Mar
09

VERY cool new desktop PC – Asus Eee Top

Posted under Cool Stuff, Tech, Video

Asus has posted a video showcasing the features of their Eee Top desktop PC over at YouTube.  This thing is amazing – VERY portable for a desktop PC, it has a touchscreen monitor, surround sound audio out, a chicklit keyboard and more!

Check it out for yourself:

Feb
21

What every man needs…

Posted under Ramblings

Looking for a gift for that special man in your life?  Need something personal, something he doesn’t already have, something useful?

Your search is over.  Enter the Weener Kleener!  Sized to fit most men, this handy little gadget will get up close and personal to clean your guy’s most important appendage…

I bet he doesn’t already have one.  :-)

Weener Kleener

Weener Kleener

Feb
18

If I had a horse…

Posted under Ramblings

If I ever have my own horse, I will name it ‘Calgon’.

Then I can yell “Calgon, take me awaaaaayyyy” and it will know to break into a gallop when it hears that command.

And I would giggle every time…

Jennifer <– knows a lot of 1970′s commercials…

Feb
13

Songs for everyone for Valentine’s Day (free MP3 from Amazon!)

Posted under Music, Ramblings, Video

Amazon.com is giving a free download of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ only on Friday (2/13/09) and Saturday (2/14/09) in honor of Valentine’s Day!  Click the link to access the free download:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001NTNJD2?tag=jenaraysweb-20

And for those of us less lucky in love this Valentine’s Day, enjoy the ultimate break-up song of all time, by Weird Al Yankovic.  It’s twisted and wrong, but it never fails to make me laugh, even on the heels of a fresh break-up.  You have to love the sappy way Weird Al sings all these vile things…  LOL

Sorry, no free download on this one, but you can watch the video at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAXutCG2h9E

It’s a lot better if you know the lyrics:

One More Minute
Weird Al Yankovic

Aahh….

Well I heard that you’re leavin’ (leavin’)
Gonna leave me far behind (so far behind)
‘Cause you found a brand new lover
You decided that I’m not your kind (aahh..)

So I pulled (I pulled) your name out (name out) of my Rolodex (oohh..)
And I tore all your pictures in two
And I burned down the malt shop where we used to go
Just because it reminds me of you (dippity dippity doo)

That’s right (that’s right) you ain’t gonna see me cryin’
I’m glad (I’m glad) that you found somebody new
‘Cause I’d rather spend eternity eating shards of broken glass
Than spend one more minute with you

I guess I might seem kinda bitter
You got me feeling down in the dumps
‘Cause I’m stranded all alone in the gas station of love
And I have to use the self-service pumps

Oh, so honey, let me help you with that suitcase
You ain’t (you ain’t) gonna break my heart in two
‘Cause I’d rather get a hundred thousand paper cuts on my face
Than spend one more minute with you

I’d rather rip out my intestines with a fork
Than watch you going out with other men
I’d rather slam my fingers in a door (yah)
Again and again and again and again and again

Oh, can’t you see what I’m tryin’ to say, Darlin…

I’d rather have my blood sucked out by leeches (leeches)
Shove an icepick under a toenail or two
I’d rather clean all the bathrooms in Grand Central Station with my tongue
Than spend one more minute with you

Yes, I’d rather jump naked on a huge pile of thumbtacks
Or stick my nostrils together with crazy glue
I’d rather dive into a swimming pool filled with double-edged razor blades
Than spend one more minute with you

I’d rather rip my heart right out of my ribcage with my bare hands
and then throw it on the floor and stomp on it ’till I die…
*Squeak!*
Than spend one more minute with you

Feb
12

I have lost my ever-lovin’ mind…

Posted under Ramblings

I’m gonna get hurt.  I KNOW I am gonna get hurt.  OK, maybe I’ll get hurt.  We’ll see. 

I’ll back up – I just ordered one of these doohickies from Amazon.com:  Empower em40 Bench Package.  What’s the problem, you wonder?

Empower em40 Bench Package

I have NO clue how to use this thing.  Never in my life have I used this kind of equipment.  I’m not athletic, in fact I’m kind of clumsy.

But Amazon.com just had this thing on a Lightning Deal for 64% off, which was a very affordable price, and it seemed the thing to do.  I’ve wanted to learn how to exercise for a while, but to be perfectly honest, the idea of walking into a gym or the YMCA totally clueless as to how to use their equipment amidst a sea of people who know what they are doing is very intimidating.  I’m not so much worried about being laughed at – I am the first to laugh at myself.  Nope, I’m worried about pissing people off because my fitness-inept self is in the way of their regimen, slowing them down, etc.

