Friday, December 29, 2006

That Smell

Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you


I'm recovered from most disgusting parts of my Week o' Sickliness. A cold has taken the place of the stomach problems. The good news? My evening glass of wine stays in my stomach, where it can do some good in dulling my brain. Although it's a brain already dulled by DayQuil. (Mom: don't worry. I'm not really mixing the two. Or not much.)

So I came back to work today. To say I feel fine would not only be a gross exaggeration, it would be an outright lie. But I felt dulled enough by whatever wonderdrugs that Walgreens puts in its DayQuil rip-off medicine to sit behind a desk for eight hours. (Sidenote: the cover of said bottle of wonderfullness has the phrase "pseudophedrine free." Is this good or bad? I have a feeling that I would enjoy the benefits of pseudophedrine. And I could Google it. But I'm just not feeling like typing the word pseudophedrine again. I have to save my energy, after all.)

I've been at work for almost two hours. I debated calling in again, but it just felt wrong - as if I were playing hooky, because I didn't really feel sick enough to stay home from work. And that's one of my ethics markers: even if you don't know why something might be wrong, if you just feel like it is, then it probably is. So I came.

And man, I really should have listened to that devil on my shoulder telling me to crawl under the covers and worry about my stance on personal work ethics some other time (not to mention the fact that even thinking the word "ethical" without any caffeine in my system almost killed me). Because exactly one hour and 34 minutes after my work day began, the construction crew fired up the tar machine on the new building extension. And now, the noxious smell of tar fumes is permeating the library. I thought that because of my clogged nasal highways I'd be in better shape than the rest of the library staff. But there's something about the smell of hot tar that sneaks right past the blockages and sits in your nose, no matter how hard you wish for it not to. And the things that it's doing to my throat....

How in the world do these guys handle it? I mean, I've only been sitting here in a tar cloud for about 30 minutes, and I'm praying for some kind of natural disaster to shut down the library. And those guys work with this smell all the time. Do you have to sear out the lining of your nose to become a construction guy?
Update: I'm home again. The tar got to my throat and sent me into hacking fits that made it sound as if I were trying to give birth to a new set of lungs via my esophogus. And the rest of the librarians didn't want to listen to that anymore than they wanted to listen to the sounds I was making the other morning. And I've decided that my big invention is going to be scented tar. Wouldn't the smell of apples and cinnamon be a lot better than Burning Hair? Or how about Citrus Breeze. Yeah...tar that freshens the great outdoors while it does its tar-thing. Hmmm... So as soon as best friend finds an affordable place to give her an oil change sometime before Jesus returns, we'll hit the road with my hubby and head to my sister's place, which means we'll probably make it all the way tonight instead of stopping somewhere in Deliverance Country, Georgia for the night. And...umm...Sis? I tried to call. So if you're reading this at 11 PM ... go ahead and open another bottle of red for me. I'll be there soon.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Conundrum

Have you ever been so hungry you felt nauseous? You eat a little something and the feeling goes away. Or you eat a whole lot of something, and you still feel sick - only for a different reason. But either way, you've fixed the first problem: you're no longer nauseatingly hungry.

But what if, thanks to some unidentified bug, your stomach has been forcefully rejecting most food for two days? Are you nauseous because you're hungry, or because your stomach is trying to send you warning signals that now is not the time to try another round of food? How do you know for sure what your stomach wants?

Well, apparently I misread my stomach's signals this morning. After successfully handling a peice of (unbuttered - ick!) toast this morning, I thought my stomach was saying "Yes! We're back open for business! Please send me more food!" when it started getting that "I'm-so-hungry-I'm nauseous" feel to it. Ahh...how quickly I forget...
So after I got to work (yes, the same work that sent me home yesterday after only 30 minutes of looking at me), I found myself something else to eat.
And the sausage biscuit looked sooo good. After all, I'm a meat lover. And I hadn't had any in almost two days.
And now...well, now I've been forcefully ejected from work again. Apparently, the sounds coming from the bathroom were not conducive to studying. Or to working. Or to anyone having a happy morning anywhere within earshot of me and my stomach.

And I'd just like to mention that last night I managed a bowlful of my mother's "Nuts N Bolts". And my stomach was quite happy THEN. So if I have to live on that and Sprite Zero for the rest of my life....well, I guess there are worse diets. Diets that are considerably lower in sodium, but not nearly as yummy.





Friday, December 15, 2006

Another Christmas, another Christmas luncheon hosted by our resident staff association. As I am their humble yet fearless leader, guess who got to have the most fun with planning, decorating, cooking and setting up?

Actually, I don’t mind doing these shin-digs – not that I’ll broadcast that around the library, because then they would want me to be president again next year and that’s just way too much fun for one person. I think the joy should be spread around a little bit. But for one year, I can enjoy throwing parties with other people’s money. If they would let me serve alcohol, I’d do this for the rest of my life. But even though our personal corner of the government (the DoD) is getting a new boss, I don’t think that’s gonna fly.

The staff association was in charge of turkey and dressing, so the night before our little sliver of Christmas heaven I bought two 10-pound boneless turkey breasts and sliced them. I also bought two pans of frozen cornbread dressing and baked them at home. Then I made some mashed potatoes and a green bean casserole for my personal contribution. And at 9 PM that night, my hubby stood in the middle of the kitchen and asked in that “oh-good-you-decided-to-cook-something-besides-pasta-or-a-pb&j-for-me” voice: “So when do we get to eat?” while he searched desperately for a can of cranberry sauce to spread over all the holiday bounty in front of him. And I had to remind him that none of the food was for us and watch his face fall as he sighed that “I-thought-it-was-too-good-to-be-true” sigh and picked up the jar of peanut butter. So I promised him various bedroom favors to make up for not getting fed that night. I think he was happier that way, anyway.

But I digress.

The best parts of throwing these little get togethers are the comments that I get afterwards. Two people are quite predictable in their “suggestions”: last year’s president and vice-president (one of the two happens to be my boss), but they are by no means the only people who enjoy sharing their own version of post-party-poopiness with me. This time, I was more prepared than I was after the cookout. I actually had a pen and piece of paper ready to record the wisdom spewed at me for two full hours before and after the party, although I didn’t take the time to write down who said what.

“You know, last year we put the tables down the middle of the room, and it really seemed to work better than I think this will. You might want to re-arrange it.”

“Why is the dessert table at the back of the room? Don’t you think all the food should be together?”

“Why in the world are you serving unsweet tea? Don’t you think that was a waste of money?”

“I’m sure you did the best you could.”

“You bought the wrong kind of turkey breast. You should have got the kind with the skin still on it, so it would have had more flavor.”

My response to each and every critique was the same, voice inflection and all: “You know, you have some really good ideas. I think I’m going to recommend that you be appointed president next year.”

My vice-president and coh-hort in the madenss was Mr. X. He relayed this conversation with librarian S.I. to me:

S.I.: “You all did a really good job with the Christmas party.”

Mr. X: “I’m glad you had a good time.”

S.I.: “I didn’t say that.”

And then I had this conversation the morning after the party with LC, who was the vice-president for the staff association last year – which means she was very involved with planning last year’s Christmas party. I knew some good snark would come out of her mouth, so I actually wrote the conversation as it happened, since I was working on this post when I saw her headed my way. You must inflect a heavy dose of sarcasm on every word that I uttered:

LC: “You did a credible job.”

Me: Wow – what a compliment.”

LC: “Well, of course it wasn’t as good as last year.”

Me: “Nothing ever will be.”

LC: “But it looked like fun was had by all.”

Me: “Maybe we just have a lot of really good actors working here.”

