Category Archives: Life Pursuits

Fortune Cookies Know Too Much

fortune cookies

In September and half of October I was unemployed and horribly depressed.  I’d go on Craigslist and look at jobs, make resumes, submit them, even go in to interviews, but it turns out I really hate interviews; they are stupid and pretentious, kind of like dating.  Actually, exactly like dating: “here is how amazing I only am and I don’t have any flaws so marry me!!”

Fortunately, when things get really bad for me, I end up doing a lot of stuff.  Especially since I had all that time, I spent most of it exploring my ability to be purposeful in my artistic abilities; I wrote a few songs, about a billion poems, and even discovered my artistic style of Squiggly Lines.  It was a really manic time for me, an OF COURSE now that I don’t have all that time anymore I am jealous of my past self and wish I had more time to create stuff.

Silly Jessica.

I prayed a lot during that time, and I’m not saying that to be holy.  I think a person prays a lot when they are desperate – poor God.  But then he comes through regardless, and in crazy better ways than anybody had ever thought it possible.

I’m beginning to think, though, that God has some sort of deal with the fortune cookie company.

The week of my deepest struggle, we had gotten Chinese takeout over the weekend and so there was a slew of extra fortune cookies sitting out on the bar for the taking.  On Sunday the 16th I picked one up, opened it, and ate it while reflecting on the fortune, which said: “Pay attention.  An opportunity will come knocking on your door.”

My eyes narrowed and I wanted nothing to do with it.

Monday, I saw the fortune cookies again and decided to give it another go.  “Don’t be surprised at the emergence of undiscovered talents!”

I looked over at the couple of Squiggly Line pictures I’d drawn, and back at the fortune cookie.  Again, my eyes narrowed.

Tuesday I was feeling particularly down and not wanting to work hard AT ALL to get a job.  I would peruse Craigslist for about 15 minutes before being overcome with laziness and then would just sit on Facebook endeavoring to Not Endure.  At some point in the later afternoon I picked up another fortune cookie, deciding at that moment it was to become a daily thing until I left Friday to go visit a lover of mine.

“The cost of something is what you give up to get it.”

Snarky fortune cookies.  I threw this one across the room and then retrieved it, folded it neatly, and put it on the dresser with the other two.

Wednesday I had another morning mental breakdown, upset that I was on my last dollars, that I would be spending the last of the last dollars on going to see Nahele that weekend, and that I would eventually be in the hole because I couldn’t get a stupid job.

I went into the kitchen to fix myself soothing tea and opened this fortune cookie: “Broke is only temporary.  Poor is a state of mind.”


I was angry the rest of the day.  There is NO NEED for a fortune cookie to be telling me that I am being a poop.  I can figure that out myself, thank you!

By Thursday I’d had it and I actually opened the fortune cookie, ate the cookie, and then went to take a shower, forgetting to look at the fortune.

Mid-way through  the shower, I panicked at the thought that maybe I’d eaten the fortune.  And then perhaps I had assimilated it into my system.  You know, like Manny when he swallowed the Little Book of Calm.

When I came out of the shower, there the fortune was, next to my computer.  Not expecting much, I picked it up and read it aloud:

“In love you will be happy and harmonious.”

*blink*  *blink*

Fortune cookies know too much.

I had a beautiful weekend with Nahele and after having that time to sort out a lot of life stuff, reflecting on the fortune cookies, and finally a lot of crazy, emotional talks with God, “Papa” (involving me jumping out of my little spaceship of “comfort” and trusting him to bring me around, help me find a fulfilling job that would help me get closer to being with Russell, my dear love who lives far away and that I never get to see, but that’s a different story), I finally surrendered.  It sounds sickeningly simplistic, but now I have two fulfilling jobs and even have been able to see Russell more than I originally thought I’d be able to.

Maybe this month of blogging will explore all these little journeys more. We shall see….

