February 27, 2009

Birthday Blah-Blah-Blah

Birthday Musings

It’s easier to turn 41 than it is to turn 40. 40 sucked and was shock and I felt very INDIGNANT about it… this is just more of the same decade, and I am inured to the suckage of the 40’s at this point. 41. Big woo. The thing that helps is how fun this stage is…How COOL it is to watch my kids turning into genuine people. We are leaving Chuck E. Cheese behind (Thank you, Beautiful Lord) and heading into family game nights, where they can play actual GAMES we ALL ENJOY, and where we can go see movies together that do not make me want to stab my ears with a fork to make the dialog stop (*cough*POKEMON*cough*) and where they are TALL enough to get on the GOOD rides.
That said, I am not going to start aging gracefully or going gently into that good night or any CRAP like that. The something-ty-ones, through the Something-ty sevens rarely bother me, but I purely hate leaving behind the EARLIES and MIDS and heading into the LATES. I expect to have a TOTAL BREAK WITH REALITY and begin practicing Munchausen’s by Proxy on the bad cat or, if I have already drowned Boggart in a toilet on general principles I am sure I can find some other form of damaging lunacy to indulge in when I bid 47 goodbye and head into 48.

MEANWHILE, I have decided to marry Bronchitis and have little phlegmy babies because we are apparently going to be together for QUITE some time. After the big allergic reaction/near death/seeing the face of God thing, I decided I can live with a little constant coughing and mucus. If this is sinusitis as well, I will go all BIG LOVE and marry sinusitis, too. FINE! We are all four in the bed together every night ANYWAY, just Scott, Bronchitis, Sinusitis, and me. Bronchitis is a screamer. Sinusitis hogs the remote. Even so, I am sure we will all be very happy together, just do not give me anymore helpful medications, THANKS. I will not have my first husband (Scott) sitting up all night again hollering, “Carol Ann! Stay Away from the light!”

Oh hey! If I DO marry sinusitis and bronchitis, can I register and get stuff? Like a set of these bowls? Because right now I have a 28 ounce oversize bowl for popcorn and soups, and a flat pasta bowl, and an 8 ounce dessert bowl, and I really need an in between size for cereal…

I am going to go work on the book, but…Best Beloved Cheryl sent me a poem for my birthday. Now, generally I would rather get chocolate, but THIS poem, I truly truly love, and it relates in deeply amusing ways to subjects we have LONG discussed here. I want to post it here, copywrite be damned, because I suspect most people do not link crawl with an expectation of POETRY, but I cannot violate George Bilgere’s rights. SO. A link. It’s a perfect moment of a poem, and very entertaining.

You will like it. Pinky Swears.

Posted by joshilyn at 9:51 AM | Comments (36)

February 25, 2009

Also, the dog ate my homework

I have not bored you with the endless details of my now almost MONTH LONG battle with the consumptionary leprotic necro-death bronchitisaurus that CONTINUES to ravage my sinuses and stomp through my lungs on it’s big, fat scaly dinnerplate feet, but in case you were wondering, YEAH. I AM STILL SICK.

Yesterday, I went to the fellow we like to call the vet---we call all medical professionals The Vet. ANYWAY --- I like my vet, and what happened after was not his fault, K? He agreed that I was egregiously ill, and gave me antibiotics, the antibiotics just about put me in the hospital.

I had a full blown hideous and excitingly life threatening allergic reaction to a school of antibiotics that have never much bothered me before. First I was just nauseous, and I said to Scott, “Yikes, I can’t toleratethese I am SO sick… I will have to call tomorrow and get something different.” I haven’t felt those kind of roiling waves of misery since I had a bad reaction to a spinal I got when I was having a c-section.

An hour of that, and then my heart rate shot though the roof, I started laughing and could not stop, my head was soared off my body, colors brightened, I jerked and twitched like I was being electrocuted, and I was so dizzy and soaring that it felt both was extremely pleasant and it scared the HELL out of the small, core me, the driver who sits in the pit of my brain and catalogs things no matter how messed up I am.

