Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, April 29, 2005

Thank you

to the person who sent me $20 in the mail, a reader of this blog. I didn't catch it in my stack of papers until today (a shame, as it would have made my day when I was so down yesterday), and it was a total surprise. It did, however, make my day today. You see, I broke down last night and got some groceries but felt guilty for overspending...this will offset that. So in essence, the $20 went to some much needed food. Yay!

(I know, obviously from my picture it's not like I'm skin and bones. But you can still be fat and not be eating well.)

I feel better, having eaten fruit for the first time in a couple of weeks and having the prospect of some veggies, too. Funny, I brought peanut butter for lunch today--after becoming so tired of it--but it's peanut butter AND an apple, and nice, nutty multigrain bread rather than the squishy stuff that doesn't stay with you, so I'm looking forward to my meal. I'll add some pretzels or chips and it will quite nummy and filling. Plus, I had breakfast. This morning I had raisin bran, a banana, and some cheese. Yay, food.

I also got my medicine (the paroxetine/Paxil) last night, since it's only $7. I'm debating on going ahead and getting the Abilify (it's $45) and then putting in for a reimbursement. It might mean being a tiny bit late on a small part of the rent, but it might be worth it, and I'll get paid soon after my rent is due. The reimbursement takes awhile, a little over a week, which can be an issue when you're out of money and desperately waiting for the cheque, but at least it saves me in the long run since the money that's withheld from my cheque is pre-tax money. As far as being without my meds, generally I've been okay, although I can definitely tell a difference without the medicine. But going very long without my meds is probably not a good idea. The pharmacist said I was probably alright in terms of serum levels being low but that I wouldn't have to start to build up all over again, so that's good. I also need to see about getting back on my metformin for my blood sugar; obviously I need something more than just my diet to keep it level.

It's been a very long week, and as difficult as it's been for me, I've had it pretty decent compared to some others who have been in my thoughts, so I don't want to come off as whinging. It's just, well, this is my diary, and I hadn't really realised until this week how difficult things were in terms my blood sugar and how I felt. It snuck up on me, you see.

But enough about that. Today's much better, despite the dreary weather. It's almost Beltane, and despite some cool weather it'll improve quickly. I have a roof over my head, I'm signing a new lease soon, and my money situation should improve soon due to the upcoming phoneathon. Put that together with my meds and life should be good again soon.

I've also managed to get some rest. That's helped a great deal. I'm knitting with a mohair-like yarn and it's a little different in how it handles from the others I've tried. I find knitting fairly restful, although I'm not particularly good at it, yet. I think I need some input from other knitters. Fortunately one of my coworkers has helped me out and showed me some of the techniques. Sometimes we bring our yarn and knit during lunch together. That's fun. (I know at least one reader who will not agree, but I've discovered that as long as I'm not trying something new or complicated knitting is the best way to wind down for sleep for me.)

Well, that's enough for now; time to clock in for work...I have a meeting as soon as I go in. Have a good weekend.

Another corpse

An Exquisite Corpse: child within/fishy fish/lobster loves it/baby's first word

The first panel is mine (and of me, one at three, one at about nineteen or twenty). This was actually the very first thing I did for An Exquisite Corpse, but since I did the first panel it took a little longer to go through the whole process than the one I finished.

Again, it's eerie how similar the themes in the panels can be. I like how the person after me took the background (the base I grew up at from the air) and melded the blues and greens into water. Fish also make it through both of the last panels. I'm not sure what that means, but I find it interesting...and then in the last panel there is a child again. Anyway, hope you enjoy it as much as I did participating. It's nice to have a creative outlet or two these days.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

It's frustrating

that I seem to fall through cracks when it comes to trying to get basic needs met. On the one hand, I got paid today (yay!) and that means I can spend a little on groceries...by little I mean maybe $15 or so. The rest goes to rent, assuming I get my cheque tomorrow from the station and it's what I estimate.

The problem is I just spent a week and a half basically eating nothing but about three peanut butter sandwiches a day or whatever friends could help me with. I have nothing in the house and since every paycheque since January has been pretty much spoken for, it's been impossible to build a stock back up. I may be able to start doing that come next payday.

I now realise that I wasn't just exhausted this past week; my blood sugar was off and my health is being affected. Not only was I hungry, irritable, and slightly out of it, making it difficult to do much with any enthusiasm, but my nails are breaking, my hair and skin are dull, and I've had both a filling and two bits of teeth come out in the last week. In other words, I'm a mess.

