Monday, January 31, 2011

Unrealistic Expectations About Facebook

Hey, I'm annoyed by Farmville as much as the next girl. I, too, see statuses that make me roll my eyes. I cruise Facebook and judge profiles and pictures like nobody's business.

But come on, now. It's Facebook.

I feel like we can sometimes get "righteously indignant" about the things people put on Facebook. "Why would they post a status like that? No one cares." "They can't take good pictures at all; look at how blurry!" "What kind of pointless group did they join now?"

Which is funny, because after all, it's Facebook.

Think about the "point" of Facebook. Staying connected and knowing what everybody else is doing. Am I right? If someone's bothering you that much, unfriend them. I mean, what are you expecting on here anyway? Everyone to post statuses that are as witty and/or intellectual as yours?

Sure, I get annoyed with people on Facebook. But no one's twisting my arm to look at those pictures. No one made me click "accept" on the friend request. No one made me even get Facebook in the first place.

So this is a reminder to me to back off a little. To not be so judgmental. To not invest time in overanalyzing people "as seen on Facebook."

It's not life or death. It's just Facebook. Hm...sounds like a good t-shirt.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thanks; You're a Peach

So yesterday I was checking a patron's books out at the circulation desk in the library, and the small talk was going well. I mean, I've definitely improved in my small talk skills at the library. You kind of have to, for those moments when the computer is slow, you have to check out 57 books, or you can't figure out one of those really complicated CD cases.

So I was joking or laughing or chatting or whatever - good chemistry with the patron, ya know. And then while I'm saying something, she reaches over and drops some money into the donation jar we have.

Did I just get a tip?

I gave her the receipt, said bye, she left...and then I just had to laugh at the second of awkwardness.

It's funny how we have that donation jar right there and I never really know what to do when people put money in it. Saying "thank you" seems strange. I mean, it's not like it's for me personally. Usually I just pretend nothing happened. I'm probably overthinking this. Am I overthinking this?

If you're wondering why we have a donation jar, um, we're a library. Pretty much the one thing everybody knows about the library these days is that apparently they're going to die an agonizing death. And, of course, everyone likes to bring that up with me in social situations.

"So, you work at the library? They're not doing too well, are they? What are you going to do next?"

Ugh. Listen, libraries will be around forever, if I have anything to say about it.

Here, just enjoy my winning smile and drop some money in here, will ya?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Good Mornin'!

Feeling kind of uninspired today.

So instead of reading some post about chocolate, libraries, or Neville...

Click here and play a game and give to the hungry at the same time.

Click here and find a new recipe to try.

Click here and watch a great song from Singin' in the Rain.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It Made Sense in My Head

I realized something driving down the road the other day.

I realized that I talk to objects when I want something from them.

Sometimes aloud, sometimes under my breath, sometimes in my head.

In the radio's case, it was out loud.

"Please, play a good song now! I'm almost home!"

Because I was alone in the car, this wasn't weird. But now I've just told you this. Is it weird now?

Other things I sometimes try to reason with are microwaves, computers, printers, and cookies. Cookies can be very persuasive...

I usually have a conversation in my head with the computer when it's slow and I'm standing in front of a patron who's waiting.

Me: Come on, go faster. Someone's standing here and I don't have anything else to say! I already commented on the weather AND the books she's checking out. Work, already!

Computer: Heh, heh, heh.

So far, it's hard to tell if my words work with inanimate objects. My plant, Neville, seems to rejoice in ignoring my soothing words by dropping leaves on my desk out of spite. Whatever, Neville. You'll never wear me down.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hand it Over

Asking for and then receiving someone's library card shouldn't be complicated. Unfortunately, it is.

Here I have helpfully divided library patrons into the 5 library card categories.

1. The Ever-Ready Freddies: If the library card isn't already sitting on top of their piles of books, it's halfway out of their wallets. This is the library, for goodness sakes. Who wouldn't have their card out? It's like having your Bibles out at church or your crayons out at preschool.

2. The Blank-Eyed Bunch: What? A library card? What's that? Do I have one? Where is it? Why would I need a library card in a library? Confused rambling accompanied by frantic searching and child frisking. "Well, Mommy doesn't have it, Tyler, so cough it up!"

