Blog Revamp 

Today I decided to do a little blog spring clean. Since my blog was becoming crazier than this picture of Christina Aguilera….



Seriously, imagine trying to maintain a straight face while talking to THAT

…I felt that something needed to be done. Here’s a run through of the changes I made:

  • I changed the theme because I like to mix sh*t up. I also added a header image of an owl because I’m partial to a few good owls now and again, like most people. 
  • I laboriously put each of my posts into a category which you can now find in my sidebar. Some of you may point out that I should have been doing this all along and some of you would be right. Some of you should also shut up. 
  • I added a new page with my contact details to my blog as well as adding my Twitter and Facebook to my Gravatar so that we can become even closer. I don’t know…I just…I feel like we’re drifting apart. *Holds you*
  • I also picked some of my own personal favourite posts for new readers or visitors of my blog who don’t feel like scrolling through nineteen months of mayhem and added them to a new page at the top. Look up. No, not at your ceiling. OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. 

So, while I made these cosmetic changes to my blog (she’s like a young, plastic, blonde mistress now), I would also like to add that I have plenty of new ideas so stay tuned, watch this space and lots of other cheesy clichés.

If you would like to guest post, collaborate or even if you have some ideas for me, you can email me at cupidorcats@hotmail.com. I love working with other bloggers and I am so fo…

IS THAT BOB BARKER??!!

Focused. I’m focused.

Anyway, thank you for following Cupid or Cats. Your kindness made the last three hours of blog cleaning bearable…*sweeps smashed laptop screen under table with foot*





Being an Anonymous Blogger

I am a semi-anonymous blogger. I say “semi” because while I use a pseudonym, I also have a picture of myself as my avatar. It wouldn’t take very long for someone from my “real” life to figure out from reading the content of my blog that the author is me. Besides the fact that I’m everyone’s “weird friend” and this blog reads like the inner thoughts of a stripper/rodeo clown, I have also shared facts about where I live, my family and my job (which, coincidentally, is not stripped-rodeo clown). I haven’t tried very hard to keep my identity a secret. Maybe if I just talk really low, like this guy:

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I chose to be semi-anonymous because I didn’t want any friends or family members knowing that I have a blog. I wanted to be able to speak my mind freely and I know that a lot of my friends would judge me for that. My siblings don’t even have Facebook accounts, such is their need for privacy. They would think I was crazy for writing a blog. I know that a lot of people in my life would perceive my blog as immature and inappropriate, considering my profession. It just seemed easier to keep it from them, and I haven’t ever been tempted to tell anyone, apart from a select few that I can trust (Hey Ciara. My head still hurts from our crazy night.) I prefer to keep my blog a secret from everyone because then I can say what I like. Boobs. See?

I sometimes feel a little bit guilty, though. I read your blogs, where you share aspects of your life with such honesty and I feel like it’s almost not a fair trade. You guys don’t even know my name. I remember one blogger being so shocked when I told him that my name was not in fact Jane. I think he felt a little betrayed by the fact that he had been speaking to someone he had come to trust and then all of a sudden, he realises that he doesn’t even know my name. But hey, what’s in a name, right? A rose by any other name and all that jazz. Although there is this quote from the Simpsons…

Lisa: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Bart: Not if you called ’em stench blossoms.
Homer: Or crapweeds.
Marge: I’d sure hate to get a dozen crapweeds for Valentine’s Day. I’d rather have candy.
Homer: Not if they were called scumdrops.

Disclaimer: My name is not Crapweed. Not even nearly.

I want to reassure you all that you do know me. The real me. In fact, you guys probably know me better than a lot of my friends do. And if you don’t, here are some basic facts:
I’m twenty seven, I’m a teacher, I’m Irish, I love owls and sea otters, I have a lot of pets, I like dancing (even though this) and bad karaoke, I’m very friendly, I hate the supermarket and bad drivers, I get emotional way too easily, I love astronomy, I’m obsessed with classic Simpsons, I have a great boyfriend and I like all things weird. There. Now we’re practically best friends.

I’d like to hear from you guys about this. Are you anonymous? Why or why not? What do you think the pros and cons of being anonymous are?

P.S. I just realised that I could literally be anyone to you all… Now I have to go fight crime while wearing an unnecessary cape and my underwear outside my pants. Oops, did I just write that? Looks like the jig is up.

