they pay to kiss your feet

since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Cup o' Joel does it again

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

because it's beautiful.

God's Grandeur
By Gerard Manley Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil crushed.
Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil is bare now,
nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward springs--
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent world broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Why I'm glad I have a cell phone. ( a mostly true, somewhat tall tale)

Some people might tell you that cell phones can save you from being attacked by a charmingly handsome man when your car breaks down in the middle of the night and you are in the middle of nowhere and it’s snowing. Maybe. But I have a hard time believing my cell phone would get a signal in the barren wilderness during a blustering snowstorm in whiteout conditions. Really, my cell phone saves me from having to wait until I get home to call my best friend or my sister or my husband. It allows me to be reachable at all times and it allows me to concentrate less on driving and more on talking on snowy, slippery days when I feel the need to call Rachel to tell her how crappy the driving conditions are and that I might have just died if I hadn’t swerved across four lanes of traffic to avoid a patch of black ice.

Until Saturday, I had never really been in a dire emergency situation where the cell phone was necessary and would be a tool to help me avoid emotional distress. The afternoon had been stressful enough. Bridesmaid dress shopping with my sister, the bride and her friend Jonelle, one of the bridesmaids, doesn’t sound painful. And, it wasn’t all bad. But, it’s never fun to try on dresses in a size 12 when you’re a size 2 and to stand there, in the dressing room, before a wall of mirrors and in front of Amy and Jonelle in nothing but an old bra, a thong (oops) and a really big dress that makes it look like I am playing dress up. I was also wearing knee socks and pigtails, which perpetuated the playing dress up image. Anyway, I was laughed at. Uncontrollably. But, we picked a dress, I changed back into the clothes I arrived in and headed off to the bathroom.

The bathroom at Nolte’s is charming. I thoroughly enjoyed my time within its fragranced walls and was impressed with the Victoria’s Secret lotion awaiting my dry hands. I slathered it on, drinking in its scent and then proceeded to attempt to exit the facility. Only, my hands were really slippery and the doorknob wouldn’t turn. I was locked in and at first, I panicked a little. The once shabby chic, flowery bathroom became four walls that were holding me captive and no matter how hard I tried, the door would not open and I was sweating and my hand was sliding all over the door knob and I was about to begin banging on the door yelling, “I’m locked in, I’m stuck, help,” but then I remembered my cell phone.

Thankful to discover I got a signal in the restroom, I called Amy who at the time was speaking to the salesperson, and I was a bit hysterical when I told her that I was, in fact, locked in the bathroom. She hung up before I got the words out of my mouth and before I knew it, everyone had rushed over — Amy, Jonelle, the salesgirl — and they were yelling at me from the other side of the door. They kept saying that I needed to turn the door knob very hard to the left, which would have ben easy if I wasn’t all lotion-handed. After a few miserable attempts and my hand sliding all over the place, Amy got me out. I was a bit shaken, but it could have been worse. I could have been trapped in a tiny elevator in Israel with nine other people like my brother was, but that's another story.

On my drive home, I called everyone to tell them about getting locked in the bathroom at Nolte’s and about how freaky it was and I did all this, of course, while driving with one hand and one ear and half a brain and while switching lanes like a bandit.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Oh, sing to me, turkey.

I like Thanksgiving. I like that I get the day off work. I like that I get to spend time with family and with friends and I do like to eat turkey. But mostly this year, I like these types of silly Thanksgiving-themed electronic greeting cards. They make me laugh, they make me smile and no matter how stupid they are, they make me want to pass them on to you, my readers.

So have a happy, happy Thanksgiving and enjoy.
Gobble, Gobble.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What a crock (pot).

I told Nick last night that I was surprised we weren’t dead. It may have been a bit of an exaggeration, but you have to understand the context to fully comprehend why I chose to question our existence and, for the most part, our stomachs that weren’t upset or nauseated or churning.

It all began on my birthday when my dad bought me a crock pot. Until that point, I was a slow cooker virgin. I’d heard the praises of the contraption from busy friends and stay-at-home moms, but I had never actually broken down and bought one. So, my dad took care of it fore me. And to go along with my stainless steel faux finished cooker, he gave me the ingredients for my first slow-cooked stew.

