Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Big Bang Theory

It’s been said that no man is capable of being one hundred percent honest. There was always that one instance, that one moment where it was more convenient, more sympathetic.. it was just easier to fib a little bit. You tell your boss you loved their presentation, when to be completely honest?... Your ADD went “HD” in the opening credits. You tell your mom that you were at your buddy’s place studying... and by studying you mean the female form of a certain hot co ed, that happened to be staying in the same vicinity as the aforementioned friend. And while you may not be the brightest guy on the planet, even you know the answer to the ever elusive question: “Does my ass look fat in these jeans?” And may the Lord help you if you so much as hesitate.

But, have you ever been at a crossroads in life, where you just needed to buy yourself a little more time to think? So, rather than telling the truth, you start telling little white lies?... At first, the little white lies are just that. There was no bad intent. They were never meant to hurt anyone, only to protect others feelings. They are for your own good, or so we are told. But really, is there such a thing???

Maybe you lied about one event. One single detail. So what, right?... Well guess what? Then you find yourself having to lie just to cover up the original one, and another to cover up that one. The nasty snowball effect only gets bigger and bigger as it rolls downward. Eventually, the lies become an entire story, one so twisted that even the most skilled of authors will forget the original lie, not to mention the intricate details you gave along the way. And that is when you get it… the massive explosion in your face.

I’d like to think of this as the Big Bang. It’s when all the lies and deception come to a fruition, and guess what kids?... The jig is up. Sure, you could continue to hold your stance, and vehemently deny the accusations. Think… “I did not have sexual relations with that woman… Ms. Lewinski.” Or “I never took steroids, Mr. Senator.” But at the end of the day, what doesn’t come out in the wash… only stains the dress. And the guy that steps to the plate with a Mardi Gras head and Raisonettes is… “OUT!” (with ump hand motion).

Then again, you could always come clean. They weren’t lying when they said the truth hurts, but there are certainly ways to cushion the blow. And that beats getting caught any day of the week.

Society has taught us, that some forms of lying are perfectly acceptable.. I mean, look at American politics!!!... But lying is never acceptable on a daily basis, and certainly not to the ones we love. They deserve a higher level of respect than your coworkers, your buddies, and even your own mother. Because while your mother will love you unconditionally, and your buddies’ attention span will eventually allow him to forget why he momentarily hated you… your significant other loves you by choice. And if you can’t be honest with them, well… then who can you be???....

All lies do is create stress. They create problems in other areas of our lives. They make your place an absolute mess. They gave you a huge zit in the middle of your forehead that people begin to mistake as an undeveloped Siamese twin. And ‘cause you to look so disheveled, that even the homeless man is trying to give you a dollar.

That is why I believe in brutal honesty. People may not always like what I have to say, but at least they know I wasn’t BS’ing them. I’d rather have someone hate me for being honest, than adore me for telling them lies. I’ve learned many lessons the hard way and had to hurt others before I realized that in order to have adult relationships.. I had to become an adult. Maybe that, and I realized… I am a terrible liar. And unlike many other learned skills.. you can’t learn to be a good liar. Becoming a good liar doesn’t come with practice, but with comfort in what you’re doing. People come to see it as a possible option, regardless of how small the issue may have been in the first place.

Uncovering the truth all at once, only leads to the Big Bang. The lies come to a head. The @#$! hits the fan. You were standing in a fireworks factory, and your dumb ass self had to have a smoke. What a crappy liar never considers, is that if they had told the truth all along and diffused the heat over a period of time, rather than letting it all come to fruition at once, they could have avoided a major loss.

Trust is one of the hardest things to build, yet one of the easiest to destroy. What do you do when the damage is done?.. When trust is lost??... Some choose to throw up the white flag in surrender-- to be so forthcoming with information, they might as well be reporting to a parole officer. While others, choose to simply ignore the incident and they never really learn a lesson. But in each case, no one really wins. The victim will always remember this one instance. And the liar will continue to lie. And that’s no relationship I want a part in.