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Helllloooo

GUYS. I am SO sorry it has been so long. I have a second job now tutoring a student as well as my school hours so I’ve pretty much just been teaching and sleeping, sometimes at the same time because I’m just that good. And then there’s my other job as a high-end prostitute on Hollywood Boulevard. Er, wait, that’s Pretty Woman. My bad.

I would love to hear from you all. I will come and visit your blogs, I promise, but in the meantime why not tell me how you are, what you’re up to and what your favourite flavour of jam is.

Hugs and jazz hands,

Jane
Xoxo

I can’t January

Oh January, will we ever be friends?

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Wait, wrong January. But she also sucks.

I mean this January:

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I’m gonna come right out and say it: I hate January. I know, it’s such a cliché. It’s like hating Justin Bieber or queueing; is there really an alternative?

In January, I just can’t. Can’t what, you might ask. Well, can’t anything.

Over the festive period, I went into a sort of hibernation. Okay, a literal hibernation. I actually slept for five days straight.

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You and me both, brother bear.

I went back to work on Monday, which went something like this:

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I did do *some* teaching…

The worst part is, I’m doing all the right things.
I’m going to bed early and getting up early. I’m eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. I’m taking vitamins and keeping hydrated.
I’m exercising. But January hates me. It will not let me function. On Tuesday, I was half way to school when I noticed that I was still wearing my slippers. I had to turn back and change (I was seriously considering not changing, I doubt anyone would have noticed) and then I was almost late. Yesterday, I spelled the word ‘review’ r-i-v-e-w. Today, I drove about a quarter of a mile with the boot open. All in all, I’m probably a danger to myself and to society.

Oh January, please go away.

Can you January?

Psst! Remember that you can nominate my blog for “Most Humorous Weblog” in the 2015 Bloggies by clicking here. You don’t have to, especially if you don’t think I’m funny. Well, this is awkward. If you do happen to nominate me, then I want to brush your hair and sing to you. Unless you find that creepy, so maybe I’ll just say thanks? Thanks.

10 Things You Learn During Your Twenties

Your twenties are a time of great transition and growth. LOL, not really, they’re a time for doubts, uncertainty and bad decisions. And wine, lots of wine. When I was a teenager, I envisioned myself living in a swanky apartment with my best friend, drinking copious amounts of posh coffee and getting involved in all kinds of hilarious hijinks. Okay, I watched a lot of Friends.

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Been there, Joey.

My twenties haven’t exactly turned out the way I imagined they would, but I have learned a lot. And because I’m so generous and learned and stuff, I will share my observations with you:

1. Supporting yourself is not as liberating as it sounds

Moving out of your childhood home and into the big bad world is one of the most daunting, yet exhilarating experiences you can have. While you get used to being able to drink milk out of the carton naked (I mean, nothing), there are lots of grownup problems that get in the way. You know electricity? It’s not free. And food? Yeah, it doesn’t magically appear in the fridge. And don’t even get me started on the intricacies of a washing machine.

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2. You will probably not marry Johnny Depp

Or, you know, anyone. But you might get lots of cats and everyone loves cats, right?

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For every year Jack doesn’t propose, I get a cat. Clock’s ticking Jack.

3. You also won’t work for NASA

Unless you actually work for NASA. In which case, go you! (she said, begrudgingly.)
When we’re young, we imagine ourselves having the most amazing job: Gibbon-handler,
Squirrel nut-cracker, poet laureate… And then we end up with the most tedious nine to five job imaginable. At least Dolly Parton gets us.

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Preach sister!

4. You won’t sit around in a cafe all day drinking coffee with your friends

Because your job thingy kinda gets in the way of that. Darn.

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5. You will still laugh at immature jokes

I still write ‘BOOBS’ anytime I get near a calculator. And don’t get me started on the word ‘titillating’. *giggle*

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6. It’s still okay to have no idea what you’re doing

Like this guy:

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7. Your parents will still see you as a child

My mother rang me from three hundred kilometres away today to ask me if I had my “good anorak” because the temperature dropped below ten degrees Celsius. She was afraid I would get “the pneumonia”. Bless.

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8. Even though you may have attended years of college, no one is going to just hand you a job

I learned this the hard way. Eventually, I just wore a sandwich board saying “will drop pants for job” and hey presto, I’m a teacher.*

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9. You may feel like an adult imposter

I don’t know how the rest of you who are in your twenties feel, but I’m often struck by feelings of inadequacy, doubt and self-consciousness. I assumed by now I would have a lot more confidence in myself, but I still harbour all those fears and apprehensions that I had when I was a teenager. I’m just waiting for some kind of police force to burst through my door and shout “she’s an imposter! She’s not a real adult” and throw me in some kind of hole.

