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Most Normal Girl

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Viva Las Vegas

This past weekend - to really remember and pay hommage to those who have served this great country - a few of us headed out to Sin City.

I'll try to post a few pictures within the next few days.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas ~ so don't bother asking. ;)
Posted by Jessie_b :: 6:19 PM ::

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I Love Paris In The Spring Time

I love Paris in the spring time. I love Paris in the fall.

All of this controversy over the new Carl's Jr. commercial cracks me up. Really, what's the big deal?

The Parents Television Council has denounced the commercial as "soft core porn," which is completely ridiculous. The President of the Council (L. Brent Bozell) contends that "This blatant, sexually-charged ad has no place on the public airwaves, and especially when children are in the audience." Is he kidding? Since when does sexuall-charged advertising NOT draw attention and NOT draw viewers? Of course it's on the public airwaves and of course people are going to watch it! That's the point of advertising!

I think I'm more outraged over the fact that over-zealous people (such as the PTC) tend to think that the responsibility of their viewing habits (or their children's) is the sole responsibility of the media. WE HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THE CHANNEL, PEOPLE. As a parent, you should of course be aware of what your children are watching - and if you find the content to be inappropriate, as the adult, YOU should take action. I don't see how the rest of us should be penalized because of something YOU find offensive.

SEX SELLS - get used to it. For being a republic, who stands for freedom of speech, we are one of the most conservative countries in the world. Certainly in Europe their ad campaigns are MUCH more racey than ours - and let's not forget about those nude beaches. Why do people get so bent out of shape about stuff like this? Do they really believe that advertising, such as this, is going to corrupt their children? That their children are going to take to the streets to take off their clothes, too? Please. Get a clue.

Just because the PTC happens to be a more conservative group does not give them the power to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. What's not to stop them from saying that half of what is currently on t.v. is "sexually-charged," and should be banned? I mean, is a tampon commercial too suggestive? Or how about a kitty litter commercial - is that offensive? Where do we draw the line and who has the final say? These type of controversies drive me up a wall...

While I'm not a fan of Paris or anything that she's ever done, I am a fan of burgers, cars, and sex. Moreover, I'm a fan of free speech, the media, and the right to change my television station.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 8:56 AM ::

Monday, May 23, 2005

Oh, Wise One

It was one year ago, today, that I was a commencement speaker at my old high school. I remember thinking what a fraud I was - I mean, what words of wisdom could I pass along? Truly, I still have a lot of living and learning to do - what advice could I possibly bestow on these 200 women? Not only that, but parents and friends would also be in the audience - how do I keep them entertained and not sound like a schmuck? Shouldn't someone who is older and who has actually accomplished something be given the honor to speak at a commencement ceremony? Why me?!?!

The thing is, I KNEW why. I was relatable. I was real. And that group of women liked me. I DID have something to say. Writing the speech was easy - even when I put the finishing touches on it that same morning. Delivering it was easy, too. I wasn't all that nervous, surprisingly. And when my 15-minute speech was done, I was applauded for being ME. That's who they wanted to hear and that's who they got.

I think we all left with something that day - those girls with their diplomas in hand, their parents with the pride of their daughter's accomplishments, and me - with the knowledge that I did have something to contribute. The best compliment came to me that very afternoon, when a much-older gentleman came up to me and said that he was a grandfather of five, that he had been to MANY graduations in his lifetime, and that my speech was the best he had ever heard. He didn't have to say it, hell, he may not have meant it. But it made an impact.

It's the times like these that I feel so great (SO LUCKY) to be the woman I am: a woman with her own history, her own story, her own support network, her own day-to-day, her own SELF, her own life, her own future...

It's each of us that make this world interesting and remarkable. I'm just glad that I can be part of it. All that I am, and all that I will continue to be, is my gift to this world.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 4:40 PM ::

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Blair and Jessica at a Dodger game
Posted by Jessie_b :: 12:01 AM :: 0 comments

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Friday, May 20, 2005

Lucky Girl

Blair is just so damn good to me. I swear, I don't know what I did to deserve such a wonderful man... And I just wanted everyone to know - again - how much I love him.

Posted by Jessie_b :: 10:29 AM ::

Thursday, May 19, 2005

I'm Exempt For At Least One More Year

Recently, I had to serve my civic duty and report for jury duty. Now, this has been the THIRD time I've gone in to the court and my group has been dismissed. Not that I'm complaining - I actually have a lot of work that needs to be done and I can't take time to figure out someone else's problems.

The whole experience was less than satisfying, to say the least. First, I had to stand in this horrendous line outside JUST TO GET INTO THE BUILDING. Everyone has to go through the metal detectors and put all of their bags, briefcases, jackets, shoes, keys, spare change, and CELL PHONES on the conveyor belt - just to make sure that nobody plans to blow up the building or injure anyone else if... you know... things get out of hand. I can tell you right now that I was soooo ready to punch one of those obnoxious people who were handing out "legal advice" flyers and their business cards - damn those people are pushy! There should be a law about solicitation outside of courthouses.

