Friday, December 31, 2010

Cluttered, Untidy, Jumbled, Disorderly Accumulation

Things to do when your room is a mess:

1. Avoid it as much as possible.

2. Keep the lights off so you don't have to look at it.

3. Blame anything and anybody but you.

4. See if you can cross the floor without actually touching it.

5. Put a quarantine sign on your door to avoid unwelcome guests.

6. Throw white sheets over piles for a festive "winter wonderland" look.

7. Use your room as artistic inspiration for a drawing or poem.

8. Watch that tv show about hoarders so you can reassure yourself, "at least I'm not THAT bad."

9. Let out loud, dramatic sighs and hope someone wanders in and offers to organize something for you.

10. Um, clean it.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The March of the Snowmen

Now that Christmas is over, do you know what it's time for?

That's right, the snowmen. This is THEIR time to shine.

Sure, they hung around at Christmas. The most famous one of all was featured all the time on tv. Wrapping paper was decorated with them. And I made cookies with their shape.

But now...they get to stick around. Because hello, it's still winter! You might feel like you have to put the Christmas stuff away, but things with snowmen on them? Leave them out.

Put away the blatantly red and green Christmas plate; leave out the one with the cute snowmen wearing scarves on it.

Put away the stockings; leave out your glass snowman collection.

Put away your Christmas tree earrings; put on your snowman earrings!

"Snowmen aren't Christmas-y; they're seasonal," say women unable to let go of the warm fuzzies of Christmas, crossing their arms protectively over snowmen sweaters. "Snowmen are still allowed!"

Good to know we have rules for this.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hang in There, Little Buddy

I got a plant for Christmas.

I’m taking him in to work today to put on my desk, but I’m a little concerned.

Previous plants I have owned are no longer with us. I tend to not be very... nurturing. To plants, anyway.

I went through a stage when I was younger where I was trying to find something I was really good at. Like a hobby. Or a hidden skill I would make tons of money from.

So I tried plants. This didn’t end well. I even killed my cactus. How do you kill a cactus?!

So now I have this little Christmas plant who is depending on me for survival. That's frightening. Oh second thought, maybe I better not name him. Or get too attached.

Don't love me, little plant! I'm no good for you!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Five Stages of Grief: The Library Version

After I get the pleasure of informing a patron of a library fine, the situation usually goes one of two ways.

The patron pays the fine, or the patron progresses through the five stages of grief.

1. Denial: "What? That's not possible. I always bring my books back on time. This is obviously a mistake on your part. I remember the day I brought the books back. It was a Thursday...there is NO way I have a fine."

2. Anger: "You know, this isn't the first time you've been wrong. One time the library said I didn't return a book then someone FOUND IT ON THE SHELF.  No one told me I had a fine. I wasn't notified. And now I have to pay this fine before I can check anything else out? That's completely unreasonable. Is there anyone else I can talk to?"

3. Bargaining: "Come one, now. I've never had a fine before. Can I just check these movies out and worry about the fine later? Give me a break. I just remembered that my child was sick with the flu that day. And there was a snowstorm. And my wallet was stolen. One thing I always appreciate about the library staff is how understanding they are..."

4. Depression: "This day just keeps getting worse. Everything is going wrong. And now I have a library fine. How much is it again? Ugh. Why does this always happen to me? Why is everything going wrong?"

5. Acceptance: "Fine. You know what? I had better just pay it. Here you go: $7.25."

All right, it's not that bad. Out of all of our patrons, only a few have real problems with paying their fines. Most are matter-of-fact about it. They understand that the library is awesome because it's free. They're getting free material, with the understanding that they'll cough up a few dollars if they take advantage of the system and don't return things on time.

But once in a while I get to deal with the patrons who think the library is out to get them. This blog post is dedicated to them.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Post-Christmas, Or, Now What?

The days right after Christmas are kind of like Mondays after weekends. Times a hundred.

You get  kind of confused, like what's work? What's healthy food? What's exercise?

I ate some raw vegetables last night and marveled at the freshness of them. My stomach is like, Where's the butter? Where's the chocolate coating? Where's the whipped cream on top?

I got up this morning and ran. My legs wondered, Where's the couch? Where're the pajama pants? Why are we moving so fast when there're no Christmas cookies ahead of us?

Come on now, you spoiled body! Get back into your routine! Here we go!

Well, my Christmas was lovely and I had a great time with family and friends. The anticipation of Christmas always makes me wild with excitement, so now there's a little getting used to normal life again.

Now comes the tough part. Now we slog through these remaining winter months without Christmas to look forward to anymore.

Time to buckle down and embrace the Monday.