Okay, first of all, I don’t like stew. Never have and probably never will. But I thought Nick liked it. It has all of the important, manly ingredients including beef and potatoes. Why wouldn’t he like it? So, at 11:00 Sunday morning, I threw everything into the cooker, turned it on high and walked away. An hour later, I turned the cooker to low and let it stew and heat and cook painstakingly slowly until 6:00 when Nick was hungry. He ate a bowl of stew and I picked at a bowl — remember, I hate stew. The next night, being one who hates to waste, I fixed Nick another bowl of the meaty, potatoey goodness. Only this time, I added some cumin and chipotle and sour cream and cheese and I made goulash out of the stew. He liked the variation very much and had several bowls.

Last night, I got home late from a meeting and was hungry. I thought maybe some meat from the stew heated up would satisfy my hunger as well as provide a nice protein source. So I got out the stew and a bowl and I began to look for meat. Instead, I saw something that looked strange and black and not quite like a red onion, which I hadn’t added anyway. And, so I investigated further until I realized what it was and recoiled in shock. That’s right, I had slow-cooked the heck out of the stew meat AND the plastic, gauze, blood absorbing packaging that the meat sits on. It was precisely at that point, at the second that I realized we’d been consuming gauze and blood and plastic that I exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, NICK, you won’t believe what we’ve been eating. Do you feel sick? Are you okay? Oh my gosh, gross, I’m going to puke! Yuck, Ew, (this is when I made gagging noises), Nick!!! I can’t believe we’re not dead.”

Monday, November 21, 2005

The things Ceasar has taught me.

When Ceasar was 19, he said goodbye to his brothers and sister and to his mother and friends and he left Mexico with his father. They were headed to New York. I met Ceasar nine years later. It was a Saturday afternoon and I was doing my weekly grocery shopping. I needed chicken tenders and he filled my order. Each week, I learned a little bit more about this man who, by age, is a peer, but by worldly experience is years and years older than I.

When he was in high school, he took a test that every high school student in Mexico takes. It helps to determine what you do after school. The higher the score, the more likely the student is to move on to higher education. Ceasar scored above 90 percent, but his dad thinks he didn’t take the exam. You see, Ceasar wanted to come to America. He didn’t want to stay in Mexico to finish his education. He didn’t want to keep dreaming about what it would be like to be in America — instead, he wanted to go to school here and to grow here and to learn here.

In New York, he and his father worked in fish markets. During that time, Ceasar met his wife and they had a daughter whom they named Jessica. Ceasar never went to school. This year, Ceasar, his wife and his daughter moved to Kansas City and he took a job doing what he knows how to do, which is why I see him every Saturday at Price Chopper wearing his white apron and Price Chopper hat and a smile that I expect to see - even when he’s sad. He was sad for awhile. His father-in-law in New York was diagnosed with Cancer and so, his wife and daughter went to be with him. They were gone for several months. Yet still, Ceasar kept working, long hours, six days a week. And when he got home to his empty house, he felt so lonely that it hurt and so, he’d turn on the television just to feel like someone else was there.

Each week, it seemed like his wife and daughter had been gone for ages and each week, he found out they would be gone a bit longer than expected. But he was used to not seeing his family. He hasn’t seen his family in Mexico since he left nine years ago. Every time he tried to go back home, something didn’t work out. One time, it was his status as a citizen. Another time, it had to do with his papers. He longed for his family. He wanted to see his brothers and sisters and how they’d grown and the children they had and the wives and husbands they married. And he wanted to see his mother.

In October, his wife called him from New York with a surprise. He was to meet her in Dallas on November 7 and they were going to get on a Mexico-bound plane. He was going to get to see his family. When he told me this, he was holding back tears and he was glowing and so excited and he said that when he heard the news, he nearly hit the ceiling he was jumping so high and he was crying and laughing.

Last week, I didn’t see Ceasar. I knew where he was though. And I was swelling inside — almost like I was getting to see my own family after nine years. I couldn’t wait to see him the next week, to ask how it was, to hear stories, see picture and to talk about it over my order of chicken thighs or catfish.

I saw Ceasar Saturday. I actually didn’t need any poultry, but I did need to say hello. And so, from across the store, I waved and smiled and he held up his hand, signaling me to wait. He came out from behind the meat counter. He was holding a plastic bag wrapped around something and he was shorter than I had imagined. I thought the bag contained produce for the lady next to me or the person in front of me, but he walked straight up to my shopping cart and to me and he handed me the parcel. I unwrapped the gift — a statue of Mario Moreno “Cantinflas.” An actor, whom Ceasar said, has been in almost 100 movies and was a very good guy and helped a lot of people.

