Thursday, January 27, 2011


Tomorrow is the end of the line for me on the Batesville train. Well, at least as far as working at the library is concerned. I guess technically it's not the end until I leave town Wednesday night. I know it will take me a while to not wake up with my mind trained on going to BPL during the week, or when I get home at night, not wondering what to do about certain things the next day.

And I've gotten into the packing that you only do right at the end. Plates, bowls, glasses, spatulas, frying pans... I keep thinking this cube thing is going to be sitting out in my driveway and I'm going to have a panic attack at how small it looks and at the idea that I'm going to have to dump a bunch of stuff off on my parents because I won't have room to haul it to Cali with me. Fingers crossed that doesn't happen.  :)

Excited as I am about what life holds for me in Cali, I'm not in a hurry for it. (I know...if you know me and you're reading this, you don't believe me.) I just don't want to rush things. Tomorrow will be the last time I'll see the folks I work with for a while. This weekend will be the last time I'll see all my T-town peeps for a while. Post-road trip, it'll be the last time I'll see Mom and Brooke for a while. So I'll start pinging off the walls about Cali when I get there. For now, I'm just trying to 'maintain'....enjoy the lasts, remember all the "last stuff" about everything/one as it happens.

Picture me like Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown, using my "hands-camera" to take imaginary photos of the images I want to remember that can't always be captured in a real photo. And the ones that can be captured in a real photo will be linked in future blogs, via my Flickr account. Ha!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

24, 66

Considering I have three more 8-hour workdays left, that puts me at '24 hours' (ha) until my brain can refocus fully on the move to California! The latest developments: 

Mom, Brooke, and I will most likely be staying at a casino hotel in Tunica the night before we hit the road and the journey begins. To clarify, as no one seems to get the reasoning behind this...all my stuff will be packed up at this point and we'll have no where to sleep. Tunica is (sorta) on the way to Memphis, which is where we will hop on I-40 West and get rolling. Plus, the rate for the room in Tunica is at least 1/2 as much as any decent hotel between here and there (Memphis included) so them's the plans!

I also learned that a fair amount of the old Route 66 has been taken over by I-40, and as such, have done the Jen Thing, and researched places to stop along the way. I have ALWAYS wanted to travel all of the old Route 66 (or as much of it as still exists) and was beside-myself-excited to find out we will be on it or parallel to it as we make tracks to Sactown.

We are staying in regular hotels (Hyatt, courtesy of a friend giving us the hook-up rate) not the crazy Route 66 hotels, but I do want to pull off here and there and see some of the iconic scenery, eat at a funky little diner, etc. The furthest place off the main route that I'm thinking we might oughta detour for is the Grand Canyon. That will add about 2-3 hours to our day and our driving, so it's not entirely up to me. I guess it depends on how we feel when it comes time to veer north and stop before the big hole in the ground!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Beginning of the end

It is so weird to that think the week ahead is my last week at the Batesville Library. And that in just over two weeks, I'll officially be living in California. Craziness! It is an odd space in life, being at the end of one chapter of your life and knowing it. By that I mean, it's not a sudden change...sometimes life changes the chapter without you knowing it's coming, for better or worse.

But to look to the week ahead and know this is the end of the line for my days as the Head Librarian here in some ways it seems like I haven't been here long and in other ways, it seems even longer than the 2 ½ years it has been. I have learned a lot, some good lessons, some tough ones, but one thing I know for sure: not being the boss is the way to go for moi.  My staff has joked all along when problems crop up 'that's why they pay you the big bucks.' I'll be happy to take 'regular size bucks' and not be the person with whom problems come to visit. 

With this new job in Cali, the thing I look forward to more than 'not being the boss' is, what I've done with a percentage of my time in Bates, will be what I do all the time! And it has been my favorite part of my job here. I've thoroughly enjoyed researching, planning, and actually doing the programs for the teens (and 'tweens') so for that to be My Job...shut the front door!

There is an element of 'Adult Services' in my job description but I've been told that will amount to helping make posters, flyers, calendars, etc., and helping the branch head plan the adult programs, though she'll actually do the programs when the time comes.

I'll also be plugged in with the schools in the vicinity, which should be interesting because I haven't done 'teen librarian visiting the school' before and I've heard great things about this from other YA librarians. (Young Adult, that is)

And...there is a large home school population in the area that they want me to work with and get them more involved with the library. Generally, home school groups have the reputation of being public library lovers, so this shouldn't be too tough.

And...they have a good existing group of teen volunteers that I can work with and get them in on programming and outreach and to be the ones who help me get a teen board up and running.

All in all...I predict good things for Jen-Jen and the new liberry. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pieces of the puzzle

The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place! Rather than having to rent an apartment that I've seen only online, a colleague at another branch of the library is letting me rent her extra bedroom to give me time to find a place once I'm there. (And the rate she's offered me is super fab, thanks Jami!) Add to this that I've worked it out to rent one of those 'cube' things to load and pay the delivery service to move it, then unload it on the other end. MUCH cheaper than paying full-service movers, without forcing me behind the wheel of a U-Haul for 2,200 miles (at 55 MPH...). And my landlords in Batesvegas are letting me pay pro-rated rent for the 3 days of February I'll be living here -- no one does that! All told, this is working out quite lovely and I'm looking forward to earning my stripes as a California girl! (But I'll always be a Bama girl, so as expected, you can think of me as an AlaFornia Girl!!)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

So it begins

With three weeks left to go until I finish up my two-point-five(ish) years at my current job, I get to be off two Mondays in a row. Tomorrow, snow day! Next Monday, MLK Day. Pay me to stay home? Done.  

People keep telling me how different California is from Alabama (and Mississippi). That is the whole idea. One thing I believe factors into this commentary is that most people think California and their mind instantly goes to Los Angeles. Never been to LA, so I cannot make comments on it, but I suspect living in Sacramento is not the same. And let's face it, wherever I go there I am. Do I think this experience will in some way change me? Of course. If you don't change in some way every so often, you're not living. But will it fundamentally interfere with who I am? No. I don't think I'll come home convinced that Scientology is the way to go or anything else people assume California will 'do to you.'

But first things first...deciding who will move me across country. Because the very idea of driving a U-Haul 55 MPH over 2,000 miles with my car trailer-hitched to it is enough to reconsider the entire thing. And once this honor is bestowed on some fabulous bidness, I will get my shit packed and also be deciding where said packed shit will go when said movers arrive wanting to unload it.

I'm thinking the Fair Oaks/Citrus Heights area. At least until I settle into the groove of Sacramento well enough to know if/where else I'd want to live. Or maybe I'll be fortunate enough to land in the perfect place and not be in a hurry to pack it all up and shuffle it across town somewhere.