I'm trying to make things better. I got a book from the library yesterday that helps you maximise what money you do have. I'm tracking all my expenses, seeing where the money goes, and then I'll redo a budget with that in mind. Plus, come May 11th I'll work at the phoneathon like I did this past fall, and that will bring in some extra money.

A couple people have suggested going through God's Pantry. I checked into it, but I'd say it would be better to wait for now and then apply if I get in as dire a situation as I did recently; for now, I think things should improve. I'm not exactly sure if I qualify; 72% of their clientel make less than $10,000 a year; I make $15,000, meaning I'm about 157% above the poverty level, poor but maybe not poor enough. I do know I'm ineligible for food stamps. If I had a child, it would be different, but of course that opens up a whole other can of worms.

I did hope that I might qualify for assistance for the medicine I need but is too expensive for me to get because it's so new it's off formulary. I meet the income requirements, but I do have insurance that pays some of the cost, so I think this makes me ineligible. The customer service person at the 800 number I called couldn't tell me one way or another, just asked me to have my doctor decide how best to fill it out. The thing is, the questions were very straightforward...do you have insurance, followed by signing an affidavit that you don't. I can't see how my doctor can tell me it's okay to sign that, as it would be lying. So...that bit of bureaucracy was frustrating.

Still, overall I'm doing better, and I can at least get one of my meds today. I just hate juggling this eat-medicate-electric-rent thing.

I did apply for two jobs today, one full-time, the other part-time, with the public library today. I'm hoping if I just don't go away, they'll eventually hire me. It can't hurt, right?

Oh, well. At least it's almost Friday.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

As a modern American woman I sometimes fear for my safety

but it pales in comparison to what some women in the world have on a daily basis...I only wish there were no reasons for women to be afraid to walk anywhere, at anytime, and certainly not to fear in their own homes, perhaps the most dangerous place of all.

Afghan Woman Reportedly Stoned to Death over Adultery Claim

The first of the Exquisite Corpses I worked on is up

I did the fouth section. It was my first time continuing from someone else (you get 15 pixels of the one above to work from). I must say, it all came together very well. What do you think?

An Exquisite Corpse: burnt celluloid legends/hell on moon/cosmic car/aha! she said

A concern for hospital librarians and other staff

Fake Hospital Inspectors Probed

Most hospitals by now would hopefully have policies in place to prevent those who might pretend to be unannounced JCAHO inspectors (pronounced Jay-Co/stands for Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organisations). In each of these cases, security or hospital staff challenged the fake inspector. But it's important to know that people are trying to do so, and that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are looking into these cases.

Here's a great game for librarians

Grant Robinson : Guess-the-google launcher

It takes a montage of images from a Google search and gives you a certain amount of time to guess the keyword that produced it. :D

Thanks to Laurel Graham of the Medlib-l list for passing this on.

I subscribe to

DailyOM - Nurturing Mind Body & Spirit (syndicated above), a daily e-mail to mull over. Today's was about how many of us are used to helping others (and as a librarian, I make a career out of it) but find it difficult to ask for help ourselves. I have to admit, I definitely fall in that category. I think maybe some of my current problems have taught me to ask for help more easily as well as to acknowledge when I make mistakes. Those are both very difficult for me, but I am learning. It also makes me appreciate help more thoroughly, and want to help others more intensely when I can.

So for those of you who have helped me, thank you. I reached out and you were there, and I appreciate it beyond words. I hope I can be there for you when you need me.

And as a postscript, let me add a special thank-you to the person last night who blinked their headlights in an effort to show a road hazard. I wouldn't have seen the family of ducks and their ducklings crossing Richmond Road at night. As it was, I hit the brakes and burnt rubber as I narrowly missed skidding into them or into the reservoir, but no harm was done, and I realised how close I came to killing other creatures and possibly myself, and it was a little scary. I had been driving somewhat on automatic, watching the cars but forgot that this time of year there are often wildlife that cross at that point. Since the one time I killed anything with a car (a cat) I was hysterical for quite some time, it's very good nothing bad happened this time.

Okay, so maybe I couldn't kill a chicken for food, if I nearly run off the road for ducklings, right? I've been debating that one for some time, wondering if I should start eating poultry in addition to the fish I do now. Let's face it, I even like worms and bugs and try not to kill them unnecessarily. I should probably be vegan, or at least ovo-lacto vegetarian without killing anything. I tend to be on the Buddhist/Jain kind of thinking in terms of killing other creatures.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Looking for a unique gift?