I did some research. Cantinflas was in 55 movies. And despite the fact that he died a millionaire several times over and was one of the biggest stars ever in Spanish language films, he never forgot where he came from. Much of his money was given to charitable work including high-quality, low-income housing for Mexico City's poor. When he died, he was hailed as a national hero and a protracted period of official mourning followed.

I don’t think Ceasar has forgotten where he comes from either. And even though the Cantinflas statue doesn’t match the décor in my living room, I’ve placed it proudly on a shelf that also displays wedding photos, a photo of my best friend’s baby and a pug candy dish. I’m not sure that a year ago, I would have believed you if you told me that I would be given a plastic statuette of a Mexican actor and that I would actually keep it, let alone display it in my home.

But in the last year, I’ve grown. And I’ve learned. And, I thank Ceasar for helping me to count my blessing and to realize that family is one of the most important things and to stop taking things like a family that lives in the same country for granted and I’ve appreciated my job more and my life more and I don’t complain as much, but I also appreciate the friend that I’ve found behind the meat counter at my grocery store and the way that has taught me that you can find friends in the strangest of places and that keeping your eyes and ears open will allow your heart to be touched deeply.

Friday, November 18, 2005

In the mirror, don't neglect your rear.

I have made this fatal mistake. One crisp November day last year, I went straight from the gym to Gary Gribbles to replace my lovingly worn out running shoes. I was wearing form-fitting workout capris, a t-shirt and a fleece jacket. I was also wearing regular cut underwear. It seemed a logical decision at the time. I was going to put on pants, but first, I was going to put on underpants. Just like every other day of my life. So, I did and I went to the gym where I climbed on the elliptical machine that was right in front of a row of treadmills, which were all being used by people running with nowhere to look except for at the themselves in the mirror, at the television protruding from the wall or at my butt, which I thought might have looked okay, but I still was feeling self-conscious and wondered if it jiggled when I used the machine, or if it looked like a solid mass of muscle. I figured it was somewhere in between these options. Little did I know that how much or how little it moved in waves as I worked out was the least of my concerns.

So, right after my workout, I’m at Gary Gribbles and I’ve got on this great pair of Asics and I’m looking in the mirror at them and then, I turned around to talk to Nick or to check out some running socks or to answer the sales guy. Really, I don’t remember what caused me to look at the mirror as I turned around. Maybe vanity. Maybe not. But if it was vanity, it was squashed the second I noticed my panty line and bunched up regular cut underwear staring back at me. “That looks horrible,” I thought. “I can’t believe I left the house like this. I can’t believe I never noticed. How could I have made this ultimate fashion error?”

And so, from that day forward when I head off to the gym in my form fitting black running capris or when I head off to work in Khakis or a skirt, I am a wiser underwear chooser. But the glorious understanding of the benefits of certain types of underwear is coupled with the curse of noticing panty lines on other people, and it makes me want to scream and tell the poor, unfortunate soul bearing everything they’ve got and then some for the whole world to see to turn around and check themselves out. I want to take them to a mirror, turn them around and say, “See! See what everyone is seeing. Now, let me show you how much better your butt would look if you had a smooth silhouette.” I want to teach them the magic of the thong and why it is the only underwear option for certain styles of pants and running attire and mostly, I want to change the stigma behind that lovely creation.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Watch out Kansas City, she's having a fat day.

It seemed like a good plan in theory. I was going to get up at 5 a.m. and go to the gym. I was going to work out for an hour and then go home, shower and head to work. I was going to feel good all day in my cube knowing that I had actually awoken before dawn, taken my messy half-asleep, bead-headed self to the gym and could, therefore, eat however I wanted and not worry about canceling extra calories out with exercise. Plainly, I wasn’t going to worry about missing a workout because I had to attend a concert tonight or about gaining the typical 10 pounds of holiday weight or about feeling sluggish or burnt out. “Yes,” I thought, “getting up at 5 a.m. is my answer to worry and anxiety and who really needs sleep anyway?”

