Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hard topic is HARD!

Hey ladies! Sorry I didn't post last week - I had an out-of-town guest and intended to write the post before she got here. In fact, and this is 100% true whether you believe it or not, I had an awesome post completely written in my head - one time, a few months from now, we'll have to do a "make-up" week where everyone posts something from a week they didn't post on originally or something!

Anyway, it's kind of a shame that I missed last week, because this week I'm going to be lame and take a cop out. To start with, I don't really have any bad memories that are conducive to hero-ing. I can think of a few instances where I kind of wish I'd said or done something differently. And hey, if I could stop the SUV that rammed into my cousin's Corolla 6 years ago, I definitely would! But there's no real instances where there was anything I could have done anything, and so it's very hard for me to imagine my life happening differently. For those of you who have talked to me about fan-fiction at all, you probably know that I have a thing about imagining things anti-canon. I cannot tell you the number of stories I have half written somewhere that I had to abandon once the next installment (book, movie, episode, whatever) came out and proved my theories all wrong. It's kind of annoying. Some of those ideas were really cool! And so it is with my life too.

The thing is all my experiences, both good and bad, make up who I am. I would not be the person I am today if I had ended up at my dream college, or gone straight on for my Masters. I might have cried over not getting an 'A' in Elementary school, but if I (and my parents) hadn't pushed myself so hard, I probably wouldn't be looking at such a great school now (and I'd probably be less crazy, but that's a discussion for another time). And if I hadn't experienced the death of my cousin, I probably would never have become as close to the rest of my cousins as I have.

And so, I am going to make myself my own hero - by not changing anything. I needed all those experiences to learn to be who I want to be no matter how difficult. And you know, some people might say that's it's own kind of heroism.

Now, if you want me to write you a post about one of my characters becoming a hero... well, that's a different story ;-)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Escape Routes

Tucked in the high branches of an overgrown shrubbery, a little girl started to cry.  Youthful ambition had pushed her too high and determination kept her going.  She was in quite a pickle, but ten years old didn’t think of grown-up things like getting back down.
The lights flicked off and everyone got comfortable.  The girl’s sisters over there, her cousins farther forward, a family friend tucked in the chair behind—she climbed into his lap and enjoyed the movie as it started.  Unease set in soon enough because she was old enough to be uncomfortable, but young enough to not yet know his hand should not be there.
Sunlight.  Fast breezes, whipping hair.  The heat of a helmet, the heat of sore muscles.  Sluggish breaks.  An intersection.  A car.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Screw the Temporal Prime Directive

Hey everyone! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes -- I'm looking forward to trying them out. :)

Katie -- I liked your reworked memory. It may be a bit idealistic, but honestly, I think we need that every once in a while. So that when people point out the idealism and say that it could never happen, we can come back with the challenging, "Why not?" and demand an answer.

My interpretation of this week's post will be brought to you less by a specific childhood memory and more from the fact that my parents are currently moving from Hayesville to BG (per Mom's retirement at the end of the month), so they've been packing up my old room and bringing all the stuff up here for me to go through. Recently, this included my middle school journals. And, hoo, boy, does that need some character rewriting (thus providing the perfect opportunity for Older Me to become a hero). So here we go.


The thirteen-year-old girl sat on her bed, writing in a journal with a pained look on her face. She finished the entry, sighed, and held the book to her heart in a melodramatic fashion, her mind preoccupied as always with the boy who would never look at her that way and the classmates who would never understand her.

When she opened her eyes, there was a strange woman standing at the side of the bed, a stern look on her face. The girl let out a surprised yelp.

"Give me the journal," the woman said in a firm voice, holding out her hand. The girl clutched the journal closer to her chest.

"What? No!" she said immediately. "Who are you? How did you get here?"

"Call me a guardian angel," the woman said, her tone dry. "I'm here to help you immeasurably. Give me the journal."

"I won't!" the girl said defiantly, and the woman sighed and crossed her arms.

"I'm doing you a favor," she said. "It's only going to be a source of embarrassment in the future. You're not going to be able to look at that thing without cringing, let alone read it."

"This is my most prized possession!" the girl tried to argue, but the woman snorted.

"Please," she said. "If it's your most prized possession, then why do you only write in it once every three months, if that?"

The girl looked sullen. "I'm gonna do better this year."

The woman sat on the edge of the bed. "No," she said with a shake of her head. "You're not. You always say that. You never do. Trust me. Give me the journal. And while we're at it, give me the poems, too."

The girl gasped, eyes wide in shock. "How do you know about---"

"I know everything, okay?" was the woman's only reply.

"Who are you?" the girl asked suspiciously.

"Come on, you watch Star Trek. I can't tell you that. Temporal Prime Directive. Also, it'll just give you a headache."

If possible, the girl's eyes went wider. "Are you . . . me?" she asked in a stunned and awed voice. The woman just gave her a look.

"What did I just say?"

"And you're --- engaged??" the girl continued, clearly not listening. "Who is it?? Is it ---?"

"Don't even finish that sentence," the woman warned. "No. It's not. God, no. You don't really have a crush on him, you know."

"Yes I do! I love him!" the girl said fiercely.

"Oh, gag me with a spoon," the woman muttered. "Listen, kid. You're thirteen, and he's a jackass. You know it, you just don't want to admit it. He's not the love of your life. He's not even your best friend, not really. If he was, don't you think he'd do half the things for you that you do for him?"

The girl didn't answer, she just looked down at her hands.

"Exactly," the woman said. "Let him go, for the love of all things holy. You're almost as pathetic about this guy as you were about Michael."

The girl colored. "I don't want to talk about Michael," she said sullenly.

"No, of course you don't," the woman answered, no nonsense. "Because that whole situation is now as monstrously embarrassing to you as this whole situation is to me. I told you. I'm doing you a favor. Just give me the journal. And the notebook. And the secret journal. And the poems."

“Not the poems,” the girl begged. “Please, they’re my heart and soul!”

“Heart and soul?” the woman asked. “Sweetie, you’re writing about unicorns and rainbows. Literally, unicorns and rainbows! You just wrote a poem in the shape of a school bus. I really, really hope that’s not actually your heart and soul.”

"But I want to be a writer," the girl whispered in a tiny voice.

"Yeah," the woman said kindly. "And you will be. But not until you stop writing those syrupy poems and emo-tastic journal entries."

"Emo . . . tastic?" the girl repeated, confused. The woman didn't clarify.

"Trust me on this. You want to write, go for it. But write. Write something substantial. Not about unicorns or melodramatic musings about how no one understands you."

"I'm really going to be a writer?" the girl asked hopefully.

"You're going to write a short story when you're fifteen that wins an award," the woman said, and watched the girl's eyes light up. "Everything you write between now and then is gonna is be crap, and even that story is really only halfway decent, but you'll get there. Sohere." She pulled a purple composition notebook from her bag and tossed it to the girl, who had to drop the blue and yellow journal to catch it. The woman snatched up the journal in a heartbeat.

"Hey!" the girl protested.

