"Life is filled with heartbreak.
People who experience and process pain are far more interesting.
Hold on, feel every feeling, and remember what's funny about it."
~~Rashida Jones

Hi there,

I continue to pick away at the latest story so needed some help writing this newsletter.  Thus, I turned once again to my younger self to provide half the content. 

I hope you have a happy St. Patrick's Day on Thursday!

God bless,

Jenni and Jenni Write JABB: October 7th-13th, 2003

11:21 pm October 7th, 2003
Subject: The speech
Okay, so this really isn't about my speech. I think I did well, enough said. Talking about assignments and stuff when I'm not at school just depresses me so I'm not going to. But I will talk about somethings that happened right before and after the speech cause they don't really have much to do with school.

Anyway, the speech right before me was just weird. I mean it was a good speech. The timing was just odd. I kept thinking "Please don't let it be anything that will freak me out right before I have to speak." And the girl's speech was about... dreams. So I'm starting to get a little edgy. Then she starts on about how dreams sometimes surface based on memories from our early childhood. Fantastic! But I stayed focus. Even when she moved on to how a most common dream is one about death. Course I heard it as Death (aka a being aka Andrew). So, I'm thinking about my own early childhood-themed dream in which Andrew was the only character other than myself clearly present. There were some other faceless people and someone with negative energy in a mirror. But mostly Andrew and myself. Thankfully, I got over this and gave my speech and was told it was really good. But then...

Next person gets up to give his speech. His name is... wait for it... Andrew. And he gives his speech about computers. So through this whole speech all that's going through my head is "Mmm... I love computers!" It was all I could do to not either burst into giggles or run out of the room screaming. My friend later said I should have run out of the room screaming "Get out of my head!" She feels it would have added a really powerful element to my speech which was about bipolar disorder. :-)

I'm feeling: amused, confused, and mad

Me in 2016:

I have no recollection of this speech I gave...  I'm glad it was apparently good.   I wonder why I chose bipolar disorder?  Seriously no memory of this thing I'd apparently angsted out over.  So probably there's a lesson in there.

But short recap of this entry: I basically thought Andrew ALL THE TIME.  The sad part is I only wrote sporadically so no wonder I felt out of sorts.  That's a lot of creativity energy just focused on obsessing.  When I go to work, I don't think about Andrew or Dyeland unless there's a lull.  So things are much, much better now.  Yay. 

I actually think I can still remember what that Andrew in my class looked like.  It was kinda funny cause he had green eyes and shoulder length blonde hair.  But his hair was quite curly.  Which was maybe a good thing...  If he'd been a totally doppelganger, I may have had issues!

2:03 am October 8th, 2003
Subject: Stolen Child by Yeats
This part keeps going through my head:
"Come away oh human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery hand in hand
For the World’s more full of weeping
Than you can understand."

A couple days ago, I was trying to figure out what the heck my motivation is with the story on JABB (I was bored and run out of work to do). Cause my character is really out of sorts and moreso than I think she should be given her evident situation. There has to be more. So while backing up the archives I found it. She's upset because not one year ago she was hiding out on Andrew's porch playing dress-up with her pet guinea pig, the epitome of childhood. Now suddenly, all this emotional junk gets thrown in. And all those childish memories are tainted. Or at least become painful because they're a presumed better period to which she can't return. It would be wildly inappropriate for her to go back over there, hang out on his porch, and play House.

So that was fun. Until I decided that wasn't actually my character. That was me. I think that's what bugs me now. Everything related to Andrew seems tainted now. When I think back on my memories concerning him, I'm just looking for the clue that something was coming. The cloud in the distance. Did I get angry at my friend in freshman year of high school for teasing me about him because on some level I knew what would happen 7 years later? In those dreams I had 6 years ago when Andrew wouldn't talk, was I trying to silence him years before he'd say anything utterly eye-opening? Is this why I reacted that way to that fanfic? Why I favored this episode over that one? It's insane.

I can't disassocite him from this. 7.5 years of him on the show, nearly 200 episodes, over a hundred issues of JABB, over 5000 emails sent through the list, all the other lists, IM convos, chats, giggly conversations about crushes with classmates, and it all comes down to three dreams I had after the show was cancelled. On September 2nd, had you asked me what I thought I would remember most about Andrew in the years to come, I would have described a scene from an episode. Ask me now and it will be that he was the one that told me something I kept hidden for what? 16 years? I feel like something was stolen. A part of my adolescence. The faery didn't get me in time.

