, 2008

The dreaded phone call finally got made. I scheduled my mammogram for next week. It should give them enough time to thoroughly refrigerate that machine before it touches my skin.

May 3, 2008

Celebrity Sighting Alert: I saw Shaq today while driving in Beverly Hills. He was in a residential area, standing outside and pretty hard to miss.

May 4, 2008

Today was Denis’s nephew’s 21st birthday so we celebrated at Benihana. The chef made a really cool volcano on the grill out of stacked onions and juggled the salt & pepper shakers. It’s always fun except for the gobs of butter they add to the food. It’s time for them to offer a healthy version of Rocky’s Choice. I’d be there every week.

May 7, 2008

Had a mammogram today
It wasn’t half bad
Compared to the mammo-nazi
At the last one I had.

So every woman should go
There’s nothing to fear
Before you know it
You’re back in your brassiere.

May 8, 2008

I got the A-okay on my mammogram today. They called to say everything looks good. My housekeeper, Antonia, has a truck so she drove me to pick up a piece of furniture. On the way back she spotted an El Salvadoran restaurant so we stopped and picked up some lunch. It was a hole in the wall place but the food was good. We had pupuzas (pork in a pocket-tortilla) and a salada drink made with diced fruit. It was kind of a fruit salad-drink combo. It was all good. She gave it an 8 out of 10. When we got back we went to check on a nest I found in the back yard last week. Yesterday it had 4 eggs in it and today… quadruplets!

May 11, 2008

It’s Mother’s Day and I told Denis that I should have a special day for all the motherly things I do for him, like bake cookies, and tell him when he needs a haircut. So we went to the Americana at Brand in Glendale which just opened. It’s just like the Grove in Hollywood with shops, a trolley, and fountains. We had fun walking around and I bought a couple of summer tops. We also had cream puffs and I make no apology about that. I eat well most of the time and I earned that cream puff. I did not earn the second one I had, but hey, it’s Mother’s Day.

May 14, 2008

I checked on the 4 little birds in the nest and they’re growing fast. Here’s their latest photo. I went to Nieman Marcus in Beverly Hills today to get a gift card and I saw a woman there who looked like she was about one more plastic surgery away from looking like that cat lady (Jocelyn Wildenstein). I think she was about 60 but you couldn’t tell. Maybe she was 80. Or 100!? Yeah, I think she was a hundred – with a face tigher than a birthday balloon, and a fake nose, fake lips, and perky boobs. That’s just wrong.

May 15, 2008

It was a big victory for gay Californians today: legalizing gay marriage. Finally, all the rights of married couples belong to everyone. It’s about time. I wonder if the gay divorce rate will be the same as for straight couples. I suppose this also gives gay people the right to collect alimony or battle for custody of children if they split. Well, no matter what, it’s really great that someone can finally say, “I’m Steve and this is my husband, Bill.” I love it.

May 18, 2008

My four little birds are gone! I went to check on them yesterday and the nest is empty. They weren’t ready to fly, I don’t think. I hope their mom doesn’t blame me. I know she didn’t like me coming around with my camera and she squaked at me a lot. Denis and I went to a birthday party Saturday night. I’m not very comfortable at parties and socializing but I did my best. We ran errands today: beauty supply, an exchange at the mall, kitchen store, lunch at Farmer’s Market, and a housewares store. I’m trying to find one of those ultrasonic pest repellers that you plug in the wall and it makes spiders go away. I’d rather have snakes in the house than spiders. I suppose if there actually were snakes in the house I might not feel that way, but I really don’t like spiders. What if one crawls on my face when I’m sleeping??? What if it already has?

May 21, 2008

Here’s an amazing coincidence: I just announced out newest “Jenny’s Hero” today, a rural mail carrier who works in the small community of Blue Springs, Missouri. Guess where tonight’s American Idol winner, David Cook, is from? Blue Springs, Missouri! Two winners there in one day!

It’s really windy tonight and the house is making scary sounds, popping & banging. It’s scaring me so maybe it’ll scare the spiders away. Exciting News: I did my own pedicure again! I was finally able to reach my toes. I hope I never have to go to that salon for one ever again. If I do, I’ll learn how to speak Vietnamese first so I can tell what they’re saying about me. I was out in the backyard looking for any dead things floating in the pool (hey, it’s a photo op!) and I saw a deer up on the hill. All she did was eat. Oh, and my face got those red spots again. I think I have to stop doing my own facials. Hey, I think that pedicure salon also does facials. Maybe I’ll go in January, because it’ll be a cold day when I go back there again. I made a banana sundae tonight: Low fat Haagen-Dazs vanilla yogurt, banana (potassium & fiber), fudge sauce (chocolate has antioxidants) and chopped walnuts (heart-healthy fat). I ate it. I liked it. No guilt.

May 23, 2008

Last night I dreamed I was the first lady and was flying on Airforce One in a sleeper-seat. Then I was at the White House just standing there, not knowing what I was supposed to do. People were rushing around past me like I wasn’t there and nobody told me what I was supposed to do. It reminded me of the very first day I reported for work at my new talk show. They gave me an office, and the desk had a phone, legal pad and a pen. I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Nobody paid attention to me, they were too busy running around putting the show together without me. I tried to join a staff meeting and was asked to leave so they could work on the show. I thought that was normal. I wonder if that arrogant producer who said I’d never make it knows just how hands-on I became at my own talk show. Who’s the beee-och now? How did I get off on that rant?

