Thursday, December 27, 2007

Back from Illadelph.

Dear Jess,

Welcome back to Boston. We, the powers that be, would like to show our gladness for your return by granting you a miserable, cold, Londonesque day of rain and wind. We heard you liked that sort of thing.


New England Weather
If you don't like the weather in New England, wait a minute!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Damn it feels good to be a hipsta.

I'm not a hipster, actually. I have plenty of hipsterish friends, enough hipstery leanings in fashion and music, but a hipster I am not.

For instance, this is one of the funny-because-it's-truest things I've seen in a while (especially because it is modeled after Monty Python's Upperclass Twit of the Year):

I don't even like going to shows anymore because I've been having a growing distaste for all the people dancing on me, the ones that elbow me in the face and get mad at me when I push back, the tall ones that don't let four inches get between my face and their backs, the ones who sing so loudly that I can't hear anymore, the ones who go to shows to catch up with old friends, etc.

That being said, I really do like going to the Middle East. I like going for dinner Upstairs or at ZuZu. I like ZuZu's Roots and Razors night every other Wednesday, I like the belly dancing on the Corner, I like that the crowd space Downstairs is raked so you can see better from the back. I like the bartender who used to play bass for the Charms. I like that somehow, everything is connected, and that nobody really yelled at me for sneaking through the kitchen from the Corner to the Upstairs, but rather I was told that I couldn't leave. I like the local art, the bright colors on the walls, the people-watching opportunities, the staff that's been there forever, and I like the food, the wine and the beer.

I spent most of my weekend on the corner of Mass Ave and Douglass, and had I not had the Plague, it would have been a near-perfect couple days. Granted, the Raging Teens X-Mas Party was at a freezing cold TT's, but it was the same crowd. One of the people I saw there was in the band I saw the next day. I like that about the Middle East, too. You always know somebody, if not by having ever spoken to them.

I'm glad, however, that I don't know the schmuck who wrote the one review of the Middle East on Menupages. This person, who might be the world's biggest tool, said:

This joint ain't bad. It has the funk I love. Great mix of customers of all stripes (and plaids). Pretty fair food. Unbelivelaby indifferent service. Music is the balls downstairs however. Eclectic (did I say eclectic? Oh my! If I use the word ambience tickle me till I'm pink). Where can you see Gogol Bordello, a band from the circus and a young student singer-songwriter under one roof? Service downstairs is worse than the upstairs. Haughty hotties give perfunctory service. Never the less downstairs is close, crowded, loud, hot and wicked fun.

I'm glad you like it, sir. But "haughty hotties" is neither clever nor respectful, you cannot spell, and self-conscious parenthetical musings have no place in restaurant reviews. And tell me you didn't call it a "joint".

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Busting at the seams.

Don't you hate when someone tells you the most remarkable secret you've gotten your hands on in years and it's amazing and happy and you can't tell anyone?

When that happens, I mean, it sucks.

Or as a hypothetical...

Never mind, I wish I could publish this secret here. Now I have to wait a week. Picture a Brechtian silent scream. That's me right about now.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Christmas songs WROR can play all they want.

(In no particular order.)

Nat King Cole : The Christmas Song
U2 : Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Boston Pops : Sleigh Ride*
The Ronettes : Sleigh Ride*
Mariah Carey : All I Want for Christmas Is You
The Kinks : Father Christmas
Frank Sinatra : Jingle Bells
Stevie Wonder: Someday at Christmas
Elvis Presley: Let's face it - anything.
Bing Crosby and David Bowie : Little Drummer Boy
Rosemary Clooney : Sisters**
Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby : Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep**

* Note the absence of the Johnny Mathis version.
** I know they won’t.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A note I made at work some time ago.

My coworker just reminded me of a post-it I left for her after spending a day placing publisher orders. On this particular occasion I had been placing an order with Perseus Distrubution for a book on prejudice.

My note read like this :

The word was prejudice.
She pronounced it « Pray Judas »
Then she corrected herself,

Thursday, November 15, 2007

How much of this response is canned, I wonder?