Ahhh…The Christmas Season!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I saw this on Annalee's blog a while ago and started to do it...then forgot about it til my sis posted it this week. So I decided to finish it. It may not be up to my normal high level of entertainment value...but hell, this is my blog. And it was entertaining to me. And after looking at this list, I've got a few more things to add to my "to be done" list. Because THAT needed somethings added to it. {eyeroll}


01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink (very small bar, very few people)
02. Swam with wild dolphins

03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie (Ok, it was a five minute short. And it was silent. But it was for a the Sideway Film Festival, and it won an award!)
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River [I have rafted other rivers, but this was not one of them. I do know where the Snake River is in Idaho, if that is what they're talking about.]
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Been to the Great Barrier Reef
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication (hmm define large. I had an article published on RSS feeds in a newsletter for a library group. And I just turned an article in to the Birmingham Catholic newspaper. So I say yes.)
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states

124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper (which newspaper? Again, I say yes)
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read (D.H. Lawrence – and I love him)
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions (and god willing, I’ll miss the rest of them)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life (I’m taking a page from Annalee’s book on this one – I called 911 when someone tried to commit suicide.)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Some Things Are Just Wrong

Somehow, Thanksgiving this year turned into a tribute to the Star Wars Galaxy. We had three of the six movies on at various points yesterday, and they were showing on more than one channel. They were the premium movie channels, but still...when did Thanksgiving get to be All Star Wars All The Time? The first movie was on again when I went to bed last night.

Anyway, In one of my brief sitting-down periods yesterday, I got to watch the end of Return of the Jedi. The VERY end. You know the scene. Luke walks away from the Ewok-Gala to lean an arm against a tree and smile at the ghosts that are hanging out and laughing at Chewie trying to two-step with a miniature version of himself. The camera angle shifts, so that we can see he's not just crazily grinning at a log, and there are Obi-Wan and Yoda, sitting there grinning back. And then Darth Vader - now rehabilitated back into his peaceful personality of Anakin - appears next to them. And we all know that Luke saved his soul and that when Leia comes to take him back to the party he can go shake a leg with a full heart and calm mind. Granted, Anakin doesn't look too hot - he'd been inside that stuffy black suit for a pretty long time - but at least he's not a devil. He's back to good.

Ok...so yesterday, I'm sitting on my couch, checking email and half-watching this scene. And I look up....and it's that very end scene, where Luke looks up. Only, instead of seeing the guy that played Darth Vader in the original...the shadowy figure has been replaced by the guy who played Anakin in the newest movies! This is wrong on so many levels.
First of all, don't mess with the original like that. I don't mind taking old movies and making them into colorized versions. I don't mind cleaning stuff up. But don't flat out CHANGE things! Second of all, why do Yoda and Obi-Wan look the same as when they died, but Anakin has reverted back to his younger self? That's just crazy.
Third - It's JUST WRONG.

Anyway, this was some kind of uncut version - it had scenes in it that my hubby hadn't seen before. I only saw that very last bit, so I don't know if they went back and changed anything else. I'm almost afraid to find out.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

29? What Happened to 25-28?

I think I've misplaced a few years. If you find any extra ones sitting around doing nothing, send them my way. Because I was sure I was only up to like, 24; 25 AT THE MOST. But oh no, my driver's license has to be truthful and let me know that as of today, I'm 29. But ya know what? I still get ID'd when I buy my weekly supply of wine. And I still look good in black boots. I don't have any fake teeth. And I'll turn 30 next year; if that's not a reason for a big party, then I don't know what is. (Which is a complete lie, because I know hundreds, if not thousands, of reasons to throw a party. They range from "Look! It's raining again - let's throw a martini party!" To "Look! It stopped raining! Let's throw a martini party!" to....well, you get the idea.) My best friend has enough emotional trauma associated with every birthday for both of us. I'm probably going to start a therapy fund for her in the next few years; 40 is going to be hard for her. And just because I can get away with it, I need to take this opportunity to remind her that I am - and always will be - younger than she is. :) And to my darling brother, who for one glorious day every year gets to be the same age as I: What the HELL were you thinking to send me a text message at 12:37 AM? In case you forgot, we called an end to our mutual sibling hatred and started liking each other about twelve years ago. I have to say, though, that the rhyme sequence of your birthday poem was a little more forgivable when I was asleep. Seen in the bright light of day... it kinda makes me wish I were sharing whatever drink you had when you wrote it. The "Dear Sister" part was nice, although not totally believable in the middle of the night. If I were your "dear" sister, would you really be waking me up? /sigh. Of course you would. :) Tonight I'm going out to dinner and a movie with my hubby and stepson. We're gonna see the new James Bond movie. Then I'll come home and start baking for tomorrow's feast. Hubby and I are in a war over the TV - I HAVE to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade while I'm cooking. He's convinced that football history will be made, and refuses to listen when I say there won't be any games on yet. This happened two years ago when we were together for our first Thanksgiving ....and I'm beginning to think that this is one more reason to go to my sister's for the holiday - we don't fight over the parade, because at her house it's just on. Period. Plus, she's as much as a wine junkie as I am. And then there's the family and stuff. And the food. Ok, I'm going to stop before I totally depress myself. I think I'll dip into the chocolate that one of my friends at work gave me today. I need to get a pic of the picture frame she gave me...but in the meantime, here's what my hubby gave me.*** I know, I know - I wasn't supposed to get anything, because we bought that big TV last month. But hey, if he's going to give me extra presents, I am NOT going to complain. :) ***Blogger won't let me put a pic in this post; but it was a gift basket from the local winery with a bottle of wine, a yummy smelling candle and a tin of chocolaty-hazelnut rolled up cookie things. YUM!

Monday, November 20, 2006

What In The world Is A Global Orgasm Day, You Ask?

Warning to my Parents:
Hi Mom (and Dad, if you happened to stop by today of all days). Just felt like it was my filial duty to warn you: if reading about your daughter having sex - and liking it - isn't your cup of tea (or makes you want to pluck your eyeballs out with the nearest ball point pen or similarly pointy object), then
click here. And come back tomorrow. Umm...maybe wait til Wednesday, cause I don't necessarily post every day. I'll make a special effort tomorrow, though. Just for you. If it doesn't bother you to read about your daughter having sex - and liking it - then read on. There's some good stuff here.


HOLY COW!! Why has it taken thousands of years to come up with this?

Global Orgasm Day

To protest the war, these people want us to all have sex - and more most importantly, a pleasurable conclusion to sex - on December 22. Go read the site for the details, cause this space is for my thoughts on the subject. And boy, do I have some thoughts on the subject.

  1. What an abso-freaking-lutely awesome idea.
  2. Instead of focusing on world peace before and after certain...happy moments...in the proceedings, is it ok if my mind is just blank? I'm not real good on that mental discipline stuff. I'm even worse at focusing. And if I say "OK, honey, now concentrate on world peace", that may be the last "happy moment" I have for a while. So a blank mind is just as good as a peaceful one. Right?
  3. The site says that "The results will be measured on the worldwide monitor system of the Global Consciousness Project."
    1. There's a Global Consciousness Project?
    2. Will the results be published in a scientific journal or Playboy?
    3. Will the National Geographic Channel make a documentary? I don't know how their ratings are these days, but this could NOT hurt. Maybe they could show it right before their 8 hour "Inside the Womb" special. Because nothing will make people think twice about sex as much an 8 hour special on being pregnant. That is, if they leave the TV on. And pay attention.
    4. How in the world do you measure something like a massive world-orgasm? Is there the equivalent of the Richter Scale? Can I get a copy, along with an explanation of how to determine what each level is?
  4. If this works, will the organization send out memos regarding the necessity of having more sex, not just on specific days of the year?
  5. If I drink too much and go to bed a few minutes late, and my hubby and I time things all wrong and it ends up being a few minutes into December 23rd, will my contribution to the global orgasm still count?
  6. This is my favorite line on the website:
    When? Solstice Day - Friday, December 22nd, at the time of your choosing, in the place of your choosing and with as much privacy as you choose.
  7. Do we get extra points if we contribute more than once?



