Go Jessamyn West, young man, and get out of the country. April 16, 2009 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Jessamyn will travel around the world with me from now on

I recently had to get additional pages added to my U.S. passport because all of my visa pages were taken. (Yeah, it's kinda neat, but there's a lot of relatively boring Heathrow stamps in there.) The additional pages that are sewn into one's existing passport have American scenes printed lightly on them. They also have quotes spanning each two-page spread. The quotes are from people like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Horace Greeley. I was happily surprised to find the inclusion of another great American, Jessamyn West. Her quote is on the pages depicting the railroad and it says, "A big iron needle stitching the country together."

I searched here and through the Goog, but I didn't find any mention of this. I hope I didn't overlook it somewhere. Am I the first mefite to need extra passport pages? Or is her quote maybe a recent inclusion? Maybe it's compensation for the whole "Spaz" thing?

Regardless, it's totally rad. Congratulations, Jessamyn!
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal to MetaFilter-Related at 12:49 PM (104 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

awkward
posted by logicpunk at 12:52 PM on April 16, 2009 [27 favorites]


Cool! I found a (kinda blurry) picture.
posted by exogenous at 12:52 PM on April 16, 2009


There is also a writer with the same name.
posted by slogger at 12:53 PM on April 16, 2009




ha ha. ha. uh.
posted by the dief at 12:56 PM on April 16, 2009


I think Jessamyn West puts it best.
posted by carsonb at 12:57 PM on April 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


oh, i see...

Will it work if I just cross out the name and write in Cooter?
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 1:00 PM on April 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


congartulations jessica
posted by Greg Nog at 1:01 PM on April 16, 2009 [10 favorites]


West was a second cousin of Richard Nixon.

I knew there was a reason we couldn't trust her.

I keed, I keed...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:02 PM on April 16, 2009


Says here it's from "The Life I Really Lived" (1981), by Jessamyn West (1). (And librarything still hasn't disambiguated them.)
posted by ormondsacker at 1:03 PM on April 16, 2009


Librarything says that she is composed of at least two distinct authors. Jessamyn is legion.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 1:07 PM on April 16, 2009


I think you need more than 2 authors to form even a squad, let alone a legion. Plus, have you seen them drill? It's embarrassing.
posted by boo_radley at 1:11 PM on April 16, 2009


The one with the beard is the real jessamyn, shoot the other one!
posted by Mister_A at 1:12 PM on April 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


Is two enough for a posse?
posted by ardgedee at 1:12 PM on April 16, 2009


The Sith figure out, after many mistakes, that two was fine.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:15 PM on April 16, 2009


In light of Grey Gardens-mania, shall we distinguish them as Big Jessie and Little Jessie?
posted by Joe Beese at 1:17 PM on April 16, 2009


I am hereby changing my name to Abraham Lincoln.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:18 PM on April 16, 2009 [9 favorites]


I'll be Andrew Jackson, everybody already hates me anyway...
posted by Mister_A at 1:23 PM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think you need more than 2 authors to form even a squad, let alone a legion.

Say, that's a good question: what is the collective-noun term for authors? You know, like it's a "murder" of crows, a "pride" of lions, an "exaltation" of larks? What's the term for authors?

A "scribe"? A "scriptorium"? A "rewrite"?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:30 PM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


*shakes maracas*

I am evil Jessamyn!
I am evil Jessamyn!
posted by Ufez Jones at 1:30 PM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's a "douche" of writers, iirc.
posted by Mister_A at 1:31 PM on April 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'll be Rutherford B. Hayes, since no one has ever really heard of me.
posted by slogger at 1:31 PM on April 16, 2009


Dibs on J.Q. Adams.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:32 PM on April 16, 2009


Jessamyn will travel around the world with me from now on

I think that's nice. Even though the other Jessamyn West is a corpse.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:32 PM on April 16, 2009 [17 favorites]


A filter of writers?
posted by marginaliana at 1:33 PM on April 16, 2009


Is this just a roundabout way of telling us that you travel the world so much that you run out of passport pages?
posted by dhammond at 1:44 PM on April 16, 2009


Have you considered New Zealand there, Johnny Longname?
posted by Mister_A at 1:45 PM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Say, that's a good question: what is the collective-noun term for authors?