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Posted by on November 3, 2012 in A Day in the Life, Faith, Life Pursuits


Hostels and Handshakes

So, this extended weekend (Wednesday through Sunday), I am working with Unschool Adventures on the Asheville Intensive – a program geared to giving college-aged peeps the tools they need to pursue their goals, whether or not that ultimately involves college.  I’m cooking, helping with workshops, and providing general moral support and such.  We are staying in a rad place in downtown Asheville called Sweet Peas Hostel.  It’s a lovely loft-like place that is extra-specially lovely in the mornings.  I snapped this picture yesterday as the sun was pouring in from Lexington:

Quite lovely, isn’t it?  It makes me want to do something.  Or be totally peaceful.  Or paint.  Active peaceful painting.  Yes.

After breakfast, our mornings consist of workshops that build skills such as interacting with awesome people.

In the above picture, Blake – assisted by the lovely Danielle – is demonstrating how to “PASHE” someone – that is, having good Posture, voice Amplification, a Smile, Hands that don’t flop around like fish, and Eye Contact when meeting someone new.

In the afternoon, everyone has time to pursue people to speak to about their relevant and similar goals and interests.  I took it upon myself to stop by the local Master Gardener Cooperative Extension Office to ask the resident Master Gardeners what it was like being a Master Gardener and how I might pursue that myself.

Unfortunately, I must report that the lady I talked to did not seem to be very interested in answering my questions.  Whether it was my age, the way I asked my questions, or just that she felt her completely volunteer position very holy and me unworthy, the brief interview did not go overly well.  Essentially all I got was a lecture about what a dedication it was to be so giving with my time and that I couldn’t use it to get paid (I had researched this already, but she had to tell me at least 17 times, you see) – and a bunch of papers.

Here is a picture of the papers:

However, my failure has only given me more confidence in myself – perhaps I do not want to be a Master Gardener at all – at least, not like that.  I want the knowledge and skills, yes.  But I have never been one to rely on any sort of institution to teach me all I want to know or even just give me credibility that I really feel better just establishing for myself.

And I feel much better about that.

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Posted by on June 15, 2012 in Life Pursuits, Unschooling


THE Year

And I think to myself: this was supposed to be my big year!  The year I got off my butt and did all those Big Things, made plot points in my life, etc., etc…. and now I can’t because I have fallen completely on my butt and it will be a long while before I’m up again.  For a youngin like me, it seems like forever.  Now I can barely work to make enough money to go do those Big Things, and my computer is next to broken.
When I think these things, I get really antsy.  And then sad in another antsy sort of way.  I just want to run out the door and sieze the branches of the trees and send myself flying into the realm of success and dreams, but then I can’t – I’m stuck in bed or hobbling around for another long while until my leg gets strong enough again.  
Woe unto Jessica.  
Then I roll my eyes: I sure do get whiny about the stupidest little things.   
The truth is, every year has always been THE year.  Something, usually lots of things, always happen to me, and/or I go do things that change my life, whether I realize it right away or not.  If that wasn’t so I would still be teetering along in baby ballernia classes and spending my days gluing dried beans onto popsicle sticks for some reason (however, it’s entirely possible that my habits have simply evolved to take on the appearance of age-appropriate sophistication).  Every year things happen, and I grow and change and I become a lame beggar (who blogs) sitting on her (air mattress) bed in her (parent’s) house who starts to complain and then decides to marvel at how life and the world and God work instead.  Everything has always lead to something else, everything yucky is always working out for some other good – I’ve tracked these things, it’s crazy – and every time my life is about to reach a plateau, Tarzan swings in and crashes destructively through, throwing everything up in the air.   And by Tarzan, I mean the Fist of God or something.  Gentle, but really scary.
At the glorious mead-guzzling age of 21 I’m young and impatient – I wanted to go to work with wolves this year!  This was going to be my break, the thing I always wanted to do, the thing that is going to prove to the world that I can do what I bloody well want, and cry those tears of blood and sweat because I had finally, finally taken the rope of my future into my own hands, thrown the grappling hook perfectly, and dextrously hauled myself up to the tower of my dreams.
Instead, I tore up my knee last Thanksgiving and I’m left recovering from surgery for half the year, unable to work the way I had planned to so I could save the money I would need to pay for my room and board for the internship I’ve lusted after for five years now, always putting it off for a lovely “someday.”
I actually came up with a HUGE list of goals for 2012 – initially.  It’s depressing to look at it now.  (I’m depressing – oh, another Eeyore sort of day I guess.)  I attempted in the first week after surgery to work on everything all at once (that was possible to do while sitting down), justifying that I am ADHD and this must be the best way to work, ignoring all of the other times I (and my parents) have tried this in my life:  if there are a lot of things, but they are planned for specific days at specific times, IT STILL DOES NOT WORK. 
This helped me narrow things down; it was actually useful to try it all and then realize what I truly wanted to be doing most of the time and what I would rather do only occasionally.  This second week I’ve been employing the “do what you want when you want to” rule and it’s working out splendidly: I’ve narrowed all the everythings down to five goals (with their reasons, a la this blog post):
1.  Learn Spanish – for future travel in Spanish-speaking countries
2.  Learn Chemistry – for better understanding of ecology and DNA (I want to be learning Chemistry??  WOW, this is new) 
3.  Create College Rebelliona community with a wide range of resources based off of my Life Without College blog.  This dreadfully depends on this SOPA and PIPA thing, which I recommend you go call your senators about.  –  for the purpose of helping more people and perhaps making money as an online business someday
4.  Learn to Drawto illustrate my stories and for personal enjoyment and benefit
5.  Write new stories and edit the ones I’ve already written – for The People.  (i.e., I love telling stories and would love to share them worldwide someday, along with their corresponding illustrations once I can figure out shading!!  Bah humbug!)
And as this list came into fruition I realized: every day can be THE Day of My Life.  You fill life with a million little “aha” moments and you get art, wired substance reaching to a thousand hearts, almost suddenly, what-will-you-do-with-your-hands (I never know what to do) and there is your life, every second of it is that second, and there it happens…
What.  What can I do with this second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, in that order?  So what if I want to know everything?  All I have is the position of the sun or the moon in the sky and not a moment before or after.   
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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Life Pursuits, Transitions


