Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My mom thinks I'm cool

Well, I've really been neglecting my blog, haven't I? The thing is that, now that I have two courses, I pretty much read. All the time. Readers' Advisory class means I get to read novels, which is awesome, because it's forcing me to branch out in terms of genre fiction ("Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card is actually really cool!).

My sister went to San Francisco (hmm, what a familiar place...) to visit a friend and brought me some souvenirs. One of which was this radical button which now has a place of pride on my backpack, along with the patch S gave me from his Boy Scout days that says "Librarian." Oh, the librarian-in-training regalia! Andrea also got me some stickers ("Reading is sexy" and "Knitting is knotty") and some little sushi stickers, but the piece de resistance is the action figure! I was always kind of anti-Nancy Pearl action figure, because I didn't like the 'shushing action.' I am not the shushing type, but when Andrea gave it to me, I couldn't say no. Then, I found out that Nancy herself is coming to the library where I work in April! Holy cats, I hope she's down with signing my action figure box.

Also, anyone else out there who thinks Michael Stephens of Tame the Web should have a librarian action figure, too? He could be "Librarian 2.0" and come with a laptop. I love this idea! If anyone steals this idea, I would be fine with it. Michael is teaching the Library 2.0 class at my school right now, and I saw him in the eating area on Sunday before my class, and S got to see my mini "That's Michael Stephens who taught that workshop in Willmar, MN back when I first started my MLIS..." freakout. He's just really neat, that's all.

Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure everyone in my Services for Children and Young Adults course thinks I'm totally weird because, when the instructor asked us to say something interesting/memorable about ourselves, I admitted to both being able to sing opera and ride a unicycle (at the same time, no less). I cannot help it that my family unicycles as sport, and that my genetics means I have a pretty good soprano, but usually, I save that kind of information for more intimate acquaintances. Oh, well, sooner or later they were bound to find out. Little do they know I have other secrets, too...

Edit: weirdly enough, after writing this post on a break at work and then getting home, I found a gift from a friend of a friend waiting for me: The Illustrated Librarian temporary tattoos are great! Thanks so much to Jenn who saw these and thought of me. Aww.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A good surprise

It's so cold outside that the beer in my garage was frozen solid. I had to soak the bottle in hot water before I could drink it, like warming a baby's bottle.

Writing of babies, my co-worker D's baby shower is tomorrow evening, and have we got a surprise for her! There's no risk of her reading this, as she is not technologically interested, so I can reveal that at the bottom of her goodie bag of little socks and hats and a frog blankie (D loves frogs, and so will her baby girl) is a gift receipt, mainly for effect because I don't want to have to drag our very large gift into the restaurant tomorrow night. I circled what the item is, so after she digs out the little clothes, I can say, "Now, there is a gift receipt for the larger item we got for you, just in case... but it's in the bottom of the bag."

Then, when she pulls it out, she can see that we did indeed get her the carseat/stroller combination travel system that she's been wanting. I'm so excited to see the look on her face, I have to remember to bring my parents' camera and take a short video of that moment. Ahh, yeah, surprises are fun!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Yes, I do find these articles interesting

Via Tame the Web:

The Transparent Library: Coping with Anonymity, an article in Library Journal, by both Michael Stephens of Tame the Web, and Michael Casey of Library Crunch.

This is a huge reason why I don't write about work very much, and when I do, it's completely vague about specifics, but I wish it didn't have to be this way. I am, however, afraid of getting dooced, and I also wish that weren't true, but it is. This blog is pretty much un-anonymous as blogs go, and my name is all over the web in various permutations, but I'm comfortable with that. It's just kind of sad/disappointing/scary/strange that libraries won't be this transparent.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Status: normal

"You have some kind of trouble here, or what?" a patron asked as he saw two police officers in the building.

"Nope!" I said cheerily. It's actually pretty reassuring when the police do a walk-through of the public library where I work. Normally, I would get a little tense, seeing police officers. But in this case, it's helping to keep the peace.

Friday, January 11, 2008

One of the best gifts ever

So a few years ago when I began knitting, one of my first projects was a red wool cardigan sweater. Yeah, I know, ambitious! I made the thing, then found out how horribly hot I got in it, no matter how cold I was. I decided it was a bit too thick for me, so I was kind of disappointed... until I remembered that my aunt Laura, who also happens to be my godmother, was always cold in the winter, and is also approximately the same size as I am. So, I gifted her with that red sweater, and she loved it nearly to bits.

