“Sanity is a valuable possession;
I hoard it the way people once hoarded money.
I save it, so I will have enough, when the time comes.”
~~Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

Hi all,

As tomorrow is Memorial Day in the U.S., I'd like to take a moment to remember those who have served their country and especially those who have been injured or killed.  TBAA reminded us so often that God gifted us with freedom.  Unfortunately, sometimes humans aren't so generous.  I'm so grateful for those who have given of themselves to defend freedom and return it to those who have been robbed of it.  May God bless them and their loved ones.

Due to the holiday, I'll be spending a little extra time with my family so, as I've done often before, I'm relying on my younger self to write the bulk of this newsletter.  Enjoy!

God bless,

Jenni and Jenni Write JABB: 2003 Gets Spooky (October 23-November 8)

01:28 am October 23rd, 2003

Umm... I just bought a pocket watch
At least it's not gold and a guy's watch like someone else's... Mine's silver and has the moon on the face. But it's pretty. At least on the website, hope I'm not disappointed when it gets here.

I just needed something. A third $10 purse clip-on watch broke a couple weeks ago. J can testify to that. I think she may have seen K and I passing around the broken-off piece of the watch that ended up being our decrepit, but still functioning, timepiece at the Ren Faire. Now it's not working at all. So at least I needed a watch and didn't just buy it just because.

I'm feeling: confused

Me in 2017:

I miss that watch...  I haven't worn it in ages because it stopped working.  I tried to replace the battery but no such luck.  I should try again.  It was really lovely with a revolving disk that changed with the time of day.  And, yes, it was a very nice reminder of our lovely angel.  What's cool is that since the whole Steampunk thing came around, pocket watches aren't quite so hard to find.  I ended up with three.
05:10 pm October 23rd, 2003

So, I just bought a wedding dress...
Okay, so not only did I buy the pocket watch. Today I also bought another Halloween costume. It's this gorgeous ivory princess dress. Actually, if I get married with in the next two years (right...) I'll just use it for that. :-) Normally I wouldn't be like this but for some reason I'm a Halloween addict this year. Plus I got a tuition refund from school and I always try to use a portion of that for something spontaneous and put the rest away. And I figure I didn't go to a single formal dance all of high school so I'm just making up for prom. Okay, need to stop justifying this. :-)

I'm feeling: happy

Me in 2017:

I love that dress...  But I never did end up wearing it for a Halloween costume because I'm scared of something happening to it.  If I ever do get married, it's definitely in the running for being The Dress.  Occasionally, I'll imagine JenniAnn wearing it and dancing with Andrew.  :-)

Everyone told me I'd regret not going to prom eventually.  So here I am all these years later and... I still don't regret not going to prom. 
01:05 am October 24th, 2003
Heck, I don't even know the subject
So... In a mood. Can't quite figure out what the mood is... I watched "I Love the 80s Strikes Back". Left before 1987 really got under way. The opening segment is about BatB and somehow it didn't seem like a good idea to see that right now.

I've noticed that not one since the beginning of September have I even jokingly tried to blame my life's problems on Vincent. Okay, well I think once I blamed my book obsession on him. But that's legit and positive. But I mean I've not blamed him for A. My fear of biological technological advancements, B. My relationship problems, C. My over-indulgent stance towards moodiness, D. Or whatever the heck I used to blame him for. I can't even remember now. I thought it was a sign that I was starting to take responsibility for my own problems. But really I think it's more I've found a new scapegoat. And one that actually makes sense.

The irony of this all is that I've become more like him even as he became less "there". I'm not agoraphobic or anything but I've noticed lately I'd much rather be home. I've not even been to the theatre except when I've had to for class. Even while at home, I'm spending more time just alone in my room. And lost in books and stories and fictional people. And even the pacing has come back. That's another thing I used to blame on him. I paced constantly as a child. No one else in my family did. He did. And then it stopped for years but now it's back.