So when I finally make it up to the conveyor belt, the "security guard" (aka - rent-a-cop) tells me that no camera phones are allowed inside. What the fuck? I've just stood in this HORRENDOUS line and now I have to go put my cell phone back in the car just because some asshole took pictures inside a courthouse and RUINED it for the rest of us? Dammit! So, off I go to put the phone in the car... muttering obscenities under my breath the whole time... When I came back, I had already had enough of the HORRENDOUS line and all the obnoxious flyer people - so I walked straight past all the people in line (who were gaping at my assertiveness and wondering who the fuck I was) and into the courthouse and put my shit on the conveyor belt so that I could report for my civic duty. And I did NOT beep. Surprise, surprise.

When I make it into the jury holding room (let's call it the sweat box) there is a woman behind the counter who only knows one phrase: "Can I help the next person?" That's all she knows how to say. And she says it about 60 times in one minute. That's the same phrase over and over and over and over again. After standing in THAT line, I was finally released to go sit among my "peers" who were there to serve their civic duty, too. Chairs were sparse, so I nabbed one where I could still see outside, see a t.v., and be out of the way so all the weirdos wouldn't stare at me (like they usually do). After settling in, I started to look around at the prospect pool of jurors. There must have been nearly 200 people in this room and of the bunch, I don't think I would want ANY of them to decide my fate if I were ever in court. Not that I would be in court - unless those idiots outside tried to stick me with another flyer... then, maybe.

I watched the dynamic of the room change as more and more people flooded into the sweat box. People chose their seats carefully, even when there were too few to really be discretionary. I watched as some people tried to busy themselves with a book or pay bills. Others of us just sat and stared at everyone else. Things started to pick up after the announcement (over the loud speaker) was made that it was "National Jury Appreciation Week" and they would be serving coffee and cookies all morning. In an instant, people were moving and talking. The decibel level in the room went up at least 50 points and continued to get louder ~ food really does bring people together. Rather, FREE FOOD brings people together.

I was soooo happy to be released after just a few hours. I had met a nice, but chatty, gentleman who sat next to me. He was in construction and seemed like a nice enough guy - but I wasn't exactly in the friendliest or chatty-est of moods. I was relieved when my group was told that our case settled out of court and that we could go home!

I took advantage of the rest of the day by visiting with my boyfriend.

At least I won't have to do that for another 365 days. Whoopie!
Posted by Jessie_b :: 11:03 AM ::

Sunday, May 15, 2005


I don't usually review movies on here - but there is one that I think everyone needs to go and see... It's called CRASH and it's about the intersecting lives of different people living in Los Angeles. While I believe this could be a story of anyone living in any socially diverse big city, it seemed to have found the right niche being set among the L.A. backdrop. This hard-to-watch film found it's way to my very core. I could feel the emotional impact of the movie even hours afterwards.

An all-star cast brings life to this complex and mingled group of characters. While no one is a perfect saint and no one is a perfect sinner, it reveals the emotional and often brutal honesty of social hatred, intolerance, and miscommunication. The portrayal of these social stereotypes can be downright sickening - but honest in their delivery. As a member of the audience you can't help but feel drawn in to these character's lives.

I highly recommend this movie; we're talking FIVE STARS, here.

Then go out and find a friend to tell you some really funny jokes - because you'll need it.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 10:46 PM ::

Saturday, May 14, 2005

That Infamous Friday

Usually Friday the 13th is supposed to be a day of doom and dread. For me, NOT SO MUCH.

My mom used to say that Friday the 13th meant it was a good day for her. I guess I must have been "cursed" with the same luck. And so were the Los Angeles DODGERS! If you missed the game against the Atlanta Braves, you better keep reading!

LOS ANGELES -- As Adam LaRoche rounded the bases, Milton Bradley thought that Jeff Weaver had worked too hard for it to end this way.

The right-hander had taken a no-hitter into the sixth and was one pitch away from closing out the top of the eighth with the Dodgers ahead. LaRoche changed all of that, driving a 2-2 changeup 436 feet into the night for a grand slam and a jarring change of Weaver's fortune.

But the Dodgers came out in their half of the eighth and calmly loaded the bases on three soft singles. Cleanup man Jeff Kent struck out, bringing Bradley to the plate. Five pitches later, Bradley got a changeup of his own, and a grand slam of his own, and the Dodgers were on their way to a 7-4 win over the Braves.

The Dodgers weren't done after Bradley's bomb, slapping three more singles, including a run-scoring hit by pinch-hitter Hee-Seop Choi to make it 7-4.

The only negative to the evening for the Dodgers was that Weaver's effort went to waste. He allowed six hits and four runs in 7 2/3 innings, striking out seven.

This story was found at https://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/ Mark Thoma is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Posted by Jessie_b :: 9:24 AM ::

Friday, May 13, 2005

Magic Moments

There are moments in life that can only be described as... MAGIC.

