Hi. I'm Jenna McGuiggan.
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Back in the business of blogging

I have not been active in this little chunk of the blogosphere. But I saw an old friend's new blog today and well, it was really good. And I thought, maybe I should check out that blog o' mine again. (Should I tell you my friend's blog address? It's a really nice blog. With lots of nice photos. It really puts this fledging blog to shame...)

(Okay, I give in. Check her out at www.allyanne.typepad.com/)

It's snowing blankets here in good old southwestern PA. I visited my brother in Tucson, AZ around Thanksgiving. It's generally very warm and sunny there. And flat. Apart from the mountains that ring the city, of course. Here, it is generally grey and hilly. And the weather is all over the map. Literally. Summers can feel like the Deep South, and winters take a page straight out of New England. I don't necessarily like the extremes, but I do like the variety. I don't think I could live in the desert. All those creepy Saguaro cacti staring me down.

Old England, on the other hand, is quite temperate. The weather, like the people, stays on a rather even keel in Britain. I lived there for a year about seven years ago. I find myself telling a lot of "when I was in England" stories and then worrying that I sound pompous and snobbish. I don't mean to. It's just that living in a foreign country was one of the best experiences of my life. And I tend to talk about my best (and some of my worst) experiences. I like to tell stories. People tell me that I tell good stories -- which is good, since I'm a writer. (I'm also considering taking up the art of professional oral storytelling.) But telling a lot of stories, and having a flair for the theatrical, well -- it worries me. I never know if I'm hogging the spotlight, looking desperate to be the life of the party. When do I stop being entertaining and start annoying the tears out of my audience --um, I mean my friends/coworkers/etc.? Sometimes I ask people, but would anyone really tell me the truth?

This blog is all over the place -- like the weather.

And now it's time to say goodnight. My wonderful husband has just come in from out the cold and I haven't seen him since this morning.


Slackers of the World Unite!!!

For about three years now, my mottos have been, “Just Say No!” (when it comes to complicating your life with too many unwanted activities), and “Slackers of the World Unite!” (which I swear I thought up on my own without the influence of Michael Moore).

I have found online affirmation for my slacker attitude in Brendon Connelly's new manifesto, Slacker@Work. Read it on ChangeThis.com (www.changethis.com/sp-4.SlackerAtWork) and find out why being a slacker is not a bad thing.

I am not lazy. I am a slacker. And I'm still good at what I do.


Gatwick the Catwick

I got a cat last week. He's my very first pet. He's a five-month-old grey tabby named Gatwick, and I love him.

If I sound like a child as I write this, it's because I feel like one. After all, he is my very first pet apart from the random strays that my parents took in from a few days to a few months when I really was a kid. But more on that later.

I see myself as a six-year-old girl, carrying the cat around the house under one arm. Actually, I like to cradle him in my arms and carry him around. And have him sit in my lap. Lucky for me, Gatwick is a total lap cat. Sure, he gets frisky, but he's a lover at heart. And I'm just eating it up, man.

I've never really been a cat person. Or a dog person, for that matter. I like them both. And I've always been equally afraid and fascinated with each. Animals, even lovable house pets, tended to freak me out. I think I caught a weird Twilight Zone episode with a creepy dog once. Anyway, I like animals, but have never been terribly comfortable around them. Especially when their eyes do that eerie reflector-glow thing in the dark.

But Gatwick is not creepy. Still, I'm surprised to discover just how much I love having a pet around. I initially wanted a rabbit because I heard you can train them and let them hop around the house. But James (my husband) wasn't so keen on the free-range bunny idea.

We moved into our first house about 2.5 months ago, and discussed the possibility of a pet before we even sent the first mortgage check. An encounter with a stray cat that we named Filibuster was probably the precipitous event that sent us to the Humane Society to adopt Gatwick. Even if the Filibuster did send me to the emergency room. (More on that next post.)

Gatwick was at the shelter for about two weeks, during which time he was called George. We promptly renamed him. Well, promptly is an overstatement. It took us four days to settle on a name. In the running were the following: Avery, Chester, Slate, Pewter, Jenners, and Eddie.

Come back later for the Filibuster story, along with the saddest dog story in the world.

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