Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Someone tried to kill me today

Whoever they were, the person basically tried to turn left on an unprotected light without being able to see the oncoming traffic due to the opposite turn lane. I wasn't speeding, I had the light, and was basically doing everything I was supposed to. I had to swerve but we still came within a couple feet of a T-bone accident with me at the point of impact. Scary.

I'm down to two jobs

They couldn't justify having a state position that was as part-time as mine, just a few hours a week at the most. Between a lack of consistent work available and my own trouble getting anything done while juggling the other two jobs, the position was eliminated. So, no more state holidays. :)

It's partly my fault, of course; this summer I've pretty much done just a little work as my hours increased with the gas station; on the other hand, I was getting consistent hours there. Things had gotten to the point where I was mostly doing busywork at the television station, and it's probably just as well that they take away the position.


The Kentucky Employee Charitable Campaign (KECC) has made it possible for memorial funds to be given to the Flight 5191 Care Fund.

Although the Flight 5191 Care Fund is not one of the 6 typical charities that make up KECC, the United Way of Kentucky and the United Way of the Bluegrass have both made a commitment to donate 100% of any CASH donations made to the Flight 5191 Care Fund.

I don't know if that works for other employers who set up donations through the United Way for their employees, but if you're interested, you might want to check with the appropriate person in your company.

Blogging grief

Going online to express grief

Froggy Blog includes one family member's memorial to his brother, who was killed on the flight, and the subsequent trip to Lexington made by the family. Be sure to leave a comment if you're so inclined.

I should add

Blessed hot water.

It was so nice to take a good, soaking, warm bath this morning. It's funny what you take for granted.

As true or more so since the original

India.arie The Heart Of The Matter lyrics:
These times are so uncertain
There's a yearning undefined
And people filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age
And the trust and self-assurance that lead to happiness
They're the very things we kill, I guess
Pride and competition cannot fill these empty arms
And the work they put between us,
You know it doesn't keep us warm

I can hear the words a little better as she sings it, rather than in Don Henley's original, so when I hear it I muse about it, and one thing's for sure: the words are still quite valid today.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Pieces of my childhood, chronicled in Wikipedia

In what may be a record for links in one post...

PBS stations introduced me to Doctor Who, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Omega Factor. (It also brought Americans Monty Python's Flying Circus, which I was a bit young for, and Benny Hill, which I was way too young for). But the fledgling network Nickelodeon brought us The Tomorrow People. It hits some nostalgic happy place inside me to know that 1) many of these are being released on DVD and 2) the Internet's best encyclopaedia has entries lovingly crafted by those for whom these shows mattered.

Come to think of it, these shows also probably helped ignite my Anglophilia, and even my somewhat pretentious spellings--I remember first reading the word 'programme' and realising that there were regional differences. And well, you see the results. :) (Although I'm really just a throwback pre-Dewey and Bernard Shaw. I like the old spellings. So sometimes I just stick with antiquated spellings for no other reason than, like HP Lovecraft, I just like them.

I remember looking forward to the Tomorrow People after school. I'd always been fascinated by psychic and paranormal phenomena (my favourite childhood show was In Search Of...; I liked Project Blue Book; I even had a Bermuda Triangle board game)--long before the X-Files made that stuff cool.

I did, however, miss two American classics along the way--Kolchak, the Night Stalker and Dark Shadows. I was born in 1967, so I should have been old enough to watch the first, but I somehow missed them both. Fortunately I've been exposed to them by friends who did see them, along with the series Ultraman, which started this whole trip down memory lane. :)

Hello, lights

Listening to: 'Goodbye My Lover' by James Blunt

Hello, computer screen.

Hello, radio.
Hello, air conditioner.
Hello, phone.
Hello, CPAP.

It's been awhile.

To which I should probably add:

Hello, $5 pizza.

My tummy, my body, my mind all feel better than they did an hour ago. Aaaahhhh.


    I have
  • wrestled a cat--not mine, but rather a younger, more robust and somewhat Stephen Kingesque feline--and lost), with the scratches to prove it, despite the mighty broom weapon
  • been rained upon in that drizzly, annoying kind of rain
  • eaten for the first time in 24 hours (it was week-old Indian food, but nummy regardless and deemed probably safe by a co-worker with a master's in public health)

My paycheque from the gas station is in, although I don't know if it's enough to get the electricity on or not. I should be getting a small one from the TV station as well in the mail. Tomorrow is my main payday. So things are looking up. Yay.


Coroner did his duty knowing sister was on plane

I can't imagine how difficult that was to do.

Just in case you thought librarians have no sense of humour

From Dawn Sardes, who left me laughing at my desk, posted with her permission:

I am beginning a petition to have the celestial body formerly known as planet Pluto to be renamed Rodney Dangerfield, the Planet that gets no respect.

In related news, the remaining eight planets, in a never-before seen show of solidarity, have issued a joint statement saying that they believe that astronomers should lose their status as scientists.

Their proof? Has anyone ever seen an ad in the classifieds for Astronomer? Really.

Also, they stated today that the criterion the scientists used was based upon a false assumption. They had said that Pluto did not qualify because it strayed into Neptune's orbit as a part of its revolutionary path. Neptune admitted they it was the one straying into Pluto's path.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

They're saying now a few things we didn't know at first

1) Death in most cases in the plane crash was impact, not fire as first reported. Neither of course is good, but burning to death is particularly horrific.
2) Most of the causes determined so far are human error with failed checks and balances (although the lights that distinguish the main and secondary runways were apparently not on as a result of some repaving that was recently done; the design of the airport itself is also in question, both of which may have also contributed)
3) The man who survived was apparently piloting the plane at the time of the crash.

Can you imagine, should this individual survive--and at the moment he is in a coma, on life-support, so that's not a given--how he will feel knowing this? I mean, even if it were a clear problem with the plane or the runway--which doesn't appear to be the case so far--there would be survivor's guilt plus so much more. I hope that he receives all the care he needs, not only physically, but mentally as well, to help him recover from this. This is simply awful.

Meanwhile, the human interest stories continue to come in, the type that just tear at your heart. The sixteen year old down in Lexington to purchase her first horse, whose mom was bumped from the flight and survived. The couple whose wedding was the evening before, off to enjoy their honeymoon. The pilot, with two young children who will never know their father. Every one of them has a story, and every one is in the end, tragic.

Today's paper also included a picture of the crash site. It looks like a horrible black scar amid the greenery. It's so sad to look at it and realise that it is, as some have said, sacred ground, a place of death and destruction. In time, that scar will heal, for the Earth takes back Her own. But the other scars left, those human scars, will take a much longer time to heal.

Y would no doubt like this

Use Old Words When Writing for Findability (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

and happy birthday, by the way, YKWIA.

Well that wasn't too much of a surprise

although I do question why they didn't just let him rot in a Thai gaol for a few days and perform the DNA testing first rather than bringing him all the way back to Boulder without anything but his own delusions. DNA evidence says Karr didn't kill JonBenet

I mean yes, California wants him on misdemeanor charges of child pornography, but Thailand had him on more serious charges, or so I understood. So do we send him back there, too, at taxpayer's expense?

Well, I do have no doubt that if he has not killed--and we don't know that at all, just that he probably didn't kill this particular girl--he certainly fits the profile of someone who would have eventually, so putting him in gaol for a good long time seems a plan to me, if he can be on the current charges.

A cute clip

Why gorillas arent allowed in the library

There's been perennial debate

over Judy Blume's Forever, most recently amongst public librarians on a list I'm on regarding sexual situations and the fact that it was written at a time before HIV became prevalent and therefore does not include advice regarding more than preventing pregnancy.

Several librarians have chimed in that the book deserves to be on the shelves in the young adult section regardless of challenges, that subsequent editions of the book DO include caveats regarding HIV, etc., and that we often ignore the fact that teens are quite savvy in terms of sex--more so than we were in the past.

I wish I'd read Forever before my first sexual encounter; it would have no doubt helped immensely. But I was a somewhat clueless 18-year-old. I've known several people whose first encounters were much younger.

Here's what author Judy Blume has to say about this often challenged book.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Films to watch during Banned Books Week

First Amendment Film Fest

Personally, I would add Pleasantville. It's not nearly as 'heavy' as some of the other films, but surely is as good as Footloose on dealing with bigoted ideas and the need for free choice. Plus, you have a library blooming with books that actually have words! that are then threatened with burning.

Tragedy in the Bluegrass

I didn't have access to my computer yesterday to blog about the plane crash here in Lexington that so many of you no doubt saw news clips of on CNN and other news services. I didn't find out myself until nearly three hours after it happened, when I went over to a friend who had the local news on.

If you want in-depth coverage of the story, the people involved, etc., try the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Sometimes people try to understand the scope of tragedies better by relating themselves to what happened. People at work today are playing a form of six-degrees-of-separation in terms of knowing someone touched directly by the tragedy. D, who knows just about everyone in Lexington it seems, had several people she knew of through her family, even telling me that the brother of a police officer who once pulled me over had died. The neighbours of one of our co-workers died. But in the end what matters is 49 people--all of whom had loved ones, dreams, lives that were cut short on that early morning trip--have died in a fiery death that leaves us all to question why, and to morn.