Try the Unfortunate Animal of the Month Club

No, we're not talking Pound Puppies (TM). We're talking 3-eared rabbits or 6-armed bears, wrapped nicely and sent to you with all the loving care of more expensive clubs. :)

Exploding toads???

Exploding Toads Baffle German Experts

Here's a hint; crows scaring them to death might cause little toad heart attacks, but swelling them up and causing them to explode their entrails up to three feet? Um, no. My money's on a virus, toxin, or other disease.

Friday, April 22, 2005

A man from my hometown died in that civilian helicopter crash in Iraq

Stephen Matthew McGovern of Danville, Kentucky, was a former Guardsman who was a bodyguard protecting US diplomats in Iraq. My thoughts are with his family and with those of the others killed as a result of this conflict.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Guilty pleas expected in book theft from Transylvania library

that's Transylvania University, not the one in the Carpathians. Every now and then I wish I'd gone to Transy rather than UK as an undergrad. An alumni tee-shirt in the school colour of dark red would be so great when travelling to places unknown.

Lexington Herald-Leader | 04/21/2005 | Guilty pleas expected in book theft:
Warren C. Lipka, Spencer W. Reinhard, Charles T. Allen II and Eric Borsuk are accused of using a stun gun on a Transylvania University special-collections librarian and then stealing pencil sketches by John James Audubon, a first edition of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, and two manuscripts from the 15th and 16th centuries.

You just don't expect anyone to rob your special collection using a stun gun. Those looking for these sorts of treasures are usually much more sneaky. And where do you try to dispose of the loot? Ebay? Like the cops won't check that out. I know, I probably don't have much going for the 'what were they thinking?' moral high ground, but, gee....

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


I've celebrated Pesach (Passover) several times, but never with a gorilla.

At Israeli zoo, even the gorillas keep kosher for Passover

Yes, it's almost that time again. I love the fact that they can't feed the animals too much matzo or they get constipated. I've known several Jewish people who have joked about how grouchy they get after a week or so of eating so much matzo. Now I know why. :)

Feeling a little better

I think part of my problem yesterday (in terms of being down) was hormonal; I started my period. I feel a little better mentally, although I'm tired and achy and cramping, so I can't say I'm really feeling great. Still, it's nothing a little ibuprofen and rest won't handle. I'm still in packing mode, though, so I don't know if I'll be able to rest or not.

Today I rearranged my office (again) so I could get a bookshelf out of the storage area and into the main library. I'm losing my storage space again, this time with a poor cold-natured soul being put in there for an office. It's a space 7 feet by 15 without windows, and it gets pretty cold in the winter. All I know is, she'll need a space heater, more than likely, and in the meantime I'm looking at storage cabinets for a space I'll have to carve out of the premium upstairs space. But I'm okay with that.

I haven't really been out today but it looks beautiful. I really didn't take a lunch (ate a Pop-Tart at my newly rearranged desk, after clocking back in after about five minutes to go look upstairs. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow of the work, and never mind what you had planned; it'll probably just mean I'll get off a little early on Friday. I may try spending a little time in the sun right after work, though. It looks gorgeous and inviting, warm with a pleasant breeze.

Well, that's all for now. Take care.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Today I've felt a little down, not too bad, though, just a slight bit of despondence. I've been listening to classical music, which has very much reflected my mood.

In preparation for therapy I've been looking over my manual and decided I should make a 'diary card' kind of entry here in this journal, especially as there are some issues that I'm really having to consider and own up to.

I typed this all out earlier, but the post was lost in the aether that was a Blogger publishing glitch. So here goes the second attempt...

First of all, I went to court yesterday. I had paid off the cheque that got me there, and I'd been given to understand that the charges would be dismissed, but instead I must pay fines and have yet another one of these on my record. One is a mistake; two perhaps. But by now it's obvious that any rationalisations I may have had about being poor or unlucky in terms of my chequing account really must be thrown out the window. I know how to balance a chequebook. I don't always do it, and yes, there have been honest mistakes, where I didn't know about the bounced cheque until it had gone through the county attorney's office and onto court. But there have been other times, when I have been under stress, that I have written cheques (usually for food) that I knew might not go through, where I was playing Russian roulette with the timing of a deposit, or when I just felt I had to do this to survive. I've paid them, of course, but only after paying banking or other fees, and now I have 'theft by deception' on my record about four times, which frankly makes it habitual. It took me a long time to see it as really theft, and I know that was wrong. All I can say is that I have a really great ability to rationalise and deny or even conveniently forget things when they make me uncomfortable. The lack of impulse control and the constantly getting into situations that make things worse for me in the end are hallmarks of a borderline personality. I may not do some of the more extreme things borderlines are famous for, but I do enough. And I'm tired of dealing with the drama I've created and having to mop up messes. It's time to stop making them, I think. Past time, actually. I've come to realise that one reason I'm in a sort of limbo where it seems life won't go on to better things is that I haven't been dealing with the past and with these mistakes. I've essentially become a 'bad' person, a deadbeat, and I need to change in order to retain some sense of honour and dignity as a person. At the moment I don't even feel that I can claim my status as clergy, because the actions I've been doing would only reflect badly on my faith and on my Patroness. Instead, I would see myself as a pentitent.