"Ah, ah, ah," the woman said, holding it out of reach and pointing at the notebook. "Brand new, nice and blank, just waiting to be filled. Take the ridiculous amount of energy you've been expending toward this," she gestured with the journal to all of the girl, "and put it into that instead. Now, come on. The rest of them. And don't even think of trying to hold out on me. I know what they all look like and where they're all hidden."

A few moments later, the woman held four notebooks in her arms. Grimacing, she loaded them into her bag, then stood, hoisting the bag onto her shoulder. "I've gotta get going. It was nice talking to you."

She turned to go, and that's when the girl cried out, "Wait!" When the woman turned back, the girl was standing there, looking shy and uncertain. Finally, she asked, "Are you sure there's nothing else you can tell me?"

The woman smiled and sighed. "I remember being you so vividly," she said softly. "The only thing I can tell you is a bit of advice, but you're not gonna like it."

"What is it?" the girl asked immediately.

"You know who's doing the most right now to make your life difficult? The person who, more than anyone else, is keeping you from being everything you're capable of?"

"Who?" the girl asked. "Nick? Logan? Kevin?" The woman hid a smile and shook her head.

"No," she said softly. "It's you."

The girl looked stung. "I don't understand," she said. The woman sighed apologetically.

"No," was all she said. "I know you don't. But you will. Trust me. You'll get there, and it'll get better. Oh, and . . . friendly advice?" She hid another smile. "Give Kevin a second chance. You two have more in common than you think."

The girl's look turned murderous. "Kevin?" she repeated with loathing and disdain. The woman laughed.

"Trust me," she said again, and the girl's face suddenly turned horrified.

"If you tell me you're engaged to him---"

The woman cut her off with a raised hand. "Ew. No," she said with conviction. "But he is one of my best friends."

The girl shook her head. "I don't believe you're me. Give me back my journals."

The woman smiled and started to fade. "Not a chance," she said.


"Good luck, Cassie."

And then she was gone.

When the girl wrote her prize-winning short story two years later, she made it about unicorns just to spite her older self.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bullying Hero

I'm so sorry I didn't post yesterday! Usually I do it at night, but I was sitting around a campfire with a friend from work, so the blog was pretty much the last thing on my mind =P I will try my damndest to be more punctual from now on.

My least favorite childhood memory, hands down, was all the bullying I endured. So here goes:

I was a big sister. That was my most important job. With four little sisters to set an example for, I couldn't exactly deny that my behavior was important, nor could I deny that little monster inside me that said, "If anyone hurts them, you hurt back!" They were important to me, my sisters, and I loved them more than I loved myself. I would do just about anything for the little buggers. 

 It was about 2:30pm on a sunny Monday when I found myself, as usual, in the parking lot of St. Clare Elementary in Lyndhurst, Ohio, where my youngest sister went to school. She was ten years old, in the fifth grade, and doing very well. Well, academically anyways. See, my youngest sister Kyra was a little bit of a worry-wart and, well, a "nerd" as the other kids would say. I had been, too, so I thought it was great that her studies meant so much to her and that she wanted to read books like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, but the other little monsters didn't see it that way. They were already watching MTV and listening to "boy bands," whereas Kyra wasn't into that stuff. I was proud of her, really (mostly because if I had to hear one more Justin Beiber song, I was going to shoot myself), but I felt awful, too. She often came home in a bad mood because someone had made fun of her for something. Today was, unfortunately, one of those days. 

Fortunately, however, the bullying was in full view of me as I sat in the parking lot, waiting for the kids to come out at the end of their school day. Kyra was first out of her class to exit, which was unusual, since she was usually last (that way none of the other kids could see her and make fun of her on the way out the door). I knew immediately that something was wrong. Kyra was slumped over with her arms crossed tightly around her belly, and her face was blotchy. She had been crying. Behind her were three kids: a stocky blonde girl, a boy with dark hair, and another boy with lighter, sandy-colored hair. They were laughing hysterically and shouting towards Kyra. Every time they did, my sister would move just a little bit faster. Rage boiled up inside me. There were teachers everywhere, why weren't they doing something?! Surely they could see what was going on! And where were Kyra's friends? Shouldn't they be protecting her?! Seeing red, I got out of my car and strode through the parking lot towards Kyra. When she saw me, she bolted, running into my arms and breaking down into sobs. I looked over her shoulder at the bullies and glared my best "stay-the-fuck-away-from-my-sister" glare. 

I told Kyra it would be okay, that she was beautiful and that those kids had no idea what they were talking about. She sobbed some more, telling me that they were making fun of her for drawing again. I told her to try her best to ignore them. They were just jealous because she had talent and imagination and they had none of that. The bullies were huddled together against the building, laughing and jeering as they glanced in our direction. Their parents clearly had not yet arrived to pick them up. I could work with that...  

"Come here, sis," I said to Kyra. Taking her hand, I led her over to the nearest teacher. I used to go to that same school, so I recognized the woman as the computer teacher, Miss Klear. As we walked over, I kept my eye on the bullies. As they noticed where we were headed, the looks on their faces turned from laughter to nervous grinning to outright fear, and that gave me a pretty big sense of satisfaction. That's right, you little monsters, you can't get away with it for much longer. "Hey there, Katie!" Miss Klear called happily as I approached. "How are you?"  

"I've been better," I said coolly. I was going to get right to the point. "Do you or do you not see that my little sister is being bullied on a regular basis?" Miss Klear recoiled. Then she saw the look on Kyra's face and realized that she had been crying. 

"By who?" she asked. "By just about everyone, which you guys would have noticed, had you been doing your job," I answered. "But right now, *they're* the problem." I motioned over to the bullies standing against the building. All three went white. Miss Klear looked over at the bullies. They were no longer laughing. She sighed and shook her head. 

"I'll make sure to speak to their parents, okay?" 

"Yeah, you do that. I know what it's like to be bullied, as you well remember, and I don't appreciate you or the other teachers allowing it to happen to my sister too. Make sure you tell their parents exactly what they're doing and the importance of accepting other people for who they are. They don't have to like each other, they just have to coexist without being mean. It's really not that hard." 

Miss Klear was very clearly offended by my incinuation, but I didn't care at all. As far as I was concerned, she and the other teachers were just as responsible for the bullying as the bullies' parents. Clearly something was getting missed or ignored, and that burned my blood. I walked away from Miss Klear without another word, with Kyra in tow. She had stopped crying now, and as we walked over to my car, she squeezed my hand. I looked down at my youngest sister, and she was grinning a little through her tears. "Thanks, Katie," she said. "You didn't have to do that, though." I sighed. Hindsight was immediately 20/20, and I hoped that I hadn't made things worse for her. 

We got into the car and I turned to her. "You know those kids are just being mean because they don't know how to deal with stuff that they don't understand, right?" I said. "The stuff that you do and that you're interested in is really cool, it's just really unique, and not a lot of kids get it." 

"I know..." Kyra answered. "I just wish they would stop." 

"I know, honey," I said, laying a hand on her shoulder. "But look at it like this: why does it matter what they think of you? You have friends and family who love you, and who think you're cool already. *I* think you're really cool, and I love you so much. Those kids, they're just mean, and what they think shouldn't matter, okay? If they're not willing to get to know you, then that's their problem, not yours." 