Books Read in 2011

Every year I like to keep up a list of all that I have read, and then rate them on a scale of 1-5 that my friend Natalie made up. I also like to add little reviews to both explain my ratings and to give you an idea in case you want to read them. Feel free to strike up a friendly discussion if you’ve read any of these books, by the way! I could talk about books all day.
Here is the scale:
5-I REALLY liked it!
4-Also very, very good
2-Okay, but not necessarily worth the time
1-Wouldn’t recommend it
  1. A Broom of One’s Own by Nancy Peacock – 5 – This is a nonfiction book written by an authoress who does not make enough money to support herself just from writing books, so she also cleans houses. The thing is, she enjoys it and feels like between the hard work, the people she meets, and the time she gets to therapeutically reflect actually helps her writing. A great book to start the year off with… very inspiring, and definitely makes a person want to go work a labor-intensive job and then come home and write. 🙂
  2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – 4 – This book was extremely depressing, and even kind of dark. But I loved it! It spans over a very long amount of time, and they characters are the epitome of a dysfunctional family. I’d honestly read it again, as frustrating as it was at points. It was a very interesting and I think about it a lot. I even wrote a poem about it later in the year.
  3. Dishwasher by Pete Jordan – 4 – A comedic, first person account of 20-something Pete who discovers that he has a calling to washing dishes for a living. Soon it becomes his goal to wash dishes in all 50 states. In doing so, he encounters many strange people and experiences, and eventually starts producing a zine for passionate dishwashers everywhere. At the end he falls in love with another dishwasher, though they up and decide to move to Ireland before Pete goes through all 50 states. But other than that disappoinment, it was a fun book to read.
  4. Microgreens by Fionna Hill – 4 – When I arrived at the farm I worked at in the winter and spring, I was assigned to research and then grow microgreens, which are greens grown very close together in trays and harvested after they have developed one or two sets of true leaves. They have not only compacted flavor (good for garnishing), but also it is supposed that they have compacted nutrients (handful of kale microgreens may be equal in nutritional value to a whole pound of full-grown kale. Little research has been done on this, though). This book was my research starting point, and it was super informative! It was very visual, and covered every angle I needed to know. I did some online research afterwards, but I really didn’t need to.
  5. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller – 5 – A story about telling stories, and how the author, Donald Miller, learned to make his own life into a story by putting himself out there and setting himself up for adventures and the unexpected. Very inspiring book on so many different levels, and also very sweet and funny.
  6. The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux – 4 – A Sherlock Holmes sort of mystery written by the same dude who wrote one of my all-time favorites, The Phantom of the Opera. The only reason I gave it a 4 instead of a 5 was simply because it wasn’t SUPER exciting, but it was a great book.
  7. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – 4 – A short, sad book. I read it mostly while sitting up in a giant tree which definitely added to it being awesome. My dear Hemingway never fails.
  8. Vagabond’s House by Don Blanding – 4 – Pretty book of poetry about traveling and settling down and then traveling some more. I’m not often the biggest fan of structured, rhyming poetry, but Blanding writes so beautifully that I quickly forgot to notice anything rhymed. I read a lot of it out loud to myself, which enhanced it just as the tree did for the Hemingway book.
  9. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer – 3 – I think I would have liked it more if it had been written by somebody else. Krakauer, to me, seemed to be trying too hard to write, to the point of nearly upstaging the story. Still, it was very interesting, and very sad in a frustrating way, as the kid was very rash. I’d like to see the movie.
  10. The Inferno by Dante Alighieri – 3 – The reason I gave this a 3 is a matter of personal preference. I’m not a huge fan of reading stories in poetry. But how else could it have been told? The translation was well done, and it was interesting to see Dante’s philosophy. I’ve yet to find both other parts of the Divine Comedy, but when I do, I look forward to reading them.
  11. Demian by Herman Hesse – 3 – Another philosophical kind of book… a coming-of-age story in which the characters sort of sit around discussing spirituality and conformity. I didn’t really agree with the philosophies, but it was interesting food for thought.
  12. The Witches by Roald Dahl – 5 – I didn’t even realize who Roald Dahl was until this year! I know, pathetic. So I picked up this book from the library and LOVED it. It made me feel like a kid again, turning page after page, not wanting to go to sleep till I could finish it. Which, in turn also inspired me to write more children’s literature myself that adults could also enjoy.
