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Here’s To You, Jane

28 Dec

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My blog has a follower. My blog has a follower! And it’s not my mom!

This girl “Jane,” a stranger from Kansas, somehow found me, even though we don’t know the same people. Jane wrote to me today – she wanted to tell me that she enjoys my blog and is looking forward to seeing me go on more adventures.

Jane also shared a little bit of her story, and it has affected me.

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Home For The Holidays: Part Two

26 Dec

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I’ll admit, I added that last line of the last post for dramatic effect. It sounded good though, didn’t it? Like a real International Woman of Mystery?

I hadn’t been this upset since that night in Boston. Then, I fled. Now, I write.

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Home For The Holidays: Part One

22 Dec

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My parents were bugging me to go home for Christmas.

I’d been resisting, knowing how difficult it’d be to field their judgmental questions about the breakup and my recent life choices. I knew how aggravated I’d feel when they’d tell me about my childhood schoolmates who had impressive jobs and impressive life accomplishments, like giving their parents grandbabies.

But then my mom said that Alek, my brother, would be home too. I missed Alek. I hadn’t talked to him much since I’d left Boston. He seemed consumed with his life in New York and didn’t have much time to talk.

If Alek were home, we’d deal with our parents’ bullshit together, probably over our mother’s mulled wine and our inside jokes. Thinking about laughing with my brother made me feel happy, so I begrudgingly accepted my parents’ offer to fly me home.

I decided I would pre-emptively silence any discussions about the breakup by wowing my parents with my chic appearance and bold new outlook on life. How could they criticize me when it was so obvious that the breakup had done me so much good?

Besides, I’m an International Woman of Mystery now and I simply don’t have time for family drama.

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Disguise

17 Dec

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It has been approximately 74 days since I first began my transformation to become the International Woman of Mystery. As the days go by, I find myself settling into this new skin. This new identity. My identity.

However, as a woman of the world, I do not prefer to settle into anything; it’s not my M.O. It was time to step out of the box once more and complete another assignment. Today’s mission: acquiring the perfect disguise.

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Playlist

13 Dec

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In my recent quest to find the perfect International Woman of Mystery theme song for myself, I couldn’t help but put together an inclusive set of ballads for a woman on the run. One never knows when they’re going to need a whole soundtrack. With that in mind, I present to you the first of what I hope will be many playlists.

Track list and Spotify link are behind the cut. Enjoy!

Ciao,
Jenny G.

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External Headquarters

9 Dec

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After Boston winters, Colorado often strikes me as being not so bad. Even still, after a particularly blah couple of weeks cooped up indoors, I was itching for a mission. Sporting my newly acquired International Woman of Mystery attire, I set about to find an adventure. Sun shining. Big shades on, I sought to do some exploring and perhaps find myself a new home away from home

Every International Woman of Mystery needs an external headquarters. As someone who works from home, I know all too well that a change of venue does wonders for the soul. A woman of the world, such as myself, needs just such a thing. How else to escape the confines of my many disguises (eventually) and debrief after narrowly escaping perilous situations. I wasn’t sure where my external headquarters should be. I just knew it would speak to me when I found it. There would be no Yelp or Google Maps or Zagat guides to aid my search. An International Woman of Mystery needs intuition, anyway.

A long afternoon’s excursion took me to a bookstore, two coffee joints and a cupcake shoppe (it was worth “researching”), before I stumbled upon a European Bistro and Café and I just knew I had found my new spot.

There was nothing particularly posh about it. The walls were lined with faded old pictures. A haphazardly painted mural. Old wobbly tables and chairs. Old books. Faded rugs. Loud speakers playing eclectic music for a crowd of misfits. Just the kind of place a girl can disappear into for an hour or four. Scribble notes from the field into a little black book and sip an Americano or a cocktail, for that matter.

The new headquarters is open 24 hours and since a woman of mystery keeps odd hours, it’s perfect.

It had been a dismal couple of weeks in my world. Lonely and feeling foolishly nostalgic for my old life. But sitting at a table for one next to a small faux fireplace, just observing the other patrons with a mix of curiosity and amusement, I started to feel better.  I felt at home in this city and in my new persona.

I breathed a deep sigh and raised my coffee mug to no one in particular. I felt ready for anything.

Ciao,
Jenny G.

