Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Oddity of the Month

According to Sunil Freeman, typing the following into Google sends you here:

Zoroastrian Aardvark Tango

Now, I haven't been able to duplicate it. Maybe it was a fluke of the day. In fact, when I first tried, I got nothing. Now I get an interesting page. But I'm glad it brought another reader. (And of course, now it should definitely come up, once it's been crawled.) :)

Thanks for the tip! Hope you enjoy your browsing.

Thought for the day...if I started clicking on a random link on every page I clicked, would I eventually wind up back where I started? How long would it take? Now there's an overblown research project to fund...I'll volunteer if someone pays me. ;)

I never thought of that...

Okay, I try to see how other people live. I try to put myself in their shoes. But sometimes something seemingly minor makes you go 'ohmigod' and there's a ping as the light bulb comes on.

I grew up on Air Force bases. That's a little odd, I suppose, although of course it was normal for me, but one of the good things about it was even though we lived in government housing (not particularly spacious duplexes; the biggest room I ever had was probably 9 x 9 feet), once my dad's rank got to be sergeant or above, we always had a yard. (Yes, it's all done by rank. When he was an airman we lived in campers and trailers. The few times I was in a major's house (because as a rule officer's kids didn't mix with enlisted soldier's kids) I discovered it mostly came down to rank, although number of kids was a factor...that one was spacious.) Still, we always had room for a few tomato plants and flowers, and the yard had to be cut to regulation and sometimes, if you were very good, your yard won the base award.

But until I saw the 'I Love the 70s' show for 1975 where the various urban dwellers described the problems inherent with using a Slip n' Slide...I had no idea how different an experience other kids had. See, I loved my Slip n' Slide. It wore a strip of brown grass right down the yard. We have pictures of me in this flourescent striped swimdress where I used to pretend I was Iris, Goddess of the Rainbow (okay, so I was a budding Pagan even then). If I get around to hooking my scanner back up I may link to one of those, since I'm sure there are those out there going, Slip n' Slide, what's that??? In the meantime, let me tell you that it was a long yellow plastic strip that you staked down in the yard which attached to a hose, with water coming up from the sides wetting the surface and removing what friction was left. You then ran at the thing and lept upon it, sliding down the strip. It was sort of a cheap, primative water slide. Since we lived in Louisiana at the time, it was heaven, because it kept us cool during the worst part of the summer and we were miles from the base pool (where I'd nearly drowned already, so I wasn't keen on going back). In retrospect it was probably the closest thing to bungee jumping I've ever done. I guess in some ways I had more courage (or more stupidity) back then. But mind you, this is before they started putting kids in helmets and car seats, etc., so it really didn't occur to us that we might get hurt. In case you're wondering Wham-O still makes Slip n' Slides, although they've added inflatable bumpers, etc., that I suspect are to make it safer. If you're curious, go to the link and then just imagine the kid on the yellow plastic without any of the extra gizmos, sliding maybe 15 feet. That'll give you an idea.

On the show, people were describing running garbage bags down their apartment hallways and since they couldn't use water, they oiled themselves with baby oil. Or they hooked it up to the hose but put it outside on the cement. Ouch! Granted, these are mostly comedians, so who knows if they're telling the truth, but really, I think they were.

I forget sometimes that growing up in the Air Force and occasionally on family farms is a very different life than what the majority of people have had. Lexington is, for example, the largest city I've lived in, although of course I've visited places like Cincinnati, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. But I just can't see myself living in New York or LA and enjoying it. Or, like my co-worker, someplace even bigger, like Bangkok, where it sounds like the marketplace is right out of that one old Star Trek episode where the planet had too many people.

Put it down to the social phobia, perhaps, but I'm rather glad to have room to breathe.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

On the sixth day of Christmas...

I'm hoping for a chance at a new job. Today I mostly worked on job applications (go me!) and visited various friends. Got one of the applications mailed off and the other is getting hand delivered tomorrow. Also, note to self: if an 80 lb bitch (literal use of the term) gets spooked while you are holding her leash and you're inside the house, let go. It's much easier than dealing with the pulled shoulder afterwards.

On the sixth day of Christmas, the universe gave to me a pulled right shoulder, w-o-n-k-y c-o-m-m-e-n-t-i-n-g, Call of Cthulhu, a chance to sleep late...Return of the King...and a trip to grandma's house.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Sorry, comments on the blink

Hmm...for some reason the comments aren't showing up, even though enetation's main site seems to be up and the code is in my template alright. Guess I'll put it down to a temporary glitch for now, and if it doesn't resolve then I'll try to fix it. :) In the meantime, you can always e-mail me if you're just dying to post a comment.

On the fifth day of Christmas, the universe gave to me...w-o-n-k-y c-o-m-m-e-n-t-i-n-g, Call of Cthulhu, a chance to sleep late...Return of the King...and a trip to grandma's house.

It's hard to believe...

that in a blink of an eye, a town can virtually disappear into rubble--CNN.com - Iran's 25,000 quake victims buried. I was watching the news and it sounded as if there was no real way to identify many of the victims; their friends and relatives were most likely dead. An Islamic cleric was doing what he could to help give the victims a proper funeral as backhoes dug graves.

My condolences to the victims and their families. I wish that we lived in a world where there was not so much disparity in wealth and access to vital services. Here in the last few days we have had two earthquakes, nearly the same in terms of magnitude--one in California and one in Iran. It really shows what a difference can be made with enough funds and good building materials/techniques.

Most people in America don't see themselves as rich. They struggle with a high cost of living, for one thing. But even though I barely make ends meet, my two-bedroom apartment must seem like a palace to some. But I suppose I would be considered wealthy by some. Our freedoms, which we tend to take for granted, make us even richer. The sad thing is that there are places where there could be enough money to help the poor, but the resources have been diverted to greedy leaders instead. And unfortunately, no place is immune from that sort of greed.

Perhaps someday we'll live in a world where money does not matter, peace is taken for granted, and each individual can strive up to his or her own potential without being bound by poverty or convention. Maybe that's my idealistic side coming out, but I'd like to live to see that day, or at least come back and experience it. Someday.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

On the fourth day of Christmas, the universe gave to me...

Call of Cthulhu, a chance to sleep late...Return of the King...and a trip to grandma's house.

Okay, no re-do for Salem yet but it was nice to get together for the first time in a couple of weeks and try to free England (both current adventures are set there) of Cthulhoid menace. Nice, normal kind of adventures, you'd think, although we've already had a major Mythos creature (Nyarlothotep) show up, pretty as you please, to taunt us. The characters made it through that but I thought the players were going to pee on themselves. Evil Gamemaster!

But then, this is the one thing real roleplaying has over, say computer games. I've never found a computer game which truly simulates the care and feeding of a good game that a great gamemaster puts into it. The scenarios, no matter how great, lack the human touch that makes for truly great gaming. But then, lots of gamemasters lack that too. Fortunately we are blessed (or cursed, depending on your perspective) with someone who is highly intelligent, devious, viscious, yet fair (i.e., there's always a way out of a situation, although it may take a truly creative player to find it). Which is one of the reasons (along with a rich universe and highly-developed characters) we've been playing one game for twelve years.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

On the third day of Christmas, the universe gave to me a chance to sleep till 1:30

listening to: 'Zoe Jane' by Staind; 'Other Side' by Red Hot Chili Peppers; 'Radio Ga-Ga' by Queen
feeling: Nesting

I've spent this, my first totally free day of my vacation doing simple things like sleeping till 1:30 in the afternoon, taking a unrushed hot shower, doing dishes, taking a nap in the afternoon sunshine on the couch, straightening up the living room, re-organising kitchen shelves, watching martial art moves on TV (great moves for the game), playing Sims listening to music, and now blogging. I've actually done a lot but it doesn't seem like it, really.

Now I'm thinking about reading up on the Salem witch trials, since I suspect our gamemaster is going to make us re-do the mission in our game where we accidentally changed time. Brenda's feeling better (she and her family have been sick with some bug for a couple of weeks), so we should be playing.

My allergies have really kicked in today. At least, I hope it's allergies. You know how you go and go, and the moment you stop you get sick? I was a little achy earlier and my eyes and nose have just been streaming. Mostly it became an issue whilst burning a spruce-scented candle. Now that I've blown it out, I'm back just to bad sinus headache and pressure. I suppose it's not that surprising, given the fact that I am cleaning house and I'm allergic to my animals, dust, well, virtually the house, and moving stuff around only makes it worse (the main reason I don't dust enough...if I ever get a job where I can make ends meet, I think I'll get someone to come in once a week and dust.) Generally I feel okay...but it was enough that I decided to put off the gym until Monday. Also, annoyingly, I have a fever blister. Of course, I guess I shouldn't complain, since I was up to about 6 a year until I went on the Paxil, and oddly enough that might have helped. I guess if they're triggered by stress, that makes sense, anyway.

I'm thinking about (not now, but sometime before March) getting Sims Online because they have a special rebate that will make it only $9 and the first month of play is free, with subsequent months available either through regular payment or a pay-as-you-go card system so you don't have to commit to every month. Since I spend more time on the computer than watching TV, I'm thinking about cutting down to very basic cable, and the savings would more than pay for playing. Haven't decided, yet, though. Do you any of you play Sims Online? It's really a sort of glorified chat environment, but that's not really so bad for an introvert like me. :) Well, I guess that's enough for now. 'Layla' is playing and I want to give my full attention to Clapton.