I did wake up at 5 a.m. But it was cold and dark and my flannel pajamas were warm and the covers were snuggly and Gus was curled up in a ball right next to me and the entire world was still sleeping, so I decided that I should keep sleeping, too. And, that’s what I did. I slept and slept and in my dreams, I was at the gym sweating it out on the treadmill and then the elliptical and then I was eating a candy bar and some ice cream and I was feeling great and like it didn’t matter and then the dream got weirder, which is when I started reading Vogue at the gym while sitting on a couch talking to my best friend from 8th grade. I was also about 16 and was wearing glasses and classic fit Gap jeans. After that, we went on a walk around my high school. And good ol’ Sion looked just as I had remembered it and as I was checking out my old locker, my alarm went off and I woke up. Just in time to shower and head to the office and to my cube feeling gross and bloated and like I knew I would if I skipped the gym and had a bad hair day all at the same time.

Simply, I’m having a fat day. And, I’m wondering if boys ever have fat days or if it is just a female phenomenon like PMS and obscene amounts of empathy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Good thing he didn't shoot...

I don't know whether to laugh or applaud. Moral of the story? Keep your doors locked, people!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The following three sentences are to be read with sarcasm.

It’s snowing. Last week, it was 60 degrees. Oh, how I love the Midwest.

Monday, November 14, 2005

If that is red sediment in your chardonnay, it must be another birthday dinner.

My family has never had luck with birthday dinners. We always choose the restaurant with the best intentions, arrive hungry and happy and eager to eat and celebrate, but it never fails — we usually end up getting the dinner for free. Not because it’s a birthday dinner, but because something went terribly wrong.

I don’t remember all of the milestone mishaps, but I do seem to recall a birthday many years ago when the whole family went to Darryl’s. Our food was mediocre, but the conversations was lively until a 5-year-old boy began to projectile vomit down the aisle that lead to our cozy booth for five. After witnessing that episode, smelling the splattered puke and promptly asking for our check, no one took another bite. We also never went back to Darryl’s.

Another year, we went to Dos Hombres in Brookside. After we’d finished about six baskets of chips and inquired as to the whereabouts of our meals, we learned that the cook had quit, the busboy was cooking and the owner was waiting tables. When we did get our food, it was hardly recognizable. We ended up eating for free that night, although I’m not sure any of us really ate.

Today is my birthday. To celebrate, we went to Accurso’s on Main. The kitschy atmosphere charmed me immediately, as did the eclectic mix of items on the shelves in the smoking section. Waiting 20 minutes for a table in the non-smoking section didn’t bother me, nor did the lack of space to wait, the Christmas lights in the windows or the red and white checked table cloths. It was charming, I thought. I felt like I was at my grandma’s for dinner if she was Italian instead of Jewish and cooked lasagna instead of blintz soufflé.

When we were finally seated, I really wasn’t sure if we had a waitress. About five minutes later, when she finally did say hello, she was inattentive and didn’t seem to hear anything we said. She seemed begrudged to bring more bread. She didn’t necessarily love that Amy and I ordered oil and vinegar on the side for our salads and I don’t think she liked that Dad asked them to toast the bread for us because, “They do it for me all the time here honey.” Despite his down talk, when it came to ordering wine, she was little help. They were out of the rose Toad Hollow I preferred, so I switched to a white zin and Nick ordered a glass of chardonnay. After 10 minutes, the glass was placed before him and that’s when we noticed red sediment floating at the bottom. Gross. They took it back, apologized and brought out another glass. The sediment was still there. The third time was the charm, but when we asked our waitress to take it off the bill, she said, “Well, it’s right now isn’t it?” Eventually, the glass of wine was free. Dinner came out about 30 minutes later. I had little room left for food because I devoured the toasty garlic bread. It’s a good thing I was full because my shrimp spedini was mostly breading and the lemon butter sauce on my pasta seemed to have been thickened with cornstarch. Nick’s seafood ravioli was good as was Dad’s steak parmesan and Amy’s chicken modeaga. But somehow, the birthday girl got the short end of the stick. Thank goodness for free birthday tiramisu.

Friday, November 11, 2005

An open letter to David Klepper

Dear Mr. Klepper,

I don't know if I have ever read a more a supposedly unbiased news article that so obviously showed a bias than your front page story that ran yesterday in The Kansas City Star. Granted, it's hard for a paper to stay perfectly middle-of-the-road on political issues but, individual opinion on issues is not supposed to stare readers in the face anywhere except for in editorial pieces. This was not the case in your piece. Take, for example, this quote from a 17-year-old high school student.

“I’m worried about the possibility that this may make it harder for me to get a job outside of Kansas,” she said. “I thought it was pretty sad. I feel bad for the little kids who are going to learn this stuff.”