  13. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott – 2 – This book is about writing…. it had some very good parts, but all in all it could have been said in half the book. Mid-way it just started to feel redundant. I’ve met plenty of people who love it, though, so you don’t necessarily have to take my word.
  14. Becoming a Tiger by Susan McCarthy – 5 – BEST BOOK EVER. From genetic imprinting to learning styles to creativity to animal rehab gone wonky, this book is full of funny case studies on how baby animals learn to grow up. I highly recommend it, unless you are not really into animal stuff.
  15. A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink – 3 – A great book; the reason I personally give it a 3 is because most of it was not new information for me. It’s about how technological skills are becoming less and less relevant to this society, giving way to the creative mind, just like the technical mind replaced the farmer/laborer back in the day. A quick read with lots of good resources.
  16. Horseradish By Lemony Snicket – 3 – A book of witty Lemony Snicket quotes. Short and fun; would make a good coffee-table book if itwas bigger.
  17. The BFG By Roald Dahl – 4 – Roald Dahl again! I’m only giving this a 4 because I liked The Witches better.
  18. The Bad Beginning
  19. The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket – 4 to both – Depressing and frustrating in the coolest way possible. Snicket is an amazing author; this year was also my first time reading anything by him, and he almost lives up to Roald Dahl.
  20. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hill – 2 – Cool way to learn about Toaism, but the author does not live up to A.A. Milne’s writing style in the slightest when he tries to emulate it. So that bothered me.
  21. The Town and the City by Jack Kerouac – 5 – Kerouac’s first book, much more clear and structured than his later, beat-poet-jazz works, but still an amazing book. It is set in my favorite time period, 30s and 40s, and tells of a large family growing up together in a small town and later parting ways, never to be brought together again. Beautiful, and tear-jerking in many places, too. I highly recommend it.
  22. Crazy Love by Franis Chan – 3 – Christian book about how God loves us and how we should work harder on loving. Unfortunately, a lot of the book came off as very judgemental towards certain other types of Christians, which is unfair and hypocritical. Further proof we probably just need to shut our flappers and stop talking about how we SHOULD love, and just go DO it. (See? Here I am doing the same thing. It’s hopeless.)
  23. Emily of New Moon
  24. Emily Climbs
  25. Emily’s Quest by L. M. Montgomery – all, 5 – Written by the same person who wrote another favorite book series, Anne of Green Gables. Another set of witty, sweet novels. Emily has been recently orphaned and has gone to live with her two spinster aunts and bachelor uncle. Very , very similar to the Anne books, but I think that is one of the main reasons I liked them so much.
  26. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt – 2 – I more just read this to kill some time, it is very short and I’d seen the movie years ago. Eh, it was okay, not really a page-turner.
  27. Banana Rose by Natalie Goldberg – 2 – I was so disappointed! I’ve mentioned before that I really look up to Natalie Goldberg as a writer; I have read most all of her books on writing and they have helped me so much. But this book was mostly horrible, I am sorry to say. I liked a couple of the secondary characters enough to keep reading, but the two main characters were just awful, in my opinion. Also, her style jumped around a lot – it was metaphorical at some points, almost too metaphorical, like an acid trip, and then other times it was bland and with no description or anthing. Honestly I would not recommend it, which makes me so sad to say. But I can see why her other books are the ones that sell so well and that it took me forever to find this.
  28. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – 5 – Another short book, but sooooo good! The first book I’ve ever read by Steinbeck, and I must say he is an excellent story teller. Even as it was very sad, it was a lovely book, and I’d read it again and again.
  29. Unintentional Music by Lane Arye – 4 – Part zen, part psychology, part in-depth study of creativity. Arye writes about “process work”, which is following subconscious processes of all different sorts of artists, turning mistakes into something better. He uses musicians as his examples most of the time: so, say you are playing a piece on the piano and at one point you make the same mistake every time you get to that point. Lane Arye would tell you to emphasize it, and see how that works. It’s hard to describe, but at any rate, I highly recommend it to help with any times you feel blocked creatively. Cool book.
  30. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac – 5 – And the best book to end the year as well. Zen, poetic travel-adventures had by Jack Kerouac and his other poetic and adventuresome pals. It doesn’t really have a plot, but it is such a wild and lovely book, it doesn’t need one! I know it’s probably not for everyone, but I loved it.
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Posted by on January 4, 2012 in Books and Literature, Life Pursuits