Today's sing-along: On the third day of Christmas, the universe gave to me a chance to sleep till 1:30...Return of the King...and a trip to grandma's house.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Ah...the cycle is complete

I went to see Lord of the Rings: Return of the King today. As a story, I liked it. Okay, so it's really not Tolkien's story, but I think if you divorce it from the books it works well. And I have to admit some of my favourite parts aren't in the books. So Gandalf really couldn't practically beat the snot out of a head of state. So they ignored main points to the battle and played up minor ones. So, those prehistoric hyena things in the second movie should have been wolves. So most of the ending was a complete tangent. I still loved the series. I haven't seen any of the movies on DVD yet--I'm waiting until the last one is out so I can watch them together in context. And no, I still haven't given up on the books even though I don't care for Tolkien's writing style or character handling...the fact of the matter is that his work is a classic, regardless. And, I can finally tackle my friend Brenda's fifty-three chapters' worth magnum opus and get some idea of what's going on, especially as I helped inspire a small ficlet of hers based on one of the movie scenes from The Two Towers that wasn't part of the book and was ludicrous in it's handling. Hers was a much more satisfying ending, even if it would have left them an entire movie short. :)

Today's sing-along: On the second day of Christmas, the universe gave to me the Return of the King...and a trip to grandma's house.

I totally forgot the Friday Five!!!

Okay, so I'm backdating this. Forgive me, but it was a great one and I wish I hadn't missed it.

1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?

Finally feeling like I'm living my own life and not someone else's--and enjoying it, no matter what hurdles it may bring.

2. What was your biggest disappointment?

That someone who I had known for nearly ten years--whom I'd defended and supported and cared about like the sister I never had-- threw away my friendship by having one last, stupid, tirade over something trivial and didn't even have the balls to end it in person--or even the phone--but rather just blogged about it as if we'd had 'the talk'. Although in retrospect, maybe the friendship was always one-sided, if the things she wrote really was how she felt about me, in which case I'm best rid of such a toxic 'friend'. One of the things I'd realised over the course of my own therapy was that she did a lot of borderline stuff that made me seem almost normal--including blaming everyone else for her own problems, and pushing people away and then hating them for abandoning her. In the end, it was all about her, and her twisted view of things--and that's never going to change short of therapy, and she doesn't want that, or for that matter--as far as I can tell--people who care about her, and her husband--who I also thought of as a friend--never showed enough spine to emit the tiniest protest, so that was disappointing, too. Mind, you, not so long ago I officiated at their wedding. Why is it that couples act as some stupid entity-thing rather than two independent people with brains of their own?

A year ago I would have blamed myself, and excused her volatile, abusive behaviour even though everyone else in our circle of friends had cut her out of their lives and people who didn't know her but watched her behaviour (rather than hearing about it from me) just thought she was a raving bitch. This year I stopped making excuses and found new friends I could depend on who did want a two-way friendship, and I'm a lot happier as a result, It's nice to have people in my life I that I don't feel like I have to walk on eggshells with. I don't know if she's any happier, but I hope she gets exactly what she wants in life, although I don't think she'll ever be happy with it--which is a shame, because under it all she really does have a lot going for her. And for the first time, I can say I'm really not concerned one way or the other, because it's none of my business...we're no longer friends, and she's the one who chose to remove herself from my life; I tried to contact her, she avoided me, I had done the best I could, so I went on with my life.

I've noticed in the past that after a time she acts as if nothing bad ever happened, that once she's bored with the people she's gotten to amuse her in the meantime, then she'll run in to the person and act as if everything's just fine. I don't think she gets that it's not just fine, and only a stupid person would treat her as anything other than what she is, having been treated that way. You know what? I've done a lot of stupid things in the past with relationships...but I'm not that stupid.

3. What do you hope the new year brings?

Now that I've learnt to love myself, I want to learn to love someone else--not someone safe, and unable to return that love, but a scary, potentially messy kind of love that nevertheless is the most rewarding. Oh, gods, I sound like a total dweeb. But it's true. And yet I'm scared shitless of that sort of love. Which is probably why I should go back to therapy. :)

4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?

Mostly to just keep trying to get healthier in mind, body, and spirit...although I'm not going to say 'I MUST'; that just seems to set you up for failure. Instead, I'd rather take one day at a time and make gradual changes so a year from now I can say...oh, yeah, that's better. It doesn't have to be put in black and white. One of the things I'm trying to learn is to not try to control every aspect of my life to keep anxiety at bay. It just makes you crazy. It's better to learn to bend a little.

5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

I'm actually going to a party. But it's a snack-on-munchies-play-board-games-until-Dick-Clark-announces-the-New-Year kind of party, with just a few people, so it's not like, a scary party. :)

Thursday, December 25, 2003


I had a good visit at my grandmother's today, although my mom was very tired and none of the others really were feeling well. I have to admit, I'm concerned that my mom and my grandmother are both on medication for diabetic neuropathy--a burning pain in the extremities that can eventually lead to limb loss. The first thing I did once I got back up here was refill my metformin prescription, which was overdue by a few days. It left me without any great desire for sweets, either. Fortunately, sucralose seems to be a viable alternative in terms of baking and cooking. I don't want to wind up facing that myself. So far, my diabetes has been fairly well under control, although I sometimes feel pricking in my hands that I think may be the first signs of neuropathy. It feels like hot needles.

My mom surprised me by giving me our family clock. It's a pendulum wall clock my father brought back from Tokyo during the Vietnam War with a prancing ceramic horse at its head. It's an integral piece of my childhood and the one thing from home that I would be distraught to lose. I waiting to hang it until I can get a sturdy hanger and check for studs in the wall.

When my father's mother was dying of cancer, she sold our family farm and everything in it, and told me to go get anything I wanted before the man came and carted it away the next day. In a panic I went, alone, through the house, even into what I now realise was an unfinished attic where I pulled out things like my treadle sewing machine and a clock with painted glass. My mom really loved it, and I certainly didn't have the money to fix it, so I gave it to her. They've fixed it now and it's running like a charm. Turns out it was made between 1845 and 1888 by a company that later became Timex. It needed a new weight on the pendulum, counterweights (although, in retrospect, I think I have those, I just didn't know that's what they were for), and a restringing of the pendulum. So they have that now, so my mom took down our clock and packed it up for me. I find it's ticking and chime oddly comforting and hypnotic. So I'm looking forward to getting it up and running.

The drive down to Danville was wonderful. The weather was sunny and cool, but clear. I took a camera with me because, well, I guess we're at a point where every Christmas could be the last together. I suppose that's true all the time--one never knows what will happen--but my grandmother's nearly 80 and I worry about her.

I couldn't afford gifts this year, so instead I wrote a personal note in each card of what I most appreciated in the person. I guess sometimes we never tell people how we feel, and so I thought that might be a good thing to do for the holiday.

I'm taking Cerys for a sleepover later so I've been napping with her. She's such a good cuddle puppy, and very warm. She's always been very bed-oriented. I remember when I first brought her home from the pound and she sat down, tail wagging, eyes big and pleading to come up on the bed, but not about to until I gave the okay. Once I did, it was her bed from now on.

Well, I guess that's enough for now. Here's hoping you all have a safe and happy holiday.

Ok, everyone sing along: On the first day of Christmas, the universe gave to me a trip to grandma's house.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

I'm free

listening to: 'Photographs and Memories' by Jim Croce; 'Lady of Shalott' by Loreena McKinnitt
feeling: Ready for a holiday

For eleven wondrous days, I'm on vacation. I hadn't realised it, but I've been feeling worn down. Not just tired, or even exhausted. No, more like a marble gravestone whose carving has worn down until there's just a faint trace that the person ever existed. I don't mean to seem morbid; I'm not depressed. It's just been a strange year of ups and downs and it's wearing a little thin. So I think I'm overdue for a rest.

I feel like I've been running all day. First there was the late-night shopping, then work, then picking up the state paycheque, and more last-minute shopping with a friend before the stores closed, but everything was taken care of in the end, and I spent the evening with some of my family exchanging gifts.

I wasn't able to get the candles after all. The store was still closed due to a family illness (the flu, perhaps?), so instead I swung by the co-op and got a large package of incense, instead, which was probably a better choice. Believe it or not, I actually went into a mall on Christmas Eve, but it wasn't very busy at all. Even Joseph-Beth was reasonable--much better than, say, the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Even though I had a nice evening, I really felt like coming on home and just having some alone time. I didn't feel like I really got a chance to celebrate Yule properly. Since tonight is the eve of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun) in the Roman calendar, though, I felt it would still be appropriate to do a little.

I picked up a rosemary bush that had been trimmed in a tree shape. It's evergreen and I have a good chance of keeping it alive (rather than those Norfolk Virginia pines, which I just don't have much luck with. The pungent odour is comforting. Traditionally, it's a protection against evil and is used to purify. It's used at liminal points within our lives, such as at weddings and funerals, is said to improve memory, soothe headaches/migraines, nervous disorders, and those of the stomach related to stress. Seemed a good choice. :) It also has beautiful, dainty small flowers when it blooms. I've also tested it on five cats and discovered they pretty much ignore it. Anything that looks like grass (spider plants, ferns, etc.) or is in the mint family (not just catnip) is pretty much dead if I bring it into the house. It becomes roughage. My three haven't tried a taste yet and aren't rubbing against it, or anything, so hopefully it'll live. It's very disconcerting to have a green thumb that is still inadequate in light of ravenous greenery-chomping cats, and I refuse to segregate my plants into one cat-free room where I can't see them most of the time. So, perhaps this will work. And if not, rosemary's in several natural cat foods, so it'll probably help their digestion. :)

I also have a spruce-scented candle to remind me of the rebirth of the sun and the evergreens untouched by winter. No ritual, just a couple of things to put me in a more calm, spiritual mindset. It also seems to keep the cats from trying to sit on the keyboard as I type. :)

Tomorrow I'm going home to Danville. After that, it'll be mostly spending time with friends, catching up on housework, reading for fun rather than profit, that sort of thing. I'm looking forward to it...I haven't had that sort of free time in years...even when I was in school full-time, I worked several jobs, sometimes up to 35 hours per week, so I'm looking forward to taking enough time off to get rejuvenated a bit. And I'm hoping to get out of Lexington and maybe take a short road trip, say up to Owenton or to the Newport Aquarium, depending on the weather.

