newsletters, you're bound to end up with *a lot* of rejects.
Especially when one of your authors is overly dramatic and overly
emotional. So here's renegade angels, teary good byes, and
who knows what else. This time my comments are not only in
italics but also green. (Except in the cases where there
were huge blocks of just my comments, then I nixed the italics for
easier reading.) Just to make it that much easier for those
of you reading this. Which, by the way, if you are reading
this I'm touched. How devoted are you!? Wow!!
Sometime Post JABB
74- Why Jenni Shouldn't be Allowed to Watch "Beauty and the
or Around There- When Caffeine Attacks JABB
91- Cancellation Ending JABB 104- Christmas Carol Take Two
JABB 108 or
Thereabouts- TBAA's Pending Finale JABB 106- Jenni's Letter to Andrew JABB 122- Halloween mishap
JABB 167- On
the Deck of "Titanic" Thoughts on JABB 169
JABB 74- Why Jenni Shouldn't be Allowed to Watch "Beauty and the
Reading this I'm not sure why I
even have it. It makes no mention of John Dye or
Andrew! I kinda suspect this was never supposed to be an
actual newsletter. Perhaps just something posted onto
the Dyeland Map to explain how people get around Dyeland and
between Dyeland and the world. Regardless, there's so
many story flaws in it now it can only go here! (Comments from 1-3-05)
"Okay, I know I put it in one of those boxes
over..... there!" Jenni excitedly pointed to a stack
of boxes at least 4 feet high in the attic of Dyeland
"You're going to have me help you look through all
those boxes, just for some old book?" Audrey asked
with a hint of annoyance.
"Aww, come on! It's
always fun to look through old boxes. Besides, it's
not just 'some old book', it's an old scrapbook. I
can't even remember why I would have packed it away."
"Well, it's nearly five all ready. If
we want to get through all those boxes and get to sleep at a
decent hour we better get going." Audrey
The two women walked towards the boxes and began to sort through
their contents. An hour went by with little conversation
except the usual "I can't believe we actually kept this piece of
junk." or "Hey, I remember this!" Suddenly, Jenni let
out a cooing sort of "Awww..."
"What is it?" Audrey asked as she
looked over at what appeared to be an unremarkable chunk of
"It's from when I first met Vincent.
It's from the first tunnel I ever stepped into. I remember
it like it was yesterday..." (The authors would like
to kindly suggest that you imagine the following scene in either
black and white, with a rather misty appearance, or in your
favorite "This is a flashback" camera technique.)
Here's why I think this was never
supposed to be a real newsletter. I mean I realize I
wrote way too much about Vincent at points but this...
This is really long! For all I know, I coulda just been
writing this for my own amusement.
"Hello?" a soft male voice said.
Jenni walked slowly around her favorite place in her home
town. It was an old part of the city, it still had
many old buildings, and was set up with all sorts of twists and
turns. It was a good place to get lost in. (The
Market. If any of you ever visit, you *must* go there!)
"I hate high school! If
I could get home-schooled you'd better believe I'd do that in a
second!" Jenni mused to herself. "Or...
live underground like on 'Beauty and the Beast'.
That'd be cool. Just nice people no stress, just peace
and quiet. Lucky TV people..."
(Actual thoughts I had frosh year of high
school. I seriously had dreams that Vincent would turn
out to be some relation and I could go live with his clan and
never go to formal school again! Obviously I improved my
opinion of my high school but sure am glad now to be finished
with it and college!)
Jenni continued to walk about
aimlessly when something caught her eye. It looked to
be a inconspicuous tunnel but the darkness inside it almost seemed
to be shimmering and spiralling. She walked a little
bit closer, then closer still, until she finally, shyly reached
out towards the entrance. She jumped back, shocked,
when she realized the hand that she had stuck into the tunnel had
disappeared. She picked up a brick and threw it into
the portal. It disappeared! She glanced
nervously around, gulped, and jumped into the tunnel. (Way
to travel #1- Going through magic door to other place.
This is the means by which Dyeland was supposedly found.
Think the wardrobe in The Chronicles of Narnia.)
Once inside she started to look
around. She became aware of movement in her pereferial
vision but her eyes still hadn't adjusted to the dark.
"Umm, yeah. Hi I umm. Not
sure what umm... Weird." came Jenni's
mumbled reply. She suddenly remember the small flashlight she
had clipped to her purse. She turned it on and shone it
towards where the voice had emerged.
"Ahhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Jenni shrieked
when she got a good view of the other person in the tunnel.
"I'm sorry, my appearance. It must be
quite a shock. I'll be leaving."
"No! Oh my gosh! This is
crazy. See, okay you belong on TV. I must
have gone crazy. Maybe I'm asleep! That's
it!" Jenni then began furiously hitting herself in hopes
of awaking. When that failed she continued to
babble. "Oh my... then I guess I've finally lost
it. But... I feel fine! Unless... oh my
gosh! You've gone insane! You've completely
cracked! I've heard of this. Actors play
these roles and they get too emotionally involved and then they
start to believe they *are* the character. Poor
man. Mr. Perlman, I really must insist you stay here,
sit down, and I'm going to get help. Do you have family
I can call? A therapist maybe?" Jenni
suddenly looked very concerned for the man in the tunnel. (Why
I felt I'd be able to keep my sanity enough to try and deal with
a crazed man my father's age is beyond me now. I woulda
flipped in real life.)
"No, my name is Vin..."
"No! Your name is Ron! You're
an actor and I have no idea how you ended up in Nebraska (although I
guess if Kevin Costner can come, so can you!) but I'm getting you
help. Good gosh, the show ended nearly 8 years ago,
"The show? It was based on me but..." he
suddenly stopped, feeling any explanation would not be understood by
the frantic girl. "I'm afraid you must have me confused
with someone else, miss. I'd really better
go." With that the man turned around, shaking his head
"Absolutely not! Don't you have children
to support?" Jenni started after the retreating figure
and managed to grasp a clump of hair. (I
do like that I took time out of my mini-breakdown to remember
the children. LOL.) She gave it a
Surprised and in slight pain, the man let out an
"Okay, ummm, see... You shouldn't be able
to do that because... umm... they add that in during
post-production. And how in the world did you get that
wig on anyway? It really should have come off when I
pulled it." Jenni suddenly began to feel slightly
"It's not a wig." the man
"Yeah, well, it's not as if you're all grace and poise when you meet
people unexpectedly, either!" Jenni responded with a
"Then you're... real." Jenni began to
sway around in various directions. The man reached for her
shoulder to steady her. Then he jumped back when she
started laughing maniacly. "You're
real!!!! Oh my gosh! This is
awesome. Okay, so what do you think about
Othello? Or... Guenever! Or
With a bemused look, Vincent pondered how exactly
this girl's mind must work.