Flash forward to a little more than two years ago, when I found yet another awesome cardigan pattern, and began to knit it. This time, I had Laura in mind. It took me almost a year to knit (sporadic, I am) and once I had it completed, it had to be assembled, and then the edges had to be crocheted (this is where my mom helped out) and then I had to come up with a clasp (the photo just had a big safety pin to close the thing... (ugh, remember when safety pins on clothing was hip?) so I knew I needed a cool clasp. I found one at a local craft store, but it was gold and I thought silver would look better with my color, so I ordered one online but it came too late for last Christmas.

So this Christmas, my aunt got her sweater—with "some assembly required" because I left the choice of gold or silver clasp up to her, and she's much better at sewing than I am anyway (in the photo, the Minnesota Cross-Stitch in the background was made by you-can-guess-who).

She sent me this photo with this message a few days after Christmas:

Thank you for this amazing sweater!! It is such a beautiful color - it just makes me feel calm when I see it. And it is wonderfully warm. I feel very special to have a godchild who would make me such a gift. Thanks so much!!!

That thank-you note was one of the best gifts ever.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A positive outlook

Unfortunately, the dermatologist said the bumps on my hands were, and I quote, "the worst I've ever seen on the tops of the fingers," but fortunately, it seemed like they think they are pompholyx and they gave me a shot (of what, I didn't ask, I was in such agony; I assume cortisone of some sort to decrease the inflammation) and a prescription for some lotion and scheduled me for a follow-up in two weeks.

S and I went to the pharmacy immediately to pick up the Rx before leaving for my first class in St. Paul last night. The pharmacist informed me the prescription would cost me over $200 (!) because I have minimal health coverage right now. She was very helpful and said the same drug in other formulations would work just as well, and offered to call my dermatologist to see if they would substitute something less expensive. I said yes, but I had to leave for class, so the plan was that she would call me if that would be all right with my doctor and fill the prescription, which I could pick up the next day. She said, "Honestly, I would never pay this much for a prescription." I agreed it was ridiculous and that I would rather save the money if I could. I walked away from the pharmacy, went to buy a soda for the drive, and as I was headed toward the exit, my cell phone rang. It was the pharmacist saying she talked with the doctor and he OK'ed the change. She said she would have the Rx ready in about five minutes, was I still in the vicinity? I said yes, doubled back, got the $30 version of what was originally prescribed, and left very happy. I thanked the pharmacist so many times, and her reply was, "I hate seeing people spend more money than they need to."

The bumps were looking better (S agreed) after I got out of class, and are looking even better today. They also don't bother me nearly as much. Still ugly, but not itchy constantly, nor even painful (the ones on my fingers really hurt on Tuesday). So, I'm optimistic that in two weeks, they will be entirely healed.

The doctor also asked if I was under any stress. I said, "Well..." and gave him a pretty honest answer I can't really write here. One of the things I need to do is learn to let go of past hurts, and just move forward knowing that everything is as it should be. S helped remind me of this today, and I feel more positive about the future. In order to prevent the awful pompholyx from coming back, I'm going to really need to watch my stress levels and know when I need a break from everything. Not such a bad thing to be forced to do for my health and happiness.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

It's baaa-aaack

So, back in August, I had a bout with a weird rash. Well, about five days ago, it came back, little by little. I have a dermatologist appointment tomorrow afternoon, and I hope they can tell me what it is. My GP had no idea last summer. The steroid cream prescribed back then, as far as I can tell, has done nothing so far. It was so intensely itchy and hurting on my hands today that I had to leave work early. If the rash is what I think it is (a type of eczema) then I need to relax, because articles I've read on it have suggested that it can go away for long periods of time and reoccur after a large amount of stress. Go figure. Beth needs to relax.

After leaving work, I did some retail therapy, bought some Burt's Bees soothing ointment, a sushi kit, and some new shirts at Old Navy. Miraculously, the distraction helped. S came over this evening and we made sushi, and I must say, while it did not look quite like what you get in restaurants, it was mighty tasty. We made California roll with mock crab, cream cheese, toasted sesame seeds, carrot and cucumber. I think we may experiment with ingredients in the future, but we agreed that it was excellent for a first try. Plus, the instant miso soup I bought was better than any we've had before. Yay for World Market.

S asked me a few days ago what my New Years resolution was. He said, "It doesn't have to be a big thing, just something little." I finally told him that my resolution is, and always has been, to worry less. It's such a general thing, though, that I narrowed it to: I resolve to look for, if not the best outcome for a situation, an okay one, instead of the worst possible scenario.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Just thought of this...

It's not true yet, but will be once I graduate. I think I may actually get these printed and send them out to prospective employers during my last semester. Script for card generation from Blyberg.