Well, that's enough for now, I suppose. Happy Christmas, for those who celebrate it. Happy Chanukah, too, since it's still going on. Here's hoping for a peaceful new year.

I guess it was a matter of time...

although it's a little creepy that it hit the news right after I made a post on mad cow disease and blood supply, don't you think? U.S. Battles Worldwide Fallout from Mad Cow Case. I have to admit that when I was reading the paper earlier, the thing that struck me was 1) that meat from a downed cow would be part of the food chain and 2) how many processing facilities one cow carcass goes through.

I'm glad I don't eat meat. Of course, I do eat dairy and eggs, so you can't totally escape animal-bourne diseases that way. But one reason I don't eat meat is because of what we do in so-called 'modern' farming where we push growth hormones, pack animals into factory farms, etc. Give me the old-fashioned farm where animals range and you get together with your neighbours and slaughter once a year. There's a fine balance between using healthy methods to improve livestock health and doing weird science.

Ah. Home. Warm. Goody.

It's a little after 2am and I just got home. After I picked a friend up from work I decided that my paycheque was going to hit the bank and that it might be best to come home with pet food. The cats have been eating from my backup stash of canned food, which has made them happy but Buns in particular does best with the Cat Chow Indoor Formula. Anything else seems to make his allergies worse. And I went ahead and got a giant bag of Beneful for Cerys.

I also picked up a couple of gifts, which I won't describe here because the recipients may read this. They were inexpensive but I think the giftees will enjoy them. This is a year for practical gifts, I will say. I need to get some candles tomorrow at the little dollar shop for one more person. I drove by earlier to see what their hours will be tomorrow and they'd closed due to a family illness. I hope they're open tomorrow, but I understand if they can't be. These are really nice coffee-scented candles. This place, Superdollar, has a very nice selection and it isn't, well, as cheap-looking as most of the crammed-to-the-rafters-everything-for-$1 places.

I was starting to get a little grumpy whilst out but coming home and getting something to eat took the edge off. Note to those of you who may deal with hypoglycaemics at one time or other: if a person's blood sugar starts to drop, they tend to be cranky to downright combative. Food will generally take care of this within just a few minutes, and once back in their right mind, people will go, 'gee, why was I being such an ass?' I will say that I've kept my cool through crowds, traffic, and have been very supportive and nice of cashiers. The U-Scan at Kroger's did get me though. The one at Richmond Road has various hoops you have to jump through that Euclid doesn't. At Euclid you can put a large item back into the cart, no problem, and no 'hit the yellow rectangle' with each item, which I think help provides a count and demagnetises security strips but is otherwise a nuisance. (On the other hand, the Euclid Avenue store doesn't have as wide a selection. Since I was scanning something that wasn't so much large as bulky, trying to hit the rectangle with the corner of (mind you, an open) box without scanning it again, etc., I put it down a little too abruptly and the cashier seemed to think I was all bent out of shape. I assured her that I wasn't upset, particularly with her, that it was just heavy and unwieldy and frankly I was up past my bedtime. Sigh.

But let me just say, overall, it's been a very good day. It started out a little shaky. There's a woman at work who tends to be a little needy of the spotlight, dismissive if you're talking about something she doesn't care about, and downright insistent that she's right even when she's wrong, without letting it go. Now, I understand the emotional need to do that, and I also understand that the reason it drives me crazy is that I used to do it all the time. But then, as a result, no one really wanted to talk with me or socialise with me much. I'm starting to feel that way around her. Here are a couple of snippets from the last couple of days.

Her: (talking about a Friends episode where a know-it-all kept pulling up trivia, one question of which was) Which thing that we call a nut is really a seed?
Me: Cashews.
Her: No, I don't think so. He said it was hazelnut. (And of course 'Friends' episode=gostpel. I think in her mind it had to have nut in the name).

Now mind you, I let it go, because although I'm good with botany, I'm terribly insecure about whether I'm right. That comes from having a best friend who's probably got an IQ in the 200s and has an eidetic memory. I have a recalcitrant memory at best. Of course, this means I tend to come out behind in some of our disagreements. There are some areas where I'm the recognised expert, but a lot of our interaction is in realms where he is, like philosophy and logic, subjects that he's taught. Of course, it was pointed out to me that I should have more faith in myself, since I am smart, well-read, and with a wide education. And that's right. But in the meantime I let it drop with this person.

This morning I was blocking on Dave Matthews' name. So I was thinking out loud and saying 'you know, the guy, the singer from South Africa, first name David'. At which point she informed me that he was *really* from Charlottesville, Virginia (see, she went high school and college in Virginia). Well, yes, that's where he launched his career from, but hello, he was born in South Africa, went back and forth between it and the US throughout his life, still maintains his dual-citizenship, and takes interest in the social and health issues hitting his country. I wasn't excluding other places he'd lived or were influenced by...but in my head, that's where he's catalogued, because I remember looking it up because I was curious about his accent. All the time I was actually trying to tell the story he figured into she kept hanging onto it and going on and on about he was *really* from Virginia, at which point I finally stopped what I was saying, told her that it really didn't matter to the story, finished it, and then left the room. Grr. I'm sure this is payback for all those times I pulled the pouty 'Lisa-must-be-right-but-seldom-is' attitude.

Sigh. Mind you, this person doesn't really understand that we're not friends, we're acquaintances, and she'd probably be hurt by that distinction. The fact is, we just don't click. We can talk on certain topics, but in terms of personality, we're just not compatible. Shortly after she started working she said she wanted a chance to be friends because basically she felt like she was surrounded by hicks (not her words, but her meaning) who didn't know anything and were very conservative and she wanted to basically talk to someone educated and liberal. Something about the way she said it at the time rubbed me the wrong way. I guess she seemed to be stereotyping a great deal and I sort of got the impression she wanted to be 'friends' so that I could entertain her otherwise bored mind during her stay here. That's not what friendship's about. Friends don't necessarily agree on matters of politics; it's deeper than that. And unfortunately she tends to have this idea of how the world should be and heaven help it if it doesn't conform. She's told Dwana, for example, that she shouldn't give me rides because I'm overweight and it would be good for me to walk (nevermind that when it's freezing I can't breathe because it triggers my asthma, or that Dwana's a big girl and can make her own decisions, or that it isn't freaking any of her business). But in her mind, I had to lose weight, so my wants and true needs meant nothing. She has given me a ride exactly once, because I think she felt guilty about snapping at me, but she'll often slow down and taunt me with a 'I'd give you a ride, but...' story that takes almost as long as it would to give me the ride. Usually I was fine walking on my own, but her stopping really just reminded me that I didn't have a car and in some cases had to rely on the charity of others. Whereas Dwana never, ever made me feel like I was a charity case. That's the difference between someone who thinks they're your friend and someone who is. Meanwhile she has Dwana pegged as some sort of sweet church girl, which is a pretty superficial way of looking at people. I'd much rather deal with someone on a deeper level--cracks and all--than some sort of smoothed over unrealistic façade.

Okay, let's move that rant aside, and I'm sorry, it's been bubbling for awile, although keep in mind I generally like her, I just get exasperated every six months or so with her 'everyone has to eat lunch together' micromanagement and need to control everything. I suspect it's because she's the oldest of several children, in part. And I know, I used to do very similar things. But you know what? I decided to work on that and learn how to be a friend. And as a result, although there are some co-workers I get along well with, I have a separate network of friends.

The really great thing about today is that I had to go to court again based on a couple of cheques I'd already paid off but weren't included in November's court date. The judge, when she came out, had on one of those headbands with reindeer antlers on it. That hurt my brain. Oddly enough, she seemed pretty strict on the various cases, though. So, I was a little worried. I was hoping they'd dismiss the case, but there was no guarantee. By the time they got to my name though, wayyyyy at the bottom of the docket, since people with lawyers go first, then people in jail, and then the rest of us, it turned out that I was the only person who had already taken care of a cheque/brought proof for whatever the issue was. No one brought in proof of insurance, their valid driver's licence, paid fees, whatever. So, the judge dismissed the case. Yay!

Court's a little odd in December. I've been a juror during that month. My favourite part of this session though was a guy named Jeffrey (I know this because the judge was on a first name basis with him) who was in jail and the judge greeted each other rather warmly and he pled guilty and then asked, 'Judge, what are the chances I could get out of here in the next day or so I can finish my Christmas shopping?' And she was like, 'well, what all do you have to buy?' 'Oh, a just a few little things.' She gave him credit on his service and he was going to get out later today. Warning, do not try this at home. That was a special circumstance. The same judge told a woman (wife, mother, I'm not sure) who kept trying to interrupt that she wasn't interested in anything she had to say unless she was the man's lawyer. But mind, you, this was arraignment court, where people just don't seem to understand that babbling on tape can be used against you in a case later, and they really try to make sure you don't do that, at least until after you've seen an attorney.

I capped off the day with some errands and was treated to egg foo young. All in all, it's been very pleasant, minus the co-worker and U-Scan. They even managed to get my PDA to partly synch on the new platform. Tomorrow should be very, very quiet at work. They'll probably play some Christmas music over the intercom. I wish I realised earlier that Dwana wasn't going to be there tomorrow; for some reason I thought, since she was trying to build up her PTO, that she'd be there. I should have taken off. Still, I'm going to be off from Christmas through January 4th, so I can't really complain. :)

I'm planning on doing some 'winter' housecleaning over the break and I went to the library and loaded up on some books. Unfortunately, I had some strange idea that an Anne Perry book (Resurrection Row) was actually the next in the series, which I haven't read. This one I have. Sigh. Mind you, I bought two copies of the paperback for the same reason; got it mixed up in my listing. So this is the third time I've got the wrong book in my attempt to continue the series. I feel like I'm 'stuck in the moment' indeed. Since it was a small hardback that fit in my purse, I snuck it into the courtroom and started reading before they brought us to order, then realised that it was the same book I'd purchased twice and had already read (it starts out with a cabbie dead at the rein, so that was fairly memorable). So, I went ahead and put it in the deposit box at the library on the way back to my car. Next time I'll pay more attention.

