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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.

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…and still looking for a new job.

That is all.

I went to my first ever librarian conference a couple weeks ago. It was overwhelming.

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Bought this shirt @ the Unshelved booth at ALA (that is not me in the picture).  I also went to some programs and stuff, but we'll speak no more of that.  What this shirt DID get me was no fewer than 10 librarians swarming me at the Broad Ripple Brew Fest this past weekend wondering where I got the shirt.

After my conference goings-on, I did this:

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From the top of the Sears Willis Tower. You can see the curvature of the earth. Crazy.

And this…

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I might be crazy. That's 103 stories straight down.

And again, in case you didn't get it the first time:

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A view from one box to another:

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And after the 4 hours it took to get up and down the tower, I got to dip my feet in the water here for approx. 5 seconds, followed by a stiff drink at the bar by the water:

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And still no decent pictures of my hair.  I guess you're gonna have to wait until I get it cut again.

Finis.

Since my working like a mad woman finishing up my graduate studies is now over, I present to you my most recent adventures (in outline form).

 1. Graduated with my Master of Library Science degree. I'm officially a librarian! Now to find a job…

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Don't I look just like I've stepped out of an HP book?  Seriously, all I needed was a wand. 

At the school ceremony after the big university one, they made us give thank you speeches, though neglected to tell us we were doing them until 5 minutes before. I didn't have time to prepare, and didn't want to do it anyway.  It's all quite a blur as to what I actually said up there, but I do know that I finished by saying, "You guys are awesome."  Which is so very academic.

2.  Went to Louisville to visit a friend.
    A. The brakes locked up on my car, and I broke down 70 miles north of Louisville. I was convinced I was going to die on the side of the highway…since I was inches away from the line on the side of the road, and couldn't pull over any farther because my wheel absolutely wasn't going to budge, I was obviously going to be clipped by a semi and yanked into more oncoming traffic (it was rush hour, to top it all off).  After an hour, a stranger stopped, took my wheel off and told me the problem, went to buy a bolt to replace the one that had fallen off and caused the whole mess, went and bought another bolt because that had been the wrong one, and put it on for me just as the sky opened up.  And he wanted nothing in return, since someone helped him and his wife for nothing when they were broke down once in Tennessee.  I am ever so grateful! Now I have to help someone else (though obviously not with my mechanical abilities).
    B. Went cycling in Southern Indiana. Where "pretty flat" actually means "lots of small hills."  Surprisingly, my legs and butt were not sore the next day, but my arms were.  Explain that.  And, since it was like the first time I'd ridden a bike in about 10 years…well, let's just say I was way more wobbly than I remember being.  That old adage may not necessarily be true, but it doesn't stop me from wanting to try again.  Also, got an amazing (and by amazing, I mean horrible) farmer's tan while riding.
    C. Went to prom.  Okay, it wasn't a real prom, but we all dressed fancy and danced and drank and a good time was had by all.
    D. Bought a chair.  This has become a pattern when I visit Joyce, because I have two other chairs from previous trips.  But I just had to have this one, since it's the chair I see in my daydreams when I think of my bedroom in my next apartment.
    E. Went to a black southern Baptist church.  It was kind of awesome, and by kind of, I mean COMPLETELY.  Imagine Blues Brothers, without the actual Blues Brothers or James Brown. Lots of Hallelujahs, Amens, "Can I get a witness?", spontaneous fits of dancing and sprinting, and the occasional parishioner who just had to break out their own tambourine.  The only part I didn't like was that it was about two hours too long.

3.  Still applying to jobs in Chicago.  Except now I have to also get another part-time job here in town to save up for moving when I do get a job in Chicago.  I'm slightly discouraged, even though I knew it probably wouldn't happen right away.  I think I just need to become independently wealthy, then I won't have to worry about this job business at all…just move and travel wherever my heart desires!

I've been a horrible, horrible blogger lately, as in not posting anything longer than, oh, say, a sentence.  Apologies.  Here's what I've done the past two weekends:

Halloween weekend:  Went out with friends on the actual night-of to some club.  I was dressed as a biker chick, complete with fake tattoos.  I figured I should get some use out of the leathers I bought until I have another boyfriend with a motorcycle (and YES, there will be another).  Had men slightly terrified of my 5'3" frame and simultaneously interested.  Bikers revved up their bikes for me all night. No pictures that I want to share though.  Sorry.