Regardless of whom we knew--or whether we knew anyone--it is still a tragedy which strikes at the heart of our city. Hospital workers rallied to ready for survivors on an Sunday early morning, only to have one survivor brought in, the plane's first officer, who is still in critical condition. One of the best descriptions of what happened that day is Amy Wilson's story, which captures the facts and the emotions together in a well-written piece. I can't really do any better, so I won't try.

It wasn't a major jumbo liner; it wasn't the World Trade Centre, but for a city the size of Lexington, it's just as chilling.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those killed, and for the quick recovery of the survivor, James Polehinke.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Guess what I found when to work I did come

A box of boxes that made me quite hum
Inside were books of all kinds which to choose
But three of them were favourites from Seuss

Horton, that faithful friend, hatches an egg
Then withstands teasing while Whos he did beg
To shout out as hard as shouting can be
With care that made him no doubt want that tree

Then Yertle the Turtle, that tyrant king
With his mounds of turtles whose backs did bring
Him new sights, new vistas, new things to rule
At least until he fell down in that pool

Books to share, books to read, books to fill any need
All ready to go to children unknown
So they'll laugh and love when they read on their own

(with apologies to Ted Geisel)

I just thought it funny that my three favourite Seusses appeared. I'll have no trouble reading these to the kids. Now if the Lorax should happen along...


Easier access for morning-after pill OK'd

I'm not sure what bothers me more

Race matters in U.S. "Survivor" series' media blitz

The show playing the race card or the fact that it's entering it's 13th season. Come on guys, this is not quality TV and should never have lasted this long.

Almost that time again

ALA | More than a book a day challenged in U.S. schools, libraries

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Probably the best that could be expected

given that the Governor could not be prosecuted in offic and had the ability to pardon himself before leaving office (yes, he promised not to, but who believes politicians these dayse?)

Kentucky Governor Signs Plea Deal - New York Times

Our attorney general is represented in a much larger photograph than Governor Fletcher, so that I think it's a little confusing as to who is who. Thank goodness for captions, I guess.

It would be nice to have a governor who could get through a single term without scandal, wouldn't it?

Speaking of nutcases

I love this website. It makes me feel so sane by comparison. Can you tell I've never cared for Tom Cruise?

In good company

Folks, I present the Swampus. Thanks, Y, for passing it on.

I really rather think he's nuts

but a murderer--at least of JonBenet Ramsey--I'm not so sure. Certainly speculation abounds. What do you think?


of being held captive by some looney who kept her in a small cellar beneath his garage let out only for chores. Can you imagine? The girl, now a teenager but identified by her family whilst awaiting DNA confirmation, escaped on her own. Her captor committed suicide on the same day she was found. There are few details of what went on during that captivity, but apparently the communications techician who apparently picked her up in a white van when she was young did teach her reading, writing, and arithmetic. It sounds very much like he wanted to keep her to himself, under glass so to speak. Sick. But hopefully the identification is correct and her ecstatic family can begin to reacquaint her with the world outside.

Okay, I know there is no such thing as good karma

but I feel like it's raining upon me.

Today I was asked if I would like to fill in at the motion analysis lab for about 12 hours a week for a colleague who is going on maternity leave for 12 weeks in October. It involves working one on one with patients, getting them to walk across a pressure plate, collecting data, and post processing their data. It would be my first real clinical experience. I've checked with my boss and she had recommended me and has no trouble with me working at the library 3 days a week for longer days rather 5 short days. So my schedule would be:

Monday, Wednesday: 9am-3pm in the Motion Lab
Tuesday: 9am-3pm Library(I work at the gas station on Tuesdays at 4, so I'll make that my 'short' Library day)
Thursday, Friday: 9am-4pm Library

I'd still be able to work for KET and the gas station. Maybe that together will help me for awhile.

Also, my boss from the gas station just called and I'll pick up a few hours this afternoon from about 3-6 so she's not at work so long (we're currently without an assistant manager, so she's putting in LONG days).

I feel like suddenly everyone wants to give me hours. May I dare hope that might include a job offer from a recent interview? :) If not, at least things like my electric should be covered in the future.


EPA to Begin Closing Libraries before Receiving Congressional Approval to Budget Cuts

Well, bah

Astronomers Say Pluto is No Longer a Planet

but I can't argue with the attempt to come up with a logical, coherent definition of planet, and the concepts of planet, dwarf planets, and small solar system bodies makes sense.

I just wish they'd stick with those definitions and go forward. That makes the icy body tentatively named Xena as the largest of the dwarf planets, above Pluto in size. Charon continues as Pluto's moon rather than any form of planetary body, as it should be (since it orbits Pluto and not the sun, unless they were seens as a sort of 'double planet' orbiting each other and the sun). Ceres, an asteroid once considered a planet, will also be considered a dwarf planet.

In the not-quite-astronomy world of astrology, they'll still have their influences, and I suppose UB313 (Xena) must be added to that. In the meantime I was curious given all the work-related stuff going on what my horoscope might say for todyay:

Daily: Your sense of artistry can come into play in all areas of your life. Take steps to realize your inner creative vision. Recognition is just around the corner when you learn to follow the piper who plays your tune.

Hmmm...maybe I've been trying to conform to others' ideas and not so much living my own life instead.

Thank you

to the nice person at Blogger who apparently decided I wasn't a spambot. I'm not being requested to put in word verifications just to make a post anymore. Thank you! Thank you! Thak you!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

So tired

It's amazing how much tension you can hold in the body unbeknownst until you stop in your tracks and crash. Then it's like you're some sort of decrepit, ancient thing shuffling along.

I had a day off today, starting with waking up early (insomnia) and deciding to put it to good use by finishing up the presentation prep for the interview today. Then I did what I could with me, my skin, my hair, and my outfit, including putting enough product in my hair that it looked good but felt sticky. Ugh. I went over to a friend to pick him up for an appointment and get his opinion (every girl should have a gay brutally honest critic/friend (you know, someone who would bring Simon Cowell to tears) to consult during these times). The skirt didn't pass muster. Then in the midst of things I spilled coffee all the way down my sweater and skirt, although I think I got it before any lasting damage could occur. Needless to say I was one nervous, pissy ball of fun, and being on my period didn't help.

Still, when I went to his appointment I brought out the laptop and reviewed the presentation and the points I wanted to make in 10 minutes. Then I added the new phone number to my resume and saved that. I was working on a personal project when he was finished, and I'd calmed down pretty well (at least until I spilled the coffee). :)

Another concern was gas. I put $11 worth in the night before, but it was already on the gas light when I started out today. That usually gives me 43 miles period. I'm thinking, well, Frankfort's like, what 12-20 miles away from Lexington, it should all be good. Well, I got there at the 43 mile mark...I was just hoping I wouldn't run out of gas before the interview (I did that once before, it was absolutely the worst job interview I'd ever done). But I scooted in without running out of gas and was just praying that 1) the gas light was being a bit precocious and 2) my AAA coverage still included a trip to deliver gas on the roadside (I think I've blown through my allotted number of responses and then some).

I then got a little lost in the building, which is pretty common, I gather. You start on the second floor, which is ground level (I know, it's a little weird). I wound up going up to the third, which happened to be where I needed to get a passcode but also wound up with a lovely guide who delivered me to the meeting room where they were all gathered.

I'm usually intimidated by group interviews, although with practice I've found those go better for me. But it's the social anxiety, I know. There were several women from the Kentucky Virtual Library and related agencies up and around the hierarchy. One of the women was the very first history T.A. (teaching assistant) I'd had when I first came up to UK in 1984. That, coupled with their manner (they'd just finished lunch and were, how do I put it, they had an aura of a professional group akin to a library consortium or team where I instantly felt like a part of it rather than a bug under a microscope or anything like that.

The interview itself went well. The presentation was okay, although I didn't keep things in the logical order I'd planned and used keywords that were probably a little general and caused the search engine some consternation. I definitely would have changed how I did that, but that's a learning opportunity, not a failure. I think they were happy considering the lack of preparation time that I'd attempted and for the most part had thrown together something.

I think I addressed any concerns they had well. I did use this blog as an example of web experience I have, and apparently they have read it (or at least the director has). That's a little...well, you know, I talk about everything from library science to being nearly evicted to feeling a little crazy in today's world, so I don't know if that's a good thing or not. I mean, I put the stuff out there--I know it's public, but I write more as a catharsis than to actually put myself in the best light, and I always have that brutally honest friend to point out if I try to gloss over much. :)

The position itself sounds interesting, challenging, with plenty of opportunity for growth. I think I have what it takes to do an excellent job if offered it; I think I would work well with the teams involved. I mean, it's true, at this point, a full-time job is my goal no matter what else may be at issue, but unlike some of the other positions for which I've interviewed, this one I think would fit my personality well. I know, I'm always optimistic after these things, but on the other hand, I fit in a more academic--especially a non-traditional one--setting more so than I do in a public or even hospital setting. The last time I felt this good after an interview was for another government agency that melded history and archives, and I had none of the turnaround of being afraid the position might be above my head to thinking I could learn anything they throw at me and the rest of the details will take care of themselves as I plough through.

Then I went to talk to human resources to talk about benefits, and was back on my way.

