Archive for ‘T.M.I.S.’

April 10, 2018

Bit on the ass by the cold, dark side of practicality

by Janie Jones

First the apology.  This is where I bitch about my life.  I figure I haven’t’ done that much lately, so you might have forgotten who the real Janie Jones is.

I really don’t want to go to work today.  I’d much rather stay home and make cheesecake or paint my living room.

Instead I have to go give diabetic drugs to mice and take photos of their nests.  Which, I admit, is better than the days when I have to overdose them on morphine and poke them in their feet, or harvest their organs.  But, in any event, it’s not at all the kind of thing one gets a spring in their step over.

I knew there was a reason I spent 5 years of my life and an obscene amount of money on going to college to get a science degree: to still not like to get up and go to work while only barely make enough to live on.

The other day I was watching Flea Market Flip on Hulu.  I watched someone spend $825 on an old wrought iron sewing machine stand painted orange and turned into a table with 4 rickety-ass looking orange chairs.  Who makes this kind of money where they can buy over-priced shit like this and not bat an eye?  What do they do for a living?  Seriously, I need to know what kind of soul crushing job I need to get so I can have that kind of disposable cash.  I mean, I already have a soul crushing job, I at least could get paid stupid amounts of money if I’m going to feel miserable every day anyway.

Let’s just say this.  I do understand that animal models are the most significant and accurate way to test some stuff that will truly better our medical knowledge and I do like having drugs and medical procedures that are vastly improved this past few decades.  However, as hypocritical as it may sound, I personally did not want to be the person in the trenches.  So while logically I accept the dark necessity, I am not handling it well emotionally.

Add to that the frustration of poor health and getting up every day to go to work is a challenge.

Add to that the challenge of knowing that I can’t just quit because decent paying jobs are very hard to come by, and as morally and emotionally wearing as my job is, I have no where else to go that will be enough to pay my bills.  One wants to be grateful for what one has, but damn, sometimes it’s tough.

I have been thinking a lot about getting my master’s degree so hopefully I can get out of the mouse lab.  But, my original plan hit a financial snag.  If I don’t come up with a new way to fund my degree I don’t know if I will be able to make a go of it.  What ever I do, I have to be very careful not to sink more money I don’t have into another degree that might end me up no better than I am now.

I kinda hate to be that person that says I told you so, but this is exactly the reason why I didn’t do traditional college when I was a traditional college age person.  High risk and low reward.  At least for people like me, college doesn’t pay.  I’m smart enough to aspire but not cleverly genius or curiously driven enough to really excel.

And you know what really sucks?  I finally am in a home I like and living in a town I like and have good friends.  But 5/7ths of my week is becoming so miserable I can’t enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Dammit.  I better get my ass moving or I’ll be late.





February 20, 2018

Random and Weird

by Janie Jones

My left shoulder has been exceptionally itchy for the last several days.  I’ve tried craning my neck and peering at my shoulder through the mirror, but I can’t notice so much as a pimple.

But.  It.  Is. Driving.  Me.  Insane.

I just might have to drive down to the local dollar store and buy one of those long handled back scratchers.  You know, the ones you make fun of thinking, “Who would spend their money on something so dumb.”

On account of the lack of a real back scratching device, last Sunday while building my china cabinets (which turned out pretty well for cheap, laminated build it yourself crap), I used the claw on the back of my hammer.  Which actually worked pretty well.  So, thinking back on that, I am now seriously contemplating going in search of my toolbox.

Anyway, it’s probably just the dry winter air making it so itchy.  I would prefer to hope that it is not something so mundane but instead, like they say about itchy palms, that I am due to come suddenly into a large sum of money.

I suppose if I won the lottery I could hire someone to come in just to scratch my shoulder for me.  Or apply lotion.

Crap.  Now I’ve got Silence of the Lambs on my mind.

November 22, 2015


by Janie Jones

There is a message board by the door at the house where I am renting.  This morning the following was scrawled upon the board:

Please clean up pubes after grooming.

Thank the merciful heavens I have my own bathroom.

August 19, 2015

Pride, Responsibility and Integrity

by Janie Jones

I’m feeling a little unsettled today.

I got an email from someone at Stickittoyou U yesterday.  Apparently they want to interview me about my scholarships and grants.

This year I’m getting in excess of $14,000 of “free” money, meaning I don’t have to pay it back, for tuition and school related expenses.  Most are need-based, but some are merit based and have minimum GPA requirements.  These funds will cover about 90% of my tuition, books and fees.

Yes, it rocks.  Yes, I’m extremely grateful.  Yes, I do feel honored and lucky.  And yes, I’ve worked very hard to get the best grades I can to be worthy and have applied for up to 50 some scholarships for this year.  But, there is a part of me that is also very embarrassed and ashamed to not be able to support myself and my daughter without all this need based funding.

It feels very much like being interviewed and having my story pasted all over the school homepage and “other uses” is trying to make me seem like someone of distinction to be honored and looked up to when I have done nothing but find myself too poor to make my own way in the world and too under-educated to get the good paying jobs (ie, more than minimum wage) that would allow me to live an average middle class life I was accustomed to before “life” happened.

