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:


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.

I should really get out of the house today

Yesterday, Andrea and I, along with two of our friends from work, went to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to see everything, but especially the Alexander Calder exhibit. It was super fun hanging out with the girls, having Chinese food, watching "Calder's Circus" and then heading to Uptown for a little shopping at Everyday People and Urban Outfitters.

I think our next "field trip" may be a day at IKEA, since neither of them have been there before. We went to the Science Museum a few weeks ago, which was excellent, and these fun day trips to the cities are made more interesting in getting to know our coworkers who are so cool.

Unfortunately, it's 3:15 and my sister and Alex, my pseudo-little brother, are still sleeping. It's annoying because I've had to hang out upstairs and be quiet in my own house so as not to wake them. Gah. Plus it's Andrea's birthday, but that doesn't seem to matter to her. Been upstairs watching "A Year at Windsor Castle" and reading. A lazy Friday.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It's like a library

This morning, it's really quiet at work. The children's carnival is tonight, which means no storytime this morning. It's been me and one other coworker until noon, which is kind of intense, except it's not so busy as it usually is on Wednesday mornings.

Two people just now passed the circulation desk and said to me, "Wow, it's really quiet."

One even said, "Like a library!"

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Karma police, arrest this girl

Why oh why did I think it was a good idea to take a two hour nap from 7pm to 9pm tonight? Oh heck. My blog is turning into a sleep journal.

Trying to get through "Fall on Your Knees" by Anne-Marie MacDonald, but I have 100 pages to go and I think my friends are still on for meeting tomorrow to discuss. It's like homework, and I'm dragging because, while the book is somewhat interesting, it really hasn't grabbed me.

Lots of talking to S lately, discussing who knows what. He's reading some sci-fi books he had to buy since they were only $2 each, and I think we have a tentative verbal contract to exchange my viewing of the "Dune" miniseries for him seeing the "Pride & Prejudice" miniseries. I think the only thing that could possibly make me a better girlfriend for him is if I willingly, or even excitedly, enjoyed science fiction media with him. I don't know if this would ever actually happen, but if I have managed to find a man willing to watch Jane Austen adaptations, then I am happy beyond all measure.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do or die

Spent the evening watching the end of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" and the final episodes of "Undeclared" with my dear sister. It was really nice, hanging out and talking a little.

I am quite tired after a long day, but I don't know that I will be able to get to sleep if I go to bed. I should not be allowed to think about or talk about serious things before it's time for sleep, because my brain doesn't handle these things well.

At least tomorrow I have something to look forward to: hanging out with Simon and Eve.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Oh Adlai, Adlai, what did you say

After I got home from work today, I was tired and hungry, but my cousin Angie called and so she came over and we hung out for a while before she went to see another friend with "boy troubles." I'm really glad Angie is back, and I hope we hang out more, even more than we did last summer which was only sporadically to do really Angie-Bethy things like going out for drinks and seeing "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" together.

After she left, I went to bed and napped for nearly three hours. Maybe I am coming down with something, or maybe I have whatever it is that makes my sister sleep so much. In actuality, my own sister is having her sleep studied at this moment, all hooked up and "looking like a robot," according to a phone conversation she had a couple hours ago with my mom. I hope they either find something wrong to fix, or nothing wrong at all, because dang does that girl sleep a lot. I don't think I could ever sleep 16 hours a day like she does, not that I would even try.

Obsessed with the latest Sufjan Stevens offering, but I haven't told S about it, just sent it to him and can't wait for him to listen to it and tell me what he thinks. He told me about Bloc Party; I told him about Sufjan Stevens. Fair trade?

I made a lot of mistakes in my mind (acoustic version)

I went to bed quite early last night and fell asleep rather soon, so in all, I think I've got close to 9.5 hours of sleep under my belt for today. This feels so much better than the vaguely sleep-deprived less than seven I had for Tuesday's day of work and activity.

I need to nab some breakfast before going to work for a short shift (six hours is shorter than eight! I'm an optimist!) and then relaxing this afternoon and tomorrow. I have tentative plans for having Bloody Marys with my cousin Angie and lunch with a coworker tomorrow before she has to work. Friends are good; I really need to work on keeping connections with mine.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tag, you're it: the book meme

Taken from the Repressed Librarian.

1. One book that changed your life?

"A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving, literally put into my hands by Mr. Mortrude, my expository writing teacher at Apollo High School during my senior year. I seriously became a strong believer in destiny, that fate aligns things to happen—no matter what. I still can't shake that notion, years later.

2. One book you have read more than once?

"Disobedience" by Jane Hamilton. I read (or listen to the audio version read by the incomparable Robert Sean Leonard) at least once a year since I first read it. I fall in love with Henry every time, and I want a daughter like Elvira, except I wouldn't want to change a thing about her.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?

