Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Well, I've been putting in applications

at retail places, at UK for clerical jobs, and now a library job and a job at KET for a promotion assistant. I've found that my library career has given me a lot of skills that do translate if you're creative in how you look at things. For example, I've done library marketing along with my writing and editing work (the first published, the second volunteer), so I think I've fulfilled the requirements for the KET job nicely, and one of the UK jobs is also primarily writing and editing, except its for medical and scientific articles. I've also learned a lot about computers and databases along the way, which several jobs require.

Surely someone has got to hire me. Right?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Note to self

This year, when it is time to pack up the library's holiday tree, do not just fold it up and put it in the box with the lights still on it. This is now the second time I've done this, and it's a devil to untangle when you take them back out.

So, I have a nice little tree on my desk with steady and blinking lights, plastic icicles (we're not allowed to have glass for obvious reasons) and ornaments made out of Little Golden Books (a legacy from a previous employee). It's a simple tree but has a nice library theme, and it's very cheerily perched on my desk.

It's been warmer during the day but very windy, the type of wind that just blows right through you. Even though it's technically not winter, we're not far away, and the weather is reflecting that.

I have a lot on my mind regarding some personal issues and my lack of interpersonal skills. I'm a little depressed today as a result. I think I've been annoying my friends far too much by basically being a self-centred git. Must do what I can to salvage that.

That's all for now. Ta.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Am I jinxed?

Let's see, in the last couple of days I have:
  • cut the bottom of my foot on glass
  • gotten the creeping crud of sinus/sore throatness
  • twisted an ankle

It's the turkey spirits, I tell you. :)

Anyway, I'm glad to be going back to work after a really nice time off. Hope your weekend was safe and happy. Now I need to catch up on lots of e-mails and see about decorating the library for the holidays.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

In a holiday mood

I actually wound up seeing the movie today. They changed a lot of things; I’m not sure if I’m quite happy with the changes, but I understand most of them. Dumbledore did not seem in character; he was too angry. Mad-Eye Moody was a gem. Cedric Diggory was perfectly cast. The film has its own character separate from the book; there were quite a few suggestive scenes. But all and all I wouldn’t put it up against the book, which is superior. I’ve been re-reading it, and this time the Quidditch World Cup didn’t seem to take forever and the pacing seemed better than I remembered it. I was rather shocked that it cost $28.50 for two tickets and the works. Like I said, it’s been awhile since I went to a movie, and even longer since I treated. But if it’s that bad for a matinee, I’d hate to see what a night showing would have been like. And they wonder why people aren’t going to the cinema as much as the studios would like. It’s much cheaper to rent and watch at home, and you don’t have to worry about being squished in chairs next to a lot of other people or drinks spilling on your stuff. Still, I’m glad I saw it there.

Tonight I finished decorating for the holidays. I have icicle lights and holographic snowflakes in the window, the snowflake lights above the hall entry, a few coloured lights swagging across the divider between my living and dining room, where they’re caught by the mirrored baubles that normally hang there and the mirrors on the paintings that take up one wall to the living room. Instead of buying a tree this year (I usually get a potted Norfolk Virginia pine, which lasts one-three years, but lately I just kill them after the season) I bought a foot-tall aromatic rosemary cone, because one it was cheaper, two I’ve raised rosemary indoors successfully before, and three because it just smells nice. I put a tiny 20 light string on it, and the warmth of the lights causes the room to fill with scent. I got some tiny ornaments and a mini star topper and garland. It looks quite festive despite the small size. I’m thinking about having our Secret Santa party over at my apartment; it’s in good shape after I had all that time off earlier this week.

I think I’m either coming down with a cold or just have really bad sinus drainage bothering my throat. I’ve also had to use my inhaler for the first time in months, about three times in the past twenty-four hours. That’s usually the first sign for me. So I have some Ricola cherry honey drops and I’m hoping it clears up soon. I’ve felt kind of cruddy (like that feeling you get when you’re coming down with a virus) on and off all day, like I might have a low-grade fever but at the same time I’m not warm to the touch. So, I don’t know, I just hope I feel better tomorrow. I’ve also been a little dizzy. Again, it might just be sinus stuff. Let’s hope so.

I went to Meijer hoping to fill out an application, but their computers are down on Saturday nights for maintenance, so it was a no go. Oh well, I’ll just have to go back.

I’ve been thinking about things I’d like for Yule. I didn’t as a rule ask for things as a child; I just thought that was wrong. I did ask for Lincoln Logs at age 13 because my mom had confided that she’d always wanted to play with them. But this year I’m making a list of things I like but wouldn’t normally buy for myself or things I need and may not have the money for them yet.
On the list (in no particular order):
  • A digital camera—nothing fancy, just something to play with and it would allow me to post more pictures here. [Update 12/27: Half of the money I got from my mom went for this.]
  • A DVD player—yeah, I know, they’re getting really cheap. I sometimes feel like the only person on the planet without one. On the other hand, then I’d have to buy DVDs, right? [Update: 12/15 won one in a door prize drawing]
  • Towels—I own three, none in a set, and none of those hand towels you put out for people to use (of course, that’s only an issue if I ever get visitors).
  • Bedding (Queen)—I have one set of sheets, which isn’t quite adequate.
  • >A tyre—I’m down to driving without a spare. [Update 12/27: Half of the money I got from my mom will go for this.]
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince--Yes, I’ve read it, but I don’t own it. [Update: 12/27 Got a Joseph-Beth gift card that will go to this.]
  • An iron/ironing board--I've been told I often look rumpled. [Update 12/22: a friend has offered a long-time loan on his iron/board since he doesn't use them.]
  • Gloves, hat, and scarf—I seem to wear these out or lose them. Black is nice, as I have a purple coat and a blue one. Although I could probably knit a set for myself, I suppose. [Update 12/9: Got from my Secret Santa, C]
  • An aquarium light—Mine has died.
  • Earrings—I have one or two pairs that are still intact. Small or dangly are fine.