On a related note, I've discovered that before I can return to therapy, I must pay a past balance of $300. I had convinced myself that I had already taken care of this, but my memory is notoriously fluid, and in actuality I probably didn't. It will take a couple of months to pay off, especially since I'm also working on court costs and fines. I hope to be back in therapy and back in school sometime this summer, perhaps on a road that will improve things, but only after I own up to what I've been doing and work on improving my own behaviour and thus taking responsibility for my own life, starting with owning up to things here in this forum, along with my hopes for change.

A handy site for food-drug interactions

The Center for Food-Drug Interaction is a partnership between the University of Florida and Tufts University. They're starting with grapefruit juice, which affects the absorption and effects of several different medications (a small number overall, but still good to know. One of the drugs in the 'strong' category, for example is Diazepam (Valium). Grapefruit juice significantly increases plasma levels of the drug.) So, check them out if you're interested in how your food may affect medication.


10 years ago, terror in Oklahoma City

Ten years ago hundreds of lives were changed forever, and we who witnessed it from afar were changed as well. I remember at the time, when there was so much speculation about foreign terrorism, that it was a home-grown job, an intuition that turned out to be right. As a result, there was a crackdown on the crazy militia types. But Oklahoma City was our first real taste of terrorism at home. There are some who may fear that it has been eclipsed by the events of 9-11. I think it's important to remember both...one due to hatred that was very much bred here, the other of a hatred bred abroad. Both show us how hate can destroy, can corrupt, can open the door to evil.

April 19th was a cursed day in the ancient Roman world; two of the worst defeats, with emperors being killed, took place on that day. Sometimes it seems this date is still cursed. It's like those whose politics of hate have consumed them use thks time as their own strange festival. Waco, Ruby Ridge, etc., etc....they became rallying cries for a particular type of hatemonger.I remember holding my breath each April 19th for several years in anticipation of trouble. Sometimes it happened; sometimes it would fall on the 20th, the birthday of Hitler and the date of the Colombine shootings. May nothing happen like this again today or any day. And may people who hate others for no reason beyond superficial differences learn to love their fellow men--or at least tolerate their existence.

Monday, April 18, 2005

We need more people like this in the world

Unfortunately, thanks to a suicide bomber, we lost this one. (You can view the article for free after a short ad plays). Marla Ruzicka was only 28, yet she'd done tremendous things in her short life. She put her degree in political science and social work to good use in Afghanistan and Iraq. She founded Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict--CIVIC--and appealed and got millions of dollars in aid for civilian victims of the conflicts. Her fiery death is very sad, but only set a proper end to her life and spirit. She died doing what she wanted to do, to help people. On the CIVIC website, they've set up a tribute in pictures, including these words, 'To have a job where you makes things better for people? That's a blessing. Why would I do anything else?'

Her last words were 'I'm alive.' They seem to fit her. Perhaps she lived more fully than many of us. May she rest in peace, and may her work, her legacy, continue in its impact. You can donate to her cause on the CIVIC website, linked above.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Something to ask my doctor about

Remember my scary 'check-out' experience? I had never heard of these (well, I'd heard of the words, being a medical librarian, but didn't know what they meant), but it sounds very much like what I experienced. When I was a kid I had staring episodes my mom described as petit mal seizures; several of the children in my family apparently had them, but we grew out of them. There have been a few brief 'blackouts' before, just not so long. Unlike absence seizures, complex partial ones can last longer and sometimes have 'automatisms' like nodding or grunting assent included. Well, actually, longer absence seizures can, too, apparently, it's just not common. They show up differently on EEGs and come from different parts of the brain, though. I'm wondering if part of my attention/dissociative symptoms could be explained by this. I just don't know if it's possible...I've had two sleep studies, after all, and I think they do EEGs for those, yet no one mentioned any indication of seizure.

