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Scrapbook: Sweeping at the Library

6 Nov

Last week my Mom and I took Isobel to the special Halloween program at the library. It was packed beyond anything I’d ever seen. A sea of toddlers and babies, bedecked in adorable costumes, squirming as we sang songs and motioned through finger plays.

Isobel normally loves interacting with kids at the library and wanders around gregariously among the children during story time. There were so many people that this time she stuck close to home and even sat on my lap. She kept saying, “I’m a little shy.” I’d conservatively estimate there were 75-100 people there that day.

While we waited for the library to open, she busied herself by sweeping up the leaves that had gathered by the entrance. She is such a clean, hardworking witch.

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My SAHM Confessions

27 Jul

This is what my workspace looks like on any given day. He’s been doing this forever, and it’s kind of surprising my computer’s never exploded from the extra heat. Or the pressure.  Quite often Poppy likes to join us and annoyingly sit between my head and the computer monitor. Add to this the fact that Isobel is on my lap if I’m here and she’s awake (and sometimes even if she’s asleep–note below), and it makes for a full house.

Recently, I wrote about the SAHM gig and how it’s treating me. I wrote about our schedule and the logistics of staying at home, and I briefly touched on my deepening bond with Isobel. It’s been a few months now since I’ve left the library, and writing that post has made me think about how I’m different and the things I have learned.  I realized I have some confessions to make.

This is probably going to sound very obvious, but it wasn’t at all clear to me until I left my job and had some distance. You know what? I did not at all enjoy being a mother who worked outside the home. I loved my job and I loved working–until I had Isobel. Then my job just became another item to cross off on my list of unpleasant tasks. It became a never-ending chore.

There’s a lot of talk pitting moms who stay at home versus moms who have careers–parenting is fertile grounds for self-righteous one-upmanship– and as someone who has done both I can unequivocally tell you that there is little difference in my actual parenting. I was a fantastic working mother and I am still a fantastic stay at home mother. The vast difference between these two scenarios is that in this one I’m happy.

Staying at home doesn’t make me a good parent. I was a good parent before. I was a great parent, even. But I am an even better mother now because I’m happy.

I know incredible mothers who work outside the home because they have no choice, and I know some wonderful mothers who choose to work outside the home  for the same reason I chose to leave the library: happiness and personal fulfillment. I have no doubt that those working moms are just as capable, caring and wonderful as those who are able to stay at home. It was the right decision for me, but it isn’t right for everyone.

This new surge of happiness and well-being makes sense on a physical level. I try not to bore you guys by bringing this up repeatedly, but I have Crohn’s disease, and my health is rather delicate. Now that I’m home all day I can rest when I need to,  eat what I need to when I need to, and get sick if I need to. And that is okay! My new boss doesn’t care! Working at home has significantly relieved the stress on my body and my new routine agrees with it greatly. This alone has made a huge difference in my quality of life.

Aside from the realization that I really didn’t enjoy being a working mother, I’ve realized another thing about myself, too. One that’s almost embarrassing to share with you because it’s such a cliché: I have learned to savor the moment and to truly embrace my current limitations. As weird as it sounds, experiencing  PPD and all those struggles I went through really helped me realize this. I had internal levels of perfection that I would demand of myself, and I didn’t dare stray from those expectations.

Once I had Isobel and PPD kicked in, I had no choice but to let things go.  I found out it wasn’t the end of the world if I didn’t keep on top of the (non-diaper) laundry every day. Dirty dishes could sit in the sink and without blowing up. I could go weeks without vacuuming and the world still turned. Sure, all of this was a symptom of my illness, but I have come out of this experience a much mellower mama. I no longer strive for perfection–I strive for happiness.

So much of my former mindset was really counting on Things Being Perfect One Day. I’m no longer waiting till things are perfect. I’m letting go. And I’m realizing which things are worth holding on to.

Scrapbook: Library Visit

25 Jun

Visiting the Library for toddler story time with her good buddy Kingston.

Things I Will Miss About The Library

6 Jun

Things I will miss:

High-fiving kids on the last day of school.

Being called “Mrs. Liberry” on occasion.

Going on the morning announcements and talking about Happy Bacon and Sad Bacon.

Calling Susie at 7 a.m. and begging her to bring me coffee. (Though she probably won’t miss that as much as I will.)

Wearing bear ears while giving away scholastic achievement prizes.

Introducing kids to terrariums when they ask about the one on my desk.

The surreptitious dumping of obsolete consumable materials. Try it sometime.

Pimping the circulation desk.

Signing a hundred yearbooks with a cheesy “Keep reading!”

Recommending and promoting my favorite books to a whole new audience each year.

Turning into my Alter Ego, “The Laminatrix,” and getting drunk on the power to coat things in plastic. I HAVE THE POWER! (to laminate!)

Teaching kids how to use the computer. Cut, paste, and copy will change their lives.

Talking smack, UFC, and parenting with Carlos.

The presents kids make me every year, plus all the goodies I get at holidays.

Photoshop competitions with the IT dudes.