That’s all I can think of. I have a Secret Santa series of gifts to get and shopping for Christmas, Yule, and Chanukah. I can’t really splurge much, but I should be able to get at least a small gift for each person, without resorting to my all-time low point, when I gave people a labradorite marble for Yule. (Yes, that’s gone down in infamy, let me tell you).

Well, it’s late, so I should wrap up. It’ll be a little weird going back to work after having a whole week off. I’m glad I took the time, though—I’d never taken that much off at once before.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Ah, bliss.

This morning I woke up in a puppy pile, with Cerys cuddled up to me and Darius on top of Cerys, pressed up against me. It was remarkably comfortable, at least for me. Cerys seems somewhat dubious about this bizarre cat who insinuates himself with her at every opportunity.

It was about dawn when I awoke, so when I took Cerys out the sky was a marvelous deep bluish-purple, with the trees in stark silhouette and the marsh reflecting light. The birds were stirring, too, and the morning star and waning moon shone brightly in the sky. It was very beautiful, a time of day I usually miss. I suppose if I had money to burn I would have been up early enough for the post-Thanksgiving sales, but really, who wants to deal with the crowds, and the deals are usually gobbled up absolutely early.

Thanksgiving went very well. It was good to see my family again. My mother had been really worried because they couldn’t reach me earlier this week. At one point she sent John up to Lexington to look for me with food and gas and phone money, but he couldn’t find me. We apparently just missed each other twice. I’d left a message on Sunday that I was coming home and that I couldn’t be contacted until Wednesday, but they didn’t get the message. So like a mom, she worried. Not that I’d wish her to but it’s nice to know people get concerned if they don’t know what you’re up to. Another person forgot I was off work and when I didn’t respond to calls reached another friend who let him know what I was up to. Again, it’s nice to know that if something did happen to me, there’d be a posse of people trying to find me. I really do appreciate it, all of you.

My grandmother gets frailer and frailer with every year, and she struggled to get dinner on the table and actually accepted help, which is rare for her. She’d been up since 6 am cooking. We had a nice visit. I was struck (and she brought it up) that this might be the last Thanksgiving we have together. Her mortality seemed almost palpable. Of course, any of us could die at any moment, but when you’re in your eighties and having trouble getting around, it seems more imminent. Although we’re entirely too much alike in some ways to truly get along on a daily basis, I love her very much and a part of my life would be empty without her. I hope that her death is put off for a long while, but still, I feel a nagging and made sure to tell her I love her and otherwise have a pleasant time where we shared some quality time.

One thing that was different this year is that I partook of the feast fully for the first time in fifteen years, meaning I ate turkey and dressing and giblet gravy. I’ve been eating turkey and chicken very occasionally for a couple of months, having determined that if I were hungry enough I could kill a bird. That was always my guide; I should be responsible for my food, and be willing to kill something for it. I had not shared my renewed meat eating with someone and he’s been razzing me quite a bit. I think he’s looking for farms where they’d let me kill my own chicken or turkey just to prove I would. I haven’t described myself as a vegetarian in awhile, although I was a pesce-vegetarian (I eat fish—I’ve killed fish before) for fifteen years. In my family, chickens were raised and eaten regularly, although I don’t recall ever actually watching someone kill a chicken, although I’ve seen them right after they were killed.

I found myself really contemplating whether or not I could kill a bird last night as I lay awake in bed. I was strangely not sleepy although I’d had very little rest the night before, and I think I only managed to fall asleep because of the BuSpar I take at night. I really imagined the process as graphically as possible—the blood, the noise, etc. I don’t think I could ring a chicken’s neck—that takes skill, and I’d want to kill it as humanely as possible. I could chop the head off, although with my penchant for accidents I’d as likely get my hand or fingers trying to do it (and I suppose some would say it served me right). I do think I could shoot a duck without any real trouble, although of course that’s killing from a distance, so maybe it wouldn’t really count. If this seems really gruesome, just remember that the poultry in neat little packages at the store does come from something alive, something that once had a heart beat, even a modicrum of personality. We’ve become divorced from our food, and even worse, factory farming makes it inhumane how they are treated before they die for our sustenance. I definitely prefer local produce or free-ranging birds if I can get them.

I really examined whether I was rationalising things or if I were thinking them out and coming up with a valid conclusion. In the end I decided the latter. I would follow through with that test if given it, and that would settle it once and for all. Of course, I’m the one who went hysterical for nearly an hour when I accidentally hit a cat (I suppose that means I could eat cats, since I have killed one, right?) So we’ll see. In the meantime, I may continue to eat poultry occasionally, and try to make sure the bulk was humanely raised. I still want to ‘walk gently’ in terms of resources, to use a sort of New Agey term.

That conundrum being settled (at least for now, I may vacillate some more, I often do), back to Thanksgiving itself. My mom gave me some jars of tomatoes and green beans she’d put up this summer, some canned fruit and pinto beans. Then she headed back home to get some rest before working another night shift. I stayed and visited with my grandmother (and her spoiled rotten tiny dog, Beau) until nearly dark. We ate again and that’s when I think I nearly overdid it. I took some pie back home with me and some fruit the church had brought her. Then I headed back to Lexington. Oddly enough I was more relaxed driving back in the dark than I’d been on the way home. I guess there’s always a little trepidation at the thought of family gatherings and whether they’ll go well. But our visit went really well, and I’d gotten down there pretty early and been able to help a little with dinner, so that was good.

