Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Tag Archive: about me

15 things I always do

This is probably a post that makes more sense at the beginning of the year but with the year being half over, it’s a nice time for reflection. Mostly in reviewing what I wanted to accomplish, how far I’ve come in achieving my goals, and what I still need to do by year’s end. While I was doing that, it occurred to me that there are some things that, no matter what, I do each year without fail. 

Let’s dive into some of those.

  1. Read Our Town
  2. Watch all 18 episodes of “Freaks and Geeks”
  3. Plan to get a new hairstyle and color. Rethink decision immediately.
  4. Travel somewhere new, even if it’s not somewhere exotic or far away from home.
  5. Revamp my entire makeup collection. 
  6. Buy a planner, fill it with important milestone events, anniversary, and birthdays. Forget most of them.
  7. Renew both my blog domain name and my business license because you never know.
  8. Go to the beach.
  9. Cook Thanksgiving dinner. It’s my favorite meal to cook so even if I’m not hosting, I cook half the meal anyway.
  10. Promise not to spend any money on books or magazines until I’m caught up with all the ones I have.  
  11. Adamantly insist that this will be the year I relearn conversational French, play the guitar, and learn to sew. 
  12. Buy new bras and underwear (I realize some people do this monthly. I’m not in that group of people. #noshame)
  13. Find song I love, listen to it until I can’t stand it.
  14. Say I’m going to be more social and make new friends. 
  15. Commit to one blogging or work related conference (anyone want to go to the Book Riot one in November?)

I think there might be a few I’m missing. If so, I’ll fill them in later. 

Obviously there are some things on that list I’m quite successful at doing and others, not so much (I’ll let you decide for yourself which is which). But I think having those yearly rituals, failed or not, keeps me focused (a little) on what I want my life to look like. And I’m pretty sure that’s not a bad choice to make.

How about you guys? Do you have recurring yearly rituals or goals?

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The ABCs of me

You know what I like to do? Steal Borrow post ideas from other people. So that’s what I’m doing today rather than post the long, rambling rant that I’ll probably truncate and stuff into my weekly recap instead. I saw this on Erin’s blog and I thought it’d be a nice break from talking about books (what? I can talk about other things, too). 

A- Age: 38. I’m surprisingly okay with this, although I do wonder how I got to actually BE 38.
B- Biggest fear: horses. But not just horses. I’ve written two posts devoted to all my fears (you can read them here and here) so you can enjoy those if you wish to know just how crazy I am.
C- Current Time: 10:47 a.m.(which is when I started writing)
D- Drink you last had: water. I drink a lot of it. I also spend a lot of time in the bathroom. This is not a hard puzzle to figure out.
E- Easiest Person To Talk to: the husband, my friend Jess, Steph
F- Favorite song: nope. I will not answer this one in fear of making all the songs I forget to mention feel bad. But if you’re holding a gun to my head, it’s either “Subdivisions” by Rush, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” by Meatloaf (you can judge me. It’s okay), or “Amaryllis” by Shinedown. Maybe. Oh! “Maybe” by Sick Puppies! That’s one of them, too. 

G- Grossest Memory: Hmmm…that’s a tough one. I’m pretty desensitized to gross. Probably the time I saw a kid projectile vomit orange soda. This is also why I have an aversion to anything orange. 
H- Hometown: I don’t generally disclose the exact town so let’s just say Long Island.
I- In love with: I’d say my husband and child and pets but that’s boring. So how about The Tonight Dough ice cream, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and books instead.