Kyra turned her head to one side, as if these thoughts had never occurred to her before. She was a thinker, and most of what happened in her head never made it out, so it didn't surprise me at all when she turned to me and just said: "Okay. I love you too, sis." 

"Okay," I responded. I started my car. As Kyra messed with my iPod to find her favorite Disney songs, I looked over at the bullies one last time. The boys were gone, but the blonde girl was now standing next to a blonde woman who could only be her mother. Miss Klear was talking to the blonde woman, and neither adult looked happy. I got another wave of satisfaction as the mother knelt down to her daughter and said something that made her cry and stomp her feet. Then, as "Circle of Life" started blasting out of my speakers, my sister and I pulled away, belting the song at the top of our lungs. She would be okay, regardless of whether or not those bullies kept making fun of her. 

 Okay, I realize the story is completely idealized and dramatized, but as a girl who was bullied a lot, I wish I had had an older sibling to step up and help me out. My mother was my hero during that time - talking to parents, making sure teachers knew, etc. - but it would have been cool to have someone who wasn't a parent because bullies tend to look at other kids who are close to their parents as "teachers pets" or "Mommy's / Daddy's girls/boys." Siblings are kids, too, and kids look up to the older ones for social cues. That's why I am the older sibling in this story. And yeah, I know the me in the story concentrated too much on putting the bullies in their place rather than lifting up the younger sibling (the younger "me" essentially), but that stems from me wanting to put bullies in their places as a kid. I can't wait to read the rest of yours. Great topic, Tori!

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Alright, sorry I was a little behind! This week's topic: dun dun duuun!! Take your favorite childhood memory and turn yourself into the hero. If you already were...turn someone else into a sidekick!
Or, and I think this is better: take your LEAST favorite.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Recipes and More

Hey, everyone!

As far as recipes go, I'm a big fan of I can always find something good there by just searching for whatever I'm in the mood for (like "chicken" or "soup"). Another great feature is being able to search by ingredients. You can use the "advanced search" and type whatever ingredients you happen to have lying around. Hit search and then recipes will pop up that use those ingredients. This can in handy when you didn't plan ahead and are just trying to throw something together. I've also been trying to eat more vegetables, so I tend to buy random things at the store and then search Allrecipes for what I can do with them.

When you choose a recipe on, make sure you browse the comments. People like to make improvements to the recipes and they will tell you what they changed in the comments. You shouldn't have to look far because the most popular ones get reused and thus usually end up on top. So just by browsing the first few, you should know what changes to make.

As far as a "staple" dish, there's one I've been making for a long time. Take some chicken breasts, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and a bag of mixed vegetables and throw them in a crockpot. Fill the soup can half way with water and put that in too with some seasoning. I don't have exact measurements because I've made it so much that I just eyeball it. But it's simple and tastes good. Serve over rice.

Another crockpot recipe that I recently found and really like are Meatloaf Burgers. They are delicious.

If you're looking for something really quick, I've found some mac and cheese and a bag of frozen veggies make a quick, easy, semi-healthy meal. I highly recommend the frozen bags you just zap in the microwave. Pile your plate with a 1 to 1 ratio of mac-and-cheese and veggies, and you're good to go.

Salted and cubed avocado and tomato on toast makes a great lunch or breakfast.

If you want something more elaborate I have a potato soup recipe that is another I've made so much I just eyeball it. I usually make it with a really big pot, so depending on how much you want to make will depend on how much ingredients you get. Fill your pot about 3/4 the way with chicken broth. Add seasoning. Start the water boiling and add cubed potatoes (peeling off). With a food processor, finely mince equal parts ham (or bacon), carrots, and celery. The idea is that these become part of the broth more than actual bite-pieces of the soup. Add those to the pot and let the whole thing boil until the potatoes are fork-soft. Once done, add instant potato flakes to thicken the broth to your desire consistency. If you want cheese, I would recommend adding it to the soup as it is served. 

That's about all I can think of. Hope that is helpful, and I look forward to hearing about other yummy recipes!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I Can Quit Anytime I Want...

I don't have a drunking..dranking..problem!!

My chicken does!! :D

Drunk Chicken is super simple. All you need is:

Your favorite cut of chicken (thawed or fresh)
Your favorite white wine
Your favorite can of cream of something soup
Your favorite sour cream
Your favorite rice

Mix equal parts soup, wine, and sour cream using the can as your measure. Pour over chicken in your favorite baking dish and bake until chicken is cooked through! Serve over warm rice!

My favorite recipes use ratios because they're so easy to remember!! My mom's been making this since before I can remember! You can use red wine too, and then everything turns pink!!!

Love you lots!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cassie loves her crock pot . . .

So, my typical hours at the library are 2:30-8:30 three days a week. In case you didn't notice, that's an incredibly awkward time frame when it comes to making meals. So I have come to love and adore my crock pot. And this is one of my favorite crock pot recipes:

White Chicken Chili

1 1/2  lbs uncooked chicken breast (can be frozen) cut into 1-2″ chunks
2 – 15 oz cans of white beans
1-2 – 15 oz cans of white corn
1 onion chopped (sweet/Vidalia)
1 clove garlic finely chopped (garlic powder and garlic salt will work in a pinch, as well)
1 package taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 – 14 oz can of chicken broth

-Place cut up chicken in the bottom of the Crock Pot. 
-Add beans, corn and onion. 
-Mix the cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, taco seasoning, and garlic in a separate bowl, and pour over the top. 
-Cover and cook on low in the Crock Pot for 6-8 hours.
-Before serving use a potato masher to break up the chicken.  (Make sure you do this very quickly with pressure and alternating directions… the consistency should change from brothy with chunks of meat and beans to a very thick and even consistency.  If it is still brothy, keep mashing. Also, be aware of physics when doing this. Splashing scalding chili on your arm is not the best way to enjoy this meal)
-Add shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, a splash of lime juice, and fresh cilantro to your bowl before enjoying.

Makes a huge batch, especially now that I'm cooking for just one and not also the bottomless pit that is my fiance. It freezes really well, and BAM! I have dinner for the next week at work! :)  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Yummy Week =P

Sweet topic, Cassie (pun potentially intended here =P)! I have several recipes that I could share with you, depending on what you and Chase like to eat. Most of these are on my new iPad as well, so I can always send them to you with a couple of clicks!

Here, however, are couple of my favorites:  

BEEF SLIDERS (these can be either an entree or an appetizer, depending on the event)
- 1 lb. high-quality ground beef (though I imagine ground turkey would work just as well)
- 1.5 tsp. onion powder
- 1.5 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 12 slider buns
- Cheese slices as desired
- Small leaf greens as desired
- Tomato, onion, pickles, etc. as desired

- Preheat grill (I have a little tabletop one; Mom has actually used the frying pan too)
- In a medium bowl, combine beef, seasongs, and shallots. Mix thoroughly with hands.
- Form meat into small-sized patties
- Grill (or fry) patties for 2-3 minutes per side
 - If desired, top each patty with cheese and allow to melt
 - Serve slider patties on slider buns. Allow guests to top and garnish as they wish.  