My driver has not had to work so hard since I was in college. *cough*

ANYWAY, Scott started to get the kids up to take me to emergency but I refused in between bouts of hysterical, terrified and utterly uncontrollable cackling. I HATE The hospital and I did not want to scare them.

We called the vet on call (not my vet) who said TAKE BENADRYL NOW, if your heart rate does not come down, you must go to emergency for steroids.

I swallowed the phosphorescent and pulsing pink benadryl tablets (EVEN THOUGH THEY LOOKED TO ME LIKE ALIVE DISEMBODIED ELECTRIC SQUIRREL HEARTS---I am very brave) and I said, “The benadryl will knock me out. What if in my sleep I have heart problems or stop breathing because I feel like I could stop breathing and my heart is all thready and freaking me RIGHT THE HELL OUT.”

“Yes, that’s certainly possible with a reaction this extreme,” the vet said, “This is why you have a husband. The benadryl SHOULD stop this, and if it does not, steroids at the hospital will, but he will need to watch you carefully in case in your sleep you start breathing a thousand times a minute. Or stop.”

So. That’s what we did.
In fifteen minutes colors calmed down and my heart was fast but not terrifying. In 45 I was only twitchy and having little eyelid and foot spasms. After an hour, I was unconscious.
I woke up this morning mostly myself again, to find him still sitting beside me watching movies on the laptop with one hand on me to make sure my heart was going right. He has not yet been to sleep.

Did I mention today is his birthday? YES. WELL. IT IS! Happy freakin’ birthday, baby. You get an alive wife. Thanks for sitting up all night.

Screw the new bush.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a MAN.
I have another 12 hours before this is out of my blood and I got symptomatic again (though not NEARLY as severely…) I just took Benadryl, so goodbye – I am heading back to blissful, (and hopefully breathing) unconsciousness now.

This stupid drug is WASTING, by the way, one of 15.5 working days I have left before I have to transmit this MS to my editor, and I really thought I would WRITE THE LAST LINE TODAY and go hardcore into read-through revisions. AND MAY I JUST SAY if I die in my sleep with all but about 6 thousand words of this book written? I am going to be SO ticked.

Posted by joshilyn at 9:54 AM | Comments (36)

February 23, 2009


Once on a chorus trip in high school, the bus stopped at a Mexican place and we all got off to eat. I had a crush on a guy named…Let’s call him JOHN. His name may well have been John. I do not remember. I remember he was tall and had thick dark hair that flopped over his forehead in SUCH an engaging manner, and olive skin with VERY blue eyes. A delightful looking boy was the name-forgotten boy we are calling John.

By the way, if I DID remember his name, I would STILL probably call him John because of FACEBOOK. Suddenly I am back in touch with four kids I knew from CORDOVA PARK ELEMENTARY, a tenth of the folks I went to middle school with, and half my graduating class. SO WEIRD.

(PS I just heard from a girl I was rather close with back in middle school, and I remembered the EXACT SONG she chose for her gymnastics routine in 8th grade. It was ONCE TWICE THREE TIMES A LADY. And I remember she did a balance beam step thing with her arms out on every counting word, ONCE! TWICE! THREE TIMES! And then she would FLIP on the word lady. That memory takes up one of the brain cells I had PLANNED on using to retain GERMAN. Alas. It is there forever, next to all the words to the Cure’s Love Cats and most of the dialog from the Breakfast Club

Sprechen sie deutsche?

ANYWAY, even if I could recall the name, we would call him JOHN because next week I could be friending his sister or his best friend on Facebook, and LORD but this is a hateful memory about John. Less said, the better…Also, you know, I had a crush on him, and I lied about it. To everyone.

I SPECIALIZED, in fact, in lying about who I had a crush on. I remember an intense three week period when I had a TERRIBLE crush on… Something Bosco. Tim? Some one syllable name like Tim. Maybe HE was John. SOMETHING Bosco. JOHNROBTIMJAMESDANTOM. Did not matter---I thought if he was ever my boyfriend I would CALL him Bosco, and that would be SO cool. He would call me Jackson. Like that.

