Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, January 31, 2004


listening to: 'Calling You' by Blue October
feeling: Cold but warming up

I just went to pick up a friend and the thermometer is hanging at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Brrrrrr!!!

I've been trying to get caught up on sleep and it seems like people have been calling every few minutes but really there's been a couple of hours between each call. That's okay, though--it's nice to be home and warm and comfy but socialising. One of the calls was to let me know that a co-worker we'd worried a bit about had a healthy baby boy tonight...35 hours of labour and an eventual Caesarian, but it looks like it was all worth it. When my friend had called for his ride, I was dreaming about being robbed downtown and sleeping in a car, so I'm glad I woke up during that one. If I didn't know better, I'd say I didn't take my Paxil--that's the sort of anxiety dream I usually get if I miss a dose or two. But no, I now have all my meds in a handy little compact gizmo and I definitely took yesterday's and today's.

Darius, my generally stand-offish Siamesey orange tabby (who hides whenever people come over and basically tries to act as if there are only two cats in the house) is maniacally clinging to me and oddly enough he just somehow stood on the keyboard and managed to open what I think was a pop-up that got through heading to an adult site. Talented but annoying kitty, that one. He has these moods. He's actually quite affectionate towards me, although it took years to develop. Now he mostly hangs out on top of my monitor as I type, which is better than in front of the screen on the keyboard, let me tell you.

Speaking of adult content, the FBI got back with me over the child porn crap I've been getting in my work e-mail (the type that says that they've charged your credit card so much for access to this link they've sent so you can have pictures of 5 and 7 year olds to 'beautify your collection'...gag). Between that and a couple of e-mails offering stolen credit cards, etc., I'm actually pining for simple, annoying Viagra ads. Looks like they're investigating the websites. Thanks, guys. Given the press librarians sometimes get in terms of our rabid adherence to intellectual freedom, you may be surprised that my first thought when faced with people hawking child porn (fraudulently, I might add) was to run to the FBI. I mean, we're the ones fighting the PATRIOT act, right? Yeah, but I'm sorry, child pornography is wrong and predatory, and I don't know of any librarian who would actively campaign in support of access to it; potentially 'obscene'--and that definition varies--materials involving consenting adults, yes. Materials that are meant to convey research topics or children's fashions or whatever, where the original intent is obviously not sexual but might be sought by paediphiles, yes. Actual child porn...no. We're as a profession often classified as liberals (and there are exceptions, mind you), but we can still spot the bad guys.

Strange things of the day: A friend called me at work today and the switchboard operator accidentally transferred him to Dwana's extension, the one person who knew who he was. Also, a news crew caught him walking to work yesterday to interview him on keeping warm in the cold (he made the 5, 5:30, and 11 o'clock broadcasts). The same station interviewed Dwana today whilst she was pumping gas. (Okay, apparently it was a slow couple of news days.) She only made it on the 5 and 5:30 one, though, so she thinks he beat her on screen personality. But what are the chances that out of an area with a quarter million people in it a news crew on consequetive days would single out two of my closest friends??? Maybe I need to watch out for Channel 36 myself. Weird.

Okay, I think I'll go back to sleep and see if I can actually get some rest this time.

Friday, January 30, 2004

By the way

I had a nice time at movie night at my co-worker Jo Anne's. We watched The Sure Thing, which I had never seen but had John Cusack as a college freshman and was made the year I was a college freshman. :) It's not the type of movie I would normally watch, but I enjoyed. I like doing stuff with my co-workers because for awhile all my friends had pretty similar tastes and interests and now I'm exposed to a wider variety of things. And I almost feel like I have a social life.

Okay, so I'm blogging at work

feeling: Sleepy

...but it's okay. I'm babysitting a call centre/help line and fortuantely things are a little slow.

So, here are some thoughts I've meant to put down this week:

One, yesterday in our lull between wintry weather, I saw a beautiful male bird singing in a tree that looked rather like a European robin, but I think was actually some form of finch, but not the normal house finch you see around here...it had a red breast and a white belly. I would say it was singing cheerfully, but I know better. The hours of daylight are growing and he was singing for a mate, essentially he wanted sex. It was a little bit of hope of the coming spring. Of course, it's best not to become too attached, because...

It's going down into the single digits tonight (that's Fahrenheit, in case you're wondering) with a lower wind chill. January and February are particularly unpredictable around here. I've seen 80 degrees in February and then of course if you've been reading that long you may remember the ice storm last year that had people without power for days on end.

But it's almost Imbolc, the Celtic spring festival, when calving begins and (in a tradition our little group has had for years) cheese flames. (Pour vodka or cognac and perhaps some herbs on mozzarella, turn out the lights, and light. Ooh and ah and then eat happily on crusty bread or crackers.) Soon the spring bulbs will be coming through the soil. I already have some snowdrops on my desktop to remember when it's so cold outside.

I'm thankful for the warmth of central heating, and more thankful that although I have gas heat I don't pay gas, just personal electric.

Hope you're warm wherever you are (or cool if you're in the grip of summer).

An occasional memorial pint from friends, a lovely valley, what else do you need?

Pub Offers Regulars a Pint and a Plot

I wonder if John's heard of this; I gather he's familiar with the Manchester area.

It's not your average football...

but it's an impressive feat designed to raise awareness:
Soccer-playing elephants score with wildlife fans in northeast India

This is an interesting approach to corporate responsibility.

Yahoo! News - ExxonMobil Plays Key Role in Global Warming, Says New Report


I seem to have cannibals on the brain lately (they've come up in separate discussions with a friend lately, whether of the Donner party, on the ethics of eating chicken, the death penalty, circles of hell, and Noachide laws. (Yeah. I know. Welcome to my life.)

So this is timely, albeit just sick and twisted.

Cannibal Spared Life Sentence in Gory Trial

Oh, and for another somewhat gross story:
Whale Explodes, Showers Innards on Town

Happy Snowy Friday!

It started snowing about 4 hours ago and we already have a couple inches on the ground. I've been out driving already and it's pretty slick, with temps already down to 20 degrees and falling, so I'm not sure how the salt will do in terms of making things better tomorrow morning.

So...what's the perfect thing to do on a snowy evening (at least when the snow isn't really packing yet for snowballs?) The Friday Five!

This is a favourite game of mine...

You have just won one million dollars: [Before or after taxes??? Hate to say it, but it does make a difference...I usually go for the if I won $10 million (before taxes) so that I can take care of my family (and people like family), get some security, become a philanthropist, etc.]

1. Who do you call first? D

2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself? Debt-free living (pay off school loans and the little I have besides that)

3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else? Pay off my mom's home

4. Do you give any away? If yes, to whom? Momma/John and my two closest friends and their significant others...I'd like to make sure they were in a secure position with few bills. I'd also like to establish a couple of scholarships, support environmental and literacy charities, HIV/AIDS programmes, the arts, animal welfare, intellectual freedom, heritage preservation, etc. For that matter, I'd adopt children with special needs or who are difficult to place.

5. Do you invest any? If so, how? I'd like to invest most of it in...

  • Real estate (a home for me and a little land in rural Kentucky with a cave and spring for religious celebrations)
  • Clearing my debt (mostly school loans)
  • Invest in a balanced portfolio to give an annual income (which may be difficult to do on just a million, after all that!) :)
  • Kids--any I might have and those who otherwise would not thrive...children are our future.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004


Journal Costs: What do YOU think?

These folks set up a wonderful demonstration comparing the cost of journals to other commodities. It's sort of a play on the 'Price is Right' game of which is higher/lower. It's a great idea and could be useful for those of you trying to justify budgeting, funding, or collection development issues.


Sunday we had ice; Monday it was in the mid-50s; tonight it's 15 degrees and snowing very heavily, big snowglobe-worthy flakes (and thanks to N, I now have an image of a giant hand shaking us up--we think alike).

Mind you, it's just a normal day in Lexington. There's something about being located between plains and mountains and with a major river valley that just gives us quick weather changes. We're used to it.

Today I watched several people from Florida (adults, all) cavort in a half-inch of snow. I remember when that was a real treat, growing up in Louisiana. I wonder what they'll think when they wake up tomorrow?

Having gone out in the mess, I can say that it's not too slick if you're careful, but it's a little eerie to have everything snow-covered. I slept a good bit of this evening (having worked till 7), so now I'm thinking about food (ah, nutty bagel and havarti) and doing my taxes online. Fun, hmm?

One good thing: D should be back tomorrow; work just hasn't been the same without her. Yay!

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

:) It's not easy being flat...

Flat Stanley lives on. (And I actually wrote the story up for LISNews and got the link wrong for the Flat Stanley Project, dang it. But, hey, it's my first attempt.

Um, okay?

So, a little over a week ago we had a man killed, another shot, and several robberies of pedestrian, all in the UK area, and the UK police announce that they are going to crack down on Jaywalkers???

Mind you, driving, walking, and biking near a university is always a litte daunting, partly because of the near-chaos of people lost who don't bother to pay attention to others, but still, maybe this isn't the best timing, guys.

In the twenty years I've been in and around UK, jaywalking is pretty much a constant. The other crimes, however, aren't. The campus has always attracted some crime, mostly thefts, but it seems there have been more violent crimes lately. And that's disturbing. Isn't that more important?

