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 . . .

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

props to my benefactors

I stole this picture from Steve. But let's be honest, you already guessed that. When have I ever not stolen my pictures from Steve? When I steal them from Sara. Fine. The point is, I owe Steve and others so much back-payment in royalty fees that tacking on a bit more won't hurt will it? In fact, let's drop the pretense all together. Can I really do a better job than Sara and Steve at montage-ing our Ohio/Niagara adventure? Can I really out-do the thrill they've already captured? Can I really make the trip live inside you better than Sara already has? No. So let's simply provide you the link to Sara's authentic display and skip whatever regurgitation I might conjure. Enjoy:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


OSU has a wrestling team. A really good wrestling team. They're ranked 5th in the country. I know what you're thinking: "How many more wrestling teams can there be? 5th in the country could mean last in the country. How, Joseph, can we be confident you haven't simply succumbed to the doctrine of 'Crimson and Gray,' that thick mist of Ohio State school spirit that sends even the youngest freshman streaking down High Street in nothing but silver and red paint yelling out oaths of terrific hostility towards anything Michigan? On top of that, Joseph, you're guilty of sport favoritism, a parasite that always seeks a convenient host--OSU's wrestling team in your case. You can't possibly know what real competition is on a massive scale because you forewent indoctrination by the 'real American' sport when you turned down the grid for a wrestling mat in high school. You watch college football, but you've never really given up your loyalties have you?" A good point. But one that you would not be asking if you were one of my brothers. Therefore, if you are not one of said brothers, you can stop reading; you're embarrassing me.

To my brothers: OSU has a freaking awesome wrestling team. They're all thugs, the whole lot of 'em. With arms the width of Seth's head when he has his afro, and six-packs the size of real six-packs. None of them can hear a thing out of the cauliflower on both sides of their head and they don't breathe from the moment the whistle blows. These guys sprint for all six. And the technique? Ah, it's beautiful. I saw the sweetest barrel-roll, the fasted single-leg, the slickest back-door, the meanest 5-point combo, and something I can only describe as an inside-out standing Peterson that went airborne into a Syracuse spin and landed with a leg-ride of sorts--all that to escape a double-leg. I stood up and roared after that one. I couldn't help it. I used to paint--these guys are artists. I'm telling you, you would have loved it. Every time a new match would start, the announcer would rattle off each wrestler's credentials. I don't think I ever heard less than at least a two-time state champion from either team. Some were four-timers. And that was just the teaser. Their NCAA records sounded like as good a license to kill as any I would need to get out of their way. Here's something interesting I found out about college rules: a tie goes to the man with the most riding time. No overtime. I thought that was kind of weird, but it makes sense. Don't expect to finish the sweet comeback you're on during overtime if you can't shake the guy's hips during regulation. You better do it now or never. Anyway, I felt myself back in an element I used to live on, but forgot about. Like living in a world without fire and then seeing it again. Then feeling it again. The blaze was amazing; the heat, exhilarating.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Russian Child

My sister Rachel had a kid yesterday. Her second. Elena Rachel Delap. Very cool. Very Russian. Very Rachel. And very much already my favorite. Not because I've seen the little Russian child, but because she's a little Russian child. Me and little Lenichka are going to get along swimmingly. How could we not? We're both Russian.