Stream Queen

Not to sound smug, but I totally know that today’s Friday.

I’m able to keep track of the days, see, because I started doing this thing in Decemberish in which I wake up and immediately write down three things I’m grateful for. This has helped me not to take all of the little joys in life for granted.

But for the past three weeks, what I have wanted to write down first every day is “another day off.” That’s the lazy way out, though, so I try to never use it. But every time, I think it, and every time, I feel a little guilty thinking it.

See, while I know that probably I should be getting a little nervous over no job and no real idea of how long I’ll be out of work, the overwhelming feeling I have is giddy excitement. The last time I had a “summer vacation” was in 2009, when I was out of work for four months. I was in my early thirties then, and Hunter and I lived in my grandparents’ giant and largely empty house alone. He was addicted to Club Penguin, I was addicted to Mafia Wars. We went swimming a lot at my aunt’s house across the street (thanks again, Diana! Best memories. <3) and stayed up until at least 1 or 2 in the morning every night. Our iguana, Mellow Yellow, roamed free in the house and our rescue cats, Blues Image and Domino, hopped around her.

I also lived off of a credit card and ended up having to eventually settle with a collection agency, which destroyed my credit, so it wasn’t all rose-colored glasses.

It was still amazing.

Now, 11 years later, I have the luxury of extra money and few bills due to a previous and now-laughable plan to “build my savings” this year so that Josh and I could eventually go to Santorini. While Santorini may be on indefinite hold now, I’m still not begrudging the circumstances.

The main thing that this hiatus has provided are the absolute dual gifts of time and a stay at home mandate. This has allowed me to watch all the movies and shows that it seems like all of my colleagues have been watching all along. Every month, my fellow Alamo creative managers and I would participate in National Programming Brainstorms, during which they would recite dozens of movies in all genres to fit specific themes, and then laugh or share stories about this director or that, few of whom I recognized. Fortunately, we live in an age of streaming, so almost any movie from the past is now at my fingertips, and I’ve subscribed to basically all of them.

This is also a little intimidating, so what I started to do was choose films based entirely on the title.

Without further adieu, then, here are my top picks for the week (gleaned from my Letterboxd reviews; I’m CMJen):

  1. If You Could Only Cook – 1935, Jean Arthur, Herbert Marshall, Criterion Channel. I chose this entirely because of the title, but I also loved the premise. She’s homeless, he’s a millionaire, they find themselves on the same park bench, she mistakes him for a fellow down on his luck, and they apply for a dual butler/cook gig. Oh, boy! Anyway, definite recommend.
  2. I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore – 2017, Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, Netflix. I chose this also because of the title, and because I was having a Netflix Party with Josh and my son Hunter and his girlfriend, Shelby, and needed something that none of us knew about that looked fairly entertaining. And it was. Depressed chick gets burglarized, cops don’t care, she gets super pissed and turns vigilante. Lynskey is great, Wood is great (I really like him suddenly, and I’m on board with all of his stuff the past couple years).

If movies aren’t really your bag, I’d like to recommend this show:

  1. Strong, 2016, reality show, Netflix. This was a recommendation from my son, and I love it. Basically it’s similar to The Biggest Loser, minus the diet and scale. It’s a bunch of women, each is assigned a trainer, and then they try to kick each other’s asses in strength/endurance competitions. Very strength-rather-than-appearance-focused. It’s made me pop out a few more reps than normal. Baby steps, literally. Only one season, sadly, but it’s a good’un.

I’ve also watched a whole bunch of other stuff, but long lists get overwhelming, so let’s keep this short and sweet.

Thanks for listening. I’m celebrating today by enjoying the sun, both through the window and in the backyard, and by busting out one of my summer of ’09 shirts. I’m wearing it only partially because I was larger then, so it fits, but also because it’s rad as hell.

But seriously, know this: wherever you are, whatever you’re doing – it’s enough.

For right now, it’s enough.


I start every day vowing to become healthier and end every day by zeroing out my fridge.
That's the kind of self-sabotage that forms the core of my being.
You know what I'm good at, though? Spinning words into a magical skein that envelopes you in success. Let's talk about that first, and if snacks end up happening, so be it.

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  1. Love you Jen enjoying all your thoughts encouraging entertaining and pure joy seeing your posts. Much love to you Cindy

    1. Love you right back, Cindy! I miss you!

  2. Thank you for the last sentence. I needed to read that! Really needed to hear it.


    1. Hey I’m glad.

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