A starvation of writers.
posted by dersins at 1:46 PM on April 16, 2009 [24 favorites]


Go East young man.
posted by vapidave at 1:46 PM on April 16, 2009


A Hungover of Writers.
posted by The Whelk at 1:46 PM on April 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is this just a roundabout way of telling us that you travel the world so much that you run out of passport pages?

Also, what often happens is that careless customs/immigration officers (USA I'm looking at you) skip pages when they stamp, thus cruelly reducing the useful life of your passport.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:47 PM on April 16, 2009


Dude! Cortex is in my passport and on my pennies!
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 1:48 PM on April 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Jessamyn will travel around the world with me from now on

I think that's nice. Even though the other Jessamyn West is a corpse.


A head in a jar would be easier to pack.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:48 PM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I said "pennies".
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 1:50 PM on April 16, 2009


The name for a group of pennies, by the way, is "dollar."
posted by Mister_A at 1:51 PM on April 16, 2009 [8 favorites]


According to wikipedia, Jessamyn West answers as many as two questions a day on the question-and-answer subforum Ask MetaFilter !!
posted by ORthey at 1:56 PM on April 16, 2009


... the other Jessamyn West is a corpse...
If she died in 1984, she probably doesn't weigh much. Also, she is foldable!
posted by Mister_A at 1:58 PM on April 16, 2009


The name for a group of pennies, by the way, is "dollar."

A starvation of writers would know nothing about this fact.
posted by mesh gear fox at 1:58 PM on April 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


You know what that means, right? WiKi pages for all!
posted by oneirodynia at 1:59 PM on April 16, 2009


I don't know about authors, but the collective known for actors is "waitstaff".
posted by yhbc at 2:00 PM on April 16, 2009 [18 favorites]


I doont no abot speeling eethur.
posted by yhbc at 2:01 PM on April 16, 2009


I find it charming that Jessamyn has a wikipedia entry, and it proclaims that she is an internet folk hero according to Cory Doctorow. Learn something new every day.
posted by jabberjaw at 2:01 PM on April 16, 2009


yhbc, you've gone Scottish!
posted by Mister_A at 2:02 PM on April 16, 2009


Jessamyn will travel around the world with me from now on

I think that's nice. Even though the other Jessamyn West is a corpse.


She'll be in the company of Elmer McCurdy and other wandering dead.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:13 PM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I thought writers were solitary, and that therefore there is no collective noun for them. You know, like tigers, or pythons, or something.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:24 PM on April 16, 2009


"Is this just a roundabout way of telling us that you travel the world so much that you run out of passport pages?"

Or that if you cover your passport in grape jam, they make you get new pages.
posted by klangklangston at 2:25 PM on April 16, 2009


Well, our Jessamyn (Metafilter's Own!) has a picture on her wiki page, so she's obviously the more important of the two.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:28 PM on April 16, 2009


A starbuck of writers.
posted by CKmtl at 2:30 PM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cortex is in my brain!!11!1!
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 2:32 PM on April 16, 2009


Ah, see, that's a common mistake. Our Jessamyn West isn't the one that said, A big iron needle stitching the country together." Our Jessamyn West is the one that said "here's a picture of a guy fucking a dead chicken."
posted by koeselitz at 2:39 PM on April 16, 2009 [25 favorites]


Someone mentioned to me that "a starvation" might fit artists more than writers. They offered instead, "a drunk of authors."
posted by CancerMan at 2:46 PM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or that if you cover your passport in grape jam, they make you get new pages.

