Archive for ‘Flashback Friday’

November 28, 2014

Flashback Friday: Let Emerson eat cake

by Janie Jones

Monday I was writing about change and how it can be a double-edged sword.  I might have made Emerson roll over in his grave as I abused his thoughts, but at the same time I seem to recall his point was to be true to yourself and not blindly go with the flow.  He wanted to urge people to break with the consensus if that consensus was for something detrimental, if the popular wisdom was leading you astray.   Do the masses tend to understand what it is anymore to be true to yourself? Do we as a society ever stop and question what is really right and good and necessary anymore?

I might have implied that we are drowning in a new sea of wild and pointless change for the advancement of Progress for the pure sake of Progress.  But, change in the name of Progress isn’t a new problem and doesn’t just afflict our 21st century technology driven life.  The world of Progress has rocked and changed other generations, too.

And, while some changes have brought wonderful things that do enhance our lives, with every step forward something is left behind.  Who stops to ask if what we exchange is worth it?

I don’t talk much about my family here anymore, but, there is one memory indelibly etched in my brain with the clarity of something that happened just yesterday.  It captures a moment in time which literally shaped the way I would see the world for ever more.  I was a tween, and I was eating birthday cake at my paternal grandmother’s house.  It was the best cake I had ever eaten.  And I asked my grandmother what kind of cake it was, hoping I could persuade my mother to buy that brand.  The response I got blew my mind.

“Oh, well, I’m sorry, but I forgot to buy a box of cake mix at the store yesterday, so I had to just whip this up from scratch.  I am sorry it’s not as good as the store kind.”

Two thoughts fought for prominence in my mind:

1.  How the heck does someone just “whip up” a cake that delicious as a last minute thing and

2.  Why in the world was she apologizing?!?

But my paternal grandmother grew up in the depression, apparently poor as dirt.  When modern conveniences rolled out things like box mixes for cakes and other foods, the fact that they saved the housewife time, and were more costly, had to make them better than the old fashioned, poor people’s home cooking.  All these years later, when the masses had forgotten how delicious unprocessed food was, she was still able to cook rings around Duncan Hines and Pillsbury, but she was apologizing for it because people of wealth and consequence didn’t inflict home cooking on their families.

This was also the woman who would wash tinfoil in the dishwasher because it was too expensive to just throw away.

But quirks aside, this insight into the mind of a different generation does show how sometimes seemingly innocent changes which make life appear easier, better, and more convenient can actually diminish a valuable trait in our society.  Ever since that day, I have endeavored to make from scratch instead of buying store bought anything when ever possible.  I don’t know why, but that one simple conversation taught me the value of being able to cook and impressed upon me how it is something of a dying art.

Convenience foods certainly have their place, and can be useful.  But to claim they are better and more valuable than home cooking is a crime and a travesty.  Undoubtedly in part due to this backward change in societal values and probably because of their prevalence, as a generation we have lost a valuable skill.  How many people today can just whip up a cake, or a homemade soup, or gravy?  All are staples a pre-WWII era housewife could make in her sleep.  Heck, girls younger than I was at the time used to do these things every day as automatically as breathing.  It is a sad, sad testament to the times that I know a whole physics class of teens and twenty-somethings today who don’t even know how to boil an egg.

So, the important lesson I like to take from this memory is to never, ever devalue a good made from scratch chocolate cake.

But, seriously, in order for life to go on, I recognize change is inevitable.  However, I hope that people start to see that we can and need to choose to hold on to the simple, better things in life instead of letting the grand, sweeping scope of Progress swallow up, obliterate and bury them in the past.  There are skills we need to keep alive and part of our core of knowledge, even if they seem old fashioned, even if Technology and Progress tells us there’s a faster, more efficient, greener way.  Somethings just can’t be improved on by modern convenience, technology or innovation.  We shouldn’t let innovation make us apologize for being able to do things by hand, for upholding traditions and customs, and for valuing simplicity.