May 26, 2008

It’s Memorial Day and I hope people remember that today is not about buying things on sale but about remembering why we are free to go shopping in the first place. My dad was a soldier in the Polish army during World War II and spent time in a prison camp. When I was a kid, I used to roll my eyes when he’d tell stories about the war but now I understand how his sacrifices and those of so many others have given all of us the freedoms that we enjoy today. We should never take that for granted. Thanks, Dad.

May 30, 2008

I’m busier than ever with my Heroes program and don’t get out much during the week. Still too much time at the computer but at least I’m at home so I can take a break and cook something. Today I made cheese blintzes for breakfast and beet salad for dinner. There was another dead thing in the pool – I think it was a gopher. I bought new socks last night. And today we put fresh sugar-water in our hummingbird feeders and I saw an intruder that was clearly too big to rest on the feeder, but she seemed determined to get at that sweet water. Here’s the picture I took of a bird with a mission.

June 3, 2008

The termites are back. Why can’t they build houses out of something besides wood? So the inspector is coming to do a free inspection, to be followed up by a proposal for eradication. Isn’t that a conflict of interest? I wonder how many inspectors just say, “It’s A-Okay – No bugs. I’ll just go make money somewhere else.” He’s coming Thursday so we’ll see. Since I don’t get out as much with the Heroes program taking most of my days, I’ve been shopping online some evenings. Last night I ordered lip pencils, pajamas, and a teapot.

June 4, 2008

I was almost out of gas so I filled up today. I’m supposed to use premium but couldn’t bring myself to pay 4.59 so I used the middle grade. I stopped pumping at $80.

June 7, 2008

It’s my birthday so I got to do anything I wanted. I marked the day by picking and eating the first crisp, sweet apple off the apple tree I planted last year. It has huge clumps of apples. Then Denis took me to my favorite pizza place for a margherita pizza and then on to my favorite frozen custard place where I got a small cone. That was a huge treat since I usually make my own pizza and only occasionally have frozen yogurt or gelato. After that I bought some new walking shoes. Hmmm… what made me think of exercising? Doesn’t it suck that you actually have to eat less and move more to keep your weight in check? Back to that tomorrow.

June 11, 2008

A scary thing happened today. I was on my morning walk and was attacked by a dog – either a pit bull or a boxer, I’m not sure. About a month ago I had seen this dog and when I stopped to say hi, he lunged in my face. That got my attention so I knew not to come close next time. So today I saw him being walked on a leash and I didn’t stop or even look at him, I just kept walking. As soon as I passed, he attacked the back of my legs. His handler pulled back hard on the leash and got him off of me, but I was bruised and sore. It really scared me. On the way home I kept wondering what would have happened if the leash broke, or instead of me, he went after a small child. I was still shaking when I got home and immediately reported the incident to animal control. Until I know he’s off the street, I’ll be walking in a different direction.

June 14, 2008

I still haven’t walked on my regular route. I think I’ll drive around there a few times to make sure that dog isn’t there. I drove to Home Depot this afternoon and there are not a lot of luxury cars in the parking lot. Mostly trucks, and guys who drive trucks. I walked into this stadium-sized warehouse and just stood there, clueless of how you’re supposed to find a picture hanging hook amid towering walls of… I don’t know – stuff. Mostly big stuff. Tools, rolls of things, doors, just big things. The guys I saw seemed to like being there. Not me. I asked and got directed to the picture hanging hook aisle, got my stuff and left. When I got home I saw a baby deer behind my house. After our staring contest, she bounded away.

June 19, 2008

The Lakers couldn’t pull it off. Too bad. How quickly things change in basketball. We’re having a heat wave and it’s 106 degrees outside! My plum tree is going crazy. I’ve given plums to everyone I know, made plum cake, plum tart, plum jam, and next: plum upside down cake.

June 20, 2008

I had my teeth cleaned today. I always ask for a topical pain gel and they always have a TV on to distract me from my anxiety. Apparently, the whole idea is to continue scraping in there until they draw blood. I guess that’s how they know they’re done.

June 25, 2008

Men and women weren’t meant to be together. Is it just me? When a man says, “I’ll get to it right away,” don’t we have the right to expect it within the next calendar year? Denis said he’d clean out the garage two years ago. Then when I do it, it’s like, “That’s my job. I was going to do that.” I heard a fantastic bit of philosophy recently and it’s mine now too. “Pay no attention to what people say, only to what they do.” Live by that and you’ll never be disappointed.

June 29, 2008

It was like something out of a movie. I was looking out the kitchen window and through a tree I saw something moving on the hill behind my back yard. Assuming it was a deer, I grabbed my camera and walked outside. When I looked up I saw between 15 and 20 coyotes on the hillside! There might have even been more behind some of the trees and bushes. They were just walking across the hill like those migrations you see in Africa, with males, females, and 3 or 4 babies. They did see me and I was scared, remembering some signs I had seen recently posted about missing dogs. They eventually moved on and I managed to get 8 in one photo. There are two babies at the bottom right of the photo.

July 5, 2008

I spent the last few days in Chicago expecting an enjoyable time in one of my favorite places. Well I was staying out in the suburbs, which I now call the boonies because there was a huge storm and there was no power, no phone, no internet, no tv, no water, no air conditioning, no nothin’. It sucked. How did people live? I couldn’t even write in this diary to complain about it. I suppose back in the dark, very dark ages, people survived without a phone or a computer, but what kind of life was that? Sittin’ around grooming each other’s backs while the men go out to throw rocks at things?? Okay, I’ve finally calmed down but seriously, these kids today have no idea the hardships we grownups have endured. When I grew up, text was something your read in a book, a playstation had swings and a slide, and a blackberry was something we ate.