Went with family on Saturday to surprise getaway for the evening at a condo in Brown County, known to apparently be the second-best place (other than New England) in the U.S. to view pretty leaves.  The condo was on a golf course, and I decided to go out and lay on the green at night and stare at the stars.  Convinced my brother to go with me, and we saw a shooting star.  Yay for us!  Next day I walked on the green in bare feet (so soft…), did a bit of hiking and a photo shoot betwixt siblings.  I do have pictures of this…

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Green where I saw shooting stars.

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Pretty leaves, yes?

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More pretty.

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And again…

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My blinding pale skin

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My brother, Josh, pretending he is very far off the ground.

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We are so ridiculous.  Ridiculously cool.

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Tree on fire.

C'est tout for Brown County.

Last weekend I drove to Louisville for an old college roommate's birthday.  This is a drive that should have taken me at least three hours (this is not just the google maps time…this is how long it has taken me every other time I've been down there).  I made it in two.  As I was just keeping up with the traffic around me, the only explanation I can find is that I must have found a secret portal somewhere in southern Indiana that lets out on the same highway but an hour down the line.  Clearly, I must remember this for future trips.

Once I got there, my friend introduced me to her boyfriend whom she has been with for over a year now (!) and we all went out for some Persian food on Bardstown Road (which turns out, is a fantastic road).  I had never before had Persian, but it tasted something like Moroccan and Greek put together, and so was delicious.  The cucumber yogurt made everything taste good (even cooked mushrooms), and I had some fantastic saffron, pistachio, vanilla, and rose water ice cream.  And I don't even like pistachios. 

It was after this dinner (in which my friend and I shared a bottle of wine…at 2 in the afternoon…don't you dare judge me) when we decided to walk through some of the shops down Bardstown Road.  In a particularly artsy place, my friend and I were talking (probably quite loudly as our sense of volume decreases with amount of wine drank) and I said something about how "everybody likes to have naked time alone in their own house"…to the horror of the apparent owner of the shop who happened to be on the other side of a glass display cabinet.  The look on her face was….hilarious…and she quickly retreated far away from us and back to her actual counter.  I thought it was all quite funny, but isn't it true?  Doesn't everyone like naked time by themselves?

Later that evening, I watched (and volunteered to help out with) my friend's improv show, of which she was a member of one of the troupes.  There were three from Louisville present and one from Cincinnati.  Lots of laughs.  After the show, her troupe and the one from Cinci went back to her friends' apartment and we all celebrated her birthday.  It was a fun time and I met some cool new people and had some fascinating conversations.  A good time was had by all.

And a good picture was taken of me:

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That's all for now.  I know I didn't talk about everything I said I would in the last blog, but I think you'll survive.  I've lots of work to do before the end of the semester and very little time in which to do it.

This past weekend, Chicago boy (who will forever more, until further notice, be referred to as CB) came down to visit.  We did lots of walking about the tree farm across the road from my house and fending off vicious coyotes in the dark.  And also?  We saw three shooting stars!  High five for us!

After showing him around my hometown a bit and driving through a horrible rain storm, we ended up at the Irish Fest (which was really more of a Celtic fest).  Because of the storms around, they weren't allowing any of the musicians at the stages to go electric. 

Now, there aren't many times in life, here, where a man can comfortably wear a skirt in public, but the kilts were out en masse for the festival.  I realized that, actually, I kinda like a man in a kilt…ones with good calf muscles, that is.  Because that's my favorite part of the male body, and kilts seem to accentuate them.  There was even a kilted mile run on Sunday, where I observed most of the participants afterward who had been wearing what appeared to be either bike shorts or Under Armor beneath their kilts.  It was all very fascinating, because I'm sure one would have to wear something when running a mile.

But let me tell you what is not cool to wear with a kilt, folks…and that is a "fanny pack."  That is never okay.  A sporran, yes.  Whatever other accessories you want to include, yes.  But NEVER EVER wear a fanny pack with your kilt.  You will look like an ass hat.

But back to the actual fest, lots of Guinness and Bailey's was had by me, and Bushmills and Killian's by CB (with about 3/4 of a cup of Killian's ending up in his lap thanks to a strong wind).  Also had a bowl of delicious white cheddar potato soup (because, really, potatoes and cheese are two of my favorite things).  There were also exhibitions of Irish dog breeds, including the Irish Wolfhound.  If you've never seen one of these before, please do look them up.  Most of the wolfhounds there had backs as high as my waist.  They are like small horses.  I obviously need one someday, since I don't think you're allowed to have horses in my neighborhood.  Sunday, after CB left, I went back to the fest and saw…wait for it…sheep herding demonstrations.  Now, this might not seem all exciting to you, and I don't know that I would be as excited if they hadn't demonstrated how they train the dogs, which is that they first teach them to herd ducks.  Brilliant.  It was around this time that I decided I need a trained Border Collie to herd my non-existent children.  And I am totally serious about that.