POTATO SALAD (my mom's recipe that I adore)
- Potatoes
- Mayonnaise
- Eggs
- Celery, chopped
- Salt
- Pepper
- Sweet pickle relish

- Boil potatoes until fork tender. Leave whole with skins on.
- Drain potatoes; allow to cool.
- Hard-boil eggs (12 minutes on rolling boil); allow to cool.
- When potatoes are cool, remove skins and chop into bite-sized pieces. Chop eggs and celery.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine chopped potatoes, chopped eggs, chopped celery, salt and pepper to taste, mayonnaise, and sweet pickle relish. Most of the ingredients here are "to taste" and will depend on the amount of potatoes you cook first. Go light on the sweet pickle relish (like 1 tsp. for 5 or 6 potatoes) because the flavor can be strong, and you don't have to include celery if you don't like the crunchies. This dish has basically been a summer staple at my house for my entire life =)

PUMPKIN PEANUT BUTTER DOG BISCUITS (for those of us who have or will have doggies!)
- 2.5 cups whole wheat/barley flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 3 tbsp. peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

- Preheat oven to 375F
- Stir flour and cinnamon together in medium bowl
- In separate bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, and peanut butter. Add to flour mixture and knead thoroughly. Dough should be dry and stiff. Add small amounts of water to make it workable or small amounts of flour if too moist.
- Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut w/cutters (I use a pizza cutter and just slide the dough into strips)
- Bake about 45 minutes or until hard and dry (they MUST be crunchy or they will cause tartar buildup in the dog's teeth!)
My dogs LOVE these!

Topic Week 3

We never got a topic posted yesterday, I think largely because I said I would make a master post and then I didn't get around to it (sorry!), so since this would have originally been my week, I choose the topic of discussion and then I'll get a master post up, I promise. :)

Topic! I am always on the hunt for easy new recipes, so I'd like to hear one of yours. What's a staple that you cook often? Why do you like it? What's the recipe, and do you have any secrets for success?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Asking a second librarian who is also a book blogger for book recommendations?

I am definitely glad to go last on this one - it's much easier to pick something I don't think any of you have read, if I know what you're recommending first! Sadly, with all the studying my "recently" is actually kind of a month or more, but as long as the books/films are awesome who cares about that, right?

Okay. So, I'm going to start with visual media, because that's faster. I'd say the best thing I've watched recently that some of you may not have watched is a TV show called Eureka. It's a SyFy original that is now off the air, but it's on NetFlix which is how I've been watching it. Basically, this fairly average (except for the fact that he's a US Marshal) guy gets "promoted" to being sheriff of a town called Eureka where everyone just happens to be a genius. It's a semi-top-secret research base for the government and his job is to clean up the messes when somebody screws up. In fact, that's the premise for just about every episode - somebody's experiment goes BANG in a big way and he has to figure out how to clean it up because he's the only one with any common sense. Seriously. You know that big threatening red button that must never ever be pressed? There is a character whose entire job (so it seems) is to find that button and press it "just to see what happens"

And hilarity ensues. Especially when the Sheriff's talking AI house gets snarky.

Now for books, we've already had some pretty heavy suggestions, so I'm going to go on the lighter side of things. Some favorites in the past year are as follows [links will take you to the GoodReads page where you can read the official blurb etc.]:

YA Fantasy/Paranormal:

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - Cinderella, eventually, maybe, but in the meantime, snarky assassin kicking some butt! In order to escape grueling work in the salt mines, Caelina (who also happens to be the best known anonymous assassin in the realm) agrees to participate in a competition to the death as the high prince's champion. I gave this one to Katie last year, and she'll back me up on it - it's cool! :-)

The Ruby Red trilogy by Kerstin Gier: Originally written in German, this is still one of my favorites, even though it's been more than a year since I read it. Someone want to teach me German REALLY FAST so I can read the next one? Warning: Contains time travel.

Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan: Jenny has grown up with her very own curse - anyone who touches her bare skin becomes violently ill, and eventually dies. One day, she meets the one boy she can touch, and suddenly everything changes. Even if you've read the other two, I doubt you'll have read this one - self-published, available in eBook format only as far as I know, and the VERY BEST self-pubbed book I have ever read. Better than some traditionally published books.

And I have to include the Graceling (Seven Realms) series by Kristin Cashore, because they must be read by everyone, everywhere.

Adult Fantasy:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: Beautifully written fantasy about a circus open only at night, and the game that it hides. I read this one three times in a single year (one of those times on audiobook). Considering my TBR list is currently in the realm of the 680s that's pretty significant.

Adult Contemporary:

The Austenland series by Shannon Hale: Modern retellings of classic Austen pieces, set on Pembrook Estate - a manor where anyone with the money can pay to spend 2 weeks reenacting Regency England. The first is sort of Pride and Prejudice while the second is Northanger Abbey (I believe).

Adult... who the eff knows?!:

Castle Waiting by Linda Medley: Graphic novel of twisted feminist fairytales. It's very good - I can't wait till the library finds a copy of vol. 2 for me to finish it!

That should be enough to keep you all busy for a while. Back to the (text)books for me!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I Can Post on Time!!! :D

Yay! Wednesday!

Katie: I miss ghost shows. I haven't watched them in a while.

Cassie: I haven't read any of those books, but I'm now interested in a few.

I'm going to recommend a TV show called Dark Angel. Some of you might have heard of it. It aired from 2000 to 2002 for two seasons and according to James it was the show that was canceled to be replaced with Firefly. So, that's fun.

It features a girl named Max who was genetically engineered by the government to be a super solider. When she was young, her and her "brothers and sisters" escaped from the government facility. The show takes place with her as 20-something year old, making a living as a mail carrier by day and a thief by night.

The setting is a kind of post-apocalyptic US. Years prior, a EMP pulse wiped out all government records and plunged the country into a kind of second great depression, although the rich and the government seem to get by just fine. The second main character of the show is Logan who uncovers government secrets and broadcasts them to the public. Max ends up using her combat and stealth skills to help Logan protect people in exchange for Logan's help digging up information about her brothers and sisters whom she lost contact with after her escape. Eventually, they form a friendship.

Now, admittedly, I jumped into this show six episodes before the end of season 1 and I've just started season 2, so I don't exactly have the full picture of things, but this is why you might want to watch. For one, Max has a pretty kick ass attitude (which I think Katie would like). And I think any NCIS fan would get a kick out of watching a young Michael Weatherly (who plays Logan). Lastly, the show is just freaking interesting. I had my doubts as soon as I heard the words "genetically engineered solider." Like, seriously, how many times has that been done? But the storyline and the characters are great. Honestly, I'm half upset this show got canceled for Firefly. It's just as worthy of having a long run.

And the show just has some great gems, like watching Max and her siblings interact through season 1. Even though they have been apart for so long, they have a very strong bond. And now in season 2 the government facility has been destroyed and all sorts of genetically engineered creatures are running around and trying to make their way in the world. It's kind of amazing to watch all these genetic "screw ups" from the facility trying to fade into normal human life.

