Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, July 31, 2003

The continuing saga...

Today: The Staple Guy

The guy who couldn't hang around for a minute or two yesterday to look at my copier and determine what staples they should be sending did come today.

Guy: These aren't the right staples.
Me: Yes, I know.
Guy: They're not even just staples. They've sent you an entire unit. The staples should be a little cube of staples.
Me: So can you tell them what I need?
Guy: Let me look...
[much poking about]
Guy, calling on cell phone: Yes, they (meaning me) didn't make a mistake. They were sent the wrong staples. [Technical description]
Guy: I don't know why they were sending you those staples. They didn't have any finisher listed for you at all. But we think this number on the box is in the computer wrong. It's sort of like a website where you have the wrong URL.
Me: Yes, that's what we thought. So, do they know what to send now?
Guy: They're going to research it and find out where the error is. I'll check back with them later.
Guy then proceeds to show me how the mythical staples, should they ever arrive, fit into the cartridge, after a couple of false tries. He then runs a report.
Guy: I see a lot of 501 errors here.
Me: Yes, sometimes people don't get the paper aligned right and it gives an error on tray 1. I've called and they've told me to turn it off and back on to reset. Any suggestions on preventing that from happening.
[Guy then proceeds to lecture me on the proper paper loading technique. I know how to load the $^%$^ paper, thank you. It's the rest of the yahoos who can't take the time to be careful we have to worry about. At some point he has a phone conversation with the tech we used to have, telling him about the discovery and possible problem for this model. Eventually, he leaves.]
Me: Asshole.

(Fortunately the only person to hear this was one of the computer tech guys, which is ironic, I guess. We have a discussion about pedantic guys who treat women like they don't know how to wipe their own bottoms when it comes to technology. Further irony, I suppose, since some women at work seem to react to him like that, but really, he doesn't dismiss people for not knowing anything because of what they are, but, well, because they usually don't know what they're talking about, at least in terms of tech. Which is why he doesn't treat me that way. I'm up front about what I don't understand, and usually ask about things I don't understand, and he's happy to explain. I take it as a learning opportunity. Others may take it as patronising, I guess.)

Later I get a phone call from the guy, who has researched the problem himself and discovered the correct staples to be sent. I will not call this the thrilling conclusion. That will be when I actually have the freaking staples in the machine and working. But, at least it's progress, right?

I couldn't handle the 'Dysfunctional Care Bear, so I'm posting this one instead...

You're An Intellectual!
You can always be found reading or on the computer.
People always come to you when they need
information. You don't really care about love
at this point, your only goal is to improve
your mind. After all, knowledge is power!

What Type Of Anime Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Nice to see it worked

Kentucky's first use of the Amber Alert, a way to broadcast information regarding a missing child, paid off. The alert was issued around 9am this morning and apparently someone in Louisville spotted the described car and called police around 10am. About 45 minutes later, there was another call which led to the teenager being found and taken to the hospital for observation. The latest details are here.

Also, suspects have been taken into custody in a series of child molestation/indecent exposure cases over four nearby counties--with two of those cases occurring in public libraries. The suspects are a man and wife. The wife is supposed to have accompanied him during the encounters, and the news reports also say the case may turn uglier due to suspected child pornography.

The cases have people really thinking about what's safe. Molestations in libraries, playgrounds, and fairs? Well, yeah, it's not really surprising, given the fact that there are sick people out there, you can't watch a child every minute, and, quite frankly, a lot of people don't bother to watch their children. When I worked at a comic store, parents would just boot the kids out of the van and come back eventually. Ask any public librarian if this happen, and they'll agree. While there's no reason to be paranoid, the fact of the matter is that no place is truly 'safe'. You can't just assume that a school or a camp or library, or for that matter, a neighbour's house is safe. And it's not just sexual abuse. It's 'accidents' like a kid playing with a gun or running a bike up the concrete dividers between a major street and a bus station, or (and I'm guilty of this one) kids who decide 'no swimming' doesn't preclude wading and have no idea that the lake is infested with cottonmouths. I don't know how parents manage not to seal their kids up and stifle them or just go mad thinking of what ifs. And it just gets harder when they get older. A co-worker and I were talking about her daughter's impending start of high school and the attitude that's already going with it. I characterised the teen years as 'that time you want them to separate, to become independent, to become their own person, without getting killed in the process'. She agreed. In a way I was too enmeshed with my mom during my teen years (and the divorce didn't help) to do all that painful, angsty growing. I didn't start until I was away at college, and then I got too enmeshed with the guy I eventually married (yes, I finally got the be-your-own-person-not-them thing, but hey, it took until my late 20s). I was a 'good kid' who didn't rebel. But you know, a lot of kids who do aren't 'bad'. They're just misunderstood teens trying to get through what is probably the worst years of anyone's life. I wish kids could get a 'do over', so you wouldn't have kids that die, or overdose, or are paralysed for life, etc. But we don't get them. If we're lucky, we survive them, and that builds wisdom.

On the other hand, just because a kid sometimes has to burn his hand to realise something's hot doesn't mean you need to throw gas on the fire, either. That's where law enforcement and vigilant parents and for that matter vigilant everybody else come into play, and things like lists of sex offenders or tips for safety or just a 'do you really think that toddler should be perched on top of a mowing machine?' may come into play, one kid at a time. Kids are are future. And even those of us who don't have any should be willing to step in when stupidity is evident--no matter what our private thoughts of 'evolution in action' may be. And let me just give a big hand to all those parents out there who do try to do what's best for their kids. Your kids may not appreciate you now, but someday (maybe when they have kids of their own), they will. Trust me on that. Awhile ago, in the midst of dealing with a teen who was not so easy, my mom thanked me for being a good kid. Well, I'm glad she was a good mom. Maybe she didn't necessarily have all the answers, and I'm sure if she had it to do again, she'd do some things differently. But for where we were, and how we were, and all that--she did pretty well. She still worries about me--that never goes away, I guess, but we're in a position now of adults with a lot of shared experiences, and it's a whole new level, and I have to say I like it. That's what happens after those teen years are behind you, after all. Isn't that great?

A blast from the past...

A co-worker kept popping in today spouting off what little Spanish she knew (about eight words) and I started singing 'Don Gato' to her. She'd never heard it, and I couldn't remember all the words. But fear not. I am a professional librarian, so it took me three seconds to locate online. So, if you're in the same boat, go here to the version I learnt as a child. I do remember the tune, but I don't know how to play or record it in any fashion you would know. If you catch me in person, though, I'll happily sing it for you. I must play with this site more. Perhaps they have all the 'Miss Lucy' songs, too?


An "Amber Alert", is activated by Law Enforcement Agencies when they receive a report of a suspected abducted child.

The Kentucky State Police have issued an Amber Alert at 0915, 07/31/03

The girl's name is "Mika".
13? yr. old Black. Female
5'2" Black Hair, Dark Brown Eyes
Wearing a yellow halter top with blue jeans.

She was abducted from a hotel in Shelbyville, Ky this morning by a
Black Male
6'3"-6'4" with heavy upperbody build.
Driving a older model Silver Ford Crown Victoria
KY Reg.. 857-JED.
This man is armed with a silver pistol and is to be considered very dangerous.
If you see this car, please call Kentucky State police or your local Law Enforcement agency.

This isn't showing up on the Web Amber Alert ticker yet, but you may want to try there later for more details. Also, WLEX, a Lexington television station, has additional details here. In that story, two males are described, the victim is described as 16, and the car was last seen driving towards Louisville.

It was a dark and stormy night...

Okay, not stormy, just a little hazy. But it was night, and it was dark, and she muttered to herself as she tried to get the key to turn in the lock. Dang humidity! Reaching into her capacious bag, she brought out a mechanical pencil and opened it up to reveal a lead. Pressing the graphite rod against the key, she proceeded to pulverise the rod as best she could, then attempted to put the key in once more. On the other side of the door a wailing could be heard. At last! The key turned and she strode into the room, nearly toppling over a glass jar on the floor and watching six glowing eyes greet her. Hurridly she turned on the light and brought forth the offering of Kit and Kaboodle to satisfy the cats who had strewn debris across her entryway in an attempt to punish her for having been so late in bringing dinner. (Thank you cat food fairy!!!) At once they fell to their meal, leaving her to blog in peace. Her dog, who would have been happy to have her home with or without such offerings, promptly ate and then rolled on the couch in glee. All was right with the universe again.


I had a good workout at the gym. The elliptical is giving me some problems, but I increased my treadmill time, speed, and incline and my bike workout from level 1 to level 5. I remembered to bring headphones today so I got to watch TV. It is very interesting to exercise to 'Murder, She Wrote' and 'Dragonball Z'.