3. Switcheroo: These patrons try to give me their debit card, their student ID card, their gym membership card...everything but the one I need. Smart remarks usually follow this exchange. "I guess THAT won't do you any good! Heh, heh."

4. Fear of Commitment: They have their library cards. I can see them clutched in their hands. But for whatever reason, they will not relinquish them until I ask. Maybe they think that eventually I won't ask.

5. The Tossers: This category is 95% children. Not yet able to see over the counter, their only option is to heave up the card with a grunt, followed by Dora the Explorer or Thomas the Tank Engine. I have reserved the 5%, though, for the occasional patron who thinks it's fun to flip the card in the air or slide it on the counter.

It's just a library card. But in some hands, it's anything from a unidentified object to a dangerous weapon. Whatever. Just hand it over.

Monday, January 24, 2011

All I Do is Dream of You

I've seen some pretty out-there books that attempt to dissect your dreams and tell you exactly what they mean. Those are a little too weird for me, but I do believe that you dream about things you want, fear, worry about...

So what do you dream about? Do you have recurring dreams? Can you wake yourself up from a bad dream? Do you ever have to convince yourself that you're dreaming?

Since I'm a worrier, my bad dreams mostly involve being unprepared or forgetting something or getting lost. I'll dream that I'm suddenly going on a trip and am running around randomly packing small things like hair elastics.

Or, when I was in school, I'd dream that I was late for class. Or lost on the way to class. Or in class realizing that I didn't do the assignment.

So apparently that's what I fear the most - not knowing what I'm doing. Good to know. Now I can work on being more prepared...

Have you ever dreamed that you had a fight with someone, then you have to stop and think for a minute when you see him/her the next day? Okay, wait. I did NOT have a fight with this coworker. We did not have a screaming battle at the circulation desk in front of patrons. Whew. Am I sure...YES. I'm sure.

I hate waking up from a really good dream. Like those dreams I have where I find all these clothes in my closet that I didn't know I had, but I really like.

So apparently that's my favorite thing - new outfits. Wait, what? Maybe I'm just sick of my clothes now...

Would you keep a dream journal? Personally, I think they're kind of pointless. The only reason I try to remember dreams is to share the weird ones. Have you ever told someone your dream in a group of people, and suddenly everyone is sharing their strangest dreams? Try it sometime. No one can resist trying to top your dream.

Well, this was kind of a rambling post. Thanks for sticking with me this far. As a reward, here's a video for you to watch. Makes me smile every time.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Water, Water, Everywhere and Way Too Much to Drink

Some observations I have made about water, which I am trying to drink more of:

1. It does not taste very exciting. Have you ever thought you were going to drink water but it was really Sprite? This is the opposite. I keep hoping it will taste better and it never does.

2. My plant, Neville, also drinks it. When I remember to give it to him.

3. It doesn't taste better if I drink it out of my big yellow cup that I just bought at Target specifically for the purpose of drinking water. And it's even called a "tumbler," not a cup.

4. It isn't a huge problem when (not if) I spill it on myself because hey, it's just water. So...that's good.

5. My skin isn't glowing yet because of it, but I'll keep you informed

6. Isn't there some disease where you become repulsed by water? I think I have that now.

7. Drinking lots of water doesn't make me stop craving more meaningful things like chocolate. Wow, I really want to eat chocolate. I know! I'll drink a huge tumblerful of water instead! Yum, that really hits the spot. I could do this all day! Not.

8. Sometimes I forget to drink it for a few hours, then feel like I have to chug it. That feels like not exercising for a few days, then attempting to run a marathon.

9. Drinking green tea can count as drinking water, since I don't add sugar. It's just water and a green teabag. However, drinking sugarless green tea is like drinking blended grass. Is this really what I've become? My only options are a big yellow "tumbler" of cold water or a mug of liquid plant matter?

10. This post is making me thirsty. Great, all this water and I'm still dehydrated.

Is this glass half-full or half-empty? Who really cares?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Crazy Day in the Life

I had a crazy day at the library yesterday.

We were busy all day and I never really had time to stop and catch my breath. Days like this are good once in a while, but I think I'd go nuts if I worked somewhere that was hectic all the time. The other librarians joke about the library not being an emergency room and no one's going to die... meaning that we shouldn't have to feel pressure. If I worked in an emergency room, I would probably

not. I would not work in an emergency room.