Once I got back to Lexington I stopped at a Wal-Mart supercentre (I knew they were open from the circulars in the paper) and filled out their long job application on the gizmo they provided which had an awkward keyboard and trackball, but I eventually got through the thing. I checked the price of new tyres (about $35-80 for my vehicle) and managed to find a pair of pumps with heels I can walk in for about $7 for interviews and black walking shoes that would be good for normal days at work for about $10. My old ones had the sole pulling away, and my dress shoes (if you can call Mary Janes dress shoes) were all scuffed and had lost all cushion and were hurting my feet. I guess they’re both about three years old so new ones were overdue. Finally I got home, but I remained productive.

I went through some job listings last night and got several leads on part-time and full-time work that might help. I figure working a job from about 5pm-11pm several nights a week and Saturday would go a long way to help me financially, plus I really want to be working full-time again (if not in one job, then at least several ?). Tomorrow I think I’ll hit several stores in the area to see if I can apply for seasonal work; they appear to still be hiring.

Last night I watched a mystery on PBS and then straightened up the house quite a bit and attended to the aquarium, which needed a lot of water. I did the dishes, got the recyclables together, and rearranged some things, like putting a light over by the aquarium that I can have shine down on it (my aquarium light has died). I’m having trouble with my clock, which got off of level when I put a nail in the wall below it and now I’m having trouble keeping it running, but I’ll eventually get it going.

I did have a nasty surprise at some point when I stepped on a piece of glass that was inexplicably in the living room. It bled profusely, and I had to get my first aid kit from the car. I managed to bleed on the linoleum and on the carpet. Anyone know how to get blood off carpet? It’s not very much, but I don’t want it to set, either.

Today I’m going to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but beyond that I haven’t made any plans. I’m interested to see what they’ve done with the movie. I’m going to a matinee. I can’t remember the last time I went to the cinema. I feel like I’m being a little indulgent, but one’s got to have a little fun sometime, right? I’m in good shape right now in terms of food, phone, and gas—I went and got that gas card and still have enough for another fill up, plus the trip home didn’t use too much, as it’s only about 45 minutes away, so one movie won’t break the bank, hopefully.

I started writing this at dawn and now the sun is up and shining. I’ll post this when next I’m at a computer with an internet connexion. I wish I could afford to get one; it would help with some of my work and I’m more likely to be on the computer than, say, watch TV. I miss being connected. Insight has some very affordable plans, and if I can get another job (or just get a little more caught up in some of my finances) I might be able to justify getting that and a phone. Having a phone that I can actually chat on without worrying about ploughing through minutes would be great, and of course, useful in the job hunting process. But every time I think I’m at a point to afford it, something else really takes precedence, like medicine, doctor visits, or groceries. ?

Well, I hope your Thanksgiving went well, assuming you celebrate it. I’ll return on Monday. Until then, this is the Rabid Librarian, signing off. It’s time to get going and pick up some medicine before going to the movie. Take care.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

By the way

I don't think I'm meant to write a novel in a month. Maybe in a year, but not in a month. I have written on my NaNoWriMo piece throughout the month, but I don't think I'm beyond say 3,000 words out of 50,000. I'm thinking it would probably make a better short story, anyway. But maybe I should stop trying to do this every November.

Still, it is a worthwhile endeavour, and the people who run it are about $10,000 in debt right now, so if you have some money and want to see it go to a good cause, head over their way.

I wonder if there's a T-shirt for most NaNoWriMo attempts without successful completion?

Oh, well, I seriously doubt I'll write enough to make it this year. But a girl can dream. For the rest of you dilligently typing along, good luck and congratulations.

I'm having trouble corpsing

mainly in that when I try to upload my contribution to Exquisite Corpse things keep locking up. Since it's unlikely I'll get it figured out by the time it's due, I went ahead and relinquished my place in the corpse and set it to not playing for the holiday.

Oh, well, at least I'll be able to see the finished one sans my contribution.

Today has been rather pleasant although it's fairly cold and snowflakes come down every few minutes like the sky is spitting them out of a machine that's having trouble getting going.

I'm at the library, of course, and I'm about to make the trip to work to get my cheque. The main problem, of course, is that if I do run out of gas, my phone has no minutes on it, so yes, I can call AAA, but not without walking somewhere and begging the use of a telephone, as I also don't have enough change for a pay phone. Have I mentioned that my hazard lights don't work? Sigh. Oh, well, it will get better. Who knows, I might just make it to where I can get my cheque cashed, at which point I'll have money and be within walking distance of a gas station. :)

Things that have rambled through my mind...

walking here yesterday I noticed that the car lot across the street had taken down all their locust trees. I got to see how dark the stumps were; locust wouldn't even need staining, it's so dark. It was rather sad, though, they were all obviously healthy trees, as the area was littered with their pods. It seemed somehow wrong to have them left behind, especially as they'll not be allowed to grow. But perhaps somewhere new growth will spring up from them. It reminds me of all the white hair I still had on my clothes months after Spock died.

Darius has been very loving whilst I've been off, taking every opportunity to sleep on me that he can. He's very unlike the hiding standoffish cat of years ago. Today he was just purring for a long time; I took awhile to get going because I didn't want to interrrupt him...it's so rare he really all-out purrs.

I just remembered I forgot to take my ADDerall today. Maybe that's why my mind seems to be going in lots of directions at once.