As to the staples saga (didst thou think I had forgotten???) We recently purchased a new digital copier at work which is absolutely marvelous. Unfortunately, there seems to be a misunderstanding as to the finisher on our model, which is itself brand spanking new. So here's the saga:

The new copier with the bells and whistles stops stapling without warning. Turns out the cartridge is empty. Dang! I should have ordered them sooner, but I assumed it would tell me when it was getting low, like it does with the other supplies.
Me: I'd like to order toner and staples for our machine, serial #...., please.
Customer Service: The toner is covered by your contract, but I need a PO (purchase order) for the staples. Would you like me to go ahead and order the toner?
Me: Yes, please. I'll check with purchasing about getting a PO.
That day, I fill out a requisition, giving the phone #, machine serial #, and our current meter read and, after getting my boss' signature, send it to purchasing.
Purchasing: I need a meter read.
Me: Did you check the requisition?
Purchasing: Oh. (Heads back to the other side of the building. I rather think she enjoyed getting away from her desk for a few moments and is saddened by the prospect of going back.)
All goes well. The order is placed. I receive the toner in a couple of days. People are coping fine with my note regarding the staples because, although less convenient, I have a high-power electric stapler nearby. There are few complaints.
A few days later...where are the staples? I am beginning to get some grumblings.
At last, staples! 2 boxes, as ordered! But, wait! They are of the incorrect size! They are not even designed the same. Arrrgghhh!!! They will not fit!!!!
Me (holding the original cartridge and the two boxes of useless staples): They sent us the wrong staples.
Purchasing (comparing them and writing down the number): Is this the order number (pointing at a sticker)?
Me: I don't know. In the past I've just told them our serial number and they knew what to send.
Purchasing: Okay, I'll send these back.
Days pass.
Purchasing goes on vacation. I check with her boss. No word. Our heavy-duty stapler runs out of staples. Fortunately I have an extra cartridge. I order more just in case this goes on much longer.
A month since the original order. Purchasing is back from vacation. I e-mail her about the status of the staples. She replies that she had called twice and they were supposed to be sending new ones and picking up the bad ones.
Me: I'd like to check on the status on an order please...
[after pleasant customer service lady goes and tracks the order, we determine that it arrived at work the day before]
Me (to Receiving): Are the staples for the library copier in?
Receiving: Yes, we're just checking to make sure they're the right ones.
Two days pass, bringing us to today.
Receiving: I have something for you (handing me two boxes).
I open them. They are the incorrect staples. Again. He looks at them and verifies that, yes, indeed, they are not the same. I call Customer Service.
Me: I'm having some trouble getting the right staples for my machine.
Customer Service: Ooh, I don't like the sound of that. What is your serial number?
[After looking up the orders, she decides that they may have the incorrect finisher in their records, pages a tech to come look at our machine and determine the correct configuration, and thanks me for being so nice about it.]
Me: Well, if it makes you feel any better, our last company had a lot of trouble with staples, too.
Customer Service: Oh, but we're supposed to better than the competition.
Tech: I understand you're having some trouble with your machine.
Me: Yes, apparently there's a question of which staples we require for our finishers. The CS rep said you'd come look at it so we could get the right ones.
Tech: That's exactly what I'll do. I'll see you sometime this afternoon.
Time passes. We have a fire alarm, which was a drill, but of course we didn't know that at the time. They like to keep us on our toes, being in a hospital.
Tech: I'm here to look at the library copier.
Receptionist: We're having a fire alarm. Please wait until they sound the all clear.
Tech: How long will that take.
Receptionist: I don't know.
Tech: I can't sit around all day waiting. Tech leaves. 30 seconds later the receptionist calls me and gives me the news.
I call Customer Service and explain what happened and that the tech couldn't be bothered to wait a minute or so, but if she pages him right now, she might catch him in the parking lot.

Sigh. I'm still waiting for the tech. And the %%^$^ staples!!! I am beginning to think I'm going to have to take the bus downtown to their office and show them the cartridges myself.

I feel like it's a soap opera, and the action is progressing about 5 minutes at a time even though a month has passed. Turn in next time for the (hopefully) chilling conclusion!

PS This was never covered in library school. Thank goodness for Paxil and a natural sense of resignation, um, humour.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Life is good--Dwana's back at work

Today's quote: 'He smiled at me! I know it's only gas, but he smiled at me!' (Dwana talking about a friend's newborn).

Today has been much better than yesterday. Maybe because Dwana was at work and I feel like I'm not alone in the world. Maybe it's because I did bring my lunch today. Maybe it's because I've had some caffeine. Maybe it's because I actually remembered to take my Paxil. :) I woke up feeling better in general, and although I started the day a little rough (I'm not sure if it was an asthma attack or a panic attack, but I wasn't feel too well when I got here today). But things perked up after she came in. Despite some health issues, she's pretty chipper and her sense of humour is contagious; it's hard to be depressed around her. Like the cavalry, she's bring some cat food for the animals tonight. Yay! That was my main worry. Everything else can wait till payday.

I'll blog later about today's main challenge--the continuing staples saga. For now, I'm off to the gym. Adieu!

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Are you sure it's not Monday?

Okay, today was rather sucky. On a scale from 1 to 10, I'd put it at a 3, 4 tops. But still, it's good to keep things in perspective. I got a lot done at work today, despite no caffeine and just a Slim-Fast shake. No, I'm not trying to lose weight. (Well, okay, it'd be nice, but that's not why I had it. The Slim-Fast powder is part of my too-poor-to-live stash.) In my infinite (not!) wisdom, I paid bills and even managed to pay the most important bill--my rent--but I don't have so much as change for the little incidentals of life, and like an idiot I forgot to bring my lunch. But, I came home and--having found a couple of pieces of bread and enough peanut butter to get my blood sugar up--I cooked up some red beans and rice for tomorrow. Yay! I can handle being poor. But sometimes idiocy is a little harder to handle. So, I have no one to blame but myself for feeling rotten most of the day. Once I got some food into my system, the world seemed a happier place. Maybe if everyone had plenty to eat we could get rid of wars, hmmm?

Today's Tidbits

From the would-you-like-fries-with-that department...Fast Food, Obesity, and Hospitals

I love this doctor's commentary, a snippet of which reads:
Recently, one of my colleagues, a cardiologist, confessed to me over a low-fat salad that it would be more intellectually honest if our hospital named its new Cardiovascular Center after Wendy's, as opposed to the donor who merely contributed 50 million bucks to its construction. "After all," he quipped, "the monetary gift is quickly spent, but with all these burgers and fries, the patients keep coming and coming as far as the eye can see."

[Medscape articles are free with registration]

Need to know what a lab test means?

Try Lab Tests Online

An institution falls to the oeconomy

The Medical Library Centre of New York is closing its doors after 43 years of service, yet another victim of the current sluggish oeconomy. For a tribute, see Founding Director Erich Meyerhoff's comments. To add your own to a collection of memories that will be archived, e-mail Robert Dempsey.

And no one seems immune--even 'the World's Greatest Philanthropy' is having difficulties

Shriners face financial crunch, and some of its children's hospitals may close
Shriners' hospital faces dilemma
Shriners hospitals in trouble...
Money woes may force cuts at Shriners hospitals
Struggling Shriners hospital in Minneapolis survives vote to shut down
Shriners Hospitals to expand system study

Want to support the Public Library of Science?

Here are some tools for you.

New website to address Arctic health concerns

Okay, I know, I live nowhere near the Arctic Circle. I just think this is really neat. Check it out at: www.arctichealth.org

Thank goodness Monday's over

And for those who may be concerned, all of my pets were fine when I got home tonight. Buns seems to have had his stomach settle. Spock is as oblivious as ever, of course, and Darius is perched high on one of the bookshelves imperially surveying his terrain. Cerys does not realise it yet, but tonight, she gets to be VIP--Very Important Pet. Meaning that she, and not the cats, will be allowed in the bedroom. She's a cuddler and not given to bouncing on my face at night. Hurrah!

All in all it was a good day, although a weird one. Who knows what could lie ahead on Tuesday? Tune in tomorrow for another chapter of The Rabid Librarian's Adventures in Lisaland: A Cautionary Tale.

PS As much as I like the Lucida font in theory, it really screwed up my ability to use italics. So, off with its head, and on to other, more standard fonts!

Oh, gee, I really should just go to bed, right?

Monday, July 28, 2003

Mail gleanings for today...

Looking for library promotion resources to tie in with the movie Seabiscuit?

Check out Stephanie Stokes Design's newsletter.

Celebrate National Kids Day

National Kids Day (NKD) is Sunday, August 3. National Kids Day is sponsored by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, who are asking everyone to spend meaningful time with children--especially that day. Several libraries are conducting NKD activities prior to August 3. For more information, and suggestions on what your library can do to promote the day, please refer to the Breaking News section of the ALSC website, or the Kids Day website.

