“How do you feel about your discussion skills?”

This was how the conversation began that ended with me agreeing to takeover the monthly book club at one of the library branches. And while I feel I have a pretty good grip on my “discussion skills,” one major obstacle remains – I have never even been to a book club, let alone ran one. Quite frankly, it just never sounded like my cup of tea. And even more frankly, it still doesn’t. But alas, I need to expand my marketable librarian skills, and make more $. So here I am googling my life away, trying to figure out how to conduct one of these things. Thankfully I’m getting somewhat of a reprieve this first month, as I will get to watch my coworker (who is handing it over to me) run the show. And there is one awesome thing about it…if I survive, I get to choose the books for next year. I’ve already decided for sure that they’ll be reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the Time Traveler’s Wife.

Any readers (all two of you) been to or ran a book club before? Advice? That would be fantastic.

I know, you were holding your breath, weren’t you?  Since I still get about 20-ish visitors a day even though I haven’t posted anything in MONTHS, I thought I’d start updating!

Here’s what’s happened since we left off:

1. Our cat was toilet trained.  Took about two months, but it’s done, and he just hops right up there and does his business.  It’s AMAZING not stepping on litter in bare feet, or the smell of a litter box, or having to clean the litter box.  All I have to do is flush the toilet when we see he has gone and clean the toilet, which I obv do anyway.

Cat uses the toilet, taken with Doug's iPhone

2. I quit the job I hated.  Now I have only one job, which is pretty fantastic though it’s still only part-time.  They gave me four more hours at the good job, but it’s not enough to make up for the job I quit, so I may have to get another job until they give me 8 more.  But I have more time to do various things now, so that’s nice.

3.  We got a dog! Her name is Dottie.  She’s a terrier mix, about 8 months old; we adopted her last Sunday from Mercy Rescue and Adoption in North Vernon, Indiana.

Our Dottie

She’s really calm most of the time, loves to take naps, and rarely barks.  She is pretty much the perfect dog, and everyone that meets her wants to take her home.  The cat was not pleased, but he’s getting used to her and never hisses at her now.  An equilibrium has been achieved.

More shameless photos of my lovely doggie:

Dottie

Her tail is normally flipped up over her back when she's happy and relaxed. When she's focusing intently on something (like a bird, or photographer), it hangs down.

Those are the bullet points as far as what’s been going on.  I’m hoping to post more often now that I’m a lady of leisure I only have one job.

Being a person who has never co-habitated with a cat, all this is new to me.  Litter boxes, allergies and not feeding it Teddy Grahams.  However, one of my biggest gripes would be that the litter gets everywhere, even though the litter box was covered.  This is not comfortable and makes a mess.  However Cat (yes, that is his name) is beginning to get a little too comfortable and doesn’t feel bothered to cover his excrement anymore.  This is not a good thing to smell while you’re trying to make Pizza Pockets in the kitchen.

So I suggested to my girlfriend that we train him to use the toilet.  As a librarian and a previous cat owner, I figured she already knew of such a cat dropping receptacle.  She did not however and was quickly schooled in human/cat toilet training via youtube

Anyway, our first step to this was to order such a cat training device: http://www.citikitty.com.  This is basically a thing you put in your toilet to simulate a littler box that slowly shrinks and gets your cat used to going on the toilet.

So once we got the thing, we switched his litter to flushable litter and mixed it with his normal litter.

Next we moved his litter box to the bathroom without the lid and put it next to the toilet.

Cat status: Confused, jittery, unsure and uneasy.
Prediction for tomorrow:  Litter everywhere , or cat going shit in the trash can where we put his old litter.`

A lot has happened in the past few weeks.  Moved, got an apartment with my girlfriend, quit my job and got a new one and the list goes on.  This is going to be the subject of a later post.  But damn, alot has been changing.

More posts to come.  Just thought I’d get on here and prepare to post post post.

