February 3, 2009


Aaaaand No one is happy with 16 things about iPod. I keep getting hit with the 25 things meme on the FACEBOOK. Since you, O Helpful Best Beloveds, gave me explicit details about how to tag folks, I am going to do it.

DIGRESSION: Lordy, but I love me some Facebook. It isn’t just the PATHWORDS it’s the whole vibe. To me MYSPACE still seems like it is mostly for three groups…
1) Indy bands looking for word of mouth
2) Teenagers looking to hook up with other teenagers
3) Creepy old people looking to hook up with teenagers.
Evidence: I have never yet, never, NEVER not once, ever, gotten a friend request from a person on Facebook who thought a crotch shot was an appropriate profile picture.
Alas! The same can not be said of My Space.)

1) I know every ever-lovin’ word to Sir Mix A Lot’s BABY GOT BACK. (Oooh! Rumple-smooth-skin, you wanna get in my Benz?) That’s right. Every. Word.

2) I am a mono-linguist. I have tried to learn Latin, Spanish, and German at various schools and then tried to learn Japanese with my two year old son via videotapes. Sam would watch the pretty Japanese lady hold up a pen and say the Japanese word for pen, and then he would LAUGH AND LAUGH and say “Silly Lady! Dats um pen. Dats um PEN.” He spent the WHOLE TIME, every tape, giggling and correcting the native speakers, so apparently I have passed on both my mono-linguism and my irksome love for correcting people.

3) I am SO competitive (and my friend Karen is SO competitive) that we once almost decapitated several sailors while playing win-or-die Air Hockey. We returned each volley with such willfully over-vigorous thrusts that the puck kept going airborne.

4) This is my favorite picture of my favorite daughter. My favorite niece took it:


5) In 9th grade I practiced until I could put on lipgloss with my boobs, just like Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club.

6) I like Hamburger Helper. I am not ashamed.

7) That’s a lie. I AM ashamed. But I still like it.

8) I once played Sophie in Uncle Vanya, old maid Sophie who is so plain and so hopelessly in love with a country doctor, and a girl who had also auditioned for the role approached me bitterly in a coffee house and said, “I’m not saying you aren’t plain, but I am SO MUCH PLAINER! That was MY part. THAT WAS MY PART.”

9) This morning my daughter said to me, “Mommy, I have a new thing I am suspecting. Is there a Santa, or do your parents wait until you go to sleep and then go to the mall and get your things?”

10) Since I did not want to lie to her, I said, “LET’S ASK MR. GOOGLE! And I pulled up and read to her the YES VIRGINIA THERE IS A SANTA CLAUSE Editorial.

11) I got misty twice reading it. Because I am a sap.

12) This is me twenty years ago, sitting in my parent’s living room. When my husband saw this picture, he said, “Oh, what play is that picture from?” and I said, “Honey. That is not from a plat. That is a not a costume. That’s just THE 80’s!” Peep those NAPKINS that have infested the neckline of my dress, yish!


13) See how in that photo I look kinda STIFF and AWKWARD? It’s because I am sucking in my non-existant stomach so I won’t look fat in the picture. I was even then in a constant state of war with my body.

14) Now I look back at that body and wish I looked half that good.

15) Filed under, “I don’t learn,” I am sure that when I am 60, I will probably look back at the body I have NOW, the body I am STILL at war with, and wish I looked half that good.

16) I wear habitually men’s jeans.

17) My husband is a better cook than I am.

18) While reading Weight Watcher’s success stories, I became so enraged with one of the succeeders that I kinda wanted to DRIVE TO VERMONT and slap a woman who lives there for saying that in her, “journey to thinness,” she came to accept that cheese is not a FOOD. She says it is a condiment. She says a SPRINKLE is enough.

19) A sprinkle is NOT enough.


21) Even so, no matter how many recipes I pull off Google, I cannot make a decent French Martini.

22) SHE LIVES IN VERMONT, for the love of God, there is NO PLACE ON EARTH where you can get a better cheddar.

23) One day I went into a zen-Pathwords trance and got an AWESOME high score. I have never once come within 200 points of it again.

24) I have a cold.

25) My brother is the best Christian I know, and by this I mean, he doesn’t care what other people think of him and he is able to love people just as they are, even the broken ones. I wish I was more like him.

Posted by joshilyn at February 3, 2009 11:07 AM

This harpy appreciates you list! Even though I didn't email you about your iPod list. But I almost did. So I'm most appreciative of this one.

And what, exactly, is a French Martini? Google, here I come!