July 7, 2008

Life is finally back to normal. I hugged my computer and I now have a new appreciation for the internet. Remember when we actually had to open a big fat yellow pages book to find a number? Or go to the store to shop? Or horrors – go outside and mail letters? I’m eating oatmeal for breakfast every single day as an experiment until I have a blood test next month. I want to see if it lowers my cholesterol which has always been elevated. The mom and baby deer that come by every day were here today and the mom was limping. I hope she’ll be okay.

July 12, 2008

I’ve been so busy getting the new web site ready. It won’t be long before this one is history and there will be a whole new look. I guess you could call it a Jenny Jones makeover. I had a fight with Denis yesterday but as usual, I can’t remember how it started. Even though we’ve made up, I still think men are impossible. Why can’t they be more like women?

July 14, 2008

Denis turned sixty yesterday and we celebrated with a pool party and barbeque. He invited all his guy friends that he grew up with who are also turning 60, or are already there. I decorated with balloons and streamers and baked him a sweet potato chocolate cake (his favorite).

July 17, 2008

It was a beautiful day so I took a break around 1 pm to check on my roses outside. I was standing there for a while and when I looked down there was a snake looking back at me. We stared at each other through the white picket fence for a few seconds and I realized it was not a rattle snake so I went back for my camera. He didn’t mind me taking his picture and when he slithered away I saw all of him and he was about five feet long, maybe six. When the gardener came I warned him to be careful and he said, “Was it a rattlesnake? No? Then no big deal.”

July 19, 2008

I made apple pancakes for breakfast with apples from my tree. They tasted extra apple-y because I picked the apples right before cooking. Then I ran errands all day with Denis (When I mention Denis, he’s my boyfriend of 23 years). In about a week, this web site will be history. My brand new site is coming soon! Tons of pictures!

July 25, 2008

It’s here!!! My new website!!! We’ve been working on it for months and I love it! I have the most awesome team who designed and built it. My thanks to Robert, Danny, and Nay at Avetar Interactive in Tarzana, California. These boys rock!!! I hope everyone enjoys the new site and let me know what you think. I’ll share your comments with Robert and his team. If you are seeing the old website, just refresh the page in your browser. And if you are on a Mac using the Safari browser, you may hit a couple of bumps but we’ll have them fixed in a few days. You may have better luck with Firefox. Well enjoy my new playground!

July 29, 2008

We just had a magnitude 5.8 earthquake and I’m still shaking. It’s noon and I was (where else) sitting at my computer. It came in two waves, a short first one and then a second stronger one. I was so scared. I heard glass breaking upstairs and thought the house was coming apart. I ran to the doorway but should have gotten under my desk. When it stopped I started hyperventilating and my hands are still shaking. I have the TV on it looks like some undergrorund water pipes broke and flooded an intersection. So far there have been 17 aftershocks but I haven’t felt them here. The breaking glass turned out to be a framed picture that was leaning on a shelf. I sure hope it wasn’t a pre-shock with more to come.

July 30, 2008

The earthquake was downgraded to a 5.4 and that was disappointing because a 5.8 would have been even worse, never mind a 7! I was thinking, "Hey, I survived a 5.8 and the house didn’t come down, so maybe the ‘big one’ won’t be so bad." Wrong. I was even nervous today when I drove under a freeway overpass and had to stop there for a light. I was on my way to a hand surgeon to look at an infection in my knuckle. I don’t know how I got it but it’s been red and swollen for over 2 weeks. He said there was something in it and suggested cutting it open, removing it, and putting in one suture. I knew that would involve an injection to numb the finger and I had that once before when I cut myself cooking and needed stitches. That needle hurt worse than slicing my hand with a serrated bread knife! I declined the procedure and opted for antibiotics (which I try to avoid at all costs, except to avoid cutting my knuckle open) and if it doesn’t clear up, I’ll still have to have that other thing done. I can’t even say it again.

July 31, 2008

It was a great reunion today when my old all-girl band, the Cover Girls reunited, three out of four anyway. Stephanie, our guitar player was here from San Francisco, and Terri, who played bass, drove in from Palm Springs. (I was the drummer) We toured together in the 60s and today was a chance to catch up after many years. We went to Universal Citywalk for lunch and sat outside along the citywalk. We laughed a lot and remembered some great old times. It’s really nice to see old friends from way back in the day. I wish I had more.

August 2, 2008

Denis and I went to the zoo.

August 5, 2008

My knuckle was still red and swollen so I went to the hand surgeon who cut it open – YES – CUT IT OPEN – only to tell me, "There’s nothing in here." No splinter and no infection. Isn’t that like having open heart surgery just to hear, "Nope, the heart looks good. No problems here." It wasn’t fun. I went in to get it looked at again and he slapped on a surgical mask, they disinfected my hand, and stuck a needle in my knuckle – YES – IN MY KNUCKLE! I couldn’t look. Once it was numb (about 20 seconds) I strained my neck to look the other way while he cut it open – YES – CUT IT OPEN! So now it’s bandaged up and there’s nothing wrong…. I guess.

August 11, 2008

I’m back in Chicago again and it’s such a great city. I still have a house here and it’s hard to let go of it even though I spend 11 3/4 months in California. Last night there were lightning bugs outside and this morning there were two deer sitting in the back yard. We have deer in L.A. too but no lightning bugs. My knuckle is looking better but just like the deer outside, not out of the woods yet.