Where are the other *adventures* you may ask?  Well, as it is, I was talking with one of my best friends on my cell last night while trying to uncork a bottle of wine.  Let me inform the reader that this was just plain wine, not Champagne or anything like that.  Y'know how when operating the corkscrew, there's usually a bit of a tug you have to do to get the last bit out?  Well I was doing that one-handed, cell phone in the other, when it came out and the corkscrew hit me like a ton of bricks between my left eye and temple.  I had managed to give myself a black eye, and break open the skin.   I felt somewhat sorry for the friend on the phone, as I was positive I busted her eardrums when I yelled "AWWW F*CK!!" into the phone that was still up by my mouth.  But she said she had heard the cork go, and something hit my head, though apparently the recount I gave her wasn't nearly as exciting as the one she had dreamed up.  Today it looks like someone with a good right hook just laid one into me, but also like I'm wearing purple eyeshadow on that eye.  I briefly considered putting shadow on the other eye to match, because it almost looks good, but then I realized I don't really wear eyeshadow.  Meh.

Here's to hoping I never do that again, though the odds are better than I would like.

Sit tight.  I'm gonna get semi-deep up in here.

I've been feeling for some time that I'm on the verge of some great adventure.  What it could be I can only guess.  If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a dreamer.  But I can be a do-er when a fire is lit under my ass.  (I didn't realize it til I just reread that part, but it kinda rhymes.  Someone please make a song out of that, and be sure to credit me.) 

At any rate, my point is that I come up with lots of great ideas of things I'd like to do, places I want to go, things I want to see.  My family just kind of rolls their eyes and says, "Yes, Hayley, of course."  My brother even commented the other night that I would need to live ten lifetimes to be able to do all of the stuff I've said I want to do; and that may be right.  However, just because I talk about it, just because I dream of these things, just because I'm not doing them right now, doesn't mean I'm not going to do them.

The time hasn't been right.  But it's getting closer to the time every day.    I can feel it in the air.  I think it'll start when I graduate and move.  Where to?  Most likely Chicago.  That's what all the signs say*, that I was meant be there at some point.  Now, I usually don't believe in signs, omens, that sort of thing.  But suffice it to say that they have been rather persistent, in my face.  So it's looking like that's where I'll be, depending on the job situation. 

It will be terribly exciting.  And though I'm months (and six classes) away from it, I'm really very excited now.  I've always wanted to go away somewhere, move where I know no one and no one knows me.**  (Though generally I threaten to move to Tahiti and become a pearl diver.) And to finally have my own place again…well, that alone is enough to make me cry tears of joy.  So please bear with me in the coming months as I sit back and dream about little mundane details of my new place, way before I should be thinking about them.  In fact, I'm already making up a list of everything I have and everything I'll need for my place (to be listed in either another post and/or on a side link like The List.)

But I think the graduating and the finding a job and getting an apartment is just the beginning.  After that, I'm not sure.  It will be brilliant, I do know that.

*Literally, signs.  Road signs, billboards, posters, fliers, magnets, calendars, etc…
** Actually, a number of my friends live in Chicago, or will in the near future.  I couldn't be totally unknown…but it certainly is a big enough city so that if I don't want to see anybody, I don't have to.

In my typical fashion of waiting a really long time and posting a blog full of random happenings, I present to you just such a curiosity.

Movies I saw recently in the theatre (and by recently I mean within the past two months):

Run Fat Boy, Run —  Delightful comedy by the same folks as did Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.  Title of blog is reference to said film, and also "The Distance" by Cake (which I’m pretty sure was in the film.  I dunno though.  It’s been awhile.).  It concerns a man who, after leaving his pregnant girlfriend at the altar, tries to win her back years later from a seemingly inhumanly awesome male specimen by running a marathon.  I am slightly ashamed to admit that a tear might have escaped when he ran into the arms of his ex-fiancee and son.  I don’t think that really spoils anything though.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall — Yet another comedy (really, my favorite genre).  This one’s about a man trying to get over a horrible breakup, only to find his ex and her new sexually-liberated flame at the same resort in which he’s trying to forget about her.  Hilarity ensues, of course.  Very quotable.  I would actually love to see his Dracula play.

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This weekend, while watching a band in a local bar, I witnessed an old man named Walter, aged about 75 (complete with cane and orthopedic shoes), getting down with his bad self on the dance floor.  For more than one song too!  At one point, he actually used his cane to play air guitar.  It was quite inspiring.  I really hope I can still rock out when I’m his age.

