Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The User's Guide

This is what you need to know:

Who: Me, just a girl who's a recent graduate of an MFA in creative writing program. Me, just a girl who writes fiction. Me, just a girl who sent out 70+ applications for full-time (or sometime not so full-time) higher education teaching positions but was rejected on each account. Me, just a girl who has spent the last three years of her life living in southern Minnesota and teaching composition and creative writing at a state university. Me, just a girl with big eyes and even bigger feet (size elevens).

What: This blog. There's My Sponge Candy is a direct descendant of the Where's My Sponge Candy blog, which was started in July 2003 with hope that it would track my three years of graduate school and the strange life that would come along with it. And it did. Oh, did it ever.

Where: Where's My Sponge Candy started in the final days before my move to southern Minnesota. This new blog started the first few days of my move home to western New York. Why back to western New York? Several reasons: (1) good food; (2) no more subtracting the hour to determine when programs air in Central Standard Time; (3) New York touches an ocean and is therefore not as land-locked and stir-crazy as the Midwest; (4) my dad doesn't charge rent.

When a girl has a masters and can't get a job and is facing the fact that she might be going back to waiting tables and dealing with men who discuss the state of her nipples while she is delivering their Bloody Marys, she will do crazy, desperate things. Including moving back in with her father.

When: Starting now. Starting fresh. Back in my old haunts. We'll see where life takes me next.

Why: I blog because I try to write at least 800 words per day, even if those words have to do with how displeased I am with, say, the male population or the lack of brownies in my kitchen. I blog because I want my friends to always know what's going on, even if they're far, far away (on a work trip to China, Becky; or being an evil chemist in California, Anne; or being the Elite Employee of the Month at Midwest Wireless, Katy, etc.)

How: Stay tuned. Updates frequently. I'm obsessive.


(More About Me)

Here's a List of Things I Like

1. Sponge Candy: it's a western New York delicacy. I missed this the most when I moved away from the area. But now I'm back, and I'm eating my way through samples from all the chocolate companies in the city.

2. Boys: I will talk about boys a lot. If you don't want to read about a girl who talks about boys, how boys never like her, how she never gets the boy she longs for, how she's longing for a boy as she types this, how she's thinking that it would be pretty nice to be making out with a boy right now, and oh, why can't boys like her?, well, this blog isn't for you. However, I usually make a fool of myself in front of boys, and that can sometimes be funny. At least stay for that.

3. Feather boas

4. Purple

5. Badtz-Maru: Hello Kitty's badass penguin friend has been my personal mascot for years.

6. Penguins of the non-cartoon sort: if I could, I would keep some in my tub.

7. Office supplies, especially tubs of multi-colored paperclips

8. Garlic

9. Loud music

10. My So-Called Life: it's my favorite TV show ever. Yes, I have the series on DVD. Yes, I can recite long stretches of dialogue. Yes, I know which episode featured Brian Krakow talking about his mother's vibrator. Yes, I've envisioned what my wedding would look like if I married Jared Leto.

11. Jared Leto: see above.

12. Thigh-high boots: especially the red variety.

13. Chicken wings

14. Chicken finger pizza

15. Bleu cheese

16. My students: past, present, future.

17. Van Morrison

18. Boys who play guitars

19. Anything that has the word CAKE in its title: white cake, chocolate cake, cupcakes, cheesecake, etc.

20. The TV show M*A*S*H

21. Ingrown hairs

22. Men with accents: particularly Irish, British, or Australian.

A List of Things I Don't Like

1. Spiders

2. Flossing

3. The way my brother likes to flick my arm fat

4. Men who wear work boots with their tucked-in Iron Maiden t-shirts

5. The word vulva

6. Houses that are decorated with sea-shells

7. The semicolon

8. Leggings, skinny jeans, bodysuits, or any other unreasonable 80s fashion that is currently making a comeback

9. Slow drivers who insist on driving in the left hand and force me to pass them on the right

10. Minnesota bouncers who insist that my NY driver's license is fake and call the police over to check, and continue on insisting it is fake even after the police tell him it's not

11. Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas

12. Chunky heels

13. Black licorice

14. Unclean kitchens: and can I just tell you what a relief it is to no longer be living with my last roommate, who thought it was completely acceptable to let a can of opened spaghetti sauce sit on the counter and rot for, well, a week.

15. Bridezillas

16. Lutefisk, the Scandinavian brainchild: cod soaked in lye? No thank you, you crazy bastards.

17. Baseball on TV: although I can handle and enjoy it in person (I blame the Mankato Moondogs for that).

18. Sports I'm not good at: it has been consistently proven over the course of a decade that I should never, ever, ever try to play volleyball, speedball, handball, or--if we want to call it a sport, which I think we do--gymnastics. However, don't come around if I'm playing basketball, Ultime Frisbee, floor hockey, or badminton. Especially badminton. I'm a champ.

