Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, September 30, 2005

'One more day, one day more'

until October and all that entails, for good or bad. (Excuse the Les Mis moment, I know it's early).

I had insomnia last night, probably from a combination of sleeping on the first cold autumn night of the season with the window open, and Cerys waking me up at three in the morning to go out, which isn't usual for her (although, bless her heart, she's fourteen, so she can be forgiven for a weak bladder, and at least she did wake me up). Anyway, I kept having trouble going back to sleep, so after lying in bed at midnight, 3 am, 5am, and 7am, I finally just gave up, got up, did yoga (I've been doing it regularly this month), took my medicine, had a cereal bar, and took a nice long bath, then came into work an hour and a half early (not on the clock, though) and returned the borrowed scrub pants, had some eggs, potatoes, and milk, and well, now I'm just waiting to clock in around 10. Oh, and I sent a thank you card to the people who interviewed me at the historical society. I found an elegant card with a black bow, an engraved magnolia that was taken from a library in Virginia, with velvet flocking. A little dark, yes, but it simply said thank you and seemed good to send to a pair of archivists. Normally I would have just written a note but that seemed better somehow. (And yes, I want the job!)

Let's see, this is rambling, I know, but I haven't had time to really write much lately. What else? I started the ADDerall today. So far it's not making me jittery or anything; actually I'm a little dopey, like everything's slowed down a bit. That may just be my expectation, but it is supposed to make me focus, although it's such a low dose at this point it may not have an immediate effect. I can't blame the insomnia on it, either, since I didn't take it until after I got up this morning. I don't really feel sleepy...just...well, calm. My thoughts aren't racing like they often do in the morning. That may be a combination of factors. I also take BuSpar in the morning, and that's a sedative. So who knows what they'll do together. I know it may seem like I'm jumping around in this post but it's more like thoughts are coming, I'm writing, and then new ones come, rather than going back and forth, if that makes any sense.

One thing I neglected to mention about the trip to Frankfort the other day were the butterflies. Every few feet there would be one flying across the road, usually avoiding traffic. That, along with the goldenrod (our state flower and allergen) and ironweed along the road, made for a very pleasant drive. I really prefer the smaller roads like Leestown to the Interstate, for the most part, although I got stuck behind a couple of slow vehicles along the way, but it was never for long. Versailles Road is probably the nicest way to get to Frankfort, because of all the horse farms...but I'd have to go around town to get to it, whereas I was already on Main Street (Leestown-Richmond roads--Lexington roads change name with every major intersection for the most part, so Leestown, Richmond, and Main are all the same), so that's why I went that way. Plus, you always know when you're halfway there because of the town of Midway, named for that very reason.

Because I got paid yesterday, I have a full tank of gas ($36 worth!), medicine for the month, groceries in the house, a big bag of dog AND cat food, fish food, minutes on my phone, etc. I did forget cat litter so I'll have to go back for that. I get paid today at my other job, too. That leaves me with enough for a couple of bills and money towards my rent. I'm going to try to make sure I'm not left without anything at the middle of the month. Now that I'm working a second job again, that'll help keep me from total destitution. I don't have any left for much in the way of luxuries, although I may see about going to see a discount movie this weekend. I'm thinking of seeing Skeleton Key, which like most horror/thrillers seems to have gotten bad reviews, but I know the shop where they got a lot of their props, and apparently they tried to be very authentic about Hoodoo, something I know a little about but would like to learn more.

Well, it's almost time for me to clock in, so I'll sign off for now. Take care.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I feel hyper

I got paid. I have a full tank of gas. I had nummy breakfast food for lunch, including cinnamon French toast. I'm happy. Life is good. And...two more days. ;)

Okay, enough with taking a break. Let me put all that energy into cataloguing for the rest of the afternoon. Whee!

I love this quote

from Adam Wiggins' post on Trusted Sources

'Honey, just because something is in the library doesn't mean it's worth reading.'

Your mom was right. But we do try. :)

Read a Burned Book for Banned Books Week (BBW)

Via The Heretical Librarian: FREADOM (Librarians Writers & Activists for Intellectual Freedom in Cuba & Around the World)

By the way, the Heretical Librarian does a good job of showing that we're not all a bunch of wooly-headed liberals (although admittedly, I am, but I already was, as opposed to being indoctrinated with the liberal agenda in library school). But even I think that the ALA is often too involved in politics. Of course, I'm not a member, since I have more reason to be a member of the Medical Library Association. I agree with some of what they do at ALA, and not others. But they have an excellent site on Banned Books Week. So...

For more information about Banned Books Week, check out the page dedicated to it at the American Library Association.

Hey, regardless of what political views librarians have, I think we can all agree that censorship is wrong, and banning and burning books is particularly wrong.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A little odd, I know, but...

There's something about the hushed, dim environment of an archives that sends shivers down my spine. The musty smell of old papers and books are as inviting as ever, enlivening the scholar inside me that has been dormant of late. The opportunity to make new discoveries and furthermore, to make them available to the public, is very exciting to me.

That's probably a tad abnormal, but hey, it's what gets my juices flowing. I'd forgotten how much it stirred in me. I so want this job, not just because it would finally bring some stability (no matter how temporarily, since it's grant funded and not guaranteed beyond a year), but because of all those cubic feet of boxes waiting to come to light.

My interview, despite my nervousness, went very well. I relaxed to the point of chatting with the staff for awhile afterwards. Plus, I managed to get back to Lexington without running out of gas. It's now on fumes, but I get paid tomorrow, so let's just hope it holds out a bit.

They were very up front about the possibilities and yet the drawbacks of the position, and I was very appreciative of that. It will be a leap of faith to leave a steady yet part-time position for one that may not be around in a year, but I'm ready to take it. I'm actually up for two positions, cataloguer/archivist and the manuscript technician, since I was qualified for both, and there isn't a huge difference in the pay, I decided to try. But I would love, all these years after specialising in cataloguing and archives in school, to be doing the intellectual work of the archivist position. I'll have to learn a lot, but I thrive on learning new things. There's standards to learn that adapt cataloguing rules to archival collections, and descriptive coding that's kind of like HTML on steroids, but they didn't seem to think my lack of practical experience with those would hold me back for long, for which I'm grateful.

So now, it's a waiting game. I have to admit, I'm almost as nervous now as when I went into the interview. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I was nervous because I have an interview later today

but got a little more grounded after eating, and then took a break with a 10-minute mindfulness guided meditation from Beliefnet.com. What an excellent way to spend a break at work. I feel relaxed and refreshed. It requires Flash and an audio card, by the way. You should try it, too. Okay, now I feel like tackling my afternoon projects.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Musings on an autumn evening

I'm writing this at home on my PDA. IT's about 9:30 and I've just finished with a productive session at home working for distance learning (the PBS station). Before that I spent a ouple of hours with D and baby J. It was nice to actually talk for any length of time with anyone. I'm afraid that if I were a Sim my social attribute would be nil after this weekend. Goodness, I'm making video game references. See, I haven't had enough social stuff going on lately. Pretty much game night has been it, and that was last week. I thought about going to chorus or to the Unitarian church, but really, I don't want to commit to anything and then not be able to continue when my social life does go back up. I did really did mean to go to a writing group at the local library branch, but the date snuck up on me and so I wasn't prepared to take anything to discuss. Sigh. It sounds pathetic, doesn't it? I mean to do a lot, but really haven't done much. Instead I spent the weekend in bed and reading and generally doing nothing. Of course, it was my last weekend (hopefully) to laze about like that, so perhaps I can be forgiven.

I'm looking back at this month, and I have to admit, it's been a useful experiment. On the one hand I've been very emotionally stable, under little stress, and I've had a lot of chance to think, and spend some time alone with myself--something I usually, truth be told, avoid. On the ohter hand, I really value my frinedships more, and realise that I have good, decent friendships--not toxic ones that I used to hold onto in desperation rather than jettisoning them to where they belong; in the past. The most notable of those was with Liz, who ended our friendship not face to face, but via her blog. When I look at the person I am now compared to the one I was then, I'm so much more assertive. The only trouble is, somewhere in growing a backbone I went overboard and saw problems where there really were none. I suppose I've just been hurt too much before, and it's sometimes difficult for me to take things at face value and not read in things that were problems in other relationsihips. The problems were with my perceptions, and what I filled in.