And hyper-sensitive but yet totally unable to express it. I feel like I should cry sometimes but I can't. Not since the night I saw that picture of the Grim Reaper on one of my class books and began sobbing and declared Andrew was dead. That kind of stuff. A picture caused me to start sobbing! I mean if a kid dressed as a Grim Reaper comes to the door am I going to have a mental breakdown and have to be hauled into St. Joe's in costume!? The smallest thing can make me deliriously happy but then I'll be very sad later. And worse yet sometimes they come from the same source. TBAA could make me giggle and feel creative and energetic... or it could send me into some sort of maudlin episode leading to me mourning something I can't quite name or sense really. I'm tempted to say I just miss the show but that seems way too simple. And a little delayed. I thought maybe it was all this stuff my friend's going through and that TBAA reminds me of it because that was what I was into when we met. But that doesn't seem right either. Who knows.

I'm feeling: blah

Me in 2017:

Ha.  And now I've even told Ron Perlman himself that he's responsible for my book obsession and he happily took credit.  He's so cool.  But that's probably the only thing about me that I can truly "blame" on Vincent or the man who played him.  And it's not even so much my love of books in general as it is my love of "the canon."  I'd devour The Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley Twins but Vincent got me to read Dickens and Shakespeare and so on.  What my younger self seemed unable to grasp is that like attracts like sometimes.  I was drawn to Vincent because I was a moody person with big emotions at the time.  I wouldn't say he made me emotional... only that he made me feel less alone in that place.  Truth be told, if you take out the whole beast thing and the penchant for killing bad guys, Vincent is probably the TV character I'm most like and that's just me... not who I became because of him.

Sometimes rereading these entries feels like reading the memoirs of a stranger.  I have no recollection of what this friend I mention was going through.  As for wanting to be home, I think that was just me starting to become an adult.  It's mind-boggling to me that I used to sometimes be on my college campus from 7 something in the morning to almost 9 in the evening.  No wonder I wanted to be home when I could be!  Nowadays I get out of sorts if I have to stay an hour late at work. 

I think I was so emotional about TBAA because it felt like such an end of an era.  I don't just mean with TBAA itself.  Things just felt like they were changing, becoming less optimistic.  Between 9/11 and the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, fewer places felt safe.  TV didn't have those shelters like TBAA anymore.  I think I maybe also had a sense that I would never love anything media-wise as purely as I loved BatB and TBAA.  I think that's true.  I've gotten interested in other things since but when you're following the shows on Twitter and think pieces are popping up everywhere, it kinda takes the magic away.  I'd find it harder and harder to get immersed.  So I think maybe the bittersweetness came from still enjoying TBAA but also knowing that it was likely going to be the last show I'd ever be so invested in.
01:07 pm October 24th, 2003

The JABB archives are done!!
5800+ posts later, I now have them all saved! Just in case Yahoogroups folds or anything... :-)

I'm feeling: accomplished

Me in 2017:

The program I used to use to back-up YahooGroups busted and so now that's one chore of my plate.  I just thought this was funny because with all the changes going on at Yahoo, I still wonder if YG is going to fold.  Don't worry, members!  If it did, I'd figure something else out.
05:25 pm October 25th, 2003
Great and now I'm hallucinating!
Okay, so I was just scanning this article in EW about "Joan of Arcadia". They alluded to TBAA and the cast. I noticed it and thought "Wow, it's nice they remembered to mention John for once." Looked back. There was no mention of John Dye! Just Della Reese and Roma Downey. I apparently added his name in myself. I think what I may have done is seen the name Joan and read it as John? Maybe? Yeah, that's gotta be it. And maybe the words rye or lye or bye or eye was near it? :-)

I'm feeling: confused

Me in 2017:

:-(  That still makes me mad/sad at how often John's name was omitted in articles about TBAA.  I mean, yeah, I get that he wasn't in the first season and a half but he was around for the bulk of it! 

As for me "hallucinating" it, after years of proofreading, I understand how sometimes what you "read" has less to do with what's on the page and more to do with what you expect to see on the page/screen.  That's why it's so hard to edit your own work.
09:16 pm October 25th, 2003

Grr... Bouncing Yahoogroups members
Can someone please tell me, truthfully, whether this is the fault of AOL or Yahoogroups? First, we're not getting our email. Now a lot of AOL members on JABB have had their accounts deactivated because they were bouncing messages. One of my own accounts did this! AOL tells me to have Yahoo contact their postmaster and so I did that but do you really think anything will come of it?! Grr... I want to leave AOL but I check my Yahoogroups email through my Yahoo account anyway. My leaving AOL will not help me get back the members we'll probly lose over this.