Got this via Aaron:

Results...: godd
You are Form 1, Goddess: The Creator.

'And The Goddess planted the acorn of life. She cried a single tear and shed a single drop of blood upon the earth where she buried it. From her blood and tear, the acorn grew into the world.'

Some examples of the Goddess Form are Gaia (Greek), Jehova (Christian), and Brahma (Indian).
The Goddess is associated with the concept of creation, the number 1, and the element of
earth. Her sign is the dawn sun.

As a member of Form 1, you are a charismatic individual and people are drawn to you. Although sometimes you may seem emotionally distant, you are deeply in tune with other people's feelings and have tremendous empathy. Sometimes you have a tendency to neglect your own self. Goddesses are the best friends to have because they're always willing to help.

Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla"

I am being mocked unmercifully, and I suppose rightly so...

for today I fell off the vegetarian bandwagon. Since I did it at lunch, I shocked most of the co-workers I've carefully trained to think in vegetarian terms.

Mind you, I spent 12 1/2 years as a pesce-lacto-ovo-vegetarian (fish/milk/eggs allowed), which isn't in itself a true vegetarian, but is from a mediaeval/Catholic sense (because fish didn't 'reproduce' sexually, or so it was thought). I adhered to the ethic that I would not eat what I would not be willing to kill, and reasoned I had indeed fished in the past, so that was okay. Over the last year or so I've re-evaluated that, and I realised that if I were hungry enough (say, in the woods trying to survive) I would probably be willing to kill most things to survive, or if I were told it was medically necessary to eat meat.

I've also come to realise that in the beginning, the real reason I gave up meat was to mimic someone I admired--it was his brand of vegetarianism, although frankly, I never saw much difference between the inherent worth of a fish and a chicken, and in a sense, to be special. That's not so unusual, really--I've seen a lot of vegetarians come and go for just those reasons. I really did believe I was choosing to live ethically, and that was to some extent true, but under it all, those were the basic reasons. I don't feel like being hypocritical anymore.

For 12 1/2 years the only time I ate meat was by accident (say, someone spiked the rice with chicken stock) or, one small piece of turkey a couple of years ago at Thanksgiving. That's it. Pretty good for what most thought would be a passing 'phase', although in the end, I guess they were right. Today, I ate a fried chicken breast.

I didn't go poof. I'm not suddenly a bad person. I rather enjoyed it, although I would prefer a free-range chicken to whatever they were serving in our cafeteria. I don't plan on going out and eating mega-quantities of meat. In fact, I'm rather over the craving. And I do intend to offer prayers for any life taken for nourishment.

But I'm not special anymore. I'm just me, even if that means I'm a 'chicken-eater'. And that's okay. And I still believe in the higher ethics of vegetarianism. Maybe someday I'll go back to it. But I also realise that for me, right now, it may be a little healthier to eat fish and poultry occasionally, so long as they're not my whole diet. I still believe in moderation, and making as little impact as possible on the web of life of which we are a part, without repudiating it as some would.

I've lived as a vegetarian on next to nothing for years, but sometimes it can be a problem keeping the diabetes in line on such a tight budget. Despite eating a fairly varied diet most of the time, I've gained something like 75 lbs as a vegetarian and gone into full-blown diabetes, which has led to pressure to eat more fish and perhaps add poultry from various health providers...not that you can't be diabetic and vegetarian, but it's fairly tricky, and it helps if you have a lot of prep time and money to lay in a diverse pantry I spend a lot more on salads and protein-rich foods such as cottage cheese than my co-workers, for example. It's easy to fill up on bread and cheese and cheap canned veggies, but it's not ideal, and I'm tired of basically living off peanut butter. My system has never handled legumes well, although I love them. I'm not sure they're staying in my system long enough to get the nutrients needed. And my blood sugar, my memory, etc. did much better after eating lunch today than normal. I am allergic to wheat, eggs, and milk, and borderline sensitive to peanuts, soy, and corn...but not at all to meat. So I may occasionally eat some poultry and see if I do better. I'm not quite up to beef, though, and I've never really cared for pork. I'll just see how it goes. For now, I think my diet will be mostly vegetarian (I love the variety), but with fish or poultry every couple of days--a diet more in keeping with what our ancestors ate, rather than the factory farm produce of today.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Cheers to this new librarian...what a great story

KRT Wire | 01/16/2004 | Librarian has an impressive story to tell: her own

This is an interesting editorial regarding research access

JAMA -- DeAngelis and Musacchio 291 (3): 370

I especially think the discussion concerning the oeconomic model for PLoS is rather interesting. I had not realised this was the case, so I'd like to verify this and find out more.

Monday Madness

1. The one kitchen appliance I just could not live without is my _microwave_.
2. My desk always looks like _a tornado hit it_.
3. The clocks in my house are always _5-20_ minutes fast.
4. The one television program I just can't stand is _Elimidate_.
5. The one television program I try to never miss is _Charmed_.
6. When it comes to housework, I really hate cleaning _the bathroom_.
7. If I could re-design my living room, the first thing I would do is _make it bigger_.
8. I wish I had a bigger _ceiling_ in my house.
9. When someone points a camera at me and says 'Smile!' I usually _grimace_.
10. I expect I'll have my income tax done by _moi_.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

What book changed your life?

That's the question posed on today's Unshelved comic. Oddly enough, mine was The Grey King by Susan Cooper. It touched off...

  • a lifelong love of the fantasy genre,
  • a love of all things Welsh,
  • a love of folklore and British/Celtic mythology,
  • a sense of good vs. evil,
  • the idea that ordinary lives can have immense consequences in the grand scheme of things,
  • the idea that evil can masque itself as beautiful, and therefore beauty should not be equated with good,
  • a sense of ancient knowlege,
  • and it, along with the series Robin Hood: the Hooded Man and Mary Renault's books of ancient Greece--and all the mythology that these made me want to learn more about--probably did a lot to bring me to Paganism as an alternative faith, my devotion to the Light (so to speak), and my concept of the Divine.

Mind you, I don't believe those works of fiction made me Pagan, as some conservatives might claim. Rather, they touched a part of me that yearned for something different than what I'd experienced, that felt spirtuality in nature, and in magic. So, you could argue I was a Pagan in search of Paganism. My studies since--of Paganism, Christianity, Judaism, and other religions, have only served to underscore my own beliefs. But reading that book, back at the age of 13, was the start of it all.

Muttering for the week

  1. Political:: Chaos
  2. Concentration:: Difficult
  3. Fish:: Tank
  4. Lunacy:: Moon
  5. Red:: Flag
  6. Imply:: Insinuate
  7. Recognise:: Face
  8. Sexist:: Pig
  9. Commercial:: Material
  10. Stricken:: Sick

Ah, warmth

listening to: 'Skellig' by Loreena McKennitt
feeling: Tired

I was feeling better today and braved the impending freezing rain to go work on a project at a friend's house (the game being cancelled, since Brenda's working on putting finishing touches on the local SCA Shire's Candlemas celebration, for which she's co-autocrat). You probably think I'm crazy to drive in ice, but I found that I could manoeuvre a Sentra home to Danville for my grandfather's visitation a few years ago with much worse ice...the Taurus handles fine in the ice, and I only fell once--I was helping bring some laundry in, and had my weight too far forward. The crew at McDonald's thanked me for coming in for breakfast--things were pretty dead for them. I got a few things at the grocery whilst I was out. Then lots of work on the project was accomplished and now I'm back home, safe and sound. My headache is back and my cold medicine's worn off, but otherwise I'm okay.

Last night I fixed up one of those warm cozies where you fill a sock with rice and a little lavendar and microwave it. It's done wonders for my sinus and neck pain.

Update on Dwana: As she'll no doubt blog about once she's back somewhere with steady Internet access, she's home, and at least for now, she's preggers! That is, they went ahead and inserted three of the embryos today. She got to see pictures of them and watch the procedure on a monitor. She's on total bed rest for the next couple of days, and since she's still got some fluid in her lungs, she's off work until midweek. We'll know in a couple of weeks whether the embryos have implanted and a pregnancy is in the offing. But for now, it's a moment to celebrate. :) I so hope this will work!

Speaking of comics

this is exactly the sort of thing I would do. No offence to those of you of the male persuasion out there; trust me, I don't bite. :) It's probably good that I don't have roomates. That also cuts down on the ninjas.

March of the Sinister Ducks

I really meant to share this link the other day but had not gotten around to it. It's from Neil Gaiman's journal (for those who don't know, he is an author extraordinaire, best known for the cerebral Sandman comics but also for several books). I am now convinced the he and I think somewhat alike, for the sinister ducks made my day. Alan Moore, by the way, is the creative genius behind the original League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and an odd duck in his own right. (If you don't believe me, check out his bio/picture here.) These two, along with Peter David (who wrote the best series of Star Trek novels--New Frontier--by far and the quirky Soul Searchers and Co., are probably my favourite comic book writers.