Is the US getting too insular in its reading tastes?

The New York Times has an interesting article entitled: America Yawns at Foreign Fiction that examines this.

The ALA responds to CIPA

Check it out

FCC issues order on CIPA compliance

    This is available in several formats:
  • Word
  • PDF
  • TXT

New publication on Gender and Health

Exploring Concepts of Gender and Health, a new guide for the implementation of gender-based analysis (GBA) for health research and policy from Canada.

Looking for a job in New York?

Online Analyst National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Middle Atlantic Region

...or perhaps the Carribbean is more your cup of tea?

The American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine on the island of St. Maarten in the Netherland Antilles is seeking a full-time, medical librarian for the position of Director of Library Services.

Responsibilities: Management and supervision of programs and services of the medical library. The librarian will supervise staff; maintain, select and organise print and electronic resources for the faculty and students; perform reference services.

Qualifications: Masters degree in library and information sciences from an ALA, accredited institution with at least 3 years experience in a medical library setting.

Salary: $50,000-$55,000 (housing allowance included in that range).

Please send your resume to Ms Jerry Stuenkel or to Dr William Thurman, Academic Dean. You may also fax to Ms Stuenkel at 248-623-9548 or to Dr Thurman at 011-599-545-2440. Questions concerning the position should be sent to Ms Stuenkel.

Think everything's going well with our 'reconstruction' of Iraq? Ask the Iraqis.

An Iraqi member of the Reconstruction Council resigns. (Thanks to Salam Pax for that link.)

Legendary entertainer Bob Hope dies

A legend is dead. Bob Hope died last night at age 100. I knew it was probably coming--he's been very frail of late, but that still didn't keep a gasp of surprise from escaping when I went online a few minutes ago. The sheer number of peple he cheered--going into war zones, even, is astounding. Rest in peace, sir.

An update on our efforts to help a family

This was sent regarding the cancer patient we've been trying to help. Notice the bolded information about the car. If you know of anyone who has a reliable vehicle they no longer need, I'm sure there's some way to write it off their taxes through the benefit.

Thank you so very much for your outpour of compassion, love, support, prayers and all your items for the yard sale.......... The yard sale was a GREAT SUCCESS, we earned almost $2000 for all the goodies that were donated. We have a total of $2258 in Joe Allen Slone Benefit Fund. If you would like to donate or know of anyone that would like to, you can mail donations to :
Central Bank
c/o Michelle Castro for Joe Slone Benefit Fund
256 Southland Drive
Lexington, KY. 40503
This money will certainly help the family out. But they are still in need of a reliable car. The car that they used to get to Memphis in, was totaled out on Tuesday. A tornado went through Memphis on July 22. A tree fell on the car. This family has had more than their share of bad, bad luck.

Somedays it doesn't pay to get in bed

And last night was one of them. After a rip-roaring gaming adventure which included 8 foot vampires, sickle-wielding ghouls, a pernickety old mage, near decapitation of a princess, and servitors of Glaaki--all on a train bound for New Orleans, I came home, did some work on the computer, and decided to take a nap. I'd started my period and felt a little icky. Although I did wake up briefly in the middle of the night to feed the animals and do my normal religious obligations, I spent most of the night in bed.


Spock jumped on my face not once, but twice, in the night. I now have a scratch on my lip (which hurts more than it should, that being a very tender spot) and on the side of my face. I feel like I've been bounced on in some sort of Mario Bros. game. Meanwhile, Buns was having a reaction to some new food and being very listless (at one time I tripped over him and he didn't move). His health has been on and off the last couple of years, and I was sitting there once again wondering if it were time to put him down if he didn't come out of his latest spell when he suddenly started havind diarrhoea all over the bed, the sheets, and me. So I stripped the bed, curled him up in a blanket (think diaper) and settled down touching him. After the second bouncing Spock episode, I came out to the living room for a little while and ate something. When I went to go back to bed, I discovered that Buns was NOWHERE to be found, Spock and Darius were now out of the bedroom, and so was Cerys. So I shut the door, put the CPAP back on, and settled down for some real sleep. At some point Cerys found a way in, but the rest of them stayed outside, which was fine with me.

This morning Buns seems much better. He just has these spells sometime where I think his system's trying to shut down and impending death is around the corner, then he's okay. It may have been the food. It may not have. But he's here on my keyboard as usual.

No one said it was easy being owned by cats (and a dog), especially geriatric ones. Still...tonight I may just leave the whole bunch back out of the bedroom. Then again, it's too quiet and I can't sleep if I do that. I need my pack as much as they need me. Grrrr....

Sunday, July 27, 2003

A quiz

Earlier I took a look at a 'Richard Corey' interactive poem. I always liked the poem and the song by Simon and Garfunkel, and was intrigued; it shows how people can think someone has it all, and yet they feel a lack that others cannot fathom. However, when I got to the inevitable end (he kills himself) it without warning took me to a picture of someone with their face blown away. That has its place, I guess, but gee, I wasn't expecting it. I guess I thought there'd be a Gorey-esque drawing or something. So, whatever you do, if you play the game, don't choose to see yourself dead unless you really want to. So, to get that image out of my mind, I turned to Quizilla. Enjoy.

cuddle and a kiss
cuddle and a kiss on the forehead - you like to be
close to your special someone and feel warm,
comfortable, and needed

What Sign of Affection Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, July 26, 2003

I suspect the gaming world collectively shit its pants today

White Wolf, a publisher that has a major portion of the roleplaying market with its games such as Vampire: the Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalyspse, Mage: the Acension, etc., made an announcement today that they're ending it all. Yep. The Apocalypse is upon us. Over the next year or so they'll release a series entitled 'Time of Judgement' in which all World of Darkness titles will come to a glorious end. No word on what to expect from them in the future; although White Wolf does publish a few other titles, the angst-ridden World of Darkness is its core line.

I'm not sure how this will affect our game; our core material is Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu, but World of Darkness is interwoven throughout. There's no need to follow White Wolf's storyline, though. But I suspect our game has been heading towards post-apocalytpic Cthulhu for awhile. :)

Friday, July 25, 2003

Happy Friday

1. If your life were a movie, what would the title be?
The Rabid Librarian's Adventures in Lisaland

2. What songs would be on the soundtrack?
Patterns by Simon & Garfunkel
Shilo by Neil Diamond
No Son of Mine by Genesis
Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd
Take on Me by a-ha
Enemy Within by Rush
Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers
The Sign by Ace of Base
Broken Wings by Mr Mister
The Teacher by Big Country
I'll Remember by Madonna
Bring Me to Life by Evanescence
Life is Sweet by Natalie Merchant
Precious Illusion by Alanis Morrissette
Overcome by Live
Mummer's Dance by Loreena McKinnit
Fumbling Towards Ecstasy by Sarah MacLachlan

3. Would it be a live-action film or animated? Why? I think it would be live-action actors surrounded by an animated background, because my life has always been a sort of mix between Pink Floyd's The Wall and, say, Pete's Dragon.

4. Casting: who would play you, members of your family, friends, etc?

Well, although the ages wouldn't always be right, in terms of pure physicality, at least
Me: Kathy Najimy
My father: Max Baer Jr
My mother: Elizabeth Montgomery
My grandmother: Jean Stapleton
My grandfather: Kirk Douglas
My other grandmother: Betty White
My great-grandfather: Wilfred Brimley
My great-grandmother: Estelle Getty
Buddies: Russell Crowe, Julian Sands, (a younger) Sally Field
My ex: A rat with the voice of Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman)
Ex-friends in my life (Bill, Liz, Mike, the Feltoi, etc., would be part of the animation, perhaps as animals...bear, womberine (long story), coyote/meercat, owl, spider, etc.) Those of you who know me know who you would be.
Tracy (who's still a friend, but far away): A bird, I think, something that can go to great lengths to explore (Tracy works for NASA) and maybe a predatory one, since she can kick your butt with little kicks from martial arts.

5. Describe the movie preview/trailer.
Generally the film would start out dark and gothic and progress to a brighter, romantic comedy, getting bogged down somewhere in the middle. So, the trailer would accentuate the beginning and end and give the audience the impression of more action.

Ah, the joys of Paxil...

Pink info
Your Heart is Pink

What Color is Your Heart?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Hi there

I intentionally did not write last night because I knew, getting home at 11:30 or so that night, I'd be tempted to stay up until some ungodly hour if I started--I've been doing that too much for the last couple of days--so I didn't even turn the computer on. Did you miss me?

