XXVIII. Long-Distance Running< Previous Chapter | Next Chapter >

Banner of the Aequinoctialis 

The days are changing.

January has never felt like the New Year to me. I have said this before.

With so many things happening abroad and at home, especially at home,

And with others
Mulling it over now, too…

Do you understand that September here– there is something about it being a beginning and an end all at once in a way that people don’t have to scream and wear party hats about or drink beers about or make faux resolutions about?

Feel the leaves turning in your bones.

I wonder if it is like this on the other side of the world.

Whatever road, whatever challenge you are facing: Now is the time.

It was more than a fleeting glimpse.

I am sure of it.

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Amicus & Ascensio 

Have you ever read, such as in Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karennina, how gentlepersons would invite people over to dinner, often strangers, and that was how they got to know one another? They would also play parlor games. And drink brandy.

Sometimes, strangers would even introduce themselves via handwritten letter.

The blogosphere is great for that; well-written correspondence and introductions…

But, now that I am growing-up, I miss having a family home with a dining room.

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Things You Miss While Away 

Around the table sat the Stovers, the Martins and the Pattons:

Three neighbors from one street whose kids used to play kickball together everyday.

The Pattons had moved a few years ago.

But they were back, to say goodbye to the Martin's youngest.

And suddenly all the kids weren't kids anymore.

He was going to war.

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Red Crossed 

Information is spotty at best. I’d like to say that this is because there are so many people who want to help, but I’m not sure that’s the actual problem.

After spending half of today chasing down the organization that the world relies on to be prepared and keep people safe, I now understand that the helpers themselves are in desperate need of administrative rescue from the local to national level.

Between getting someone to pick up the forever ringing phone lines, negotiating a semi-disorganized website, being referred to separate chapters, given the wrong numbers and speaking to people who “just don’t have that information”… I think most people would have given up thinking, “They don’t want me. They don’t need me.”

I know I did.

After the tsunami hit, I called a local Red Cross chapter to see about disaster training for deployment and, despite the fact that I meet the age requirement, was basically told “no” over the phone. To clarify, they did that thing where they made the task sound impossible. They were vague about the facts, courses and paperwork, they cancelled our appointment and didn’t reschedule and they didn’t return my calls. I do enough chasing in my job as an actor and writer, and I wasn’t going to spend weeks chasing down the Red Cross so that I could force them to allow me to volunteer somewhere dangerous.

They don’t want me. They don’t need me.

Maybe they’re right: What could I do?

That’s bollocks. I know I can do stuff. I planned to readdress training at another time.

Now is another time. The Red Cross is in desperate need of disaster volunteers and are, accordingly, “speed disaster training.” This training solely addresses what knowledge is needed in order to volunteer in the Katrina situation. Individuals won’t learn the terrorism and other disaster stuff, but one could always plan to do that after finding a chapter that doesn’t make people fight them to get the information.

I mean, sure, Sean Penn is allowed to roll in with his posse when everyone else is forced to stay in or out of the city, depending on which brilliant stage of rescue FEMA is orchestrating at that time, but what about everyone else? I especially speak of the people with sweet skills and knowledge who aren’t allowed in simply because they must first chase down the paperwork and rules. When I am stranded on my roof one day, I will be glad to see Sean Penn in his boat or anyone else who has an inkling of how to get to me.

It will never cease to disappoint me, how difficult humans make the simplest things…

We live in a time when even helping requires one to negotiate a ridiculous process.

But, then again, the training classes at Red Cross HQ are full; so they can’t let anyone else register, it has been standing room only, people aren’t flaking, you can’t even try to wait on stand-by the day of...

Hope does spring eternal when people are permitted to flex their humanity.

Still, I wish that I could believe the problems are due to volunteer overload.

After much work and calls and e-mails and pushing, It was revealed to me that the Red Cross is offering disaster training at a new location starting tomorrow morning.

E-mail me if you want the information.

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Inbox: Seasonal 

When you pay for a service, such as in the case of printing and mailing, can they ever manage not to screw it all to vicious hell?


This marks the fourth time that printing has gone askew with my screenplay. Except this time the work was sent before it was caught.

I murdered the printer guy with my eyes. You should have seen this occur. He was shamed, as was his entire family, including his dog.


Remember how you used to answer people’s questions on the site? –Doug

Yes, I’m doing it right now, fool.

That’s right; it’s time. A time to build up, a time to break down, a time to dance, a time to mourn, a time when you get mad wisdom in exchange for a few words followed by a question mark. I think you are getting the better end of the deal, but what can I say? I am your hero.

Do you and C.Sto ever talk about anything serious? –Ken

C3PSto: When I was reading that story, it reminded me of Salinger.
Jessica: Really?
C3PSto: Yeah
Jessica: That makes me feel awesome.
Jessica: I’m not sure why it reminds you, though.
C3PSto: The tone that’s, like, "I know something you don't know and I'm not going to tell you what is it yet."
Jessica: I read through it yesterday and did that thing where I forgot that I was the author.
Jessica: And I was all, “Shit! what happens to Lordane!?”
Jessica: But then I was like, “oh wait, I know because I made it up.”
C3PSto: You are a strange person.
Jessica: I know.
Jessica: I'm really weird.
Jessica: But I feel like I should be able to do something, you know?
Jessica: Story wise.
Jessica: I am starting to get very frustrated and very bored.
C3PSto: I was telling someone, I think it was Erich, about the time the green box in the Martin's yard exploded and you started freaking out because you thought we were under attack and I was like, "I think it's because Jessica is creative and makes up these worlds in her mind so something small can set her off and she already has created the whole story of what's happening in her mind before we know what's happened."
C3PSto: Or something along those lines.
Jessica: Yeah. That's pretty much it.
C3PSto: I meant it in a good way so don't take it wrong.
Jessica: That might be the longest IM you’ve ever sent to me.
C3PSto: haha that was funny, though
Jessica: Come on man I was ready to save the day.
C3PSto: If I had a candy bar right now I would eat it so fast.
Jessica: wtf?
C3PSto: Yeah I know but I’m just saying.