Hmmm...I think eccentric looks and odd hair must be the requirement to be a successful comic/fantasy writer, judging by the pictures I've seen in all the bios. Must work on my image. :)

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Almost human

I'm afraid the Rabid Librarian hasn't been up to raving today. I'm finally feeling a little better after crashing from 5am (couldn't sleep) to 1:30pm and then back from about 5pm to 10:30pm. Last night I was congested, but today it's been just a little coughing, eyes running, chest tight, and of course the sinus headache from hell, still going down into my wisdom tooth and vice versa. I've been very achy all day, felt feverish, but my old mercury thermometer does not appear to be able to go above 96 degrees these days (do they ever just stop working?--must be time to migrate to digital, retire the old glass thermometer to somewhere safe in terms of the mercury) so I'm not sure if I ran a fever or not. I took a long hot bath a little while ago and that relaxed the muscles quite a bit. Still, the fact that it's late and I feel better makes me think I was dealing with the aftermath of the great records rewrap (including allergies) rather than a virus. My hands are still puffy and numb (but that's usual when I haven't been out moving). So instead of taking more cold medicine, I'm back to ibuprofen with some medicine that helps liquefy the sinus infection/helps with fibromyalgia pain and hoping I'll be better tomorrow.

The dog and cats have been wonderful, cuddling up without being on me where I'm aching, and being very patient concerning food since mum pretty much fell into a deep sleep for hours on end. I rewarded them with a little tuna water, since that's all I was up to eating tonight. Part of me is responding to the little alert that keeps flashing on my computer that says, 'Hey! Freezing rain and ice is on it's way! You should go get staples at the store whilst it's clear!' but I just don't feel up to it. I'm out of bread, but if all else fails I can make some (as long as we don't lose power) or go across the street like in the pre-car days and get something from the pharmacy.

I was able to watch a little TV and play my favourite new game, Inspector Parker. It's a bit like Clue/Cluedo, but more complex. It's logic based and I'm surprisingly good at it. I'm beginning to think that it's not so much that I'm logic-impaired as it is that I do better with it plotted out visually. (I mean, yes, I can solve mystery plots and analyse historical mysteries, but I can't always tell you each step I used, and so do badly when quizzed on logic points). Must remember this for the Cthulhu game, and practise plotting put facts and their relationships in my notes.

That's all for now...type to you later.

Whaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!! An icon of my childhood (and millions of others) has died...

A friend of mine just called to tell me this: CNN.com - TV's 'Captain Kangaroo,' Bob Keeshan, dead - Jan. 23, 2004

I loved 'Captain Kangaroo' growing up. I loved the moose with the ping pong balls, and 'Simon and the Land of Chalk Drawings', and the one cartoon with the girl and her dog. Along with 'Sesame Street', 'Electric Company', 'Romper Room', and 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood', I really was priveleged to experience the heyday of children's television. Maybe they were too innocent by today's standards, but I really think they are far superior to say, 'Barney' or the host of cartoons I love but really don't consider 'for kids'.

I remember crying when Mr Green Jeans died. Now this. I am so verklempt.


I'm not sure if I've let myself get run down with all the work I've been doing to help get the medical records and x-rays relabelled, sorted, and filed or what, but I just feel kind of blah...achy, nose running, eyes running, sore throat, maybe a low-grade fever, etc. It could just be the dust and what have you, but someone else I know feels the same, without any of the fun overtime. So, despite my attempts to explain it away as sinuses or allergies...I'm probably coming down with a cold.

Which means, among other things, I stopped by the grocery for cold medicine and I don't plan on going anywhere near Dwana. She came home today, albeit with some 'mild' pneumonia where the fluid from the hyperstimulation had settled in her chest. She feels much better to be home, I think, and her poor cats just want to glom to her. Simba, who is huge, doesn't understand how sensitive her belly is at the moment. Midnight, the other cat, is apparently fascinated by the balloon I brought her and just sits staring at it.

They are going ahead with the in vitro on Sunday, and I think she's freaking a little by the idea that whether the embryos implant or not, technically she'll be pregnant. I so wish that everything goes okay. There is a risk that she'll go back into hyperstimulation, but they're monitoring her carefully. Pregnancy means no drugs for pain or symptoms, so I hope everything will be okay. She's been through so much--and really, Eric has as well, sleeping on the pull out couch at the hospital, giving her injections everyday (and incurring the wrath of SImba, who peed on Eric's things because he thought he was hurting her), etc. They so deserve a problem-free pregnancy, although of course to be realistic it'll be uncertain. Things never seem easy when it comes to medical stuff for her. But if anyone deserved to be happily pregnant, it's she. So I'm crossing my fingers and keeping them in my prayers.

I'm incredibly impressed by the teamwork and how things have gone at work with the overhaul of the records in preparation for 'go-live' on Tuesday...when we go electronic. They had people signed up through tomorrow in anticipation but the x-rays were all back on the shelves by this morning and when I left this afternoon the records were in order and being put back on the shelves. They were blown away by how quickly I can put things in order, and were having trouble keeping up with me--see, a master's in organisation and access, basically, can be put to use in all sorts of venues. And relabelling medical records is a lot like putting on book tape or label covers. Some people agonised over getting them placed just right. I'd sight it, put the label down, and 9 times out of 10 get it dead on the first time without any wrinkles, etc. Really, the job was remarkable...out of nearly 10,000 records and all these people, most of whom did not do anything like this in their normal job, we had maybe 10 records that were mislabelled, and they were all just one off, where someone must have gone down one label too far, etc. We had clinical staff, the non-clinical people, dietary, maintenance, administration all working together. One of the doctors was a dynamo originally drafted for his height but who was out there breaking nails like the rest of us. It was a lot of hard work, but with a tangible result.

I felt like I was back in the comic store again, since so much of it was interfiling. It also gave me a taste for what a library move would be like...we had over a hundred large plywood carts (librarians would call them book trucks) for the task. One of our counterpart hospitals sent a care package with everything from champagne glasses and noismakers to pencils, a calculator, and a magic 8-ball just in case we run into problems. I signed up for extra hours directing support calls to the right people and as a result I may actually be working 36 hours a week for a couple of weeks, which means I'd be back to my pre-layoff salary for a brief bit. It also means I can help out; I was originally in the group of troubleshooters providing direct support but had to drop out due to my reduction in hours. Because this is a special case where the salary isn't coming out of the library's budget, I can work my normal hours in the library and then man the phones for the special project.

It's sort of sad in a way that the layoff has forced me to look for work...this project has really demonstrated the special character of my workplace and the people I've gotten to know over the past seven years. I will really miss it. I wish there were some way to continue, but unless my hours miraculously increased permanently tomorrow, I just can't live on 20 hours a week, and I haven't found a part-time job that I could work concurrently.

I got a phone call from UK to arrange an interview. Unfortunately it's not for the reference position, but for a clerical one, but an interview is always a good opportunity, even if it's not in my field (and it does pay more).

Meanwhile, I'm waiting to hear from LPL about the position I interviewed for. They were finishing up interviews this week so I expect they'll make their decision next week. Here's hoping. :) 'Night.

Friday, January 23, 2004


At this moment, what is your favorite...

1. ...song? 'The Remedy (I Won't Worry)' by Jason Mraz

2. ...food? English Toffee Ice Cream

3. ...TV show? 'Charmed'

4. ...scent? An oil I have that is a blend of sandalwood, citrus, and clary sage

5. ...quote? 'Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.'

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Advil is my friend

I woke up with the wisdom tooth pounding into what seemed like my sinus and into my brain. I'm going to check and see how much it would cost to get the buggers out. Right now, even on payday, I'm about $60 short for the main bill I have to pay and have another $175 vet bill coming out at the end of the month, so from a monetary standpoint, I'm not sure I could swing even a co-payment. Still, I'm just trying to plug on as responsibly as possible and hope that eventually my life will not be so dependent on every cent. In the meantime I've mooched 3 Advil off of the rewrap team (we're re-labeling all of our x-rays at work in preparation for an electronic record go-live Tuesday) and have some ice I've been using against my jaw. It's starting to ease up. I figure it'll put me in a situation where I can help with the rewrapping later on today. I worked over yesterday, I'm scheduled today and tomorrow, so I may not be able to write much.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Nice to see a success story

Muslim Clerics Declare War on AIDS in Nepal

Digging deep, and talking about it, can be dangerous--but necessary

Yahoo! News - Child Rights Defender to Be Tried in Guatemala

Good for them!

A hospital should respect the religious and cultural beliefs of its patients whenever possible. I'm not sure this wound up in the 'oddly enough' category rather than health, but it's worth a read: Yahoo! News - Hospitals Ordered to Obey Indian Birth Rites


Every now and then my sinuses decide to link up with my wisdom teeth (which really should have been out years ago, so I suppose it's my own fault that I was too wussy/poor to get it done) to create the 'Headache from Hell'. You know the type...everything from behind your eyes to down your jaw and neck feels like it's coming unglued. Ibuprofen's taken off the tiniest edge.

Note to self: find out how much of oral surgery will be paid by dental/health coverage. If the amount I pay is less than the amount I can be reimbursed for my flexible spending account, see if I can get soon. Let's face it, this is only going to get worse over time, and even if they have to knock me out--a major fear I've wrestled with for years--it'll eventually get better, right? Nevermind all the things that could happen.