Today was a good day. After work Dwana took me to pay a bill and we grabbed sandwiches whilst out and about; then we went to Cold Stone Creamery, where they were giving away free ice cream due to a Make-a-Wish event where a child's own personal concoction was offered for free as part of an attempt at the 'largest ice cream social'. The ice cream was cake batter flavour with fudge, oreos, and M&Ms and was very yummy. [If you stop by a store during July, a portion of your purchase goes to the charity.] (And we escaped before the camera crew could take any pictures of us. We were one of the first ones there, although that was by accident). Since I had planned a workout, we then went down to the gym together and I showed her around. She's not up to working out yet, but I wanted her to see the place. I poked around a little more with her, too, and in the back of the women's locker room, next to the showers, we noticed a bubbling water sound and sign about 'no lifeguard on duty'. Going through the door we discovered a whirlpool where we could sit in gently whirling heated water with only other women around. :D Next time I'm bringing a swimsuit!

My workout wasn't quite as successful as last time. I felt like I had to work harder. I keep forgetting to take a puff on my inhaler to open my lungs, for one. The treadmill was fine, and I went a little faster this time. The hard part was the elliptical machine. Even without impact, it can be a little hard on my knees. I had my heartrate up to a good area, but I had trouble sustaining it the whole time. So I shortened the workout by 2 minutes so I wouldn't overdo it, then went to the bike for a cooldown.

Note to self: remember the damn inhaler!

Dwana thought I was going at it really well, though, and hadn't realised I shortened the one section by a bit. I actually got all sweaty, so in some ways I think harder means better. Since I haven't worked out since Monday, I guess I did alright. I was going to go yesterday and I realised that if I was going to do a decent schedule, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday would be best for me. So here's my plan:

Sunday-Monday: morning yoga
Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday: aerobic workout at gym
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: evening yoga (which is a little more intense than the other)

After a couple of weeks I'd like to add a small amount of weight exercises on the days I go to the gym.

Also, after gym activities:

Tuesday--public library or possibly a movie at the Kentucky
Thursday (during summer)--music fest downtown across from gym
Saturday (through fall)--Farmer's Market/Artists's Market

Yay! I feel like I'm on my way to a better life!

Current mood: Accomplished
Exercise: Walked to work. Went to gym (downtown); did a cardio routine with 10 minutes on treadmill, 8.5 on the elliptical, and ten on reclining bike.


On the days I've gone to the gym, I'm ready for bed by about 11pm and have refreshed sleep. My skin also seems better after a workout (the sweating?) When I haven't gone, I've had trouble getting to bed--Tuesday I was up till 4am and Wednesday I was up until 2am. Hmmmmm.

After that we checked out the Thursday night music fest that's downtown briefly and I showed her where I used to live downtown. She showed me where her husband's family goes to church and the nearby stables for the carriage horses that tour downtown. Then we went on a drive around Idle Hour to look at houses (she and her husband are thinking about moving, and this is a quiet neighbourhood right next to where we work that has affordable houses from the 50s). Ooh. That would mean she'd be within walking distance! Somehow I didn't think of that before.

During our search we saw a bunny and Dwana got this evil grin and asked me if I were in a hurry to get home. I told her now, I was enjoying the drive, and she said there was a neighbourhood she and her husband had driven around the other day with scores of bunnies. We went over by Raintree Apartments behind Kroger's and there, in a little hidden area tucked away there were many many bunnies, all domesticated rabbits. She said there were many more the other day. Several were in one yard, either in the backyard or a couple out front, all different colours. A house across the street had chicken wire around every plant they had in their yard. Somehow I think someone bought two rabbits who did what came naturally and decided to let them roam loose. Some places have ducks. They have rabbits. There should be rabbit crossing signs up!!! I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I love taking drives--my mom and I would do it a lot when I was a kid, and it's been awhile since I was in a car just wandering about and looking around. Thanks, Dwana!

So now I'm home and I've eaten a little and watched CSI and am already thinking about going to bed and just doing the F5 tomorrow. I found several interesting news stories to pass on today, but really, I'm in a very good mood and I'm just not wanting to spread gloom and doom as is my wont. So, you have a reprieve until tomorrow, for tomorrow is another day.

I think all that exercise went to my brain. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Aaaagggggghhhh!!!! My eyes!!!!

The Ville (another blog from Kentucky) and I are obviously on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but in the interest of learning more about my fellow Kentucky bloggers I stopped by the site this morning. There's a picture of a very elderly woman in very tiny shorts with slits on the butt. Aaaaaggggghhhhhh!!! This goes wwwwaaaayyy beyond 'when I'm an old woman I will wear purple'!

One surreal quiz before bedtime...

MONKO POLO!!! You're studious monkey!!!
Monko Polo

You're a very Studious Monkey. You like to discover
new things and learn.

Who is you inner monkey?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Oooh...this is so good!

I caught the American premiere of 'MI5' (known as 'Spooks' in Britain on BBC One). It's intelligent, has all the gadgetry/science of CSI, but focusses very well on the characters and the stresses of being a spy. It's based on the real-life British agency MI5. Here's a review by the Washington Post. If you want mystery, action, and drama with British dry humour (what do you do when you have to bug the house and you let the cat out...in the rain?) :) PS Matthew MacFadyen is yummy. He reminds me a little of Sean Biggerstaff, but closer to my age. Those soulful eyes!

I'm having a hard time sorting out my emotions on this...

If you've read this blog regularly, you probably know that I live in Lexington, Kentucky, the self-proclaimed 'Horse Capital of the World'. The Bluegrass is known for its limestone-laden soil that is so good for raising horses. Even many of us in the area who are not connected to the horse industry have a special place in our hearts for these remarkable and noble creatures who have been so much a part of humanity's civilisation for thousands of years. [Thousands of people in the area showed up on a couple of rainy November days last year to be extras in the upcoming Seabiscuit movie, partly because of this. It really amazed the film crew. The Lexington premieres sold out quickly, weeks ago.] Certainly the horse is revered in American history--they were indispensible to settlers and native peoples alike. Regardless of how you feel about horse racing or opulent horse farms, most Americans find in reprehensible to slaughter horses for their meat, much as a Hindu could not fathom killing the cows that provide so much in their culture.

So it's a bit of a shock to learn that Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner, was apparently sent to a slaughterhouse in Japan.

The knee-jerk, although certainly not necessarily the best would to ban those from countries that allow the slaughter of horses from running horsesKentucky Derby or ban Thoroughbred sales to these countries. But that's not particularly feasible, especially given the fact that there are still two (foreign-owned) operating slaughterhouses that process (what a word) horses. Both are in Texas. Some horses who wind up there are obtained fraudently. Selling a horse at livestock auction can be a lot like offering up a free pet--you can't guarantee that the beloved animal will not wind up abused or dead. The horse industry and some politicians are trying to change that. So here are links, if you're interested:

If you wonder why this act only deals with slaughter of horses for human consumption and not, say, for pet food, it has to do with the difference between slaughtering and rendering, as described here. [If you want verification regarding their description of the position of the American Veterinary Medicine Association's position on what constitues humane euthanasia, read this.] Basically horse products in pet food result from the disposal of dead horses, not the transportation and slaughter of live horses. Therefore, in order to have horse products in pet food, they have to have been a by-product of the slaughtering for human consumption of horsemeat. Got it?

Monday, July 21, 2003

I really love the gym

which has me completely taken aback. I went in today and they oriented me to the cardio machines. We're putting off nutritional counseling, measurements, etc. until I can afford the Beyond Fitness training. Here's my first impressions:

Last week, I joined a gym. I never would have thought I'd see the day. Go me. Saturday I went in for my personal training consult, and to my surprise I'm enjoying working out and feel a lot better already.
First, a baseline:

Age: 36
Height: 5 feet 4 1/2 inches
Weight: 270 pounds today (started at 272 lbs before working out at the gym--water weight loss?)
Bust: 50 inches
Waist: 48 inches
Hips: 55 inches
Percentage body fat: 47%
Health issues: Diabetes, asthma, fibromyalgia, polycystic ovarian syndrome, insulin resistance syndrome, sleep apnea, anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia. History of major depression and borderline personality disorder.
Treatment: Metformin: 500 mg three times per day for insulin resistance, Paxil CR 37.5 mg once daily for anxiety/OCD/social phobia, CPAP (continuous pressured airflow device) for sleep apnea. Completed weekly dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) [10/01-1/03] and am now practising my skills on my own. After fighting major depression for a long time, I finally feel better and believe that I can take steps to improve my life.
Current mood: Peaceful
Exercise: Walked to work. Went to gym (downtown); did a cardio routine with 10 minutes on elliptical machine, ten on treadmill, and ten on reclining bike. Next time, I think I'll start with the bike for warmup, then go to the elliptical, and finish on the treadmill. I have to work more on the elliptical. I got my heart rate up to 155 on that machine and kept it up above 115 for most of the workout. I really enjoyed the bike--it lets you surf the web so long as you pedal! I'm really enjoying this. Next time I plan on 12 minutes of each. I'm planning on doing this for at least three times a week while achieving some cardiovascular health, then working on strength training and targeted workouts. But I have to admit, I may go back tomorrow rather than waiting till Wednesday!!!