Anyone else have a taste for cake?

 

October 10, 2014

Three strikes you’re out. Flashback to last Friday…

by Janie Jones

So, just a week ago I wrote about my my shower caddy attempting to murder me.

Once I realized it was not a prowler attacking me in the shower, I calmed down, dried off, got dressed and decided that I needed to secure that bad boy better than previously.  It was not the first time the shower caddy fell, but the first time I wasn’t in the shower.  Now, I had a shower caddy of the same basic design at my old house which never budged an inch in 5 years, so I am not entirely sure why this one is so motile.  Perhaps it’s possessed with spirit of Norman Bates.

Or, more likely, it’s due to the ultra slick paint that beads water on the ceiling, and the fact that there’s no vent in the bathroom to suck out that moisture, causing a decrease in the static friction coefficient between the tension rod and the ceiling (egads, physics in my bathroom).  It could also be due to the fact that the shower has a rounded lip and corner and the ceiling is not plumb so I can’t really secure it between level surfaces.  Any or all of these practical reasons could be the culprit. But I can’t change the paint, or the tub, or make the surfaces parallel.  So I lengthened the tension pole, twisted it tight with all my might, and jammed it into the corner and hoped this time I had enough tension to outweigh my obstacles.

But I’m sure it really has it in for me.

It attacked again yesterday.  It chose to leap at me while I was shaving and, seeing as I had just set the shave cream back on the caddy, I was positioned facing it and saw it coming.

Thankfully, and this is a rather weird thing to be thankful for, I wasn’t scared this time, but supremely irritated.  Five years my shower caddy in my other house behaved and maintained its post faithfully.  Now this new caddy and new bathroom are not cooperating.  I hate when things don’t cooperate, especially things that you shouldn’t have to waste time worrying about.  It detracts from all the other important stuff I already don’t have enough time and energy to deal with.

So, it was obvious that there is either a defect in the tension rod that prevents it from maintaining its force on the ceiling and the tub, or the environmental flaws prohibit it from sticking in its place.  Either way, I can’t just get rid of the caddy, as there are insufficient surfaces for my soap, shampoo, razor and shave cream plus the stuff the owners keep in the shower for their convenience when they stay here.  And, money is tight; I don’t want to waste the money I spent on that shower caddy and buy a new one.  My last remaining option: ignore the ban on putting holes in the wall.

Yup.  For two dollars I bought a pipe strap and some screws and I strapped that wayward shower caddy to the wall above the shower sides.  I have no idea what’s behind the drywall there, or if the screws I bought will be sufficient to hold, but for now it seems solid enough….

Let’s hope that it stays nicely; I don’t want it to pull off a hunk of dry wall with it the next time it decides to go walkabout and I’d really like to shower without having to constantly keep one wary eye on my psycho shower caddy.

February 21, 2014

The memory of a song

by Janie Jones

This semester I have a creative writing class I am helping with as a teacher’s assistant.  I’ve never taken a creative writing class personally, but I gave a stab at the Creative Non-Fiction project as part of a tutoring project.  This is what I came up with:

I can smell the heating curling iron; a mix of burnt hair, old curl enhancer and that electrical smell that defies description but is so familiar with hot wiring.  The curling iron is ready.  I look at the clock.  6:45 am, I better get moving or I’ll be late.

I flick on the radio.  “Coming up next:  La Isla Bonita, by Madonna,” the DJ’s silky voice announces.

I smile.  I hate school.  I hate getting up early and fighting for the bathroom.  I hate having to walk to school, and on cold and wet days my hair style gets ruined and all my hard work on my hair will be for nothing.  But this song is catchy.  It’s… it has a… a certain quality.  What is it about this song?  I don’t even like Madonna.  But I’m not thinking about this right now.  I’m in the moment.  I sing along.  It feels good.