One of my favorite moments so far is during the last episode I watched where Max is having a rough time with this relationship she's in and she tells a friend that maybe it's just not meant to be. And he points out to her that dog and human DNA were never meant to be mixed and yet there he stands in front her. There's another great moment in season 1 where one of Max's siblings who comes across as a giant jerk-ass the whole time he's on screen but makes the ultimate sacrifice and you just can't hate him anymore. Or Max's favorite place in the city where she can stand high above it and look down on it and imagine all of its thousands of people who all have problems (maybe not running from a government organization kind of problems, but still problems). And if she stands there long enough, all those people and all those problems pile on top of each other and she almost feels like she's one of them, like a normal everyday person.

Seriously, it's great. And there a plenty of comedic moments thrown in. Give it a try.

It's still Tuesday somewhen...

Sorry, timey wimey stuff happened and let's pretend it's still Tuesday!

I am going to recommend a book and a film.

The film is in Italian and it's called "Life is Beautiful." If you have seen it: amirite? And if you haven't: be prepared with tissues. You should see it because it needs to be seen. That is all.

My book is "Jacob Have I Loved" (As incorrect as it is, I use quotes in the absence of being able to underline or italicize). Written by Katherine Paterson, the same author of "Bridge to Terabithia," a book I've never read. This book has made a lasting impression on me and I recommend it because I read it once 15 years ago and I can still remember the Captain and his hands, the sound of a bottle of lotion that goes crashing to the ground, the bitter embarrassment of unrequited affection, and the urgency of redemption for past wrongs. I picked the book up because I judged it by its cover and It turns out that isn't always a bad thing.

Two runners up: "Yellow Raft in Blue Water" by Michael Dorris
Film: Strange Brand of Happy because MY BAND HAS A SONG IN IT! Limited theatrical release, see if somewhere near you has it!! I don't know the release date.


Oh! And Joss Wheden's Dollhouse series. Alan Tudyk, need I say more? And plot twist! WOAH!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Asking a Librarian for book recommendations??

Hello girls, it's Monday, and I have significantly less hair than I did the last time I spoke to you, but that's neither here nor there.

So, I'm not sure if you all are aware just how bad I've become at movies lately. Like, I didn't see Brave or The Avengers until they were out on DVD and had been for a while. Like, I saw Brave for the first time about a month and a half ago. And I still haven't seen Wreck It, Ralph or The Dark Knight Rises. I'm bad at movies. I can guarantee that I have no movies to recommend to you that you haven't seen. The Hobbit is top notch. Is that news to anyone?

TV falls similarly. I'm bad at TV, too (though that's largely because I don't have cable). Let's not talk about Once Upon a Time. I stopped watching about six episodes into the second season not because I lost interest but because I didn't have time to watch and's backlog of episodes is stupid. If anything with TV, I'm finally catching up on some shows. I've seen Doctor Who now (though, not the latest half of this season) and Sherlock, which I've become obsessed with, but again, I'm sure you all got there first.

Closest I can come to a TV recommendation is to tell you all to go to YouTube and watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Yes, it's like eight hours long altogether. I don't care. You like Pride and Prejudice? You like Hank Green? You want some incredibly attractive guys to swoon over and some kick-ass females to cheer on? Do it. Do it now.

So that leaves us with books. Books I can do. I am, after all, a children's librarian. So you may be sorry you asked. :)

My gut reaction is to ask, "Well, have you read Wonder?" because as I mentioned last week, that's the BG Youth Community Reads novel of 2013, and May is Wonder Month, and I'm supposed to be recommending it to every person who walks through the door, but for this discussion, I'm not recommending that book.

I guess my recommendations come down to how you want to feel at the end of the story: motivated and inspired, thought-provoked, full of warm fuzzes, or emotionally devastated? Because I've got a book for each category.

Motivated and Inspired: Return to Me by Justina Chen. The teen lit blog I contribute to read this one a couple months ago, and it was wonderful. It's about a girl, Reb, getting ready to start college when her whole life seems to implode. Her family suddenly decides to move the 3000 miles with her and relocate to the east coast where she's attending school, and then her father announces he's been having an affair and moves out. Reb's two best friends are on the other side of the country, her mom and brother are now stuck with her in an unfamiliar city, Reb can't figure out which of her parents to blame or be mad at, and she's pushing her boyfriend away rather than drag him through all this insanity long-distance. It sounds crazy, but this is a marvelous look at what defines happiness and what we have to go through to find ourselves. It's wonderful and uplifting, I promise.

Thought-Provoked: Two titles for this category. The first is Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan by Robin Maxwell, which is exactly what the title declares. Now, I've never read Tarzan, and before reading this book, I never had a desire to. But now, I'll admit, I kind of do. This is the story of Jane, a woman entirely out of place and time, scientifically minded, incredibly intelligent, who finds more of a home in the wilderness of Africa than in the civilization of England. This book is gritty and detailed and intense and just not the kind of thing I usually read at all, but I'm really glad I picked it up.

Second title is Room by Emma Donaghue, which is unsettling and disturbing in a brilliant way. This is the story of a woman who was kidnaped from her college campus and held captive for seven years in a 9x9 shed in this guy's backyard -- but the novel is told from the perspective of her five-year-old son, for whom Room is the only world he has ever known. This book is fascinating, and again, not usually the kind of thing I read.

Warm-Fuzzies: I'll be honest; I haven't read a lot of warm fuzzies books this year, or at least, not ones that you haven't already heard me talk about. So I'm pulling from the backlog for this one, and I'm gonna recommend Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn, which I don't think I've talked about with you all. It follows four souls from caveman times through modern day as they weave in and out of reincarnations, trying to find one another in the right configuration. A bit head-twisty, but ultimately very satisfying.

Emotionally Devastating: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, but for a bit less 'of course Cassie's gonna recommend it,' Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I just finished this book two days ago, guys, and I read it in one sitting, which was unintentional, and while it's not 'leave you a sodden mass of despair on the carpet' kind of devastating (unlike TFiOS, thank you John Green), it will play with every emotion inside of you and leave you drained and aching for these two amazing characters. Read at your own risk, though, because this book has one of the most frustratingly ambiguous endings of all time. It's wonderful, though.

Also, if you're not reading The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, you need to reconsider that life choice. It's futuristic sci-fi fairy tale retellings with cyborgs and androids and an evil Queen of the moon. What's not to love?

Okay, keep me here much longer and I'm just going to start listing every book I've read this year. I'm gonna wrap this up. Let me know if you've picked up any of these, and if so, what did you think??

Tori: Thanks for the words of encouragement. I've been getting a lot of those, and they do help, and I appreciate all of them. I was so excited to hear how close to debt-free you are -- that's got to be an amazing feeling! Let us know how the application to the outreach goes.

Heidi: Congrats on graduating! I hope job-hunting et al works out for the both of us, too!

Anne: Congrats on grad school! And I completely agree with wanting to skip ahead to the part where you've worked everything out and everything settled and you're getting on with your life already. Wouldn't it be amazing if it worked like that?

