Monday, April 28, 2008

Grace

revised 5/05/08

you catch my eye and I wonder,
what difference is there between us?
why are you dirty, bedraggled, hungry,
while i am well-fed and lead an easy life?

and i know it is nothing but chance.
that i would wear your ragged clothes,
but for an tiny blip of birth, or fate,
or the will of God.

does God give things that lead to where you are?
does "there but for His grace, go I,"
mean He has given me grace,
and shown you none?

I do not understand.

but i stand humbled,
by the chance to share my lunch with you.
surely, in this encounter,
i am the one who is blessed.

for He lets me see a glimpse of the kingdom,
of that long-awaited day,
when i will be last,
and you will be first.

It IS a lucky number!

Brooke, at Lucky Number Seven, was the winner of the blank book giveaway. Congrats, Brooke! I used this website to pick the winning comment. Thanks to everyone who entered!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Twitter

Apparently someone recently escaped (as in, he was released after his American friends put pressure of the Egyptian govt.- not a dynamite-the-cell-wall type of escape) wrongful imprisonment in an Egyptian prison thanks to Twitter updates he sent out with his cell phone. 

So I signed up (see top right corner of page) because YOU NEVER KNOW!!! 

I promise, however, not to start twittering pointless escapades of my daily life (Jess is studiously working on the hand bound book she promised! Jess is making toast! Jess is stuffing her face with M&M's! Jess is being strangled by a fed-up blog reader!). I prefer to bore you in longer form, so I'll stick to publishing posts.

If I suddenly disappear, check here first for possible clues. (Jess has been abducted by aliens!)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

On the various and sundry good qualities of the man we call Mike Brazil

This is a long-overdue tribute to a RGG- Really Great Guy. I thought long and hard (for at least 30 seconds) about how to construct this label. My first instinct was Very Good Man, but "VGM" reminded me of  Eve Ensler. I'm severely tempted to make an inappropriate joke here because RGG's name just lends itself perfectly, but lots of people from my church read this, so I'm trying hard to restrain myself.

Michael Brazil is a guy that goes to my church's 20's* group. (not to be confused with Michael Boeddiker, that's my beau) He's hilarious, and an amazing writer, though he has not so far responded to my attempts to get him to keep a regular blog. (Why won't more people listen to me. I know EVERYthing!) We're friends and yet I don't really see him that often or know him nearly as well as I'd like to. 

*Yes, I'm aware of the fact that it has been a long time since I was anywhere near 20. Shut up.

In spite of that, I think he's shown up every single time I've pathetically asked for moving help (I move on an average of 1.2 times a year, just for fun**) and hauled my crap into and out of U-haul trucks, up and down various flights of stairs in several different houses/apartments. Even the time I was extremely lame and waited until the day I needed help (or possibly late the night before) to send out an email because I hate asking for help so much that I thought maybe putting it off would make it easier (Note: It did not.)

**Not really. [The "for fun" part, I mean. The moving part is, unfortunately all too real.]

I tried to offer to make him cookies but he demurred, he was watching his caloric intake. I wracked my brain trying to think if a proper way to thank him. Then it struck me: What better way to thank someone than to publicly embarrass them?!? And, Dude? I totally rock at that!

Therefore, without further ado:

  Mike B., The RGG

Mike Brazil, he's not a pill,
If he were a pickle, he'd be a dill*
If he were mail- he would not be a bill,
But a letter or postcard that gives you a thrill.

He's a bucket of sunshine, a sprinkling of dew,
A sweet smelling fragrance that does not smell like poo. 

He's available ladies, as far as I know,
He would make some nice girl a very fine beau. 
So listen up chicas, I'm preaching the facts,
If this guy asks you out, do not give him the axe.**

*Kosher dill pickles are my favorites, therefore they are the best.

**Warning: Agreeing to go out for coffee with a boy named Michael B. has been known to the state of California to lead to situations like this:
 And premature aging. In spite of that, we heartily recommend it.






