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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.

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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.

Kip Dude, Napoleon Dynamite’s brother just walked into the library and asked for a set of headphones.  Or at least it was a man that looked very nearly like him.

And that’s about the most exciting thing that has happened in here today, or for a few weeks.

As for my weekend, it was spent trying to avoid getting fixed up with men.  My mom’s friend called me Friday night and talked on and on about some guy she knows, a paper salesman named Scott, that I just had to meet.  After numerous "no," "no, I don’t want to date anyone," "no, I don’t want to meet anyone," "sorry, I can’t date men named Scott," and "seriously, thanks but no," she persisted, so I finally said, "We’ll see."  Very non-committal, I thought.  But she emailed me his picture all the same, wanting me to return the favor.  How ’bout no?  Then I went to mass Saturday evening for the Palm Sunday celebration.  An older lady there mistakeningly thought I was another woman’s grandchild.  Then, after finding out that at 23, I was too old to be one of the other lady’s grandchildren, she informed me that she has a 33-year-old son that was really nice and had never been married, and I should meet him.  She sort of elbowed me in the ribs and I did a sort of nervous laugh.  I mean, what do you say to that?

Sunday morning was breakfast with an old friend, which was nice as I hadn’t seen him for a while.  We both commiserated on how we were sick of people trying to fix us up (not with each other of course…he’s like my brother).  I had some crazy dreams all weekend.  Two things from my dreams actually came up Sunday:  One, I saw the band name Blind Melon in a dream, then my friend mentioned Blind Melon at breakfast; Two, I had seen bulbs coming up from the ground in my dream, only to discover on Sunday that actually we had some daffodils coming up in the yard fairly early.  This week will be my first back in class in three weeks, because of weather and "Spring Break" (Heh, what a joke). 

Oh, one more thing from this weekend….Torchwood!  Does anyone else watch it?!?  I am basically obsessed with it at the moment.  I knew when Owen died that he couldn’t really be gone, and I was right.  But I must say, I do enjoy the sneak peak I get at next week’s episode, since they are aired a few days earlier in the U.K.  And about Owen…I really am attracted to his character, even though he’s basically an ass and treats Toshiko terribly.  But the episode with the guy that changed their memories showed a bit about the inner Owen, and I think he’s not all that rotten now.  Just have to break a bit through that bad boy, egomaniacal facade.  In reality, men are such cowards.  Sure, they can go into battle when it means certain death, but give them an emotion and *choke* they can’t deal with it.  Owen is just an example of this.

Yesterday was just the most glorious day.  The high was 54 and I spent the afternoon planting bulbs outside and then I *gasp!* convinced myself to workout.  I had missed the feeling of my fingers in the earth, and the smell of it all; on the excercise front, I had missed how awesome stretching can be afterwards.  Later in the afternoon, when my brother was out of school, I convinced him to go for a walk with me in the park–quality time well-spent.

Skirt As far as last weekend goes, my memory of it is consumed by the fact that I went into Anthropologie for the first time and oh!  how I love it!  I could stay in there forever.  Plenty of Frenchy stuff for the Francophile in me, plus gorgeous clothes.  I got two amazing dresses, a chemise, and a great top,  though I can’t find the pictures for them, so you’ll have to deal.  To the left is a skirt I bought, which looks much better on me than on the rack.  I also got three books, one generic love poems, the other two about Paris and France.  Gorgeous pictures.  I’m not allowed to go into that store anymore.  Seriously, I could spend a thousand dollars in there and not blink an eye (I didn’t spend that much, though).  In fact, I gave my credit card away for safekeeping as soon as I got home, so I wouldn’t be tempted to return and buy more.  And believe me, I could have bought more.

Today I get to interview people for a job here in the library.  It will be strange, as I’ve never been on this side of the table before.  But, they have a list of questions I’m supposed to ask, and I hope I’ll be able to make the person feel a bit more comfortable.  I know what it’s like to walk into a committee interview.

On the job front, I’ve got my own interview tomorrow morning.  Wish me luck on that.  As far as the personal life is going right now, not that great.  I’ve let meself care too much for someone who cannot seem to attempt to care for me beyond the obvious.  So that really sucks.  I’m hopeful that he will come to his senses before too long, before it’s too late for us, but you never know.  In the meantime, I need to keep myself busy; throw myself into work and school I suppose, and then take out the abundance of energy I have still on whatever exercise I might do.  I’ve got lots of research to do for my education class for the final paper and lots of assignments left in Children’s Lit.  Also, I’ll make some time to see friends.  That’ll be good.  Really I suppose this is a good time of year to stay busy, as I’ve been going to mass more often, and this is a really busy time of year for the Church; St. Joseph this Saturday, Palm Sunday, then Holy Week, with all of that jazz.  Even the weekend after is the Feast of the Divine Mercy, and I finish my 54-Day Novena on Holy Saturday.  I’ll probably begin the Divine Mercy Novena then, and maybe a St. Jospeh Novena this Saturday.  So see, I’ll be so busy with work and school and praying, I won’t have time to think!  Which is the point, really…I mean, how many more times can I do this?  You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now….never, ever care for anyone else!  (Very much a Christian message, I know 😉  but I ain’t perfect)