Upon downloading a bunch of Nintendo NES roms, I came across a little rpg (role playing game) called The Adventures of Musashi.  It appears to be a Japanese rpg that was translated over to English.

So let me start you off with the introduction, word for word.

“So the story starts, about a boy from Arima Village who was skilled with the sword.  His name was Musashi.  Son of the legendary swordsman Miyamota Musashi.  His dream is to be a great swordsman like his father.  One day he hears an ominous rumor.  The ghost of Kojiro, nemesis to his father has risen,calling monsters from Hell to terrorize the people.  So Musashi sets out with dreams…

I will defeat Kojira and maybe even get laid (yes that is in there)”

So if this is any indication of things to come.  I am in this to the very end.  Starting out I am in the village and playing as Musashi.  The first person I talk to says ” I’ll be lonely without you”.  Who this is and why I care, I do not know.  The second person I talk to says “be careful” and “KISS”.  So right away, this Musashi character is a pimp.  Wonder what else people have to say…

“Train hard to defeat the ghost of Kojiro, when you return you can marry Otsu like you promised”

“Don’t forget to equip your weapons”

“It is said Torii Shinto Gates have a magical secret.  Is it true?”

“Be careful in the poison Swamp”

That’s just a handful of conversations I had with the random villagers in Arima village.  All in all, I’m fairly confused and already promising to marry random Arima skanks.

My first impression of this game is that it’s an average rpg with heavy Japanese influence.  Whether this was actually released on NES here or Japan is unknown to me atleast.  The graphics seem decent, the sound is tolerable.  The only complaint I have so far is that the building’s signs are in Japanese.  So I have no clue what building is what.

Anyway, my quest will continue.  I will defeat the ghost of Kojiro and avenge my father (and maybe even get laid).  In my next post, we’ll take a closer look at the “creatures of Hell”, which so far consists of Cones.  Yes Cones.

  1. Pay off credit cards
  2. Get a new job
  3. Get student loan
  4. Get new personal training certification
  5. Go to TRX seminar
  6. Move in with girlfriend
  7. Start enjoying life again

That is all.  For now.

“I don’t care much for egg yolk”

Ok, Bob Dylan (probably) never said that.  He might have loved egg yolk or at least tolerated it.  This is up for debate.  But he also said, “times, they are a changin'”.  This might have been a song as well.  It’s hard to know for sure.

While I’m just a person and not an era, this perhaps isn’t the best example.  But oh well.

Over the past half year my life has been in what I’d liken to an “upheaval”  which is defined as…

anything characterized by abrupt and extreme changes (especially up and down)

In this time of upheaval, many things have changed.  I have won/lost large sums of money, stole, cheated, lied, schemed, plotted, quit jobs, closed bank accounts, maxed out credit cards, went on amphetamine driven tirades which resulted in me passing chemistry over the summer and met the love of my life.  The list goes on and on.

During this time I became someone else, someone I didn’t like.  I can safely say that this was probably the worst summer of my life.  I am still dealing with the aftermath of it and will be for awhile.  I was driven to the brink of insanity and only brought back to reality by desperation, hope and the love of someone who saw something more in me.  In the span of 8 months, I have destroyed many things that I once thought defined me and created many more that will define me.

Saying that I learned a lesson from all this would be an understatement.  Having 50+ creditors call your phone in one day is a bit of a wake up call.  Having no money for over half a year is very humbling.  Never have I learned as much as the past few months.

There are many changes coming.  And for once, I’m ready.

I think it is well established that I’m not a great blogger.  When there’s stuff going on, I’m happy to report or discuss, but since I’ve basically been working 50-60 hours per week for the past few months, there hasn’t been much else to talk about.   But in the next month, I’m going to be moving in with my boyfriend, which I believe will present a whole new set of adventures/challenges to discuss on the internets with strangers.  I’m also making D an administrator so that he can post and tweak everything as well, hopefully giving you dear loyal readers something to actually read/look at when I’m being lazy.