What a long, bitchy post. Sorry about that, but hey, you are reading my diary. Maybe it's hormonal, or I'm feeling bah-humbuggy, or just sometimes you need to bitch. Thanks for 'listening'. It's 3:30 am now and time for all rabid librarians to be in bed. 'Night.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Hee hee

Today when I went into KET I found several things, all of which have me in great holiday cheer...

  • A present from my boss with a picture of Sister Wendy and the note 'she knows when you've been good or bad'. Which is a little disturbing, given that she's a nun, but not nearly as disturbing as an old geezer in red and white fur and jack boots knowing your every transgression, I suppose. Inside was 'The Bad Girl's "Rage-a-Day" 2004 Daily Calendar, which allows you to 'rage against the good girl machine--every single day'. As a recovering 'Good Girl', this was greatly appreciated.
  • A personalised ornament from the new director of our division
  • A card and candy cane from our office manager
  • Fruit and nuts
  • Apparently the state pays us before Christmas even though we would normally be paid on the 30th, sooooo I get my paycheque on Wednesday, a week early, when I'm also getting paid at the hospital, a day early. Ah, synchronicity. Also, we get paid holidays for the 25th, 26th, 1st, and 2nd. I am beginning to love state holidays. There are so many.

Of course, I had to open up the calendar and find out what was on my birthday. It's 'Don't Go to Work Unless It's Fun Day'. Do you think, since a boss gave it to me, that I could make that one stick? Where else can you find creative things to do with pantiliners, many mixed drinks recipes, and a list of things to do with photos of your evil ex? :)

Another great thing...I've decided to take off from Christmas through New Year's, and that's okay with my boss at the hospital. That means...dum, dum, dum...eleven whole days off, including weekends. Yipee!!!

Oh, well, gotta go. My monitor is snoring. Well, actually, the stripey orange cat on top of the monitor is snoring. I've got a few things to do around the house before going on to bed. Ta.

British concern over CJD may change transfusion protocols

British concern over CJD may change transfusion protocols

I'd be interested in how British and American agencies compare in terms of blood collection. I give blood regularly, and I've had to answer questions about Creutzfeld-Jakob, any human- or bovine-derived products I've taken, etc., for about three years now. Is it substantially different in Britain? You would think, with the concerns over Mad Cow Disease and its possible link to CJD ,this would have come up a long time ago. I'm not criticising, I'm just wondering if this is really a surprising development, or if the media's just grabbing onto it.

Personally I think they should add a question in our region regarding eating any brain tissue, especially of squirrels. Many people still squirrel-hunt and I've heard of cases of an encephalopathy in humans related to eating squirrel brains--both from people I've known who have cared for patients, and in the medical literature. And yes, I have eaten squirrel (it's actually quite tasty, albeit gamey), although just the meat. My mom, though has grossed me out by eating the brain (even when I ate meat I was never into internal organs).

I have to admit, it's not the reason I'm vegetarian, but it's a happy side effect...I just hope they never find that prions can be found in dairy products.

Blogging on the Longest Night of the Year

Well, it's official...Winter begins and as of a few minutes ago the sun had reached it's furthest point 'away' from those of us in the Northern hemisphere and began its long journey back. For those Down Under, you're no doubt enjoying the longest day of the year. But for us, for now, it's cold and dark but with the promise of the coming light.

So, good Yule to my fellow Pagans Up Above, and happy Solstice to everyone else. May that promise of light sustain you through the dark winter.

Sunday, December 21, 2003


Just checked the last post, and Ernie aside, I thought they weren't planning to up the terror level this weekend with the latest rumblings. Must go and check the news more often on weekends. Apparently with the high holiday traffic and perhaps the capture of Saddam Hussein, there is more credible intelligence of possible attacks now than at any time since 9/11. Fortunately the news didn't break too long ago, so I didn't miss it, per se. Who said blogs can't be informative?

Check out the Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridgeway's statement.

And let me say that although I generally disagree with the Bush Administration on a whole slew of issues, I think that the Department of Homeland Security (itself, rather than some of the security measures enacted that may be too restrictive of basic rights) was a good idea, because obviously an agency should work with all the departments within the huge government system as a means to make for more efficient (and hopefully safer and secure) operation. And once they got over the initial panic-inducing statements regarding threat levels, the colour-coded system works pretty well. Yes, people should be prepared. No, we shouldn't panic, because that's like stampeding at a theatre fire and will do nothing to save lives. Just my 2 cents' worth.

For now, I'm off to retrieve my dog from a visit with the rest of the pack.

Seen on a bumpersticker

Madness takes its toll.
Please have exact change.

I think I'll have to get one of those. :)

Someone gives you a gift card to Wal-Mart for the holidays with $25 on it

What do you get with it?

So far:

  • Underwear in...sigh...the next higher size, since I'm trying to live in reality and the last weren't big enough--Is it normal for your underwear and ring size to be the same????
  • Menstrual pads (which sounds much better than feminine napkins, which always makes me think of frilly dinner napkins in intricate origamied shapes)
  • A collar for a friend's puppy
  • A soda
  • Food for my dog
  • Ice cream
    and I still have some left over

I guess I could have gotten something wild and fun, but well, I'd rather have those things right now. Wild and fun can wait until after the holidays when I get paid again and everything goes on sale. Who am I kidding? I'm not wild and fun. ;) My idea of alternative purchases are: Scarf/gloves/hat, a charm for my charm bracelet, Spirograph™, a chenille sweater, maybe The Sims™ Makin' Magic. Not the most glitziest of items, but enough for me.

Besides, this has already been a great year in terms of gifts...a car, enough money to get caught up on bills, a pair of shoes for interviewing, a couple of nice outfits, Lyra's Oxford, Cobblestone Way and Edward Gorey calendars, and an expandable accordian-style genealogy of the Greek Gods. What more could a girl want? And it's not even actually Yule yet.


listening to: 'Love Me When I'm Gone' by 3 Doors Down
feeling: Pretty decent, all things considered

I didn't feel too great earlier. I was starting to think I was coming down with a cold. But in retrospect I think I had a combination allergy (runny eyes, runny nose), sinusitis (drainage, sinus pain headache, nausea), period (cramping, aching, blah), IBS (nausea, cramping), and lastly and most fun being severely dizzy and hard to stay warm.

So I took my meds, came home, took a long nap, took a long, hot bath, finally up and dealing with stuff better four hours later. Which made me realise that I don't think I've taken my Paxil in several days. The last time I actually remember taking it was last Sunday. Granted, that's not necessarily the last time. But regardless, it was an oops on my part. I take it at lunchtime, normally, and with all the different celebrations going on at work I got out of my normal routine. Paxil, like any other SSRI, is not something you should go cold turkey from. If I skip a dose it usually makes me have headaches (but then I've had everything from tension to sinus to migraines most of my life), but I think this was more severe. Also, my thinking's been very fuzzy the last couple of days. That's one thing about having OCD. If I don't take my medication, it really makes it difficult for me to think. It's like my head replays this buzzing loop over and over and I can't make any sense of what's going on outside my head. Compulsive behaviour and obsessive thoughts are part of it, of course, but it's like my brain fires intermittedly when it's at it's most severe. I didn't realise how odd it felt until I had medication that prevented it. The last few days friends have been complaining that I'm mixing up my words, and I've had a really, really hard time speaking. It's not as difficult to right, but I get almost aphasic when it comes to oral communication. Sometimes I mix what I'm trying to say and what's playing in a loop through my head. Does that sound crazy? Probably. I just know that a few hours after taking the medicine, I can think and talk normally again. I think I've been so busy with the holidays I haven't been paying proper attention to my health needs. Time to set an alarm again that says, 'hey, take your pill!'

Wonky brain chemistry.

Are you ready for...CowFu?

This is freakin' cool!

Warning: Requires a fast connexion and a media player, but well worth it. And no cows for harmed in the making of this clip. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, 'Got Milk?™'.

Why can't our public health be this cool?

The 12 STI's of Christmas from the British National Health System. (See, they exported the Puritans and we inherited them, so no such happy singing on our governmental web sites.) :(

Things You Swore You'd Never Do But Now Are - 05 - SeeThru Zine

Things You Swore You'd Never Do But Now Are - 05 - SeeThru Zine: SeeThru calculates that you are 36 % an ageing hypocrite

That's not tooo bad for someone who is 36, is it?

Special bonus...20 questions Ask Jeeves can't answer.

Aha! I was born to blog!

BLOGGER - Knowledge Base - How To Get A Book Deal With Your Blog:
People who love to obsess over things are natural bloggers. Not just because they will blog every day and sometimes multiple times per day, but also because they like to tweak, change, edit, redesign, add, remove, and fiddle around with their archives, profile, settings, template, etc. So if you are strange, and you have things to tell people about, or even if you don't, now's a good time to start a blog.

Saturday, December 20, 2003


listening to: 'Why Can't I?' by Liz Phair
feeling: Rested

It was nice to just go home and get some sleep last night. But as a result, I didn't blog about the most exciting part of Friday--Santa.

Okay, really, I wasn't so much excited by Santa (who really was there to visit the kids at work). I was excited by Santa's horses. Well, really, don't you think he gives the reindeer a rest? They have a big night coming up next week.

