Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy holidays!?!?!!!?!

IMG_7249.JPG
IMG_7249.JPG,
originally uploaded by rubybeth.
I posted Christmas photos on Flickr, apologies that it's been so long since an update. My excuse? I post most of my photos on Facebook where friends can see them and be tagged. Uh, so, trying to make some New Years plans, and we shall see what that leads to...

Little joys

Mostly, I am a cheeseburger, t-shirt, rented movie and coffee date kind of girl, but every once in a while, it's nice to put on something a little nicer and pay more than $5 for a meal, which is what S and I did last night. It was an actual date! I dressed and picked him up and we headed downtown to Ciatti's for some Italian food, pasta for the both of us, stuffed mushroom caps as an appetizer (gotta learn to make those things), wine (white zin for me of course) and a martini (S will now resume with the gin and tonics). S was such a gentleman and so sweet. Our candlelit table near the window, the tiramisu, S pulling my chair out for me—all of it, so very much appreciated.

Now I'm going to pick all the keys off my keyboard to clean it. I'm psyched!!

P.S. I think I discovered why I like white zinfandel as much as I do. Mostly, it gets described as a sweet wine with "strawberry notes" or whatever. Since I'm allergic to strawberries and can't have them, I must enjoy that aspect of the wine.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A snapshot

An excerpt from something depressing I wrote in the summer of 2003, after my relationship with someone ended:

I want somebody who can spend the night and whose hours will work with mine and who wants what I want, ultimately, and can make that happen in a reasonable amount of time. And by all of that, I mean I want an adult male who would conceivably marry me. It’s asking a hell of a lot, but I want somebody who is at least in a place in his life where he knows what he wants.

Friday, December 22, 2006

A little dose of Christmas

Yesterday, S and I volunteered with Toys for Tots, and holy cow, were there a lot of toys. It's essentially like a mini toy store with somewhat limited options, but it's not as though any kid is going to have to go without. It was good to forget about myself for a while, and I was really tired last night after six hours of being on my feet. Plus, they fed us dinner. I think it was good for S to do something instead of writing yet another cover letter or searching for more jobs.

While we were handing out toys, it actually snowed. Like, the kind of icky icy snow that nobody really loves, but it did make everything white, especially roofs and cars. The green lawns can still be seen through the powder, but it's better than a brown Christmas. Exhibits A (our block) and B (house and front yard):



I've spent the morning gathering my gifts and wrapping them. I feel like I went a little overboard, and I have no good reason for this. I really only purchased for immediate family and very close friends, because I don't want to make anyone feel guilty by getting them something when they don't have anything for me. It's all good. Anyone who feels like they should get me a gift should just invite me out to dinner sometime, especially in the cities (my Tuesday night class starts January 9, and no doubt I will want to hang out either before or after class when I'm down there).

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Blue skies?

So after a pretty weird, bad, stressful Wednesday, I'm hoping today gets better. It could hardly get worse. I called my doctor's office about the large medical bill for tests I didn't need in the first place, but they were unsympathetic. I'm sure they hear it all. I didn't become irrational, but now I know that it is their policy NOT to inform patients how much medical care costs before it is done. Well! Looks like I'll be skipping the formal medicine for a while...

Bible study last night was good. Even though I'll be poor-ish for a while paying off this bill, I don't have chronic pain or cancer and S is by my side and I have family and friends I love, and etc. Perspective. I think helping out at Toys for Tots today will also make me feel less crappy.

I've also given up on the literary reading for a while. I've gone back to Sue Grafton's series, and I think I'm just going to stick with it, at least until I get sick of Kinsey Millhone. Doubtful.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

One of the worst days ever!!!

So, since the last time I blogged, a few hours ago, everything has gone to crap. First, S came over, which was very nice, even though we aren't going to be able to volunteer with Toys for Tots today, as mentioned in my previous entry, it was good to see him. Moments later, I opened my mail. Bad idea. Apparently, when I had my annual physical a few months back, and I thought it would be nice to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (you never know! you hear things about toilet seats!), that's gonna cost me $475! Nearly five hundred dollars for an STD test I didn't need. That's right, folks, I'm a member of the V Squad! They shouldn't even allow virgins to ask for STD tests.

P.S. I have evaded HIV yet another day.

Then, I decided to bake Christmas cookies for people at work. I started mixing up the batter for my now-famous Chocolate Espresso Balls. Then I realized we only had one egg, and I needed two. Rather, I needed two egg yolks. So S and I went to the grocery store and the liquor store to get eggs and wine for Christmas presents, and while S paid for the eggs and I went to get the wine, on the way from the grocery store to the liquor store, S was nearly run over by a car in the parking lot. Don't kill my boyfriend, please, I'm quite fond of him, really!

We got home, finished making the cookies, had a nice conversation about this book S is reading and about sexuality and Christianity and other interesting things. We got a tray of the cookies baked, and then I loaded up a plate with them and was in the middle of eating a sandwich for lunch as we went out to the car. Which wouldn't start. I added oil, thinking maybe it was low, but the battery is probably dead. So I called my coworker who was expecting to see me today, and maybe S and I can just stop in tomorrow with the cookies and then go to Toys for Tots.

To recap: STD test I didn't need which cost me an arm and a leg, no eggs, car wouldn't start. I don't know if the day can get worse. Check back for an update!!

Reason #342 why S is the best

One of the things I've really appreciated about S is his willingness to call me. This is extremely helpful for the J aspect of my ENFJ personality, and he, as an ENFP, know this. He calls frequently, mostly to plan our time together, like today. I took the day off work, and we had vague plans to help with Toys for Tots, since one of his aunts works for the local non-profit organization that heads up the toy drive.

He called at 10 to wake me up and give me the scoop. I hopped in the shower, put on makeup, started getting dressed, and my phone rang again.

"Change of plans," came S's voice.

"Oh, yeah?" I said, interested.

"They passed out toys today from nine to noon. Tomorrow it's one to eight."

"So we'll go tomorrow?"

"Yeah, sound good?"

"Yeah!"

According to my made-up dialogue, S and I say "yeah" a lot. This is probably true. Anyway, I'm going to finish getting ready and start making some cookies for my library coworkers. S should be here any minute to help...

Friday, December 15, 2006

A good recipe for the holidays and beyond

I made this mashed potato recipe for two pot luck suppers this week--Calvary Chapel's Fellowship Dinner on Wednesday and then the library's holiday staff meal yesterday. They vanished in 20 minutes yesterday, so I almost didn't even get a bite! We had some leftovers on Wednesday, though, and so I left them for S's mom and grandmother. Apparently, I scored some huge brownie points for them, according to S, as I've said many times that I "don't cook." It's not that I don't know how, it's that I choose not to. When I do, though, watch out...

A bunch of people at work asked for the recipe here, so I typed it up and thought I'd share it on the good old blog for anyone who wants to try. Good as a side dish or all on its own, and they don't need gravy. I think the original was printed in a magazine. The recipe could be halved fairly easily, but it holds up quite well as leftovers, so it's not really necessary.

Mashed Potatoes with Chives (a.k.a. "Magical Potatoes" or some other such fantastic name)

5 pounds potatoes
1 large onion (can be omitted, but adds more flavor)
1 cup half and half
1 cup butter (two sticks) softened or melted
1 8 oz. tub of whipped cream cheese (w/chives or without, your choice, should be near the regular cream cheese in the grocery store)
2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
4 tbsp. chives (dried or fresh) (optional if already using cream cheese with chives for more chive flavor)
1 bag sliced almonds for top

Preheat oven to 350F. Peel potatoes and onion. Boil until cooked (if potatoes are cut up, about 20 minutes). Mash using electric mixer in large bowl (so much easier than a masher). Mix in butter, cream cheese, half and half, and all spices. Spread into a greased 9x13 pan or two small pans (potatoes will puff up slightly). Bake for 30 minutes. Garnish top of potatoes with enough almonds to cover, or to taste--we like more for more crunch). Bake another 15 minutes (almonds will brown). Let stand 5 minutes or so. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Walking the city's streets

This morning, my parents hollered to me before I left the house for work.

"Don't let Andrea walk from campus to work!!"

I was like, "Huh?"

Apparently, there is some whacko who picked up a girl somewhere downtown and drove her to the cities and back. I haven't read an actual news story on this, so I'm going on what I've heard from others, guessing maybe he took her at gunpoint or somesuch. I thought to myself, if it's no longer safe to walk the city's streets, I am so out of here.

"Don't let her walk!" my parents repeated. "She has a four o'clock final and she might just walk to work."

Why my parents think this is my responsibility, I have no idea. I work until 4:30. I told them they can make sure she doesn't walk... but I didn't mention the fact that sometimes she carries a very large steak knife in her purse.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Surprise!!

It's Cata, our Colombian exchange student, all the way from Iowa for a little visit! It's so good to see my little hermanita and know she's doing well in school and working hard. I'm going to take it easy tonight after working today and maybe watch a movie (by myself! how exciting! actually, kind of...).

Friday, December 08, 2006

How I spent my day off...