The best way to avoid all of this?.. To just tell the truth. Sure, these types of relationships may seem like a myth, some… urban legend if you will?.. But, what if you could find that one person you could just be yourself with?? They’d accept you as you are… flaws, mistakes, quips, and all. And that is the best kind of relationship there is. Because the rest of your life is a long time to spend being something other than yourself.

Monday, April 14, 2008

March & Madness

I felt like starting this blog with a little bit of Rockapella's "Where in the World is…." But I decided against it as to not date myself. So the past few months have left me barely enough time to sleep, let alone blog. I have spent countless hours on planes, trains, and automobiles, going from one end of the country to the other in pursuit of my dream. It's funny, because even I am not quite sure what that dream entails but I do know that I love to entertain people. I love to make them laugh, to make them feel wanted, and make them feel like a part of my life. Because when you start to spend as much time on the road as I have, complete strangers don't seem so strange anymore.

To give you a quick wrap of how things have gone down during my blogging hiatus, I will start by saying that my stint with the March Madness show for ABC/ESPN was a huge success. I got to travel all across the country and meet some of the greatest coaches in the sport today. In fact, for those that thought I was a curse, I'll have you know I visited every single school that made it to the final four. Who's your daddy, now??...

I also made the trip out to Arizona for the Super Bowl, attending some amazing parties. But my main purpose for being in AZ was to help my friend Christian, AKA "Spot" from the Covino and Rich Show on his quest. For those of you who don't have Sirius satellite radio you are missing out on either one of the funniest bits in radio… or most pathetic excuses for a dating life, depending how you look at it. Spot is 27, lives at home with his mom, is an (under)producer at Maxim radio, and oh yeah… hasn't had the company of a woman in… well, we aren't quite sure. Not to say Spot isn't a catch, because he is probably one of the most honest, genuine, selfless people I know… but he definitely lacks that boldness to go out and get the girl. So in an attempt to motivate Spot to go out and find the woman of his dreams… Covino and Rich challenged Spot to the "Million Hand March." I won't go into the specifics of what that entails, but you can learn more about it here. Oh yeah, and if Spot failed this mission… he agreed to have his head shaved like George Costanza from Seinfeld.

But in a land filled with professional athletes, celebrities, and some of the hottest women on the planet, did a guy like Spot have a chance in hell?... While in AZ, me and the kids attended some of the coolest parties, namely both the Maxim and EA parties. The EA Madden party was a blast, pitting some of the most talented athletes in the NFL against a few average Joe's such as myself… and seeing who had the skills to be crowned the Champion of EA's Madden game. In the end, Willis McGahee took home the prize, while the rest of the room took home a hangover. But it was well worth it.

The following night was the Maxim party, which is without a doubt one of the biggest parties each year at the Super Bowl. Covino and Rich broadcasted from the red carpet, while I scoped out the scene inside for Spot. The situation looked pretty bleak, but by the end of the night Spot seemed to be having some success. Did Spot actually get his groove back.. if he ever had any that is??? Or did he end up looking like one of the three stooges???...

Luckily for you, Covino and Rich brought along their Director Sami J to videotape all the shenanigans as they went down. So without further ado.. here is part one of Maxim Radio & Rapido Production's "On the Level 2."

Watch On the Level 2 Part I

Watch on the Level 2 Part II

My stint in AZ was short lived however, as I wast called away to the West coast for my ABC taping. Somewhere between the late night partying, flying on airplanes with screaming children, and trying to shoot two campuses worth of footage in under 9 hours, I ended up coming down with viral meningitis.

If you look up the definition of viral meningitis, I am pretty sure it will say:

Viral meningitis- n. absolute misery.