Hi Jessica ,

Thanks for listening to 105.7 WROR and thanks for your comments about our programming.

Here at WROR, we find Christmas fun and worthy of celebrating. With Thanksgiving next week, we thought it we’d get into the spirit now. Led by Loren and Wally, we are all excited to celebrate the season by having some fun and playing Boston’s Favorite Christmas Songs. I’m sorry you don’t agree.

We will try to vary up the list, although there are only so many Christmas songs that are good and that people like.

Hopefully, when the spirit of fun touches you, you might join us. Santa will be available to talk to kids of all ages weeknights from 6 to 8.

I appreciate you taking the time to write and appreciate your loyal listening over the years.

We will return to playing Boston’s Greatest Hits on December 26.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A letter to the Program Director of 105.7, WROR

Mr. West,

Let me first say that I listen to WROR at home because I like some of the music that is played - in particular the Beatles at 9 and 12.

As yours is the only station apart from FM Talk that my place of employment gets any reception for in the basement, we play WROR all day long on our store's loudspeakers. I know that somebody far higher up the Greater Media ladder, likely someone who doesn't even live in the city of Boston, made some decision back in June that WROR would play Christmas music before it is socially acceptable - that is to say before Thanksgiving, even. So I'm not even going to touch that one.

My complaint is this: of all the Christmas songs out there, is it really necessary to repeat so many throughout the day? I'd heard three renditions of "Frosty the Snowman" by 2pm today. In the space of 10 minutes, WROR played the same song twice ("I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" - by the Ronettes at 4:17 and by John Mellencamp at 4:25)! I heard that ridiculously high-pitched song from "Mame" - "We Need a Little Christmas" - twice today as well. I'm pretty sure that wasn't even a different artist.

This is driving me crazy. I'd turn the radio off, or change the station, but as I said, WROR is all we've got. And if you want your target demographic to be listening more, you should give them more [variety] to listen to.


Jessica Mullen
Boston, MA

A good idear.

So I may be late on this, but I was just turned on to what may be the most constructive site ever,

I’m a big fan of the Hunger Site, and its brethren, the Breast Cancer Site, the Child Health Site, the Literacy Site, the Rainforest Site, and the Animal Rescue Site. You know, you go to the site, which is covered in ads to support it, and you click on a big button that donates 1.1 cups of staple food to the hungry (or a mammogram, healthcare for children, some educational funding, protection for 11.4 square feet of rainforest, or .6 bowls of food to rescued animals). These sites are a great idea ! takes it to another level. makes a game out of it. Human beings are naturally competitive, constantly trying to prove their skills, and banks on that. Go to the site, and you’ll see a multiple choice vocabulary question (some of these words, for all three years I took Latin, are really quite hard !) – if you get it right, you donate 10 grains of rice to the hungry.

I know : 10 grains of rice really isn’t that much. But think of it as 10 points, and look at the bottom of the screen, and it keeps tabs on your vocabulary level. In the space of 5-10 minutes yesterday, I had donated 600 grains of rice. That, dear reader, is a lot. For those of us with boring desk jobs that have us on hold on the phone all day, we can do a lot of good.

Better still, if you get it wrong, they give you the correct answer, so you, the benefactor, can build your vocabulary and do even better the next time you engage in competitive philanthropy.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

Yeah I know: I suck.

Why does the start of NaBloPoMo have to coincide with my attention span in French class slipping to the point at which I need to spend most of my free time studying?

And also: why did my computer have to break down before the start of this semester so that I would have to use my dad's computer while he was in the next room talking to the woman he's cheating on his girlfriend with on the phone? What does that say for what stock I put in men when my own father cheats on his girlfriend?

My concentration is nil.

This sucks. I know it's not just me.

I already talked to him about cheating. I hate this! This is probably the number one reason I need to move out.

I'm not built for this. My heart hurts.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Eyebrow waxing: the cure for the common cold?

A couple weeks ago, my kickball division had a party. In the weeks leading up to it, the mid-season party was pretty much all I could talk about. My friend Rachel and I spent a good five hours in the Copley area looking for the perfect shirts to wear. I slept regular hours and tried to drink less - all so I could be in tip-top shape for the party.

