The online home of Jess Barron

Web content and community expert, writer, editor, blogger, and internet video producer.
Bio | Resume/CV

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In 2004, a guy who I don't know named Jeremy Abbate saw my website and wrote a song called "I Wanna Be As Cool As Jessica Barron." It still amuses me. Here's the mp3 and here are the lyrics.

Archives (slowly being reconstructed):
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October 1999
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See how this site looked in 1998
Poprocks.com screenshot from early 1998
and how the place looked in 2000.
Poprocks.com from June 2000
Yahoo counted me as a "cool person" from 1997-2001. How far have I fallen?!
Yahoo counted me among the "Cool People" in 1997-1998.
The internets have come a long way, baby...

October 20, 1999 Living in the Wild, Wild West
If you've wondered why I haven't updated my online journal in a few weeks, it's because I've been in the process of moving myself and all of my material possessions (including my computer) from Boston to Los Angeles. WildWeb transferred me out to the west coast to help open their new office. I've been wanting to move to California for at least a year, so I was glad to get the opportunity to finally do it.

I am enjoying L.A. so far. Bocce and I are currently staying at Hillary's apartment in Hollywood. She and I just signed a lease on a new place in West Los Angeles with Jeff, who resigned from his job at The Nation earlier this month. He's leaving New York to come out here and live with Hillary, Bocce, and me.

During the week I've been in L.A., I already witnessed an incredible car crash (a Range Rover flipped over outside our window on Hollywood Boulevard while Hillary, Chris, and I were eating dinner. The driver emerged from his overturned vehicle completely unscathed. The weird thing is that just minutes before we saw the accident, we had been talking about all the crazy car crashes they were able to cram into each episode on CHiPs) and ordered beer from Pink Dot.

Our new apartment is OK, I suppose, though the style is this terrible faux colonial. There were borders around the top of the walls (I insisted that they rip them down when they repaint the place for us next week) and a fake brick floor in the entry way. I hate that I'm so tied to aesthetics, but it just isn't the kind of place I imagined I'd be living in. I guess I'm afraid we're going to be living in condo hell with all of the trappings, including gated parking and central air conditioning. I'm most worried about the negative effects such a place could have on Bocce. She is a delicate creature with refined sensibilities about taste and style. Being forced to live in an unattractive environment could cause permanent scars on her already issue-ridden psyche.

Lee had told me again and again that I would probably want to live in Los Feliz or Fairfax or Hancock Park. And J.P. had been insisting that I get a place in Los Feliz/Silverlake which is where he lives. But Hillary said that that area is too long of a commute to Century City where she works. Also, Jeff and I figure that we will be working somewhere near the Westside. WildWeb is currently looking for office space in Santa Monica.

Since we were looking for a three bedroom that allowed dogs, there weren't many listings available that suited our needs. So, we signed the lease on this apartment in West LA, sort of near Westwood. And I really shouldn't complain about our new place that we haven't even moved into yet, but when we visited Paul's apartment in Santa Monica this weekend I found that his place was exactly what I had imagined and hoped that my apartment in Los Angeles would be like. His place has hardwood floors (as opposed to our wall to wall carpeting) and funky tiles in the kitchen and bathroom (as opposed to our linoleum). What's more -- he has a view of the Santa Monica mountains, while our view is comprised of the stucco apartment building across the street. I told Paul that he won't be allowed to come over to our apartment. I'm sure his classes at SCI-Arc have only enhanced his natural disdain for unpleasant architecture. Once we move into this place, Jeff, Hillary, and Bocce and I will need to completely embrace our new home. I won't have anyone copping pretentious attitude about our place. At Jeff's behest, we will keep a sense of humor about it and possibly invest in a few naugohyde recliners to tie in the whole "look."

Our new place has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two balconies, central air, a fireplace, parking, and a dishwasher -- so I really have no right to complain. I especially shouldn't be complaining since I will be inhabiting the master bedroom which has two closets -- all the better to contain my copious clothing collection (and my omnipresent alliterations -- which I assure you, I will keep inside my closet from now on. Your eyes and ears should not be senselessly bombarded by my letter repetition addiction).

Jeff arrives in L.A. next week and it'll be interesting to see how the three of us get along living together. We've known each other since our high school days in suburban Northboro, Massachusetts. I hope this experiment in cooperative living doesn't end in disaster. As far as I'm concerned, as long as we procure a TV so that we can watch "Dawson's Creek" and "Buffy" each week, everything will go swimmingly. We may also want to build a confessional booth a la MTV's Real World so that we can spill all of our angst and dirty secrets to a video camera on a weekly basis.

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posted by Jess Barron @ 10:03 PM
October 15, 1999 What I'm Listening To
I work at MP3 search engine Scour, so I listen to a lot of music. Here are some MP3s in heavy rotation right now on my Mac:

Supreme Beings of Leisure's "Last Girl on Earth."
Supreme Beings of Leisure are a trip-hop act from L.A. Their singer (who's absolutely gorgeous and has a beautiful, haunting voice) is Lawrence's friend Miles' wife. If you like Portishead and Lamb, you will probably also like SBL. I need to buy their CD.

Eminem's "Stan" (featuring Dido).
I heard this song on the radio yesterday while JP and I were driving in his car on the way home from In-n-Out Burger. "You have to listen to this," he said, turning the radio up. It begins with this beautiful part where Dido sings, and then Eminem comes in rapping but he's reading these letters from an obsessed, troubled fan. You need to listen to it. This song gives me goosebumps.

Billy Bragg's "Help Save the Youth of America" and "California Stars" (with Wilco).
Jeff got me into Billy Bragg when we were in high school. I used to be obsessed with "Help Save the Youth of America," but I lost my 'Talking With the Taxman' CD before I even got to college. I just downloaded it on Macster, and I'm loving it. Billy Bragg really *gets* it. Check it out: "Help save the youth of America/Help save the youth of the world/Help save the suntanned surfer boys and the California girls/ When the lights go out in the rest of the world/What do our cousins say?/They're playing in the sun and havin' fun, fun, fun until daddy takes the gun away. I hadn't heard "California Stars" before, but I found it when doing an artist search for Billy Bragg on Macster. It's another gorgeous. simple romanticization of the promise rapped up in California: "I'd like to dream my troubles all away on a bed of California stars...They hang like grace...I'd give my life just to dream with you on a bed of California stars."

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posted by Jess Barron @ 10:40 AM