Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

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Fresh Air Friday #3

I went to a school fundraiser/yard sale last weekend and left with a $1 box of floor tiles and a bag of baked goods. Last year, I bought a prom dress. I love the randomness of these things.

Also, more flowers are blooming in my yard!

The origin of Fresh Air Friday.



Settling in…sorta

The hubs, the cat, and I have moved and are in the process of adjusting to life in a new place.

Last time we moved I posted pics of the new place because I lurved it.  This time…

Well, it’s not the worst place in the world, but it’s not my wood-floored, front porch having, charming little apartment.  So no pics.  Except for one, which shows the only counter space in my kitchen.  My mom pegged it by saying my kitchen was basically a closet with a stove and refrigerator.  Cooking has been very interesting, to say the least.

Annoying?  A bit.  But we’re saving money with this place, cash that we’re hoping to put toward buying a house next year.  I actually talked to a lender when we found out our lease wasn’t being renewed, but I didn’t want to rush the process – two months just wasn’t enough time for us to comfortably shop around for the place we’re going to spend the rest of our lives in.

I’m trying to get back into the process of blogging, but since we moved, I’ve had this feeling of running behind.  It’s like I woke up late (a week and a half ago) and I just can’t catch up.  I think it’ll be a few weeks before I’m feeling completely centered again.  By then it’ll almost be fall and the air will (I hope) have a chill and I can make a ton of comfort food without melting into a puddle in the Closet Kitchen.

I also need to get back into reading and writing, two things I’ve done way too little of this summer.

Speaking of summer, it’s almost Olympics time!  I’m not one of those gung-ho watchers, but I am a fan of gymnastics.  My own gymnastics career was short-lived, because I really wasn’t that good, so it’s fun to watch people flipping around like they’re supposed to, instead of clumsily cartwheeling on the beam and grabbing their coach’s hair to keep from falling off when the landing doesn’t go quite as planned.

Yeah, I might have done that.  More than once.  Sorry coach.

Well, that about wraps up my ramble, except for one last random story:

When hubs and I moved into our apartment last summer, there was a shadow of something in the ceiling light fixture in my office – it freaked me out because I thought it was a dead hellgrammite or something equally yucky.  I chose to ignore it.

Then the lightbulbs burned out and my husband unscrewed the fixture and took it down.

It was NOT a bug.  Instead it was…

(scroll down for the shocking reveal!)






An animal cracker. (pic source)


A freaking animal cracker.  I’m pretty sure it was the elephant.

So bizarre.

How is everyone else doing?  Anyone else planning to watch the Olympics?  Anyone else attending WriteOnCon next month?  Regale me with your own random stories!


Things I Love – Don’t Judge Me Edition

Happy Valentine’s Day!  It’s time for declarations of love and blah blah blah.

YA Highway is hosting a V-Day Lovefest, so today I admit my bizarre passion for…

Taking self-portraits with cats.


I’m serious.

Something about posing with a cat and snapping a photo amuses me to no end.  Even more so when it’s an out-of-focus or skewed photo, such as these:

Cat: I was trying to run away from her. No more pics, crazy lady!

Cat: This pic was awesome...until she jumped into it

I didn’t realize I enjoyed doing this so much until my dad asked to see a picture of my cat and I scrolled through the pictures on my camera phone.

Those, along with the ones taken with my digital camera = I have self-portraits with six different cats.

Admitting that makes me sound like a crazy cat person.  And adding that not all of them were even my cats makes me sound like I’m sneaking into people’s houses at night.  (I’m not)

So there it is.

My lame confession.

Does anyone else want to share the weirdo spotlight with me?

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Random, like the world ending this weekend

May 18, 2007

Yesterday I was at the main office and needed the rep in my office to fax me something there.  I called and told her what I needed and said I’d call her back to let her know I got it.

Today, she tells me that the phone rang not too long after I’d talked to her the first time and she picked up, expecting it to be me.

Instead a guy asks, “Do you believe in the living dead?”


People are freaky.

Reading this old journal entry made me think about randomness.

Like, I am apparently a cat whisperer.  I’ve visited people and their cats have climbed into my lap and apparently the cat is the spawn of Satan and has never sat in anyone’s lap before.

Several times I have been in vet’s offices and other people’s cats have jumped onto my shoulder and sat there.

Stray cats have climbed into my car when the door was open and sat in the passenger seat, looking at me expectantly.

It’s a good thing I like cats.

My mom works for the same school system I attended.  While helping another staff member clean out a room at the middle school a few years ago, they found a clipboard I’d apparently lost when I was a student there (it has my name on it).

Very strange and rather disturbing considering I was in middle school in the early 90s and that’s a long time for something to be floating around.  Had no one ever cleaned this room before???

I was getting a new tire put on my car last fall and as I was shuffling through the 10-year old magazines in the waiting area, I found a literary journal among the National Geographics.  It was about 20 years old and contained a poem from my high school creative writing teacher, the same poem I’d been struggling to remember for years because I’d liked it when I read it the first time.

For whatever reason, I didn’t take the mag and I should have since I waited like two hours for my tire.  Damn my sense of honor! 

Now it looks like the man on the phone might be right, since the world is apparently ending this weekend – perhaps there’ll be zombies???

If the world does end on Saturday, I will be the first to say, “Oops, my bad, sorry I made fun of everyone that believed it was true.”

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Continuing on with that list from last Monday…

More random things about me from my random things list:

5. When I was a kid I went to that big weekly flea market in Front Royal with my grandpa and I bought this heart necklace with the initials “RD” on it, and I’ve always secretly believed that I’ll meet someone with those initials that will have a major impact on my life.

Who could it be?  Rodney Dangerfield is gone.  Ooh, Robert De Niro!  Maybe one day I’ll make a movie and he’ll star in it.  Or maybe I’ll be in Jaws 5 with Richard Dreyfuss or I’ll jam out with Ray Davies of the Kinks. 

Back in real-life land:

9. I like stripes.

7. I love to make lists (as evident by this list).

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Random Things

I don’t have anything local to pass along and I’ve found that I usually don’t have a lot of local info, so LoDays is going to have to stand for something else.  I’ll probably just post whatever’s on my mind on Mondays from now on…a sort of “open forum” if you will.

So LoDays are now…


LookOut!  LaughOut(Loud)!  ListOf(Things)!  LeOpen(Forum)!

Anyway, as I was trying to come up with a topic yesterday evening for my Monday blog post, I went digging through the files on my laptop and found a file titled “Random Things” that was in my folder, “Randomness.”

At some point I apparently started a list of random things about myself, which is just random in and of itself.

I thought I’d share a few:

3. I talk to animals like they’re people.  If my parents’ cats get into a squabble, I don’t clap my hands or yell at them to stop, I try to reason with them, by saying things like, “Your actions have really disappointed me.  Why would you act like that?”

15. I hate lettuce.  Completely hate everything about it – the smell, taste, look…especially Iceburg.  It has absolutely NO point whatsoever, as far as I’m concerned.  No nutritional value, no taste, no point.

16. But I LOVE spinach and arugula and collard greens, etc.  It’s only lettuce that retains my wrath.