Friday, June 30, 2006

Getting used to the idea

At the library where I work, we are doing away with grace periods and allowing two renewals as long as there are no holds on an item. We are also instituting self pick up of holds in about two weeks. All these changes may be difficult for some to get used to, but I'm excited. Change is good, keeps us fresh. I tend to frame it for patrons as, "There is a benefit to this, and while it may seem weird, you have time to get used to the idea."

It's one of those techniques I sometimes use to psych myself up for something. Well, it seems good in a logical way, I think. Or, hey, it makes sense from this angle. Or even, wow, the possibilities in that scenario are greater than in the current one. Only time and faith will tell.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


I hadn't talked to S since early Sunday morning when he called last night. I was hanging out with Simon, Eve, Andrea and Chris in St. Paul, chatting about how awesome Simon and Eve's wedding reception was, and S called.

When I don't talk to S for a few days, I lose perceptive abilities and focus on making black and white judgement calls. It's the differences in our Myers-Briggs styles, so talking to S today really helped me sort out how I am feeling about my life as of lately. He doesn't need things to be so firmly defined, and he helps me see the many sides of an issue or problem. He's an ENFP to my ENFJ, and I love him for it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Internal dialogue

I'm either looking at some major decision making ahead, or at things staying exactly the same. I'm not even sure what I really want, but I am open to anything. I see the positive ramifications of everything. My instinct tells me to go with it. My intuition tells me to resist change. My intuition could be wrong.

Mostly, I know what I want. Mostly, I know I want to be with S and have a vacation sometime in the next six months. Mostly, I want to keep up with graduate school and see what life hands me, what God blesses me with next.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I'm really impressed with Sundance since my ring showed up this morning (see previous post) and I selected the cheapest shipping option possible. The ring itself might be a little small for this finger, but I'll wear it today and see how it goes. I'm sure an exchange of sizes would also go quickly and smoothly.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Last week of my first grad class

I've been eyeing some jewelry lately of a certain type but those decisions can't be made until months from now, so I made a decision. After each grad school class I complete, I'm going to buy myself a little bauble as a reward. What's my reward for completing LIS 701?

Circlet of pearls ring from the Sundance catalog. Most of their wares are ridiculously overpriced, but the jewelry, especially the sterling silver things, aren't bad. I ordered it sized for my left index finger, since I already wear a ring on my right ring finger (a Th. Marthinsen Norwegian sterling silver lily).

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Maggie and me at the wedding

IMG_9077.JPG, originally uploaded by rubybeth.

While all the other photo-taking was happening, me and Maggie got to hang out. Flower girl and personal attendant, taking a break. Fun times.

More photos are on my Flickr page.

With fingernails that shine like justice

My legs are sore from dancing at Simon and Eve's wedding reception last night, but it was worth it. DJ Andrea Danger played lots of fun music, and I got to hang out with cousins and the couple's friends and eat good food (pasta) and cheesecake (chocolate). Cata and I came home afterward to sleep in our own beds, and my parents and Andrea stayed in the hotel one more night.

The wedding itself was a success, and I ran around getting bouquets and finding people and being the personal attendant to the bride. Helped do the flower girl's hair (my cousin Maggie). My vocal solo also went well, received many compliments even though I was rather nervous. Snuck out of the church near the end in order to be ready to bustle Eve's gown and hold her bouquet while she shook hands and got hugs. Somehow cut my finger on my own corsage and bled a little on the ribbon from her flowers, but got it cleaned up and to the reception in time.

I am so totally having a small wedding, having a destination wedding far away, or eloping.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Remind me to elope

I'm going to leave in about an hour and a half for Simon and Eve's wedding rehearsal in Edina. I feel pretty well-prepared for singing in the wedding on Saturday thanks to practicing with my friend from work, Marissa. We also dorked around and sang Josh Groban songs and classic songs from movies like "Moon River," which was a good time. It reminded me of hanging out with my cousin Angie and doing Ben Folds Five sing-alongs with her on piano and both of us botching the lyrics.

My family should be home from vacation any moment now by my calculations. I've missed having them around, missed their company and laughter and smells of cooking and even their noise. I haven't missed their noise after 11pm, though, or while I've tried to study. I haven't missed having phone calls interrupted or being awoken in the morning by the lawn mower. But I have missed my parents and my sister and my exchange student. I like living with people I love who love me.