Beyond the obvious fact that there's absolutely no
good reason to include a scene of that length that doesn't in
any way involve John Dye or Andrew... it just doesn't make
sense in light of stuff from later newsletters. Namely,
that Vincent is Jenni's cousin by marriage and also her
godfather. Also, I'm pretty sure we've always just kinda
pretended the show BatB never existed. Of course, I do
think I contradicted myself a lot on when they met.
Count it as my Monica and Andrew first meeting continuity
issue. :-) Whatever I was trying to do I was not
content to stop there...
(You may now resume normal imagining).
"You pulled his hair! I can't believe
that!" Audrey said laughing.
"Even worse, you see this brick?"
"It's the one I threw. Just missed his
head by an inch or two." Jenni explained blushing
"Priceless. You've spent so much time
defending Vincent from the likes of Kiwi and it turns out he had
you to be most afraid of! It's a wonder he didn't
scream and call *you* crazy when you met."
"I resent that!"
"You resemble that... I remember when we
met face to face..."
(You know the drill.)
A teenaged girl sits in front of her computer late one night
typing. The following words appear on screen.
SERAPH***: I swear to you! I can sometime
find ways to get places with out planes or anything. I
ended up in New York once when just a second earlier I'd been in
Nebraska. I met a really good friend there, too. (Way to travel
#2- Willing yourself to any location as long as you know it's
Ferdo0204: Fine then, prove it! You have my
address. I'll give you five minutes to get
SERAPH***: I'll try.
SERAPH*** has signed off.
"I should have listened when people said there were
tons of crazy people online. The girl thinks she can
'beam' herself places or something! I can't believe I'm
writing that newsletter with an honest to goodness
crazy." Audrey mumbled to herself as she glanced at the
clock. "Only four minutes left, Jenni!" she said to the
Amused, Audrey sat staring at her computer, waiting
for a defeated Jenni to resurface online.
"Hmm... nice place you got here!" a voice suddenly
Audrey noticed a figure reflected in her computer
screen and her eyes started to get bigger out of
disbelief. Slowly she spun around in her chair to face
the girl she'd been speaking to only moments before.
"Hi there, Aud. So, pretty convenient,
don't you think?" Jenni asked.
"Haha. Very funny. Who are
you and how do you know Jenni? And who let you in the
"Audrey, I'm not joking. It's me."
"Fine, umm... if you're Jenni then you should be able
to tell me... what does JABB stand for?"
"Aud, come on. That's easy.
John/ Andrew Bucket Brigade."
"Fine, too easy. Umm... Fine,
then. How did you get here?"
"I don't know actually."
And neither do I. Dyeland is pretend. I see
no reason to make up a reason why we can just sorta travel about
as we like. Fantasy, people! Later a third way to
travel was alluded to: being sent there assumedly by God.
So in a couple newsletters we'll have people suddenly appear,
confused to find themselves other than where they just
were. Anyhow, that story was an exceptionally long way to
discuss fictional magical travel!
JABB 81 or Around
There- When Caffeine Attacks
What can I say? Clearly I'd
had one too many lattes or cappuccinos or what have ye.
Here was my way of working it out. (Comments from 1-3-05)
8. Hang out on Adam's island and make friends with the
The holidays are over and things have quieted down in Dyeland but
it can't last long! Vincent's still at his home in New York
leaving Jenni to her own devices. Several other Dyelanders are
hopped up on left-over Christmas chocolate and Monica's made one
too many trips to the Café. In short, with out
parental (or pseudo-parental) guidance and under the influence of
caffeine, Dyelanders are about to go crazy. As such,
Top Ten Crazy Things to Do in Dyeland when Your Guardian is Away
and/or You've Had Loads of Caffeine
10. Invite Andrew for a quiet, relaxing walk in
Mystical Mountains. Make your way towards its border
with the Forbidden Forest. Run over the border about
10 feet and enjoy the ever-so-adorable panicked look Andrew gets
as you enter the danger zone
9. Take over the Planetarium and instead of projecting
constellations, project your favorite pictures of the AOD.
7. Form a mob (a friendly
one, of course), track down Ms. Williamson, and demand that she
send Andrew to jail. (I just plain don't think I'll ever get
over the fact that that episode never happened. Sometimes
I think I should have "Still waiting for Andrew's murder
trial..." on my grave when I die. But then people would
probly think some guy named Andrew murdered me and had got
off. And that's just not quite the hilarity intended.)
5. Have a massive water gun war in the newly constructed
tunnels beneath the city. (Please refrain from using
Windex in place of water as one high-ranking JABB official did in
6. Steal a bumper car from Laughingly and drive
it through Dyeland all the while screaming "Johnny Angel" at the
top of your lungs. (We request that you refrain from
bumping into people and animals).
I was just about to type out that that last one must have been
Audrey but then I remembered that, yes.... yes my cousins and I
had one time had a fight with a Windex bottle. And I
believe a can of air freshener was also involved. This was
the same night we spent an excessive amount of time putting
large marshmallows in the microwave and seeing how big they'd
get before they popped. Sigh... good times.
JABB 91- Cancellation Ending
Okay, as we started #91
we were unsure about whether TBAA would be picked up for a 9th
season or not. And we apparently knew we'd be pressed for
time when the actual announcement was made. So we wrote
two endings. Fortunately, we ended up getting to use the
one that had a 9th season. Had TBAA been cancelled after
season 8 here's what people would have got in their
(A sizeable group has gathered around Andrew and laugh as
he tells about some of his assignments and for some they cry.)
Andrew: Now, what's been going on here?
Jenni: Ooh! Audrey found a leprechaun! Well,
actually I heard him first but she saw him... but then he
Andrew: (laughing) A leprechaun? Really and did
he grant you three wishes?