If chocolate helps you deal, so be it. Nothing to be ashamed of.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone!

My family is making a delicious holiday meal today, and in between the preparations I thought I'd post a quick note because I won't be writing anything tomorrow.

This has been a crazy year for me, but I'm so thankful for my family, friends, job, and my Savior who blesses and provides for His children through the good and the bad.

This time of year is a reminder of the precious gift of Jesus. Because of Him, we can have a personal relationship with a loving God. Now THAT'S a reason to celebrate.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Organization is My Middle Name. After "Lack of."

Do you ever do the same annoying thing every day and wish you could change and then never do?

Every day when I need a pair of shoes, I cautiously slide open my closet door and peer inside. Every time I need shoes, I hope that they will be sitting neatly on top of all my other pairs.

This never happens.

 I don't really have that many pairs of shoes. I mean, compared to some people. But when I am looking for a particular pair, I end up on my hands and knees tossing shoes over my shoulder looking for not one but BOTH shoes.

I feel like I should be in one of those infomercials. You know, the kind where the scene begins in black and white. I play the grungy, unorganized girl searching through a pile of shoes that come up to her hips.

Do you have trouble finding things when you need them?

Um, yes.

Is your closet a pile of confusion and frustration?

None of your business. Okay, fine. Yes.

Do you need order in your life?

*Sob* What can I DO?

Then you need the Magic Shoe Organizer!

I really should get one of those hanging things you put shoes in. But there's no room in my closet - I have too many clothes already hanging there. Besides, I would just end up throwing my shoes in the closet instead of putting them away. Kind of how I toss earrings beside my earring rack and heap clothes next to my dresser.

I'm a lost cause.

Similar shoe organizers can cost up to $60!

Today and today only, if you call in now, you can receive your Magic Shoe Organizer for the low low price of $39.99! But WAIT! There's more! Call in now and you'll also receive our free gift - a set of 10 handcrafted wooden hangers!

Whatever. Things could be worse.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Traditional Sort of Food

Have you ever felt guilty because you don't like to eat something traditional? Some things are just expected of you around the eating turkey. Or pumpkin pie. Two things I could do without.

I mean, I'll eat them. There are few things I will downright refuse to eat. But turkey and pumpkin pie? I'd just as soon skip them and load up on sweet potato casserole or something oozing with chocolate instead.

The thing about turkey is, it's meat. People say, "Oof, I stuffed myself with turkey yesterday!" and I think, why would you do something like that? It's turkey. Boring old meat. Same thing with people eating lots of ham or sausage or whatever. I say, skimp on the turkey now so when the dessert comes out, you'll be ready.

Okay, so now the dessert comes out. Everyone dives for the pumpkin pie. It's okay, I guess. But I'm not really a pie-lover. I'll just take a spoonful of Cool-Whip instead, thank you.

Traditions are well and good in their place. But there's no reason to keep doing something (or eating something) for tradition's sake alone.

This cartoon doesn't really have anything to do with my post, other than the fact that it's about turkey. But enjoy it anyway. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mail, Especially of the Christmas Variety

I am in charge of the Christmas cards at the library.

After a couple times of me exclaiming over them and admiring them and practically grabbing envelopes out of people's hands, the librarian who handles the mail just gave up and let me open all of the cards as they come in.

So I open up each one, show the especially cute ones to anyone who happens to be standing around, and stick them up with tape in an artistic sort of collage.

It's fun to get the random ones from businesses, like the bank. I have mixed feelings about the glittery ones. Sure, glitter is pretty to look at, but it gets ALL over my hands and the envelope and the tape and I start feeling panicky, like I have to hold back so I don't start jumping up and down and flapping my hands.

Christmas cards feed my desire to get mail. Other people are annoyed by lots of email - I get a little excited. My birthday is a big event, of course, because I get so much fun mail. When I got all that mail about colleges when I was in high school, I felt very important.

It's just nice to get something with your name on it, I guess. There's nothing like opening up an envelope with your name on it...especially if it's a thick envelope. Money? Stickers? A musical card? Oh, the possibilities!

Monday, December 20, 2010




All right, I'm giving myself a headache. This ends here.

Seriously, though. Who types in all caps and thinks it's a good idea? I can see maybe one word, or part of a word in all caps - for emphasis. But when someone overuses this technique for no reason?

I can practically hear it as I'm reading. It's like someone yelling at me in a monotone voice.

Wow, it's ANNOYING.

See what I did right there? I capitalized all the letters in the word "annoying" for emphasis. And even that might have been too much.