Oh, I don't know, I suppose I do need to stick up for my own ieas and express myself better, and more than anything, I have to stop comparing myself to others and rather just work on being ME and accepting myself as I am as I struggle to make changes where I see the need. There really isn't anything fundamentally wrong with me. As a person, I'm probably pretty average with a little more insight thanks to a great mentor--who frnakly I never really appreciated until it was too late. I suppose I took for granted that I'd always have that, and that as a result, there was a safety net in place so I really couldn't make many lasting mistakes...and yet I kept testing that net again and again. now I'm performing without that safety net and it's scary but I feel more responsible for my own life, and that's good, because among other things it was never fair to anyone else to expect them to save me or at least give me attention for the wrong reasons. That's what I've been doing, what I've done all my life with several people. If they save me, I see them as good. If they fail me, they're bad. That's the black and white thinking of being a borderline, and something that it's high time I stopped doing.

Meanwhile, I have to stop thinking of myself as a failure. A counselor told me recently that you can't expect to remember everything perfectly like a snapshot, that memory doesn't work that way. I've seen myself as unable to remember anything, being defective, when really, I'm just normal. The same goes for things I do in daily life. I have some challenges. I do seem to have attention issues, something I'm about to start medicine to help with. But mostly I think I just get overwhelmed by all the multitudes of things going on in my personal life, because when things got so much quieter, I was fine, and there was also no building blocks to derive much drama from, either. At the same time, I'm bored. Bored with my work. Bored without anyone else coming up with things for me to do. And that's pretty sad. When I'm alone and have free time, I feel nearly paralysed with all the different things I could do. I can't really relax and do what I'd like because...well, I'm not really sure about why that is. Maybe it's a fear of being alone, being responsible for my own choices. Maybe it's the ADD. I don't know. But I need to recapture that drive to do things and follow through with them. It's funny, when I'm so busy I can't think straight I can come up with all sorts of things I want to do--but again, are they things I would if I had the chance? After this month, I can say pretty much that that's a no. And that's something that has to change.

I'm looking forward to the end of the month, the end of the experiment, although there's some trepidation, because how it ends isn't up to just me. I know what I want to happen, but I'm not sure what will.

I know this is rambling, but it's the first time in awhile I've really written about my feelings. I don't know if anything will make sense to the rest of you, but that's okay...this post is for me.

I'm still here

I just haven't had much to say. I got the book chapter finsihed and sent off at the end of last week. Friday we lost water at the apartment again, but it came back on quicker. This weekend I mostly stayed in bed and read. I'm re-reading the Harry Potter books, among others. Today it's gloomy and rainy (the remnants of Rita, funny how the only real rain we've had over the last few months has been from the tropical storms that mess with everyone else). I want to curl up and sleep, having just eaten lentil-rice-potato gruel (hey, I can't cook but it wasn't too bad). This morning has been very productive (I kept my happy sunshine light on to help...meaning a floor lamp with those Reveal full-spectrum bulbs). I now have a new project of moving the catalogue to Caspr's Library World site, where for a dollar a day your library can have access to its catalogue and others via the web. All in all, it's a pretty good deal. I supposedly can convert our current Access catalogue to their MARC format one without re-doing everything, but I'm still working on that. That's pretty much it...time to go back to that, break time is over. Cheers.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Create your own blog, remain anonymous, get round censorship...

Blog censorship handbook released

Reporters without Borders, recognising that bloggers are the closest thing to reporters in some countries, have released a manual to get around censorship and recriminations. The Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents is available from their website.

So full, so happy

Twice a year they have a birthday breakfast at work, where the managers fix omelets and serve you. Today was mine (my birthday's in April, but like I said, it's only twice a year) and I am now full of eggs, biscuits, potatoes, and all sorts of breakfast goodness. On the bad side, I had to get up early to go and then stuffed myself, so I'm a bit sleepy. But I don't start work for another half hour, so hopefully that will pass. And if you wonder why I stuffed myself, today's lunch will be peanut butter and bread, so I took full advantage of a free meal to get my day going.

Yesterday I finally did the laundry, and during that the maintenance guys came and fixed my air conditioner. Apparently rust had gotten into the system and plugged in to running over. It was easy to fix, just needing to be flushed out, but some went down onto the already wet clothes so now I had rust stains to tackle. Meanwhile, some workers building a retaining wall to take care of some drainage problems in the front of the apartment building hit a water line, so our building and the one next to it lost pressure. They hoped to get it back on in a couple of hours, but it actually came back on at 5:30 this morning (I woke up when the toilet filled). So it was an eventfull evening. But I managed to get some work done on the computer and did some yoga and meditation, so that was fine.

Oh, I've been doing yoga every morning and feel really good as a result. I love my Yoga A.M. tape with Rodney Yee. Actually, I love Rodney Yee. His voice is so soothing, and I must say he's a pleasure to look at as well. But he's also very clear in how to do the yoga postures.

Well, that's a quick update on my life. I'm going to check the news and then clock in when it's time. Today if I'm not super busy, I'm going to work on that chapter for the career book. I'm more than half-way finished, so I think I made good progress yesterday. I'll try to finish today and then send it off to be edited. I'm excited to be part of such a project, and of course, it's one more thing to add to my vita, which is filling up quite nicely with professional activities. It's amazing how much eight years' experience can change one. :)

Have a good day. Oh, and by the way, happy Autumn/Mabon or for those of you down under, Spring/Ostara. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Okay, I put off laundry

one more day because I found clean khakis and sewed a tear in one of my clean shirts. Good to go, yes? Well, except wearing khakis during your period apparently tempts the universe's sense of humour, as I just found out that instead on going on the pad, my body miraculously bypassed all feminine protection and went straight to the khakis. What can I say, it's a talent. (Sorry if this grosses anyone out, but you women out there will understand). Sigh.

On the plus note, I work in a hospital, so I was able to borrow some scrub pants rather than go all the way home to change into anything else, which is also good since it's all dirty. So, the khakis get washed tonight like everything else. Fortunately I was able to attack the stain quickly and I don't think it will set.

On a brighter note, I scored a table yesterday that someone had put out. It's unfinished wood with a shelf and two wheels on one end (it's not missing any wheels, it's just supposed to have the two). It would make a really nice altar at some point, but for now it's holding my printer and some books on the lower shelf and I have some workspace next to my desk now with the top. It was in fine shape, just needed a quick cleaning. I moved one of the end tables to the dining room and now have a recycling cube on top with papers to keep or file on the lower shelf of that table, so it's helping with organisation. Now I have a place near the door for recycling junk mail.

Well that's it, just thought I'd check in and vent during lunch. Ta.

Go check the flag and put an end to the naysayers

who don't believe we ever went to the moon. :)

The Globe and Mail: NASA goes for the retro look in rocket design

FDA Approves First Pediatric Generic AIDS Drug for U.S. Marketing

FDA Approves First Pediatric Generic AIDS Drug for U.S. Marketing

It was inevitable

Authors sue Google over Google Print

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Yay, Steve!

My cousin, who is near Biloxi, is back at work and living with friends. His apartment was trashed by Katrina, but most of his stuff survived thanks to some heavy plastic sheeting he had the presence of mind to use.

I'm wondering where Hurricane Rita will wind up. Hopefully not any of the areas already hit by Katrina, although it looks like it's heading towards Galveston/Houston, so towards where a lot of evacuees are living right now. That's the last thing these people need.

So glad at the moment that I don't live near the beach, although I must say that 9/10 of the time it's probably pure heaven. Here in Kentucky our main potential disasters are: flooding (lots of streams and ridges), tornadoes, ice storms (probably our most widespread possibility), earthquake (we have the New Madrid fault to worry about, but it's rare and I don't think Lexington is in the main zone for major damage) and chemical release (we have a weapons depot in the area, so people are urged to 'Know Your Zone'). In other words, no destruction of biblical proportion is likely. I think in most of the end-of-the-world scenarios (which of course, aren't end of the world, just end of people) we're still on enough high ground that the sea won't take us over. Just in case you were wondering. (Hey, I read those roleplaying game scenarios of doom, doesn't everybody?)