Just don't try going to Germany. Yeah, my passport had seen better days, but no other country held up our whole party for over an hour, "Ziss iss how you treat official government documentzz?"
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:50 PM on April 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Meaning no offense to mefi's Jessamyn, it says something about Wikipedia (what, I'm not sure) that the article on her is more than twice the length of the author Jessamyn West's article, and at least quadruple the length of the article on mefi Jessamyn's father, a hero to geeks everywhere since Tracy Kidder published The Soul of a New Machine.
posted by orthogonality at 2:52 PM on April 16, 2009


Our Jessamyn West is the one that said "here's a picture of a guy fucking a dead chicken."

In fairness, she actually said " yes yes yes [these are nsfw, #2 especially so]"
posted by dersins at 2:54 PM on April 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oooh, ooh, can I be Grover Cleveland?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:58 PM on April 16, 2009


the noun for a group of mefites is "meetup."
posted by shmegegge at 3:06 PM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Meaning no offense to mefi's Jessamyn, it says something about Wikipedia (what, I'm not sure) that the article on her is more than twice the length of the author Jessamyn West's article, and at least quadruple the length of the article on mefi Jessamyn's father, a hero to geeks everywhere since Tracy Kidder published The Soul of a New Machine.

No offense taken. Availability of online citeable media about all of us seems to be a major deciding factor. I'm always surprised that the article on my Dad isn't longer, but he's a reclusive hermit so I figure that's part of it. Wikipedia is terribly fickle and only sort of to be taken seriously, in my opinion.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:11 PM on April 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'd actually take it as a bit of a compliment that people might think that "A big iron needle stitching the country together." sounds like something you'd say. It's a hell of a cool line and I can totally see it as a phrase you might have penned.

Cortex is in my brain!!11!1!

He does tend to stay in the forefront of the mind, doesn't he.

posted by quin at 3:22 PM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I never got to see the chicken picture.
posted by jokeefe at 3:29 PM on April 16, 2009


Maybe it's compensation for the whole "Spaz" thing.
posted by box at 3:29 PM on April 16, 2009


me: Ah, see, that's a common mistake. Our Jessamyn West isn't the one that said, A big iron needle stitching the country together." Our Jessamyn West is the one that said "here's a picture of a guy fucking a dead chicken."

This is a bit of an oversight on the part of the US Customs Office, but it's worked out for me; I just cross it out write in the correct quotation in my passport.

posted by koeselitz at 3:35 PM on April 16, 2009


Our Jessamyn West is the one that said "here's a picture of a guy fucking a dead chicken."

If you can get that printed in your passports, I'll move down there and apply for citizenship.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:44 PM on April 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


I never got to see the chicken picture.

You're not looking hard enough.
posted by dersins at 3:53 PM on April 16, 2009


*leans over to the voice identification unit* "My moderator is on my passport."
posted by adipocere at 4:09 PM on April 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I like this one better -
"Only a fool would refuse to enter a fool's paradise when that's the only paradise he'll ever have a chance to enter."
It's only by refusing that you get to enter. I think.
posted by tellurian at 4:25 PM on April 16, 2009


Aw, my picture of the train only has a stupid quote from a stupid monument or something stupid like that.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:36 PM on April 16, 2009


Check's old thread. Awww, they're gone! Where'm I gonna find my fix for man-chicken porn now?
posted by graventy at 5:14 PM on April 16, 2009


This is hella better than the abduction thread I thought it was gonna be.

Jessamyn the Elder is a favorite writer of mine. If you're looking for a book to give a young girl that will counteract all that Gossip Girl crap that passes for YA literature these days, you can't do much better than Cress Delahanty. From the jacket flap of my 1953 edition:
Mrs. Delahanty was somewhat amazed to see the way in which teen-age Cress "recapitulated" her husband John. There was the matter of lists, to begin with. Fifteen years before, John Delahanty had made a list headed "Reasons for Loving Gertrude Amboy" (now Mrs. Delahanty) over which she had broken their engagement, for two days. And now here was their daughter Cress making a list of "Useful Traits for School" which began: "I. Personality. A. Unusual. 1. Witty."
posted by cirocco at 5:27 PM on April 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Here you go!
posted by ryanrs at 5:32 PM on April 16, 2009


If there is a record of such things, I'd like to go on it: I'm sorry I brought this up.
posted by koeselitz at 5:38 PM on April 16, 2009


Uh oh. I think Jessamyn has an impersonator! From the PAST!!!
posted by iamkimiam at 5:41 PM on April 16, 2009


Oooh, ooh, can I be Grover Cleveland?

