Archive for ‘Would you like some whine and cheese with that?’

February 27, 2015

So far, this is all Friday has going for it

by Janie Jones

So the universe apparently doesn’t want me to have clean clothes.  The washing machine at the farm broke down on me last Saturday, as you may recall.  Yesterday I went to do some laundry in the machines in the house I’m living in in town.  And, lo and behold, the washing machine here wouldn’t run at all.

So, I had some soup, and decided to call it a day early again, in hopes I could wake up this morning returned to my pre-cold vim and vigor.  Or at least be regularly worn out and not sick and worn out.

But the room mate who likes to have guests stay in the extra basement room decided again to have company last night without giving me any notice.  I won’t go into the details, but it interrupted my night and when I did finally fall back to sleep, I slept fitfully dreaming of people barging in on me in all sorts of ways and situations until my alarm went off.

So I am quite glad it’s Friday for Friday’s sake, as I have the weekend off and I can try to rest some more and catch up on the ever present mountain of homework.

But, if we are trying very hard to find silver linings, I can also be glad that today I finished the two boxes of nasty breakfast cereal I bought on sale and have been choking down every morning for the last couple weeks.

See, I don’t always have to complain.  I can find things to be happy about even with a headache, disrespectful roommates, and being broke.

Happy Friday to you, in what ever ways it turns out to be special.

February 25, 2015

Still under quarantine

by Janie Jones

“My dear doctor, I’m surprised to hear you say that I am coughing very badly, because I have been practicing all night.”

-John Philpot Curran, 1750-1817


I am feeling rather disconcerted.  I woke up feeling a little better yesterday, now this morning I feel absolutely stoned.  And, that’s without any drugs, as I didn’t feel bad enough to need any last night.  I can barely focus, which is weird, and adds to the stoned feeling.

My friend, Pete, who I had dinner with last Friday apparently has the Influenza and pneumonia.


I’m not convinced I have Influenza.  I don’t have a fever, I don’t have any nausea/vomitting (thankfully!) and most of my problem seems to be in the sinuses, which I generally think of as a simple cold.  So, I don’t think my case is as serious Pete’s, but I am still disappointed I’m not feeling significantly better today, considering I came home early yesterday and went to bed by 5:30pm.  I am hoping tea and a hot shower will help, otherwise, it’s going to be a rough day.  I can’t afford to take off work.  And, of course, school doesn’t stop just because one is ill, although I have been skipping my afternoon classes the last few days.


Well, we are supposed to get our grades back today from our first physics test of the semester.  At least I have something to look forward to in getting up today.  I’d roll my eyes in a sarcastic manner, but my head aches in a funny way.

Better health to you all.




February 23, 2015

Well, now I know why I had that screaming headache Saturday

by Janie Jones

Saturday I did finally make it out to the farm, only  to have the washing machine (which is maybe a year old) break on me.  It would not drain.  So, I did my best to fish out my clothes, hand wring them, threw them in a garbage bag, and bailed out the washing machine.  I then schlepped the very heavy bag of sodden half washed clothes to the truck and drove back to town.

I had some errands to run, so I stopped on my way back to my room.  First I went for a haircut, I go to one of those no-appointment discount places, but there is a particular hair dresser that works there that I always wait to see, as she does a pretty good job.  But she wasn’t in on Saturday.  It was a bit of a long shot, but the salon was in the same shopping center so I thought I’d try my luck.  Should have known better.

The I went to the crafts store.  I wanted a decorative shoe box.  I thought I had a coupon.  So I looked at the various options, some were marked $9.99, and some $3.99.  So I opted for a plain black one.  I waited in line for about 10 minutes (there was only one check out lane open), finally got to the register, discovered my coupon wasn’t good until March, then apparently the plain black boxes were also $9.99.  Well, I wasn’t about to pay ten plus dollars for what basically is a black cardboard shoe box, so I left.

Next I went to the computer store.  I need a micro USB to VGA adaptor for my new tablet/netbook.  I wandered about the store as they had rearranged everything and the computer accessories weren’t where they used to be, naturally.  Finally a clerk found me and led me to their new location.  No micro USB to VGA adaptors were to be had.

By this point, it was almost 3pm.  My headache was down to a dull roar, thanks to a liberal use of naproxen and muscle relaxers, but I was feeling quite worn out.  So I called off the rest of the excursion and drove back to my place in town, only to break the wheel on my laundry tote trying to haul the big bag of wet clothes inside.  It is rather impressive how much a load of wet clothes weigh, even after you’ve hand wrung them.

Once inside, of course the other renters were already using the laundry machines so I had to wait to finish my stuff until Sunday.  I decided the day was such a loss I’d just reheat some pizza and watch Jane Austen movies until I fell asleep.  So I went to set up my DVD player, which I haven’t used since I bought it on uber-sale after Christmas.


Oh, Janie Jones, don’t you ever learn?

Well, the diagram for plugging the damn thing into my ‘smart’ TV that came with the VCR didn’t match the configuration on the actual backside of the TV.  So I had to randomly try plugging the stuff in until I finally gave up and dug out the TV manual.  Then I realized I had tried the correct combination more than once, but it still wasn’t working.