So I’m thinking that maybe if I can do this at home, learning from the little booklet and training DVD, that maybe I can figure this thing out.

If you don’t hear from me after it arrives, you’ll know the worst has happened…  Send flowers, will you?  LOL

Feb
05

When a man calls himself an idiot…

Posted under Ramblings

When a man calls himself an idiot, you should listen to him.  He’s probably not kidding.

Not long ago, a man told me he was an idiot.  Naively, I assumed he was apologizing for past mistakes.  Looking back now, it seems he was warning me about the way he would treat me in the future. 

Another lesson learned the hard way…  As Richard Marx sang in the eighties, I shoulda known better…

Feb
04

Wine & Rumours

Posted under Ramblings, Reviews, Stores/Businesses, Wine

For years I’ve meant to stop in this little wine and art bar not far from my office.  Today I visited the website for Rumours Wine & Art Bar and found that they happen to have a wine tasting every other Wednesday night.  Now wouldn’t you just know that tonight happened to be one of those tastings!  J  So of course I took that as a sign that I had to go…

The wine tasting was from 5-8 and I arrived about 5:30pm.  Tonight they had a selection of four of their favorite winter red wines.  Red just happens to be my favorite for wine. 

I was greeted by no less than three of their employees almost immediately upon entering the building.  I was also welcomed by the wine distributor who was there to serve the wine and talk about the different vintages in detail.

I have to say, I loved the atmosphere and the welcome.  Everyone was so friendly and warm, both employees and customers.  It’s the kind of place where no one really feels like a complete stranger.  The building is tiny from the outside, but inside it simply feels intimate.  Very nice.

For such a small place, they boast a very nice, extensive wine selection.  I’m definitely going to have to go back with a friend soon so I can try some of the interesting selections that are only offered by the bottle.  I love wine, but drinking a whole bottle by myself isn’t really an option…  They have a lot of wines by the glass, though, so a customer like me isn’t out of luck.  And of course if you go on the evening of a wine tasting, even better.  The tastings run approximately $20 and you get about a third of a glass of four different wines to taste.  Once you’ve completed the fleet of wines offered in the tasting, you get a full glass of your favorite from the offerings.

I met some really nice people there, both customer and employees and can’t wait to go back soon!  Even if it weren’t for the company, I would go back just for the food and the wine.  They have a small but interesting menu, and have daily specials.  Although the regular menu had several intriguing items, I opted for the pork dish on the specials menu today.  It was tender, with just the right hint of spice, and was served atop a square of potato gratin (thinly sliced potatoes baked with parmesan cheese, I think), asparagus, and a green salad made with mesclun mix – my favorite salad green.  The food tasted amazing.

The service was fabulous and attentive long after the warm welcome and I could have stayed all night, except I had to drive home and I have an early morning staff meeting at work tomorrow.  Dangit.  I will definitely be back for another wine tasting at Rumours Wine & Art Bar soon, though!

Rumours Wine & Art Bar has two locations in the Nashville area – the one I visited on 12th Avenue this evening and another in East Nashville on Woodland Street.  Check their website for hours of operation and complete addresses. Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for their newsletter!  Website:  http://www.rumourswinebar.com/

Jan
30

An Open Letter from a Biological Mother to Her Daughter

Posted under Open Letter, Ramblings

My Dearest Daughter,

Today is your eighteenth birthday and I have to say my emotions are even more tumultuous than they normally are this day every year.  I think about you every day, but your birthday always makes me think more about the things you have probably experienced throughout the last year.

Your childhood is over and you have become an adult.  I imagine you either graduated high school last year or will this year and are ready to start college.  The world is opening up for you and I trust your parents have prepared you to make your own way in this world.

I wonder what your plans for the future are.  Do your career interests lie in the artistic or academic worlds?  Do you have a definite plan for your next steps or are you trying to figure them out as you go along?  Are you going away for college or staying at home with your parents and attending a local university?

My sister gave birth to your first cousin on my side of the family last year.  She had a little girl.  Every time I look at her, I think of you even more.  I wonder if you looked like your cousin when you were a baby, if you had similar expressions, if you were as happy as she is.  More than anything I hope you were happy.

One day, I hope you and your cousin have the chance to meet.  I hope I get the chance to meet you and your parents.  I owe them so much for the life and the love they have given you and will provide in your future.  But whether or not those things every happen, I wish you and your parents joy and success.  Be well.