I could go on and on with this. But I have to be on the reference desk in a few minutes, and my break is almost over. Please, add your thoughts to mine!! There's so much more to be said about this!

Hmm...I wonder if this will ever make it onto the calendar as a national holiday...


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Reasons My Stepson Thinks I Took Lessons From Cinderella's Step-Mother

1.) Me: SS, you put the milk in the fridge without the cap on it again.
    SS: Ok, I'll get it later.
    Me: Um, no, I want milk later and I want it to be just as tasty as when I bought it this morning. Put it on now.

2.)Me: SS, can you please put the pictures back that you were looking at?
    SS: what pictures?
    Me: The snapshots from our Rhode Island Trip? The ones that are scattered across the coffee table with a cat laying on them?
    SS: (not moving): Oh yeah. Those pictures.
    Me: Funny. They're still on the coffee table. Now, SS
 
3.) He's just gotten out of the shower
    Me
: Did you put on the same shirt you slept in?
    SS: yeah, I didn't bring anything else to wear.
    Me: And, um...you've got the play today? In like an hour and a half?
    SS, very tired of me and my questions: yeah
    Me: Would you like a clean shirt?
    SS: {The Biggest Sigh I have heard since my brother first perfected the art fifteen years ago}
    Me: {The Biggest Sigh I have given since I was an expert on it fifteen years ago.}

And he's only been awake for an hour and a half.
I'm sure I could be much meaner today, but he'll be gone for about 11 hours, so I'll just have to save it up for the next time we have him.
Of course, the $20 we gave him to go to lunch a movie in between plays today helped ease him back to civility. But I can only buy his love so often before I start feeling cheap.

Clue number 5,629,345,928 that our president is an idiot

Which of these is demeaning to me as a woman?

A.) Contraceptives
B.) A man - an OB/GYN, no less - who thinks that contraceptives are demeaning to women and who has been appointed as the deputy assistant secretary of population affairs and who will have the responsiblity of reporting to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on things like reproductive health.
C.) A president that would appoint That Man

This appointment does not have to go through any kind of confirmation, so Mr. Keroack's job is a done deal. And you know what part of that job will be? "He will oversee $283 million in annual family-planning grants that, according to HHS, are "designed to provide access to contraceptive supplies and information to all who want and need them with priority given to low-income persons."

But the funny thing is, that HHS also gives tons of grants out every year on abstinence education. Pamphlets, programs for young adults, commercials are all funded by the Dept of HHS to tell people that sex is bad if you haven't had the right person pray over you and tell you that you are man and wife. And you know what? There was a story on NPR yesterday morning (Can't find the link right now) about those pamphlets and things that are written with the money from those HHS grants. A lot of them had data that has been proven wrong more than once, but is still included to back the government's "Absitince is the only state-sanctioned form of birth control" campaign. They don't have to go through any kind of review to make sure that their "scientific" data is actually scientific. So instead of teens learning about condoms and the fact that they could literally save their lives, they're told that they shouldn't have sex at all and if they do, then they're on their own.  And with this new guy in HHS, I bet they put a spin on that so that we all understand that he's actually supporting women by coming out against birth control. Because, you know, choosing and planning to have a child when you can financially and emotionally support one is just a bad idea. And...

Ok, I've got to stop. I could rant about this for hours, but you would stop reading by then. And none of this counts towards my word count for NaNoWriMo, so I really need to go pour another cup of coffee. I think I'll go write a sex scene between two unmarried people. And it'll be the woman who supplies the condom.




Friday, November 17, 2006

NaNoWriMo Progress.

Well, I'm not sure it's a whole lot of progress. As of this moment, I've got about 17,366 words done, which is a little more than 8,000 words behind where I'd like to be. Well, to be honest, I'd like to be done. The "fun" of starting something new has kinda worn thin once all ready - which means I had three days of no clue what to put in, so I "brainstormed" (read: typed not one damn word).
But I really like what I've done. I want this to be longer than 50,000 words, though. Which means that even if I've won NaNo, I (hopefully) won't have finished the story.

So the Divas are having a High Noon Challenge this weekend: write as much as possible between 6 PM tonight and noon on Sundaya. And in order to get back on track, I would need to write a little over 14,000 words by Sunday night. Which would almost double what I have.
Do I think that's possible? Um. Yes? Maybe? If I have enough caffeine?
Am I going to try? Absolutely.

So anyone who wants to is more than welcome to send me text messages tomorrow with little reminders like: "Put the book down! You're supposed to be writing, not reading!" and "Star Trek is NOT more important than writing this weekend!" Or "You can kiss your husband as much as you want on Sunday night! Go back to your laptop!"
Or you can be creative all on your own.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Nerd? Geek? or Dork?












Pure Nerd

69 % Nerd, 47% Geek, 30% Dork

For The Record:
A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.
The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.
Congratulations!
Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST
















My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on nerdiness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on geekosity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on dork points




Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

It's a Rather Blustery Day Today

Oh the wind is lashing lusterly And the trees are thrashing thrusterly And the leaves are rustling gusterly So it's rather safe to say That it seems that it may turn out to be It feels that it will undoubtedly Looks like a rather blustery day today It seems that it may turn out to be Feels that it will undoubtedly Looks like a rather blustery day today --Winnie the Pooh

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Off to see the Wizard

Maybe.

There’s some severe weather heading my way. I don’t want to have to pull out all the meteoro-techno-babble terms, but I will: This is a big ole storm. With lightening. And Hail. And Stuff.

Of course, the “stuff” could be a tornado. Or it could be nothing but a few leaves that get blown around in the wind. Or it could be anything in between.

This is why I love weather. Ya never know what’s gonna happen. I’m not any kind of trained weather watcher (but that’s only because I’m not home enough), which is the main reason that my meteoro-techno-babble terms include “stuff” and “big ole”. But I do love a good storm. With lots of wind and lightening and thunder. I could take or leave the rain. On it’s own, rain is fine as long as I’m home in bed or on my couch. But with the wind howling and the thunder crashing, I want to be outside in the middle of it.

And now we come to the reason that I’m not a big fan of tornados: It’s not really advisable to stand around and watch lightening and “big ole stuff” when there’s a tornado in the area. In fact, I’m religious about getting the cats and high-tailing it with them into the laundry room. And then I inevitably sit on top of the washer, trying to avoid the hissing and scratching of The Cat Who Does Not Like To Be Shut Up In Small Spaces, and cursing because the tornado never comes, so I’ve just missed a good storm. I know, I know - better safe than sorry. Which is why I still go to the laundry room – after I go outside and check things out visually. Because in all honesty, if a tornado came and landed on my house, I’d have to learn that funky dance step that everyone in the movie does on the Yellow Brick Road, cause I'd be blown to Oz even if I were in the laundry room with the cats. Although it might be worth it if I could talk to a lion.

Anyway, there’s some stuff heading my way. I’m at work – which is actually a much safer building than my house. But I have a pretty good feeling my boss won’t let me stand outside for a few minutes after the sirens go off to watch the clouds swirl and the lightening flash or to feel the high winds and hear the thunder. Sometimes, bosses can be real party-poopers.