Need something to pick your day up?

How about birds moonwalking? Go to Moonwalk Imitator to see, and be sure to have sound and speakers ready, because it's hilarious in conjunction with 'Billie Jean'. :)

Ah, the Internet...so much goodness.


Yesterday I got a phone call from the Kentucky Historical Society about interviewing for a job Tuesday next. I'm excited, because it marries my love of history with library science.

I've also been asked to write a chapter (about 2000 words) of a book on library careers. It sounds like it'll be fun, but the rough draft is due Nov. 1st, so I'd better start cracking.

Work has been a little exciting too. Yesterday I had one of those classic person-searching-for-a-book but the name was a soundalike for the real author, which I figured out. It was also one of those situations unique to hospital librarianship where someone calls you from the operating room to get a reference. Then, today I got to do an interlibrary loan lending to Rome. It's things like this that make me feel truly useful down to my toes. Yes, there must be something wrong with me. But, hey, it's one reason I'm a librarian. I like to find things for people. And even better, I'm good at it. Yay!

What else has been going on? Well, it's not exciting per se, but I discovered my air conditioner has been leaking on my off-season clothes in the walk in closet and as a result the carpet is drenched, the clothes and wall are mildewy, and I have a mini-disaster scenario to play with. The good thing is I think I can salvage most of the clothes, and thank goodness I noticed signs of a past leak and didn't put any books in that closet as was originally suggested.

It sounds like I need to swing by Shell and get some more gas before the prices go up again with this newest hurricane. I'll do that before I head over to the station for work. Then tonight I have the excitement of laundry to look forward to (yes, I'm being sarcastic). It's one of my least favourite chores, at least unless I have a washer that I can have running whilst doing other things.

Well, that's all for now. Take care, wherever you are. Hope you're having a good week. I know I am.

A sad passing of a man who never gave up

Simon Wiesenthal, credited with bringing over 1000 Nazi war criminals to justice, died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 96.

Described as the 'Conscience of the Holocaust', he worked tirelessly to make sure that those who committed atrocities during the Holocaust were brought to justice. For more check out the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which promotes tolerance, fights genocide and hate speech, and generally keeps the Holocaust and other genocides in our collective memory lest we forget and allow them to proliferate.

Monday, September 19, 2005

And a questionnaire from N.

1. What is your occupation? Librarian and all-around info maven.
2. What color is your underwear right now? Yellow.
3. What or who are you listening to right now? Loreena McKinnitt's Parallel Dreams, 'Samhain Night'.
4. What was the last thing you ate? A cherry Pop-Tart (my normal breakfast here at work).
5. Do you wish on stars? Yes. Although that stupid Subway commercial has almost ruined it for me. I mean, did the guy wish for a sub, and the girl wish to be turned into a sub and eaten? I think not. So she was cheated. Okay, maybe I think about these things too much.
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Believe it or not, my favourite crayon is not purple, although I do love purple crayons. The one I most associated with myself is Indian red (I always used it for my hair), which is a 'retired colour', but I still have one. :)
7. How is the weather right now? Pretty much perfect.
8. Last person you spoke to on the phone? D. Days ago at work.
9. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Of course. She's 'cool Natalie'. :)
10. How old are you today? 38, a truly scary age I might add. I mean, when did THAT happen? 40's around the corner and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
11. Favorite drink? At the moment, Fresca. It changes periodically.
12. What is your favorite sport to watch? Rarely, figure skating, soccer, gymnastics...stuff with lots of movement. Baseball and golf are boring. Football's mostly start-and-stop and I still don't understand the downs. Basketball's okay, but I don't follow it. I'd rather play sports than watch, but I suck at just about everything but volleyball and dodgeball.
13. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes, sometimes the bug gets me, usually late at night in Walgreens, and my friends tsk tsk a lot afterwards because I'm usually trying to get the colour my hair is in the sun, and mess it up in the process.
14. Do you wear contacts or glasses? Glasses. I had contacts, but they dried up from disuse.
15. Pets? Best dog ever: Cerys, Cuddly cat that no one else sees: Darius
16. Favorite month? April
(There was no 17.)
18. What was the last movie you watched? At home, Chicken Run. On the big screen...wait a moment...it was...gee. I'm not sure. The last I remember was Hellboy, but I'm sure there was something after that. It must not have been that memorable.
19. Favorite day of the year? Halloween.
20. What do you do to vent anger? I get in bed and hug a teddy bear until I calm down, if I'm really angry and there's no way to directly take care of it. Usually if I'm angry at someone, I'll tell them, and we'll talk it out.
21. What were your favorite toys as a child? Books.
22. Fall or Spring? Spring, but fall's a close second.
23. Hugs or kisses? Hugs.
24. Cherry or Blueberry? Blueberry.
25. Do you want your friends to email you back? Yes,
26. Who is most likely to respond? Well, C did while I was typing this.
27. Who is least likely to respond? U.
28. Living arrangements? Me, my dog, my cat, in a one bedroom apartment at the edge of town.
29. When was the last time you cried? Last week.
30. What is on the floor of your closet? Books. Clothes.
31. Who is the friend you have had the longest? YKWIA...17 years.
32. What did you do last night? Slept. Ate. Watched 2 minutes of the Emmy's. Slept again.
34. What inspires you? People who overcome obstacles that would bring me to my knees.
35. What are you afraid of? Being alone.
36. Cheese, or spicy hamburgers? I'm vegetarian. So, I'll say cheese, hold the hamburger.
37. Favorite car? Anything a little retro or different, like a PT cruiser, Mini Cooper, or that Chevy thing that is in all sorts of ads but I can't remember the model name.
38. Favorite dog breed? Labrador. Although if I could afford one, I'd have a Neopolitan mastiff (Fang from the Harry Potter movies). They're big drooly babies.
39. Number of keys on your key ring? Six.
40. How many years at your current job? 8.
41. Favorite day of the week? Sunday.
42. Peanut butter - crunchy or creamy? Crunchy.
43. Last show you watched on TV? 2 minutes of the Emmy's. Boring. But Mystery! wasn't on last night.

So I'm a nerd, cool

N sent me this quiz:

Nerd Geek Dork quiz

Tri-Lamb Material
95 % Nerd, 47% Geek, 60% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.A
Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often
an obscure or difficult one.A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common
social expectations/interactions.You scored better than half in Nerd and Dork,
earning you the coveted title of: Tri-Lamb Material.

The classic, "80's" nerd, you are what most people think of when they think
"nerd," largely due to 80's movies like Revenge of the Nerds and TV shows like
Head of the Class. You're exceptionally bright and smart, and partly because of
that have never quite fit in with your peers or social groups. Perhaps you're
realized, or will someday, that it is possible to retain all of the things that
you like about being brilliant and still make peace with the social cliques
around you. Or maybe you won't--it's really not necessary. As the brothers of
Lambda Lambda Lambda discovered, you're fine just the way you are and can take
pride in that. I mean, who wants to be like Ogre, right!?

Someone has been trying to teach me that it's not good to be a geek, and that I shouldn't think of myself as a geek, but as a nerd. I never really knew the difference before, but this illustrates it nicely, and proves him right.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Good news for a change

I sometimes feel like I tend to do lots of gloom and doom on this blog, partly because of the low points in my own life, partly because of stories that shock me and are blogworthy also tend to be pretty bad, like hurricane devastation, etc.

Well, today I had three bits of good news:
  1. The Adderall is covered by my insurance and not the really expensive in co-pay, but in the $25 range. So, I can start that at the end of this month when I get paid.
  2. Some kind soul who reads this blog sent me $20, for which I thank you very, very much. I was down to cat food for my dog and eggs for me to eat on until the 29th. Now I can get some groceries. Peanut butter and bread were even exhausted, and that's when things get really sad.
  3. D came in with a surprise of a $25 gas card and $5 in cash, saying that she appreciated things I do for her and this was her chance to help me. Thank you so much, D. My gas situation has made me very nervous (obviously, from these posts). Now I can get to work and where I need to without fear.

