WTHIB: the where-the-heck-i’ve-been edition

I went to Long Island City, incredible waterfront views of Manhattan abound…

[click to view larger]

My fantastic fellow North Dakotan friend Mitch came to visit from LA, and we enjoyed delicious crêpes at
the delightful Café Henri in Long Island City

I went to DUMBO — Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass
Mitch & Chi in DUMBO
Chi’s the best
Adam came to visit — always a welcomed visitor
I saw the hilarious David Sedaris perform a reading at BAM in Brooklyn
I went to the Project Runway-famed Mood Fabrics in the Garment district, where I was super inspired by all of the
patterns, textures, colors and kinds of fabric.
Finally — I WENT BLONDE.

• • • • •

Time for a much-needed weekend!
xo
j

I must be doing something wrong. I lost a follower! What should I do? Start having giveaways with my stuff? Post videos of me juggling and eating Oreo cookies? Cut my hair into a pink mohawk? Post my credit card number? I’m at a loss.
Oh well. I’m a busy gal and that’s the bottom line. Here’s the good news of the day:
• Had a review for the BA exhibition that I’ll be a part of (PSSSST…it opens March 7!) My stuff was approved (even though it’s not done) (my professors are placing their trust in my hands) and I am excited to show. I’m working on some signage for Rubbish & Bosh (see these posters, which will be in the show). It’s a large hanging sign and I’m excited about where it’s going. I’m starting to find a niche with 3D sign making and it’s something I’d like to continue.
• Received a lovely gift in the mail from a beautiful Oklahomian named Kat Hodges — an autographed David Sedaris book! Wowowowow! THANK YOU KAT and JAVEN.
• Took a 3 hour nap in front of the heater…on my bedroom floor. Passssssed out! So delicious.
• Now roaming through my computer’s Font Book. I have 346 fonts.
Let’s see if I can accomplish anything tonight?
I’ll leave you with this man:
via Sartorialist. Think of the curls our children would have…
xo
j

The Squirrel and the Chipmunk

The squirrel and the chipmunk had been dating for two weeks when they ran out of things to talk about. Acorns, parasites, the inevitable approach of autumn. These subjects had been covered within their first hour, and so breathlessly, their faces had flushed. Twice, they’d held long conversations about dogs, each declaring their across-the-board hatred of them, and speculating on what life might be like were someone had put a bowl of food in front of them two times a day.
“They’re spoilt rotten, is what it comes down to,“ the chipmunk had said. And the squirrel had placed his paw over hers and said, “That’s it, exactly. Finally, someone who really gets it!”
Friends had warned them that their romance could not possibly work out, and such moments convinced them that these naysayers were not just wrong, but jealous. “They’ll never have what we do,” the squirrel would say. And then the two of them would sit quietly, hoping for a flash flood or a rifle report. Something, anything that might generate a conversation.
They were out one night, a little bar run by a couple of owls, when following a long silence, the squirrel slapped his palm against the tabletop. “You know what I like?” he said. “I like jazz.”
“I didn’t know that, “the chipmunk said. “Thank goodness! Jazz!”
She had no idea what jazz was but worried that asking would make her sound stupid and unworthy of his affections. “What kind, exactly?” she asked, hoping the answer might narrow things down a bit. “Well, all kinds, really, “he told her, “especially the earlier stuff.” “Me too, “she said. And when he asked her why, she told him that the later stuff was just a little too late for her tastes. “Almost like it was overripe or something. You know what I mean?” And for the third time since she had known him, the squirrel reached across the table and took her paw.
On returning home that evening, the chipmunk woke her older sister, with whom she shared a room. “Listen,” she whispered. “I need you to explain something. What’s jazz?”
“Why’re you asking me?” the sister said.
“So you don’t know either?” the chipmunk asked.
“I didn’t say I didn’t know,” the sister said. “I asked you why you’re asking. Does this have anything to do with that squirrel?”
“Maybe,” the chipmunk said.
“Well I’m telling,” the sister announced. “The first thing tomorrow morning, because this has gone on long enough.” She punched at her pillow of moss, then repositioned it beneath her head. “I warned you weeks ago that this wouldn’t work out, and now you’ve got the whole house in an uproar. Waltzing home in the middle of the night, waking me up with your dirty little secrets. Jazz, indeed! You just wait until mother hears about this.”
The chipmunk laid awake that night, imagining the unpleasantness that was bound to take place the following morning. Just as she thought she’d calmed herself down, a new possibility would enter her mind, each one more terrible than the last. Jazz was the maggot-infested flesh of a dead body, the ochre crossed on an infected eye, another word for ritual suicide. And she had claimed to like it.
Years later, when she could put it all in perspective, she’d realize that she’d never really trusted the squirrel. How else to explain all those terrible possibilities? Had he been another chipmunk, even a tough one, she’d have assumed that jazz was something familiar. A kind of root, say, or maybe a hairstyle. Of course her sister hadn’t helped any. None of her family had.
“It’s not that I have anything against squirrels, per se,” her mother had said.
“It’s just that this one, well, I don’t like him.” When pressed for details, she’d mention his fingernails, which were a little too long for her tastes. “A sure sign of vanity, “ she warned. “And then there’s this jazz business. That was what did it.”
Following a sleepless night, the chipmunk’s mother had forced her to break it off. “Well,” the squirrel had sighed, “I guess that’s that.”
“I guess it is,” the chipmunk said.
He headed downriver a few days later, and she never saw him or spoke to him again. “It’s no great loss,” her sister said. “No girl should be subjected to language like that, especially from the likes of him.” “Amen!” her mother added.
Eventually the chipmunk met someone else, and after she’d safely married, her mother speculated that perhaps jazz was a branch of medicine, something like chiropractic therapy that wasn’t quite legitimate. Her sister said no, it was more likely a jig, and then she pushed herself back from the table and kicked her chubby legs into the air. “Oh you,” her mother said, “that’s a can-can!” And then she joined in, and gave a few kicks of her own. This stuck in the chipmunk’s mind. She never knew her mother could identify a dance step, or anything associated with fun. It was a way her own children would eventually think of her. Dull, strict, chained to the past. She had boys, all of them healthy and only one prone to trouble. He had a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but his heart was good, and the chipmunk knew he would eventually straighten himself up. Her husband thought so too, and died knowing that he had been correct. A month or two after he’d passed on, she asked this son what jazz was. And when he told her it was a kind of music, she knew immediately that he was telling the truth. “Is it…bad music?” she asked. “Well, if it’s played badly,” he said. “Otherwise it’s really quite pleasant.” “Did squirrels invent it?” “God, no!” he said, “Whoever gave you that idea?” The chipmunk stroked her brown and white muzzle. “Nobody,” she said, “I was just guessing.”
When her muzzle grew more white than brown, the chipmunk forgot that she and the squirrel had had nothing to talk about. She forgot the definition of jazz as well, and came to think of it as every beautiful thing that she had failed to appreciate. The taste of warm rain, the smell of a baby, the din of a swollen river rushing past her tree, and onward to infinity.

