"This above all: to thine own self
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."
~~from Hamlet by William Shakespeare
So... I spent a lil too much time giving the
web site a revamp
and now it's crunch time with this
newsletter. Thus, I'm getting my
younger self to help me. :-)
After a lengthy hiatus, it's time to check
in with myself in the early months after
TBAA left the air. When
last I did this, I'd gotten to July
2003. So let's see how August 2003 and
beyond found me and my attachments to JABB,
John Dye, Andrew, TBAA, and more!
Jenni and Jenni Write JABB: Senior Year
Begins... Sans TBAA August
18, 2003 to September 14, 2003
Well, it appears I just took
quizzes, wrote up Christological theories (Theology
student fun times!), and talked about plays I had
seen for weeks on end and then...
August 18th, 2003 Subject: Theo's free!!!
Well, I finally did it. I'd wanted to write a "Theo" into
JABB since the whole Zack thing fell apart. And with Aud's
ok I finally got up the guts to do it. Somehow it just
makes the whole Zack thing seem ok now. It's hard to
explain but I guess I had to disassociate TBAA's God from
SB. I hope no one gets angry because I realize writing
even a fictional God into something is touchy. But in the
end it was either I write that or I leave JABB. I chose
the former. I could no longer write about Andrew when his
God had the face of a ::redacted::. And now he doesn't.
Now he has the face of the painting I've had in my room
for years that has a calming effect, not one that just makes me angry.
I don't plan to ever mention Theo again. Except maybe some
sort of explanation that I'll prolly just put on the
Author's Cut webpage. But just knowing the issue exists is
I'm feeling: good
Me in 2015:
So I got a lil blunt with the name calling hence the
redaction. But otherwise... that's
adorable! 2003 me would probably totally flip if
she saw all that Joshua's gotten up to! Theo may
not have resurfaced using that name... yet... but he
definitely got another mention. Some 1000+ pages
of mentions, actually! :-)
3:25 pm August 19th, 2003
Subject: Grrr... JABB files
I don't know what the heck happened but I have people
unsubbed that never unsubbed and I had people listed as
still on list that I know have been gone for ages. So I
was going to email people and ask if they intended to be
unsubbed or not but so much of the Yahoogroups list is on
No Mail and I don't know whether that means they just
check mail on the Net or if they're totally gone and just
forgot to unsub. Oh well, I guess I have it figured out as
best as possible!
I'm feeling: frustrated
Me in 2015:
And I'm still not sure what to think of the No Mail
people! Hi if you're reading this! But now
you all know why I occasionally do those lurker
checks! And, actually, we're about due for
one. Otherwise, good to know struggling with JABB
files isn't a new thing! 1:01 am August 27th, 2003 Uh oh! I need a new fav LOTR character!
Okay, Aragorn remains a very good embodiment of what I
find physically attractive in a guy (of course I would add
some soap and clean water and probably suggest some
wardrobe work but I realize these are foolish
considerations for a man in war). However... I have come
to realize that emotionally he's not so much my type... I
just want him to start crying. Or act really goofy or
start screaming at someone mean. Or hit a nostalgic nerve
and wax poetic about his version of My Little Ponies and
the Care Bears. This is all movie based, btw. I may like
So I'm debating here. I really like Sam and Gandalf. But
I'm not entirely sure if I really like Gandalf or if I
just like him cause he reminds me of my childish image of
God and has a really cool horse. And rose from the dead.
But Sam... I think Sam seems like a very emotional person.
But, unlike me, knows when to stop
moping/giggling/day-dreaming when needed. Plus his speech
about the great stories makes *me* cry. And I think I like
people who bring out my emotions.
I will continue to work on this issue but in the meantime
will remain devoted to Andrew even though I think its
grossly unfair that I formed a re-crush on him only after
the show was cancelled! In fact, entire
LOTR-fav-character-finding mission is prolly all in vain
because even massive quantities of Colin Firth movies have
been unable to end pathetic Andrew phase. Feel like stupid
Colin Firth character in "Camille" who refalls in love
with girl only moments before her death and spends rest of
time at her grave. Of course, Andrew is only a crush and
therefore not as emotionally damaging as Colin Firth
I'm feeling: quixotic
Me in 2015:
So apparently I once wanted to date a Brony...