I'm feeling: angry

Me in 2017:

Haha,  AOL...  Wow. 

I only put this post in because, seriously, as of just a week or so ago, YG is still doing weird stuff. 
12:03 am October 26th, 2003

The Velveteen Rabbit
Just reread it all because a small section of it is my inspiration for something I'd like to do next on JABB. But I'd forgotten most everything except that part. Totally cried at the end. Such a great book. Really makes me wish I was 5 again. Or at least completely with out responsibilities so I could fully indulge that side of me. But then that probly wouldn't be good in excess...

I'm feeling: emotional

Me in 2017:

No, probably not.  I remember the days when JenniAnn used to, lovingly but not entirely flatteringly, call Andrew her Skin Horse.  Sometimes I kinda miss writing those stories when they weren't so settled and comfy with each other.  Ah well.
03:43 pm October 27th, 2003

My weird pocket watch dream last night

Okay, so in real life I ordered a pocket watch last week. It's silver and shows the moon phases and is really pretty feminine. Last night I dreamed it had arrived in the mail. I opened the package and was surprised because the watch was gold and kinda clunky and big. And a kind of faded gold at that. So I thought "Huh, well I guess this is okay. Andrew's was gold." That I said that alone is weird cause, Andrew or no, I don't really like gold all that well. I deliberately picked a non-gold one for that reason. Anyhow, back to the dream. Then I had a hard time getting the cover to come off the watch. Finally, after pushing hard on the button at the top I got it open. The moon phases weren't there at all. Further, neither were the numbers! I'm pretty sure the hands were there, though. I think it was just one of those weird, random ones. I don't feel compelled to look for any really deep meaning here. I just hope my actual watch is silver. And pretty. Cause this busted up one clipped to my purse isn't cool.

I'm feeling: curious

Me in 2017:

I really, really wanted that pocket watch!  Happily, when it arrived, it was silver and had the phases of the day.  Yay.  I did end up getting a gold one, eventually, with a lion's face on the front.  That time I really wanted the gold hue because lions are gold/brown.  Now it reminds me of Aslan AND Andrew.  I wish more stuff I wore had pockets...
12:01 am October 29th, 2003

Fake me needs a fake neighbor
I really think Dyeland City needs a guest house by the castle. And someone to live there. I mean how crazy is it that Lady JA and Andrew get left alone in a city? I mean obviously nothing is going to happen. But it looks weird. "Gee, who should be Andrew's sole neighbor? I know! Let's make it be the psycho drama queen who is in love with him." WHAT!? Granted, that was accidental. Other people used to live there.

I'm willing to dispense my disbelief plenty on the email list. But that's a bit much... This is, of course, all ridiculous. But I'm soo tired but I can't go to sleep yet cause my blanket is in the dryer. Why I decided to wash it an hour ago is beyond me. It wasn't dirty or anything. Sigh... Okay, need to find something to keep me awake for an hour.

I'm feeling: crazy

Me in 2017:

Giggle.  And now they're in the same castle... in the same room.  I still get hung up on whether or not stuff in Dyeland stories seems psychologically plausible.  Looking back, Andrew and JenniAnn being alone in Dyeland probably made sense.  I mean it's not like anyone should have uprooted their lives just to babysit them.  I sometimes wonder if younger me woulda been kinda scandalized about the direction the Dyeland stories eventually took.  Hopefully not.  But maybe!
10:40 pm October 29th, 2003

Pocket watch is here!

Yay! No longer have to look at old clip-on watch that the cover broke off of leaving jaggedy hinges! And, since the pocket watch has moon phases on it, if I'm ever locked in a room with no windows I'll be able to tell whether it 3 AM or 3 PM still! Yay! :-)

I'm feeling: excited

Me in 2017:

I'm really confused about why I kept saying "moon phases."  It has a sun on it, too.  Oh for the days when ordering something was a rare treat!  Amazon Prime has completely spoiled me.
12:00 pm October 30th, 2003     
Fun work day

I remember a teacher telling me about a "60 Minutes" where they went to this government office in charge of, like, tea-inspection. Cause apparently way back when that was a concern. It no longer is but they still put people there. They just showed these guys who spent whole days in their office building models and rubber band balls and crazy stuff like that. Cause they had to be there to get paid but while there there was nothing to do.