The question that continues to bug me is why? Why, with all the implications, with my parents' cluelessness, and my own failure to communicate through the years am I having the most trouble with this seemingly unimportant aspect?

I'm feeling: listless

Me in 2016:

So I guess I was writing...  I wonder what story?

So, to recap, or maybe I never actually explained...  At some point in college, I had what I can only describe as a psychic dream.  Actually, three big ones.  Two pointed a light to something from my past, one seemed to genuinely predict a very sad thing that happened in my wider circle of friends (think "Pandora's Box"... but if Andrew hadn't shown up in time).  In both, Andrew appeared and relayed information to me.  In waking life, I went into "shoot the messenger" mode for a while and was angry at Andrew.  Being angry at a fictional character turns out to be fairly exhausting. 

As for my final question...  The answer now seems incredibly obvious to me.  At the time, I was very disturbed by what was going on and while blaming a fictional character was likely a nifty coping mechanism, it becomes far less nifty when said fictional character is one's main source of entertainment.  If I had blamed, say, Han Solo then it wouldn't have much mattered since I only watch Star Wars when someone else suggests it and it's certainly not like I'm running a web site devoted to Harrison Ford and writing newsletters and stories about Han.  It's too bad that my younger self didn't know that, in time, I'd get over the dreams and Andrew's part in them and things would go back to "normal."  

Also, in defense of my parents, I made them clueless.  They still have no idea I write.  That was my choice.  So that bit was pretty jerky of my younger self.  Bad Jenni of 2003, bad!

On a side note, I think my younger self would be scandalized about Andrew's and JenniAnn's current living arrangement...

11:11 am October 9th, 2003
Subject: Crazy dream, jumbled mess!
Okay... so this was obviously the product of some creative work with snippets of various conversations and stuff I watched last night. First, earlier in the day I discussed the upcoming Bridget Jones movie with a friend. Then I worked on JABB a bit and, finally, around 1 AM popped in a TBAA video and ended up at "The Anatomy Lesson". So watched that. And here's what I came up with.

In the dream I was sitting on my bed, apparently having just got up. I turned on the TV to see what was on and, shock of shocks, there was picture of CF in the corner of a news broadcast. Apparently he'd kidnapped someone and was on the run. I was pretty horrified given I have like 8 of his movies but, really, not as horrified as I really should have been. Kidnapping is bad... I remember thinking "Not this again!" (apparently a reference to the Zack problem). I think I ended up with this scenario cause in the Bridget book sequel, for various reasons, a police officer thinks Mark Darcy (who CF plays) is Bridget's psychotic stalker. And then I watched "TAL" where the mother thinks her little girl has been kidnapped, though she's actually in a well. Blend the two together... So I guess it wasn't that crazy in origin.

Somehow Andrew, who is apparently real in this scenario, ends up involved and I remember speaking to him about it but no details. He was probly just doing the same stuff he did in that episode. It was just really weird...

I'm feeling: amused

Me in 2016:

Ha!  Poor Colin Firth...  I really don't think he would ever kidnap anyone.  But, on a more serious note, after that all went down with the actor who played Zack in TBAA's finale, I did go through a phase where I was paranoid that someone else in a series or movies I liked would do something awful.

But the craziest thing about this entry?  At one point in my life I was apparently able to start a TBAA episode at 1 AM and watch it...  Wow.  Now I'm lucky if I make it to 10 PM before crashing.

4:11 pm October 9th, 2003
Subject: Good class today
I'm so glad I dropped my neuropsych class. That was just dragging everything down. I've enjoyed my Tuesday and today classes so much more by not having that pointless stuff start out my day. (As an epileptic, I feel neurology and neuropsych is *very* important. However, it does me no good to go insane trying to memorize the complexities of it. For me attending the class *is* pointless though of great worth for many others.)

Anyway, my Liturgy class was amazing. In some strange way, almost from the beginning that class has been a sort of commentary on what I've been going through. Today we talked about celibacy and sex, trust issues and abuse, loneliness, and so many other things that have really been on my mind. And the reading even went into dreams a bit which has been another new topic for me. I think I may have finally gotten to the root of why the characters in three recent dreams have been causing me so much trouble. I've written again and again with various theories but I think I've finally found it now. Finding that first dream from June was the key to the whole trilogy.