I’ve also decided to switch from Typepad to WordPress.  I have a lot of friends on WordPress, and they like it a lot.  From what I’ve seen so far, it seems far more customizable than Typepad (without me having to know a lot of code); in addition, I get everything I paid for at Typepad for free at WordPress, so yay.  I own my domain name at blankjane.com for at least another year, so I’m going to work on getting that forwarded to my WordPress blog.  I’ve already imported all of the blog posts/comments.

I’ve also changed the name of the blog to Way Down Yonder, since Blank Jane was really a single venture.  I was brainstorming titles like Wild Blue Yonder.  I really like that combination of words (though I have nothing to do with the Air Force), but it was taken.  Various other incarnations of that phrase were also taken, and Doug made me realize that I just really like the word “yonder.” It evokes a folksy feeling, reminding me of my Tennessee (from my father) and West Virginia (from my mother) roots, and traditional songs from my childhood.  But more than that, “yonder” is, colloquially,  some undefined (but almost always good) place.  That’s the feeling I’m looking to capture, and the place I’m trying to reach – somewhere mysterious, but vaguely pleasing.
The changes should all be complete within the next couple of weeks, and I hope to see you lurking around soon!

So, turns out, I complete fail when it comes to NaBloPoMo.  I totally forgot I was supposed to be posting every day this month, and it is way too late to make up all those posts.  All I can do is try to be more regular about the posting.

The new job is still going swimmingly. Also, I turned a quarter of a century old on Monday.  Doug and I celebrated this past weekend, since I worked 14 hours on my actual birthday, and I work all next weekend as well.  He got a few things for me, my favorite being a sonic screwdriver (of Doctor Who fame).

Tennantscrewdriver

The Doctor and his sonic screwdriver. David Tennant was unfortunately not one of my birthday presents.

I haven't been this excited about a toy probably since I got a Power Wheels Barbie Corvette when I was about 6 (wasn't that a glorious day!). I played with it all weekend, "fixing" things, and have carried it about to all my jobs this week. Of course, it's a pen too, so that's my justification. Doug's parents' 25th wedding anniversary party was this weekend, where we discovered that the sonic screwdriver also calms crying babies (provided they aren't crying so loudly that they can't hear the sound). The birthday weekend was finished off by his mother baking a cake for me (strawberry!), and the two of us (Doug, not his mother) walking up a tower in a park near where he lives.

Columbustower
Kiss at the top of the tower. Notice my real hair color, in what is probably its first complete appearance in years. Disregard the skin so pale it probably either scares small children or makes preteens wonder if it glitters in the sun.

Anyway, I had a really fantastic time with him, as always.  I'll be celebrating with my family over the next week.

Okay, so I fail at participating in NaBloPoMo.  I missed a day yesterday.  Though really, if my posts continued to be written in the last 5 minutes before I went to sleep, they weren't going to improve, were they? Well then.

As I wrote before, I do think I'm going to like the new job, and probably won't die from only two consecutive 13.5 hour workdays (though I may complain about it later).  And of course, there are people I think I'll get along with right away, and others not so much.  But I guess that's par for the course wherever one works.

I was thinking the other day about all of the fantastic things happening in my life right now (new job, new car, new boyfriend) and how I totally deserve them all (I worked my ass off in school, drove a piece of shit for near 10 years, and dated so many less-than-worthy male specimens), and then I thought about how I wouldn't have any of them if I hadn't been open to possibilities.  Let's face it, I had a one track mind on moving to Chicago.  I wasn't looking for any of those things (well, to be fair, I was looking for a job, just not in Indiana).  And I'm still not going to stay in the Hoosier state for too long, but certainly the good stuff has enticed me to tarry awhile longer.

I'm not really sure where this post is heading, except to maybe say that one should be willing to ditch "the plan" every once in a while.  You are welcome.

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