My LURVE for him was my especial pet dirty secret and I vehemently denied it at the time. SWORE it was not true. Said I would MURDER FRIENDLY LABRADOR RETIEVERS and EAT THEIR RAW DEAD LABRADOR RETRIEVER MEAT with no bun or mustard if it was true. I looked my best friend in the face and said, “Something Bosco? I’d sooner lick a leper.” LIES LIES! He was DARLING and when he passed me in the hall, washing the air with his Polo, I swooned inside with hopeless swoonings.

I liked him so much I used his name in a short story I wrote back in gradschool--- Bosco, I mean, not the name I don’t remember. Obviously. I think that one was published ina lit mag out of Berkeley called OUTLET. The first line is something like “Bosco has become an animal rights activist. He won’t let Piper kill the rats that are living her sofa.”

But this guy, let’s-call-him-JOHN, was on the trip, and I was at his table BY CHANCE AND LUCK and I was dying of swoon and adoration and only half paying attention to the whispery conversation I was having with my friend. She mocked me for eating my chips sans salsa and I said, “I can’t eat spicy food. I’m Irish, we are potato eaters and our stomachs are made out of Play-Doh…I probably have a titanium liver though!” SO then we started listing foods by country, and we talked about who had Irish Play-Doh stomachs (The British) and who had stomachs that could win a cagefight with a grizzly (Indians) and when we came to Greek food I said, “A lot of it is spicy---Greeks have cast Iron Stomachs.”

That line fell into a little silence.
And John said, in INJURED, mighty, WOW-YOU-RACIST tones, “I am Greek.”
While I sputtered and tried to explain what I meant and sounding MORE MORE MORE like an enormous Greek hating racist every second, he got quietly up and changed tables. As did his two friends.

I spent YEARS and YEARs and SEVERAL THOUSAND DOLLARS ON HYPNO-THERAPY to NEVER REMEMBER THAT MOMENT AGAIN. And then the girl I had the Irish Liver conversation with friended me on Facebook, and it came TOE-CURLINGLY back. You know that SICK pit feeling certain memories of your own ass-headed moments bring, years later?

Yeah. Me, too.

Oh Facebook, thou art a mixed blessing!

Posted by joshilyn at 3:04 PM | Comments (18)

February 20, 2009

The Late Blooming Love Post

I meant to tell you all about this when it was topically relevant, on Valentines day, but I was sick. I STILL AM SICK, BY THE WAY. This is endless consumption, and YES I am going BACK to the vet on Monday if it does not resolve magically over the weekend.

Anyway…I always have said that my husband is not Romantical. He is not a grand gesture guy. Not a frequent flower sender nor a secret get-away planner. Not one to peel a girl a grape while gazing deep, deep, deep into her eyes and saying things about limpid pools and darkling waters.

I have never minded that he is not Romantical. In fact it is a plus: I do not like goo.

I hate goo. I am forty years old, and I still make twelve year old boy style Puke-Noises if a movie gets drippy. I like movie men to SHOOT and SEIZE and KISS and be HAIRY and THROW THINGS. I do not like movie men to moon or pine or flop. I am creeped out by the waxed chests of men who wax poetical.

My friend Lydia and I used to watch DAYS OF OUR LIVES while talking on the phone because a main character, Marlena, got INFESTED BY SATAN (really), and we’d yammer all through the slow dancing and strawberry feeding (with frequent pauses to say things like, “Must he look at her with such MOISTness, UGH!”) and we’d only really pay attention to the show when Marlena sprouted her rubber demon head and went galumphing off hunchback style to desecrate the Salem Church.

And yet… I present three facts for your perusal…

1) For Valentines day, he drove 45 minutes to the Godiva store, and bought a puffy box that he could fill himself with all and only the dark chocolates I like VERY VERY VERY best, and he knew what all of them were. I also got COFFEE. And a card that played Sixpence None the Richer singing one of the 15 songs in the world I actually feel a mild emotional response toward.

2) I have named my Saturn Vue the Good Cat because it is orange and I have an orange cat named Boggart who is DEFINITELY the BAD cat. Scott went in to get it a license plate while I was out of town. I had no cell phone signal at the hotel, so we were instant messaging, and I asked if the car was taken care of.