It's the little things that do it for me.

~Watching Katelyn learn something new.
~Being called out of the blue, just because you're a good friend.
~Watching my parents laugh together like they were newlyweds.
~Playing with the dog in the living room and being allowed to be silly.
~Being enveloped by the arms of someone you love.
~Getting flowers at work and opening the card for the first time.
~Talking with an old friend whom you've known since sixth grade.
~Feeling that *thing* when you watch someone fall asleep.
~Watching my boyfriend hold his cat and all I can think to say is, "You're going to be a good dad someday."
~Meeting my new group of friends at Harvard over e-mail.
~Sharing the joy in another's good news. So much so, that I'm allowed to jump up and down and scream with delight for her.
~Getting an instant message at work from Zak.
~The first time someone says, I love you.

It's things like these that make my days worthwhile, unpredictable and exciting. You just never know when that moment will happen or how it will be...
Posted by Jessie_b :: 1:38 PM ::

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Happy Birthday From Across The Country!

Happy Birthday to my male-counterpart in New York!
He's 30 years old today.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 11:16 AM ::

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Summer is right around the corner...
Posted by Jessie_b :: 6:00 PM :: 0 comments

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Friday, May 06, 2005

Harvard Calling


If you've already figured it out or heard this story, you can skip to the end. For those of you who haven't - read this!!!

As we all know, I was on a ten-day business trip in San Diego and San Francisco from late April until May 1st. I got home on Sunday but was looking forward to having the next day to myself... Which, of course turned into a Me And Blair day inclusive of a trip to Disneyland and taking in a Dodger Game. It was a great day. I was actually looking forward to going to work the next day (I had missed my "girls" of the office). So Tuesday rolls around and after checking e-mail, sitting in on a staff meeting, trying to get all of my crap from my travels in some sort of semblance, I checked my voicemail. The third message went like this (notice the quotes):

"Hi Jessica, this is __ calling from the Higher Ed program office at Harvard's Graduate School of Education. Our class is shaping up and we are delighted to be able to extend an offer to you and would love for you to join us here next year. Please give me a ring back just to confirm that you've received the message and of course if you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them. Again we're thrilled that we can extend the offer to you and hope to be helpful in any way that we can as you come to make a decision. Thanks very much. Have a great afternoon. Bye bye."

My first thought was... Uh, WHAT?! And then it was... HOLY SHIT. I even think I said that during the second time I replayed the message - just to make sure I had heard it right.

I ran to my boss's office where I could share my good news. I screamed, I jumped, I clapped, I got giddy and goofy, and then I really don't remember much. Lots of people were hugging me and my brain sort of switched off... It was an incredible "high" and I still haven't quite come down yet.

There are so many people that I wanted to share my good news with. And, of course, there are even more people to extent a giant THANK YOU for helping me realize my goals. Family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances have all been an integral part of this and I am just so grateful.

I'm leaving for Boston toward the beginning of September. It's my most favorite city in the U.S. and I've wanted to live there for as long as I can remember. The time has come - there is a change in the wind.

It won't be easy, though. Southern California is "home." I'm still learning new things about this city... The real emotional aspect comes when I think of close family, friends, and that wonderful boyfriend. Leaving them (which is TRULY my "home") will be the toughest thing I will ever have to do. I feel as though I'm leaving on one of the biggest adventures of my Life and all I can see is people beginning to line up on the shore to bid me a temporary farewell. But that's just it - temporary. I have no idea what will happen after school - I may come back or Life may take me in a new direction. No matter where I end up or what I end up doing, I know that I can always come "home" to the ones I love. They have been my guiding stars throughout this twenty-something journey and continue to give me inspiration and support. I'm such a lucky girl.

Anyway, just wanted to share with the world my big news.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 9:38 AM ::

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Congratulations Are In Order

CONGRATULATIONS to Scott and Melissa who just became engaged!

Posted by Jessie_b :: 11:23 PM ::
Box Lady

I've recently discovered that I have a really weird nuance that I thought was sort of normal. Apparently, I keep things in boxes - jewelry, my perfume bottles, my iron, my make-up brushes... I even SAVE boxes so that I can put things back - you know, if I ever needed to. Shoes, moving boxes, gift boxes, Xerox paper boxes that I've collected over the years... I swear, I didn't think this was an abnormal thing to do!

I do this because I want to keep things "safe" and "preserved." From what? I really don't know. Maybe I just like the thrill of having to open it up all over again... Sort of like Christmas and your birthday, but you know what's inside. Or maybe it's from those toddler days where we are all just so curious to see how things open up and work and what's inside... Or maybe it's from a genetic disorder that I've gotten from my folks. I know they keep a few things in boxes; maybe I just learned it from them? I don't know...

I'm more self-conscious about my weird habit now. But I still love opening the box of my perfume as I get ready in the morning ~ and THAT I refuse to feel weird about.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 4:22 PM ::