So every year, Santa comes with Clydesdales. You would think, living in Lexington, ahem...the 'Horse Capital of the World' (but not ™,which can't be exclusive anyway, so you'll see others who make the claim) I'd get to see lots of horses. And to some degree that's true--we have mounted policemen, horse statues, horse farms, two racetracks (Keeneland and The Red Mile), but every year I get to pet Santa's very, very large horses and it fills me with glee that only a horsey-girly-girl could appreciate. Nevermind that I'm allergic to these wonderful animals. Nevermind that I'm (slightly) terrified of their size. For years I read books and drew horses and generally went ga-ga virtually over them (even completing a 4H project despite never getting to actually touch or get up close to a horse), so getting to go up to them is a great thing.

Of course, in retrospect, one of the stallions seemed a little spooked, and now that I think of it, I know better than to approach a stallion when you're on your period--having heard many stories from women who worked in the industry--but it never occurred to me yesterday. Figures. I needed sleep, you see. Fortunately Aladdin had a wonderful handler and the others weren't spooked at all. Which considering one of the other horsey-girly-girls out petting them (only women seem to do this) is like eight months' pregnant, I'm glad he didn't get to spooked and kick. That would just spoil the whole horsey-girly-girl dream thing. Of course, it's been my limited experience that the big guys are generally more gentle than ponies, who tend to bite. I think all small versions of a species know they should be taller, and it makes them a little testy.

Anyway, I had fun. I would love to actually learn to ride and work with horses, and of course, I'm in a great location to do that, but I'd probably have to go through yet another few years of allergy shots; horses tend to send me into an asthma attack almost immediately, especially if I'm in a stable or near a field where they congregate. I even have trouble going to meetings at a local centre that's surrounded by stables. A horse or three out in otherwise non-horsey environment seems to work, though.

This is somewhat ironic, too, since my father is actually listed as a horseman up in Minnesota. They raise quarter horses. Although we don't speak anymore, I do keep tabs on him via Google occasionally. They've moved from the place where my grandmother and I went up to for the wedding, and now they have a horse farm. His wife has always worked in stables and training horses. His step-daughter is a farrier. So I guess I might have gotten my love of horses genetically. I do wish he'd post an update on one of the broodmares, Phyllis. (That's my mom's name, you see). If she had a filly, we're wondering if it was named after me. My family had a hoot with that one. John figures he came out the better getting my mom, rather than a horse with her name. Anyway, they both seem to be in situations that they're suited for, and I guess so am I, since John has a lot of my father's good points but not the bad points, so I finally feel like I've got a dad. (I'm sure he has some bad points, mind you--we all do--but I don't really ever see them, and my mom seems really, really happy in their relationship. Which just makes me think he's the best thing since sliced bread.)

This is why I always felt like an inadequate Air Force brat for never getting out of the States...

because along with amassing cool stuff that makes your house look like an import shop, all the other kids had strange stories like this one (and no, feeding a cow money is not an easy one to live down), or could say they'd been born or lived in exotic places.

I so want to travel out of this country at some point. But on a bright note, maybe if I can get a job to pay more than the basic expenses, I can save up for a holiday overseas.

Friday, December 19, 2003


1. List your five favourite beverages.
Diet A&W Root Beer in a frosty mug, Red Grape Juice mixed with Fresca, Diet Pepsi, Orange Freezi from Fazoli's, Chocolate Milkshake from A&W's with whipped cream and cherry on top, in a frosty mug (obviously a rare treat)

2. List your five favourite websites.
Google, Blogger, Launch!, Your Dictionary, RootsWeb, Quizilla

3. List your five favourite snack foods.
Cashews, Baby Carrots, Mozzarella String Cheese, Tortilla Chips with Salsa con Queso, Hummus with Pita

4. List your five favourite board and/or card games.
Rook, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Hearts, and Monopoly

5. List your five favourite computer and/or game system games.

Sims, Daggerfall/Morrowind, Civilisation, Myst series, and Alone in the Dark series
(but none hold a candle to role-playing with a bunch of friends in Call of Cthulhu)

Keep this in mind when buying holiday nuts...

Brazil nuts, which are exclusively colected from the rainforest, are being harvested unsustainably.

Apparently these trees, which can reach huge height and live for centuries (but produce for much less than that) are being overharvested. They are extremely difficult to grow commercially because they are dependent upon one species of bee strong enough to pollinate open their flowers for pollination, and the agouti, a rodent whose strong teeth can open open the grapefruit-sized pods that hold 25 or so of the nuts.

And you thought those thin but rock-hard shells were hard to crack! Apparently the trees are just made very, very durable down to the very flowers! Frigid trees?

So, there's a very delicate balance. A lot of trees are too young to produce. If we harvest to the point where seedlings can't be buried and grow, then years down the road there will be no more trees.

Of course, it's one of those crops that could save the rainforest because they can only be gathered in any numbers in the wild. So, it's a Catch-22. I think the best thing is to develop sustainable harvesting in situ, with notices to consumer that the nuts were harvested with sustainable practices, much like the coffee I get at the co-op is shade-grown, which is important for migrating songbirds.

Where's the Lorax when we need him?

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Woo-hoo, Dwana got a 4.0!

listening to: 'Ironic' by Alannis Morisette
feeling: Warm and fuzzy

...and only one more semester/2 classes to go. She's worked very hard for her Master's in Social Work through ongoing illness, family tragedy, marriage, etc. I'm so glad she's that much closer to her goal, and with all she's gone through lately, a perfect grade is icing on the cake. So a big congratulations goes out to her!

I also have Dwana to thank for another job opportunity. Turns out when I was talking about the part-time job, she had seen a full-time one open. Since they're both in reference, she thought we were talking about the same job. When I mentioned where the first one was she went back and checked the ad and realised that there was another opportunity and let me know. It's full-time, pays 33K, and has the interesting (and perfect for me schedule) of 12:30-9:00pm. I am so not a morning person. I've finished tweaking my résumé...now to finish the cover letters and those applications will be in the mail. Yay! Keep your fingers crossed for me. The great thing is that both are within my area of expertise, with my experience and education on my side. First the car, now this. For someone whose luck has sucked big time for years, it seems to be raining gold--knock on wood. I'm almost afraid I'm dreaming. Do I dare believe I could actually get a job that would allow me to make a living doing something I love???

Speaking of luck, I got a holiday present from Uncle Sam in the form of a $71 cheque for overpayment on my student loans. Yipee. Of course, I'm going to sock it straight to rent, but still....

And speaking of cheques, I can happily report that the expensive and hard lessons I learnt from my bordeline bouncing that went on for a couple of years has finally had a positive outcome...I am apparently an expert in how the bouncing thing works. I was able to help an acquaintance through a major anxiety resulting from a cashed cheque for someone that apparently had insufficient funds, so the bank took the money from the person's own account, causing multitudes of overdrafts pinging about. Suddenly there was a huge amount in fees, but a least the bank paid almost all the cheques. I was able to explain that there is a process where most...not all, but most, depending on the creditor's policy and that of their bank...attempts to draw upon funds go through twice before being returned completely to the business so that it can seek payment/fees either itself, a credit agency, or the county attorney. So the business' bank would likely represent the cheque which would then go through since there would now be money into the account. So from the creditor's point of view, it wasn't a cold cheque. Even if the thing goes thud like a load of iron, usually a business or its agency will attempt to collect the money before sending it to the legal authority. I explained some of the variations with those agencies that collect the money and stop your ability to write drafts to participating retailers, and the steps going up to court, showing that this was a loooonnnggg way from that.

When you first bounce a cheque--especially if it's no fault of your own--it brings up a certain amount of 'ohmygod, what am I going to do'? I can remember my grandparents, who had never had any trouble, suddenly finding themselves knee-deep in overdrafts because the bank, which had recently acquired theirs and had changed their account number to fit its scheme, somehow didn't move the money to the new account. Fortunately they were able to recover fees. The first time I bounced one, I bounced five...instead of paying the drafts as they came in, the bank took five as a whole and then I overdrafted by 20 cents. One of the cheques was for $2. Four of them would have gone through, but instead the bank charged me for five and then did the same thing when they reposted, allowing it to happen even a third time (which they admitted shouldn't have even come up). This happened over a holiday, so I didn't get word for several days. That bank eventually gave me a refund on many of the fees, although I eventually took my business elsewhere.

This bank didn't seem that cooperative, and from their point of view, of course, it made sense to rip the money out of the account they had access to. Most people don't realise that's why a bank often won't cash a cheque if you don't have the funds to cover it or won't cash a cheque if you don't have an account with the bank. That's why it's sometimes better to just go to a grocery or other place. Still, it sucks that they didn't bother to tell the person what they were doing. At least the person who accidentally set the whole thing into motion can and will pay the fees.

Still, I've known a lot of people (and I used to be one of them) who feel guilty, like it's somehow our fault when things go wrong. I've slowly learnt that I mess up plenty enough not to take on additional guilt for things over which I have no control whatsoever, and that even when I'm responsible, I am not a 'bad' person because I did something stupid/made a mistake. But that took me years to get, and only with my best friend beating it over my head and a lot of professional counselling, too. Anyway, I helped that person's day a little. Since finances are my main stressor/thing to drive me just over the edge when the least thing goes wrong (and nearly suicidal when the big ones do), I understand. Nice to know my expensive and stupidity-induced education was worth something. :)

My advice when dealing with banks: always read the fine print. And if possible, talk to them in person. It is so much easier to put off someone on the phone. An angry/distraught/crying client in the lobby is bad for business. If you're going to breakdown anyway, might as well do it there. If you can be quietly convincing and keep your cool, though, doing it in person works better, too.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

listening to: 'Crossing the Divide' by Patrick O'Hearn
feeling: Mellow

Tonight was the Christmas party for what I suppose would best be said to be the gang from work. It's mostly one department plus a few more of us who tend to socialise with them. We all did a Secret Santa sort of thing, then met together at someone's home to exchange gifts, eat, etc.