There are some (oh, alright, You Know Who You Are) who would just chock this up to my being obsessed with my health, or trying to add one more illness I've heard about (the joke has always been that if another person contracted leprosy, so would I; I'm not so much a hypochondriac, since most things I've ever thought I had, I did, but I do have psychosomatic issues and just well, obsession about various things wrong with my body). This time I'm (hopefully) not going to obsess on the idea, but I am going to talk to my psychiatrist next week and it would be an opportunity to mention what happened and if there could be a physical basis for this particular bit of weirdness.

eMedicine - Complex Partial Seizures : Article by Anthony M Murro, MD

It sounds like some sort of book plot, but of course it isn't

Some Chernobyl Clouds Will Not Clear

April 26 will mark the nineteenth anniversary of the explosion at Chernobyl. This article tells of the social costs of the accident, harder to quantify, perhaps, but just as damaging. I hope those affected know that the world has not forgotten what happened that day...or at least, let us hope we have not forgotten.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Unless I get more money than I think I will from KET tomorrow, I don't think I'll make the deadline to apply for school for the first summer term. Maybe I can make it into the second. It's frustrating when all you need is $20 to make some changes in your life, and don't have it to do so. Grrrr....

Oh, well. Meds are more important than becoming a real computer geek. :)

Also, I think I filled more forms out for that intake than I wrote on my master's comps. Whew! Paperwork is a bitch when you have OCD, let me tell you. It takes a looonnngg time, and that was me being nicely as normal as I ever get.

Going back into therapy, hopefully

Today I went to an intake interview at the Harris Centre, the same place I did my DBT group a couple of years ago. This time I'm looking for an individual therapist who's versed in DBT skills. I do best with cognitive rather than talk therapy, but there's a lot of issues I've never really been able to explore in therapy, mainly root causes. As the interviewer put it, we'd been working on putting out fires and now I'd like to go to the source of the blaze. Here's hoping things will go well. They're not covered by insurance but there is a sliding scale, so I hope it won't be too expensive. My reimbursement account will cover it, but it's having the solvency to be able to make payments in the first place I'm worried about. I started my day out with nearly four hundred dollars and after paying two bills that absolutely had to be paid I had enough for a little gas and some peanut butter, cheese, and bread. I get paid tomorrow a little bit. I hope it's enough for my medicine, since I couldn't get it today. I also owe the state a little money, and that should be sent in tomorrow, but if it comes down to it, the state can wait a couple of weeks and I'll pay the interest; my medicine is more important.

Today is beautiful outside, and even though I've spent a lot of it driving about and doing errands, I have enjoyed it. I'm taking some time to decompress, since I had gone for a week straight without some alone time and was becoming annoying as a result. Tonight I'm doing some laundry (ah, clean clothes at last, and clean sheets, the cats having evilly hacked up on my pillow and sheet when I got up briefly a couple of nights ago). I'm also going to read a little Amelia Peabody and work on my latest Exquisite Corpse (this time I get to finish one, rather than start it).

Well, that's enough for now. I really just came by the library to see if that book was in. It's not. Good night. :)

Maybe third time will be the charm?

I tried to get a copy of Tamora Pierce's Lioness Rampant through the otherwise wonderful hold and deliver feature of the Lexington Public Library, and it's becoming a comedy of errors of a sort.

In theory, you place a hold request, ask them to deliver the book to your local branch (mine is Eagle Creek), and then they e-mail you that it's ready for pickup. Maybe I'm having trouble because it's a paperback, and therefore small, but the first one supposedly arrived but when I went to pick it up, it had gone missing. Then they placed another hold (priority this time to bump me to the head of the queue) for another one. It arrived. I went to pick it up and that morning someone apparently saw that it was time to cancel the hold for the first one and neglected to notice the one actually being held had a different code number, so whoever it was sent it cheerfully back to whichever branch. So, now I have another priority hold and we'll see if this one arrives. The annoying thing is that I have read the books up to that one, and I also have the one next in line (from another series; the main character of series has a daughter who is the heroine in the second). So, unless I want to spoil the series end, I can't go on until I get this little annoying book.

Maybe they should hire me. I'd thrive off of putting these sorts of things to rights.


Yahoo! News - Lethal Injection Execution 'Cruel'

I have mixed views on capital punishment. On the one hand, I believe there are certain people who really should just be removed by society, because no amount of rehabilitation will help. But...I have problems with how capital punishment is meted out in this country (race, age, and mental capacity are all issues, not to mention the fact that DNA evidence has cleared some inmates), plus the fact that apparently it is cheaper to keep a prisoner locked away for life rather than going through the process of Death Row, appeals, and execution.