Thursday, April 24, 2008

Blank Book



I made this blank journal a few months ago and I really love this green and gold paper, especially with the satiny iridescent blue book cloth. I found both at The Paper Source- one of my favorite stores. I was really disappointed when the pretty blue book cloth started to wear away to reveal this hideous orange thread underneath. The orange is what gives the cloth is iridescent qualities but it seems like this fabric was a poor choice for book cloth since it started to wear after only a few months with very light usage. I won't be using it for bookbinding again.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hand-Bound Book Giveaway!!

I still do a lot of crafting- although right now most of my belongings are in storage so it's hard to do much- but I don't often post photos because I'm not so great at taking photos that look halfway decent. Someday I'll learn more about photography, and maybe even get a good camera, but right now it's not at the top of my list, and it seems pointless to post a photo of  an item if the photo doesn't do it justice.

In any case I am joining the Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival and giving away a custom-made blank book like this one only without the wear & tear. It won't look exactly like this but I can give the winner a pretty wide choice of book cloth and decorative paper so it will be customized to your taste (within the limits of my paper collection, of course).  

All you have to do is leave a comment letting me know you'd like to enter. Make sure you don't post anonymously, or I won't have any way to get in touch with you and your entry will be invalidated. I'll pick an entry randomly this weekend and let you know on Monday who the winner is. Good luck!

Updated to add, the contest will end Sunday at noon (pacific time).

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tonight I feel... by PMS-ica

please check one

A) Crappy

B) Tired for no particular reason

C) Depressed and hormonal (or is that another way of saying the same thing?)

D) Angry

E) frustrated

F) Anxious

G) All of the above

I'm fine, just battling the demons of PMDD, which, by the way, is not a fake disorder invented by drug companies to sell Prozac. I wish it were. If anyone tells you it is, you have my permission to tell them that they can kiss my... donkey. Doubters who want confirmation are welcome to come visit me* so I can rip their faces off with my bare hands.**

*visits are confined to select monthly windows that do not necessarily occur regularly. Therefore visits cannot be booked in advance. Please call or write for specific dates and times, although we recommend that you don't, because what the hell is wrong with you anyway? Are you some kind of masochist? 

**Violent mood swings are unpredictable therefore bare-handed-face-ripping cannot be guaranteed. Instead, applicant may receive-copious amounts of tears along with a large helping of self-pity, wallowing, self-centered sniping crabby-pants behavior, or (rarely and briefly) slightly manic goofy happiness. 

Side effects may include shortness of breath, nausea, and wanting to be as far away from me as possible. PMSica is not for everyone, please consult your health care professional to see if PMSica is right for you

Friday, April 18, 2008

Flabbergasted

OMG!! Have been nominated for a blog award! By OTJ (which you may note, can be rearranged to form TOJ or The other Jess. Spoooky). Have exactly 0 votes!! Whoo!! If so inclined, feel free to change that number.

And thanks, Jessica, I'm incredibly flattered! :)

My

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sunday In the Islands, Part II

What was I saying?

Ahhhh, I was talking about my poor time-telling skills. Yeah, so we missed the boat, obviously. In fact we may actually not have missed the boat, as B & P's dad told me later that it didn't end up leaving right on time. But of course, owing to a combination of the dire warning on the invite [I happened to be at my parents' house when my mom read this post and she was shocked and horrified that I used the word a*s "For the whole internet to see!!!!" I assured her that I was using the word in a non-sweary way, as in, "The boat will leave your sorry donkey behind if you're not there on time."] and the fact that I got a new cell phone right before I left and neglected to transfer all of my numbers so I couldn't call the P's cell and ask if they were still on the dock...I assumed that at 10 minutes late, the boat would definitely have left by the time we got there. In a burst of inspired brilliance, I decided that there was no point in continuing over the next bridge to Newport* and paying a toll since one of my favorite places is in Jamestown.