I feel like I've experienced some sort of 'miracle of the oil' akin to Hannukkah...I got back in the car prepared to run out of gas and got all the way back to Lexington and to the gas station I work up to pick up my paycheque and the gas light had been on for 75 MILES! It's as if all this were meant to be. :)

So the good news is I think I fared well in the interview. The bad news is my cheque doesn't cover the amount I owe the electric company and they wouldn't take a partial payment, so I'll likely lose power on Friday and not get it back on until Wednesday or Thursday. Sigh. Please come through, job...a salary of $40-45,000 a year doing something you love and only one job so beats 3 jobs where you can barely stay in your apartment and keep the lights on.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Between jobs #1 and #3 and checking my e-mail

to see if they'll answer a question about this presentation I'm supposed to give tomorrow. No luck yet.

Ah, well, the postman just brought the mail. Maybe there's something interesting in it instead.


Ah, a notice to pay my electric bill by Thursday to avoid disconnect. Fortunately I should be paid by tomorrow or Thursday at the gas station. I just hope it's enough to cover the bill plus have a little left over; I only have a little until I get paid and that will probably go for gas tomorrow for the Frankfort trip.

I'll write later if I can take a break from the presentation.

I got the submissions in for the interview

I sent in a variety of items like presentations, the article I wrote regarding my job, an info sheet for nursing students, a flyer for a children's activity, links to my work at distance learning, and a reference scavenger hunt for National Medical Librarians' Month. I hope the more whimsical ones pass muster, but I didn't want to spend the day creating something that I couldn't use at the hospital. These are all actual documents I have created in the process of doing my job.

Oh, and I revised the nursing student info sheet, something I needed to do anyway, before sending it, and now I have that for my boss as well.

So, it's been a busy day so far. How are you faring?

Surprisingly, I have insomnia

Listening to: Fort Minor, "Where'd You Go?" (one of two rap-style songs I like...maybe because there is an actual musical chorus as opposed to only rhythm)

So I've been up for the last hour and a half looking for a particular CD-ROM for a friend. I went through all my drawers two more times and then pulled three boxes from my closet that never got properly unpacked. Inside one of them I found the case for the CD-ROM but no luck with the actual discs. Sigh. Well, I put them aside to go through more thoroughly, one piece at a time.

I thought I'd sleep well since a lot of the things weighing on my mind were solved, but no such luck. Still, I'm back to being sleepy and when I have been asleep, I'm sleeping pretty soundly.


Back to sleep for a couple of hours. I work at least two jobs today, and I have to prepare a 10-minute presentation on the Kentucky Virtual Library and find about 6 pieces of education-related brochures, presentations, etc. that I've done. That'll take a little digging, since it's been awhile. Mind you, I found all this out last night and it's due Wednesday, but I suppose that was a test in itself. Take care.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Thanks to my mom

Listening to Jak Paris, "The Chain" (a cover of the Fleetwood Mac hit)

I will, indeed, not be evicted. She came up with the rest of what I needed; I'm not sure how, but she came through. Kudos to her.

They also went ahead and took my computer home to see if they could find a way to resurrect it post-lightning storm. In the meantime I'm using an old laptop as a backup, but it's working pretty well. I didn't realise it had an ethernet card, for example, because the connexion is a little different. Anyway, I got it connected to the Internet which is great because I also got my router/adapter today from Vonage. For no activation fee or first month's fee, I was able to get a regular phone number with unlimited local and long distance minutes. Since I cancelled the cable, that freed up about $45, and Vonage is only $24.99 a month. So, hopefully I'll be able to chat with my friends and family now, and not worry about missing a job opportunity because my pre-paid cell minutes have gotten low.

Speaking of jobs, the Council on Postsecondary Education called me today to set up an interview for a reference librarian position with the Kentucky Virtual Library. It's been months since I replied, and even months since they sent me a letter saying they would set up interviews eventually. I gather there was a hiring freeze in the state government. Anyway, I have my interview on Wednesday; wish me luck!

So I'm reading an older version of

For Reading Out Loud! by Margaret Mary Kimmel and Elizabeth Segal as a way of preparing myself for the storytimes in the lobby--their book covers various aspects of reading to pre-schoolers to teens, techniques, book suggestions, etc.--and I come to it.

Sounder by William Armstrong. It is one of two books I remember being read to as a child. This one was when I was in third grade, aged 7, in our school. I remember the library and what it looked like. I remember the voice, the cadence that brought it alive, though not the person himself. This, mind you, from a person who can't remember much of anything from her childhood. It made a powerful impact on me for the reasons it should--the sharecropper family and their woes, the injustice doled out to people based on their race, etc. So much so that even today I own a copy, although I have never read it on my own. But it made a far greater impact on me for another reason--it had as one of its main characters a dog, a dog that was shot, who is thought dead, and who returns after great pain to be reunited with his boy, just as the father eventually reunites with the family.

Even as I write this, I'm crying. Maybe it's that I'm a little hormonal, but Sounder always stops me dead in my tracks. I was an overly-sensitive child--insert crybaby if you want--and the one sure way to scare me was to put an animal in danger. I was nearly banned from watching "Lassie" as a child. Even the music still brings up fear and love for the dog mixed together. I was banned from watching a show on Saturday mornings called "Run, Joe, Run", which was about a German shepherd who was pursued for killing someone that he had not. It was a sort of 'doggie' "Fugitive". The dog was in danger week after week and it made me so upset I was forbidden to watch it. In my case, "Sounder" had the additional situation that is described in the Kimmel/Segal book ironically a paragraph or two down, about how care must be taken in choosing books for a group, because some books that otherwise are fine for children will scare a sensitive child, and in storytime you have a captive audience. The child may be afraid to admit he or she is afraid or leave the area, whereas if a book he or she is reading alone disurbs, then it's easy to just stop reading it.

I never really got over that sensitivity. I have never seen Disney's Old Yeller and never plan to. I had to leave during the second showing of Dances With Wolves when the wolf and horse die. (Another lady who knew what was coming was hiding out in the bathroom with me.) I nearly lost it and it took a lot of willpower not to leave the classroom when listening to Gurney Norman, my teacher, reading a James Still story in which a dog in heat is shot and killed for no good reason whatsoever (well, because other dogs were congregating around her and causing a ruckus) in a shocking turn I didn't see coming.

Money vs. Influence

Google's Search for Volunteers receives a Thumbs Down from the Google Scholar Weblog. The debate centres around the issue of whether Google, admittedly a very rich company, should expect professional librarians to volunteer an hour or so of their time per week, gratis, to help build its Google Health links. The MLA has endorsed it much to the consternation of the author and several commentators.

I think sometimes we as librarians (who after war with our instinct to serve and our desire to be recognised for it) get into a tizzy if we think any of our work is undervalued. HELLO! Most of our work is undervalued, especially by our employers and the general public, many of whom cannot begin to understand why anyone would would go to school (especially graduate school) to become a librarian. After all, librarians spend the day reading and putting books on shelves, didn't you know?

Oh, yes, it would be nice if Google were to hire a few more librarians to get this done. But...

By working with the various agencies and not relying on their own staff (they do, after all, already have librarians on staff), a certain amount of credibility is obtained. Would you trust a study produced solely by a pharmaceutical company or say, the tobacco or beef industry? By inviting librarians with the expertise but who have many different affiliations--none of whom are being paid by Google--there is probably hope that the finished product will be less biased.

One of the commentators also mentions that without such participation, that leaves the National Library of Medicine alone to represent our profession. While there's nothing inherently wrong with NLM's representation, it's a large government agency, whereas there are a whole host of academic, hospital, and specialised medical libraries out there to be represented as well. I think that commenter, who is volunteering, maybe has thought about it beyond the knee-jerk whign of 'why don't they pay me?'

If you have read this blog for any time, you know that I only work 20 hours a week as a librarian, and only recently have I reached a relatively acceptable pay rate (I make about $19 an hour, as opposed to the $9 I made when I started). I've had peope insinuate that I was denigrating the entire profession because I dared to accept a job that paid so little, when in fact it was the only job I'd been able to get beyond an interview despite my credentials in fourteen years of looking in our very tight market (sometimes it sucks to live near a library school, but I continue looking for a full-time job anyway). I could certainly use a little money from Google. But I would volunteer anyway, and not just to help my resume. I think an hour out of my week is worth it to ensure that a variety of points of view are represented in such an important project. And for the uptight people who think they should get $50 an hour for doing relatively easy work...well, then they don't have to participate, do they?

Just my opinion, anyway.

An interesting use of a wiki in a library setting

Library Instruction Wiki--Stop Reinventing the Wheel

Sunday, August 20, 2006

40 years ago today

my parents got married. They were just barely 19 (my father had just turned the day before; my mom a couple of weeks before that). I was already on the way and the reason behind the wedding (although apparently my grandparents on my mom's side were really cool in terms of supporting my mom and not pushing for them to get married; that was pretty good for 1966).

