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

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Somehow I am super-swamped with things to do today, but I wanted to get in a quick note on last night's Ultimate Frisbee game so that people who see me don't think I was involved in some kind of school yard fist fight. The bruises on my head, arms, hands, and legs are not the result of a brawl, they are the unfortunate product of playing a game with foolishly competitive men.

I feel that I should mention here- this isn't even a real league we're talking about. This is just a rag tag group of people who feel like running around with a bright green disc. Nevertheless. Some of these rag taggers need to chill the eff out.

One such man was so tall that when he leaped into the air to tackle the innocent frisbee his sneaker actually clipped the back of my head. This same man wore white tube socks and white Reeboks, and a too-short shirt, and I have it on good authority from a friend that he giggles when he kisses. Are your theatrical leaps trying to make up for something, sir? Hmm? So I couldn't suppress a snort of derisive laughter when he collided with one of my teammates and his white sneakers (and even whiter legs) got dirtied and a bit bloodied.

Anyway, if I appear a bit roughed up, you now know why*. NPW plays contact frisbee, yo. Don't front.

*Except for the ring of bruises around my knees, which are the result of having a glass table in your living room that you can't get rid of because it was a gift from your parents.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Thanks For the Day Off, Veterans!

I know some of you might be wondering why I chose to spend the summer kickoff weekend in Rock-chester and not here in my own 'hood. The truth is, it didn't matter in the least that I was 6 hours away- it's all about the people you're spending time with (or is it all about the Benjamins? Whatevs). So without any further musings, the Flour City MemDayWeekend Breakdown:

Got out there Thursday night and headed to some crazy location called 12 Corners* for some udon noodle bowls, then ate and hung out with BrickWindow boy and one of his Roch associates. (Who looks very much like Simon from Firefly. Weird.) After a full day of work, that long-ass drive, and a bunch of coconut milk, I was ready for some serious sleep.

Friday a.m. I really tried to sleep in, but once my eyes were open there was no going back to sleep. It seems all the birds of upstate NY have decided to nest right outside of The Boy's window. So I decided to be brave and venture out on my own to find a Montana Mills bakery to get some coffee. Luckily, it's only one road and I made it there and back without getting lost and and having to make an embarassing call to The Boy at work. Watched some tivo'd shows with The Boy's roommate and plotted ways to abduct his cranky-cutie cat, Katie. Once the Boy got back from work (oh, work**), we met some people for dinner at Mex, where I promptly lost one of my earrings, causing the waitress to dive onto the floor under our table amidst chip remnants and salsa drippings. Props to your fortitude, waitress. Earring found, we headed back for a little nap to gear up for some X-Men action. The movie was disappointing in many ways, but was made exponentially worse by the idiots surrounding us in the theater. The dude in front of us had his stupid blinking bluetooth headset on during the movie and insisted on text messaging people until The Boy politely told him to cut the crap.

On to Saturday, which was spent gathering up items for the MemDay Cookout. We attempted to go to the Public Market for some corn on the cob action, but were mobbed by people buying $1 peonies, so we gave up and headed to my own personal heaven, Wegmans. (No offense, Trader Joes, you're still my fave.) The cookout itself was so much fun and I got to match some names with faces, everyone was great. Also, beer + hotdogs = brilliance. Once the weather turned cool, we moved it inside for Trivial Pursuit Pop Culture face-off and we got schooled by the opposing team. Apparently my extensive knowledge of Aaron Spelling and mullets was not enough to pull out a win.

Sunday = California Rollin' sushi, a fusion of flavors the likes of which I had never experienced. Tempura'd shrimp with Dino BBQ sauce? Yes, thanks. It also included a trip to the Eastman House Gallery (archival home of the original Star Wars and Wizard of Oz footage) and then on to my latest craze, Katamari Damacy for PS2. If you haven't seen this game, may I suggest getting off your lazy tush and renting it immediately? Your eyes and ears will thank me. Inchling Prince= cutest ever.

Monday was breakfast on Park Ave. and some basic hanging about as I stalled on my departure time. Finally I had to suck it up and get back in the car from hell; luckily, I still had about 4 hours of the Bad Twin novel to listen to on my iPod. Unluckily, the story pretty much sucked.

So that was my weekend. Pretty complete in its awesomeness. I did miss a putt-putt tournament*** while I was gone, as well as marching bands and baton twirlers blocking my road for 4 hours, but I'll just have to work through the pain of missing the excitement. I'm sure most people are a little bitter about the return to work after a long weekend of faux-summer fun, and I would be too... except I only have about a month left before the glory of a real summer vacay. ROCK.

