The online home of Jess Barron

Web content and community expert, writer, editor, blogger, and internet video producer.
Bio | Resume/CV

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In 2004, a guy who I don't know named Jeremy Abbate saw my website and wrote a song called "I Wanna Be As Cool As Jessica Barron." It still amuses me. Here's the mp3 and here are the lyrics.

Archives (slowly being reconstructed):
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
June 2009
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December 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2003
October 2001
September 2001
June 2000
May 2000
March 2000
October 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999

See how this site looked in 1998
Poprocks.com screenshot from early 1998
and how the place looked in 2000.
Poprocks.com from June 2000
Yahoo counted me as a "cool person" from 1997-2001. How far have I fallen?!
Yahoo counted me among the "Cool People" in 1997-1998.
The internets have come a long way, baby...

October 19, 2005 'There are places so dirty that we have to wear gloves.'
If my packing made Bocce nervous, the movers made her go completely ballistic. bocce and the cactus
She was outraged and barked non-stop for the first 2 hours they were working in the house. I kept her locked in the upstairs bathroom, which unfortunately has a glass door so she was watching and giving her "This-is-an-outrage!"-bark as they removed all the contents from the house. I think she thought they were robbing us. Eventually, all the ferocious barking took its toll on a dog who is acclimated to a life of incessant langor, and she surrendered and curled up on my bathmat in an exhausted heap.

I didn't let her out until the movers were finished. It was best that she didn't witness the fast and furious dismantling of the household by three people we had never seen before. I wanted to shield her from the upheaval.

As the shelves and furniture were removed an embarrassing abundance of dust was revealed on the hardwood floors. Dust bunnies, dust kittens, dust tigers, dust dragons -- we had a whole dust menagerie. "I'm sorry! I'm never at home to do housework," I said to one of the movers. "Is this place totally disgusting?"

"No!!" he said, becoming animated. "This place is not bad at all. There are places that are so dirty that we have to wear gloves." He made a sickened face.

"Ewwww! Really?! That's gross!" I said, feeling terrible for him, but suddenly feeling much better about my own dust menagerie.

I swept and vaccuumed after they removed most of the big pieces, and hours later after they left with all of my stuff in a giant truck on its way to Los Angeles, I let Bocce out of the bathroom where she had been locked away. She sniffed around at the empty house, nails clicking on the hardwood floors as she slunk around looking for a nonexistent cushy surface to curl up on. When she realized that Big Plum (the purple velveteen couch) and my bed were both gone, she looked perplexed by the empty house. I scrubbed clean the kitchen and upstairs bathroom, and began to pack my car full to the roof.

When the Beetle convertible was almost packed to the roof with the remaining boxes, I realized that the cactus plants were left up on the ledge in the upstairs bathroom. I didn't want to leave them behind, so after the car was packed full, I lodged them in the front seat between Bocce and me in the car. I left San Francisco at 7:50 p.m., driving East over the Bay Bridge with a very nervous thin-skinned dog perched precariously atop a shaky stack of clothing aside of an extremely prickly plant. She looked at me dubiously as we began the long drive south.

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posted by Jess Barron @ 7:55 AM
October 18, 2005 Doggie 'Dark City'
Moving to a new apartment is stressful, even with professional movers who are supposed to pack everything up for you. For instance, there are things you may not want your professional movers to pack up and handle. Perhaps you might want to pack the contents of your lingerie drawer yourself. Then, there are those hundreds of loose CDs lying around the bedroom because you've been ripping them to your PC and transferring them to your iPod. And if you share your place with housemates (as I do) you might have stuff that's mixed together that you need to separate out -- such as all the plates and silverware and DVDs of Twin Peaks, Seinfeld, and the Simpsons and games for the Playstation.

So, I spent all my "free time" (read: the 6-8 hours each day when a normal person might sleep) for the past three days trying to go through the house -- locating things and boxing some of it up myself.

When objects are being moved around and put into containers in the middle of the night, Bocce -- the small nervous Italian Greyhound creature -- knows that I'm packing. She's seen it many times before. We've lived in 7 different places in her 8 years -- Providence, RI (with Damien); Somerville, MA (with Ellen); Cambridge, MA (with Ellen); Los Angeles (with Jeff and Hillary); and 2 different Dogpatch live/work lofts (with Gareth) and the current dilapidated Mission Victorian (with Owen, Ric, and Sye). Additionally, I've gone on hundreds of trips all over the country and Bocce has gone on most of those as well. She's been on cross country flights at least 30 times. She's also been to exotic locations like St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. So, whenever she sees me packing late at night, she thinks she's either going to the kennel or she's getting on a plane. And though she doesn't really mind either of these things, the uncertainty seems to make her nervous. She may be wondering if she's going to be left behind.

Three days of packing has taken its toll on her. Furniture and books have been moved to unfamiliar places and Bocce is dubious about the piles of boxes creating a new wall in the living room.

She hides under the covers on my bed, nervously shivering. And I imagine that big moves like this are like some version of a doggie nightmare, akin to the movie "Dark City," where every night while the human population of the city is drugged into a deep sleep -- the alien overlords reconfigure all the buildings and city layout and change around entire households of people, importing new friends and family members from the existing pool of people. Yeah, moving is totally like "doggie 'Dark City.'" Her whole idea of reality will be 100% changed in less than 24 hours.

Has anyone moved with pets? Any horror stories? Also, did you see 'Dark City?' What did you think? The images and ideas in that movie stay with me, particularly the idea about escaping to Shell Beach.

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posted by Jess Barron @ 8:47 AM