Being described as a “plucky, indispensable librarian with floaty hair.”

Being recognized whenever I leave the house. Obviously this isn’t always a good thing, but sometimes grocery shopping makes me feel like a minor celebrity.

Typing in a kid’s name into the label maker, telling them it’s an advanced computer scanner, then blowing their minds when I point it at them and their name pops out.

Finding the truly ridiculous library books.

Giving my student aides nicknames. They love that.

Looking every inch the librarian stereotype and wearing my Librarian pin.

Greeting the excited seventh and eighth graders as they come through the library on the first day of school.

Telling the kids,  “YOU HAVE TO WANT IT!” when the main door sticks and the students think it’s locked.

The shushing. I will totally miss the shushing.

Having conversations about books with kids who are excited to read.

Calling the library my home away from home.

Each year I have the opportunity to affect at least one kid’s life in a big way. Usually more than one. I still keep in contact with some kids who graduated eight years ago.

Giving up my Librarian Trading Card.

Coming up with creative ways to promote our surplus of book covers.

My free Pinboard account. Especially after what I did to get it.

The good substitutes. And the substitutes that maybe weren’t very good but at least made for good stories.

Telling patrons about my favorite library apps.

The dear friends I’ve made.

Things I will not miss:

Fielding a ton of telemarketer calls and telling them, no, I do not have a budget this year, either.

And, oh yeah, now that I mention it, the total lack of budget.

Getting laid off. Repeatedly.

Dealing with insane coworkers such as The Kracken, Harpy, and Withered Lich. And their dysfunctional department.

Signs on the vending machine saying it STOLE TWO DOLLARS FROM SO-AND-SO AND THERE WILL BE BLOOD.

Chain emails from the Superintendant that read like email forwards from your Grandpa.

Kids who try to use their bus pass as a library card.

The Gray Space.

Lifetouch. OMG, the shittiest, sorriest excuse for a school photo company ever.

The fact that you will be Cc’d in any email complaining about you to your supervisor.

Textbook Collection Week.

The yearly safety/sexual harassment/don’t steal from us/don’t dress like a whore video.

The people who keep score at the potlucks, judging you if you brought something unworthy—or worse, if you ate three chips but didn’t bring anything at all.

The free, freshly-baked cookies that turned out to be leftover year-old fundraising cookie dough somebody found in the freezer.

The inappropriate questions about my reproductive future.

The lack of environmental control.

The Facebook requests from coworkers who are completely unaware that I dislike them.

The political maneuvering. It was necessary if you wanted things like, say, tape or light bulbs. I was horrible at it when first hired, became proficient at it by the end, hated it all the way.

The shitty substitutes. The racist substitutes.

Giva, the unbearable coworker whose ringtone was the techno frog and who used to eat two packages of powdered donuts and a red bull every morning. The resulting burps terrified both the children and myself.

Guest Post: Children’s Music Recommendations

24 May

I’m still checking in textbooks and performing inventory on my library, so today I have a post for you by Julie Jurgens, also known as Hi Miss Julie on the internets. Julie is a children’s librarian and a talented singer-songwriter, so children’s music is a topic near and dear to her heart. Also, here’s a video of her playing the banjo. No other qualifications necessary.

This topic is extremely timely for me as Isobel is showing a disturbing preference for children’s music. Bad children’s music. The kind sung by children. (I blame my mother, who bought her CDs.) She is becoming scarily attached to it. Her other obsession is the Care Bears Big Wish movie, and music in that movie ranges from boring and saccharine to what you find here.  I’m pretty sure that song is the soundtrack to Hell. (Seriously. Check it out. It’s way more demoralizing that you can possibly imagine.) Also, this. There are no words.

On the bright side she’s so obsessed with this movie that she walks around telling people NO! MORE! WISHING! It’s adorable, if confusing to other people.


Miss Julie’s Music Picks for Children

And The Parents Who Have To Hear It

As a kidbrarian and musician, I make it a point to use a lot of music in my programs, and I like to expose my storytime parents to music beyond the usual Raffi and Hap Palmer (who are great, by the by, but sometimes you just can’t take it anymore, you know?) Here are a few of my current musical favorites for your enjoyment:

Pete Seeger American Folk, Game & Activity Songs
For parents who like Wilco, Justin Townes Earle.

It’s Pete Seeger, guys! How can you go wrong? He’s an American classic, like Levis, apple pie, and changing lanes without bothering to use your turn signal. Furthermore, I am hereby predicting that banjo will soon supplant the uke as the hispter alternative stringed instrument of choice, so you might as well get your kids ready now to ride the resurgent wave in twenty years. The banjo is also just inherently awesome and the twangy out of tune-ness of it will make up for the fact that you can’t sing in tune (which kids don’t care about, really, until they are seven or eight and capable of being embarrassed, so until that point, sing while you can, because before you know it little Jimmy will be plugging up his ears and screaming “MOM! FOR PETE’S SAKE STOP YOU’RE MAKING THE DOG FARTOUT OF FEAR.”)

