Saturday, June 30, 2007

And the living is easy

The plans for this evening include meeting up with S after he gets off work, then heading to mass at the Cathedral. After that, we have 'homework' to do together (we have this relationship book that is kind of fun and has exercises in it, "Big Picture Partnering," written by a woman in Minneapolis, that we've been neglecting for a few weeks since S started classes).

Now that I've got a weekend off, it feels more like summer vacation. How weird is it to be 26 years old and think of my summer as "summer vacation"? Whatever, it's just nice to sit on our deck and read for pleasure (I'm working on three right now, "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion, "We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families" by Philip Gourevitch, and "The Tummy Trilogy" by Calvin Trillin—the two former books are very serious and sad and interesting, and the latter usually makes me ravenously hungry, which is v. dangerous).

I am also on a bit of a movie theme, inadvertently so. I watched "The Queen" with Helen Mirren, a week or so ago, and the next film in my Netflix queue was "Marie Antoinette" with Kirsten Dunst, and I enjoyed both of them so much, but they showed wildly different portayals of royalty, and I had the revelation that I'd watched two movies about queens, that I felt I needed a third to round it out. I did a library catalog search, and realized that I already had the perfect movie at home, due to my recent Elizabeth Taylor fascination (I highly recommend her book about her jewelry), so I just started watching "Cleopatra" the other night. Queens of England, France, and now the Nile. There is one more movie in this queenly genre which I have already seen, but not for a while, and that is "Elizabeth," with the lovely Cate Blanchett.

Heading outside to eat more cherries and enjoy the sunshine.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Not my problems

One thing that S has taught me is that I am not in control of most things I worry about. My tactic for calming myself at night now includes listing the things I cannot control.

I cannot control people at work.
I cannot control every situation at work
I cannot control S.
I cannot contol friends.
I cannot control Dominican University/St. Kate's.
I cannot control course schedules.
I cannot control the price of health care.

Reminding myself of these things helps a lot, actually. Consequently, it's not my responsibility to worry about any of them.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Free as a bird (sort of)

My last class meeting for Management of Libraries and Information Centers was last night, so now I am free. My group got our project back as well, and we earned an A by my calculations. This is good news, since I'm a little concerned that my final paper did not include enough 'analysis' as per the rubric. Oh, well. I did what I could with the time I had left, I suppose. I asked a classmate (Liz) to pick up my paper for me in July and tell me what I got on it, so here's hoping for a good grade in the class overall.

In other news, my department at work will very likely be completely restructured within the next two months. This is slightly baffling and scary, but I have very little control over it, so I am acknowledging that fact and attempting peace about it all. I did voice my concerns/comments to the appropriate people, and found a lot of support for the points I made from my coworkers, so that was good. Solidarity is nice in a work team, which I think we are—a really great team, at that.

I caught part of "Manon Lescaut" on the radio last night on my way back from St. Paul. I knew it was Puccini from hearing about two minutes of it, but I couldn't for the life of me remember which opera it was. S called and I talked to him for a minute or two before the piece ended and the announcer started talking. The announcer confirmed my suspicicion, and I revelled in my triumph for about a second and S said, "Oh, of course you knew which opera it was." It's just a little parlor trick of mine to be able to guess which era/country composers are from by listening to a bit of music.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I love Radio Lab

Since I was a kid watching "Newton's Apple," a Minnesota-based science show, and later, "Bill Nye the Science Guy" every day after school on PBS, geeking out about stress and tension, and other random but awesome information about the world we live in, I have loved science.

High school science classes kind of whomped that love right out of me. Except Mrs. Williams, at Cathedral High School—she was friendly and made science kind of fun, relative to my other science classes.

So it makes complete sense that I love Radio Lab, from WNYC, which plays on Minnesota Public Radio and I've caught a couple times. I'm just now enjoying the podcast version of the show on Time, wherein they interview Oliver Sacks and explain Einstein's Theory of Relativity in very easy to understand terms.

It's so fun! I'm so glad this program exists.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Plan B, or This is Not the Life I Ordered

It's weird to think, sometimes, how different my life is from how I expected it to be at this same point many years ago. In college, I thought I wanted to be an editor and live in a metropolitan area and be single and fabulous.

Well, that kind of worked out, except that I was in Lincoln, Nebraska as a copy desk chief , and it wasn't glamorous, but I was pretty good at it. I was, however, terribly lonely.

Now I'm in graduate school and I've been working at the library for a long, long time (almost nine years!) and I am pretty sure I'm going to be a librarian. Also, I have this great guy I've been dating for a while, and I think there's a pretty okay chance this may work out.

I know a couple of people who have the life I thought I might end up with, after I moved back in with my parents and wasn't sure what I was going to do with myself. I figured it was a very real possibility that I would never move out, never fall in love again, and things would stay that way forever.