I got a book by Philip Pullman called Lyra's Oxford. It's a companion to His Dark Materials and includes, among other things, a map pullout of otherworld Oxford.

I really loved the effect of my presents on the woman whose name I'd drawn. I was able to buy five candles and a cookbook within the $10 price range using creative shopping and dollar outlets/bargain book tables and had wrapped each piece in bold holographic paper in a variety of colours and then put in a similar bag of seemingly never-ending goodies with more of the foil paper, all of which N liked so much she saved the paper, too. I have to admit, I really love presentation, whether it's food, wrapping, or whatever.

I had a lot of fun, actually. D and I went together, and we were the first on the scene, which was a little daunting. But...it was a very pleasant get together. Earlier I'd gone over to D's to wrap the presents (it's hard for me to find anyplace that isn't subject to cats laying on the paper. Fortunately, D's kitties arent' quite as 'in your face', although at one point Midnight got up into the Christmas tree and Simba, after a couple playful taps on a roll of shiny paper, tried to maul it completely. :) But without claws, he wasn't able to actually damage it.

One of our co-workers brought her sons. So much energy! And they were just like cats, taking the paper and running around the house with it on their heads and playing with the doorstops because they vibrated and made a sort of farting noise. Ah, to be 8 years old again. Although I don't remember being quite that hyper. :) There were many goodies, including a pumpkin dip which basically was similar to a cheesecake recipe but unbaked, and very tasty. I've decided that there isn't anything you can do with pumpkin I wouldn't like.

It was a nice day, overall. D was a little annoyed with Blogger for having the bad taste to crash during a long, cathartic post. I hope she'll write again, anyway. Oh, and when we went over to D's house before the party one of her new neighbours said hi and she went to introduce us and turns out it's a woman from the chorus I used to sing in. Which also makes it funny, because that means D and E have lesbians in three houses on either side of them. I half think E's afraid she'll go along with the trend. :)

Well, I guess that's enough for now. 'Night.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Who says we're limited to two political parties?

D.C.'s Political Report: Minor Parties Links

Some sound like total crackpots, but then, it's politics, what do you expect?

...and speaking of divination tools...

This is a great site...it has just any style of divination, and the correct word for it, you can think of:

Word List: Definitions of Words for Divination and Fortune Telling

And I love the suggestion of novocentomancy for 1-900 'psychic' lines. :)

Death is a new edition? The Tower is a library fire or flood?

Library Girl muses on what a Librarian Tarot would be like.

Okay, having been taught not to muck around with Tarot lightly, I am fascinated by the myriad styles (some traditional, some over the top) that are out there. So I think this is a great idea in terms of concept and design. Much better than owning a Lovecraft Tarot, which no matter how innocent it may seem probably sucks your soul every time you view it. ;)


Every few months I go into tiny spasms, always on my left eyelid, that no one else can see. It is extremely annoying, but usually I go back on my children's chewable vitamins and all returns to normal. Check this site out for the scoop: The Blog From Another Dimension: Eyelid Twitching.

PS Of course they're going to go for your cerebrospinal fluid if they suspect a brainstem neoplasm. That's a fancy word for tumour! Fortunately, mine seems to be the nice, if annoying, benign variety.

Who says history isn't important? A key to a medical mystery...

With my interest in history in medicine, I was intrigued when I picked up this month's issue of AJN (The American Journal of Nursing) and found an article discussing the possibility of the Black Death (the mid-14th-century epidemic of bubonic plague that swept through Europe) may have caused a mutated gene (CCR5-delta32) that may confer partial resistance to HIV in affected populations. The CCR5 gene is important in that it acts a a sort of gateway into the cell for the virus to replicate and spread. The article, which is basically a summary of this research, doesn't appear to be online at Nursing World yet, but you may want to check back or better yet, check your local library for a copy. The citation is:
Goldrick BA. Emerging infections: bubonic plague and HIV--the delta32 connection. AJN. 2003 Dec;103 (1):26-27.

This may partly explain why, for example, Africans, American Indians, and Asians seem to progress quicker into full-blown AIDS than some of European descent--something that has led to allegations of a virus genetically engineered to wipe out people of colour. As a result of the studies done on this, research is being done to create drugs that can mimic the effects of this mutation as a way to help boost resistance to HIV replication in those who may not have the mutation.

The most important thing, of course, is looking at the mutation and how it works to keep HIV at bay. But the history of the mutation can help us understand the body's response to disease and also predict which specific populations are most at risk.

Of course, the bubonic plague theory is just that: it's a theory. I did a little checking and a recent article seems to indicate smallpox as the main catalyst for mutation, rather than plague. That may mean a wider population may have partial resistance to HIV, since most areas colonised by Europeans encountered smallpox.

I would be interested in, say, how the people of Bangladesh, where plague has been endemic for thousands of years, would come out on the gene mutation. Of course, there were several waves of plague that hit parts of Europe (one may have hit Athens during the Peloponnesian War), but it seems this mutation may have specifically been triggered by the widespread epidemic of 1347-48.

It would seem to me that eventually you could check an HIV patient for that mutation and it might affect decisions in terms of course of treatment. Perhaps those with the mutation would not need quite the same cocktail mix of (let's face it, pretty powerful and toxic) drugs than someone who didn't. Or, hopefully, we will have drugs that can mimic its effects soon, and push those early on people who don't have the mutation. In America, where we have such a genetic melting pot, you can't just rely on apparent race, but each person treated as an individual. In some more homogenous genetic areas, it might mean a difference in widespread treatment. Of course, it's just one piece of the puzzle. But still...hopefully it will help.

Here's an interesting article

on the legwork required to catch Saddam Hussein.

Cross your fingers

listening to: 'Behind Blue Eyes' by Limp Bizkit (um...no, sorry, not even remotely in the same league as The Who; it's flat and unmelodic in comparison, and it's one of my favourite all-time songs, so I took notice)
feeling: Industrious

Before my political rant I'd spent a couple hours retooling my résumé to send in my latest application, this time for a dum...dum...dum (drum-roll, please) part-time reference librarian position. After all the times I told my grandmother that they almost never come up around here. See, the great things about it is that it's in my area of expertise, it's at a time with not so many new graduates (most matriculate out in May or August, I suspect), and I could keep my current job. It also includes evenings, which, frankly is my ideal time to work...that's when I get my second wind. It pays more than I ever made at my other job, even though it's only .75 FTE. Together that would put me at about 50 hours a week (doable), about 33K a year (yipee!), and still do design work for KET as needed. It. Would. Be. So. Great. So cross your fingers, pray, send white light, whatever.

It would also be good because, I realised today, I have become bored professionally. I took my first professional position and expanded the services, the scope of the library's involvement, my professional activities in organisations, etc., etc. And yes, at times I spread myself a little thin but despite everything, even what I term my 'nervous breakdown' which nevertheless caused no permanent harm, I was the best damn librarian I could be. I know virtually every person who works in the building during the day--and they know me. I've helped most of them at some point or another. I've always believed that a hospital librarian shouldn't limited services to doctors or nurses but rather serve the needs of anyone who walks through the door.

But then my hours were cut. And I've been looking at things, and including those hours, the library funding has decreased by a significant amount due to various cutbacks that will probably take years to build back to the same level. I certainly don't expect the hours to 'magically' come back, although they always seem distressed--although understanding--of the idea that I might leave. But what's worse is that in the four hours I have in the day to work I really only have time for the most basic things...shelving, interlibrary loans, searches, and equipment assistance. I've had to cut back on the committees I serve on. I was originally slated to help teach a new computer system that we'll be getting soon, and even went through some of the preliminary training, but had to drop out because I literally am not there enough to take classes and teach them and get anything in the library taken care of.

So I miss that sense of striking out to something new. One of the greatest things about librarianship is that every day is an adventure of sorts. There's always some new question, some odd thing to find. At least I have the web design work to give me an outlet for my creative needs. Otherwise I'd probably go crazy.

My initial response to the lay-off--after that first bit of denial--even though cognitively I knew better, was a feeling that I had somehow done something wrong or not measured up. But I know that's wrong. I've done a lot and I shouldn't feel like it's not worth trying anymore just because I sort of got kicked out of the way rather than patted on the head and given a bone. And yes, I know the decisions they made were hard, so that may be unfair, but well, it's how I felt. Who wouldn't, given the same circumstances. But I bounced back pretty well, and I still love my job. I just don't feel it's challenging enough in it's pared down form.

So heaven help me, I'm thinking about turning everything up a notch with possibly 3 jobs! But it's no more than I worked when you factor in working full-time and going to school. I'm much better at self-nurturing now, so hopefully I won't let stress build up. I'm exercising and taking care of my health. And in return for a lot of hard work I could finally have some security. Both this potential job and my regular job have very good benefits, and even with the job that's a few hours a week there are perks because it's a state job and so I get paid on all sorts of holidays even when I'm nowhere near the office. :) And they each fufill a certain facet of my intellectual, creative, or altruistic yearnings and professional ambitions. That, married with good friendship and family and the love and affection of certain fuzzy creatures pretty much makes for a full, round life. And if it gets to be too much, the new part-time job alone would support me better than any job I've ever had.

I hope this is exactly what happens

Salam Pax weighs in on the capture of Saddam Hussein. And as a former member of Amnesty International and general bleeding-heart liberal, let me just say that although I agree *in theory* that the US should uphold its obligations under the Geneva Conventions in terms of Hussein's status, the realist in me thinks anything short of handing Hussein over to a mob in the streets to tear apart probably constitutes a fair trial, given the circumstances. The best you might be able to hope for is a public tribunal...I don't know how the justice system works in Iraq, but an American-style jury of his peers, supposedly unbiased, would be very, very difficult to find anywhere in the world at the moment. I'm not saying rip off his fingernails, but it's certainly more than his victims were ever accorded, and certainly his actions have proven his guilt by now. Frankly, at this point it's more about the priciple of upholding international law and basic human rights that should be accorded to anyone than any concern over the personal comfort of Saddam Hussein. But then, the present administration has already garnered much controversy over its interpretation of the articles of the Conventions that deal with prisoners of war. (Choosing to deem certain prisoners as illegal combatants, which is recognised in one definition or another by several countries but not by the signatories as a whole, or terrorists/spies, which are excluded from the protective articles, from what I've read.) So I'm not sure how it'll play out.