It’s finally 2012?

So I begin this new year penniless and broken, but rich in sight and together in spirit. Every year I attempt to not be so sappy and sentimental about years and their endings and beginnings. But this year I’m just going to forget about that. If we have no reason to acknowledge endings and beginnings, then what are we?
Some may say it is better to fabricate your own, decide for yourself thine alpha and omega and that is fine and dandy – I often do that in life. But there is something about a universal mark of stopping and starting in the well-acknowledged continuum, something that gives you a sense of unity with others in the world because you know they are also stopping and starting with you. We are all wishing on the same star.
2012, sunshine morning woke me with high hopes painting over last year’s stale graffiti. Look, I am not going to be a pessimist about 2011; it was not a cursed year, and 2012 may not be any “better” – more than likely will be some form of “harder.”
But it doesn’t really matter what comes this year. I can’t hope for peace and tranquility, and that is okay. What matters is who I am in this coming year. How I face things that come. How I get up each morning. How I interact with people. How I push through walls or deign to take another route. How I think inside myself. How I maintain peace, faith, hope, and love in my heart.
This morning, shortly after waking up, I had a moment, a wave of relief, just for a second: it will never be 2011 again. And then I felt bad – that is not how I want to look at it at all. 2011 was a blessed year, a wild year, a year full of real tears and even more real smiles. It was the most significant year of my life thus far, as the most recent year always is.
And then I became instantly overwhelmed with the sheer excitement of what I can DO this year! I yanked the unabridged Les Miserables off the shelf: nearly 1,500 pages, a daunting first-of-the-year undertaking for this slow reader. It made me so very ecstatic; so far I am 17 pages in and loving it.
A moment later, mom came in to my room and delivered a book I had just received in the mail: “When They Were 22: 100 Famous People at the Turning Point in Their Lives.” I will be 22 this August and plan to read it then.
As I was flipping through the book, I remembered for the umpteenth time that this year is The Year – the one I plan to get an internship working with wolves in some capacity or another. The ideal time I have set aside for myself to do that is sometime between July and October, right around the “turning 22” part of my life. Nobody is saying a “turning point” of any gigantic significance will happen, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve been wanting to do this since I was 16, and anything that is “about time” in coming is a turning point in itself.
I also have many learning and miscellaneous goals for this year. Things like:
  • Learn the skills of an amateur naturalist, à la Rachel Carson or John Muir or the doctor in Master and Commander
  • Learn intermediate Spanish to the point where I would feel comfortable traveling to a Spanish-speaking country by myself
  • Have a college-level understanding of chemistry, especially in how it relates to ecology
  • Explore 4 American cities
  • Farm at least once in each season
  • Take at least 8 rock climbing lessons
Some priorities, though, come first. #1 is to heal my leg! (For those of you who don’t know, I tore a ligament in my knee in November playing Ultimate Frisbee and have to get it operated on in a couple of days). #2 is to create some income. My Life Without College blog is about to become an enterprise, folks. Imagine me sitting here with a broken leg, winding up a funky-looking toy that sings songs about looking for college alternatives. Let’s see what this baby can really do!
In closing, I have no closing. I am so very happy, always have been, always will be. At some points in 2011 I almost felt dead, but I am learning to not take myself seriously at those times anymore. Maybe life isn’t exactly a piece of cake, but the world is my perfect playground… and nobody is going to rain on my parade!
Stay tuned for another post on books read in 2011 and what I thought of them, and a sampler of some pictures I took in the last week of the year.
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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Life Pursuits, Transitions


