Monday, February 16, 2004


I got my first review/write-up in a national magazine in the March issue of JANE magazine. I was so excited about it I started chatting politely with the Indian who runs the candy bar/magazine shack at 56th and Broadway and showed him the column. I'm such a dork, and I can't even help it. I have started to realize that there's no getting around it and I might as well try to embrace it and love my dorky ass self, because I'm not cool and when I try to act cool I come off as the exact opposite of cool.

ANYWAY: This is very exciting. I mean, it's exciting as far as these things go. Normally, JANE writes four reviews of CD's and each one gets a paragraph, but they smushed me and Franz Ferdinand together in the same column/review so we only each get half a paragraph. But here's what it says:

Franz Ferdinand sound like a cross between the Strokes and the Rapture, but they're not just ripping those bands off. Listen for them at your local $2 Rolling Rock watering hole.

Another non-ripper-offer is Jessica Delfino, a folk version of Peaches. Her songs start off like, "War is bad," but then she launches into hilarious rants about her vagina and how her boyfriend can't get her off. (Joshua Lyon)

They gave me three and a half cookies. Three cookies is good and four cookies is excellent, so I guess I'm somewhere in between good and excellent, according to JANE. Not bad for a dork.

by Jessica Delfino

On Friday night, there was a "stoned" spelling bee in Brooklyn hosted by Noah Tarnow. I won! Kind of. I actually tied for first place with another girl. It was weird, they didn't do it like a regular spelling bee, (obviously not, if you can't guess by the key word "stoned" in the title.)

There were 14 people in the contest, and there were four rounds - 'pain' related words (excruciating and etc.,) law words (habeas corpus and the like) medical words (anesthetic and what have you) and finally, super freakishly hard words (I can't even repeat any cause I can't remember any cause I'd never heard them or seen the words they mentioned before and I was also very, very stoned.) I didn't miss any words until the freakishly hard round, where I immediately missed whatever my freakishly hard word was. But, I might have missed one medical word and then one really hard word. I can't remember. I was super stoned. But the way it worked was like this: each person spelled a word and if they missed it, they had to leave the stage. But then, at the beginning of each round, everyone came back up and started anew.

So, at the end of four rounds, I think I'd missed either one or two words.

Anyway, at the end of each round, we'd take a little break and hang out and relax our brains.
So, after two rounds of spelling and a break, the announcer, Noah, who by the way was very funny playing the part of a grammar school principal or maybe the English teacher or something, gathered us all up together on the stage and started passing a joint and a bowl around of some primo weed. I showed up stoned because I thought that was what we were supposed to do. I also smoked pot between each break, because I figured, hey, what the hell. After all, this IS a stoned spelling bee, dammit. I'm all about rules, especially if the rule is you must be stoned. We all got super fried and then, the medical words round began, then the super freakishly hard words round.

At the end of the bee, they tallied up the points and myself and another lady were in the lead. I won a free tee shirt.

I have to give credit to some of the spellers in the bee. Some of these people were spelling monsters. One girl, Alita, I think her name was, was awesome. Then, there was a chubby guy whose name I forget and he nailed all these killer law terms, then this one guy Rupe was a spelling ringer, I think he'd gone to the nationals or something when he was in grammar school. He hit so many hard words that I definitely for sure would have failed on. Also, surprisingly, the girl who tied for first with me, she missed several words that I thought were kind of easy, but then during the super freakishly hard round, she hit two really super freakishly hard words right in a row. Impressive at the very least.

Now, to those of you who have spell checkers on your computers and don't use it anyway because you don't care about correct spellings of words, I can't blame you. Spelling words correctly is kind of lame, if you're into things that are cooler than spelling. I happen to like books, though, and writing and reading, so I've picked up the ability to spell somewhere along the way, but not only the ability, the obsession, really, to make it a point to spell words correctly. So much so that it bothers me when people misspell words. When I get an e-mail and it is littered with punctuation and spelling errors, I automatically assume that whoever sent me the letter is either stupid or not very well-read and either way I immediately label them in my head as 'probably an idiot' and I am usually right. (Sometimes people write things quickly and are tired or stoned and though not a perfect excuse for being a sloppy writer, an excuse none-the-less and one that I refer to often because I make spelling and punctuation mistakes all the time in my blog and in stories I write and etc., but it is here where I like to use my creative license and say if I didn't insert weird parenthesis or brackets where they didn't belong or spell something out frenetically, it just wouldn't be Jessica Delfino's writing. Whether or not I'm correct in saying that is up to objection, but then again, I don't care. That's the beauty of the art of being a writer.)

I saw an independent documentary about spelling bees a few months ago called, "Spellbound" and it was pretty good, pretty funny and really cute. It took me back. I haven't won a spelling bee since I championed the 8th grade Great Salt Bay Grammar School bee in '90 and had gone on to place 13th in the county bee.

As I rode away that evening on my bicycle, I was so elated, I almost got hit by a car. It was because I was thinking about how the best part of all of it was that everyone was so fucking nice and cool to me about placing first (tying, whatever). I was like the nerd king that night. Everyone was coming up to me and congratulating me, calling me a spelling animal and things like that. Funny nerdy guys were complimenting my ability to bead letters together and several observers said that they had me pegged as the winner from my first word. It's so funny how everyone loves a winner, even if you're only winning a spelling bee.

I hope I win the regionals.

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