Posted by: Tuli at February 3, 2009 11:43 AM

*YOUR list!* GAH!

Note to self: PROOF READ your comments before posting on an AUTHOR's blog. Cripes.

Posted by: tuli at February 3, 2009 11:45 AM

Awesome shoulders in that photo, dude. Of course, we ALL had awesome shoulders in the 80s.

Must tell you that I am reading Between, Georgia right now and am enjoying it immensely. Thanks!

Posted by: kmkat at February 3, 2009 11:52 AM

Now I feel like my list sucks. Thanks a LOT.

(I can just HEAR Sam correcting the video. That was hilarious.)

Posted by: Mir at February 3, 2009 12:12 PM

Best 25 ever. I love how you always have your family in there somewhere. I work for a cheese company, so #19 is right on target.

"Journey to Thinness"- You have to be kidding.

NOW Everyone now wants a French Martini and it's only noon. Oh and Vermont Cheddar Cheese....

Thank you for mentioning Pathwords-- I wondered if you scored in the 1600's all the time. I got to 820 and was so happy, then I saw your score...

Posted by: jean at February 3, 2009 12:14 PM

That photo of Maisy just put the warmth and sunshine back in a cold snowy day. Oh and cheese isn't A food, it is THE food.

Posted by: Dani at February 3, 2009 12:18 PM

Great list.

I'll have you know that Pathwords score of yours sits at the top of my Friends ladder and taunts me...

Posted by: Jill W. at February 3, 2009 12:22 PM

I have to tell you (do I have to tell you? Apparently I do) that even before I got to #22, while you were tossing off Things about bartending and French Martinis, I was only half-reading them because I was going "She lives in VERMONT and she thinks cheese isn't a food?? She doesn't DESERVE to live in Vermont!! For crying out loud!!!" [n.b. I love Vermont. And cheese. And Vermont cheese.]

And yes I thought it with all those exclamation points.

Posted by: elswhere at February 3, 2009 1:27 PM

When I first played Pathwords, my one-and-only-Pathwords-playing-friend had a high score of 560. I was intimidated. Then I got competitive and played until I beat her score. I too, found a zen-pathwords place and reached a miraculous-seeming 700. When you friended me, Ms Joshilyn, and your score was 16bazillionand7, I thought, this is why I should have stayed living in my pathetic illusion of smartiness.

Now I wonder just how high one can score in Pathwords, and how many hours a day must I play to get there?? I may have to give up my day job.

P.S. I used your recipe for fat-fat-potato-fat to make twice-baked potatoes. But I added crumbled BACON. Cheese, cheese, potatoes, bacon, and cheese. It is a balm to my Pathwords inferiority complex.

Posted by: Lulu at February 3, 2009 1:56 PM

OK, Vermont gal is half right: cheese isn't a food. It's an entire FOOD GROUP!! That was the one thing that I found I really couldn't handle with Weight Watchers -- I just can't give up cheese.

Posted by: Beth R at February 3, 2009 1:59 PM

Okay, so I'm an art cataloger for a university slide collection. So I look at a lot of pictures every day. And for some reason, your picture was setting off all sorts of recognition alarms.

Here's why: It reminds me of a cross between this


and this


So, yes, eighties and a little stilted, but you can always tell people you were trying for a distinctly pre-raphaelite effect, right?

Posted by: Alix at February 3, 2009 2:17 PM

Okay, first, I agree with what everyone else so far has said about cheese. I have a friend who is on WW, and she has raved about it and told me I MUST try WW, it is so WONDERFUL, and it WORKS so WELL and she FEELS so GOOD when she does it right...but I have NOT joined WONDERFUL, WORKING-WELL WW, and now I know why! My idea of a "sprinkle" of cheese would probably cost me 2000 points!

Second, I too know all the words to "Baby Got Back." ("Well, move me, move me, 'cause you ain't no average groou-pie!") I also know most of the "words" to that old Sugar Hill Gang rap ("A-hip, a-hop, a hibbie to the hibbie an' a hip hip hop, you don't stop rockin', to the bang-bang boogie, say up jumped the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie-de-beat!"

Third, I really love reading your blog. It is funny and smart and makes me think of things I haven't thought about in a while. I am ashamed to say that I have not yet read one of your books (I will, though! I will, I PROMISE!), but I visit your blog with almost religious regularity. Appearances by Boggart and Lawn Fork are wonderful; appearances by Schubert are priceless.

Cheese cheese cheese.