The main song I'm listening to these days is Alanis Morissette's cover of 'Crazy'. I don't know why, I just like it better than Seal's, maybe because I can actually understand the words better. Not that they're supposed to make much sense, of course. I tend to agree that in the world today we're all a little crazy, or ought to be. Anything else is just too boring.

What else? Well, I can't really think of anything right now. Just wanted to check in. I think I'll do a bit of book browsing and then head into work where hopefully I'll get there without any nasty interruptions. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I'm on vacation

so I don't have ready access to the Internet, but I did walk over to the library this morning to post, mainly because I've been over 24 hours without human contact and was starting to get a little stir crazy.

The only bad thing about taking off is yes, I have time to do stuff, but I don't have any gas or money, so I'm pretty much stuck at home. I did go to the game on Sunday thanks to B, who gave me a ride. We're ramping up to trying to prevent (another) apocalypse, this time with one of her characters threatening to go to the bad, and we're doing what we can to keep that from happpening, but so far we've been marching slowly towards it.

So what have I been doing at home? Actually a bit of cleaning, some writing and work for distance learning, a lot of sleeping, and I'm re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in anticipation of seeing the movie soon.

Tomorrow will be busy because I get paid and I'm going to try to get my paycheque, pay my electricity, and pay some other debts. I can't pick up the cheque until 2 and of course many places will close early due to the impending holiday. My car's gone 32 miles on the gas light (the longest I've let it go), which gives me a certain amount of trepidation, although I do have AAA Plus, so if I run out of gas they'll bring me some. Still, I'd rather not do that because you only get 4 breakdowns a year and I've already had two flat tyres in the last month. :) I don't think the Plus gives you any more service calls, but just affects what they'll do when called. Which reminds me, I need to pick up the AAA gas card that let's you save four percent on gas and other purchases at one of our local station franchises before I fill up for Thanksgiving's trip home to see everyone. At least gas has been under $2 lately. I had a little less money to play with because the AAA membership is coming out of November's pay, so that's the main reason I came down to just having a few cents after paying my rent. But tomorrow's cheque should help me get going again.

Well, if I can I'll post again tomorrow. The library is one of those things that close early, but I may come over in the morning again. If not, and you do celebrate Thanksgiving, happy holiday. And if not, and you're wondering where the Rabid Librarian is, that's why the posts will be spotty this week.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Friday, November 18, 2005


Teasing and taunting led girl to end her life - 3/7/01

This story came up in a forum I was reading. I hadn't heard about it, mainly because I'm not plugged into much of the Wiccan or neo-Pagan sites.

Those of us who choose Paganism as a religion often feel like outsiders already. For a child who was trying to feel her way into adulthood, I can see where her religion and dress were both ways of expressing something inside and also that which marked her as different, liable for taunts and worse. The Tempest Smith case brings up a lot of questions about bullying, about tolerance for other faiths, about depression in youth, and about the loss that happens in the confluence of all of these.

Remembering the Tempest Smiths of the world might help bring us to greater tolerance though. I hope so, anyway.

The fate of medical libraries?

Library Journal has this article by Cheryl R. Banick about the need to market our libraries and prevent the dissolution and reductions being seen today.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Okay, there are a lot of broken links

but this is my starting point for some of those ancient history links. http://eawc.evansville.edu/essays/grpage.htm.
So I'm saving it for future reference. I also found this collection of Greek authors.

A friend and I had a discussion the other night about passion, and he pointed out there is nothing I'm absolutely passionate about, and I have to agree. But the past, the study of history, people, and languages...that comes closest of all. Still, I think he'd say, and again, he's probably right, that like books and food, I find the past comforting and surround myself with it more from a need for security rather than true passion.

I have to admit, the fact that I am so detached emotionally from the stuff of life is worrisome to me, and I'd like to fall right head over hills in love or evoke strong emotions for something I love, but I can't. I don't know if that's built-in or learnt. But it is something I hope to change. Ironically, I love Romantic literature, pre-Raphaelite art and Art Nouveau, things that drink very deeply of that sort of passion. But I'm not sure anymore if I really 'get' it, or if I just enjoy it intellectually. Also ironically, I have trouble controlling my emotions and yet overcontrol them as well. Sigh. Maybe someday I can just live for living's sake and not worry about why I'm doing something.


The Prehistory of the Aegean

This is a wonderful resource

for understanding the context and arguments of the great philosophers. It's sort of a 'Cliff Notes' for philosophy.

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

A nice article about the Eleusinian Mysteries

The Eleusinian Mysteries by Edward A. Beach

Useful link for librarians serving nurses

National League For Nursing - Nursing Education Perspectives: Essential Nursing References

Also in my e-mail bag

The Obesity Action Coalition, a non profit patient organization dedicated to educating those affected by obesity, has produced resources for patients who suffer from diabetes and obesity. Patients can visit the OAC Web site at www.obesityaction.org to learn more about the relationship between diabetes and obesity in addition to discovering the various treatments. To visit the “Diabetes” section on the OAC Web site, please visit http://www.obesityaction.org/resources/oacnews1/obesityrelateddiseases.php.

They combine advocacy (they're currently working at changing potentially discriminating policies at Wal-Mart against obese associates) with trying to provide ways to be healthy and happy.

Here is their mission statement:

The Mission of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) is to elevate and empower those affected by obesity through education, advocacy and support.
Obesity impacts one in four Americans. It is estimated that more than 93 million Americans are obese, with that number predicted to rise to 120 million in the next five years.