Katie: Ah, ghost shows. Another flashback to dorm life. :)

Maggie: Where you be, lovely??

I gotta go move Jeffrey out of an apartment. See you all later! :)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Oh, my!  It's Saturday, isn't it?

Heidi:  You look very distinguished in your graduation gown!  Congratulations!  I'm very happy for you!

So the prompt was to pick a TV show, movie, or book that we think none of the others have seen or read (respectively), and talk about it.  Before I begin, I want to compliment Heidi on prompt choice  =)  I am both interested AND stumped...

Well, not completely, I guess.  I know a lot of us are opposed to horror and ghostly things, so I think it's safe to talk about "My Ghost Story: Caught on Camera" on BIO.  It's a spinoff documentary series from "My Ghost Story," where people talk about their ghostly encounters while dramatizations play out what they saw, heard, etc.  What I love about "Caught on Camera", though, is that the evidence they show is all...well...caught on camera!  Viewers get to see all the creepy pictures and hear all the even-creepier EVP recordings (EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomena - ghosts communicate vocally on frequencies that we can't hear with the naked ear, so voice recorders will sometimes pick it up and it can be played back with the volume up).  I like that I'm not just taking the person's word for it, like I kinda do with the original series.  It's not just based on eyewitness accounts, which can be over-exaggerated.  There's more legit proof with "Caught on Camera," and some of it is CREEPY!  Now, of course, there are many pictures taken and EVPs where I'm like, "Um...I don't see the ghostie" or "I don't hear whatever you're hearing on that recorder," but mostly it's stuff that makes me shudder and make me believe in ghosts just a little bit more.

So the other part of the prompt is to tell why y'all should watch the show.  I know you guys probably won't watch it because, like I said, I know a couple of us (me included as far as movies are concerned) who definitely have other things they would rather watch than ghost shows.  And I'm also aware that more than one of us doesn't have cable anyway, so there's no way TO watch "My Ghost Story: Caught on Camera" even if you wanted to  =P  HOWEVER, I like the show because I find it fascinating.  I am a logical individual, so it's cool for me to see something that I can't necessarily explain.  I mean, if no one is talking, then why would a recorder have a creepy voice on it saying, "I am The Devil!"  Or, if no one is in the room, then how is it possible that a face is appearing in that mirror?  I don't know, and that's what's cool about it for me.  Maybe ghosts do exist after all!

So, if you ever have the chance, watch an episode of "My Ghost Story: Caught on Camera" and let your mind try to absorb something that doesn't make any sense  =)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Topic for Week 2!

Courtesy of Heidi, and Maggie will choose next week. :) Maybe I'll make a master post with the rotation for at least the next couple months, hmmm??

Tell us about a book you've read or a movie or television series you've seen that you think the rest of us haven't. Why do you like it? And should we read/watch it?

I was Supposed to Post Wednesday and ... yeah...

Hey, guys! I will try to stay on schedule next week, okay? :)

I'm super excited to hear from you all, and you all sound super busy.

I guess it's good I missed Wednesday because I don't think I'd have much to talk about. However, today was my graduation ceremony!

Although, I'm all smiles at having survived the most rigorous two years of my life so far, I kinda feel like Cassie. I'm an adult, right? I'm supposed to have everything figured out, right?

I have no idea what the hell to do with myself.

I need a job. And although I have put in applications and have completed interviews, nothing has come through yet. I'm looking into part time or min-wage positions just to fill things in for now, but I'm not sure where I want to apply. I'm tired of Wal-mart and don't want to work there again. I'm considering trying bank-telling like Katie or working at a bookstore or just something different.

Expect, here's the thing. I hate customer service. I really do. I don't like handling unhappy people and there's a lot. And I just don't ... want ... to.  So... yeah, I'm going to sit on things for a little while.

I've moved all my stuff into James' house. We've moved a lot of things around and cleaned a lot of spaces.

In other news, Bruce has a job and is looking into moving out and mom and dad are looking into getting a smaller home!

Next week, James and I are going to Disney as my graduation present. He's never been, so it's exciting. I'm sure we'll have lost of fun.

Katie: Hang in there!
Anne: That is so exciting! I'm not sure what I'd do in your position. Good luck!
Cassie: I feel your pain. I hope it all works out for the both of us.
Maggie: I really hope that stuff with the house comes through. I know it's been a long process.
Tori: That's awesome progress on your student loans!

As far as new topics go, I believe we rotate each week. So, Katie (Saturday) did the first one. Maggie (Sunday) would do the next one. Then Monday, then Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.

But, since I was late, I'll go ahead and pick a new topic (unless Maggie jumps in and wants to change it): Tell us about a book you've read or a movie or television series you've seen that you think the rest of us haven't. Why do you like it? And should we read/watch it?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Miss Thursday is ready for August!

Oh goodness! Blogger has changed a TON since I was last using it! This will take some getting used to...

My weeks generally aren't that different from each other, so instead of going through the boring day-to-day of my past week, I figure I'd better catch you all up on the big stuff. Most of you probably remember that when we last met up I was applying to Masters programs. I am happy to report I've been successful - I was offered a position in the Dual Masters program (Master of Library Science/Master of Arts in Musicology) with scholarship at IU to start this fall. I was incredibly excited - this was exactly what I wanted from the beginning. Then, about a week after I sent in my letter saying "Yes, I will attend" I got a phone call. The short version? My application was "highly qualified" and they wanted to offer me a position in the PhD program (fully funded no less!), skipping the MA altogether. At first I did a lot of freaking out. They originally asked for an answer in the space of three days, and since I technically don't need a PhD for the career field I'm looking at (plus it involves at least 2 more years of my life) if they had stuck to that I would have had to say no - that's too fast to make a big decision like that! Luckily, they gave me an extension, and while I haven't officially said yes yet, barring any major surprises I plan to. I'm just waiting to make sure it really will work with the MLS that I'd be doing at the same time, because losing the library degree would be a deal-breaker.

Anyway, since I found out I was definitely going, everything in my life has revolved around that. A few weeks ago we went and found an apartment and signed a lease. It's a really nice place, though the lease is really strict about stuff on walls. So, to help get some color into the apartment, I spent the past weekend (re)painting furniture (as well as accumulating my first sunburn of the season and finding a fire ants' nest the hard way. OUCH!)
Like this!
I've also found some fabric to make accents that matches the blue (which is going to be the main color of the apartment, but I have more of the yellow paint, so anything painted is going to feature the yellow, while anything fabric will feature the blue.)

Of course, it's not all fun stuff. There are somewhere between 3 and 5 placement tests I'll be required to take the week before classes start (they aren't real clear on how they'll be broken down). These essentially test:
  1. All the things that happened in music history EVAR! (okay, since 200AD. That's still a lot!)
  2. All the concepts that go along with that, how to use them, and how to analyze them.
  3. How well you can hear all those concepts and write them down correctly.
  4. How well you can read and immediately translate these symbols into sounds coming out your mouth.
  5.  Any language you might possibly have knowledge of, and whether your knowledge is sufficient (proficiency in at least 2 non-English languages required)
  6. AND "will you embarrass us if you are for any reason called upon to play your instrument, since technically that's not your focus."
Suffice to say I am almost constantly studying.  I have 3.5 months to relearn everything I learned in my first two years of college - as well as a few things I learned in High School (I took my dad's classes when he was teaching them then, so I wouldn't have to later). EEP! Well. I suppose I don't have to, but not passing these proficiencies means at least  a semester and maybe 2 spent in "remedial" courses - something I'd really rather NOT do, and not just as a matter of pride. My degree(s) will take long enough as it is!

