The Joy Project

Little Moments of Big Love

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon Booze…




catachresis example in tom robbins’ still life with woodpecker

Sometimes people will do a google search for a particular word and it will bring them to my blog.

Usually the word they are searching for is  “quirky”, “eating in the bathtub”, “cat lady”, etc. You get the point.

Behind the scenes, I can tell which search terms are most popular. Supposedly, I can leverage these google searches to see what is bringing traffic and use it to get more readers for my blog.

Yesterday someone searched google for “catachresis example in tom robbins’ still life with woodpecker” and it brought them to my blog.

I am certain they were grossly disappointed and did not find what they were looking for among my love letters to Tina Fey, wine, neuroses, and my Grandpa. For this, I am sorry.

I don’t even know what “catachresis example in tom robbins’ still life with woodpecker” means, but I definitely want to have dinner with the person that searched for it.

And I hope they found what they were looking for.

PS: Another popular google search that brings people to my blog is “does a dead mouse smell like sour milk?”. Next time I’m feeling bad about myself, I think I’ll curl up with a nice mug of hot tea and remind myself that even though I am an unemployed cat lady, I do have the market cornered on inquiries about sour milk and dead mice. Aces.

Forever Young

I like to think that when it comes to being a hypochondriac, I was a bit of a child prodigy.

My earliest memory of my certain and imminent death came after 5th grade sex ed class. I now know that I should have come back from that class feeling sorry/horrified for my male classmates and the fact that they had to walk around every day attached to penises, which are probably the weirdest and most poorly behaved pets in the universe. But I was too busy planing my funeral, because I was sure that I not only had AIDS, but I was also pregnant!

What led me to belive such things? Was I sexually active in 5th grade, you ask? Well no (boys are gross!), but that certainly didn’t matter. Because I was achy and had a runny nose, which was undeniable proof that I was very, very sick and also soon to be a mother.

I’m also quite certain I had scarlet fever when I was young. I remember fevered dreams, passing in and out of consciousness, my family surrounding my death-bed, just like Beth in Little Women (in my memory I am wearing a night-cap and the room is lit by candlelight). Although when I ask my mom about it, she claims it was “just” strep throat and I only missed two days of school. Pssh.

I also discovered a brain tumor after an especially poignant episode of ER (headache), self-diagnosed  a very severe case of dengue fever while travelling in Brazil (heat rash), and during the height of the anthrax attacks in 2001, I cried on my bathroom floor, begging for Cipro, and, certain the terrorists had targeted me and Tom Brokaw, I told my parents goodbye (urinary tract infection).

You don’t even want to know about all the scary and terminal illness that pop up when you type in “tired” “malaise” “hungry” and “itchy dry skin” into Web MD. I was certain I would never make it past 24 years old and people would talk about me like they do James Dean and WWII soldiers, and children with cancer, and everyone else who was so brave but died before their time, may God rest their souls.

And then a miracle happened.

I fell in love.

I fell in love with this healthy, glorious, Adonis-like creature who takes vitamins and eats tofu and wears spandex when he exercises and is brimming with energy and fervor.

And suddenly I want to live, to LIVE goddamnit!

I want to be with this man forever, into old age, and then die together at exactly the same time like that old couple who died spooning on the bed in that movie Titanic, or at least like June and Johnny Cash, separated by only a few miserable, lonely months apart.

To ensure our mutual health, I’ve stocked our cabinets with coconut water and kale and fish oil. I monitor our aluminum cans for BPA and spring for the organic apples (why do I have to pay twice the amount for the worm hole and bruises?). We wear seat belts and have a gun safe and an emergency plan in case of zombie and/or gas attacks. I keep my mind fresh by doing math problems in my head, I have daily stretches, and I never, ever microwave the Tupperware! Like a modern-day Clair Huxtable, I worry about his sodium consumption and his blood pressure. If only Rudy would stop feeding him sweets!

I just read this awesome article on the New York Times about a Greek Island that has an above average amount of old people and where plagues like alzheimer’s and cancers are kept at bay. They called it “The Island Where People Forget to Die.” It made me happy! We can do this, he and I. If we drink enough red wine and eat our leafy greens, we can be together forever.

It’s funny how the fear of losing something you love so dearly can make you seize life so fervently.

The photo is also from the New York Times article, and also what I hope my man looks like some day.

Think Good Thoughts









Seeking Happiness

Happiness is a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you

– nathaniel hawthorne



Baby You Send Me…

I just put a PM Dawn song on the mix CD I am making. It’s official; I had too much wine for dinner.




There Is A Point To This Story

Hey guess what? I am quirky! Which was horribly painful in middle school, and continues to be so in most work meetings.

But lately nerd culture is “in”.  With the rise of Tina Fey, being a frizzy-haired woman with awkward hands and a big imagination is suddenly cool! Well, maybe not cool, but at least respected. Well, maybe not respected, but at least part of the zeitgeist. Wait, did I just say “zeitgeist”? Ya I did. I’m trendy, people, deal with it.

Seriously though, about a year ago, Zooey Deschanel brought her TV show “New Girl” to Fox. I personally don’t have TV, and watch most shows on the internet at my computer, with my cat. Which typically means I am way out of the loop on what’s current in TV land. For example, I just finished watching that show “24”. You try name-dropping “Jack Bauer” at lunch in 2012 and see how many crickets you hear–it definitely doesn’t help my quirky status.

As Zooey’s show grew in popularity, more and more people started commenting on the similarities between she and I. I like her, but I was really starting to get sick of being called “adorkable” (a mixture of adorable and dorky) by the accounting guy everytime I turned in my time card.

So I decided to check out the show. I think it’s great. The characters are well written, her character is vulnerable and trusting, the plots are funny and she made wearing glasses hot. Plus she plays a teacher who really cares about her students, which I think is cool and important. I’ll happily take any comparisons between Zooey and myself, especially if it means “‘being yourself” is now mainstream (don’t worry, I’m still the weirdest person in my office).

And then the show went on summer hiatus, and I continued being adorkable on my own.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. My co-workers started asking “had I seen the season 2 of the New Girl yet”?  No I hadn’t, because I was busy catching up on this awesome new show I just discovered called “Lost”; what’s up with that polar bear?

When I finally got some free time I sat down at my computer and watched the opening episode.

Here’s a scene (you must watch this clip. It is integral to the story and I am not going to tell you what happens)

And then, the next week, I was abruptly laid off too.

Yep. Like some cute harbinger of unemployment, I watched Zooey get laid off, and then I got served my own walking papers.

It sucks and my feelings are hurt, and I am sure you will hear more about it in the weeks to come. But at least I get a whole season of watching my silly and funny doppelgänger go through the same ups and downs that I’ll face.

Seriously though, she better not find another job before me.

The whole episode is funny. You should watch it:

kindness is power

When The Shadows Almost Killed Your Light

Forgive me for recommending a Taylor Swift song and promise that you will listen to this song immediately.

The Civil Wars are one of my favorite new-to-me bands.

I promise you, we’ll all be safe and sound.

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