Okay, can someone please tell me why a decision made by the state in which someone lives would affect their job choices later in life? This student, as you reported in the article, plans to study science in college. This week's decision doesn't affect the teaching of evolution, it only suggests that there could be a creator, that intelligent design should at least be looked into. It leaves the book open and, if anything, gives students an opportunity to question dogma that is being taught everywhere. It gives them something else to think about. If they are a strong supporter of evolution, it gives them reasons to research the theory and to be armed with evidence and backing and to prove their point to those who support intelligent design. If anything, this will make people better thinkers. Because, it's important to understand why one believes something and this, I think, will make people do that. And mostly, in today's post modern culture, tolerance is a virtue - and this should be true even in the classroom where there should be tolerance for views that fall outside the agreed-upon norm.

But please, David Klepper, keep your opinion out of it. It's obvious you had an agenda when setting out to write this piece. It begins in your lead "Six hands were all it took to dismiss the pleas of educators and a century of science Tuesday. Evolution is officially a flawed theory in Kansas." And it doesn't stop there.

Jessi, a trying to be unbiased, local journalist who used to work for your paper and just wants good reporting to triumph,

Thursday, November 10, 2005

you've got me?

why does this blog look all ugly and deformed? i have no idea, but i'm working on it. stay tuned.....

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

get down girl go head get down.

I had a Black Eyed Peas phase. It was several years ago and, I think it made me feel musically cultured to add them to my list of favorites that most likely included Elliot Smith, The Police and Jimmy Eat World. But I’m not sure what the BEPs were thinking when they sat down to write their latest hit. Maybe the conversation went something like this….

Fergie – “I’m thinking we need to write the dumbest song ever and because we sing it, it will transcend musical barriers and will most likely climb the charts.”

The other three Peas, in unison of course – “Yea, that’s a great idea. Let’s call it ‘My Humps.’”

So maybe I’m not in love with a song about getting you love drunk of my humps, my humps, my lovely lady lumps, but I am a little obsessed with Gold Digger by Kanye West and Jamie Foxx.

So, for your reading pleasure and because it makes me laugh that I like this, I give you a few choice lyrics from Mr. West and Mr. Foxx.
"Now I aint sayin she a gold digger (When I'm Need) But she aint messin wit no broke niggaz(She did me wrong) Now I aint sayin she a gold digger (When I'm need) but she aint messin wit no broke niggaz. get down girl go head get down (I gotta leave) get down girl go head get down (I gotta leave) get down girl go head get down (I gotta leave) get down girl go head.

Monday, November 07, 2005

baby weight

I’m going to let you in on a secret. I am one of the only people I know who doesn’t have a baby. It wasn’t always this way. A year ago, I was one of the only people I knew who wasn’t pregnant. A year before that, I was happily complacent in a circle of babyless friends. We could all go out whenever and wherever we wanted. We could stay out past 8:30 and we could eat and drink whatever we wanted because we didn’t have to worry about it affecting our fetus or our breast milk. We could talk on the phone more and we hung out more and we still had everything in common. But then, the dam broke and the first one got pregnant. I found out at a softball game, and I was fine with it — happy for them even. The next time I heard the news, I was lying on my purple couch watching TV and my best friend called me. She told me that I needed to start planning her baby shower. She was pregnant, too. And though I was happy as heck for her, I knew that things were going to change. Last year, I found out that 13 people I knew, mostly friends, some co-workers, were pregnant. I was usually one of the last to hear the news. And, as each of my friend’s wombs began to sustain life, I started to question my own existence. Was I supposed to have a baby now? Was I supposed to have a baby ever? How was I going to interact with my friends once they all had babies in common and I was still childless and very much under 25?

After I turned 25, my first friend had her baby. In March, I became a surrogate aunt to my best friend’s baby. I was there for her birth. Well, I got kicked out right before the pushing began, but I was there for the rest of it and even though I knew that as soon as her child entered the world, our relationship would change, things would shift and the focus would be off of me for awhile, I felt so blessed and special to be there for that day, for that life-changing event. Each month seemed to bring another new life. And now, as I sit here staring my 26th birthday in the face, I am the only one without a smiling, giggly, wide-eyed baby. And honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about it. Perhaps I’m having a quarter-life crisis, which is apparently the latest coined term for wondering what in the heck you’re supposed to do with your life about five years after college when you realize you diploma cost more than it was worth and that there isn’t always enough money for bills and that when there is, it still doesn’t seem like enough. It’s what you go through when you wonder if you should do what you love to do and get paid pennies or do what you have to do so you can do what you love to do on the side. It’s when life finally smacks you in the forehead and you start to think a little more like an adult. I assume at this point, one starts to contemplate having a baby, becoming a parent, footing the bill for cute outfits and hair bows and bibs and baby food and extra medical insurance.