As for today, I’ve got two papers to write and a final for which to study, all of which are due tomorrow night.  After that, my semester will be over and I will be free…at least until the first Summer session begins, at which point I will start an online Flash course.  Also?  I am ridiculously shaky today.  I usually have a bit of the shaky hands just genetically (my bro and dad both do too), though it varies to the degree.  Normally people don’t even notice, but every once in a great while it will be bad and people will look at me funny and ask why I’m so shaky.  But today…my asthma medicine has helped the shake really come to a crescendo.  Note to self:  carrying a cuppa boiling-hot tea is not a good idea when you are shaking that badly.

Kids, there was an earthquake this morning.  I was so excited.  You see, I am something of an amateur geologist (would have been a professional except I really don’t like math) and I have ALWAYS wanted to feel an earthquake.  I have some theories about them, plus I’ve got this idea in my head that I would like to be outside standing in the grass when one happens and see if I can keep standing.  Don’t ask; I can’t explain.  The last two times there has been one felt in Indiana, I just so happened to be in a different state where it was not felt.  I mean, what are the odds?  I rarely get to travel, and when I do, we get a quake.  Seems eerily opposite to the whole thing about how tornadoes follow me on vacation, but that’s another story for another time.

At approximately 5:37 this morning, I was awoken by the sound of everything in my room rattling.  My first thought was, ‘Oh, a really big farm truck is driving by…’ quickly followed by, ‘Wait, it’s shaking far too much for far too long to be a truck,’ and then, ‘YAY!! AN EARTHQUAKE!!’ But by the time I had jumped out of bed and into the hallway, it was over.  I knew from class it had to be moderately strong to have woken me up.  It was an especially good earthquake since it was definitely strong enough to feel, but didn’t cause any damage or injuries.  Yay for the earth!

Also, I couldn’t decide whether to name this post the above title, or "Good Vibrations." 

Aaaannnd since I haven’t posted in like, two weeks, you get a really long post about most everything else I’ve been doing as well.  Lucky you!  I will put it in list format because I am lazy.

  • Went to a Little 5 party in Bloomington on Friday.  The theme was "All Suited Up!" meaning one was to wear some sort of suit…business, casual, bathing, cat, mechanic, whatever.  I worked my way around this by wearing my bathing suit under my clothes, though there were a number of people looking quite snazzy in real suits, one girl in a suitcase, and a friend in a beaver suit.  Dear reader, I was there at the party for about 4 hours…and about 10 minutes after I arrived, so did the man in his birthday suit.  You heard right…NAKED.  I’ll admit I was shocked at first because…naked man?  Basically public?  At first I tried to look away quickly, then succeeded in spilling beer on my shirt as I tried to act normal.  It was special.  But eventually I grew accustomed to it, even though he was perilously close to me for the majority of the party.  It’s just important to remember not to walk with one’s hands ever going below the level of one’s waist.    Also, because I am apparently a magnet for people who desire to one day emigrate to Europe AND musicians, I was stuck talking to both types until my old roomate got there.  Was told flat out that I was really beautiful, and gorgeous, and why had they not noticed me before?  Well, I was deftly trying to avoid the crowd half of the time, hanging out in friends’ rooms, but still…It’s always nice to hear compliments.  Especially when they are being so blatant about it.  But then he’s all, "You don’t seem like you’re drunk like everyone else." "Mm, yeah, that’d be because I’m not."  But I’ll pretend he was just telling me I’m pretty for the hell of it, not to get into my pants.
  • The next morning, Kristin (old roomie) and I went a little further south to visit another friend, Joyce (another one of my old roomies).  We spent from 2pm to about 10:30pm in the FREEZING COLD by the river in Louisville, watching the aptly named Thunder Over Louisville.  Now for those who have never heard of it, it’s an air show and fireworks show that kicks off the Kentucky Derby Festival that runs for weeks before the actual Derby.  The airshow was scary and awesome; those aircraft did things I didn’t even think were possible.  But the fireworks were what I really came there for.  I had been once before, just for the fireworks.  They set them to music, then set them off on both bridges and on some barges.  Since we were seated between the bridges and I love love LOVE fireworks, it was amazing.
  • Then, Monday at the library, I came across The Secret, y’know that horrible book that Oprah and everyone and their mother is talking about?  I had read something similar (actually quite the same) called the Law of Attraction, but really thought it was all hokey.  The whole premise of the LOA/Secret is that whatever you think about, you attract.  So if you think bad, you get bad, and vice versa.  The problem with this is that if you think, "I don’t want to get cancer," you will get cancer, because you thought about it.  It doesn’t matter if you think you do or don’t want it; just thinking of it at all brings it.  And things come to you faster if you put actual emotion into your thoughts and believe that it will happen (though as a stipulation, you can’t think about how, where, or when).  Anywho, I thought I’d give it a go and see what happens.    Well….here’s what has happened so far:  I’ve gotten the exact parking spot I’ve wanted all week at work even though I never did before…I got the exact parking spot I wanted at school on Tuesday night, I saw a cardinal and bluejay yesterday when I decided I would.   Now, of course it could all be coincidence, but I’d rather it not be.  And when I think about it, it makes sense in that whenever I get worried about anything, stuff starts going badly.  Even in my last relationship, things didn’t start going bad until I started for no reason worrying about things going badly….it was like a light-switch.  But it’s really hard to think positively all the time, especially for the pessimist in me.  I’m trying though.  Really hard.  And the LOA/Secret says you can have anything and anyone you want, if you believe you can and think positively.  So let’s see.  I could be crazy.  But maybe not.