And then I got sick.

I suppose it wasn't that bad a sickness. Just a niggling cough and stuffy nose and headache. But when I get sick, it will be just that - for a month! Miserable, horrible, kill-me-I've-forgotten-what-it's-like-to-breath-normally kind of sick. And so when this sick started four days before the party for which I'd been so well-prepared, I was pissed. I drank a gallon of water before I even left the house in the morning. Airborne tablets, horse-sized zinc pills, 10-hour nights of sleep. Two days of that and I still felt like trash.

"No," I said to myself, "I'm not going to get any better. That's the kind of pathetic and worthless sack of shit I am. I will go to the party with a tissue permanently attached to my red and chapped nose, nobody will want to talk to me, the Walking Plague."

But I was still going. I was helping to run it, and I was working the first door shift. I had to go. And my eyebrows were a mess.

I went across the street to the Northeastern local tanning salon, which had waxing services as well, and felt even more miserable and disgusting and ugly while surrounded by Northeastern barbie dolls who were waiting for their turn in the buzzing tanning beds. I was led into a back room (for the pasty ugly people, I'd figured), and had my eyebrows waxed. While the lady tweezed I had to sit upright and sneeze, like five times in a row. Afterward I was led out to the counter, where I paid. The girl asked me if I'd used their tanning beds before.

I had to laugh. "Do I look like I've ever seen a tanning bed before?"
"No," she admitted, "but we always have to ask."

Time out. I made a joke! And I laughed! This was not the same person who walked in. This was someone who was getting better!

I left the tanning salon with such a spring in my step it was like I was walking on a stairway of air. I could beat this nonsense cold. It had only just started, and I was already kicking its ass, I could tell.

And anyway, I was a human being, not some odious and snivelling splat of pond scum, worth bringing back to health.

Cold was gone by Friday morning, and better still, it hasn't come back. Take that!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Because I'm too busy for NaNoWriMo this year...again.

NaBloPoMo is similar to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), but for lazy people like me or for people who want to jump start their blogs, etc. You can learn more about National Blog Posting Month at

I wish they had a badge that didn't feature a cat. I hate cats.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Antennae don't work in the cellar.

Is there anything more soul-sucking than starting your week at work with only FM TALK to listen to? I'm all about NPR, BBC, whatever - anything but FM Talk.

I complain about our radio at work a lot. We don't get many stations, as we're in the basement. WBOS is okay most of the time because I like some of the music, and even the music I don't like is at least in the right mood for work. Then there's WROR, which I like, mostly because there's a Beatles break at 9 and noon. Oh, and Mambo Time (!) at 5:05. I put up with Toto and "Lady in Red" (hell, I might have even grown to like "Rosanna"). The problem with both those stations is that, with all the music they have in their studios to play around with, they follow a basic schedule throughout the day. So it's like Groundhog Day.*

Another problem we encounter with the few radio stations we get is that there are horrible morning shows, bad enough before you've had your tea, but worse still when replayed in the afternoon. You know, in case you missed it (ahem, WROR and WBCN). Usually my pick is WBCN because nobody ever complains about the music, but it is always changed when Opie and Anthony or whoever are on. Because you know what you don't want to hear when you're shopping for insignia apparel for your kid that you're finally shipping out of your house? Overgrown adolescents. Yelling.

So I'm not sure why we're listening to FM Talk, because it's basically a barrage of half-witted polemics with cutting Boston accents. As if re-entry after a long weekend weren't difficult enough, as if my brain weren't already applesauce, as if I wanted to be here in the first place...

You see where this is going. I'm not much better.

*I like to say a prayer and drink to world peace.

Monday, September 10, 2007

My day is like a seesaw.

I was happy to hear French spoken at Whole Foods, and then elated to summon up enough French in my memory to wish my cashier a good day.

Then there was a dead skunk in the middle of the road, and if you'll pardon the Louden Wainwright III reference, it actually was stinking to high heaven. And it was cute, it was so sad.

And now I'm at work. I feel like I'm being yanked by the scarf.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Best lines from 12.5 hours of work.