I feel like I built up a little good karma of late (okay, I know that technically karma isn't ever really good, but you understand my meaning, hopefully). Anyway, thank you to both of you. I'm really lucky to have people out there who care. It's certainly made my day (really my whole week). I'm running around with a stunned happy smile on my face as a result, the type where everyone else can't help smiling and saying hi in the hallway in response to. I'll be sure to pay it forward.

I'm also looking forward to getting together with some of the girls from work for game night (and now I know I can actually get there!) I don't have much interaction with other women (pretty much just at lunch and when I'm doing something with D), so it'll be nice to spend some time hanging out. I don't know, maybe that'll actually get me revved for trying the chorus again. Part of my anxiety was running out of gas in an unfamiliar area, especially without minutes on my cell phone. That shouldn't be a problem. I might even be able to squeeze some minutes out of the money I received and still get enough groceries to live on. Oh, and Cerys thanks you for the dog food, too. :)

Anyway, I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend. Mine's looking quite a bit brighter. :)

How appropriate/ironic

According to Tara McGillicuddy of the Living with ADD blog, September 14th was National Attention Deficit Disorder Awareness Day, which also happened to be the day I was diagnosed with it. So I'm trying to learn a little more about it (not obsessively, mind you, just to understand it), and found her blog. How's that for seredipity?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Nepali women gain protection under the law

in a ruling ending the practice of keeping menstruating women in cow-sheds.

I understand the need for ritual purity, if indeed that is the supposed reason for doing so, but these practices do discriminate whenever a part of the population is separated from general society--especially if forced to stay in filth, eat unhealthy food, and suffer verbal abuse. It should certainly be the choice of the woman whether or not to adhere to traditional ways. I suspect better arrangements could be made if ritual purity is the concern.

Although, coming from a tradition where menstruation is celebrated as a time of power, not of shame, it's hard for me to understand why some cultures see it otherwise. But even in my own, women and men are not to be sexual together during that time, so it's not that different from, say, Judaism. So I get the ritual purity thing, I just look at it differently...that the woman is at a time of power that is dangerous to mess with. The best I can describe it is that things are different during menstruation, almost on a different wavelength, and it is a power that doesn't mix well with male energy, magic, power, whatever you call it. Or at least that is my experience.

A blog from New Orleans

The Interdictor

blogging at least at one point by generator only. It includes first-hand experiences and pictures.

Via the American Hospital Association

The Care Fund is helping those health care workers in areas affected by Katrina rebuild their lives. In many cases hospital and other health care workers have lost their homes and families and yet continued to administer to the needs of others who were sick or injured throughout the crisis, doing what they could to save lives. This fund helps them as they try to recover from the storm's effects.

You can view/listen to a presentation on The Care Fund by AHA President Dick Davidson here.

Ah, yes, the supposed librarian of yesteryear

From the blog Begging The Question: "I remember when the librarian was a much older woman: kindly, discreet, unattractive. We didn't know anything about her private life. We didn't want to know anything about her private life. She didn't have a private life."

In the same post, the blogger talks about not checking books out of the library for the same reason not to rent porn from a Blockbuster--because of the ickiness factor. Course, having OCD, I can kind of understand not wanting to check books out of the library because of all the stuff they get exposed to. I feel that way about magazines in doctors' offices. But with library books, oh, no, that doesn't stop me. No, library fines stop me, because every now and then, even with all the nifty ways to keep track of books they have these days, I sometimes just forget to bring them back. As a result, I make occasional 'donations' to the cause. I am probably on some bad librarian list somewhere. But that's the problem with librarians, you see. We WANT TO KEEP the books. For ourselves. Really.

Of course, if I were working at the libraries where I check books out, I probably wouldn't have any trouble, because in many places there's this great secret benefit, namely that librarians/staff aren't subject to fines. I don't know how widespread it is, but I desperately need it. Fortunately I'll be able to free my account soon from my latest bungle. And by the way, they're all accounted for and were returned quite some time ago, without being overdue that much. I just had a lot of books out, and that adds up quickly, even at just 10 cents a day per book. Ouch.

Of course, being a librarian, I've also heard stories about what winds up in book drops that would guarantee the germ-phobic would not go near a book.

By the way, I found that quote by using Google's new Blog Search module and typed in 'librarian', just to see what came up. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Well, another day comes to a close

It's been pretty productive, all told; two appointments, one an intake into therapy, the other with my psychiatrist, who prescribed a low dose of Adderall to help my attention issues on a trial basis. That puts me on both a stimulant and a sedative, which is a little strange, but her pharmocology has worked well so far. If I do have ADD, which indicators are that I do, then a stimulant should actually have a calming effect that will allow me to focus better around distractions. We'll see. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone with experience with this. On the one hand, I'd really like to see it help. On the other hand, well, it's an amphetamine, so that's a little frightening.

I had a rather nerve-wracking (in the figurative sense, as I was actually pretty calm) experience driving down the road from my doctor's to the television station, which is just a few blocks down one street but my goodness, there was a funeral, an ambulance; I'm surprised the train didn't come as well. Normally I wouldn't be all that concerned but my gas light is on and I didn't have any money to put in more with me. This is going to be so fun. I get paid tomorrow but it all goes to rent with the exception of maybe $5, which won't help much on the gas front.

I got quite a bit accomplished at both work sites, and I'm going to take some from the station home with me and work some more. It involves reading lots of jargon in tiny print, so it's best to do in short spurts.

I guess that's all for now. I wish I had access from home and could type things in when I think of them. Whenever I'm away from the computer I tend to think of more to say. Maybe I need to start blogging on my PDA. I found my keyboard last night in a fit of looking for something else. :)

Have a good night and hope you all are safe and well. (Gee, can you tell I'm feeling a teensy bit lonely?) Which brings me to this, a small poem I came up with last night:

I miss
your humour
my laughter
feeling needed
feeling useful

I feel
not empty
but bored
as if life isn't
quite full

I'm waiting
to see you
to share my time
with yours

Not great, I know, but it's off the cuff. September seems to be stretching out in front of me quite a bit. It's going to be a long, quiet, lonely two weeks, I think.

I'd definitely like to see this

in English and in the original German.

Beloved History Book Gets Translation

EH Gombrich's A Little History will be translated for the first time into English. The late writer's granddaughter, working with translator Caroline Mustill, finished the English translation her grandfather had left unfinished. Ernst Gombrich died at the age of 92 a couple of months after the 9/11 attacks, apparently losing the heart to finish the work after the tragedy. Gombrich's History was banned by the Nazis, deemed to pacifistic. It sounds perfectly charming, a history for children that otherwise would delight all ages--and very different from the dry scholarly style so seemingly favoured in that genre.

Amen, sister!

Don't Mess With Mother by Anna Quindlen. 'The long view is not about patching levees, or building houses, or assigning blame. It's about changing the way we all live now.'

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

It's hard to believe this could happen

Eleven Children Found Caged in Ohio Home

The children, aged one to fourteen and having various disabilities including autism, were in nine cages 40 inches high x 40 inches wide. All were either adopted or in foster care, meaning someone placed these children in this situation. A children's services investigator saw one of the children in a cage and then called in the sheriff, who obtained a warrant and returned to remove the children. The cages had alarms on them and in some cases were blocked by heavy furniture. One report said that Sharen and Mike Gravelle, the couple involved, told investigators a psychiatrist had told them to put the children in cages.

Thank the Gods that the children's services worker found the situation. But isn't it scary that it could get to that point? Argghhh!!! The things people do to others or to animals never cease to amaze me, and it seems like often they see nothing wrong with what they're doing. Now, that's crazy.


I talked to both comp care and my psychiatrist and they're going to let me keep my appointments (which means I'll get my medicine, too) and let me pay later in the month when I can. That means I stay on track with my meds and therapy.

Okay, just for those of you who haven't been reading for awhile, and goodness knows, you're going, a shrink, should I hire her/give her the time of day, etc. I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell. I used to have major depression. I still have some anxiety issues, like social phobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but those are generally controlled by medication (although sometimes, like the chorus, I have to work up to dealing with large groups of people, I don't have trouble with small groups or one-on-one. I've even managed to teach classes and give presentations occasionally. :) I also have BPD, borderline personality disorder, but have undergone dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) and am continuing in personal therapy, to help with issues like impulsivity, low self-esteem, and emotional dsyregulation.

