Monday, July 30, 2012

Chapstick, Continued

Readers find my blog through various ways. Word of mouth, referring websites, comments I leave on other blogs that link back to mine, photos I lifted from Google...

And there is one blog post that has, for some reason, always been quite popular. Seriously, it seems that it is viewed every day, despite the fact that it was posted on November 12, 2010. 2010, people!

And the post isn't especially profound. Or funny. Or interesting. Or well-written. It's not one I would point to as a favorite. When I read it now, it doesn't even seem to make cohesive sense!

It's about chapstick. Yes, chapstick. This random blog post about chapstick has garnered close to 1,500 views over the last couple years. Here's my guess: it's the picture.

Now, you've probably guessed this, but I do not do all my own photography. That's right, I shamelessly borrow images off the internet to complement my blog posts. A kitten here, a garden gate there. Here a chocolate fountain, there a snowman, everywhere librarians and piles of books...

I don't copy images that are on a photography website or something, though. Or if the website says clearly not to copy them. I am careful, I think.

And for some reason, hundreds of people search for images of chapstick. And really like the image I chose for my blog post.

It's the oddest thing. My most popular blog post. Chapstick.



Friday, July 27, 2012

Neville's Walkabout

Happy National Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day!

Yes, I'm serious.

Grab that houseplant of yours. The one cooped up inside. And take that little guy for a walk! If it's a big guy, you may need a wagon. Just sayin'.

This auspicious holiday is a good day to update you all on Neville. My work houseplant.

Well, I'm sure he would LOVE to be taken for a walk. Or hate it. Most of the time it's hard to judge Neville's emotions. Truthfully, he would probably not care one way or another.

Neville's a little green around the gills these days. Well, not green. If he was green, he would be more healthy. He's actually a little brown around the gills.

His leaf tips are turning brown. And yellow. And white. Can't be good. And I'm not even a plant expert.


So I'm pulling off these bad leaves every day, hoping that the remaining green leaves will get the nutrition they need and that Neville will pull through. Pull through, Neville! You're named for a Gryffindor, one of the most courageous, I might add!

Fingers crossed and no idea what I'm doing. It's hard being a single mother with no green thumbs to a plant.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Speak Softly

Sometimes you read something so profound, it's as if someone has reached into your mind and written exactly what you were thinking but have not yet been able to express.

"I realize it's not true that I'm no longer shy; I've just learned to talk myself down from the ledge. By now I do it so automatically that I'm hardly aware it's happening. When I talk with a stranger or a group of people, my smile is bright and my manner direct, but there's a split second that feels like I'm stepping onto a high wire. By now I've had so many thousands of social experiences that I've learned that the high wire is a figment of my imagination, or that I won't die if I fall. I reassure myself so instantaneously that I'm barely aware I'm doing it. But the reassurance process is still happening - and occasionally it doesn't work."

This is an excerpt from Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. It's a fascinating book, whether you're an introvert, an extrovert, or feel that you have qualities of both!

As I've written about before, I'm definitely, positively, precisely an introvert. When I read this part in Cain's book, I knew I had to write a blog post about it.

Because it's exactly how I feel! I used to be pretty painfully shy. I blushed. I sweated (perspired? glowed?) I got nervous when speaking with people. I avoided conversations and gatherings of people.

Guess what? I still do all these things. But I deal with them better.

I've learned to talk myself down from the ledge. I've gotten so used to reassuring myself that it almost seems natural.


And then I sense the hint of panic in the back of my mind. I feel as if I'm looking at myself from somewhere outside of my body. I remember how unnatural it feels for me to be bold and confident. I fake it so well I nearly fool myself.

But deep down, I'm an introvert. I'd rather not have many conversations, especially about meaningless things. I may appear to be extroverted, especially at my desk job at the public library, but it's me adapting to who I feel I need to be sometimes.

Practice makes perfect, as they say. I've learned what people expect in social situations. I'm not ten years old anymore; I know it's not acceptable to speak softly and to not look people in their eyes.

"my smile is bright and my manner direct, but there's a split second that feels like I'm stepping onto a high wire." Haha!

Tricked you.

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's the New Small Talk

I talk to many people every day at the library.

"Hi, how are you?"

"Fine, thanks."

"May I help you?"

"Let me get that for you."