Him: Yes. Your tag will say GUD C4T
Me: HA! That’s brilliant. I wish that was true. That would be the first tag in history I would be able to remember when I had to write it down at hotels.
Him: It is true.
Me: Wait, you really got the tag to say that? I thought you were kidding.
Him: No. It really says that.

3) APPARENTLY our azalea bush by the front door died and turned into a dry poinky sticky looking thing. I failed to notice until Scott pointed it out.

Me: Yep that’s dead alright. I hate lawns. Also nature.

And that, in my head, was the end of it.

At some point or another, Scott dug the ugly stick-dead thing out and put in another bush with dark green waxy leaves. I did not notice. He pointed the new bush out, and I said, “Oh cool. Thanks. Really the azalea died?” He reminded me that it had and we had discussed it and I nodded vaguely and wandered off.

Months later, the bush bloomed.
Scott and I were unlocking the front door with our arms full of groceries when a clean, sweet, pale smell hit me, and I stopped and my eyes closed.

Me: That’s a gardenia bush.
Him: I know.
Me: I love them. I love them. We had one by the back door at my childhood house in Pensacola, and I used to stand there by that bush and just sniff and sniff and sniff the blooms.
Him: Baby. I know.
Me: Wait, you know about that Gardenia bush in Pensacola?
Him: Yes. You told me.
Me: When?
Him: Years ago.

And he remembered. He remembered when even I did not remember. He took a dead bush out and he put in gardenias for me, and I didn’t even notice. We’ve been married almost fifteen years, we’ve been best friends for almost twenty-two, and I am just now realizing that every week and day and month and year, my husband is still wooing me in his own strange, pragmatic, understated way.

My husband? He is a hopeless romantic.
And me? I really, really like it.

Posted by joshilyn at 9:01 AM | Comments (33)

February 17, 2009

Conversations at Starbucks

I am SICK of lying in my bed with my port-o-puter on a lap desk, hacking my Gross National Product into Kleexex Softies, alternately whining and trying to work up the energy to bang my way through the draft of a rather rowdy chapter that has both kissing and murder in it. The kissing went quite well, thanks, but the second half…meh. So I took cough syrup and came to Starbucks to work. I thought I would jam myself in a little corner and let the indistinct buzz of murmur-y conversation overlaid with Starbucks CDs incite me to aim extravagant violence at a key character with the proper vigor.

Truism: One cannot properly murder folks while one is supine.

BUT ALAS! The MUSIC is broken at my Starbuck’s. NO SONGS. Now, you know I don’t like songs, but I like to have them ON. They are nice background noise---I don’t actually listen to them or enjoy them or anything weird like that, but they mute the talk around me. I like hearing human voices when I work, but I cannot STAND to hear the conversations clearly. I am too devoted an eavesdropper. I end up taking notes and cackling and getting new novel ideas and not working on the book at hand. Songs blend everything into white, wholesome background noise, and let me work.


I have already been thoroughly derailed by a round faced fellow, about 40, in jeans and a woodsy, plaid jacket. He leaned over the counter after ordering a chai latte and said to the Barista in a cheerful, confiding tone: “I just love to grab people with my colon!”

Um, what? Now I KNOW he did not say that. He had his back to me. I MISHEARD. (I hope I hope I hope!) But I then SAT for fiteen minutes trying to make that series of sounds into a sentence that did not cause horrifying visions of this guy practicing some voodoo form of butt-whacked intestinal lassoing while standing over by the Tazo tea display.

Epic fail. Can’t get it out of my head. WHAT COULD HE HAVE SAID THAT SOUNDS LIKE “I just love to grab people with my colon!” and yet is NOT “I just love to grab people with my colon!” I am stumped. Everything I so far have come up with is even MORE disturbing than the original sentence.

So FINALLY I gave up and called Karen Abbott for a MOUSE UPDATE. Three greasy slavering urban mice have invaded her apartment. The super and his glue traps have been utterly useless. Chuck murdered one with a shoe wile Karen was out of town, but the other two remain on the loose.

Karen is worried they will harm her pet parrots (I am not worried about the birds. I am not sure mammal diseases can go to birds, although if the mice BITE a parrot that could cause an awful infection. I am MORE worried the mice will come up to her bed in the night and touchtouchtouch her mouth and eyelids with their gelid pink oily-virus coated FEET until she becomes rabid and dies GAHHHHHH. GAHHHHHHH.)