Really, wouldn't you rather have someone working for you who was in therapy and was actually working on things, rather than someone in complete denial that there was anything wrong with her life? :D

Monday, September 12, 2005

I forgot how much I loved this book

I just finished re-reading Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess. My favourite of hers is The Secret Garden , but this is a close second. I had forgotten bits, including her pet rat and the Large Family. It just feels me with wondrous goodness. I think that's what makes a classic--when you can read it and it stirs you each time you read it as if by magic. The same could be said of The Iliad or Harry Potter, don't you think?

If you've never read A Little Princess, you should. Male or female, the protagonists of Burnett's books tend to preservere in adversity. I've also read The Lost Prince and Little Lord Fauntleroy. But there are others, both for children and adults, and they can be found at the link above in full text.

(Ironically enough, I'm listening to Loreena McKinnit's 'Dickens' Dublin', from Parallel Dreams, which is all about an impoverished child trying to find a warm place to stay at Christmas time.)

Well, I didn't go to chorus yesterday

because my anxiety got the better of me. Social phobia does rather suck. But I may try again next weekend. Also, I'm not sure how well it would normally work with my schedule, with the game, and at this point, I've got fourteen years of gaming in to about two of the chorus, so gaming wins. Of course, that all rather depends on what sort of note September ends. We'll see.

I rather lazed about all weekend, except for visiting a friend who was in the hospital with some emergency surgery. Fortunately she's doing better. I really have to admit, I'm pretty lucky, although I don't always realise it; that's three people I know who have had surgery in the last month or so; my health (knock on wood) is doing pretty well.

As always I'm in that part of the month where things get tight. But I've paid my debts and bills, just have to pay my rent on Thursday and that leaves me a grand total of $10 for the rest of the month.

Tell me, what do you do with $10? Here are your choices:
  • Get food.
  • Get gas--a very little bit of gas, given the current prices.
  • Get medicine.
  • Pay a co-pay for a therapy appointment.
  • Pay a co-pay for a psychiatry appointment.
I think I'm going to move the appointments to the 30th or shortly thereafter, when I will have not just one but two paycheques again, ration my medicine a bit, buy a couple of loaves of bread to get me through a couple of weeks with peanut butter, and use the rest for gas so I can get back and forth to work.

Yep, that's my norm this time of the month. Like always, it sort of snuck up on me, but this time I realised it not so much ahead of time to have helped, but at least before I had nothing at all. I've been parcelling out my money into 'boxes' (really tabs of a coupon holder) and that's been helping. The only trouble was I forgot that I went ahead and got groceries and gas with the 'extra' $100 I had from this cheque, so I won't have any to spare when I get paid on Thursday...it'll go straight to rent. Which means, I suppose, that I wasn't allowing enough for gas and food.

I know, you're thinking, how can a woman in her 30s be this hopeless about money? Please keep in mind that I'm making about $800 a month, which doesn't go far when more than half goes to rent and electric, etc. But I admit, I could be doing a lot better. I do finally have a budget drawn up, I just had some additional expenses this month, like extra rent for being late and an extra electric bill. Because we have three paydays this month, though, it should set up things better for next month, so I won't stay behind.

Oh, well, things get better at the end of the month, and hopefully in October I'll actually be able to keep ahead with money from the increased hours at job number 2. Plus, you never know, something might come of those job applications I've made, right? In the meantime I see the vicious cycle I've been in, so maybe I can find a jumping-off point somewhere. :)

Somehow this just does not make me feel safer

WMD Threat Could Spark American Nuclear Strike

A document, still in draft form at this point, within the Pentagon has been revised to allow the President to order a pre-emptive nuclear strike against another state or terror groups. This shifts things from 'mututal assured destruction', to 'we will kill you dead just for thinking it'.

Of course, I shouldn't really be surprised. We are, after all, the only nuclear power ever to use a bomb on another population. But given such things as the lack of WMDs in Iraq, faulty intelligence, political appointments that screw up even something as vital as disaster relief...well, I don't have a lot of faith in my government at the moment, and even less so with this particular Administration. It's getting harder to view ourselves as the good guys (which, really, was a matter of spin anyway, I suppose, since everyone sees themselves as the good guys, even when they're doing horrible things) with stuff like this happening.

Let's see if it is approved in its current form. I suspect it will drum up quite a bit of controversy after being outed, so to speak, by the Washington Post yesterday. Still, I wonder what this will do to the Doomsday Clock?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

They will not be forgotten

This blog is taking a moment to remember those killed in the 9/11 attacks, those who survived, the families, the workers who dealt with the aftermath--all the lives touched by a tragedy brought about by the hatred of humans agains other humans. We will not forget. May terrorism die a quick and painful death, and our children only know peace.

Friday, September 09, 2005

I was glad to see this

Reach Out and Read, an early literacy project with which I participate, sent this out in response to the aftermath of Katrina:

To the ROR Community--,
Ever since Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast area, many of you have called or emailed to ask how you can help Reach Out and Read to help those most affected by the hurricane’s fury. Of course we want to do whatever we can to alleviate the suffering of the many thousands of people displaced by the storm, and we urge everyone to contribute to the agencies collecting funds for emergency efforts to bring them shelter, clean water, food, and basic medical care. And once ongoing medical care is available for these families, I think we all want it to include books.

Therefore, given who we are and whom we serve, just as soon as the situation stabilizes – when babies and young children and their families have the water, formula, diapers, antibiotics, safe places to sleep and other things they most need, then ROR wants to be ready to do what we do best – provide the books and training needed to allow medical providers to give books as part of pediatric care.

As you may know, providers from the University of Texas Medical Center, where Susan Cooley and the ROR-Texas coalition are housed, are working hard to establish a medical care network in the Astrodome, in area churches -- wherever possible – first to conduct emergency triage and then to address the more routine medical needs of the hurricane evacuees. We have been in contact with Susan and her ROR team and have worked out the following plan to help meet their needs and the needs of others serving the Hurricane refugees in other areas of the country:

1. As soon as the immediate emergency has ended and on-going care is being provided, ROR would like to have a ready supply of books available for pediatric providers to give to these young patients; if necessary, we will arrange abbreviated, onsite training to prepare the providers to deliver the books and the ROR message to their young patients wherever they are now receiving medical care.

2. If you work in an area that will be serving Hurricane refugees, please be assured that Reach Out and Read will cover the cost of additional books to serve these children. Please keep good records and let us know in a timely manner about these unexpected costs to your program.

3. The National Center is establishing a Disaster Relief Book Account to cover the costs of books for these children. While the National Center will provide initial funding for this Account, we know that many of you are looking for ways to help these ROR sites and the children they serve. If you would like to contribute to the Disaster Relief Book Account, we know the affected areas would be grateful—and we will all be grateful to have more book money to offer them. We will have details for you next week about exactly how to do this.

4. When the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina are re-built and primary medical care is restored to these areas, ROR will replace all books destroyed in the storm and assist all of our sites in getting back on their feet to once again deliver our program to their young patients. Again, we will plan to draw on the Disaster Relief Book Account, so your contributions will help rebuild ROR programs when the time comes.

We have been overwhelmed by the offers of help coming in to the National Center. Even in this terrible time, we have to keep believing in the resilience of children and families, the hope and potential that lives in every child, and the joy that books can bring. Thank you for your generosity, your ongoing support of the Reach Out and Read mission of early childhood literacy, and for your commitment to the well-being of all children!

Perri Klass, MD
President and Medical Director
Reach Out and Read National Center

I'm glad to see they're working so diligently to help get books into the hands of children and to help restore what was lost. Most ROR sites are within primary paediatric practices, but ours is set up within a hospital. If any of you are medical librarians and don't participate in ROR, it's really quite rewarding and involves very little time to implement and maintain. Feel free to contact me for more info or check out the National ROR Website.

First Book giving books to children affected by Katrina

First Book is accepting donations; every $5 donated will mean a book will go to a child affected by Katrina.

