One time, our cat looked at us through the window.
She’s so weird.
The world feels like a dismal swamp, and I am wading through it.
Although, it turns out the Dismal Swamp is a real place, and extensive Google Image Searching has led me to believe that it wouldn’t be an awful place to be.
Unlike my life, which is a pretty awful place to be.
(or at least my head, because anybody who has such an objectively dreamy life as mine and can still spout off crap like that is probably suffering from Dismal Swamp Brain)
But I’m still feeling a need
to tell you that I’m feeling crummy,
and indulging in behaviors that will make me feel crummier,
and even though it will all be over in 7 days,
I’m still feeling crummy.
A week without Lance. A week nearing the end of the semester. Here are the highlights:
I. I got another job
Since my current job is a school-year only gig, I applied for some stuff to do this summer. However, in my typical, excessively picky fashion, I am really only interested in jobs in a library, children’s lit related internships, and employment at my school (since I am there for class anyway).
This week, I was offered a position that meets two of my criteria.
Remember this job?
I’m back on the ref desk, y’all.
And in the fall, and on the off-chance my current job extends into the summer, I’ll have TWO jobs!
Which I’ve heard is a great way to pay for Massachusetts car insurance.
II. I gave a presentation
It was really boring.
And I didn’t rehearse what I was going to say.
But it went okay.
III. I met Megan McCafferty
She was really nice.
And I realized that it’s been 10 years since I read her first book, which made me feel very old.
But she sang “I Write The Songs.”
And really loves what she does.
Which was very inspirational.
IV. I got to flip through a copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, signed by author and illustrator
Among other children’s literature treasures, at the Houghton Library.
IV. I walked a lot
I walked to school. I walked home from school. I walked to school again. I walked to school. I walked to school. I walked to the library. I walked to Trader Joe’s. I walked back from Trader Joe’s.
V. I drank two bottles of wine
But don’t worry. I walked to Trader Joe’s so I have another one now.
VI. I didn’t finish any of my assignments due next week
VII. I didn’t choose a topic for my fifteen-page paper
And it’s due in 10 days
VIII. I watched two full seasons of How I Met Your Mother
And I have no idea what to write about
IX. I played Katamari
But I told my mom this, and she said, “I’m not worried about you.”
X. I memorized all 151 of the classic Pokemon
“Because you are awesome,” she said. Or something like that.
But she didn’t know about the Pokemon. She’d probably change her mind
How To Start A Paper
(in case I forget… which I inevitably will)
Obtain lined paper and your good pen.
Close your computer.
Look at the book you are going to write about.
Write down everything you love about that book.
Or, if you’re not crazy about it, write down everything you find remotely interesting about it.
Or, if you hate it, write down why you hate it.
Then, write down why.
Write until the page is mostly full.
Then write sentences.
On Friday night I had a desperate desire to make it to the UPS facility 20 minutes out of town, unreachable by train, bus, or affordable taxicab. So Lance slogged through Friday traffic, picked me up, and we muscled our way out of town to retrieve my prodigal flip-flops before UPS shipped them back to Endless.com.
By the time we made it back into town, we were both starving.
Some wasted parking meter quarters, cash-only restaurants and two-hour waits later, we found ourselves in Brookline at American Craft, sitting at the bar and settling in for a forty-five minute wait with a drink. One of these:
On an empty stomach.
Which, combined with the exhilaration of being out on the town with my boyfriend who was still wearing his snazzy work suit, made me a little loopy.
Loopy enough to order another when we were finally seated.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but as of 2-16-2010, I’m not eating meat. Which is a barely noticeable lifestyle change most days of the week, but makes dining out a little strange. I get all giddy about spending money on food, whatever I want, a menu full of food! And then I remember “oh yeah, Jessica, you can’t eat anything on the menu anymore.” Even in this progressive, liberal, hippie state that I’m living in. At this particular institution, I was faced with three options:
1) a 16 dollar tofu steak
2) a 10 dollar veggie burger
3) some variation of fried appetizer
I’m drunk at this point, but able to decide on a veggie burger. Now, this may seem like a conciliation. Just because I don’t eat meat I get stuck with a lousy veggie burger?!? Vegetarian Secret: many restaurants make their own veggie burgers! And the permutations are really endless and surprising – a black bean burger that looks and tastes like that smoky grilled actual-meat burger, something with actual vegetables that you can see. Last week, at Burren in Somerville, Veggie Burger was code for Weird, Delicious, Corn Cake On A Bun With Peas In It!
The American Craft version was something squishy and filled with vegetables and with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and herbed mayo and oh yeah, I’M DRUNK, it was delicious.