Now back to the non-gym world...

I came home tonight and I've been reading Charles Grant's When the Cold Wind Blows, which centres around a paranormal detective. I just started this evening and I"m a little more than halfway through, so obviously it's a quick read. The writing style, although in fragmented sentences that would drive most English teachers nuts, is very evocative. The fragments help, in fact. You really get a sense of description, and he has a devilish way of getting you to think along a certain line and then use the last sentence in a paragraph to slam you something you weren't expecting, like a dead body. I've been listening to the New Age channel on the TV--things like Loreena McKinnit and an instrumental of Garth Brooks' 'The Dance' but by George Winston, I believe.

It's eleven and I think I'm going to head on to bed. The workouts have been great but also seem to be encouraging me to keep more regular hours. I hope I can keep this up. The thing is, I was only planning on three days a week, but I already feel like I would be happy to go everyday. Is that sick, or what?

PS I found the ladies' locker room today. It is quite nice--shower, areas to blow dry, extra deodorant, lotion, hair products, etc. I also had fun on the reclining bike with an Internet connexion. I can't update this blog from there but I did browse the site to see how it looked on their screen. :)

It's heartening...

when someone who comes off as shy and not too bright in terms of technology or school research surprises you by writing an e-mail to a bigoted legislator whose column in the paper was one of those 'how dare the government tell us we should tolerate a homosexual lifestyle'. I am constantly finding that although I really do try not to peg people, I still do it (as do we all). I guess I tend to prejudge sweet, submissive people as stupid or backwards, too, sometimes. It's great when someone reminds me otherwise.

Isn't it amazing...

...how a little sparkly pink lipgloss can you make you feel all girly but having your Ebsco agent actually working to put all your online subscriptions together with one centralised access point can make you feel like you should be wearing black boots, a lab coat, rubber gloves, and going 'muhhhhhuaaaahaaaa'? Sorry, again, too many cartoons, I guess.

Much yayness

  1. Now that my loans finally consolidated, I talked to payroll to check the status regarding wage garnishment. Turns out they'd received a letter this morning in the mail this morning, so, no more garnishment. Yay! Starting Thursday I'll be getting about $70 per cheque more (granted, I'll soon be paying on my loans, but as a temporary measure, it's going to help me with some catch up on bills).
  2. Speaking of which, I got an extension on an important bill that I was supposed to have paid today--but of course I get paid on Thursday. This relates back to the 'putting things off and not confronting an issue' thing on last Friday's blog. The extension was granted. Here's to the courage to ask and a nice libation to the Goddess. I realise now I've had some minor depression over the last two months or so (not surprising, really) and I was starting to let my life drift a little. I feel like I'm starting to get back on track.
  3. I not only survived the gym Saturday, I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to going tonight. Because our weekly Cthulhu game was cancelled, I wound up doing a lot of fairly intense housework and finally had a little soreness, mainly in the neck and lower back. I think the muscles are a little shocked. But keeping moving really helps. If I hadn't have been so busy yesterday I think I would have gone to the gym and at least done some cardio work. (Oh, gee, I'm actually falling into the jargon). I've noticed that on both Sunday and today I've woken up with no trouble, actually a little before my alarm. Each day I got where I needed to go early. Granted, there may be other reasons (perhaps the stars are right?) but I think getting some exercise should really help my sleep cycle. Last night was the first time in days that I hadn't had really weird dreams about having superpowers and being chased by some enemy or small children out to take over the world who then get caught up in murder investigations (too much Cartoon Network?) One had a family sort of like the Weasleys, but Canadian, touring in a bus sort of like the Partridge Family, fighting crime. Weird. Although I'd like to think that the dreams just came from a somewhat sick but creative mind, I've noticed I don't get as much physical rest with those sorts of dreams, and I'm more likely to go back to sleep because, frankly, the dreams are more entertaining than what's going on in life. Last night I still dreamt, but I got a lot of rest and felt not overly bouncy but ready to face my day this morning. Maybe some of those exercise-related endorphins helped.
  4. Our benefit garage sale for the brother of a co-worker was a rousing success. We raised over $2000 and that's not counting donations or the ton of clothes they're going to put into consignment to raise more. The young man is 20 and battling bone cancer at St. Jude Children's Research hospital in Memphis. His father is disabled and her mother has had to stop working to help take care of him, so things have been very tight and difficult on the whole family. If you're interesting in helping, donations are being taken through Central Bank & Trust Co, 300 W. Vine, Lexington, KY 40507 (or dropped off at any Central Bank location, if you're in Lexington), in care of the Joe Slone Benefit.
  5. I wound up totally having to rework the blog template last night because every now I'll update a link or something and much of the template will go POOF! At first I thought it was cats (who think my keyboard is a sofa). But it actually seems to be a quirk in the new Blogger, kind of like how it keeps refreshing over and over as I post. Fortunately, I have learnt to keep a copy after each update to the template. Yay for getting a learning curve!
  6. Ever since Saturday's workout I just haven't really wanted anything sugary. Maybe it's just a change in mindset. Maybe it's those endorphins. Who knows? I have no idea whether that will continue.
  7. When I left for work this morning, the clouds were roiling in all sorts of directions and very dark. Off to the east you could see yellow sky and a distinct line of potential tornado clouds. Everything to be both spinning and blowing hard at the same time. I powered down everything before I left (I don't trust surge protectors 100%, and I don't have any on the phone line for now). Fortunately, it didn't start raining in any amount until I stepped foot under the portico. Yay!

Today's snapshot

  • I'm reading: Murder, My Dear Watson edited by Greenberg, Lellenberg, and Stashower. It's a collection of Sherlockian stories written by today's mystery writers.
  • I weigh: 270 lbs (fully clothed and after breakfast!)
  • I've eaten: 2 eggs, strawberry banana yoghurt, tuna, a biscuit, a salad with a couple of peach slices and about a tbsp. of French dressing, a half pint of lowfat chocolate milk, a 20 oz. diet cola, and 24 oz. of water.
  • I've exercised: Walking to work. Before the rain started--good motivation for speed.
  • I forgot: to bring my medicine with me today. Rats.
  • I plan to: download and print some patient surveys for the performance improvement people, check on the status of some interlibrary loans, start on a Powerpoint presentation for volunteer services, process some subscriptions, print up needs assessment surveys to go out in payroll, shelve materials, and maybe start working on a book truck full of stuff. Ah, the life of a solo librarian. If it's not raining I'm going to take some library books in when I go to the gym. Then I'll come home and depending on my energy level go from there.
  • I want: to find my copy of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen put me in the mood. Maybe I'll see about downloading the e-book.
  • What I'm doing now: Going to lunch.

And, as a follow-up...

congrats, you're one of those 'earth based'

which religion are you? (pics)
brought to you by Quizilla


Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)High
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)High
Level 2 (Lustful)Low
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante Inferno Hell Test

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Velma is my heroine!

I missed this when it was first in the Washington Post but came upon it tonight. Velma rocks! Velma was intelligent, brave, spiffy, and ran circles around the rest of the Scooby gang. No one ever believed, when Scooby was resurrected in the 80s with just Daphne and Shaggy, that Daphne had suddenly grown a brain. On TV growing up I had only two really decent rolemodels--Velma and Wonder Woman, and let's face it, my chances of being an Amazonian princess are pretty slim. It's nice to see Velma finally get some respect. It warms my geekazoid heart.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Go, me!

I went to the gym today for my orientation/free session with a personal trainer. Although I shudder to consider the possibility--I really enjoyed it. A lot. I got up early and did some laundry so I'd have something to wear there, but I still wound up with only 10 minutes to catch the bus in order to get there on time. So I pulled on the newly clean shorts and a shirt, grabbed my inhaler, bus pass, $5, and keys, and managed to get to the stop just as the bus came into view.

The trainer with whom I'd made the appointement had said to eat something before coming. I had inted to get a bottle of water and a protein bar at Walgreens but had run out of time. So, I got off at the Subway downtown and grabbed a quick kid's meal, then headed to the gym. Note to self: The downtown Subway has gardenburgers.

It's on the seventh floor of a parking garage that links to our only 'real' skyscraper downtown (a building which the locals dubbed 'the big blue phallic symbol' since at 30 floors it's heads and shoulders above anything else downtown and is covered in blue glass). Yeah, you guys from the big city can laugh. I know it's not really tall, but it's the tallest thing here fore miles. I'm kind of glad the gym isn't in that building.