It's rush. In college bookstore lingo, that means that classes at Northeastern are starting this week and my life at work is sheer hell. Though not so much this fall, which is eerie and unnatural. I provide you with quotes of the days as they go - these quotes bring me angst as they happen and joy as I reflect on them.

A girl, looking for her Third Year Writing (ENG U301) books, disagrees with one bookseller when he advises she look for them in the English section: Is it English or is it W?

A girl, after my friend Chris helps her find what she is looking for (meant to be statements, both): There is an insect on my hand. Would you please remove it. [NB: Chris is still not entirely sure if this exchange happened, but if it did, he removed the ladybug and flicked it to the floor, then walked away in a medicated fog.]

A girl, to whatever boy she was dragging with her so she wouldn't be talking to herself: Omigod, this books is so tight, you know?
Some other friend starts talking to her, then, and says she would love to see her apartment. In reply, the first girl says: My apartment is sweeeet. [No irony should be implied here. In either case.]

Me, stirring lentil soup at 10:30PM, to the tune of "Hot Cross Buns": I hate my job, I hate my job, one-a-penny, two-a-penny, I hate my job - fuck, I've LOST it.

I'm sorry that I can't include any Northeastern boy quotes. They don't seem to talk so much as grunt and slur.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Best Voicemail Ever

I skipped my usual Tuesday plans at Whitney's in Harvard Square because I got tickets to the Best of Boston party on Carson Beach. This morning I got the Best Voicemail Ever.

Jonny K:
So, --Lindsay Lohan
You are going to some party in Southie...on the beach?
You ditched your friends?
Do you know - do you know what you're making me do? I have not smoked
In six weeks
And I am going
Across the street
To 7-11
And I'm going to buy a delicious delicious pack of Camel Lights
And then I'm going to smoke them outside
In your absence
And every single one of them, I will be like
Mmmm, Jess. Mullen.
And then I'm going to put on that fucking CD that
You owe me
I'm dumb, she's a lesbian
Yeah, the Pink Triangle song?
Josh says I'm so drunk but this is the only way
I can get you to feel
Yeah. Yeeeaaah.

So yeah, I'm gonna smoke outside
And sing the Pink Triangle song
And be like so.......



You can be in Southie.

You better be wearing a bikini
Because, y'know, that's uh
That's what you uh
I mean, honestly, that's what I'd wear, like
A bikini and a sarong
And like five-inch stiletto heels
Like that'd be hot Southie,


You should hear like what everyone's say--
Anyway alright bye
No, but like
Bikini Southie sarong?

Yeah you're working that party
That's good

Oh my god
My goodness my Guinness
Where's the Guinness?
There's like a lobster--

Goodbye. Goodbye, Jess.


Monday, July 30, 2007

Smell? Oh, that's my new perfume...Bog.

When I got home last night, my key didn't work in the door, my dad wasn't home, and my roommate was asleep. My roommate is the lightest sleeper I know. I rang the doorbell, I threw myself against the door, I called the house twice, and I was yelling on my porch, which is right under her (open) window. I was BEYOND pissed. Eventually I called my dad and he came home from Brighton and figured it out, but basically my day started off on the wrong foot at midnight.

This morning I got to work and the office had flooded, rendering all my books on hold trash, the carpet wet, and the air mildew-tinged.

I can't wait for this day to take a good turn.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

It's been a long, long, long time.

I can't say that I'm going to describe pretty much any of my journey in this entry. I am still in Paris, it's my last full day, and I'm very sad to be leaving tomorrow.

10 days is a long enough time to get really used to a place, and I consequently have gotten really used to this place. I have 20 euros left to my name, have to pack all my things back together in some semblence of order, and do something that makes me happy today. And I don't know what that something is, but this melancholy I feel just has to stop.

I don't want to go home tomorrow, and it's nothing personal to the folks at home.

But come on - Paris.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Four days!

For those not entirely in the know, I am leaving for Paris in four days. On the 15th. Two weeks from today, which is not so far away, I will be returning.