How people with anxiety issues ever get treatment is beyond me. And, yes, I know, a lot of people think I'm hypochondriac because I worry and even sometimes complain but I don't see a doctor. That's partly fear. And when I have gone, I've always had what I thought was wrong with me, or something worse. So I worry like crazy, but then have to be practically led to the doctor. Where does that fall in the DSM-IV?

Oh, well. At lest my headache will ease up once the weather's changed...Dwana's having a much more difficult week healthwise. I'm glad I'm not in her shoes at the moment. I'm good with chronic pain; so is she...what she has right now is quite definitely acute and compared to her I'd be crying like a babe.

I talked to her husband earlier and in her words she got put into a room with an 80-year-old 'terror'--and that's probably the worst thing I've every heard Eric say about anyone; mind you he works with the elderly, so it wasn't a bias on his part. Eventually, though, her mom (a nurse) managed to get them to move her to a private room so she could get some rest. He was heading over there to spend the night with her. He's a good hubby. :)

This is a test...

I'm trying out w.bloggar to see how it works. Although I'm quite happy with the standard Blogger interface, it's nice to have something I can type into offline if need be. And it's also free, although they accept donations. Thanks to John for the tip!

Tuesday, January 20, 2004


Although it's meant to be tongue-in-cheek, the writer of Scoop: Stateside: It's All Caucussian To Me didn't clarify that our caucus and primary systems really vary a lot from state to state--but they're only a preliminary to a final election in November. Yes...Iowa is the first 'big' event of these races, but it doesn't really decide much, other than whether or not a candidate is viable early. To take the writer's analogy, it's not that anyone caucuses to, say, choose a national ice cream flavour, but rather, they caucus to send suggestions (in the form of delegates) to a convention to contribute to a choice. After the conventions meet, then there are flavours put forward from each convention--and depending upon the ability of candidates to get themselves on the ballot in each state and the district of Columbia, then they choose.

To be honest, I could see the appeal of the caucus system--those of us who vote in primaries often feel our voices didn't count for much because all the delegates (supposedly--they're really not bound to in any way) vote for the majority winner. I suspect that's why turnout is so low in primaries. In a caucus you have a more direct voter participation. But I could also see that it's more open to abuse.

Of course, here in Kentucky, we have a primary, but not until May. If you want an idea about how the systems vary, check out Project Vote Smart, which has a wealth of information on the system.

Strange thing is, we have a special election coming up soon to choose a member of Congress, the office vacated by our new governor. I'm already sick of ads, but I must say Ben Chandler sticks more to the point in his, whereas Alice Forgy Kerr relys on the 'I'm just like you' and the support she gave President Bush (personally, that means she removed herself from consideration from my point of view).

Oh, well...nearly ten more months of madness...it should be interesting to see what kind of chick hatches.

Just got word a little while ago

that Dwana's going into the hospital because of some complications from her procedure. Mainly I think they want to keep an eye on her, make sure she gets fluids, and get some pain medicine to stay down. We're hoping she'll get back out tomorrow. Keep her in your prayers--and she has comments now, if you want to leave a message for her. I'm sure she'd appreciate it.

I'm not sure anything I could comment about this would be printable...

So go ahead and read it for yourself and do your own cursing.

Atlanta couple charged in the death of 6-year-old, strangled and stabbed in what may be an 'exorcism gone wrong'.

It makes me question the order of the universe a bit when people like this are allowed to be anywhere within a hundred feet of children. And if they were being supported by a church in any way, that opens up a whole other can of ethical worms.

I hope the spirit of that little girl can move on to a better place. And frankly I'd like to see the couple, if guilty, burn in whatever hell they imagine for doing such a thing. I'm sure there's a special circle just for child-killers.

Granted, they just sound plain crazy (walking naked in the freezing cold?), but it's a little harder to plead insanity when two people are involved. This sounds like religious zeal and fanaticism gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Who knows what spam will hit the in box?

By now I'm used to spam selling Viagra, pills to enlarge something I don't even own, proposing to tranfer funds (yeah, right), searching for information for bank accounts I don't even have, etc. Those have become commonplace.

Today I received two that were a little different. One was in Russian, but was a run-of-the-mill let-us-host-your-online-services sort of ad (I know this because of a translator program, since Russian is from the one language family of the Indo-European languages which I haven't studied to some degree).

But the one that took the cake was one that...at least honestly...proposed to host web services so I could do illegal things like trade child porn, money launder, buy people's credit card numbers, etc. That one I sent to one of our IS guys and the FBI. I'm not sure if they can trace it, but it seems if you're going to be so blatant about it, then it couldn't hurt to send it to the authorities. Mind you, not to sound like a nutcase but I'm enough of a paranoid conspiracy-theory junkie that I wouldn't normally bring myself to the attention of the government (let's not forget that Hitler started out by collecting information on and from the Jews before doing anything with it)...but this was just wrong, wrong, wrong, so there I was, sending a tip to the authorities.

I do wish if I were to get spam it would at least be targeted correctly, i.e., hello, I'm female, and I don't read Russian, and by the way I'm fairly law-abiding, thank you, and I'm not so much of an idiot that I believe any of the 'we need your help to get money out of Africa' crap.

Does anyone actually respond to that sort of stuff? I mean, the scams I can see people falling for, but do men actually go, wow, yeah, I want some of that Viagra? Ugh.

Monday, January 19, 2004

It should be obvious by now that I'm generally against warfare

and I think that our administration unfortunately succeeded at a shell game to go into Iraq...but I can't really host some important counters on blog*spot, as some of them require files to be in the same directory as this page. But you can click your way:

I'm not saying it's all bad...I mean, yes, Saddam Hussein is captured and out of power. But a full-scale invasion of a sovereign country on shaky evidence cannot be erased with good results, and the horrors of war still make it reprehensible. War can only be just if it is truly unavoidable. This is not a just war, and represents a failure--not a victory--for America. True leaders recognise this. I think that two quotes given by the Cost of War site--both by Republicans, both by veterans (although obviously one saw more action than the other)--says it all:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.--President Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953
It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it.--President George W. Bush, May 5, 2000

Sad, isn't it?

Since I know her Internet access is spotty, and she's tired, and I've mentioned it...

let me just say that Dwana made it through her procedure well and is at home and resting. She had a very, very rough weekend where two ovary follicles ruptured, causing her to almost pass out, excruciating pain, and vomiting, but they were able to go in and retrieve the eggs (a near record of 38!) and took steps to make her more comfortable by draining the swollen follicles. She said she was probably doing better than she has with laproscopies, but of course she's very tired. The doctor has her on bed rest for now. Her mom's with her so I'm going to just let her rest and hopefully she'll feel better soon. Right now it seems to be a matter of going back in with embryos Thursday, but that shouldn't be nearly as much trouble.

Oh, I so hope this works for them. Fertility itself isn't an issue--endometriosis is. But if she can get pregnant then the endometriosis should also subside.

Good Grief

Yahoo! News - Microsoft Takes on Teen Over Web Site

I don't think anyone is going to mispell 'microsoft' and somehow get 'mikerowesoft' instead. Let the kid have his site...it's his name, and it doesn't impinge upon the giant's ability to do business, like, say, someone trying to register a microsoft.org or micro-soft.com might. You really can't be committing copyright infringement when you're using your own name...and any trademark usually deals with accompanying design. If he were trying to capitalise by using a version of the logos, that's one thing. But the name itself isn't worth trying to bully someone into giving up rights to something they've registered and paid for. You might as well go after any software or web-based company with micro- or -soft in its name, too...and that'll be expensive and will more than likely fail. Oh, and then again, maybe the company should see about getting BillGates.com, since someone is obviously hoping you'll type in that famous combination.


-- Followup: Check out the story on the outcome. The teen did in fact sell out...but quite intelligently, you must admit.

Today's Quote and Well Wishes

Nil ego contulerim iucundo sanus amico. (While I am sane I shall compare nothing to the joy of a friend.)--Horace, Satires I.v.44

I'm thinking of Dwana. She left me a message this morning that there had been some complications over the weekend (she had a follicle rupture--very, very painful) but that they were going ahead with the procedue to harvest her eggs for the invitro this morning. They have to put her under and do surgery, and of course that's always a risk. It's sad and frustrating that anyone would have to go through all this just to become pregnant, and worse that there are people who never give it a thought--and who don't want to be--who have no trouble. Still, I think she would make an excellent mother, and I think her experiences have only contributed to that.

Work is so empty without her. I hope everything goes well. I'll check in this evening when she's had some time to recover. In the meantime, I'm keeping my fingers crossed, holding my breath (figuratively), and praying for the best.

Activist-journalist Killed in Bangladesh's Death City

As part of a disturbing trend, Manik Saha, an activist and strnger for the BBC, was killed in Khulna. This is the first murder of a journalist in 2004. Additional information on the challenges to press safety and freedom can be found at the Reporters san frontières (Reporters Without Borders) website.

