I have published a long-running series of dialogues between two fictional characters in New York City, Justin and Justina. Many of the dialogues are inspired by people I know or real-life experiences, but the characters take on a life of their own. I have also used Justin and Justina to deliver our annual New Leaf Journal year-in-review posts. Below, you will find the administrative Justin and Justina dialogues followed by their regular dialogues. Later dialogues may reference earlier dialogues, but you can read them in any order as a general matter (I specifically note where one follows from another on the chart).

I encourage you to try a few dialogues and get to know Justin and Justina. Start with descriptions you find interesting if you do not want to work through them in chronological order. I always enjoy writing the Justin and Justina pieces and I hope that you decide to try a few and enjoy getting to know The New Leaf Journal’s resident fictional dialogue duo.

NLJ News Dialogues

#TitleDescription
1Most-Read NLJ Content of 2020Justin, Justina, and a certain emu recap 2020 at The New Leaf Journal over food at The Emu Café.
2The Most-Read New Leaf Journal Content of 2021Justin, Justina, and the Emu return to The Emu Café to recap the first full year at The New Leaf Journal.
3Slow Leaf Journal, Outgrowing Cheap HostingJustin and Justina explain why The New Leaf Journal planned to move from shared hosting to a VPS.
4Reviewing 2022 at the NLJJustin, Justina, and the Emu (with a guest) review 2022 at The New Leaf Journal.

Dialogues 1-10

#DialogueDescription
1The Dangers of HeroismJustin muses about his own heroism in hospital bed after keeping Justina from walking into traffic
2The Pumpkin TakerJustin turns his irritation with people leaving rotting pumpkins out after Halloween into a fairy tale
3A 5% Chance of RainJustin convinces Justina to take an umbrella when there is only a 5% chance of rain in the weather report
4AD vs CEJustin has strong opinions against the use of CE
5A Christmas Present StruggleJustina tries in vain to make Justina tell her what he wants for Christmas
7Existential Social Media MiseryJustina tries to convince Justin that feeling terrible while scrolling through social media is the feature, not a bug
8On Robin Hood and GameStopJustin provides an explainer on Robin Hood, GameStop, and the parable of BLOB Dylan.
9White Day ReciprocityJustin explains to Justina how she can use the Japanese tradition of White Day to make her boyfriend give her stuff
10The Pitching InjuryJustin’s high school friend, Proton Von, tells the story of Justin’s so-called “pitching injury.”

Dialogues 11-20

#DialogueDescription
111899 Poem on Clothing FiresJustina’s fear of her stove prompts Justin to recite 1899 poems about clothing fires
12The Sparrow in Lowe’sJustin explores the similarities between Justina and a lost sparrow at Lowe’s.
13The Fallen Truck Route Sign in DUMBOJustin tries to convince Justina that fallen Truck Route signs are in with the hip kids.
14An Abyssinian Guinea Pig Birthday PresentJustina buys Justin a Guinea pig for his birthday. Of course it is Justina’s Guinea pig. Justin is just responsible for it.
15The Existential Angst of the Yappy DogJustin and Justina try to understand the existential angst of a yappy dog.
16Hot is a State of Mind (and Other States of Mind)Justin analogizes the temperature mindset to the “basement” and “first floor” mindsets.
174th of July Grill Sacrifices to the Spirits of the FoundersJustin’s theory on the true meaning of Independence Day leads to a discussion of the Founding Fathers.
18A Slice of Pie Chart LifeJustin becomes deeply depressed when he hears someone use the term pie chart in ordinary conversation.
19Convincing a Google Devotee to Try Something NewJustin tries unsuccessfully to sell Justina on alternative search solutions.
20The Seizure-Inducing AmbulanceJustin and Justina complain about being blinded by the lights of a parked ambulance.