—David Sedaris

Jenny & the Jaws of Life


03/365
Originally uploaded by approximately_yes

A LOT HAS HAPPENED TODAY, considering that I didn’t wake up until one this afternoon.

Alright, it’s not my fault I slept in as late as I did. I stared at this computer screen until six and didn’t fall asleep until eight. My sleep schedule is so out of whack, I am slowly becoming convinced that I am part robot, part bat, part crazy semi-insomniac chai-inhaling hyena. Or something.

After a pizza party with my good ol’ softball team this afternoon, I had a bit of time to kill and wound up at the Goodwill. This second-hand store has appropriately been dubbed “The Rich Poor Store” by thrifting friends and I because of their sickly overpriced apparel and household items. I don’t expect a pair of pants with conspicuous stains to come for free; then again, they shouldn’t be $6, either. Not that I was considering purchasing something with a questionable spot on it, but you get the point.

Today I was delighted to come across a slightly retro and somewhat nostalgic collection of cassette tapes. Among them: Madonna, Whitney Houston, TLC, Paula Abdul, Boyz II Men, even my good brother Yanni that used to ring through the Christen house in my younger days. I feel remorse for cassette tapes, because much like their second-cousin the VHS, they are near obsolete. No one sees a cassette and thinks, “OY! I gotta have that for my Walkman!” No. You know what cassettes are good for? Paperweights, art projects, space-wasting, and dust-collecting. They suck as bookmarks. They don’t even taste good on a sandwich.

It makes me really sad to see these things, you know? It’s not like they had any clue Steve Jobs and Dee VeeDee were going to come along and make their lives miserable. I mean, really. You don’t see me stealing wheelchairs from the nursing home. Same difference! These things were brought into the world to make life more bearable. They were awesome in 1990. They can’t help it that they suck!

What does one do in this scenario, seeing a helpless heap of audiocassettes? Keep the dream alive. Paula Abdul was in my hands, and I “Straight Up” just about bought her. Then I noticed something a little farther down on the rack, a little ditty titled “The Joshua Tree” by a small Irish group named something like “U2.” I could recall listening to this soundtrack a hundred times, more notably falling asleep to it’s smooth melodies on a car ride to the cities.

Thoughts upon the siting:
a) “HEY BONO HEY!”
2) “I think I have a tape player in my car.”
iii) “How much am I willing to pay for this?”
6) “This is totally going against everything my new iPod stands for.”

Alas, an album with three hits and a place on Rolling Stones’ Greatest list has no home at the Goodwill. It’s like seeing Prince hanging out at a cesspit. What the heck? You have no idea how it happened, you just know it isn’t right.

I gladly slapped down $0.54 for the cassette, to a cashier who nodded her head in agreement of my purchase. Upon retreating to my vehicle I was quickly soothed by the blissful chords of In God’s Country and Where the Streets Have No Name.

In other excitement: A wonderful Christmas present from my sister, who has a God-given talent of wonderful gift-giving. Among the goods were this t-shirt (to wear if life is getting me down), this collection of short stories (praised by David Sedaris), and this awesome, awesome book (by David Sedaris’s quirky sister!) A gift so wonderful that is made me feel twice as bad for getting her a pair of shoes that she already had for Christmas. Yikes! Thanks, Kace — !

So, today’s awesome:
0. Pizza Part-ay
1. U2 cassette
ii. Hospitality Under the Influence
c. The Jaws of Life
4. Loving Life shirt
9. Epic coffee outing with one M. Field (Holla)!
and 10. Seventy-four days until European extravaganza! Eeeeyay!

That’s all for tonight —

xo
jc

All I Needed


All I Needed
Originally uploaded by approximately yes
MY BEST FRIEND asked David Sedaris if he had any tips for becoming a great writer.
“Write every day,” he said. “Every day.”
It wasn’t anything I hadn’t already heard, but hearing it from the man himself was more than reassuring — it just gave me a new confidence, that someday I can perhaps do something great, too.
I’ve been writing nearly every day for four years now, and plan on doing it every day I can for the rest of my life. I can hardly think of anything more fulfilling!

Thank you, sir —
Through and through, you are my inspiration!