The marriage itself only lasted sixteen years, although that's longer than I would have expected. Every year I kind of mark it with a small pang of sadness, although in truth, despite the divorce's strong effects on my mom and me (I can't speak for my father), we came out so much better in the end. My mother has been married since (one short one, one in which she was widowed, and one now with the stepfather that I really wish were my own dad). I really am still dealing with enough issues from my childhood involving my father that frankly I think it would have been better not to have known him at all, but on the other hand, if that were the case, I'd probably be very different, and not quite me. I don't know. But I think overall all three of us were free to go forth and make lives for ourselves beyond what we had been living. Having been divorced myself--and agian, free from the stifling, surreal life I was living--I can't say divorce is bad. I'm glad it's an option. I'm glad I didn't have to break vows to get one (I pledged as long as love shall last, and if I ever by some miracle get married, I'll do so again). In most cases I think it's unreasonable to expect two people to live in harmony for the rest of their lives, although I admire those who do.

I don't really have a point to this post, just reminiscing, I suppose.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Court rebukes Bush for violating Constitution and domestic spying rules

I think Bush will be remembered for putting a certain amount of dignity back into the Presidency (after the Clinton party-in-the-White-House years). It's really too bad that in the process he's practically burned through the Constitution and tried to make the Executive Branch his own little fiefdom without allowing any of the checks and balances put in place by the Founding Fathers to promote reasonable democracy to get in his way. It's also too bad that the Presidency is currently occupied by someone that many folks just, well, think is an idiot, who might as well be a giant hand puppet of Big Oil and other special interests. Not to mention, the looking-for-Bin-Ladin/WMD-in-all-the-wrong-places, oh, see a bird! Let's all go over to Iraq and start a war which really has nothing to do with anything we were supposed to be doing to protect our country.

Sigh. Okay, but I did say one good thing about the man, didn't I?


I was perusing Newsweek (as obvious from the previous post) and came across this letter (I'm including the link; didn't realise that letters were included until I went looking) in response to the Oliver Stone 9/11 story of a recent issue. I'd like to see this research; it sounds very interesting. As someone who has studied folklore and oral history, I wonder how the stories will be told and preserved for generations to come. But a 'particularly American' approach to stories and the effect on the individual psyche sounds fascinating.

From Jonathan Adler, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, and Michael Poulin, University of California, Irvine, California:

We were pleased to read 'How Myths Are Made' (Aug. 7), which touched on a matter receiving growing attention in psychological research. But stories about 9/11 aren't just told by filmmakers like Oliver Stone. Every American has a story about that day. As psychologists interested in the way people make meaning of their experiences, we have been studying stories people tell about 9/11. In our nationwide sampling of Americans, collected within two months of the terrorist attacks, we found that individuals who crafted stories of national redemption--a style of storytelling that recent research suggests is particularly American--were psychologically better off than those who storied the events differently. This work reminds us that we all shape national myths, and that the way in which we tell these myths matters for our psychological well-being.

Well said.

By the way, the most moving thing I found in that issue was the photograph of 14 people who were pulled from the rubble of the Twin Towers after they collapsed. Only a few were not pictured; I can't remember the exact number but seeem to think it was 19. Period. Standing against a black background, it's a testament to human survival and also in the negative space captures the people who should have been there--but never made it out.

We need the Lorax more than ever

Newsweek: Troubled Time for Trees

A worthy cause

Rock for Reading

A song for my ex-husband

Fifteen years ago and a bit we married. Even though my instincts were to run like hell, I pushed for it because frankly I felt entitled after everything I'd been through. I walked out six months later with the realisation that nothing would change unless I made it. Of all the mistakes I have ever made, getting married to him was the Big One, the one I wish I could have taken back. The scars of that relationship are still there, but for the most part they're at least scars and no longer open wounds.

Still, every time I hear Alice Peacock's 'Taught Me Well', I think of him and our life together. And yes, every day I thank my lucky stars that we are no longer together.

So, with apologies to Alice Peacock since I had to transcribe the lyrics myself (couldn't find them online) from listening and might have made a mistake...here it is. If anyone notices one, please let me know.

So, this is for you. I know you sometimes read this blog. I hope you do read this one, because it sums up my feelings for you after all this time.
You hate to be ignored
Or maybe you're just bored
So I open up my mail and there's a note from you
You say you're checking in, to see how I have been
Yeah, I'm doing so much better if you'd like to know the truth

You taught me well, you were my teacher and I thank you for the hell
you put me through--I'm very grateful
Because I finally really learned what's important in my life
And I thank my lucky stars every day I'm not your wife

Yeah, yeah, yeah

You're selfishly absorbed, you're childish and a boor
And I used to hold the anger in my stomach like a fist
But in time it was quite clear
Only I was suffering here
And having gratitude for you was the way out of this

You taught me well, you were my teacher and I thank you for the hell
you put me through--I'm very grateful
Because I finally really learned what was important in my life
And I thank my lucky stars every day I'm not your wife

You taught me well, life is for living
It's not about taking, it's all about giving
You taught me well, and sometimes what we want is staring us right in the face
And the power of forgiveness, the power of grace
Of grace

You taught me well, you were my teacher and I thank you for the hell
you put me through--I'm very grateful
Because I finally really learned what was important in my life
And I thank my lucky stars every day I'm not your wife

You taught me well, you were my teacher and I thank you for the hell
you put me through--I'm very grateful
Because I finally really learned what was important in my life
And I thank my lucky stars every day I'm not your wife

You taught me well, you taught me well, yeah
You taught me well, you taught me well
You taught me well, you taught me well, yeah
You taught me well, you taught me well

No matter how screwed up my life can sometimes be, mainly because of my own mistakes, at least I'm out of that situation. Now if I could just shed the trust issues left from that relationship and from that of my father, life would be pretty sweet, because things like money--although it does bring stability--just aren't as important as how you live your life (something I learned from my other teacher and mentor, before he got frustrated with my learning curve).

Thursday, August 17, 2006

An interesting way to confront fears

A helmet that replicates things as terrifying and complex as the events of the towers' collapse on 9/11 is helping those whose post-traumatic stress had crippled them. The helmet, which responds to and simulates motion, allows the user to look up into the flames or down to the ambulances on the streets below, experience the shudder as the buiding collapses, etc.--all within the safety of a doctor's office and where the user has control of how much he or she experiences at a time. This story was written in 2005, so I don't know what improvements may have been made since. But as we go into the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I found it interesting.

Even for those of us who were not actively involved in those events, it's hard to believe that five years have gone by. I find that if I listen to a commercial touting a memorial that lists the sorts of things left at those makeshift memorials, I tear up. Watching images from that day brings back all the emotions of the time--the utter feeling of loss, of danger, of anger, of dashed hopes. In some ways I was protected from the full horror of that day; not only was I safe in a hospital watching on a television while the person next to me, a resident from New York, struggled as he pointed to where relatives lived and tried to contact his fiancee and family--but also I had no idea of the true scale invovled. I've never been to New York City. I had a vague sense of the height of the buildings by comparing them to our largest skyscraper, a mere 30 stories. But fitting three or four of the big blue phallic symbol, as it's known here (or Fifth Third Building, if you want to be official) just didn't cut it. Having evacuated a building about that height on several occasions--albeit with lighting and no actual smoke or damage, I assumed that it would only take a few minutes for people to get out. Nor did I realise--until a month later when someone doing a retrospective mentioned it--that the fire department's staging area was within one of the towers itself. I had assumed those who were killed were collected in the street around operations or up in the tower trying to perform rescues. While people were killed in both areas, the operations area was actually right on Ground Zero.

I can't imagine the emotions of those who actually lost loved ones or survived, scarred emotionally and phsysically. Until 9/11 happened, I thought the worst tragedy I'd witnessed to some extent was the space shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986, something involving only a few deaths but was seen by so many live or repeated over and over without mercy. This was so much wider, so much more indelible, and far easier to experience widely as say, the bombing of Pearl Harbour, the atomic bombs in Japan, the Holocaust, the rape of Nanking--these are all tragedies, some affecting thousands or even millions, but without the broadcast effect on millions around the country and the world.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I don't agree with their decision, but I do agree with their right to make the decision

especially since the teen in question expressed a desire to not resume chemotherapy when it was deemed ineffective in its first run and was to be upped in terms of a more aggressive dosage. Quality of life and dignity in treatment is just as important--if not more so--than the bottom line of who lives and who dies. Allopathic (Western) medicine is not a cure-all, and conventional wisdom does not mean it must be so. I wish Abraham and his family well.

About time someone tried defining this

Planets Added to Solar System, Why Now?

Maybe next they can tackle those star naming schemes (I'm linking to one of many) where they name a star and put it in the US Copyright Office, which incidentally has no control over the official names of stars, so it's basically spending money for a fancy scroll and some sense of having a star named after a beloved pet or family member, when in fact nothing is offical unless it goes through the International Astronomical Union.

For more info on how these, in my opinion, astronomical bilkers work, check out Space.com. I've only seen one of these scrolls before, in the home of someone that I frankly thought would know better, but I guess the novelty appeal is stronger than common sense sometimes.


Suspect is Arrested in the JonBenet Ramsey case

Okay, in the end he was justified

The friend who slammed the door in my face yesterday was pissed because he'd asked me on three different occasions to stop knocking and wait for about 5 minutes to see if he came to the door, rather than pounding maniacally. I conveniently forgot this, because I tend to forget things that are unpleasant like correction. I'm sorry.


We didn't get paid at the gas station today; I hope it comes in tomorrow, alhough until it does, I don't know how short I'll be for the rent. Although it usually comes on Wednesday, Thursday at the latest, the official payday is Monday, so until then we wait, and if it isn't in by then, they'll do a cash payout.