What a nice suprise.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More than fine

My group presented our budget proposal last night in class, and I think it went really well. We were quite well prepared, with lots of supporting documentation to back up our request for an hours increase for our fake library, and our presenting skills were fairly seamless. We won't know until next week, probably, our grade for the whole she-bang, but I'm not worried that we'll get anything less than a passing grade.

Now to work on my library description/SWOT analysis paper (SWOT=Strenthgs, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). I already have a page single spaced, and I have lots of material from my interview, so mainly I have to do a little more description and then the SWOT points, from which I have a lot to choose.

I feel a lot more at ease today than I've felt since our trip two months ago. It's that feeling of this class wrapping up, and knowing that work is going pretty well despite not having an official supervisor for the present time. I'm getting used to the changes, and I'm feeling better about potential changes.

I'm also really looking forward to July/August and no classes, and possibly picking up some extra hours at work, which will mean more banked vacation time and more to put into my savings account, which always makes me feel good. I may still live at home, but by-golly, I'm not wasting my time here.

By the way, this week I am the master of the house, since my parents left on the family's annual resort vacation on Saturday. My sister went up for a couple days and was back in town yesterday. With S's abundant help, I've gone grocery shopping, cooked some very healthy things for us, and kept the house from falling apart and the rabbit still alive. Now I just have to make sure that my sister doesn't just eat crap and fast food the rest of the week and do laundry and remember to take out the garbage tonight.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Just an idea, really

I got an e-mail from my school, saying that they are going to be offering four graduate assistantships in the Masters of Library and Information Science department, helping four professors with different projects. One is helping a professor proofread her self-published textbook.

As soon as I read it, I decided to apply. Who knows how many applicants there will be, but I took that professor's class and told her I would volunteer to help edit the thing if she wanted help. Now it's being listed as a 10 hour a week job for $10/hour. Not bad at all. I know there are a lot of writers/editors in the program already, but the ones I've met already work full time. Not the case for me. I know I could be really helpful, and would probably learn a lot in the process.

Fingers crossed and all of that!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Trying to take it easy

Yesterday evening, S and I went to see the Krista Tippett, host of "Speaking of Faith" on MPR (or, really, NPR) talk and read from her new book by the same name. It was interesting to hear what she had to say, and I'm looking forward to reading the book once I'm done with my class. Plus, S and I got our copy of the book signed together.

Today, I need a nap or some coffee before I head to St. Paul. I'm really dragging, even though I got to bed at a reasonable (11 o'clock) hour. I need to proofread my memo assignment for class, grab some dinner, and check my oil. Luckily, I have two and a half hours in which to do all that. Whew.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Needs more practice at the management thing

Well, I kind of boffed today at work. We had a bunch of people gone, and I called my sister, who also works in my department, to see if she could come in and work some make-up hours (since she was gone in Chicago over the weekend and had a day off) to help us out. She came in, thankfully, but misunderstood and I didn't communicate properly that she would be working her regularly scheduled time in addition to make-up hours, not able to go home early.

I was really trying to manage the situation, and since our department officially has no manager (his last day was last week) I wanted to find a solution to the problem of the staffing level. Otherwise, it would have been me and one other employee covering the entire department for three hours!

I really felt stupid. I don't have the authority to say she can leave early, and I also don't really have the authority to ask her to work make-up hours, but I thought I'd give it a try. I hope it works out, that she can forgive my mistake, and that she won't hold it against me that I actually am leaving early today, though my request was approved weeks ago.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Kind of intense

I have four assignments left to turn in for Management class, and only three weeks left. This means I have to turn in my fake salary allocation paper/spreadsheet today, a memo next week, our group project the week after that, and my SWOT analysis. Thankfully, I already have an interview set up for the SWOT, and I am done with the salary allocation. It's down to the group project/presenation and a short memo.


Friday, June 01, 2007

What I am doing on 'le week-end'

Tonight I will be going out to celebrate the birthdays of two coworkers. I think it will be dinner at Sawat Dee (Thai) and then hitting the Martini Bar. Haven't decided yet if I should go home after work and come back downtown later, but am very excited to go out and have fun with friends. And to have a Mocha-tini.

I don't work this weekend but have a larger homework assignment to complete tomorrow (budget stuff, giving people raises, making a spreadsheet) before S and I go camping! I have never been camping before, so we are just going for a night somewhere so I can get a taste. This is what having an outdoorsy man will do to a woman. I love S, therefore I must go camping. I think it will be fun, and I hope it will be relaxing. I know I can sit around and read and cook for a day and a half and enjoy it, I am just a little concerned about going to the bathroom in the woods. Hmmm...

So, the goal of the weekend is to take it easy, yet still get ahead on homework for the coming weeks. Only one month of class left! Whew, it's flying by. And there's lots left to do. I know, though, that I can always take some time off work to do homework instead, and that's comforting.