Our waiter was really weird and Lance swears he said he’d had two Original Sins during his shift and when he took my empty glass away he tipped the glass back and finished the two drops I left behind.
Okay, so now it’s close to 10 o’clock and we have one more stop before going home: Trader Joes.
You see, this progressive, liberal, hippie state of mine gives its students and teachers not one but TWO spring breaks (neither of which aligned with my private college spring break, natch). This week is Spring Break #2.
Boyfriend was going back to that conservative, midwestern, mitten-shaped state for a week, and leaving the next morning. So I asked kindly if said boyfriend would take me to the store to stock up on food for the week.
Keep in mind: I am drunk. And REALLY full of veggie burger.
So I buy the following food items:
- bag of Macintosh apples
- peanut butter
- two bottles of Charles Shaw
- two dozen eggs
- pizza dough (but no sauce… or cheese…)
- a really large bag of TJ brand Pirate’s Booty
- hummus (but nothing with which to dip)
And now I am here, alone, during this long weekend, wondering how long this food will last, wondering why I finished that really large bag of TJ Pirate’s Booty in less than three days, wondering if I can muster up the energy to take a long walk down to Trader Joes to buy another bag so I don’t go hungry.
So I’m sitting at home alone on a Saturday night, minding my own business, lamenting over my boyfriend who has fled the state for AN ENTIRE WEEK, munching on failed caramel corn (oh, I wish I could say more than that), drinking the bottle of wine I accidentally froze overnight in my freezer yesterday, finishing up my library DVD of Freaks and Geeks before I have to return it, and working sporadically on this silly assignment for my Reference class….
when I checked Facebook for the seven-thousandth time for the day…
and I died.
It’s Prom Night, back home.
And that’s my little sister.
She’s… so… gorgeous… and… stylish… and… YOUNG!
It wasn’t that long ago I was at Prom.
I guess 8 years is a long time.
I am an old, old lady.
And I am hideous.
I mean, just look at her!
Dying tonight. Pour myself another glass of wine. Pass the sugar-crusted popcorn, kitty.
My wordpress blog is just a baby…
but I have been blogging in various other places on the internet for seven years, today.
I just didn’t know if y’all knew that.
So my relationship with The Online Journal is quite a bit different than most people who jumped on the jolly blog bandwagon later in the game. That’s not a statement of judgment either, just a statement of difference.
Many grown adult people woke up one day and said to themselves: “hmm… a blog sounds good!”
I didn’t know what a blog was when I started writing here. I actually refused to use the word until about 2007. I preferred the term “Online Journal.” Which is really the difference. My online life is not entirely separate from my physical life. I didn’t wake up and say “I think I’ll write about myself ad naseum and then publish it on an online space.” I was 18. It was the last few months of my senior year. I didn’t have a whole lot to say, but I picked up steam. My journal made me real-life friends in college. It continues to make me non-real-life (and that’s not a statement of judgment either) friends today. And strangely, writing this blog has helped me become better friends with people I barely spoke to in college
My online life is never far separated from me. I could never stick to a topical blog. I could never “professionalize” my blog into something I could put on a job application. I couldn’t privatize or hide or “friends only” anymore than I could privatize or hide my real life.
When I switched over to WordPress, however, I did push myself to do more than blather randomly about whatever was ailing me, to not routinely discuss work (since I had a Big Girl Job), and also to keep my life rated PG-13.
That’s it though.
Employers can find me here. Coworkers. Classmates. Teachers. Family members.
I don’t really care.
Hello, employers, coworkers, classmates, teachers, family!
I think this came up in my Library Management class last semester, but I’ve adopted it as a personal blog credo. Common wisdom states that your blog can get you fired, your Facebook pictures can get you fired, your Twitter status can get you fired, so you should keep your online life under wraps. Otherwise you’ll get fired. My professor took a slightly different stance: if you have a blog, and your blog shows that you are personally invested in the job you have/are seeking, and you come off as a good person who doesn’t snort coke every morning before getting on the bus to work, then your blog is just another way for your employer or future employer to get to know you. If you are an honest, good, respectful, interesting, amusing person online, then why would that be a problem in the workplace?
Anyway. I hope I’m coming off as honest, good, respectful, interesting, and amusing. And personally invested in the job I am seeking (books.books.books.books).
I have been doing this for a long time.
April 16, 2003
….take Brandon, the reason for my ranting. He’s this complete know-it-all type who likes to spout off about any topic whatsoever at any given time. Well, we were backstage, in the wings, and he comes up to me, like real close and our shoulders are touching, and I was freaked out…..