Think before you type, crazy all-caps people. Not everyone is as enthusiastic about every. little. thing. Calm down, take a breath, and don't type like you're slapping someone in the face with each word.

Thank you.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Little-Known Ways to Celebrate the Holiday Season

Let's face it. This time of year, people get into a pretty jolly mood. You can tell by the feeling of excitement in the air, not to mention all the highly decorated sweaters. 'Tis the season to do merry things to celebrate the holidays. You can get yourself in a festive mood by doing any or all of the following:

1. Exclaiming, "It's a Christmas miracle!" after something remotely good happens.
2. Eating anything that's flavored peppermint or gingerbread, no matter how random.
3. Spinning in a slow, dramatic circle outside after a Christmas snowfall.
4. Playing "count the Christmas lights" as you drive through the neighborhoods.
5. Merrily, heartily, loudly singing along with every holiday song that comes on at the mall.
6. Exclaiming over being able to see your own breath outside because it's so cold.
7. Doing "the Christmas dance" if you hear bells or the Hallelujah chorus.
8. Baking 37 different kinds of cookies and then wonder why you made so many and who's going to eat them.
9. Eating snow instead.
10. Reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas" aloud in dramatic voice with a British accent. To a stranger.
11. Ending every statement with, "because it's Christmas," or "it's Christmas, after all."
12. Alluding to a holiday song every chance you can. Ex: "Let's play some reindeer games!" "It's so cold, Jack Frost is nipping at your nose!" "Sorry I'm late; I was dashing through the snow as fast as I could!" (Each of these exclamations is to be followed by a meaningful look and a loud belly laugh.)
13. Having a long, passionate discussion about whether you should leave carrots or apples out for the reindeer on Christmas Eve.
14. Tapping your fingers in time to "Jingle Bells" on a countertop when you're bored and seeing if anyone notices.
15. Giggling in anticipation of Christmas morning. Preferably while in a waiting room or elevator.

Bonus points if you manage to "save Christmas."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yes...No...Maybe So?

Sitting behind the big windows, back in the library office, I wait.

I wait and I stare through the glass, wondering if you will need my help.

You, the library patron. Yes, you, the slow one who can't seem to make up his mind.

The one who keeps walking towards the desk, then pausing to stare into space....

Or the one who walks sloooowly past....

Or the one who comes up to carefully choose a pen or piece of paper from the desk, appearing to maybe need my help...?

I've decided that yes, you need my help. I stand up from my chair and stride purposefully up to you, right as you casually turn and walk away.

Now I am left to pretend that I am here for another type gibberish on the keyboard...straighten the plant sitting on the desk, crouch down to pick an invisible speck off the floor...

Thanks for nothing.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Fun Christmas-y Distraction

Have you ever played the Christmas song titles game before? I think it's hilarious, especially if you are the sort of person who loves words. I found this particular version at, but don't click on this link before trying these out for yourself first!

Now, guess the Christmas song that's been made-over. Feel free to list a few of the ones you figure out down below in the comments. Enjoy!

1. Felicitations for the season
2. Sterling carillon
3. Circuitous gambol of festive conifer
4. Awesome hibernal acreage
5. Altitudinous celestials acclaim
6. Senior flattened by cloven aviator
7. Covert observation of matriarch's scandalous osculation
8. Petite birthplace
9. Sprightly venerable benefactor
10. Allegiants proceed
11. Enquiry of mutual auditory perception
12. Hushed darkness
13. Noel-envisage blanched
14. Inaugural Yule
15. Royal Eastern trio
16. Planetary jubilance
17. Theurgical cool guy
18. Matchless season
19. Full-grown enumeration of holiday hopes
20. Commencement of Yuletide complexion

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sneeze and Thank You


"Bless you."

"Thank you."

What sort of odd ritual is this? Does anyone else think about how weird this is every time it happens? Or is it just me?

Not only do I feel compelled to say "bless you" if someone around me sneezes, I also have to say "thank you" if someone "blesses" me. I've tried to stop doing both, but end up feeling rude. Have you stopped to think about this?

I checked out my valuable resource, Wikipedia, to find out about this little exchange. There are two versions of the explanation of "blessing" someone who sneezes. The first one has to do with an outbreak of the plague in Rome in 590 A.D. Sneezing was thought to be an early symptom, so you had to pray and bless people who sneezed so that the disease would not spread.

The second possible explanation is from the old belief that sneezing had to do with evil spirits. Like, your soul could be tossed out if you sneezed, or sneezing was a way to expel evil spirits. So "God bless you" was used to fend off evil.

My question is, how in the world has this stuck for so long? Why are we so stinkin' polite for no particular reason? Why do we give special treatment to sick people who are spreading their nasty germs?

