Sunday, October 31, 2004


Thanks for the card, Sus! Your pumpkin doodle is not as deranged as you think it is, no worries. Hope you dressed up. I'm now thinking of likely costumes (and this will not be interesting to those of you who have the misfortune of not knowing Sus). Hmm... you didn't don dangly earrings and a grey wig and go as Bloomers, did you? Guess that would lose its punch in Denver. The sugar-free Kool-Aid Man, perhaps? The displaced Red Sox fan? Nah, I guess they're a dime a dozen. OH, I know! All in pink, curly tail, and a nice snout - Wilbur!

Why don't we wear costumes every-damn-day?

Or do we already... How philosophical, and possibly cynical, of me.

As I was saying, I love wearing a costume. I love becoming someone else, or maybe exploring some extension of myself. You may say to yourselves, "JoBiv, you did the toga thing again. We've seen it before. It's cheap."

In so many words, yes, and good thing. As of tomorrow I will have exactly $73.65 in my bank account and $11.80 in my wallet. Thrift is of the essence.

You may be delighted to hear that I embellished my toga this year. I happen to own bronze fabric paint. I don't recall why. As far as I know, I'm not a middle-aged lady who lives in a modular home on a sassafras farm in Dying Valley USA and paints kittens on sweatshirts to sell at craft fairs and corn festivals. But gee willikers, that paint came in handy. I made a kind of semi-fancy border on my twin sheet, ironed some pleats here and there, and bought (for fitty cents, no worries) a bronze ribbon to tie it up at the shoulder. Like I said, FANCY. My hair kinda does the Greek thing anyway, so that was no expense, and I slapped on some make-up from my days as a 13-yr-old shoplifter.

I looked hot.

And hey, the costume lasted through two parties. If you'd been at the first one you'd know that it had to withstand some trials, and I think you'd forgive some of the odors embedded for the following night.

That party... let me just say, in fairness to Stefan, I was warned. He did mention that his roommates were friends with lots of people who are into drugs. It was perhaps my own limited imagination that caused the shock and horror upon sighting a young man cutting cocaine on a cd case later that evening. When I think "drugs" I generally think, "those silly stoners. I bet they'll burn some good music for me." Most of the crowd belonged to that category (although they neglected to share music... most were unequipped), but it's a testament to my naivete that I did not expect coke. Or is it? At any rate, that kid was the exception and not the rule.

And no, there were no needles. Settle down.

I did have a good time, however, and managed to meet some interesting people and consume about five Reese's pb cups. The ones that come singly. Why do those taste better?

The second party was a Children's Lit free-fer-all. The first person I saw upon entrance was Katya, and she set the tone. She wore pink pj pants, a soft flowered thermal shirt, pigtails, a bib that said "I love my daddy," and a binky, and she was sucking on a baby bottle full of white wine (3 buck Chuck). The hardest substance present: blackberry brandy. The most disturbing costume: John Stamos.

Okay, Kate was a close second. It was the bib, I think.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Don't Panic

group shot
Originally uploaded by JoBiv!.
The city of Boston is still in tact. The Prudential did not implode. The Charles River did not freeze over OR burst into flame. Romney did not turn into a good person.

Everything's gonna be just fine.

To the right, a lovely celebratory group shot of Derek Lowe, Jason Varitek, Doug Mirabelli, Gabe Kapler, and Babyhead.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A photo that has little to do with this entry

joe's flower
Originally uploaded by JoBiv!.
Thank you, Joe Friend, for the beautiful photo.

I love how reflections look like shadows but have a different relationship with light. They're like shadows with more personality. Just like Jon Mayer is the Angelina Jolie of male musicians.

Okay, not like that, but that's a funny comparison, no?

Speaking of the GRE's, answer me this:

Pluck is to quail as:

a. shear is to sheep
b. grin is to frown
c. Jon Mayer is to Angelina Jolie

I think I'm so funny.