Anyway, I met with Kwan Wilson of Beyond Fitness. He was very good about putting a nervous newbie to ease. I filled out some paperwork about my goals, my health, etc. He was cool with my focus on getting healthy, getting some stress relief, and maybe losing some weight (I'm not that number conscious, but at 272lbs I obviously do need to lose).

We did some tests of my body fat, blood pressure, and flexibility. The bad news is that the nifty gizmo that basically measures my body fat through something like sonar came up with 47%. Basically, I could lose an entire person in fat (one friend, being told this, assured me that it was fine so long as we both voted Democrat). :) I asked about what it should be for a woman and a fair fat content would be 24%. If I managed to get to that, I'd probably lose 60 lbs just in that. From what I can tell, he has a good sense of where I would have trouble. He said the first 40 lbs would probably come off pretty quickly, then I'd plateau around 220-230. That's been the case in the past. It's hard for me to get down to 200, and I haven't been under 200 since I was about 20. If I can continue through that plateau, though, there should be a second spurt. I think it's rather exciting for a trainer to have a gym 'virgin' of sorts--kind of like how hairdressers seem so happy when you come in with long hair that's healthy because it hasn't been overworked and they've got all that room to work with. In physical training I get the sense that they like not having to 'unteach' bad habits, and when you're as overweight as I am, I think it's easier to see when it's working and celebrate with the client. I definitely was impressed with the attitude of the trainers.

The good news is that, as I knew, my resting heart rate, at 68, is considered damn good, especially for someone who's 36 and has been overweight her entire life. My blood pressure's normal, too, and I know my cholesterol is good. So that indicates I have a pretty healthy heart so I have the important tool for fitness right there. I mean, lots of people are skinny and otherwise look fit, but have blood pressure and cholesterol through the roof. I have diabetes and exercise-induced asthma, but I'm on medication and the exercise should actually help with both. So that's good. Next time I go (and I have an appointment Monday night), I'll talk to a nutritionist and we can start working on my diet. They're very much into slow, steady work towards a goal--no fad diets, etc., but a healthy combination of diet and exercise. Yay. I won't be able to do the personal training bit for awhile (it's like $30-$50 per session, depending on which plan you choose) but this should help me get started, and I can always go to them later after working out generally.

Then this tiny girl took me through my paces to start on some basics and get an idea on my flexibility. We warmed up on the treadmill, then worked on the shoulders with handweights and the lower back with an exercise where you bend with a weighted bar. I'm pretty flexible (all that yoga), and apparently I'm a quick study on correct form--one of the reasons for going, after all, is to find out how not to hurt myself.

So, I survived. My lower back was tight and ached a little afterwards, but my hamstrings weren't a problem. I can tell I worked the shoulder's pretty well, too. It's just starting out baby steps but it's the first step, anyway. Go, me! And I didn't feel self-conscious, even though I'm probably twice the girl's size. I'm pretty realistic about my body and my goals, and I just don't see any reason to stress. I'm there to work out, not to be looked at, and no one at that gym gave me the 'meat market' feeling, either. Richmond Road is supposed to be a little more on that side, but I'll try to keep an open mind about that untili I check them out.

PS They have a bike hooked up to the Internet at the gym that you can surf only as long as you pedal. Wicked!

Actually, downtown is THE place to be on Saturday, apparently. There's the farmer's market on Vine, an artist's market at Phoenix Park, the Dynamic Doors exhibit, etc. Maybe going to the gym will get me down there for the rest of the fun. I can stop by the library, too. I did today, briefly, just to read the latest ACE Weekly before the buses arrived at the transit centre. I was tempted to go to the Kentucky Theatre because they're playing a 3D version of 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' this weekend. Downtown's actually pretty great in the summer. On Wednesdays the Kentucky is doing 'classic movies' like 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?', 'Grease', 'Jaws', etc. On Thursdays there's music at Cheapside near the old courthouse. So if you're near Lexington, you might want to check downtown out.

Well, that's enough for now. Have a good night.

I love my cat, I love my cat

...even when he does walk over the keyboard as I blog and shut the whole computer down, so that I lose everything I typed. Sigh.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Oy ve!

Okay, I now have an official appointment for my gym orientation. (They called me today to set it up). It works out rather nicely--tomorrow at 11:30. They told me to eat before I come in and prepare to work out. They have an orientation which includes some nutrition counseling as well. I'm going to go downtown to the 'posh' facility for the orientation. Wish me luck.

I have to admit, I'm a little depressed today. For one, I need to make some arrangements for something and I've been putting it off, which only serves to cause more trouble in the long-run, which I know, but my tendency is that if I really don't want to do something, I'll curl up into a ball and try to put it out of thought. Can't do that, though, that's not healthy. I suspect that and the impending storming weather is leaving me a little rundown. I should have gone to the gym yesterday. If I'm going to feel sore, at least it should be because I worked out, rather than slept for 12 hours!

Also, I have thought for awhile that my cat, Buns, was hyperthyroid. His hair loss is supposed to be from allergies but nothing we've tried in terms of changing food, etc. has worked, and a friend who raises dogs says the pattern is similar to hyperthyroidism in dogs. He's tended to have these hot spots that don't get worse, and don't get better, which makes a beautiful cat kind of litch-like and oozy. Now his skin is doing this wild flaking thing. If I message it, it seems to help it, and he's not as likely to irritate it with his tongue. I need to finds something I can put on the dry skin to help that won't make him sick if he licks it. He's thin, but eats and drinks all the time and seems to be a little warmer than normal (not feverish, just like his metabolism is running high). All of those are signs. And I think his thyroid is enlarged, although obviously I'm not a vet. I really need to see about getting some tests done, but I haven't been in a position financially to do a lot of bloodwork. With a couple months coming where I'll have an extra $140, coming in (after wage garnishment ends and before I start paying my loans back) I'm hoping to get him checked out. I was looking into treatment options online yesterday. If he is hyperthyroid, I could pill him once or twice a day for the rest of his life, which I'd be willing to do (I don't know how he'll like it) to supress his T4 production. That's also the cheapest up-front, anyway. Over a lifetime it adds up. But the other possibilities are surgery (for which I don't think he's a good candidate, with the emaciation, etc.) or radioactive iodine. Both of those run about $1000, and the second has to be done in a facility that can handle the radioactivity and then the animal has to be isolated for up to three weeks due to this. I love Buns, but I don't have $1000 to spend on my cat. :( So, I'm feeling like a bad mom. I knew that as the animals got older these situations would come up (and mine are all between 12-15), but this is hard simply because it's not a clear-cut case like, say cancer, where I don't see prolonging life through chemo, etc. With treatment, and if secondary issues like heart and kidney disease haven't set in, he could live into his 20s and be pretty much back to normal, if that's what it is. But he's doing alright otherwise--active, affectionate, etc., so he's certainly not suffering enough to put down, even with all the problems he has. Hopefully things will improve once I can take hime in. If any of you have gone through similar issues with a pet, I'd appreciate any advice.

Oops, I did it again...

Was soooooo sleepy I went to bed at 8 pm thinking I'd wake up in an hour or two. Ha! So it's nearly 5 am and I'm up. So I figured I might as well do the Friday Five.

1. When was the last time you cheated? I may have cheated at solitaire occasionally, but the last serious problem was when I was 19 and had been dating my ex for a year I had this summer where I was already trying to get out of the relationship and failing. I did the 'cry on someone else's shoulder' thing to a 31 year-old guy who took advantage of the situation, and I let it happen. That was a very confusing summer, one in which I was basically cheating on someone (and I would have never thought I would). Of course, I did fess up, and he used the guilt that I had over that to solidify his grip on me, especially after the other went sour. We were engaged within four months and it took me another four years to disentangle myself from a very bad relationship.

2. When was the last time you stole? I think I have a pen from work in my bag. I really should return it. I guess that counts. In terms of seriousness, I have one criminal count on my record where a cheque didn't go through and I wound up going to court, paying the fines, etc. It was in the midst of the 'Breakdown' and right after September 11th, and I wrote a cheque for groceries when I was feeling particularly vulnerable that I knew wouldn't be covered and really that was quite, quite stupid and wrong. Of course I didn't think of it as stealing at the time, but that's the charge--'theft by deception'--you know how easy it is to rationalise these things. But as my counselor once said, most women are in prison for bad cheques or killing their husbands (hey, at least I didn't do that, although I had several people who would have testified that it was justified *sarcastic grin*). But I did make restitution and eventually I can have it expunged. In the meantime I'm trying to keep my nose clean.