Sorta feel like that today. Granted, I did recheck a couple pages of a spreadsheet earlier. But then I IMed with C for a while about what we would do if Jesus showed up at our party tomorrow. Decided it would be awesome if he dressed up as Gandalf or Harry Potter. Course, will not hold anything against him if he doesn't show up. :-) Then IMed with a JABB member re: email problems and just basic chat for a few minutes. Checked email numerous times, sent a couple emails. Finished reading homework. Completed mapping exercise for next speech. Am eating lunch. Oh, did make out some time sheets! Brainstorming topic for theatre paper. I'm not complaining, just being amused. For the record, I was pretty much busy here all of Monday and Tuesday. :-)

I'm feeling: amused

Me in 2017:

He was there.  We just couldn't see Him.  :-)  But, seriously, I'm afraid that if Jesus really did show up, I'd hand Him a bowl of Froot Loops... after the initial shock wore off, of course.  And, for the record, I see Jesus as much more of a Sirius-type than a Harry-type, physically.  He can even turn into animals!

IMing...  Does AOL Instant Messenger still exist?  I can remember long, long hours of chatting with JABBers on AIM.  I miss doing that but it gets much harder when people become adults with full-time jobs! 

I also think it's kinda interesting how much more JABB was a part of my school-life than it is my work-life.  Even when I have slow days at work, I find it difficult to focus on JABB.  I think because I prefer to work on JABB when I'm reasonably sure I won't be distracted.  In any case, I still sometimes find JABB-related notes in old purses or notepads that I think I likely jotted down in between classes or during the aforementioned work study job.
09:35 pm October 30th, 2003

When the AOL Welcome Screen Attacks!!
Okay... See, when I get online to send JABB I'd really rather not see some guy dressed up as Jesus, with a chain around his neck, eye swollen shut, looking like hell. It occurs to me it's probably not good to refer to even a fake Jesus as "looking like hell". But that's it. If what happened to him wasn't hell... Anyway.

I'm not sure I'll be able to sit through that movie. The Mel Gibson one. It's one thing to read what happened but to see it... Even for fake. I've always been protected by network executives or church leaders or whomever sits there and censors everything down to PG-13, usually PG.

Okay... Everything's all right... I just didn't expect that.

I'm feeling: sad

Me in 2017:

And then, as it turned out, The Passion of the Christ was one of the least emotionally effective Jesus movies for me.  But I won't go into that.  It did teach me that my imagination is much worse than what usually ends up on screen.  So when I actually saw the movie, it was tamer than I expected. 

The reason I put this entry in is I just think it's kinda poignant that I went from the reaction above to actually writing multiple Crucifixion accounts *in* JABB.  Whatever my younger self would have felt about modern-day Andrew and JenniAnn, I really think she'd be a bit taken aback by how Joshua came to be so central.  But happy about it!

12:39 pm November 1st, 2003
Halloween party review
All in all, very fun. Everyone's costumes were cool. We watched "Signs" and "Hocus Pocus" and parts of "Goonies" and "Casper". Grandma brought over pizza and breadsticks and salad and lasagna and dessert stuff... That was on top of the cookies and pie and ice cream and chips and dip (which we never even got to!) I bought. So tons of food. A good amount of trick-or-treaters. Enough to be fun but not so many as to be annoying while trying to watch movies.

I have come to the conclusion I'm going to have to get C to move off of the "Andrew's not real" cracks. No kidding! You mean he only ever showed up inside that metal and glass box with the screen in the living room for a reason!? And here I just thought he enjoyed it in there!

It was funny the first couple times but geez. It's gonna get old fast. It's mostly just annoying but it's also kind of hurtful. She knows exactly why Andrew all of a sudden came back. I thought that made it pretty obvious that maybe my friends need to be careful about him. But maybe not. Just because it's crystal clear to me and that K seems to have grasped it, doesn't mean everyone has. The way I see it, if he saves me some therapy bills then I don't care what he is! And I am that serious about this.