Putamayo Kids
For parents who are into world music, Radio M, and Afropop Worldwide.

Whatever style or genre of music you’re into, there’s a Putamayo release for it. Animal songs, Caribbean, Zydeco, folk music, anything, and chances are high that 90% of each disc will make you just as happy as it makes your kid. This song is my current favorite, and it never fails to work its magic.

Human Tim + Robot Tim
For parents who like Star Wars, Red Dwarf, and Star Trek.

Do you have a love for all things robot but know it’s too soon to introduce your tot to Jabba the Hut?* Then play some Human Tim + Robot Tim for your kid and enjoy some age-appropriate science fiction fun. Human Tim is also a Wiggleworms staff member at the Old Town School of Folk Music, so you know he has some musical chops to go along with his super-cool sci-fi concept.

*Although for some people it is never too soon.

Super Stolie
For parents who like Neko Case, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, and Jill Sobule.

Super Stolie is super adorable and super energetic, and will give your little girls (and boys, hey, I don’t judge; paint little Jimmy’s toenails pink if you wanna!) a non-princess pretty girl to look up to, emulate, and admire. Stolie is always performing live, so if you live in the Chicagoland area, make an effort (you won’t have to try very hard) to see her in person and help create the next generation of live music supporters and show-goers.

Ella Jenkins
For parents who can’t stand treacly, sugary children’s performers, for parents who love(d) Mr. Rogers, and parents who need to learn what authoritative parenting sounds like.

No, seriously, I’m tired of wishy washy and permissive parents. Listen to the way Ella talks to kids, and follow her model. “Kids. I’m going to play the ukulele, and we’re going to sing a song together.” Bam. There you go. I love Ella’s simple and clear presentation. The children’s music equivalent of a scotch, straight up. In, you know, a wholesome way.

Hugh Hanley
For parents who were Classics or English majors in college, who want to be well-versed in classic children’s songs, who drink the house blend at Starbucks, who shop at Etsy.

Hugh Hanley isn’t flashy, but he’s a solid musician and he is on the Ella Jenkins end of the music spectrum. His voice is medium-pitched but bright while also being soothing (like your morning coffee). He has a strong background in early childhood education as well, so everything he does is perfectly attuned for your little ones to dance and move. Don’t be the only Mum or Dad at the block party who can’t bust out “Here’s A Ball for Baby” or “Open, Shut Them.” Hugh also includes handy booklets with lyrics and illustrations, so you’ll be sure to get the words right and you can smugly lord this fact over all the other parents at playgroup.

Follow Friday – Doomsday Edition

20 May

Awhile back when my friends and I took a trip to SF for my bestie’s birthday we happened to see a van, decorated with warnings about the apocalypse painted all over it. Strange, I thought. Isn’t the apocalypse supposed to be next year? I didn’t think this movement was very large or vocal until I started hearing snippets about it on Twitter. Tweets about the impending (and patently ridiculous) apocalypse flooded my timeline in the best way possible.

Today’s post is also dedicated to Inge, a children’s librarian who once quoted obscure Beck Hansen song lyrics with me when I was having a bad day thereby securing my online friendship for life. When Mayor Bloomberg proposed drastic cuts in NYC’s library services, a bunch of her kids wrote postcards asking him not to cut funding so the libraries remain open. Those appear throughout the post in bold. Take that, Mayor Buttface!

 

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here. Learn more about it in my FAQ.


thesulk “I’ve got 99 problems and I’m not dealing with any of them.” (Lay-Z)

beaumartian Asked Gabi if she wanted me to go buy her Sprite. She told me what she needs instead is “a little bit more toys.”

Caissie Bad news: I just sneezed 23 times in a row. Worse news: The Today Show hasn’t booked me yet. Good news: Pelvic floor muscles held out!

MagpieLibrarian Postcard from kid: “Please don’t close the library. They got the best workers.”

eareeve I will henceforth refer to Google as “the Goog”. #hip

wordlust Better to jump the gun than hump the machete.

Irish_girlie I wish Urban Dictionary had a reverse feature, where you type in what you want to say and a cool word with that meaning pops up.

sarahbartlett 40 minutes of a full body cardio workout while wearing baby should count for more than 198cals burned.

colinsteele There’s a guy on my mbta bus with a cassette walkman. Apparently I’m on Route 1988.

paulapoundstone Remember when Scarlet O’hara gets sick of war? That’s how I feel about cat pee lately.

Sigafoos Just had a carne alotta burrito from Mighty Taco. It was like a rapture in my mouth!

letsgetgizzy Eating at Arby’s is the new cutting yourself.

palinode I’m glad I’m not friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger. They just don’t make cards for these kinds of situations.

MagpieLibrarian Postcard from a kid: “Listen. Save the library, you loser.”

chaddfoy Anybody know if this Saturday’s Rapture is BYOB?

VHStapes2 I’m too scared to get my nipples pierced so I’m getting clip-ons.

tommycm been using ‘bob dylan’ as a euphemism for going to the toilet for some time now.

