The Joy Project

Little Moments of Big Love

Category: History

It All Started With 2 Tickets To Europe…


Sorry I disappeared this summer.

I was on the biggest Joy Project of them all.

This is where I went.



I Went On Vacation And All I Got You Was This Story

Did I mention I was in DC recently? I was there for work, where let’s face it, I was awesome.

But I also found time to fall ass-backwards into a really great vacation.  In between work sessions, I saw the 100 year anniversary celebration for the Cherry Blossoms, the landing of the Space Shuttle Discovery, and jammed in an ultra-speedy viewing of the Mall and most of the monuments (admittedly it might have been a little too speedy–I made Karen puke at the Lincoln Memorial).  We ate dinner at a restaurant called Oyamel, which also happens to be the tree that the monarch butterflies rest in during their hibernation in Morelia, Mexico. Which seemed magical and auspicious, seeing as Karen and I travelled to see those very trees and butterflies in Morelia three years ago. And unlike Oyamel the tree, Oyamel the restaurant had awesome margaritas.

Or maybe it wasn’t so much that I fell into a great vacation, but that I chose to see it as a great vacation…because in reality, I missed the cherry blossoms (they bloomed a month earlier than expected–thanks global warming), the shuttle landing made traffic to the airport terrible and I almost missed my flight, and did I mention that Karen puked at the Lincoln Memorial?  And those Oyamel margaritas made me feel like El Caca the next morning. But I didn’t see any of that. I just had a great time and felt super blessed to be there.

I wonder how I can put the same Joy Project spin on my upcoming dentist appointment…maybe I’ll get lucky and fall ass-backwards into some gold teeth.

Pippin The Dear Deer

I don’t understand this.  But I love it.


That’s Audrey Hepburn. With her pet deer, Pippin. But Pippin the deer was far more than just a random pen-kept part of a celebrity petting zoo — Hepburn lived with it, slept in the same bed with it and, apparently, got shitfaced with it.

Uh.  Okay.



The Wilderness

I know I tell you to click on lots of links or go look at other web pages. And sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t. That’s your prerogative.

But please, please go to this one. It is such a neat music experience/experiment. And will make you nostalgic for where you grew up. And make you feel like you are special and one-of-a-kind and also part of something really cool and big all at the same time.

When is the last time you’ve had all those feelings? For free?

Wait Mr. Postman

I love hand written letters. I think they’re old-fashioned and romantic and speak to a simpler time when communication was an art form and not a series of emoticons. A time when reaching out to someone took effort and grace. A time when your boss couldn’t sideswipe you with a hurtful email and there was no such thing as drunk dialing.


I used to have this idea of editing a book that would be filled with letters written but never sent. Letters people had written to their fathers, or their boss, or to the head of the permits department, but then thought better of it and never sent them.

That’s why I love this website; Letters of Note. It’s a collection of old letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos and it’s quiet lovely.

There is one from Iggy Pop in which he encourages his young fan to “hang on, my love, and grow big and strong” that will just make you all bleary eyed.

Please read a few and then send me a letter. Now that I’ve cancelled my Netflix subscription my mailbox is quite empty…

Mary, Mary quite contrary. How does your garden grow?…

…with cocks and balls and silver tails and little squirrels all in a row…wait, that can’t be right…

I was doing a little nursery rhyming in cubicle world at work today when I realized I wasn’t singing any of the correct words to this little diddy. So of course, we looked it up on wikipedia. It’s the source of all things correct and factual.

Turns out the rhyme is one big English diss about Mary Queen of Scots’ barren womb and how her husband cheated on her because of it (turns out it isn’t “cocks and balls” but “cockle shells”).

Kind of hurtful, right? Why the hell do we sing this to children? It’s almost as nurturing as that rhyme about the baby who falls out of a tree because its parents rocked it too hard. Why did you put your baby in a BOUGH in the first place???

Ever notice how English people are so good at making terrible things sound pleasant? I can’t help but smile when someone calls me a wanker with a British accent. I don’t know what it means but it sure sounds nice…

Putting Down Roots


I cleaned out my shed. And then I pretended it was my clubhouse. I sat in the rafters and daydreamed while it rained. I’ve always wanted to do that.

I planted a snowball bush with my bonus dad. It reminded me of my childhood home. And now it will also remind me of my own first home.

After planting the snowball bush my bonus dad made me mow my lawn.  I guess even when you are a grown up and you own your own home your dad can still boss you.

My mom helped me plant lettuce. I was embarrassed by my gardening outfit. I thought I would just spend the day alone daydreaming in the shed. She said I looked like my grandmother Nelda.

Nelda was beautiful and wild and from Texas. I have her hair. I wish she could see my house.

We’ve planted Grandpa Bernie’s peonies from his house in Kansas. Bernie always sent Cadbury eggs for Easter even though I wasn’t his real granddaughter.

I’ve put the daffodils in a vase by my bed.

My neighbor knows my cat’s name.

Pueblo Fantasma

I love Mexico.  And the idea of riding horses and wearing boots.  I like to listen to the soundtrack from All the Pretty Horses and dream about throwing parties in the Mexican desert with white christmas lights and a mariachi band and plenty of cold Jarritos in buckets of ice.

So when my friend sent over pictures from his trip to Real de Catorce I fell in love.  The town, which means the Royal Fourteen, was a booming silver mining town outside of San Louis Potosi high up in the mountains.  It went bust when silver was devauled after 1900 and was deserted. 

Now a pilgrimage site for both local Catholics and Huichol shamanists it is literally a ghost town.   Also Matthew McConaughey likes to jog there because of the reputed spiritual energy.

If you get a chance, google Real de Catorce and look at all the beautiful photos. 

And then tell me, when can we move there?

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