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In which I think about the Letter J

Ah, a meme that made me do a little thinking! This was fun:

nutmeg3 assigned me the letter J, and my instructions are to list ten things I like that begin with J and then explain why I like them. So here's all ten, plus a couple extra:

I did not put these in any specific order, just as they occurred to me and then moved them around a little:

Johnny Cash: I always liked Johnny - when I was little I remember hearing songs and loving them and not really knowing much about him, but I did manage to become a crazy fangirl in the last two or three years before he died. I think around the time American Recordings III: Solitary Man came out, I was getting big into the Americana movement and suddenly Cash was there again. I started digging up old songs I hadn’t heard since I was a little girl and loving them anew, and finally got my own copies of classic albums like Live in Folsom Prison and The Concert at San Quentin. I started to review his work with all the major releases and re-releases that coincided with his 70th birthday, and got to review American Recordings IV: The Man Comes Around. His death had a strange, profound effect on me, and there is a lot of Johnny Cash in my characters and my book(s) - it’s not called Ring of Fire for nothing.

John Lennon: John became my favorite Beatle when I was in early high school or late junior high - I don’t remember exactly when I started to morph from "cute Beatle" (Paul) to "Thinking Beatle," but John’s words and thoughts appealed to me and it's because of him I gained a greater knowledge of world religions and ideology; performance art and protests, standing up for one's beliefs and trying to do what's right, and I think it's due to John that I'm the raging liberal I am now. I heard a country commentator making all sorts of disparaging remarks about John once upon a time (I think it was on the old defunct show "Nashville Now!") because John’s death made the front page while Marty Robbins, who died around the same time, was not mentioned much at all - and despite being young as I was, I thought, "Well, that may be because Marty died more or less peacefully of a heart attack and was not violently murdered in front of his house, AND while I adore Marty Robbins, he did NOT profoundly influence a generation - no matter how one may think of Lennon’s influences, you can’t deny they were there."

Jack: As a Corporate logo, Jack rules. For those of you on the East Coast who don't have Jack-in-the-Box restaurants, you missed the whole process. Back in the early 80's, JitB went through this whole makeover thing where they got rid of the clown - used to be JitB was a super kiddie local, with a big clown head to take orders at the drive-thru (seriously!) and the works - and the main commercial was them blowing up the clown head. The restaurants went through all sorts of changes to upgrade their menu and market to an older crowd, but let's face it, they remained a fast food restaurant. During the time I was in college and worked there, there were color changes for the uniforms, blah blah blah. Nothing really worked. Then in the late 90's they realized their mistake, and Jack came back. Only instead of as a plastic head at the drive-thru, he was the CEO, ala Wendy's Dave. A guy with a big, round, fake clown head and the voice of Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), as well as a wife, kid (who looks like him), parents, etc. The commercials that have come out of this marketing scheme are the funniest and most intelligent I think they still play. Not to mention the campaigns that go with 'em, like the Jack antenna balls.

Jewelry: I love jewelry. I’ve always been attracted to shiny objects, and the more sparkle, the better. I hesitate to say the word "bling," but there it is. Huge, full of diamonds (or crystals, or whatever shines), ostentatious, I love 'em. Sign me up for the Empress Carlotta (for Dick Van Dyke Show fans), I can't get enough. My earring rack is packed with sparkle, and I have a couple dozen necklaces hanging there, and it's not even all I own. Not to mention the boxes and boxes of beads. Stand me in front of the Swarovski display and watch me go!

Jew’s Harp: Okay, perhaps not a "politically correct" term for it these days, but nonetheless that's what it's called (some folks call it a "jaw harp"). It’s the instrument that makes the “boing, boing” sound in good ol' country songs and they’re fun to play, too. Can't have enough Jew's harp.

Jaguars: Ah, it’s good at least one of the Big Cats starts with J, and it's one of my favorites, too. Often mistakenly called a "leopard," the jaguar is native to the Americas, has been sighted as far north as Phoenix (although not too recently), and differs from the African leopard in a number of ways, not the least of which is size and spot pattern. The jaguar is smallish for a Big Cat, heavily built (much thicker in proportion than leopards), and their spot pattern is very distinctive, large "rosette" blotches rather than small spots. Like leopards, they come in the standard yellow-with-black, and also black-on-black. I have two anthropomorphic black jaguars living in my head, serving as pirates on the Iktome in the Tales of the Tai Pan universe.