Dialogues 21-30

#DialogueDescription
21Blinded by HeadlightsJustin offers a novel theory on why car headlights in New York City keep becoming brighter.
22The Weird Statue in GowanusJustina is upset that Justin never told her about the New York City Cow Parade. Justin tries to make it up to her.
23What, exactly, is your name?We meet Justina’s high school friend, Marie, and learn that Justina’s name is not actually “Justina”
24Learn to BirdJustin offers Justina a questionable lesson about the meaning of learning to bird.
25When the Gowanus Canal Seagulls Grow ThumbsJustin calls Justina in while she is at work to tell her about his concerns regarding the Gowanus Canal seagulls.
26You take one end. I’ll take the other. Pink chalkboard.Justin lays out the ground rules for how to respond to seeing free stuff on the street.
27Merry Christmas. Who checks the mail these days?Justina defends her life choice of never checking her mail. She is surprised to learn that people think this is unwise.
28On Finding Money in Your Coat PocketJustin makes the case that finding money in your coat pocket is similar to actually gaining money.
29A Christmas Card For Valentine’s DayA sequel to the mail-checking debate dialogue seen above at number 27.
30The Austro-Hungarian KittenJustina asks Justin for help naming her friend’s kitten. It went about as well as she should have expected.

Dialogues 31-40

#DialogueDescription
31April Fools With Justin and JustinaApril Fools turns into a battle of wits between Justin and Justina.
32The Diary of a Nobody JokeJustin reenacts a scene from a nineteenth century fictional British diary with an unwitting and busy Justina.
33The Eraser’s BrithdayJustin tells Justina the story of a birthday party from his past. The birthday boy (or girl) may have been an eraser.
34Pot and Skunk WaterboardingJustin and Justina smell pot. Or do they? Justin has an alternative theory about what is really going on.
35How Does Growth Even Happen?Justin channels Haruko from FLCL in lecturing Justina about the dangers of scanning random QR codes.
36Car Horn Honkers Want To Be SeenIn a spiritual successor to dialogue 21, Justin explains why New York City drivers like to honk their horns so much.
37Alpacas, Virus Cures, and Paca PlusThis dialogue defies an easy summary. It touches on a news report about alpacas and a visual novel called Paca Plus.
38“Skunks” in Staten Island ConspiracyThe proverbial sequel to dialogue 34. Justin questions whether there are really any skunks in Staten Island.
39Paying Game Boy Dues For a Nintendo SwitchJustin does not think that Justina is ready for a Nintendo Switch. His reasoning, however, is very Justin.
40Laps Around the Atlanta AirportJustin and Justina have a conversation while Justin is stranded in Atlanta. Based on a true story I wrote about here.

Dialogues 41-50

#DialogueDescription
41Leaving the Phrase “Reach Out” in the 90sJustin is “triggered” by Justina’s use of the phrase “reach out,” which he argues should be left to the 90s.
42On buying Christmas trees in NovemberA dialogue on how soon is too soon to purchase a Christmas Tree.
43The Quince ShortageJustina demands answers from Justin on why she cannot find any quinces to buy in New York City.
44When real people “tell, don’t show”Justin reflects on his experience with Justina as he considers whether real people show but don’t tell.
45The modest virtues of self-aweJustin tells the story of the ineffable modesty of his high school friend, Proton Von.
46Dinosaur fight tier-listsJustin explains to Justina how every boy had a dinosaur fight tier-list. But did Justin have such a list?
47If you can’t trust GLBSUNION and CUZMAK…Justin and Justina discuss the meaning of “trust” in the context of shopping on Amazon.
48The Hang Glider Citizenship ProvisionJustin tries to convince Justina that there are special immigration rules for illegal entry via hang glider.
49On character and dark chocolate safetyJustin and Justina debate whether dangerous elements in dark chocolate can forge character.
50Anime Case Against Japan’s Population LossJustin argues that the reports of Japan’s population decline are greatly exaggerated… based on new anime series in 2023.

Dialogues 51-

#DialogueDescription
51What Ever Happened to Ronald McDonald?After mocking a stupid protest at the 2023 NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade, Justin wonders what happened to Ronald McDonald.
52Make it Christmas With a Santa HatJustin demonstrates to Justina how just about anything can become Christmas with one simple trick (or addition, in this case).
53Shopping on AI (Sp)AmazonJustin shows Justina an Amazon product that has an OpenAI error as its product name and seriously asks her for advice.