Category Archives: Jane Granville


Pretty soon, I’ll be packing up my bags and moving again.  This time last year, I was on my way to Mobile, Alabama.  Now, I’m off to Nashville, Tennessee.

First, let me assure you: I have no aspirations to be a country music star.  Quite the opposite, actually; I am extremely picky with country music.  Of course, I have been reassured that Nashville is much bigger than that, both regarding music and as a whole.

I’m actually doing another year of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, the program that brought me to Alabama.  In Nashville, I’ll be working with a re-entry program that helps felons leaving prison.

I’m excited about my work, but I’m also excited to be living in a new city, one that is a bit bigger than Mobile — which sometimes feels more like a small town than a small city.  The New York Times had an article about the food scene in my future neighborhood which makes me hungry and eager to eat out. A lot.

What do you recommend for someone going to Nashville — aside from the country music scene?  I know there’s a lot more out there, and I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts and suggestions!


I am not a mother.  I am asked at least once a week if I have any kids, though, and I’m never quite sure how to respond.  A simple “no” seems curt.  “Not yet” implies that I will be, soon.  And “I’m not old enough” is perhaps true in the society in which I grew up, but not either biologically or socially in my new environment..  I am 23 years old; by this age, some of my clients have 2, 3, 4, even 7 kids.  (I work at a day center for the homeless in Alabama.)  One of my roommates, who works with Girl Scouts in the public housing projects, intentionally tries to respond with “I’m not old enough,” to try to influence her pre-teen and teenage girls.  In their environment, it is normal to have a child by the time you’re 18 or 19.  The idea that a woman in her early to mid-20s isn’t old enough to be a mother is wholly counter-cultural.  What else can you do, when that is what you are surrounded by?  How do you know otherwise?

My own mother and father are probably the greatest blessings in my life, something I appreciate now more than ever.  I grew up in comfort, with parents who loved each other, knowing I was loved.  My parents always encouraged me and showed me the value of education, family, and friendships.  Without them, I do not know where I would be today.  Probably not as well-adjusted and content as I am.  I owe everything to them.

Today, mothers of all kinds are on my heart: mothers, grandmothers, young mothers making the best of an unplanned situation, adoptive mothers, single mothers, and all who act as honorary mothers.  And most especially, to my mother and my grandmother, and all of the women who helped make me into the person I am.

Some Musical Obsessions

I have been expanding my music collection recently.  Some new favorites: David Guetta and Sia.  You won’t hear David Guetta sing on any of the songs for which he is credited (of which there are many, some of the most recent ones being “Turn Me On” with Nicki Minaj, and “Without You” with Usher).  He is the DJ, the brain behind the beats.  Sia is an Australian singer, who is perhaps best described as “quirky.”  While David Guetta’s songs can be superficial, and Sia can be a bit odd, the combination is perfection.


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Bones Baby Update: Yay or nay?

We’re a few episodes into the seventh season of Bones, and last season ended on a huge cliff-hanger and game changer: Bones’ announcement of her pregnancy with Booth’s baby.  Their will-they-or-won’t-they tension has been hotly debated for six seasons, and didn’t actually end when they did finally get together.  there are still a lot of questions, and I don’t think anyone was quite sure how things would go when the season premiered a few weeks ago.

Personally, I’m pleased with how things are going, but I would have liked a bit more context to the situation towards the end of the season.  I feel cheated out of the pleasure of seeing the other characters’ shock and excitement when the news gets out.  I don’t think the chemistry between Booth and Bones has diminished, though, which is (was?) a pretty big fear of many fans.

So, what do you think so far?  Were you disappointed with where the show is going, or happy?  What do you think will happen through the rest of the season, and series as a whole?

New Girl


I have become totally besotted with the New Girl.  It’s a half-hour sit-com starring Zooey Deschanel as a girl just out of a relationship who moves in with 3 guys.  She’s quirky and sort of weird and the guys do not get it.  (As someone living in a house with 6 girls and 1 guy, the gender clashes rang absolutely true to me).