The OAC aims to educate patients, family members and the public on obesity and morbid obesity. In addition, the OAC will increase obesity education, work to improve access to medical treatments for obese patients, advocate for safe and effective treatments and strive to eliminate the negative stigma associated with all types of obesity.

By building a coalition of members ranging from patients and their family members to healthcare professionals, the OAC and its members will focus national attention on obesity; organize all those concerned as advocates for action, advances and change; and visibly effect and impact the healthcare community and the public.

A book ad I received that sounds interesting

Full Circle
Escape from Baghdad and the Return

by Saul Silas Fathi

"Our parents were risking their lives to try to save Yeftah's and mine. There had been no other choice for them. Staying in Baghdad could mean that we would witness our father's hanging since he had been falsely accused of treason against the Iraqi government. He was accused not only of being a Zionist but also of being a Communist, just as every other wealthy and prominent Jew here had been labeled. Being thus accused was a double insult in the eyes of the citizenry. One charge offended their nationalism; the other, their religion. It was sure to arouse the hatred and outrage of the entire Muslim population."

Full Circle: Escape from Baghdad and the Return
is currently available for sale
Library Of Congress # 2005 904 147
Hard Cover (ISBN # 1-4134-9459-5) U.S. $38.95 (Canada $49.95)
Soft Cover (ISBN # 1-4134-9458-7) U.S. $28.95 (Canada $37.95)
(Contains over 630 pages, plus over 90 photos)
Order from www.saulsilasfathi.com
Copyright 2004 Saul Silas Fathi

About the Author
Saul Silas Fathi was born to a prominent Jewish family in Baghdad, Iraq, on May 8, 1938. At age 10, he and his younger brother were smuggled out of Baghdad through Iran and eventually reached the newly formed state of Israel. He continued his travels to Brazil and later to the United States. In 1960, Saul volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army, having been promised a college education and U.S. citizenship at the conclusion of his duties. At the University of Virginia, Saul earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and went on to work as a high-level executive with several Fortune-500 companies. Later, he founded and managed three high-tech companies of his own over a 20-year period. Today, he lives in Long Island, New York, with his wife Rachelle and has three U.S.-born daughters and one granddaughter.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I'm feeling wonkier as the day progresses

I think it's the weather, because I ache and my head hurts, and we just had a line of thunderstorms go through with a cold front behind it, plunging from the 70s to 40s during the day. I've got a lot accomplished today in spite of that, but I just don't feel well. On the other hand, I've talked to one person today who's facing a biopsy and another whose brother has cancer and has been given 5 months to live. So I really don't have much cause to go whigning in the grand scheme of things.

I paid my rent today. I'm broke, and it'll be a little hard this coming week before payday, but at least that's in. Now let's just hope the electricity stays on until I get paid and nothing awful crops up, right?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

An upcoming event at the University

Via the Kentucky Literature Newsletter...

Fri Nov 18 -- University of Kentucky -- Scottish Literature Symposium and Exhibition, 9:00a.m til 4:00p.m. Lectures by Gurney Norman (9.30am: “Archetypal Scotland”); Professor Patrick Scott, University of South Carolina (10.00am: “Robert Burns and America ”); Professor Ian Duncan, University of California at Berkeley (2.00pm: What was Scottish Romanticism?”); and Charlotte Fairlie, Wilmington College (11.00am: “Teaching Scottish Literature”). Also an exhibition of rare books and manuscripts by Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, James Hogg, Robert Louis Stevenson, J. M. Barrie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and many more. To be held at UK Special Collections (M.I. King Library) and the Niles Gallery, Little Fine Arts Library. For details contact Univ of Ky Special Collections (859-257-8611) or Department of English (859-257-2901). Open to the public and admission free.

I need to give Gurney Norman back a book, and this would be a perfect opportunity But, unfortunately I'd have to take off from work to go. Well, it is a thought...I have plenty of PTO. Hmmmmm...

Sorry I didn't post yesterday

I was finishing up the catalogue (yay!) and preparing for a meeting today. Other things I've been up to:

Applying online to several companies for a third part-time job. I've already received one offer for an interview and one rejection. But, I did some digging into the place wanting an interview and it turned out to be Vector Marketing/Cutco knives. I really don't think that 1) I want to sell knives 'door-to-door' so to speak, 2) that I want to get into such a controversial multi-level management scheme, and 3) that I have the resources to make money there (I'd have to deposit money for the sample set, plus I don't have a home phone to make cold calls with). Anyway, I thanked them but bowed out before going any further. Try putting their names into a Google Search and you'll get tons of negative reactions to the company and also lots of die-hard supporters. I don't have enough friends and family to alienate over a set of knives, thank you.

What else? Last night I watched Tyra Banks' show where she put on a fat suit to be 350 lbs and got to see how differently people treated her. It was a little touchy-feely and one girl just brought the show to a careening halt by interrupting the other woman to talk about herself, but otherwise it was well done. They brought in a store clerk who treated her the same and a bevy of guys she went on blind dates with, too. As a fat woman I didn't learn anything new but it was interesting to watch the experiment. I'm still processing some of the emotions it dredged up. I really do think my weight impedes me in finding a successful career, and it certainly affects and is affected by my self-esteem. The women they had on the show were all attractive and done up nicely, which frankly a lot of fat women (including me) don't bother with all the time. If you get a chance to watch it, it's worth watching.

Today is payday for the second job and I'll see if I have enough for my rent. In the meantime I'm trying to spend next to nothing and I'm eating lots of peanut butter sandwiches.