Still in a funk. It's not the same funk, it's kind of a Latin Funk, like Yerba Buena. I have energy in my body and none in my mind (which is not to say that YB's music is brainless, just that it's Latin Funk and I am brainless). My paper for Bloomers goes along swimmingly despite this. Curious.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Thank you, Meera Love

Originally uploaded by JoBiv!.

Sweet woman... thank you for splitting a watery strawberry frappe and a reuben with me yesterday.

I took yesterday off, my first day off in three weeks. My brain was tired. I couldn't think in straight lines. The global warming project took on behemoth proportions and I could. not. finish. it.

Now it's done. It's the worst one yet. I hate it. I hate that I made it. I hate that some day children may have to read it. I'm digusted with myself. Gah.

Meera and I were discussing the things we should actually be doing if money didn't matter. We could both go to MFA Writing programs and become poets. We could work on different art disciplines, because we are rahther talented. We could just live. I could sing, right?

But really, what's stopping me, except for blinding, mortifying fear?

Oh, the money thing.

Friday, October 22, 2004

I can gather all the news I need from the weather report

(Simon and Garfunkel, "The Only Living Boy in New York")

I had one of those really scary mornings today. I don't know where it came from. I woke from a broken sleep with my mouth open, which I really hate, and suddenly I wanted to cry. I felt like everything was swirling away from me and I would never touch anything familiar again. I had to hang on to the sheets to keep from washing away with it all.

It made me moody. That may sound silly. To me it sounds understated. I am at least glad that I have reached a point in my life, after a handful of therapists, theories and frustrations, when I know myself well enough to kick my own ass, cry in the shower, and get on with it.

I had this song, "Such Great Heights," from Iron & Wine in my head. It's soothing, even for a love song.

thinkin' it's a sign
that the freckles in our eyes
are mirror images
and when we kiss they're perfectly aligned

and I
have to speculate
if God himself did make
us into corresponding shapes
like puzzle pieces from the clay

they will see us waving from such great heights
come down now, they'll say
everything looks perfect from far away
come down now, but we'll stay...

Tonight I'll hang out with The Maldenites: Christi, El Gato and El Jefe. We're carving pumpkins, and then they'll try to abduct me for a sleepover. I think it will be good to escape my own bed.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Sox Shock: its effect on the population

Quotations from the JoBiv nation:

"So it seems like the World Series is no longer a big deal." - Sus and I thought this as well

"NFW. I mean... nfw. w? nw. nfw." (No effing way)

"Manny had esatlee zero RBI, but he's savin' up for the World Series." (Makin' fun of the way Manny says exactly.)

"Could be worse, I could have pants on." - discussing the numbing powers of Sox shock.

Will we ever recover?

A serene moment with the Sox

sox hug
Originally uploaded by JoBiv!.
I thought I would be excited today. I thought I would be jittery and electrified and out of control. I am not. I am serene. I feel, as Sus mentioned, that THIS was the only big win the Sox needed. The World Series? What's that? Didn't we just win something bigger? Something more important, certainly.

I chose this photo (thank you Globe, don't hunt me down and fine me, please) of the Blessed Virgin Pedro gazing earthward, embraced in the loving arms of a smiling, good-humored-as-always Millar, because it captures my mood exactly.

Sigh. Life is nice.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Speaking of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum...

Originally uploaded by JoBiv!.

I have no idea who this girl is, but she looks like fun. Click away.

My favorite painting has suffered from my neglect. I should go visit. This is El Jaleo by John Singer Sargent. There are, I believe, at least two other Sargents in the museum. One is a portrait of Isabella herself with the backdrop of an oriental rug, its pattern like a halo or crown around her head. The other... well I just think there's another, but I don't recall which. I know the MFA has that one with the four little girls in the big room... forget what it's called but it's amazing.

I bring up this painting because my roommate gave me a kind of compliment last night. I was busy putting leftover chicken on this one wine colored plate we have. I said, "I love this plate," because I often say happy things like that. She said something like, "That plate makes me think of you." That may sound odd to you. It did to me. She qualified the statement: "That COLOR makes me think of you."