April 16, 2004
Oh my god.
An innocent three hour shift at the library gone wrong. It’s TOTALLY packed with high school students.
Some of them are in costume.
April 16, 2005
…then I do stupid shit and feel like I’m just getting more and more immature… like my reluctance to search for a job, or a car, or pay my apartment payment, or go back into a store to figure out why they overcharged, crying in the UC bathroom because I couldn’t buy a frappucinno…
April 16, 2006
There are bits and pieces of my life that make my heart soar, and bits and pieces that make me cry daily, and it all adds up to a big fucking DILEMMA (internalconflictinternalconflictinternalconflict) There are facts and there are idealizations and there are hopes and there are fears and there are realities… and I can’t figure out what is what sometimes…
April 16, 2007
…10. I have probably 40 pages to write before the end of the semester. Which isn’t too much for zee novelist that I like to consider myself to be, but class writing is considerably more painful than nonclass writing. Especially with 8-10 of those pages are Shakespearian research paper.
April 16, 2008
My mom is cool because she grew up in Ohio. Every summer she went to Girl Scout Camp or stayed with my great-grandma in Evansville, Indiana. Except for the summer she worked at a shoe store.
After her Senior Prom, she went to Cedar Point…
April 16, 2009
Where exactly does one LOSE a pair of sneakers? I hope someone tied the laces together and threw them over a telephone wire.
Happy 7th Birthday, Online Jessica.
As decreed by the higher authorities of my Masters of Arts program, the following titles create a list of the
Touchstones of Young Adult Literature.
Which can be interpreted as Books You Ought To Have Read, or YA Books Before There Was Such a Genre.
Since I will be enrolling in my YA Lit class in the Spring of 2011, the following books have officially been added to my Required Reading list for the year.
Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly. 1942
The oldest YA book of time… which I haven’t read
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. 1945
Read it in high school, and, (of course) enjoyed it
Lord of the Flies by William Golding. 1954
Slogged through it in high school. Recreated a scene with Legos for a book project.
Brown Girl Brownstones by Paule Marshall. 1959
A Separate Peace by John Knowles. 1960
My Separate Peace story is super long and involved. So I’ll say that I read it in 10th grade, for class, and leave it at that.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. 1961
According to the apocryphal family tale, my father read this book to me when I was in first grade. Which means yes, I need to read it again.
The Contender by Robert Lipsyte. 1967
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. 1967
Read it in 8th grade. Less than impressed. But I was a difficult to impress 8th grader.
The Pigman by Paul Zindel. 1968
My Pigman story is also very long and involved. I read it in undergrad, for my YA class and liked it, but only after actively disliking it as a child due to confusing it with another book with a similar title.
I’ll Get There, It Better Be Worth the Trip by John Donovan. 1969
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. 1970
Love love love. Listened to it in 2008. Excited to re-read.
The Planet of Junior Brown by Virginia Hamilton. 1971
The Friends by Rosa Guy. 1973
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. 1974
Tried to read it when I was in 6th or 7th grade… failed.
Forever by Judy Blume. 1975
Goldengrove Unleaving by Jill Paton Walsh. 1976
The Language of Goldfish by Zibby Oneal. 1980
Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson. 1980
Read it so long ago I can’t remember it…
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden. 1982
Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid. 1985
Remembering the Good Times by Richard Peck. 1985
House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. 1991
So my current reading of these Literary Touchstones leaves much to be desired. So we’ll add this list to the ACTUAL syllabus (some 30 more books), plus a summer lit class and a fall lit class…. well… I should probably start reading now, since all I have to read for the next month is picturebooks.
I had a fabulous few days with my family. However, they have left, and I do not know what day of the week it is.
Is it Saturday?
Is it Monday?
I have no idea.
I am also suffering from the worst kind of buyer’s remorse – the kind of remorse where the entire universe is out to ruin the only money you’ve had to spend in months.
I bought a plane ticket to go down to DC in June for a conference….
and then Lance found out he’ll be out of school in time to come too, but the ticket is nonrefundable.
I bought some Havaianas online because my flip-flops are wearing through to the ground…
and the website took my credit card info but has yet to say anything other than “Order Recieved” for 3 weeks.
I took advantage of an American Eagle online sale and bought two sweaters for 50 dollars…
and they shipped it to my last saved address – my house on University street in Mount Pleasant.
I bought an expense dress from Shabby Apple, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted so I sent it back…
and I’m officially out 20 dollars for shipping & handling.
Take my advice, readers: put your credit cards away. Just don’t even bother trying to spend frivolously.