Monday, December 15, 2003

E-mail gem of the week

If you want someone who will bring you the paper without first tearing it apart to remove the sports section--buy a dog.

If you want someone willing to make a fool of himself simply over the joy of seeing you--buy a dog.

If you want someone who will eat whatever you put in front of him and never says its not quite as good as his mother made it--buy a dog.

If you want someone always willing to go out, at any hour, for as long and wherever you want--buy a dog.

If you want someone who will never touch the remote, doesn't care a thing about football, and can sit next to you as you watch romantic movies--buy a dog.

If you want someone who is content to get up on your bed just to warm your feet and whom you can push off if he snores--buy a dog.

If you want someone who never criticizes what you do, doesn't care if you are pretty or ugly, fat or thin, young or old, who acts as if every word you say is especially worthy of listening to, and loves you unconditionally, perpetually--buy a dog.

But, on the other hand, if you want someone who will never come when you call, ignores you totally when you come home, leaves hair all over the place, walks all over you, runs around all night and only comes home to eat and sleep, and acts as if your entire existence is solely to ensure his happiness.

Then my friend, Buy a cat!
(You thought I was talking about men didn't you!)

Actually, given my experience of old maidenhood with animals, men are better sought on their own merits, rather than all those companion comforts that a dog can serve well. Which leaves the main reasons to be with a man are for meaningful conversation and sex (not necessarily at the same time). They're not carrying-boys, remote controls, things to rant at, etc. (although if taller than me I do enjoy occasional help with the top shelf). But I can use a hammer, check my oil, etc. I don't 'need' a man. I just 'want' one. Go figure. :)

:( They're loved ones, family, even on four legs...

I'm not a hugger, but when I came into work this morning I noticed a co-worker walking out with a box of tissues and it looked like she'd been crying. I don't know her well but we've talked and we have a lot in common--a love of sci-fi, and believe it or not, we both married gay men in the stupidity of youth. I asked if anything were wrong and she'd just found out her 15-year-old cat had just died. Oh, dear, yet another thing point of congruity--it's something I know I'll have to deal with soon with my own 'babies', who range in age from 12-15. I told her I was sorry and then I hugged her and made sure she wasn't driving whilst upset (she was just out for air). I don't know what else to do, but I had to at least do that.

It does make me realise, though, that over the past couple of years that in going through counselling and getting more in touch with my own emotions, I'm also more sensitive to others'. When you spend too much time in your own world, you cut yourself off from everything, everyone. I was sort of like Pink in Pink Floyd's The Wall, minus the drugs. All my experiences left me rather undeveloped socially and emotionally and stuck inside a wall that was beginning to crumble, leaving me defenceless. Now I've learnt to reach out to others, to be open and interactive but still protect myself without shutting down entirely. And I didn't even have to deal with marching Nazi hammers, although I had my own daemons to deal with. It seems that there's this sort of cycle (but not vicious) where the more you love yourself (as in self-esteem, rather than narcissism), the more you reach out to others, the more you love others, the more they reach out to you, the more you love yourself, you know? Okay, maybe it's not such a profound point, but it's a new one for me.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Walking in a winter wonderland...

listening to: 'The Remedy' by Jason Mraz
feeling: Content and happy

Today was snowy yet filled with holiday warmth as I helped a Christian friend prepare for the holidays with gift wrapping and decorating, which is great because it got most of my holiday desires for doing that out of the way and still was helpful. Also, my friend was very upbeat due to the snow and the season, and so it was contagious.

So, I have to admit, I've had a day full of holiday cheer. I'm a little tired now, but I had a great dinner of potato-leek soup for my efforts and lots of peanut brittle (I adore peanut brittle, which I forget until I'm offered some). About the only thing we didn't do was eggnog, and I have some of that. :) But it was nice to listen to jazzy Christmas music and watch the lights glow as darkness fell.

So, it's a little early. Christmas started early for me when the car arrived, after all. And of course there's also Chanukah and Yule to celebrate as well. I'm an equal-opportunity celebrant. After all, the point of the holidays, no matter what you celebrate (and really it's not that 'Jesus is the reason for the season' since the traditions associated predate him by quite a bit)--although I agree that it shouldn't be all materialism and if you're going to celebrate his birthday, that's certainly more important than Santa and sales) is to bring light to an otherwise dark time of the year and celebrate the return of the sun from its furthest point. No matter what religion, what hemisphere, etc., that's pretty much the point of winter solstice and the traditions that grew up around it.

Imagine. Something people actually agreed on, even if they didn't mean to. :) Now if we could just get the peace thing down.

Believe it or not, I totally missed the news

that Saddam Hussein had been captured until this morning when I went over to a friend's house, and then, when he said everyone was talking about Saddam, I somehow thought he meant Sodom--what can I say, I've spent more time studying ancient and biblical history than watching news of the Iraqi war, and talk radio pundits often go on about Sodom and Gomorrah. :)

So, we watched the President's speech (pretty decent, I must say...especially since they've been looking for someone for 8 months in the same area as where he was found). But, it's certainly a feather in Bush's cap, and if they bring forth bin Laden, I'll even give a thumb's up for the administration.

As usual, I turn to my favourite news source for Bagdad--Salam Pax, but he hasn't had a chance to update yet...still, I did catch up on some of his writing. His description of waiting for the kerosene man, despite its similarity to us waiting for an ice cream truck, was chilling. I really hope the country and its oeconomy can be stabilised soon, for the sake of the Iraqi people and our own troops...and I hope the Iraqis get to deal with Saddam in terms of meting out justice, rather than the US stealing their fire, so to speak.

Here's a bit of movie trivia...

I was watching tonight's 'Saturday Night Live' with Elijah Wood, which has just been excellent (especially with Chris Kattan returning for a cameo as Gollum in the opening monologue). I wondered a little about Elijah Wood's background. I mean, I remember watching him in The Good Son--he was excellent, in a generally disturbing film that really showed MacCauley Caulkin at his best as a sociopath, although the movie didn't receive the acclaim it disturbed. I remember at the time thinking that when he grew up he would have the type of face women would fall over, especially with those wide blue eyes. Well, I was right. But I was looking into his biography (he's from Iowa, which may explain why he seems so down to earth) and discovered this little item: he played the kid at the video game in the future in Back to the Future who asks what a quarter is. :) Hee hee. That's one of my all-time favourites--sort of a secret passion of mine, but particularly that part of the series. Nice to see he got in on that one. And certainly getting the role of Frodo is a coup that will affect the rest of his career. Oh, and here's a special bonus--his sister Hannah was in Two Towers as one of the women in the cave during the battle.

I'm not so much a reading-Tolkien fan (I've majored in ancient and mediaeval history, so thank you, I get enough of that writing style) but I do like the stories and have been watching the movies. I suspect that once filming ended one of the first things anyone who wasn't playing an elf did was wash their hair. I'm glad they actually showed people travelling overland and falling into muck and swamps, etc. with realistic unwashed-ness, but I'd hate to spend so much time so artfully grungy. They have my sympathy. I can't imagine having to look that bedraggled for months on end. I saw a magazine cover of Aragorn the other day holding his sword with nicely shampooed hair. I guess once you become king they either have to let you take a bath or hold you down until you're clean. :) Anyway, I'm eager to see the third movie, and I'm glad they had Elijah Wood on SNL tonight, because it's been absolutely hilarious.

I think I'll head on to bed, though. The weather has changed from freezing rain to fairly heavy snow...the big wet kind that just seems to fall like a stone. We had about a half inch earlier today--I wouldn't be surprised to get 2 or 3 inches by tomorrow night. Fortunately the salt should be able to take care of the roads at this temperature. If it gets very bad I'll just take the bus into town but really, the car seems to handle pretty well in slick conditions. It doesn't have anti-lock brakes but does have good brakes, new tyres, heated mirrors, and front-wheel drive, and it's a heavy enough car that it's not all over the place on slick roads. Another thing I like is that it's pretty long--that was a drawback at first, since I'd never owned a non-compact car, but it has lots of crash space both fore and aft, so I feel safer (knock on wood). I really need to thank my mom and stepdad again for giving me the car, and for giving it to me before the weather got bad. :) It's like the gift of freedom. Obviously being mobile means I'm running around doing more (and not getting enough sleep) but that's okay. I'm just glad that I can do all that running without relying on a troubled bus service.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

What a great day...

listening to: 'Amazing' by Josh Kelley; 'White Flag' by Dido; 'Peaceful World' by John Mellencamp
feeling: Relaxed

I went to the gym and did a really good workout--about an hour and a half, including treadmill, bike, and weight machines. I finally found the leg curl machine! I can do those, but I can't do the machines where you push up with your legs instead--it messes with my knee. But I did a good, balanced bit with legs, arms, chest, and even did 50 reps of abdominal crunches. During part of the workout, one of the TVs had 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'--which I love. Of course, there was no sound, but one of the Jurassic Park movies was playing in the cycling theatre, so every now and then the abominable snowman would obviously roar and dinosaur sounds would come out from across the room, so that was fun.

I went by the store and got some fish, a frozen side dish of rice, carrots, and broccoli, some crusty rolls, and some olive tapénade (olive spread with feta, capers, pimentos, and garlic) and cooked a quick dinner and spent the evening with friends.