The craziest I want my day to get is to have a kid crying because he has to leave the train table, two library cards I'm trying to register at once, the phone ringing, an overflowing bookdrop, and a patron wondering where the bathroom is.

Seriously? the bathroom? Everyone has to walk right by it to get into the library, yet this is one of the most commonly asked questions. Whatever; at least it's one I can answer. Those are the best kind of questions.

When I get home from work, whether it's a crazy day like yesterday or a normal day, I take an unofficial vow of silence. Being an introvert, I have used up my quota of words for the day. I have smiled until my cheeks hurt, answered the phone until  I sound like a robot, and talked until my own voice sounds odd to my ears. When I get home, all I want to do is sit down, stare into space, and keep my mouth closed.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. We librarians have quite the wild night life. Well, I can't speak for the entire demographic, but as for me? Give me a cup of tea and my socks with little snowflakes on them.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

There Are Worse Addictions...

I have fifteen scarves. I just counted them. Is that too many? Are you judging me right now? Just...stop, okay? You don't understand.

I need scarves. They're just so cute!

A scarf is forgiving. It always fits and drapes the same way it did last time. It dresses up a boring outfit and it gives my hands something to fiddle with when I'm nervous or bored. When I'm wearing a scarf, I have something I can fling carelessly over my shoulder to make a glamorous exit or to punctuate a particularly smart remark.

And each scarf has a story. Some I bought on Black Friday (different years..). Some were gifts. Some I got for such incredible good deals that I was unable to resist. Some I wore during certain memorable events in my life.

Is fifteen scarves too many? If so, why do I STILL have trouble finding the right one sometimes?

And why do I have a strange longing to make it an even twenty?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I think Neville hates me.

Neville is my plant. The plant I got for Christmas. The plant that sits on my desk in the library.

I'm always poking him to see if he's dying. I think he's getting kind of sick of me fussing and clucking over him. But I keep finding little dead leaves on him!

Sometimes I forget to water him, then I try to make up for it by giving him extra next time. But he spits it all out.

I'm doing all I can here, buddy! Work with me!

I'm a little afraid of Neville. I think he senses that fear and uses it against me. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he just up and died, just to upset me.

Am I overthinking this relationship?

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Went to the Gym

So I went to the local gym for the first time a couple days ago. I got this free three-day trial coupon, which inspired me to give it a go. Um, a coupon? I'm there.

I go in and am all intimidated at first, worried:

-is what I wore okay?
-is everyone looking at me?
-what if I look stupid?
-can everyone tell that I've only exercised in my basement before?

and then observant:

-sweet, look at all those tvs!
-this is a lot of sweat in one room.
-wow, that guy is ripped!
-there are some New Year's resolution people here.

And so I realize
1. I need to get a grip and not be so self-conscious.
2. the gym is an excellent place to practice one of my hobbies, people-watching.

I know that it seems like people are always saying how much they dread going to the gym, but I am super pumped. I am finally at a place in my life where I have been consistently working out for a few months and have even enjoyed it. So going to a gym seems like exercise, but "special." Yay, special exercise!

I haven't joined officially, but I will very soon. And then I'm going to be one of those cool gym people. I won't just burn calories, I will TORCH them. Grrrrr.....

Friday, January 14, 2011

#1 Make a List

At the end of the day, if I have just slogged through and wasted time and not accomplished anything... I feel like bursting into tears. And then eating chocolate. And then wasting more time.

For me, it's always better to have a list, so I can be purposeful in my activity. When I get home from work I make dozens of little choices. These choices can mean the difference between going to bed tired and happy or going to bed depressed and on a sugar high.

I am a very list-y person. Post-it notes, scrap paper, the back of an old library doesn't matter what the list is written on. Sometimes my head gets full of things I want/need to accomplish, and I have to get it down as fast as I can so I can organize my thoughts.

A good list is all about balance. For example:

List A
1. Arrange all books in the house alphabetically.
2. Clean the whole house.
3. Make a gourmet dinner, trying out fifteen new ingredients.
4. Scrapbook the last five years of my life.
5. Write twenty new blog posts.

List B
1. Hang up coat.
2. Put on socks.
3. Stack library books.
4. Eat cereal.
5. Turn on computer.