Audrey: Uh no... That's genies but... Actually
the less said about the leprachaun the better. We can save
that story for tomorrow. Now let's concentrate on happy
things. Oh, Matt came home. (Audrey motions towards
Matt and his family as Jenni once again turns red. Audrey
gets a devilish look.) You actually missed his grand
entrance, Jenni turned a lovely shade.
(Andrew laughs and Matt approaches the group.)
Matt: Yes, I'm afraid I unwittingly stole your hug, sir.
Andrew: Please, just Andrew. I don't believe we've
Matt: No, I moved away before you all came here. It's
greatly improved. I'm dying to know what's taken place since
I left. So much has changed... but for the better I think.
Andrew: Well, where to start? Kidnappings, witness
protection programs, elections, brainwashing...
(laughs) We may be here all night.
Jenni: Fine by me... I don't think I could sleep from
the excitement. A whole month since you were here and now...
Andrew: Okay, then who should tell our story?
Audrey: You tell it best.
Andrew: Eight years ago there was this TV show...
was all in the 91
everyone saw. Here's what people didn't.
(The sunlight begins to peek through the curtains of the
ballroom. The crowd, though somewhat dwindled, still looks
at Andrew as he finishes the story).
Andrew: Finally the show had ended. There were tears
but everyone knew that those eight years had made them
better. They had become friends, they had grown, and they
would never be the same. Sometimes they would hear a dove
coo and they would think of Monica or Tess or Andrew. (Obviously
am very glad we weren't made to use this but I did like that
sentence. Cause I do think of them everytime I hear a
dove coo. But I'm not gonna get weepy about good
byes. There's plenty of that later as you'll see.)
They'd think of the angels and think of the One who sent
them. They knew the show had ended, the actors had moved on,
and the TV was no longer on every Saturday night. But some
things never change. They still had their friends with whom
they could reminisce or to whom they could bring their
problems. (I'm writing this commentary
now in January 2005, over two years after this story was first
written. And I just gotta say how true these words have
proved to be. I still have so many friends that I can
count on and hope now I'm always eager to help them out.
Truly a blessing.)
And in this place,
Dyeland, which they had built with dreams and wishes they still
saw their angels. When they got lonely or scared or even
when they just got very quiet, they would remember and hear "God
And there it was. One year later we wrote a real
good bye to TBAA in JABB
Christmas Carol Take Two
Okay I could say we
rejected this because we'd all ready parodied Mr. Dickens but
considering we did it again in JABBs 126 and 127, that obviously was not the
reason. So let's take a look shall we? (Comments
The Roseate Theatre in Dyeland
had long been built, cleaned, and furnished. The Theatre had
been Jenni's pet project and she regretted that, except for a few
small productions, it had hardly been used. With Audrey's help
she hoped to see this changed. The time was perfect to begin
planning a Christmas production of some sort. However, as the
two princesses sat in an office in mid-August planning the play they
immediately ran into problems.
4 Months Earlier
(Apparently meaning 4 months before
December 2002 which was when this was going to be sent)
"Figures, the one year we really need an actor is the year John
can't come for Christmas at all. Not that I blame him."
Jenni said dejectedly as she hung up the phone.
Clearly this is quite old as we seldom refer to John in a
way that suggests we know him anymore. Cause we
don't! Granted, we don't know Andrew either but I think we
can be allowed some creative license. :-)
"Yes, his schedule is always so busy and it's not as if he
can just tell people he needs some free time. 'Excuse, but
could I possibly get some time off to star in a production in a
magical land that bears my name?' I think not." Audrey
laughed to herself at the confusion such a request would make.
I did like
that line. Haha.
"Well... surely we can get someone else to star..." Jenni
began going through a mental list of the men who lived in
very short list I might add. I believe it's something like
6 total). Suddenly, her thought process was
interrupted by a knock on the door and Andrew walked in.
"Hey! Great news! I just found out I'm supposed to hang
out here off and on for a few months." Andrew smiled.
Audrey and Jenni glanced at each other and started grinning.
Andrew was scared, very scared.
After months of planning, the Christmas play was about to
begin. Everyone was quite proud of it. They'd been able
to write it, make sets, sew costumes, and memorize it all with in
four short months. Granted, while writing it they had borrow
considerably from another story. The directors whispered a
prayer as the curtain rose and story began...
what doesn't work. Okay Andrew's supposed to be playing Eben
but other than that this has zero connection to TBAA or any of
John's work! I mean you take out the section above and it
doesn't even look like a JABB newsletter. Just a
Eben hurried into his house Christmas Eve. He'd grudgingly let
the poor sap of a human that worked with him go home early.
Sometimes he wondered why God had sent him on assignment here on
earth, and for such a long period of time. He had done very
well in heaven. Some said he was the most organized angel in
all of creation. Even Charley (Ha! Rhymes with Marley and
Eben is taken from Ebenerzer. As in Scrooge! Am I
talented or what?!? Sheesh...), his boss, could not
hold a candle to his abilities to keep track of the humans.
All had been well in his department. Yet... things had begun
to change towards the end. As time went by instead of putting
away the files, Charley and Eben had begun reading them. At
first they did so with pity but gradually it turned to disgust as
they read all the misdeeds. Finally, there came the fateful
day that Charley, with out the blessing of God, descended onto Earth
to "teach these humans a thing or two". Eben had thought it a
fine idea but had decided to stay in Heaven to read a few more files
and decide what unsuspecting humans would fall victim to he and
Charley's next visitation. But there was no next visitation...
word came later that Charley had fallen. And Eben was sent to
earth in the form of a human and had remained so for twenty
Eben entered the house and prepared himself a simple meal in front
of the fire place. He was just about asleep (weariness being
one of the worst parts of being human, he thought) when his entire
room was filled with a red glow. Startled, Eben looked around
him and finally his eyes met those of the long-fallen Charley.
"Charley! What brings you here? How good to see
you!" Eben rejoiced at seeing his friend.
"Whether it is good or not remains to be seen." Charley
answered as he hovered near Eben. "For twenty long years I
have suffered my punishment."
"Punishment? But did you not choose to go to the other
side?" Eben asked.
