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Unauthorized bumping

17 Jun

My sister Meghan and I were messing around with the Bump app by Bump Technologies. Does this work for you? We slammed our phones together for at least ten minutes trying to get a connection. We tried top bumps and side bumps, mutual bumps and give/take bumps. Then out of nowhere Meghan received and accepted a bump from a stranger named Jesse. Before I could stop her, she sent him this photo of me sleeping. He did not reciprocate.

Jesse might be my parents’ retired neighbor. I will never ask.


Analog revival

14 Mar

Many months ago I put the blog aside to focus on achieving a job. Many months later, my unemployment still looms and there is but a sliver of internet television I have not seen. I lost my way.  Let’s just start the healing.

There is plenty to catch you up on (like Seasons 1-2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I have a crush on Xander.), but let’s start with the best thing about 2010 so far: the mail addressed to me. Beautiful packages and they’re all mine.

Exhibit A

Hemingway. Who knit that tiny sweater? Probably his first wife while he was out getting drunk with his second wife. Artists can be such assholes.

Exhibit B

A Venn diagram. An Agatha Christie mystery (poor, sensitive Hastings). And a sweater for my French press! Cinnamon Tingle’s package was perfectly timed. I had been meaning to do something nice for my French press because it is so good to me. I wasn’t so hot at making coffee in the recent past, which I now surmise was the only thing between me and a caffeine addiction. But then Heidi came into my life for five glorious months and she taught me the secret of adulthood. This morning, like every morning, I experienced near-paralysis as I lay in bed and tried to coach myself up and into the kitchen to put the kettle on and prepare the cup that will end my suffering. It’s such a long walk.

Exhibit C

So far my studies revealed that Satan tried to tempt Christ with a powerboat, but Christ had none of it.

A this picture on page 43…

reminds me of this picture:

Exhibits D-G

Postcards + one cute note from my parents that came with gaiters. I did enjoy my winter walks. One day I came across this adorable scene. One snowperson conducting an enthusiastic chorus of snowpeople.

And the very next day, I rounded the bend and everyone’s ass had been kicked. Did Glee teach you nothing?

Exhibits E-F

Cats and dogs. In which my born-cool cousin invites me to Santa Barbara. Do you have a cousin in Santa Barbara?

Exhibit G

A drawing from another cousin. I think that’s a penguin in the box.

Exhibit H

Fitflops! After a few weeks in these, I’m supposed to be able to push a grocery cart in hot pants.

I’m buried in love here. I know it and my postal carrier knows it.

You were such a BIG baby.

16 Nov

It’s my favorite time of year… that magic window when we’re both the same age.

Nothing to do but blog.

21 Jun

I am holed up in the basement of my building because of tornado sirens and a sky that looks like they mean it. It’s a familiar feeling that reminds me of my first weeks in Iowa. This time there is cable (Bill Murray’s Father’s Day marathon) and access to the washing machine. My first sheltering experience was crouched in the corner of the public library with my laptop. A guy next to me leaned over and asked me to check the radar online. So I found a national weather map and he said, “Click on Iowa”. And I had to say “Um, click where?” Because I didn’t know what my new state looked like, yet. I am telling you this because when my sisters came to visit me last weekend, they didn’t know where Iowa was either.

We stopped in THE WORLD”S LARGEST TRUCKSTOP for SNACKS and took advantage of a teaching moment among the merchandise. Meghan (of Michigan) and I were able to piece these state magnets together to give Katie enough geographical context to orient herself. Katie even helped a little with the Illinois border. She’s always been good with shapes. Lincoln looks pissed.


I will have to update later with more pictures because my camera is currently at risk of severe weather in my apartment. These are all Meg’s pictures and she is not in any of them. Just believe me that this is what we did.

1. Eat: pastries, burritos, nachos, pie milkshakes, cheese curds, tapas, pastries, in that order. Katie was made to face her fear of misshapen foods by trying cheese curds, a fear which I had no idea existed. Ultimately I think she felt betrayed because no one told her they would by squeaky when you bite into them. So now I guess she has a new aversion to squeaky foods. This is for Tony, from the attractively packaged bottle of the austere, sensible iced tea Obama drinks, Honest Tea.


2. Sleep: they both napped on Saturday while I sewed Katie some curtains. Three seams and it took me at least an hour because I kept sewing the fabric to itself and then threaded the machine wrong. Here we are measuring for them.


3. Watch movies.

4. Touch Katie’s pregnant body.

5. Cut my hair.

Stay tuned for Sister Weekend 2010.

Happy May 5!

