The ins and outs of a young library media specialist's life. Rock, rock on.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Testing... Testing...

Ummm.... right.

So guess what?

I've moved. To here. Tentatively.

Tentatively, as in, pending my ability to figure it out this weekend and make it look right. And also because I'm unable to get all the archives from this blog loaded onto the new one. And also because I have to figure out how to make it stop saying "blog" at the end of my address, despite the directions for doing so looking extremely complicated for what would seem such a simple a task.

But check it out anyway.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Keeping Up With My Agenda

A great deal has happened over the last two days and while I am excited and relieved and all that happy crappy, I also feel a little overwhelmed. You know what will quell my anxieties? Bullet points!

  • Tuesday afternoon started off just fine- a whole day off with not one thing on the agenda for the first time since I finished school. Out of the blue, I got a call from this "friend", claiming she would like to hang out now that school was over. Random! And bizarre! But hey, I'm game for a little entertainment. So we met up for a beer. Everyone I told about this meeting thought she was for sure going to do some apologizing, or at least make some claim that she still wanted me to apologize, but neither of those happened. We basically talked for an hour or so as if nothing had happened, as though I had been on a seven month long vacation and now I was back, so we had to catch up. I think she saw it as an opportunity to brag about her new boyfriend, who happens to live in Philadelphia and is some kind of PhD student in a relatively unknown field. Well. Good for her. I think? Moving on.
  • Tuesday night C received some very good news: he was offered a new position in an awesome company doing something he has always wanted the opportunity to do! For way more money! And for a boss that doesn't have horns and cloven hooves! Hooray! He quit his old job immediately and brought home a box of his stuff which is still sitting on the floor of his office as I type this. I did manage to convince him not to throw away an entire collection of ties, but he has been more than happy to wake up and roll into shorts and a t-shirt every day. And bonus for me: no more miserable nights of trying to console him when his job was particularly horrendous. Wheee!
  • Wednesday I had to wake up at the crack of dawn (read: 7 am) to head to school for some contract work they hired me for. Yes, they are paying me; that doesn't make me complain any less. It was as boring as expected, but once free C met me for lunch and we discussed the possibility of visiting his father down in Florida for a few days while he has time off in between jobs. Then I headed off for a haircut (completely drama-free, thankfully). And set out for the athletic club for some madcap adventures in towel-handing. C called me about halfway through my shift to inform me that he had booked our flight to Florida, where we would be staying in Orlando for a few days and perhaps heading down to Key West with his dad for a few days as well. Which is perfect, since the dreadfully hot and humid weather here has been preparing me for survival in a Florida summer anyway. I also had a minor encounter with the Parking Lady during my shift, which was remarkably uneventful; I vow next time I see her to provoke her anger so that I can report back to you.
  • This morning I woke up early (again! I know!) to head to school, where I had to refrain from rolling my eyes 97 kajillion times at the other librarians. I might be the youngest person there by 30 years, but sweet Christ are they bossy. Once I made my escape, I came home with vague feelings of guilt over not posting earlier and started typing this up. Directly after this, I will be taking a nap, and then hopping on the T to meet up with Kelli and the other members of the 007 Bookclub to discuss Infidel, which I finally, finally finished the other day. I'm super excited about it! And yes, also super nerdy. I know. Shut up. After that, the lovely Ms. Kelli and I (and anyone else that wants to join our crazy selves) are heading on over to the infamous Beer Garden, where we will meet C and some of his compadres for drinks and hilarity.
  • And then: the weekend! I have to wake up early again tomorrow for that stupid contract work, but whatever, I'm glad I took it because it's funding the upcoming Florida trip. My sister just bought a boat, so we might head up to NH for some fun on the lake, or we might borrow my parents sweet canoe and paddle ourselves around. Either way, there will be fireworks and ice cream involved: you can be sure of that.
Keep cool, people. I'm heading out into the wild heat of summer. Over and out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Beware: Potent Material

Holy crap! My blog is rated R!

Online Dating

Mingle says that my R-rating is based on the following words:

hell (3x) - I would imagine this would be referring to Christopher's place of employment, where he ferries bankrupt souls across the River Charles.

cocks (2x) - I knew I shouldn't have used the phrase "cocks and apps". And anyway, make that 4x, suckas!

corpse (1x) - Makes my blog sound like some kind of scary movie website. Pssh. If only.

