Wednesday, June 1, 2011

common sense is genius

I first met Jessica in 1995 (holy shit, that makes us friends for 16 years). We were thrown together as roommates in a dorm room for two weeks when we went to Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. for an intensive sign language course. I’ve never made friends easily, but it was love at first site for Jessica and me.

Jessica is from Berkeley; born and raised in Berkeley. She is the ‘hippie’ I’ve always wanted to be. In 1995, she taught me the simplest ‘green’ lesson: the water doesn’t need to run the entire time you are brushing your teeth. Common sense is genius.

I went to visit Jessica in Berkeley in 1996, and when I arrived in Berkeley, I finally felt like I was where I belonged. There were vegetarian restaurants everywhere for Pete’s sake! Jessica and I met back up at Gallaudet in ’97, she came to Chicago in ’98, then I went back to Berkeley around '01, and Jessica came back to Chicago around '02. We are in dire need of a visit.

Jessica recycles and composts and does all the things I wish I could do. She has kind heart and is now a great mom. She makes me the best surprises out of things she has around the house or things she finds. I have a dream pillow made from an old nightgown and stuffed with lavender from her garden, a box of treasures made from an old fire alarm box, a dream pillow bag made from old bed sheets, and many other treasures. Jessica is special, period.

The other day, Jessica was telling me about the new system they had installed at their home in Berkeley called greywater. Basically, they had a lot of pipes installed and buried in their backyard that delivers the wastewater from their washing machine, to their plants and garden. Common sense is genius.

Near the end of our conversation, I was telling Jessica how tired I am of the three constants in my life: being in debt, being overweight, and being surrounded by clutter. Jessica said, “Well, all three of those things are something you can do something about.” I swear to goodness, common sense is genius!

Sometimes, someone says something to you that is sheer genius no matter how simple and obvious it is.

Thank you for your genius, Jessica.


  1. That is some genius common sense!
    You can get good exercise clearing up clutter! And save money by starving yourself.

  2. She does sound amazing and I will now pay some bills and file something on her behalf.