August 13, 2008

What a superstar Michael Phelps is! How could he ever feel normal again in his life? I haven’t bought a poster since I was a teen, but I am getting the one of him head-on in the water while he blows everybody else out of the water! It’s just amazing what someone can do with focus and drive and hard work. He will surely inspire generations. And didn’t we just love to see how stunned France was when they lost the relay? A much-deserved loss if you ask me. They talked smack – and it came back! Go, U.S.A!!!

August 15, 2008

I’m finally back in L.A. and boy do I not like to fly. We had some turbulence and I started hyperventilating from anxiety. Then when it smoothed out I forgot all about it and played solitaire. My knuckle is getting better but I cut another finger while I was making a salad. It was a deep cut and bled a lot so we went to the drug store for some butterfly bandages. They held the cut together and the pain subsided but whenever I looked at the cut, it seemed to hurt more. Since I’ve been home I’ve seen two deer, one coyote, and four lizards. I’ll be adding some new pictures to the "My Photography" pages because I’m getting lots of great feedback on my photos, especially the Mystery Photos. Those a really fun. I’ll be posting more of them next week.

August 19, 2008

Denis and I went to the zoo again on Sunday so there are more pictures coming to my photography page. Because he took me there, I suggested we have dinner at HIS favorite restaurant. And we did. El Pollo Loco. We can afford to go to Spago but that didn’t happen. Let’s see… white table cloths, elegant service, gourmet food — or — a plastic tray? The tray won, but they do make good chicken. And they gave us a senior discount. What? You heard me right, and they didn’t card us either. Just a visual.

August 23, 2008

Coyotes have been howling almost every night this week. There was a full moon and that seems to make them more rowdy. I wondered what they were doing but I wasn’t about to go outside to find out. I had the trees trimmed around the house yesterday by a team of 8 guys. It was hard and dangerous work, climbing into sycamore trees that are 75 feet high. They were all hispanic. So is my gardener, pool guy, critter guy, stone guy, painter, and the guy who just fixed my fireplace. I’m just sayin’…

August 26, 2008

I don’t get out much these days, staying so busy with Jenny’s Heroes. But I’m a homebody so that’s okay, and I can whip something up myself when I get hungry. The kitchen is my relief from the computer. Today, I made egg salad on whole grain toast for breakfast, black bean dip with a few reduced fat tortilla chips for lunch, and chicken fried rice for dinner. For dessert I made oatmeal cookies, from scratch of course. I won’t mention how many I had because when they are fresh out of the oven…oh my. But then Denis and I went to the mall so there was some walking involved. I bought a pillow.

August 27, 2008

Concord grapes are here!!! And that can only mean one thing: Pomegranates are next!!!

August 29, 2008

It’s a long weekend! I’ve been super busy with my Heroes so I’m excited about having 3 days just for me. I’m making a list of places to go: Whole Foods, the nursery, Container Store, Target, Linens ‘n Things, the Ghirardelli store in Pasadena, a canyon hike, a bike ride, and maybe the zoo again. I’ll have time to bake bread and cookies, plus I’ll be taking more mystery photos for the photography page. All that as soon as I recover from the news of John McCain running mate. I’ll need a few hours for that.

August 30, 2008

I just saw a rat! It’s 11 o’clock in the morning! This can’t be! This is my house, my yard, my garden, and there are no rats allowed! I just leaned over to turn on the hose and saw this tail going under a step and I thought "this must be an extra large lizard to have a tail that long. Let me lean in to see how big this lizard is." Holy mother of mercy of all that is unholy! I’m never going outside again.

Sept. 3, 2008

Denis and I went to a wedding over the weekend and I put together a nice outfit to wear. I’m not really a dress person but I have dressy silk pants and a nice fancy top which I put together with sparkly crystal-studded shoes. Denis then says, "I think most people wear dresses to weddings." No way. What does he know? But what if he’s right? So I went shopping for a dress and this was four hours before the wedding. Since I wasn’t finding anything, I asked three different salesladies if I could wear pants to a wedding. "Of course," they all said. So I wore my cream colored silk pants. When we got there, I was the ONLY woman wearing pants. I don’t know what’s worse – feeling inappropriately dressed at a garden wedding, or knowing that Denis was right.

Sept. 5, 2008

My knuckle is still red but not sore any more, or swollen. Just red. Hmmm…

Sept. 7, 2008

There just aren’t enough hours in the day. This Heroes project takes a lot of my time since I am, and have always been, a hands-on person. And September is a big month for my grants. I usually stay up to date on my emails but I have 30 waiting for my response. Plus I have advice letters waiting. How can I complain when I love what I do? I’m back in Chicago again trying to figure out what to do with the house that I bought when I taped my show here. Flying still scares me. Sometimes I have to focus on breathing to stay calm. I tried drinking once but then I felt like crap when I landed. If there’s going to be a big earthquake in L.A., I hope it happens while I’m here in Chicago.

Sept. 9, 2008

I ate concord grapes last night until my stomach hurt. Denis and I are still in Chicago and leaves are falling already. I had to turn the heat on this morning and wear a sweater so I miss California. We’ve been cleaning out the house and today we donated a bunch of stuff to Vietnam Vets. We have no TV because a tree grew up and is blocking the signal to the dish and I’m lucky to have internet out here in the woods. Roughing it is not for me. I don’t ever want to go camping.