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10. Even nearing the age of thirty, you won’t have it all figured out

I’m still waiting to feel grown up and settled. I wonder when I’ll get married and have kids.
I wonder when I’ll stop laughing at people falling over. I wonder when I’ll stop getting scared after watching The Shining or when a spider decides to take up residence under my bed. At the moment though, I’m happy that I’ve managed to retain at least some of my childlike innocence. I’m also glad that thinking about the future still excites and terrifies me. And someday, somehow, I will figure out how to use my washing machine properly.

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This post was partly inspired by the wonderful Amanda Lyle over at Inside the Life of Moi. Her hilarious and perceptive post about ageing had me literally laughing out loud as I read it. Check it/her out.

Why not tell me about what you learned in your twenties?

*This happened in imagination land, just so we’re clear.

So there’s that…

So I’m not dying.

Well, not right this second anyway. My hospital appointment didn’t turn up anything suspicious, so apart from being the most humiliating and painful experience of my life, everything is good.

I was put under heavy sedation, which I assure you was as hilarious as you might think it was. When I was asked if I was allergic to any nuts, I was already out of it. My reply?
“Um, yes…peanusssssss.” Of course, I meant peanuts. Dammit.

I also apparently asked them not to take my legs because I need them for walking.

I may have also called the nurse performing my procedure a sadist but that’s because she was definitely a sadist.

So that’s my news: you guys are stuck with me for a little longer, unless my neighbours who hate me run me over with their snow plough. I’m just kidding, they don’t have a snow plough.

Right now, I’m getting ready for my school holidays and trying not to consume my entire weight in chocolate and Irish cream liqueur.

Come say hello and let me know what’s going on with you.

Here are some owls:

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P.S. I’m going to be back annoying you all again so:

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These are a few of my favourite things:

I thought I’d write a post about some of my favourite things and if that seems a little self-indulgent well why don’t you tell me some of your favourite things? And then we can realise that we’re meant to be BFFs and get bracelets. Sounds creepy good, right? Okay, let’s go!

My favourite…

DRINK– Although I know it’s toxic, there’s nothing like an ice cold Coke with a slice of lemon in the summer. I also love coffee. Basically, caffeine. All the caffeine.
Alcohol wise, it just has to have alcohol in it. Okay, my tastes are a little more discerning than that. I love a glass of wine and in the winter, a small glass of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Oh, all the noms!

FOOD– Nope, that’s like asking my mother who her favourite child is…although it’s probably my brother. Now I feel like a giant steak to wipe away my tears.

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COLOUR– I like neutrals, like beiges, creams and golds.

TV SHOW– My favourite TV shows of all time are The Simpsons, The Sopranos and The Wire. I also loved an Irish drama called Love/Hate. Basically, the grittier and more violent, the better. I may be some kind of sociopath but…let’s move on.

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WRITER– I have to be super-cliched here and say Shakespeare; I could immerse myself in Shakespeare for days and not look up. I also love JD Salinger, Sebastian Faulks and John Steinbeck. I’ll also never outgrow Roald Dahl. And let’s not forget, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that most people would put Jane Austen on this list, right?

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POET– W.B. Yeats fo’ life!

SINGER– I love Jeff Buckley. I also could listen to Eva Cassidy sing all day. I have Frank Sinatra on repeat in my car.

SPORT– Rugby! It requires such skill and athleticism; I adore it. Ireland are pretty good at it too. We’re ranked third in the world at the moment. *insert smug face*

COMEDIAN– Bob Newhart. I feel like I am Bob Newhart. Trippy.

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BEAUTY PRODUCT– I love wearing lipstick. It makes me feel all adulty. And then I go and ruin it by using words like “adulty”.

CITY– I can’t say enough nice things about London. When I visited the Tower of London, I may have cried with happiness…which is probably not what Anne Boleyn did when she was there. Awkward.

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DISNEY FILM– It’s a toss up between Beauty and the Beast (there’s talking crockery for crying out loud) and The Lion King (because Zazu!). I can’t decide. Oh well, time to go and watch them both.

MEMORY– *SUPER CHEESE WARNING!* My first “date” with Jack. We went to a forest a few miles from home. My friends were supposed to drive us home but they left us there (thanks a lot, assfaces) and Jack and I had to walk four miles in the rain. We hadn’t really known each other that well but we talked and talked and of course, fell in love.