3. When was the last time you lied? Does the 'I'm going to the gym' count, since I didn't follow through, or is that just changing my mind? I did tell someone I would pay part of a bill the other day and I haven't yet. I had intentions to, but haven't. I usually lie to myself before I lie to others, and I usually do it in a way that most people don't consider lying. Usually it's more like I'll say something but emotionally I'm just not on the same page.

4. When was the last time you broke or vandalized another's property? I don't think I've ever intentionally destroyed someone else's property. (Tempted, yes. Followed through, no). However a few years I broke something by accident that I cannot replace (it being a sentimental object).

5. When was the last time you hurt a loved one? When I was in the midst of my breakdown I was having these wild mood swings and would take it out on someone I loved. It got so bad that I eventually received an ultimatum to seek counseling or end the relationship. I went through counseling, and things are much, much better, and I earned the friendship back.

'I'm not bad--I'm just drawn that way.'--Jessica Rabbit, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

As you can see, I'm one of those 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions' people. I don't mean to do bad things, but I think all of us do. Most people would consider the above to be not so bad, but it's part of a pattern or behaviour (which I'm hopefully breaking) stemming from my struggle with mental health, so I try to examine things and make changes to prevent it in the future. My, that was an unpleasant FF!

What is the sound of one flea jumping?

The only trouble with having treated all the animals for fleas is that now the little buggers have turned their attentions to the only other warm-blooded animal in the house--me. Apparently the area around the computer is especially bad. I hope I won't have to bomb (the aquarium is always an issue) but it might be time for some of that carpet stuff. Grr.

Thursday, July 17, 2003


You are Paige Matthews. Congratulation, you have to power to orb, heal, and telekinetic orbing.
You are Paige Matthews. You can orb, heal, and you
can call for objects.

Which Charmed One Are You?
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I am an overly happy A.D.D kitten

Which cute or possibly strange kitten are you?
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I am such an utter wuss...but that's okay. Baby steps. Baby steps...

I chickened out on going to the gym tonight for my orientation (fortunately there wasn't an appointment involved; they had told me I could just walk in). Those of you who know me well probably won't be surprised. But I'll get there. I decided that going on Saturday morning might not be quite so intimidating. That also gives me a couple of days to get a plan together in terms of what I want to work on.

So, instead I'm home and blogging. The local news reports that two of the horses I mentioned the other day who had been attacked with some sort of acid have had to be euthanised. One was a two-time winner of the Saddlebred Triple Crown. It's such a shame. I can't understand why anyone would do such a thing.

I also feel sorry for all concerned in the Santa Monica farmer's market crash--both the victims and driver. It's so hard to tell when it's time to stop driving, after all. It's easy in retrospect to say, oh, gee, he shouldn't have been behind the wheel. But what if it was you? Or your parent? I think all drivers should be evaluated periodically for their skills--not just based on age, which is discriminatory, but the rest of us, too. There are lots of people whose eyesight and reflexes change even in middle age. The last Newsweek had a 'My Turn' dealing with just this issue, from the point of view of a woman who had to decide to give up the independence of driving.

Happy Thursday

What I'm listening to: A CD of some oldies--'The City of New Orleans' by Arlo Guthrie, 'John Barleycorn Must Die' by Traffic, 'One Tin Soldier' by Coven, 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?' by Pete Seeger, 'Paint it Black' by the Rolling Stones, and 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald' by Gordon Lightfoot, juxtaposed with the Dropkick Murphys' 'Finegan's Wake' and 'How Soon is Now' by Love Spit Love.
What I'm reading: Haven't decided yet today. I'm thinking of starting back with the Harry Potter books and doing 1-5 in succession.
What I'm planning for tonight: Drumroll, please. I'm going to the gym. I called earlier and I don't need an appointment or anything for the orientation, which I desperately need since I have never been to it, to any gym, and haven't been on any fancy equipment more complex than the occasional treadmill. I've been warned that it's one big meat market but I plan on just going and exercising and to hell what anyone else thinks of me. Or so I say, now. :) Working on the theory that I won't be sore until tomorrow, I'm going to do a little laundry tonight, but otherwise leave things open.

More on the librarian action figure

Not surprisingly, the news of a shhhshing librarian action figure has gleaned a mix response from librarians. I'm in the it's-great-to-have-an-action-figure camp, although I'd prefer it to be a little jazzier. However, the thing I love about this update is the description of a group of California:

Few library workers show off their shushing techniques like those in Santa Cruz, Calif., where the gesture is included in a routine done by a drill team of library employees in local parades.

Diane Noland, a library administrative assistant, said team members push carts of books in precision formations, guided by their director.

'When he calls "Circulate!" we all push our carts around and then we stop and go "Shush!" to the people on the side — and they always laugh and we always laugh.'

:) Now that's teamwork.

Finally, for now...

I keep up with both friends and ex-friends (you never know what they're up to, otherwise). But I was a little surprised by a positive mention on Zabet's blog:

The RL: Mostly Persephone and Hestia with a dash of Athena for academia and a sprinkle of Demeter which probably didn't show up until she hit about 30.

It's a discussion of Greek Goddesses as archetypes for how we interact with the world, based on a book she's reading for class. I have to admit, her 'armchair psychology' was pretty much dead on with me, which is to be expected after this many years. That makes me pretty well-rounded, I think.

I've taken the quiz to which she refers to, but decided to take it again to see what it would say. I came out: 25% Hestia, 25% Athena, 25% Persephone, 16.7% Artemis, 8.3% Hera, and 0% each for Aphrodite and Demeter.



I just realised the comments didn't make it back onto my template. I'll rectify that tomorrow. I'm tired enough that I'm only likely to do more damage if I try tonight.


A few random thoughts

I've been blogging for several hours, but unfortunately it was building the template back (I think one of my cats walked over the keyboard at an inopportune moment). I've mostly been adding some regional blogs. The meetup was supposed to be tonight, but we didn't have enough people this time. So I've been digging up various blogs in Kentucky. I thought it might be nice to show how different the denizens here are, and not entirely stereotypical, much like I have for links to librarians. But I also decided I should actually post something. So, here's an update on how things are going in the world of the Rabid Librarian.

I just checked and my student loans have finally consolidated!!! (And there was much rejoicing!) It only took three years, as I'm sure those of you who have had to put up with my periodic whining know. The monies have been disbursed and except for the minority which are from third-party lenders, the original loans show up as paid. I'm assuming the others will update in a few days--the consolidation just went through on the 7th. Not only did I get a very low rate but this also means that they have to stop garnishing my wages. I think in the long run I'll actually be paying a little more per month, but that's not too bad. I think it'll run about $200 a month. Not wonderful--but doable, especially considering unconsolidated my payments would be more than I make in a month. :)

It seems so strange to say this...but...I joined a gym. I live directly between two of the facilities here in Lexington. Our workplace was able to negotiate a corporate rate of only $16/month; it's usually $40-$60 depending on the facility. A whole slew of people I know joined, too (really, that amount was too great to pass up), and so I'll have buddies. I figure at that price even if I went for only a couple times a month, it would still be worth it, and it's less in a year than most home gym equipment. I had to sign up for a year but there was no sign-up fee--I just paid $7.50 for this half of the month and I'm on my way. They have some interesting classes, including a cycling class where you ride whilst watching a movie, a power yoga class, etc. A trainer is supposed to get in touch with me in a day or two to set up an orientation. I haven't used fitness equipment since I lifted weights in high school. I may go over tomorrow though and at least take a look and maybe get on a treadmill. Dwana and some of her friends joined too, although she won't be starting until September due to her health issues.

The scary thing was I went to the website and they have a lot of tools for fitness and weight loss. They had a calculator to estimate your percentage of body fat. I am 272 lbs, with hips at 55" and waist (if I don't try to hold it in) at 48", bust at 50". (Ye Gods, I don't believe I'm telling random strangers that!) They estimate at 44% body fat (that's like 118lbs--a whole person!) That is scary. I figure for the cost of a couple of meals a month, anything I can do to feel better has got to be good. The same calculator at least recognises a good 'target weight' of 175-180lbs. If I followed some of the insurance tables my ideal weight would be something like 125-145, and I'd be painfully thin. I'm a solid person, short-waisted, with long legs. I'm never going to look like a model, and that's not my intent. I just want to be healthy. The good thing is that despite the diabetes I have a good heart rate (resting is about 68-70) and blood pressure (last time I gave blood it was 115/72; I suspect that if I lost weight I'd actually have low blood pressure).

I went ahead and transferred the most recent quiz pictures to my own webspace so this page should load much more quickly. Hope that helps.

