Saturday, October 31, 2009

No One I Know Would Call At This Hour.

My dad called me at 7 o'clock this morning. It's Saturday. When I answered the phone with my groggy hello, he responded with the most affected Halloween accent ever, saying, "Good morning gouls and goblins! Wondering if you have a special brew... brewing... this fine Halloween morn!" 

I've spent my lifetime trying to figure out an appropriate response to things like this. 

I haven't come up with anything yet. 

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ironically, No Guests On The Groom's Side.

A Somali man who claims to be 112 years old has married a 17-year-old girl, according to the Associated Press.

The couple was registered at Bed, Bath, & What The Fuck?!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Writer's Bio Block.

I have to submit a short bio for the agency website but I think I've hit a wall. Here's what I have so far:

"Jessica Martin was born Oprah Gail Winfrey on January 29, 1954. Open-Eyed Sneeze is her first book."

I lifted that first part from the Oprah Wikipedia page. She won't mind. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What's A Cut Cost In Kronor These Days?

I need a haircut like whoa, but because I'm relatively new to Boston, I'm hesitant to just randomly sit down anywhere and let them have at it. I LOVE Micah (hi Micah!) but to get back to New York in the near future doesn't look good. So I've been keeping my eyes peeled for haircuts, hoping to find a place here. 

Tonight I saw a girl with a fantastic style so I basically chased her down and was like, "Sorry, where did you get your hair cut?"

She looked at me flatly for about five seconds before slowly replying in a thick accent, "Sweden."


Maybe I can wait another week. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Scared Yet?

I heard an ad on the radio for some sort of Halloween thing. I wasn't paying attention. It might have been for a haunted house or haunted hayride, but the announcer was using that traditional Halloween radio voice: 2 parts Crypt Keeper, one part Count from Sesame Street, one part Billy Fuccillo.

It's a really annoying voice.

The ad ended with the creepy voice slowly saying, "Discount coupons available at Dunkin' Donuts."  

The voice guy refused to break character for the Dunkin' Donuts tie-in despite the fact that it's basically impossible to instill fear when the word coupon is involved.  Try saying "coupons" using your scariest voice. "Boo!" is decidedly scarier. 

Note: 1,000 instant points of rad to those readers who actually tried saying coupons with a scary voice.

Friday, October 23, 2009


New research has found that plants can recognize their siblings. LiveScience reports that while plants can't see or hear (or can they??), they can tell what other plants are around them through chemicals secreted from their roots.  

The findings are the exact opposite of sibling rivalry. When plants are around sibling plants, nutrients are shared, and all are able to grow equally. But when a plant senses a "stranger," it grows more roots and competes for water with that unknown plant.  It also refuses to take candy from the stranger plant or to get in its car. 

The fact that plants can recognize family isn't so crazy, is it? What will really blow my mind is if the research continues and finds that during the holiday season, plants sharing space near family drink more and focus almost exclusively on personal breathing exercises.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Art, Imitating Life, Imitating Wife Swap.

Artist E.V. Day has an installation of opera costumes suspended in midair at New York City Opera's brand new theatre. Full disclosure, my sister works for City Opera. But this isn't a plug. The story is newsworthy because tragically, Balloon Boy is stuck high above the ground in a little red dress from La Bohème. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

For The Kids.

I'm scheduled to work on Halloween so I hope they don't mind when I show up wearing this.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Here's To Waiting.

So as some of you might know (some of you being my Grandma, MFB, and guy from London), I wrote a book awhile ago. Since then, I've been querying literary agents, which is basically just like sending out cover letters for your book. Here's a sample of the query letter I sent to agents:

Dear (Agent's name),

Freud thought that to examine the soul, you had to examine a person on the edge of insanity.  I wonder if Freud ever had to move back in with his parents.

I am writing to introduce you to Open-Eyed Sneeze, my personal account of life after college. 

Realizing that a film major/philosophy minor is a cosmic joke in the working world, I am forced to return to my childhood home after graduation to begin my job search.  Moving home after college plays out much like the five stages of grief — sans acceptance.  Listening to the random suggestions of my parents (“Would you ever consider getting involved with Riverdance?”), darting across grocery store aisles to avoid the inquiring minds of my small town, and attempting to keep depression at bay, Open-Eyed Sneeze explores why home proves to be a prime place for soul examination.  Highlighted with observations about uncertainty in the everyday, I come to realizations about life, family, work, and the thread of absurdity that weaves them all together.

Thousands of students leaving college this spring will experience difficulties for which their undergraduate career centers offered no flyer.  Serving as an Oh, The Places You’ll Go! for a more cynical generation of graduates, Open-Eyed Sneeze exposes the agony of the job hunt, the bizarre search for meaning, and the pang of guilt associated with napping four times a day.

I’ve included a sample of Open-Eyed Sneeze for your review.  I look forward to the opportunity to share the completed manuscript with you. 

Thank you very much for your generous time and consideration. 


Jessica Martin

And then I waited. 

I started sending out these queries when I was living in San Francisco, so I've been doing a lot of sending, and a lot of waiting. And I've been hearing a lot of "No." Querying a book as a first-time author is the best lesson in rejection a person can get. Many literary agencies have gone green meaning they only take queries by email. That was a nice change because I think my local postal employee was beginning to think I was one sad excuse for a writer. "Are you sending out more of these?"