5 May

Today I came home to an impromptu dinner and a gorgeous woman put a beer in my hand and asked me how my day was. Fried plantains, fancy tacos, queso. All I did was show up. It kind of makes you mourn the break down of traditional marriage roles.


Before Obama was President…

4 Feb

The second annual eBay Secret Santa Gift Extravaganza happened again and I’m ready to talk about it. I chose Mike, a scientist, to draw the names for us and I received this email:

Dear Joanna,
I have been appointed to be an independent and unbiased coordinator of your Secret Santa event!  Or as it is known in Ireland, “Chris Kindle”, or in Spain, “Amigo Invisible”.
Your assignment:  Wendy
Have fun!

Disclaimer (per Wikipedia):
“A Secret Santa event in a mixed-gender setting can often be marred by the anonymous provision of inappropriate gifts with the potential to cause embarrassment to the recipients. Typical gifts of this nature include many inappropriate objects, such as inflatable penises, dildos and pubic shampoo…”

He kills me.

My bidding did not go well. My plan was to force archivnoten into participating in Sweater Thursday on Christmas day but I don’t think my gift arrived until 2009. Hoping to get something there in time, I bought a placeholder gift but I accidentally chose an international seller and it arrived even later. Anyway, I blew it. I’ll let her tell you about her gifts, as per the user end agreement which I am just now getting around to upholding.
My Santa was Whitney, as scrawled upon the box.


A life-size glass head! How unexpected!

I emailed the seller to confirm receipt and asked WTF is this glass head? His reply:

Good Morning Joanna ,

THANKS for letting me know it arrived in good condition ! The glass head was intended as a display head for commercial use – that is why it is the anatomically appropriate size. We use them to display eye glasses.  Others have used to display hats. These are the more common uses. However, here on Ebay people have been more creative. Some people have filled them with items; one person used a low wattage bulb to make a lamp (not recommended); sold a number of them to an Army Officer who made a memorial homage to his fallen men.  If you or anyone else can use more, please let me know and we can save you money on combined shipping and purchase of more – especially case lots.

The head was obviously a plea for the return of last year’s feature – Who Would I Do and a Hat. Who am I to deny the people?

The hat: I’ve been into all shades of gray lately, if one can be into grays. You can roll up the brim if you want to but I like to wear it TALL.
The do: Chef Anthony Bourdain of the Travel Channel’s No Reservations.

He’s undeniably an aged version of The Moderatalist, minus the Midwestern charm, the physique, and the clean lungs. I bet he doesn’t eat tuna out of the can like David does, but same thick roiling curls. Same lanky gait. (Same ear piercing.)

Tony has a blog and one of his posts is titled the same as one of mine! A common reference to a shared pop culture? No way. It’s a promising sign of our shared future, traveling the globe, exchanging irreverent, witty banter.

Less promising? He hates vegetarians. I can change.

Here he is eating squeevilskweasel.

My special day

31 Jan


[Card courtesy of the nerdess]

I had a birthday last week. I have 28 years now. If I were to graph trends related to getting older, one of the factors on an upward sweep at this point is the baking skills of my friends. I have fond memories of the box cakes in college, but lime-coconut cupcakes from scratch? Expert blueberry pie, still warm? A noble attempt at profiteroles despite being short a few ingredients? I’m feeling good about this.

Another upward trend: the resourcefulness of my friends. I got some good loot. Highlights follow.

A book of postcards…


with such gems as…


Documented underboob, which I immediately turned into a magnet to keep the other chick company on the fridge. I now have an underboob collection. I imagine it will grow.


A check from my sister with this memo: For rat film production.



I know. It’s amazing. He sneers at me while I make coffee in the morning. And because of a mirror on the opposite wall, he does it again when I walk in the front door.


W and The Kee made the long cold journey to my city and state and I finally got in on the ground floor of some of their inside jokes. Most the activities I planned for us fell through. I made them promise to go snowshoeing no matter how cold it was but at -7F it was, in fact, too cold. The Miss America Pageant viewing I had lined up for Saturday night was a bust because my landlords canceled the cable. Luckily there was plenty of entertainment to be had from the Kee’s new snuggie to fill the void.


Another positive: because they were maybe getting a little stir-crazy, they were more receptive to bad ideas, like giving Whitney a faux hawk. At one point it looked as bad as this.


He stressed out a tiny bit but at some point, though it never really got much better, he seemed to change his mind about it. Here is he completely at home with his pony hawk.


My tree-house apartment seems almost too big without them, but I find comfort in the empty snuggie box and the puddle of human hair on my porch.