The Bible.

4. One book that made you laugh?

"The Long Secret" by Louise Fitzhugh, the sequel to "Harriet the Spy." All the characters are so well-drawn for childrens literature, it's astounding.

5. One book that made you cry?

I don't really cry when it comes to literature, movies are more affecting for me, but it's possible I've shed a tear or two when reading any of Jane Austen's novels, particularly "Persuasion."

6. One book you wish had been written? Note: I read this as "One book you wish you had written?" Interpret for yourself as you like.

"A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver" by E.L. Konigsburg, or really any of her books. I especially wish I had come up with all the titles: "About the B'nai Bagels," "The Dragon in the Ghetto Caper," and "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler." Lovely, all.

7. One book you wish had never been written?

I don't really mind that it's been written, but I could not make myself read "Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife" by Linda Berdoll for the life of me, even though it came to me recommended by a good friend. Raunchy + Jane Austen = heavens no! I am a delicate flower, and cannot read such things. Heh.

8. One book you are currently reading?

I am working my way through the Nick Bantock Griffin & Sabine books, and I'm up to the last one. I can't bring myself to read it and finish off this incredible series, which is written as a series of letters back and forth between lovers. The artwork is beautiful, the words are more so.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?

I have been meaning to finish reading "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenidies pretty much ever since I had to return it to the library years ago because there were so many requests on it. I've always been "too busy" to pick it up again, and I was at least 1/3 through. Someday...

10. Now tag five people.
Simon, Amanda, Melanie, Jessica, and Angie.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Sadness and Truman Capote

Listening to "The Avalanche" by Sufjan Stevens, feeling kind of crummy. I'm not feeling well (lack of sleep? oncoming cold?) and I feel a little sad. I think it's sinking in how Cata is gone, but at least I can always drive to Iowa to see her. It's not like she's back in Colombia or anything.

I have to use different rationalizations for missing different people. Sometimes I tell myself it's not so bad, and sometimes I wallow. I may be wallowing right now.

I've been watching "Capote" when I haven't been sleeping this evening, and I'm really glad I recently watched "In Cold Blood," because this movie really gets into the nooks and crannies of the whole Clutter murders that Truman Capote's story on its own didn't tell. His relationship to the whole story fills it in, makes it make more sense in the grand scheme.

I've long had a fascination with Truman Capote, ever since college when I read most of George Plimpton's biography, which amounted to lots of gossip from that era and social class. I hadn't even read "Breakfast at Tiffany's" when I started reading the bio, but once I had, I had a greater appreciation. I also like the film version of that story, but it's very different, and knowing Capote actually had Marilyn Monroe in mind for Holly Golightly turns my whole Audrey adoration on its head.

Anyway, I recently got my Kurt Halsey order in the mail, and I like it a lot. Don't know what I'm going to do with all of it, but surely someone would like a postcard from me. Melanie? Amanda? Cata? S? Friends, hit me up with your address at beth.ringsmuthATgmailDOTcom.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Missing her

I went with my aunt Laura and cousin Christy to the airport today to pick up my cousin Angie who has been in Ecuador for the last 11 months. I really missed Angie and read her blog whenever she updated it. She taught English and from how it sounds, had a fabulous time for the most part and really wants to continue with that path.

Sometimes I look at my life and think, how predictable. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just that I know there are other options, I just don't choose them. I go with the things that seem intuitive. I guess I would like to challenge myself sometimes, but I am afraid of striking out and forging new ground when I know I have it so good.

In other South American news, Cata leaves tomorrow for Iowa to attend school there, this awesome girl from Colombia who has lived with my family for more than a year. I hope she does well, that she can accomplish her goals of working (the university here was not helpful with the work study stuff.. grr) and getting some credits out of the way in order to transfer back here next year.

I guess in a way, Angie's courage and Cata's courage give me a certain amount of belief in my own strength to do something similar. I don't know exactly what that might be, but I can't let my notion of what my life should look like interfere with what my life could look like.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


The details of S coming back are getting worked out, and it's pretty exciting. I guess I just want one of those dramatic airport welcome-back displays of affection. I want there to be music and roses and running into each others arms, but more than likely, I will act like a dork and S will be just himself, and all the emotions will flood back and be 10,000 times stronger.

More than six months apart is a lot in the day-to-day sense, but not in the grand spending-our-lives together sense. Six months is a drop in the bucket if we live to be 80.

I remember at my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary thinking that being married for that long would be impossible for me, because I figured even if I got married the very next day, I was already 24, and I'd have to live to 84, and more importantly, my husband would have to live that long, too. I still think it would be practically impossible, and it's not a competition for "years married," but yeah, anniversaries.

Listening to Paul McCartney's "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard." It's awesome.