Jersey Devil: I never even knew this critter existed until a few years ago (I somehow missed the X-Files episode) when Kieran Kane and Kevin Welch released their album, You Can’t Save Everybody. Their song, "I Thought I Saw The Jersey Devil," intrigued me, and when I found it was real, I checked it out. By "real," and "existed," I of course mean the legends or myth exists rather than the critter itself - but like all such mythological critters, from Sasquatch to Nessie, I’m of the open-minded "it’s not probable, but that doesn’t mean it’s not POSSIBLE" bent. The Jersey Devil is kinda cool because, unlike Bigfoot and Nessie and all of those, the eyewitness sightings are VASTLY different on the details, it has a spooky witchcraft "origin story," it’s never been photographed, but everyone who HAS seen it is one-hundred-percent certain they have seen it. It's also not really well known outside of his own general area (much like Champ up in Lake Champlain). Besides, Pine Barrens - a real wilderness in New Jersey, of all places - what's not to love?

Jigsaw puzzles: I haven’t done one in some while (largely because we have no wide open space that is either free from Junk (see below) or cats, but I do enjoy the challenge - although I can’t keep my hands off even easy ones. When rahirah's mother had better eyes, she did them all the time and I loved going over there and helping find pieces in a fantastically challenging picture. Somewhere she has one that was actually made with a jig saw - a real old wooden one. I still want to put that one together.

Jukeboxes: Music, flashing lights, shiny surfaces, spinning discs, the pondering over just which two songs for my two bits? Not to mention the retro chic? What's not to love about a jukebox? They have one now that'll play your iPod. Was there nothing else so perfectly made for me? (Of course, I think it costs the same as a missile silo or something, so I won't be owning one any time soon, just the thought...)

Junk: Just look at my house and one will know I have a strong affinity for junk, and the collecting thereof. All kinds of junk (some of which may have some intrinsic value, but the fact remains a lot of it is junk!).

Japan: Back in the early 80's I fell in love with Japanimation (Manga) and through that the country it came from. I read histories and dove into it like I do anything I go crazy for, however, I foolishly gave up a chance to actually GO there in my last year of college, but I have retained a few words and phrases, as well as that fondness for the animation (which is sure a lot easier to get these days than it was then!).

I’m also of the mind to add Jesus. Now, I don’t mean the guy who’s talking to Bush - I mean the gentle Jewish Carpenter’s Son who talked about things like "laying down your arms" and "don’t be a hypocrite," the weirdo radical that no self-respecting moral-majority "Christian" today would probably even talk to. I believe in a Jesus who has a sense of humor, an easy laugh, true compassion for his fellow man, and would be horrified that anyone is fighting and dying "in his name" today.

nutmeg3 was giving out letters, but I suppose I can start a whole new alphabet if anyone else wants to try this.

Yesterday I had my physical, and I seem to be healthy - I'll learn the results of my blood draw and pap later (unlike on TV, it seems to take a few days/weeks for these things to come back, not hours), but the doc said last time my cholesterol was awesome (130 or something like that) and he's really pleased with my weight loss (168, which means I lost three pounds since my last appointment - and he flipped through my records and I was 232 pounds when I started seeing him!). I did not pass out with the blood draw - they laid me down and I closed my eyes and barely noticed it, although I did get a brief cold sweat thing, so had to lay there for a few minutes afterward. Still, I managed to get up and out within five minutes rather than a couple hours (like last time!).

I mailed my two packages, so I'm committed - it cost $16 to print the stories at Kinkos, and $3 to copy them. I think they have some racket going there.