*I only saw 4 of the elusive 12 corners. I guess it's like the Enchanted Forest in the Legend of Zelda? North, west, south, west.
**It was nice to get a glimpse what the summer would be like, with others going off to work and me sitting on my duff watching The Office and Scrubs.
***You suckas are lucky I wasn't there to kick ass in the tourney. And you know this.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Look Back

When I first started this blogging business it was on a bit of a lark. An ex kept going on an on about how talented a writer I am (!) and how it would be good practice (for what, I don't know) and how the world needs more funny people out there writing about their crazy lives. And so I did it. Flattery will get you everywhere, I guess, even if you're an ass.

Anyway, I will admit- the idea of hundreds of people reading something I've written held a wild appeal. And it still does. So against my better judgement I started this little one-girl show. And now, after a few months of working out some semblance of a style and flow, I've realized some things about the good ol' blogosphere.

Profound Blog Revelations of 2006

1. Very first thing I realized: I am not, in fact, a great writer. Sometimes when I read old stuff that I've written, it makes me want to vomit in my shoes. But this could be good for me, as I won't harbor any deep desire to become the next J. K. Rowling and I will be free to pursue my library dreams. Or it will at least make me think twice about confessing my girlhood love of Jordan Knight.

2. Most people do not give a crap about what I write. Or me, for that matter. So if a handful of people read this and think "cool", I consider myself lucky. If I get more than 2 comments in a day, it's like a gift from the heavens. (Who is the God of Blogging, anyway? I'm going with this guy... thanks for the shout out, you rock. Now when do I get to go to a Gawker media party?) It's a far cry from the "hundreds" of people I thought would flock to my witticisms, but better than the zero hits I could be getting.

3. People seem to like my Microsoft Paint drawings more than my actual writing. Appealing to the lowest common denominator is easier than I thought.

4. I like making lists. A lot.

5. I hate blogs that have no substance. Posting 12 pictures of yourself in various vain poses is not entertainment. Unless they're really interesting poses- I'm talking Emily Rose-style.

6. There are people out there who are way funnier than me. That was some shocking news to an egocentric New England girl like myself, but it's the harsh reality.

7. I put actual effort into this thing. Or at least write every day (ok, most days)- which really says something, since usually I lose interest with anything new after a day or so. Translation: I must enjoy writing in this little corner of the universe.

I'm out. Kick back this weekend- the weather is not going to blow, for once in our sad northeastern lives. So eat some hamburgers and potato salad and do it up Memorial style for the N to the P to the W.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Five Things That Make Me Nervous (Or, the Real Wednesday Post)

For your handy reference, I have compiled a list of the Top 5 Things That Make Me Nervous. File this information away, it may someday prove invaluable. But know this: if you choose to use this list to exploit my strange anxieties, I swear I'll never rest till I find out what freaks you out and get you back. For reals. Anyway, just a little clarification- by "nervous" I don't mean having-a-breakdown-checking-myself-into-Bellevue-nervous, I just mean edgy, slightly anxious, and/or irritated. In ascending order:

5. When I enter a bathroom and the stall I usually frequent is already occupied. It's like my bathroom plans have been totally derailed and I have to regroup and search for alternatives. Like, the stall next to it. Unthinkable. Most times, I'll just leave the bathroom and come back 10 minutes later- enough time for the offending party to leave and for the toilet seat to cool off from their ass print.
4. People that chew with their mouths open and/or hearing people chew. Gross. Really, who wouldn't be irritated by this? I think it's a deep-rooted distaste, possibly stemming from a detestable Uncle who used to eat macaroni and cheese. All the time. The cheese would be all smeared on his lips and when he talked or guffawed, bits of macaroni and slimy strings of cheese would fly out at you.
3. Butterflies. Freak me right out. They're worms, people. Worms that distract you by flying at you with Spin Art wings. Don't be fooled.
2. I have this (completely irrational) fear that if I don't watch my garage door go down all the way that some homeless person or murderer will combat roll their way under the closing door and I will have an unhappy surprise the next time I enter my garage. Like a knife in my throat. Or a change cup thrust under my nose.

And the number one thing that causes me undue worry:

1. Smokey the Bear signs. Do you have these? They are everywhere around here, outside every fire station I pass. "Smokey the Bear Says the Fire Danger Today Is:" and then the firemen post the appropriate signage. Anything other than a "LOW" and I am on super high alert all day long for brush fires. A "MODERATE" or "HIGH" make me want to stay home from work. It's no joke. Only you can prevent forest fires.

Wednesday: A General Life Update

The library has been keeping me too busy and too tired out to give you an update on my actual daily activities. I've also been proctoring exams (which basically means reading out of a manual... "only use a #2 pencil and be sure to make your marks heavy and dark..."), and that pretty much sucks the life right out of me. But since you've all been clamoring to hear the real life 411, and I did promise you an update-- here's the digg.