Huh. Awww... I totally remember the
re-crush. See, I'd kinda fallen away from TBAA
in Season 7 a bit but then more significantly in
Season 8. I mean I kept watching... just not
rewatching and obsessing. But with Season 9... I
was in love. And I don't just mean crushing on
John Dye as Andrew although there was that. I
really started to love the show again. I sobbed
regularly during episodes like I used to in the early
days. Then it was gone... I wish younger
me knew we'd find a way to hang on. Dyeland
Oh... but it's not a pathetic phase, younger me!
9:26 pm August 30th, 2003 Uh oh... What was that?
I was trying to find more stuff to add to the JABB prize
list, particularly songs Della sang on the show. I'm not
sure what happened but all of a sudden I had that feeling
in my gut that you get when someone tells you bad news.
Not sure why. I don't think I saw anything troubling. Now
I'm kinda worried.
I'm feeling: worried
Me in 2015:
I have no idea what that was about... Let's read
10:29 am September 1st, 2003 This is not good...
I was watching the TBAA episode where Tess gets
alzheimers. I was getting really jittery and anxious as
time went on. Then the preview for the second half came on
and it was playing "Fields of Gold" and I'm not sure what
about that song caused it but I flipped. I think I've made
some big mistakes. I don't think I want to teach religion
any more. I don't think I can. They warned us in my first
education class that especially in Catholic schools your
personal lives come into play. And I'm not sure I need
that extra bit of something to worry me. I'm all ready
overly critical of myself which could be why I never date.
Not because I'm particularly worried about what a guy will
think but whether the guy will be okay with everyone else.
And supposing I do get married and he turns out to be bad,
obviously I'd need a divorce. I'm talking adultery,
dangerous behavior, etc. I'm not just talking about he
won't do the dishes. You never know. My doctor was married
to a guy for years and he turned out to be a pedophile.
But that's just the future. There's also the past.
My parents weren't married in the church when I was born.
So according to some die-hards I'm born out of wedlock. Which doesn't bug me because
their definition of marriage is not my own. But that's
just it! How in the world do I think I'm going to be able
to give a lecture about Catholic marriage being a
sacrament and blah blah blah when I don't even believe it
necessarily. If you want a church wedding, lovely. If not,
well, then that's fine too.
I'm holding out hope that maybe I just overdosed on the
Andrew screentime which in turn reminded me of how much I
wanted to be a spiritual grief counselor and how that all
came to a screeching halt. Just because it happened that
time doesn't mean it will again. But I have to go.
Apparently there's some sort of issue with the CD burner I
need to look at.
I'm feeling: frustrated
Me in 2015:
So... my bad vibe was basically me predicting my own
self-imposed flip-out, I guess. Anyhow, I do not
consider myself born out of wedlock... just so that's
clear. And, even if I did, I'd be in Good
Company. Anyhow, that actually sounds like
something I coulda written recently. Still
angsty about Catholicism! And yet still
Catholic. Happily, I'm pretty content with where
I landed. I don't think I could be a grief
counselor and I know I couldn't teach religion in a
Catholic school. (Have ya read "The
Carpenter"? Yeah...) But I feel like,
somehow, I'm doing bits of both with my writing.
And, through it, I'm in contact with people well
beyond a small classroom in a relatively small
school. Pretty cool! And I like my current
job quite a bit, too. :-)
am September 3rd, 2003 GAAAAHHHHAAAAUUUGGGHHHGGGGRRRRRRR
I'm very frustrated right now. Not entirely sure
what particular factor is causing this. Could be
the fact that one friend is acting really
irresponsible, drinking too much, etc. Could be
that I really dislike going to class. Could be
that I feel physically ill. Could be that I'm
thinking the entire Andrew deal is massively
unhealthy. Normally I would just cut that part
of everything off but then JABB goes bye-bye and
I'm just hugely unready for that right now.
I'm feeling: aggravated
Me in 2015:
Wow... Gosh. I guess I really was overly
critical of myself back in the day. And
something of a follower... I think I blamed
Andrew for my not having a boyfriend instead of, ya
know, the fact that deep down I didn't really want
one. Oh, don't get me wrong. I wanted one
in college. But because having one was
expected. It was the fairy tale. Meet a
guy in college, fall in love, get married, get
pregnant. And that's awesome for those who want
it. Not so much for those who just think it's
the thing to do. Pretty glad I never pursued
that! Using people is bad. And that's what
I woulda been doing to some poor schmuck... and
probably ignoring him in favor of writing.
