Sunday, February 25, 2007

Nascar: More Than Just Fast Cars and Freedom

When a winter snow storm plowed through upstate New York last week, it pretty much sealed the fate of my appearance in Syracuse. Much like my flight... it was CANCELLATIONS, across the board. Determined to not let that put a damper on my weekend (and almost grateful for a week to thaw out from my recent jaunts to sports venues afar), I packed my bags and headed to one of the biggest sporting events the South has to boast… The Daytona 500. Before you begin your barrage of Deliverance references and launch into endless Jeff Foxworthy quotes, hear me out. There’s more to NASCAR than meets the eye. Sure, it may look like 43 cars… plus or minus a few at the end of the race…driving around in circles, but in reality the Daytona 500 truly is the Great American Race. 189 miles per hour around a 2.5 mile track, for two hundred laps. One cup, one car, one driver to take it all.

This year’s race began on a sour note, marked by scandal that most sports have dealt with at one point or another in their own personal histories… cheating. Don’t expect to see Herbie the Love Bug publishing a tell-all expose anytime soon, outing the cars that juiced before the big race… but… illegal substances in NASCAR???.. Now, I have seen it all. Officials only discovered the violation after someone performing a routine maintenance check on Michael Waltrip’s car, stuck their arm in the manifold, only to remove it covered in a foreign substance. It’s a good thing they don’t test the horses at the Derby this way… let alone professional athletes. :::shudders::: Then again, if that isn’t a deterrence to juicing, I dunno what is.

Cheating seems to be a central theme in the world today… everyone from Presidents to Barry Bonds is allegedly doing it. Since when did cheating become the norm? Hell, if parents these days don’t even bother to correct their kids for cheating at Candyland or Scrabble… how are they supposed to learn what they are doing really is wrong??? We as a society are so concerned with getting ahead, and getting what we want, we forget about the people we destroy to get there. We lie, we backstab, we just straight up deceive… all to get to the head of the pack. We cheat on tests, games, and sometimes even each other. In the end, no one really wins, because the trust is forever gone and the bond is forever damaged.

Sometimes it’s just better to live, learn, and move on. You let off the gas, slam down the clutch, and shift gears. You may stall the first few times, but you’ll get the hang of it eventually. Once it becomes fluid… you’ll be unstoppable.

The road of life isn’t a straightaway: It’s got curves, bumps, and dead ends. The dead ends aren’t there to discourage you, only to tell you that you’ve come as far as your predecessors have. The feeble minded will turn around thinking they made a wrong turn and go back to the monotony of their everyday lives never knowing what could have lay ahead. Others… the bolder models, will strike out, break away, and cut their own path. Sure, they could listen to the signs that tell them to turn around, or use caution… but what fun would that be?... Life was meant to be lived with a green flag, and those that pull the yellow-caution are only trying to slow you down.

I live my life at a fast pace, and a quarter-mile at a time. For that ten seconds or less, nothing else matters. It’s about me, my hopes, my dreams, and the feeling of the wind in my hair. Nothing but fast cars and freedom. My road has no predetermined destination, just the stops along the way. Folks can either come along for the ride or watch from the crowd. Because once this baby gets moving, there will be nothing left but dust and a license plate to remember me by.

People around us are forever trying to strap us to our seats, and playing traffic cop to make us slow down. But what if for once, you unbuckled the safety belt and took a risk on the unknown? No one got anywhere in life without taking risks on people, on love, and on life. So why settle for a diesel Rabbit, when you can have that dream car you always wanted. You know the one: that old sixty seven Vette you’ve coveted since the time you were old enough to drive your power wheels… with the bright candy apple red paint job and the white convertible top. How could you ever forget? Who says it has to be a dream… why not a reality? Christopher Reeves once said:

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”

Maybe we should all stop driving the way the voice in the backseat tells us to, taking the roads they choose for us, and just leave the driving to a higher power. Sure, you can fight the pull of the car, but in the end… who are you really kidding? Life’s funny like that, once you let go of the wheel… you might just end up right where you belong.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Week Two of the Jenn-X Road Show on

This week on Jenn ventures to the Emerald City of Eugene, Oregon to take in the courtside view with the Pit Crew of the University of Oregon. As you’ll soon find out, these guys are out to prove that ducks are anything but lame.. and boy do they ever. Join Jenn along the journey as she meets and greets with famous faces at University of Oregon, and for the first time manages to meet the man that put her face on the map nearly two years ago--- Brent Musberger. It’s an episode you won’t want to miss… and its only on

Jenn at Oregon

Up next week … Jenn braves 6 feet of snow and sub zero temps to join the Syracuse Orangemen in their heated college hoops rivalry against the UConn Huskies. So maybe its not cowboy hats and bikini weather, but we’ll see what kind of fun awaits Jenn as she takes upstate New York by storm… snow storm that is.

Get ready Cuse… it’s game time!!! Can your school make the grade?

Up Yours, Cupid...