"Yes, it is a punishment of my own choosing and a punishment that
day by day you come closer to choosing. For you there is still
time. Time to make peace with humans and with God." (This is all
ready stupid but I can't fault my theology. This story says
a lot about what I personally believe but that raises the
question... what's my belief system doing in a joke newsletter?!)
"Really, I've been thinking about that but don't you think
it's all kind of ridiculous. I mean... what kind of Supreme
Being takes so much care about so wretched a group. I can't
say that I haven't ever wondered if maybe you were ri..."
"Silence!" Charley interrupted, "You will say something which you
will regret. This night three spirits will visit you."
"Spirits?! Please tell me you mean angels. Why not just
say angels, much less frightening."
"I do not mean angels, at least not like you have known. The
first will arrive at midnight. Good bye Eben, choose
wisely." With those words Charley and the red light
Eben had stayed up, startled by his encounter with Charley but
finally exhaustion triumphed and he fell asleep. But at
midnight he was awoken as his entire bedroom was permeated by the
"Are you the spirit fortold by Charley?" Eben asked as his
sheilded his eyes until he could adjust to the light.
"I am" said the spirit.
"And what are you spirit?"
"I am the guardian of the Past, but tonight we are concerned only
Eben finally took his hand away from his eye and was finally able to
discern a young girl dressed all in white. She seemed to be
dressed in a mix of all those styles that had once been favorable
through the past 2000 years. "Take my hand" she said as she
walked toward the window.
"But I can no longer fly, I am human now."
"Take my hand" the spirit said again.
Eben was surprised at the force of the words and did so.
Before he knew it he was standing in a shelter for the
homeless. He knew it at once. It had been here God had
sent him when he'd first become human, the day after Charley had
fallen. Eben gasped as he saw himself, twenty years younger
smirking in a corner.
"You had thought you had been sent there on assignment, did you
"I did, I never would have guessed God would have made
And there I was apparently distracted and never did return
to it. Anyhow, so Eben fell to earth and was rendered
homeless. You would think he'd be humbled, have sympathy
for the human condition, etc. But no. Because Eben
is inexplicably a bad angel. So he gets through that
phase, somehow gets his own business, is cruel, etc. But
of course eventually sees the light. Yay Eben and what a
waste of time. LOL The story never went any where
and I think JABB
104 is a vast
improvement. However, the name Eben did resurface on the JABB YahooGroup
as our resident villain/demon.
JABB 108 or
Thereabouts- TBAA's Pending Finale
Here's me. In case you
can't tell most of these rejects are solely my own since if
Audrey or my other two co-presidents ever wrote ridiculous
stuff, I never saw it. Again this one's really
short. I think as time went by I got better at telling
what was a dead idea before I wrote and wrote and
wrote... (Comments from 1-5-05)
Welcome to the second to the last
pre-TBAA finale issue. Does that make sense? We're
not even sure what that means. Well, there's only this and
another issue before TBAA goes off the air. That doesn't
mean JABB will immediately disappear. Our anniversary
isn't until July and, by gosh, we're going to celebrate that
anniversary. (Here's where I actually
believe I'm going to be able to cut the cord to JABB in July
2003. LOL! What a laugh! Guess who is
still here in January 2005!! Seriously, glad to be
here. I mean who would want to miss out on all this
"Heart of the Beholder" fun!?) But
more on that later. I'd like to announce that after TBAA
goes off the air, as a way to cope, we will be having an
election to elect a president of Dyeland. Andrew is, of
course, running for re-election but we also have some other
candidates. (For the record, Andrew did
win. But currently Dyeland has no president since he
stepped down after Eben started a mud-slinging campaign
against him. Plus did we really need a
president? Who knows, if we get really bored we can
always hold another election.) Again,
more on that later, but we just wanted to give people some
notice. Now, onto the issue!
Hi, this is Jenni and I'll be the
first to admit TBAA's impending departure was a shock to
me. So... I may have done some kinda bizarre things.
I just really want to continue to see Andrew on television, so I
wrote to the producers of some current TV shows with the
following ideas. (Please know I didn't
truly. While I adored Andrew, I fully appreciate
John's desire to take on other roles. But that doesn't
mean I don't wish for a reunion movie. :-)
JABB 106- Jenni's Letter to Andrew
1. Dear VIPs at "E.R.",
I have watched your show for years. It is really
good. Well, it was really good but, I've gotta admit, I
think it's going a bit stale. (I was starting to get really frustrated
trying to watch this cause I'd invested so much time in it and
felt I should keep watching but... I do still watch ER,
for the record, but nowadays it's more playing in the
background while I do something else.) I mean
how many times can a person really watch Luka mentally
deteriorate or see Romano go from decent in one episode to
despot in another? (Course, Romano is dead
now. And in what was either a really cheesy, really
ironic, or really both sorta way.) It
gets redundant. So do I ever have an idea for you!
You may have heard that "Touched by an Angel" will be leaving
CBS. I for one think you should hire John Dye and have him
reprise his role as Andrew on your show. He can give
everyone updates on all the doctors and med students you have
managed to kill off on the past few years.
And ER promptly woulda been cancelled.
LOL No matter, I watch "Scrubs" now. I bet they
could find a nice lil cameo piece for John as
Andrew... Or how about John as Dr. Cox's long lost
brother? Elliot's uncle? An eccentric
patient? Really, anything would do! :-)
Right... So this
was originally supposed to be a JABB newsletter. From
around December 2002 or January 2003. And I was gonna
get Aud to write one, too. And they were supposed to
be *funny*. Because that's what we do at JABB! I
mean, sure, we have our serious moments but c'mon! So,
I've mentioned this letter to people before. So now,
straight from Andrew's scrapbook where it sits written on
daisy stationery in an envelope with daffodil cut outs on it
and with dried lavendar sprinkled inside it is...
Jenni says good bye to Andrew. Out of respect for the
highly emotional 20 year old I was I'll refrain from making
smart comments til the end. (Comments from 1-5-05)
It's been over seven years since you became a fixture in my
life. Tonight I found out that era is drawing to a
close. I'm sad that things have come to an end but
happy they lasted as long as they did. As time goes by
and you take a hallowed place alongside Dorothy's Scarecrow
and the Brothers Grimm and all the guardians of my past,
here are things I want to remember about you.
I want to remember you speaking to a young boy whose father
had been stolen away in Auschwitz. A voice of kindness
in a place of unspeakable hatred.
