Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Season’s Greetings!

But here’s the funny thing: you actually think “the season” is greeting you. It’s not. It’s inanimate. You are greeting it. Yeah, think about that for a few seconds. Blows your mind, doesn’t it? That’s because I’m deep. And an absolute genius. Also, I like children, small animals, and sometimes I do mustache paintings for free. That’s just my intro. Strap yourself in.

Things that decorated the already decorated life of Joseph in 2012:

1) Asked by senator what’s-his-name to speak at that one thing with president so-and-so
2) Turned down senator what’s-his-name because of a previous engagement (True, we were only engaged for a few minutes—strictly platonic—but you’d be amazed at how helpful having a “previous engagement” is).
3) Got engaged (see item 2)
4) Got hired
5) Got to thinking
6) Realized erasable pens are not the enemy. They’re just trying to help.
7) Read a few pages in “Travels in Siberia.”
8) Wished for a lot of things
9) Got some of those things
10) Didn’t get others
11) Learned I didn’t want those other things anyway.
12) Read a few more pages in “Travels in Siberia.”
13) Awoke in the middle of the night sinking quickly toward the floor after allegedly puncturing my air mattress with razor sharp elbows (according to the bed bugs I interviewed—unfortunately, the only witnesses).
14) Built a bed out of pre-cut parts
15) Built a desk out of pre-cut parts
16) Patted myself on the back for being handy with pre-cut parts.
17) Read a few more pages in “Travels in Siberia.”
18) Purchased “The Jackal”

19) Put over 1000 miles on The Jackal, including a century ride from Columbus Ohio to Kentucky. (Wow, that sounded cool)

20) Grew two beards, one mustache

21) Jumped out of an airplane

22) Remembered to pull my shoot after jumping out of airplane.
23) Read a few more pages in “Travels in Siberia.”
24) Thought about joining the DC City Choir (then went and joined. Go me!)
25) Forwarded everything to everyone always
26) Deleted my “Reply” button and went with “Reply all”
27) Wrote Yahoo! and asked them to change “Reply all” to “Reply All!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
28) Became a godfather

29) Laughed at a TON of funny commercials
30) Bonded with Buck (my truck)
31) Dated a girl
30) Played with matches
29) Watched airplanes
28) Read a few more pages in “Travels in Siberia.”

Here’s hoping your 2012 included a cool list like mine. And here’s to 2013 and to finishing “Travels in Siberia.” Happy New Year!

Friday, January 21, 2011

For all those who wish they had received a Christmas newsletter from me last year

Finally, a news letter about one person, not five, four of whom you’ve never met and who you resent for displacing you in the life of the first. This letter is a summary of all things me. For those of you only interested in who I married and how many kids my wife had last year and how my career is serving to nurture said persons, you may stop reading now.

In 2010 Joseph (conventional news letter structure dictates I write in third person, which really annoys me, but is nonetheless one of the most important indicators, along with the embedding of a family photograph, that the dispatch is indeed a formal news letter and not simply a letter relating news, the distinction of which is important this time of year when goodly neighbors everywhere are judging their own goodliness by how many official Christmas news letters they receive) finished graduate school (if you don’t know what I studied, you have received this letter in error—your address must have slipped into the lists of people I know), spent the summer in Tajikistan learning Tajiki (if you don’t know where that is, you may or may not have received this letter in error—many in my own family still ask me where I was this summer), went to China for kicks (really, for kicks—my “Michael Jackson Number One” Converse knock-offs are the best thing that happened to me that trip), moved back to Ohio and got a job working for Battelle for Kids (if you think this sounds like a company that builds weapon systems for kids, and that I took the job hoping for employee discounts on Nerf weaponry, you deserve this news letter—you know me well).

Now that formalities are complete, I would like to direct your attention to the left of the text where you will see this year’s three finalists in Oslo’s Nobel Face Prize competition. Most people are familiar with Norway’s Nobel Peace Prize, but many are unaware that among the several other international Nobel prizes awarded annually in Alfred Nobel’s honor, is the Nobel Face Prize. As it turns out, each of the finalists this year is me. Oslo, in a gesture to democracy and fairness, is offering each of you the opportunity to circle your favorite finalist and send the committee your vote, so that whoever wins this year, the world can rest assured, he is the peoples’ choice.

Oh, and Merry Christmas

Love, joe

Friday, December 31, 2010

New year

2011 resolution: disappear. Then reappear as someone completely different, someone without the same habits, tendencies, and behavioral patterns as that other guy I was last year. Magic.

Oh, and of course, see the world.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Real Digs

I've received queries about my recent post, "New Digs." As much as I wish I lived in one of the prison cells at Peter and Paul Fortress, I don't. To those of you who found the room a likely fit for me, nice. To Jared who offered to move in, you are my soul mate. To the Decemberists of 1825 and hundreds of other Russian dissidents who have claim to that haven of solitude, I'm jealous. I just live in Columbus. Not as exotic, is it? I live in a regular flat with two other guys and a dog (she's part hound and has a cool howl). Jacob and Brian are cool guys and the set-up is nice. The photos: me and Charlie in the front room, mine and Jacob's bunk-bed (I'm on top and the thing creaks, so for Jacob who goes to bed before me, it's Halloween every night when I climb on top), and my desk and new apple laptop (yes Steve, and everyone else I mooched off of at Berhan, I finally got my own computer). The computer's background is displaying another photograph of Peter and Paul Fortress, but not where the prisoners hang out, so not as exciting.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New Digs

Not in Russia anymore. Back in school.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

28 Reasons

I'm 28 today. I'm going to write 28 things I like about me.

This was my idea. No one put me up to it and no one else can have the credit, just me. Actually, it most definitely was not my idea. Someone put me up to it and I'm robbing them of all the credit. But you don't know that. You believe everything I say. So for you, just go ahead and believe me when I say it was my idea. I'm not going to stop you.