The air coming through the open window is cool and damp.  Late last night someone in the neighborhood mowed and the fresh cut grass scent is aerosolized on the moist, dewy air.  It clings to my skin, it seeps into the pores.  I feel my skin pucker, the hairs on my arm rise into goosebumps.  It doesn’t make me cold though, despite the chill, despite the fact that I’m holding back a shiver.  I want this feeling.  I deliberately dressed light today.

I breathe in deep between bars.  Filling my lungs with the fragrant dew I reach for the curl enhancer and cut back in on time.  I’m in tune, and it gives me a thrill to my core.

“All of nature wild and free this is where I long to be…”

The dew, mixed with the smell of grass seems fresh, it is full of spring on the cusp of summer, newness, promise, rebirth.  It is the smell of a gentle rain shower, heady with newly turned earth; rich, heavy, real.  It is filled with heady notes of brilliant flowers.  A visual and olfactory assault of shocking yellow and fuchsia alongside a delicate whisper of lavender, rose and white, as burgeoning buds fight to thrust their expectant faces to the sun.   The smell, the color, the tingling on my skin, as I sing to the hauntingly beautiful tune is somehow exhilarating, refreshing.  I know it is the harbinger of a beautiful day to come.  The sun will rise and the humid, clammy air will blow off on the morning breeze.  I’ll be left feeling clean, awake and energized, stretching for the sun like those flowers.  As the sun heads toward the zenith, I will drink in its golden promise:  My future is just a few weeks away.  I can graduate and shake off childhood.

I start to curl my hair.  The sensation of more cold and wet; I spritz curl enhancer on the ends of my long hair.  The smell of the curl enhancer combines with the fresh scent wafting in the window.  My nose tingles and twitches as the curl enhancer’s potent blend of perfume attempts to mask the alcohol and chemicals, but all it masks is the realness of nature’s fragrance drifting in on the breeze from the open window.  The curl enhancer’s obnoxious odor screams fake, contrived, artifice.  I feel a vague sense of surprise to discover the contrast is jarring to my nerves.  The goosebumps tingle on my skin.  I feel anxious, I want to be done with this arduous chore.  I want to sing unfettered.

“Ring through my ears and sting my eyes…”

My hair sizzles as I roll it up in the curling iron.  The lingering presence of goose bumps rise up my neck in response to the cold air it is now exposed to, but within an instant I feel the familiar micro-climate of hot humidity as the iron vaporizes the curl enhancer.  The tingling of the goose bumps change in intensity but don’t go away.   I pull on the iron just a bit as the heat from the iron starts to irritate my scalp and neck.  Sometimes I pull too hard and it hurts.  I can feel the hair follicles straining.  But I don’t slack off.  Sometimes I want to feel that pull.  I don’t know why.

I begin to smell that pungent, acrid smell of overheated hair just before it scorches.  So, I squeeze the handle on the iron and let the hair go.  It falls from the iron, brushing against the over stimulated skin on my neck.  I feel a rush of sensory input as hot hair lands on my cold skin.  Crispy from being cooked with the curl enhancer, the ringlet of hair hits my shoulder or the base of my neck with a surprising bit of weight.  The feeling is hard to describe.  It doesn’t quite tickle and yet it sort of does.  Sometimes the hair is so hot it burns my skin for the merest fraction of a second.  Mechanically I repeat the process.  Cold then hot.  Damp then dry.  Pull, release.  The battle of my hair mirrors the battle in my head.  The turmoil between childhood and adulthood.  The smells of frustration: harsh, hot, choking, painful, versus the smells of hope; cool, clean, gentle, cloying.

I’ve done this every day for years, but today as that stupid song plays in the background I feel like I’m in a daze as I work the hair brush to coax and tease the curls into the latest fashion.

