JShu on the Journey

A Kansan takes on Missouri

Archive for January 2012

Mugging it up

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Since the last mugshot I posted was a hit, I thought I’d pass on a few more from an arrest in my county last weekend.

Before I get to the fun, I have a disclaimer: I am not against tattoos. I am against dumb tattoos. Unfortunately, there are a lot out there that are the result of exceedingly poor judgment.

But anywho. The following are four different tattoos on the same person. I think my favorite is the skeleton with the monocle and the martini glass.

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Written by Jessica

January 27, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Quiet but busy

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This past week has been pretty low-key, but packed with last-minute moving and cleaning.

I’m not sure if I’ve changed or the weather really had a factor in my attitude, but this move really wasn’t too bad. I did hit a point this week where I realized I still had a lot to bring down to Minneola after work, but I turned my keys over yesterday, and drove off.

Now comes the fun part, though — unpacking those boxes. I’ve done the important stuff but that is my main task this weekend. That and explore this new area. I’ve been thinking of doing a “Welcome to Minneola/Clermont” post to intro this area, and give me an excuse to do a little research on this new area.

The new place has been great. I do not miss apartment life. The new commute (which has actually been more on the 45-minute end, because of unending traffic between Leesburg/Fruitland Park and snowbird traffic) is a little bit of a hassle but it goes by quicker than you might think. The money I’m saving in rent will at least cover the increase in mileage I’m seeing. I like knowing that there is 35-40 minutes between me and work. It’s kind of refreshing.

The first day I set out on my commute, right after I turned onto the main highway I take, there was a major accident. That’s comforting, right? It turns out they had to extricate someone and a firefighter sawed off part of his finger using the Jaws of Life. Ew. But he kept on helping.

Well, those boxes are waiting for me…

Written by Jessica

January 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Movin’ on up

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Technically I’m moving on down — my new town, Minneola, is south of my former hometown in Lady Lake.

But in a lot of other ways I’m movin’ on up. As we speak, I have the Internet, and it is glorious. For a number of reasons, I’ve gone without high-speed Internet/cable service in my Lady Lake apartment over the duration of my 8-month lease. Of course, I did have my iPhone, so I wasn’t entirely in the dark, but now I can Skype with friends and generally be more connected with the world of news beyond Twitter. I don’t think I’m going to go crazy with it, but it is really nice to have the option.

Part one of moving day has actually been kind of chill. My early efforts to sort of corral stuff and assemble boxes was helpful, although I wish I had done more. This morning I lounged longer than I should have, took out my recycling out, then I got some Starbucks coffee and went into hyperdrive on my bedroom/closet.

Two carloads of stuff later, and much heaving as I scaled three flights of stairs over and over again, I am now in my new digs, with only a few assorted things in the old place (confession: my tree is still up–it’s something I have to tear down tomorrow—eek) and furniture to go tomorrow.

Thankfully, I have some help with furniture tomorrow, and I don’t have a whole lot to go. I feel like this move has been much less crazy/obnoxious than my last move. It might be the weather, though — it’s been in the 50s today. Last May, it was 80+ with high humidity. Ugh.

I’m going to wind this down and go to sleep so I can go to church (which is now 30 minutes away!) tomorrow morning.

I did want to say though, is if you ever want to feel rich — move. You realize exactly what physical possessions you have when you are charged with the task of fully moving them from point A to point B.

I’ll leave you with a picture of one of my new roommates, a maltipoo named Bella. She’s a sweetie.

Written by Jessica

January 14, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Capitol City

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Yes, I'm a goofball.

Today is the 5-year anniversary of my first day in D.C. — wild. It’s funny how that milestone can be so much more meaningful than others.

I could care less about my high school anniversary (7 years — yup, I’m old), but for me, so much of my life of the last 5 years has been shaped by that one semester. It’s kind of amazing.

After D.C., I:

  • Had the guts to approach my local paper and freelance a bit
  • Made the decision to transfer to Olivet
  • Uprooted my life and moved to Illinois
  • Felt lonelier than I ever have in my life after transferring
  • Questioned transferring
  • Pushed forward, put down roots, made new friends
  • Led an award-winning college newspaper
  • Visited D.C. for the inauguration
  • Graduated
  • Got a job in Florida, moved
  • Continued to visit D.C.

Funny thing is, if you’ve talked with me at any length, the fact that I’m in love with D.C. is something you are likely to know. It’s kind of ridiculous. Every time I fly into DCA I get so jittery and overwhelmed with excitement, but once I settle in, jump on the metro and hit Capitol Hill, it’s like I’m home. It’s an odd feeling for only having lived there 3.5 months.