It's been snowing most of the afternoon, although now it's gone over to freezing rain, so I expect it'll be icky tomorrow. No game tomorrow--Brenda's son is going to a birthday party, but that's okay. Instead I think I'll help with some holiday decorating, etc.

Well, I think I'll play a little on the computer and then read more of the latest Rabbi Small novel I'm reading.

This was sad news...but at least he died free

Movie star Keiko dies in Norway

I never saw the 'Free Willy' movies, believe it or not, but I've always loved orcas, and whales in general. (For awhile I actually had an 'adopted' whale where I sent money to help humpbacks and received a picture of 'my' whale (or rather, her tail) sort of like those 'save the children'-style charities.)

But on a good note...

  • Keiko died free, where he wanted to be, rather than where people thought he should be (he didn't conform to the programme they thought they had, heading straight to Norway of all places--where there is still whaling, although not of orcas).
  • He was able to swim with wild whales and yet keep the human companionship he apparently craved. Indeed, he was surrounded by the handlers who had been monitoring him and treating him for the pneumonia that suddenly took his life.
  • Wherever he went...whether in parks, in the movies, or in his adopted home of Norway, he taught people a lot about whales and inspired them to try to protect him and his cousins.

So maybe, in the long-run, this one whale did more to enlighten people than any programme or leaflet could begin to.

Rest in peace, Keiko. And, thank you.

Sometimes you just have to 'reset'

There seems to be something wrong with Blogger, so I'm writing in Notebook until I can actually post.

As you know, I had apparently built up such a sleep deficit that I slept 17 hours on Thursday. Well, yesterday I added another fifteen hours. I finally feel human again, so I must have needed it. I don't even have a sore back like I sometimes get when I crash. I did at some point last night wake myself up because I was having a minor nightmare about work and in the midst got attacked by something coming at me and tried to kick it in my dream and apparently really did kick my closet door, which is metal, to a resounding ring that woke me up. So much for paralysis during REM sleep.

So, having caught up in terms of rest I find that I feel sooooooooo much better. I had been puffy and sore and even a little warm, not to mention cranky. The first thing I did once I woke up (well, besides pee) was take a long, warm bath with my citrus gel and soft scrubby mitt/back scrubber and just soaked up warmth and exfoliated some of the itchy dry skin from my back, and let's just say I felt like those fire lizards from Anne McCaffrey's books after a good bath and oiling. :) I was afraid I'd be dehydrated, since I had been sleeping so much and not drinking as a result, but I feel fine. I think I was retaining water, so I just absorbed it back. Yay!

In a little while I'm going to pick up some friends and drop them off for a visit with relatives, then head to the gym and work out for awhile. For now, I'm listening to soothing New Age music and I've fed the animals. I'm happy that it's warm in here (it's 29 degrees outside and very blustery, so I'm sure the wind chill is worse...it's supposed to snow a bit tonight and maybe up to 2-3 inches tomorrow).

I was, of course, up and doing stuff during the day yesterday. I worked and then went downtown to take care of some things and then the credit union, and then over to Eagle Creek library, where I was hunting specifically for a couple books on irritable bowel syndrome. Funny, my insides are doing a lot better since I got so much sleep and I've been eating just a little here and there. I was afraid my blood sugar would go up (it does that if I don't eat...no eating means no insulin being triggered and it just creeps up), but I'm fine. I guess it makes a difference if you're sleeping because of depression and if you're sleeping out of exhaustion. :) Anyway, one of the books is an 'all you need to know about IBS' intro and one is a cookbook. Since I have no less than four people in my life with IBS besides me, I thought it would be good to learn more. The medicine the doctor gave me is helping, but dealing with stress and diet changes go further in the long run. Besides, I feel a little weird taking something related to belladonna to reduce the spasms. :)

Anyway, here's hoping for a good start to the weekend...I'm so glad the holidays (and time off) are on the horizon!

Aha! You thought Quiz-time was over!!!!

you are violet!
you are Violet Baudelaire! you love your siblings,
want to be an inventor when you grow up, and
are very polite. you, unfortuantely, also have
Count Olaf after you.

What miserable character from a series of unfortunate events are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, December 12, 2003

Catching up with the Friday Five

1. Do you enjoy the cold weather and snow for the holidays? Not really. Having grown up in Louisiana, I actually get in the mood quicker when we have a sudden warm front come in. However, snow was always a special treat when I was growing up, so I still like it. I don't care for really cold weather, though.

2. What is your ideal holiday celebration? How, where, with whom would you celebrate to make things perfect? I'd like to just spend time with loved ones, maybe play board games, and have dinner, with everyone safe and warm.

3. Do you do have any holiday traditions? I celebrate Christmas with my family, Chanukah with friends, and Yule at home. Since I don't have a firelplace, I can't really do a Yule log, although I usually get a small live tree to bring in. :)

4. Do you do anything to help the needy? When I can. I give to the bell-ringers and if I have extra canned goods or clothing I donate them. I'd like to volunteer time at a shelter, nursing home, or AIDS residence sometime during the holidays this year. I'm thinking of taking the whole week between Christmas and New Year's off, so I might be able to do that.

5. What one gift would you like for yourself? With the cold weather coming on strong, I need a scarf/glove/hat set...something warm and snuggy. It's on my Secret Santa list, though (along with a couple of books and a Spirograph™), so I'll wait until after we have our party next week before shopping for them myself.

17 hrs' sleep + Friday = Quiztime!

This is Spock (aka 'Laid-back and Stupid but Sweet' Kitty)...

Your cat may be Angel...the little white demon kitten. He may enjoy such things as climbing
your Xmas Palm tree...eating the lights and be so hyper you think he ate your missing stash of speed. He also likes meowing louder than a blow horn.

...and Buns (aka 'I'll growl at you from the vet scale but don't you dare move me' Kitty)
Your cat..if you so desire to call it that is Cuddles...the angry bipolar kitty from hell. Your cat may enjoy tormenting other cats..dogs..or alligators...he is moody and bitchy. What a nice cat.

...and Darius (aka 'I don't really live here' Kitty who hides when anyone comes over)
Your cat is Buttons..cute cuddly...and oh so evil..your cat may enjoy such activities as killing bugs...and plotting your death. :) He may also like chattering at birds until he falls out of the window.

How deranged is your cat?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, December 11, 2003

So tired...must sleep (warning...stupified rambling follows)

I've been burning the candle at two ends the last few days, and it's caught up with me royally, having lived on about four hours' sleep a night for over a week. I just finished a small glass of water and it's the first actual H2O I can remember drinking for a long time...not good. Because of an emergency that popped up this morning, I haven't had a shower since yesterday and feel really ooky, but the fact is, I've been too tired to do anything about it. I went to bed at about 4:30 this afternoon and surfaced briefly just now. I'm on my way back in a few minutes.

You probably think I do nothing but sleep. No, I just talk about getting sleep. Without realising how much was sneaking up on me, I've been on a must-get-this-done jag on various projects this week. With last minute stuff before the holidays at work, shopping for Secret Santa stuff, anxiety-ridden Christmas parties, the prospect of three other (smaller, more intimate) celebrations before the end of the year, preparations to take classes next semester, general full-moon madness around me, etc., etc.--well, you get the picture. Of course, this has left me little time to actually tell you anything about some of the more odd things that happened this week. I'll try to catch up on those this weekend. Just as well, really--I haven't been my most coherent today. Dwana--who has finally updated her blog, yipee!--caught me this afternoon a couple minutes before quitting time at work taking a marker and pen and colouring a wooden ice cream spoon that had been on my windowsill like a little fish with scales, etc. She patted me on my head and just said, 'okay' and left the room. That's about as coherent as I got, and since I hadn't washed my hair I felt all greasy and icky. I was actually still in the shirt I'd slept in that night. Just so you know...this is NOT how I normally come to work. In fact, lately I've been dressing up and doing the makeup thing. But if I had taken the time to go back home to get cleaned up, I would have missed a good bit of my scheduled shift, and this way I at least wasn't technically absent (having worked at least half of it). I'd let them know I might not be in until later and even though I'd been gone for hours, it overlapped my shift by only a little over an hour. With it being Thursday, which tends to be relatively quiet, there weren't any crises whilst I was gone. Fortunately there were a lot of books to reshelve, and that's a task I could do in my sleep. (I say that now, but if I go in tomorrow and they're all in some bizarre order, you'll know why). I stayed a little later, too--now that I'm just there four hours a day it's a little more flexible--so long as I don't go over the 20 hours of the week, although I make a point of keeping a stable schedule since it's even more important for them to know when they can come to me for help.

One good thing today--a visitor who had called awhile back for pointers on where to find more for a college project on a rare condition came in today originally to read the newspaper and realised I was the one who had helped and was very glowing in her thanks. Apparently it made a real difference in how well the project went. That was nice. I usually just think of it as doing my normal job, but it's rewarding to know that I've helped someone. After all, even seemingly minor requests are important to the people who make them. I wish she'd caught me on a day I looked halfway presentable, rather than 'ridden hard and put up wet', but still.. :) That's one thing about librarianship--you don't always see the end product, but especially in health care, you know that the information you're helping someone find isn't usually just theoretical but is being used for patient care, or to help a patient or family understand a personal health issue better and therefore make informed decisions. But it's nice when you can just work librarian magic and they go...ooh...ah. I forget sometimes that it seems like hocus pocus to the unintiated. And when you can show them how to find things for themselves...it's like you've initiated them into great mysteries.

Well, I'm going to go on back to bed. Hopefully with rest tomorrow will be better. Besides, it'll be Friday (and even though it'll be here soon, I don't think I can even stay awake long enough to see if the Friday Five comes back tonight. It'll have to wait for when I'm awake tomorrow.

Looking over this post it seems a little rambly. Hope you forgive that, but hey, you were forewarned. 'Night.