Feeling okay about taking a few days off from working on homework. I've got my component of our group's panel presentation together, I've got the last assignment done, and I've got an idea of what I'm going to write for my final essay. This means I will also feel probably okay taking Sunday afternoon to go to a coworker's graduation party. Party down.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Irrational fears

When I drive through the tunnels in Minneapolis/St. Paul, I always feel somewhat claustrophobic and nervous, like I'm going to crash and die like Princess Diana. It plays into my major irrational fear: being buried alive.

I text messaged S and asked, "What's your greatest irrational fear?" because otherwise he might answer something like, "Failure" and isn't that everybody's major fear?

He called me later and said, "My greatest fear is that the world will end before I can marry you."

Somehow I don't think the world will end anytime soon.

"When I was in library school, some of the people were really nerdy..."

Professor Cathcart told a story last night in class about how she'd thrown a party for other MLIS students when she was getting her degree at the University of Minnesota, and that someone had stood up on a chair and started shouting the differences between Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress. She said she ducked into the kitchen and had a beer (or two, or three...) with her husband and one of their mutual friends, non-library people, in order to survive. "So, watch out!" she told us. Hilarious.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

All day I dream about...

With the help of "Let's Go San Francisco," I think I may have discovered the perfect way to further convince S to go to there with me sometime for our first vacation together. On the list of top 25 things to do or see in San Fran, #5 is Muir Woods, where George Lucas filmed "Return of the Jedi."


Other score of today: I went to Starbucks and ordered a mocha since I was kind of groggy and somewhat sleep deprived after working on homework last night after returning from Eve's bridal shower. When I got to the window and paid for my mocha, another girl asked, "Would you like a free frapuccino?" I hesitated momentarily and asked, "What flavor?" When she said it was coffee, I jumped. I am pretty jazzed on caffeine right now, which makes the back of head feel tight and my throat feel kind of squinky, but man am I awake!

Monday, June 19, 2006

At work on a Monday morning

I decided that I did not need to try to cram all my work hours this week into the beginning of the week, and have instead opted out of Eve's bachelorette party and given myself shorter working days for Tuesday and Thursday. My boss has been really good about it, and it's saved me from having to take vacation time. Flexibility is priceless.

I've been trying to save up my vacation time in order to have a real vacation at some point, like flying or taking a train somewhere, possibly with S to some interesting and potentially warm locale. I didn't even have enough time saved up this year to go to our usual family resort vacation, even if I wanted to, and couldn't go anyway because of taking my first grad class. I'm glad I'm in the class, and I'm glad it's almost done, but I am a little sad I couldn't go up to the "the lake" and hang out with my sisters and cousins.

I'm done with work at 1pm, and then I'll grab lunch and relax a little before heading for St. Paul once again...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Someone's thinking of me, and loving me tonight

Ammendment: paper I thought was due Monday is actually due next Monday, June 26. This means I am done with a project exactly one week and two days before it is technically due. New levels of anti-procrastination have been reached by one Beth V. Ringsmuth.

I've come up with some bullet points for my group's panel presentation, but I need to read more of what I've printed out on the PATRIOT Act. Just finished the chapter on privacy in Michael Gorman's book, which had some usable bits in it. Man is he ever opinionated.

Also, I took time out to get a burrito from Chipotle, watched a couple episodes of "A Fine Romance" and took a brief nap. Also, walked around the block and checked on the rabbit. She's still alive. Picked a couple flowers for my desk, listened to some public radio, and now it's nearly 10pm. I think I'll do a bit more reading, probably talk to S again, then sleep.

The house is almost too quiet. By Monday, I won't notice, since I've got work and going to St. Paul each evening until Thursday which is my day to breathe.

In the palm of my hand

I have a little counter on my Dashboard widgets, and it's a countdown to S's last day of work in Alaska. Today marks 110 days until he's done, or it marks 110 days until October 5, which is when he said his last day is. I want him to come back, hang out, find a job he can stand, date him again. This very serious relationship stuff is good, too, but I miss the fun of being with him.

Listening to Dido while it rains and the house is empty. The family left for vacation, and I toil here at my computer, printing articles and reading librarian job descriptions for my paper due Monday. I need to think about my final essay and what I'm going to write in response to the two quotations given us on the first day of class. I may go out to get some coffee or take a nap later, since S called at 4:17 this morning and it took me a while to get back to sleep.

Oh love, oh life!

Friday, June 16, 2006

All the worst times weren't that bad

Today at work, I was exhausted. I had one of those, "I am so excited about life!" things going on last night when I crawled into bed and talked to S. It took quite a while to fall asleep, so I'm guessing I got about 6.5 hours of sleep, if that. Could have been worse, but today just sort of lasted forever, even though I was glad to be at work. I came home and took a nap which wasn't extremely effective, but now I am going to relax, probably watch some British television (got tapes 2-4 of "A Fine Romance" from the library) and maybe work on my group project bullet points before calling it a night.