Anyway, that’s enough for now.  I’m sure something terribly exciting will happen soon like….I dunno.  Something.  I could manifest winning a trip to Paris.  Wouldn’t that be sweet?

Bridesmaiddress Here, my pretties, is the bridesmaid skirt-top combo I picked out/had picked out for me.  Though the color says pink blush, the website must have some seriously messed up color, because it really is more of a baby pink color.  The color here is…mauve?  But I digress…we were at the bridal shop about 5 minutes early for our appointment, the bride and five of us bridesmaids.  But of course, they weren’t ready for us when our appointed time arrived, and in fact they could not even locate the woman who was supposed to be assisting us during that time!  In the meantime they gave us a little dressing room for all of us to try things on.  Really horrible customer service.  That place was a nightmare.  Our appointment was for 11:30 and we didn’t get out of there until probably 1:30. 

When we arrived back at the bride’s house, we pulled in the driveway to see just in time my ex’s vehicle, knowing that he was in the house.  Let me explain a bit about that whole thing:  I was with this guy for nearly 4 years.  Waste of my life.  I truly thank the Powers That Be that I wasn’t somehow trapped into his family and to him for the rest of my life.  While I really couldn’t care less about him, and it doesn’t bother me that he is one of the groom’s friends (and thus will be in the wedding), I really don’t want to be around him if it is unnecessary, because, well,….he’s still stuck on me.  I really wouldn’t know personally, but the bride tells me that he gets in trouble all the time with his baby-mama for hiding old pictures of me.  Back to the whole returning from dress-shopping though…As we all sat in the car and pondered what we should do, he came out to the car to leave.  I knew he would stare (or heaven forbid, try to talk to me) if I got out even just to get in my car, so I convinced everyone to sit there in the car until he was gone.  A bit ridiculous, I know, but the existence of some people simply disgusts me.

Sunday on the way home from mass, my car started making a new noise, which was this:  major griiiiiiinnnndddding, coming from the passenger side’s back wheel.  Now, I do have a reputation for wearing down brakepads, but the thing is, it’s usually just one breakpad that goes bad.  One would think that if my driving were at fault, the break pads would wear down equally, no?  But instead it’s just the one.  They usually give me some sort of squeak as a warning that this is happening, but this time it went straight to the grind.  Apparently, the other back break had frozen up, and had been that was for some time so that I only had the breaks on that side in the back stopping my entire car.  Anyway, it was finally fixed yesterday, first by a young kid who really didn’t know what he was doing, then by an old man who’d rather chat that get to crackin’ on my breaks and rotor.  For now, the Old Blue Goose (as my grandfather calls it) is up and running relatively well again.

Monday night I got the always brilliant idea that I need to exercise.  I thought to myself, ‘Self, you should go to the gym since you bought that membership in December and have only been there twice.’  And so, I did.  I rummaged around through my drawers and found my workout clothing, which always makes me feel kinda like a badass when I wear them.  Had to have the staff at the gym show me where the ellipticals actually were located, as I had not bothered to get the tour when I signed up.  Even if I had, I probably would have forgotten it at this point in time.  So at first the elliptical was good; I entered my weight, picked the course that was best for the glutes, and away I went.  Things were going fine until about the 11 minute mark, when I suddenly became uncoordinated with the machine.  Things looked bad–I thought I was going to get all tangled up in it and fall over in a clumsy, gasping heap.  But then after a couple minutes further, I synched up again and was able to suffocate suffer gleefully finish the 30-minute course.  My calf muscles feel like they are attacking my leg bones every time I stand or walk (even though I’ve been stretching them often), but yay for me!

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