Sure, everyone needs a hand up once and a while and people and organizations who give out scholarship and grant money are trying to acknowledge and help us who are less fortunate better ourselves.  But, it seems to me if you have a proper sense of pride, self respect and integrity you should be celebrating the donors, not the people who have done nothing but accept their generosity.

While many people fail to see my side of this issue, awards ceremonies and interviews just drive home my shame in being unable to provide for myself.  It feels like celebrating my failure.  I have done nothing to deserve to be celebrated, yet.  Everyone, in my opinion should strive to better themselves, what I’m doing is not special, or unique.  It should be normal, average, and expected.

So, I do thank the donors.  It allows me to do what I have to in order to be a better person and one day again be able to provide for myself and my family.  But I’m not there yet.  Currently I’m a hot mess of stress, frustration, panic, fear, longing, exhaustion, and insecurity.  It’s too soon to see beyond the struggle.  I am grateful for the help but it’s way too soon to see anything in my situation for praise or admiration and I don’t want to be an object of pity either.

I just want to say a heartfelt thank you and go about my business.  Why is that so weird to the world?

July 21, 2015

I didn’t studder

by Janie Jones

I am having a very bad week.  I am feeling quite frustrated, overwhelmed, exhausted, and as though everything I come in contact with gives me a paper cut and then a salt bath.  To make matters worse I developed a raging cold/flu.

On top of my general yuckitude then, my cold/flu has gifted me with it’s own brand of joy.  I ache, I burn, I am even more exhausted, I feel like I’m wearing sandpaper, swallowing Brillo pads, I can barely keep my eyes open but I can’t sleep, and am freaking hot.  But I got up and went to work.  Even though I wanted to go home, I met with my research adviser after work even though I told him I was feeling quite poorly and preferred not to meet, he wanted to anyway.  I hope he gets my cold.

Everyone I saw today says, “Oh, Janie, you don’t look good.”

To which I reply, “The universe hates me, I don’t feel good at all, I’m having a bad week and a wretched cold.”

And if one more person says in response, “Maybe it’s allergies.”  I swear to all the deities ever worshiped I will sneeze in their face and let the mucous freely flowing from my nose drip directly into their face as I scream “It’s not F*&king Allergies!”

And then I just want to lie like a beached whale in front of a fan in a spaghetti strap undershirt and my underwear but the lovely landlord picked this week to come and put a new roof on the house and brought his son and a family friend to stay in the basement while they work. Because its so hot, if I close the door I lose any hope of a cross breeze, so I stay mostly clothed and lie quietly with the lights out.

It absolutely amazes me how you can be lying half asleep in your room after telling people you are sick and don’t feel good and they still seem to think nothing of trying to engage you in conversation.


I would type some of the internal monologue of obscenities I would like to scream if my throat didn’t burn so bad, but the mucous is dripping on to the keyboard, and that’s too gross and I’m too tired to keep cleaning it up.

Good night. Maybe I’ll feel better and less cranky tomorrow. Or maybe I’ll call in sick.

June 21, 2015

The birds and the bees

by Janie Jones

The spud is officially a tween, or preteen, or what ever they are calling youth on the cusp of puberty these days.  We had to go shopping for feminine foundation undergarments.  I told the Spud yesterday we were going shopping for bras, and she burst out “Mooooooommmmmaaaaaa!  Don’t say  that!  It’s embarrassing!”

I would like to point out to the jury, there was no one else around.  We were in the privacy of the living room where I have my room in town.  I could not help but be amused by her reaction.

Me:  Embarrassing?  Why.

Spud:  Because it IS.

Me:  You think going shopping for a bra is embarrassing?

Spud:  Mommmaaa!  Please!

Me:  You, who rip farts in public and laugh.  You, who force belches out in busy restaurants, think a bra is embarrassing?

Spud:  Well, yeaaah.

Me:  Sorry.  We are going.  And, it’s perfectly natural, so I’m afraid you will have to get used to the idea.

However, I was a little concerned that she would suddenly become so mishish and prude-y that she would make the whole excursion a frustrating debacle and then refuse to wear her new, and much needed, undergarments.

We headed out first to Target and their girls underwear departments.  She was a little reluctant.  Never having shopped for little girl size bras, I had no idea how they were sized.  Some looked a little “mature” for little girls, so first we started with items that were basically sports bras.  I figured these you put on rather like an undershirt, no hooks or straps to adjust.  They had some pretty colors which apparently made her a little less reluctant.  She apparently liked a teal green one with a decorative band around the rib cage.  We talked about how we would try on a few styles find the kind that felt most comfy then she could pick out her favorite colors.  I did grab a few kinds with adjustable straps and hooks just to try.

In the dressing room we talked about the reason for bras and how to put them on.  We talked about how important it was that they didn’t wiggle, that they covered the important areas.  I told her to wave her arms around, jump up and down and touch her toes to make sure it wouldn’t slide around.  I think she enjoyed being told jump around as spasticly as possible.