Amercian Library Association is tracking library-related Katrina news

ALA Hurricane Katrina News

They also have a website devoted to library-related relief and disaster recovery.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

I'm feeling much better

having made it through a slew of academic standards, gone on a hunt for naked women (someone asked me to find a particular reproduction of the Venus of Willendorf), and tracked down no less than three wayward addresses--all in a day's work at my second job. I love public broadcasting. :)

So now I'm thinking about going to Kroger for a couple of things and then home. I had thought about going to a thing tonight at the Eagle Creek Library on breaking into magazine writing, but I think I'll skip this one. Later in the month a writer's group meets, though, and I'd like to do that, especially as the library is almost within a stone's throw of my apartment.

I think I may go to a service at the Unitarian Church. I was a member for years and years but took a break for awhile. Now they have two services, one of which I can make and still go to the game when I resume that. It means getting up and going somewhere by 9 am on a weekend, though, so we'll see. Also, next Sunday the chorus I used to sing with SisterSound, is starting back with rehearsals and I'm going to go and see what they're up to. I had half a dozen things wrong with me when I was singing before, including asthma I didn't know about, so now I'm looking forward to singing with my full range of breath. I'm a first soprano, and they always need us high girls for some reason. Anyway, it was great fun before, and this is a good time to see how it is now.

What else have I been up to? Hmmm.... I put in for a part-time job with the Lexington Public Library, not at the one by my house but the next nearest one, over in a neighbourhood I spend a lot of time in. I also put in a part-time application to Joseph-Beth Booksellers on the chance that one of these days they'd hire me, despite the fact I'm not thin like most of their female staff. I also put in applications at the Kentucky Historical Society (especially happy with one, for a cataloguer/archivist, since those are two areas I specialised in during school). So the job hunt is still on.

I'm beginning to think that one of the reasons I've been so unhappy lately hasn't been so much who I'm with but rather that all of my energy was centred around someone else and I wasn't doing anything just for me. So, I'm trying to build in a few activities that will help fill this time of the great experiment but also focus on things I can continue with when the month is up. I also start back in therapy as of the 14th, so I'm trying to work on myself from several angles.

Generally I'm having a pretty decent life right now. I tend to blog when I'm down or when things just suck; I realise that's pretty negative and unfair. But no, I'm pretty happy, a little lonely, but hanging in there. D has a lot on her plate right now, so we don't get to talk that much although I've gone over to her house recently when I really needed to talk and she was there for me, and of course she's a phone call away, although with the baby I try not to call too late.

I'm rambling, aren't I? Well, I think it's time to head home. Yesterday I went straight from the blood centre to bed because I felt washed out; tonight I still have some energy, so I may do some errands and a little reading. I wish I had Internet access at home because I really would like to just surf in the gathering-rather-than-hunting way, but I don't so unless I go to the library, hunting it is. And with the library, there's a time limit, so there's no just 'channel surfing' like I used to. Oh, well, it also means I'm not really wasting time that could be spent doing something constructive, right? But there's nothing like surfing the weirdness of the web at 3am, what can I say? I don't really watch much TV, but I do like to just flip through websites and learn what I can. It seems more interactive, anyway. I'm hoping I can get connected using my increased hours at the station, since I'll be doing better financially. But for now, I'm just working on the basics, so we'll see closer to the end of the month how things are going.

That's all for now. Ta.

It's a silly thing

but I felt left out, alone in a crowd of people, and I can't shake the feeling. I know it wasn't done on purpose. I'm not mad, but a little down, sitting back at my desk listening to "Annachie Gordon" by Loreena McKinnitt, which probably isn't helping my mood.

I just want to curl up and sleep in my bed, curled around my dog and cat, and have the world turn on its own without me for just a little while.

But I can already feel the mood lifting, so instead I'll do my work and go to my other job and probably even enjoy my day, because now that I've written of feeling down, I don't really feel it that much. Funny, that. Moods are strange and fickle. Just when you're ready to wallow they surprise you.

Now we're onto "Standing Stones", another tragedy, but oddly enough, cheering. You've got to love ballads of murder and death that are still cheery. I blame the music itself--it's upbeat and very undirgelike.

One of my favourite Irish songs keeps coming to mind

I Am Stretched on Your Grave

I am stretched on your grave and will lie there forever,
If your hands were in mine, I'd be sure they'd not sever,
My apple tree, my brightness, 'tis time we were together,
For I smell of the earth and am worn by the weather.

When my family thinks that I'm safe in my bed,
From night until morning I am stretched at your head.
Calling out to the air with tears hot and wild,
My grief for the girl that I loved as a child.

Do you remember the night we were lost
In the shade of the blackthorn and the chill of the frost.
Oh, thanks be to Jesus we did what was right
And your maidenhead still is your Pillar of Light.

The priests and the friars approach me in dread,
Because I still love you, my love, and you're dead.
And still would be your shelter through rain and through storm
For with you in the cold ground I cannot sleep warm.

I am stretched on your grave and will lie there forever,
If your hands were in mine, I'd be sure they'd not sever,
My apple tree, my brightness, 'tis time we were together,
For I smell of the earth and am worn by the weather.

And there's also the blog

Geaux Library Recovery Blog which tracks the activities of the effort there.

I have to admit, I'm curious about the name. It seems to be a regional spin on 'Go', often used in conjunction with LSU sports. If anyone can give me a dose of its origin and meaning, I'd appreciate it. Is it even a French word? Or just a way to say 'go'? Just wondering. You know librarians. We're a curious lot.

Geaux Library Project

I've volunteered to write.

Please pass on to anyone you know or any listserv you are on...

Dear Librarians, Information Professionals and other Friends,

The Geaux Library Project will attempt to meet the information needs at hurricane evacuee shelters around Louisiana and beyond. Using computers and networking equipment donated to the Red Cross and others by large commercial and local IT companies, we will be setting up small computer labs at Red Cross shelters and staffing them with librarians and other trained volunteers.

Our pilot locations in Louisiana will include the Gonzales, Baton Rouge, and Acadiana (Lafayette) areas. *We need your help!*

Specifically, we have openings for the following volunteer positions:

On-site positions

l Geaux Getters

o You will do an initial needs assessment on the shelter(s) in your area. You will be provided with a questionnaire to determine the information necessary for the project. This will require you to visit the shelter physically and in put your findings into a web-based form.

l Geaux Coordinators

o You will be responsible for determining and assigning the necessary amount of volunteers for shelter(s) that they oversee. Communications will take place over the phone, online, and possibly in person. Coordinators may need to periodically visit the shelter site to determine adequacy of resources. Coordinators can also double as Geaux Librarians.

l Geaux Librarians

o You will be asked to supervise a small network of computers and volunteers in a shelter. This may include: reference, referring in-depth questions to our searcher network, data entry, instruction on computer use to a population with very limited computer skills, coordinating computer usage times among patrons, opening and/or closing the computer area, basic technical support i.e. turning on computer and maintaining a printer and/or fax machine, other duties as they arise. Shifts are flexible.

l Geauxfers

o You will need to be available to do anything the Geaux Librarians or Geaux Coordinators need you to do.

l Geaux Techs

o Hardware and network techs will be needed to troubleshoot any issues that may come up at the various sites, and setup new shelter computers. Some of the work may be done remotely depending on the issue.

l Geaux Couriers

o You will drive equipment and supplies from a pickup point to the shelters.
This can be a one time job or you can volunteer to do it more often. We will specify the locations as they come up.

o *We have an immediate need for a Geaux Courier to bring equipment from Lafayette to Gonzales or Baton Rouge!***

Remote positions

l Geaux Speed Searcher

o You will be issued a login ID and password that will give you access to questions posted by onsite librarians. You may work on these answers and view other answers until a notice has been posted that no more are needed. This may be done anytime, anywhere, and our only request is, in accordance with the ALA Code of Ethics, to respect the confidentiality of these questions.

l Geaux Writer

o You will write content for the website as needed such as policies, volunteer position descriptions, link descriptions, etc.. Experience in writing clear, easy to read information in a must.

l Geaux Webmaster

o You will maintain the geauxlibrary.org website. You must have experience in using a variety of web programming languages and using database driven websites.

Everything is completely voluntary at this time, but the satisfaction you receive will be helping hurricane Katrina victims by doing what you know how to do better than anyone else!

For more information and further description of volunteer opportunities, please see our website at www.geauxlibrary.org. *Go there to fill out the volunteer signup form* to become part of this much needed project.