But she was only at the party for two hours and most of that was spent watching a movie or eating. So minimal problems with that last night.

Before she got there, K realized her camera battery was dead so we ran to our grocery store in costume to get one! LOL! Then while trying to find a check out stand ran right into each other! It was really funny.

Anyway, think I will have some left-overs now! Nachos maybe! Yum!

I'm feeling: good

Me in 2017:

I think it says something that I have no recollection of "C's" teasing about Andrew.  Then again, I don't even really remember this party that I was writing about.  But, as happened so often since 1996, Andrew had helped me cope with some troubles in my life and it likely wasn't the best time to be jokey about him.  In any case, I do have a general idea of various friends informing me that Andrew wasn't real and that I needed to find a *real* boy... which would have made good sense if I'd really wanted a boyfriend.  Here and there, as I look at old journals, it seems I did but then only a day or so later, it seems I didn't.  I think, then as now, I was just fascinated by romance and a sort of platonic ideal of it.  Not in a fairy tale sense but, well, basically what Dyeland became.  I wanted to think about couples who maybe had problems, serious and sometimes ugly problems, but eventually dealt with them in a sort of perfect way. 

Maybe I can blame Vincent for that.  :-)

09:16 pm November 2nd, 2003

This week by the numbers
7- Number of mood swings experienced today. Ranging from excited to angry to depressed to sentimental
1- Number of times this week I mistakenly thought John Dye had come to an unfortunate end (It was an IM miscommunication with a friend. I posted about Andrew, she posted about John Ritter, the two IMs crossed and I thought she meant Dye not Ritter because it came up after I posted about Andrew. It was tense minute there!)
2- Number of "shocking" news items about Jesus I read this week
.5- Number of seconds I spent shocked at idea of Jesus being married
80- Number of minutes spent speculating about why I am no longer shocked by that idea
60- Number of minutes I spent shocked after seeing photo of Jim Caviezel dressed as tortured Jesus.
1- Number of times got kicked off of AOL while writing this
20- Number of cookies eaten this week. (Yikes!)
5- Number of TBAA episodes viewed
3- Number of paragraphs written about what Andrew as symbol means in my dreams
4- Number of theories developed concerning that
4- Number of times yelled at family members for leaving front door unlocked
1- Number of times I thought I lost my pocketwatch only to find it hanging off the doorknob on Andrew's door (how appropriate).
5- Numbers of loads of laundry done

I think that was pretty much my week!

I'm feeling: amused

Me in 2017:

I almost struck the second item on this list...  I'd completely forgotten about that... not about John Ritter dying, just that for a brief space of time, I thought John Dye had.  Maybe that was why I spent part of the day after he did pass away thinking it was all just a misunderstanding and something had gotten lost in Internet translation.  But, of course, that wasn't the case. 

On a lighter note, as recently as this Easter, CNN published a list of shocking truths about Jesus that were... very much not shocking.  Jesus may have worked with stone more than He actually worked with wood?  OMG!  Call the Vatican!  We have a crisis on our hands.  ;-)  And, just to clarify, I don't believe Jesus ever got married.  But I do find the idea less crazy-making than I once did.

Watching 5 TBAA episodes in one week...  Lucky, lucky girl!  Really hoping I can watch an episode tonight but not sure that'll happen for me...
12:47 am November 5th, 2003
I'm ruined! Ruined I tell ya!
In one of the columns in our local paper (authored by Rainbow Rowell) yesterday I read: "And if you read 'Pride and Prejudice' before high school, you'll be ruined for boys until college."

Yes, Mr. Darcy does have that effect. But, really, I think I could have made it through that relatively okay. But this Andrew thing has ruined me and I'm almost out of college!

I realized this for sure when:

A. Was watching "Scrubs" and realized that while Dr. Cox remains my favorite character I no longer have a crush on him.

B. I haven't watched a Colin Firth movie in quite some time, although I'm seeing "Love Actually" for sure. It looks good and sappy.