So, knowing how murderous Karen is feeling toward these rodents, I thought a mouse update might send the spirit of violence into to Starbucks to sit vis-a-vis my novel. This was not PROCARASTINATING. This was, um…mood setting, or possibly even RESEARCH and therefore completely artistically valid and also tax deductable. *nodnodnod*

SO. Mouse update: Last night, Chuck came home from work and was changing to go practice with his hockey team when one of the mice went BOLDLY scurrying across the bedroom floor. Chuck snatched up his hockey stick and went after it. Karen grabbed his other hockey stick. It scuttled under the sofa, and Chuck and Karen staked it out.

Picture Chuck staked out one end, wearing his button-down shirt and tie with boxers and black dress socks, wielding a hockey stick and crooning, “Come out, little buddy. Come on out, buddy, you are so dead. Come on out.”

Me: Did he get the mouse?
Her: NO! NO! I DID! It came out by me and I whanged it with the hockey stick and it went flying across the room.
Her: No, but even Chuck said it was a good shot. It landed and then it ran into the closet and we tore the closet apart but could not find it. I put poison in the closet and hopefully it is poisoned and currently dying in my oven.
Me: Why the oven?
Her: Why not the oven?*
Me: But you didn’t PHYSICALLY kill it yourself with a hockey stick?
Her: No.
Her, Why good?
Me: I don’t think you should kill it with your hands. It could give you a taste for blood. And I am already scared of you.

*The oven would actually be an excellent place for the mouse to die. That particular oven has never been used for anything --- certainly not food preparation --- and if the mice die there it could become a sort of tomb or monument, which is the closest thing to "a purpose in life" that an oven in Karen Abbott's apartment could ever aspire to have.

SO. You might be asking, "Did the violence-against-rodents conversation actually help you get your head into the book?"
And of course the answer is, “If it DID, would I be sitting here in Starbucks telling you about mice?”
Probably not, best beloveds. Alas.

LUCKILY, however, a fellow with a cell phone is standing over me,. Practically LOOMING he is, and he has let his eyes go all unfocused, and he is rabbiting endlessly and angrily on and on into a cell phone about something that has gone wonky with the way he is billed for his auto insurance, and how he called this person about it and that one, and then this person put him on hold and etcetra, and he is step-by-step telling the endless saga to his buddy in very loud, perfectly distinct tones.

There is no way to concentrate unless this is over.
On the plus side, I am now feeling EXTREMELY murderous.
Perhaps I should thank him.
With a hockey stick.

Posted by joshilyn at 10:28 AM | Comments (33)

February 15, 2009

Not Dead

Thank you thank you thank you for the kind comments---you warmed the icy cockles of my wizened heart-raisin, OH YES YOU DID.

If you are wondering if I am dead, let the title reassure you. It is only that I long to be. Yes. I am STILL endlessly endlessly endlessly boringly wretchedly sick. Here are my days: I work on the book all morning and then I sleep all afternoon and then I eat Progresso ZESTY Southwestern Vegetable Soup ---by ZESTY they mean it is a sinus clearing soup---and then I sleep and cough fitfully through the night and then I get up and I work on the book. Maisy is also still sick. Sam is not AS miserable, but has a cough. He is coughing himself awake at night and then falling asleep in school.

If we were a nation, our gross national product would be Phlegm.
That’s a very VERY gross national product, indeed.

Scott sails along mighty and uninfected, as he generally does. I have married an iron horse. I have married Spartacus. I have married the wall of China, and he is not gas permeable. I kiss him with impunity, ON THE LIPS, because I LOVE HIM. I say I LOVE YOU and I kiss him and secretly pass him umpy zillion germs. I pass him consumption and leprosy and Bolivian death microbes, and his mighty white cells triumph over all I throw at them. I would hate him for this, except it useful to have a well person. Well people make SOUP.

Because you asked (and because I LOVE YOU---wanna leetle kiss????) Here is the recipe for the Lemon-Chambord pound cake. It is love in a Bundt-pan, best beloveds, and unlike my germ-dripping toxic mucus-laden horror-love, it does not come with a side of Black Lung.