True/False Monday Madness

1. I often wake up before my alarm clock goes off. Yes...often by about a minute or two, or at exactly 8:14 am (my birth time, which is a little creepy)
2. I love to drive; in any kind of weather! Yes...although when I went so long without a car I got out of practice...now I'm back to enjoying it.
3. I'd rather have to worry about staying warm than staying cool. No...granted, I generate a lot of heat on my own (my feet are almost never cold), but having lived in apartments with little if any heat...it sucks.
4. I wish I lived in another state. No...although sometimes I wish I lived in another country.
5. Multi-tasking is what I do best! No...I do better if I can focus.
6. Flying is the only way to go! No...only if you're a bat. Actually, sailing on the Cunard line is the only way to go, but I can't afford that.
7. Budgeting my money is one of my downfalls. Yes...if you mean I can't do it.
8. I wish there was 8 days in the week! Yes...and that extra day better be a third day of a weekend!
9. I get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. No...unless I crash completely, and then it could be 14.
10. I'm a night owl. Yes...it's genetic. My mom almost always worked third shift. My ideal schedule is to go to bed at 2 or 3 am, get up by 10 am, and go to work about noon, then work until 9 or 10. I used to have that with survey research. I'm up for a job with a similar schedule actually, and it's even as a librarian. Keep sending supporting thoughts re: that one.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Quote for the Day...

L'imagination est l'oeil de l'âme. [Imagination is the soul's eye.]--Joseph Joubert, Pensées

Okay, so I like playing free association :)

listening to: 'Trail of Tears' by Nicholas Gunn
feeling: Mellow

  1. Berry:: Penicillin (when I was a kid I reacted to Penicillin; I associate the Raspberry taste with being miserable, even though I reacted to the shot rather than the oral dose, more than likely)
  2. Fiendish:: Plot
  3. Bar:: Chocolate
  4. Frank:: Furter
  5. Bend:: Pose
  6. Fanatic:: Sports
  7. Belch:: Belly
  8. Flagrant:: Naked
  9. Burden:: Heavy
  10. Flimsy:: Paper

Unconcious Mutterings

Ah, the weekend draws to a close...

listening to: 'Song of the Nile' by Dead Can Dance
feeling: Much better

The medicine (Rimadyl) that the vet gave me for Cerys seems to really have helped a lot. She stopped shaking, is definitely able to move around and is interested in her food (and everyone elses'). She not only recognised people today, she even tolerated the other dogs (I'd taken her over to the game with me to keep an eye on her) and even snuggled up with the annoying puppy. She didn't burrow down into covers and just lie there like she was out of it like yesterday, but came to greet Brenda and Dee when they came in, and generally was bouncy. She still needs a little help in and out of the car, or onto my lap, but her whole affect is much better. Poor puppy...she had been seeming sedate and but not abnormally slow or obviously in pain. Yesterday was the first time she'd been shuddering, so hopefully keeping her on the medicine will really help.

Today was a nice blend of working on a project, gaming, and visiting with friends. But I'm glad I'm home now. Unfortunately, I don't get tomorrow off (the hospital has never adopted Martin Luther King Day as holiday, which is a little disappointing, although it's a state holiday, so KET is shut down), but at least I don't feel quite so exhausted now.

So now I'm just chilling out and listening to some music and I might do a little reading. Hope you had a good weekend.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Oy ve!

feeling: Stressed to the gills

What a stressful 24 hours it's been.

Last night some friends and I decided to go out to Perkins, which is one of the few restaurants open late at night and is famous for it's breakfast food. We got there to witness an altercation in the parking lot (which fortunately didn't escalate). The place was filling up fast as Lexington's blue laws prohibit alcohol sales after 1 am, so people tend to hit Perkins after the bars close. I have problems being around lots of people, especially noisy people--it makes me very anxious, and it's difficult to concentrate on, say, our own discussion. Frankly if I had been the manager I would have ejected the people behind us, who were yelling, using lots of profanity, etc. At one point I had a guy gyrating in front of our table and for a moment we thought he was going to sit down next to me to talk to his buddies. I don't actually think they'd been drinking, they were just oblivious and obnoxious. Of course, no one did put an end to this frenetic display, probably as they'd risk being labelled racist, as the people at the table happened to be black. I think their age rather than race was actually more of a factor. But let me tell you, if I was a mom who caught my son or daughter acting like that in public, I'd pull them out by the earlobe and we'd be having quite a talk. We finally escaped after tracking down our bill--the waitress was so frazzled she didn't bring it with the to-go box--and I remember looking over at the smoking session and its blissful quiet and wishing that I could tolerate cigarette smoke enough to have eaten there. That room was utterly quiet, where people were talking in low voices and having real conversations. Of course, in general, they were older folks. I suppose it's good, at least, that the kids at the table behind us--all in their teens or maybe 21 at the oldest) weren't smoking. But I don't think I've ever seen such concentrated and totally unaware rudeness in my life--and it wasn't just at that table, but a great many others. I used to say I was raised by wolves, but there really is no comparison. I'm sure this sounds like I'm prudish and old and just not into fun. That's not quite true (although I realise I have a prudish streak). It's just when you can't hear the other people at your table and can barely hear yourself think, things are way too loud.

I went home aiming to get some much-needed sleep (fortunately I'd napped that evening). When I woke up this morning for a bathroom break, I was planning to go back to sleep for another hour but when I went to cuddle with my dog I realised she was shivering/trembling whenever she breathed in. My house stays at about 76 degrees, so she shouldn't have been cold. I checked her over and it was definitely constant.

My dog is nearly 13, so of course there's a natural tendency to go, oh, no! in your head. Since my vet was open I went ahead and made arrangements to go in. Cerys was acting strange...barely walking very far before sitting down. She didn't recognise someone who she's known since she was 8 months old. She lost control of her bladder as soon as we got into the vet's office--and unless she's sick, that's unheard of. She wouldn't eat the treat the doctor gave her. So they checked her over and ran some of the blood panel there at the office.

The good news is her blood screen (except for the CBC, which had to be sent away and we'll get back Monday) was well within norms and actually read like a 2-year-old. She's got some issues with her teeth (my fault--I used to be terribly phobic of anaesthesia, which is why I've never gotten my own wisdom teeth out or had her teeth cleaned properly; now that I'm being treated for the anxiety issues, I'm better, but at her age it is a big risk to do the procedure) and some fatty tumours, but otherwise seems to be doing well. Her lungs were clear, so she isn't having trouble breathing, her ears are great and her kidney, liver, and intestines all seem to be doing their jobs right. She does have cataracts, which have been getting worse lately, and the doctor said her pupils weren't reacting well, so her eyesight is probably poor, which may be why she didn't recognise things or could explain why she urinated--she may have been afraid of unfamiliar surroundings. Cerys has never had much of a nose on her to help out. It's also possible she's having some senility setting in, in which case they do have drugs to help treat the confusion, etc., so I'll keep an eye on that. At some point she did suddenly seem to recognise him, so it wasn't continual.

The trembling can be a pain response, and the doctor thought she may be having arthritic pain or maybe strained something getting up or off the bed, etc. So they gave me some pills that are anti-inflammatory/pain relief. If that helps we may put her on a joint supplement. If it doesn't, then I'll bring her back on Monday for X-Rays, at which point we'd probably be looking for a tumour.

We gave her the medicine and kept her warm and comfy this afternoon, and she seems a lot better now. She's stopped trembling and she's drinking and is interested in her food and mine...like back to normal. She seemed a little confused when I went to bring her back home...she obviously knew it was time to go home and was practically leading me out the door, but she didn't seem to recognise him again when we went to say goodbye. If it isn't senility, then it may be that her eyesight and hearing are going.

Poor old puppy. It's so hard when they've been so vibrant all their lives and then they start to sort of fade. But the important thing is she doesn't seem to be in pain now and is comfortable. That's the main thing. If I were to find out she had cancer, for example, I'd try to make her comfortable and, if it came to it, put her down rather than let her suffer or prolong it with drastic treatments that might or might not work. Obviously money is an issue--I can't afford chemo for my pets--but also, I think it's in the best interest of the animal to be made comfortable and not allowed to suffer.

Still, I'm glad she seems better. Hopefully this medicine will work...despite a generally depressed day today, she still fought being pilled, so it's good to know that getting that pill down her throat was worth the aggravation to us both. :) In the meantime, I'm going to try to stay positive. I'd appreciate any thoughts or prayers...I'm still worried we'll find something serious. With four animals, all over 12, it's a realistic dread, but a dread nonetheless.

While she's been resting I've been working on a project that involves much typing, and my hands are a little numb--I think I've hunched my shoulders too much today. Certainly I panicked a little this morning and tensed up, so that didn't help. So, I think I'll sign off for now. I hope tomorrow goes a lot smoother. :)

Of course, this is probably nothing compared to how the next few days are going to be for Dwana. She's got to take a really painful shot tonight so that 34 hours from then they can go retrieve some 23 eggs from her ovaries--which are the size of grapefruit at the moment!--fertilise them with her husband's sperm, then turn around and put some of the embryos back in, in the hopes for a pregnancy. She's been miserable the last few days and her abdomen is very tender. They actually have to do surgery for the egg retrieval, so she'll be put under. So, if you don't mind, she can use some happy thoughts and prayers, too.


Friday, January 16, 2004

Quote for the week...

Got this, appropriately, from Dwana. It so exactly describes my view on friendship.

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.