Update #1: 10:10 AMThe sirens went off. We moved the students and stood in the hall for 10 minutes. Now we're free and waiting for the next round. Update #2 10:35 AM And they went off again. This time, one of the librarians was smart enough to bring a newspaper so a few of us had something to read. I don't think I'll be driving to out to the lakes on base for lunch today.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Driving along, singing a song

My commute to work is about an hour, give or take ten minutes or so for the complete lunacy of Alabama drivers and the utter madness that takes ahold of people driving semi's somewhere around the Chilton County border. 60 minutes to work, and 60 minutes home. I am NOT complaining. I have NPR to keep me company, and if they get a little overzealous on, say, an upcoming election that they feel like beating into the ground...well, then, I always have my 60 +/- CDs to keep me company. And my cell phone, which - Thank you Jesus! - now gets coverage the entire way home because I switched away from the the evil that is Verizon and went back to playing on the Tmobile network. Sometimes, I actually wish the drive were longer. This is mostly in the mornings. See, because I have an hour drive, sometimes I don't really feel like I need to be completely awake when I get in the car. So I wait until the last possible second to get out of bed, because the only thing more precious than chocolate in this sweet world is sleep. If I plan things out correctly - which I rarely do - I can slide behind the steering wheel 7 minutes after I roll out of bed. Because I have at least 60 minutes to wake up - and sometimes, I actually need more than 60 minutes to wake up. The coffee rarely lasts the whole drive, and I will NOT stop for a refill when I know I can get as much as I want when I get to work. That smacks of addiction.
The ride home always seems longer, but that's when I either call every phone number in my cell phone (raise your hand if I've called you between 4:30 and 5:30 Central time). Or I put in the soundtrack from The Sound of Music and yodel along with The Lonely Goatherd at the top of my lungs, because neither my husband nor my stepson appreciate it when I do that when they're in the car with me. Or when I'm in the house. Especially when stepson has friends over. But that's another story.
And then, every once in a while, I read something that makes me think maybe this hour drive twice a day thing isn't so smart. Say, for example, something about the weather, like this:
"I still think the sweet spot (best combination of dynamics and instability) will be in the general area between Birmingham and Montgomery, and the best chance of severe storms seems to be in the 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. time frame."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Brief Glimpse of Purgatory

Sisyphus was condemned by the gods to perpetually roll a rock up a hill only to see it roll back down again. Tantalus was forced to stand - forever - in a pool of water that disappeared every time he leaned down to take a drink while a bunch of grapes hung over his head and pulled the same trick when he reached up to grab them. Prometheus was chained to a rock and every day an eagle came to eat his liver; he could do it every day because his liver grew back every night. I have a house full of food and a growling stomach. I also have a tongue and lip that I can barely feel (Thank you Dr. Dentist!), tempting me to try to eat something. Surely if I'm careful, I won't bite myself. And if I do, I won't feel it - right? I was eating leftover macaroni, but the second bite had me wondering if it had magically turned into a medium-rare steak - because only one of those choices has blood in it, and that was definitely what I was tasting. I think I'll just stick to coffee with a medicinal drop or two of Bailey's in it for a few hours.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Another Play

Last school year, StepSon helped out with his high school's production of Little Shop of Horrors. Somehow, I had missed seeing the film or theater version of that, but I went to his. And I was miserable through the whole thing. The end didn't even seem real - it just seemed like the playwrite(s?) got tired of the whole thing and slapped something crazy on it. I don't blame them. I was tired of the whole thing and just glad that it ended before I heard "Feee-eeed ME Seymour" one more time. Because I was afraid I was going to go up on stage and feed Seymour to the stupid plant. The kids were great, I just didn't like the play itself. StepSon, by the way, was on the lighting crew. So of course, I believe that he had the most important job in the entire production, and that his was the only job done perfectly. Anyway, this wasn't supposed to be a rant on that play. It was supposed to be an introduction to the new production he is involved in. If only I could introduce it. So far, StepSon cannot tell me anything about the play. He has been to four practices. Today, he painted for three hours. He's not even sure of the name. He thinks it's Patchwork. Maybe. Opening night is November 13th. Yes, that's only a week and a half away. He's not even sure what role he'll play during the actual production. So in two weeks, Hubby and I are going to go to the play. Who knows? Maybe knowing nothing about the play in advance will make it more of an adventure. Will my StepSon step out onto stage at any moment? Will he be running the lights behind my back? Or, will he have painted the requisite number of sets and not even be be in the building? Ahhh...life is a constant adventure in this family.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thursday Afternoon Fun: Rummaging through the bucket of Halloween Candy on the Reference Desk and finding the last piece of Strawberry Laffy Taffy.

Thursday Afternoon Not-Fun: Crunching down on something hard in your Strawberry Lafffy Taffy and realizing it's a piece of one of your fillings.


Do me a favor. Click on this link. http://world4.monstersgame.co.uk/?ac=vid&vid=47114271 I promise, it's not some kind of nefarious way for me to sneak into your computer and hack into your account at extremesex.com or whatever it is you're doing on your computer when no one is around. I'm not going to steal your identity so you can get in one of those crazy commercials where a 13 year old pre-pubescent girl's voice is coming out of the body of a 40 year old weight-lifting black guy. I'm just going to take a little of your blood....

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Today, I only need one thing

There comes a time about every four weeks or so when my body needs one thing - and only one thing - to live. All brain functions will shut down if I don't have Massive. Supplies. Immediately!

It is chocolate. Lusciously decadent milk chocolate.
If the stars are aligned correctly, it will be wrapped around some nice creamy caramel.
If a deity somewhere is smiling down on me, it will be a Twix.

I'll eat - and love eating - most chocolate, as long as there are no almonds in it anywhere. But right now, the only thing keeping me from attempting to perform a hysterectomy on myself is my bag of milk chocolate.

Today, I don't care about the jean size that I'm trying to whittle down to a number closer to my shoe size than it is to my age (all three of these numbers are higher than I would like, but I'm going to work on them one at a time. I started with my jeans. In a few years, I'll get to my age).

Today, I don't care that the $14 I spent on candy was not supposed to be for me to eat. These students running around the library get enough candy from every other librarian that feels the need to nurture and spoil them rotten. They can eat the Jolly Ranchers at the bottom of my candy dish, because the chocolate has been removed and put in a safe place. Which happens to be the desk drawer immediately beside my right hand.

Today, I thank the ancient religions for deciding that this is a good day to have a pagan holiday, which in turn made The Church decide that it's really the Eve to All Saint's Day, which in turn gave us Halloween. (how's that for twisting a few thousand years of history to make a point?)

But most of all, Today I thank Wallgreens for the sale they had on Mini-Twix bars last weekend.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