“Beautiful faces, no cares in this world…”

I hum along, dousing my coiffure with yet more masking, offensive smells.  Aqua-net.  Sharp, chemically pungent, fake.  It glues my fluffy, big-hair curls.  Who is that girl in the mirror?  She doesn’t smell real.  She doesn’t look real.  I suddenly realize I feel uncomfortable.  The goosebumps thrill my body in a way that is frightening and yet leaves me both exhilarated and nervous all at the same time.  At home in my own room I feel a like stranger, I don’t belong here.  I feel anxious to get through this ritual, to start something new, to find where I belong.  I put the iron and the brush away.  My heart races, just a few more weeks and summer will be here.  I put the sticky bottles of stinky hair product away.  I need to get outside.  It will undo all the curls in my hair, and the dampness will intensify that horrible Aqua-net stench but still I feel the need to get out right away, even if it means walking to school, to get more of that fresh air and envelope me in what is real.  I long to wash those artificial smells of hairspray and burning hair from my nose, from my life, and from my memory.  Today I need that foggy morning air in me as well as all around me.

“La Isla Bonita.”

The song has long since ended on the radio, but the melody haunts me.  I cling to it as I leave the house and walk through the fog.  I store that cool clean feeling of damp, spring air and flowers and cut grass deep in my soul.

“I want to be where the sun warms the sky…”

***

Some 25 years later La Isla Bonita no longer plays much on the radio.  If anyone had asked I doubt I’d even remember the lyrics or much of the melody much less the last time I heard it play.  But a whiff of damp spring air brought it all crashing back.

“A young girl with eyes like the desert
It all seems like yesterday, not far away…”

Thinking of that song just now I still get goosebumps, and feel that mixture of excitement and renewal slowly replacing the oppression of an unhappiness.  I remember that stupid hair curling ritual and how it was the one problem in my life I could control.  I couldn’t fix my problems between me and my parents.  I couldn’t suddenly become the girl everyone liked.  I couldn’t be the smartest kid or get the lead role in the play.  I couldn’t go to prom with the suave drum major, or even that funny guy in my art class.  But I could make my lanky, dull, stick straight hair curly.  And with my job and my own money no one could deny me the gallons of hairspray to do it no matter how much my parents complained about the wastefulness or the smell.

“Hey,” I would say tartly, “At least I don’t waste my money on cigarettes, alcohol or drugs.”

I remember the softball fields I passed on the way to school, covered in freshly mown grass, dripping with dew.  Some mornings near the end of that spring I would tromp through, the grass and it’s scent sticking to my sopping shoes.  Despite the grass stains on my white Keds, which I had to buy for myself and the discomfort of wet shoes, I marched through desperate for the simple elation of the smell of wet dewy grass.  And there was the satisfaction of knowing that they were my shoes.  Shoes that I earned the money for and paid for myself, there was a deep sense of satisfaction in that.  It was my prerogative to ruin them with no one to reprimand me for being wasteful or irresponsible.

It was a strange year, that year “La Isla Bonita” hit it big on the radio.  I threw out my curling iron after graduation, I didn’t need it anymore.  I had control of my whole life now.  Early that spring I got suckered into buying sleek looking, steel bodied, black bucket of bolts called a Ford Thunderbird, which died on the way home from the used car dealership and caused a family row that lasted until I graduated high school.  You would have thought I wasted someone else’s money and not my own.  But I managed to get that car to limp me through my first year of college before wrapping it around a fire hydrant. It taught me a valuable lesson about the value of comprehensive auto insurance.  I managed to get a big enough cash payout to buy a real, albeit economy, brand-new car.  I remember the freedom those cars gave me, the sense of opportunity within my grasp.  I remember playing the radio and listening to this song.  I went to community college.  My parents laughed but I became mistress of my own destiny.

After all these years the memory of this stupid song still reminds me of that first thrill of facing the future, of the first time I realized I had hope that I could find something better.  Ironically, perhaps, but I don’t think that’s really what Madonna’s song is about.  It seems more of longing for the past, which I don’t do at all.  But still it is somehow indelibly linked to that beautiful island of hope for a better future that I created for myself.  That island of hope still keeps me going after all these years.

