My Original Hero by Deb Jess

I thought we’d end this week on a sappy note. Hey, why not: it’s the holidays! If ever there is a time of year for a little schmaltz and heart-warming treacle, it is now. Haul out the holly and all that. So I’ve composed this letter to my mother, my original hero. When I was born, it was “you and me” against the world. A single, unexpected parent at 18,…

Friday, December 14, 2007

Not All the Furry Monsters Are on Sesame Street by Deb Jess

George Carlin has said that “Life is a series of dogs.” My own life thus far has been touched by a Domino, a Scooter, a Pepsi, a Lucky, a Buster, a Suka, a Marley, and last but certainly not least, a Daisy. Each dog was certainly an individual, with unique quirks and talents ranging from disco dancing to possum wrangling. I was originally going to write a very sad post…

Friday, November 30, 2007

Have a nice trip, see you next fall! By Deb Jess

I can’t honestly say that I’ve had one single “worst vacation ever,” one that would put me off airplanes or camping in the wilderness or certain inexpensive motel chains forever, but there were bits and pieces of individual trips that, if cobbled together, could add up to one nightmarish trip. A trip birthed in the loins of Beelzebub himself. (Or Dane Cook. Either way.) Incident #1: Arriving at the 1996…

Friday, November 16, 2007

Misty watercolor Halloween memories…by Deb Jess

Alright kids, one more Halloween post…we’re almost to the Samhain finish line, and then we can let the Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve fatigue settle in. Since the theme this week is “Halloween memories,” I decided it would be ‘fun’ to try and remember every Halloween costume I’ve ever worn. (No! Thanks for asking, but I haven’t experienced a major head injury recently. I’m…

Friday, November 2, 2007

Who’s Bad? by Deb Jess

So. This week’s topic is “Being Bad.” After I got the Michael Jackson song out of my head, I wondered if I should write a little quiz about my own personal history of badness. If I did, it might go something like this: True or false … has Jess Riley ever: cheated on a test imbibed something illegal, something that might be popular at a Phish show been ticketed for…

Friday, October 19, 2007

Secret Layers by Deb Jess

Secrets can have many layers. At the top, you have your fairly innocuous secrets…what you bought your mother for Christmas, the surprise birthday party you’re throwing for your husband, the tiny ankle tattoo you hide from your boss and grandmother. Another layer down, and shades of gray start to appear. Maybe this layer is reserved for instances when a friend is backstabbing another friend, tacking on a tacky, “But don’t…

Friday, October 5, 2007

On the Fifth Day of Posting, My Muse Did Say to Me…by Deb Jess

This week’s posting topic had me circling my desk. What has publishing taught me, I’d think. What has publishing taught me, I’d mumble aloud. Then I’d sink into my chair and tick my pen against my front teeth, staring out the window at the rabbits scampering about. Then I’d think, Gee, it must be nice to be a rabbit … well, except for that poor little guy that crawled under…

Friday, September 21, 2007

The strangest but most gratifying ‘Thank You’ card I ever received by Deb Jess

Teaching runs in my family. After several decades in corrections, my father returned to grad school to earn his Master’s degree and now teaches theme-based writing to college freshman. My mother, in addition to teaching me many important things about life in general, spent several years as a CCD instructor. (Despite years of attending CCD classes on Saturday mornings, I still don’t know what “CCD” stands for.) My brother currently…

Friday, September 7, 2007

I Never Met a Magazine Subscription I Didn’t Like by Deb Jess

I subscribe to WAY too many magazines. When some hit my mailbox, I will trample everything in my path to read them: Country Gardens and Organic Gardening are the biggest culprits. They are the glossy, professionally-bound crack of my magazine world. I devour them in an hour, drooling over the lush garden photos, dog-earing pages I wish to revisit, dreaming of the day when the pages will be scratch-and-sniff. Because…

Friday, August 24, 2007

“Let’s do the time warp agai–uh, for the first time!” by Deb Jess

As the final new Deb to post this week, I feel a little like the last kid in gym class to be tested on the rope climb. Everyone else is relaxing below, watching, while I pray I don’t fall and give myself a rope burn in a sensitive area. Oh well…on with the show! Movies make me nostalgic. The first movie I ever saw in a theater was Pete’s Dragon….

Friday, August 10, 2007