For Good or Evil...it's Fall again

Pro: I get to watch the sun rise on my way to work – and there are few things as beautiful as a gorgeous sunrise. Con: I am up before the sun rises. I’m sure that in an extremely civilized society, this would be illegal. Pro: The humidity has dropped below 98%, and it is no longer uncomfortable to wear something with any kind of sleeves. Con: The temperature has daily 30+ degree shifts. Tuesday morning when I left for work, it was 35 degrees. At 2 PM, it was 68. Picking which season to dress for – before the sun rises – sucks. Pro: I get to start wearing clothes I haven’t worn in months. Every fall, it’s like rediscovering a new wardrobe. Con: I have a hard time being excited about the new-found wardrobe, because…did I mention that the sun is not up when I get dressed? All in all, this is one of my favorite times of year. I have a hard time choosing between Spring and Fall; they both have their charms. But it’s October right now, so fall is my choice of the month. After all – there are so many holidays coming up…not to mention my birthday (Spring only has Easter). I can go outside for more than five minutes without sweating! I can sit outside with my coffee and read. I can still gaze longingly at my long leather coat, wishing for colder weather so that I have an excuse to wear it. I can wear my boots! And go shopping for new ones! And in six months when I get to watch my flowers bloom, and the tulips that I planted a couple of weeks ago start peeking out around my front windows, and the grass turns green, and the trees behind my house grow another 5 feet almost fast enough that I can see them growing, and the wind starts carrying a hint of warmth and sunshine instead of the threat of a cold drizzle…. Well, in 6 months, Spring will be my favorite. But not yet.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Have you ever had one of those days when everything seems to be coming at you at once and no matter how hard you try to keep up, you just can’t, and no amount of coffee will stimulate enough brain cells to get your mind functioning at optimal performance levels and people just keep asking you the stupidest questions ever until you just want to erect a “no talking” zone around you that goes three feet in every direction but instead you have to smile and explain one more time that yes, the copier IS the freakin’ printer - it’s the 21st century, people, and we have machines that freakin’ multitask! - and instead of reading the morning headlines you get stuck on ONE headline because that headline is telling you that a Very Important Person is going to be on base today and all you can think about is how you’re not going to be able to drive to the lake for your daily lunch/sanity break because security on base is going to be an absolute nightmare and then, to top it all off, the computers decide to get all wonky and not let you log in and get to your email or IM system that tie you to reality and you just have to keep rebooting and re-trying until you want to “accidentally” hack your computer to pieces with the decorative axe that you have hanging on your cubicle as a symbol of the Halloween season - but instead, you just pour yourself another cup of coffee and grab a piece of chocolate out of your emergency reserve (the bowl that you keep on your desk for the students) and take deep, cleansing breaths and wish you had remembered to come up with that mantra because right now you could really use one and then you finally get into your email and the first one that you see is from your husband and it has no subject line and you take an even deeper, more cleansing breath and start reading….

And suddenly everything’s all better, because he just wanted to let me know how much he loves me and can’t wait to see me when I get home tonight.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Our New TV


Our New TV
Originally uploaded by lildebbie_77.
Ok, sis, here't the actual TV, in use, in my living room. It's a thing of beauty, but that doesn't really come across in this pic. Any and all smart ass comments regarding what's on the TV are welcomed and more than expected.

And on a mostly unrelated matter (it doesn't have anything to do with the TV, but it does have something to do with how you're seeing the picture of my new TV):

ACK!! I FORGOT TO RENEW MY FLICKR ACCOUNT!

My account officially expires today, October 9th. And Flickr is based in the Pacific time zone - so if you don't have a Pro account, then you're account limits are reset at midnight Pacific time on the 1st of the month. But you know what? I've already been cut off from all Pro Flickr services as of sometime this afternoon. Something just doesn't seem right with that.
Of course I paid the money this morning as soon as I realized...but I did it through PayPal and that'll take a couple of days. Grrr...I hate being absent-minded.

Playing in the Dirt

Sunday afternoon, I got to do something that I haven't done nearly enough of lately. I played in my dirt. There was a time when my best friend and I (somehow, she's still best friends with me - even after we lived together for more than 6 years; some things, I just don't question.) spent part of almost every day with our plants. One of the first things we did after moving into our first home - a trailer that should have been junked about 6 months before we moved out - was plant a garden. We potted plants for inside. We put up a table along the side of the trailer to be our "work area". Part of the "deck" (about 4 square feet of space) was our sick ward, where any plants that were looking ‘iffy’ went, so that they were guaranteed to get attention any time we went in and out of the house. We had tons of fun in that garden, and spent lots of time being silly in it, talking to the plants and trying to make our squash grow (it never really did). Of course, all this talking to plants - mixed together with two black cats and the fact that we were always up late into the night thanks to college and working in restaurants - convinced the neighborhood kids that we were witches. I heard them call us that one day when I went out to walk the dog, right before they ran shrieking down the street away from me. I am not making this up. They never came to our house on Halloween. And is it bad that we kinda enjoyed the reputation? When we left the trailer and moved into the apartment, we had to leave behind the outdoor garden. We were now on the second floor - but we had a HUGE balcony. So we simply put everything in pots. We had pots lining almost every surface. The balcony was wood, so of course when we potted and watered, dirt and water fell down on the people underneath of us. In our Twenty-something self-absorption, we didn't really dwell on that fact until our neighbors to the south put up a sheet of aluminum on the top of their patio, nailed to our balcony, to shield them from the random mud storms that could drip down on them without warning. Luckily, we got along really well with them - they even gave us furniture when we moved out. And when we moved out, we took over 30 pots of herbs, flowers and other plants off the balcony alone, not to mention the recycling bin that we were growing tomatoes in. Then there were the other 15 or so plants inside – including the African Violets that we finally learned how to keep alive.... The townhouse was a work in progress for the two years I lived there, and that's still going on today. By the time I moved in with Hubby a few months before we got married I had already started working on my new yard. The first thing I did was plant my rose bush, and the pansies and impatiens were quick to follow. But then, I started slacking off. Every few months ok, twice a year or so I do some kind of major replanting, but I don't take the time to do all the maintenance work that I used to love so much, and I never thought about it til yesterday. I figured I had just gotten lazy in my old age. But Saturday I called Best Friend and asked her to come over and play in the dirt with me ("Gardening" is way too formal a word for what we do). I needed to clean up the mess that had once been a flower garden, and I really needed to prune the rose bush. So we bought flowers and dug and cleaned and planted and arranged. And played in the dirt, and got filthy listening to Billy Joel. And loved every minute of it. And then we went weed hunting, which has to be seen to be believed because yes, weeds are actually dug up and taken home to be lovingly cared for in her back yard. Some of her favorite plants were found in fields that should have been mowed down. And nothing can compare to the excitement of finding Black-Eyed Susans growing wild right behind your back fence. And after BF left and I was clean and enjoying a 'fortified' cup of coffee, I realized what’s been missing in my yard for the past couple of years: My best friend. Playing in the dirt is way more fun when there's two.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Almost November

I'm insane. That's the only reasonable explanation I can think of. I signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) again. I had so much fun last year - even if I ended up chunking half of what I wrote, and then never did anything with what was left. But I got more accomplished in that one month than I thought I could. And I'm the kind of person that needs pressure to really finish a project. Otherwise, I have absolutely no discipline. This year, I'm going to be a little more organized about the whole thing. I've done a little outlining, some character sketches.  We'll see if it makes a difference.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Is it wrong...

...that this (warning: if you don't like flash sites, don't click that link) turns me on, just a little bit? I mean....this is one of the sexiest collections I've ever seen.

Do I really need to pay back those student loans? Won't the government understand that I'm a tiny bit of a geek at heart, and that I need something from this collection?

Warning: that link above takes you to a flash site, so if you're not a fan of flash (hiya, sis), then just click here to go to the list of items up for auction (it loads very slowly, though). I re-sorted it so that the most expensive stuff came up first. And you know what's estimated to go for the most money? A replica of the Enterprise-D. For $25,000-35,0000. That's 25-35 months of student loans.

It's still damn good looking, though.

Why, Dear God, Why?

Why would you let someone befoul the coffee pot this way? I know you saw her heading towards the coffeepot. I'm sure you knew her intentions. I mean, if I had seen her with a green canister of coffee in her hand, I would have known. And I would have stopped her. But there was no one there to see, no one there to say "Wait! Please don't torture us all this way!" No one there to save my sanity.

So now, instead of sitting at my computer while enjoying that first cup of coffee and reading the days headlines, I'm sitting at the computer watching the clock move closer to 8 o'clock - the magical time when the shop down the hall with overpriced coffee opens its doors for business - and praying that I can last just Two. More. Minutes.