Learning Spanish

I am obsessed.
Just ask my family. Every single day, practically, I am at the computer, staring at pictures and saying things like, “El gato duerme” and “Japon esta lejos de Brasil.” (“The cat sleeps” and “Japan is far from Brazil”, respectively.) When I am procrastinating, I do my Spanish lessons. When I am sick, I do my Spanish lessons. When I go somewhere, I take my audio companions (and I get grumpy when I accidentally leave them in the car that I am not driving). I form sentences to test on the Latino guys at work, like, “Huevo sol ariba?” (“Egg sun up?” You know… fried egg, sunny side up…). I scour Craigslist for ads in Spanish to read (the Personals are especially interesting). All this thanks to working with Latino people and wanting to be able to communicate with them better.
I was not always this excited about Spanish. In fact, it was the opposite. I wanted to learn ANYTHING else instead: Spanish was too “common.” Every kid in America was learning Spanish.
So I grew up trying to learn French (less common? Apparently). However, every program I tried only catered to one learning style and/or did not teach me anything useful. Also, I realized a few years ago that I really had no reason to learn French at all: I had no particular overwhelming desire to travel to France, Belgium, or Canada, no French friends, no obsession with French culture, food, literature, music, or anything. That was when I quit, too relieved to feel disappointed in myself.
At the beginning of June, though, when I started my new job in the restaurant, my disheartened attitude about language learning in general made a 180:
Spanish is the second language in this current workplace of mine. Half the employees are Latino and they are always talking to each other in Spanish and to the rest of us in Spanglish. Immersion has presented itself, and therefore the motivation to learn to communicate. Sure, these guys speak some English, too, but why limit ourselves? Especially when I see their faces light up every time I understand what they are saying or say something in their language. It is, really, deeply flattering when someone from another country has chosen to learn your native language.
My dad bought Rosetta Stone Spanish levels one and two a couple of years ago for anybody in the family who wanted to use it. Up until June I considered it a “might as well as a last resort” option. But now, it’s ended up being exactly what I’ve needed.
Now I can’t stop. I am always hungering after anything Spanish-related… poetry especially, but basically anything that has any Spanish word in it or has any associations with Spanish whatsoever (like bags of nacho chips). What I really want is, once I have gone through all five levels of Rosetta Stone, to take maybe 6-ish months and travel in Mexico, Central, and South America, completely immersing myself in the language and culture through a combination of WWOOFing adventures and homestays that will probably include dancing lessons.
Did you know they have majors in foreign languages? I mean, I knew, and it kind of makes sense, but then it kind of doesn’t. While couchsurfing a few months ago I stayed at a couple’s house where the girl was working on her master’s in French, dating an Actual French Dude From France who, as a plus, helped her with her assignments. I mean, I guess that’s what you need if you want to teach French, which was what she was aspiring to do…
…. But really? Wouldn’t it be super, amazingly, stupendously fun to design your own “major” around a foreign language? I mean, just by opening myself up to learning new linguistic processes, I have acquired a thirst I would have never guessed would follow. What if I followed through completely on these inclinations, and started studying Spanish poetry/literature, Spanish history, Spanish architecture, Spanish geology, Spanish… whatever! There are 21 Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain in Europe, Equatorial Guinea in Africa, Mexico in North America, and the other 18 in the Caribbean, Central, and South America.
Where to start??
Well, I know for one thing that I have always wanted to study Argentine Tango in Argentina, so there’s a start.
Regardless, I am SO EXCITED. Don’t stop me now!
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Posted by on October 6, 2011 in Life Pursuits, Unschooling