But, the point of this post is to let you know that I finally have a literary agent! I'll be working with Penn Whaling of Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency and I'm beyond thrilled. So stay tuned for more info about the book! 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

But First, Let's Make Tiny Pigs.

With all of the research that is needed to face global health issues and to help advance medicine in general, I'm happy to see that someone spent their lab time wisely-- by making teacup pigs. Vaccines and cures can wait. What people actually need right now is little pig to carry around. 

Well done, modern science. 

Friday, October 16, 2009

And For Her Next Trick.

When my roommates are in the kitchen making something to eat, their dog Kallie sits on a blanket. All you have to say is "Blanket!" and she'll scoot backwards to sit on it. It's actually pretty awesome.

Apparently they forgot the blanket while away for the weekend, but it turns out that what appears to be a face cloth was a suitable substitution. I'm sorry, but Kallie is giving Snuggles the fabric softener bear a real run for his money in this picture. 

Now that I know she can do this, I'm wondering if anything will work as a blanket. I kind of like the idea of saying, "Cocktail napkin!" and having her sit on that. Or, "Post-It Note!" Or maybe I could somehow get her to sit inside a cupcake wrapper. That'd be cute.    

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yeah? Still With The Scale?

For some reason that is completely lost on me, people love random world records. I remember looking at the Guinness Book of World Records as a kid and seeing a picture of the woman with the world's longest fingernails. Besides wanting to throw up, my initial response was to ask, why? Sure, she did get a picture of her gross monster claw printed in a book, but she also couldn't use her hand for about 5 years.

Do you think 100 years from now they'll still be breaking world records? Or by then will people just agree that you shouldn't win anything for eating 200 hot dogs? I'm afraid it will most likely be the former, and here's why: Pumpkins. More specifically, giant pumpkins.

I like to think that humanity will eventually reach a level of sophistication that will deter them from growing their nails out, or sitting in an ice bath for 3 days. But 100 years from now, someone is going to have a giant pumpkin in their field and the first thing they're going to say is, "Hey, can we weigh this?"

And I'm glad to see all those giant pumpkin enthusiasts got the memo about reducing their carbon footprint. This year's winner drove 2,000 miles with a 1,658-pound pumpkin on the back of his truck. Smart Car owners will never be giant pumpkin champions.

The AP video didn't mention it, but on top of winning the $10,000 pumpkin prize, Don Young also won an award from the DMV for "Most Unnecessary Vanity Plate."


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Think It's For You.

This was a phone conversation I had with someone yesterday at work: 
Me: Hello?
Caller: Bologna?
Me: Can I help you with something, sir?
Caller: Pastrami?
Me: Sir?
Caller: Roast Beef?

I hung up. 

But I have to say, if my boss wasn't standing right next to me, I probably would have stayed on the line for a few more minutes.  

Friday, October 09, 2009

Top Secret.

Wired Magazine revealed the most common Hotmail account password to be 123456.  

People who use this password to protect their internet information are the same folks who put their hide-a-key rocks on top of outdoor lighting on the front porch.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Is one of us supposed to be a dog in this scenario?

I try to never talk about my personal life at work for 2 reasons:
1) I can talk about it on the internet.
2) When the guys at my old job heard I was gay I started to get a lot of dog-eared magazines left in my office whenever Ellen Degeneres was interviewed for an article.

So unless I'm asked, I usually never bring it up. But this was an exchange I had with a coworker I just met for the first time yesterday:
Coworker: So you're gay, right?
Me: Sorry?
Coworker: You're a lesbian?
Me: Oh. Yeah. 
Coworker: Thought so. A dog can smell another dog. 
Then she punched my arm before walking away.

I'm pretty sure my life is being filmed for the purposes of a hidden camera show.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

No, I'm Good.

Drunk trauma patients admitted to the ER fare better than non-intoxicated patients, according to a new study.  The LA Times reports that patients with high blood alcohol levels have a mortality rate that is 6% lower than those patients who had not been drinking. 
The published study concludes that more study is needed to determine what the protective mechanism might be. 

Right. More study... I have a guess.

I won't pretend to have any exact research, but last Friday night we saw a guy holding the train door open for his friend using his face. The door closed on his face three times.  I'm guessing about 13 pints of protective mechanism were involved with that chivalrous move. 

And it's not really fair to include drunk people who leave the hospital alive as part of the data. You know months from now research will show a spike in mortality rates at Taco Bells within walking distance of Emergency Rooms.  But more study will be needed to determine why.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Smarty Pants.

Three Americans won the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine for figuring out how chromosomes protect themselves from degrading when cells divide.  

According to the AP, the laureates discovered the enzyme that builds features known as telomeres, which are at the ends of chromosomes and "often compared to the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces that keep those laces from unraveling."

Their research might help explain why cancer cells are able to keep up their uncontrolled growth, and if drugs can be used to block the enzyme from building these "plastic tips," perhaps this could help fight the disease. 

When I read about people like this, I'm always amazed. Could you imagine having such a powerful mind?! Without exaggeration, it takes me about five hesitated starts before I can jump into a revolving door. That's the kind of brain I'm working with. 

Semi-related note: I saw something on the local news about a fetching competition for dogs and in the required post-segment banter the anchor said, "Those dogs are smarter than some people! Goodnight everybody!"

And that's how the news ended. 

Thursday, October 01, 2009

China Celebrates 60 Years of Communism.

All 1.3 billion people have chipped in for a cake, which will be served in the break room.