Joey’s List: Musical Interludes

As you may know, Jenelle and I are expecting our first child next February. In July we found out our baby Joey was diagnosed with a severe, and unfortunately fatal, Neural Tube Defect and is not expected to live more than a day. To celebrate her all too brief life Jenelle and I are keeping a list of experiences she would have had if she wasn’t expected to leave us so soon.

Songs For Joey

While we wait for our Joey to make her grand appearance I have been playing songs on my iPhone against Jenelle’s tummy. I wish I had cataloged them from the get go. Here are the ones I have been able to remember.

Note: Not all the videos are of the version I played.

Big Bad John – Jimmy Dean

This is a song I strongly associate with my oldest brother John who passed away in 1990.

Wives and Lovers – Ed Ames

Jenelle is not a fan of this song (nor am I of the outdated message) but it was played ironically because it is a great song and Bacharach is a genius. As that was not only not the version I played, but a different singer all together, I am embedding the most famous video of Ed Ames.

Linus and Lucy – Vince Guaraldi – A Charlie Brown Christmas – Version Played

This was the first jazz song I ever appreciated. (Along with countless others no doubt)

Camel Walk – Southern Culture on the Skids – Dirt Track Date – Version Played

This one was another goof as it gets Jenelle cuckoo.

Bill B – Cal Tjader Quartet – jazz at the blackhawk – Version Played

This is actually where Linus and Lucy compser Guaraldi got his start as the piono player for Vibraphone master Cal Tjaders Quartet in the late ’50’s

Joey’s List: Home Time With Mumma

I know it has been a while since the last Joey’s List installment but believe me when I say that we have been checking them off .  But this update is about one I didn’t think would be possible.

Joey is in her mother’s homeland of Australia.

On Thursday September 19 Jenelle and I foreshadowed the trip with this Vine we posted on my account.

She left Brooklyn this past Sunday at 4:00 PM and arrived at her home in Melbourne a little before Noon on Tuesday. This is more than 30 hours of travel door to door. But Nellie is a champion long haul traveler; even with Joey wreaking havoc on her tummy.  A bunch of friends in family knew she was coming home but it just wouldn’t be a trip home if there wasn’t a surprise or two. Though not to the level of The 2009 Christmas Miracle.

The Surprise – 3pm Christmas Eve from Jenelle Blevins on Vimeo.

First off, Nellie’s Nan. Unsuspecting that Nellie was going to be there, she just figured they were getting together for Tuesday lunch all together. In fact everyone in Australia was so afraid they were going to tip the surprise they wouldn’t answer the phone when Nan called. Everyone except me. I told a gentle fib to keep her in the dark, saying that Nellie had hit the sack a little early.

A few short hours later, she was being hugged by Nellie as the met for a lunch of en she landed her parents had a variety of comfort foods waiting for her.

Clockwise from the left: Pickled Onion, Fish Fry, Potato Cakes and Dim Sims.
Clockwise from the left: Pickled Onion, Fish Fry, Potato Cakes and Dim Sims.

There were other adventures to be had in Australia.  An AFL Grand Final Party (although we were disappointed it wasn’t watching our beloved ‘Pies battle for the flag), a concert in a club, meeting friends (some by surprise) and getting her hair styled by old friends.


Mumma Working It!

Additionally, this past weekend, Nellie was able to schedule a high quality ultrasound at a local clinic.  It was nice that her parents were able to attend and they got some wonderful photos of our Angel Joey.



Nellie, is making the return flight later this week.  I am counting the minutes until she returns with my Angel.

Joey’s List: Our Happy Little Vegemite

Yet another update to Joey’s List. Todays checkmark is Vegemite on Toast with Hot Chocolate.

For those unfamiliar with Vegemite it is a staple in Australian cupboards. To my palate it tastes like a salty beef bouillon paste. That said, I really enjoy it. A thin schmear on lightly buttered toast with a sliced boiled egg is my idea of a great on the go breakfast.

You may also remember it from the Men at Work hit ‘Down Under.” (Scroll to 1:10.)

Jenelle has always been a “Happy Little Vegemite.


She eats it for breakfast, lunch and tea. Here she is having lunch earlier this week. As you can see she also likes to dunk her toast into the hot chocolate. (Much to the chagrin of Joey’s Blevins half)


And as a special added bonus, here is a vintage Vegemite ad.

