[thi���s the sound I start making when I begin talking really really quickly....]

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Jessamyn is in...



20jun... pete
29jun... party
28jul... wedding
05aug... wedding
18aug... wedding


VT pix

Burning Corn
lunch trucks
good soap
credit unions


mourning doves
the B&W one
barn swallow
redwing blackbird
LBJ finch
[little brown jobber]
evening grosbeak



"Your price point is perfect. And right now you're on promotion. I love you."

"Yankee go home, take your shitty food with you"
"We are immune to advertising, just forget it"
"You want us to pay? We want you to pay."
"We must defend our own privacy if we expect to have any."



hot boy scout
you're all winners
better dog food

x10 popup goodbye!
ass too small?
blimp lie


Jan : Feb : Mar : Apr


Jan : Feb : Mar : Apr
May : Jun : Jul : Aug
Sep : Oct : Nov : Dec


Jan : Feb : Mar : Apr
May : Jun : Jul : Aug
Sep : Oct : Nov : Dec


Jan : Feb : Mar : Apr
May : Jun : Jul : Aug
Sep : Oct : Nov : Dec


Jan : Feb : Mar : Apr
May : Jun : Jul : Aug
Sep : Oct : Nov : Dec

26jun01 ... muffin as metaphor
[ I found it like this!! ]

This english muffin says "Fresh Through 06-18-01" on it, in some sort of ink. I found it that way in the bag with the other muffins.

My hamstrings are killing me because I decided that yesterday was a good day [only 88 degrees in the morning] to treat the deck to some wood preservative. Since I didn't also want to permanently impregnate my knees with the gunk, I did most of this in a bent over fashion. Good for sunburn and good for hamstrings. I never even remember that I have hamstrings until they are aching. And then there's not much you can do since you need them for stuff, like walking.

So today -- after eating a few of the oatmeal cookies I made in my OVEN -- I went out with the new weed whacker that I'd gotten in exchange for two bottles of wine, and tried to get the meadow low enough so that I might be able to mow it. It is seriously five feet high in some places and it's not even July yet. The lawnbeater is one of those plug-in kinds, so I get the grass down in largeish arcs around the electrical outlets -- I have a lot of extension cords. The plastic whipper thing broke early on and I went to replace it and realized that I'd gotten rid of all my whacker-cord a month previously by using it to tie down the mailbox. I figured "what are the chances I will ever own a weed whacker???" I am now, officially, never throwing anything that is not obviously and irreparably broken, away.

22jun01 ... take THAT you infernal house!

[ found in the trash dump behind my house ]

I've been noticing that I have a competitive edge with my household projects lately. I'm not sure why this is and less sure than I can explain what I mean. I went to Home Depot this week. There is one Home Depot in the state so going there is a bit of an ordeal -- you pack a lunch, fill the truck with rope and bring your very favorite tapes.

I needed to get some blinds, paint gear, and a ladder or two. I wound up being one of those people you see in there with the two carts taking up thirty square feet in the checkout aisle. Ladders were on sale, so was paint. I'm not proud. I dragged my stuff out to the truck ["starting your own painting business?" the guy behind me asked "No, I have a barn" I said] and made sure I tied it all down eight different ways for the long drive back. The ladders were almost twice the size of my truck bed and I would be damned if I got all this way just to have them slide out as I was driving. I realized, over the long drive back, that I was looking in my rearview mirror appraising my unmoving stuff in the truck bed, saying to myself "Oh yeah? Who's the boss NOW, huh?" Victory over inanimate objects.

This feeling reasserted itself yesterday when I went to repair my oven. The oven has been broken now for upwards of eight months. The electronic brain got fried in a power surge. I have been looking around for a new one, but was stuck on how to get rid of the current one. And, really, the current one works somewhat, the oven is broken but the range is fine. I threw myself upon the mercy of the Internet and asked the folks at Appliance411 if my oven could be saved. They said I could probably get a replacement part online. Now, when I called the local repair service, they were going to charge me $60 to have a technician come to take a look at it [I do live sort of out in the boonies] and then said the part would likely be $300 or so, hence the debate over getting a new stove. Repair Clinic sold me a new brain [no jokes, please] for $180, and I installed it myself. When I saw the blinking time light after I plugged the oven back in, I laughed like crazy thinking "ha ha ha, fucker!" Cookies are on the agenda this weekend, big time.

21jun01 ... caption contest ?

[ arts and crafts R us ]

Somehow it just occured to me that I have a ton of people coming up next weekend and this place is just about as falling apart as it was when I got here a month ago. I also don't have a ladder that reaches higher than ten feet off the ground. Meanwhile, I sculpt rabbits out of carrot pulp and can almost believe that the roof isn't leaking while it's not raining.

18jun01 ... an introduction to skrilling, from the masters

[ design may be a good idea, but it has no place in the country ] One more day of manual labor in the hot sun. Mark came up from Somerville to help paint the barn on Saturday. Robert and his friends were due to come by later. Adrian showed up earlier than them and helped paint as well. By the time the rest arrived [Robert, Sean, and "this guy we found hitchhiking" who later turned out to be Brian] it was time to knock off painting for the day. We grabbed some beer and some towels and went to find a place to climb into the river.