Today after spending the morning and lunchtime at S's, hanging out and making egg rolls with his mom, I came home and blocked the sweater I've been knitting since March. Yes, March. As you can tell, my fascination with knitting has dwindled somewhat, considering that I used to crank out scarves, hats, and other objects with a passion almost unknown. Then, something happened. I think it's called "summertime" and also "graduate school" and then something known as "time spent with a boyfriend who was gone for six months." So, this is the sweater, drying, waiting for it to be pieced together, a collar to be knitted, crocheting to do around the edges, and a clasp to be sewn on. I am pretty excited about that last part:

I love this clasp! I kind of wish it were silver, and I will probably check another craft store before finalizing it, but I love how it hooks and will close the sweater in a casual way, vs. a row of buttons or a zipper. Edit: I just found a silver version of the same JHB clasp online and ordered it up. So pleased about this!!

S will be gone until Sunday evening-ish (not exactly sure when) on the Calvary Chapel mens' retreat at a cabin north of Onamia, near Mille Lacs Lake. I will miss him, because hey, look at that cute guy! But two days (really only one—Saturday) without seeing S is not really the end of the world. He didn't bring his cell phone with him, which made me kind of sad and also really proud. He will be okay, and I'm sure the guys will have a great, blessed weekend. Pray for them, please, if that's your bag!

I'm actually feeling much better and very happy because a little birdie told me that someone very special is coming for a visit this weekend, someone I haven't seen since August, someone I have missed very much. We don't know when to expect this person, but I'm hoping it's sometime when I'm home, since I work tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

So it didn't kill me, but I'm not exactly stronger...

I'm still not feeling 100% after being so very sick the last four days with what I believe was the flu (based on the horrendous severity), but I was so bored of sitting at home and watching television, that I'm back at work today. I'm only spending one hour at the circulation desk today, which isn't bad at all, though I am getting tired of being on my feet. I am slightly concerned about infecting others, but I'm not really having severe respiratory symptoms, no sneezing, very little coughing, mainly just sore muscles and throat today. My stomach is a little tentative, so I'm debating what to do about lunch...

The next two days I'm off work, and I hope I feel well enough to make a stop or two to finish my Christmas shopping, send out my cards, and maybe even wrap up my Christmas knitting. I think I may even need to knit myself a hat to wear this winter, since I have this habit of going outside with wet hair (I know, shocking! S's grandmother would die if she knew how often I do this!).

So, thankfully, I'm not dead and am feeling much better. Thanks for all the comments and concern!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Even my toes hurt...

But I am feeling a little better today than yesterday, with what S and I think is the flu. Good old influenza. I've been so achy and nauseated and my throat hurts so very much, and S came down with it before I did, so he's been consoling me, saying, in response to my moaning and whining, "I know, honey, I know. It will get better." He came over yesterday in the evening and brought movies and tea and rubbed my sore legs and generally made the miserable slightly less so.

I don't even know how I made it to class and back on Saturday without dying or causing some sort of accident, I was so out of it in the car and class was kind of a blur to me, though it was shorter than usual and we just had to turn in our take-home exams and give mini oral reports on what we wrote our papers about. I just hope I didn't infect anyone.

My glands are swollen more than I've ever experienced before in my life, and I keep trying to sip fluid (tea, sparkling grape juice, warm orange juice) but it hurts so dang much to swallow.

Now for a good time of laying on the couch watching a movie until S comes over and I can rouse enough energy to maybe even leave the house! Oh, the excitement!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Bleh

I feel so crummy right now—stomach hurts, muscle aches, headache, sore throat—that I wish I could call in sick to class. Unfortunately, there's an exam to be turned in, and a paper to be reported on, and so I'm here, sipping mint tea to try to calm my stomach, wishing I could eat something and keep it down. I'm hoping I can just turn in my stuff and then leave, or that the drive down will somehow soothe me.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Blah blah blah

I know it's been a few days since I've written, and that's because I've been working on my paper for my cataloging class, and writing Dewey Decimal numbers for the take-home exam, and working, and hanging out with S, and feeling kind of under the weather. But now the paper is done (mostly just needs revising and a bibliography) and the exam is nearly complete (need to go over my answers again) and I'm starting to think more seriously about Christmas. I'm going to have a few days off around the holidays, which will be great, like a real Christmas break like back in elementary school when I had nothing to do for a week and a half except play with my new toys and watch television and sleep in. I'm looking forward to that.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

So thankful

To recap, Thanksgiving was spent with S's family in Hastings, Minnesota, and it was a really good time. The day consisted of eating all the traditional items, watching some football, and then playing the 1960s version of Careers, which S's mom won. We took Zipper the dog on a walk near the river and took a drive around the town and over the bridge into Wisconsin. In the evening, we made it back to my house in time to stop in to my family's gathering as well, and it was nice to see my cousins.

This was my first major holiday spent without any of my own family members. That was a little weird for me, but my mom saved me some of the potatoes and turkey they made and getting to see my godparents for a little while was good, too.

Meeting more of S's family was cool. His cousins John and Wyatt were fun to talk to, and his great aunt was sweet and his aunt Jean was a superb hostess, what with her cherry pie and brandy alexander and coffee with Bailey's. Good times.

Now I need to hunker down and finish my final exam for cataloging and begin writing my paper. Eek!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Frickin' chicken

I have often vowed never to buy my children toys that make noise of any kind, and never to buy my friends children toys that make noise. But at the library where I work, the circulation desk is very near the children's room, in which there are many toys that make noise or play music.

The absolute worst is the chicken that plays the chicken dance.

I have no words to express how annoying it is to hear the chicken dance song an average of 20 times per hour when I am working the circ desk. For the love of pete, no more chicken dance! I have threatened to throw the thing off the roof many times, and while throwing things off the roof may be a common threat of mine, I am rather serious about the chicken dancing chicken.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

She will have her way

So I guess the answer to the question of St. Kate's was answered vaguely by a classmate whose husband talked to the office manager of the MLIS deparment. Apparently, and this is coming like fifth-hand or something, we can transfer into the St. Kate's program and not take any Dominican University classes whatsoever. I guess this can be done at any point along the way, but I'll wait and see what my classmates do and ask about the process from someone who has done it.

On one hand, this is a great relief, but I also didn't mind the idea of dropping out for a semester. There are course offerings, however, for Summer 2007 which interest me greatly. For example, Professor Cathcart is teaching the Management of Library and Information Centers course, and she was head of the Legislative Library for a long time, and I already know I like her as she taught my intro section. I know I said I really wanted a vacation, but taking one summer class doesn't preclude me from doing any number of things in July and August, namely going to the famed Winnepeg Folk Festival with my sister Andrea and friends.

I guess it remains to be seen exactly what I will do about Winter semester, but at least I know I don't have to drop out in order to just be a St. Kate's student, independent of Dominican.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A blurb of an entry

Two things I'm loving lately:

1) Web usability expert Steve Krug's book, "Don't Make Me Think." Brilliant. I read it for a library work-related team meeting today in a few hours. It's really about how people think, use the web, and process that information. Excellent, succinct, laugh-out-loud funny, great for anyone who deals with information (library workers!!).

2) I ruined the catalog by getting food on it, so I ordered another from the website, because the Garnet Hill stuff looks great. I'm thinking CASHMERE! I'm thinking KNITS! I'm thinking I would never leave the house if I had that cashmere robe. Why bother when you can be wrapped in cashmere?

Getting up kind of early tomorrow to bring S's great aunt to the local airport (snowbird flying south) and then get some reasearch done for the ol' grad class. I'm hoping to harness the perceptive powers of my boyfriend's brain to aide in coming up with a paper topic on the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Oh, LCSH, we'll have you in our clutches yet.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

And here's when having some cataloging knowledge is nice

So this morning, one of the library aides was checking in music CDs and found one that looked kind of weird.

During check-in, all media items (books on tape, DVDs, CDs) get opened to make sure what's inside the case matches the case/booklet/any additional material. The aide noticed that the booklet said the call number and "Mussorgsky" and "Pictures at an exhibition," but the disc inside said "Emerson, Lake & Palmer."

She brought it to the attention of a fellow Library Assistant, who also wasn't sure about the discrepancy. I wanted to see what was up, so I had a peek, too. Instantly, I knew what was going on.

Classical music is a special thing in the cataloging world, since in order to be able to find things, it's best to have composers (and time periods) near each other on the shelf, vs. grouping them by the artists who actually play the music. Emerson, Lake & Palmer are not responsible (in terms of cataloging) for the intellectual or artistic content of the work in hand.

In other words, it's more useful to have all the Mussorgsky together than have all the albums by Emerson, Lake & Palmer together, hence the bibliographic record being as such:

Author: Mussorgsky, Modest Petrovich, 1839-1881
Title: Pictures at an exhibition [sound recording] / Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Aw yeah, look at me, a beginner cataloging geek.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Library school is a big question mark right now

I got a letter from Dominican University last week reminding me that those of us who started at St. Kate's with the summer courses need to be done by Fall 2008.

Wait, what?!

I am trying to sort out all of this information and so are some of my classmates. Since St. Kate's is currently treated as a very western campus of Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, that's where my degree was supposed to come from, but now St. Kate's is undergoing the American Library Association's process for getting accredited themselves. So I am just befuddled about what to do about next semester. I really wasn't planning being done by Fall 2008, unless I wanted to:

a) die
b) die a horrible death of too much school/homework/commuting to St. Paul
c) postpone a vacation for two more years (special note: haven't had a vacation in a year and a half)

So maybe I'm being a whiny nuisance for nothing, but we shall see. I shot an e-mail to the department today, illustrating my points (I live an hour and a half from school! I really can't rush this!) and asking what can be done. I am hopeful that it will work out, and I know that either way, it will be fine. If there's a way to grandfather me in, great. If it means I have to drop out and reapply to the St. Kate's program separate from Dominican, fine. Keep your fingers crossed!