OhHereWeGo Male friends: DM me if you don’t want me to date your ex-girlfriends and be specific about which ones.

mommywantsvodka Hmmmmm, maybe I’d better write my book: “Shhhhh, Baby, Mama’s Hungover,” before Rapture.

emilybilbrey being a mom = never getting to eat your own toast again.

JohnRossBowie Another L.A. Noire mission: You’re fucking starving to death but the line at In-N-Out is 20 cars deep.

telephase @exlibris When I’m raptured and you’re not on Saturday, you can have my souvenir crystal bell collection. #friends

theleanover I thought a Foursquare meant when you had 2 stars and 2 retweets all from different people on your Favstar page. Whoops.

MagpieLibrarian Another postcard from a kid: “They have books that we like and they have the best librarians. You have holes in your brain.”

badbanana I’m a nervous eater. I keep thinking my neighbors will wake up and find me eating all their food.

DaveHolmes When the holy folks get zapped up to Heaven on 5/21, I imagine they’ll immediately start arguing over who’s going to Superheaven, and when.

MeganBoley I almost just complained about being too full with sushi. What!? Dumbest complaint ever.

chickenscottpie @exlibris Seriously, nature. What kind of idiot thinks it’s a good plan to just dump water all over everything?

Ahm76After I smelled that flower, I got confused about my sexuality. Am I florasexual? It’s been a long time since anyone’s pollinated my stigma.

antigone_spit Passed a guy wearing a Spaghetti-Os shirt. I want to be his best friend.

KeepingYouAwake @exlibris We’re just old enough to feel like the world is going to shit, and everyone’s forgetting what’s important. Let’s go buy iPads.

MagpieLibrarian Postcard from a kid: “Dear Mayor Buttface, Please don’t close the library and defenity do not fier Inge. Thank you.”

brookbristow Donald Trump can now relax since he won’t run for President. Finally, he can let his hair down.

Caissie Trump ISN’T running for President? Was starting to look forward to rivulets of sweat/haircolor/bronzer dripping down his face at debates. 😦

kenrudin The fact that there was once serious talk about what “impact” Donald Trump would make as a candidate makes me question my entire existence.

sarcasmically In totally unsurprising news, I received 19 compliments on my Star Wars shirt in one 25-minute trip to Best Buy.

SaraJOY Let’s count the tweets I’ve deleted so far today shall we? ONE! ha ha ha. TWO! ha ha ha. THREE! ha ha ha. FOUR! ha ha ha…

slapclap I hear the theme song to JURASSICPARK whenever I see someone inNew York use a payphone.

stevelibrarian I was going to respond to that Seth Godin blog but I’m too busy stockpiling for the Rapture at the end of the week.

MagpieLibrarian Postcard from a kid: ‎”Mayor Bloomberg you smell like cheese. Don’t cut the libraries fund.”

corrinrenee I ironed my shirt with my flat iron and my hair is up in a ponytail. That should give you an idea of how my day started.

sarcasmically Let’s pretend I lost my voice while doing something super hardcore, and not while singing along to Boyz II Men loudly in my Subaru wagon, k?

JohnFugelsang I’d like to thank FamilyRadio.com for all the billboards telling our children exactly how they’ll suffer & die on Saturday.

MagpieLibrarian Hey Monday. Come say that to my face.

neiltyson Birds at the launch site are surely thinking to themselves: “These humans have come a long way with their artificial wings”

mammalpants I like to google things like,”when is the effing apocalypse because I’m burned out. do you hear me god? send a horse on fire soon”

theRratedBull There’s an old church hymn called “Angry Words.” I like to sing it to people every time I catch them playing “Angry Birds.”

MagpieLibrarian Postcard from a kid: “Mayor Batface (??). U suck.”

That_Biz Texting my husband from the ipod, but I don’t think I’m remember his phone number right. So maybe I’m NOT texting my husband.

neiltyson Would a NASA reality show “LunarShore” be more popular than “JerseyShore?” Civilization’s future depends on that answer.

ajthizzle It’s a bad sign that I got myself back to sleep early this morning by thinking of different ways to quit my job. This is how I relax.

John_M15 One in five Americans believe that Bin Laden is still alive. Let me guess, the same ones that think Obama is fromKenya?

th3jm4n I need to develop a super power. Villainy just isn’t worth it unless you’re destroying things on a global scale.

iasshole Trying to convince 6 y.o. that the purpose of medicine is not delicious mouth entertainment.

palinode I managed to turn my roasted garlic bruschetta ambitions into a bowl of mac and cheese tonight.

jillgengler Just had Words with my kitchen garbage can. Not going to lie… I think it came out on top in that exchange.

MagpieLibrarian “I can get a book with my library card. You suck at your job. Please don’t take the librarries money.”

lilpyrogirl It’s not the sunburned outline of sunglasses that makes me a redneck, it’s that I bought a moonpie & ran over an armadillo on the way home.

wishing4horses Today’s naptime dream: Me and Jamie Lee Curtis mom-paddling in an LA pool. Swear, no more gin at lunch!

emilyrm Mariah Carey wanted to make sure her twins were delivered to one of her songs AND they call them “Roc and Roe”. Excuse me, I have to barf.