As darling as it is that the H-Bomb thinks of me (I hope it's a happy, yay-I-have-a-decent-roomie kind of thought) when she sees that shade of red, I kind of like the fact that she associates me with the color. It's one of my favorite colors, and I didn't think I wore it so much as I must. I guess I chose that color as an identity at some point. I want to be more like it - deep and a little mysterious, with hints of both sensuality and joviality.

I was thinking of how a plate could remind H-Bomb of me, and it led me to this thought: I always think of the color yellow when I think of that Sargent painting. Why? Because you almost say "yellow" when you say "El Jaleo?" Because of it's placement in the museum among Moroccan artifacts and tiles, and Morocco makes me think of sun on sandy walls and they are slighty yellow? I've never been to Morocco, so I could be full of crap about that. It could be the proximity of the painting to the inner courtyard garden - perhaps a yellow lily I saw there... Maybe it's the unnatural light hitting the dancer's arms and face and casting her into such dramatic shadow.

I have no idea.

But I used to wear yellow all the time when I was wee. A series of school portraits from grade two to maybe six show my face in various summer-tanned shades, my shoulders and chest in a bright banana-yellow shirt. I remember each outfit very clearly. I chose each one because it was not pink, foremost, and also because I always thought yellow was the equivalent of softness. Who would make a yellow shirt out of burlap? No one. Yellow is the color of chick feathers and lemon merangue.

At any rate, I'm taking votes from the Peanut Gallery. When did I go red, as it were?

HAHahahahaha... I just thought of the big U! Perhaps I've found the answer. Still taking votes.

Monday, October 18, 2004

"Oh you Red Sox!" - Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1912

Don't believe me? Click above.

I just got off at the MFA stop and took a nice lil walk to Simmons. I like that walk quite a bit. I pass the grassy quad of MassArt, then the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, then I can sneak in the SuperSecretBackWay to Simmons College.

As I strolled by the ISG Museum, this rahther large banner greeted me: "'Oh you Red Sox!' - Isabella Stewart Gardner, 1912."

That lady rocks.

Now I must speak to you about my crush on Dave Roberts.

You're all gonna say, JoBiv, you're only saying this stuff about Dave Roberts because he made the tying run last night. HOWEVER, feel free to contact my roommate concerning my Dave Roberts love affair. She will attest to its longevity.

This is the situation: I want Cabrera for a boyfriend and Roberts for a husband. Every time I see Cabrera do one of those slick slides and then pop up like freakin' Fred Astaire, I admit I swoon a bit.

But then Dave Roberts comes in. He goes up to the plate all quiet-like. He looks relaxed, and maybe like he's enjoying himself. The team needs him to bunt, or hit to right field, or just run like hell. He steps up as though to say, "Sure. Whatev. I'll do it." And then when he does, he smiles.

Now don't you want to come home to Dave every night? Too bad. He's taken. He's actually married to some lucky lady. And you can't fake-marry him either, because I already did that.

So there.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

HAHEM: a poeem.

Above: "We are right and they are wrong. The modern Republican Party is controlled by nuts and I intend to prove it." Hahahaha... He said nuts.

In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

-Ezra Pound


I had this poem on my mind last week sometime. I think I paraphrased it badly for my dad, but I don't recall what brought it to mind.

It comes to mind now, however, because I have a problem with the Kon-Tiki project. When I realized what I'd done, I closed everything I had done and left in a huff. Turns out I wrote too much. And at that point I wasn't even done giving all the information I wanted to give. Grr.

Then Ezra Pound came to me in a misty moment. I remembered this poem, which was originally 35 lines long. He worked and worked and worked at it, and then it became the perfect nugget that I have come to know and love.

And so I have composed a similar poem for Kon-Tiki:

In the Middle of the Frickin' Pacific

The Norsemen cowering on a swelling wave:
Pimples on a silken turquoise face.

The fourth graders will love it!

What? What's that you say? I get paid in proportion to the book's length?

Aargh. Back to work.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

JoBiv impersonates Martha Stewart

Originally uploaded by
Click above for beautiful page that doesn't do anything.