An interesting article in the changes in teen fiction

towards grittier, 'real-life' stories: Resiliency Too Hot to Handle: The Trend Towards too Realistic

Some are probably a little too on the Lifetime melodrama side, but overall I think it's important to have books that

  1. teens relate to, with situations and characters that mirror the challenges they're going through.
  2. provides a springboard for problem-solving or thinking about how he or she would handle it.
  3. and aren't so contrived as to insult the teen's intelligence...teaching is fine, writing a good story is fine, but moralising for the sake of doing so isn't.

I used books to escape through most of my adolescence--I'm sure there must have been books for teens dealing with divorce, abuse, sexuality and other issues I was dealing with (or actually, in my case, not) but I didn't have ready access to them and certainly no one ever steered me towards them.

In some ways I envy teens today; on the other hand, they are dealing with some issues that are much more prevalent today than my 80s adolescence. I know one of my biggest challenges was that I was one of the first women in my family who literally could be anything she wanted--I had the grades, I had the brains, and although I'd be in debt up to my ears, I could get financial aid. My aunt--who is probably the relative I'm most like--went to school in the early 70s, graduated with a 4.0 in psychology with a minor in chemistry but they wouldn't accept her into a master's programme because she was already married and would obviously be popping out babies soon (she didn't for several years, thank you). That's just ludicrous.

Know where she works now? In a library. :)

Yay! Friday's back!

listening to: 'My Immortal' by Evanescence; 'You and I Both' by Jason Mraz
feeling: Serene and laid-back

1. What does it say in the signature line of your emails? 'We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.'--HG Wells.

2. Did you have a senior quote in your high school yearbook? What was it? If you haven't graduated yet, what would you like your quote to be? Hmm...no, we didn't do quotes. Mine probably would have been the Einstein quote 'Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.'

3. If you had vanity plates on your car, what would they read? If you already have them, what do they say? Well, I generally think of them as, well, vain. But if I did have one, I would probably go for 'VERITAS', Latin for truth, because I aspire to it.

4. Have you received any gifts with messages engraved upon them? What did the inscription say? I once received an agate pen stand with my first name engraved on a brass plate. Both plate and pen holder eventually fell off, but I still have the agate sheet; it sits on my altar and I burn incense on top of it.

5. What would you like your epitaph to be? Well, I don't plan on having a tombstone (I want to be cremated) but I would like one song played at my funeral, and it would make a good epitaph.
I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment's gone
All my dreams, pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind.
Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do, crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind

[Now] Don't hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away, and all your money won't another minute buy.

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind
Dust in the wind, everything is dust in the wind.--Kansas

PS Read a good joke today:

A man dies and goes to heaven. He looks around and there are lots and lots of clocks. He asks Saint Peter what the clocks are doing there. Saint Peter tells him that they are 'lie clocks'. Each person has a lie clock and the hands move whenever the person lies.

'See that one?' asks St Peter. 'That's Mother Teresa's lie clock. The hands have never moved, because she never told a lie.' He points to another. 'That's Abraham Lincoln's. It's only moved twice, because that's all he ever lied.'

The man then asks Saint Peter, 'Where is George Bush's clock?'

'Oh, that one's in Jesus' office. He's using it as a ceiling fan.'


Thursday, January 15, 2004

Okay, that wasn't the best start of the day

feeling: A little stressed

As should be obvious, I caught up with blogging late last night, mainly because I couldn't sleep. I'd started my period, which usually means it's time for my monthly religious obligations, but lately I've just been spotting for a couple of days, and with the start-stop kind of thing going on, I've had mixed feelings about just when to offer the libation. I've been basically waiting until the third day, when I'm sure I'm in peak flow. That's tonight. But last night I was debating. I did go and get the wine and I have honey on hand. But I looked around the house (I haven't been home much lately, on the run). The dishes need to be done, the litter needs to be changed, some general straightening needs to be done, and the place needs vacuuming. Not ideal when your devotions are to a Goddess whose rites involve purification. I decided to put it off until tonight, after I could get things in better shape.

But I couldn't sleep, either, although I was really tired. It was very windy last night, and the weather was changing, and that always makes me restless. So I checked on a few of the blogs I read to see how people were doing. I finally managed to turn in around 3:30. That's not all that unusual, but usually on those nights I've napped at some point in the afternoon or evening. Last night I hadn't.

Which is why I overslept this morning. Apparently I did something to the clock in my sleep so I not only turned off my alarm, I mucked with the time. I woke up at 10:30, which is not good as I'm to be at work at 10. Fortunately I live just a street from work, so I was able to get there in just a few minutes, after grabbing a quick shower. There's usually enough flexibility, too, so that I can work later to make up the time. That kind of flexibility is one thing I will miss when I do move on to another position. I'd called my boss first thing, of course, but fortunately things were quiet, so no one had to wait on me. It's a busy day elsewhere in the building, so fewer people have had a chance to come in to the library. So it's been slow in here, but I've been doing interlibrary loans, downloading some weekly forms, that sort of thing, getting ahead for the end of the week, and now I'm finally taking a break. Now that I work four hours a day, I tend to forget to take my federally required break, at least formally. It's not like, say, being a cashier when you're on your feet all day and need to sit and rest. Generally I just get up, stretch my legs, check the mail, that sort of thing, maybe chat with my co-workers for a few minutes. Or, in this case, blog.

One thing that did perk up my day was my calendar sheet for the day. It is the best so far, one I plan on tacking up on my refrigerator:

  • If it's not great sex and it's not true love, it's not worth your time.
  • Love? Lust? Can't be sure, better do him again.
  • Stop making the same old stupid mistakes and start making new ones.
  • Have a big dream and make it happen!

I love my Bad Girl calendar. I think I'm going to get one for every woman in my life next year.

Oh, and remember, it's Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday today. I never have understood why we honour people by moving their birthday to whichever Monday works and then taking off and going to sales--or, in the case of Washington and Lincoln, just smush them together as Presidents' Day. At least there are lots of activities for King's birthday for those of us no longer in elementary school. I hope we never, ever do something similar with 9/11, for example.

Well, I'd better go. Time to get back to work. But I do feel much better now.

Touchy educators and the power of DOS

Star Telegram | 01/06/2004 | Hey! Where's the problem?

I also found the quoted e-mail to be appalling writing style from an educator, who of all things should also know that the world of public education is surreal, not 'real world'. Everything about the education system, for good or bad, is an artificial construct, practically.

I guess they'll be writing a policy, too, so that the next time no one can cry foul for overly harsh policies.

Mind you, this is the same state where last month a teacher was telling first graders that there was no Santa, Easter Bunny, or Tooth Fairy.

Pooh on them. Are kids allowed to be kids anymore? Personally, I'm just happy if they avoid doing things that are malicious, can get themselves or others killed/arrested/pregnant/have-their-lives-changed-permanently; otherwise let them have a little fun and express themselves.

I thought I'd be Fantine or Eponine, actually...but this is right on the money.

LMFFI: Character Quiz:
I'm Enjolras!
EnjolrasA person with a cause, I charm everyone around me with my revolutionary ideas (not to mention my natural charisma). Unfortunately, I don't have very good social skills, and my impulsiveness is liable to get me in over my head.

Which Les Misérables Character Are You?

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Things that make you go...hmmmm.

watching: 'Changing Sexes' a two-part documentary showing the challenges of transgendered persons seeking gender reassignation
reading: The Sacred Tradition of Ancient Egypt
feeling: Reflective

If you accept that the divine permeates throughout creation, then can this elusive yet powerful force also be considered as a sort of 'dimension'? In our mechanistic view of the world these days, we tend to divorce spirit and matter totally. It wasn't like that for the ancients or, for that matter, in many cultures today. After all, you might try to describe someone in terms of their physicality (their three-dimensional self, you might say, whether it's by height or hair colour) and perhaps even add a dimension of time (in age), but you really aren't capturing the essence of a person, just as a camera fails to translate the reality of a person, a video may do better, but meeting them in person is the only way to truly experience them--and even that doesn't give you the internal experience of their existence.

If you've ever read the story Flatland (and they really should require it in school), then you've encountered the ideas of a world in two dimensions when faced with a three dimensional object. A sphere looks like a circle, but the two dimensional creatures cannot comprehend the third dimension.

Some people believe that what we might call divine is something that transcends more dimensions than we can comprehend. What if divinity itself were a dimension of existence? That is, what if you could plot out (from a suitable, hypothetical external point) the height, length, depth, place in time-space, and the spiritual component of a person? Because while all of us may have a spark of divinity within us, most are not in touch with that spark. Some religions encourage its development.

I guess it's a night of questioning assumptions. I've been watching a show about male-to-female and female-to-male gender reassignation. I think accepting and dealing with the challenge of an internal/external gender difference is probably the most difficult thing a person may ever face, because it's on such a fundamental level. So much of society is based on being in one of the two boxes, so to speak, and anything that doesn't quite fit tends to bring out confusion, fear, and anger not only in the people dealing with it but with everyone he or she encounters. And most frustrating of all is that you can never 'truly' change your biology to such a degree that you really become the opposite sex in all ways. But treatments today are far better than, say, someone dealing with the same issue hundreds of years ago, and you can change a great deal of the physical aspects and improve things by lessening the chasm between what should be and what is. It really can mean the difference between living life fully and living a shadow life.