Jane Austen to tha maxx!!

Saturday was class, and then "Pride & Prejudice" put on by my cousin Simon's school in the cities. I headed to Simon and Eve's apartment to pick up Eve after class, and we booked it to dinner (Burger King) and then the school where the play was. We met up with my parents and S there, and man, it was intense. That's a really difficult, long, complex play for a high school to put on, especially a small school like it was. Amazing, really, although I was quite tired of sitting for as long as I did.

S did really well, understood everything that was going on, as I'd prepped him by having him watch the new movie version (with Keira Knightley! What guy would say no to watching her for two hours?). He said I was right to make him watch the movie, because his appreciation for the play was that much greater. I now owe him about four sci-fi/action movies to atone for the last few incredibly girly movie selections and five hours spent on Jane Austen in one single week.

Best boyfriend quote of the last week

Keeping in mind we first met when I was 17 and he was 16:

"I think you get more beautiful every year. By the time you're forty, I won't be able to look directly at you, you'll be so stunning."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

November 7: recap

The results from yesterday are in, in more ways than one. The elections are over (thank God) and the candidates I elected mostly won (sorry Patty Wetterling and Mike Hatch) but our anniversary date yesterday also went really well. S sent me flowers! At work! Red roses! With a sweet card! Great guy, my boyfriend.

For our date, first we stopped at the polls so I could cast my ballot (holy incumbent judges, Batman) and then went to dinner, which was delicious. He ordered my favorite appetizer, and I had a margarita (I'm a fan of tequila) while he had a Bloody Mary, and we talked for quite a while even after finishing our meals (Walleye for him, massive burger for me).

We then headed over to campus for the astronomy night at the planetarium. Yes, the planetarium! We wandered around my old haunt (Riverview, the English building) and played a game of Fluxx (I carry it with me always) which was decidedly the worst game of Fluxx ever played. Then it was back to my house for some more quality time. I'm tired today, but very, very happy.

I did ask him in the car if it seemed like we'd been together for a year. He thinks not, more like seven months, but I feel like we missed some of that in-between stuff since he was gone for a while, and all those little anniversaries (months six through eleven, if you're keeping track). Now it's all kind of daunting, because that year marker seems significant and possibly scary, but we're doing really well, as S always reminds me in my anxious states.

Thanks, S, for a great anniversary. I love you.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Celebrating

Not only is tomorrow a big day (Election day! Get out the vote!) for the nation, it's a big day for me and S. It's our one year anniversary of doing this thing called "our relationship." Yay for us, huh?

I am pretty proud of us, actually, since I believe this is the longest, healthiest, functional and loving and spiritually based relationship either of us has ever had. We have worked hard on this, especially recently and while he was gone in Alaska. It has most definitely been worth it. I think we are going to vote together and then go on a date (?). I don't really know, as I am leaving the plans entirely up to him, but I do have something to give him, and he said something about giving something to me, too..

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A little overwhelming, really

I don't know what to do about classes next semester. I've been looking at the course offerings, and there are a few that I should take (Reference & Online Sources, Management of Libraries and Information Centers) as they are required of me, but I don't really want to take two potentially homework-heavy courses at once (from what I've heard anyway, these two are involved). History of the Printed Book also interests me, and it's an early morning Saturday class (8-1) but the weekend course schedule for winter 2007 semester doesn't mess with my work schedule nearly as much as it did this time around.

I guess I just forge ahead with the whole graduate studies thing, even with my fears and anxieties.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Getting lost and found again

Last night after work, I headed for the cities to pick up S at a rendezvous point (Dubliner's Bar in St. Paul) and then to my friend Mike's (near the U of M campus) where S could clean up after working with fiberglass all day, and then to the Loft (downtown Minneapolis) for my former professor's reading from his new book ("The Road to Cosmos" by Bill Meissner, link to be added later).

On the way to Dubliner's, I got lost due to taking Google Map directions rather literally (silly me), and called S in a bit of a frazzled state. I knew where I was (Larpenteur Avenue) but also knew I had gone way too far past where I needed to be (Corner of Vandalia and University). S calmed me down as I looked at my handy Professor Pathfinder map of the area, and within fifteen minutes I had my trusty boyfriend in the car with me. I got slightly confused in getting to the Loft as well, and S helpfully asked a parking garage attendant for directions. Good guy, that S. I am so thankful for him.

He's been helping his uncles move stuff from St. Paul up to central Minnesota, and working these 12-hour days lifting and using those muscles he built in Alaska. He's been busy, but I think it's great that he can help and do something other than hang out with me all the time.

The reading was quite good, interesting little bits of short stories about different characters, and some audience participation as well, and it was fun to see my college friends Kelly and Sara and Sara's boyfriend Tori. I think we're going to try for a game night at Kelly's place sometime in December, which would be super cool.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

On being a Jane Austen "expert"

As one who gets to know me will discover, I am a devotee of Jane Austen and pretty much anything to do with her writing and world. I love the books, I love the movie versions, I'm a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. My cousin Simon's wife Eve and I can talk about Jane for hours, comparing and contrasting, and discussing everything from Darcy to Emma Thompson's version of "Sense & Sensibility."

Last winter, I served as Jane Austen/Pride & Prejudice expert for my cousin Simon's ninth grade English classes at the school where he teaches in the cities. I really had to read up and study in order to give good lectures to each class section, and for the most part, I was well prepared for all the questions the students had. Now one of his students is writing a paper on Jane and wants to interview me as a source. I actually remember the girl who wants to interview me, since she reminded me somewhat of myself in high school. She liked Jane Austen, for one.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Note to self

I'm not totally sure, but I think I'm going to go with "France--History--Louis XIV, 1643-1715" for the answer to the cataloging question mentioned in my last entry. I found a few books in the Great River Regional Library catalog with this exact subject heading, and I think since the item is more about France than Louis XIV, it makes more sense. We'll see.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

And of course it's another beautiful day

Yesterday, S went with me to the cities, and hung out while I was in class (hours and hours and hours spent on Library of Congress Subject Headings—ai yi yi) and then we went out for pizza at Carbone's and then to IKEA. Anytime we saw something that was red, S said, "This is Beth's" fill-in-the-blank. This is a picture of S in "my" kitchen.

We headed back to St. Cloud and hung out with his best friend James for a while, which was great. I knew James in high school, and while I never really knew him that well, I thought he was interesting in the same way I thought S was interesting. Last night, James was explaining a bunch of different things, like how he wants to create a 'zine which he wants to call "The Winking Loon," and it would be "a collection of essays and poetry and political pieces by Minnesota, um, poeple." He always paused for the easiest word in the sentence, as though he was going to choose a more refined word, but "thing" would do just as well.

Right now, I'm working on my subject heading homework, and I can't figure out what to put for "France during the reign of Louis XIV"—would it be "Louis XIV, King of France, 1693-1715--France" or "France—-Reign of Louis XIV, King of France, 1693-1715" or something entirely different? I'm at a loss, so I'm dorking around in the Library of Congress subject headings and will probably go to another source at some point here, or possibly take the professor's advice, if exhausting all other options doesn't work, "Cry, then call a friend."

Thursday, October 26, 2006

"This is not rocket science"

I'm reading the next chapter in the students' guide for LIS 703 for Saturday's class, and it's on Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). There are other lists of subject headings, but LCSH is the one we're working with as it's the biggest and there are lots of examples at the Library of Congress Authorities. Fun stuff. I love that in cataloging, "authority" means who authored the work. It sounds so technical.

I love that I just read the section in the text on "How to Do Subject Cataloging" and the professor wants us to see an example of subject headings, so we're going to look at a book we know quite well—AACR2. Direct quote: "What is Anglo-American Catloging Rules (hint, hint) about? You got it! Cataloging rules. This is not rocket science."

I totally could have taken another class this semester.

Anyway, I've also got my homework assignment to do, which is a MARC (Machine Readable Cataloging) record for one book, so it's 15 pages of reading to go and then the homework. I'm listening to the Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour" while I do this, which I think is wildly appropriate. Next up: "aboutness"!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Go confidently in the direction of your... math?

Since my math is not all that great, I use a little trick when I'm at the circulation desk and need to take a payment for a fine or lost book and am without a calculator. I fake it.

I don't mean that I shortchange people, and I don't mean that I miscalculate the fine. I just take a few seconds longer to do the math in my head and then write down the amount I've taken from the patron, and double check myself as I hand the patron their change.

This is something I've honed after years of working in libraries and in retail at a bookstore. If you act confident about the amount you're giving back, the patron usually won't check your math, and if they do and it's wrong, you can feign ignorance (or blame it on being an English major, which is what I usually do) but this type of error is rare, very rare, with my method. I should patent it.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sawat Dee means hello

Yesterday, my cousin Angie called while S and I were hanging out, talking to my sister Andrea. Angie is essentially living S's old life—she's studying Japanese, wants to go to Japan, and two weeks ago got a job where he used to work. I really wanted them to re-meet and talk. We decided to all hang out and go out for dinner. Andrea's and my typical Sunday craving involves Sawat Dee (Thai food) and S and Angie agreed.