Surely from reading an entry or two, or even my profile, you know what a francophile I am. And I've been itching for an excuse to go to Paris for a couple years now. Out of nowhere, three excuses appeared: my friend Rachel, from New Zealand, has been on a research grant there all year, my friend Emma is visiting her mother, who has been teaching a course at the Sorbonne all spring, and when I got my tax refund it covered airfare during peak times such as this week. It seems to be in the stars (dans les etoiles, si vous préférez).

What's been on my mind recently is this: Why is everybody telling me that about the love I will find there when I say I'm going to Paris? Even my mother and her boyfriend are telling me to be careful with those French boys. As if I can speak enough French to talk about more than the weather, to begin with. I told my mother that, and she said she's not worried about me speaking. I got an email today from a friend that had love as the subject line and closed with "love awaits - bring a good camera!" And naturally I will bring my most useful camera, if not my best, but... Honestly, a publisher rep who I know and like, but don't know well enough that his saying this would be normal, told me he hopes I fall in love and can stay forever.

Who wouldn't want to stay forever?

As much as I would love for an easy way to French citizenship (in spite of this Sarko nonsense), acquiring it by means of anything romantic - or by any other means - really hasn't been a part of my thoughts in the four months I've been planning this trip. It's an impossibility - MY FRENCH SUCKS.

In the meantime, my clothes are all over the floor, my passport's over here, my ticket is over there, who knows where I put my Paris Moleskine last, and I've had a little wine and am more than a little tired. I hope I make it on the plane in one piece.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The morning sun is shining like a red rubber ball.

Certain readers have expressed an interest in reading a brief recap of Sunday's game. The way I've been telling my friends is this:

There is a mercy rule that says you can call the game if you're 12 runs behind or more. They told us about it at the end of the first inning, because we were 11 runs behind. There are five innings. The game is 45 minutes long. We shaped up a bit after that, but the score (which refs stopped counting after 20) was 21-1. Eek.

The blurb I wrote for the newsletter was this:
What can we say? What we lack in sheer talent we make up for in enthusiasm! It goes without saying that our MVP would be the scorer of our one goal, Greg Kindel, but that doesn't mean that we weren't all thrilled to be playing the game for the first time since Jurassic Park came out! We denied the mercy rule, which was offered to us at the start of the second inning, for the love of kickball. Thanks to Josh Lavin and Seth Opitz for stepping up to the mound when the rest of us were mildly afraid, and a very special thanks to all Lemurs that showed up and waited in the rain for two hours with nothing but Irish coffee to warm them. A good time was had by all, and we look forward to being pantsed by Fourth Base this Sunday. It is also worth mentioning that our kickball skills cannot hold a candle to our staggering flipcup ability.

It was fun. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's game.

And now to get some color, so I don't blind the field tomorrow or next week, and so that I don't blind the nation of France in THREE WEEKS.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I bring you good cheer...


My computer is back, functioning at full capacity! I am pleased to announce to my two or three remaining readers that I plan on writing a whole lot more, starting today. This coincides beautifully with the end of my class for the semester, and the start of an official summer off...from school.

While I do plan to spend four hours less of my week in Boylston Hall, possibly just as much time will be used at Nunziato Field, on the corner of Summer and Vinal, in Somerville. My friend Sarah and I started a kickball team, the Space Lemurs, as a part of the Minuteman Division of the World Adult Kickball Association. In addition to our captainly duties, causing a ruckus with our team (of 20!), and generally losing every game we play (but with gusto, because we know what we're getting into), Sarah and I have also joined our division's board. She is our charities chair, as I am the editor of the weekly newsletter, Ghost Man On Third (GMOT). I'll let you know how that goes.

Our first game is tomorrow, it's rainy and too cold to be spending multiple hours outside, and our team shirts are a) not in the color we wanted, and b) not available til next week. I can't say I'm terribly optimistic, but I'll be there at 1:30, as planned. With many layers of clothing under my brown Pink Floyd shirt from Target. Why doesn't anybody sell brown shirts anymore?


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Say it ain't so!

Tell me a drag queen didn't win America's Next Top Model and that Melinda did not just get kicked off American Idol and that Bob Barker is not done hosting"The Price Is Right"!