I really felt sorry for one man who, in his attempt to live as a woman, suffered a pulmonary embolism that resulted from a blood clot--a risk from female hormones. Because of this, he is not able to take the hormones and therefore could not benefit further from their feminising aspects. This, coupled with a fairly low voice (which can't be physically going through a male puberty, only retrained), gave him extra hurdles. But I admire his resolve to continue.

It's a shame that most people look at this totally from the wrong perspective--they feel threatened, they grieve over the loss of the gender relationship to which they're accustomed, or just see the person as a freak. People could learn so much about the things they take for granted by paying more attention.

It was definitely an interesting show, and I would recommend it for anyone interested in gender issues, sociology, social work, etc. There are two episodes, one showing men becoming women, one with women becoming men. They show a lot of different stages of the process and how it affects family relationships. One transformation was startling because the person was an identical twin, and taking male hormones and going through breast surgery led to a totally different look, of course, from the twin sister, who was not transgendered in any way. One man had been married for years and his wife was there with him in the operating room as he completed the final process of transformation. They're still not sure were the relationship will take them, for now legally they are two women married to each other. Certainly the non-sexual components of their relationship seemed quite solid, but I'm not sure what will happen with the rest. I only know I wish them and the other participants well.

By the way

the interview went fine. I was SOOOO nervous beforehand, and I'm not really sure why. I had trouble sleeping the night before, and woke up all a bundle of nerves. I could barely eat anything. I hadn't been through a committee-style interview in awhile, and maybe that is part of it. And although I have very good person-to-person or small group communication skills, walking into unknown situations where I'm the centre of attention is still a little daunting. An interview is basically an oral quiz, and those have always been difficult for me; I can write about almost anything in a coherent and smooth fashion, but I have to work at speaking. In normal professional interaction, it's not a problem--a patron comes to me with a need and I know enough about information resources and how to find what's needed that I'm operating within a comfortable frame of reference, even if I'm dealing with a complete stranger. But selling myself or trying to express myself orally is a challenge and causes a lot of anxiet. But, every time I have to go through something like this it does get better. Overall I enjoyed our discussion; I'm just not sure I adequately displayed my strengths.

And I did some second guessing afterwards. There were a couple of questions that if I had just gotten out of school, the titles of general references would have just rolled trippingly off the tongue. However, the references I use largely now are medical, primarily paediatric or orthopaedic, so I don't really need general texts. I was still able to describe the types of texts and databases, but couldn't give titles right off the top of my head. I'm hoping the seven years' worth of experience counts a little more in the long run and shows that I'm competent to do the job.

In terms of genealogy/local history resources--the primary focus of the position--I think I did much better. I think I would fit in very well, and my enthusiasm surely came across. But I'm not sure I adequately explained why I want to work for a public library. The simple answer, of course is, that I need a job, any job. :) But at this point if given the choice to work in the public arena or an academic position, I really would prefer the public. I truly believe that public libraries are one of the greatest resources we have in our community, and they are absolutely vital to assure that every person has a chance to pursue life in a democracy, no matter what his or her material worth may be.

Which is something I'll address in my thank you letter. :) They're interviewing again tomorrow and then some days next week, but hope to fill the position within the month, so I should hear back (yea or nay) within a couple of weeks. Keep your fingers crossed. :)

Joan Aiken Dies at 79

Prolific authoress Joan Aiken died January 4th at her home in England. The first of more than 100 books, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase was published in 1963. Her last book,The Witch of Clatteringshaws, will be published by Delacorte Press in January 2005.

For a list of her books for both adults and children, check out: Joan Aiken Bibliography. A very good biography may be found at The University of Southern Mississippi (which, if you don't know, is probably THE place to study children's literature in the US).

JK Rowling headlines second World Book Day Online Festival

JK Rowling will be participating in online chats during the World Book Day Online Festival 2004 on March 4, 2004. Videos and transcripts of the web chats will be archived at the festival website. Although this particular site is targeted mainly in Britain and Ireland, last year the site received hits from over 60 different countries.

Internationally, World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated on April 23rd, a date chosen by UNESCO because it is the birthday of Shakespeare and the day in Catalonia tradition when roses were given with every book sold as a celebration of Saint George's Day.

I'm not sure why the decision was made to celebrate the day on another date in Britain and Ireland. But, that just means, with the power of the Internet, you can celebrate twice. :)

For ideas on celebrating the day, check out UNESCO's suggestions.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Monday Madness

1. When I sing, I sound like a _young girl_.
2. _April_ is my favorite month of the year.
3. I've always wanted to improve my _chess_ skills.
4. It's Monday morning, and the first thing that goes through my mind is _'back to work'_.
5. My favorite day of the week is _Sunday_ because _of the Cthulhu game_.
6. I used to/currently collect _rocks and stamps/unemployment_.
7. At the end of a work day/school day, the first thing I want to do is _curl up with my animals_.
8. I really look forward to _Halloween_ because it's my favourite holiday.
9. When I need some down-time, I usually _read or blog_.
10. I plan to travel to _Britain_ someday.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Sunday Utterings

  1. Mitchell:: unfortunate
  2. Mercury:: retrograde
  3. Cycle:: menstrual
  4. Engagement:: rules of
  5. Alternative:: music
  6. Gang:: girls
  7. Emotional:: hysterical
  8. Skinny:: heroin
  9. Hypochondriac:: I told them I was sick!
  10. Insecure:: teddy bear

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Weekend musings

watching: 'Nazi America: the Secret History'

I did something to my neck last night, but I decided to go ahead and at least work out using the treadmill and bike, even if I didn't do any weights. Since I prefer the weights at Richmond Road's gym but the cardio theatre downtown, I decided to take my swimsuit along to the Executive club. After my workout, I tried out the whirlpool for the first time, then sat in the two-tiered sauna room for a few minutes basking in over 200 degree heat (mind you, it was something like 15 degrees). That really helped relax the muscles, although it's still stiff.

I'm still putting off my laundry. It's just too cold outside to really relish taking loads of laundry anywhere. It's supposed to be warmer tomorrow. The main thing is that I get it finished before work Monday. So, instead, I've been watching the History Channel. There was an interesting show earlier on the attempt by Nazi Germany to send Americanised Germans to New York and Florida to blow up various targets--a plot that disintegrated mainly because one of the leaders went to the FBI and turned them all in. It was especially interesting in terms of the parallels we see today in terrorism and the government responses. Because no actual attacks were made, President Roosevelt instead chose to prosecute through military tribunals.

Now there's an examination of the history of Neo-Nazism in America. It's amazing how for those in the mainstream, this sort of ideology sounds ludicrous, and yet how seductive it is to the people who are drawn into it. I really think when it comes down to it, it's really not racism that stands at the heart a matter, so much as a desire that some people have to belong to something where they're not really encouraged to think for themselves, and also a desire of some for power. The rhetoric, which tends to be racist, is a means to an end--but it could easily be other forms of ideology. Look at the case of John Walker Lindh, who apparently was bored with a relatively easy life and needed a 'cause' in which to belong. He reminds me of the young men in Les Misérables who are ready to storm the barricade because they're on fire to do something, anything, and they become swept away into a doomed revolution.

Granted, I realise that that's an oversimplification, but I think it's important to understand to fight that form of intolerance. In a way, the Timothy McVeighs of the world are sort of like the Jeffrey Dahmers--they lose (if they ever had) any real sense of empathy for others, see their activities as a means of control over others and and over their own daemons. But despite the ideological spin, those who would kill innocents over some misguided sense of patriotism or defence of the race are just like those serial killers who wander around the country killing strangers. In the end, they're pathetic losers whose way of thinking and response go way beyond the pale that most people would...and yet the seeds of that violence are unfortunately not as alien as we would like, but part of an aberrant--yet unfortunately still--part of the human spectrum. Whilst their activities should in no way be glorified--and it's sad we usually remember their names rather than those of their victims--it's important to look at the making of these movements and these individuals and how they become something most would describe as a monster.

Want to uncover your hidden biases? Check out some of the tests at Tolerance.org. I've discovered, for example, that I'm one of only 1% of respondents who associate European Americans with weapons. I think it's a combination of my history studies (and some of those weapons were historic) and the fact that I saw more white military growing up as an Air Force brat than black. I also discovered I had some difficulty identifying people's faces to one category or the other, and that I think of a mag light as a weapon. :)

Growing up in the military and in the 70s, where diversity was really promoted on TV, I grew up with a strange (but I think good) view on race. For example, I didn't realise Asians were even a different race until I was about 16, and still have trouble seeing that, and usually just see a person as Thai or Chinese, depending on their ethnicity. I've never had a real sense of Hispanics or Jews as different racially, just culturally. (Ben Affleck's recent comments that he thought some of the fascination with his relationship with Jennifer Lopez was racially-based because he was white and she she Puerto Rican really threw me into a state of confusion. Someone I was talking to thought she was black, whereas I didn't see her as different than me racially, but just culturally. Well, and she's obvously thinner and prettier.) I did have a sense that whites and blacks were different, but I didn't really think it mattered. It wasn't until I lived in California and was beaten up by black and Hispanics girls--probably because I had a Louisana accent at that point--that I realised others thought differently. It wasn't until I was in high school in Kansas in a town with no minorities that I heard racist jokes. Even among the older people in my family, the closest to racist comments were 'coloured'--which at the time they were growing up was the accepted term, rather than perjorative in any sense. I was 34 before I realised--through a conversation some coworkers were having about lawn jockeys, of all things), that one girl who threatened me in junior high thought I'd called her a lawn jockey when, in fact, in my clumsy pubescent bisexual nascency, I tried to compliment her athletic ability and picked the first athlete I could think of--no doubt because of my parallel horsey-girliness by calling her a jockey. Almost every lawn jockey I had ever seen was white, for one. I really didn't realise how I'd insulted her. I wish I could go back and apologise. Of course, if I told her I was actually attracted to her, I'd probably done more than just lived in fear on the way home from school for wa week. :)

Sigh. The clueless do not fair well in cultural clashes. I hope I've learnt a little since then.