Obviously, neither one of these lists will do much good. List A will make me feel inadequate and List B will make me feel overconfident in the smallest things. Like tying my shoes or something.

What I need in my lists are some quicker things that will make me feel good to check off quickly, as well as some things that really need to get done but might be a bit more challenging.

Also, one thing I have already done. So I can check that thing off right away and ride that feeling of accomplishment all the way down the rest of the list. Oh, yeah....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Oopsy Daisy

I never used to be such a klutz. Probably because you can't get many injuries with your nose stuck in a book during your entire childhood. Unless you try to walk and read at the same time. Which is possible and yes, even enjoyable, by the way.

Anyway, I feel like I've whacked my knees on benches and beds and chairs more times in the last couple months than in my entire life. Why have I suddenly become so uncoordinated?

 I'm sitting here with an almost-healed bruise on my left knee that, about a week and a half ago, was a brilliant purple blob about the size of a chocolate chip cookie. Yesterday, I lumbered into the piano bench with my right knee and we're looking at the beginning stages of a bruise about the size of a quarter. What is my deal?

Thank goodness that there's one good thing about having a bruise: showing it off.

It doesn't matter how many times my sister says she doesn't want to see it; it's obvious she does. When you get a good, impressive bruise, you have to share it with anybody (un)fortunate enough to be near you.

"Hey there." Starts rolling up pant leg... "Take a look at THIS!"

Now, if I only had more glamorous stories to go along with my injuries...hmm...possibly library related?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Playing Library Detective

Sometimes, a game I like to play with myself or a nearby coworker is, "What Do Patrons Do To Library Materials to Make Them Look Like This?"

The rules are: Pick up a book/DVD/CD/talking book/magazine...whatever. Examine this material and notice scratches/tears/smells/breaks...whatever. Wonder aloud what the patron(s) could have done to make the library material look like this. Extra points for being as creative as possible.

Ex: "What do patrons do to library materials to make them look like this? Were they playing frisbee with this magazine? Playing with sandpaper and this DVD at the same time? Letting their teething child hold the CD for a while?"

You just have to wonder, that's all I'm saying.

If I was an inventor, I'd invent some heavy-duty cases for DVDs and CDs. This wouldn't eliminate the scratching once people got their hands on them, but maybe it would help with the cases that aren't built to last. I've broken CD cases in my own collection - all you have to do is look at them funny and they shatter.

It's a problem at the library because so many people have their hands all over everything. I heard a patron complaining the other day that they could always tell when a smoker had the book out previously. And one patron tried to slip a book in the book drop that she had dropped in the bathtub. Oh, the stories I've heard.

Needless to say, we use a lot of hand sanitizer over at the library.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Who's in the Mood for A Mild Disaster?

I am not a very spontaneous person.

This is why I'm not really sure why I love disasters.

Let me define disasters. In this case, disasters are things that go wrong in a not-too-big way. No one gets hurt. Three examples of my kind of disaster are: 1) the electricity goes out 2) we get a ton of snow and things get canceled 3) the computers go down in the library.

Now, I realize that all three things are inconvenient. But I find them exhilarating.

To me, it's such an adventure for all the lights to go out. And though I don't think I've ever been stuck somewhere because of snow, I have been stuck somewhere (Wendy's) because of flooding. And on occasion the computers have gone down at the library and we have had to write down people's checkouts like "the olden days."

Why do these things make me so happy? Maybe it's the possibilities. Or the fact that crazy things are happening out of my control and all that's left to do is enjoy it. I love the feeling of not knowing what's going to happen and just "living in the moment" for a while. Like I said, as long as there's nothing dangerous going on.

Am I alone in this? Does anyone else love stumbling around in the dark?

Maybe it's just me. Me and the spontaneous person inside of me fighting to get out.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Lights Are Turned Way Down Low...

The last couple days we've had big, puffy snowflakes falling from the sky, causing me to stare dreamily out nearby windows. There are few occurences more distracting than a soft snowfall.

My mind runs through the possibilities.

Snow. Packing snow or light snow? Snowman. Snow delays. Maybe everything will be canceled today and I'll have to stay trapped at home! Maybe the electricity will go out! Maybe the snow will pile up to the roof and I'll be able to climb up on the roof!

...Or maybe I'll just have to scrape off the car.