Eventually, about a half hour later I finally figured out that there’s a special setting called COMP that I have to switch the TV to when I want to use the VCR, and that I need to go into the menu options then in the COMP setting I have to type in VCR so the damn ‘smart’ TV knows to search for a VCR through the COMP ports.

So, after this I decided it was Rum Punch time, muscle relaxers and naproxen be damned.

You know, Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility and a Rum Punch do tend to make up for a lot of things.

I would have posted this yesterday, having woken up feeling much better, but I got busy with various household chores like rewashing my laundry.  In general the day started out quite well, with the exception of being quite lonely.  Leif, who knew of Saturday’s travails, happened to call while I was feeling quite blue and that cheered me up enough to get a fair amount of things accomplished, until mid-dayish when I realized I had come down with a head cold.

Proving once again, if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.

Now some people would say there are lots of things I should be grateful for.  I didn’t die.  I didn’t even wreck the truck or have a house fire, or break my right arm.  And even though he’s far away, I had that lovely phone call from Leif just at that precise moment when I needed a figurative shoulder to lean on.  But seriously, how cruel is fate that after such a miserable Saturday I should come down with a cold on Sunday?



February 18, 2015

I’m calling off Wednesday on account of blah

by Janie Jones

I did very poorly on my Microbiology lab test last week.  We got the grades back yesterday.  It was extremely disheartening.

My brain used to hurt.

my brain hurts



Now it just feels as though it’s gone MIA.

have you seen my brain



I am so tired of feeling tired.  I’m tired of there being things I want to do and would like to do well, but feeling like my body and my brain are protesting due to over use and have forced a shut down.  I am really very interested in my microbiology class.  But the lab is not nearly long enough, has too many students and feels like you are trying to sprint through Walmart on social security day during the Christmas season.  The lecture is so late in the afternoon (by Janie Jones standards, admittedly) that no matter how hard I try, I can barely stay awake, as I’ve already been up for 11 hours and been working hard for at least 7 of them.

But here’s a microbiology test I can pass.  How about you?

germs on my phoneClick here to visit The Oatmeal and take the test.

*These images were taken from Google Images.  I’m too tired to document them better.  Sue me.
December 13, 2014

I’m not sure why I’m sharing this hideous photo

by Janie Jones

I’m off to work in a few minutes, and this is what I have to wear:


I look pretty ridiculous in this photo, and the top is a size too small and the neck line is so tight that I’m constantly tugging at it.  But, that said, I’d much rather wear this and look ridiculous in it than wear the highly unflattering polo and khaki slacks that is non holiday tour attire.  I am not sharing one of those photos.

November 10, 2014

Mental Health Monday: Janie Disconnected

by Janie Jones

Whether it’s a hallmark of the healing process, a psychological defense mechanism, or just another facet of the depression, I’ve noticed a real disconnect with the passage of time.  Sure, I know the date and I have a routine, so I’m never late or missing things, but still the greater sense of the passage of time has become very distorted.  Today is November 10.  I’ve watched the leaves change colors, I’ve felt the cold winds blowing in, I’ve woken up or left the building to snow.  The first big snow fall of the season is threatening to dump 5 to 10 inches of snow on us in the next 24 hours.  There are just 5 weeks left until semester finals.  But it still doesn’t feel real that Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner.

My new situation feels so removed from the real world.  Normally I look forward to Halloween decorations, Thanksgiving dinner, and I am a big Christmas goon.  My birthday falls in there, too.  Its a time of year I love and look forward to all the rest of the year.

But here I am, starting at it while it rapidly approaches and zips past and I feel numb to it.  I am missing out on all the traditions that anchor me in a place in time.  There was no Halloween decorating, no passing out candy to trick or treaters to start the season.  There will probably be no real Thanksgiving.  Oh, I’ll go out to the farm and we’ll spend the holiday together, but it won’t be the same and it won’t feel like Thanksgiving.  Cooking out at the farm is way too frustrating for there to be pie and turkey with stuffing and all the accompaniments.  In recent years if my enthusiasm for the holidays was dampened by stress, school or poverty, I’d have Leif or the spud to pull me through and rekindle my holiday spirit.  Once the decorations were up, the magic would take hold and all the joy and wonder of the season would start to flow even if I hadn’t been feeling centered in it yet.  Usually by now I’d be all over Christmas gift shopping, but yesterday it occurred to me I hadn’t given it hardly a moment of thought, and when I figured I’d best start planning, I immediately followed up that thought with, eh, what’s the point.  There will be no spud visiting at Christmas, no lights on the roofline of the house, indoor decorations or tree.  No wrapping stocking stuffers.  No holiday fudge.

I don’t feel like I feel depressed about it, at least not now, but it does feel very weird, to feel like I don’t care, to feel as though it can’t possibly be the winter holiday season.  In fact, a tiny little bit of me feels relieved.  I don’t know if I could handle the holidays and all the traditions in my current state.  But, with out all those traditions that give a rhythm to life, it’s no wonder I feel disconnected.  Maybe this sensation is like a protective shell, separating me from the despair and grief that would flood in if I were to dwell on what I’m missing and all that’s changed.