In addition to the library talk, there's the basic small talk.

Especially when the computers are slow. You can only pretend to type something so long, that's all I'm sayin'.

And guess what we talk about the most? You get three guesses and the first two don't count.

That's right, the weather. It's hot, it's cold. It's snowy, it's rainy. It's going to clear up. It's going to get cloudy. I forgot my umbrella, I don't need this jacket. Etc.

I basically get all my weather information from library patrons, as I always forget to keep track of what the weather is going to be.

I do get a bit annoyed with people, though, when they can't discuss the weather without complaining. All week it's blistering hot, right? People start complaining. I don't mind because I love summer. And I refuse to complain when I think of how cold I was a few months ago. (And the library has air conditioning...)

And then all of a sudden it rains and cools off and people complain about that, too! What do you want, people?

There are few days when everyone can agree that it's perfect outside. For some it's too hot, for some it's not hot enough.

Eh, just try to enjoy it. Put on a jacket or find some air conditioning.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Whiskers on Kittens

Hope you weren't expecting actual kitten videos or anything. My title is an allusion. To my favorite things. Get it? Get it?

However, you are getting videos! Here are some of my current favorites.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries! If you're a Pride and Prejudice fan, seriously: check these out. Two new videos are added each week in this nail-biting saga!

I am such a fan of Improv Everywhere's videos. Just pure fun. They always put a smile on my face. This is their newest.

And finally, The Hobbit trailer! I have to keep watching it to remind me how spectacularly awesome this December will be. Goosebumps, anyone?

Last but not least? My current favorite commercial.

So that's what I've got on this beautiful Wednesday. What are you watching these days?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Oh, You'll Really Hit It Off

Dear Facebook,

Wow, you're so sweet. Seriously. You just think of everything! How can I ever thank you for all this unsolicited advice?

Oh, THESE are the people I should be friends with. Why didn't I think of that? It's not like there are reasons why I haven't friended these people. Despite our 147 friends in common.

And these are the pages I should like? Good to know. So that's what I've been missing on my page? Advertisements for Pepsi? Updates from Justin Bieber? Wisdom from the Kardashian sisters?

I mean, typically I make my own decisions. So it's nice you don't push these at me or anything. You just line them ALL over the page, helpfully.

And wow, my friends are playing yet another game on Facebook? But this one involves flying cows? Or virtual mall shopping? Or dressing up avatars? Well, thanks for letting me know. I'll get right on that.

No, really. You're too kind.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Peeking Over the Fence

Sometimes I wonder what I'm missing out on. Is there something more? Is what I have now not good enough? Could I be somewhere better?

I am speaking, of course, of radio stations and tv channels.

I am the worst channel surfer ever. If I'm listening to one song on the radio, a part of me wonders if there's a better song I could be listening to instead. If I'm watching I Love Lucy on TV Land, I'm thinking I should check the Food Network to see if Cupcake Wars is on.

I'm hopeless.

For some reason, I just have trouble sticking with a particular channel. Maybe I'll just run through my options just one more time...see if commercials are over and if something good has come on in the last 20 seconds. I don't want to waste my time here if I could be watching or listening to something INcredible over there!

Just wondering if the grass is greener. It's like when I go out to eat with people and I order something that I feel will be delicious. And then I look over and someone else's food always looks better! And suddenly I am filled with regret.

SOMEbody needs to be grateful with what she has, apparently. And not worry about what's on the other stations.

Instead, I should ROCK OUT to whatever song is on. And ENJOY whichever channel is playing. And RELAX my itchy trigger finger on the radio dial and the tv remote.

Hm...I wonder...should I have written a different blog post today? Perhaps another subject would be more...interesting?

Oh, forget it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dark-Eyed Junco Pie, Anyone?

I get confused every morning.

Around 4, 5, 6 o'clock. I wake up, light streaming in the window and birds calling like it's the middle of the afternoon. I grab my cell phone, worried that my alarm didn't go off. But it's an hour or TWO earlier than I'm set to get up. I leave my window open for the breeze, but get all sorts of light and noise as my reward too early in the morning.

I love summer and everything, but days start a little too soon for me. And the weird thing is, I don't even feel tired, like I could spring right out of bed, fling the curtains open, and sing right back out at those stupid lovely birds.