Sept. 15, 2008

I think I have flown my last flight. Coming back from Chicago to L.A. we hit turbulence like I have never even imagined. I’m a nervous flyer on a good day, but this time the plane was violently shaking and banking to the right, then the left and it seemed to last for five minutes, but I’m told it was less than a minute. It happened quickly and unexpectedly since the weather was good but once we leveled off, I could barely speak and my hands were shaking for about 20 minutes. I later found out that we ran into the jet stream of a 747. I’ve had nightmares about it since it happened (Friday) and still haven’t slept normally. I can’t image any circumstance where I could get on a plane again. Oh, and my sister and her 2 daughters were visiting for the weekend. More on that later.

Sept. 17, 2008

I still keep reliving that horrific flight and it seems surreal, like it was only a movie. Maybe that’s because if it was too real, I wouldn’t be able to deal with it. If I could just block out the memory, I would. Well, enough whining. I survived, and my sister was here for a 3-day weekend with her 2 daughters. I did some early Christmas shopping for them so this way, everything fits. We shopped and shopped and shopped, and when we were done, we shopped some more. We started at Kohl’s, then DSW, Target, Macy’s, K-mart, Mervyn’s, the pharmacy, beauty supply, Sephora, Gap, Gap Body, and that’s about half the stores we hit. I made blueberry pancakes for everyone for breakfast and we also ate at Benihana, the Cheesecake Factory, El Pollo Loco, had Pinkberry yogurt, went to the Grove, and even saw a coyote near Universal Studios. It was so much fun having all of us together but it went by too quickly.

Sept. 20, 2008

When my sister and her daughters were here last week we went to Benihana on Friday night and my niece, Andrea, was thrilled to see a celebrity at the next table. I didn’t know who he was but he had a lot of tattoos. It was Travis Barker, the ex-drummer with Blink-182 who was in that Lear Jet crash today in South Carolina. It affected us all because he was just there, days ago, right next to us, and he seemed very nice as he walked out holding a small child. It’s a terrible tragedy for everyone involved.

Sept. 22, 2008

Heirloom tomatoes were on sale so I used them to make my roasted tomato soup, the recipe that’s in my cookbook. Then I made my own bread sticks and it was a combination from heaven. Besides that, I spent the rest of my day at the computer. This is Teachers’ Month with my Heroes program, averaging almost one grant a day so it’s been busy. I do my nails while I work so this was also manicure day. Hey, isn’t Barack Obama biracial, and not black?

Sept. 25, 2008

Well it took me long enough but I finally added some video clips from my talk show to this website, as well as some photos from way back. I’m looking for more but it’s a good start. Just go to " Bio & Talk Show" & select "Jenny Jones Show." Seeing those clips just reminds me how much fun the show was and how much I miss it.

Sept. 30, 2008

Denis’s friend from way back came to town so we had house guests this past weekend. He and his new bride stayed in the guest room and at 3 a.m. one night, the smoke alarm went off, the one right in front of their room. They didn’t know that it had malfunctioned before so I knew it was okay, but they thought it was a burglar alarm and that someone was in the house. So he started walking through the dark house to see if someone broke in, and I started walking around looking for them just to say it was okay. But I never saw anyone and went back to bed. It was only in the morning that I found out he was walking around when I was walking around, so we must have been walking in the same circle. Probably a good thing we didn’t back into each other like in the movies, and then both scream at the same time into the camera.

Oct. 1, 2008

It’s October already! Then Halowe’en, Thanksgiving, and Christmas! (that’s how we spell Halowe’en in Canada) Didn’t I just put the holiday decorations away? So I got a new computer today. I guess mine was pretty old – it was the swivel model iMac on the ball type base. Well it took most of the day to get everything running, and that was with a great assistant who’s very computer savvy. If it was just me, I wouldn’t be posting this diary tonight. Some programs still aren’t working so we will get into it tomorrow. ("we" = assistant) It’s a giant 24-inch screen and I feel like I’m looking at a huge plasma TV screen. I went to the mall tonight and bought new slippers.

Oct. 4, 2008

I’m still getting used to the new computer but I’m afraid to use the new mouse just yet. It did some weird things when I tried it. Today I made pea soup. It brings back a memory for me because on a fru-fru cruise we took last year, the food was so fancy (caviar, pheasant, almond-crusted whatever…) and I craved normal home cooking, the kind I do. When we landed in Quebec City we went to a tiny local restaurant and their specialty was French Canadian Pea Soup, and they baked their own bread. Well, let me tell you, I ate that soup and bread like it was my last day on death row! So delicious. So normal. They must have thought I hadn’t eaten for days. So as soon as I got home I made my own and it always takes me back to that hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Quebec. Denis and I took a nature walk today since it’s not 100 degrees any more. Stopped at Whole Foods, came home, ate soup.

Oct. 7, 2008

This was an exciting day because USA Today published a special section on philanthropy and Jenny’s Heroes was recognized. Click here to see it.

Oct. 11, 2008

I’ve been avoiding the news because it’s so upsetting what’s happening with our economy. I’m so sad for all the people losing their homes, retirements, and for some… hope. Somehow I feel guilty for having so much even though I am sharing it with others. I do believe things will get better and investments held will come back, I just hope it doesn’t take too long. Okay, no more whining! But it is sad. But complaining about it doesn’t help. So now I will cheer things up with a joke: What do you call a row of rabbits walking backwards?? A receding hare line.