I want to remember you fighting intolerance for a man with
I want to remember you helping an artist's deteriorating
hands to grasp a brush as he made his final good byes to his
I want to remember you cradling a young woman as she
breathed her last in a dark alley.
I want to remember you dancing with your umbrella.
Something of a child in you, still joyful with all you'd
I want to remember a spirit who saw hatred but showed only
You saw us at our worst but you loved us anyway. You
are truly the son of your Father.
I will remember you.
So that was my good bye. And I'd be lying if I
said I didn't cry all over again typing it up. I should
make it clear that by the time I got to the start of the
litany of "I want to remembers" I knew it was no longer
suitable for JABB. As for the reference to the
Scarecrow, I'm not sure why but I adored him when I was like
4. I was convinced I'd grow up and marry him.
Looking back I have no idea why but he was my longest lasting
imaginary friend. Actually that phase and this Andrew
one have a lot in common which is why I mentioned him in the
letter. Anyhow, I continued writing cause I guess it was
my way of recognizing that, in a way, a chapter of my life was
ending. TBAA had been with me from age 12 to 20.
It was kinda scary thinking that one day it'd be clearly
designated as "the past." Obviously, it continues to be
very important to me but as time goes by there is a certain
childishness that I brought to episodes when I first watched
them and even to the earlier newsletters that I wrote that I
can no longer access. So I guess, in a way, I was not
only saying good bye to Andrew but also the person I was in
the days he appeared on the air waves. But this is
neither the time nor the place to get into all that.
Let's move on. :-)
JABB 122- Halloween mishap
Really, really didn't get very far
with this next one. (Comments from 1-3-05)
Before we get into the actual body of the newsletter, we'd like
to give you a heads up on the next issue. In about two
weeks, we will be sending you our Halloween-themed issue.
It will be a story and with in it we will hide the titles of
TBAA episodes through out the 9 seasons. A prize from
Amazon.com will be awarded to the winner. So start
studying those episode titles!! :-) Now... onto this
Due to some rather crazy and unfortunate circumstances in
Dyeland, we feel it's best that we not celebrate
Halloween. (I believe those "crazy and unfortunate" circumstances
were due, in large part, to my fictional counterpart nearly
eloping with Eben the demon in order to prove to Andrew she
was "over him". Or some such thing. Really
sometimes over at the JABB
YahooGroup it all just gets so crazy I can't recall!)
Andrew's had enough to deal with with out adding a few
kids dressed as grim reapers into the mix. So, we've
decided to have a costume party and erase all mentions of the
word "Halloween" from the celebration! (Looking
back I hate, hate, hate that I actually wrote anything like
that. And sure enough come JABB
123, we do have the Dyelanders foregoing
Halloween. And I fully admit it was my idea. But
now... why, oh why?! If you wanna celebrate Halloween
why should a pouting angel determine the way 100+ people
behave?? So by the next year, we had a Halloween party
in Dyeland for those who wanted to come and my inner child was
efforts to rename the day have been less than successful...
Top Ten Rejected Substiture Names for Halloween
10. The Holiday Formerly Known as Halloween which We Can't
Say Cause Andrew is a Wimp
We just felt that was mean. And a bit too lengthy
the renaming effort was wildly unsuccessful since I only
came up with one. LOL I don't even think I sent
this to Aud cause I thought it was too much of a dead-end!
JABB 154- Andrew and Jenni Watch the
"HOTB" Trailer... Alone
drafting this issue while I was watching the trailer for
John's latest movie, "The Heart of the Beholder". I
was really psyched to have something to be inspired by
again! Hadn't happened since TBAA's finale! Here
is what I wrote at that point. Since I was writing
alone, I only took on the emotions and reaction of my own
fictional counterpart and Andrew. I asked my friend and
fellow JABBer Jess to pre-read it for me before we sent it
out. I also asked whether she thought adding a third
person into the scene might be worthwhile. Frankly, I
felt much better about having Jess in the scene. Less
weird and awkward. :-) But anyway, here's what it
looked like when it was just Andrew and "Jenni". It starts out the same but
then you'll see differences. (Comments from 1-12 and
Now that that’s done, as I said, a few days ago I happened
upon the following scene. Jenni sat in an office in
Willowveil, merrily checking her email or some such activity
when Andrew came in to retrieve some document of some sort.
Really it’s not important why he was there. What matters is
what happened next:
Jenni: Hey Andrew, can I help you with anything?
Andrew: ::rifles through filing cabinet for a moment:: No
thanks, got what I need right here. ::heads out::
Jenni: ::shrieks giddily::
Andrew: ::turns back to her anxiously:: Jenni, what, what
J: The “Heart of the Beholder” trailer is on the web! Ooh I
hope it has lots of John scenes in it.
A: Wow, can I watch? I’d like to see what John’s been up to
since “Touched” wrapped. I haven’t seen him since shortly
J: Sure, pull up a chair.
A: ::does so and looks expectantly at the screen::
J: Here goes… ::hits play:: Ooh! The Arch! I love St. Louis.
A: Yeah, quite a city.
J: ::blushes:: They look like a happy couple… Aww… kinda
A: Isn’t there usually dialogue on these things?
J: Yeah, that’s why the website said it wasn’t final. They
haven’t added that all in yet.
A: Ah, I see. Oh hey, there’s John!
J: Gah! Why’d that man make a gun sign at John?
A: I have no idea. Yikes. Fire… bad memories. ::shakes head::
J: Aww… ::pats his hand comfortingly:: Booth? (Later added JWB's full name
cause thought not everyone would immediately grasp simply
"Booth" as the assassin of Lincoln) I’m sorry, Andr… Oh my… Oh. That
woman with John, err, Manion… she’s not wearing any… ::turns
(Here's where Jess
entered in what became the final version.)
A: ::looks a bit
ill-at-ease:: This is awkward…
J: Well, at least Manion doesn’t totally look like you d… Oh
my! Did he just shove that woman? ::looks at Andrew
A: Yeah, yeah he did. Gotta give the guy credit. This doesn’t
look to be a particularly easy role.
J: Yeah… yeah he’s a great actor. ::stands up and yells at
screen:: Run, lady, run! Bad Manion, bad!