James Bond: Spectre

5 Dec

Manifesto

[Spoiler alert!]

Dear High School Jennifer,

You don’t need a sexy man in a tuxedo to validate you, love you, or save you. Looking for a man to do any of these things only makes you just as bad as the men who objectify women: you’re depending on someone else for your self worth.

Recently seeing the latest James Bond installment, Spectre, only strengthens my conviction. In the movie, James Bond runs around the world, trying to protect the gorgeous blonde Madeleine Swan in an effort to chase her from the movie’s villain. Swan starts out seemingly strong and independent, but in the end, she turns out like almost every other fair maiden: saved because she is beautiful, saved because she is pure (she wears white for much of the film), saved because one man decides she’s worth saving.

Seeing this conjured memories of once feeling worthless, and thus, I am writing to you today. Continue reading

Passport

1 Dec

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After leaving the salon the other day, with a new haircut glow that was seemingly rivaled only by the sun. It seemed such a shame to waste, in spite of my debacle with Steven Stephenson.

Most of the time, this new anonymity suits me well. That is until I actually want to be seen. I decided I would go for a walk and explore the neighborhood a little bit more.

I found myself rather aimlessly around Capitol Hill, admiring the mixture of historic architecture and modern hipster culture. Having previously exhausted most of the local coffee haunts, I wondered if I couldn’t find a bit more excitement to suit my mysterious wiles.

The answer came to me somewhere around the corner of Pennsylvania and 12th Avenue, when I happened across the Molly Brown House. Now an International Woman of Mystery must keep many secrets, but I don’t mind telling you that once upon a time, my younger self was completely enthralled with a certain major motion picture – Titanic.

It was reminiscence that compelled me to enter the gift shop and purchase a ticket for the next tour, but in the end it was kismet. I went in seeking nostalgia but walked out inspired for the future anew. Turns out? Molly Brown was an International Woman of Mystery to the Nth Degree.

Margaret Brown, as she preferred to be called, was an early Denver resident, a philanthropist, feminist, activist and world traveler. Despite humble beginnings and not even attending school past the age of 13, Ms. Brown strived to make something of herself, learning multiple languages and educating herself in the ways of the world. She ran various charities, hosted high society events and even attempted to run for Senate in the early 1900s. Her philanthropy took her on many foreign excursions. When her marriage went on the rocks, she didn’t let it deter her. She received a cash settlement and used it to travel the world. Booked a ticket on the Titanic, survived its subsequent crash and went on to become a legend.

A new wind in my trench coat propelled me home, as I contemplated Molly Brown’s story. If she could pull out all the stops to see the world, surely Jenny G. could do the same. I already have most of the tools I need, but it’s begun to feel like a case of being all dressed up and having nowhere to go. An International Woman of Mystery without a cause.

Back home at the Mystery Pad, I felt even more restless. I fixed myself a cup of tea. I lit some incense. A candle. I poured myself a glass of wine. I laid on the floor staring up at my travel posters on the walls. I knew just what I needed to do.

I retrieved my passport paperwork from where I’d stashed it weeks ago. I finished filling it out. I put on my best red lipstick and walked to the drugstore where I sweet-talked the woman at the photo counter into taking one last passport photo for the day.

The woman staring back at me from the photo looks different to me. And it isn’t just the new bangs. There’s a twinkle in those eyes that wasn’t there before. A knowing smirk. She’s hungry. Ready for adventure. For revolution.

I filed the papers the next day and started a new savings account where I can start building a travel fund. I have no idea when I’ll be able to make the trip or where I’ll go first, but I’m quite certain it will be amazing when I get there.

Ciao,
Jenny G.

Mr. Poison Returns

27 Nov

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It’s the day after Thanksgiving – my first one away from family and friends in a long, long time. I spent the day making a huge, foodie feast for myself and watched Audrey Hepburn movies all day. It was fabulous.

I had just finished an invigorating run, excited for my new friend date that night and hopeful about the general possibilities ahead, when I signed into my email. Mr. Poison had written me.

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Skyfall

23 Nov

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My heart is in my throat. I take a deep breath and do one final pat down: Goggles? Check. Helmet? Check. Gloves? Check. Obnoxiously bright colored flight suit? Check.

I exhale deeply. Time to free-fall.

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