ScrewyDecimal Telling me “Stop worrying or you’ll get wrinkles” won’t make me stop worrying. It will only give me something new to worry about.

davepolak Just re-heated some pulled pork in bacon grease. That’s how I roll.

theRratedBull “Jennifer Garner… I think she’s married to Affleck.” The Teen looked confused, so I added, “The actor, not the duck.” “Ahhhhhh!”

petersagal Elvis Costello tonight. If I keep going, one of these days he’ll look out in the crowd and notice me.

snickerswiggle I’m looking at a customer whose shirt, belt & boots are bedazzled. Coincidentally, I am questioning the lifechoices that brought me here.

eareeve harem pants are great for not flashing my gentles in public but still allowing me to be comfortable.

LmaoAtThisGuy I just read an article on the dangers of heavy drinking… scared the hell out of me. So that’s it, after today… no more reading.

inktwice Denny’s is for winners.

himissjulie “Wow, you speak French?” “No, I just know enough to pronounce things with a lot of *hwaough*.” #reference

MagpieLibrarian Postcard from kid: “Stopp pllease. You are cutting libraries. Stop firing librarians. You suck. Give me a job. I need food.”

theleanover Saw some dude with a tattoo of Calvin pissing on a scorpion. I, for one, welcome next Saturday’s end times. #rapture

joshjs Potential Nerd Rock Band Name: Academia Nuts

shinyinfo Oh em gee, Party In The USA is on at the deli. I not-so secretly love this shitty song. It’s likeWhiteCastle in music form.

rolldiggity I know social media is supposed to replace newspapers, but I’ll never get used to draping myself across homeless people while they sleep.

theleanover I’m always devastated when I raise my arms and make the “whoooosh!” noise and it doesn’t make me fly like Superman.

massagebyted Oh, yeah, I suppose I would let a female Klingon do me with a strap-on. You know, if it was for the good of the Federation and stuff.

MeganBoley There comes a time in a young boy’s life when he must be dressed in jorts and paraded around his dad’s office at lunchtime.

trumpetcake Free coffee at Starbuck’s today, if you ask in a robot voice! OH WAIT. Never mind. The robot in front of me had a coupon.

MrWordsWorth When I see that ad that says ‘what’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen, I instinctively say ‘a naked woman!’

helgagrace Why does my hip hurt? I’m pretty sure I haven’t been exercising without my knowledge.

nicpiper @exlibris Wow! Your blog looks space age on this iPad. It’s like the future had sex with a typewriter!

letsdiefriends Question: “Will I hate myself in 5 years for wearing a tiny sombrero?” Answer: no way.

goodinthestacks I finally hit it big! @Franklin the Turtle is following me. I hope he knows what he’s getting into.

shinyinfo For all the people who will undergo an Assumption on Saturday: Don’t be a dick, leave your keys in your car. #RapturePSA

notthatkendall I want to thank the makers of Nintendo for making me believe I have the power to fix household objects by just blowing into them.

 

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here. Learn more about it in my FAQ.


Guest Post: Saturday Mornings

16 May

 

I’m gearing up for a busy week: textbook collection. I need collection 5 textbooks from 1600 students and I’m never given enough time or manpower to do it. And no one is willing to follow instructions. The end of the year is simply a clusterfuck for the library and I’m so looking forward to never doing this again. Ever. Since this is such a hectic time for me, I’ve asked a few talented friends to step in and help with posting. First up is Bridget Callahan, a writer who lives in Cleveland who sells her amazing photography on Etsy. All of the photos from today’s post are from the now demolished Madison School in Youngstown Ohio.

Saturday Mornings

Dad used to take us to the library downtown on Saturday mornings. He would somehow find parking right next to the building, or behind it. Maybe there used to be more parking back then, maybe there was no one downtown ever on the weekends. These days, I can’t park anywhere near it, might as well just take the bus cause I’ll end up paying for a parking garage 5 blocks away. But he used to do it, and now maybe I understand why it seemed he was always getting parking tickets.

The downtown library in Cleveland, what’s known now as the old building since they built the “new” building over a decade ago, is a massive stone place in that great tradition of stone ledges, WPA murals, and brass chandeliers. It was always “the” library to me, because the local branches in comparison were so tiny and modern and lame. To get to the children’s room, I had to do several very important things. First I had to walk past the huge round intimidating reference room, which had be where allClevelandlegislature was decided, because of the rows of reference books and dark wood desks. Then it was up the wide slippery marble staircase, which was a pain in the ass to go up because my tiny legs had to do it two steps at a time. But it was much more fun to run down, hand securely sliding down the banister as thick as my waist. Up past the giant rotating globe, painted in muted blue and greens, and then past the Special Collections room. Special Collections was a mystery to me, since it seemed to always be gated, a tempting doorway into places where I knew they must keep the very important old books, the kind of books that would teach me about how 16th century witches were burned and blueprints to the very first original star machines. When I was older, I finally went into that room, and it was basically where they kept their chess piece collection and some tiny books you could only read with a magnifying glass. I would have been more impressed if I had ever gotten in as a child. As an adult, I just wanted to go there with dates and make out.

