Aug 28, 2013 by Jenna Zine
classy white wine.JPGWriting is a lonely business. There's no one to share your joy with when you come up with an award-winning sentence such as, "Seriously, I have leather up to my taint." Instead you just have to hug yourself in front of your laptop, confident in the knowledge that you've had a stellar day at work. And, as always with the flip side, there's nothing much to comfort you when a paragraph (or entire chapter) goes awry. So that's why it's extra-special to receive some praise along the way. It's those nuggets that can keep you going as you make the journey from "endless slog" to "self-publishing success!" Here are a few of the treasured bon mots I've been gifted with recently:

"This ain't 'yo mama's Fifty Shades!" - Me (I should really actually read that book before comparing it to my own. Or perhaps it should remain unread and I can continue to say whatever I want about it.) 

"That sounds hot! Oh, wait - I'm responding to a text you sent about your air-conditioning not working. Sorry." - One of my besties, Tracy

"Please stop telling me about your smutty novel." - My brother

"Are you sure you want to do this?" - My writing teacher

"I don't want to make you cry or break your spirit, but I really don't see a story here." - A noted romance author

"Do I actually have to buy it to read it?" - My dad

As you can see, I'm on a roll. Now I just have to finish writing the damn thing. Clearly my demanding fans are counting the minutes!

[Photo Credit: Yes, I had a glass of wine served to me in a McDonalds' Cafe cup while at the beach. I live my life with class and style.]
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Aug 6, 2013 by Jenna Zine
5847904635_spilled_drink_xlarge.jpegYou know that moment when you're on the spot and you can't think of a goddamn thing to say - and then the moment passes and you have a million brilliant comebacks? Such was the scenario when 32 ounces of lemonade landed in my lap at the Helium Comedy Club in Portland recently. If that's not a compelling lead-in to a story, I don't what is. Lemonade landing in someone's lap? Stop the presses! It's what I imagine it would be like living at Britney Spears' house, except with less Cheetos. 

Anyway, on with this (literally) show-stopping event. My husband and I were in the second row, all set to see Kevin Nealon. The brilliant Dax Jordan was warming up the crowd. Our sweet waitress was slipping silently through the audience, filling drink orders. Suddenly her wrist gave out and, you guessed it - the slow motion tumble of syrupy sweet beverage to black pants began. I saw it happening and didn't even move out of the way; I just let it cascade onto me. (I've mentioned this before, but I'd like to reiterate that I'm not someone you want around in an emergency.) The show was packed, we were in front of a sold-out crowd, and Dax was killing it. Therefore I attempted to pretend like nothing was wrong. This is where my severe codependency kicks in: I didn't want to ruin the show for everyone else, so I tried to act like it didn't happen. The show must go on, regardless of the fact that a swimming pools' worth of liquid now resided in my panties! I attempted to staunch the flow with a paltry cocktail napkin, while surrounding tables handed me whatever paper they had available. 

Well, Dax, being the consummate professional, couldn't help but notice the kerfuffle and deftly wrapped it into his act. He tried to engage us, asking how long we'd been together and questioning why we weren't freaking out more over the incident. I was tongue-tied. (Later I came up with the "it's the wettest I've been since I got married" comeback. I also later devised an inspired analogy involving lemons and puckered lips that's too dirty to go into here. I'm sure you can use your imagination. But alas, another missed opportunity. This also illustrates why I'm not a standup comic; on-the-fly is not my gift.) My husband lobbed a few banters; meanwhile I was praying that everyone would forget that I actually really should be leaving but was instead choosing to stay out in public with soaked underwear. All I can say is Kevin and Dax should feel flattered - and perhaps send a thank-you note to my mom for making me the unrelenting people-pleaser I am today. 

I made it through the show. My pants slowly dried, the club cleared our tab and sent over comp tickets for a future show, my husband praised my stubbornness and I got what I came for: quality comedy and free edible panties. 

[Photo Credit: This closely mirrors my situation, although I was wetter and have bigger boobs. Geez, why do I suddenly feel like I'm reading Fifty Shades of Grey? I do still feel a little heartbreak over the evening. While I was perfectly willing to keep my wet ass in that seat, I was too embarrassed to approach the comedians after the show. And it's a shame because there really can't be a better conversation starter than, "I'm the girl from the second row with the soaked underwear" to get the ball rolling. ]
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Jul 30, 2013 by Jenna Zine
SombreroTime_r1.jpgSo I used to work at this rock club and, as rock clubs are wont to do, there was wild show one Saturday night. The evidence was everywhere Monday morning (I worked in the office - sexy, I know), most notably in the form of our new doorstop. When arriving, I noticed the door was propped open and I thought, "Wow, that looks really sturdy. But wait... What in the heck is it?" On closer inspection I realized it was an extremely large dildo. Apparently there were some onstage shenanigans that... um... spilled over to the office area (think body parts and copy machines) and somehow this little (large) gem was left behind. I'd like to think it was part of the act and that it remained unused - merely a decoration, like a tree topper for another kind of bush. 

Here's the thing about dildos: when left on the floor by relative strangers (i.e. touring bands), they tend to stay where they land. No one wants to pick them up. So, instead, our unique doorstop stayed put. In time we grew used to it. For some unknown reason I named him Pablo. Eventually Pablo acquired a jaunty sombrero to adorn him as he lay in his permanent prone position. (I never did figure out where the hat come from. Did someone visit a doll store? The costume was even more perplexing, given that I worked in an office full of burly men who couldn't tell you directions to the nearest Michael's if their lives depended on it.) One day I came into work and I actually had to turn the handle to our shared office. Something didn't feel right. Then it hit me - Pablo was gone! Apparently some industrious (and extremely brave) cleaning person had finally removed him. I shed a little tear... and a sigh of relief. 

[Photo Credit: I thought it would be a lot kinder - not to mention reader-friendly - to focus on the sombrero portion of this story. Sometimes imagination can be your best friend.]
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