September 5th, 2003 Latest dreams
I didn't have any last night that I remember,
possibly cause I didn't get to sleep til 4 because
of computer issues and coffee and Mountain Dew.
But both nights right before I had really similar
Tuesday night I dreamed I was
asleep. Which was weird. But it was light in my
room and my bed curtains were tied back. There were people in my room. One was
Andrew and I think the others might have been
angels also but I only remember him specifically.
They seemed to be talking to me as I slept. Almost
like they didn't understand I was sleeping. I
couldn't make out anything they said.
That same night I had another one that may have
been part of the same dream or something else. I
was still in my room but awake and standing in
front of a biggish mirror brushing my hair. This
is odd because I don't have mirrors in my room and
usually don't brush my hair in front of one
anyway. But I saw someone standing behind me in
the mirror. I whirled around and said "What are
you doing here?!" in an annoyed tone.
Then Wednesday night I had pretty much the same
thing except it was just Andrew. Again I was
asleep and knew he was saying something to me but
couldn't understand what. Like he was speaking a
foreign language but I felt like there was no
good, practical reason like that for me to not
understand. Very odd.
I'm feeling: confused
Me in 2015:
I used to drink Mountain Dew? Maybe I meant the
Code Red variety. That I did like.
Anyhow, those dreams were obviously a psychic
prediction of Andrew and JenniAnn when they hit the
seven year itch. Just kidding! They're way
past seven years! And I really don't think
they'll get in a weird place where they don't know how
to talk to each other and such. I hope
not... I really don't have as much control as
one would think! Ideas just come into my head
and I have to go with them or I just obsess. In
any case, I'm pretty sure those dreams inspired "The
Scientist" in a roundabout way. Cause originally
I planned to have a scene wherein Andrew came up
behind LJA as she was looking into a mirror and they
each saw a different version of her. Can't
remember why I didn't go that route... Oh
pm September 8th, 2003 More blathering about TBAA/Andrew
It seems like, from what I've been writing
lately, that the only important thing to me
currently is TBAA, JABB, Andrew and related
stuff. It's not. But for some reason it's what I
keep wanting to write about. Possibly because
its that stuff I get the biggest kick out of
when I read these journals years later. Anyhow,
for an assignment I was reading this article on
Young Adult Faith. It reminded me of something
but I couldn't quite place it. There was this
part where the author talked about how, after
being booted from the college's nest with
graduation, she kept having former students show
up at her house in the few years afterwards.
Further, once there they didn't really seem
inclined to leave. Just plopping down at her
kitcken table and going slowly so as to miss
their train and all. Finally, she had to drive
them herself. And I've decided that's what I've
done with TBAA. If Monica, Andrew, or Tess had a
kitchen table, you bet I'd be plopped down in
one of those chairs eating my cereal as slowly
as humanly possible. That not being the case,
I'm spending an excess amount of time plopped on
my bed, my couch, my chair watching the show. I
mean not a whole lot. But considering I hadn't
sat down and watched rerun after rerun after
rerun for the last few years of TBAA's run it is
odd. I'm talking around 3-4 eps a week. And what
was with my solemn walks through ::my high
school, name withheld:: when I worked there over
the summer? "This is where my friends filled me
in on 'The Journalist' when I missed it." "This
is where Megan told me all about Andrew wearing
shorts when the blackout prevented me from
seeing 'The Pact.'" "This is where I first
thought my Grandpa had died and Andrew's 'On one
side there is life...' quote came to me. This is
also where I was when I found out my Grandpa did
actually die, months later." "This is where my
locker was, where I hung all the TBAA quotes and
pics." "This is where I wrote a story and named
the character Andrew." "This is where I sat with
my then best-friend and told her I planned on
still watching new TBAA through my Senior year
of college." Geez! And I can do this at home,
too. "This is where I scratched my back when my
brother and I were joke-fighting about Andrew
and I accidentally ran my back down the door
hinge." How much more maudlin can a person
And then the more I think about it, why do I
even like Andrew let alone feel the need to walk
around commemorating weird memories? I mean he
looks nothing like my "type". If I was going to
pick an AOD, Adam is leaps and bounds closer to
the "type" physically. I felt sorry for Andrew,
plain and simple. He seemed like the neglected
child of the bunch, by the writers and their
God. By their God I mean the God written by the
TBAA writers, obviously not the real God. It
just seemed like Monica got all sorts of
revelations and reminders that God loved her.