What would I do? Unfortunately my ideal requires Star Trek technology, and would no doubt be seen as terribly cruel. I would have the criminal experience their victim's experiences--as the victim--over and over, allowing time for reflection between experiences. So it's really not tenable.

I think our system has never quite figured out if its purpose is to rehabilitate, punish, or just simply hold inmates. It has its own brand of justice that's meted by prisoners, not guards, and in some cases becomes a criminal training ground, which is scary. I'm all for allowing an inmate who will get out to better himself through education or legitimate training, in exchange for work. I don't particularly see any reason for such ammenities as cable TV (gee, I and lots of other people who work and pay taxes and try to just make ends meet don't have cable). Unfortunately, I don't have the answers for how to fix the system, but the privatisation of prisons seems to be a generally bad idea, since profit shouldn't be in the equation.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Things I've been doing

  1. Eating falafel. Yum!
  2. Packing many, many books (almost finished...two shelves to go).
  3. Translating German articles on malformed pubic bones for a doctor. [I knew that would come in handy someday, but medical German is definitely harder than regular, and some of the words are really, really, long.]
  4. Waiting for payday, tomorrow (since the falafel was the last thing I really had in my house to eat).
  5. Getting an extension on some fines.
  6. Getting rejection letters from jobs.
  7. Finding out my job at the public television station is going away by July 1st, with things winding down so there isn't much for me to do. My boss is heading to San Francisco and things are being rearranged. Hmmm...I wonder if this is when I should mention to the Latin and German teachers that I know those languages??? Oh, well, it was fun, and I got some good experience.
  8. Going psycho on a friend virtually every night. I'm not sure why. I just feel frustrated a lot with my current situation and I think my stress is bleeding over into our relationship.
  9. Starting therapy again (see above) with a counselor at the Harris Centre, where I did my dialectical behavioural therapy class. They don't have enough for an advanced group, so I'll be going into individual therapy with someone trained in the skills so we can build on that. I interview for placement tomorrow.
  10. Getting back in school, to learn about computers (thought I forgot, didn't you? No, I just had to wait for the money to do the application). :) School next starts in early May, so I'm trying to get in for that term.
  11. Becoming addicted to a game called Space Trader for handhelds where you go to various worlds, sell goods, dodge pirates (or the police, depending on your cargo), try to build up your ship.

That's pretty much it. I haven't had much time to read lately, for example. What's going on in your life?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Not good news for Elsevier, LexisNexis, or any of us

Over 300,000 people may be affected by security breach where personal information was stolen apparently using legitimate users' logon information into LexisNexis. It's certainly something for libraries to consider in terms of how their passwords might be used.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Being Poor + Book Packing = - 5 lbs.

which is a good thing. The bad thing is I'm in the middle of my cycle and am inexplicably weepy, so my hormones must be mucked up. Also, I didn't get the part-time library assistant job (read: overqualified) or the computer position at the mailing company and I'm beginning to wonder what I have to do to even get a part-time job in this town. So for now, poverty ensues (as in, I have about 10 cents in pennies at home until Thursday, when I will thankfully not have to pay rent and can focus on bills and maybe even a few groceries.) I'm living off of hard-boiled eggs, other people's peanut butter and bread, and Smarties candies. But it could be worse, right?

UPDATE: 4/14/05 Make that seven pounds. :)

Friday, April 08, 2005

Things you don't realise you'd learn about at a seminar

The fun: Despair, Inc.'s 'demotivational' posters are great. They're basically a takeoff of those motivational posters with the beautiful pictures and then some pithy statement. I wonder how long it would take my coworkers to read the small print?

The sad: Reports concerning the Marburg virus, a rare haemorrhagic virus akin to Ebola, tell not only of a climbing death toll but that some of the infections may have been the result of dirty needles being used for routine immunisations for children, leading to children being primary victims.

I'm on break

at a series of classes from the National Network of Medical Libraries on PDAs, the National Library of Medicine, and medical library services.

It's been a tiring week but productive. I did finally get to go to Joseph-Beth, and found out that the newest Amelia Peabody mystery, The Serpent on the Crown, where I think we're going to get to see the Emersons get involved with the discovery of King Tut's tomb, was on sale. Yay! So, it was a great windup to my birthday. I'm already absorbed into the story, although I've very little time to read, at least until the end of the month, because of a time-sensitive project that involves packing many, many books.

That's all for now. Hope you have a good weekend.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A meme

Listening to: 'All I Need' by Matchbox Twenty

1. What time did you get up this morning?
Well, 6:30, but I went back to bed. I think I got up a little after 8. I woke up again before my alarm.