After we'd cooled off, it was time to attend to some serious barbecuing. Salad was made, potatoes were wrapped in foil, buns were grilled, beer was chilled. As it got later, Robert dragged out his guitar and played us some songs. Brian tried to convince him to go ride the rails with him this coming Summer. As it got later still, we all crawled into the house to sleep, barely noticing our sunburns and bug bitten ankles, and made promises to convene for painting the next day.

Sunday it rained like the bejesus. Plans shifted from painting to Euchre and we ate big plates of home fries, looked out the window and hunkered down. I went for a walk and realized that I can get to the state forest from here in almost no time. I found an inflatable pink backpack, a bead necklace and a giant bone on my walk, not all in the same place. Everyone left fairly early and I went to bed around 8 pm. Today I suffer from empty nest syndrome as I put away the extra chairs, I'm sure it will pass.

I spent some serious time this morning making up a small web site for my 20 things project. Check it out if you want to find out what I've been obsessing over for the past week or so.

16jun01 .. . if it doesn't kill you or make you stronger what is it?

[ at ten o clock in the morning no less, gah! ] With the temperatures approaching 100 degrees, I decided it might be a good time to tune up my truck. I mean, if you aren't covered with a thin sheen of oil, how can you possibly maximize the sun's benefits?

Actually, it was a first time for me. My friend Peter came over bearing parts, I have most of my own tools, and he was there to offer advice. I go back and forth, on whether it's better to pay someone to do this stuff or do it myself. As someone who is seriously contemplating putting a crash pad under my hammock in case I get the knots wrong, I have some growing to do in the confidence-in-own-skills department. This was a good situation ; Peter was there in case I really hit a wall, and he was experienced in the ways of tune-ups so had good suggestions ["don't take off all those wires until you know where they go"]. For my part, I cursed and sweated a lot, standing on a milk crate because I can't reach the spark plugs otherwise, but when it was all done, the truck started right up and I might be mistaken but it sounds like it's running real nice.

My house only has windows that open on the East side. There are no windows/doors at all to the North, four giant 6x4' panes of glass to the South, and a door leading into the barn to the West. The place is a human terrarium, bugs and all, and the temp has been hovering around 85-90. If I open the barn door, I get a cross breeze in here but it smells a lot like pigeons. If I keep the door closed, I have the ceiling fan option. The ceiling fan was installed by my ex-husband and hangs directly over the chair at my computer desk, about eight feet up. This fact may wind up being the primary reason I start spending a lot of time outside.

14jun01 .. . fireflies are out in full force

[ seven of twenty ] "Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the yard and shot it" -Truman Capote

My little project is done and it will be on its way to the post office in an hour or so when they open. My sleep schedule has shifted, more or less, to me getting up at the crack of dawn and waiting for things like the post office to open. In Seattle, I used to worry about being able to get to the post office before it closed.

Big fixit projects in the last few days have been : rewiring a lamp [surprisingly easy], hanging a shelf in the kitchen [I just followed the instructions on the package of Liquid Nails] and making a decision about how to deal with my lack of an oven [repairclinic.com. It may be hubris but I think I can do it myself].

I also had another toxic chemical moment, or two. First, I must say that I am generally toxin-friendly. That is to say, I have been known to smoke, one of my favorite smells is creosote, and I'm pretty lax about the ten-second rule when things fall on the ground. But, this is my new question: "is it okay to mix bleach with bleach?" I think the larger question is: "are all bleaches the same?" I've heard that really bad things can happen when you mix bleach and ammonia. And the Center for Disease Control says don't mix it with anything but water. And I was wondering if the stuff in both my half-full-taking-up-too-much-room bleach containers really was bleach. Upshot? I think so.

Toxic moment number two came when I was making coffee without putting any water in [did I mention it was early?] I have one of those stovetop espresso jobbers and I only noticed something was wrong when I smelled the rubber gasket burning. Well, of course, after cooling the thing down I made a second pot. And sniffed at it? "Does it smell rubbery...?" "How much rubber in your coffee is too much rubber....?" "Am I going to be able to get coffee any other way....?" "With the amount of rubber cement I have inhaled this week, a little rubber in my coffee couldn't hurt, right?"

10jun01 .. . projects, fumes, some success

[ yes it's lovely, try taking care of it.... ] I've been mucking about with the camera. Put a nice barn panorama shot on photographica.org which is just another one of those things I do instead of feeding the poor

A few more probably-definitely RSVPs to the party, let me know if you're coming or want to come and I haven't heard from you yet.

I've been working on an extended project the past few days which is loosely book-themed. More to the point, it involves copious amounts of rubber cement and other noxious solvents. For some reason, whenever I use these types of products in the house, it makes the propane hot water heater reek as if I'd poured kerosene right into it. Since I'm no stranger to toxic fumes, and have a healthy respect for their powers, I've mostly been working out on the deck. This can involve observers though, which is of particular concern to me since the latest part of the project requires: paint thinner, rags [I am using old children's underpants which I found in my laundry room], a heavy duty hair dryer, and massive pieces of granite [to use as presses]. I try to wait to start until the mail has already been delivered; I'm already the talk of the post office as it is.