This is why I try not to sit down and watch TV.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No news can be good news. But so can good news be good news.

It sure has been a while. To make up for that, I have two pieces of exciting news, and they are totally unrelated!

First of all, I just got word that my friend Rachel, with whom I will be staying when I go to Paris in 65 (that's 6-5) days, lives on the same street as the Cafe des Deux Moulins. You might remember it from my favorite movie of all time, Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain. I do. This means that my base will be in Montmartre. I am SO excited.

Secondly, and I mention it secondly so that you can go check it out when you're done reading this, I was interviewed by Leila Cohan for the Boston chapter of's recently launched blog. Leila's blog also covers such important pieces of Boston gastronomy as the Tasty (RIP), food review haiku, and seasonally relevant restaurant tips (eating around Fenway, for instance - GO SOX!)

Excitement abounds, and Spring has sprung! Sort of. In a New England kind of way.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Please, let me explain!

1. My computer is currently on bed rest.
2. It has been since late last week.
3. My father's computer, which I have been using in the meantime, does not go to sites I find important, namely Gmail, NEUmail, and Blogger.
4. It really isn't right to update at work.
5. I am sorry.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The problem with Lent for lapsed Catholics.

I don't know if this is true for real Catholics, but for me, Lent is a second shot at making a New Year's resolution. It's shorter than a year, and for that reason it's less daunting. At the same time, it's long enough to form a habit. Best of all, nobody will sabotage your goals of giving things up, because for all they know, it's for religious reasons.

This year, I thought it would be a good time for me to give up cookies. Not that I want to go the rest of my life without cookies, but I'd like to feel like I could live a day without Famous Amos. It's a weird addiction of mine, one that I don't really like, one that actually gives me the shakes if I try to stop. I've been doing well, except...


I mean, hello, forget Famous Amos. I woke up this morning with visions of Egg Beaters and toast dancing in my head, and sitting on my kitchen table were two boxes - Caramel deLites (misleading!) and Thin Mints, my two favorites. I told my roommate about my predicament, the green box already torn in my hands, and she told me her mother bought her some she didn't want. Lemonades. The ones they just came out with that I wanted to try so badly but didn't want to blow four dollars on in case they suck (which I'm sure they won't, because Girl Scout Cookies categorically taste good and have crack as an unlisted ingredient, I'm sure).

Sabotage, I tell you.

I don't feel guilty about it, but damn nevertheless.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Readership at historic lows.

Why is it that as soon as I pledged to my dear readers that I would post regularly, both for their entertainment and my need for masturbatory ramblings, absolutely nobody visited this site at all?

Not that anybody cares that much, but I had grown used to getting about 10 hits a day, if mostly for the lyrics of "Would You?" and "Spooky". It's as if the real joy of people who read my blog is finding only purely accidental entries made by me, and that even Google is boycotting One Falling Star on account of its recent resolution to ramble on purpose.

I bought a new CD!

It's been a while since I've done this. And it took me a long time to realize that I needneedneeded "Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs". Two years, in fact.

I don't know what I like most about this CD. Could be the Rufus Wainwright-esque voice, or the fact that M. Ward is thanked in the liner notes (which, by the way, are peppered with drawings as delightful as the cover). It could just as easily be the song "Fake Palindromes", which Jon had me listen to in the text office at the Coop, and which was still the only song I'd heard off the album until about ten minutes ago.

With that in mind, I'm sure it's too early to pick favorites. I can, however, say that this CD is already ranked among my favorite CDs that I own, and it isn't even on my iPod yet.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

What's scary right now.

Bodily concerns are not something I worry my head about too frequently. I do alright for myself. I play by the rules, may cut a few corners, but for the most part, I'm a healthy individual that doesn't give her body much thought because I can almost guarantee that I'm [physically] okay.

I recently discovered that a friend of mine is at risk for cancer. Cancer.

Oh, my grandmothers both died of it, my mother has had countless biopsies that came out negative, but somehow I am so much more detached from those situations than I am from my friend's.