I mean, really. Decaf? In a library? I think someone let the devil loose in the library last night.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I'm feeling safer every minute:


1.) Man Questioned and Misses Flight for Speaking Tamil :
A 32-year-old man speaking Tamil and some English about a sporting rivalry was questioned at Sea-Tac Airport and missed his flight Saturday because at least one person thought he was suspicious....An off-duty airline employee heard the conversation and informed the flight crew.
...
Parker said the man was cooperative and boarded a later flight to Texas. He told officials that he would not speak in a foreign language on his cell phone at an airport in the future.


2.) Humiliation at 30,000 Feet:
Seth Stein is an architect who flies - apparently internationally - quite a lot.
In Mr Stein's case, he was pounced on as the crew and other travellers looked on. The drama unfolded less than an hour into the flight. As he settled down with a book and a ginger ale, the father-of-three was grabbed from behind and held in a head-lock.

"This guy just told me his name was Michael Wilk, that he was with the New York Police Department, that I'd been acting suspiciously and should stay calm. I could barely find my voice and couldn't believe it was happening," said Mr Stein.

"He went into my pocket and took out my passport and my iPod. All the other passengers were looking concerned." Eventually, cabin crew explained that the captain had run a security check on Mr Stein after being alerted by the policeman and that this had cleared him. The passenger had been asked to go back to his seat before he had restrained Mr Stein. When the plane arrived in New York, Mr Stein was met by apologetic police officers who offered to fast-track him out of the airport.


3.) Last March, I went to Paris via The Netherlands. My married name is not in the front of my passport, I have friends that don't think that I actually used my own picture, and to top it all off the passport is about to fall apart after an unfortunate washing incident. International reaction to my passport?
a.) The Dutch Customs official told me if I were Dutch, my passport would be confiscated on the spot.
b.) The French Customs officials all noticed the name discrepancy (my married name is listed on the last page, under alterations or something like that).
c.) The US Customs officials noticed nothing. And they also didn't catch the nail clippers or tool-for-all-seasons pocket knife that were in my purse when I got on the plane in Atlanta. When I got on the return flight in Paris, though...well, I'm now minus a set of nail clippers and one tool-for-all-seasons pocket knife.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

My lucky month...

I won another sweepstakes! Not a very big one at all this time, but I'm still happy. I got a $1 coupon for any Silk Soymilk product from the "Cows for Silk Sweepstakes". Since Hubby goes through a couple of containers of Silk a week, this has already been used. Even better - I used it on a double coupon day ($1 was the limit for the coupons). So I have one more thing to add to my list of wins for the year. Now, if only I could get first place in one of these travel sweepstakes I enter all the time... Update: The link to the sweepstakes rules is now defaulting back to the main page, which has no information on the sweeptstakes. Everything I can find lists the grand prize as a trip to a spa (there were four of those) and then 1000 people got coupons for a half gallon of silk. So I'm not sure how I got a $1 coupon...but hey, I'll take it!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Food for Thought

This morning as I sipped my 2nd 3rd 4th cup of coffee, I realized I needed to come up with something witty for my loyal readers. Problem is, the library hasn’t been funny lately (our students are – gasp! – only coming in to study), I haven’t seen my step-son in a couple of weeks (he’s always good for something sweet, yet humorous) and in the interest of my blood pressure, I’ve been trying to cut back on the political rants. So I was in a bit of a quandary. Until I found this:

How to poach Salmon in the Dishwasher

How in the world could I pass this up? The author promises that once you’re sure you’ve got the packets done correctly, you can even wash dishes while you cook!

I think I see salmon on our menu very shortly. I’ll have to change the sauce, a bit – we like sweet a little more than spicy. And I’ll have to come up with some way to get Hubby out of the house while I’m cooking. He will not be as excited about this recipe as I am. But he loves Salmon, and I think I feel a craving coming on…


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I won!

A couple of days ago I won a $15 Starbucks Gift Card from the The Coinstar® Skip Our Fee Instant Win Game & Sweepstakes. Don’t ask me how this could be an instant win, when I got the GC 2 months after the sweepstakes ended, because I’m not asking any such foolish questions. I’m taking the card and buying some coffee. Well, the next time I’m near a Starbucks anyway. Even more exciting: This is a sweepstakes that I won all on my own. I think everything I’ve won before (the TV, the $100 to Winn Dixie, the movie) all came for entries that my mom sent in with my name on them. Now, I am NOT complaining! (Mom, don’t stop sending my name in!). But there is a little extra added thrill from knowing that I did this all by myself. I may start singing the “I’m a big kid now” song any second.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Wedding Pictures

Well, I've finally gotten my lazy butt moving. 21 months later, I'm finally getting my pictures digitized. The pics were taken with 35 mm film, so I'm having the negatives put on CDs. Since it costs 75 cents per picture, I'm only doing a few at a time. I'll put them in this album as I get them done, and hopefully one day in the near future I'll have them all done.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's been a while

What I’ve been up to:

¨ A whole lotta nothin’. Really. I’ve been working hard at doing nothing. If you don’t believe me, just look at the archives for the past couple of weeks. Know what you’ll find? Nothin’

So, here are some random thoughts from around my world.

Remember the job that I was waiting to hear about? Well, it didn’t work out. I’m still in the same position I’ve been in for the past year. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I love my job. But I was really looking forward to the flex-time. La Directora told me that we could revisit the decision in December. So there’s still a chance.

I bought my plane tickets to London! I also bought some for my hubby and StepSon. I’m just nice like that. We’re going the third week in March.

Is it the third week of March yet?

Speaking of StepSon, he is now a Sophomore in high school. I went and found his pics from the homecoming dance last year…and I swear, he’s an entirely different person. He’s grown about a half a foot, for one thing. And for another, his vocabulary has expanded. He now has a word other than *grunt* and “NO!” Just last Sunday, he said “food.”

Actually, he was quite talkative this past weekend. And when I hugged him…get ready….he patted me on the arm! I think I blacked out from the shock for a moment.

My parents’ 40th wedding anniversary is coming up. North Carolina had better take a deep breath and hold on tight, cause all my brothers and sisters will be there, with a few spouses, a few kids and the random aunt, uncle and cousin thrown in for seasoning. In the meantime, I’ve decided something:

As people get older, they should be forced to give away things they vitally need so that their children have some clue as to what to get them for important events. Seriously. This would be so much easier if they needed a set of dishes or something.

{me calling sis} “Hey sis, mom and dad gave all their wine glasses to charity! I know exactly what they want for their Christmas present this year!”

Yes, I did just equate wine glasses with vital necessities.

Back to StepSon: he’s decided he wants to play Lacrosse. Please don’t ask me why, since, to my knowledge, the most athletic thing he’s done outside of PE in the past three years was achieve astonishing speeds at changing channels when he gets control of the remote. I’ve never seen channels be examined and discarded so quickly. But that’s not really the type of activity that gives you good experience at throwing balls around with butterfly nets. His first game is this weekend, and because I’m working Sunday I’m going to miss his very first match. I’m going to have to make him Chicken Parmesan next weekend to make up for it.

The husband hasn’t done anything exceedingly noteworthy. He’s as wonderful as always, but he’s behaved himself recently.