Andrea and I ordered our cheese puffs, which I know how to make, but it's so labor intensive, I'd almost rather just order six like this and inhale them. Angie and S talked about Japan, the language and S gifted Angie with a couple of his souvenirs that he was trying to pare down. He figured his old bank book might be interesting or useful practice for Angie's Japanese class.


I think we all had a good time. After figuring out our weird check, we came back to the house and, while Andrea got ready to go hang out at St. John's, Angie, S and I played Fluxx. S loves playing games, and my extended family is all into games, so this is an added bonus of us dating. I hope we can hang out with Angie again soon, since I really did miss seeing her and I want people to get to know S and how great he is.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Well this is an exciting blog

Since I really haven't done anything this past week that could constitute a blog entry of any substance, I have nothing to write about other than dear S. My apologies to anyone who is sick of this. Can I just say how great it is to hang out again? Of course I can, it's my blog. It's great to hang out with him again. We went to Bible study on Wednesday and have seen many of his family members. I love their reactions to his hair and beard.

"Don't get rid of it!" and then they look at me. "Don't let her tell you to shave!"

Frankly, I love the beard and the hair, but given a choice, I'd keep the beard and cut the hair. It's all good, though, and I'm not going to complain about anything, since I am still somewhat dazzled by being able to look at him again.

I'm back at the library today, working hard on little sleep. I stayed up too late last night hanging out with S's cousin and talking to S after that. Maybe I'll catch a nap later before seeing S again today.

Oh, who am I kidding.

Friday, October 20, 2006

My boyfriend's back

Eating breakfast, getting ready to go over to S's house again. It's back to work tomorrow for me after four days off. I really needed those four days. I haven't had a vacation in forever, and this has been like a mini-break from my real life. Except S is part of my real life and will continue to be part of my daily routine even when I'm back to work and thinking clearly about school once again.

Last night we were cuddling, and I almost said, "I miss you" to him. It was a transitory moment. No, Beth, S is here now, holding you and telling you things in person. My brain needs to catch up to the reality, I guess.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sinking in


It's taking some time to really sink in that S is finally, after six and a half months, back from Alaska. But he's here, and our airport hellos were sweet and wonderful, being grabbed for a hug and not quite knowing how with him wearing his backpack and not wanting to let go, really, ever, no seriously, can you just hold me all day?

So my worries were worthless, of course. He's here, he came back to me, and I have another two days to just hang out without bothering to think about those other things in my life. What other things? I have S again.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Eeeeeeeeee(k?)

All right, well, I think I'm officially, 100% nervous/antsy/excited that S is coming back to Minnesota tomorrow. I have no idea what to expect, other than that I need to be at the airport by 11:30pm, and to look for a very bearded, long-haired 6-foot-tall guy I get to call "my boyfriend."

I've been cleaning up my room today and doing things I barely ever do, like dusting (!?) and doing things I love to do (throw away crap I don't need! clear off my desks!). S called to talk a little before his going-away dinner in Canada at his dad's and my sister asked, in a really loud, annoying voice, "Are you excited to see your boyfriend?!?!" and I said, "Uhhh, not really." But four hours and two episodes of "Northern Exposure" later, and it's setting in.

In advance, apologies to anyone I know in real life if I act completely weird on Monday, October 16th.

Probably no reason to be afraid

I'm about to head to Calvary Chapel for this morning's service. I've really slacked off the last couple months and had wonderful excuses (I'm sure) for each Sunday I didn't attend, but I set my alarm and I woke up and got ready. Preparing myself for the barrage of questions about S, and since he flies back tomorrow, it's inevitable that people will ask, "Are you excited?" or other such things. I can't exactly use my honest response in this situation. "Excited? Well, yes, and also... scared shitless."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

All things must pass

I'm listening to my playlist of anthems this morning. Half of them are so goddamn depressing, but I trudge through, because they are songs that are supposed to remind me of something important. George Harrison is now telling me that "All things must pass, all things must pass away" and before, Judy Garland was telling me, "They're writing songs of love, but not for me, the lucky stars above, but not for me." The best, though, is probably Jamie Cullum singing, "If I expected love when first we kissed, blame it on my youth."

It's actually blowing snow flurries around outside right now. October 12th.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Possibilities for S's return

S told me last night that he's apprehensive about returning, about seeing me again. I feel kind of bad about this, because I feel like it's my fault for creating expectations of what it will be like when he gets back. I want to see him and hold hands again, nothing big and scary, but it's different, something to deal with. I fully realize that it's totally possible than any number of things can happen when he returns to Minnesota after being gone for 6 1/2 months, and not all of them are positive for me.

He could get bored of being unemployed and look for a job somewhere else, like teaching English in Taiwan or Beirut. He could apply to graduate school in Washington D.C. or College Station, Texas. Or he could appreciate me even more and be incredibly happy to be where he is, which could quench his wanderlust for at least a few months. He could find me completely unattractive or annoying and not want to date me anymore. He could meet someone else who is more beautiful and interesting and who doesn't talk about libraries all the time and fall in love with her.

Really, honestly, as long as he is the happiest possible and feels like he's making the right decisions for himself in his life, I will be glad for him and his future. Even if it doesn't include me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Communicating can be a challenge

I can think of nothing more frustrating at work than having to explain library policy to non-native English speakers, or those who don't really speak English at all. Our area has a lot of Somalians, which I think is great in a general way, but it makes for tense situations.

I just got off the phone a little while ago with someone who returned the incorrect VHS in a case. When this happens, we're not supposed to check the item in. We notify the patron and then hope they return the missing piece, but it's not always easy to do this. I tried very hard to explain the situation calmly and simply to this particular patron, using limited vocabulary and in multiple ways, but I'm not sure I got through. It makes me sad.

Normally, I am a competent employee, usually exceeding expectations of my job description, being helpful and friendly with everyone I see. I'm excellent at communication, so it's very frustrating for me at a personal level when I can't really talk to someone. Normally, I embrace a challenge on the job, except this isn't really something I can overcome, it's just something I have to learn from.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Not stressed, just perplexed

It's kind of horrible that I've forgotten how to study for an exam. Professor Humeston told us what to review, and I'm sitting here on the floor in my room looking at the Learning Objectives for each chapter and then the corresponding "The Least You Should Know" bullet points, and I know this stuff, and I'm going, "Yeah... uh, now what?" Maybe I should make flash cards like my sister does, or maybe I should do an outline or something?

I think I'll just make my own notes, since we get to use them on the test anyway, so anything that's in my handwriting could be useful, if not essential to my success on this thing.

In other news, S flies to Canada today to visit his dad, saying goodbye to Alaska after six months. April to October, leaving all the rain and the midnight sun and the bear spray behind, along with his ruined wardrobe and now-useless water bottles. I'm sure that it's exciting and sad for him. He really loved it there, and he saw so much of the place and felt, I think, comfortable even in his discomfort. I hope that he can ease back into the realities of life, but I won't blame him if he wants to seclude himself from modernity for a while, like the Voyageurs who spend a month in Canada, portaging and canoeing all the while, some of whom must sleep in their own backyards for weeks to adjust to conveniences again. At least S can blog about it all and reflect on his experiences.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

I've seen this going around

Complete the Thought:

Never again in my life: will I go to a rock concert without ear plugs.

When I was five: I really loved playing with the smooth sand in the kindergarten room. And my family got our first Apple computer. And I was still an only child.

High School was: crappy and clique-filled, until I switched schools, and then it was something I didn't want to miss—so many friends and fun times, making the tape-shape, talking, obsessing, etc.

I will never forget: when S brought me chocolates and flowers for Valentine's day... a day early! (He was working nights, so his sense of time was bad but in a very good way.) And then how he brought me more chocolates on the actual day.

I once met: Christopher O'Riley, the pianist who does the Radiohead transcriptions. I talked his ear off for about 20 minutes about classical music.

There’s this girl I know who: works at the library AND for campus public safety, and had to get sprayed with pepper-spray during her training, and then saved a girl's life during her first week on the job by knowing that she was having an appendicitis!

By noon I’m usually: working at the library, or reading or doing something online, or in St. Paul in my grad class. Unfortunately, there aren't many days when I sleep past noon. I need to work on this.

Last night I: went to Taco John's with my sister and then pigged out and had girl talk.

Next time I go to church: will be on Sunday, 6pm most likely.

What worries me most is: how to review for my cataloging mid-term in one week when I am being a know-it-all and feel like I can't possibly learn anything new by studying.

When I turn my head right, I see: the Hall of Weird, my sister's full-length mirror, my Radiohead poster on my door, a pile of clean clothes ready to be put away, dirty dishes to be brought to the kitchen, a stack of CDs ready to be alphabetized.

When I turn my head left, I see: the sunset through my window, the trees in silhouette, my desk with piles of papers on it, my Curious George, my passport.

You know I’m lying when: I refuse to comment, like a politician.

If I was a character written by Shakespeare I'd: be Helena in Midsummer Night's Dream, wanting the guy who doesn't want her forever and a day—until, by magic! he falls for her, too.

By this time, next year: who knows. Isn't that exciting?

A better name for me would be: actually, I think my name suits me quite well. Good choice, mom.

I have a hard time understanding: physics. And people who find "debate" the highest form of fun.

If I ever go back to school I’ll: get a second masters in something useless, like art history.

You know I like you if: I tell you so.

Three people who bore me are: three boring people? I guess I don't know any.

Take my advice, NEVER: tell me what to think.

