Let’s skip the formal introductions and get straight to the hogwash.
What names, other than Joono (pronounced, yes, like the movie “Juno”), have you been known by?
Every sub I’ve had has called me “Jono.” And that includes subs for English classes who then teach me that double “o’s” are pronounced “ooooooooooh.” I never understood it. Other than that, I’ve had and still do have a plethora of nicknames. Which I love. Joono Chop, Did Joono, Joono What, Joono Who (and many other variations), the BFG (after Roald Dahl’s book which stands for the Big Friendly Giant… the truest self-describing hyperbole), Joonimal. The one that stuck the longest is Joono Butt, an original, from my friend Aimee in the 7th grade. Joono Butt has since spawned J Booty, Ms. Butt, and more.
Do you have any strange obsessions?
Do I? Yes yes and yes. I love smelling people. But only the ones I truly love. I hug them, snuggle my nose into their neck, and take a deep breath. Everyone hates it when I do it because they say it tickles or is just plain weird. I also twirl the ends of my pillows into a ball and squeeze real hard. It’s a form of hand massage. That’s really the only way to explain that. I’ve had that habit since I was a small kid. All my pillows have wrinkled ends, so therapeutic! I have an anti-obsession of nails. I can’t stand having long nails. I trim them as often as possible. I really could keep going…
What is your favorite book?
The summer after graduating high school was a monumental life moment full of mundane activities. I dated a cute boy from Canada, learned how to play the guitar, spent a lot of time outdoors riding my bike, swimming, sunbathing at the beach, worked at my parents’ candy store. It was the one summer where one chapter was ending and another was beginning. I had no summer school, no obligatory ties to any former relationships, no real responsibilities. I intentionally wanted to indulge in the little things I truly enjoyed and it’s exactly what I did.
I only say this because I also read a book that changed my life. Partially because it’s an exceptional book but also because the context of which I read it really helped shape my understanding of it. That book is East of Eden by John Steinbeck. It parallels the Cain and Abel story from the Bible and, in my opinion, excellently portrays humanity. I’ve never felt more emotion reading a novel- I would curl up on my favorite couch in our sunny living room and just cry!
What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Washing the dishes. Washing my car. Washing the dog. There might be a theme here…
Favorite place you’ve traveled to?
This is also difficult to sum up but Thailand was amazing. It’s hotter than a mother but the day after rainy days are the most beautiful days. The culture is fascinating, the people are so sweet. The Thai people would call me “Pancake” because they thought I looked like a Thai superstar named as such.
Norway is also unforgettable. Norway feels like my second mother land. Considering how cold their country is and how long it stays dark during the winter, the people are so friendly, so loving and best of all, they know how to eat! Smoked salmon all day everyday.
When did you know you loved fashion?
I think this picture pretty much sums it up. Who is more fashionable? I’d have to say my mom. All I care about is that someone interrupted my consumption of a delicious ice cream cone to take an annoying picture.
But my childhood was riddled with fashion. My mom was attending FIDM and I remember being fascinated with her sketches for her classes. As I entered middle school, I would dig through my parents’ closet looking for statement pieces. I wanted to dress differently than the other kids in my class so I’d go to school wearing my dad’s oversized dress shirt for a mens wear look or my mom’s bright purple snakeskin print skirt. Kids used to say they liked my style but I never knew if they really meant it or if they just thought I was weird.
Before leaving for college, I stole a collection of vintage shoes, jewelry and clothes from my mom. To this day, I’m an avid borrower (or, as my cousin Hanna likes to say, “thief”). I am currently hoarding an amazing sheer leopard print maxi dress handmade by my mom in 1991, her contrast leather & suede black ankle boots from the 70’s, and a chunky vintage silver bracelet all of which I never want to return.
If you had to change your first name, what would it be?
I’ve always wanted to be named after an insanely expensive car.
What is your favorite pastime?
From about the 6th grade and through high school, my best friend and I would pop open a can of chunky chili, top it off with an insane amount of cheese, and nuke it in the microwave for a few minutes. Then we’d watch an unhealthy marathon of zombie movies while dipping tortilla chips in warm chili, snuggled under blankets on the couch! We were Dawn of the Dead and Alfred Hitchcock fiends.
Or we’d sit on her roof listening to the local rock station having contests against one another to see who could eat the most Flaming Hot Cheetos without stopping or who could eat the bigger spoonful of a ramen flavor packet. We would’ve gone ’til one of us had a heart attack.
If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
I would buy a lot of parking lots in various high traffic cities, optimally near huge stadiums and concert halls. Then with the criminal amount of money I’d collect on parking fees, I’d travel the world with a single backpack and a partner in crime.
What is your least favorite word?
Pirates or ninjas?
Pirates, all the way.