So what’s up with you?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tribute to my Geekiness

I gave a presentation to the library staff yesterday on RSS stuff. I've been slowly trying to convince one or two librarians at a time that this is a good thing, and earlier this year our new site went up with a few feeds on it. So basically, it was time for everyone to pay attention to the fact that yes, the 21st century has started. I only had 20 minutes - and I knew there would be questions, so I had to keep it short. And I mean short. And one of our biggest and most popular databases (*cough* Ebsco *cough*) has the most convoluted way to use RSS feeds that I've ever seen. Explaining how to use that one feed took about 5 minutes with all the questions - and it sure didn't make it any easier to convince the librarians that have been around for 20+ years that this is something they need to learn. I could see the looks on their faces, clearly saying "I already get Ebsco email alerts, why is this even necessary?" So I hope by the time I showed them other, easier and more fun feeds, they were a little more into it. A couple of people told me that they went and immediately got a Bloglines account.
Now, I tried to be very careful not to hawk my love for Bloglines too loudly. I've tried out 5 or 6 different online readers, because I know that not everyone is going to love the one that I love, and I made sure that I mentioned alternatives to Bloglines a couple of times along with giving them a short list on the handout. I still felt like I was pushing a specific brand on them. But for the demo I was doing, I had to choose one. And since Bloglines is what I know the most about, that's the one that got used in the demo.
Anyway, I've gotten a few comments about the presentation. No one said it sucked (which is always encouraging) and a few people told me it went really well (even better).
My boss said "You were so...into it", which I took to mean that my geekiness was shining through at abnormally high levels.
Another librarian said "Are you always that dynamic in presentations?"  I really wanted to say it was all for her benefit, because this was the same librarian that told me an hour before the presentation that she would probably fall asleep and I shouldn't be insulted because "2:30 in the afternoon really isn't a good time for her".
Someone else just gave me a "Very Dramatic!" I haven't interpreted that one yet. Is dramatic good because that means it was entertaining (not what I was going for, but she didn't fall asleep so I'll take what I can get), or is dramatic bad because she couldn't fall asleep and that's what she wanted to do? This is not the same librarian who told me that 2:30 isn't a good time for her.
Thankfully, some people just said "that was very interesting" or "good job" so that I wouldn't have to spend what was left of my brain power on deciphering their hidden meanings.
I can only imagine how into it, dynamic and dramatic I would have been if I could have shown them the really cool things that you can do with RSS - I didn't even have time to touch on Flickr, or Farecast, or Pubsub ...


Monday, August 14, 2006

It's Not a Secret Anymore

I've been thinking about switching jobs. I wouldn't be leaving my library, just going to a completely different position in the same building. Until today, this was something I absolutely could not speak of in public. My prospective new boss swore me to secrecy around the library, forbidding me to even whisper the fact that he was so-unofficially-it-wasn't-even-official-enough-to-be-called-unofficially speaking to me of it. So over the past month I did a lot of thinking about it. I talked to one co-worker about it because 1.) I know who can keep their mouths shut around here and 2.) she's done the switch from front to back or vice versa. And then Friday, my Top-Secretive-Offer-Me-a-Job-Without-Really-Offering-Me-a-Job-Prospective-New-Boss talked to his boss (a real one) and told her that he had approached me about the whole thing, but that nothing was even close to official, we were just talking. Today, out of the blue, one of my bosses (a real one, this time) called me into his office and asked me about the fact that I was thinking of changing jobs. Apparently, the real bosses talk to each other (now who would have suspected that? :) ) He was very honest with me, and I was with him, and it was a really good conversation. So it's come down to decision time, here in the life of this happy librarian. I love my job in the reference department. Love it, love it, love it. Love talking to the students and most of the facutly/retirees (there are a couple of glaring exceptions), love working on the web site, love the periodicals, love the vast majority of the people that I work with (or at least, I tolerate them so well that they think that I love them, and that's just as good, right?), love, love, love, etc. I look forward to my job, I don't mind going to work (which is saying a lot, 'cause I'm a lazybones at heart). So why in the world would I switch? Because I want to do something completely different before I get totally rooted in one place. It happens with many librarians - they get in a job that they enjoy and they don't get out. They're happy there, and that's great. I want to do that one day too (mostly because it takes a lot of energy to learn a completely new job, and I think I already mentioned the lazybones side of me?). But before I get too lazy, I want to see the other side. The non-public service side. What a lot of people call the boring side. Boring? hmmm... I'll get to read lots of things - and get paid to do it. I read fast. I love the indexing that I already do, and getting to do it 8 hours a day may get old...but did I mention that I'll have spreadsheets to play with? Have I introduced you to my love of a good spreadsheet? My best friend tried to put me in therapy when I showed her the spreadsheet monstrosity that I made to organize my wedding. It was a thing of beauty. The finished product - completed the day of my wedding, as I checked things off - was color coded, cross referenced and subject sorted. If I had had a laptop at the time, I'm sure that I would have had it at the side of the actual ceremony in case I needed to check something. And then there's the flex-time. I'll get a lot more flexibility with my hours, which can only be a good thing. I miss being able to leave work a couple of hours early on a whim because I worked a little extra the week before. I'll get a boss that won't drive me batty (always a plus) and technicians that won't complain that my brand-spanking-new-state-of-the-art printer is pumping out toxic fumes (don't even let me get started on that one). I won't have to work weekends or nights. No more getting home from work at 11 PM only to turn around and leave again at 6:15 AM. And I know that I'll come back up front. I don't want to leave it forever - I just want to see how the other side lives for a little while. So I think I may be ready to try something new.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Fun Times

(Umm...ok, so I thought I hit that "post" button a week ago on this. I just got on Blogger and found out that this is still in "edit" mode, which means that it's now a week old. Oh well - we can blame this on Blogger, right? I thought so. )


I think I have finally recovered from the 2006 Summer Week of Family Fun and Craziness, just in time to begin another year of Library Craziness and Student Fun. I'd like to say there was a highpoint, but it was all equally fun and equally crazy (kinda like the new academic year will be).

Big Sis Karen had a little conference to go to in Atlanta, so she dropped her kids off up here with Big Sis Kathy for the week. For those of you that don't know, Kathy has 6 kids. Thus the equal parts crazy and fun (with a dash of lunacy and a side order of insane thrown in for good measure). After a few days I was exhausted - and I was only going over in the evenings. Actually, I think one of the most exhausting things is just keeping enough food going to feed all of those growing mouths. And one night, I took my Step-Son over for his dose of Family Fun and Craziness. Since he's 15, that's the equivalent of adding two 5 year old stomachs. But Kathy and I are a well oiled machine by this point at slapping food on plates and milk in cups (well, she's more well oiled then I am - but I make up for it by drinking more wine than she does. I think it all evens out in the end).

The highlight (in my book - and that's the one that counts, right?) was Friday night and Saturday morning. I took the four youngest kids to my house Friday night where we watched movies, ate popcorn and stayed up late being silly. Saturday morning, my brother in-law drove the four older boys over for a late morning edition of Pool Madness, followed by a round of Aunt Debbie Tries To Be A Well Oiled Machine All By Herself.

I think I had one of the best naps of my entire life that afternoon. Two solid hours of oblivion.

Saturday night I headed to Atlanta to meet up with Karen and some online friends for a late night party, that ended up being even later when we left the party and went to the bar – which chose that exact moment to make last call. We only had time for one drink there, but never let it be said that we can’t be resourceful – we just grabbed some wine and beer and went outside and chatted for about an hour. So there, Marriott – we won’t let you ruin our Sister Fun!

Sunday night, back at The Ranch of Family Insanity, my Sis-in-Law from Huntsville drove down with my other two nephews, which equaled what I believe to be an illegal amount of Family Fun. There has not yet been a scale created to measure the craziness that ensued that night - and none of us would have it any other way.
Well, the moms might disagree with that last statement.

And now I’m back to my regularly scheduled life of Star Trek every night at 7 PM. It’ll be fun for a few nights – but then I’ll be wishing my family were back in all their crazy glory. I guess I really am as Insane as the rest of them.





Saturday, July 22, 2006

My New Piano!


Sultan and the Piano
Originally uploaded by lildebbie_77.
Ok, so the piano is far from new. But I just got it today. Some friends of mine have had it sitting in their garage for a while (over a year, actually), so it's not in the best of shape. It badly needs to be tuned, and a couple of the strings are damaged - but I have a piano!