My registration for the summer and fall sessions is the 27th of March, so by then I should have a good portion of the rest of grad school planned out; After that, I’ll only have the spring and probably the summer left.  After that, on to bigger and better things, hopefully working at a university somewhere in Europe– that’s what I really want to do, and to an extent, what I’ve always wanted to do.  I love where I live, but I need to get away, for a long time.  Maybe it will help me forget.  There’s a certain thrill I get when immersed in a place that is not my own, surrounded by people I don’t know, most of whom I never will.  What freedom. (what loneliness, too)

Last week:

  • Got a haircut, with BANGS.  Haven’t had bangs for a while, though these are quite long, and will probably soon be relegated into being swept to the side with the rest of my hair, never to be seen again.  Lengthwise, I got about 6 inches chopped off, so it was a fair amount.  My hair is about collar-bone length now.  Would take a picture, but I’m too lazy.
  • Tried out a neti pot…y’know, one of those things you use to "irrigate your sinuses"?  I have wanted to try one for a few years, and since they are supposed to be good for allergies and nosebleeds (which I get almost daily in the winter), I decided to give it a go.  Had my brother stand by in case I drowned myself, which I saw as being very likely.  It was a very odd feeling, very wrong, much like when you accidentally get water up your nose in a pool, or when you laugh while drinking something and water goes out your nose.  In other words, it was rather uncomfortable, and made my ears pop painfully for hours afterward.  Methinks this ear-popping could be because I might have "wide eustachian tubes."  The package warned that if you got water in your ears, it could be the cause, and not to use the neti pot anymore.  Wasted money.
  • Got to see John twice.  Sweet.
  • There was a glitch in the payroll department where none of the part-time library employees got checks.  They suggested we wait, as we would get that check plus our next one in two weeks; I suggested they pay the bills that I will have due before then.  They decided to cut me an "emergency check," though that will not get here until hopefully at the latest next Monday.  Seriously, if I am late on my credit card and phone bills because of those jerks, I am going to be majorly angry.
  • Applied for a job elsewhere.  No, not related to the not-paying-me-situation, but just happened to fall the same day.  Another library, more pay, full time, benefits.

This week:

  • Another winter storm Tuesday.  There is a winter storm EVERY tuesday; I am totally not exagerrating.  This whole storm thing wouldn’t be a problem, except that’d the only day of the week that I have to attend classes in person.  I declare, God does not want me to go to class.  It’s that simple.
  • My brother got sick two days ago.  Now I am sick.  Had to miss work this morning because of it, but am "raring to go" this afternoon.
  • My mom somehow seriously injured her lower back Monday and now we have to help her do almost everything.  This wouldn’t be so terribly bad, except she had decided during the weekend that she was going to celebrate two of her friends’ birthdays this week, inviting them and three other friends over.  So I had to cook and clean up after all of these people.  Thanks, mom.
  • I got an email, scheduling an interview for that job for next week!  YAY!!! Please, please, please let me get that job and the other thing I’m asking for, and if so, I will never ask for anything else serious ever again.  Well, that’s probably not true.  But I will be extremely grateful.  Wish me luck on all counts.

On the way home from class Tuesday night, my car decided to make a new noise, a sort of rattley-screechy type of noise.  Really it is more of a rattle at this point than a screech, but I know that if it continues, it shall be a long, continued screech, forcing me to turn up my radio to drown out the horrid sound (sorry to those on the street).  This being Thursday, I have neglected to get it looked at because A) that costs money B) I’m hoping it will stop all on its own and C) I have a strange feeling the noise is related to the brakes, which means really a lot a money.  As my brother so aptly declared last night, I just need a new car.  But alas, with the budget of a part-time worker, full-time grad student, that is not to be.  I’m really going to hope the sound disappears on its own.