 

 

Next was the walk down the hallway, past reading rooms and large glass windows with exhibits I never stopped to read. Sometimes I would go into another room first and choose an adult book for myself to take with me to read at the small tables in the children’s room, a place that was just what you would expect, miniature furniture and bright colors. I was well beyond reading the insipid hardcover crap they tried to push on small minds. I knew the difference between pulp and quality. For instance, The Hungry Caterpillar and Hay for My Little Ox, that was art. I never felt ashamed reading those. Richard Scarey was always always acceptable, because it was original. Where’s Waldo was boring and mundane, and I patently hated anything featuring little witches or animals that talked to people. Animals could talk to themselves, or they could be silent partners for humans, but to have children talking to animals was tacky. I was very particular about illustrations, and turned my nose up at things that resembled generic tv cartoons. For actual reading, I preferred Roald Dahl and Daniel Pinkwater books, the John Bellair mysteries with the Edward Gorey illustrations. When I ran out of those, I loved to bring an adult book in there, even if it was boring and hard to read, because I felt so grown up and superior concentrating on it while the other children were “playing” around. In other words, I was an insufferable snot, even as a child. That’s what happens when you’re a dorky fat child who read Tom Wolfe off her parents’ bookshelves before she even understood what adolescence really was. My poor sister read Madame Bovary ten million times before she hit 7th grade. One time, Carrie tried to pick grass from the lawn, roll it into construction paper, and smoke it, because she had read about “smoking grass”. We were “that” family.

 

But that was the great part about the Big Library, there were no nuns or stern faced middle aged women telling us books were too old for us, like they did to us repeatedly at school and the local branches. In the Big Library, they just wanted you to not run, stay quiet, and not touch the exhibits. Dad would go off to get his history books and Michael Crichton novels, and we would sit quietly at the tiny tables, waiting for him and trying to decide what would be our allotted three books for the week. When everything was picked out and decided, we would go downstairs to the intimidating check out line (intimidating because I consistently lost my library card at least twice a summer),  and Dad would pay his fines and then we would go. There were always fines, there were always parking tickets, and there were always the same the paintings and statues and oh that globe. Right by the checkout desk were the staircases that went downstairs. I was never allowed downstairs, I think they were closed to the public before the new library building was built next door, and while waiting for him in line, I would stand at the very top of the stairs and look down into the mysterious bottom hallways and wonder. The library was treasure place, I was sure of it, just like I knew there were extra special dinosaur bones in the back rooms of the Natural History Museum, and diamond crowns in the dusty corners of the Art Museum. Little 9 yr old me was equally certain that if I could just sneak down those back stairs, I would find old things and rare things and I would somehow be labeled an adventurer and grow up to fame and fortune, because every great character I read about was a risk taker and didn’t let stupid things like security guards stop them.

Still Sick

5 May

So I’m still pretty sick, and I’ve run out of prepared posts so I’m taking a cue from Gen with a G and sharing an awesome video with you instead. I was totally going to blame this sickness on Gen, too, but she had the stomach flu and whatever’s wrong with me is more on the Strep throat spectrum of Hell. I’m going to the doctor today so at the very least I can get a doctor’s note and assuage my massive guilt about missing work when I should be conducting inventory.

Anyway, Gen’s video is about what happens when Oscar Wilde meets Jersey Shore. I don’t even watch Jersey Shore but I have a basic, rudimentary knowledge of pop culture so it was fucking hilarious. I highly recommend you go check it out after your done over here. Also, I love Gen’s writing. Probably more than is appropriate.

This video is called “Roll a D6” which is a parody of 1. a popular song I’ve never heard of and 2. Dungeons and Dragons. If you (or someone you love) has been seduced by the roll of the dice, this video is for you.

Last but not least, whenever I’m anywhere near the computer Isobel asks to watch “bunny videos.” So this one’s technically from her.

Follow Friday – Spring Break

22 Apr

I’m officially on Spring Break. We have big plans that include packing up our entire house while new (and much needed) carpet is installed.  I’m off to a crappy start on this vacation with a migraine and some Crohn’s issues but at least I have time off to recover.

Thanks for all your generous offers to help with guest post on the blog. Starting very soon I’m going to be collecting ten thousand text books, performing inventory on my whole collection, and shutting down the library for the very last time. I don’t have any help this year, either, so I plan to be pretty busy.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here. Learn more about it in my FAQ.

Squirreljustice I forget, are you allowed to wear clear lucite stripper heels before or after Easter? Don’t want anyone judging me at the pawn shop.

apelad If there are any architecture students out there looking for a thesis topic, here you go: couch forts.

TheRedQueen It is too fucking early for me to be seeing retweets from Michele Bachmann in my feed. It’s a good thing I haven eaten yet.

theRratedBull I’m sorry. Did you say you needed some freakin’ sex or some freaky sex? I mean, I can help you out either way, I just need clarification.