A brand new day

I was up early after having so much trouble sleeping. I went out to the recliner for awhile but kept waking up when I'd stop breathing (sounds worse than it feels, really, you just wake up gasping for breath). Next time I need to take the CPAP machine out to the living room with me.

So what am I doing with all this time? I took a nice bath, packed my lunch so I won't be at the mercy of the cafeteria (basmati rice I cooked yesterday and thankfully heard sizzling before I managed to burn it, since I was blogging instead of watching the boiling pot of rice, potato and chickpea curry, and some rosemary sesame crackers). I probably should go to the gym, but I'd rather get all sweaty AFTER work. It's sunny; the pets have been fed, Cerys has gone out, they're esconced in their daytime home, and I'm thinking of going into work a little early to make sure I get some interlibrary loan articles in the mail early enough. I also sent an e-mail to the folks at the television station to let them know I am working, am interested in working, and hope I still have a job with them, after pretty much taking a hiatus for the summer.

That's all so far. Hope today goes well for you and me both.


Maybe it's the weight of things on my mind. Maybe I'm being just a little manic. Maybe I got used to going, going, and going like the Energizer Bunny. Maybe everytime I do nearly drop off to sleep, either a cat or dog moves or masque peels away from my face leaving air blowing off an open hose.

Maybe it's all of those things. The last two nights I've taken a bath to counteract the insomnia, since it relaxes me. Yesterday I actually put on a facial masque for awhile and moisturised--not an all out facial, but close. Tonight I don't feel like that. So I sit and blog, and consider moving over to the recliner of much massaging cushion comfiness. Yes, I think we'll try that.

Take care, and good night.

Well, phooey

Nearly every night I drive to pick up a friend about this time. Tonight I did like always. Except there was one problem. I forgot it was Tuesday. He was off today. Although he went in to work for awhile, he would have gone home long before I went to get him. Oops.

Oh, well. Yes, I did waste a little gas. But if that's the worst thing that happens this week, I'll be rolling in sweet blossoms compared to what could.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Of concern and and update in my email

Update: National Suicide Hotline
to Operate Two Additional Weeks

As NAMI reported yesterday, the nation's largest suicide hotline, 1-800-SUICIDE, is scheduled to go out of service. But instead of this occurring on Saturday, August 12, as previously announced, the operator of this hotline has been given a two week extension. Negotiations are still in progress that may prevent the number from going out of service. However, NAMI is still urging the public to be aware that the alternative number for those in crisis is 1-800-273-TALK.

This number will put callers in touch with the federally-funded National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a service that has been in operation since January, 2005. It functions as a central switchboard to immediately connect callers to virtually the same network of certified, local crisis centers accessed by 1-800-SUICIDE. So callers can receive counseling or emergency services, if needed, close to home.

All calls to the 1-800-273-TALK Lifeline are private and confidential. Confidentiality of personal information and of personal disclosures during calls is a high priority for the parties involved in operating the Lifeline.

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is working with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the entire suicide prevention community to ensure that every call for help during a suicide crisis is answered. Some of the measures being put in place include:

Ensuring that the entire suicide-prevention community is working the phones and Internet to make sure that all referring agencies know that 1-800-273-TALK is the number to call for suicide intervention.

Notifying service providers, including directory 411 and 211 operators, that 1-800-SUICIDE is scheduled to go out of service in two weeks, and to direct callers to 1-800-273-TALK for help.

Redirecting callers who call 1-800-SUICIDE to call 1-800-273-TALK through a recording.

NAMI will continue to stay involved with these efforts and will distribute additional information as it becomes available.

NAMI urges you to help distribute this alert in your community. Together, we can ensure that every call for help is answered.

Thank you,

Michael J. Fitzpatrick, MSW
Executive Director

Original e-mail:

1-800-SUICIDE Hotline Set to Shut Down on Saturday August 12

August 10, 2006

The nation's largest suicide hotline, 1-800-SUICIDE, is scheduled to go out of service this Saturday, August 12, 2006. There are currently negotiations in progress that may prevent this. However, in the event that these negotiations are not successful, NAMI is issuing this alert to raise public awareness of the alternative for those in need of help.

The alternative number for those in crisis is 1-800-273-TALK. This number will put callers in touch with the federally-funded National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a service that has been in operation since January, 2005. It functions as a central switchboard to immediately connect callers to virtually the same network of certified, local crisis centers accessed by 1-800-SUICIDE. So callers can receive counseling or emergency services, if needed, close to home.

All calls to the 1-800-273-TALK Lifeline are private and confidential. Confidentiality of personal information and of personal disclosures during calls is a high priority for the parties involved in operating the Lifeline.

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is working with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the entire suicide prevention community to ensure that every call for help during a suicide crisis is answered. Some of the measures being put in place include:

* Ensuring that the entire suicide-prevention community is working the phones and Internet to make sure that all referring agencies know that 1-800-273-TALK is the number to call for suicide intervention.
* Notifying service providers, including directory 411 and 211 operators, that 1-800-SUICIDE is scheduled to go out of service beginning August 12, 2006 and to direct callers to 1-800-273-TALK for help.
* Redirecting callers who call 1-800-SUICIDE to call 1-800-273-TALK through a recording.

As a part of this effort, NAMI will participate in a meeting with SAMHSA and its other partner groups on Friday afternoon, August 11, and we will issue an update afterwards if there is additional information to share.

NAMI urges you to help distribute this alert in your community. Together, we can ensure that every call for help is answered.

Thank you,

Michael J. Fitzpatrick, MSW
Executive Director

What the &*%@?????

Suddenly I'm being asked to verify words in images, because something in Blogger has triggered to think that I'm a spambot. Am I posting too many changes, too quickly? How bizarre! How annoying! Please, person from Blogger who reviews this blog, make this stop. Excuse me whilst I go type in yet another weird word.

Mind numbing

I seem to remember when Carmen (my boss at the television station) gave me this assignment, it was with the caveat of it's tedious. Well I have to agree. Basically I'm taking past videotaped classes and outlining them so changes can be made piecemeal rather than all at once.

I've made it through several episodes now with the help of an old laptop so that I can watch, time, and type at the same time. It isn't much (366 mghz Inspiron, an old Dell, without enough hard drive space to even put on Windows XP, so it's still running ME), but it gets the job done. Same goes for my other project, transcribing and updating the game notes, assuming I 1) ever make time to do it and 2) manage to really work on it rather than wasting so much time (I had a year...now I have 4 1/2 months). I am getting better about navigating the buttons and touchpad on the laptop, though, so that's something.

I think about four hours a session on the videotapes is my limit. Each episode takes about two hours (they run about 30-40 minutes). Whew. But at least I can say I'm working all three jobs again.

Just a quick note about a milestone

This blog has surpassed 50,000 hits since October of 2001. My little corner of the Internet, started in some ways as a way to my thoughts about 9/11, dealing with issues, and life in general has been visited that many times. In terms of page views, it's well over 70,000. Whew!

Thank you all for putting up with me, my problems, my craziness, etc. I know this blog is in a sense all very egocentric, but it was meant to be. I try to throw other things I see in enough rather than go on only about me, but sometimes it just comes down to me whigning about things that are largely my fault, or at least, within my control.

Still, it amazes me just how much I've written in the past five years. Blogger used to keep track of the number of posts on the profiles, but I don't think they do that anymore. I'd love to get a word count. Now, if I could only write books that easily. :)

I've been snarled at twice today

The first was a friend who, when I knocked for awhile thinking he might be asleep, opened the door, informed me that he was trying to go to the (expletive) bathroom, then slammed it in my face. I decided it was obviously not a good time to visit and that later was a plan. So I went home and did some work for job #2 for a couple of hours, then called to enquire if his temperment had improved, but got no answer. So, he may be mad at me, but really, I don't think anyone should tolerate that kind of behaviour, and he certainly wouldn't if the roles would be reversed, so there you have it. It seemed logical to just go home and try another time.

Then my dog, who usually has a great disposition but who is part terrier and has her psychotic moments, and who has grown very sensitive about her feet in her old age--it's nigh on impossible for me to clip her claws myself--snarled and tried to bite me when I tried to pull a piece of string that had wrapped around one her claws that she was dragging about the house (I believe it was dental floss, but I haven't a clue as to how it got there, unless she went into the bathroom trash expecting a nummy treat). Well, I didn't tolerate that, either, and actually disciplined her, then made her hold still while I clipped the loose string (it had knotted around the claw). She was quite cooperative after that.

So, how is your day going?

Well, it's back to work for me. I've looked at the schedule for the upcoming week and I just work at the gas station on Saturday, so that leaves Friday free to run errands and Thursday to stop by the television station and see if I still have a job there, now that school is starting back up.

Hmmm...good news, I guess

The good news is they were impressed with the overall neatness of the apartment but we're all in agreement that the carpet is in pretty bad shape. I'm going to have it professionally cleaned at my expense and then they'll look at it again. Now I just have to make my rent by Thursday, so eviction isn't necessarily out of the question. Oh, joy.

The perfect scrub jacket for a librarian reading to kids

Dr. Seuss™ Menagerie Scrubs by Cherokee from OpenPlease.com


My boss is ordering both a jacket and shirt for me in that design. I particularly like it because it has my favourite Seuss character on it, Horton--with whom I identify to this day, due to a whole host of psychological reasons stemming from my childhood.