In other news, there was a lunar eclipse last night!  An eclipse which, for some reason, everyone was very excited about!  (I’m including myself in this, though the reason for my excitement boggles me.)  When the eclipse first began, my mother announced it to everyone in the house.  The next two hours or so involved the front door being opened approximately 52 times, when the four inhabitants of our home would venture out (at different times) into the cold and snow to look at the moon for a couple of seconds, only to retreat back to the warmth of the house.  It really was a beautifully clear night, though for the life of me I cannot understand why I couldn’t have just looked at pictures of it the next day, or at the very least looked out the window.  Mass hysteria, methinks.  My mom’s boyfriend even took pictures of it that probably will not turn out at all.  He’s a strange one, he is.  Tangential story:  the passenger seat of my mom’s car is his command center, so to speak.  He stores everything there, including his electric shaver and a toothbrush, not to mention various bits of paper and writing utensils.  While leaving to go shopping with my mom a couple of weeks ago, I noticed something strange stored in the vanity mirror-thingy…and this strange object was part of the claw of a crab.  "Why the hell does Jim have a crab claw in here?"  "Oh….*very quiet*…you don’t want to know…he uses it to pick his teeth…"

I can’t make this stuff up.

In other news, I have a load of homework to do, which may or may not get done.  Also, someone needs to take my credit card away from me, as I cannot be trusted with it; I have this idea that if I buy spring- and summer-related merchandise (mostly clothing, I assure you), warm weather will miraculously appear.  If by some chance it does happen, though, you can thank me with gifts of money to pay off my card.

I have been a horrible blogger lately, as in not blogging at all.  So very sorry.  I can’t say I’ve been terribly busy, but my mind has been on vacation.  Those are the only poor excuses you are going to get.

‘So what has she been up to?’ you might be asking yourself.  Well, we’ve had a rash of strange weather around these parts.  The temperature has been oscillating between wind chills of -0 degrees fahrenheit and 55 degrees.  This is where I tell you that there is a spot on the ceiling in my bathroom.  This was originally just a water spot, but sometime over the summer, it turned into a small hole in the ceiling, with black mold growing out from it.  So of course I was very concerned: OMG THE BLACK MOLD OF DEATH!!!  Here I am with asthma and allergies and the deadly black mold will slowly take over and kill me!!!  I spent quite a few weeks telling my mom that something must be done about the situation; the landlords must do something to fix the roof and the ceiling because the BMOD has created unsafe living conditions.  Her reply, after a while, became that her boyfriend had gone into the attic and "fixed" the leak.  She quickly cleaned the mold off of the ceiling to allay my fears.  HOWEVER, dear reader, this was all a big sham.  The leak is not fixed.  The BMOD continues to flourish, expanding to cover a 5 inch in diameter area.  Whenever it rains, we have to keep a bucket under the hole.  I bring this up so that you might understand when I tell you I was very frightening the other night that the ceiling would cave in on me as I brushed my teeth.  See, normally when it rains, you get a "drop….drop……….drop………..drop…..," but as I stood in front of the sink, getting ready for bed, I started to hear, "drop……drop…drop..drop, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip."  It was nearly pouring out of the ceiling before long, and I was very concerned as to whether I could finish brushing my teeth before I was covered in insulation, rain water, and musty cardboard boxes.  I survived, and the ceiling has not as yet collapsed, but the end cannot be far away.  As I write, I’m sure the BMOD is causing the decay of the timbers that provide the structure for the house. 

My mom went on her free trip to the Bahamas she won from Bob & Tom over Super Bowl weekend.  Turns out, she was sick the whole time, and could not enjoy it one bit.  She came back with pneumonia, and is hard at work, spreading the illness to all who live in our house.  There were a couple of days when I thought to myself, "Self, this is it.  This is the Big Sickness you have been feeling coming on for some time."  And then I’m fine throughout most of the day.  Perplexing.

Also recently?  The night before last, the wind decided to knock down some important lines somewhere, leaving us without power for two hours.  I would not have minded so much, except that is was freezing outside and I hadn’t had anything to eat since that morning, it being about 9 in the evening, and I had been planning on heating up some pizza.  I had recently been thinking about how I would really like one of those old kerosene lanterns with the hurricane glass that you can carry around on farms and such, and this would have been a great time to have one.  At any rate, I we had were smelly candles, and I missed the new episode of Torchwood on BBC America.  Blar.

Plan for tonight: return lots of books to the library.

This terrifies me so.  Original story found here.

SANTIAGO (AFP) – An 81-year old man in the small Chilean village of Angol shocked his grieving relatives by waking up in his coffin at his own wake, local media said on Sunday.

When Feliberto Carrasco’s family members discovered his body limp and cold, they were convinced that the octogenarian’s hour had come, so they immediately called a funeral home, not a doctor.

Carrasco was dressed in his finest suit for the wake, and his relatives gathered to bid him a final farewell.

"I couldn’t believe it. I thought I must be mistaken, and I shut my eyes," Carrasco’s nephew Pedro told the daily Ultimas Noticias.

"When I opened them again, my uncle was looking at me. I started to cry and ran to get something to open up the coffin to get him out."

The man who "rose from the dead" said he was not in any pain, and only asked for a glass of water.