Anyway, I think I may hop over to the library before my Theatre class and try to get the whole book the chapter we read was taken from. It just really made me feel like I wasn't that crazy or original in my problems. I like being original but not there...

I also figured out why my half-joking condemnation of Vincent as the root of all my neuroses stopped. I thought it meant I'd just really grown up and was taking responsibility. Now I think I'd just moved on to a new scapegoat, albeit a shadowy and less recognizable one. So now I can just try and eliminate the scape-goating aspect even more.

I'm feeling: pensive

Me in 2016:

Well, darn...  I wish I knew what book that was.  Anyway, this one isn't really much about Andrew except for vague references to the dreams he was in.  But I'm sharing it cause of the strange Vincent reference and also because it made me realize something else...

I was on meds for much of college due to my epilepsy and I wonder if it impacted my memory.  Because I really have very few clear memories of college.  And, trust me, I can't blame illicit drugs or alcohol.  I've never had any of the former and the most alcohol I've ever had in one day was two margaritas at my brother's 21st.  Of course, reflecting on my entry above, I may have had even worse insomnia than I do now and that certainly impacts memory creation.  Anyway, my point is sometimes I think my uber-expensive college education was a waste.  But then I read that.  This part in particular:

Anyway, my Liturgy class was amazing. In some strange way, almost from the beginning that class has been a sort of commentary on what I've been going through. Today we talked about celibacy and sex, trust issues and abuse, loneliness, and so many other things that have really been on my mind.

It makes me think that, even though I don't consciously remember stuff, college gave me a lot of what I now believe and a greater understanding of issues that I care about.  I mean look at that list!  That's basically a list of main themes from Dyeland stories.  So it wasn't wasted time... or money... at all.

10:53 pm October 11th, 2003
Subject: The Ren Faire- The Sentimental Post
Okay, decided just to post this now before I forget stuff. I can't stress enough how much this little break from my usual time and place was needed. I was just feeling closed in and walking around a wooded area really helped. Even the rain really helped. There was a near perfect moment when ----, ----, ----, and I were walking around and there was this sudden wind and all these leaves started falling. Like golden, really interesting shaped snow. :-) It was amazing.

Then on the way back, I rested my eyes (cause I can't actually sleep in a moving vehicle) for a few minutes. I was just thinking about stuff. Dreams, plans, etc, Then I started running through conversations from the day, including some about Andrew/TBAA/JABB. Then I just opened my eyes to see where we were. In two seconds after I opened my eyes I looked out the window and saw a sign reading "You are now entering Andrew County". I started giggling but everyone in the backseat was asleep and didn't notice. It was just... amusing. And somehow important.

So I made a goal list.

1. Stop over-analyzing everything. Especially my dreams from September. I've decided that one of three things happened.
A. The dreams were the product of my own mental processes, unconsciously designed with Andrew arbitralily placed in there.
B. I was in charge of the dreams myself and, for reasons that at some level I understand, I put Andrew in their cause it had to be him.
C. If God had anything to do with me dreaming what I did, when I did He knows best and its not my place to argue with the symbols he used.

2. When it doesn't hurt anyone, it's better to have a sense of humor about something than agonize over it. This came to me when --- referred to Tippler's Way's "Wrecked Again" as our mutual friend ----'s theme song. Everyone laughed hysterically. We needed to. ----'s irresponsible behavior has really worried and upset us but she won't confide in me at all (I get all info from ----) and she doesn't listen to ----'s concerns. Us bemoaning her current way of life is not helping anyone and only stressing us out. So... we'll laugh when we can and wait til she'll let us help. And if she doesn't... we just wait some more.

3. Don't focus on what's lost but what I still have. The last time I'd been at the Faire, I went with five good friends. Only two of which I still speak to and ----'s getting increasingly more and more iffy and distant. But I wasn't friends with ---- then. And I had barely started up with the Internet stuff so no friends there yet. Focus on them. On the fact that ---- and I are still speaking and in much healthier ways. That I met ----. That I'm friends with people in places all over the world. Yeah I thought about my lost friends a bit through out the day. But only as fleeting, happy memories. Mostly focused on the here and now.

Anyway, it was a good experience. I'm thankful to everyone who was part of it.