1. My cousin's baby shower last weekend was a huge success, despite the surprise not really being a surprise. The hours of work on the invitations, the RSVP headaches, the endless baby gift shopping, it all paid off in the end because my girl was happy. And got a lot of cool ass baby gifts.
2. One of the subs at school totally has a crush on me. I know because he asked me yesterday how to make copies on the risograph machine, even though I saw him making copies on Monday with no problem whatsoever. He just wanted some copy room time alone with yours truly. Suave, my friend, but the riso is not the way to my heart.
3. Mondays pilates class was redonk. As in, my abs hurt every time I check in a book.
4. The big puffer fish in the library fish tank just ripped the head off one of the smaller fish and proceeded to eat his decimated body while the other fish huddled in the corner behind the castle and watched with horror. When did Puff Daddy get so big? He's out of our control. There's no way to stop him! I can see the film now... "Terror In The Tank: the thrilling sequel to Finding Nemo- a Pixar Production".
5. I have on a totally cute outfit today.
6. Last night was ultimate frisbee night but there was no ice cream action afterwards with the crew. Peanut Butter Oreo? Call me. I miss you.
7. I'm heading to NY this weekend for some MemDay fun. It's supposed to be a glorious 80 degrees and I am very much looking forward to the grilling of various meats, the imbibing of classy beers, maybe some fireworks, and time with The Boy and his Roch peeps.

That's it. That's all there is to it. Nothing more to see here, folks. Move along.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Local Lunch Lady Proud of Etiquette Lessons She Provides

True story: today I was reprimanded by the blue-eyelinered lunch lady in the snack shack for not using the magic word. Official transcript to follow.

Lunch Lady: Hey Hon, how's it going?
NPW: Excellent. Another day closer to summer. How about yourself?
LL: Ya know. Same old.
NPW: I hear you.
LL: So what can I getcha?
NPW: I'd love some popcorn. My lunch was pretty blah today.
LL: (blank stare)
LL: (more blank stare)
NPW: Umm... are you out of popcorn? (As I stare at it gently popping and tumbling into the machine)
LL: No... no, that's not it.
NPW: (my turn for a blank stare)
LL: You didn't use the magic word. I was waiting for the magic word.
NPW: (slightly disconcerted) Oh. Sorry.
LL: (blanker stare)
NPW: Um. Please?
LL: (slow, satisfied grin) You betcha.

I realize not saying "please" to begin with wasn't very Emily Post of me, but seriously with the lecture? It's not like I said, "Hey bizotch, gimme some of that hot deliciousness back there", or "I want that motherf'in popcorn in my motherf'in hand like now". And also? You're a lunch lady. And not even a real lunch lady. You work in the snack shack with the bottles of water and the bags of chips.

Bravo, Miss Manners. Thanks to you I will never again be surprised by a lecture on the word please. Next time someone asks me for the magic I'll kick them in the shins and take the damn popcorn by force. And I'll pack it to the top of the bag, too.

Monday, May 22, 2006

It's Already Been Broughten

Every Sunday morning, bright and early, I steel myself for the class of torture, otherwise known as spinning. I make all the adjustments to the bike seat height, distance, the handlebars, the foot straps. I make sure to grab a towel for the inevitable and unstoppable flow of sweat, and grab another to wipe off the bike. I tighten the gel seat cover so it doesn't come off halfway through the jumps. I line my little ticket up for easy transfer to the instructor. I make sure my water bottle is filled to the very top and wish for the millionth time I had thought to bring two bottles. Cuz I'll be needing it. I sigh a resigned sigh.

I glare balefully at the instructor. She's not all there- her hair is disheveled, falling out of the ponytail, and she definitely didn't shower this morning. Her face is pale and drawn, puffy black circles under her eyes. Is she hungover? She is, isn't she? I see her burp and then swallow something down, making a terrible face. Now I'm resentful; there's no way I could show up to spinning hungover and survive to write about it.

I finish tightening everything up. Then, when I can't stall anymore, I strap myself in and prepare for pain. Even through the gel and foam padding, the seat feels worse than concrete studded with stones and glass. Some terrible disco music comes on and the instructor is yelling, "Feeeeel the buuuuuurn...!" over it. I close my eyes and think briefly about throwing my water bottle at her, but resist. If only I had brought two! My legs burn, my throat burns, my face and arms are hot. L and I are thinking of doing ridiculous things like wheelies and peg stands and hip hop moves on the stationary bikes and we're laughing through the pain.