C. So I'm at school today meeting with a group for my speech class, listening to the leader of our group who is a blonde guy with green eyes (I think) named Andrew. And all I keep thinking is "Shut up! Shut up! Let's get this over with, I wanna go home and watch TBAA!" It had been a 14 hour day so... Normally, wouldn't I have wanted to try and get to know this real Andrew? I'm just telling myself that it's because he's actually slightly younger than me and I have the whole older men thing... And cause he seems a little too... well, opposite of moody. Just like he has one low-key way to be. I realize, of course, that it is grossly unfair to say that about someone you only know from a class. I'm not saying it's true just that it's all I know. And, of course, I find people attractive based on what I know.

So basically I have formed a monogamous crush on a fictional character!! LOL

Okay, so maybe am not damaged. But surely I should have formed a crush on someone real at this point. Anyone. Oh well, don't want a boyfriend anyway! :-)

I'm feeling: amused

Me in 2017:

Ha.  I remember that guy.  And I actually don't think I even knew for sure that he was younger than me, just that he was a year behind me.  Since I started Kindergarten at 5, it was always possible that someone who started at 6 would be a year behind me but slightly older.  Anyway...  I didn't realize that even back in college I was starting to think that I really didn't want a boyfriend. 

In any case, I think I did right sticking with the fictional Andrew.  Dyeland still brings me a lot of joy and peace.  If I'd dated the real Andrew, supposing he'd even been interested, we likely would have broken up long ago.  And then maybe I never would have written for Joshua.  ::shudders:: 
12:47 am November 7th, 2003

Preventative measures...

I should go to sleep like now. I'm in the same sort of mood that gave birth to the Door. And I really don't want to wake up tomorrow and discover I have clip art of like tool belts or leather jackets or pocketwatches or certain sweaters or flannel shirts or baseball bats or umbrellas or... the like hanging from my ceiling mobile-style.

I'm feeling: crazy

Me in 2017:

Thankfully, I never did end up hanging Andrew-themed paraphernalia from the ceiling.  But if anyone figures out how to hang candles from the ceiling a la Hogwarts... lemme know!  I really, really want to do that.  With LED candles, naturally. 
01:17 am November 8th, 2003
Grrr!!! Andrew is haunting me!
All right... So I had this post all typed up about how I was glad I completely understood now that actors were not their characters cause I'm angry at Andrew and would feel really bad if that also entailed me being angry at John Dye. Which, at some point in my past, it probably would have. Cause I have nothing against JD and would really not want to be sending him angry vibes. Not that I'm sure I believe in that kind of stuff. But anyway, that was the original post.

Then I started in with a rant against Andrew. Had about one sentence left and get kicked! Lose it all! No more apologetic to JD. No more rant against Andrew!

Last time I tried it I had to stop because the Halloween tree spontaneously fell to the floor, causing ornaments to fly everywhere on the floor just as I was about to start the Rant Proper.

Then a time before that got mad, tried to cover Door with a curtain and the bloody curtain wouldn't stay up no matter what I did. Finally did get it up only to realize some pictures had still managed to peek through. So that was probly my fault but I was no where near that tree when it fell! Grrrrrrr... Just let me rant in peace!!! Is that an oxymoron?

Great and now I don't feel like ranting.

I'm feeling: annoyed

Me in 2017:

Rereading these makes me believe even more that I had some sort of delayed psychological puberty.  I went through the other parts at the average age but it seems like it wasn't til I hit my late teens, early twenties that my hormones and moods were all over the place!  I sometimes wonder if some of the things I experienced then, like the falling Halloween tree, weren't just proof of the idea that poltergeists are no more than the psychic energy of highly emotive people. 

In any case, I think my real problem then was an inability to tell the difference between what I really wanted and what I thought I wanted because society/specific people thought I should want it.  I think I was angry at Andrew because he wouldn't get out of my head and I couldn't date when I was hung up on him.

But it turns out I didn't want to be a girlfriend.

I wanted to be a hobbyist writer!  And the only real boy I need in my life, at least for right now, is a whiny, co-dependent hound.

And, for the record, I do believe in sending good thoughts to people.  But I don't believe you can cause any sort of harm to them by feeling anger or whatnot towards one of their characters.  I mean look at how long Christopher Lee lived after playing so many dastardly characters! 

Anyway, I'll leave it there for now!

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for inspiring so many good things in my life.  I know I'm far from the only one who feels that way!

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