CatFoodBreath Just when I think I really can’t get any cuter, I do.

davepolak @AHGinCLE You can shop online? I thought it was just for porn.

Squirreljustice If the “Hot” sign is illuminated at Krispy Kreme, you can bet that my boobs are pressed up against the glass a la Midnight Express.

mommywantsvodka If he thinks this is bad, wait until I get to the STD lecture. Been preparing the No Glove, No Love powerpoint since he was a fetus.

telephase A cockroach the size of a corgi almost took down two teens today. They yelled for help, but I ran away. #oversharewednesday

hateyouprobably Does anyone else get what I call “toe boners”? I have one that’s lasted longer than 4 hours and I’m concerned.

ProfessorSnack A minivan is just like a full size van, without the sex.

wordlust I’m a hatcher. I know Obama hatched from an egg on Mars in a ceremony conducted by Xenu to appease Odin. Wake up, people!

aspaul Uh, do pigeons have orgasms? Because if they do, I’m pretty sure I just heard one.

HeathRobots Yesterday I saw a class krumping on the quad w/ a dude walking a tightrope right next to them. How can today even compete? I miss college.

Bagyants Can you believe our government spends more money than it has? BRB, applying for my 8th credit card.

markleggett Wow! I quickly lost 130 lbs by eating nothing but acai berries! (My wife left me due to my uncontrollable berry diarrhea).

alwysabridesmd Sarah Heard, you’re going down! Oh wait that sounds gross.

GeorgeTakei The House Intelligence Committee wins the prize for “Most Ironic Name.”

papersquared dinner: hot chocolate and wheat thins. don’t let anyone tell you being a librarian isn’t glamorous.

shinyinfo My next ALA presentation: Star Trek & Robot References in Tweets for High CTRs

iasshole Glee is making me defend OG Journey. Stupid Glee! Stupid Steve Perry! Stupid sexy Flanders!

my_summer_beard Have a Simply Red song stuck in my head. How many men in their twenties are saying that right now? Just one.

TheGlassPhoenix Panera wifi is like the friend who says they’ll help you with a class project, but totally stands you up when you actually call them.

shinyinfo Walking in on someone dancing to Toto’s “Africa” in your office is not attractive. And for that I apologize.

tysiscoe You’re so vain. You probably thought this tweet was about you.

telephase Just caught two teens in the Orange Alert stage of a PDA.

schmutzie According to the searches that bring up my blog, I should be writing about accidental public nudity and roasted nuts more often.

LouisPeitzman There is no surefire cure for depression, except maybe this video I saw of a baby penguin being tickled.

davepolak I learned that if you keep packets of hot sauce in your desk drawer for an extended period they dry up into a snort-able powder.

Mister_m00n You know what really chaps my ass? When it’s very cold out and I forget to put Chapstick® on it.

johnmoe Taking my daughter to see Annie tomorrow night. Don’t worry: I’ll be smoking cigars and drinking scotch throughout to preserve machismo.

MightyQuinn72 The Topeka Police dog cop said to save questions till the end. A hot mess blurted out a question & the dog attacked her. Or so I day dreamed.

eliza_evans I heard what I thought was an owl massacre on the roof. After a YouTube investigation, it turns out some squirrels were… making friends.

rilaws Blood your doors everyone, the Lord’s a’comin!

simontarr My wife just called my iPhone “your Palm Pilot.” I have nothing to add.

johnmoe Being a parent is magical. And it’s a giant pain in the ass. It’s giant magical ass pain.

badbanana Sometimes I don’t have the time to eat an entire chocolate bunny. Why don’t they just sell the ears?

shinyinfo Librarians would make good assassins. We are unassuming looking and we have deep, unfettered rage from working with the public/students.

todd_zwillich Hang on. I was told there was a Pulitzer for strongly-worded letter writing.

shinyinfo “We Didn’t Start The Fire” is my favorite song with a list of things.

badbanana Plenty of watched things boil, if you take enough medication. Wallpaper, for example.

AOAM_Librarian That patron I tweeted about before isn’t dead. Yay!

Athenabee I wish I could show you a video of what frantically finishing my city taxes looks like but there’s too much nudity.

Zaius13 Opinions are like assholes. I’m winking at you with mine.

Dolly_Parton I have little feet because nothing grows in the shade.

sglassmeyer If I could offer one piece of advice to newer librarians, it’d be to always have an emergency junk food stash in your office.

KathyRogers Being John Malkovich and Nothingness #philosophymovies

mjanssen Dude, Where’s My Cartesian Dualism? #philosophymovies

johnmoe Kant, Stop The Music #philosophymovies

shinyinfo As soon as I edit the APA citations I’ll be done with my final paper for my MLIS. I’m going to rip my shirt off & flip a table over.

Dogphorisms Fun fact: A dog’s mouth is the cleanest place in the world that has licked a dog’s butthole.

lifeserial Perspective is my trash can’s nickname. I love putting things into it!

mrpilkington I have to trek down to the DMV today. Preparing necessary items: flare gun, 63 packs of gum, and a zagnut bar. For bait.