What I Want to Write About

Wednesday or Thursday or something, I will be leaving for a week to go do a mini writing-retreat with a couple of friends.  I basically want to write about the farm.  And I basically want to save myself and my brain up for that.  I have some specific writing goals pertaining to that, but mostly I want to pick topics about the farm and do freewrites on all or a lot of them.

But I’ll share some thoughts on life with you first, so you aren’t completely in the dark as to “why Jessica suddenly stopped blogging.”  If you cared; which, really, it’s okay if you didn’t.  I write to write, and if people enjoy it, it’s just a bonus feature.

Last night as I was falling asleep, I had the singularly most ingenious thoughts of my entire existence.  However, I was so very tired that I would not get out of bed to jot them down.  Naturally, they have been forgotten.

Perhaps I could trace myself to them?

“Mornington Crescent” by Belle and Sebastian was and still is in my head.  I do marvel at how I associate this Sebastian not with the one at the farm, but with a lovely British fellow who stayed at the hostel and whose real name was Gavin; he was rather meek and shy-acting but had spiked prematurely gray hair and a nose ring; dressed very stylishly; worked as a window washer in London, and was quite the party animal…. was out clubbing when I was at my tango practica.

Then I ran into him in a couple of different places around the little sunny town of Ashland, Oregon, like the two-story bookstore with the coffee shop upstairs and the jungle-like courtyard in the back that I didn’t discover till the last day I was there…

Last night I had just put down The Witches by Roald Dahl…. let’s see.  I always read at night till I get tired and then put down the book and promptly fall asleep.  And I have to ask myself, why can’t adult literature be this good?  I haven’t liked reading something this much since… I don’t even know when.  I love all sorts of books, but this just beats them all.  Basically, I rest my case that kid stuff is just better, and I’m going to keep on singing Veggie Tales in the grocery store.  Don’t try to stop me.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, a list of topics I want to write about.  Let me know if I have forgotten anything or anybody.  It’s probably because there are several geese hanging around in the street and I keep watching them so that they don’t get run over…

dining rooms
bunk house
fire pit
The shack

The kids
Chase and Charlotte
red fire
red oak leaf
black seeded Simpson
seed trays
Jonstuff, even though he wasn’t really there…
salad spinners
Saffron and Andrea
Jonathan’s farm
that random freeloader chick
Cheddar Blossom
New Orleans
Nola markets
the Mississippi
Baton Rouge
Louisiana swift bus
Jazz and blues
cliche Nola/tourists
stupid Bourbon street
Daniel’s house
Mark and Shelley
Delaney and crew and house
the creek
pickup trucks
the van
Mr. Wobbles
movie nights
Super Bowl
Academy Awards
The Addam’s store
The Star
St. Francisville
The William’s Store
thrift store
hot house
harvest room
tool shed
water bottles
the view
golf course
plots A-G and Sometimes H
Mardi Gras
fire ants


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Posted by on May 14, 2011 in Life Pursuits, Travel, Writing

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