That's it for now. I'm almost ready for my meeting, the last possibly of our consortium before we fold into a larger organisation with another consortium for a truly state-wide medical library consortium. I'm also going to demonstrate the catalogue and maybe share some of the historical books and scrapbooks I discovered when I did the cataloguing. Take care.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Oh, yes, this is SO me. :)

What Video Game Character Are You? I am Mr Do.I am Mr Do.

I am sedentary by nature, enjoying passive entertainment, eating when the mood takes me, and playing with my food. I try to avoid conflict, but when I'm angered, I can be a devil - if you force me to fight, I will crush you. With apples. What Video Game Character Are You?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Remembrance Day

Or Veteran's Day, as we call it here in the States. A time to remember those who fought and who gave their lives (or lived, and were forever changed by their experiences). Those of you who have read this blog for awhile know that I am anti-war but pro-military, having been raised in the Air Force and related to veterans of the First Gulf War, Vietnam, WWII, the Civil War, and the Revolutionary War. For them, and for all those who fought for the freedom we enjoy, I take a day to remember. It's not much to ask, is it?

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

For more information about McCrae and his poem, check out this page from The Heritage of the Great War. Image of the wild red poppy courtesy of www.cepolina.com/freephoto/.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

It's good that they can tell sooner, but it'll be controversial

assuming a woman can even get the test in her area or approved by an insurer.

Test detects Down syndrome in first trimester

I don't know how I would feel about getting a positive test for Down's. I'm of an age now that the chances of having a child with Down's is roughly 1 in 100. That's a scary thought. And of course, everyone wants a perfectly healthy baby. I generally wouldn't have an abortion, although I support a woman's choice and the availabilty of safe ways to terminate a pregnancy. Down's is a sticky situation, because, yes, it is a disorder with a lot of ramifications--retardation and heart disease among others--but it isn't on the scale of say, the rare baby born without a working brain or similar catastrophic case. Children with Down's are loving people who can often function at quite a high level, especially given early intervention. I just don't know how I feel, and I can only hope I'm never in that situation. At least at the moment I'm not in any danger. ;) Still, for those looking for more information, this test could really help, especially in terms of deciding whether more invasive tests are warranted.


The Rabid Librarian
Thanks to the Colorado Psycho, I was able to regenerate my original Rabid Librarian image, and now that Blogger is hosting images, I can bring it back. So, after far too long away, here's the Rabid Librarian in all her glory.

I heard this last night for the first time

and really liked the music first, then the lyrics just really drew me in so I did a search on the lyrics today. It's apparently one of the songs from the movie Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (the movie based on the book by the same name).

It's Natasha Bedingfield's 'Unwritten'

I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, oh, oh

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We've been conditioned to not make mistakes,
but I can't live that way

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, yeah, yeah

Am I perverse

to be listening to Les Mis whilst people riot in France's streets? It just seemed oddly appropriate, what can I say.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Well, phooey

I tried to give blood at the bloodmobile at my second job, only to find out my blood iron is too low. Not that it's so surprising, having just started my period, but still. Oh, well, there's always time to try again around the holidays. Surely they'll need it. This is what happens when I go a week without my children's vitamins. :(

Otherwise things are going well. I went to the doctor today and she's talking about taking me off of the Abilify (which is fine with me, as it is the most expensive medication I have, has the potential for some interesting and not pleasant side effects--although I haven't had any--and it's an anti-psychotic, which I probably don't really need to be on). I was originally put on it for some of the cognitive things associated with OCD, but those problems focussing might actually have been from the ADD and now is being taken care of by the ADDerall. So, we're slowly weaning me off the Abilify. Ah, finding just the right mix of brain chemistry is fun.

On the other hand, my period snuck up on me because I haven't had true PMS in a long while (although the little bit of blues I had the other day may have been a minor bit of it). Compared to the days I wanted to crash my car into the nearest building, it's postitively rosy. It still scares me that I used to feel that way, when the depression had hold of me. I'm so glad to have a respite. I'm so much more functional and I'm doing well at work and a little better socially, though there's still work to be done on that front, believe me. :)

Oh well, enough about me. The Indian summer is about to turn cold and I think it's time to enjoy a drive through the last of the warmth and go visit a friend. Good night.

From the Kentucky literature list...

Carolyn Forche will be in Lexington Thursday November 10
2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Lexington History Museum (the old Courthouse on Main Street)

"Writing Poetry of Witness in Relation to Historic Events" with Carolyn Forche
as part of the This is Home Now: A Symposium on Kentucky's Holocaust Survivors event, November 10 & 11

Join the Kentucky Historical Society, the Kentucky Oral History Commission, and the Lexington History Museum for this symposium focusing on the lives of Holocaust survivors who made their homes in Kentucky and the south.

On Thursday, Nov 10, nationally renowned poet Carolyn Forche will lead a workshop on poetry of witness followed by a reception and reading. The reception will feature Jewish delicacies inspired by the cookbook, In Memory's Kitchen: A Legacy of the Women of Terezin and created by chef Ouita Michel of the Holly Hill Inn. The reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., and the reading at 7 p.m. Book signing to follow.

On Friday, Nov 11, several survivors interviewed by the Kentucky Oral History Commission will appear on panels. Keynote speaker Joan Ringelheim, Director of Oral History at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., will discuss the project that inspired "This is Home Now: Kentucky's Holocaust Survivors," an exhibit by Rebecca Howell and Arwen Donahue currently on display at the Lexington History Museum.

For adults. Cost is $20, $10 students, for Thursday only; for both days fee is $25 for KHS members, LHM members, and students or $30 for non-members, which also includes buffet lunch on Friday.