Can you tell me more about your studies in Ninjutsu? –Jerry O.

Firstly, I’m a green belt, so I’m not actually that good. Secondly, Ninjutsu is on hold since I was forced to choose between Ninjutsu and gymnastics. I chose the latter because I am going to be stunt wire trained and therefore have to develop sweet skills in trampoline and tumbling first. Try not to think on it too much. Just know that it is all part of my master plan.

And know that Ninjutsu is something that I will always want to study. I tide myself over with the understanding that there will come a time when I will be able to truly enter the dojo.

Or maybe I can’t tell you anything because I know illegal moves from the government. You don’t know.

Do you fear retribution from the hobos? –D. Flax

I fear no hobos. One time The Professor and I even stalked crazy-homeless guitar guy around Cambridge, England so that we could watch him curse at the sky. We did not, however, kill his family.

Cambridge, England has the best, most talented bums ever.

Any suggestions on how to make a Republican cool? –Stef

I will defer to the future master and commander of the Army, the Navy and the Marines. Take it, C.Sto, take it away with your sweet mind…

I am an artist and I was wondering if you like to collaborate on projects such as design, painting and photography. I have some ideas but thought I would ask first. –Alyssa G.

Yes. Please. And, it can never hurt to ask properly. I am open to hearing awesome ideas. Talented readers have already gifted me with loads of sweet photo-art, flash videos, a theme song and, of course, this amazing drawing from Jen.

I mean come on that last one is good.

When and what was the last lecture you got? Mine was yesterday from the mailman about parking my car in front of the mailbox. I guess they don’t like that. –Jon

I was at Cristophe and Fando turns me around in his chair and asks, “Has Diane given you the talk?”

Oh crap— Notthetalk! Wait, what kind of "the talk" comes from a stylist...

"No?” I answered-asked.

Yeah, I got the shampoo talk. Apparently I need to upgrade and stop acting like a boy. Something about swimming in the ocean a lot and the sun and actually washing your hair or something else that ruins your sweet natural color and makes it look reddish under studio lights. I’m like, whatever just give me the magical hair syrup and release me so that I may play Nintendo.

Next time you sit down to compose one of your notorious “Inbox” entries think about this instead: Have you ever considered allowing a reader to send you interview questions and then posting them on JSDC? A lot of the commenters here are intelligent. I would enjoy reading something like that and they might ask the questions that we all are wondering about. –Gabe

Too late, Gabe. The deed is done. And are you saying that people don’t want to know about my shampoo talk? Because, actually, that is the number one asked question here on JSDC. Regardless, I will stop after one more question and open to try your way. So, if a regular reader, someone who actually knows JSDC, would like to do that, then I would be up for answering those questions. Whoever sends the first quality interview will get answers.

What do you want? –Kay S.

To run and be chased by the things I create and fight by the sides of the people I made because I believe in them.

I win.

(This was definitely some sort of game.)

Update: Katie paints me pictures that make the muses weep in shame.


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Behind Every Aidmheil 


You are kind to me. It is rare that someone comes to this place and is unkind, whether they agree or disagree with the words they find. Perhaps you think I am better than I am.

Whatever you have decided about me based on the information found on this site, you are probably right.

And, most often, due to my annoyance at constantly being patted as young and therefore unskilled before someone has read or seen a bit of my work, and due to my writing of said local frustrations, many far wiser than I, understandably, have come under the impression that “solid” means “not in need of assistance.”

But movies are a communal process, as is a person’s life. I say “life” and not “career” because I do not think that the artist is able to separate those things.

They are one.

Certainly, many people have helped me get this far, and I am not that far along yet. There is a vast expanse of world to be navigated.

If you want to help someone, no matter what the circumstances, don’t let anyone tell you that you have nothing to offer. Often those who are most in need of assistance are the most stubborn. Or proud.

I won’t speak to that in this case, but will continue to say that if you want to fuel my dream, however much or however little, then please do mail me with the understanding that your letter will be gladly received. You would be surprised at the number and sort of small tasks that I need to complete along the acting-writing-storytelling way, and some of them soon.

Some of them I don’t yet know how to pull-off...

What you should know is that my name is Jessica Mae Stover. I come from the east. I am a storyteller. I act, screenwrite, produce and novelize. I work on my own properties and ideas, by blending all of those things in good measure, and perhaps more (as witnessed here). As I write this, I know of no one who has done this in the way I plan, in the scope I plan, so I have no absolute model to work from. I consider this a good thing. Most people who make decisions that will affect the end result will not.

It is big.

Yes, certainly, you must understand that I have had help from those who believe.

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