Actually, I'm kind of surprised it didn't get an NC-17, what with all the library talk and the sordid middle school drama going on here. Very risque.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Time Off Is Good For My Self-Esteem

Having unlimited free time really does wonders for me, I've discovered. It's like I can take all the most productive parts of my brain (of which there are admittedly few, but still) and put them to use, concocting lovely plans for things I'd like to finally get around to doing this summer. At the same time I can also realize my dream of complete and utter laziness; a laziness so great that it actually included reading an article in People entitled "What Happened to Lindsay Lohan?" simply because I couldn't be bothered to get off the couch to get my copy of School Library Journal. Thanks for sending me all those back issues of People, Mom! I've been meaning to play catch up with the Linds.

Anyway, considering I've had five days to compose a new post, one would think that I could have come up with some brilliant ideas, or at the very least a mediocre outline of what I was going to write, but... ummm, yeah. No. This is all freestyle, baby. Winging it. 'Cuz that's how I roll. So why don't I give you a little breakdown of my doings over the past few days and we'll just pretend I was planning on doing that the whole time, okay?

Friday was finally nice enough to get my ass outside, so I loaded up a bunch of new music on the beloved nano and went for a fairly long run/walk up past Tufts and down the other side of Davis. By the time I got back I was tired and sweaty, but elated to find a big green produce box on my doorstep from Boston Organics. I hauled it up the stairs and opened it up and my excitement deflated like a helium balloon in a freezer; I had somehow forgotten that organic produce tends to be a) smaller than regular produce, since it's not pumped full of chemicals and such, b) a little strange looking, since it's deformities and natural shape are not genetically modified into perfectly round oranges and apples, and c) expensive as hell. I'm not kidding you when I tell you they sent me a head of cauliflower that was the size of a baseball. Sure, it was cute, and yes, it's just C and I eating it, but for $27? That better be the best tasting cauliflower I've ever had in my life. [edit: I just ate one of the pears from the box and it was very unimpressive. Boo.]

Anyway, I also managed to watch Volver and although it was funny, I just wasn't that into it. Maybe it was Penelope Cruz's hair that was irritating me, maybe it was the fact that I was playing Darts on the Nintendo while trying to watch a subtitled movie, or maybe I was just in the mood for something like Dumb and Dumber a little less acclaimed, but I gave Almodovar a whopping "meh". When C got home from his job at the seventh circle of hell we made a late dinner on the grill and took a stroll down to Davis for some ice cream. And can I just tell you? Oreo soft serve is the bomb. For reals. Then C had a (super-late) band practice and I settled in for a night of Forensic Files and Ghost Hunters. And then peeing my pants every time I heard the slightest noise and going to bed with a giant serrated steak knife with the certainty that if no one broke into the house to murder and dismember me, surely someone out there was slowly poisoning me with antifreeze. Damn you, CourtTV!

Saturday was my godson's first birthday, and if you don't know this by now, my family pretty much has some Martha Stewart DNA injected into our bloodstreams at birth and our parties sometimes go a little overboard. So when I heard two weeks ago that my cousin had been re-painting her (already perfect) back porch in preparation for this party, I knew the party would be a success. And by success, I mean she would pull off a pirate-themed party for a one year old and make it fun. I hid giant gold coins around the yard for the kids to find, there was a cake shaped like a treasure chest, there were eye patches and a pinata and all kinds of terror on the high seas fun. And once all the kids were gone for the day, we lit a big fire in the backyard and just relaxed sans screaming piratical children. Unfortunately, C's boss, Satan, demanded that he work on Saturday and he also had a band "gig" scheduled in Jamaica Plain for that evening, so he was unable to attend the festivities. He did, however, discover that his band was loud enough to clear a club in under 10 minutes. And also, that they rock. Hardcore.

Sunday we decided to play tourist and head down to Faneuil Hall, but only because I had been craving Wagamama's since they opened up their first US location right here in my very own city. We didn't even mind the crowds of crazy travelers fighting their way through Quincy Marketplace because we got to sit in the breezy summer sun and drink ginger peach iced tea while C shouted to every duck boat that went by. We also took a stroll through FancyTown, aka Beacon Hill, stopping in Cafe Vanille and the classiest 7-11 C had ever seen. Seriously, this 7-11 doesn't sell snacks, they sell sundries. Ah, old money. We hopped back on the T, came home to rest after our long (read: mile or so) walk, and start dinner. C made skewers of some type of carne asada and onions to grill (I do believe that every meal we've had has been grilled since he bought that thing, but I'm not complaining), and I turned that tiny little cauliflower into a magical au gratin with the help of many cheeses, some red potatoes, and Silk creamer. Yum. We also watched Apocalypto, which was surprisingly amazing, if you're in the mood for action and gore.