WARNINGS! If you cook it for an HOUR it will burn up--- 40 minutes should do it. I also suggest NO fat free buttermilk. LOW fat is fine, 2% or even 1% (I used 2%) but not fat free. This is POUND cake, so get real, Cooking Light Magazine. If we wanted OUNCE cake, maybe then that fat free crap would be okay. Maybe. When it comes to POUND cake, fat is what makes it all VELVETTY and thick and not crumbly and dry.

I bought fresh blackberries and fresh raspberries and FILLED the hole in the center with them and stuck them to the glaze that dribbled off the cake onto the plate. It was GORGEOUS and so super-delicious. Also, adding fresh fruit makes it NUTRITIOUS. *nodnodnod*

Posted by joshilyn at 7:03 PM | Comments (15)

February 11, 2009

Random Rolls and OH! Look! I am a Nominatrix

OKAY --- I really meant it when I said I had a virtual dice program and I could make my dice have as MANY sides as I wanted them to have. I can tell from the comments that some of you thought I was just going to actually pick my favorite entry, but beloveds, too many of you are my very favorite, so it makes playing favorites difficult. Although I DO have to give props for the answers “Jealous Elmo” and “DENNY CRANE!” HEE!

The multi-sided roller program is part of the online game I play. To make the dice work, you simply type /roll and then you put in the number of sides you want your dice to have. SO! There were 128 entries. I logged in my favorite World of Warcraft toon, an undead priest named Reviva. SHe is cute, but her rotty parts show and her bones poke through her clothes… think of her as Vanna White, except dead. Once Reviva was logged in, I typed /roll 1 – 128 and here is the result!


Counting up from the bottom, twice, it seems to me that comment #100 is this one:

“Obviously it's Elphaba from Wicked. I mean, right?
Posted by Miss Monky at February 9, 2009 11:55 PM”

Gratz to Miss Monky, and if the unwed and e-less primate lady would be so kind as to send her mailing addy to Joshilyn at Joshilyn Jackson dot com, I will send out her prize (and Dynagirl’s) no later than Monday of next week. Barring floods and/or deadly locusts and/or forgetting to go to the post office.)

Yes, yes, yes, it is a SHREK, and if I were NOT using a random roller, if I was INDEED going to play favorites I would have disqualified EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU WRETCHED SMARTY-PANTSES who got that right. Not because I do not appreciate your smarty-pantsy-ness. I do, I do, and PS, I want you on MY Cranium team next time. I would disqualify you on the basis of you made it look as if Karen’s description actually had a TEENY bit of merit. Which, no. Just NO.

Shrek has two eyes (And by the time my dad told her had two we had less than ten seconds to guess, Best Beloveds!) is not an animal (he is a monster or ogre---DONKEY is an animal!) And he is MUCH better known for his MOVIES than the Broadway play that very few of us here knew existed. But apparently it DOES exist. Even so, a LOT of you got that it was SHREK, somehow, via black magic I presume, so I spose I must remit a floppy handful of grudging and extremely insincere props to Karen. * golf clap*

MEANWHILE something really nice happened to me yesterday.
I found out that the audio version of THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING if a finalist for the Audie Award in the category of Narration by the Author or Authors

I called everyone I ever met to tell them yesterday, and Maisy overheard me gabbling and said, “Mommy, are you going to WIN?”
and I said, “No, baby.”
And she said, “Why won’t you WIN though?”

Well…I’ll tell you why. The nominees are:
Maya Angelou, Poet, historian, Grammy winner, genius, and national treasure.
David Sedaris, Humorist, multiple #1 NYT Bestelling memoirist and spooky-level smarty-pants
Cokie Roberts, Emmy Award winning journalist and household name political commentator
Maria Shriver, award winning journalist, first lady of California and Oh, PS, A Kennedy.
Then, um, me: Quasi-rural Georgia wife and mother and maker of lemon-raspberry pound cake who has written three (excuse me) rather good novels.