Thousands of miles away from my family and friends, I spent Super Bowl Sunday at the Marina Del Ray hospital. In between the score updates via text, as there was no television in the ER, I managed to get a gazillion scans and 2 spinal taps. All I can say is thank God for morphine: It may have made me hallucinate, but it definitely eased the excruciating pain in my back and neck. So while I lay alone in a hospital bed, the rest of the country was watching in awe as an underdog named Eli Manning showed the world they had underestimated him and his teammates. And that is how I missed arguably one of the greatest Super Bowl upsets in my generation's history.

Just because you're sick doesn't mean the rest of the world stops for you to recover. Three days later, and against the advice of pretty much every rational person I know, I continued my college tour for ABC. I spent the next two days in the 7 mile stretch between two of the NCAA's greatest basketball teams: Duke and North Carolina. It figures I would be privileged enough to finally make this a stop on my college tours, and I was so doped on pain killers I barely remember being there. So after being on the road for close to two weeks, my producers made the decision to send me home, and I headed back to Tampa to recover.

For a good ten days, I had multiple personalities it seemed, depending on the pain and how well my body was reacting to the medications and drugs. Unfortunately, viral meningitis is just one of those things your body has to deal with on its own. Fortunately, there are other meds to help you cope with it until it does.

The day I left for Tennessee, I was actually starting to feel like Jenn again. Don't get me wrong, I still had the occasional aches and pains, but at least I didn't feel like my body was falling apart anymore. The mic packs they put on my lower back were absolutely miserable, but I somehow managed. I spent a good portion of my two days at Rocky Top, hanging with the team, Bruce Pearl, and as always my kick ass crew. The guys really took care of me, and made sure that coming back to work wasn't ridiculously stressful. It certainly didn't hurt that Tennessee beat Arkansas that night either.

With the last of my college stops wrapped up, I was free to go about my merry way. Since then, I have made several trips back and forth between NYC and LA taking various meetings, and considering different projects. I'm still mapping out my future, but rest assured that I'm hanging in there through the ups and downs. My personal life has seen its share of turmoil, but that happens any time you have to make choices about where you're heading in life. That is why I am so thankful for my family and friends who have continued to support me through it all. The transition from college to the real world is never an easy one, but when it's put under extraordinary circumstances the fear of failure will get to anyone.

I've made sure to take time for myself, to gather my thoughts. I spent some time recently at Grove Isle in Miami, which is about as secluded as it gets without leaving the main land. I caught up with old friends, met some new ones, and really just took time to regroup after the whirlwind I've experienced the past few months. So, for those of you that have stuck it out, and wonder where I had gone… rest assured.. I'm back and ready for duty.

Hopefully by now you have all gotten to see the awesome special E! put together for the Top 20 women of the Internet. And thank you all for making me a part of it. If you didn't catch it yet, make sure you check your local listings or my Youtube channel. Believe me, it's worth the watch.

Thanks for stopping by. And you'll be seeing more of me… real soon.

Muchos Besos…


Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Choices We Must Make

My life has been primarily consumed by sports the past few years, so forgive me if I reserve the right to talk about my personal life on my space. Why shouldn’t I?... I mean.. it is MYspace. I’ll do with it as I please. Besides, if you can’t talk about life with your friends, then when can you?...

I have been getting a lot of comments and notes about my status updates on MySpace, mostly out of concern for my feelings. It’s weird, because most of the people that write me, are people that have never even met me. They’ve merely seen a picture or read a blog, or if they were really bored watched a video. But most of you have never had to see me at my worst. And believe me, in the course of the past few years, there have definitely been some “worsts.” You know the look… make up (if you’re lucky) strewn down my face, hair in shambles, probably in my pajamas, eating a bowl of Ben and Jerry's til my ass fills itself out again. Pretty pathetic, right?... Those are the days I find myself actually Mapquesting bridges to jump off of, and actually weighing the pros and cons of each… like which has the better view on the way down. And then I realize… damn… Lutz is really lacking some decent bridges. So instead, I sit on the computer and come to MySpace. Lame, sure. But what else is a girl that spends her days consumed by the internet supposed to do?...