Sultan has already claimed the bench as his personal territory. I was going to put some picture frames on top of the piano, but I think the cats will just knock them down.

So get ready Mom - the next time you visit, I expect to hear Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #1!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Last Friday, I went to Mississippi State University to attend an E-Journal workshop. I won't go into too many details (if you're interested, check out the Mesoj blog entries on it, here, here and here), but it was a great day. This is the second year I've attended, and both years were great.

The day didn't start off so perfectly, though. Half of the MSU Campus roads were closed; what should have been an easy drive across campus on a route I took last year turned into 30 minutes of frustration as I tried to get to the correct area of campus. Finally, I parked in a lot and just walked - the roads were insane. I got to the library 5 minutes late (I should have been at least 20 minutes early), and walked in as the 1st speaker started.

Of course, the auditorium was almost packed. There were a few seats available, but I didn't want to walk down the center isle in the middle of a presentation. There were two seats in the back, one on either side. The first - and nearest - was between two women whispering furiously to each other over the empty seat between them. The second was next to someone who was obviously a geek: a MacBook was open on the table with tons of windows open; a cell phone was lying on the table and I thought I glimpsed the earbud cord of an iPod peaking out of the backpack on the floor. Choosing a seat was really an easy decision - give me a geek over whispering women any day!
When I sat down, I was suddenly very sad that I hadn't brought my laptop (There weren't very many people there with laptops - which really surprised me.) I guess it's kinda how when your kids are away and you see someone else having a good time with their kids, it makes you miss your own. But by the end of the day, I was glad I hadn't brought mine - it was 100 degrees when I left, and lugging an 8 pound laptop around in a bag all day would have gotten old. Know what that means? I need a new, lighter laptop. ;)

Anyway...

At the break between the first and second presenters, I met up with a couple of friends who had gotten seats up front. They convinced me to take the open seat in the front row; it wasn't hard to talk me into it - the next speaker was Michael Stephens, and he was one of the reasons I really wanted to go this year. His blog is awesome (if you're really into libraries and emerging technologies, that is), and I'd heard that he's a great presenter. So I happily transfered my stuff to the up-close-and-personal spot right in front of the podium.

And whaddya know, the guy that got up and started speaking was the geek I had ended up sitting next to because I was late.







Funnies

Wednesday, July 19, 2006



Marriage is hard enough, and scary enough, all on its own. Trying to merge two lives together - even under the most ideal circumstances (whatever those are) - is hard. So why do people insist on putting obstacles in the way? Think about it: you've got two people with their own lives, jobs, families. They meet and fall in love, they're excited - they want to shout to the world. They plan their wedding, a big party to tell everyone how much they love each other - and let me tell you, that planning process is stressful enough on its own.
Now they're living together, and eventually they have to go back to work. Life and time both march on....and that's when things can get hard. Because two adults that have already happily constructed their lives on their own often have a very hard time integrating those two visions together. And when you've done that, you have a good marriage.
So, when two people decide they want to try this, that they want to be committed to each other, when they say "sure it'll be hard, but we're up for it"....you would think they'd get a little encouragement from everyone who has been there before. You would think married couples all over the world would cheer them on.
You might even think that {gasp} people would be glad that these two specific people could get a little happiness out of life.
Instead, you get this.





Monday, July 17, 2006

Storm Thoughts

I love sitting outside when there's a storm whipping up around me. I've been outside for about 30 minutes now. When I sat down, there was still some dusky light outside. The sun was setting, but there was enough cloud cover to make the pinks and oranges glow through the clouds in a sunset that made me wish I had an expensive camera to capture it all. The wind began to rise slowly - I was reading, and didn't notice it at first. Suddenly, I realized the light was gone, and the wind was strong enough to blow through the pages of my book. Now, twenty minutes later, I'm sitting on my back porch, enjoying an incredible light display. The wind is a little stronger - a gust moved my book across the table a few inches just after I'd set it down to enjoy the show. The weather radar (which I religiously watch when there's any kind of thunder in the area) plainly shows that the summer storms are south of here. The thunder is only a soft soundtrack, far in the distance. Right now, I'm free to enjoy the electricity of the moment without any worries. So tonight, I don't get any rain, hail or sever weather. Instead, I get a show almost as specacular as the ones put on a few weeks ago for the Fourth of July. Mother Nature is a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I come to you today as the newly elected president of the staff association of my library. I'll allow you a moment to take in the importance of that, and give you a few more seconds to begin changing your mindset so that you can address me with all the importance and respect that I now deserve.

Ahem.

No, I did not run for this office. This is how you get "elected" to this committee (they call it an association, I call it a mandatory assignment):
  1. You get hired.
  2. The previous year's members round you up with anyone else that has been hired since they took office and say: "Decide which position on the Association you want to be."

That's it. I am now the president. The Official Handing Over of the Notebook (our version of the Oath of Office) took place yesterday, along with the tour of White House ( a couple of shelves in the back of the storage area on the second floor of periodicals). My worldly goods now include three old (fake!) Christmas trees with decorations, two boxes of Halloween decorations, a couple of cans of cranberry sauce and more plastic cups than you can make punch to fill. There's also a very nice punch bowl with cups - but I was told that these are never used. There's a box with some very nice coffee cups and saucers, but those don't ever come out of the box.
{Beware of the wicked gleam coming to my eye}
Think I should shake things up this year and fix punch in the bowl and serve it in the cups?

The most important part of my new inventory, though: the two large coffee makers; you know, the kind that are always in meetings that hold about three pots of coffe in the stainless steel and black contraption with the little spigot at the bottom? Well, we have two of them. One of which is ONLY supposed to be used for hot water, not coffee. This is so that when we have parties, we can serve coffee in one and hot water in the other for people to make tea with (but I don't think we actually provide the hot tea bags). So where's The Controversy, you ask?

Last year's committee members didn't know which was which, because the boxes aren't marked. So they aren't able to tell me which one is for the hot water, and which one is for the coffee. This was a problem last year, because they think they gave the wrong one to a group in the library that used it for a baby shower. Since the expectant mother couldn't drink caffeine, they specifically requested the urn that is ONLY used for hot water. I wasn't at work the day of the shower, but the rumors tell me that the results of the coffee urn mix up weren't pleasant.
A month later, it was discovered that both of the urns smell like coffee. I can just picture three or four librarians standing around sniffing empty coffee urns and comparing notes, cataloging the scents that are wafting through their noses.

The result of all of this, though, is that I have two coffee urns that smell like coffee, and that is just wrong. It must be corrected at once! My first duty as President will be to figure my way out of this mess. I hope that the Master's Degree I paid all that money for will come in handy when I sit down to work through this problem.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Williamsburg


Williamsburg
Originally uploaded by lildebbie_77.
We ended our Great Northern Adventure by heading south and spending a couple of nights with my aunt and uncle in Virginia. On Friday, we drove over to Williamsburg; I'd never been and my aunt's been dying to take me since....well, forever. Williamsburg is beautiful! And it wasn't too terribly hot at 11 AM. I pulled out my camara to start snapping pictures...and I got exactly one click before the batteries died. I had forgotten to charge them the night before. :( So this is the only picture I have of Williamsburg, and it really isn't a very good one. We had a fantastic time - although I didn't get to do much shopping. By the time we walked all over the colonial part and had lunch at The King's Arms, the boys were kind of tired of the Williamsburg fun. So we drove back to my uncle's house, cracked open a few beers and debated where to eat dinner for a while, before high-tailing it out for Mexican and more beer. Then it was home for cards (I totally kicked butt at Shanghai) and, of course, more beer.

I LOVE visiting family!