CELEBRITY THAT LOOKS LIKE AN ALPACA– Taylor Lautner. Just kidding, I have pretty ambivalent feelings towards him to be honest.

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PLAYSTATION GAME– I’m not a gamer by any means, but I was addicted to Red Dead Redemption. The story was great, the music was so atmospheric and I actually got so involved in the story. Then I was shot by a load of Government Agents. #YOLO!

ARTIST– I am pretty obsessed with Vincent van Gogh. I have lots of prints and books about him. He was such a tortured soul that painted such beautiful images. Don McLean song Vincent is utterly heartbreaking.

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HOBBY– Astronomy…someday I will be able to afford a proper telescope but for now my binoculars will have to do. There is something so scintillating about spotting a galaxy that is located 2.5 million light years away in the night sky.

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Honourable mentions to:

Owls, candles, wine, teaching, learning, laughing, blogging, Tweeting, pets, kissing, dancing, sight seeing, history, archaeology, writing, cleaning and high-fiving strangers on my way to work.

Tell me about your favourite things!

Why you should keep blogging

Remember those first few cautious weeks of blogging? Like a fawn on stilts (weird simile? Bah, I’ve got tonnes of ’em), you wobbled into the blogging world, weary and unsure of what you would discover. Would anyone read your posts? Would people be nice to you? Would you get to sit with the cool kids? AND WHAT THE HELL DOES SEO EVEN MEAN?!

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And then the questions start: why am I doing this? What’s the point? Would anyone really care if I stopped? WHY DO MEN HAVE NIPPLES? (Sorry, I got carried away there.) If you are reading this and you are a novice blogger, you may be having doubts. You may be frustrated with the fact that you have few followers, no one seems to be reading your posts except your strangely literate cat, and Cosmopolitan isn’t banging on your door begging you to be their new Editor in Chief.

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Not really. You’re better than mediocre. You’re ocre.

Despite all of this, my advice is to stick with it. Hang in there. Tough it out. Climb that mountain, etc, etc. Sure, blogging can be frustrating. In my first few months, I had very little engagement and sometimes I wondered was it really worth all the effort. Then I realised something: if one person, even one person is reading your posts, it means that person has taken time out of their day to read something you have written. And that’s pretty cool, right? RIGHT? Well fine, here are some more reasons that you should stick with blogging:

Your audience will grow organically

If your posts are quality enough, people will read them. There is a virtually never ending supply of great blogging advice out there to help you with your posts, so if you’re unsure, do a bit of research. Remember: be concise, use visuals and people love cats. Also use appropriate tags so people with similar interests will be able to connect with you.

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IT’S A CAT…IN A PILOT COSTUME…

You will meet some amazing people

Whether you go out there and search for people with similar interests or they find your blog, you will meet some fantastic people who will help you grow as a blogger. Read as many blogs as you can and you will find inspiration all around you. I have met so many brilliant bloggers whom I have learned so much from. There is a pool of versatile bloggers out there; so many people have such interesting stories to tell.

Blogging is therapeutic

When you have a particularly bad day, there is nothing better than having a good rant on your blog. Or posting pictures of owls…whatever. It’s wonderful how another blogger can make you smile and really brighten your day. Even if you feel nobody is reading your posts, writing about your thoughts and feelings is a brilliant outlet for your stresses and frustrations.

It’s yours

This might sound a little silly, but it’s true. This is your own little patch of Internet. You are building a little home for your thoughts and other people are choosing to visit. Isn’t that nice? My thought-house is a little stranger than everyone else’s: there’s strobe lights and drunk owls, and people still visit. So you’re good…you’re totally good.

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This is basically my blog in a picture.

You’ll get a real sense of achievement from it

Remember that feeling you got when you gained your first follower? Good news: that feeling never gets any less special. There are lots of other achievements that feel just as great: awards, re-blogs, shares, and even competitions that you can enter. Having something to aim for will give you a real sense of purpose and it is the best feeling when you are rewarded for it. Ask any blogger; re-blogs, blog awards, shares and follows feel so flattering and really do make all the effort worth while. Sure, this isn’t what blogging should be solely about, but it’s a lovely incentive. It’s a lovely community where people are only too willing to show kindness and generosity.

That’s my two cents anyway guys. If you are having doubts, I hope I’ve helped in some way. And if you’re a blogging veteran, why not share some of your own blogging tips. Why have you remained in the blogosphere?