I suppose this means I should coordinate the hand puppet with the Seuss wear, rather than going with Cthulhu. (Although visions of 'hi boys and girls, this is Cthulhu, a monster who lives deep in the sea and who wants to be your special friend' were just too great.) I'm actually not a great Cat in the Hat fan--he's annoying in some ways, although of course he's an icon of Seuss, but they also have puppets in Grinch, Max (the longsuffering dog of the Grinch, with whom I also identify greatly, for reasons stemming from my adulthood, which YKWIA and anyone who knows us can appreciate), Horton, and apparently the Lorax; unfortunately the latter seems to only be available at the reseller sites and the Grinch/Max seem a little too seasonal. I love the Lorax, Yertle the Turtle, and of course Horton the Elephant most of all the Seuss characters, so maybe I should go with a Horton puppet. What do you think?

For $25 you can end the life of a beloved pet

But it's time. This morning I woke up and Darius had lost control where he'd cuddled with Cerys on the bed. My side was fine, thankfully, but theirs...

Oh, I hate this. And I still don't know about the apartment, and can't get a hold of the people who could tell me anything.

My mood

obvioiusly changing genders...

"Into The Ocean" by Blue October

I'm just a normal boy
That sank when I fell overboard
My ship would leave the country
But I'd rather swim ashore

Without a life that's sadly stuck again
Wish I was much more masculine
Maybe then I could learn to swim
Like 'fourteen miles away'

You're floating up and down
I spin, colliding into sound
Like whales beneath me diving down
I'm sinking to the bottom of my
Everything that freaks me out
The lighthouse beam has just run out
I'm cold as cold as cold can be

I want to swim away but don't know how
Sometimes it feels just like I'm falling in the ocean
Let the waves up take me down
Let the hurricane set in motion
Let the rain of what I feel right now...come down
Let the rain come down

Where is the coastguard
I keep looking each direction
For a spotlight, give me something
I need something for protection
Maybe flotsam junk will do just fine
The jets, I'm sunk, I'm left behind
I'm treading for my life believe me
(How can I keep up this breathing)

Not knowing how to think
I scream aloud, begin to sink
My legs and arms are broken down
With envy for the solid ground
I'm reaching for the life within me
How can one man stop his ending
I thought of just your face
Relaxed, and floated into space

I want to swim away but don't know how
Sometimes it feels just like I'm falling in the ocean
Let the waves up take me down
Let the hurricane set in motion
Let the rain of what I feel right now...come down
Let the rain come down
Let the rain come down

Now waking to the sun
I calculate what I had done
Like jumping from the bow (yeah)
Just to prove I knew how (yeah)
It's midnight's late reminder of
The loss of her, the one I love
My will to quickly end it all
So thought no end my need to fall

Into the ocean, end it all
Into the ocean, end it all
Into the ocean, end it all
into the ocean...end it all

Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye)
Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye)
Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye)

I want to swim away but don't know how
Sometimes it feels just like I'm falling in the ocean
Let the waves up take me down
Let the hurricane set in motion (yeah)
Let the rain of what I feel right now...come down
Let the rain come down
Let the rain come down

Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye)
(In to space)
Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye)
Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye)
Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye)
Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye)
Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye)
(I thought of just your face)
Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye)
Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye)
Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye)
Into the ocean (goodbye) end it all (goodbye)

Monday, August 14, 2006


Listening to: 'All That I Am' by Rob Thomas

I asked at the rental office whether they inspected today. They had. I asked if everything were okay, and was told that Sherry, the office manager, wasn't in today but would be in tomorrow. That doesn't bode well, does it? I mean, if everything was fine, the secretary would just tell me, right?

So, I'm looking for apartments. I've decided it is neither fair to Darius to separate him from Cerys and put him on a farm where he's outside after being an inside cat for so long, lost in a shuffle of a herd, nor is it fair for me to continue living in jeopardy because he's incontinent. If it does come to moving to a new apartment, I can't move him with me. It may be a kinder thing to go ahead and put him down, as much as the thought pains me. At the same time, there's no way I can do that to Cerys. She's not incontinent; she just has an occasional accident. So of course, it's harder to find an apartment that's pet friendly, especially dog friendly, although a quiet older dog might be okay.

I'm dreading moving. On the one hand, everything is pretty much in its place and that should make it easier. On the other hand, I hate the thought of the actual physical move. Plus, my friends and family are still scarred from the last one, so I don't know if I can get any help.

Oy vey.

So, I'm looking for a one bedroom apartment that costs about $450 or less in the Lexington area. Give me a heads up if you know of anything and I'll be sure to give your name for referring me.

Hmmm...apparently I'm not going low-fat enough

Low-Fat, Vegan Diet Improves Glycemic and Lipid Control in Type 2 Diabetes (free with registration)

Privacy and web searching

The New York Times has an article about AOL's posting of correlated search data and how easy it was to track down the searcher.

PS My dog and cat are not happy. They are in the bathroom. The cat was crying piteously when I left. Having just cleaned up his latest oops, I was not sympathetic.


A lead issue in bendable toys distributed to libraries

August 9, 2006

Highsmith has recently had a lead content test completed on a sample of the Bendable Cat and Dog toys sold to public libraries through the Collaborative Summer Library Program. This test, completed by Analytical Process Laboratories Inc., Milwaukee, WI, confirmed an earlier report from the Indiana Board of Health that the lead content in these particular toys exceeds the maximum allowable limit under current federal regulations.

The sample Highsmith tested registered .277% lead content. The Code of Federal Regulations, Title 16, Section 1303 stipulates that lead may constitute no more that .06% of the weight of the paint applied to a toy.

At this time, Highsmith has discontinued sale of this item and recommends all libraries cease distribution of any remaining Bendable Cats and Dogs in their possession and issue a recall to all patrons who may have received this toy. To control the proper disposal of these Bendable Cats and Dogs, Highsmith requests that all customers contact us at 1-800-448-4887 to arrange for return shipment and to receive a credit or refund for the product cost.

On October 14, 2005, prior to distributing these toys through the Collaborative Summer Library Program, Intertek Testing Services tested the Bendable that was to be distributed by Highsmith. The test reported that the Bendable was in compliance with the applicable federal code. Highsmith has documentation of this test in its possession.

For more information on the hazards of lead, visit:

http://www.cpsc.gov/BUSINFO/leadguid.html or http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/publications/PrevLeadPoisoning.pdf

There's been some discussion back and forth on the PUBYAC (Public Library Services to Young Adults and Children) lists as to whether the toys distributed by the Oriental Trading Company were the same, although OTC has something on their website apparently that says they've been tested for lead and passed. Anyway, jsut wanted to make you aware if you weren't already.

I'd like to add my own personal concern about toys distributed to children that contain natural rubber latex. Many people, especially those with other allergies (the reason I seem to have been 'lucky' enough for this allergy, as I have no other risk factors), those who have have certain conditions like spina bifida or have had multiple surgeries (especially in the spine or bladder area), and those who have been exposed to latex through other medical procedures, may acquire this allergy, which in its most severe case can cause anaphylatic shock and death. This is one reason our hospital, which treats a population susceptible to latex allergy, allows only mylar baloons. (Not to mention the choking hazard of latex balloons). Bendable plastic is always suspect for latex, and, like the lead, may be a problem from children chewing or otherwise being in contact with the toy.

It is finished

Not to sound like cleaning is up there with crucifixion, of course, but it's probably up there with caning, as far as I am concerned...but everything should be easier to care for now.

So now everything is finished, including some dusting and getting the bedclothes washed. I'm not impressed by our supposedly new laundry facility; it was supposed to be redone two weeks ago. All but about two of the machines were out of order; the paint on the wall is an ugly colour of yellow and was smudged in a great big clump on the door. The doorknob is falling off. The machines look new, but they're also a quarter more a load and the dryers are 50 cents more, so the balance of my laundry will still be done at a friend's house. We do have a new Pepsi machine, so if I get a hankering for some Diet Pepsi in the middle of the night, I need not make a trip to Kroger's.

I got about 5 hours' sleep but I had staggered naps thoroughout yesterday (clean two to three hours, nap for a half hour, that sort of thing), so I'm feeling pretty good. I took the last of three baths in the past twenty-four hours and feel clean myself, which is good. And I have an hour to play before going work. Yay.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Well, the actual cleaning is finished, except for a quick vaccuum in the morning when I won't disturb my neighbours. My house smells like a combination of orange (because I've been using Citrosolv on everything from the counters to the carpets) and an Indian temple (because I've had Song of India's India Temple essential oil on a metal ring on a lighbulb for the past two hours). I still need to take out the recyclables and last of the garbage, and I still need to do a little straightening in the bedroom and living room. If I have time, I'll dust, although it's mostly okay on that front. I think I'll do the essential laundry and put the rest in my walk-in closet as neatly as possible, then do it a little at a time. I found that two of my little wire carts with sorted papers on them fits in the hall closet, a happy thing, as I usually just store pet food, purses, my dolls, some mementos, and my MRI films there.