Oct. 13, 2008

Here we go again with the October fires. The smell of smoke woke me up yesterday and I got really scared thinking the fire was close by. But it was around 30 miles away so that should tell you how strong those Santa Anna winds are. It’s the winds that are driving this awful fire right now and it’s not close to where I live but we always know it can happen anywhere in the Los Angeles canyons. I’ve had the TV on all day and I’m sad for all the residents who had to evacuate and could lose all their possessions. On the bright side….I got a notice for jury duty and did not have to go. Actually, I would love to be on a jury, just not this year because it would take me away from my Heroes grants which I have to be here to manage. I keep promising to make a list of what I need to take in case it’s me who has to evacuate on short notice, but I still haven’t done it.

Oct. 16, 2008

The Dodgers are out! Banks are folding! The stock market is down. No, it’s up. Wait, it’s down. Madonna’s divorcing! My whole world is upside down!

Oct. 17, 2008

Am I the only one who didn’t know you’re supposed to check in for jury duty 5 days a week? So I checked in over the weekend and the message was, "You are not required to report for jury duty on Tuesday, October 7th." So I hung up. (Tuesday was the day I was supposed to be available) Then today, somebody said, "You did call again, didn’t you?" No. So I called the number again and the message was, "You were required to report for jury duty on Wednesday, October 8th." Am I going to jail? I didn’t know! I panicked. I don’t look good in handcuffs. Maybe I could just pay the fine. So I called and got a person, apologized profusely hoping to avoid jail time, and she said, "No problem. I’ll put you down for next week. Make sure you call every day." So that’s how it works! Maybe this time I’ll get on a jury. I’d love that. I wish I could sign up for the people who swindle senior citizens out of their life savings. I’d send them up the river. In a leaking boat. No paddles.

Oct. 20, 2008

Jury duty is on for tomorrow. Last time, I didn’t get picked so maybe this time I’ll get to serve. I have to report at 8:30 am in Van Nuys and that’s where the Britney Spears trial is going on right now. I made gnocchi for dinner – lots of work but a real treat.

Oct. 21, 2008

It’s Tuesday morning and I’m sitting in the juror assembly room with about 100 other people waiting to be called, or not. Everything we brought with us was x-rayed and we all went through security just like the airport. We were just told that all of the trials on today’s docket are criminal but the selection process for jurors is random so we all just wait to see who goes to the judge. It’s freezing in the room but I guess it’s helping keep some of us awake. Most people are reading but I brought my laptop, and food. This group of people truly is a cross section of young & old, male & female, professional & blue collar, and all races. We are sitting on long benches, most people not talking, and they have a few round tables with jig saw puzzles as well as a few computers with internet. One nice feature is they provide a fridge and microwave for people who bring food. It looks to be a long day.

Oct. 22, 2008

Bumped again. They called about 2/3 of the jurors in and let the rest of us go. Oh well, maybe next year. When I was leaving the court house there were a bunch of TV crews outside so it must have been because the Britney case was dismissed. Hey, speaking of celebrities, I saw the guy who plays the captain on CSI ( Paul Guilfoyle) at the grocery store the other night. He was in the dairy section.

Oct. 24, 2008

The upcoming election has put my name in the Hollywood Reporter. Titled "Sarah Palin: future media star?" the story claims that Hollywood bigwigs are looking to capitalize on the Governor’s newfound fame with a television show when she exits politics. I think that might be soon.

"Most industry insiders believe a talk show is the probable route for Palin. Although daytime syndication can be tough sledding, it would take a personality of her stature to break through the clutter, and her folksy red-state persona could be just the thing to connect with this female-skewing audience. One producer/packager said he has held internal staff meetings about how to best parlay Palin’s appeal and skills, with a daytime talk show the likely vehicle. "I see her less as a variety-show host like Ellen (DeGeneres) and more of a single-topic host like Tyra (Banks), or maybe what Jenny Jones used to be," said Chris Coelen, CEO of RDF USA."

Oct. 27, 2008

My co-worker, Damon, got married on Saturday and now he’s off on his honeymoon for two weeks. He spends all day working on Jenny’s Heroes with me and now I’m filling in for him until he gets back. The wedding was at noon so I wore a nice pant outfit and thank goodness there were other people wearing pants. Unfortunately, they were men. Who made the rule that you have to wear a dress to a wedding? I thought the bride was the only one who had to be uncomfortable.

Oct. 29, 2008

So I was taking a bath last night with the TV on and saw an interesting documentary called Sex Change Hospital about people having reassignment surgery. It was really interesting although I know some (religious) people would think it’s wrong. So I’m watching and they go to a commercial for guess what? The Mormon church! Uh… yeah! Joseph Smith would roll over in his grave! Somebody at WETV is not paying attention.

Halloween, 2008

Happy Halloween! The first Halloween costume I remember wearing was a ballerina. My mother, who was a seamstress, made it and it had a lot of tulle ruffles and I felt like an angel. But on a more recent Halloween… not so much.

Nov. 3, 2008

Well I already voted by mail and will be watching intently for the election results. I love to be in the kitchen with the TV on – more listening than watching – so I’ll probably bake cookies. In fact I was cooking dinner and had Family Feud on the other day, and heard my name as one of the answers. I think the question was "Which Jennifer would you like to trade placed with?" The answers included Aniston, Lopez, Hudson, and I can’t remember the rest. I guess no one knows my name’s not Jennifer, it’s Janina. But that was fun.