Zooey Deschanel is lovely, as always, and the guys she lives with are all great.  I’m hoping for some romantic tension between Jess (Zooey’s character) and Nick, one of her roommates, but so far that’s not happening.  The new show is 3 episodes in, and it has already topped my favorites list for this season.  It’s cute and funny, without being obnoxious or offensive.

Have you been watching? What are your thoughts?

– Jane AAR

Sweat-Proof Makeup

I am appealing to the broader knowledge of the AAR community on this recent challenge of mine.  As frequent readers may recall, I am moving shortly from the Northeast to the Gulf Coast, and am a bit concerned about how I will manage the climate differences.  Now, I’m used to humidity, but I’m sure Mobile is something on a different level.

I have troublesome skin, and I’m looking to try something new as a base makeup.  I am, regrettably, acne-prone, and I know makeup+sweat+humidity is not a good combination for clear skin, so I was hoping you might have a recommendation for a foundation/concealer that is:

  • non-comedogenic (i.e., not acne-causing)
  • oil-free (see above)
  • sweat-proof
  • modest in price (less than $20, preferably less than $15)

Can you think of suggestions? Right now I use Sephora Compact Foundation, but I’m almost out and have found that it tends to melt off my face rather easily, which is not the most pleasant of sensations.  Any other skin-care tips for the Deep South would be very much appreciated!

Summer Shoes

I am a flip-flop girl.  Despite the warnings I’ve seen and heard about the dangers of wearing them, I can’t help but be skeptical.  They can’t possibly be as bad as those stiletto heels I see women wearing.  I have a white pair of Old Navy flip-flops that I wear pretty much daily, with no ill effects.  However, because I’ve been wearing them so often, they’re dirty and worn, so I’ve been looking for some new summer sandals.

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Love Knows No Age


A few weeks ago, tabloids and celeb gossip sites exploded with the story about a 51-year-old actor (not likely someone you would recognize or know) marrying a 16-year old girl.  I, for one, was pretty firmly in the “publicity stunt/she’s not really 16″ camp- I mean, you take a look at this girl, how can you think she’s actually sixteen years old? Well, apparently she is– ABC has verified her birth certificate.  She was born in 1994.

When my mom and I saw a commercial for this segment last night, my mom pointed out that 50 years ago, this wouldn’t have been an issue.  Okay, 3 times her age maybe wasn’t usual, but it wasn’t as scandalous as it is now.  And, watching the interview, their courtship seems more chaste than you would expect– no sexual contact, either physical or written — until they were married.  (Of course, this is what they said– who knows if it’s true?)

What do you think about this story? Is it real love, or an elaborate publicity stunt?

The Heat is On

I recently moved back to my parents’ house, where I’ll be for another month until I move to Alabama.  In all three places, summer can be brutal.  As my home is not air conditioned, there is little respite from the humidity.

I’ve taken to finding some easy ways to stay cool.  I often give myself “sponge baths” — a quick wipe-down of my arms and legs and face with a cool, wet towel.  It works wonders.  I’ve been staying in front of a fan pretty much at all times, drinking a lot of water, and sleeping under light sheets.  I’m sure there are lots of other tricks, though, and I’d love to hear yours.  After all, I’ll be moving to southern Alabama in the middle of August — I’ll need all the help I can get to stay cool!

The Perils of Craigslisting

As a college student/recent grad in the city, craigslist is pretty much the only way to get furniture.  Buying furniture is pretty easy– you email someone, and if it’s still available you set up a meet and you pick it up.  Selling it, though, is another matter.

It wasn’t until I was trying to sell several pieces of furniture a month ago that I realized how flaky people can be.  More than once, people would just stop emailing me mid-arrangement.  They would cancel meetups half an hour before they were supposed to show up.  They wouldn’t show up at all.  They would show up, and then decide not to buy it.  Or, once, they would bring it home, realize it didn’t fit, and call me asking to return it.

It is frustrating, to be sure.  I used to feel guilty about choosing one person over another, but now I’m ruthless.  If your email isn’t in full sentences or grammatically correct, I’m not responding.  If you are ambivalent about pick up time, I’m offering it to someone else.  If you don’t respond in a timely manner, you’re not getting it.

Do you have any craigslist horror (or success) stories?