Hmmm...anything else? I accidentally wound up on a porn site at work (one that even shocked me, because it was promoting incest). I was just trying to find pictures of racecars for a poster-sized card I made for the brother of one of my co-workers; he has cancer. We're having a benefit for him this weekend and we wanted everyone to be able to sign, and it was important that we not give a 20 year old a really girly or kid-like card. Anyway, I backed out of that one pretty fast and gave it to IT to block. Lord knows if we're going to have filters (and no, it doesn't make me happy, but I also have access to an unfiltered connexion), at least hopefully they'll work right.

Thank you Dwana for taking me by Taco Bell! I've been having cravings for a couple of weeks and they weren't going away until I had two seven-layer burritos. Here's to happy vegetarian 'Mexican' food (and yes, I know it's stretching, but I specifically wanted TB). Yo quiero Taco Bell!

The local news was pretty depressing today. I hadn't done more than skim the headlines for awhile but I watched the evening news tonight. There were several stories regarding sexual abuse--one man arrested in Louisville for molesting children in department stores in West Virginia and Ashland, another prowling Boyle county playgrounds and fairgrounds, another (similar description at least in Mercer county) who exposed himself to children in a couple of public libraries, and an ex-minister who walked out of a courtroom the day he was convicted on sex abuse charges who was finally caught. I don't know what's bringing all the sickos to Kentucky at the moment, but gee, can we stop whatever it is? Oh, and I didn't mention this before, but in late June right before the Junior League Horse Show someone went into a barn and injected five horses with what appears to have been acid. The saddlebreds were, I believed, going to attend the show. They had a report tonight that all horses are still being treated with hyberbaric chambers and the like, and they're just hoping they can keep the good legs strong long enough to let the others heal--but there's been a lot of damage in terms of the horses' health, costs, etc. I can't imagine why anyone would do such a thing. Argh!!! I followed this up with a documentary on bubonic plague (which I found interesting and not nearly as depressing) and the last bit of the movie Miss Congeniality which I love. So I'm feeling a little better about the world.

I find it interesting that Finland is experiencing a heat wave that's left it with temperatures around the same as ours. Apparently the reindeer are having a rough time of it, but Santa's hard at work in shorts. :) And in Rome they're so hot that Vatican guards and tourists are nearly coming to blows over the proscription of shorts and sleeveless shirts in area churches. The police in Rome are trying to keep people out of the fountains. One thing about living in the South--you forget that other people just aren't prepared for our sort of weather. It's like Canadians watching people in Atlanta panic over a half-inch of snow, I suppose. Kentucky's smack dab in the middle of things so we get a little bit of both, plus rain, drought, tornadoes, occasional earthquakes, etc.

Well, I told myself I would not take a nap earlier because I didn't want to sleep my night away, but it's 1 am and I can't fight anymore. Take care. I keep thinking tomorrow is Friday but it's not. :(

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

So, what's a girl to do with four hours before work?

You come from the Future. Your soul came from a
different time, far in the future. You're just
a little bit a head of everyone else and you're
constantly wondering what lies ahead.

Where Did Your Soul Originate?
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What Is Your Animal Personality?

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I think I was heading towards bear for awhile--I'm so easygoing these days I might seem lazy. And on that note...I think I'll nap a little more until the sun comes up.

Good Morning

Yes, it's one of those rare days when I up before the sun, mainly because I came home yesterday at 5 pm and crashed before 5:30. Well, I don't know if crashed is quite the right word. I was so tired, but my mind was racing and it was hard to settle down. I slept until 7, had a little dinner, and went back to bed until about 4 this morning. My back was hurting from so long in bed, so I took a nice warm bath and then did some yoga to help stretch it out. (I've done yoga for years, but I hadn't the last few weeks, and I could definitely feel my spine slide into place and a need to stretch my hamstrings. Child pose is especially good for lower back pain, I've discovered.I'm convinced yoga is one of the reasons that in our group at work--where I'm the one who's the least in shape otherwise--I can easily bend to the floor and beyond, where several of the girls can just bend past their knees. Of course, I have deficits in other ways. I cannot do sitting bend poses where I put my head on my legs, for example. Part of that is having a fairly shelf-like chest, and part is that I have proportionally long legs and short torso.)

So, I've let Cerys out (the moon is big and lovely as it heads towards setting), fed them all--including Spock, who was determined to help me do my yoga by getting on my chest and stretching his paws out onto my face. I learnt a long a time to ignore that and meditate around him. What's the point of meditation if you can only do it when you're completely calm and surrounded by quiet?

It is very quiet in here now, though--just the rush of water from the aquarium and a soft whir from the computer. My upstairs neighbour must be up as well--someone just walked across the floor. Outside it's positively tomb-like--no birds, no insects. It's like the world is holding it's breath before starting up all over again.

It occurs to me that I haven't been taking the time to practise mindfulness or distress tolerance skills lately, or do things to help me stay on an even keel. Don't get me wrong, I'm not foaming at the mouth or anything. But I was starting to feel overwhelmed and that's an early sign of problems that need to be nipped in the bud. Hence deciding to get some rest and doing meditation. I remember thinking in the bath that it would be nice if I could work some more (an opening for a part-time job has come up that pays about what I make an hour supposedly cataloguing, but I've worked there before, and it's mostly mindless copy cataloguing and label making). It would help me get some savings, but at the same time, I realised that working there would take up what free time I have and put a strain in terms of running to catch the bus, get there without getting a chance to eat properly--which is bad when you're diabetic, etc. The last time I was there I was laid off because I couldn't work more than 12 hours a week, and I rather felt like they'd lied to me about the scope of the job, etc. (the place looks very nice on paper--or website--but around here it's considered a sort of sweatshop for librarians and library students). The last time I even thought about applying there I had a panic attack. This time I was thinking, well, I know these things up front and it's not like I'd be giving up my benefits/nice environment, etc. but just adding it...fortunately I listened to reality and decided that it wasn't worth extra money to have a lot of stress in my life. My current schedule works very well for me in terms of keeping my head on straight, with a balance of work-time, friend-time, and me-time. I think that's more important, don't you?

By the way, I talked a lot about going to the movie Saturday but didn't actually report back. I went to see the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which got an abysmal rating from the critics, and I can see why; the movie was overblown in some ways, bogged down (there are an awful lot of characters to introduce, clumsy in its action) but overall a whole lot of fun. Sean Connery made an excellent Quartermain. I was rather annoyed at one critic I read who described Quartermain as a knock-off of Indiana Jones. Hello, doesn't anyone read anymore? Quartermain was way before Indiana's time and, quite frankly, quite an original. I loved Mina Harker (ever read Dracula?) quickly putting herself back together after ripping out someone's throat in proper ladylike fashion. Peta Wilson (who also played in 'La Femme Nikita') is excellent. The Invisible Man had the best line--referring to being naked in the snow. Dorian Gray was done very well, and whilst I'd never seen Stuart Townsend before, I was quite taken with him. I could certainly see him as Lestat in Queen of the Damned. Although I'm not entirely sure anyone in the theatre besides my group even knew who he was. Nemo's gadgets were great, if a little out there. I understand why they threw Tom Sawyer in, but I wasn't as taken with him. Dr Jeckyll/Mr Hyde was done well, even with somewhat obvious CGI. The mystery bad guy should have been far more mysterious and diabolical; he is also literary in origin (one of my favourites) and there were some very specific references to the canon from which he sprung. Again, the people in the theatre seemed a little blank on this one. I guess action movie goers in general don't read, whereas it was always the mix of steampunk age and literary background that drew me to the comics. There were some very difficult parts in terms of suspending disbelief. The Nautilus travelling up the Seine and then, even harder to believe, the canals of Venice were just too much. Dorian's immortality apparently also extends to his suit. Tom Sawyer apparently has an inborn American ability to drive a motorcar, especially making hairpin turns in a v-e-r-y long automobile. And yes, these were a bit much, but rather in keeping with the writing from which the characters were derived. I mean, it is supposed to be over the top--most of it could be forgiven, in part, because of the genre from which it is derived--if you've read 'King Solomon's Mines' or 'Gulliver on Mars', etc., you'll know what I mean. It was pretty predictable, but it was a bit of rip-roaring fun, although I nearly cried when they destroyed not one, but two libraries, the first having a wonderful chance to put those ladders into action, the last a private collection of the Master Criminal (which meant, of course, that it would be the treasures of the ages) by flamethrower. And I want to know where they filmed the library where they met 'M'--with its masonic emblems. Again, I guess that's not a typical reaction, but hey, I'm a librarian and historian. I would certainly recommend it as a matinee or rental, at least. The technology, sets, and costumes were all well done, and I think the actors did a remarkable job with what they were given. Keep in mind, too, that this was the movie being filmed back when Prague and its environs were blasted with rain and flooding last year, where sets were being destroyed almost as quickly as they could be put up. It couldn't have been an easy one to make.