[my boyfriend, the rubber cement, now with real rubber!] I think by the time I die, I may finally understand all the intricacies of internal combustion engines, which is to say I got my car running this weekend. It has been in the yard since November -- hello country living! It needed a new tire which I managed to halfway accomplish [got the car all jacked up] before calling AAA [I have never seen anyone belt their pants so fully under their ass before]. Then I got a new battery, returned it and got the right battery -- they're not all the same, check -- and when I installed it today, I heard the car radio howling before I'd even gotten the cables tightened. Drove it around the yard some, listened to the rust scraping off the brakes. Came into the house afterwards and thought "do I have battery acid on me?" For some reason I was afraid of battery acid as a kid. I always thought it was like neutron star material -- it would bore a hole completely through you if you got in contact with it. Then of course there's the interactions to think about -- battery acid + rubber cement, battery acid + paint thinner, battery acid + grapefruit juice, battery acid + whatever is coming out of my hot water heater -- I think I'll scrub down just to be on the safe side.

08jun01 .. . the moon is so bright it leaves shadows

I think when most people get a new camera, the first thing they do is take a zillion pictures of themselves. I learned yesterday that my house is in one of the places in the continental US where Airborne Express does not do next day delivery. In fact, they don't even guarantee two-day delivery. Fortunately, I am in no hurry. I live in a 2-3 day zone. The camera was supposed to be coming via Airborne Express but when I woke up to a knock at the door this morning, the package was waiting there on my porch with my mail and there was no one in sight.

[this is sort of a jessamyn classic look, my apologies for being boring here] [eh]
[aiming for sincerity, winding up with hair, isn't that how it always is?] [this is generally how I look to myself]

Today I go take pictures of libraries.

05jun01 .. . down came the rain and washed the spider out

I think I forgot to mention that there were young deer -- what are young deer called? are they all fawns? -- romping in the backyard last week [before the deluges] and I saw a fox cross the road with what looked like a bird in its mouth.

I like to think that the birds are in the backyard singing my praises, but they are just delighted that there are so many bugs.

Balance this with the fact that my iMac has two operating systems [nine and ten] which, for some absurd reason, have clocks that will forever be twelve hours off from eachother. I set one and the other seems to set itself accordingly. I think it all started when I decided to go with a 24 hour clock -- I like seeing the time say 0:00. So, now I know what time it is in Hawai'i but i don't always know what time [or day] it is here. Fortunately, it does not matter what time [or day] it is here.

04jun01 .. . having a hiding place in mind is always a good idea

Went away to Montpelier for the weekend where my current crash space was being crashed in already by a guy who lives near me, in a school bus, while he builds his cabin. It was nice to swap stories with a new face -- new faces are harder to come across here than in Seattle -- and this new face had a New Zealand accent attached.

When I came home, I found that the teakettle that collects rainwater that leaks inside was completely full to the brim with rain. It's been a slogawful wet week or two, but that just makes the woodstove seem all the more excellent, and lying around reading a more sensible idea than usual. It always takes me a few weeks to adjust to doing things slowly in Vermont. Until I adjust, I make impossible lists of things to do [see below, one down so far], expect far-too-quick turnaround from people I work with, and generally fill my days too full. As my postcard collection increases [thanks, all!] and the days get longer, I remember how to sit on the back porch and stare, how to eat without reading, and engage in long how's-the-weather conversations with locals without fidgeting.

02jun01 .. . company

I'm glad it wasn't ME] Two days ago, it snowed. Not that it stuck, much, but it did snow and for more than just a few minutes. Fortunately, the woodstove is working okay, the wood my caretaker left smells very sweet [could it be maple? I hate to guess] and I have friends visiting from Berkeley for whom snow is a big deal. Thus I could see it through someone else's eyes and not mind that it was nearly June and 32 degrees outside.

My friends have been fun to have around. And they are the right kind of guests. They didn't mind that some love-enraged finch was batting itself against the sliding glass door in their bedroom at all hours of the morning. They casually remarked one morning that they'd seen a black widow spider in the tub and washed it down the drain -- no histrionics, none needed. In the evenings, I would cook dinner, they'd do dishes, we'd stoke the stove and then read for hours until they got sleepy and went to bed. Then I'd stay up and noodle on web pages or whatever. They had a spiffy rental car and we drove all over the state, looking at things: quarries, bookstores, athenaeums, trees, lakes. They leave tomorrow and I head to Montpelier for a few days. I will miss them.

My loose project list at this point: fix electrical conduit that is pulling away from the house, fix leaky roof, paint water stains inside, get tires for truck, get other car started [after getting legal tabs], play more banjo mandolin, get trash to dump, eat all leftovers, make more postcards, find overalls, clean up barn, get rid of piano somehow, mow lawn, think about a garden, solve "curtain dilemma", go to Ruth's to drop off clothes and maybe get some, move imac out of sight, get rid of dishwasher, kill burdock, stack wood, fully unpack, lure guests.