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Sweater Thursday placeholder

14 Feb

I’m not wearing a sweater today. I’m sorry. I was running late this morning and grabbed what I thought was a cardigan but it wasn’t. I might change into one later.

PSA: In case you want to write for Essay Tuesday this month and you don’t know to check 11frogs for the topic announcement, here it is:

Tomorrow you can do anything you want, no regrets, no consequences. What do you do? Describe your day.

So far I know my day will begin with not scalding my mouth with coffee like it does every other morning.


Essay Tuesday placeholder

30 Jan

If you haven’t been paying attention, Essay Tuesday is now a monthly feature rather than a weekly feature. We are a busy people with Scrabulous moves to make. The current topic: What’s your word? You have to describe yourself in one word, such that a complete stranger would get an accurate picture of your personality. Oh, and your friends have to agree with your choice.

I’m stumped. I was thinking about it while I walked around town this morning and this song has been haunting me all day. For now I defer to the nuns as they ponder how you find a word that means Maria Jobonga?

Of particular note:

When I’m with her I’m confused
Out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather
She’s as flighty as a feather
She’s a darling! She’s a demon! She’s a lamb!

She’d outpester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest
She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
She is gentle! She is wild!
She’s a riddle! She’s a child!
She’s a headache! She’s an angel!
She’s a girl!

My “word” continues to elude me. Seriously. How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?

How do you hOOOld a mOOOOnbeam. In your hAAAAAnd?

Jobonga, Loved by Some, Dead at 63

4 Dec

This Tuesday’s essay topic:

“Write your obituary. You die in 36 1/2 years from now.”

On June 1st, 2044, Jobonga died after choking on a carrot at David Sedaris’ America: No Longer Embarrassing! party in Paris. Her death overshadowed an otherwise happy and internationally noteworthy day: the French officially forgave America for all that shit she pulled 36 years ago. It’s a well-known fact that Jobonga had a fear of choking to death in a room full of people who thought she was just laughing, but friends say she also understood the importance of facing one’s fears, as evidenced by the fact that she voluntarily rode in cars driven by The Cheese Rind and The Moderatilist.

Though mainly known for her wildly successful writing career, Jobonga also kicked ass everyday as a digital librarian. Unfortunately she died just a few years short of retirement, but she probably did not mind as she held the record for having the sweetest job in history. Her first job title was Information Ninja and her final title, Information is my Bitch and Lackeys Bring Me Coffee, has been retired in her honor. She is credited for making command-line computing sexy again.

Even before her successful careers, she became a household name at 28 after finding a large suitcase full of money under her bed which she was allowed to keep. When asked how 20 million dollars would change her life, she said, “I don’t think it will because I am so fulfilled already. But I do plan to ramp up my online-shopping and get a new puppy.”

Most athletes peak in their late teens and twenties, but not Jobonga – a truly made, rather than a born, athlete. She became relatively better and better as peers in her age group gave up. At 37, she won Olympic gold for the biathalon, the event that combines cross-country skiing with riflery. Other sports she dominated late in life: rowing, triathalons, megamarathons, and beach volleyball.

At this point, one can only speculate on her regrets, but based on what we know, the following would be listed among them: never seeing Prince, Neil Diamond, and Bruce Springsteen on stage at the same time; not living to celebrate her 1/23/45 birthday next year; Ry Cooder dying before she could get him to sing her eulogy. She was pretty witchy towards the end, but friends will always remember how hot her ass looked in pants for a 63-year old. A viking-burial/dance party will be held on the shores of Lake Ontario next Thursday evening. All willing to shake it are welcome.

Planet Jobonga

14 Nov

I present my Tuesday Essay. The topic, if you haven’t been following along:

What would the world be like if it was only populated by people exactly like you for the last 2 million years? (Social norms, architecture, advances in science, economics, the angles are endless.) Creationists may start with Adam/Eve if they insist on being ridiculous.

Unfortunately, life is harsh on Planet Jobonga. While its people are highly creative, we don’t carry out our ideas well because we never quite master the details. Consequently, most Jobongans toil at subsistence farming. We mastered the wheel long ago but our axels could use some work. Fire seems like something worth figuring out, but why not just keep feeding this flame right here that’s been going for 300,000 years? Our health care is pretty atrocious because mucous, the digestive process, and ear wax? That shit is gross.

Even though we could really use the protein, we are not omnivores. Our love and respect for the abundant animals on our planet hinders our success as a species. No creature suffers pain or hunger when a Jobongan is near except maybe another Jobongan. Dogs and chickens are domesticated because we couldn’t resist, the rest we admire from afar.