Andrew just... went on with things. And I can't
help but think he's not the one that started the
trend, "I'll form a crush on him because I feel
sorry for him!" I mean look at the list of
actors I liked. Victor "I die and am betrayed in
everything" Garber. Jeremy "I got crucified and
burnt at the stake and went insane" Sisto.
Christian "My fathers always ditch me and/or
hate me" Bale. Colin "My wife left me... again"
Firth. Oh and how can I forget the most recent?
Dr. Perry "I went through a rotten divorce but
still love my wife who I think just gave birth
to some other guy's baby. In addition, I may
have been abused by my parents based on one line
I said last season" Cox. I mean obviously I'm
talking here about their characters, not their
real lives. I'm almost positive no one crucified
Jeremy Sisto for real. :-) But what the heck
does this say for my future?!
I'm feeling: maudlin
Me in 2015:
That's actually true about "my type." John Dye
defied "my type." I tend to go for guys with
darker hair and eyes. More rugged looking.
That being said... unlike myself at 21, I totally get
it. Cause physical type is much less important
than spiritual/emotional type. And Andrew has
that down! Plus John was just so good in the
role... so much compassion and gentleness shining
through! As for my penchant of being drawn to
guys who I feel sorry for... Nowadays I like to
think it more has to do with those fellows having
played a number of sensitive roles. I like it
when guys are comfy showing their emotions.
Those fellows did in the TV shows/movies I was
watching back in 2003. As for now... I've pretty
much lost track of Colin Firth, Victor Garber, John C.
McGinley (Dr. Cox), and Christian Bale. I mean I
know they're still acting. I just don't make a
point of watching. Not cause I'm miffed at them
or anything. Just moved on, I guess. I did
watch Jereme Sisto's sitcom before it got
cancelled. But just not following actors'
careers any more.
And I do still sometimes reflect on places due to
their TBAA/JABB/John Dye significance. Of
course, now that I have my own place and a laptop,
basically every spot is significant since I can watch
TBAA and write and such wherever I want!
I do wish my younger self woulda just
chilled out and enjoyed. Writing this after Mr.
Dye has passed away, I kinda resent 2003 me for
inserting angst where it wasn't needed. While I
am at peace with his passing and firmly believe John
Dye is in a wonderful, exceptional place with the real
Joshua; it would be nice to watch TBAA again without
that twinge of sadness that now we know it's truly
over. No reunions, no movies. 2003 me
still had that and apparently spent a good chunk of
her time freaking out over it. Don't borrow
pm September 9th, 2003 Oooh... meds...
Oooh... Everything's so peaceful. Could fall
asleep right here. Andrew isn't Andrew, I don't
think. Had sudden burst of energy and wanted to do
so many things. Now just gonna go sleep.
Cold/alergy meds good...
I'm feeling: oooh
Me in 2015:
Haha! I was tripping! And now I remember
why I'm reluctant to take the heavy duty cold meds... 10:38 pm September 14th, 2003 How Andrew became my symbol for female
Okay, so I've hinted at the whole "friend acting
really irresponsible" thing before. So more of
that here and how I chose to deal with it.
Okay, so my friend is engaging in certain
activities I would deem dangerous. With her
boyfriend and with alcohol. I do not think she's
a bad person, I am not judging her morals. But
it does worry me, for her health and the safety
of those around her. And it does make me mad
that she thinks I'd hate her if I knew what was
really going on and, therefore, I get everything
secondhand from our other friend that she
burdens with *all* the info. Basically I'm
half-wishing we could all just return to the
stage before boys and boose came into the
picture. And that stage would be around ages
14-20. Interestingly, the same years during
which TBAA was really big for me. Especially
from 14-18. As I look at what's happening to my
friend I also looked at what happened to me. And
I did this all while reading "Reviving Ophelia"
and watching TBAA. So they got meshed together.
First, I think I've really become loads more
reserved. This may sound surprising since I've
kept up a rather goofy appearance. But that's
with you who can read this. I've
compartmentalized. My friends offline have no
idea what JABB is and don't even know that I
still care about Andrew, let alone have any
lingering crush. Half of them offline only
recently found out about the Christian Bale
parties and even now know only very limited
things. Certain people know that I still like to
play pretend. Certain people know that I still
like to play dress-up. Only certain people get
to see me dress like I really want to dress.