A part of me wishes that August would just get here already - that I'd have all this stuff done, I'd be moved in and moving on with my life. At the same time, this is "The Big Change" for me, and this summer is my last chance to do "normal" the way it is now. I'm doing my best to take it day by day. As long as I get something done every day I can't worry about all the things I didn't get done, right? Right.

Otherwise, like I say, the day-to-day is pretty boring. I'm still working in the dungeon at the university libraries. I finally (FINALLY) am almost done with cataloging the C's, and I'd say it's a pretty good bet I won't finish even half of what's down there before I go. That's okay though - when I look at how much I've accomplished and the many thousands upon thousands of records that are now ready to go into the catalog I feel pretty good.

Katie: We've talked a lot about this, so I think you know what I have to say by now. *hugs*

Maggie: I'm sorry to hear about your Aunt. Just remember you have to sleep sometime!

Cassie: You're not the only one! As you probably see. Even though I have a few more things figured out than it sounds like you do, the amount of things that must be done before I move is incredibly daunting, and I'm terrified too. But I will say this: If there's one thing that I believe above all else, it's that things work out the way they're supposed to. So take it one day at a time, and you'll get there and be fine.

Tori: Does this ministry thing you want to apply for mean moving away? If not, it'd practically be a crime for us to be an hour drive apart and never visit each other ;)

Heidi: As I write this your post isn't up yet... so hi? 

Anyway, I'm really glad we're doing this, and I hope I won't get too busy to come back and post even once school starts. *knocks on wood*

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hot damn!


Maybe we're in different places, occupying different spaces, but you'll always be Dunbar Girls to me!

The theme of this week seems to be less, "how are we," and more, "how busy is life?!" We'll I'm going to stick to form and answer: "Pretty darn!"

The amount of busy isn't anyone's fault, and though I am responsible for the circumstances I couldn't be more excited!

"Why?" you may ask. WHY?! Because by this time next month I will be DEBT FREEEEEEEEEE!!!!?!6:&/(&,("39¥€€>|~!!! (Do you like my emphatic punctuations?)

When I graduated I decided that I would be debt free within 2 years of graduation (OMG GUYS IT'S BEEN 2 FREAKING. YEARS). This may seem like a somewhat ambitious goal when you consider that I had almost $30,000 to pay off and that would be a correct assessment. Call me ambitious.

Go ahead. Do it. I'll wait.


Have you said it yet?

Fine. I'll do it myself: I AM AMBITIOUS!!

Here's why: it is my goal to be accepted into my ministry's outreach program. To do so I must be free of financial entanglements by the application deadline which is the first week of June. As of April 15th, despite my efforts, I still had $20,000 to go.

The coolest thing about God is that when you refuse to accept anything less than complete deliverance you will receive nothing less. And quite often a bit more.

In the last week alone, my parents and I have made payments to bring that total down to less than $9,000.

Hot damn!

I am baby-sitting(as I type, actually. Hooray for blogger mobile! We are at a little league game), working two jobs, putting on a huge yardsale, selling my car, my bass, and have the most generous people in my life. Sometimes you just have to let people know you have a need and they'll help you find ways to work towards the sweet fulfillment of that goal.

If there are really only six connections between every person in the world then Cassie, don't sweat. God already knows how to meet your need. All you have to do is take strategic steps. So what if you end up sleeping on someone's couch for a couple nights? So what if you end up searching for jobs from a Motel 6? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego believed so strongly in their deliverance that they continued to believe despite the physical improbability of it and God delivered more than abundantly. Go read Daniel 3. Don't let yourself stop moving because the logistics seem daunting.

Maggie: Congratulations on working in a comic store!! It may be tiring but I bet you have a ton and a half of fun!! And congratulations on a job-job, too.

KATIIIEEEEE I'm so excited you have a Gentleman Friend!! I know the whole overseas thing can be rough even if you aren't officially dating at the moment. Good on you for going after him yourself!!


I do have a question, gals: who decides what each weekly topic is to be?

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Return of Miss Monday!

Hello girls, it's Monday! And wow, I haven't typed that for a long time.

This feels a little strange, just because the last time I did regular personal blogging it was with a group of strangers who were trying to get to know one another, rather than my close group of friends trying to stay in touch. I'm excited about doing it, though.

Katie - To echo what I said when we talked earlier this week, hang in there. It's important to remember that relationships and emotions defy easy definitions and labels. I think it's good that you and Matt will continue to keep in touch and remain a part of each other's lives through this because meaningful relationships don't and shouldn't have to be necessarily romantic ones. You'll both be in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there.

Maggie - I order you to find some time to sleep. That's how that works, right?

As for me, well, I will do what I've been doing pretty frequently, actually, and avoid answering the real question here to answer the exact question that was asked:

How was my week?

My week was pretty par for the course as weeks go lately. I worked 20 hours at the library, and they were a busier 20 hours than they sometimes are. This past Wednesday was our kick-off for the Bowling Green Youth Community Reads program, which meant that my weekly buddy reading program got taken over, as it so often does, and the mayor came to read a proclamation and name Wonder by RJ Palacio the official book of the month.

And guys, this book has taken over my life. Which I wouldn't mind so much if I actually liked it as much as everyone around me does. But while I think the book has a lot to offer in terms of issues and starting important discussions with school-age kids, I don't think the book is all that well written, and I have a lot of problems with the way that it's told, but that is not an opinion I'm really sharing a whole lot of at the moment.

But yeah, between making booklists and prepping displays and directing a Readers Theatre performance based on it, this book has taken over my life, and this past week in particular has been All Wonder, All the Time.

And when I'm not at the library, I'm doing administrative stuff with Horizon, particularly around our summer production of Aladdin, Jr! Between the library and HYT and my other little jobs and projects here and there, my life is pretty full and pretty busy.

And that's what I focus on when people ask how I'm doing because that answers the question but avoids the real question, which is, How is life, and honestly, the answer to that is:

Life is terrifying right now.

For those of you who may not know, Chase moved to New York in January. He got hired as the Multimedia Coordinator (Intern) at the Frost Valley YMCA in the middle of the Catskill mountains, a 15 month internship that will hopefully turn into a full-time job, and I'm supposed to join him this summer. That is the plan. My lease is up on the 25th of July, and that is when I will be moving out to New York.

Which becomes terrifying very quickly because I don't have a job or a place to live, and finding one is a process complicated by the fact that I live 10 hours away. It would be easier if Chase had an apartment of his own, but he doesn't, he lives on the camp, an option not available to me because I don't work there and there's barely enough room for him.