ProfessorSnack 98% of all “cherry” trees are lying to you.

corrinrenee I was going to complain that I got too much sleep last night, but I decided that would be a jerk move.

bitchylibrarian Okay, this laundry isn’t going to do itself. Unfortunately. I even tried soft music and mood lighting.

crom74 You had me at @.

brattyunicorn To the 250 lb woman in the leopard print thong bikini & pink furry heels, you are one crazyass bitch & for this I salute you.

Squirreljustice It feels weird being home on a Saturday night. Not as weird as putting a Breathe Right strip on my taint, but still pretty weird.

BillCorbett I say I’m delightfully wicked, you say I’m an asshole. Agree to disagree! #youarewrong #MOM

slackmistress Women have to work twice as hard as men which is why we have two boobs.

loganfountain I’m going to open a fork store with high and low quality items.  It was the best of Tines. It was the worst of Tines.

danforthfrance Then Riker beams to the planet and Data scans… Oh. Sorry. Just wanted you to know what it sounds like to me when you go on about Prince.

mommywantsvodka “I put my box in a box?”

jberthume I’m drinking beer and forming strong opinions on things I just learned about. USA! USA!

kerrianne Had my iPhone plugged into a wall outlet, wondering why it wasn’t syncing with my computer. Annd, it’s nap time.

BridgetCallahan The problem with “soulmates” is if you are a selfish asshole, then your soulmate is a selfish asshole too.

jillgengler In Sam’s Club, no one can hear you scream.

TheNextMartha Shiny is important to me.

thejohnblog In Canada, I bet Hallmark makes a ton of money with their ‘Thank you for thanking me for the ‘Thank You’ card’ card.

JerryThomas Facebook’s business model is to make money exclusively from things that annoy people.

MrWordsWorth I busted a rhyme. I don’t think it will ever recover.

NickSchug Twitter has messed me up. Now when someone says something I like in real life, I gently place my hand on their face and whisper “favorite”.

rconniff Getting off plane in DC, saw Paul Ryan. Husbnd went up smiling, Intro’d self: ‘I’m gonna do everything I can to get you unelected.’ #wiunion

michaeljnelson Yes, I have my supporters in the wider hermit community. Though it is not well known. For some reason.

eareeve Stranger: “Hey, if some guy tries to steal my laptop…” Me: “I’ll punch him in the throat.” This is why I’m bad at meeting people.

onenjen You know you live with a 2-year-old when you find a half-eaten tortilla in your bed.

thejohnblog Please, “Asshole” was my father’s name. Call me John.

Gen_with_a_G The 4 year old boy just told the 34 year old man “Don’t get so frustrated. This takes practice.” My job here is done.

january_samurai My Chinese food came in a bento box from a 50s style diner where the first greeting was a evangelical sign about Easter.

Brain_Wash If you can’t do the math, do the math teacher.

 

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here. Learn more about it in my FAQ.


The Gray Space

19 Apr

I feel like I’m living life in a gray space. An intermediary space. Ever since we made the decision for me to leave my job at the library and stay at home with the baby, I’ve been going through my normal routine with only half of my brain engaged. Part of me is already making plans, updating the etsy shop, and enrolling Isobel is summer activities. The other half sits behind a desk, helps students find research material for home work, shelving books. I’m undeniably distracted.

I’ve always been this way: impatient to get on to the next thing when I know a change is coming. I’m not good at these temporary situations; I become consumed with anticipation for the Next Thing.  It’s hard to focus on my job and what’s worse is I’ve done it so long I can actually function well without being fully present. I’m doing what I need to do, but my heart’s not in it. I’m miles away, deep into the summer, going to swim lessons and story times and working on craft projects and cooking.

Everyone at work has been supportive (so far, the wider population doesn’t know yet), but I’m asked repeatedly, Are you sure? Is this final? I can tell they don’t want me to go. It makes me feel guilty.

Things are changing in education. Especially in California, where the district budget has been riding on fumes for several years now, the new structure isn’t supporting the old models. Earlier this year I came to terms with the fact that librarians in our district will probably be phased out. The database that will eventually replace me is still in the works, along with other money-saving ideas meant to cut costs and slash staff.

Maybe it’s better I say goodbye to this job before it says goodbye to me.

But hopefully not. Hopefully there will be librarians in this district by the time Isobel is enrolled in school. I don’t know, but I hope so.

Quitting my job to stay at home has long been a fantasy, but there’s a part of my brain that rails against the idea. You idiot. Give up a full-time librarian position in the middle of the largest recession since the Great Depression? What do you think you’re doing? Who do you think you are?

Anthony reminds me that I’m giving a wonderful job opportunity to someone else. Some other soul who wanted to be a librarian as badly as I did will have the chance to step into my shoes, shake things up, and call this place their own.

I am wildly excited to stay at home. My reservations are not strong enough to keep me from embracing this opportunity. The challenge for the next two months is to focus on what I need to do to get there, instead of what I want to be doing.