The house will be all mine for one week starting sometime tomorrow afternoon. I hope I don't get lonely and can enjoy the quietude.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

This bird has flown

I'm feeling kind of desperate lately. Desperate for a break, desperate for S. School is ramping up and wrapping up in four more class meetings, and with Simon & Eve's wedding happening next weekend, I'm looking forward to some semblance of a break from the usual. Their reception should be super fun since my own dear sister Andrea is going to be their DJ. DJ Danger Andrea's going to rock the house.

This weekend, I am going to attempt to:
a) practice my solo for the wedding with a real accompanist,
b) do most of the rest of the readings for class,
c) complete bullet points/powerpoint slides for group presentation,
d) complete paper due Monday,
e) begin final essay exam,
f) breathe.

I am in such need of a vacation, but I don't have enough hours saved up, and all I really want is to see S, but the only way to do that would be the volunteer on his work crew. Not exactly a mini-break at a posh hotel, is it? And highly unlikely, since I am not exactly the fun-is-outdoorsy type, let alone the work-in-the-outdoorsy type. S says I can come and work, or we can go somewhere in January. I'm thinking warmth, I'm thinking tropical, I'm thinking hostel, I'm thinking ocean or rainforest.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I never really meant to let it go this far

I meant to get ahead on my homework and readings for class, but I'm kind of falling behind. My goal for tonight is finish this weeks readings, start my next paper, and take some more notes for the final essay. Then I need to do more research for my group's panel presentation on the First Amendment and the PATRIOT Act. Ay dios mio.

S said, "Take it easy. Don't overdo it," to me last night without me even telling him I was getting a bit stressed out by all of this. I'm not sure I could handle two classes in the fall, especially if I take cataloging. I would like to ease into it a bit more, but I'll take what I can get when registration opens up in July.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Upon leaving my aunt and uncle's house...

...there was a plastic action figure type toy on the front stoop. It appeared to be a biblical character—an older man with a beard and a staff.

"It's Moses!" I said to Eve and Simon.

"Ooh, yeah, with the ark," Eve replied.

"Umm..." I said. "That's Noah."

"Oh! Yeah," Eve said, realizing her error. "Hey, I read the Bible."

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Zing! Went the strings of my heart

Woke up this morning to an interview on public radio about a tribute concert to Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall, recreating Judy's concert there. Took me forever and a day to figure out that it was Rufus Wainwright doing the concert. I've loved Rufus since I was a junior in high school, the year I discovered so much music, it came back out of my ears. I wish I could go to this concert, but I'm counting on a recording being available someday, via the magic of technology.

Friday, June 09, 2006

My brain capacity

S and I have this ongoing joke that I have a "great memory," and one of the reasons he likes me so much is that I am so good at remembering things. The opposite is true, unfortunately. My sister gets rather upset with me when I can't even seem to remember seeing a certain band when it's made such an impression on her, which is partly why I keep a list. I know this is frustrating for her, but it can't be helped.

Thing is, I have a bad memory for some things, like bands I've seen (apparently) and characters' names in movies and movie plots and people's names and so on. But I have a great memory for other things, namely song lyrics, actors and actresses names, and the chronological placement of events on a calendar. I don't know how many songs I know all the lyrics to, including songs in other languages, but I've been listening to my Beatles playlist for a while now, and I have been able to sing along with just about every one, word for word.

The brain is an amazing thing.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A theory of librarianship

I'm going to St. Cloud State University's Learning Resources Center (a.k.a. library) tomorrow to see the teleconference with outgoing ALA president Michael Gorman on the subject of library education. This is a topic near and dear to me, and while I'm not sure I'm with Gorman on a lot of issues, I think I'm nearer his end of the spectrum when it comes to opinion on education.

I've come up with my own theory of "librarianship" from many years of working in public library settings. More than seven years of experience as a library aide, branch assistant librarian, and now library assistant have formed me, and so has my year and a half as a bookseller for Barnes & Noble. It's a service occupation, it involves other people, and it involves a core set of principles and a skills set and a knowledge set that go beyond just knowing how to find something via Google. Obviously, I am a fan of technology, but I also realize that people—both librarians and library users (borrowers, patrons, whatever they may be called)--are the core of the profession.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Like a flood

I went upstairs at the library today to grab some travel books (a girl can dream, can't she?) and since it's so rare that I get to actually be in the stacks, some memories flooded back to me.