Happy Birthday.  I love you.

(Letters from previous years can be found here:  http://blog.jenaray.com/?cat=24)

Jan
27

Choose To Be Happy

Posted under Ramblings

You may think that your own happiness is out of your control.  You might feel lost, your emotional state subject to the various events in your life and maybe even the whims of those people around you.

But for the most part, you can choose to be happy.  Sounds easy for me to say, doesn’t it?  But it is true – I’m living proof.

If you wrote my life story, it would read like one of the most depressing Lifetime movies.  I was switched at birth, run over by a car when I was a child, abandoned by both my biological father and later the father who adopted me, gave my only child up for adoption when she was born, lost my home and everything in it during Hurricane Opal, etc., etc.

That’s some sob story, huh?  But I don’t remember every feeling like I had a bad life, even during the worst of times.  While certain events may have made me sad at the time or even perhaps depressed, those emotions were fleeting, never consuming my life.

I come from a family of people who laugh in the face of adversity.  Truly.  We probably aren’t the most politically correct family, but we find it cathartic to laugh together through the worst of times – especially when the only other option seems to be crying.

I’ve learned to look for the good things in my life, count the blessings – especially when the bad stuff threatens to overload me.  You know what?  I’ve never had trouble finding something positive in my life.  It may be something small, but that one thing may be the touchstone I need in that moment to keep me from immersing into the sadness and reaffirm that God loves me.

Some people think that I am always happy, and while that is true a lot of the time, I do have my moments. 

This week, for instance, is my daughter’s birthday.  I knew before she was born that God intended her for another family who couldn’t have a baby themselves, and I have never doubted that decision.  That doesn’t mean I don’t wish that circumstances hadn’t been considerably different at the time.  I miss my daughter terribly, even if I never saw her.  I have always loved her.

So the week of her birthday is an emotional one for me, although I think of her every day.  The day of her birth reminds me of everything in her life that I have missed, makes me wonder what her life is like now, hoping that she had every advantage I couldn’t have given her.

And if something happens to make me upset right now, it is harder than normal for me to pull out of that funk.  It’s easy for me to spiral into a depression during this time.

How do I deal with that?  I plan things during this time that keep me occupied.  I surround myself with people I love and trust to deliver positivity and cheer.  That positive energy does wonders to counter any bad feelings that I may have and helps me through what is the toughest week of the year for me.

It makes me absolutely heartbroken when I see people who don’t know how to grab happiness for themselves.  I want everyone to understand how easy it is to find it – they just have to look for it and choose it.  Count the small blessings – you would be surprised how many of them you have in your life.  Don’t depend on big events to make you happy – those can be few and far between.  It’s those small daily miracles that are really the fabric of life.

Another thing that helps is to do things for others.  It always makes me feel good to do something for someone else with no expectations of reciprocation. 

Smile at a stranger – you never know when a simple smile will change that person’s day.  Compliment someone on something – earrings, hair style, the color they are wearing, whatever.  Perform a random act of kindness somehow, no matter how small.  The good energy you send out will come back to you.  Maybe not in that exact moment, but it will be returned. 

And if you know that you are acting from a place of goodness and love, then how can you regret any kindness?

I wish all of you the best.  I hope you find joy and peace in your life – enough at least that it helps balance those hard times when they roll around, because they are bound to.

Remember that the trials in our lives are for a reason.  They make us stronger, they set us on a path, whatever.  If you have faith, then you know there is a plan and we don’t always know what that plan is.  We just have to trust God and make the most of the blessings in our lives.

Jan
12

Intuition vs. Fear

Posted under Ramblings

Listen to your intuition.  Face your fear. Both are great advice.  But what do you do when the two are in conflict with each other?

You know those moments – you can’t quite tell if your intuition is really ringing alarms or not?  Especially when it is concerning a situation you know causes you some amount of trepidation already.

It can be a tricky thing to weed through the available signs to discern whether your fear is a warranted concern or whether it is the product of worried overreaction. 

Ignoring that niggling feeling that something is off, however, can lead to considerable distress if the truth finally reveals your intuition to be on target.

Complicate that with those times when you want your intuition to be wrong, and it can be even more difficult to wade through the facts and fears to find the truth.

Giving it patience and time are often the best course of action but this is often the most difficult solution to abide.  Knowing a truth doesn’t always make it easier.  I’m still learning.