We turned of at the last exit before the Pell bridge and found a little coffee shop with hot beverages and pastries. Then we wandered around the harbor where Michael shocked the ladies and finally headed over to a state park located at the south end of Jamestown. Beavertail is the end of the island, a rocky promontory whose lighthouse is so old that the British burned the original building. It's one of my favorite places and we had a nice time watching the waves crashing against the rocks and snuggling. With our breakfasts of course, not each other. My pastry got a little smushed.

I had looked at the invitation (which was still on my laptop, I don't know why that matters but I figure it's worth a try: Hey, the glare prevented me from reading the time properly. Even though it was overcast. And we were in the car.) and ascertained that the post-boat-trip crowd was meeting for lunch at 1:30. Note that this is not the same as 11:30, which was, of course, what the invitation actually said, and made infinitely more sense since who takes a bunch of 8-year-olds out on a three-hour boat trip? With all that time to kill we were actually early arriving at the restaurant. Only to receive strange looks from the management when we asked about the birthday-party. Turns out the only birthday party scheduled for the day had been three hours ago. Or, in other words, at 11:30.

At least we got to have lunch, but I felt like a grade-A ass donkey for missing my little Peaches' birthday party. I did atone by taking the kiddoes to the Children's Museum later that week so I think they forgave me. Still, one has to wonder what exactly is wrong with mah brain. Who gets that many things wrong in so short a time? Sometimes I worry about the old brain.

If you don't hear from me again, just assume advanced senility has set in and I'm drooling in a wheelchair somewhere.


*For you non-Rhode Islanders, Newport is a city on Aquidneck Island, which is sandwiched between teeny Conanicut Island and the mainland (Conanicut Island being sandwiched between Aquidneck and the mainland on the other side). Oh for Heaven's sake, just look at the map already. Conanicut consists of Jamestown. That's about it. This lesson in RI geography brought to you by the Institute for the Advanced study of the Soon to be Senile, or I. ASSS .

Friday, April 11, 2008

Overheard At the Children's Museum

Setting: The very cool time-travel tunnel at the RI children's Museum

Scene: the 1800 Cape Verdean ship complete with an anchor and sails you can hoist.


Small princess-obsessed girl: Ooh, look, it's Tinkerbell!

10 year old Bub: *rolls eyes* You've been drinking too much rum!

later


Captain Bub: Jess, go belowdecks and wash these bowls!

Moi (acting as 1st mate): I want some more rum!

Cap'n: We ran out. That girl who thinks she sees fairies drank it all.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sunday in the Islands- Or how I am the worst ex-nanny Ever

So my longest job as a nanny was for the P's. I started taking care of Bub when he was 5 months old and three years later his sister Peaches was born. I was their nanny until Bub was 6 and Peaches was 3, at which point they were both in school and didn't need a nanny anymore. I lived next door in the guest house (it was- really- the sweetest deal ever). Those years, living in that idyllic spot and taking care of kids I adored, are some of the happiest I've ever had.

I try to spend as much time with the kiddos as I can on visits back home, which, unfortunately, doesn't usually amount to much. The last time I saw them was Christmas 2006 and W was this tall:

Yikes.

Fast forward to this visit, when I introduced Michael to 'my babies,' one of whom is the same height as me when I'm having a tall day. He's not quite 11, folks. those of you who know me IRL are aware of my [ahem] vertically challenged-ness. I'm maybe 5' when I'm standing up really straight. So it may not be that surprising that half of the kids I've nannied for in the past decade or so, are taller than me now, but really- 10 years old?!?

Little Peach is also no longer little -at and will doubtless tower over me in a few short years. They're smart, hilarious, fun kids and of course adorable. I am not at all biased. Honest!!

Captain Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise make an historic- if slightly blurry- visit to The Krusty Krab


So where was I?... Ah, yes: BAD nanny. Let me 'splain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

It happens that Peaches' birthday is in March and since her party happened to be last weekend, Michael and I were invited to go along. It was a seal-watching boat trip out of Newport and then lunch at a local seafood restaurant -one I'd been meaning to take M to anyway, because they make the best clam chowder. So Sunday morning, still on Pacific time, we dragged our lazy selves out of bed and managed to leave for the dock only ten minutes late or so. Except that upon carefully re-reading the invitation- something I had not bothered to do because have I mentioned yet that I'm an idiot?- I found that 10:30 was not the time we were supposed to meet at the dock, 10:30 was the time the boat was leaving the dock. 10:30 sharp, that is. Don't be late or the boat will leave your sorry ass behind.