I remembered shelving up there for four hours at a time after I moved home and the library rehired me. I would put away three or four carts full of books, and feel like I had accomplished something, compared to the seemingly useless drudgery of my former editor job.

I remembered the day S wanted to buy his ticket to Alaska and how he seemed terrified and excited beyond all reason. He was using one of the library's internet stations, and I went to check on him and any new developments in the oncoming adventure. Seeing him with that look on his face was priceless, and I was reminded today how incredible he really is.

Monday, June 05, 2006

And bless it, too

Got back from my class a little bit ago. Drove through practically a flash flood, but still managed to get home earlier than expected, based on the fact that I stopped for gas in St. Paul, Burger King in Maple Grove, and was only driving 40mph for a stretch between Elk River and Monticello. I think this means I have a bit of a speeding problem. Further proof:

I was also very nearly late to class again tonight, but it was worth it. I wanted to visit S's grandma Dolores and his mom, Paula, and I had baked banana bread this morning and made a little loaf to bring over along with photos from Alaska. So I went over and got to talking with Paula and didn't leave their house until close to 4:30—yikes!

When I got into Coeur de Catherine, the building which houses the Masters of Library and Information Sciences program, I practically ran down to the classroom, then checked my watch. It was only 5:57, so I breathed a sigh of relief, and saw another classmate heading down the stairs. I waved, and he said, "If I keep up this pace, I won't be the latest one," and then he held the door for me. Ahh, the relief of being on time.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sights and sounds calling from far away

This page of personality surveys is kind of weirdly fun. A woman whose blog I read helps run it, or deals with the data from it, or something? Not totally sure, but she's a grad student in NYC, and she admits that she is 28 and has no idea what's she's doing, which is comforting in a way.

Cata and I just finished watching "Bridget Jones's Diary: The Edge of Reason," and I had to kind of describe British politics during the scene where one of Mark Darcy's lawyer buddies, Horatio, says that he doesn't support charitible giving. S called during the middle of my attempt, and I asked him, being a former political science student, what's the difference between Tories and Labour? He gave me a slightly better grasp of things, which I then relayed to Cata, who ultimately probably doesn't care at all. But we both enjoyed the movie, and it made us wistful and happy at the same time.

Speaking of S and Bridget Jones, apparently he was playing Trivial Pursuit the other night and managed to continue a winning streak with his knowledge of chick lit. The question was something like, "What novel by Helen Fielding started the chick lit craze?" and he knew that he knew the answer. When he said Bridget Jones, everyone was amazed, and he brushed it off, saying, "My girlfriend's a librarian." Well, not quite, but it's easier than actually explaining what I do and that I'm in school.

Went shopping today with Cata and spent too much on new shorts, but c'est la vie! Fluctuation of clothing sizes is annoying and expensive. I'm trying to get my daily dose of vitamins (in pill form) and fat (in ice cream form) but I think it's really a combination of things causing me to eat less overall and eat healthier food when I do eat. Not wasting away, just a little lovesick.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The story of a marriage

I started reading The Complete Book of Claudia by Rose Franken a few days ago. When people see me with it, all 1,211 pages of it, the responses have been, "Business or pleasure?" and "Are you reading a dictionary?"

But it's good, really it is. Claudia is young and in love and married to a man she adores (David), which is something I need right now. Not a romance novel in the regular sense, not a Chick Lit book with some happy ending cliche, and not a "My Best Friends Wedding" style tale of true love with no resolution. Just an honest portrait of a woman who is happy with her choices, happy with family and the kinds of adventure that brings.

Plus, I really need to read something that isn't about library science...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Que shiraz

Got some Cold Stone ice cream once I got off work at 9 PM. Ate all of a Love It size, half chocolate, half coffee with toasted almonds, then brushed my teeth just now. Except there was a hair on my toothbrush. And I only noticed after I'd put it in my mouth. It was probably my hair, but still. Worst places to have a hair: toothbruth, food, and between breasts in a shirt you can't discreetly reach into.

This may sound really lame, but...

Sometimes the realization that everything, absolutely everything is in God's hands, just hits me square in the face. I don't know how to grasp it when something possibly absolutely amazing happens, and I know it's not up to me to decide or something is totally out of my power. It's in God's power.

I'm thankful, so thankful for all of my blessings, the blessing of a job I love, family who support me, a wonderful boyfriend, blessings God has heaped upon me in the last seven months. I just pray for grace and God's good timing, and know that everything will work out if I can surrender to the higher power.