Your passionate, impulsive response to my idea: Wow. What a fantastic idea!! (please note that exclamation points are only used in referring to your response. I wouldn't be caught dead using one). I can think of 28 things I like about Joseph too! Nay, I can think of thousands! (I would likewise never use "nay").

You might decide to post a comment, encouraging others to join your quest of attaching to my already definitive list, 28 additional reasons to love me. This is, of course, completely unnecessary. My 28 suit me just fine. But since you apparently need it so badly, I will allow your commentary. If I were you, I would elaborate on one or two of the 28 below. For instance, number one--I look good--invites discussion. You may choose to rate my good looks on a scale of 10-20 (1-10 is insufficient, I graduated from that in 7th grade), or you may choose to describe certain aspects of my good looks, my attractive Christmas stache last year, for example.

The 28:

1) I look good

2) I always wash my hands after using the toilet

3) I can do 60 push-ups when I'm happy; 100 when I'm mad

4) I can ride 100 miles on my bike without telling the world I'm riding for a cause and asking for money.

5) I can sleep way better than Rachel, Becky, or Jared.

6) I remember lines from movies, even if I don't remember lines from what you said two minutes ago.

7) I'm potty-trained

8) I'm funny. Even Jared thinks so.

9) I write good.

10) Jared still likes me. Chances are he doesn't like you, so this is big.

11) I can be scolded, yelled at, accused of all forms of neglegence and still get everyone else to clean the kitchen while I stand there cracking jokes.

12) I have more leg hair than Ben, which is why I'm Grandma's favorite.

13) I have less mass than Ben, but can still eat more ice-cream, which is why I'm, Grandpa's favorite.

14) I don't use exclamation points or emoticons. Nor do I write "lol," and you still understand what I mean.

15) I was strong enough physically and mentally at age 1 to kick Rachel out of the cradle, or so the story goes. Rachel reminds me of this every time I see her.

16) I learned how to whistle at age 19. And they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks (turns out though, 19 is young, because I still can't roll my tummy like James and I've tried, I've tried).

17) I floss with a credit card at nice restaurants.

18) If girls don't like me they tell me it's not me. So I guess it's not me. It's them.

19) I'm Jared's choice for spotter when he's lifting weights. That's because under this thin, mass-less frame, he sees the real me, the strong and capable me, the me who can call someone bigger to help out if he can't get the weights off him.

20) I can do push-ups with 50 Chinese kids on my back (50= 6 or 7).

21) I don't drink and drive. I don't even drive. Sometimes I drink and ride, though. But I don't think there's a law prohibiting that, especially if you're just drinking water.

22) I play the piano, even when I don't have to.

23) I still walk on my knees over the carpet if I'm wearing shoes. I also still eat my vegetables.

24) I was 24 once.

25) Sometimes I like to go hot-tubbing with the boys in the winter. Then I jump out and make a snow angel on the lawn. Then I jump back in the hot tub. Then I experience pain all over my body. Then I do it again because Jared says it's cool.

26) Sometimes I light a match just to light a match.

27) I've loved deeply, and lost. Then I've loved deeply and lost again. Then I've loved again just because losing is so cool.

28) I don't do drugs. I don't have to. You laugh at my jokes, and apparently that's all the high I need.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Measuring Sticks: All Those Little Lines, by JMC

BEX is a big deal. This is coming from a man who emerged as the world's biggest deal in the mid-1990's and only got bigger in the 00's. So if I say Bex is a big deal, cross-referencing is unnecessary. Bex is huge. And if you've ever been in the same room as her, you know what I mean: 5' 2" has never been taller. In fact, according to Johnson and Johnson Middle School physics teacher Mr. Stuffs, measuring systems are losing their credibility. "Five-foot-two could very well turn out to be five-foot-three in the near future.” Case-studies such as “Bex” have shaken the foundations of science in recent years. Within a few decades students may be using a system for measuring height completely different than what we see on rulers and measuring tapes today.

Mr. Stuffs is not alone. Kids across the nation have begun breaking their rulers and burning piles of "anything with those stupid little lines on it."* Students have teamed up with staff at St. Measure-me High School to protest the school’s name. They hope that by boycotting classroom instruction and marching across campus all day carrying life-size posters of Bex with 5’ 3” printed on them, administration will change the school’s name. When asked what they want the school’s new name to be, Jamal Wright, the school’s all-American quarterback, replied, “St. Measure-me Right!” Feelings of insecurity and doubt have also caught hold in some areas. “I don’t know what to believe anymore,” says one distraught kindergartener at Stick with Sticks Elementary School. “What do these little lines mean anyway?” What indeed. If Becky Castleton can weigh in at 50 lbs. and stretch the measuring tape to 5’ 2” while towering over six-footers in substance and breaking scales with the sheer weight of personality, what credence can we really give to conventional measuring instruments? None at all.

And what about age? “Surely the movement has nothing against the way we measure age,” asserts one critic. But I answer, have you ever seen a younger 30 than Bex? The woman is barely 20. Either we advance the age considered “prime,” or we call a 20 year-old body 30. I say throw out your institutions of measurement. Burn those rulers and change those school names! Bex is a big deal—much bigger than 5’ 2”.

* words of Jiggle McSnigs, a student at StrongBig Junior High and co-founder of “Students against Sticks With Stupid Little Lines on Them.”

JMC is a freelance journalist who travels to small American towns, interrupts classroom instruction, steals children's lunches, and threatens to keep them in at recess unless they say what he tells them.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

never ending gems from Steve and Sara's archives

The makings of a Taiwanese boy band? Yeah, we were tainted. When in Rome . . .