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“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.

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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.

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.

There are already people I know I’m going to like at my new job, and some I will merely tolerate. Also looking forward to a few regular patrons based on their stories.

I don’t work 13+ hours tomorrow, so I promise I will have a less lame post.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

It’s what I feel. First day from 7:30-9 and I’m more than ready to hit the sack. I don’t really have anything to talk about, but this is an obligatory NaBloPoMo post. I barely remembered it at all. I promise to write something better tomorrow.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

This weekend, Doug and I went to the town of my old alma mater and caught a show performed by some fellow alumni, as well as the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was Doug’s first experience with Rocky Horror, and he didn’t run away screaming, which is a good thing (or horribly wrong, depending on your point of view).

For the entire day, we dressed as Arthur Dent and Trillian from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (most recent movie version). A lot of people had no clue who we were, but a couple did figure it out, and one guy at the winery knew immediately (we also stopped by Oliver Winery for a bit). Mostly we just got strange looks. One guy at the store asked if Doug just had to get something at the store immediately without changing (though he recognized who we were supposed to be after we told him). At any rate, we had a good time and were probably more comfortable in our costumes than most, and we got lots of use out of our towels, which Doug has carefully outlined on his Facebook.

Tomorrow starts my regular schedule with my old and new jobs, which will entail working from 7:30am to 9pm on Mondays and Tuesdays. Considering I’m not a morning person in the least, and since it’s getting dark so early, I think I’m going to have to pull out the S.A.D. light and get an early start on that this winter. Here’s to hoping that my first 13 hour day will go well!

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®


image.jpg

About a month and a half ago, I applied for a part-time
reference librarian position at a nearby public library.  A week later, I
received a call and participated in a phone interview. That seemed to go well,
and a week later I went in for an in-person interview.  That also went fairly well, and then I didn't hear anything for a long time.  A couple weeks later, I called to see if the position had been filled, but got no answer.  The next day I was informed the the H.R. person had had surgery the day after my interview, and was going to be out of the office for an indeterminate amount of time.  Another week went by, and I called them back, only to learn that the H.R. person had quit during the hiring process, and that they hoped they would be making a decision by the end of the week. They ended up getting ahold of me the next day and offering the reference position to me. I got the job.

Despite the clusterfuck of a hiring process (I was assured this was not how they usually run), I started my training this week.  I'll be splitting my hours between two different branches, both of which are about the same distance away from where I live. My schedule is fairly consistent, though there is this every third Friday and every third weekend (on different rotations) bit that is going to be tricky. Add to that the fact that I'm keeping my old community college library job, and I have a feeling I'm going to get very worn out, very quickly.  I'm thinking about taking up coffee-drinking. I've always preferred tea, but somehow I just don't think that's going to cut it when I have to work from 7am-9pm on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Despite all, I think I'm going to really like this new job, and will probably detail exactly how much in future posts.

Onto the next order of business, I received a new car this week from my worrisome grandparents.  My old car (a '92 Chevy Lumina) breaks down all the time and takes about a half an hour to start in the winter if it starts at all. Add onto that the cracked windshield, no A/C in the summer, no cruise control, no bright lights, speakers that crack beyond belief, a leaky trunk, a dying differential, a back wheel that sounds something like a train chugging along, and a non-opening driver's side door, I had my hands full.  There was no way I could ever afford another vehicle on the salary I make.

Silver-impala (Note: Not my actual car, but one very nearly like it.)

Enter the '04 Chevy Impala, a nice silver color.  Not only does it improve on all of the unfortunate aspects of the Lumina, but it also has a cd player (score!), remote locks (OMG how did I ever live without them!?), and cupholders.  Also? Only about 64,000 miles on it.  It was only bought so cheaply (a few thousand) because the man who was selling it was out of a job and only had $300 to his name.  And while I feel slightly bad about having taken advantage of this man's situation, I am glad to not have to climb over the center console to get in and out of my car.  Words cannot truly express my joy.

Lastly, I'm sure the two readers I had are well aware that I haven't written anything in about a month and a half.  Knowing that if I didn't start up again, this blog would go the way of 98% of blogs in the world, I've decided to participate in NaBloPoMo this November.  Basically, it means I am going to post every day for the month of November in the hopes of jumpstarting my blogging again. I'm not signing up to officially be a member (they don't just do it for the month of November anymore), but nonetheless, I will be pushing myself to do the postings.  Some of these postings will inevitably be made from my Blackberry, so we'll see how that goes (I'm not sure if it will screw with the formatting or not).  At any rate, you can expect another post from me by Sunday night, at the latest.

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