And that's it, people. Now it's Monday. The only reason I know it's Monday is because C had to go to the place that pays him. Oh yeah, and I have my second shift at the gym tonight! I promise all you fans of the Parking Lady that I will try to be all super spy and get some photos, just as soon as Fuji sends me my camera back. Because did I mention that I dropped it at C's birthday party weeks ago? And they still haven't fixed it? Seriously, it fell like 5 inches and the entire lens encasement snapped right off. Way to build for durability, Fuji.

I digress: pictures. Of the crazy lady. I accept the mission. Happy Monday!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Would Someone Please Drop a House On This Lady?

Day two of the vacation, the first shift at the athletic club complete. Remember how I was a little nervous about starting a new "job"? Yeah, I don't know what that was about. Working at a gym is probably one of the most mindless things I can imagine doing. In fact, that's what makes it so perfect. There are no kids whining in my face about how they forgot to save their science fair project and now it's gone and what are they going to doooo?, no substitute teachers announcing that they somehow broke not one, not two, but all three of the copy machines in the library, no teachers having meltdowns about contracts and grading and union dues. Nope, it's just straight up easy: smile, say hi, hand them a towel, smile some more, say goodbye. Seriously, the hardest part is all the smiling- not because I don't want to, more because I'm not used to having it permanently plastered to my face. I'm going to have mad jaw muscles by the end of the summer.

It could be too early to tell, but I think I might be working with some of the world's strangest people. Half of the staff is in grad school for something or other, the other half seem to have barely finished high school. All of them are just plain weird. Since I was only there for four hours I'm still taking stock of the cast of characters, but rest assured I will make some snap judgements about them and get back to you. Anyway, there seemed to be one universal theme among all the employees there, a common unifier, if you will: they all have a deep-seated loathing for the woman who runs the parking lot across the street. Not one person failed to mention this woman to me immediately upon us being introduced. Conversations went like this:

Destiny: Joe, this is NPW. She just started today.
Joe: Nice to meet you, NPW.
NPW: You too.
Joe: I think you'll like it here, it's very laid back. Except that parking bitch across the street. She's a real c___.
NPW: Oh. Ahhh... yeah. I think Destiny mentioned her. So did Josh. And Jeff. And that other guy that stopped in for a minute earlier. And the lady that teaches pilates. And a couple of members.
Joe: Yeah. She sucks. Bad.

Not only did everyone want to trash the parking nazi, everyone also seemed to have a personal anecdote that they wanted to share that had to one up the previous anecdote. I think by the end of my shift it had escalated to the point where she had single-handedly caused the unrest in the middle east, stolen someone's baby and burned it in a bonfire, threw her own excrement at passersby from her attendant booth, and used all the tissues at the front desk without asking. Everyone also had a solution as to how I could avoid her wrath; some people chose to bribe her by letting her use the bathroom at the gym, some let her use the telephone, some tried to ply her with gym t-shirts. The manager of the gym recommended that if I parked in the lot, that I bring her some kind of peace offering right away- a plate of brownies, some candy, a crisp $20. He also warned that Parking Lady could be fickle: one day she'd let you drive right out of the lot for free, with a smile and a wave, the next she'd pretend she didn't know who you were and the cycle of extortion and bribery would continue.

I was a little disappointed I hadn't parked in the lot, opting instead to put $1.00 worth of quarters in the street meter, but I held out hope that she would come in so I could see her in person. Of course, the second my back was turned to sell someone a Vitamin Water I saw a little flurry of excitement and I missed my opportunity to gawk as she whisked past to grab a free (used) newspaper. Later on that evening I was further intrigued when a gym member came in and informed me, "Some guy out there is having an altercation with the parking attendant. He looked like he might hit her. She's a real jerk." I ran to the window to see if I could catch a glimpse of the action, but all I saw was the dude making obscene gestures out of his car window and flailing wildly, obviously incensed.