These are the questions I ask myself late at night...the important issues I ponder...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Orange Juice, And Other Miraculous Cures

Do you know the saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"? The point is that if you prevent something bad from happening in the first place, you won't have to put so much effort into a cure.

I'm still sick, by the way.

All stuffed up and groggy.

I'll try to be brave at work today, but I'll accept sympathy if it's offered.

Anyway, I just finished drinking a glass of orange juice. I only seriously drink it if I'm sick. I think a part of me believes that if I show my body how well I'm taking care of it, it will relent and be healed.

There's probably not too much I could've done to NOT get sick, but I wonder if drinking orange juice will really make me better at this point. Oh well, at least it tastes good.

Unlike cough medicine.

I remember being forced to drink it as a child and taking ages to actually get it down. Then wanting to toss it all back up again.

I tried a couple years ago to take cough medicine and as soon as I smelled it I just couldn't even do it. Does that make me a coward? Perhaps. But I'd rather cough my head off than drink that cough medicine that smells like horribleness and makes my stomach churn.

Sorry about how gross this blog is today. At least you can all rest in the knowledge that I am sneezing and coughing into my elbow. And washing my hands a lot.

And drinking orange juice. So, you know, that should do it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's a Wonderful White Christmas

This is about the third day of a really annoying cold that I have. You know, the kind of cold where you just feel all stuffed up and achy, like you just want to sit and stare into space because you can't sleep reallly well.

Thankfully, I happened to have a day off from work today, so I have time to get better.

So, after sitting around for a while trying to come up with something to write about today, I thought, forget it! I'm posting some YouTube clips.

So now you can enjoy clips from two of my favorite Christmas movies, It's a Wonderful Life and White Christmas. I haven't watched either of these movies yet, but these clips get me excited to enjoy them soon!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Snow is My Frenemy

Snow and I have a love/hate relationship. For me, it's all about the timing.

Those weeks building up to Christmas...bring it on! I begin almost every morning by squinting through the blindes on my window, hoping to see some serious piles.

Come on, come on, come on... I see pictures of snowstorms on my Facebook friends profiles and grit my teeth with envy. It's not that hard, let's go, SNOW!

Anticipating snow takes me back to being at school and praying for a snow day every night from October until March. I have never watched the weather as closely as those years I was at college.

And the first "real" snowfall (the one that counted, obviously) with all the grass and trees covered? Total bliss.

Now, fast forward to after Christmas. Only crumbs left of the cookies. Crinkled up wrapping paper. Dry pine needles. December comes to a close.

Okay, ready for spring!

No such luck. Now the REAL snow begins. The frost. The hail. The freezing temperatures. All the stuff I would've welcomed in December. Now, not so much.

School and work closings are still exciting, don't get me wrong. But the snow is more ominous now. It's not fluffy and Christmas-y. It's heavy, dark, and COLD.

So bring on the snow now, while I'm emotionally prepared. Now, while I'm singing carols and eating cookies. Now, while I'm dreaming of a White Christmas.

Because, after Christmas? The REAL snow comes. And won't leave.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Don't Follow Me

I am directionally challenged.

I find my way by turning down streets that "feel right" or looking for "the big tree on the corner" as a landmark.

So when a person comes into the library asking for directions, I freeze, wonder if I should pretend I'm new to the area, and then bring up Google on the computer.

Oh, Google. Have I told you lately...?

Google Maps is the best. thing. ever. I type in the location, and then spin the computer screen around so the person can see and it and I explain the route like obviously I know how to get there, I just thought the visual would be helpful.

Thank you, Google Maps, for helping me appear capable.

Yes, I have gotten lost in large stores before. I get turned around and things look the same. They say to stay in the same place when you're lost, but I will eventually find my way out if I keep spinning around, alternately running and casually walking, and pointing in random directions purposefully.

So please don't ask me any questions about the area I live in. Refer to streets by the stores or restaurants on them, not according to their actual street names.

You know what would probably be helpful? Those big, colorful signs with pictures like they have in the zoo. "BEAVER" with a picture of a beaver. "MONKEYS" with a picture of monkeys. Thank you! I need my own personalized signs. "RANDOM PERSON'S HOUSE YOU'VE NEVER BEEN," "GROCERY STORE YOU ALWAYS FORGET THE TURN FOR," etc.

Well, getting there is all about the journey, right? Or something like that.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Eh, Diamonds...

Supposedly, diamonds are a girl's best friend. What's wrong with me, then?