Can you guess how the next part of this story goes?

You're going to have to, because I just this very minute decided to make this a two-part post.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Luke

I am having an ungodly amount of fun playing with my nephew Luke.

Today we made a fort under the dining room table, explored the large puddle pond in the woods behind the house, and excavated dirt on  miniature construction site with tiny construction vehicles. We also played dinosaurs. Did you know that dinosaurs can shoot? That they in fact have built-in laser guns in their arms? Neither did I. 

Video and pictures to follow but right now I desperately need to go to bed, since there will be a small boy jumping on my head in less than eight hours. 

Monday, April 7, 2008

In The Shade

Hold the presses, Katie has written a blog entry!! (She wants everyone to know that she is not my clone, we're just twins separated by sixteen years and five siblings.)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I'm working on a post about last weekend but-

I'm being held up by the fact that 1) I left my camera in San Jose, 2) I discovered that it really is useful to have a phone that takes pictures but I can't figure out how to get them off of the frocking phone and on to my computer. Bluetooth, my left elbow! (I'm trying out a new method of swearing without actually freaking anyone my mom out. For instance substituting less-offensive body parts and interesting words for the standard ones, which were getting boring anyway). Sweet Narragansett quahogs!! I just hit my thumb with a clucking hammer ?!! (How is it working?)

Where was I? Oh yes, 3) the post I have pictures for needs permission to be published since they happen to be pictures of other people's kids.

So I'm getting there, I swear (holy turnip paste!!). Soon I will tell you all about how Michael shocked and appalled several nice older ladies who were taking a relaxing morning stroll, by pretending to push me off of the dock into Narragansett harbor. I'm so going to get him back for that...

Friday, April 4, 2008

SO COLD

'm working on another post (are you happy, Lisa?!), but in the meantime, here's something to check out:

My brother Zach started putting together videos when he was in the army. He's pretty damn good at it, if I might say so. This is one of his creations, set to the Breaking Benjamin Song, So Cold. Check it out and leave a comment for him if you like it.

Some of it is fairly harrowing (especially for me, since it's my little bro we're talking about here) so I'd preview it before letting kids watch.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

So many Davenports

So I put M on a plane this afternoon and he's back in San Jose as of a few hours ago.

:(

I'm going to miss him but now that he's not here to distract me (Oh, yes, you do!) I can get back to updating you masses with fascinating glimpses into this, our first shared vacation in my ancestral homeland. I know, I know, you've been bored for days waiting for me to post. Well, friends, the waiting is over.

So on Saturday M not only experienced my entire-family-except-for-Julie-and-Huw at a dinner that included: small baby crying, his girlfriend absconding with said baby followed by her utter failure to make the baby stop crying (long live The Baby Whisperer), various family members being obnoxiously inappropriate (for instance someone who was definitely not me but may have been my 4-year-old nephew may have asked him if he liked see food "seafood" while he was eating, and then may or may not have- witnesses' reports vary- opened his/her mouth to show the honored guest what may or may not have been some partially chewed food), and frightening talk of a dark family secret we refer to as "The Laundry Room."

The fact that he did not run in terror is a testament to this man's bravery, but what is even more amazing is that he voluntarily went directly from this chamber of horrors dinner to a birthday party for my cousin's wife that contained at least twenty members of my extended family. Many of which were... less-than-sober. I tell you, the man is a saint. Or possibly just out of his mind. Just for fun, quiz him on the names of my 15 cousins and their children next time you see him.


Next: Adventures in Getting Times All Wrong and Missing Stuff or Jess's Brain Just Ain't What it Used to Be

Happy nerds

Basking in the glow of our respective macbooks.


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