It really was a transforming, growing semester, though. I learned what I wanted to do with my life. I learned I’m an INFJ. I learned how to navigate the metro system, where the D6 bus goes and not to ride the left side of elevators. I also learned how to live with no less than 10 people in a rowhouse that often had important appliances on the fritz. In D.C., I saw my laundry steam when I had to do it in a back shed on a freezing night. That was fun.

But I also met some really awesome people. I’m in touch with several in varying degrees today (maybe you’re reading, if you are, hello! We should catch up on life!), but I still will have memories pop up every once in awhile and laugh. There were definitely shenanigans. Don’t worry — what happened in D.C. stays in D.C.

If you are a fellow WJC Spring ’07 person, I’m thinking of you tonight. Maybe we’ll be able to get the gang together again for a reunion? Eh? Yes?

I’ll leave you with this:

Written by Jessica

January 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

“Praise, Praise”

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‘Praise, praise,’ I croak. Praise God for all that’s holy, cold, and dark. Praise him for all we lose, for all the river of the years bears off. Praise him for stillness in the wake of pain. Praise him for emptiness.

–Frederick Buechner, Listening To Your Life

Written by Jessica

January 9, 2012 at 1:03 am

Posted in Wisdom

Small steps.

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Packing has commenced.

Items packed: DVDs, books.
I’m feeling: pretty good.

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Written by Jessica

January 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Fear and Loathing in Lady Lake—Packing Edition

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At long last, the time has come.

It’s time to pack and move*.

If you didn’t know, I’m about to make my third move in the last couple of years, the second in the last year. To make the story short: My rent was going up if I renewed my lease. Rent for my single-bedroom apartment in middle-of-nowhere Lady Lake, my apartment complex management told me in a cheery letter, was going up to nearly $800 a month. No, thank you.

About the same time, a knitting group buddy a bit south in Minneola let me know I could rent out a room (actually two) in her home, for much less than the cost of renting an apartment. I’m kind of over it on the apartments/leases/superficially high rental situation in Lake County, so I’ve decided that’s my best option.

The house is about 35 min. south of my work, so I now have a commute that involves traveling through Leesburg daily, but living in a house sounds so good after three years of renting. It will also be good to be much closer to the church I attend in Winter Garden, and closer to Orlando, where I seem to be finding myself more often.

Minneola is also minutes away from Clermont, a big bedroom community to Orlando/Disney. Meaning: life, young professionals, young people. It’s still Lake County (with plenty of rednecks), but I can deal.

I’m less than thrilled at having to pack everything up, but it’s for the better. It at least includes Internet, a washer/dryer and a microwave, which is more than I can say for my life right now.

I’ve been thinking about my packing process, and a friend joked that I should blog about it in pictures. I could make a list, even, including the steps of the JShu method of packing.

The JShu Method of Packing

1) Obtain boxes from your local liquor store.

This was a piece of advice I first heard from my friend Libby, at, of all places, a small Christian college campus so dry it could rival Death Valley. Liquor stores always are moving in a lot of product–this means lots of boxes. If you go in and ask, they will usually give them to you for free. My go-to place has been the local Winn-Dixie liquor store. I’ve gotten a ton of boxes, but I have had to tape them up a bit.

Here’s the finished product, in my living room:

No, I did not drink my way through these boxes...

2. Procrastinate until the week before your move date.

I am a master procrastinator. I am currently in Starbucks about two miles away from my apartment typing this list because I would rather work on this than begin to divide and conquer all the random crap in my apartment right now. My move date? T-7 days. I have a problem.

3. Come to the realization that, holy crap, you have to move your entire life in 7 days.

And start packing stuff that you don’t need on a regular basis. For me, that means books, decorations, couch pillows…maybe kitchen stuff.

4. Hit hard-core freakout stage

I’m imagining this will hit around Wednesday. The response: intense regret that you waited this long (hence the self-loathing). Pick up the pace of packing.

5. Still don’t be all the way done on moving day

Ask my folks/grandparents/roommate about graduation day at Olivet.

6. Take an additional week to finally move everything out.

This is what happened the last time I moved, because I didn’t move everything at once, because I didn’t plan in advance. I set my official move out date before my apartment’s date. I’m giving myself wiggle room…or more opportunity to make the 30 minute drive more often.

7. Collapse after turning in my keys.

My apartment is on the third floor of my building. So I’m expecting a lot of cardio activity in coming days.

8. Go on with life until the next move.

(That is the step, nothing more to say)

So, there you go. Maybe one day I’ll learn. Until then, it will provide blog fodder. I’ll have to have more updates throughout the week on my packing and mental health status…

*If you want my new address, or you still have my old address in Lady Lake, shoot me an email or Facebook message, ok?

Written by Jessica

January 7, 2012 at 7:29 pm