A: ::looking unsure whether to laugh at his fellow viewer’s
animated reaction or do his stunning concerned look for the
lady in the movie::
J: Ah! Scary guy with sword!
A: Scary’s right. Wow, John’s looking a little frightening
J: Yeah he really does. I’m impressed. I wonder why those
people are tilting their heads like that?
A: ::decides he’s not going to say anything::
J: Aww! No! Now the formerly happy couple is fighting. A lot.
A: Oh that’s paintball. I was really confused for a second.
J: No kidding. Oh boy there’s Manion again. AHHH!! GUN GUN
GUN! ::unconsciously grips Andrew’s hand in shock:: He’s got a
gun! He’s gonna shoot that lady! (This is the part I really
wanted Jess' opinion on. Wasn't sure if gripping
Andrew's hand was the way to go. She said it was cute
but did question the following. )
(As Jess pointed
out, Andrew probly wouldn't make much of a fuss over
this. So I cut the "Ows" but left the hand gripping.)
J: It’s over… Ah!
Oh my gosh, oh my gosh… ::releases grip on Andrew and notices
own white knuckles:: I’m really, really sorry. Really, really
A: ::moves hand a bit and then grins:: It’s okay. Well that
was… quite the experience. ::blinking a bit::
J: ::lamely:: Uh huh. ::Awkward silence for a few moments,
Jenni closes out of video program, stands, shuffles around a
bit, then begins to giggle. Then laugh outright.:: Well,
John’s definitely getting to stretch some acting muscles he
didn’t playing you.
A: Uh yeah, that’s for sure. That was a bit surreal… I mean, I
admire his abilities as a performer and the movie looks to be
worthwhile and with a message that needs to be delivered and…
J: ::smiles, thinking he looks especially cute a bit
flustered:: I was supposed to meet Monica at the Café now, you
got any where to be?
A: No, not for… ::checks pocket watch:: 45 minutes and… 5
J: Well, then c’mon you dear, old brick. Orange juice and
ginger ale, my treat. (I love that. Dear old brick. Read it
in a Lucy Maud Montgomery story. So that's gonna be a
new gimmick on JABB. Every so often Jenni or someone
else will give Andrew a nice new nickname. Lemme know
if you have suggestions!)
A: Brick? I’ve not
heard that term used that way in years even.
J: I’m bringing it back. Now, I just hafta say… As far as
John’s inspired-by-true-stories characters go… I like you much
better than Manion.
A: ::laughs:: Well, thanks.
J: Any time. Now we gotta go and stop Monica before she orders
another latte. ::leaves the room, Andrew follows::
I think adding Jess made it a lot less stilted and
JABB 154- Jenni Hulks Out... Apparently
This part was never, never, ever supposed to end up in a
newsletter. Just FYI. When we were writing this,
Jess suggested that when the group leaves, Jenni pulled Andrew
with her. Jess, of course, clarified what she meant
(just that Jenni sorta lead him by the elbow as you see in the
final version). But at first I thought she literally
meant Jenni should yank him outta the room. So I told
Jess what went through my mind when she said that. So
here it is, Jenni has just called Andrew a brick, he's amused
by the old slang. Jess is preparing to depart with them
to the cafe and then: (Typed out 1-17-05)
Jenni: I’m bringing it (the term
brick as a trusted person) back. Now, I just hafta
say… As far as John’s inspired-by-true-stories characters go…
I like you much better than Manion.
Andrew: ::laughs:: Well, thanks.
Jenni: Any time. Now we gotta go and stop
Monica before she orders another latte. ::Jenni
spontaneously yanks Andrew out the door and into the hall::
Andrew: Whoa! What the
Jenni: Uhh... Me Jane, you Tarzan?
Andrew: Haha. But seriously,
I'm a good foot taller than you and no offense but... I think
probably stronger so... how are you yanking me any where?!
Jenni: I don't know! Jess said
it would be cute!!
Andrew: But... it just doesn't make
sense. Like I said, I'm taller and...
Jenni: 'Little' again! nothing but
'low' and 'little'!
::Andrew looks confused::
Jenni: William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Act 3, Scene 2. Hermia to Helena who has just called her
Andrew: Oh okay.
Jenni: I don't think this is
Andrew: I'm sure Jess meant
Jenni: Yeah, let's go see.
Thoughts on JABB
aka "Nor Iron Bars a Cage"
I've had several occasions in this past year to flip
through the various JABB Newsletters from beginning to
end. A couple of JABBers have told me they've read
them all in order (obviously not in one sitting).
This is a feat I've never quite managed. But I do
bounce around and read here and there and often find
myself with the thought... "What the bleep was I
thinking when I wrote that?! What was my mental
state? Was I medicated?!" and even sometimes "Wow, I
really like that. Wonder what was going on in my
life that enabled me to write something actually kinda
nice there." Or even "How'd I come up with
that? A friend's comment? It just popped into
my mind? I worked for days on it? Did I even
write that or did someone else?" Well, unfortunately
much of that is lost somewhere in the recesses of my
mind. But I decided I might as well start recording
what I remember. So now this page is "The Author's
Cut and Commentary", featuring not only alternate scenes
but my thoughts on what ended up written. Not sure
if this is of any interest to anyone besides myself but I
fear if I put it any where but here I'll forget where it
is! My first entry in this new commentary as
opposed to cut mode is from the murder trial story I
wrote. Mostly it's just how I decided what parts
characters would play in it.
First, I do want to make clear that a few JABBers did help
inspire parts. For example, it was Jess' idea that
her character (also Jess) would organize a group to
support Andrew. So FAN (Free Andrew Now) was
born. I'm also pretty sure she suggested that Jess
get in trouble a bit for a pro-Andrew outburst. If
not and it was my idea, I hope she was okay with it.
:-) She also gets one of my favorite non sequiturs
in JABB: Ton of join sloth. And she can consider
Andrew's expression of gratitude to the fictional Jess at
the end of the story as also an expression of my gratitude
to the real one. She was one of the few that gave me
any guidance for her character and she also graciously
pre-read the story for me. Thanks, Jess (the real
Second, Monica's pretty miniscule lil role. Well, to
be honest I just don't find her easy to write and by
having her be a newspaper reporter that didn't really
matter since there's a certain non-emotional, impersonal
style to newspaper articles. And... well, she was
the star of most TBAA episodes. I was letting Andrew
Third, Tess served as Andrew's lawyer. This seemed
logical enough and I really admired her as a lawyer in
"Smokescreen." But, again, it was kind of a case of
"Well... Tess should be in here somewhere uh... well,
Andrew doesn't have a lawyer yet!"