I have never been a fan of Valentine’s day. Even back in grade school, there was always that fear of rejection—that at the end of the day, my Valentine’s day shoebox-turned-mailbox would be empty. I was awkward looking with really big curly hair. We are talking Whitney Houston “I want to Dance with Somebody Hair,” the kind that would make even the most voluminous of hair bands jealous. My parents swore it was gorgeous, and a blessing in disguise, and maybe if I would have been a teenager in the days of The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller, and St. Elmo’s Fire, I would have agreed. But alas, by the time I was old enough for fashion to have an impact on my life, the days of big hair were passé.

Body image aside, there was always something about Valentine’s Day that really frosted my cheerios. Maybe it was the belief that everyone had that special somebody but me. It’s only now that I am older that I realize I am not the only one jaded by this sappy holiday. Every year thousands of American’s sit around, waiting to be struck by Cupid’s arrow, and to find that one person they were destined to be with. Yet, every year, without fail it seems more of us are shooting our own something… and it certainly isn’t an arrow… at that stupid little cherub flying around in his pampers and little else.

But why are human beings so obsessed with being attached?... Are we that needy, insecure, and unfulfilled that we feel like we always have to have that special someone in our lives?

I recently had an old acquaintance of mine write me to tell me how happy they are that I have been able to accomplish as much professionally in the past year as I have, but felt that after reading some of my SI articles that I was cynical towards the idea of having a stable relationship and settling down. The letter closed with the ever-so-cliché “I really wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors, and hope that someday you find the right person.”

WHAT?!?!... At first I blew it off, but the more I thought about it, the more heated I got. How dare they judge where I am at in life, and say that I am not happy?? How insulted would they be if I penned them a rebuttal:

“Dearest friend… I know you are married to your high school sweetheart, and claim to be happy with your cohabitation for the past 5 years of your life, but the fact of the matter is… you never got a chance to date around and explore all there was to be had in the relationship realm. How sad for you!! Dump your significant other while there is still hope, unbuckle the safety belt you have been restrained by and enjoy the crazy ride life has to offer. Because you would not want to be sixty and look back on life and go.. wow.. I never really knew what ‘living’ was like. Love ya, Sterg.”

Yeah, that would get a warm response now, wouldn’t it?

To my friends that are constantly hammering me with relationship questions, and pulling the.. ‘why don’t you have a boyfriend card’… I have this startling revelation: Maybe I AM happy being single! What is so wrong with that???... I don’t have to wake up to someone nagging me in the morning to get out of bed. In fact, I can get up at my own leisurely pace, make my breakfast, hell… I can crawl back in bed when I am done and just marinate on the day ahead of me. That’s right.. I’m absolutely miserable… being able to crawl back in bed and treat most days of the week as if they were a Sunday. The only thing that would make my life any more perfect is if there was football on every morning. So what if I stay in my pajamas all day long until I am ready to greet the world?... The only person I have to deal with face to face… is my cat.. and she doesn’t seem to mind the fact her mom crawls back in bed whenever she chooses, and takes the day as it comes at her.

February 14 has always been about the cards, the candy, and the flowers. I got news for you…the flowers die, the candy gets eaten, and the cards get recycled with next week’s newspaper. All you are left with is a fat ass and a bill from Hallmark. They are the only ones that really profit from this whole thing with their stupid cards that range anywhere from 99 cents to 5 dollars (but those are the cool singing cards). Damn them for creating this holiday that discriminates against us singletons that have no one to spend it with. At least the other holidays give you options. You know: Christmahanakwanzikah, Passover vs. Easter. I mean, at least you are given a choice. On Valentine’s day… you’re either attached or .. it blows. Those that are depressed about their love life can usually be found at the local pub drowning their sorrows in the “I’m sorry you don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend drink specials” while others just stay at home and watch the TNT and TBS showing of every Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, and Hugh Grant movie ever made. And this is supposed to be something to celebrate?.. You’re delusional.

So this Valentine’s Day I am announcing the creation of a new holiday for singles everywhere. The name is still in progress, but the idea of it goes something like this: This is a day to celebrate you. Take yourself to the nail salon, ladies, or buy yourself a new pair of Tiffany earrings. Why not??.. You deserve it. Men… it’s ok to buy yourself a steak dinner… and indulge in hours of ESPN Classics in HD from your leather recliner. Me?... my day will probably consist of all that and more, but the highlight of my day.. will be a haircut. There is something that is almost therapeutic to women worldwide in getting your hair done. It’s about being pampered, and feeling pretty.. but more so.. It’s about reinvention. This coming from a girl that has changed her haircolor to every color in the spectrum… including purple at one point or another. (Chill mom.. it’s called Eggplant.) My Valentine’s Day is all about taking chances, not only on my haircolor, but my life in general. So I don’t have that special someone to spend it with yet?... I’m in no hurry. After all, why settle for a hotdog when I can holdout for filet mignon?... Sure a microwavable hotdog is ready in an instant, but once you reached the last bite, even you don’t know what you REALLY just ate. A filet is nothing but the best.. the Grade A of partner material.. and that is what I want. There are plenty of guys out there that would “do”… but I would only be short changing myself. Prince Charming’s are few and far between, and the only thing you get from kissing toads is warts and dragon breath.