Not to be outdone by “the book of face,” and my original medium.. MySpace added these features that let you show people what your mood is. They even give you a space to leave a note. Mine are usually something goofy.. like a terrible movie quote, or the lyrics to a cheesy song. But lately, I have just been feeling uninspired to leave anything creative. My mind and heart have been totally preoccupied with obstacles I am facing in my own life.

Every now and then, we all come to that point after college, where our decision making skills are often put to their toughest tests. You know, that crucial gut check every person has to have in their twenties: The “Where Do I Go From Here” choice. And despite the crazy journey life has taken me on in the past few years, it still hasn’t made my decision making process any easier in regards to the direction I want my career to take. Hell, most of the decisions I have “made” in the past few years weren’t really all that thought out. I just did what seemed like the “right thing at the time.” Then, there were times I had to make decisions, and didn’t… and now look back wondering what I may have missed out on.

Aside from the typical job questions we ask ourselves, most of us also struggle with personal relationships with people in our lives. We struggle with ghosts of our past, people in our present, and dreams of our future. The problem is many of us make the mistake of letting the real thing pass us by, simply because we are too scared to take a leap of faith. Life is all about taking chances on people, places, opportunities… on just living. I’m no different. It’s the classic case of personal happiness versus professional fulfillment. Many of us call our inability to make decisions ‘patience’, and that is just selfish. You can’t tell the rest of the world to slow down just because you can’t keep up, just as you can’t tell it to stop so you can get off. You just have to hold on for the ride.

In the town of Vegas people make mistakes on the daily, but that is what gambling is all about. Risk. Those who wish to double their money, raise the stakes. Those that are content with their accounts the way they are, keep their money in their pockets. But when you ask a gambler why he gambles, he says it’s for the thrill of the risk. It’s not all about the money. Sure, the payoff is nice, but in the end money is just paper. And where’s the excitement in that?

If people are willing to gamble on colors, and cards… then why not take chances with their own lives?..It’s aggravating that so many people don’t ask out that girl at the bar for fear of public humiliation. They don’t go to that job interview for fear of rejection. They don’t turn in class projects because they can’t stand in front of a crowd. Instead we avoid making the decision all together. When you have to make a choice, and don’t make it… that in itself is a choice. So what if you fail?... So what if your friends say I told you so?... You can only live your life for you, because after any decision… whether it is wrong or right.. comes a calm. You may not have made the right decision, but at least you committed to a cause. And rarely are there choices in life that can’t be reversed with enough hard work and commitment.

Even during my days at Sports Illustrated, it amazed me that people ACTUALLY wrote in to get advice from a 22 year old girl. What the hell did I know???.. How was I supposed to help them solve their predicaments?.. I was 22.. I could barely pick out a pair of shoes to wear let alone make decisions that could have lasting effects on my life. But that’s just it. Maybe they really didn’t want my advice, they just wanted someone to talk to. Someone to listen. Maybe I didn’t have all the answers, but if I could give them any reassurance of their own thoughts, or maybe play devils advocate with them.. then my mission was accomplished.

Man is the only living being that is able to choose its own destiny. Seeds become plants, because it’s what seeds do. Puppies become dogs, because it’s their natural progression. But we have the ability to mold the course of our lives by our choices and commitments to them. That is how you attain a higher level of personal fulfillment. Besides, no one ever achieved greatness by hesitation.

Good decisions are made from experience, and experience is made from bad decisions. It’s all a part of finding your way. Life is the sum of all our choices. Some may leave you “in the hole,” while others can make you rich beyond your wildest dreams. Being able to make decisions, puts you in charge of your life, and in that… you can find the freedom to make your life whatever you so choose.

So quit living your life like you meant for no one to notice. Hit Control B on your life. And live it with purpose… because with great risk, comes great reward.