Cerys is rolling on the floor. I hope the potpourri carpet freshener I put on it won't cause her any trouble. She loves to roll. She doesn't do it too much anymore outside, but she loves rolling on the carpet.

I moved Darius' litter box (well, one of them, he has two), so there's one on either side of the apartment. He has a sort of kitty irritable bowel syndrome, so I'm hoping he'll get the hint and use the box instead of the floor as he sometimes does. I have fresh pine litter in it, too. I was out of the clay and the co-op only has pine and wheat litter, and I'm allergic to wheat, so I figured the pine would be best. He's never had trouble with it before.

It's been a productive but tiring day. I think I'll take a break and get something to eat and maybe nap for about a half hour (if I can find my phone in all this; I use it as an alarm clock), and then start toting out bags and emptying mop water. A few friends with houses have Rosies for recyclables, so I'll just take those to the car and put them in tomorrow.

Tomorrow it's back to work at the hospital. I'm looking forward to it, but I don't know what time the inspection at the apartment will be, and I'd kind of like to be there. I am going to leave the animals in the bathroom when I leave, though, just in case. Cerys occasionally has issues but Darius is the real culprit. I've been weighing putting him down; there have been a couple of times he's lost control of his bowels on ME whilst he was on my lap. But first I need to find a vet that will take payments and see if there's anything else to be done for him. He's pretty spry for fifteen and although he's a little skinny despite eating ravenously, he's generally doing well and has become quite loving, especially considering for years he hid from anyone who wasn't me or my dog. After Spock died, he became even friendlier, wanting to cuddle. I'd hate to put him down just over this issue, but I don't want to be evicted, either. A friend of a friend has offered as a last resort to take him in at her farm as an outside cat. He was an outside cat when I found him, and he's a good mouser, but we're not sure if he'll be lost in the shuffle since she has many cats and dogs.

Ai, so much uncertainty. And after all this, I'm not sure I'll be able to pay all my rent this week, so it may be moot. I do know one thing, once my pets are gone, I'm taking a break from pets for awhile. As much as I love them, they're a lot of work, especially when very young and very old, and with working three jobs I'm not really the best at spending enough quality time with them. Maybe I'm just one of those people who should like animals but not necessarily have them. And I can definitely say, especially after dealing with whigning kids (there was a ten year old who sounded two) at the store yesterday, that it's good that I don't have kids, either. One, they'd probably drive me completely crazy, and two, I'd probably have them taken away from me with my tendency to hoard and my housekeeping and financial issues. Maybe someday, if I'm ever more stable in those areas, I'll adopt. But not now, or for any time in the forseeable future. All I can say is, for those who have well-behaved, happy, well-adjusted kids, more power to you. We need more of you in the world.

Checking in

Well, the house is improving greatly, one room at a time.

The dining room (the hardest, actually, due to the crap in it), hallway, and kitchen are finished. The bathroom and bedroom remain, and I have the rest of the day to finish them, no more. The living room just needs to be straightened up and vaccuumed, and I doubt it will take more than a few minutes. I can't stand myself anymore. I must take a shower, even though I'll get dirty some more, especially as I'm cleaning with the windows open, which is nice for airing the house but it's a little muggy. That's all. I'll write later.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Oh, Gods, it's a lifestyle

There's Freecycle for those of us who are civic minded and want to recycle old items by giving them to others. Then there is the more direct approach...dumpster diving. I used to know someone who would proudly display his latest find he'd grabbed from the clutches of the garbage truck. Now he and others can meetup, share finds, and generally extoll the virtues of diving at Dumpster World.

I am afraid.

I am going to bed now. I don't plan on looking at that site again.

Do other people do this?

Just a random thought. I've had to explain this to relatives living outside of Lexington, and both a conversation and an entry on another blog brought this to mind.

Do other cities name their trash receptacles?

We have Herbie Curbie/Kerbie. He is dark green.
Then there's Rosie, the light blue recycling bin, presumable his wife.
Then they apparently produced an offspring, Lenny, a grey-green container for yard waste (as in Lend a Hand, use your Lenny). If you don't have one, you use paper bags big enough to put body parts in. They don't really have names. I wonder if they feel left out. Then there are those of us apartment dwellers doomed and limited to the ever present Dumpster. Is that a brand name? Or another receptacle name?

Really, do others do this? I know I've ranted about it before, and I like the names, but is it just a little weird that not only do they have names but everyone in the city knows what you mean when you say, 'It's time to take the Rosie out to the kerb'?

PS Before I go back to sleep

Since I'm planning on getting up in 3-4 hours. Lately there has been a lot of music that I can sing to on the radio. I mean, yeah, I've been singing along to songs all my life in my chest voice just like most people, and that's okay. But when I took music lessons I learnt to use my head voice, which if I understand the terminology is a lyric first soprano. You know, the type that sound pure and high and is best done with vowels, rather than the more glorious in my opinion mezzosoprano. Basically I have a young girl head voice. The trick is going back and forth as needed in popular music. I'm finding it easier to sing with women (Amy Lee, Dido, Anna Nalick, Sarah MacLachlan, Loreena McKinnitt, to name a few) and men (Coldplay, James Blunt, etc.) without having to transpose it up or sing a high harmony. Still, I have been trying to do better with my chest voice, where it's harder for me to sustain in breathing. A good workout for that is KT Tunstall's 'Black Horse and the Cherry Tree'. One for both is Natasha Bedingfield's 'Unwritten'. Anyway, thanks girls (and guys). Keep it coming.

It's funny how some people embrace new music and others don't. I know people who are stuck in the 60s, or only like country, or consider classical the only true music tested by time but also like things like the Black Crowes and 80s music. I also know someone who doesn't consider anything new worthwhile because he hasn't heard it, and if it were that popular, he would, despite the fact he doesn't really listen to the stations that play modern rock, so except for snippets on popular TV shows, he doesn't hear it, and since he's unfamiliar with it, assumes the music is written specifically for the shows. Unfortunately whenever we get into my car, it's unvariably a song he would dismiss as 'noise' rather than one of the ones I really like.

I love all sorts of music, from classical to folk to Celtic to 60s and 70s, 80s (particularly 80s alternative like Depeche Mode, U2, the Smithereens, that sort of thing), Indie rock, and modern rock/adult alternative. I like some country (particularly Old country) and even 2-3 rap pieces. I generally do not like hip hop or rap, particularly the more vulgar or violent works. I don't care for utterly twangy country. I like bluegrass to a point (and here I am living in the heart of it) but prefer blues. In other words I'm not indiscriminate about what I like, but I like a whole range of music. If I ever have children they'll be exposed to a wide range of works, that's for sure. Oh, well, music rant off for the night. What types of music do you like?

It's a night for music

I particularly like this one from Death Cab for Cutie:

Soul Meets Body

I want to live where soul meets body
And let the sun wrap its arms around me
And bathe my skin in water cool and cleansing
And feel, feel what its like to be new

Cause in my head there's a greyhound station
Where I send my thoughts to far off destinations
So they may have a chance of finding a place
where they're far more suited than here

I cannot guess what we'll discover
Between the dirt with our palms cut like shovels
But I know our filthy hand can wash one another's
And not one speck will remain

I do believe it's true
That there are roads left in both of our shoes
If the silence takes you
Then I hope it takes me too
So brown eyes I hold you near
Cause you're the only song I want to hear
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere

Where soul meets body
Where soul meets body
Where soul meets body

I do believe it's true
That there are holes left in both of our shoes
If the silence takes you
Then I hope it takes me too
So brown eyes I hold you near
Cause you're the only song I want to hear
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere
A melody softly soaring through my atmosphere

Thursday, August 10, 2006

It took me awhile to find this

Listening to: KT Tunstall 'Black Horse and the Cherry Tree'

because I misheard my PNP (psychiatric nurse practitioner), but PROVIGIL (modafinil), a medicine usually used for narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and excessive daytime sleepiness, is apparently looking good for attention deficit disorder. Once her DEA licence # comes in (sometimes this week--nurse practitioners have just been allowed to prescribe controlled substances in Kentucky), so, the next time I see her essentially, she'll prescribe it for me. It shouldn't affect my mood, and since I already have excessive daytime sleepiness, it might help that, too. Plus it's non-stimulant. I figure it's worth a try. I'm doing well off the Paxil, but being off the Adderall I can tell a difference with my attention.

Listening to: 'How to Save a Life' by the Fray

Then there are these, too:

Modafinil (Provigil)

Modafinil (Medmaster)

So, any of you had any experience on this?

Maybe this can help prevent the difficulties of going through unnecessary chemo

Listening to: Red Hot Chili Peppers 'Dani California'

MedlinePlus: Gene Test Predicts Lung Cancer Outcome

Sometimes, you just have to look up the lyrics

in this case, because every time I hear the Goo Goo Dolls' 'Stay With You, instead of

The walls will fall before we do

I hear
Mazel tov is all we do

Yes, I know, it made no sense, hence going straight to the source. :)

Jak Paris and Scarlett Pomers' cover of 'The Chain'

really does sound like they're playing with Fleetwood Mac, sort of like Mary J. Blige and U2's collaboration on the remake of 'One'. I honestly thought so, at least, when I first heard it. For more on the music, click on JAK PARIS.

If you have a backyard and love Indian food

follow suit with this couple...who needs a barbeque? Build your own tandoor oven!