Possibly it is because she is so near to me in age. Possibly it's because I am suddenly one to rely on. My mother secretly relies on me, but I was born, conceived, in her care. There's something almost unnatural about the idea of her leaning on me in a time of personal struggle. Not the case with my friend.

She is in many ways my rock, and I hers, though admittedly not as often as I should. And now, being put to the test leaves me wishing there was something more personal, something more, period, that I could do to make the fear and the scarier speculation disappear.

You see, I think it's hard, in a way, to be the one who isn't going through it. I can see why she's upset, I can see why she's afraid. Already she is handling this better than I ever could, but I can't help in such a way that I know what it is like for her, can tell her everything will be okay - who am I kidding, I wouldn't be able to do that anyway. But I really wish I could try.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

In like a lion...

Without a doubt, it has been too long since my last update. I hereby announce my new month's resolution (because, in spite of evidence to the contrary, I am quite often a realist): For the month of March, I will update my blog at least three times a week. I'm not counting this wimpy half week.

I started this blog so that I would have an outlet for my more structured commentary and otherwise creative writing, but it doesn't work so well if I do not apply myself to it. It is with this in mind that I pledge to you, dear readers, that you will hear a whole lot more from me.

At least for this month.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I must have a fever...

...because I talked to the boy on the train.

And I am sick, and I look it, because my hair is a mess, my skin is dry, and my eyes are all watery. But when I saw him on the train for the first time in a month I thought nothing of going up to him at Mass Ave station's turnstiles and asking him if he played the trombone.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Miss him, miss him...

At around 10 tonight, a call came through. I checked the caller ID and saw a Maryland number. Martha Mullen. Aunt Martha. My cousin calls her his stepmonster. I like her, but I can see why he'd feel that way. She's my uncle's keeper, and as a result, I never see him.

That's not entirely the fault of Aunt Martha. I only get two weeks of vacation, and I spend one with my mother in New Mexico, one with my father's family down the shore. Unless Uncle Jimmy shows up during that one-week window, another year will pass in which I don't see him. Usually, though, the reason he doesn't make that trip is because they're visiting Martha's kids in Myrtle Beach, or something.

He moved out of Chesapeake City about nine years ago, and I still haven't seen his new house.

This mostly sums up our relationship at the moment, I think. I love my Uncle Jimmy, enjoy his rare company, laugh and cry at his stories, and take the few things he says to me to heart. But he's never there, and in a family that is otherwise so tightly knit, it hurts to even admit that ours is a made-up relationship. One that should be, could be, but isn't, unless feigned in an awkward phone call.

That's why I wasn't going to pick up the phone. He was going to ask for Dad immediately, and Dad wasn't home, and so he'd be stuck making small talk with me for a whole two minutes. On the other hand, it was late, and it might have been an emergency. I picked up.

Me: Hello?
He: Jess? That you?
Me: Yeah, hi! How are you?
He: How you doing?
Me: I'm doing -
He: Your dad home?
Me: - alright.
He: Good, your dad home?
Me: No, he went someplace to watch the game.
He: Oh, he's not back yet, okay. I thought he would be by now.
Me: Guess not. Haven't seen him since he left, so...
He: So how are you making out up there?
Me: Alright, I'm making out alright.
He: Well good. You sound like you're doing alright. I'm gonna try your dad on his cell. Goodnight! Love you.
Me: Love you too.

I wanted to cry.

He's my godfather, and while that doesn't mean he would be particularly close to me (for instance, my other two godfathers never pay me any mind*), I would think it means at least that he somehow should be keeping track of what I do, to some degree. Occasionally my dad will tell me with much enthusiasm that Uncle Jimmy asked for me. When I ask for elaboration, it's usually, "we were on the phone, and he said 'How's Jess doing?'"

That's not enough. I miss my uncle, who I'm not sure I know anymore.

*Yeah, I have three godfathers. This one is the only blood-related uncle I have, so that makes sense. The other two were dating when I was born, and my mother thought it would be cool to have two gay godfathers. Since then, they broke up. One got married (to a woman), had kids, and moved to Wisconsin. The other is kind of a recluse without the first.