*****

July 12, 2013

I’m Baaaaaack and accompanied by a Friday Flashback (or an ode to family vacations)

by Janie Jones

Wisconsin Dells 006I’ve actually been home since Monday afternoon.  It’s just taken me 3 days to recover enough to be good for much of anything besides crying and moping.  The trip went as well as can be expected by someone who’s broke and loathes traveling to the point where I’d actually consider cutting my head off before agreeing to go somewhere.  I even managed to get through the whole affair with only having two small temper tantrums, one painful encounter with road construction, 4 minor episodes of getting lost, only one out of three hotels were scary, and I managed to make it home just a little under budget.

Sometimes being a neurotic control freak and obsessive compulsive organizer has advantages.

But, not all plans were frugal and practical.  I decided that while I was in for a penny I might as well go in for a pound and we stopped at the one of a few select places I actually remember fondly from my family’s vacations as a child:  Wisconsin Dells.

Insert Friday Flashback:

Growing up, my family was poo.  That is, we weren’t so broke we couldn’t afford two o’s but we were definitely too poor for the r.  None the less, my parents, for some unfathomable reason, insisted on going on a long family vacation every summer.  Because our poverty level excluded the ability to afford the r in poor, we definitely had no resources for air plane tickets, fancy hotels, or expensive amusements.  Most family vacations included cramming cheek to jowl into the tiny, rusted out, family jalopy, with two weeks worth of provisions and the emergency car repair kit (my parent’s vehicles were usually the crappiest of the bargain automobiles, held together by spit, chewing gum and the force of my father’s wrath), to sit sweating for hours on sticky, cracked and melting vinyl seats.  No air conditioning existed, much less would be employed.  My brother, 3 and a half years my junior, and I suffered from terminal sibling rivalry but would call a cold war truce for the duration of the trip because the best behaved of the two of us might get to sleep on the real bed at the skanky motel (that is, when there was a motel to be had instead of a lame camp ground with no running water or bathrooms) at the end of the day’s interminable 12 hour drive as opposed to a sleeping bag on a rickety old cot.

Anywhere from 10 to 14 days would be spent in various stages of carbon monoxide induced car-sickness from idling too long with windows closed due to pouring rain in bumper to bumper traffic or nausea and headaches from plain old heat stroke due to baking in 100+ degree weather in out in the countryside (“Hey, don’t drink too much, it’ll be a long time before we get to another bathroom!”), rambling gypsy like about the Midwest towards some free and usually boring destination, such as some state park that looked exactly like the state parks closer to home, stopping only when bladders threatened rupture, or there was some even more boring historical marker my father wanted see (“Hey, just stay bucked in I won’t be long.”  Famous last words, but then time always seems to go more slowly when you’re a kid who’s miserable).  Family vacations were not about family at all.  They were about my father, and possibly my mother, enjoying what they enjoyed, and the children had damn well better not be seen or heard if at all possible.  We were reduced to inconvenient and expensive baggage.

So, when my grandparents built a summer home in the wooded countryside around Lake Delton, which sits right next to Wisconsin Dells, in the late 70’s/early 80’s, family vacations actually, for a brief time, became something even us kids could look forward to enjoying.  Wisconsin Dells was only about 3 or 3 and a half hours from Chicagoland so the trip there felt blissfully brief.  Because the parental units didn’t have to pay for lodging or campsite fees, there was actually some money for touristy fun things like water slides and boat rides.  And of course, on account of being able to stay in the summer home, we had running water, bathrooms, a real kitchen, and despite the fact that we still had to share a room, my brother and I each got a real bed.   Even though most days we just went for “nature hikes” in the woods around the summer house, some years we managed to beg, cajole and wheedle for a trip to the deer park or a game of miniature golf.  The memories made there are the few family vacations that I actually remember fondly.   Sadly, my grandparents sold the house only about 5 or 10 years later.  Still to this day I lament the loss of the summer house there.