HEE! I look at this list and I begin singing the Sesame Street Song. “Which one of these things is not like the others…”

I tried to explain this to Maisy---GAH! you try explaining who Cokie Roberts is to a 6 yrear old--- and she thought it over VERY carefully and said, “I bet you come in SECOND though, Mommy.”

ME TOO! Or not. This is one of those cases where, HELLSYA it IS actually an honor to be nominated---I never thought I would see my name in a list with anyone else in this particular list. I’m a little floored and extremely pleased.

Posted by joshilyn at 8:39 AM | Comments (50)

February 9, 2009

A Monday Contest

It would be wrong to say I am only having this contest because I have not mailed out Dynagirl Knits prize from the LAST contest and since I have to go to the post office ANYWAY, I might as well mail two things. It would also be wrong to say I am only having it because some sadist gave me a box of chocolates and I don’t want them in my house because each one is unpty WW points. Even though both these things are absolutely true, I am ACTUALLY having this contest because Karen Abbott
made me laugh so hard my liver came out my nose, and we EPIC FAILED at GAME, and I want to see if (as I suspect) it is HER fault, or if (as SHE says) it is MY fault.

Have you ever played the Cranium games? For little people, there is CADOO, and Scott and the kids and I play that version a lot of family game night. But this weekend, I have Karen Abbott in town, and my mom and dad were here also. We broke into teams of three (one kid per team) and played a cut throat game of my personal favorite, Cranium Wow.

If you don’t know this game, it’s as if Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Charades, a puppet theatre with alive puppets, a crossword puzzle, the newspaper’s daily Jumbles, and Name That Tune all decided to be communists and live together on a big farm and strain their own macrobiotic tofu and have a single collective baby. Cranium Wow IS that baby, all grown up and graduated from therapy.

SO Karen and Sam and I were a team, and Karen gets a CHARACTER card. You have to pretend to be someone famous, and you can TALK but you can’t say NAMES or places. For example, my mom pulled this kind of card, and she said something like... “I am wearing my underpants! I am dancing around the house with an air guitar! I am short and sexually indiscriminate!” And daddy knew instantly that it was Tom Cruise (In this case, a specific Tom, the one in Risky Business, before the Oprah Bouncing).

SO Karen got a card, and I am going to TELL YOU HER CLUES, and you, in the comments, guess who she is being. You do not have to get it right. Because that, I posit, is not possible. All you have to do is GUESS. You can guess it is WILLIAM SHATNER if you are stumped, I will absolutely accept that as reasonable. I will then roll a virtual dice program that I have that makes the virtual dice have as many sides as you tell them to have, and if your number comes up, you win a box of V-day chocolates and signed copy of
BETWEEN, GEORGIA hardback first ed, because I have ONE left that is not stored neatly in a case.

READY? OKAY! Here is how the round went.

Karen: Oh, I don’t know who this is. Crap. CRAP! Yes, wait, maybe I do. Okay! I am a big animal and I am green! I have one eye! I am a big green animal with one eye and I am on Broadway. Or I was.

Me and Sam: *crickets*

Karen: (Exasperated) OH COME ON! I am a big green animal! With ONE EYE!

My dad: *sotto voce* Karen. Psst. Actually it is two eyes.


Me and Sam: *giggling crickets*

Maisy: TIMES UP!

Okay so, see if you can do better. Best guess in the comments, random drawing for winner, and you do NOT have to be right. BECAUSE COME ON, what are the chances you will be right? I have two eyes? I am on Broadway? It could be anyone. Except possibly Schubert.


Posted by joshilyn at 7:06 AM | Comments (128)

February 5, 2009

Separated at Birth

Just to Set the Record Straight

… I do not REALLY think you are harpies, O Best Beloveds. The meme was fun and I have enjoyed reading everyone else’s. Secretly I wanted to do it. You cantell when I really do not want to do a thing by how I sit here and do not do it.

…I am not really going to go to Vermont and hit the cheese-is-a-condiment lady in the face. I WAS hard on her. It was wrong of me. On the other hand… CHEESE IS NOT A FREAKIN’ CONDIMENT. Just sayin.’

I have to drive to Jekyll Island in a second, but HOLY CATS I saw a pic on the web the other day and Scarlett Johansen is WEARING a pink version Maisy’s yellow chair.



