the october project


I’d like to declare this Jiffer Worldwide Appreciation Week™ as our favorite Wisconsonian transplant is now 39 weeks full of TWINS IN HER BELLY, longer than most twins ever dare to stay. At this very moment, she could either be sitting in Hamburg, staring at her stomach with breath bated, or she’s actually giving birth.


with Jiff in late March, Grasse, France


two weeks ago, if you can believe it

Yes, get it out of your system and stare. Everyone in Germany does. They’ve stopped being clandestine about it, and just shouting when she walks around town. Everyone loves a freak of nature, I guess, but Jiff and Ingo are about to be heroes, taking on twice what mere mortals usually shoulder.

I have to say, at this juncture, that Jiffer is a freak of nature, not from her belly, but because nobody with her laid-back serenity has ever charted such an amazing path in life, and silence anyone who ever thought she wasn’t the real deal. When I met her 13 years ago, she was an earthy, beautiful, sarcastic Pi Phi with a cup full of beer; we immediately had a jelly donut fight and then I asked her to live in the Pink House.

She met Ingo on her last night at Carolina, and we all guffawed and secretly gossiped it’d never last. Then she joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Mauritania – known as the worst mission there is – and folks thought she wouldn’t hack it. Afterwards, she applied to Columbia for grad school in International Relations and got in, and soon enough, the girl who always came to my room in 1996 moaning about writing papers… was editing Columbia’s SIPA Magazine.

She married Ingo nine years after meeting him that night in North Carolina, spent years making the world better in Cambodia and Afghanistan (remember the pictures?) and now that Ingo has become the Anderson Cooper of Germany, they’re back in Hamburg awaiting the brood.

I’m hoping she’ll tell us, as soon as she can, that the twins are amongst us, so we can stop worrying. Until then, I’ll leave off with a couple of things I just found on my computer. This one is an email:

Date: Mon, 25 Sep 1995 13:53:56 -0700 (PDT)

From: Jiffer Bourguignon (

To: Ian Williams (

So, ian, what do you do all day? Besides masturbate. Hehehe. I’ve taken it upon myself to make me laugh since all you could come up with was a Helen Keller joke. I know you can do better. I have play practice tonight til 11 or so. Let’s go get a beer afterwards.

And this was a note I wrote on my last day in the Pink House as it was being boarded up:

July 22, 1997

Jiffer honey…

I am the last one here…

Here’s all the mail I could find. Remember… stay in touch with me throughout the ages and never let me out of your sight for long. I love you very much and miss you terribly.


Still sums it up.

[UPDATE: another pic:]


Jiff yesterday (week 39)