I'm feeling: improved

Me in 2016:

So that bit at the top about the leaves?  That ended up inspiring a story bit.  It's why LJA's chapter in "The Carpenter" is entitled "The Child of Falling Leaves."  That moment just felt so holy. 

I still think back on that weekend sometimes.  It was so important.  I'm sorry that I had to edit this one to protect some people's privacy.  I hope it still makes some sense.  On a happy note, I'm Facebook friends with the person we were so worried about and while Facebook can't be trusted, she seems genuinely happy and at a good, healthy place. 

As for the dreams, I eventually decided on C.  Like I wrote above, what happened was very much like "Pandora's Box" and so it's a no-brainer to me why God would have used Andrew as a symbol.  I think why I struggled so much is the dream didn't help me to prevent what happened.  Hence the anger.  But I think, now, that was never the point.  The dream was to help me cope.  It was to remind me that God and His angels knew what was going on and, free will being what it is, they couldn't stop it.  But they would be there in the aftermath.  And they were.  Nowadays, I think the experience may have helped me to empathize with God and angels.  Knowing something is going to happen and not being able to intervene or have your counsel ignored when you try to intervene is painful.  And I've definitely used that in stories.

2:39 am October 12th, 2003
Subject: For Halloween I am being...
Lady JenniAnn. LOL. I actually thought of it cause I was kinda planning for the JABB Halloween issue and I was trying to think of who Andrew could be convinced to dress as. Thought it'd be funny if he came to a party as John Dye. And then I decided I should really figure out my costume exactly before I even start with the fake people. But I liked the whole sorta "go as an altered version of yourself" idea.

And it works cause my costume is a pretty Renaissance dress but not quite princess material. So Lady is good. And then if I get a pocketwatch (seeing as how third attempt with a purse watch fell apart today and I don't like things on my wrist) that'd be cool. And work some symbolic stuff into the headpiece. Like little doves or something... Has to be pretty. I'm not putting baseball bats, toolbelts, or anything like that on my head! It'll be fun. And I'll be the only one at my party who has any idea what's going on. Add some mystery... Will then spend the evening glaring at grim reapers in between cups of cider and baked apples! Yum.

I'm feeling: excited

2:49 am October 12th, 2003
Subject: Giggle... language of flowers!
Okay... I could make it out of daffodils for "unrequited love". Or daisies for "innocence, loyal love." LOL Really, I will grow up one day. Maybe... Okay, probly not. Ooh acorns symbolize life and immortality. Or I like ferns "Magic, fascination, confidence and shelter". Not sure how that fits with the theme. Actually, nevermind. Don't think I want ferns on my head. White lilies- "Virginity, purity, majesty, it's heavenly to be with you". LOL Heavenly to be with you...

Here's where I was looking:
(page no longer available)

I have got to start forcing myself to sleep before 2. Nothing really sane happens after 2 AM... The Door was born at 3 AM and now this scheme.

I'm feeling: crazy

Me in 2016:

I still can't believe staying up til after 2 AM was a regular thing for me...  I did go dressed as LJA for that Halloween!  I can't remember what flowers I ended up with, though.  Daisies were involved for sure, I think.  Anyway, I had fun that year! 

10:39 am October 12th, 2003
Subject: I got another one!
From the JABB guestbook:

Name: : ----
URL: :
Email: :
Favorite John Ep: :
Favorite John Line: :
Todays date: :
Do you have any suggestions for JABB: : never let him go or i ILL DIE

Okay, not 24 hours ago I was telling ---- about the weird messages to John we'd sometimes get with JABB but how it's not happened for a good long while. Then this morning I find that. Okay, so I really shouldn't laugh at someone saying they'll die but...

I mean come on! It's one thing for me, at 21 and with out much of a job or other responsibilities, to write JABB. It would be quite another for John to sit down and invent this whole little world named after him, where nearly the entire population adores him, and then to proceed to write several top tens about why these people adore him. If this was true, is that even the kind of person you want to waste your mental energy on? If John were writing JABB, I would seriously think he needed a shrink at the least. Possibly also a good screaming at. I don't know John Dye but I'm gonna go out on a limb here and just suggest that he's probably not that conceited or delusional. Or that bored!