I'm pretty apathetic about jewelry. Especially the expensive kind. The only jewelry I wear regularly is earrings. And 95% of those I got for $1 at Claire's.

I see those cheesy jewelry commercials and wonder why in the world that woman is swooning in that man's arms as soon as he pulls out something sparkly. Wow, sparkly. See? I don't really care.

So IS there something wrong with me? Am I just too practical? Whatever. I'm sure I'm not alone. I like wearing pretty things as much as the next girl, but I figure, why bother with something more expensive?

Maybe I'm just easy to please.

Check out this commercial. I had to laugh and roll my eyes at this one. Seriously?

Monday, December 6, 2010

But Who's Counting?

It seems like when it comes to certain habits or traditions, someone is always counting.

We're celebrating a birthday? Oh, well cake calories don't count when you're celebrating a birthday.

Listening to Christmas music in October? I'm covering my ears! It doesn't count because it's too early!

Playing a game? Wait - I wasn't ready! That doesn't count!

The traditional plugging in of the lights on the Christmas tree! 3...2...1..Oops. They don't work. That doesn't count! That doesn't count!

It's funny; we want to dictate the conditions of a certain thing and not allow it to "really happen" if we aren't satisfied with the outcome.

I'm thinking about this today because I woke up to a light snow outside. To me, the first snowfall of the season doesn't count until the grass is completely (and I mean completely) covered.

"Look! It's snowing!"
"Eh, doesn't count."

I want to cover my eyes or cancel something out or do something over until it "counts." I want to decide what counts and what doesn't count!

Well, that's pretty selfish. Who am I to decide when something should count, much less gripe and moan about things not happening the way I want? I don't want to miss out on things or let it bother me if something unplanned happens.

Here comes a cliché for you. Ready?

Life is short - make it count.


Life is short - eat dessert first. It doesn't count when you eat it first.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Singing Loud for All to Hear

Around the middle of October, I start hearing the first Christmas music of the season.

"Aaaaah! Turn it off! It's too early! Not yet!"

I cover my ears and close my eyes (because apparently that helps block sound as well) and the guilty party caught spreading early holiday cheer glares at me like I just said "Bah, humbug!" and kicked Rudolph in the face.

But come on! Help me out, here! Christmas music is so special and makes me SO excited, I have to wait as long as I can. At least closer to Thanksgiving! I have this fear that I'll get sick of Christmas before December even starts.

Now, it's December. So I can listen all I want. Ha!

What is it that makes Christmas music so wonderful? My favorite kinds of holiday music are older. Classics sung by Bing Crosby or Burl Ives. Traditional hymns, the Hallelujah Chorus. The Nutcracker Suite.

Christmas music brings an instant smile to my face. I swear, my heart beats faster and I just want to do silly things like spin around, fling tinsel, and cut out paper snowflakes. I feel warm and fuzzy and nostalgic. And how could I NOT sing along?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Just Five More Minutes...

I could be waking up to the biggest day of my life. Some huge event. Some enormously important moment.

But in that moment of waking up, I could talk myself out of anything.

Dream...dream...dream...BZZZZZZZT! Ugh. Grab phone. Open phone. Squint at numbers on phone.

Okay, let’s see. What’s going on in two hours? Two hours? Who needs two hours? I’ll just cut back on my workout...Snooze. I’ll just snooze for 8 loooooong minut-

BZZZZZZZZT! Ugh. Grab Phone. Open phone. Squint at numbers on phone.

Really? That was it? 8 minutes? Eyes...start...closing...

Okay, now I really need to get up. Or hit snooze again. Hmm...

I’m just so warm and cozy...then my alarm rudely grabs my arm and pulls me out of sleep and tells me I need to get up. In that moment of decision – go back to sleep or get up – I would pretty much give up chocolate for a month so I could sleep for five more minutes.

And that’s saying something.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Eye Love My Eyes

Did you ever close your eyes when you were playing hide-and-seek because you thought, for some reason, that made you harder to spot? I did.

What is it about closing your eyes? That simple act gives you a controlled moment of peace.

Did you ever wish you could close your eyes and then open them to find yourself transported to another place or time? I have.

It hasn't worked yet. But that doesn't mean it never will, right? Right?

When I close my eyes, I can momentarily block out what's happening around me. If I'm in the middle of a conversation, this is seen as pretty weird.

Closing my eyes gives me a moment to collect myself. A moment to think of something. A moment to consult with myself on important issues...

All right. Seriously, I know that when I close my eyes that nothing will change by the time I open them up again. But that moment of peace and darkenss reassures me that everything will be okay if I just take a breath.

Oh, and that moment also reassures me that my eyes still work. So that's good.