The stress of hard living has led to some very necessary outlets that all Jobongans enjoy: ultimate fighting, turning everything into a race, dancing, eating, drinking, and napping with puppies. All of these activities can be used to resolve conflict, as most wars are passive aggressive and undeclared. In the event of an actual war, we fight with snowballs, clubs, and fists. We are a happy, moody people in spite of our short, brutal lives. Once we recover our numbers from the last plague, we will have more time to do what we love most: write and read books, cultivate and discuss wool technology, and inhabit boats.

Why you wish you could live there:

We taught dogs to talk. It turns out you just have to spend a lot of time with them. Running a mile in under 7 minutes is Olympic gold. Our pancakes taste better. We spend time in trees – over time our very long toes became ultra-prehensile. There’s no such thing as small talk. No one tries to make you dance when you just want to sit with your beer. No automatic flush toilets. Good napping is applauded and encouraged. Everyone dies in a method and on a day of their choosing. When I am ready, I will be chased by a mountain lion but just before it catches me, I will jump from a cliff to my death. I know, what a way to go!

Why you might be glad you don’t in addition to short life expectancy:

I have to be honest. There are a few developments on this earth that blow my mind: the construction of underground sewers, the refinement of fossil fuels, very large boats, planes of any size, the discovery of electrons, the mining of precious metals, microscopes, an efficient postal service, turning wheat into flour, gymnastics, cartography, theology. We do not have these things on Planet Jobonga. There’s just no way we could come up with that shit on our own.

The answer is none. None more paranoid.

13 Nov

Today being Tuesday, it’s Essay Tuesday. This Tuesday’s topic is “What would the world be like if it was only populated by people exactly like you for the last 2 million years? (Social norms, architecture, advances in science, economics, the angles are endless.) Creationists may start with Adam/Eve if they insist on being ridiculous.” This topic was my idea and it seemed like a cool idea but in fact I’m struggling with it. Could it be that I have overindulged in self-indulgence? I don’t think that’s it. Only one person has posted so far so it must be lame or everyone thinks I am lame and my Essay Tuesday topic can go to hell.

Was my “Who Are My People” essay too aggressive? Did I talk too much pumpkin smack? Do I persist in making you uncomfortable with the who would I do and a hat feature? Is my blog a loud, drunk man who’s trying to tell you why all women are cheating bitches and you just want to dance with your friends? And, if my WordPress stats are correct, PS – why does no one ever click my links? Do you not trust me because I keep sending you to YouTube while you’re at work? Don’t you want to know why Buble has mommy issues? I’ve watched it at least 8 times just to hear him say “mummies”. Cliiiiiiiiiiiiick it. CLICKIT CLIK IT!

I need some validation. Please go hug me on facebook. I will be writing my essay.

I’m supposed to prove how uncool I am.

6 Nov


There are probably plenty of reasons why I am uncool or not cool, but for this tuesday’s essay, I give you my Netflix queue.


And here are shows I’ve already watched: all five seasons of Monk.


Other shows I enjoy: Murder She Wrote, Are You Being Served?, Keeping Up Appearances, Midsomer Murders (I find Chief Inspector Barnaby impossibly hot and he’s kind of old), everything else BBC, bad movies with Doris Day, anything on TCM or AMC – especially if it’s in Technicolor, 7th Heaven, Cold Case Files, The Andy Griffith Show. I like small-town, far-fetched, improbably-resolved entertainment with low emotional commitment.

Oh, and I’m going to be a librarian – classically uncool no matter how The New York Times spins it. Though I will never play the Dewey Decimal guessing game they speak of. So I might be cool for a librarian.

I also can’t do cartwheels.

*Is anyone else amused by imagining the photo shoot that led to that Angela Lansbury picture? I wonder if they had other props.

Essay Tuesday: please bury me with…

30 Oct


my size 10 AA hiking boots.* Here they are ready to go snow-shoeing.


And here they are just looking awesome.


These boots are my favorite possession for three reasons.**

1. They fit like they were made just for me by tiny shoe elves. They transform my absurdly long, narrow, flat feet into sturdy, athletic feet.

2. I move a lot and most of my stuff is just stuff I keep hauling around, but my boots don’t weigh me down. If my apartment was hit by the arson, I wouldn’t be too upset about losing everything as long as I was wearing my boots while I watched it burn.

3. I’ve had them for about 5 years and I have good memories of being in them.

*first photo taken by Haskell

**This week’s topic is “what’s your favorite possession,” not “what’s your favorite position” which is what I heard the first time. Now that I’m all excited about my boots, if I had to write about my favorite position I would probably take a picture of me in my bed with my boots on.