Snow falls makes me think of canceled classes, of spontaneous snowball fights, of my dog coming in from the outside with a little pile of snow on top of his nose.

Not too many things make me feel like I'm five years old again (in a good way). Snow does! I'm not much of a romper, but romping through the snow suddenly sounds very appealing. Usually, being cold - with a red face and a sniffly nose - isn't one of my favorite things. But when I'm in the snow - bring it on.

But the best part of a snowfall for me is that time in the morning before the roads are cleared. When cars are still buried, when the sounds of traffic are silenced. When everyone else is tucked inside enjoying a snow day, or peering out the foggy windows to see how deep the drifts are. When it's just me venturing outside to stand on top of the new snow - no dirt or salt or footprints on it yet. And all around me, there's just a strangely comforting quiet. You can almost hear the snowflakes fall.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Two Minutes of Dental Hygiene

I got a "Sonicare" toothbrush for Christmas. It's this big honkin' high-tech looking toothbrush that comes with a charger and handy travel case.

The first time I used it, I turned it on outside of my mouth. The toothpaste flipped onto the floor.

There's a timer on this thing that goes off after two minutes. Brushing for two minutes using this toothbrush made me realize that I have probably never brushed my teeth for two minutes in my entire life.

Two minutes may not seem very long, but when there's a reverberating toothbrush in your mouth, two minutes seems more like thirty-two minutes of wet, toothpastey boringness.

La la la la la...maybe I should pace back through the hallway again. Hm. Has this picture always looked so crooked? There. That's better... Why isn't this thing turning off yet?

Time stands still for those two minutes. It's just me, this heavy toothbrush, and drool running down my chin.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Don't Go Changing

I am not in favor of change. Um, are we voting? I vote no on the change. Please, won't things just stay the way they are?

Have you ever gone to a website you visit regularly only to find that the layout is completely different? This happened to me twice the other day - two different sites. I got all disoriented and couldn't find anything.

Every time Facebook changes, I hate it. I haven't switched my profile over to the "new" profile yet because I like things to be the same. Sure, I'll adapt eventually. But I don't want to.

I don't want to relearn something or go through new experiences or be uncomfortable in new situations. I have a rut and enjoy being stuck in it.

Obviously, change happens. I don't have to like it, but I can be willing to give it a chance and work on being more flexible.

Or I can remain in denial.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I Have High Expectations, 2011.

And now, in no particular order, some New Year's resolutions I've been thinking about.

1. Don't kill Neville. That's what I've decided to call my plant. I've already had to pick off a couple dead leaves, but I'm hoping that's normal. I keep sticking my finger into the dirt to make sure he's not dry. I hope he doesn't find that too intrusive.

2. Read through the whole Bible in a year. I haven't done this since high school, so I thought it was time to give it another go. I really appreciated Jon Acuff's post on his blog "Stuff Christians Like" about already being behind. Since I am.

3. Drink more water. I just always forget! Unless I'm eating or exercising. I just don't think to drink unless I'm really thirsty. And apparently, if you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated. Or maybe that's just an old wives tale? Whatever. I know this goal isn't really concrete, but there's no way I'm committing to drinking 8 glasses a day or something like that. I just want to work on remembering to drink more.

4. Run ten miles. Right now? This seems impossible. The most I've ever run at once is five miles. But I figure that I need something to work towards so I can stay motivated. This would be a pretty sweet accomplishment.

5. Eat more chocolate. Now, here's a resolution I can sink my teeth into. This is guaranteed to happen! A year from now, I will have kept at least one of these resolutions.

Althought, hopefully I will have also read through the whole Bible, run ten miles, be fully hydrated, and still have Neville and not just a pile of dust in a pot.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Zoom Zoom.

I'm a fast walker.

Even if I have no idea where I'm going, I'll get there fast. Purposeful strides. These long legs are good for something.

Zoooooooom...oops, sorry about that. I just blew past you, slowpoke. See you at the finish line.

It's not like I'm in a terrific hurry. I'm just...brisk.

Walking slowly is so agonizing. Just shuffling along with no enthusiasm. I walk slowly if I'm tired or not feeling well. Or if the person I'm walking with is slow.

Maybe I need to stop and smell the roses - I don't know. For now, I'm happy when I'm booking it down the sidewalk with a spring in my step and a song in my heart. Not to be cliche, or anything.