Join us for next JABB when we will offer Top Ten Disclaimers to Put on the JABB Websites. Or even how about after Halloween we do Top Ten Proofs that the JABB Authors are not John Dye. #1 would have to be "Believe it or not, John Dye does not have an ego the size of South America."

Sheesh... Well, JABB may have quieted down but good to know we can still have some fun. :-)

I'm feeling: really amazed at some people

Me in 2016:

I still remain really surprised by how often something like this happened.  I can definitely understand someone wanting to reach out to an actor whose work they so appreciated.  It's the part about thinking John Dye was somehow responsible for JABB that's utterly confusing to me.  Our guest books have never been that easy to find.  You have to go through a few pages to get to them.  Which means you'd see enough to think there's no way John himself was behind the web site.  Also, we stated that...

With John Dye now having gone Home, I presume this will likely never happen again.  But I'd still like to know why it ever did.  So if anyone has theories... I'd love to hear them!

3:36 pm October 13th, 2003
Subject: Dream during nap-time!
Okay, puter froze first time I tried to post this so let's try again! The lady who takes me to school/work had to go early today and the line was busy when she called so I didn't have a ride. Luckily, I didn't have any classes today til 5 and I'll be able to get there by then. It was actually kinda nice cause now I'm ahead with my homework and I got a nap.

During the nap I dreamed I was at a TBAA message board. I was struck by how many people were posting. It was like 4th/5th season all over again. I only remember one post in particular. Someone was complaining about the precious finale time wasted on the now cursed-Zack at the expense of Andrew. So apparently I'm not yet through being huffy about that. :-) Beyond really hoping SB gets his due, that aspect doesn't bug me as much. But that Andrew was hardly in it does. Go figure.

After I woke up I decided I really need to start volunteering somewhere or something. When I first liked Andrew and the show it inspired me to do something. So I volunteered at a few places and studied to prepare for possibly working with hospice. The latter flew out the window (at least for now) with all the pneumonia problems at my doctor's suggestion. And now it just worries *me*. I'm never entirely sure when I have pneumonia and would hate to infect all ready ill people. Also, I'm more susceptible now and am not particularly anxious about being at hospitals and places where I could easily catch it again. So health-related stuff is out. I'd also rather not go back to the convent for the same reason and because I think I need to branch out, not return to a place of the past. And I really need to start associating with males. I'm not particularly interested in dating right now but there needs to be some sort of balance. So, for the same reason, going back to the women's shelter or the emergency pregnancy service place probly isn't the best either. Plus the shelter never seemed to need me. I can't even tell you how many times my parents would drive me there only for them to tell me there was nothing for me to do. I wouldn't have minded so much if I was driving. But they knew my situation and it was stupid to have my parents drop me off only to turn right around and retrieve me. And the EPS was a nightmare. Regardless of my multiple calls, when I got there they had no idea what I was doing there and I think were about 5 minutes away from having me watch a documentary about my options regarding my unborn child if I hadn't stressed that I was the girl that called about volunteering. And then they didn't know what to do with me and just had me watch the video anyway. :-) I don't know. I'm going to have to ask around and try to find something meaningful that will work with my situation.

I'm feeling: frustrated

Me in 2016:

I used to be able to take naps!?  I haven't had a nap in years...

Still not happy about that finale but for so many reasons...  The lack of Andrew screentime is really the least of it.  But I won't go into that since I already have elsewhere... repeatedly.  Particularly on the Episode Guide.

This post makes me think about how not much has changed.  I still wish I could volunteer somewhere but seem to repeatedly run into issues.  At least I've found some outlets.  I make fleece blankets to have at the ready when needed.  What's striking to me is that, all these years post-TBAA, its characters and the stories that have followed still feed into that drive to do something.  I'm glad I work at a non-profit but do hope to do more in time.  Until then, I live vicariously through the Dyelanders with all their charity work.  And maybe some day I'll find a place that's a perfect fit... and hopefully they won't make me watch videos that are ill-suited to my reality.  ;-)

I think I'll end it there because I'm headed off to see the movie Risen.  I'm not expecting Joshua but hopefully it'll be close enough.  :-)


This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for inspiring JABB which, in turn, gave me a creative outlet that I so clearly need!  Now if only I could find more time to write while not also being sleepy...

JABB Portal
JABB 459

(Photo Credits: The photograph used on this page is from Touched by an Angel and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions.  It is not being used to seek profit.)