Archive for ‘T.M.I.S.’

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.



October 31, 2014

Warning: Danger Will Robinson, Danger!

by Janie Jones

So here’s your PSA for the day:

When reheating frosted cinnamon rolls, 15 seconds is plenty of time to turn that innocent frosting into death-dealing radioactive molten lava.  Just because you can pick up the roll with your hands does not mean it won’t burn the ever loving snot off the roof of your mouth.

And just so you know, if you were listening to me actually tell you about this incident it would sound like:

“Jussth becauth you can pith up thh thwoll with yoha hanths doth notah meah ith wonth burr thh etha lothing snah ahff thh wooth oth yoha mowth.”

October 11, 2014

Some days it’s harder to crawl out of bed than others

by Janie Jones

Going to school makes me feel very isolated, lonely and lost.  Not in a real, physical sense of course.  I’m never really alone, I have 5 other people living upstairs, I am surrounded by tons of other students and teachers and coworkers all day, and I know the Stickittoyou U campus and the Big City better than any other place I’ve ever moved.  My feelings are purely emotional stemming from the fact that I don’t feel like I have any real connection to anyone around me.  I lost my home which I loved, my daughter is 12 hours away, Leif and my dog are an hour away, and all the other people I care about are far away, too.  My routine is to suffer through Physics, try and have some energy left to deal with my other classes, go to work, do homework, and grab a bite to eat before dropping dead of exhaustion.  Sometimes when I don’t have to work weekends I go out to the farm to see Leif and the animals.  But that is interlaced with homework and chores and financial concerns.

Then, even when there is a spare moment for checking in with all my good friends living far away, they are too busy with their own lives to be able to set aside much time to listen to me unload my fears, frustrations and grief and I feel really guilty only ever calling for a shoulder to cry/complain on.  I’ve been dealing with so much crap for so long I even get sick of listening to myself.  I have very limited phone access right now, anyway, as I’m running out of minutes on my cell phone.  I never have been much of a phone talker so having one of these expensive cell phone plans never seemed worth the expense considering my tight budget.

Now, Leif who has been my family, my best friend, my rock, my go to person is thinking of going south for the winter to save money.  It makes sense.  I understand.  I don’t want him to suffer, he needs to do what’s best for him.  But if he does go away, I don’t know how I’ll manage.  Right now, that’s one more loss, one I never expected, and it’s a big one.  He’s my last port in the storm of my complicated life.  I will then really have nothing but myself.

As Johnny Cash so eloquently says in A Boy Named Sue, I’ll have to get tough or die.

So today I have to go to my job as a tour guide.  Somehow I have to stop the tears from flowing, paste on a smile, and do this thing called living.  I can’t afford to call off and indulge my sadness and fear.  I am trying really hard.  Then this quote came to mind from my most favorite movie of all times, Joe vs. the Volcano:

Marshall: Listen, ain’t you got nobody?

Joe Banks: No. But there are certain times in your life when I guess you’re not supposed to have anybody, you know? There are certain doors you have to go through alone.

Marshall: …You’re gonna be all right.

Joe Vs the Volcano daisy

People keep telling me I’ll be all right.  They are probably right.  But I am really tired of testing “how much worse can things get” before I get to all right.  Bloggy buddies, if you can spare a prayer, please think of me.