Gloria, far from
what I would have guessed, was the only non-AOD whose part
I thought was actually very memorable. I don't
dislike the character by any means but neither do I have a
great affinity for her. But she just seemed to
effortlessly come out as the bumbling defense
witness. It was also fun to write since it involved
getting nostalgic about TBAA episodes. And I
actually got positive feedback about her part!
People especially seemed to like the Ecstasy
reference. Actually, come to think of it, I got more
than usual amounts of feedback concerning JABB
183 which contains references to heroin.
Clearly I need to bring up drugs more often!
;-) Okay, back to TBAA's youngest angel... Gloria
was also special to me in this story because her
introducing Andrew to the Hildegard CD made LJA's part of
the story possible.
Now a few words on Adam. I'm fairly positive I had
him delivering the sad news of Andrew's arrest from the
earliest drafts on. Mostly for the reason that I
wanted initial disbelief from the Dyelanders and Adam
would easily elicit that since he's known for being
humorous. I wanted him around as a foil to Andrew
who, I felt, would be largely serious and dramatic in the
story. Plus, I felt Andrew would initially be a lil
cranky having found himself jailed and I know based on
"The Sign of the Dove" that Adam was more than capable of
shrugging that sort of attitude off. What I don't
really remember plotting out but seemed to just sort of
happen by accident was Adam's functioning as the sort of
"den father" of the "girls." I guess writing about
someone named Adam, growing up in the Judeo-Christian
tradition as I did, the father associations were
unavoidable. And, yeah, I think he really was living with them
during the course of the trial. I think I was
tempted to make a show of Adam having a guest house on the
property just so no one raised their eyebrows at the male
AOD sharing living space with a bunch of women.
Cause I thought people might be upset by that even though,
clearly, one couldn't come up with a more innocent
set-up. Still, some people are just appalled by the
idea of non-related males and females living together and
I didn't want to get emails over it. But, in the
end, I probly wisened up and realized that was ridiculous
and no one on JABB would care. If they did, no one
told me! Propriety ended up being my starting place
for another character...
"Nor Iron Bars a
Cage" was, I think, the first time I was ever proud of the
writing I did for LJA. Up to then it seems to me she
just swooned over Andrew and acted pretty goofy.
There was no realistic base to her because she was really
supposed to be a sitcom-y, ridiculous character. But
then any sitcom character I have any affinity for has a
solid, serious base to them it seems. They have a
history and motives that drive their actions. And I
knew if I was going to be able to continue to write the
character with out despising her, I'd have to give her
that. So with "Nor Iron" she actually had some sort
of serious mental process driving her actions (or
inactions) and, as such, I found it possible to write a
scene between her and Andrew that wasn't completely for
laughs. The fact that the idea for her part came
partly from one of the scenes from "The Passion of the
Christ" that I actually liked did sort of force it to be
serious. ;-) Plus, I had to face the fact that
she (and hence myself who shares her birthdate) wasn't a
teenager any more (eeek!). She had to grow up and,
it seems to me anyway, that in growing up we almost can't
help but start to see ourselves through society's take on
what's acceptable. Most likely she would come to
realize as she aged that camping out on Andrew's porch was
not only quite pathetic but downright shaming.
So... here she was with the same feelings but now a sense
of propriety and reputation that kept her from acting out
as she used to. So she pulled away for the reasons I
had her state and all this that I thought she'd probly
never state out loud, least of all to Andrew. In
fact, this story may be the one and only time in JABB
where Andrew initiates physical and verbal contact with
her as opposed to the other way around (at the end of the
story) because she had withdrawn so much. Anyhow, it
was nice to write a serious conversation between the two
Finally, the star of this story... Andrew! Also the
character whose reactions and emotions I spent the most
time considering (think years). Seriously, from the
first moment I read that rumor about such an episode I
thought off and on about how Andrew would feel. How
his assignment would unfold, etc. I ended up
starting with initial dismay and even bitterness for
him. My thinking there was Andrew was really blessed
on TBAA. He lived in Heaven, ever in the presense of
God's love! Well, in JABB not only does he have that
but also Dyeland where he is singularly adored, surrounded
by natural and architectural beauty, and showered with
praise, love, baked goods, attention, etc. Whether
he likes it or not. :-) Now, I don't think any
of this would ever turn a gentle, compassionate spirit
like his into a spoiled brat. But... it just may
make those prison walls seem a bit more confining and
blah. And possibly lonelier...
Now, I don't
think Andrew would forget God was with him but when (in
JABB's universe) he's so often surrounded by other
corporeal entities, I thought that might make finding
himself isolated and physically along harder to cope
with. So I have him if not encouraging then at least
not protesting the Dyelanders' presence in town. He
also experiences some surprise that LJA does not come to
visit him. I thought that made sense. I don't
think, in normal circumstances, he would be overly
concerned about where she (or any Dyelander to be honest)
was in relation to himself as long as he had no reason to
think they were in danger. But possibly in this
heightened sense of being alone he would. I hope I was on track
there. Or may be it was just simple curiousity that
someone who seemed always to want to be around him
suddenly seemed to avoid him. In any case, I did
want to make clear that he was very grateful for the
Dyelanders' attentions. So he's pretty well bursting
with gratitude in the final scene of the story. But
in what I hope was a naturalistic, carefree sort of
Eventually Andrew gets called to the stand during his
trial. This ended up being the lengthiest
conversational scene involving Andrew, I believe.
Actually it was probly the longest dialogue scene in the
story period. I figured, having God and truth on his
side, Andrew would be pretty calm. Even able to
laugh a bit. As much as one can and remain
respectful, I suppose. It was also really important
to me that God come into that testimony. I thought
it was also important that Andrew stress God in his later
conversation with the prosecutor, Sinclair. I felt
this was necessary both to explain what later happens to
David Sinclair and also to cover any lingering
misconceptions people may have had about how I wrote
Andrew's mental state. I didn't want his feelings of
loneliness to be equated with feeling abandoned by
God. I don't think Andrew ever felt that in this
story. Whether he will in the future in another
story... I guess we'll have to see!