Ironically, or not-so-much, since God does know what he’s doing, I got some new friends during this whole pregnancy thing. Single friends. Newly married friends. Friends that weren’t pregnant. Friends that don’t all go to the same mother’s group at church where they bond and share stories and pray together and probably think “Poor Jessi, still working in her cube when she could be experiencing all of this joy with us.” Or worse, they may not even think of me at all. My new friends have helped me balance the obsession of wondering if I should get pregnant with every-day normalcy. They have jobs, they work full time and they can stay out past 8:30.

But my friends with babies have changed my life, too. I get to watch them become better parents. I get to hold their babies when they’re happy and then graciously hand them off when they are screaming. I get to buy their babies cute outfits and when we hang out, there is another two-teethed reason to smile. And no matter how jealous I get or how misplaced I feel without a baby in my arms, there is nothing quite like the feeling of holding a good friend’s baby knowing exactly what features look like mom and which look like dad and knowing, mostly, that I will see this child grow into a woman or a man because that’s the kind of friendship we have. Nothing, not even a bakers dozen of babies, could take that away. Do I still feel misplaced and strange at times? Yes. But, does the joy I see in my friends' eyes outweigh this baby weight I'm feeling? It sure does.

"The Road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the road has gone, and I must follow, if I can, pursuing it with eager feet, until it joins some larger way where many paths and errands meet and whither then? I cannot say."--- J. R. R. Tolkien

How did the British tourists beat the speed boat-cruising, attacking pirates?

What are the chances of a luxury cruise ship carrying a bunch of British tourists being attacked by pirates armed with rocket-propelled grenades? About one in a million right? That's what I thought, too, until I read this.

Happy day-you-were-born, Nick.

Happy birthday honey. You don't look a day over 27.

They told them so.

I don't care how well behaved they are usually, this is why you shouldn't have a pit bull.

Friday, November 04, 2005

On noticing the extra special things in life due to the fact that they are migraine triggers.

Certain cars glare the sun at a level of intensity that I didn’t even know was possible. Not even my super-charged, polarized Ray Bans can help me now.

People who smoke in the bathrooms at work should be taken outside and beaten. People who smoke cigars in the stairwell at work should be shot. (Or they should at least have to have a vice grip around their skull so that they can feel the pain that they helped cause me).

Not being able to eat pizzas is only a bad thing when having to order a sandwich at Spin instead of a mouthwatering, so-good-it-should-be-sinful pizza dripping with oil and goat cheese and garlic and bacon.

Due to the fact that it is a migraine trigger, I miss chocolate. I bought two bags of chocolate-themed Halloween candy two weeks ago. We had two trick-or-treaters. I have single-handedly consumed most of the remaining chocolate. Yesterday, I got a migraine. Coincidence?

Driving from Kansas City to Columbia was always an easy, fast, 2-CD length drive — until I turned 21 and got my first migraine. Suddenly, the once fun drive became a trek across the unknown in which I would constantly wonder what would happen if I got a migraine on the way back and forth and I couldn’t see and had to pull over and it was dark and I was alone on I-70. It never happened, but I sure did waste a lot of good drive time worrying.

Red wine, a trigger, is easily supplemented with white wine or even zinfandel. Caffeine however, which is also a trigger, is not easily exchanged and is therefore, still a part of my stupid diet.

I've got this screaming headache.....