Local radio also surprised listeners by announcing a correction to Carrasco’s death announcement, saying the news had been premature.

I’ve got to admit, I’ve always had this irrational fear of being buried alive.  I know we embalm people in this country and whatnot, but it still worries me.  Recently I’ve taken to trying to talk my family into not embalming me.  They say it’s some sort of law, but I’ve heard of people who don’t get embalmed because of some religious reason, and why can’t I just say I’m that religion for the sake of the law?  That way, if I am really in some sort of deep, deep coma, they don’t take out my blood and kill me in the process.  I’ve thought many times how it would be best to be lain in an above-ground crypt of sorts, y’know, the kind with a pretty stained glass window.  That way, if I woke up, I could easily break out the window and get someone to let me out.  Another good idea?  One of those coffins, like Bateson’s Belfry, that had a little bell with a rope down to the "deceased."  If you wake up, ring the bell, they dig you up.  I wonder how often or if this was ever used during the 19th century when they were made.

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Aside from my irrational fears, I had a first this past weekend.  Went to a dinner with a friend for her birthday, where an obviously homosexual man tried to convince me that, in fact, he was bisexual.  Thanks, but no. 

In other news, I apparently have a knack for falling for men who have a fatal inability to love me.  So that’s pretty awesome.  Not.

Also, I’ve decided that I do not want to be a school librarian.  Oh, no; I want to be a Reference Librarian.  It will be much more challenging and interesting, not to mention just plain cooler.  That, and after browsing the job site at the Library of Congress, I’ve decided I’m gonna work there for a couple of years out of school, just to pay off some student loans.  Six figure salary?  Okay, that’ll do just fine.

Lots to write about today, which I know is unusual for me.  My second call for jury duty in three months was to be today, however, I called them last night to hear that they do not need any jurorsat this time.  Fantastic.  I have managed to get out of it once again.  Was afraid I’d have to go in there and inform them that I am 1) racist, 2) sexist, 3) a raging anarchist, or 4) some combination of 1-3.  I’m a horrible liar anyway.

I have my last paper of the semester to write up/edit today– a collection development plan for an elementary school library in the subject area of myths, fairy tales, and legends.  Due tomorrow.  Tonight, I’m planning on conning John into looking asking John nicely to gaze at shooting stars with me.  If the sky is clear, the peak times for viewing the meteor shower should be between 10pm-2am in the Eastern sky.  Regardless, I’m not staying out the whole time.  I just want to see a few of them, and if it’s not clear, I won’t stand out there at all.  In other news, my blog is #7 for the Google Netherlands site when searching for "lingerie hi-class." Hmmm, interesting.  Imagine their disappointment when they did not find any lingerie on my site!

Now, my pretties, I will share a couple of sites I have found.

Naked Translations  a somewhat literal site with translations from English to French and vice-versa.  Very interesting.  I love the author’s pov on things and her exploration of slang from multiple dialects.  I will be lurking on this site from now on.

Handigift  adorable kitsch, very giftable.  Love that the products are handmade and really one-of-a-kind.  Am especially in love with their passport covers that would make excellent gifts, as they don’t shout out, "hey! I’m a passport.".  One design even has an RFD shield in it for those of you with the new biometric passports.  A note to the readers: all products on this site have prices listed in either Pounds or Euros (whichever you choose).  So, do not see £12.75 and think this is equivalent to $12.75.  You would be sadly mistaken.

Write Me Stories  Discovered this site courtesy of my dear friend Kristin.  A guy named Paulo goes to see different bands and gives them notecards on which they are to write stories, which he then displays on his site.  What a brilliant idea.

All for now, though I will be putting up "THE LIST" soon.  Y’know, the things I absolutely must do while alive.  Yeah, that’ll be a good one.

It has been raining/misting/being foggy all…day…long…and it is supposed to continue in this pattern for a number of days.  Having said that, I am in simply too good of a mood to care.  Why you may ask?  Well, I had a delightful and delicious lunch in Bloomington at Lennie’s on Saturday with Kristin and Ben, followed by a trip to Delilah’s.  Also, I spent a good portion of Monday with John since I did not have class or work that day.  Very nice.  Looking forward to more good weekends.

In other news, I had a dream last night where I was riding in John’s car, speaking to him in an English accent.  Dear god, who am I? Madonna?  But the most horrible part was that I couldn’t tell if it was real life or not.  I mean, I don’t think I actually spoke in an English accent yesterday, and am not sure why I would in the first place, and also am really hoping that I didn’t actually do that.  Really, the accent was too good for it to have been real life.

Fantastic website I discovered today: Soundflavor.  I feel that I might have actually "discovered" it before and forgotten about it.  Meh.

Also for your enjoyment, a clip of my favorite comedian ever, Tommy Tiernan.

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