Posted by: Jennifer at February 3, 2009 2:43 PM

Is that a Gunne Sax dress? It looks suspiciously like one I myself owned in the 80s.

Also, Pathwords is going to be the death of me. Picking out words out of letters is MY THING. I'm good at it. People always get me to help them with the Jumble. But Pathwords makes me insane. My highest score is 650 and I fear I shall never reach such heights again.

Also? cheese is NOT a condiment. It's a food group.

Posted by: Leandra at February 3, 2009 3:18 PM

I was happy with the 16 things about your iPod list! I totally would have said so if I'd realized you weren't getting the support you need.

But I also like this list a lot. Although I will say that when I quit smoking, I made up lots of arcane little rules to help me along. Vermont Cheese Lady is telling herself lies to achieve a certain goal, but those lies don't necessarily apply to you. She is more to be pitied than censured, I think.

And cheese is a vegetable. So is bacon.

Posted by: alala at February 3, 2009 3:55 PM

Now, now...no matter how much we love it, cheese is not a food group.

Remember, the 4 food groups are (wait for it...)

Posted by: Jan in Norman, OK at February 3, 2009 4:12 PM

How many of us DO know those lyrics? Could that brain space not be used for other things? Oh no it could not (so your girlfriend drives a HONDA, plays workout tapes by FONDA, well Fonda ain't got a motor in the back of her honda, my anaconda....)

Posted by: Beth at February 3, 2009 4:54 PM

...don't want none unless its got buns, hun.


Posted by: Joshilyn at February 3, 2009 6:55 PM

You can do side bends or sit ups...

Yeeeah, it's a little ridiculous ;)

Posted by: Heather at February 3, 2009 9:14 PM

I am from Wisconsin. We decorate with cheese. We accessorize with cheese. Cheese isn't just a food, or a food group, it's a lifestyle.

Posted by: Sandi at February 3, 2009 9:43 PM

AMEN on the Facebook, Sister!

Posted by: CityGirl at February 3, 2009 10:32 PM

I've been tagged by that list of 25 so many times, and I just started on Facebook, I don't know how to do anything right! But, I must try the Pathwords, yesImust!

And cheese, yes glorious cheese, goes good with fine chocolate, yes it does, washed down with the wine of your choice. And 0 points, too. (I don't do WW, I do YMCA and sweat off all excess!)

Posted by: Patti at February 3, 2009 10:33 PM

When a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in yo face you get SPRUNG!

I deleted my 25 things b/c I was embarrassed!

Air Hockey rematch this weekend?

Posted by: Karen Abbott at February 4, 2009 12:33 AM

Oh,w ell, darn, I just check my two links and realized they were the same image. I'm a little ditsy like that. Anyway, the second image, for really reals this time, should be found here:


Posted by: Alix at February 4, 2009 10:20 AM

Also, I apparently fail at the English Language. *Le Sigh* I'm going to go have more coffee.

Posted by: Alix at February 4, 2009 10:21 AM

I was happy with the iPod list but I like this one too. That's such a cute picture of Maisy! And the cheese... *shuddddder* Need cheese. I still haven't played Pathwords because I am afraid of its ability to steal time. *nods*

Posted by: Jess at February 4, 2009 12:06 PM

By the way--that photo of Maisy TOTALLY rocks. She looks so devil-may-carish. . .as she trots along with her following of cousins seeking to capture cute shots of her girldome.

Posted by: Roxanne at February 5, 2009 11:15 AM

And from YOUR photo, I recognize both the napkin neck and the hair. I saw it on myself long about the same time. I was NEVER that thin--even with my gut sucked in.

Posted by: Roxanne at February 5, 2009 11:17 AM

Hamburger Helper is so awesome.

Posted by: Amanda Hill of Shamelessly Sassy at February 5, 2009 11:44 PM

But have you seen THIS?


Posted by: Kate Setzer Kamphausen at February 6, 2009 12:31 PM

Kate, that is simply hilarious! I, most unfortunately, also know all the words to Baby Got Back (I can thank my sister for that one, since she is the one who played it so much): "Oh my God, Becky, look at her butt!"

And I also have to say that I have furious air hockey skills, am super competitive, and tend to literally play AIR hockey--where the puck leaves the table and flies toward innocent bystanders. My friends and family know by now to be on the lookout for ducking opportunities when I get going. (I've yet to be beat!)

Posted by: jess at February 8, 2009 10:07 PM

Loved your list! :)

Posted by: Lisa at February 11, 2009 11:33 PM