Maybe some women just weren’t meant to be tamed anyway. Maybe they were meant to run free until they find someone that can keep up and run wild with them. And maybe.. I’m ‘that’ girl. Sure, you can waste your time being a horse in the carousel of life, and ride the merry-go-round.. but the only place it gets you is right back to where you started from. Besides, riding around in circles is only fun if you like Nascar. I want to find the one person that makes me stand still. That is when I’ll know.. I’ve found “the one.”

So this.. is my Valentine’s gift to all those whose hands aren’t weighted down by a piece of metal. May we all raise our glasses together, and realize you don’t always need someone else to be happy and fulfilled. After all, how can you expect someone to love you, if you don’t love yourself??.. So maybe you don’t have a plus one on your party invites, or a table for two or more???.. Who gives a crap?... Make today about YOU.. and let the others worry about what to do with their dead flowers and love handles in a few days. At least you will look and feel fabulous… and if that isn’t something to declare a holiday over.. I dunno what is.

Besos, Jenn.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jenn-X Road Show Wichita State video is online on On Campus

Hey all...just wanted to post a link to Jenn's newest road assignment with is over, now it's time for basketball season!! Check out Jenn's visit to Kansas and the campus of Wichita State on the On Campus homepage...if it rolls off, check out the video links archive...

Next week, it's off to Oregon...what happened to warm weather locations??

Keep checking back for updates.

Roger - Admin

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Moral Fiber… Not just a breakfast cereal.

You ever come across people in your life that you think you know.. but you really have NO idea???.. Not me. Once a naïve small town girl, the past year has really allowed me to see the world for how it truly is-- without the rose colored glasses. In the whirlwind that has been the past year and a half of my life, I have come across thousands of people in all kinds of professions, on both a professional and personal level. And in dealing with this melting pot of people, life has showed me to never judge a book by its cover, while at the same time to trust no one completely because no one can protect your own neck the way you can.

My friends say I have a gift of being able to read people. It’s like… I have ESP..N.. or something. I know their story better than they do. Sure at first it’s probably the cliff notes version, but I can sense whether I am meeting them.. or the “them” they WANT me to meet. Like Chris Rock, I believe that when you meet some one for the first time, “you really aren’t meeting them.. you’re meeting their representative.” It’s only later once you begin to interact and share with that person do you get a sense for who they are, of their true character, and moral fiber.

What is moral fiber you ask?.. I myself am still trying to figure that one out. It’s certainly not something you acquire from eating your oatmeal, whole wheat toast, and bran flakes every morning. No, moral fiber is a general outlook a person has on life, based on their own personal values. It’s what makes us for better or for worse individuals. But Moral fiber can be so much more…

I was laying in bed the other night when I came across “The Girl Next Door.” Sure it was on television so it was heavily edited with all the “good scenes” removed, but the gist was still the same: Boy meets girl. Boy falls for Girl. Boy finds out Girl used to be in Adult Film Industry. Boy insults girl and makes her leave for Vegas. Boy goes all the way to Vegas to find the girl, where she denies him. Girl comes back to boy. Boy’s life is inevitably changed because of girl.

Essentially, it’s the Risky Business of my generation.

As Tom Cruise was taught “sometimes you just have to say… what the @#$!,” Matthew learns the value of finding that greater something in life that you have to take a risk on. That risk he describes... is what he calls his “moral fiber.”

Moral Fiber...

So...What is Moral Fiber.....??
It’s funny....I used to think that it was always telling the truth, doing good deeds, u know basically....being a f@#$ing boy scout.......But lately I have been seeing it differently......Now I think that moral fiber is about finding that one thing you really care about..........that one special thing that means more to you than anything else in the world........and when you find her, you fight for risk it put her in front of everything......Your future.....your life...all of it......and maybe the stuff you do to help her isn’t so know what??? It doesn’t matter.......because in your heart you know, that .. The juice is worth the squeeze.
That’s what Moral Fiber is all about...

It really got me thinking. It’s not about always playing it safe, or doing what everyone else wants you to… it’s about defining who you are as a person: Your values to be happy, to live your life to the fullest, and to know that you can live your life free of any regret. Life is really all about risks, on opportunities, on people, and on life. And no one gets to the top without taking a risk every now and then. Sure, you can look down, see the staggering depths below you and get scared every now and then… and that is perfectly ok. People will always be scared of the unknown. But sometimes its that “it” factor that someone has to accomplish this greatness in whatever it is they do to overcome this unknown that describes their moral fiber.

It’s about finding that one thing in life that motivates you, whether it’s a person, a job, a possession, or an ideal… to be a better you. You will risk anything for it, its success, and future even if it means you may face some disappointments or hardships along the way. The hard times will only make you a stronger individual, and will make the good times seem that much sweeter, because you will know that the “juice was worth the squeeze.”

That… truly is moral fiber. It can’t be faked, it can’t be taught, it just.. IS. I guess that is how I can spot the fakers a mile away, and pull the sheep’s clothing from the wolves. There are just some characteristics and actions in life that define who we are as a person. Without them, even the richest of men is a poor one.

You will meet many people along your walk through life’s journey. It’s up to you to sort out the genuine’s from the make-believe’s.