So that's why the cast of characters featured in "Nor Iron
Bars a Cage" were written as they were. I wish I
could remember whether I always intended the murderer to
be someone involved in the trial or not but I don't.
And part of me really wants to know what the verdict
was. :-) (Typed
Thoughts on JABB
Option 2 ("Poor Mrs. Manion...")
So I'd reviewed "Heart of the Beholder" whilst, for
the most part, keeping a firm grasp on reality. But
this is JABB and, I find, it's hard for me to stay away
from Andrew and fiction for very long. So I wrote a
piece about Andrew and a sullen Lady JenniAnn
contemplating one vital (to her) accessory worn by the
lecherous Eric Manion. A wedding ring. Cause
everyone knows when a girl's fretting over the roving eyes
of males it makes utter and complete sense for her to seek
her asexual love interest for comfort. :-) No
really, I suppose it does make sense. In any case, I
really was struck by that darn wedding ring. And
thinking about this poor, possibly fictional woman.
However, I would have kept that all to myself or at least
a close circle of friends if not for... I miss Andrew
being all wise and comforting and angelic! I
missed seeing him talk about God and love and smile that
certain way. But, alas, TBAA has ended. I was
left with only my own imagination and I wrote this up so,
at least in my mind, our wise and comforting and adorable
angel would be back. And I figured may be some
others missed him, too, so this ended up not on my
Livejournal but in JABB. Cause whether you give a
care about LJA or Manion or HOTB, I think Andrew's lines
and actions here are pretty fitting to the character we
loved on TV. I hope so, anyhow!
Another reason I wrote this one was cause, to be honest, I
really felt this need to depict the Andrew/LJA thing as
functional. On the JABB
YahooGroup and to a lesser, but still
evident extent, in the Newsletters I've made it pretty
darn obvious she's in love with him and he will never,
ever, never, ever, never (ad infinitum) be in love with
her or anyone else. (Unrequited love is a big
favorite theme with me.) As a result, I think it's
often come off as a really maladaptive, dysfunctional
non-relationship. But at some point I decided I
wanted to present Dyeland and its inhabitants as a close
circle of friends. So here the angel and his admirer
have a pretty normal conversation, even some friendly
teasing, and he actually helps her out and she doesn't go
on an anti-men downward spiral. Plus, hello!, it's
Andrew throwing paint around! That's quality
entertainment in my mind! LOL Also, I think
there may be some foreshadowing in their final exchange
but I won't say for sure (mostly cause I don't know for
sure). ;-) (Typed
JABB 167- On the Deck of "Titanic"
I'd decided I wanted to have another contest. But if I
tried to hide TBAA episode titles one more time I was gonna
scream. About that time the American Film Institute was
having a special about famous movie quotes or something like
that. So I decided it'd be fun to write a story where
various JABB personalities aped famous movie scenes.
Then people would have to submit the name of the film being
mimicked. Well, it didn't end up being that fun to
write. But I soldiered on and finished it. I asked
for people to suggest scenes and as an example wrote the
following. (Typed out 9-7-05)
Adam and Andrew made their way to the bow of the Aurora Mist.
Amazingly, the boat's bow was empty of Andrew's hangers-on.
While Adam looked on with
amusement, Andrew stepped onto the railing of the bow, held his
arms aloft, then began to pump his fist into the air and shouted
'I'm king of Dyeland!'"
there we have Andrew aka Jack Dawson and Adam as... well,
whatever Jack's buddy was named. I admire my own common
sense in NOT using the *other* bow scene. Cause I
personally do not need the mental image of Andrew looking all
gooey eyed at one of Dyeland's regulars. Unless, of
course, it was Lady JenniAnn. LOL Just
kidding. That would be sooo wrong. Even as it is
the scene's kinda grating. "King" of Dyeland?
Thoughts on JABB
So JABB 169 marks the first time I ever "left"
JABB. To be fair, I still was around the JABB
YahooGroup as much as ever. Even worked on the
webpages for a bit. But, except for two notable
exceptions, I did not really write JABB during that
period. I had the newsletters pre-written and ready to
be sent every two weeks. So I literally just signed into
the JABB account and hit "Send" and that was the extent of my
JABB newsletter activity for three months. It was a
"hiatus." It sounds goofy cause JABB certainly isn't
hard work. But I just wanted to see, for future
reference, what it would be like to not sit down and write
JABB every couple weeks. And I also planned to not
really play Dyeland on the JABB
YahooGroup during that period. So Lady JenniAnn
needed to go away. And I think, if you're reading this,
you can probly guess who it was hardest for her to
leave... And, for me, this was probly the second or
third hardest issue to write. It's still difficult for
me to read cause now I know exactly how hiatus played out and
that it didn't work exactly like I expected and that while I
was writing about this fictional good bye a real one lurked
only months away.
In the part of that issue after the LJA/Andrew good bye scene
where the real me takes over, I mention being scared that when
I returned I'd find myself so changed that I wouldn't be able
to do JABB any more. It didn't occur to me that it
wouldn't be my life that would change so drastically but that
something would happen that went to the core of the TBAA
fandom. Reading Andrew talk about change and LJA
resisting the idea and wanting things to stay, forever, the
same seems almost prescient now. Because when I did come
out of hiatus it felt like JABB had changed forever and,
possibly, was not going to be able to continue. I can't
fully explain why, at first, Charles Rocket's suicide seemed
to toll the end of the John/Andrew
Bucket Brigade but it seemed to.
On the contrary, when it actually came to returning from
hiatus, it seemed even more important to keep JABB
going. To keep showing appreciation for the show that
told us to have hope in the face of tragedy and grief.
And it seemed important to keep Adam around, even beef up his
role. I'm still not, months later, sure why I felt the
need to bring Adam into JABB more. I guess after Mr.
Rocket's death and recent events in my own life, it's become
really clear to me how important it is to remember those we've
lost and to make our lives, at least in part, an honorable
legacy to them. And also to remember that good byes are
really just "See you laters." (Typed out 3-4-06 and 3-11-06)
(Photo Credits: The photograph used on this page is from
"Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline
Productions, and Moon Water Productions. It is not being
used to seek profit.)