Good Things

Kon-Tiki salt and pepper shakers that have NOTHING to do with the actual Kon-Tiki god. But look at the buns on this guy! So pinchable.

Laughing so hard that stir-fry almost spurts out my nose when Kate tells me the following story: Kate and her sister Bea were in a waiting room somewhere, sitting near a lady who told them, "I'm knitting a sweater out of my cat's hair!" Made funnier by the fact that Bea thought, "That's so cool! I wanna do that!"

Chestnuts on the sidewalk near the St. Mary's stop. I love how they're that red-brown color on the outside and a violent spring-green on the inside. The crushed ones, I mean.

Letters from Sus, who is living happily in Denver. Yay for Sus! And yay for the fact that she reads this stuff! And yay for the cool wax seal on the envelope, despite it's upside-down-ness.

A card with PHOTOS from jLiz - I finally switched out the black and white came-with-frame photo for a startlingly cute picture of the Norster.

Light-blue fine wale cordoroy skirt weather.

A conversation with an old lady with octagonal tortoise shell glasses and fuschia lipstick, during which she tells me that only men would have thought of the Kon-Tiki voyage. (She's one of the "what are you reading? Okay, now I'm going to talk to you so you can't ACTUALLY read it" types.) I tell her that in 1947, women hardly had the option. She said that a woman doesn't have the same urge to explore and strike out for new territory. I said something like, "That lack of urge must have really annoyed the women who have participated in space missions." Her response: "Women in space???" (As though I'd suggested elephants.)

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Laugh. Please. Just frickin' laugh. What else can you do?

Clickety click... go look at this stuff. I worked extra special hard digging for it today. Really, I did.

Rock Paper Saddam! This guy is funny. Read the rest of his stuff for chuckles galore. OH, and make sure to read about Cheese Chicken, then let me know when you want to go to Olive Garden with me.

Or, go shopping here. I've got my eye on the Van Gogh pill box. Hint... hint hint. Hint.

Or find out what your phone number spells. I'll give you a snippet of mine: ###-PET-ME-##. HOT, I know!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

JoBiv's got da funk.

I'm in a funk. Thus the title.

I got an email from Shane T. Colligan two nights ago. This is extremely weird for two reasons, the foremost being that he is dead. Also, I had been talking about him with Tina, my nextdoor neighbor from Victor whose boyfriend has cancer. We were talking about readying oneself for death, as though that's even possible. She asked me, "How did you get over Shane?"

Christ. I didn't.

And then the email came. I've gotten emails before from addresses I might trust. They'd be from Simmons or Cornell or St. Bona's. Sometimes I'd even recognize the name, although that person was never in my address book - a professor or underclassman. But the email was a decoy. It always had an attachment and no message and the subject line said something like, "Re: your document." I don't get boring emails like that.

I guess it was just chance that sent me a virusy email from Shane's address. I stared first, stunned. I opened it to see that there was no message. I didn't open the attached document. I deleted it.

It's funny, though, how for one second my heart raced and I thought, "Maybe it's something he sent way back and his email sucked and it only now reached me." That was a ridiculous thought, like email works like a message in a bottle or something. I thought, "Maybe his Dad finally figured out how to access his email account and sent out an email to everyone in his address list, just to say hi or to send a picture." Not bloody likely. And saddest of all, I thought, "Maybe it's him. He's alive. He's somewhere. He wants to tell me. He wants to tell me..."

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Welcome home, Jo Mary! We've hidden the rat poison, the cyanide, and all the knives!

View of the kitchen
Originally uploaded by JoBiv!.

Jo's new assignment! Whoopeeeeee... Click subject line for Norwegian-style fun.

PHEW! I'm BACK! I'm alive! I've emerged from the darkness (mostly) unscathed!

First things first, let's just acknowledge that Victor is a lovely place. Look at the view that greets you as you walk through the front door of 26 West Parkway. Just lovely, I tell you!

Which brings me to my next point. Remember my thing about beauty naturally coinciding with EVIL?

I'm going to update you in my trials and journeys in installments. Is that okay? Why am I asking? Don't you love it when people answer a question with another question?