My ideal breakfast is: bagel and coffee, or breakfast burritos, or toast with cinnamon sugar and milk.

A song I love, but do not have is: "L is for the way you look at me..."—"Love" by Nat King Cole.

If you visit my hometown, I suggest: going to Quarry Park for a walk. It's our version of Central Park, a big ol' protected area in the city limits, ten minutes from the mall and the Caribou Coffee.

Why won’t anyone: buy me real jewelry?

If you spend the night at my house, DO: feel completely at home, plopping down on the leather furniture, kicking back with a Smirnoff or Mountain Dew, listening to music from our extensive collections, watching a DVD from the library, or just enjoying the insanity.

The world could do without: bigots. And homophobes. And scary fundamentalists.

I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: give my phone number to my library stalker.

My favorite blonde is: my cousin Christy. She's 16 and super sweet!

Paperclips are more useful than: library cards. (That's a lie.)

San Diego means: Saint Diego, I think. And probably fun times, if you know where to hang out (I don't).

Friday, October 06, 2006

Feeling cherished

Since cell service in buildings in Indian, Alaska is kind of sketchy, S and I used Gmail chat last night for a few hours of conversation. It's the first time I've ever used a communication form with S that was non-organic and real-time (for us, it's been e-mails since high school, phone calls, and in-person all the way) and it was kind of weird and fun. I tend to have to multi-task while I'm online (reading blogs, checking my accounts, listening to music, on Facebook or MySpace, etc.) so it was strange not giving S my complete attention, as he usually gets and deserves.

Something was agreed upon about a rice cooker, this much I remember. And that he cares about my sanity, which I think I already knew. After a while, we both slacked off with the chatting and then I decided to go to bed. After I had crawled under the covers and was coughing from my cold and trying to get comfy, my phone rang.

"It's so cold out here!" he informed me.

"So go back inside!" I replied. "You don't have to talk to me more."

"Yeah, I do. I love you."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The switch

I switched to the new Blogger Beta and changed my template and uploaded my fall leaves photos.

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Even my ears hurt

Today is a day of random errands and feeling icky. I have a sore throat and feel achy and tired and headachy even with medication. So I've been "resting" (whatever that means) and I also went to the post office, the gas station, got my glasses adjusted, cleaned out my car, took photos of the autumn leaves in our yard, got Chinese food for lunch, and picked up my allergy medication prescription. I think I'm going to try to take a little nap here in a few minutes.

S called as he was packing up his gear—he's getting picked up and taken back to Indian, which is near Anchorage. He flies out on Sunday (I think?) to see his dad in British Columbia, so by the time he's back to me, he'll be vaguely more used to regular showers and sleeping inside and not being rained on constantly. We pretty much have to go camping together, now that he's done this whole Alaska thing and I've never even been camping.

I'm just glad I got sick this week instead of next week. I hope I'm over it by then.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I think this is cute

藍帽子的秘密.

A little place to call my own

Every time I see Sarah Susanka's books ("The Not So Big House"), or books on log cabins, I get kind of dreamy and wish that I had my own house, just a tiny little one to decorate and paint and put window boxes on for daffodils. I imagine the bedroom would be red like mine is now, and the living room would be a soothing chestnut brown. Then I remember how much I hate cleaning (dusting, vacuuming, and the like) and the dream dies.

But then I think about a small apartment where they would let me paint. A brownstone, something near Grand Avenue in St. Paul, a walk-up on the third floor. More than likely, I'd have to go to the laundromat each week, but I would love it.

I think either of these scenarios is some time off in the future, but I can dream, can't I?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The way of the world

Today at work is just flying by. I hope the next four hours go the same way. I'm working a lot the next two weeks, or so it seems. I also need to find some time to review for my midterm exam. Tonight, I might try to make something sweet for a coworker's birthday tomorrow since we have our first Virtual Services team meeting. I hope we can get a library blog going, at the very least.

Monday, October 02, 2006

My temporary boyfriend

While S has been gone, my temporary fill-in has been the one, the only, Cary Grant.

No, I haven't raised him from the dead in order to date him, I've just watched his movies and felt very involved with him. Lucky for me, Turner Classics did a full day of Cary Grant's movies (or should I say, Achie Leach's movies?) and I grabbed a bunch of them with the DVR.

I've seen so many of his movies, and loved all of them (especially "An Affair to Remember," "To Catch a Thief, and "The Grass is Greener"), and especially loved him (particularly as Mortimer in "Arsenic and Old Lace" and as whoever in "Charade"), that it might be kind of difficult to break up once S is here. I told S last night when he called that I was watching "Father Goose" and that I may have him watch something silly like "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" when he gets back.

"I guess I have to know what I'm up against," S said.

I'm guess willing to trade one tall, dark and handsome man for another.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A perfect day

Things I love:

Autumn
Warm days
Sunshine dappled through tree leaves
Reading while sitting outside
Billy Collins poetry
Listening to music on my iPod
Warm sweaters
The smell of citrus

I've been sitting reading the Best American Poetry of 2006 edited by Billy Collins, enjoying this 80 degree weather. Feeling kind of guilty that it is most assuredly half that temperature in Seward, Alaska today, and probably raining there. But this is S's last week on the job, and then it's onto something new. I am putting off studying for my cataloging midterm, because I want to do that closer to the actual exam, which is two weeks away. So, it's lazing around for me. Excellent.

Made it to the wedding reception for my cousin Matt and his new wife Shannon. I did a quick change into my dress in my car after I got out of class and then hightailed it to the Millenium Hotel on Nicollet in downtown Minneapolis. Lots of dancing, hanging out with cousins, dancing some more, and then getting home quite late. It was a really great time, though, definitely fun.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Judy Garland writing from beyond the grave

Example of a "spirit" work, as mentioned in yesterday's cataloging class related entry.

Look at me, live blogging from my grad class. Naughty, naughty.

Update: if you go to the Library of Congress and search "garland judy (spirit)" in the basic search for author/creator, you will find the bib record I linked to. Silly LOC and their timeouts. Thanks for the heads-up, Amanda!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Catalogers are a weird lot, I think

So I'm sitting here reading Chapter 4 of the Students Guide for LIS 703, and Helen Humeston, the professor and co-author of the guidebook knows how very dry the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules are, so she livens it up a bit in her own writing. Usually this means she just writes cleverly about boring things. But suddenly, I read the sentence:

"Now we come to the only faintly humorous part of AACR2. Rule 21.26A governs the way to enter a work dictated from beyond the grace. Princess Diana has been busy since she died. She is credited for two spirit books."

And then there's a bibliographic record where the MARC field looks like this:

600 00 |a Diana, |c Princess of Wales, |d 1961-1997 |c (Spirit)

And, sure enough, the actual cataloging rule says this, "Enter a communication presented as having been received from a spirit under the heading for a spirit. Make an added entry under the heading for the medium of other person recording the information."

The medium? Um, can I just say—WHAT were they thinking?!!?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Earlier tonight

On my oncoming winter pallor:

"Too bad there's no cure for paleness."
"A boyfriend who loves you."
"Aww... You are horribly cute, you know? Ridiculously cute."
"You should write that down."
"What, so I don't forget?"
"So you can remember I'm ridiculously cute."

New heights of nerdiness (MLA report)

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I attended sessions of the Minnesota Library Association conference. Tuesday, I took an ill co-worker's place at a pre-conference training workshop on cataloging sound recordings. Yesterday, I attended the Millenials/Net Gen presentation by some university librarians, and the "Are You the Librarian?" paraprofessional session presented by Valeria Fike from College of DuPage, who was named the Library Journal paraprofessional of the year.

The pre-conference training on audio cataloging was very technical and the two presenters (Kathy Blough from St. Olaf and Mary Huisman from the U of M) gave many specific, practical tips and cited the corresponding cataloging rules for everything. Learning about how to catalog new formats was actually quite interesting, since I wasn't aware of the kinds of notes that need to be made in a MARC record.

Example from Hennepin County's library catalog:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets sound recording.

The MARC record (MARC=Machine Readable Cataloging record, a format that library computer systems can read with searchable fields and lots of strange-looking punctuation.)

In the session, we learned what types of notes to make on records for different types of audio, like super audio discs, DVD audio, and other crazy things like those books on tape that come pre-loaded on a player, which is done by Playaway. Everyone in the room seemed pretty excited about the Playaway books.

Yesterday's sessions were less hands-on practical, but I did learn that I am a millenial, part of the net-gen (or generation y) and the panel of students from Bethel was, I'm sure, enlightening for everyone in the room who isn't part of our generation. We watched a "60 Minutes" clip on this generation of kids, and it kind of grossly overgeneralized what we are like, but it was still apropos. The students on the panel were asked to talk about their typical days, and they described being very plugged in, with iPods, palm pilots, laptops, cell phones. A coworker at my table was like, "What's Facebook?" when all of the panel members admitted logging into e-mail and Facebook upon waking up. I had to raise my hand and ask them to describe it and I promised to show my coworker what it's like.

Since I am a library paraprofessional, that session was kind of affirming, except I tend to disagree with Valeria Fike on the matter of library paraprofessionals as real professionals. In that room, I didn't want to admit that I'm in school for a MLIS degree. The tips on resumes and keeping a portfolio were good, though, and I will probably do many of them to help my chances of getting a job at some later point.