Tandoor Oven Construction Progress

My house is a mess

and I don't mean it's just messy. It's cluttered with the detritous of my life and those of my geriatric, sometimes incontinent, animals. It's full of credit card offers and dishes and plastic cups from the gas station. And it all has to be clean and happy by Monday. Have I ever mentioned that I'm a recovering hoarder? You know, the little old lady with cats and pathways through newspapers? Well, I stopped at three cats once upon a time and trust me, it's been much worse than anything right now in terms of pathways through the house. The living room, for example, is in decent shape. My bedroom was full of clothes, but I've sorted them in piles to be washed and put away, given away, or burnt, I mean, thrown away. My poor dog couldn't get on the bed though whilst I was away doing errands; she was asleep on the floor when I came home, a fate worse than death for her.

I've made progress, although not as much as I would have liked so far. I haven't really read or worked on the computer (until now), I've just cleaned and shuttled people and worked and ate and slept. Right now I'm being sustained by reheated frozen naan and Highbridge Springs water (I ate a full meal earlier, a combination of Taco Bell and Long John Silver's.)

So I'm plugging on. It's rainy and hopefully cooler and near dark (it was as high as 101 degrees on one of the bank displays earlier) and I just want to nap a little, and start afresh tomorrow, but I'll put in some more time tonight. Maybe I should work on the bathroom, since it's small and fairly easy to contain, at least for tonight.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Double Yay

I'm on the Internet again from home. It took a little resetting of the modem, but all is working.

I also discovered that my frozen Tandoori naan is pretty nummy when cooked via microwave; conventional oven should just be dreamy. I was hungry for naan but not a full meal, so I'll try it with the Tasty Bite entrees later.

For now I'm debating on whether to go back to sleep or if I'm suitably rejuvenated to do some work for the television station. I'll stay up for a few minutes and see the answer hits me. I'm still sore, but not as bad, and I do feel refreshed to some degree.


Natalie and Upsorn, both of whom have gone on to bigger and brighter pastures, returned for lunch today. Natalie's living in Kansas now, and drove in for a visit (it's about a 10-hour drive). Anyway, it was nice to see them both.

I moved 4000 books last night for the fifth (maybe?) time in a year and I'm really tired and look like crap and feel stiff and hung over. The director of nursing pulled me aside and asked what was wrong, and was I taking care of myself. The answer to that is no, but I have three days off coming up, so today I plan on recuperating and then taking the three days to clean like mad, because my apartment is going to be inspected sometime around the 14th. I should aslo get my Internet connexion at home back today (I'd better; I paid them a week ago and the cheque's gone through), so I'm happy about that, although I chose not to renew the cable television--I was recording more than I was watching anyway. My approach to cleaning is that for every hour of scrubbing, picking up, etc., I can either play on the computer or read a book. I've received two within the last few months that I'd really like to read: the latest Amelia Peabody mystery (by Elizabeth Peters), and a compilation of Jim Butcher's Wizard for Hire books. That should keep me occupied. Oh, and I'm going to try to go to the gym, although not today--I'm too sore, and that was certainly workout enough for a couple of days!

Monday, August 07, 2006

As of today

I'm officially off Paxil. That leaves Abilify at 15 mg, Lamictal at 200 mg, and Metformin (for diabetes) at 2000 mg per day. So I have fewer medicines to fool with. I feel good on them, too. The OCD isn't rearing it's head or anything, nor the social anxiety, and that's what I was on the Paxil for.

Here's hoping this combination works.

Friday, August 04, 2006

It's a shame the bear died

but interesting that black bears are close enough to our town to be within a county--and Kentucky has 120 relatively small counties rather than the large ones you see in other states, so within about 20 miles--and technically within our metropolitan area.

Lexington Herald-Leader | 08/04/2006 | Black bear hit, killed by SUV in Clark

Want to save social networking sites for kids? Fight DOPA (Deleting Online Predators Act)

From Beth Yoke of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA):

YALSA needs your help defeating DOPA! Listed below are six simple steps you can take to save your library from DOPA. Also, YALSA has created and compiled three great resources for librarians, which are all available at http://teentechweek.wikispaces.com (and we'll get them up on the YALSA site later). Click on the DOPA page for the: Legislative Advocacy Guide, DOPA Information Packet and Teens & Social Networking in School & Public Libraries Toolkit.

1. Contact your Senator before Sept. 5th to:
a. Tell him/her your opinion of DOPA (see YALSA’s Legislative Advocacy Guide for quick tips on contacting your Senator).
b. Educate him/her about the positive uses of Social Networking Sites (use the information in YALSA’s Teens & Social Networking in School & Public Libraries Toolkit).

To find out who our Senator is & what number to call, go to www.congress.gov. To email your Senator, go to www.ala.org and click on "Take Action."

2. Sign the online petition opposing DOPA at www.saveyourspace.org

3. Host an information session at your library about DOPA and social networking sites (see YALSA’s Toolkit on Teens & Social Networking in School & Public Libraries for tips and ideas).

4. Tell YALSA how you’re using social networking technologies at your library. Go to http://teentechweek.wikispaces.com. From there you can add a link to your library’s MySpace space as well as join in on the discussion about how you’re using social networking technologies in your library.

5. Invite your Senator to your library while they’re home from DC between August 7th and September 4th.
a. Have teens on hand to demonstrate productive ways they use social networking technologies b. Provide the Senator with a photo-op (e.g. giving a summer reading award to a teen or reading a story to kids) c. Give the Senator information about social networking sites and show him/her what your library is already doing to keep children and teens safe online.

6. Personalize and send the following sample letter to the editor to your local newspaper, and encourage your library patrons to do the same.

Sample Letter to the Editor
(please feel free to make additions or changes so that it better fits any particular messages you want to get across)

Librarians care deeply about children and teens and are concerned about their safety online and in our community. While Congress’ effort to make children and teens more safe online is admirable, the proposed Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) that is currently being debated by our nation’s legislators, will actually do little to make our kids safer. What it will do is block access to critical Internet resources and communication tools in schools and libraries that our kids need to learn how to use in order to be successful in college and the workplace. It also takes control away from communities like ours, and leaves the decision making about what our children can access on the Internet to the politicians in Washington DC.

DOPA seeks to further limit kids’ access to online resources at school and in libraries. That means it would prevent librarians and teachers from instructing students and their parents about how to use all kinds of Web applications safely and effectively. Because it is linked to federal funding, DOPA also hurts most those kids served by schools and libraries in low-income communities.

DOPA would restrict online support groups, email programs through which family members can communicate with each other, and educational tools used to provide distance education, squashing kids' first attempts at becoming acquainted with applications that will soon be essential workplace tools. Just one example of what could be lost in a rush to legislate is a recent online field trip to Carlsbad Caverns in N.M., in which more than 10 million students participated and First Lady Laura Bush took part.

Perhaps the most troubling part of DOPA is the false sense of security it gives parents who are seeking solutions to the problem of online predators. Like dangers to kids in the real world, dangers on the Internet are not easily overcome. Teaching young people to practice safe behaviors and guard their privacy online the same way they would in public is critical if we want to protect them.

Please join me in urging Congress to make a real commitment to kids' safety by abandoning bad legislation like DOPA and funding our libraries and schools adequately so they have the resources they need to empower our community’s kids to stay safe on the Internet.

[insert your name here]

Thank you for all the hard work you do for the teens in your community! Also, I'd like to extend a special thanks to members of YALSA's Legislation, Technology & Web Advisory Committees for their help in developing these resources.

Beth Yoke
Executive Director
Young Adult Library Services Association, fastest growing division of the American Library Association 50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
1 (800) 545-2433 x4391
Register for Teen Read Week!
Celebrate Oct. 15-21, 2006

I may be a somewhat warped librarian

but several people suggested getting a puppet for storytime, and I'm really thinking of using Toy Vault's plush Cthulhu hand puppet.

  1. It's literary.
  2. It's large enough and odd enough to attract attention.
  3. It can be manipulated both at the hands, tentacles, and mouth.
  4. Little kids have no idea of who Cthulhu is supposed to be. He's just a monster like a Wild Thing or something out of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
  5. He's cheaper than many puppets out there, and better than my other alternative, a tie-dyed sock puppet.

What do you think?

A little bit of a shock

Gas prices in Lexington hot as weather

It was $2.72 when I drove by the store this morning. When I went to the dentist later in the day, the price was $3.09 at the station there. Agh! And no, working for a gas station doesn't give me any inside info as to when and what will happen, so of course I was waiting to see how much I was paid on Thursday and figured it hadn't risen by the morning, I might be safe (Tuesday and Thursday are days it tends to rise). So of course, I didn't get gas until it was high (although it had dropped 5 cents by then).

Oh, well. As long as we're a nation of gas-guzzling, SUV driving (and yes, I do realise that some of the newer ones do get better mileage), non-carpooling people with poor access to public transportation, it will just keep on giving us price shocks, until more hybrids and smaller cars prevail. I know if I could afford a new car at the moment, I would definitely choose a hybrid. But my Taurus does get pretty decent gas mileage; it's as good as the Nissan and Renault were, even though it's bigger.

Europeans are probably laughing at us. They've been used to this sort of pricing for years. And they're right to. But still, whew!