Archive for the 'Personal Thoughts' Category

No Rest for the Restless

Today was a day of waiting for that phone call that will never come. Tomorrow probably will be, too. Waiting by the phone used to be one of those iconic 50s images — a teenage girl in a monogrammed sweater, coiling and uncoiling the rotatory cord while her parents watched the news on a black […]

Books I Read So You Don’t Have To

Can you tell I saw Les Mis immediately before I wrote that last post? Hormones + 157 minute epics set in Revolution-era France = spilling your guts on the Internet. I also didn’t have any coffee yesterday. Coffee makes me really happy. Coffee and checking the mailbox. Not my inbox, the mailbox. Whenever I get […]

Overachievers Anonymous

Hello, my name is Jenna and I’m a recovering overachiever. “Hi Jenna.” I’m not sure if I’ve ever written about my struggle with perfectionism on the blog before. If I have, I’m not sorry. See? I’m improving everyday. I’ve written about it in emails to friends and family. I’ve talked about it with former teachers, and on […]

Stuff I Wrote While Neglecting This Blog

In the five-plus months since I last posted to Just Jenna, in between eating McFlurries and asking, ‘Why did I just eat that McFlurry?’ I did manage to get some stories published. A nice little compendium, actually. But I swear I didn’t ignore my blog for this purpose. Chicago magazine: A beer expert shares five […]

Reading and Remembering

I never met either of my biological grandfathers, and I know very little about my dad’s dad. His name was Pasquale Peter Marotta, ‘Patsy’ to his friends. He worked for General Electric for many years, and raised four boys with my grandmother, Mary Virginia Marotta, who died in December 2008. The family lived in upstate […]

I’ve always wanted to be able to shave my legs with a pen

I was perusing the blogs for material worthy of my new joke-writing class, when I saw Jezebel’s take on the the new ‘Bic for her’ pen. Here’s mine: Bic for her. It sounds like a perfume. ‘Pretty lady, you’re special, and you should smell special. Like thin mints and cashmere and baths and Pellegrino. We […]


In case you missed me reading my original essay, ‘My Gynecologist’s Novel’ as part of Story Lab’s reading series, here are a couple reviews I did recently for Time Out Chicago’s Comedy blog: St. Greg’s Place Presents ‘Magnetic North’ at the Artistic Home theater Batterymouth: It Burns at the de Maat Theatre Also, check out […]

The Rest is Fluff

My second acknowledgment of ‘Amish & Awesome.’

J.D. Salinger 1919-2010

‘When an old person dies, a library burns.’ African proverb

Clueless Cruelness

Sometime between when Brittany Murphy died and the story broke, I happened to read this little editorial bird flip in the current Entertainment Weekly: ‘I just received your tribute issue. I see you’ve decided that the year came to an end in November. Well, it’s nice to know that no other entertainment greats will die […]