After the sessions, I walked the convention floor and got some chocolate and some goodies (a tote bag from Spotlight that's pink and says, "Read!" and a few buttons). Overall, a good day, but I went home and took a long nap. I was exhausted and didn't feel all that well, but now I'm up and at 'em today with not much to do. Cataloging homework, here I come.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

How the models look that good

Wow, with the retouching. And this is why sometimes I just don't even try.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Noooooo (MyFaceSpaceBook?)

Okay, well, Facebook has gone and done it. Opened the gates to the masses. And guess what? It took minutes for me to log in just now, and it's taking a loooong time to load my profile/home links. Freakin' A! If you're not someone I know in real life, don't expect me to add you.

And here I wanted a t-shirt that said, "I went to grad school and all I got was this stupid Facebook account."

Just kidding. Sort of.

Monday, September 25, 2006

My life, a list

In the next three weeks before S is back, I have the following:

Two classes and the homework involved therewith
Attendance at the Minnesota Library Association conference
A pre-MLA training session
My cousin Matt's wedding to his longtime girlfriend, Shannon
Approximately 90 hours of work
At least two Netflix DVDs to watch each week
Four books I want to finish or start reading

Yesterday evening, I got to talk to S for almost three hours. We haven't done that in a while, since he was out of range for two weeks, and before that, when he was in range, the service would cut out on us every couple minutes or so. Kind of hard to have a meaningful conversation when every other minute the call would be dropped. Last night we made up for that, and my phone even died. It was great.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Beth, an artist?

I was looking for something else online (a comment I made on another site) and came up with my debut as reader with the band my friend Val Snobeck and her husband Andrew Neher have, The Wood Knots.

I remember recording that in their Uptown apartment late one night a couple years ago. I had a cold, and Val made me tea, which was so hot I could barely sip it. Andrew let me do multiple takes with their Macintosh laptop, and all I had to do was read Val's story, banged out on a typewriter with handwritten notes. Good times.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

So far away

Went out for dinner tonight after work for a coworker's going-away celebration. Waited nearly an hour to seat 12 at the Olive Garden (it's central Minnesota, okay?), planned on splitting a bottle of wine with one of my favorite coworkers. Chatted, learned my boss loves watching "Jackass" and "Ali G." Said we should all go see the Borat movie when it comes out as a group of coworkers. Totally awesome.

Ordered pasta, of course. Started feeling the wine and enjoyed the conversaton immensely. My half of the table was watching a nearby couple on their date. We guessed possibly a first. It looked so awkward, the girl with her hair in a tight updo, both of them dressed nicer than business casual. Saturday night. We all swooned when he reached for her hand, held it in both of his for about 10 seconds, then sighed when he let go. We couldn't tell if it was a dying relationship or a brand new one gaining momentum, but my sister said it would have gone better if she'd worn her hair down, for heaven's sake.

Now I'm here, in bed reading Stephanie Klein's book and listening to Carole King and wishing I could talk to S so much, but his crew is on the road to Seward from Homer, so it will be tomorrow before I can tell him about my day.

I can't wait to sleep in and knit and watch "Northern Exposure" tomorrow while it continues to rain. I'll make coffee and add whipped cream on top and eat bread all day, probably start another book if I finish the current one. And then it's another work week. Only three left until S is back. I can't help it. I think about him all the time, am so attached to him even with him away, and I'm almost sick of myself talking about him, but he's my boyfriend and I can't help it. I liked him for so long and being able to call him my boyfriend is more precious than anything else to me right now.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Photo update

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I added some photos from early August when Angie got back from Ecuador and I hung out at their family's house that evening. The younger cousins were all about the trampoline that night.

Lacking the proper equipment?

I had a moral victory and loss at the same time earlier this week when I started talking to my father about my car. For as long as I can remember, he and my mom have kept track of their mileage and how much they spend on gas, and when I moved out, I stopped keeping track. The numbers are useless to me, and it's a waste of time to write down useless information. When I moved back home and my dad started checking my fluids for me again, he asked, "Where's the little mileage book?"

"Fell out somewhere in Nebraska, I guess," I lied.

I realized then that if I was living under his roof, I should probaby follow his rules. Except this past week, I got angry that I was writing this down every time I stopped to fill up. I don't care if I paid 2.669/gallon two months ago and 2.179/gallon last week. It's inconsequential.

So I told my dad, "I need to talk to you about something. You know my mileage? I don't care. It's my car, it's in my name, I pay the insurance, and I don't care about tracking my mileage. I will write down when I put in oil and check fluids, but I don't want to write down my mileage anymore."

He acquiesed. Victory! Then I asked my next question, "Can you show me how to change my oil?"

He hesitated. "You need tools," he started saying. "A jack and stands."

I was like, "You have that stuff, and I still live here..." but felt more like saying, "You mean I don't have a penis."

His response? "I could show S how to do that."

Defeat.

I wanted to yell, "But it's not his responsibility! And he isn't mechanical! And what do I do when he dumps me for someone hotter who knows how to change her own oil?!" but I didn't. Instead, I rolled my eyes. "Eve knows how to change her own oil," I told him, using the logic of school children.

"Since we use high-grade oil, I only change it once a year," was his next response.

Sometime this year, I'm going to watch him do it, and take notes.

It's another ducky day

Yesterday, Angie and I went to the noon mass at the Cathedral and then to Mississippi Bean for some coffee talk. It was great, got me out of the house on my day off, and I didn't watch any television or movies yesterday. Mostly, I just read (started Stephanie Klein's "Straight Up and Dirty").

I did, however, go shopping at Old Navy. Normally, I am Very Conservative when it comes to money and clothing. But this summer as I packed away my winter clothing, I realized how much of it is from when I was in high school or college, or how it doesn't fit me at all anymore (or never really fit me). I've spent a chunk on new jeans and some winter shirts and sweaters in the past two weeks, plus a dress to wear to my cousin's wedding at the end of the month, but I'm going to rationalize it by saying I got most of it at a discount or on sale, and I had to replace the things I got rid of or were falling apart.

Anyway, talked to S last night, and he seems okay. It was kind of weird not talking to him for two weeks, but it was also nice not being woken up at midnight by my phone ringing. I am so ready to have him back, it's not even funny, especially with the weather getting colder.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

More on "Get to Work," my personal/political life

Since I read Linda R. Hirshman's "Get to Work" on Sunday, it seems like every thing I do is political. If I wipe the counter in the kitchen and I know the crumbs aren't mine, I think, Why the heck am I doing this? Or while hanging up my dad's laundry, or picking up my sister's shoes, I'm thinking, Goddammit, I don't want to do this for the rest of my life. Is that what I'm doomed to if I get married and want kids? Ridiculous.

I don't want to take Hirshman's words as gospel truth, but I see her point, I see how my options aren't really options, how whatever I "choose" wouldn't really be a "choice," how feminism hasn't come far enough, into families and marriages. I see how whoever makes the money has the power. I see the woman caring more about housework and losing out more in an imaginary divorce and then doing the (completely valueless) work herself. I don't want that to be me.

I want to be loved and adored by a man, but I also want my meaningful work. And I know my work is important, and I know it's not high-powered and hugely money making the way Hirshman defines success, but it's quite possible that I could make more money than my future husband. I've got eight years of library work under my belt, and I don't plan on giving it up for anything, especially not with the graduate degree under way.

I want what I want, and I don't want to have to try to fit into some Boundless Christian wife model. I'm a believer in Jesus, but I don't feel that this means my husband's work takes precedence over my work. I could care less about the "biblical model," as Candice Watters calls it, when it comes to my resume vs. his.

That's when I just get pissed off, the way I can tell Linda Hirshman got pissed off, and I want to scream and have every woman who's in college read this book as part of that "Life Skills 401" class I think should be offerred at the end of everyone's senior year. Because this is life-changing stuff, and it's everyone's business.

And now, on my one day off this week, wherin I work nearly 40 hours and do graduate school homework and my own laundry and cooking, I am going to attend noon mass at the Cathedral.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Completely unrelated topics entry!

I think I'm going to get back into my knitting sometime soon. I tend to watch movies and knit mindlessly, but lately my wrists have been hurting/tingling, and that's never a good feeling. It's too bad that some of my favorite activities (checking books in and out, knitting, typing) involve my stupid wonky wrists.

On an unrelated note, I plan on being a friendly, customer-service oriented librarian when I grow up and finish my degree. Being kind and "service with a smile" makes patrons want to use the library time and again, and will convince them to vote for more library funding, and on down the line. One smile at a small child, one "hello" to anyone who enters the library, goes a long way toward making an entire library system a place people want to be. For real.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Forget dancing all night, I want to cuddle

Freakin' A! I keep saying that lately, and I don't really know why. It is one of my cute little Bethy quirks, like how, when people come to the circulation desk and say, usually sheepishly, "I think I lost my library card..." or "I think my card is expired..." I have the tendency to say, in a pseudo-aghast way, "Oh dear!" and then I smile and say all the usual reassuring things about how it's only a dollar for a new card if it's lost, and it's free if it's just old! Free! No worries, folks!

Anyway, with the freakin' A. I was compelled to request the book, "The Five Love Languages, Men's Edition" or whatever it's titled by Gary Chapman, I think (I'm not in cataloging class at this very moment, okay?). I was thumbing through it on my break the other day. Mr. Chapman describes (in an overly thorough way, in my opinion) each love language (for review: quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, physical touch, acts of service) and then at the end of each chapter, gives very excellent suggestions for guys to do for their wives (it's aimed at married dudes, so of course I will hand it to S as soon as he steps off that plane in 27 days).