J- Jealous Of: tall people. And, so we’re clear, tall to me is anyone over 5’6″. I’m mostly jealous of your ability to reach things in high places sans ladder or tiptoes.
K- Killed Someone: I feel this is a ridiculous question because if I have, and I’ve gotten away with it thus far, why would I admit it now? 
L- Longest Relationship: the one I’m in. We’ll be together 19 years in October, married for 11 this past April.
M- Middle Name: Lynn. I never use it. If you know my last name, you understand why.
N- Number of Siblings: two sisters. One brother in law.
O- One Wish: I have that Skee-Lo song in my head now but if I had a real wish, it would be endless money for anything I wanted. Or a multibook deal with a publisher. 
P- Person who you last called: the PR representative for the sponsor of my mentoring session at #FinCon15
Q- Question you’re always asked: “Do you actually read all of those books?”
R- Reason to live: because thought of dying is way worse. 
S- Song you last sang: “Banditos” by Refreshments or “On the Radio” by Donna Summer. I say two because it was the former when I started writing and the latter as I finished up.
T- Time you woke up: Somewhere in the neighborhood of 6:30AM. I don’t like that neighborhood. I’m looking to move. Preferably somewhere in the 9:00 hour.
U- Underwear Color: black and white striped (fun fact: I had to check because I couldn’t remember)
V- Vacation Destination: It varies. We try to go somewhere new every year. This year was Disney World. That was not new since we went in 2012. My ideal vacation destination is Australia which is fitting since Erin lives there and I totally ripped this idea off from her. Plus she promised me a beer when I got there and you don’t turn down free beer. That’s a life lesson, kids. You’re welcome.
W- Worst Habit: I pick at my cuticles. Sometimes until they bleed. I know. I’m classy.
X- Xrays you’ve had: For injuries: Broken right arm when I was in second grade. Glass in my left wrist the summer before 5th. Softball to the face junior year of high school. For pregnancy: 800 billion biophysical profiles and a few ultrasounds. Also: routine dental x-rays. I wonder how I’m not radioactive at this point.
Y- Your favorite food: Cheese. All the cheese. And Chinese food.
Z- Zodiac Sign: Gemini (I didn’t have to change this from Erin’s response)

What do your ABCs look like?

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Losing my New York State of Mind. Or am I?

I’m in New York this week visiting my family so I figured it would be appropriate to write something about me being a native New Yorker. Even though I’ve lived in Delaware for roughly half of my life, I grew up on Long Island and being a New Yorker is like having an STD or something less disgusting that gets in your blood and stays there. No matter how much time I spend away, when I go back, it’s like I never left except I always forget about sales tax and that shit throws me off. We don’t have sales tax in Delaware so I fail to plan for it and man, does it mess up the price of things. When it says something costs $5, IT NEEDS TO COST $5. Not $5.18. GET IT TOGETHER, NEW YORK.

Moving on. 

As I said before I got distracted, there are some part of me that will remain forever a New Yorker despite my years away. Like these:

I will always believe that bagels or pizza or Italian Ices (hey there, Ralph’s) are better in New York (and, let’s be clear. By “New York”, I mean everything below Westchester County. Upstate is a whole different animal).

I will always bleed orange and blue and will never, ever defect to the dark side of sports. And by that, I mean becoming a Philadelphia sports fan (sorry, Steph). 


I will always play Jewish geography. For those unaware, it’s a game that I’m pretty sure New Yorkers invented where two Jewish people meet and they see how many people they have in common. There’s usually one. It’s weird.

If I tell you that I’m from Long Island, and you tell me you know someone who lives there and ask if I know them, rest assured, I do not. Long Island has A LOT of people and I’m pretty sure I don’t know your college roommate’s uncle’s friend’s daughter’s first grade teacher. Unless they grew up in my town and are roughly my age. Or they’re Jewish (because see above).

While we’re on that topic, if you ask me where on Long Island I’m from and I tell you and you nod like you know what I’m talking about, I will always know when you don’t, especially if you say something like “oh, that’s near The Hamptons, right?” No. No, it’s not. Visiting there one time does not make you an expert. 

If I do meet someone from Long Island or even Queens or Brooklyn which is like NYC lite but like Long Island’s moderately cooler older cousins, even if we grew up in different parts, it’s an instant friendship. And if not friendship, it’s at least a good hour or two of conversation. We’re kindred. 

I will always, always hate the Belt Parkway. I’m pretty sure the road to hell is an exact replica. 

I will always talk fast, drive fast, be cynical and sarcastic, say “coffee” and “talk” and”dog” other words like that exactly the way you expect a New Yorker to say them and #noshame and yes, my husband has a mild Southern accent and yes, when we fight, it kind of sounds like the Civil War but again, #noshame

I will always cringe when I hear people call New York City “The Big Apple” or something else horrifically cheesy. It’s how we know you’re a tourist or trying too hard. It’s “The City”. Nothing else. Also, Manhattan is not the only part of the city. If you don’t know all 5 boroughs, well…learn your NY geography.

Don’t do this. Just don’t.

I will always feel nostalgia and pride for how and where I grew up because, despite all the years I spent clamoring to leave, I know I couldn’t have grown up anywhere better.

I will always be okay with the label “New York native” because if I’m going to have a label, that’s a pretty good one to have.

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