Nov. 4, 2008 Election Day

Wow! What an exciting and historic election! And what an example our young black men now have. "You can do whatever you set your mind to" is finally true. President Obama! I can hardly believe it. Any my vote became part of history.

Nov. 9, 2008

On Friday, I got to see one of my "Heroes," who is a music teacher, receive $20,000 worth of new musical instruments for his students. Luckily, he is in Van Nuys so I could be there in person at the school. Denis took pictures and his nephew, Ryan, shot some video. After that I cooked dinner and Ryan and I had our usual Sorry championship. I lost… but it was close. Earlier this week, when I was coming home around 9 pm, I almost hit a coyote. I was just about to turn into the driveway when he ran in front of my car and I just missed him. And yesterday, I made barbeque ribs and finally mastered them. They were great. It took 3 hours but so worth it. Today: leftovers!

Nov. 11, 2008

Thank God for ipods. I took my morning walk this morning and my ipod battery was dead and I had to walk without it. It seemed like an hour when it’s actually only 25 minutes. If they serve no other purpose but motivate us to exercise, they are so worth it. Whenever I feel too lazy to get my walking shoes on, I buy a new song and that gets me out the door. I finally mastered a new bread recipe. It takes 16 hours to make but I’ve never had bread this good. Here’s a picture of my masterpiece.

Nov. 14, 2008

There’s an ominous and familiar sight out my upstairs window. Another fire. First the Montecito fire and while it’s still burning, a new one in Sylmar. It’s about 20 miles away but it’s very windy (70 mph gusts) and I watch and wonder how far an ember can travel in these dry and windy conditions. I don’t think anyone in L.A. sleeps well on nights like this. I know I won’t.

Nov. 19, 2008

The fires are gone and the air is clear. Now I can go walking without a mask on. During the fires, everyone was advised to stay indoors but I needed my exercise. Next will come our rainy season and mudslides where there’s no more vegetation. So this is the price we pay to live in this little part of paradise: earthquakes, fires, and mudslides. It still beats the Canadian blizzards I grew up with. I think my new favorite TV show is Chocolate News. I’m kind of over Boston Legal but I still like Dirty Sexy Money and Ugly Betty. Over the weekend I did some sewing and made two pillows for the guest room. If I can’t find what I’m looking for, I usually make it. I also made my own kitchen curtains.

Nov. 23, 2008

I’m in computer hell! I haven’t been able to access my website for days and didn’t realize I’d miss it so much. I had nightmares on Friday night and needed to write about it, so whoever is reading this, thanks for being my e-therapist. I’m terrified of flying but I still needed to go places so I’ve been flying, but after a recent horrific near-death flight, I have not been able to get on a plane. But I dreamed that I was on a big 747 and it was flying along and then just suddenly dropped like it was falling from the sky, but it quickly recovered and kept on flying. Then about 10 minutes later it dropped again and this time it started falling, nose first towards the ground. I could see the ground getting closer as the plane was gaining speed. Just as it was about to crash, I woke up, soaking wet and shaking. It took a long time to get back to sleep and I hoped that dream wouldn’t come back. I’m going to spend Thanksgiving in Las Vegas with my stepmother. I used to fly but this time, I’ll be driving. On the bright side, I’m a good blackjack player and even won a tournament once. So I’m taking $100. to gamble with. A few double downs and I’ll soon be bragging about my big win.

Nov. 24, 2008

Things are better, thanks to an amazing assistant who basically reinstalled my entire operating system. Denis and I went to the Grove yesterday and it was unusually crowded. We also noticed about thirty security people, some with earpieces. I wondered if some politician was doing a book signing at the Barnes & Noble there. I also noticed that their Christmas tree was up – it’s over 100 feet tall and very striking (maybe I should take a picture next time we go). Anyway, it turned out that they were having the tree lighting ceremony and Natalie Cole was about to perform. It reminded me how much of a celebrity I’m not. Even when my show was on the air, I used to bike to work all by myself. I remember once when I was biking home and had all my makeup on, someone asked me for directions at a red light. I took off my sunglasses and she almost fell over. It turned out she was a big fan of the show. That was fun

Thanksgiving Day, 2008

Today is not all that different from other days for me because I have much to be thankful for. I think about it every day, not just on this holiday, realizing how fortunate I am. The only difference on Thanksgiving is… I just eat more. I’m in Las Vegas to spend the holiday with my stepmom. We went to see Jersey Boys last night at the Palazzo (awesome show, the best I’ve ever seen!), I lost 30 dollars at the blackjack table, and then tonight we are seeing "Love," the Beatles/Cirque du Soleil Show at the Mirage. It’s rained for the past two days, a bit unusual for the desert. Vegas is crazy with growth since I lived here in the 60s and there is more construction everywhere. I’m not gambling any more this trip because it hurts enough to lose thirty bucks. Driving home tomorrow.

November 30, 2008

We heard the shuttle come in! We were sitting outside on the patio this afternoon (Denis & his nephew Ryan) and we heard a really loud boom. Of course we all thought it was an earthquake starting but when nothing moved, we realized it was the Endeavor landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. We jumped up to see if it was visible but it wasn’t. But still, it was pretty exciting.

December 4, 2008

I finally upgraded my old Blackberry and it was like going from 8-track to an iPod. My old Blackberry was only three years old but the new one – wow! I got the Curve and it truly amazed me how far advanced it is. It seems like in one year, there is ten year’s worth of advancement. The new one has a camera & video, phone, internet, traffic, weather, GPS Navigation,…in my hand! A voice tells me how to get to Target! God! Do you people know how amazing that it? In your hand??