GAH I wish my phone took better pictures…

Posted by joshilyn at 7:14 AM | Comments (10)

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 11:07 AM | Comments (31)

February 1, 2009

16 Things About iPod

I keep getting tagged on facebook with this 16 things meme (sometimes it is a 25 things meme, sometimes 16, facebook is all DIVERSE like that), but I can’t figure out how to TAG FOLKS back so I am just going to blog 16 things and then say so in my Facebook profile. Because once I get PAST how to play Pathwords, Facebook gets VERY murky. I’ve cleaned off every app I could find (Except Pathwords) and now just use it to look at people’s pics and updates. (And play Pathwords.)

(Contained inside these parenthesis is a note written AFTER I wrote the 16 things, and just before I post them. You will notice I never got to me. About eight things in I was STILL talking about iPods. So. I changed the rules and the title and here we are.)

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 16 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. (Or an iPod) At the end, choose 16 people to be tagged. (Since I am not Tag-capable, I tag ya’ll, Best Beloveds, if you play on Facebook or blog.)

1) I was going to buy an iPod shuffle to listen to audiobooks EVEN THOUGH they do not come in orange. (Major sin – everything should come in orange.)

2) My friends in the computer (That’s you, O Best Beloveds) made such reasonable anti-shuffle arguments (“Dear Joshilyn, Think about the definition of the word SHUFFLE as it applies to music. Now think about AUDIOBOOKS and linear progression…You should get a Nano. Or a TOUCH!”) that I did not buy it.

3) Instead I whined and flopped back and forth asking did I really want to spend that much money on my stupid little pleasures. I decided not to. Then I decided to ask for it for my birthday. THEN I decided it was too extravagant for a birthday gift. Then I comparison shopped ALL OVER google and found TOUCHes cost more than a black market human kidney so those were absolutely out, and Nanos cost much the same everywhere. Then I decided not to buy one again.

4) Lather rinse repeat #3 the next day.

5) Lather Rinse Repeat #4 the next day.

6) On the third day, Scott went to Best Buy and bought me an iPod Nano.

7) It is orange. (HUZZAH!)


8) I have married a saint, and he likes Music probably more than anyone in the house and yet HE has no iPod.

9) Sometimes when I write about Scott’s saintliness and my lunacy minor eccentricities, I get the feeling that people out there feel sorry for Scott and think he must have a rough time.

10) He likes it though. And he has his own play list on my iPod Nano and will probably use more of the memory than me because he likes songs.

11) Barring high school girlfriends, I have met every girl Scott ever dated, and they were all, to a woman, BAT CRAP FREAKIN’ CRAZY. Crazy is his type. And if I had not snapped him up, he would have married some other BAT CRAP FREAKIN’ CRAZY chick, because that’s how he rolls.

12) I realize that number 9 and number 11 were not really about iPod. They did not even contain the WORD iPod. I am going to make it up to you in number 13.

13) iPod! iPod! iPod!

14) I don’t like the little earbud speakers. I am absolutely positive that if I put them in I will not hear the phone, or the dangerous puma that is stalking my children in the basement, or the approaching horde of cannibals who are breaching my front door.

15) So Scott gets the earbud things, and most of the memory, and I will use what is probably really HIS (orange) Nano to listen to my audiobooks in The Good Cat. (My car is named The Good Cat. It is orange.)

16) Right now I am listening to THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. I am hooked!

17) Part of the reason I like it is because a British fellow reads it, and I like to hear British fellows talk. He could be reading the farm report and I would listen to him longer than I would listen to the farm report read by an American.

18) I estimate the time I would spend listening to a farm report read by an American to be about 30 seconds. I would listen to the Brit for 33 seconds.

YES That’s 18. But two of them were not at all related to iPOD (The audiobook and farm report ones WERE because of course I am listening to the audiobook on an iPod, and I would in THEORY be listening to the farm report on the iPod. See?) SO it is STILL 16 things about iPod and two things that…aren’t.

Organizational skills? Hrm. I don’t think I have one of those.

Do they come in orange?

Posted by joshilyn at 2:30 PM | Comments (25)