I am so putting in my claim to be Warren G. Harding...
posted by rollbiz at 5:55 PM on April 16, 2009


Happy birthday Abe Lincoln!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:30 PM on April 16, 2009


From Wikipedia - Published Works:

Jessamyn West (2007). "Introduction: What Do Librarians Do All Day?"

I just might have a hunch about this one...
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:27 PM on April 16, 2009


Fun fact: you can read my whole intro on Google Books.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:33 PM on April 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, hell. I thought that was about the coolest thing ever, and now I don't.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:32 PM on April 16, 2009


As someone who occasionally writes biographical stuff on Wikipedia, and on behalf of people from 100 years in the future, let me say that notable people who don't use their middle names regularly are annoying to researchers. So the prominent "C." is excellent trans-temporal etiquette.
posted by XMLicious at 9:52 PM on April 16, 2009


Librarian Jessamyn West lives in Vermont = Jessamyn West East
Writer Jessamyn West lived in Indiana and California = Jessamyn West West
posted by lukemeister at 10:07 PM on April 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


Wow Jessamyn, your uncle is an actor as I found out from the recent NCIS appearance, and now I find out your dad is famous too? Who else are you related to?
posted by IndigoRain at 11:32 PM on April 16, 2009


The Jessamyn is coming from INSIDE THE PASSPORT!
posted by allkindsoftime at 1:12 AM on April 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


The extra pages are the tackiest things. I just had them added too. The drawings are so bright that they look like foreground instead of background and so immigration folks end up looking confused, squeeze their stamp into one of the old pages rather than "sully" the new pages. I dont think that was the point.
posted by vacapinta at 1:40 AM on April 17, 2009


Who are you people that travel so much that all the pages are used up before the life of the passport? My passport has 28 pages and lasts for 10 years. Even when I was a student travelling between Penang, Singapore and England, I never ran out.
posted by tellurian at 6:01 AM on April 17, 2009


I always thought it was a fifth of writers.
posted by malocchio at 6:17 AM on April 17, 2009


Who are you people that travel so much that all the pages are used up before the life of the passport?

Each Visa-required country I've traveled to (i.e. Vietnam, Laos, China, etc) takes up a full page of your passport. My UK permits (I'm an American living in the UK) are also pasted into the passport using a full page. This passport is 6 years old right now but I've also just traveled a lot in that time - wife and I last year took long weekend trips to Europe about once a month.

Anyways, yes, I too have a passport that says Jessamyn West inside. That makes three of us?
posted by vacapinta at 6:34 AM on April 17, 2009


I remember one stamp in particular. It was for Tehran. The airline had some trouble on the way back from Singapore to England and they put us up overnight/day at a provincial airport. I was totally intrigued with regard to exploration. There was some sort of cave visit that you could do but there wasn't enough time so I figured that I'd look at what jewellery was available for my girlfriend. I found the most amazing necklace. Bought it. Took it back home. She showed no interest in it. After the rejection and whilst cycling back home I threw it in the drain. Future archaeologists will wonder how a necklace from Tehran ended up in Norfolk.
posted by tellurian at 6:45 AM on April 17, 2009


This passport is 6 years old right now but I've also just traveled a lot in that time - Each Visa-required country I've traveled to (i.e. Vietnam, Laos, China, etc) takes up a full page of your passport. My UK permits (I'm an American living in the UK) are also pasted into the passport using a full page. wife and I last year took long weekend trips to Europe about once a month.
That's travelling. Is your passport full?
I do not have a passport that says Jessamyn West inside. sadly
posted by tellurian at 7:02 AM on April 17, 2009


I wish my passport had a page that said "this tepid wonderland" on it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:25 AM on April 17, 2009


So what does Our Jessamyn think about railroads?

