10.11-12.16 : JENA NIXON : CHICAGO, IL

"DJ-ed two spin classes. Played Alanis Morissette's ‘You Oughta Know’ to inspire rage which translates into motivation."

Jena was my upstairs neighbor up until a couple of months ago and owner of the two cutest dogs in the world - Luke and Scallop (aside from my former roommates' dog, Lulu, to whom none can compare). Most of our interactions were somewhat sporadic as they involved trying to prevent an orgy from happening when all of the dogs got together in the backyard. But I had always wanted to hang out with Jena outside of our intervention stints. She has an approachability and humor to her that is easy to be around, she's as quick to make fun of herself as she is to recommend Selsun Blue as skin care, and she has an admirable sense of style.

Jena and I are similar in that we both are pretty aggressive in our desire to make new friends. I think this is what prevented us from hanging out sooner than we did, our past with people misinterpreting or not being open to new friendships. (I look back and realize I can be VERY forward, maybe off-puttingly so...whoops). But it's strange as we get older how much more skeptical and closed off we are to inviting new people into our circles. I see it more and more in myself lately and I'm not fond of that. So it was really nice connecting with another person, a "new" person, per se, who was equally interested and open to being friends. Restored my hope, we'll say.

So this new friend of mine, Jena, who is a DJ in the Chicago area, doing spin class sets, weddings, events, Susan Sarandon's ping-pong club, was gracious enough to let us all into a couple of her days, complete with Ryan Gosling as a tour guide: