September 27, 2011


i randomly mention friends here and there on my blog.
my old college roommate, fellow res life community programmer, current creative writing faculty member and fellow mom, joy, is one of them.
she shows up here, in this post about anthony suggesting i'm a senior citizen.
or this one, about my bookaholicism.
and there are plenty of others as well.
well, to me she is joyOUS!
i am krysTYNE!
these are both pronounced as they are spelled.
and they are best delivered loudly from more than 15 feet apart.
in college, we took many of the same courses as English majors.
and, we had a few faculty members, our Dante professor in particular, who would mix us up in class.
now, joy and I did have a freakish tendency to wear similar outfits to class.
and we both had a ill-formed love of overalls.
and plaid.
but I would generally think the fact that she was blonde and I a brunette would be a good identifier.

here is a picture of us outside of our Newport Beach apartment.
yes, i know, rough life. 
here is a postcard with our beach house in it. 
i was fresh out of college, working for Verizon Wireless, and living with joy and three other English and Theatre majors. 
so many stories. :) 
we lived in the top floor in front of the ones with the little people in the rental buggy.
to put it in perspective, joy and i are sitting on the wall that they are driving past in the picture above this one. 
i fell asleep at night with my window open, listening to the ocean. 
i love it there.  
i specifically remember floating out in the ocean once with joy, on boogie boards, and having a discussion about how lucky we were. 
how few people on this planet of ours were able to live on the coast like this. 
in summary, it was a good year. 

sadly, the last time i saw joy in person was at her 2004 wedding.
during the Ohio State v. Michigan football game.
(yes, bern loves me enough to travel to Mississippi and miss the game.)
clearly, the wedding was not the sad part.
unless you consider being the 5-month pregnant bridesmaid sad.
but i didn’t.
she was the nice kind of bride who told us to go find a black dress that wasn’t too short or too long.

oh the belly those flowers were hiding. 
let it be known, i can actually say that I have re-worn that bridesmaid dress.
this was the only maternity one i owned through both pregnancies.
i am not good at keeping in touch with people after they are out of my direct line of sight.
it does not come naturally to me.
joy is one of the very few people on that rather short list.

recently, joy and i were emailing/facebooking and i suggested she start a blog.
a few of my favorite people have blogs, and whenever they post, i feel like i talked to them that day.
yes, i know.
i didn’t REALLY talk to them.
and largely, this is exactly what we encourage students NOT to do.
to, in fact, go out and talk to people face to face.
but, often, the day is filled with work, then a frantic attempt to make it to daycare on time, followed by Krystyne Attempts to Make A Wholesome Dinner That Is Neither Kraft Mac n' Cheese nor Chicken Nuggets, followed by baths, followed by reading, followed by cleaning, etc.
at the end of a long day when I just couldn’t call, these little blog snippets give me a 30 second peek into my friends’ heads.
or their failed attempt at no-baking something.

now, I don’t usually specifically share their blogs, or devote an entire post to them.
but this one is extra special to me.
like i said, joy and i were English majors together and RAs and all of that undergrad goodness.
i went on and made my career in helping people deal with their lives as they happen in the residential setting.
joy made one of helping people learn how to put their lives on paper.
joy is a writer.
i find this infinitely cool and something to be respected.
typically, when she has finished something or has it published, she zaps it my way or points me to the online journal hosting it.
and, without fail, i stop what i am doing to read her recent essay.
as in, last night, she sent me a message to say she had her blog up and running and that i should check it out.
and, in the middle of painting my nails, i put down the brush and read through her shiny new essay that is up on the blog.
(i have a smudge on my right pinky nail as evidence.)
usually, after I read her essays, I forward them to my mom, a few friends, and a few colleagues who appreciate her writing as well.

but why save them up just for me?
to check them out, simply visit her site. now.
yeah, that’s right.
if you actually clicked on that link, you would see that the name of her blog is Joyous In Hell.
it comes back to Dante, as she explains here.
(she also shares her thoughts on us being confused by faculty in this post as well. haha.)
it's like i'm famous. but then, totally not.
to be honest, a lot of her writing is what some would consider dark.
i just consider it genuine.
but, yes, there is plenty of humor in there as well.
i kind of picture us as the equivalent to Meredith and Christina on Grey’s Anatomy.
willing to be “dark and twisty.”
sans the scrubs, medical knowledge, and variety of other differences that probably don't need to be named.
(but, we did both meet at work, and work with our husbands. so . . . there's that.)
her newest essay is about her “jesus year.”
but, there are also many of her other essays that i love up there as well.
particularly, there are a few regarding her recent neighbor and pageant girl. these are some of my favorites.

now that bern is done with school, it is on my very short list of Things That Must Happen Sooner Rather Than Later to make a trip to see joy.
and her little girl who has grown up on my fridge but I have never met in person.
particularly because we have decided that this sweet girl is betrothed to my son.
but, we haven’t really landed on which one.
and i kind of feel like she should at least have her choice between the two.

(for those interested in the usual mysavvyboys antics, come back tomorrow. you might just get to see the love note that anth received last week that enforces my choice to pair the boys with joy's kids now.)
 (disclaimer: no, i am not serious and make no assumptions to the type of relationships anth and benny wish to pursue.)

(or, you might get to hear about the WORLD's MOST INAPPROPRIATE statement i made to anthony regarding my friend's daughter. in front of my friend. and her daughter.)
(i'm having an awesome week.)

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