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 26th, 2006 04:39 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the great bill of inspection! And the weight loss! That's awesome! I've only loss so far roughly 22 and I'm stuck. Originally I lost 30, but I keep bouncing around 8 pounds. I need to start excersizing I think. I just went to the Dr too yesterday for my physical and yearly check up. What timing. :)
Apr. 27th, 2006 12:46 am (UTC)
Well, bear in mind, that's a LOT of years! :-) I started seeing Dr. Johnson in 1998 - I stayed around 230 until 2002, when I started counting calories and really exercising (weights being extremely important). So it's taken a few years and hard work, but I highly recommend the exercise part! :-)
Apr. 27th, 2006 12:55 am (UTC)
Well, it took me roughly a year to drop the 30 pounds, then I creeped up the 8 pounds the last few months. South Beach Diet is really hard to stick on when you love potatoes and sugar. :/

But I do need to excersize because even when I was really ON the diet I hit the platow (ok I can't spell), and couldn't get past the 189 pounds no matter what I did. And my doctor really told me I need to excersize. :(

So, I need to excersize. But I am not an active person.

I'm a slug. Slugslugslug. I HATE all forms of excersize. I get bored with every single one of them. ::sigh:: Oh well, I have to deal with it.

Congrats though. That is a great achievement!
Apr. 27th, 2006 01:00 am (UTC)
I used to hate exercise, myself - and I still have trouble actually GETTING there many mornings. But I have to admit I love the way I feel when I'm finished, and I REALLY love the way I look. I could absolutely not have fit into a size 10 at 168 pounds when I was gaining it - heck, I couldn't fit into a size 10 when I weighed 145 pounds in college!

I recommend a book called "Business Plan for the Body" by Jim Karas - it really helped me.
Apr. 27th, 2006 01:19 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'll look that up! I'm currently in a size 16. I haven't been in a size 16 since I was age 17, so I think I'm ahead of the game. I do want to be a size 14. That's my goal. I don't honestly think I can be a size 10. I've NEVER been a size 10, ever in my entire life.

And I do like the way I feel after excersize (when I did do it years ago) I ended up doing weird things to my muscles. It was really aweful. I ended up gaining massive muscles, like body builder type, SO...well... I think I need to be super careful. I think it's my russian/german background or something. Boo! :(
Apr. 26th, 2006 08:00 pm (UTC)
I still need to make my yearly appointment with the doctor. Bleah. Jaguars, jewelry, junk, Jack, and jukeboxes are some of my favorite things, as well. And I really like Johnny Cash as well. Great list! Send me a letter. I probably won't be able to do a meme until the weekend, but what the heck.

Good for you for sending out those packages!
Apr. 27th, 2006 12:47 am (UTC)
Well, here's to it being less bleah. :-)

I'll give you the letter... B.

Apr. 27th, 2006 02:22 am (UTC)
Oh, Boy! ;-P

Apr. 27th, 2006 02:38 am (UTC)
Bowling? Bouillabaisse? Badgers? Baguettes? Birds? Biscuits? Bread? (I know you can't deny that last one! :-D )

Apr. 27th, 2006 03:10 am (UTC)
Apr. 27th, 2006 03:38 am (UTC)
Butter! Backgammon! Belts! Bees! (Okay, you probably don't like bees much... :-D )
Apr. 27th, 2006 04:13 am (UTC)
Bees scare me.
Apr. 27th, 2006 04:31 am (UTC)
But on the bright side, they do make honey.

Boxes! Bagheera! Baskets! Bacon!

Mmmmmm, bacon...

Apr. 27th, 2006 03:37 am (UTC)
Yay! for sending out packages and a good visit to ye olde GP. Great list, too. I had Johnny Cash in my mind because you're doing the piece about him, so I'm not surprised he made the cut. And I, too, love jigsaw puzzles and never do them anymore for exactly the same reasons.
Apr. 27th, 2006 03:40 am (UTC)
I've been thinking a lot about Johnny lately. Some more good stories in that autobiography. Turns out he's the only person the government ever successfully sued AND collected from! (He accidentally burned down one of the Ventura Condor refuges while he was high... bad time for Johnny, that was... but he paid for it!)
Apr. 27th, 2006 09:21 am (UTC)
For those of you on the East Coast who don't have Jack-in-the-Box restaurants, you missed the whole process.

Actually, we had Jacks on Long Island. The whole thing from Jack-in-the-Box through to Jacks (after they lost a lawsuit, had to do a corporate restructuring & took the opportunity to un-kiddify their image). Not sure we got the Matt Frewer commercials, though.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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