Essentially, at age 14 a lot more of me became
hidden because it just wouldn't have been cool
for certain info to get public. And I think
that's why, in season 3, I decided Andrew was
*the* crush of crushes. I mean season 2,
which I did watch for the most part, he was all
fun and dancing with umbrellas and had an
earring and... He didn't seem to care what
people thought. He was free!!! And then season
3... he got a little more subdued. No more
earring. No more dancing. And suddenly I could
relate to that. There were new people to
impress. So put away the fairy tales, shut up
about your emotions, and be what you should be.
And then promptly freak out and go have crying
fits in your room. And feel really, really sorry
for Andrew. Cause it's better than feeling sorry
for yourself. The one big fight a friend and I
had in freshman year was because she told
everyone about Andrew. And Andrew was private.
Andrew was everything that was deemed uncool and
had to be hidden. Andrew was fairy tales and
crying in public and being what I wanted to be.
I do this a lot. I encode things into other
people (fake or real), things, places. There's
no really sure way to tell what gets what.
Lightning bugs remind me of the Incarnation. So
that Andrew came to symbolize the childish
things I put away is not that odd.
I think maybe that's why Andrew's ever lessening
screentime drove me crazy in 5th and 6th season.
My time decreased then, too. If my life were a
TV show, by age 16 you would no longer see me in
the same shot as all my friends. They
fragmented. I had to choose one person over
another but never everyone together. More often
I chose to be by myself, off screen aka at home.
The whole friends thing improved when I
graduated and people fragmented again, but this
time with good reason. They moved away. And I
was left only with those people that really knew
me. So I could be more of who I really was. Not
like in the days before high school. But an
improvement from high school at least. And I
still watched TBAA but more of a token gesture.
It was almost as if my connection to Andrew was
inversely proportionate to how content I was
with being myself. When I was myself at college,
I didn't need him. So what happened with in a
month that suddenly I'm watching several
episodes of TBAA a week? And posting several
posts a day to JABB?
I'm still working on that part. I guess maybe
finding out my friend didn't trust me was a
wake-up call. Apparently I've not been as open
about my actual self as I thought I was being.
If I had been, she'd know I wouldn't judge her
And I also think, developmentally, I'm right up
there with the way I think of those angels.
Childless, romanceless, and, hence, free from a
lot of entanglements. At this point I think
Monica would serve as a better symbol than
Andrew. But, whether I feel like it or not, I'm
21 and guys are an issue. And the guy's cute
so... He can just go on ahead and be my symbol.
I'm feeling: melancholy
Me in 2015:
Aww. Christian Bale parties... I miss
those. I had two friends in high school who also
loved his movies so we'd get together, watch those,
and eat a lot of junk. It was just fun.
Half the time, we barely watched the movies.
Just had em on in the background as we talked and
played games and such.
As for the larger issue, I can all but guarantee that
is exactly why I started crushing on Andrew in Season
3. I related big time. And I still do
sometimes. But now, unlike in 2003, I know why
Andrew stuck even though now I am pretty content and
can be myself for the most part (I still like to
compartmentalize). He was and will always be
aspirational. He sees ugliness but won't let it
destroy him. He faces terror and horror and the
worst of humanity and still behaves gently towards
humans. That's why I think it'll be a good, long
time before I bid adieu to Andrew and Dyeland.
Neither is as fluffy as they used to be on JABB.
But I think that's good. I no longer need
someone to relate to or mentally coddle to make myself
feel better. I need someone who invites me to
focus on what remains, in greater strength and number,
beyond the traumatic headlines and life events.
I need to write about someone who leaves Paradise
because he believes there's still so much beauty among
us. And, as it turns out, I need to write about
someone else who leaves Paradise because He believes
that beauty is worth dying for... and because He loves
So, no, I didn't come out of college with a boyfriend
or even a job. (The latter came later,
thankfully!) But I did come out of it with two
intense interests, one fictional and One not.
And it feels pretty good to be writing (and reading
thanks to our other writers here!) about them both and
still loving it.
I think I'll hit pause here. I thought I'd get
further but I guess I was more prolific at blogging in
2003 than I realized!
newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for bringing
to life a character who, despite my apparent
dismay a dozen years ago, I still find endlessly
interesting and appealing. While a lot of
folks' creativity and dedication went into
bringing Andrew to life, John gave him a face and
a voice and so much more!
(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this
page are from Touched by an Angel and owned by CBS
Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions
except for the fourth which is from Promised Land.
They are not being used to seek profit.)