For more information, or to request a brochure and registration form, contact :

Joanie DiMartino,
Adult Programs Coordinator
Kentucky Historical Society
100 West Broadway
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-1792 ext. 4467

Good grief

MTV.com - think - Headlines - Science Classes In Kansas Will Now Question Evolution Theory

Having gone to school in Kansas, I'm now imagining what science teachers are going to have to do. Personally I tend to believe that both science and religion are two sides of a coin; both hold beliefs that are tested in one way or another over time, with specialists who speak in a language not grasped by the average person. But evolution has been borne out time and again as a very basic tenet, whereas intelligent design is in no way provable. Agh. Let's keep religion out of the schools and let parents and religious institutions (notice I didn't say church, as you should include synagogues, mosques, and temples, among others) take care of that aspect.

How awful to go through this again

CNN.com - DA: New trial for Andrea Yates

But I always thought Andrea Yates belonged in a treatment facility rather than behind bars. She seems to genuinely have been in a psychotic state at the time she killed her children; nothing that the state of Texas can do to her can change what happened or can be worse than the horror she may feel when no longer under psychosis.

I also always believed that her husband, while not directly to blame, shared some of the burden for the type of environment she and her children were in.

I wish there was a good outcome in this, but there isn't, is there? It's just a shame. But I'm glad she didn't get the death penalty, and I hope if retried she gets the helps she needs rather than that.

It amazes me

how so much more focussed I am on the ADDerall. Already in thirty minutes of work I have ordered twenty-seven articles, filled one, copied three, and now I'm ready to hit the special collections books in cataloguing. Whew!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Enjoy some art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has an exhibit of Van Gogh's drawings currently on their website. Since I came across it and discovered that non-profit websites can include pictures from the Met with a credit to the museum, I thought I'd post my favourite piece here. To see the larger exhibit piece, go to their website. This one is called Cypresses and is from 1889.

The more I learn about art and mental illness, the more interested I have become in Vincent Van Gogh. I have to wonder, would medicine that we have today have saved him? Would it have let his art continue? Or would it have stifled the creative genius? I don't know. But we're left with these works of art that show a unique way of looking at the world. I find this one both disturbing and uplifting. The cypresses seem to be some sort of Lovecraftian monster striding along, but the sky, grass, and mountains seem to dance with life and vitality. What do you think?

Fruit of my labours

A compilation of sites offering free or very cheap stock photos...perfect if you're an artist needing material, have a private, non-commercial website, or are an educator looking for free to cheap materials for class. :) Check them out. Some are really quite good.

http://www.freefoto.com/index.jsp (free for private non-commercial use; educational licence is fairly cheap, like $30 a photo)
http://geekphilosopher.com/MainPage/bkgLinksPhotos.htm (a list of lots of free image sites)
http://www.ironorchid.com/clipart/persons/index.htm (famous people, composers, artists, etc.)
http://www.picturestation.net/start/ (this gives download credit for every picture you upload)


On the Futility of Dieting

Another Medscape article (free with registration) on how dieting alone doesn't really cut it, and we have to look at the bigger equation in working to limit obesity.

FDA Warns of Inadvertent Unit Switching on Blood Glucose Meters

According to this article on Medscape (free with registration), glucometres made by Abbott Diabetes Care may inadvertently switch between the American mg/dL and the international mmol/L, causing users to adjust their insulin incorrectly. This includes FreeStyle, FreeStyle Flash, FreeStyle Tracker, Precision Xtra, MediSense, Sof-Tact, Precision Sof-Tact, MediSense, Optium, and private label brands ReliOn Ultima, Rite Aid, and Kroger blood glucose metres. Those outside the US include Xceed, Liberty, Boots, Xtra Classic, Easy, and SofTrac devices.

I use One-Touch Ultra, which isn't included in this, but I thought I'd pass this along to others with diabetes who might use another metre.

I feel better today

NaNoWriMo participant
I did sleep a little, but I also wrote 1,043 words into the 50,000 for NaNoWriMo. I'm happy with it so far. You can find it on my writing blog. I keep trying this, I know. Last year it was interrrupted by carpal tunnel surgery. I'm doing very much better with my hands (I can feel my fingers, for one, but my dexterity and strength is loads better. I sometimes forget and do things like fill up the dog water bowl glass by glass, though. Old habits are hard to break.) It's hard to believe how crippled I had become before the surgery; now I type happily. So, here's another attempt to reach that magic number for writing a novel in a month.

As for yesterday, maybe I just needed a night to think. One of the things I decided is that I have to find a third job. See, I'd planned on doing the telefund thing for KET again this fall, but that fell through (they're going with a vendor this year), so if I want some extra money to catch up before the end of the year, I'll have to find something else. If any of you know of something in the Lexington area that I could do in the evenings, let me know. I'm thinking Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday might be good, and it would work with the other job schedules.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The weather is beautiful, so why do I feel crappy?

I should feel good--it's sunny and warm, with ladybugs and birds galore in the sky, but I've felt a little non-social and depressed all day. Now I'm going to go on home and see if I can get some writing done, or at least do something other than just falling asleep early like I've done the past two nights. I know part of it is that I accidentally upset a friend who thought we'd made plans for last night. It was a miscommunication, one of many, and my fault. I apologised, but things still aren't right.

Otherwise I'm doing okay. I'm a little concerned about finances; I should be okay by the 15th but I was hoping to have that paycheque for something else and to get my rent in by the 10th. But I realised I miscalculated something when putting money away towards the rent. Thank goodness for two paycheques, though. I am mildly disappointed that I can't get anything at the book fair that's coming to both places of work, one on Wednesday, and one on the 15th. If I can get back to KET from a doctor's appointment in time, though, I can give blood at the bloodmobile, since I couldn't donate last time it came to the hospital because it hadn't been long enough since the last donation. That's something, I guess.