And why am I suddenly referring to people in the fashion of Nanny Ogg?
posted by Spatch at 7:54 AM on April 17, 2009


she is an internet folk hero according to Cory Doctorow.

That alone just about kills any interest I might have had about Jessamyn West.
posted by Ratio at 7:58 AM on April 17, 2009


Who else are you related to?

My cousin is the editor of Popular Woodworking magazine, but I think that's it.

And I am in favor of trains. I notice that Obama's high speed rail plan appears to go by my door and I am pleased. The current train that comes through town makes my whole apartment shake. It's not quite growing up under a roller coaster, but it's not entirely different either.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:12 AM on April 17, 2009


The train that, according to your profile,* goes three blocks away from your place? That's a pretty nasty setup.

*not cartographist
posted by kittyprecious at 10:29 AM on April 17, 2009


The current train that comes through town makes my whole apartment shake.

Way to screw up a great mental image. I had you pictured living way the hell down a dirt road in an isolated 19th-century 2-story Victorian farm house, with no signs of humanity visible in any direction, from any side of your huge wrap-around porch.

(trains are good)
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:34 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


The train only goes by maybe twice a day. And yeah Devils Rancher, I did live there and I moved. This place is nicer.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:44 AM on April 17, 2009


Here you go!

AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
posted by jokeefe at 1:40 PM on April 17, 2009


Um, thanks. My curiosity is, erm, satisfied.

Why can't you unsee images? Such a problem with this interwebs thing.
posted by jokeefe at 1:41 PM on April 17, 2009


Thanks to this thread I dreamed Jessamyn wrote me a letter and was coming for a meetup in my town. Metafilter: Influencing my dreams.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:45 PM on April 17, 2009


Who else are you related to?

You didn't hear that Obama is Swahili for West?
posted by theclaw at 4:44 PM on April 17, 2009


I did live there and I moved. This place is nicer.

I've been city-bound for nigh on six months -- relentlessly citybound -- so I was just projecting. I get wistful for a view of something besides buildings after a stretch like this one. Also, I have no porch. :-(™

You didn't hear that Obama is Swahili for West?

He should be so lucky.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:12 PM on April 17, 2009


That chicken was alive.
posted by Balisong at 7:23 PM on April 17, 2009


I know we've kind of moved off the passport/jessamyn west thing but I think it is worth mentioning that this page is the exact center of the passport. They put the extra pages in the middle of the passport and the middle page is the jessamyn west page. As you can see in the picture linked in the second comment, there's an actual stitch running through the center of the page which holds the passport together.

Given the substance of the quote I wonder if someone was being clever or its all a coincidence.
posted by vacapinta at 1:18 AM on April 18, 2009


From the Tom West Wikipedia entry: "He has two daughters, one of whom is Jessamyn West."

I propose you print that out and show it to your sister next Thanksgiving.
posted by lore at 11:16 AM on April 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm gonna have to go to the embassy in Buenos Aires to get more pages, and I was just dreading it, but now I'll enjoy a pleasure both secret and obscure while I wait in line (I'm assuming it will be a hassle?)
posted by Mngo at 12:09 PM on April 18, 2009


-Here you go!

-AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Before we jump to conclusions, we should consider that there are plenty of reasons why someone would do this. Maybe he ran out of Stove Top.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:57 PM on April 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have the same page, but it says:
"May God continue the unity of our country as the railroad unites the two great oceans of the world"
- Inscribed on the Golden Spike, Promontory Point, 1869

So no Jessamyn for me.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:29 AM on April 19, 2009


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