Joey’s List: Flapjacks with Mumma and Dad

If you’ve been reading this blog you’re probably aware that Jenelle and I have made list of foods and experiences that we want to share with our daughter Josephine Martha in the brief window of opportunity we will have with her.  Turns out I actually missed one of them in my original post…and it is just about my favorite breakfast food…

Pancakes. Continue reading

Joey’s List: A Lifetime of Experiences Before Birth

Since we are expecting to have mere moments with our Joey, Jenelle and I have decided to try and provide her with as many of our favorite foods and experiences as we can. The only difference now is that instead of the lifetime we though we’d have to share them as a family, they will be carried out prenatally.

So far we have a list of 56 foods and experiences and have completed 17. Granted a couple of these were deemed as completed retroactively. There simply was no way for us to know that when we headed to Pittsfield this year for the 4th of July parade, or when we went to Waterford for the fireworks, that these would be Joey’s one and only. Unfortunately this means that there are some events that she will simply miss; like watching the Winter Olympics or attending the awesome and solemn ANZAC Day Dawn Services.

Below is a list of the foods and experiences we have completed so far.

Egg and Bacon Sandwich – A breakfast specialty of Joey’s Nanna Sandra.
Hot Milo and Vegemite on toast – A favorite of Joey’s mumma.
Joey’s Auntie Eileen made her a special Cake
Box Orange Cake – a favorite of Joey’s mum.
Chop Suey a la Australian
4th of July Fireworks Waterford, NY
4th of July Parade Pittsfield, MA
We attended a Paul Kelly Concert – Australia’s Greatest Living Songwriter
Joey saw Collingwood thrash Essendon

Beef Milano – Made by her Nanna during her visit over Easter.
Cornish Pasty – Inexpertly made by Joey’s poppa.
Home-made bread – Expertly made by her poppa
Tabouli – A specialty of her mumma
Yorkshire Pudding – A specialty of her Nanny
Beetroot, Cheese Vegemite on Saos – A curious delicacy of her mumma
Oops (Aussie Spaghetti O’s)

Over the course of the coming weeks and months we’ll be completing more of the list and undoubtedly adding to it as well.  ( I actually added two items while I composed this post.)

I’m hoping this helps me deal with what is happening to our Joey.

I Have Good News (and Bittersweet News) -or- How I Became A Dad

There is one place I never thought Traveler Bill would ever go. That place is Parenthood.

First, lets take a step back. I set up this page on June 20th as a place where I could document (probably in fits and starts if my history is anything) our baby’s progress and achievements. I never thought I would be a father, a dad, but here we are, in my 44th year and I’m looking forward to my first child being born.

What a difference a month makes.

I joined Jenelle for the 12 week ultrasound at Weill Cornell Medical Center on Monday the 29th of July. We were finally looking to broadcast our news. I actually had gotten into trouble on Sunday because I had posted a link to some “Be A Better Dad” site on Facebook. Jenelle had me delete it as she still hadn’t told a bunch of people in Australia. Thank goodness she had.

Jenelle didn’t see anything strange with the ultrasound. The heart was visible and beating like a champ, I thought I saw something odd with the head but what do I know. The tech excused herself and came back with a doctor…and bad news.

Continue reading

My Ties with Lunch: On Tie-atus

I like neckties and I try to wear one every day. Lets see if I can make a swing through my entire collection.

Well I did.  There might be a tie or two that I havent worn yet, but for the most part I have gone through my all my ties.  Funny, I thought it would be more than this.

When I get more ties, or if I wear a different knot, I will make anothjer post, but for the tie-me being, I’ll be taking a break from My Ties with Lunch.


Le Mie Cravatte con Pranzo: 18 Feb 13


I like neckties and I try to wear one every day. Lets see if I can make a swing through my entire collection.

Flying home from Rome I wanted to catch the spirit of the the gentleman we saw on Isola Tiberina who was walking around in his pajamas and slippers in a robe complemented with an Ascot smoking a pipe.

KNOT Ascot Classic


Le Mie Cravatte con Pranzo: 17 Feb 13


I like neckties and I try to wear one every day. Lets see if I can make a swing through my entire collection.

Today is out last full day in Rome. We attended mass here at Domus Australia in the Chapel of St Peter Chanel. Yesterday Traveler Nell suggested I offer my Lectoring services but we decided against it in the end.

Well mass had started and I regretted not making the offer. But lo and behold if Fr. Joseph didn’t give me the nod at the appropriate moment and I ended up doing it after all. It was quite the thrill.

Anyway, here is the tie.

STYLE Four in Hand
COLOR Purple
KNOT Windsor



Le Mie Cravatte con Pranzo: 16 Feb 13


I like neckties and I try to wear one every day. Lets see if I can make a swing through my entire collection.

No tie today. That’s not a Bolo, that is my Year of Faith lanyard.