And there is this one bird. This one bird that seems to live right outside of my window. He calls out all morning. Possibly all day. All night? I have vivid fantasies of shooting him down. His song never to be heard again 'round these parts.

I even scoured the internet this morning, listening to random common birdcalls to find his.

It appears to be the dark-eyed junco. Take a listen.

So that's my little guy. Or at least a little guy that sounds just like him.

My own personal alarm clock. I just wish that I could SET him to a decent time.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I'm a Pretty, Pretty, Polish Princess.

I have a new addiction.

Okay, addiction is probably too strong of a word.

I have something new I've been accumulating.

Remember a while ago when I wrote about my obsession with scarves? Yeah, that's old hat. I've moved on. To nail polish.

Actually, scarves and nail polish are pretty similar in their appeal to me. They always fit. They can be inexpensive (at least the kinds I buy! heh heh.). They're fun to get in a bunch of colors so you can always have the perfect one...

I'm sure however many I have aren't nearly as many as some people have. But I've noticed that I've been painting my nails more than usual. Like, every couple days. Whenever the coat starts wearing off. I like to coordinate my nails with my outfits. And it's not that complicated to take the old polish off and put on the new. Not as easy as a scarf, but still.

The one itty bitty problem is that my nails apparently hate all the new outfits I've painted on them. They are peeling like crazy. It sort of started in March, when I got three new types of nail polish. Hunger Games nail polish. Awesome, am I right?!

It was then that I realized I needed my nails to be pretty all the time.

I started noticing other people's nails, like in movies, and chose what I wanted according to my favorites.

Again I repeat...not that many bottles. Yet. But they're something small and fun that I can choose from to decorate my nails. Makes me feel special.

I've of course attempted designs like the ones found on Pinterest, but guess what? I should not quit my day job to do this. I'll just stick to a basic coat.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Bang. You're Dead.

I have an irrational fear of fireworks.

Maybe not completely irrational. I mean, people have been hurt from fireworks before. I know that if you're in a crowd of people watching fireworks from a safe distance, your chances of surviving are pretty good. But I tend to think I will not.

Survive, I mean.

I don't particularly care for loud, unexpected noises. When will the next BANG happen? How loud will this one be? Especially when there's that sound delay. A huge burst of light, a second of uncomfortable anticipation, and then kerPOW!

Not my cup of tea. In fact, that's what I'd rather be doing. Sitting in a garden and sipping a cup of tea. Not watching light explode and fearing for my life.

I know, I know. I'm a wimp. And I will go and see fireworks with friends and pretend I don't care that there are sparks flying and loud bangs making me jump.


I can totally understand how dogs feel. Most dogs I know don't really care for fireworks. They don't understand what's happening and why everyone else is just laughing it up. Loud noises mean DANGER! They mean FEAR! They mean whimpering and hiding and eyes filled with betrayal.

I get you, dogs. Let's all go hide together, I say.

Leave those crazy humans and their fire alone.

I am also afraid fireworks will swoop down on me like dragons. Thank you, LOTR.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Back Behind the Library

I'm tan.

Seriously, look - well, you can't look. But imagine. Someone who is usually pale and is now tan! Wow! I am impressed with myself.

I burned my way into quite a lovely tan this summer. This was partially due to Shakespeare in the Park. Also walking in the Memorial Day parade. Several long hot days of sunshine that toasted me right up.

To give credit where credit is due, let me also take a moment and thank my lunch hour. Couldn't have done it without ya!

Every day at the library I get an hour for lunch. On days when I work the evening shift this is actually dinner. But we still call it lunch. I just go with it.

And now finally that it's beautiful outside, I love to go and sit in the back of the library. It's secluded. There's no patron parking back there. No one bothers me. It's very important to me to have some alone time in the middle of my work day to get my introverted self recharged.

And how lovely it is to sit in the sun on a chair behind the library! There is also a hillside that I have practically fallen asleep on. Sitting in the grass can be fun as long as you don't think about how many ants are crawling all around you. I listen to podcasts, read magazines or books, and generally rest. Oh yeah, and eat my lunch.

My lunch hour is perfect; I go back into the library ready to handle the summer rush again (Sometimes randomly picking grass out of my hair). And I've been getting more and more tan. Score!