I've been researching free stock photo sites and have found quite a few. I'm thinking about putting my name back into the Exquisite Corpse pool now that I have some art to play with.

Well, that's all for today. I'm about 80 books from my final check of the main catalogue. I've gone through 800 records in two days, and catalogued an additional 70 books. I've been VERY focussed (thanks to ADDerall) and I've gotten a lot accomplished, even feeling a little off today, so that's good, right?

I think I'll go home, get something to eat, watch the evening news, and spend some time cuddling with my dog and cat. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Sometimes disasters bring us together

Invisible line divides Kashmir quake troops

I realise I never commented on the October 8th massive quake that hit Asia. I never meant to ignore it, I was just left speechless by the enormity, and I didn't get a lot of news about it, since I don't have access to 24/7 cable news.

I'm glad that the quake has brought together (at least partly) people in Kashmir who are normally quite belligerent with one another. My thoughts and prayers go with the victims of the quake and with those trying to rebuild.

I can't decide if we just seem to be having more widespread natural disasters of if we just learn more about it with instant news. What do you think?

Scary windstorms

ABC News: Deadly Tornado Tears Through Kentucky, Indiana

We had thunderstorms that night, but nothing like this in Lexington. My thoughts and prayers are with the families affected.

Friday, November 04, 2005

It's beautiful weather outside

warm and breezy with a deep blue sky that you only find in autumn, with the trees in various shades of yellow, orange, and red.

And it's Friday, yay! So I'm heading out for some errands and the weekend. Hope you have a good one. :)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A nifty caricature site

Make Your Own Caricature Generator. Her general site has a lot of caricatures of famous people, too. Be sure to check it out; it's fun.

Here's the group from Halloween

Kneeling from left to right: C, M, D, N, U
Standing from left to right: JA, me

Note the placement of the mirror. Cool, huh?

and the Dwarves

with two residents on either end to round out the Seven, then D, U, N, C, and M in the middle.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Legal issues and blogging

EFF: Legal Guide for Bloggers

A useful link, I'd say.

PS I just finished with all the books in the main library (sans special collections) that we have in place. Now to get to the ones that are checked out. Woohoo!


Somehow I don't think the makeup session is the 'most important' time of day for women. But how do you decide whether you're one that can go without or not? Beauty is very subjective. Still it was interesting that beauty and fertility (or at least hormone indicators of such) were linked, and that 68% of men preferred the natural look to cosmetics. Of course, I was always taught that the key to cosmetics use is to use them to look as natural as possible...or so Seventeen magazine taught me. :) On the other hand, I never really got the Girl Handbook and am obviously not glamourous, so what do I know?

Makeup masks a woman's natural glow

How do I love?

"How Do You Love?" by Collective Soul

There once was love thrown into your room
But you never knew
A calendar of days just for you
But you never knew, never knew no
And the truth that you'll find will always be
The truth you hide

So how do you love, how do you love
When your angels can't sing, and your world is still
Lacking of me

There once were eyes that only saw you
But you never knew
A portrait of a flower in full bloom
But you never knew, never knew no
And the words that you fear will always be
The words you hear

This space where you've been living
Has gifts you've never given
That's the face you always show
Ask me for words of wisdom
Tell me of your condition
I don't know, I don't
I don't know

And the truth that you'll find will always be
The truth you hide

I don't know if I'll ever be in love, because I keep people at arm's length, or worse, I keep myself cut off from others, shut out. I rarely recognise when a person might be flirting with me, because it's like blinders at the edge of my vision...other people just don't exist, because I keep myself closed off in public.

There are people I love, of course, but not in a romantic way. I've only been in love once, and it was unrequited. Fortunately that eventually transformed into another form of love. But at heart I'm an incurable romantic, and I want to love and be loved. I want the companionship, but I seem to sabatoge myself with others. So one of the things I need to learn is how to be more open to others and let them in, or at least notice them. It's not that I'm stuck-up, I'm just afraid of being hurt like I've been hurt before. Now the trick is how to do that...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I'm rather fond of Pluto, and would like it to 'stay' a planet

Discovery of 2 more moons brightens Pluto supporters

Mould is the enemy (especially for those of us allergic to it)

Here are tips for assessing mould damage, health concerns, and how to deal with it, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Rita. It opens into a .pdf, so be sure you have Adobe Reader or some other way to read .pdfs.

Snow White

Here's a picture of me as Snow White. Okay, not the Disney version, I know, but hey, the story's older than that. I'll check with the dwarves and the evil queen to see if I can post their pictures here. Photocredit: Susan Wagers, who did a great job of capturing my image in the queen's mirror in the larger picture.

Two of my coworkers participated in this extravaganza

that has happened in Lexington for the last few years. N and N had a ball, and there's close up pictures of both of them in this photoset. I'll give you a hint, both of them wear glasses. :)

Mecca's THRILLER In the Streets of Lexington 2005 - a photoset on Flickr

Ugh...I feel hung over

Which is a bit annoying, as I haven't done anything to feel that way. Instead, I think it's the weather change (from sunny to cloudy)--my stomach and sinuses are giving me problems, and I just feel achy and blah. But I just ate a fruit and grain bar and I feel a little better already with something on my stomach. Yay. Anyway, happy November. Happy Samhain. I tend to celebrate old Samhain (November 11th-12th) but most pagans celebrate today.

Oh, well. Time to get to work on the endless sea of books that looks like it might end after all.