2. Diamonds or pearls?

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
The Incredibles--which if you haven't seen it, it's hilarious, and you should. Plus the DVD is out and has a short called 'Jack-Jack Attack' that's great.

4. What is your favourite TV show?
Charmed, CSI

5. What did you have for breakfast?
A peanut butter sandwich and water

6. What is your middle name?
Eilir Aranea [originally it was Kay, as in Lisa Kay]

7. What is your favourite cuisine?
Indian/Thai/Mediterranean-Middle Eastern, in that order

8. What food do you dislike?
Liver, any cooked greens other than spinach, beets

9. What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?
English Toffee (although that coconut c/ almond chips I got the other day might actually top it)

10. What is your favourite CD at the moment?
Matchbox Twenty's More Than You Think You Are (I have it out from the library, and I haven't found a single Rob Thomas/MT song I don't like)

11. What kind of car do you drive?
Ford Taurus GL

12. Favourite sandwich?
Peanut butter & banana [although Miracle Whip on bread is also nummy]

13. What characteristic do you despise?
two-facedness; I prefer people who are 'what you see is what you get'

14. Favourite item of clothing?
Soft lavender shirt I bought with a gift card from A at Lazarus, made even better because I got it at something like a sixth of its original price

16. What colour is your bathroom?
white walls, black/silver foil fantasy-related pictures of wizards and unicorns; rice paper shower curtain you can still see through (for those times someone hides in the shower to scare the bejeesus out of you. Don't laugh. It happened.)

17. Favourite brand of clothing?
I couldn't care less about brands. Is it comfy?

18. Where would you retire to?
Britain or Ireland.

19. Favourite time of day?
when I get off work

20. What was your most memorable birthday?
My 8th...it was my only birthday party growing up.

21. Where were you born?
Danville, Kentucky (but I've lived lots of other places)

22. Favourite sport to watch?
Premiere league football (soccer to some)/figure skating

23. Who do you least expect to send this back to you?

24. Person you expect to send it back first?
N (oops, hadn't realised she'd already done the meme)

25. What fabric detergent do you use?

26. When is your birthday?
April 2, 1967

27. Are you a morning person or a night person?
I was a night person before my medicine started getting me up at 4:30-6:30 in the morning.

28. What is your shoe size?
6 1/2 WW, but sometimes I just have to wear longer, bigger sizes, up to 8 M. But if someone steps on my 'toes' I'm covered. :)

29. What did you want to be when you were little?
A doctor/specifically an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

30. What are you doing today?
getting boxes and packing books for a move, trying to get a book from the library that was on hold but they lost, and get the freakin' ants out of my keyboard, in reverse order

And finally, mortality for an author who wrote of the essence of human existence

Yahoo! News - Saul Bellow, U.S. Author and Nobel Winner, Dead at 89

I have to admit, despite being a librarian and having a fairly decent knowledge of literature, I have never read or for that matter did not know of Mr Bellow's work. I'll admit ignorance. I don't know if that has a lot to do with schools' focus on 19th and early 20th century literature or just my tendency to read genre fiction (mystery and sci-fi/fantasy) rather than 'great American novels'. One friend thought it had more to do with critical success being at the hands of a relatively small number of readers, especially for Nobel and Pulitzer prizes, rather than more popular works. I am curious, though, and I'd like to check out his work, especially the themes drawn from his Jewish background.

The end of a love story

Yahoo! News - Prince Who Brought Glamour, Wealth to Monaco Dies

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Not surprisingly

Yahoo! News - Children Who Watch TV More Likely to Bully - Study:
At the same time, children whose parents read to them, take them on outings and just generally pay attention to them are less likely to become bullies, said the report from the University of Washington.

It's one thing if you want to join the military

it's another to have legislation requiring schools to hand over contact info of students so that they can receive recruitment information--or risk losing federal funding. Check out Military Free Zone for how to opt out of this particular form of marketing, as mentioned this week in Newsweek.

Here's to the benefits of cognitive therapy

Cognitive therapy as good as antidepressants, effects last longer

I think the theory has been that is medicine is good for stabilising mood relatively quickly, but that patients should undergo therapy is good for long-term effects. Of course, since medicines often take weeks to work, maybe therapy should be the first choice. I like cognitive therapy much better than plain 'talk therapy', because it gives you tools for how to cope with the world. I know from my experience with dialectical behavioural therapy, a subtype of cognitive therapy, that such tools can be immensely helpful, and frankly should be taught to teenagers in school as part of life skills.