For a time, I wasn't sure exactly which love language is mine, specifically. So I was reading the tips sections to see which one spoke to me the loudest. For quality time, I was like, "This sounds great," and then for "Acts of service," I was like, "I guess..." but for physical touch, I very nearly melted there in the break room at the library. All the ideas would have me a puddle on the floor every day. One of the suggestions was, "When your wife has a head cold, massage her forehead," and because my fall allergies have been bothering me a lot lately, my head is congested and I was thinking, "Freakin' A! Why isn't S here to rub my forehead?!" And the thing is, S is awesome when it comes to physical touch, what with holding my hand all the time and sitting close and big hugs and cuddle sessions.

Also, gotta love Mr. Chapman for writing, in the gifts section, something like, "It can't hurt to say this again guys: jewelry pretty much always works." Swoosh.

That's my only advice: think twice

Now that the weather has turned cool, and I've taken to leaving my window open a crack at night for the free air conditioning, it feels really wrong to be without S. It was around this time last year that I'd gotten my new job at the library and was applying to graduate school and was agonizing over my friendship with S.

Now, everything is as it is, probably as it should be, and I am very happy with the general state of things, but less happy with the specific state of things. I have to remind myself it's less than a month until my boyfriend is back, and there will be more grad classes that are more interesting, and then fulfill myself with books and other happy things.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Cast some light, it'll be all right

Class yesterday got really long and we kept going over AACR2 and the eight areas for book cataloging, and I was pretty much in the know once I'd read the chapter so it felt like a lot of going over things I already understood. Thankfully, Angie went with me to the cities. We'd originally planned to try to get rush tickets to see Joshua Bell at the Ordway with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, but after class I was quite hungry as were both of them, and we got awesome food from Carbone's near St. Kate's and then went to the Mall of America. Depressing place. By the time we left for the mall, it was pretty obvious we wouldn't make the rush line in time, so we just went back to Eve and Simon's apartment after shopping and many traffic detours.

Today I did my assignment for class, which isn't due for another two weeks. This class, a lot of work? Pffft. I think I may read ahead, because I don't think I'm going to become overwhelmed with three 5 point assignments throughout the class and one 10-page 25 point paper due at the end of class.

I also started reading Linda R. Hirshman's "Get to Work" today, and I'm going to finish it before bed. I'm definitely going to ask S to read it, too. Reading it makes me angry and annoyed and self-righteous and probably not fun to be around, but it does make me think about my life and my career goals and my desire for marriage, which never hurts to examine from a new perspective.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Crosses all over the boulevard

I am so glad that I have my current job. My boss has been really great about my schedule now that I'm in library school, and he even loaned me his copy of the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules for my class. Have I mentioned how we even have computers for use on our breaks? This place has been really supportive and particularly nurturing for me and my family, considering that Andrea works here, too.

I have the next four days off, which means I have two days to do my homework, Saturday is another class, and then Sunday is also free. This is amazing to me on many levels, namely that my boss said I can just come into work on the opposite Saturdays, which means I will still have off many days in a row. Schweet.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Checking off my list

I have this list of people I need to call, including Marcia from the Minnesota Library Association about my registration for this fall's conference, my voice teacher Marcie, my doctor for another appointment, and one of S's references so I can send off his resume for a job opening. I've been able to cross out three things on my list so far, but the others will probaby have to wait. I got the things for S done, though. Man, what am I, his girlfriend or his secretary? I'm kidding, I actually asked him if I could put in his resume for an opening I found, and he was very enthusiastic, so it's just an act of service showing my love for him.

Last night, some coworkers and Andrea and I took out another coworker for his 21st birthday. Nothing huge, just walked to a restaurant and had some happy hour appetizers and drinks (it was Monday night) and caught the end of the Vikings game (woo! we won!! like I care...). So due to that, I didn't get to bed until around 11:30 and then worked at 8 this morning, so I am debating whether I should call my cousin Angie to go on a bike ride or not. I guess I could call and see if she's around, anyway.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A post about how self-centered I really am

Crapity crap on a stick. I just realized that the Naomi Shihab Nye reading at the Loft that I was so excited to go to with my college friends is on September 30th, a day I thought I just had class and then could hop to downtown Minneapolis for a good old poetry reading and even maybe go out afterward with my friends and the said famous poet who is in literary/poetry anthologies everywhere.

But I was wrong.

I have a cousin getting married that day, so immediately after class I'm headed to the Millenium Hotel on Nicollet Mall.

Man, in my family, cousins get married all the time, but I might not get to meet Naomi frickin' Shihab Nye any other time! Ugh. I will just have to tell myself that she will be back, and she's friends with my friend, so I'll meet her sometime, just not September 30, 2006.

We were in love

Seeing José González and Zero 7 on Friday night was pretty fun. Andrea and I had dinner with Alyssa Knese and Michael Byrne at Leeann Chin where conversation was mostly about Ethnic Wal-Mart which is on University Avenue. After we ate, we dropped Alyssa off and the three of us music snobs went to the show at the Fine Line. Michael, who is the DJ and king of new music among us, kept comparing the show to when he saw Lil' Wayne with Alyssa. I was all, "Why do you keep talking about Lil' Wayne? This is nothing like seeing Lil' Wayne." And he was like, "I only go to raves or DJs, so my only comparison to a real concert is when I saw Lil' Wayne." Criminy.

We all agreed that Zero 7 should have played more old stuff, like "In the Waiting Line," instead of so much new stuff which is okay, but not nearly as chill as their first album. Anyway. José was awesome, and the reworkings of his songs with Zero 7 were pretty sweet. I keep listening to "Veneer" and Michael found a live version of his cover of Massive Attack's "Teardrop," which is lovely.

Staying with Katie Jorgensen was awesome. It worked out really well, even though Andrea and Katie were both sick. We went to Axel's Bonfire for dinner last night after they picked me up from my class, and then got coffee and dessert at Cafe Latte and looked at stuff at J. Crew and Pottery Barn on Grand Ave. Katie is such a sweetheart and I had a really good time even though I vastly overestimated the size of my own stomach.

My first class went well, some familiar faces from my first class were there, which made me feel infinitely more comfortable. It doesn't seem like cataloging will be all that complex to understand. Professor Humeston went over the tools that we will use for our assignments, and her attitude was pretty much like, students make this more complicated than they need to. There is a tool for every task, you just have to know where to look. Cataloger's Desktop is going to be my good buddy for the next three months.

Other good news: S should be home in around 36 days. I am so desperate to see him.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A quote from Andrea on the subject of the Armin Van Burren show changing nights, and she's missing it

"Ahhh! Fudge machine!"

Momentary pause.

"Plus, his tour schedule is: Europe, Minneapolis, Ibiza!"

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Kind of hate...

I kind of hate how the biggest change in my life recently is the new Facebook feeds feature. I like it, because I am all about the convenience of feeds (Bloglines anyone?) but I can see how overly detailed it makes all of my friendships. It does save me time, though, since now I can see exactly when Brian Wilken removes specific movies from his interests, like "Heavyweights" and adds "Van Wilder." Also, I can see updated photos lickity split, which is probably the best thing this site has going anyway (uploads! of photos! how novel! Flickr anyone?).

Jeez.

Additionally, when I tried to come to Blogger to write this, I started to type "booger." Booger—the new Blogger!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Listening to Andain in the morning is good

I am so glad that I got to talk to S last night for quite a while before the Alaskan cell service started crapping out on us. Also glad it started working again a couple hours later and I got to talk to S even more. I have this disease called being in love with my boyfriend and it makes it really weird and/or difficult to not talk to him or about him for at least 30% of the day.

I am eating banana coffee cake and drinking cold milk for breakfast. I usually wake up about an hour before I need to get to work, give or take ten minutes. I wash my hair/shower, dress, and eat breakfast. I can skip the shower if I'm running late, but I cannot, under any circumstances, skip breakfast. I need the yummy in my tummy in the morning.

I did a good portion of my reading homework yesterday for LIS 703 (a.k.a. "Cataloging") and I just have one chapter of the Students' Guide to read for Saturday. There isn't a lot of reading listed on the syllabus (oh how I love me some syllabi) so I think the homework level must be pretty high. I think I'll start looking through the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd edition (a.k.a. AACR2) so I have some idea of what I'm up against. Although for a time commitment, a class that meets eight times over three months is simply not going to be as intense as my first class, which met 13 times over a month and a half.

P.S. I did actually fall asleep quite well last night and would have slept through except for S calling, and even after we talked for a while, I fell right back asleep. Ahh, exercise. I'm going to do something similar today.

Monday, September 04, 2006

My fortune from tonight's meal: "You will get a great deal on a major purchase."

After a huge dinner of Chinese buffet with my parents, I knew I had to do something active and get out of the house or I would surely fall asleep on the couch while watching the BBC version of Dickens' "Bleak House" and then not be able to sleep normally tonight. So I hopped on my mom's bike and pedalled over to my aunt and uncle's house in order to find a cousin with whom to go on a bike ride.

None of my older cousins were home, and I was on the driveway talking to my little cousins, saying, "Does anyone want to go on a ride with me?" This turned into me biking behind my 13-year-old cousin Emily and her friend Kristin to Oak Hill School's playground, about two miles away, where we met up with my uncle Frank and Nick and Maggie, my two younger cousins, with another friend, Grant, and played on the massive playground equipment for a good long time, then biked back.