Fast forward to 2013….

Today I would have to say my circumstances are bordering more on po than poo.  However, seeing as I was committed to making this great trip south to Chicagoland and I had no school and pretty much no job to interfere with having the free time for such an excursion, I begged, borrowed and scrimped and saved to have some funds to stop at the Dells on my way taking the spud south.  A part of me wanted to revisit the Dells after all these years, and I didn’t know when I’d have such a chance to do something fun with the spud again.  It felt right and it felt important despite my dislike of traveling and my lack of money.  And, so we arrived in the Dells on the 4th of July.  We celebrated the holiday and our vacation by buying and wearing matching American Flag tee shirts, we visited the deer park, we feed deer and goats and pigs and horses until we were covered head to toe in animal slobber, we rode on the Original Wisconsin Ducks, we visited Parson’s Indian Museum, and we ate at Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty (after thoroughly washing our hands of course).  The spud left with a family of flocked deer as souvenirs and I left behind about $120 for these privileges.

I think the spud had a good time.  On the way home after the weekend’s events she said, “Momma, how much time will we have at the deer park today?”  She thought we’d be stopping again on the way home.  It had been fun.  I felt sad that we couldn’t spend more time there myself.  *Sigh*

“Well,” I found myself telling the spud, but also myself, “Maybe some other year we can go again.”

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November 11, 2011

Flashback Friday eerily like the present

by Janie Jones

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Wash Me Please….

I guess I need to dust my mirror…

Wednesday Leif cleaned the mirrors in my bedroom.  He wanted to use my full length mirror, but all three were coated in dust.  Apparently they have been since at least July of 2009.

Dusting is my Achilles Heel.  Normally when I’m not having a nervous breakdown underneath the crippling mountain of homework I am a very neat, tidy person.  However, I’ll mop, vacuum, steam clean carpets, clean stoves and refrigerators, sanitize bathrooms and organize like a fiend but I won’t dust unless the world is coming to an end or relatives are coming to visit.

Our new mission:  to train the spud to dust.  She thinks it’s fun.  She gets to dance around waving the Swiffer Duster like it’s a fairy wand.  Awesome.

October 14, 2011

Flashback Friday: Logic Never Fails

by Janie Jones

This old post reminds me of a joke that went something like:

If olive oil is made from olives, and fish oil is made from fish, then baby oil must be made from babies.

Ewww!

Gross as it is, this is the kind of logic I have to work with in the spud.  And, her logic is impeccable.  I’m sure she is going to grow up and be brilliant.  Can you believe she was only 5 when she came up with this one:

Friday, April 16, 2010
If appleseeds come from apples then naturally pistachios come from ham.

A funny tidbit:

The other day we were eating some mortadella. For those of you unfamiliar with this food item, it is basically baloney but with pistachio seeds in it. I know, I know. Weird. I didn’t buy it, it was given to me by someone who received it as an office Christmas present in one of those gourmet food gift baskets, and being less adventurous, would not touch said mortadella with a ten foot pole so I inherited it.

Any way, the spud cleans her plate except for a pile of pistachios she’s picked out, remarking, “Momma, I don’t like those ham seeds.”

Once I realized what she was talking about I found it quite hysterical. I suppose to a five year old who is less familiar with mortadella than the average individual and more accustomed to picking seeds out of her food than pistachios it probably makes perfect sense.

MMmmm. Ham seeds.

Happy Friday.

October 7, 2011

Flashback Friday Revisited, in which I post a chirp about lame and irrelevant subject matter, impose upon your better judgement and shamelessly link to other blogs….

by Janie Jones

Last Friday we flashed back to January 23rd, 2009.  Wow.  That’s like a totally really long time ago.  Totally.  Really.