19. The fact that my brother has slept with more people than I have: probably because the kid is 5 years younger than I am, and also because some of his girls were probably Hooters waitresses. Out of their gourds Hooters waitresses, but Hooters waitresses nonetheless.

20. Macaroni salad that has tuna in it

21. Dial-up internet: which, because my father lives in the middle of nowhere, I am currently using.

22. Mullets


The Cast of Characters

There's a wild, strange bunch of people who have shaped me over the years, and they are as follows:


My parents are divorced. My mother abandoned her cute apartment in a Buffalo suburb and bought a trailer with her boyfriend. I make a lot of fun of it and her, even though you will hear me admit right here and right now that her trailer is nice and so is the entire park, which is filled with senior citizens who get nervous if children ride around on those motorized tractors or cars.

My father, quite simply, is a pimp. He's had a string of girlfriends since the divorce, and has no trouble charming all of womankind. In high school, my best friend's mother and her best friend would sit on the deck and wait for my father to come dashing up to it when he picked me up. Then they would giggle and bat their eyes and fake-swoon. My friend Katy thinks my father has a nice ass. Other friends have written limericks about his man-parts, much to my dismay. I like his latest girlfriend, and her son is super tall and super hot.

I have a younger brother. He has just recently gone through some sort of transformation that has made him look and smell more like a human boy than ever before. As mentioned above, he's getting some ass, which dismays me. He has a strange obsession with beverages, and fancies himself a connoisseur of pop and bottled iced teas. He asserts that my head is perfectly square. He likes to flick my arm fat. He asks me why I always have to play music, all the time, every day, and why can't I just sit in silence, for God's sake? He's started drinking my favorite drink of all time: the cranberry-vodka.

My mother's father is a racist who doesn't so much like me. My father's mother once had this conversation with me:

Grandma: So, who drove you to the airport?

Me: Oh, just one of my friends.

Grandma: [beat of silence] Uh-huh. And, uhm, Jessie? Well, do you have girlfriends or boyfriends?



The one constant I've always had in my life is my core group of friends, and I am so lucky to have them.

I'm still close to a bunch of girls I went to elementary, middle, and high school with. We call ourselves the Pink Torpedos, and we get together as much as we can when we're all in the same area code. We like to gossip and drink martinis, because, really, what's better than that?

Graduate school gave me a whole new pack of friends, some of who have gone away now, but it was fun while it lasted. I've kissed my fair share of them.


I apparently have a thing for Republicans and gay men.

When I was sixteen years old, I was in love with the same boy my cousin was in love with. He lied a lot and told me he'd broken up with her (he hadn't) and that she was crazy (she wasn't) and that she was stalking him (she's too cute to stalk) and that now we could be together (we couldn't). He may or may not like boys (uh, yes).

I have an ex that I still talk to--Keith, the first Republican--and he lives with his girlfriend, Big Head. Big Head is actually a tall, slim, pretty girl, who seems perfectly nice, and I recognize I'm not being very nice by noting that she has a slightly above average head size, but I liked the last girlfriend--perky, cute, sweet--much more. I wish he'd stayed with her.

There is also the pretty-eyed Wily Republican, who pretty much ruled my life the entire time I was in Minnesota up until the very end when my professor requested I have a fling with her neighbor, New Boy, who has the most stunning eyelashes I've ever seen.

Someday I might end up marrying Josh, the dishwasher/busboy extraordinaire from my days waitressing at a restaurant in my hometown. He plays soccer. That's sexy.


The Future

I'm not exactly sure what's going to happen to me in the next year, but I am going to be throwing another job hunt into full swing in a few months. Hopefully twelve months from now I will be putting the finishing touches on the syllabi for my comfortable load of English classes at a folksy New England university. We'll see. We'll see.


Diana said...

I like the new format. It's sophisticated. Urbane. It's got style.

But part of me will miss the pink.

dpwieland said...

I will also miss the pink, though I like the blackness of your new blog. Very dark, very black. Someone might ask, "How much more black can it be?" and I'd say, "None. None more black."

PS: I'm going to market my new candy, a sort of licorice called Cherry Vulva Snaps, but since you have such an aversion to the big "V", I'll spare you the banner ads.

Jess said...

Ishtar, D! Cherry VUVLA SNAPS?!

Although I bet they'd go over well at porno conventions. They should have a gooey center.

I'm gross.

Trestles said...

Black, of course, is also very fashion-forward and very New Yorkish. If I ever moved, of course, I'd switch to an aloha print: orchids and sunsets, the trade winds rippling through the letters.

Scott Hamilton said...

Why do you like ingrown hairs? Oh, and fadubadah is a name for arm flab. Strange aye.

I wish you all the best with this new stage of your life.