We are also accepting *Donations* through the website. Click on the For Donors section to see what items we need and how to donate.

We will be putting out instructions on how to start your own Geaux Library in your area soon, so keep watching the website for more information. The website is just now functional to get more volunteers and donations. We will add more information when we get some help.

*For our sanity, please do NOT reply to this e-mail! Use the website to communicate with us.***


Geaux Library Project (shelter) Organizers,

Becky Hebert and Addie Fletcher

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Call for health care and relief workers to join recovery efforts

United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Surgeon General and Office of Public Health are looking for:

Administration/Finance Officers
Clinical Physicians
Dental Forensics
Environmental Health
Facility Managers
IT/Communications Officers
Laboratory Technicians
Medical Clerks
Medical Examiners
Mental Health Workers
Mortuary Assistants
Nursing Assistants/Nursing Support Technicians
Nursing Staff Directors
Patient Transporters/Volunteers
Physician's Assistants or Nurse Practitioners
Physician Chiefs of Staff
Radiologic Technicians
Respiratory Therapists
Safety Officers
Security Officers
Social Workers
Substance Abuse Counselors
Supply Managers

These workers will be non-paid temporary Federal employees, and will therefore be eligible for coverage under the Federal Tort Claims Act for liability coverage and Workman’s Compensation when functioning as HHS employees. Although there will not be any salary, travel and per diem will be paid.

Assignments may last 14 days or longer. It is required that applicants have Hepatitis B and Tetanus/Diphtheria immunizations for this assignment.

I know I've posted a lot about the hurricane over the last few days

I hope no one's tired of reading about it. It's just such an enormous thing; I find myself thinking about the images and the things I've read and watched at the oddest times, and even though I am not directly affected, I think we all have been indirectly affected. Like the September 11 terrorist attacks, this disaster makes us all feel more vulnerable, and especially in the wake of questions regarding the response to a natural disaster here nearly on the anniversary of the attacks, it makes you think. What really has changed? Can we respond to such an enormous problem? Did the resolve to combat terror blind our leaders to the danger in nature?

I think that like September 11, the Katrina hurricane and its aftermath will redefine our country. It's an experience that crosses generations, ethnicity, and class. I only hope some good will come out of all this.

For those of us not actively affected, life goes on pretty much as normal, with a few exceptions. I've volunteered on the Katrina Help Wiki and asked the local Red Cross if I could help; they're so overwhelmed with offers that they deferred me for now, asking me to call back in a few weeks since ongoing help will be needed. We're getting refugees from Katrina in the Bluegrass en masse now, starting with 500 today and up to 1500 soon. This is in addition to the individual families that came on their own. I haven't been able to donate much yet, but I may be able to do more at the end of the month. I'm going to give blood later on today. That's about all I can do for now, and it's a little frustrating, but hopefully I can do more later. That's the problem of not being a member of a church or some other philanthropic group, I suppose...it's hard to find something to do if all you can donate is time. I may check around and see if they'd mind a pagan helping out. :)

The main thing for me this month, since I'm not so scheduled or spending time any time with the people I usually do, is that I'm spending time alone. The first few days I sort of flailed because I'm so unused to having time to myself. But mostly it's been pretty nice so far, if a little lonely. I caught myself singing along to the jingle of a local rural electric co-op's commercial this morning on the way to work. Thankfully, D and N are back at work, so I can look forward to some conversation at lunch. (Most of the people I normally eat with have been hard to catch the last few days, with other plans, etc., so even lunchtime has been unusually quiet). I've had a chance to really bond well with my dog and cat. Cerys has remained bouncy, for which I'm grateful; I thought spending time away from the other dogs would bother her, but it doesn't seem to be. Darius has been particularly cuddly, something no one who knows this cat would normally believe. If I'm sitting at all, he wants to be on me, except when I'm at the computer, in which case he's content with being on the monitor. It both makes me miss Spock (who died this summer) and yet also fills the void left by him.

Well, I guess that's all for now. I have to get ready for work. I'll probably blog a bit more than normal, to reassure me that there's someone out there, or at least I won't look so crazed blogging as I would talking to myself. :)

Librarians unite in response to Katrina

Yahoo! Groups : geauxlibrary is a list coordinating efforts to help libraries and archives in the region recover from the hurricane.

This shouldn't be a surprise

Efforts to save city documents stymied

The soldiers and others in the city are, of course, concerned with saving lives. Saving documents for them would be low priority. But it's very frustrating for those of us who realise that there are windows of opportunity quickly passing by.

A blog for medical library colleagues to keep in touch

in the wake of Katrina.

Hurricane Katrina category on the blog for the South Central Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine

Are you an animal lover?

Consider donating to the Humane Society (318.219.PETS) in Louisiana, which created an emergency shelter for the pets that aren't allowed to go with their people to the shelters.

Also, Noah's Wish is an organisation which specialises in rescuing animals from disaster areas.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I like Aaron Broussard

Jefferson Parish President. And I quote from New Orleans turning tide on Katrina floodwaters - Yahoo! News: "Take whatever idiot they have at the top, give me a better idiot. Give me a caring idiot. Give me a sensitive idiot. Just don't give me the same idiot. "

I'm thankful

that I have a roof over my head, clean, fresh water to drink and bathe in, that I know where my family members are and that they are safe, and that, at times like this, we are reminded of what really matters in life.

I hope that those whose lives have been overturned in the last week or more find shelter, necessities, and loved ones. I cannot imagine what you have gone through, not really. But I look at my own position and know that if I had been in the area, I would have been one of those left behind, waiting for a September 1st paycheque, without gas or money to go anywhere, not knowing what to do about my animals. Looking at pictures of the hurricane's aftermath, I'm struck by the slices of ordinary lives. Even those with the wherewithal to leave will be displaced for some time; they may not have been right in the path of the storm or suffered as great, but still they are refugees. But of course the poor, as always, are the hardest hit. A storm doesn't care, of course. It simply is. But where you were on August 29th made a difference in how you experienced the storm, that's for sure.

I think the government was slow to respond, and that mistakes were made at a local, state, and federal level. I don't think it was overt racism that caused things to go so slowly, but certainly race and socioeconomic status played a role in who was left cut off during that time of flailing. They're certainly issues to address once everyone who can be rescued has been, issues social scientists and historians will mull and theorise about for years to come. It is good that it is being discussed, too, in general society, because it isn't something that should be relegated merely to academics. But in the meantime, the recovery continues....

I don't know why, but one of the most powerful stories that caught my eye this weekend wasn't about the human suffering. It was set at an animal shelter where the people had to evacuate once it became apparent that the storm was heading directly for them. They did what they could, putting cages high up, etc., but the animals were left to fend for themselves. Over twenty animals did drown in their cages, but a good number survived--cats and dogs--by swimming in their cages for about six hours. The person being interviewed said something to the effect of how we humans needed to learn how to deal with the crisis with the same will as those animals. I don't know why, but that story gave me hope...and of course, we have seen story after story of miracles and courage in the face of calamity along with the tragedies. I have to admit, in the midst of all the chaos, I hope that each and every one of those animals is adopted after displaying such a will to live.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Aid begins to make it

CNN.com - Convoy brings relief supplies to New Orleans - Sep 2, 2005

A way to help libraries recover

Secondary to the people, of course, but important nonetheless in the months to come:

The LLA Disaster Relief Fund is now accepting monetary donations to assist school, public, and academic library restoration efforts in southeastern Louisiana.
Please make checks payable to:

LLA-Disaster Relief

and mail to:

421 South 4th St
Eunice, LA 70535 "
The URL for the Louisiana Library Association is:

You can also check out the Texas Library Association, which is taking donations online and working with library associations in the area.

When will help get to the people who need it most?

I cannot believe how long it is taking to get some basics to people...Gods willing, help will arrive today. If journalists can reach these people, you cannot tell me that aid cannot. I'm with the mayor of New Orleans on this one.