I knew I was getting a migraine yesterday at about 2:30. I was in the middle of typing an e-mail and then I got all confused and I couldn't read what I was writing and the bright lights began to appear. The technical term for this is called an "aura." Basically, the worst of the worst migraine sufferers get them at the beginning of an attack. I happen to be one of these lucky people. So, for about an hour once a month, I have spotted vision and glimmering shimmering dots in my line of sight. It's fun. As soon as this happens, I take one, two or three Celebrex. But Jessi, you say, three seems like a lot of pills to take. Maybe. But it's all because Bextra is off the market. That's what I used to take back in the day when I only needed one pill to take my pain away. If only I would have known how good I had it. So, about 20 minutes after the onset of the attack, I found myself curled into a ball on the couch in the lady's bathroom - not exactly my idea of a refuge. The lights were bright and the women kept coming in to use the bathroom and they were loud and had little regard for how sick I must have looked and so, about an hour later and after a cat nap or two, I returned to my cube to attempt to work. Except, when you can't see, it's pretty hard to be a writer and and editor and so, instead, I sat with my head in my hands until 4:30, which is when I decided I'd had enough and was going to go home. Driving was an adventure. My pounding headache made everything seem louder, brighter and faster than it really was and so, I was relieved to pull into my driveway in one piece. But then, I had to let crazy Gus out of his kennel. I tried to tell him that mommy had a migraine and couldn't play, but that wasn't enough to keep him from jumping on me, climbing on my head and chewing his Kong louder than I'd ever heard him chew it. Today, I write this with the remnant of my headache. If I bend over to pick anything up, my head throbs and pounds and my brain feels like it is going to explode. But, if I sit still, I can pretend to be okay. So, here's to pretending.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


At 2:40 p.m. as an older, distinguished couple left the Chinese restaurant on the main floor of my building:

Woman: Oof, I'm so full, but I really didn't try to eat that much. I didn't want to stuff myself you know.

Man: Yes, you took my advice.

Woman: But, I wanted to try everything. Oof, I'm so full and my stomach is full.

Man: My advice you took.

Um, okay.

Does this seem a little creepy to anyone else? Maybe it's just me.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

My paper heart.

So, it’s amazing how much faster the day goes when I’m plugged into my Nano. Is it really 2:30 already? Since I unwrapped all of its glory, I’ve been taking it everywhere, although I refuse to wear it everywhere. I don’t want to appear antisocial at the office by walking around from the copier to the break room to the cube all plugged in and what not. But, I just don’t want it to get stolen, so when leave my car, I carry it into my cube. When I leave my cube, I put it in a drawer, and when I go back to my car, I take it with me. Same goes for the gym — although I actually wear it there. Anyway, I was carrying it around the gym last night before I left and a friend pointed out that it’s kind of like one of those egg experiments from grade school — when each fourth grader adopts an egg “baby” and has to take it around with them without breaking it or forgetting it for a week. I think my friend is right. My nano is now my baby. Maybe I’ll call it Nancy or Nan or Nantucket. Maybe I won’t because I refuse to believe that I am really that big of a dork. Anyway, the best part of the nano is that I can listen to 2 Skinnee J’s right before Destiny’s Child and no one ever knows. I normally wouldn’t listen to Destiny’s Child in front of anyone, but now, I can listen to whatever I want, and I still look cool and the nano gives off the façade that I may actually have good musical taste. Or, at least, it creates an air of mystery and intrigue. I bet people all around me are thinking, “I wonder what Jessi is listening to? I bet she has very sophisticated musical taste. Man, maybe I’ll walk up beside her so that I can sneak a peak at the screen to see what she’s listening to right now.” If, say, my co-worker was wondering that at this very moment, he would discover that I am jamming out to ‘girl inside my head’ by Blues Traveler. “Should she see the willing dog or should I be a jungle cat and most of all, my God, how does she make her eyes do that? And, I don’t need another girl inside my head.” Is it fitting that “several ways to die trying” by Dashboard Confessional came on next? Maybe. “We are, we are intriguing. We are, we are invisible. Oh how we’ve shouted, how we’ve screamed, take notice, take interest, take me with you. But, all our fears fall on deaf ears — tonight.”

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The motive of the media

A local journalist and blogger wrote a nice post about an angle of ethics in journalism that isn't often talked about in the newsroom or in the classroom. It's well worth the read.

You can find it here.

"There is not a crime, there is not a dodge, there is not a trick, there is not a swindle which does not live by secrecy. Get these things out in the open, describe them, attack them, ridicule them in the press, and sooner or later public opinion will sweep them away." -- Joseph Pulitzer

Like you care - volume two.

I got an I-Pod Nano for my birthday. Yes, I got it two weeks early, but it is SO worth it.

The first seven songs I downloaded from I-Tunes follow:

the used - all that i've got
the police - king of pain
my chemical romance - helana
weezer - perfect situation
weezer - only in dreams
kelly clarkson - breakaway
switchfoot - stars