Then we tried on one of the more mature styles with the hooks and adjustable straps.  These looked more like bras, and had just a little padding in the cup.  She tried one with a little pink bow.  She liked the bow.

So when we were done she asked, “When do I have to start wearing my new bras?”

“Well, you should wear them every day.  You can put one on as soon as we get home if you like.”

Purchases made, we met Leif who was waiting for us in the Starbucks at the Target store.  And apparently she was so excited she wanted to show Uncle Leif, who of course was quite scandalized.  “Janie, you need to discuss what is appropriate in terms of showing off her new underwear to boys and men.”  Well, I suppose I didn’t expect her to go from being embarrassed to an exhibitionist in one shopping trip.  But I am very glad she’s enjoying her new bras.  She even wanted to sleep in it.

Road to adulthood, Mile Marker I.  Check!

I also got to laugh at the JC Penneys we cruised through yesterday.  I noticed a young man of about the same age with his head and arms up the skirt of a mannequin.

The birds and the bees indeed.



November 3, 2014

But the full moon isn’t for 3 more days…

by Janie Jones

I had a very curious Saturday, rife with GenPop encounters of both violating and imposing kind.

Well, first of all, let me set the scene.

Leif and I were at a flea market/craft fair attempting to sell some wares and make a few bucks.  It was held in a medium sized Great White North town wedged between the reservation, the state forest and the Big City.  Let that sink in a minute.

Yup.  We had a very unique mix of hippies, yuppies, country bumpkins, and those who enjoy all sorts of technically illegal substances wandering about in all states of sobriety, dress and hygiene, often with a passel of smalls in tow.

But it was less a problem with the eclectic mix of patrons, and more with the other vendors and organizers.

First there was the lady in charge.  And I used the word lady only in the sense that I’m pretty certain she was born with a uterus and later turned into and uncouth, impolite pie hole.  Or should I say “gnathole.”  For someone who’d been organizing this event for many a year, she seemed thoroughly clueless, far from organized, and every time she opened her gnathole in my proximity she engendered in me the barely suppressed urged to snort derisively and tell her where she could shove it.

Next, the venue was graced by the presence of the morality police.  A massive woman in a moo-moo selling tiny Native American-esque bead work apparently found the giant framed print of Johnny Cash flipping the bird so offensive she had to summon gnathole lady and have the vendor selling it cover it up, despite the fact that the morality police behemoth was at a booth that was positioned so she couldn’t even see said print unless she wobbled and swayed her way down the aisle and around a corner.  We all know mammoth moo-moo lady was the morality police because she had to smugly waddle along behind gnathole lady and simper and smirk as gnathole lady told the vendor guy to cover it up.

Then there was the creepy young man who was some sort of security/supervisory personnel for the building.  Leif is a blacksmith, and was selling some hand forged items.  This weirdo kept fondling all Leif’s merchandise and making comments about how various pieces could be used for nefarious purposes.  I’m not really sure but, he might have been lamely attempting to flirt with me when he came by the booth when Leif was away and offered me a small box of candy.  Sensing I was dealing with a borderline psycho, I resisted taking the offered box for a bit then, when I did finally take it, I discovered it was empty.  I laughed and made some depreciating comment, assuming it must be some sort of joke, and handed it back, and then Weirdo-guy promptly began smashing it with one of Leif’s tools on display.  When he wasn’t being creepy at our booth, he was doing double duty as the shadow of the merchant at the booth next to ours, a man who happened to be someone Leif knows from outside this little freak show and who told me he’s run into Weirdo-guy in previous years he had a booth at this venue.  Apparently Weirdo-guy is fond of trailing him around, and the vendor made a funny show of proving his point.  For a good three minutes the vendor wandered about stopping, backtracking, and just randomly moving about doing nothing in particular, and Weirdo-guy was always within three feet of him the whole time.

But the worst, creepiest and most irritating experience of all was with the vendor selling some stupid handcrafted kid toy right next to our booth.  During any lull in business at his booth, he felt it necessary to impose himself on us.  At first it was the harmless, ubiquitous, insipid chatter about slow business, other venues he’d been to, how far he’d traveled plying his wares, etc.  However, later in the day for some reason he decided to regale me with some stories of how his wife was twice violated by different men and how he put out a contract hit on the second perpetrator.  Yeah.  Because I always show strangers pictures of my wife from some 30 or 40 years ago and describe in detail how they were brutally attacked then brag about how the hit-man gave me a discount on the price to have the assailant whacked.  Definitely a case of TMI.  I seriously felt like I needed a shower afterward.  And a gallon of brain bleach.  When I told Leif what had transpired he was pretty pissed, he’d thought all that while I kept shooting him looks of shock and horror while he was chatting with another vendor that I was just getting an averagely boring ear-full.  But either the guy realized he crossed a line (doubtful) or just took his socially inappropriate small talk elsewhere after that as neither of us were accosted by him the rest of the afternoon.

You know, now that I think about it, it seems like the makings of a very artsy fartsy film noir.  Maybe I shouldn’t scoff, but get writing.  I could be the next independent film writing star.