More news on the aftermath of Katrina

Convoy to Gulf

Got Labour Day weekend off and want to do something physically to help the victims of Katrina? Consider joining this person. Offer of aid was taken from the KatrinaHelp Wiki. I would be willing to help drive down, I just can't figure out what to do with my dog during the time I'd need to be gone. But maybe someone else, like a student, who doesn't have anything to take care of here could help???
Ok here it is, I am in Ohio looking for assistance in driving as much food and potable water down to the children waiting for transportation and evacuation. It has become apparent that the situation is not being handled as needed and the time has come for us as ordinary citizens to stand up and do something NOW. I am hoping for one or two volunteers from Ohio, PA , or WV to Grab what non-perishables and water we can (distilled water can be had for 50C a gallon) and literally drive as far into the evacuation staging area as possible and distribute what we can to families of children in need. I, although not well off by any stretch of anyone’s imagination am willing to spend $1000 in supplies and assist in transporting them DIRECTLY to the area of need. I need assistance in the transportation. Simply put.

I am under no illusion this is pretty much compared to pissing in the ocean when it comes to the overwhelming need there, it is however all I can do, and I am willing to DO it not just talk about it. I can also promise NO person we give aid to will say 'No thanks this isn’t enough' The simple fact is we , who are able need to stand up and act as it is becoming frighteningly more apparent by the hour that'officals' are overwhelmed or incapable of acting as quickly as needed by a disaster of this magnitude and the children and the elderly, the one not able to fend for themselves are suffering the most.

Please contact me vivia email at wertman@hotmail.com

Planning to Leave Saturday Morning and Return on Monday, you might miss a football game, or a cook out but you may also make life a little better for a child.

I am sure you can think of a 100 reasons NOT to

Others are dealing with it
I cant really help enough to make a difference
I have other plans
Its dangerous

The problem is everyone is already giving the same excuses and nothing is getting done. This would be an in and out operation, drop off what we can and that all. Not into the flooded areas but rather the children waiting for evacuation that haven’t eaten or drank clean water in days. This is not political, this is not religious, this is being a decent citizen and standing up to action, something that Americans it would now seem thinks means watching TV and feeling pity but nothing more.

If you are able, in good health and able to help provide transportation PLEASE contact me. I don’t want your money I want your back, your spirit and some driving for 2 1/2 days simply help in transporting and distributing what supplies we can, To be honest it will probably take less than an hour to actually distribute, but think if you were in those children’s places what that would mean, a snack, some water, and maybe just maybe some hope.

All we can do is what we can do, this is all I can do, but when its over I will be able to say I actually DID something, not talked about it at the office, not watched it on TV, not thought about giving to the red-cross, but I did something. Please contact me via email at wertman@hotmail.com My HOPE is to Leave Saturday around Noon and Return by Monday at 3:00pm

A Truck with a hitch and a Trailer, and SUV with a Trailer, heck a 1969 Winnebago…

They've extended

the 'Blog for Katrina Relief' to encompass the entire holiday weekend. Details can be found at Truth Laid Bear's Katrina Relief page. I've already been blogging my choice of charity, the American Red Cross, but let me add a couple of links they've asked us to include in our posts:

Glenn's roundup post
Technorati flood aid
Technorati Hurricane Katrina

I know some of what I've blogged these past few days is repetitive; please bear with me. The devastation is so great and the situation so dire that it bears a little repeating. We musn't let Katrina fade in the news until everyone who can be is rescued. Please show you care. Please donate today or find other ways to help relief efforts. Refugees are far flung; some may be in your area (we have some here in Central Kentucky, for example). Most are cut off from home with very little in the way of necessities, and staying with relatives may be a good short-term solution but some will be displaced for months. Local stations are spotlighting the needs here, hopefully they are doing the same where you live. If nothing else, blogging or participating in the cooperative Wiki or other sites can help organise the mountain of loose information out there. Now if there were just some way to get it to the people who need it the most....

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I came to the library after watching the horrific scenes on TV

of the aftermath of Katrina and what it has done to New Orleans and other areas of the Gulf Coast, thinking that I could at least do some volunteering for the Wiki, but the site is either experiencing difficulties or for whatever reason I can't reach it from the library computers. (Yes, that was a long sentence, I know. Bear with me. There will probably be more.) So I'm left blogging.

I wish I could do more. I have only a little money I can contribute, but every bit helps, I suppose. To see people sitting in the heat dying of dehydration and exhaustion is awful, but I'm glad they're showing it, because we need to know what this hell is like. I think it will shock many Americans at just how quickly a major metropolitan area sank into lawlessness and Third World conditions. New Orleans shows what a breakdown in communication...for certainly that is at the heart of this, as people are cut off from any hope of rescue and the uncertainty of when they will find food and water is fueling so much of this frustration. Everyone keeps asking, 'where are our leaders?' and 'where is the government?', even 'where are the relief agencies?' and the government gets defensive and says it's trying everything it can. But there's a giant divide between the average American watching these scenes on TV, and even those closer to the rescue efforts, and those waiting at the convention centre or on rooftops for some sign of relief. That gulf is communication, and it's costing lives every bit as much as the floodwaters.

I've never been to New Orleans, although I grew up outside Shreveport and Alexandria as a child, spending about seven years total in the state of Louisiana. I consider it a sort of second home, after Kentucky. I hate to see such destruction hit it, or the neighbouring states for that matter. As a Southerner, I feel like the heart of my region has been blasted apart. But I have no doubt that there will be recovery, albeit slow recovery, because the South has an indomitable spirit that has weathered storms, war, and other destructive forces before. Life will go on. That's little consolation for some, especially when small things like an oxygen tank or a little water could mean the huge difference between life and death. Each life saved is a miracle in the wake of this storm. I'm sure all the best and worst of humanity will be brought out by the crisis. But for now, I simply wish good weather and Godspeed to those trying to rescue and rebuild.

I like Firefox

I especially like that this site looks fine in that browser, too, so I don't have to do much to make it compliant. Although the first time I looked at it, it took a moment to resolve the tables, now it just pops up like magic faster than Explorer. Yipee.

I just worked my first day back at my second job at the television station, got to meet my new boss, etc., etc. So far things look very good, and it looks like I can look forward to about 2 hours a day, starting with some research and compilation, which is right up a librarian's alley.

Today was payday, so I was able to pay people back who helped me out last month and I'll get some groceries in the house. I put in $20 worth of gas to bring it up to half a tank, but I couldn't bring myself to do more just now with the prices through the roof ($2.99 where I went, $3.09 at several stations in Lexington). Besides, all pumps were prepay because I suspect they were afraid that people would run off with the gas. Sad thing is, they're probably right, rather than just paranoid.

Time to go home now and do some work around the house. Or I may stop by the library first...I'm not sure. No, home it is. It's amazing having time to do whatever I want, but a little sad, too, because I really am used to having a lot to do and it's odd to have so fewer responsibilities and of course there's the whole being alone bit. But for this month, that's what I have. I hope I make the most of it. I suspect I'll learn to appreciate what I had much more. In the meantime, if you know of anything fun to do in Lexington that doesn't cost much or involve too much silliness (I'm not, for example, the clubbing type), let me know. I'm thinking book clubs or artsy stuff, something along that line.)

Some really good graphics for understanding the inudation of New Orleans

Maps: The Impact of Hurricane Katrina - New York Times

Today is 'Blog for Hurricane Relief' day, devoted to raising awareness and funds for those hit by Katrina. I stick by the American Red Cross as the charity I would most likely suggest, given the scope of the disaster and a need to get money and materials (but mostly money, since coordination of materials by smaller organisations is probably a nightmare). If you're like me and don't have a way to donate online, check for institutions in your area accepting cash for the relief. In Lexington, Central Bank locations are accepting donations for the Red Cross, for example. Another way to help is through the KatrinaHelp Wiki, an effort modelled after the TsunamiHelp Wiki that helped coordinate information during that disaster.

Well, I'm glad THAT'S settled

Victoria Beckham clears up book bungle

Now back to real news...

And a good reason to protect apes from exploitation, too

SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Science -- Chimps' genetic makeup offers insight on humans

Show your support for New Orleans

With Beads for the Bayou, where a $10 donation will get you a strand of beads to wear in support of those hit by Hurricane Katrina, brought to you by Bob & Sheri in the Morning, a syndicated radio show.

I found out that Steve is fine and evacuated to Georgia, staying with his mom and dad. He has no idea how his apartment fared and of course can't go back yet, but he's safe and sound, and that's what's important.