Amber Alert includes Kentucky

This is on the ticker above, but I'm including it here since it involves our area:




ANY INFORMATION CALL 1-888-582-6237.

I'll let you know when it's cancelled.

UPDATE: The Amber Alert was cancelled a little after 10 am.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Today was great

as a birthday do-over. The weather was lovely. We went out to Oasis at lunch for a Mediterranean buffet. I could live off falafel! Then we had ice cream when I got off work, English toffee flavour (my favourite). I got a nifty fabric and dried flowers box with a ginger candle and a gas card from Speedway (much appreciated, given that we're currently at $2.34 a gallon here).

We didn't manage to get to the bookstore, but we'll try again tonight. I'm debating...on the one hand the one thing I could use but have never managed to get myself is a yoga mat, which they sell, but I'd rather get a book...I just don't know what I'd like. Maybe a CS Lewis collection or other boxed series from my childhood. Maybe finally I should read the Wizard of Oz books? (All of them). I don't know.

PS The library has been battling leaks from a distressed roof, now I have ants. I'm beginning to feel like the plagues of Aegypt are upon us. Hmmmmm....

Saturday, April 02, 2005

I'd like to say

that today, my birthday, was fun. It wasn't. I couldn't sleep due to allergies, felt awful this morning, had the weather turn cold, blustery, with a wind that cut right through you, and then my horrendous memory messed up on the time I was supposed to be somewhere so I didn't get to go do something I'd been looking forward to all week. Plus, at 38, I'm seriously considering having a mid-life crisis, even if it is a little early. (Most of them seem to come between 30-40 anyway.)

The good news is that Monday will be a do-over of sorts. The weather is supposed to be nice (my mood is often a barometer of the weather outside), we're celebrating my birthday at work, and then I'll get to go out to Joseph-Beth like originally planned. Here's to Monday!

Friday, April 01, 2005

This is such a good description of what things a medical librarian deals with

so I asked the person who sent the e-mail for permission to post. Thanks, Joy.

We've all had days like this:

Ok, I've got to rant or scream. It started off calmly enough, then I was hit by a request for copies of 24 different articles (most needed to be ordered through ILL) for a major hospital project--no rush, a week will do to get them. Then a couple of tricky Medline searches, helping several nurses navigate their way through CINAHL, a few consumers looking for information, a meeting with my boss, about half dozen phone calls, more interlibrary loans, some subscription problems and then the LAST STRAW.

Picture this, a doctor saunters in and looks around some. He tells me (wrongly) how to correct a printer jam and then casually mentions he's been meaning to ask me to get this for him, I don't happen to have a subscription to OBSCURE EUROPEAN SPECIALTY JOURNAL TO BE NAMELESS, do I? I should get for him a copy of this consensus guideline, several years old, that he somehow missed getting a copy of. No, he didn't want to look online he wanted the ACTUAL COPY. And it was "kind of long" but he really wanted it.

Checking the journal online I found no sign of the guideline as cited but he insisted it was in a supplement, also not online. He had no title, of course, just the acronym of the group that issued it. Oh, and by the way, it was only 244 pages! I explained that no library would copy that much for interlibrary loan. "Just get a copy" he replied, testily, as he leaves, telling me it was a very famous guideline often cited. Given that it was OBSCURE EUROPEAN SPECIALTY JOURNAL I knew my only hope was a university medical center. Before I started a fruitless search for someone who would loan me the whole issue--probably impossible since it was from 2000 and probably bound by now, I thought I'd check again online.

Sure enough I found a website where they offered the entire text in PDF format by sections. I download the whole thing (as allowed by the website) onto two diskettes to give to the doctor and let HIM print out 244 pages if he really wanted a print copy of the whole thing and not the sections as I suggested. AND, it was really 308 pages!

Some days you just ought to have stayed at home but as a solo librarian you know it will just be waiting for you when you get back.

Whew! I feel better already. I know you all have had days like this so only another librarian would REALLY understand (and I've still got a hour and a half when more can happen!)

The thing is, most of us, no matter how much we want to scream, actually enjoy the satisfaction of hunting up these obscure things. Maybe being crazy is a requirement for librarians. :) I probably would have just printed it out and given it to him, as our copier duplexes and so the PDF would approximate the article as written and we'd waste less paper than if the doctor printed it out on a printer. But otherwise, part of the challenge of being a librarian is trying to figure out what you're really looking for, rather than what the patron thinks you should look for. :) ('It's a red book'--when it's really green; it was red three editions ago, that sort of thing.)