In the last several years I started to think I could really do something with my life.  I began to think I wanted to go to graduate school and get a master’s degree or perhaps even a doctorate.  Now, as I am in the final stretch of my bachelor’s degree, I’m just sick of having my life on hold and being broke and having to always settle for whatever scraps I can scrape together into a semblance of life.  I’m starting to think that once I finish my bachelors maybe I ought to just give up on school and try to go back to work if I can get a decent job.

Some people may go to school because they dream of being a teacher, or a doctor or to go into business or a trade.  They want to be Something.  In the end, I don’t really want to be Anything.  I just want a home.  My home.  A place that no one can make me leave, a place no one can take away from me.  A place I can fill with things that I find beautiful and comforting, and where I can live each day of the rest of my life building happy memories.  That is all I have ever wanted, to have a real family home, for as long as I can remember, all the way back to being a little girl.  Everything I have ever done my whole life I did to try and have that home.  A job, a career, a degree is only meaningful to me in how it helps me achieve a Home.  Six or seven years ago I realized I couldn’t keep relying on others to help me achieve that dream and that I had to take matters into my own hands.  To have a home, I needed a reliable, adequate income.  To get the good jobs, I needed a degree.  I don’t want to do a job I hate, but in the end what I do is really all for getting my own home.  And, I thought the better degree I could get the more likely I’d be able to have the home of my dreams.  But, the longer I’m in school, the longer I’ll be homeless and disconnected from all the things that matter to me.  School is an insanely tough road to haul when you are less interested in what you are learning than getting done, getting a job and getting on with life.

Just like Susan Walker, I want a family and a house for Christmas.  I’ll pass on the baby brother though, I’ll take my dog back instead.  But it just won’t feel like Christmas ever again, I think, until I have my own house.

November 7, 2014

Aahhh. Stop and smell the broccoli

by Janie Jones

Mostly, my room in town is a good situation, despite being too small for all my belongings.

As roommates who are all basically strangers go, I’ve been pretty lucky.  However, one of the joys of renting in a house with a bunch of other people is being at their environmental mercy.  I’m very fastidious and attentive to aesthetics.  Much to my dismay, not all roommates embody these same traits.

Usually, living in the basement buffers me somewhat from the lack of Janie-Standard Cleanliness and Shabby-Not-So-Chic lifestyles of the folks upstairs.  However, scents tend to know no boundaries.  Sour, stinky smells frequently waft down from the kitchen and upstairs bathroom.

On the occasions when I need a quick load of laundry between trips to the farm to use my own machines, I try to hold my breath as I hurriedly switch my things from washer to dryer and get back downstairs.  I try not to think about how dingy and dirty the machines that are supposedly washing my clothes are, or that sewer water smell emanating from the rubber gasket around the lid of the machine.

And sometimes there’s no escape from food odors.  Most of the day yesterday one of the guys was making pasties, and the smell of uncooked rutabaga was heavy in the air the majority of the afternoon.  So I spent yesterday in my room with the door shut, scented candles merrily burning.

But, as the sitting room/kitchenette in the basement is technically a common area, at least one of the guys from upstairs stores his excess freezer goods in “my” freezer and a couple times a week or so will use “my” microwave.  Just before bedtime yesterday he apparently decided to use “my” microwave to cook something with broccoli, and in my olfactory opinion, well-cooked broccoli is a nauseating smell only slightly better than smelling broccoli after it’s been partially digested and expelled as a gaseous emission of the colon.  Being unable to open windows at this time of year, there was little I could do but unload a can of Oust air freshener, put on some scented lotion and go to bed hoping to fall into a slumber in which I could be oblivious to the stench until it cleared out.

This morning I woke up and opened the bedroom door to the somewhat more subtle smell of the cooked pasties.  While highly preferable to well done broccoli, it still makes my nose wrinkle.  Being assaulted by strong smells first thing in the morning makes me cranky.

Its a weird hang up, but I really don’t like smelling food when it’s not meal time.  It bothers me when cooking smells linger on after the cooking is done and the kitchen is cleaned.  I can’t explain why smelling undesirable food smells has a strange effect which puts me in a cranky, bad mood.  Perhaps because by smelling them, I’m inhaling the scent molecules and it feels like I’m being coated inside and out in something yucky.  Just as “good” smells lift our spirits and trigger happy thoughts and memories, smells I find undesirable spiral me down into a place where I feel dirty and unpleasant.

And, why does it seem like nothing good smelling ever drifts down from upstairs?  Why does it always seem to be either a rotten smell, a ripe gym sock smell, or some pungent cooked food that smells as though it would be inedible?  The burning questions of Janie Jones.

A lot of people I know complain about loud roommates, or rude roommates, or dishonest roommates.  I apparently have stinky ones.  I suppose in the grand scheme it could be worse.  But still, I wonder why it’s never the smell of cake, or laundry detergent or even a pleasant aftershave.  I guess I better save up for and Ionic Breeze, and until then stock up on Oust and candles.