December 7, 2008

O.J., O.J., what have you done? How sad was it to see O.J.’s face during his sentencing? To know what he used to be, and what a role model he was to young black men, and now every life he has touched is ruined. Well at least he’s in the right place – finally. I decorated my Christmas tree today. It took all afternoon and it looks like the fancy ones I see in the stores. I’ll try get a good photo of it.

December 8, 2008

I have decided to commit another million dollars to Jenny’s Heroes and continue the grant program beyond 2008. Seeing what’s happening to our economy and how many people are struggling, I just can’t quit now.

December 11, 2008

Some guy tried to hit on me at Whole Foods last night! He was kind of weird looking. I was in the produce department and he kept staring at me, so I thought he was thinking, "That sure looks like that talk show host but it can’t be her. This woman looks more like she could work FOR a talk show host." So he finally approached me and I was prepared to explain that I don’t dress up to grocery shop. "I noticed that your scrunchie matches your sweater," he said. "That’s amazing that they’re the same color." I headed straight to the checkout without my lettuce.

December 15, 2008

I like my new Blackberry but I somehow accidentally asked it for directions without knowing, and then it started talking and scared me. I didn’t know how to exit that so I just turned it all off. I need time to view the tutorial… maybe soon. I went to the mall for about an hour tonight and something bothered me. I passed by Lane Bryant and noticed all the mannequins in the window had all the clothes pinned at the back to pull them in to look slimmer. If the mannequins aren’t acceptable being big, how are the customers supposed to feel? I have a tree full of Meyer lemons so I made a lemon coconut cake last night. It’s been raining all day and there are two leaks in the house so I have buckets on the floor. Trying to find the source of the leaks won’t be easy. The roofers were just here last week and thought they repaired the source. I’m dying to do my Christmas baking but there’s no time!

December 18, 2008

It’s only a week until Christmas and I’m simply in denial. Just like if I feel a cold coming on and I just say, "I don’t have time for this," and it goes away. Actually, I haven’t felt a cold coming on for 20 or 30 years. Maybe colds just know they’re not welcome in this body – it must be all that green tea. I got my hair cut and highlighted today – at home. It’s a luxury I afford myself for two reason, well actually three. One: No time to drive somewhere, park, wait, and think of all the meaningful things I could have done with the time. Two: I will never be featured in one of those "Celebs Without Makeup" things. Three: Com’on… I’m home in sweatpants and slippers, sipping my good green tea, and while the color sets, I can write in my diary.

December 22, 2008

If you ever want to people watch and find yourself in the Los Angeles area, go to Beverly Hills. Watch customers valet park at Neiman Marcus. I drove there, parked myself, went in, got what I needed and left, passing the same people still waiting for their cars! Then I pulled up next to someone who appeared to be driving herself home from a morning face lift. All I could see was her eyes, everything else was bandaged up. My guess is she should not have been behind the wheel. Then I saw a woman parading along Rodeo Drive in 5-inch heels – but I have to admit she looked good. But she’ll pay for that later in life. I finally did some Christmas baking! I made sugar cookies (my healthier version) and pfefferneuse (no healthy version possible). Tomorrow I plan to make Chrustki, which are Polish fried puffy light-as-air powdery sugared treats. It’s raining again.

Christmas Day, 2008

Merry Christmas! It never seems quite like Christmas in California but it did rain most of the day. My day started with baking a pecan pie ( I made my pumpkin pie last night) and setting the table for Denis’s sister & her husband and their two children. I used some beautiful dishes I found at Target last year. Then I made fresh cranberries, turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, and gravy. All from scratch. Everyone says it’s too much work but I really enjoyed it. And I especially enjoyed eating it! We made real whipped cream (who knows what’s in the spray-can stuff?) for the pies, had tea, and exchanged gifts. As soon as I find time, I’ll put some more recipes on this website.

December 26, 2008

Turkey leftovers! Now that Christmas is done, I’m working on our annual New Years Day Open House. So the caterer came by today and guess what? He did not know who I was until he got here but once we met face-to-face, he told me he visited my website last night. A complete coincidence. He’s a chef/caterer/standup/comic/actor/etc., and was just checking out some former comedians and looked me up. What are the odds? And when we talked about doing standup on the road, we knew all the same people! It’s a relationship that was meant to be. And I know the food’s going to be good because he does stand up, which is the hardest thing there is. If you can do stand up comedy, you can do anything.

New Year’s Eve, 2008

Are you as excited as I am that in less than 3 weeks, we’ll have our new President? Wow! President Obama. That’s a reason to celebrate the new year. I’m celebrating with an open house tomorrow and whose idea was it for me to bake all the desserts? Oh yeah, it was mine. I made sugar cookies, fudgey brownies, macaroons, meringues, and Meyer lemon bars with lemons off my tree. I bought a new top for the party at Macy’s. At first I put it on hold while I went to Bloomingdale’s to see if I liked anything better, and I saw the same top for 40% off. But they didn’t have my size. So I went back to Macy’s and told the sales woman about the discount. I think she thought I was bluffing because she said, "If I can verify the price, I can give you the discount." Then she picked up the phone saying she would call Bloomingdale’s, probably expecting me to hang up her phone and say I might have made a mistake. But I didn’t stop her, she called Bloomingdale’s, confirmed the discount, and I got the top at 40% off! Happy New Year!

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