Sorry, apparently I’m channeling a Valley Girl today.  Now that takes us waaaaay back.

Anyway, I digress.

So, I have reviewed all the brilliance bloggers world wide had to offer (Thank you Tilly Bud; see the comments of last Friday’s post) and determined that I either have a horrible lame sense of humor and just posted a Chirp (thanks Jess, at Scratching to Escape) or my hit counter is an inveterate liar and no one actually reads my blog these days.  Now, while I can understand the lack of readers, content quality has degraded along with my brain since Fall Semester of Doom 2011 began, I find it hard to imagine the hit counter is a cold hardened liar.  There fore, I must conclude I have missed the boat on comedic plays here.

However, since I re-incarnated this monster I intend on staking it, decapitating it and burning it to death before re-burying it for the rest of eternity.  I decided I couldn’t throw this out there without giving my own input, so after languishing over it while showering, driving 9 hours round trip to and from campus and lying awake at nights exhausted but wired (or perhaps I should say weird), I came up with the following.  And, I must give credit where credit is due; my suggestion to the challenge was helped along by Tinman’s post, For No One, Aug 8, 2011:

It’s amazing how hard it is to get enthusiastic about writing when you know that nobody is going to read it. We all tell ourselves that we write our blogs just for ourselves and to some extent that is true. …

I have to say that I now admire those girls who write their thoughts daily in those little pink diaries with the big locks on the front, determined that absolutely no-one will ever them, at least until after they have died romantically of a broken heart.

Even if all they are writing is “David from across the road smiled at me today” they’re still doing a better job that I was able to do last week.

And, yes, it took me about 20 minutes of reading old posts to find this quote.  But I figure it was 20 minutes well spent, and if you read Tinman at Worth Doing Badly you will surely understand why.

Anyway, his words popped into my head the other day and I came up with:

A diary is generally a pink thing, with hearts drawn on the outside with little arrows piercing through them that say “I Love David.  4-Ever!!!”  Maybe “I Love David” is crossed out and replaced by “I Love Chad” or “I love Skyler.”  The diary is safeguarded by a lock so flimsy it’s basically there for decoration, but never the less is dutifully locked after every entry to protect the adolescent dreams of the Ashley’s, Sara’s and Emma’s from the 12-16 age set who declare “I will just Die if anyone ever reads this!”

A blog on the other hand, is generally an invisible thing, viewed via a black or grey box (unless one is channeling their inner Apple in which case it may be a rainbow of colors).  The box is often the source of much irritation, angst and hatred, and yet is worshipped for the access it provides to the forum where the less perky age set of 16+ pour out their innermost thoughts and feelings declaring, “I will just Die if no one reads this!”

Hmn.  I have lost my perspective and can no longer judge if I think this is funny.  It seemed funny at oh five twenty in the morning when I was trying to wake up.  Now by the full light of day I’m not so sure.

The other entry was, as mentioned, offered by Tilly Bud at the Laughing Housewife.   Here’s a recap:

Not funny, I’m afraid:

In one, you let your friends read your writing and in the other you write about your friends.

Told you it wasn’t funny. I’ll think some more.

Thanks, Tilly, for playing along.  And don’t worry.  Mine wasn’t funny either.  Although, perhaps more pathetic as I meant it to be.  What do all y’all think?

I would create a poll but Poll-Daddy irritates me.  That, and I really need to get on with my physics homework.  And my graphics design homework.  And, my environmental health homework.  And, everyone’s perennial favorite, my Spanish homework, which incidentally, this chapter is kicking my butt.

So, use the comments and vote in my lame poll:

1.  Janie, you posted a chirp, take the hint and let it die gracefully.

2.  Janie, we’re way too busy to care.

3.  Janie, we love you but this poll is a lame as the challenge was boring.

4.  Janie, the concept was so brilliant we were swept away and completely dumbstruck.

Okay, I shuts up now.

Happy Friday.