One man lost his parking ticket and I thought he would cry when he asked if I had any extra parking tickets for him. No, I'm sorry, only the parking lady has the parking tickets. Good luck with that, sir. He hung his head as he went back to search the locker room for his ticket to freedom. What does she do that makes people so angry? Is she blatantly rude? Does she charge more than she should? Does she place a hex on you and demand a lock of your hair as payment for exiting the parking lot? It will take some investigative work, but I have dedicated my summer to finding out.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On the First Day of Vacay

Right. So, day one of my vacation and I already feel as though my schedule is completely fubar. Like I have all the time in the world and yet it's 8:30 in the morning and I'm fully awake with two cups of coffee already in me and I'm thinking about laundry. What kind of vacation is that, I ask you? I should be nestled all up in my lovely soft bed, cocooned in the warm blankets while the central air issues cool breezes into my apartment, happily dreaming of the ocean and Colin Firth. Or even better: Colin Firth at the ocean. Instead, C hit the snooze six times this morning (six! that's an hour! and the clock is on my side of the bed!), whereby I found myself in that zombie state halfway between awake and asleep and realized my head was pounding slightly (a common side effect of drinking three blueberry beers and eating nothing but tortilla chips on a Tuesday night), then snapped fully awake when C brought me a cup of coffee, a glass of water, and some ibuprofen.

Of course, beyond living with a person who does not share the same schedule of leisure, there are other factors contributing to my being up. Like the weather, which has made it dark as hell in my place. What's up, thunderstorms? No, really, it's refreshing to feel like it's 8 p.m. when it's actually 8 a.m. Way to make me cranky!

Also, I'm a little nervous about starting training at my new job at the athletic club this afternoon. My other friend who works there has been attempting to paint me a portrait of the place for weeks now and I'm sure she means it to be reassuring but it seems to be having the opposite effect. Tidbits like, "If you're training with Destiny, just ignore how crazy she is. Because she's literally crazy, as in asylum crazy. You'll probably never have to work with her again once you're done training. But bring a book, in case she tries to have a conversation with you."

As everyone was packing up yesterday for the summer it struck me again how odd a world it is in education. Seriously: picture just waking up one random Tuesday, packing up your office, and waving goodbye to everyone for two months. Like, "hey, cubicle mate, see you in September!" And then frantically trying to get everyone's contact info into your phone so you can actually try to make good on some plans (even though you know it's probably not going to happen) as you edge your way out the door. It's so weird to think I won't see most of the people I interact with daily for months and months, and then after Labor Day we'll resume our work as if there was no interruption. It's a little bit jarring.

But hey- I just made my first summer iced coffee! Who am I kidding? I love summer!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hold On For One More Day

I decided to view this past weekend as a warm-up for my summer of fun, and partied accordingly. Friday night we met a bunch of people in the [up and coming] downtown Haverhill area for some cocks and apps. Ok, we actually met for dinner and beers, but I've really wanted to use the phrase "cocks and apps" since I read it in one of those terrible A-List books a few weeks back. It's amusing, no? Anyway, once we blew that joint we headed into Brighton to Porter Belly's to see one of C's friends finish up a set. For a cover band, they are pretty damn entertaining. And we? Rock pretty hard.

Saturday C blew off work and we headed beach side; notably, to Newburyport and Plum Island. The weather was gorgeous- perfect for beach bums like ourselves. Hot and sunny, but breezy. Chris collected shells and buried my legs in the sand. Honestly, we are as easily entertained as children. We also got some ice cream at a place downtown, if you could call it ice cream; it was more like peanut butter cups glued together with minimal cream action. We also had dinner at Chris's new favorite place, California Pizza Kitchen. It may not be gourmet, but it sure is tasty.

Sunday we had a cookout at my sister's and the phrase "rain or shine" was put to the test. So we had to eat hot dogs in the rain- whatevs. It's hot dogs, people. They care not for the weather. We played some wiffle ball with the old Padre and enjoyed one of our favorite pasttimes, making fun of my sister.

Today was the last day of school for the kids, and it was a half day, so they were a little bit wild and a little more out of control. I just looked out my office window and watched one kid wrap another kid in an entire roll of duct tape, both of them laughing like hyenas. Bet you won't be laughing so hard when that tape rips off all your newly grown arm hair, buddy.

School's out!

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