So I have this list of things that need to be accomplished before the end of July, and it is a list that terrifies me and regularly makes me question my supposed identity as an adult. Because there are days when I sure don't feel like one.

And I feel like I get asked 12 times a week what my plan is, and the truth is, I have no flippin' idea. Weren't we supposed to get a membership card and a guidebook at some point? How To Be An Adult? With a checklist and an upgrade and a big kid job all stuffed into one of those big manila envelopes? I think mine got lost with my Hogwarts letter.

I have days where I feel very adult, where I spend the morning answering emails for HYT and working my way through administrative duties, and then I run errands and pay bills before going to work a 6 hour shift at the library, and come home and unwind at the end of the day. And then I have days like Friday, where I had nothing on my schedule, and I stayed in my pajamas until noon and spent the day cross-stitching and writing and watching Boy Meets World, and I just don't feel like that's the kind of day that adults have, you know?

Anyway, now that I've gone and had a mini-existential crisis on this, my first blog post, I think I'll wrap it up. I am excited about going to live in New York with my fiancee, I just have to find that excitement under all the paralyzing terror. I am also excited about this project, and I can't wait to hear how the rest of you are doing.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Isn't Sunday the first day of the week?


I miss ya'll so much!!!!  This is going to be so cool to help us keep in contact.

So like Katie my last week has kinda sucked.  A few of you know that my Aunt Rose passed away last week and I was in Ohio for a few days for the funeral. It's been rough because I feel like I haven't had a day off in two weeks.  Wes got married a few weeks ago and I went to the wedding, the next weekend we had a big event game for Vampire (and RPG I play) that was all weekend, then I was in Ohio for the funeral and this weekend was free comic book day so I worked 13 hours yesterday and 5 today at the comic store and still haven't finished my IEP for my real job.

So yeah, sleep is something I haven't done in a while.

They boys are doing ok.  Duo is getting old, he's got arthritis in his hips and Treats is using that to his full advantage.  I feel more like a referee everyday.

I'm working on buying a house but the bank is being stupid and it's been almost a year and I'm still in the 'final final' stage.  Whatever that means.

So yeah, my life is crazy.  How's yours?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

How Was Everyone's Week?

I hope I do this right!  There's so many buttons!

This week's topic is "How Was Everyone's Week?"  I miss you guys lots and lots, so it'll be nice to catch up  =)

As weeks go, I've certainly had better.  For those of you who have not been privy to the entire story, I started an online profile on about two months ago, and I met a man named Matt.  He was the first guy with whom I initiated contact instead of allowing others to contact me because of everything that we had in common.  He's a police officer, so there's the criminal justice similarity, and he goes to at least one anime convention a year, using homemade cosplay (good homemade cosplay, too).  We met, and I knew I was in trouble...the good kind of trouble.  He's friendly, easy-going, understanding, funny, and very easy to be around.  After talking and going out on dates for about a month, we started dating.  Three days into our relationship, I could tell something was wrong.  He was distant, and not nearly as affectionate as he had been.  Turns out he had learned that, because he's a drill sergeant for the U.S. army and has just been promoted to Staff Sergeant (I think), he is being deployed to Afghanistan.  He didn't know how to tell me, and that's why he was so distant.  We broke up because he didn't want a girlfriend while he was gone, but we have agreed to continue being friends because we have come to care about each other.

So it kinda sucks.  I've been pretty unhappy since I learned about it.  It's only been a few days since I learned that he's going, but it seriously feels sooooo much longer than that.  I miss him as my boyfriend quite a bit, and I keep getting really upset over everything that we planned on doing together that isn't going to happen anymore.  He was going to invite me over to the anime con he usually attends in Pennsylvania, there were movies we wanted to see together, etc.  I miss cuddling up with him and talking about everything and nothing.  (Woohoo, sappy shtuff!  All done, I promise).  But he doesn't know when he's leaving, just that the beginning phases of deployment begin in early June.  He's away on duty this weekend in NY, and is hoping to get some answers, though he isn't very confident in that.  So, I'm hurting, and it's coloring the way I experience everything right now.  You all know me well enough to believe that there are a hundred thoughts, questions, and doubts going through my head, but I don't want to burden him with them, so they're mostly staying either bundled up inside me or getting jotted down in my journal.

Other than this issue, life is pretty good and normal.  My little sister is working at Giant Eagle behind the deli counter and going to school for accounting, while her boyfriend is working at a furniture shipping store and taking his final class for his criminal justice degree.  They're talking about moving out within the next couple of months because his grandmother has severe dimentia and is being put in a home, so her house is going to be vacant.  It's paid off and everything, so all they would have to pay for are bills and any renovations they want to do.  I'll miss them when they go, including their little dog Scout, but I'm excited for them to get out on their own and start their lives together.  It'll also be nice to have my own bathroom, lol.  I love them, but they're not nearly as neat, clean, or organized as I am, and it tends to drive me a little bonkers.

I have decided to attend Lakeland this coming fall for my paralegal certificate.  The program is two semesters long if a student goes full-time, or up to four if a student  goes part-time.  Classes start this coming August, and I am really looking forward to it.  It'll feel really nice to be back in the classroom again.  I have decided to quit my job while I go so that I can concentrate on my studies, so I'll be going full-time.  I'll be done and a certified paralegal in May of 2014, when I'll be looking for a job!  Ideally I would get something in the criminal field - a prosecutor's office or defense attorney - but the program trains students for all sorts of positions, so I should feel comfortable no matter where I'm hired.  It'll feel very nice to finally have a "real" job where I'm earning more than a dollar over minimum wage and where I'll be working full time, without Saturdays.  I want a consistent schedule and a salary so that I can start being more independent.  I hate how dependent I am on my mother.  I am working as a bank teller right now, and although I like the position and the I love the people I work with, it's just not enough for me to think that I'll enjoy making a career out of it.

The animals are all doing great.  Saloona, my female cat, is as old and ornary as ever, sleeping most of the day and bitching at me when she's awake.  My dog Oscar is looking extremely scraggly right now, so I'm really looking forward to getting him groomed next weekend.  For those who don't know or who don't remember, Oscar is a Shih Tzu, and they don't actually have fur.  Technically it's hair, and it doesn't stop growing, so he needs to be shaved down about every two months.  The nice weather has been great for them, since they now want to go outside and run around, so they're less rambunctious (sp?) while they're inside.  Then there's "the boys" - our cats Blitz and Jack-Jack - and they're the same as always.  Blitz is a shit causing trouble and Jack-Jack is his usual demanding, antisocial self.  The latest adorable story is that Mom opened up one of the windows behind the loveseat, and Scout was sitting on top of it, looking out.  When the wind would blow, his floppy ears would move in the wind, and it made it look like he was flying.  It was so cute and hilarious because Scout's ears are huge compared to his head, so they did look like little wings on his head  =P

Kinda like this  =P

So there you have it!  There's the kickoff of our Hexad of Awesome!  I put the topic in the "Post" field so people can see it without going into the blog topic itself if they want.  Thankfully everything is pretty self-explanatory, lol.

Have a good night everyone, and a great weekend!  Signing off for now!