Now I am sufficiently well-exercised for today, since I also exercised this morning. I hope I can get to sleep and be all right for my work week ahead. But first, starting another book...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Definitely not gonna buy that book by Wilkie Collins he tried to read

I'm loving The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby right now. I only have about 20 pages left, and I am so sad to see them go. It's combining my love for all things British, books about books, and—this summer—football (U.S. vernacular: soccer). Weirdly, I haven't read many of the books Hornby mentions in his Believer columns, but I have read J.D. Salinger and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and my share of Dickens, so it's sort of a connection regardless. It isn't literary, it's just so frickin' good.

And I haven't ever read another Nick Hornby book in my life, though I have seen the British version of "Fever Pitch" and "About a Boy" and even "High Fidelity."

In a bit, I am headed out into the rain to meet up for my friend Jenna's Barnes & Noble going-away party, but I am so tired that I will probably stay for about an hour and then come home and crash into bed. Because that usually goes so well for me. Scoff.

At times, my brain fails me

Sometimes, when I am annoyed at some aspect of my relationship, like missing S to a serious degree, I get so caught up in wanting to fix the problem, make it better, reestablish harmony, that I forget how happy I am just to be dating S. Our "serious dating" was a long time coming, and hard won for me. When he did finally admit feelings for me, I nearly fell over.

We'd been "friends" for so long, I never thought anything would change. Whenever something would happen in my life, I would have the urge to tell him about it, but he was actually always the last person to know anything. If I felt stressed out or in a bad mood, I wanted to talk to him so much, but I wouldn't. He would call and we would basically talk about nothing. But it was good, solid nothing, if that makes sense. We would talk about family, but not personally, and religion, but not individually, etc.

I take it for granted now that when I want to share something with him, I can. I call, he answers, we talk about it, he encourages me or comforts me or is excited for me. Sometimes I randomly text message him, and he messages or calls back. It's great, this level of communication and commitment. I want to remember, though, that it hasn't always been like this. It's only been like this for ten months, and I feel more at peace now with my life than ever.

Friday, September 01, 2006

For future reference (see: October)

I really want to be part of The Smooch Project. Me and S and Cata and Andrea would make some good ones, I think.

Purging

Something came over me and I started cleaning out my closet and my desk and my other desk. I have this really strong urge to throw away things that I don't need or want anymore, and to get my stuff down to a minimum. Gone are lots of old scraps of paper with notes on them, receipts from years ago, and I put a bunch of grade school and high school stuff in a file box to store somewhere else in the house.

The only thing I have a really hard time parting with are books. But the thing is, I don't actually buy that many books, since I work at the library and mainly just borrow whatever I want to read. Exceptions are books I absolutely love and will read again, and I'm not going to get rid of those anyway, so it's a moot point.

After all this cleaning and organizing, I feel gross and tired. Probably will spend the rest of the afternoon lazing around, reading, listening to music, and watching yet another Cary Grant movie.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

La familia

Last night I had just finished eating some nachos when the doorbell rang. Normally, our "open door" policy is in place all the time, except that I had been taking a nap and my parents had left on a walk and had apparently locked up before leaving. I answered the door and lo and behold! It was my cousins Angie and Erik, come to hang out.

We had a glorious evening of wine and song and beer and playing Nerts (which is like double solitaire, on crack, played with as many people as possible, in fast forward) and dancing around to techno and talking about how we all love our extended family beyond reason. It was an excellent, wonderful time. I started to crash around 2am, and crawled off to bed.

S "sober dialed" me sometime during the evening, and this morning when he called, said I sounded really cute last night. I was like, when I am drunk, I am even cuter than usual? Not bad to know... and he said that I was like a happy child you want to scoop up and pack away to sweet dreams. Nice. At least I wasn't naughty.

I have a few days off here, and I'm going to finish reading "A Year in the Merde" and start with my LIS 703 homework, reading the introduction to AACR2 and the chapters of the textbook for the first course meeting on September 9. Not that far away; time to bite the bullet.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Names nobody should give their children

Names I like which I will have to use for characters in stories instead of daughters, since everyone, including potential future husband, finds them utterly ridiculous:

Frances
Mabel
Hermione
Petunia
Persephone
Tallulah

Re: the last one. My own cousin Angie said, "What would you call her?" and I said, in what I thought was a reasonable way, "Lulah..." which elicited much mocking laughter.

S likes family names, whereas I am not into naming kids after anyone in particular, would rather give them their own thing. Maybe I could just invent stories of my great aunt Persephone...

Monday, August 28, 2006

I fell in love again, all things go

S informed me yesterday that they were headed to the "backcountry," meaning the Mat-Su Valley and Nancy Lake, where he said there wouldn't be cell service. By now, after nearly five months of his being gone in Alaska, I was like, "Okay, no problem" to the idea of not being able to talk for two weeks or so. I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself, etc. etc. Except he sounded pretty sad about it. I asked why he didn't tell me sooner that he wouldn't be able to call, so that I could have taken more time to catch up with him, offering encouragement and support and so on.

"I didn't want to think about it," he said. So we said our "I love you"s and then he was going to call his dad before they were out of cell range completely. I went to bed around 11pm and expected to sleep through until the morning.

Except my phone rang at nearly 1am.

"There's, like, one bar of service out here," S's voice on the end of the line.

I swear, I pinched myself.

I have no idea if that campground is their base for the next couple of weeks, but even being able to talk to him one extra time is the best gift ever.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The ocean breathes salty

I was thinking, on my way home from St. Paul tonight, about the band name Modest Mouse. I guess I always thought that the name came from some shortened weird form of Modest Mussorgsky's name. I don't know why I believed this, but it seemed logical in a completely random sort of way.

Apparently, according to my research, I was wrong. The line of a Virginia Woolf story is also equally random, though, so I think I gain some points for even an equally weird, though incorrect, guess.

Friday, August 25, 2006

I don't know what I can save you from

Good day at work, short because I stayed later on Wednesday to kind of see a project through to the end. I thought it might be good to rearrange our distribution area, and my boss was all for it, and then—with the help of some lovely library aides—it was accomplished. I really like the result, as it makes the area more efficient, roomy, and it just feels fresher and cleaner after moving things around.

I visited S's mom and grandma after work, and after showing them yet more photos from Alaska, got to talking with Paula, S's mom. I also petted Zipper and admired Paula's flower gardens. It's really quite comforting to feel welcomed at that house even with S away. His grandmother gave me some zucchini bread because Paula said she "owed" me for the treats I've dropped off, so I'm looking forward to that for breakfast tomorrow morning.

I'm headed to the cities tomorrow for my cousin Matt's future wife's bridal shower. Shannon is very nice, and Andrea helped me pick out a gift, and I'm planning to meet up with Eve at her and Simon's place before the shower to hang out a little. My only concern is that the apartment is very near the state fairgrounds, and the fair is in full effect. Como Avenue, here I come...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Really don't want to have a Shirley Jones song in my head, but...

Today the name of my blog is really appropriate. I feel so joyful, it's almost ridiculous. I think it's what known as "being in love." At least, that's what it feels like, and the text message from S this morning didn't hurt, either.

Even serious, potentially completely scary conversations with him don't diffuse into awful arguments. He listens to me, I listen to him, and there's usually a conclusion we can both accept if not be totally happy about. That happened this weekend, and when I was filled with anxiety and felt hopeless, he was there, calling me, telling me he loves me.

If I break up with him, I give anyone permission to punch me. If he breaks up with me, I encourage anyone to punch him.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I wanna pack cute little lunches for my Brady bunches...

Gonna be totally honest here: serious conversations with my boyfriend about kids freak me out. He wants them—sometime, in a vague sort of life goal desire way, probably within the next ten years—whereas I am all, a human freaking being inside of my body? Like that's ever gonna happen, buddy.

I read enough (gag) "mommy blogs" (ungag) to know that motherhood has its ups and downs and it's rewarding and stressful and blah blah blah. Maybe I am just 25 and totally normal in not having an urge to be a mother anytime soon. But in a vague, oh, sure, possibly... in the future, yeah, I kind of do. What the heck? Ah, crap. Labor is one day and kids are the next generation, so it's probably worth it.

I really miss my boyfriend. I don't think I can express it any better than that. I know it's not like he's in Iraq and I can't ever talk to him, and I'm not whining, because heavens to betsey I am just blessed to even have a guy who calls when he says he will and adores me and has meaningful conversations with me. I just miss him, is all, this incredible man who can handle my anxiety and love me all the more for it.

P.S. I also really want a dog.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I think I take after my mother...

So my mom is kind of known for being able to find anything for anyone. When my cousin Simon and his girlfriend Eve moved to Minnesota two years ago, she got them stuff for their households, things like vacuums and tupperware and furniture, for discount prices. When my uncle Frank and aunt Laura were looking to move about ten years ago, she noticed a house in the development near ours was up for sale. Wham-boom, they loved it and bought it.

Now that I know of two people looking for employment, I find I am doing a similar thing for them—searching out opportunities and forwarding them. I've found a couple possibilities for S when he gets back, and a couple for my cousin Angie who was in Ecuador. I know their skills and abilities, and I guess I want to help or at least encourage them, these people I love.