I felt a little lost without a Friday Five this week...

so I grabbed these off another meme, The Daily Dirt:

1. When was the last time you lost your wallet? I never have actually lost it, just misplaced it briefly. No need to get new cards or anything like that. The closest was about two years ago, when I left it at a friend's house.
2. When was last time your bank account figures reached at least 6 digits (minus the cents)? Um...never. In fact, my account has rarely had four digits, usually because student financial aid residual cheques came in. What do you expect? I'm a librarian. :)
3. When was the last time you took an airplane? Coming back from my father's wedding in 1992.
4. When was the last time you cried? Oh, this is geeky, but...during Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.
5. When was the last time you stood stark naked in front of someone? 1994. Oh, man, that's been awhile.

Friday, January 09, 2004


feeling: Excited (can you tell?)

I just got home and checked my messages and one of the local libraries wants to interview me! Yipee! It's the full-time reference position I applied for that prefers a background in genealogy and local history, both of which I have. So, sometime Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday I should be interviewing for the job. Yipee!

Oh, please, please, please...

I feel a lot better...

I slept for 12 hours straight on top of the two hours yesterday afternoon. Maybe I was just really, really tired. So now I'm up and in the interim it's become winter wonderland outside--about 3 inches of snow, icicles, etc. :) And, of course, it's Friday, so I'm going to do a quick check of the FF before getting ready for work.

PS That's odd...it's just showing last week's. No note of a hiatus. Hope no one's having trouble, either physical or with their computer. I'll try back later.

Thursday, January 08, 2004


I'm feeling a little blue, which is why I haven't blogged. I've been going like mad over the last six days and I took off today--not from work, but from doing things with friends--to get some things done around the house and just have a break, and I feel guilty about it. I just realised I paid a bill that will get paid but the bank is going to charge me because I went over the amount I should and since I did it over the computer and the utility's office is closed, I couldn't call them up to reduce the amount. I'll try tomorrow but it may be too late. And of course, I don't really have the money to go paying bank fees rather than more important things.

I started feeling out of sorts yesterday. At first I thought it was a delay at getting my Paxil, but not really. I guess it really is starting to hit me that my unemployment is ending soon and I do have a little resentment over the fact that I was cut nine months into 2003 when they're apparently quite a bit under budget, they've hired several 'new' positions, and no one else in the system seems to have had layoffs. I thought getting a break from work would help, but really, it didn't. I just don't feel like anything I do matters anymore. I doubt they'll replace me with an actual librarian--they reduced the requirements from MLS necessary to preferred years ago. No one wants me to leave but they're leaving me very little choice. And I don't really believe in complaining about work in a public medium, but...well, I am disappointed, and it's a big part of my life issues right now. In a way I wish they'd gone ahead and just laid me off entirely, because at least then I would have gotten severance. I dunno, I guess I was doing alright at first because it didn't seem the end of the world. Now I'm starting to get worried. I did miscalculate--my yearly income after the unemployment will be about $13K gross. But that's still too little to live off of, at least if I'm not in school and getting financial aid. I decided not to do that this semester. I'll save it for fall, perhaps, if that linguistics class is taught, but otherwise I want to give myself a chance to immediately start a full-time job if offered.

I've applied for five jobs this week, none of them library positions. They're all clerical--two with UK, three with the state. All would pay less than I should make as a librarian but more than I've made as one. Each looks interesting in it's own way, but to be honest I am at the heart a librarian and I really thrive in a library. I don't know if that would be the case. The state positions (and probably UK) are on hiring freezes anyway, so other than maintaining my quota for the unemployment office, I don't know if applying's going to really help.

I did get a little rest after I came home, then started tackling the house. I have change for laundry but I think I'll do that tomorrow morning when I can see where I'm going. Besides, going down into an unmonitored basement laundry alone at night probably isn't the best, and if I drove down to the laundromat I'd pay twice as much.

Sigh. I know things will get better. I just wish they would soon.

I have friends who would probably do this...

Yahoo! News - Man's Apartment Encased in Aluminum Foil

Wednesday, January 07, 2004


feeling: Cold

It's 12 freaking degrees outside (Fahrenheit) and it's supposed to get down to 7 tonight. Now, you say, it's winter, after all--no complaining. But Sunday it was 67 glorious degrees. Brrr! Welcome to Kentucky and its capricious weather. You'd never know we were part of the American South.

On the upside, the moon is full and casting a beautiful silver light over the landscape. The light is so strong it's shining through the balcony above my patio. It's a breathtakingly clear night, the kind you only get in winter, and only when it's very, very cold. Of course, skywatching's a little difficult when you're frozen solid. :)

Hmmm...not much to report today, other than the fact that I did get my UI cheque, so I was able to (gasp!) fill the car up with gas, get a few groceries, and go out to eat for the first time in a long while. There's still enough to get my Paxil and have some a little left for laundry. Yipee! Ah, the exciting life I live.

The big stink in Kentucky politics today was that our newly-elected governor (first Republican in decades), who ran on a platform of change in Frankfort, promptly waived the hiring freeze everyone else is dealing so his sister-in-law could get a $25,000 a year job. Don't blame me--I voted for Chandler. There are times I think they should institute a lotto to pick our leaders, under the assumption that people who don't set out to be career politicians may do a better job. Then I remember jury duty and how difficult it was to get people to understand basic logic, and that idea goes out the window. I hate politics, but at the same time, I think it's important to participate. Yeah, me and all those other masochists.

Well, I've fed everyone and now I'm going to go curl up with various furried bed warmers. I am so glad that I have gas heat AND my rent covers everything except personal electric. I've heard horror stories on some of the rates this year from various people, and the electricity's about to jump up 8%. But it's so much better than the last apartment, where I had gas boxes of flame, or the one before, where I couldn't keep the apartment above 60 degrees but heated the underside of the house nicely, thank you.

Hope you're warm wherever you are.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

On the thirteenth day after Christmas, everybody gave a sigh of relief.

As much as I like the holidays, I'm glad they're over. Well, okay, if you're Orthodox, Happy Christmas. And for those who celebrate La Posada. But for me, they're over. Sorry I dropped the ball on keeping up the twelve days of Christmas song going, buy hey, I've always thought it was a little insipid, and my version was even more so.

I've wrestled the library Christmas tree back into it's box (not, as one friend misheard, a Christmas tree named Russell), packed away the ornaments and the skeleton's Santa hat with hanging dreidl, taken down the door decoration (giving the menorah to one of my Jewish co-workers) and generally worked off the Krispy Kreme doughnut I had for breakfast (they've opened a store down the road!) I'm also dealing with copier issues, and I think I've finally excavated my desk to pre-vacation point. Oh, that on top of being woken up this morning with frenetic ahas of a NASA conspiracy regarding Mars. What can I say, it's a typical day.

Ah, isn't it nice to be back at work?


I've reached that point in the job-seeking that I can't just look for library positions. There doesn't seem to be anything new on the library front this week, so I'm checking on other types of employment. In a little over a month, my unemployment ends. So, I put in for two administrative assistant positions over at UK. They would pay within the same range as what I'm making an hour now (because I'm woefully underpaid), but be 40 hours a week with benefits. I chose a couple that sounded like I would enjoy the department and the duties. That puts me at 2 out of the 3 required job contacts this week. There was another I was probably qualified for, but it didn't seem to be much above filing, and I have to have a certain amount of activity/stimulation to get going. There were some others, but they seemed like I'd be getting in over my head. Although there's some overlap and I have some clerical experience, I am not up to being an office manager with lots of knowledge of UK-specific financial forms, for example. It's a little frustrating that, say, I'm overqualified to be a library assistant (another job open at LPL, and libraries won't hire MLS-holders for those positions (and of course, now I understand that, although when I was first starting out it was very difficult to make bagels for $5 and not be able to work in a library), but a lot of other positions are way over my head. I've never been good at selling, for example, and would hate it. I don't want to go back to retail or food service, although I'll do it if it's the only way to keep a roof over my head. I really hope one of those jobs I put in for will bear fruit. I don't want much in life...just a job where I'll be happy, challenged, and can make ends meet. Is that too much to ask?

I think I'll go on to bed and dream about winning the lottery. :)