To take my mind off the hill climb we've just started, I glance around and wonder how some of these women ended up here. I mean, was my gym having a Help the Homeless Get Fit Day? The giant fans whir and tilt, blowing some B.O. my way. I duck and cover. Could that lady really have saved up $80 a month in change? Seriously, she looks like she should be saving up her foodstamps, not frantically peddling to Captain Jack's Whistle Song. The soles of her dirty Keds are cracked with age and the foot pegs have to be digging directly into her non-socked foot. Her legs are as hairy as a lumberjack's, peeping out from hole-y Wal*Marts leggings. I'm getting a little woozy from her smell. I bury my face in my towel with the pretense of wiping sweat from my brow, but really more to get some filtered air in my lungs.

Then as quickly as it started, it's over. The delirium clears. I lived. I walk out actually feeling pretty awesome, other than a sore ass and a strong desire to escape the homeless woman's death smell that has followed me to the locker room. Oh, spinning. Both the bane of my existence and the path to aerobic fitness.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Let Me Know Your Enormity and My Tininess

My words are my soldiers and they will rise up off the screen and march down onto your keyboard, across your desk, right onto your lap if need be, proud and brave. They will loyally follow my command, regardless of the direction in which I lead them. Whether they choose to attack you, assuage you, or regale you with snark and wit depends solely on my dictatorial decision. Patronizing or praising, condescending or commending, alliterative skills or no, what you read here is me. But it is not all of me.

Maybe you read this daily bunk and think, I know this girl. Or, I want to meet this girl. Or, this girl is full of shit. It doesn't matter. Just because you read this, the wise, wise words of Nikki from Save the Last Dance: that don't mean you know me.

This is, after all, a public forum, and while I am publicly hilarious, I'm often privately quiet and introspective. Sometimes I find myself surprised that I have made it as far as I have, done as much as I've done, and retained so many friends. It's strange; I rarely find myself alone, yet my center gravitates to people who need me more than I need them. I pull and pull at myself so that I can try to know people less superficially. I try to temper my independence; I want to be part of your life. But this isn't a diary with a lock and key, tucked snugly between mattress and box spring. And communication becomes work when it isn't glib and distracted. It's difficult to both mean what you say and say what you mean.

So here I'll stick to what I know. This blog makes no pretense of being an epic tour de force. What I find funny may also be amusing to you, or you may just think "God, what a tard she is". Either way, you get a part of me and I get something in return. Not in the form of comments, since my readers are men and women of few words, apparently. But knowing someone's interested in those tiny glimpses into my life makes this whole exhibitionist/voyeur thing we have going worth it.

See you on the weekend flip side. I'll have lots to report. Promise.

*Rodney White's signs are such eye candy.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Who Do You Heart?

Yesterday afternoon I decided to wear my I Heart Nerds t-shirt to the gym. I love this t-shirt for many reasons, not the least of which is its succinctness. There are other reasons, too: it's generally very comfortable and a perfect fit, it has fun colors, and it sometimes elicits a smile from some of the truly nerdy men (and women) wandering around the streets of Boston. Overall, a t-shirt for the ages.

So there I am, walking with my little ear buds securely in place, happily soaking in some sun, when I start to notice something. More specifically, I start to notice that people are staring at my t-shirt much longer than needed to read the three little words (does a heart count as a word? I'm counting it) that are written across the front. Now, those of you who know me know that I am constantly cursing the fate of women having breasts. And I could be considered a chesty girl, but it's not like the letters were stretched out over them, like the t-shirt was straining or something. Were people really just blatantly staring at my chest, though? I mean, do people really do that? I did a quick double-check to make sure I didn't spill any high-fiber Kashi down the front or anything and when I looked up, a jogger winked at me. Then it registered: yes. People really do look at girls chests. Especially when you advertise your love for glasses and pocket protectors across it.

I know. Not exactly a revelation for most of you readers. But it was just so achingly cliché that it almost ruined my I Heart Nerds t-shirt for me. When I had almost made it to the gym door, I caught out of the corner of my eye a homeless man* waving at me, pointing at his chest, and mouthing the words "I'm a nerd! I'm a nerd!". When he started to get up off his empty pail seat I sprinted the last 20 yards through the parking lot and slammed the gym door shut behind me, breathing the soothing eucalyptus deep into my lungs.

I guess I could just discard the I Heart Nerds t-shirt, or relegate it to pajama use only. Or maybe I just need to make some modifications?

I Heart Nerds (That Don't Live in a Cardboard Box on the Street)
I Heart Nerds (That Heart Hygiene)
I Heart Nerds (Who Are Cute)
I Heart Nerds (No, Not You)

A little masking tape, a Sharpie, and voila. I may still get some glances, but they won't linger for long!

*I must admit, this homeless man is my favorite. And by favorite I mean that he's delightfully witty and cheerful despite his lack of teeth, his scaly skin, and the permanent muffin crumbs in his beard. But he's definitely no nerd, hence the running.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Attack of the Killer Mold Spores

This morning I re-entered my library for the first time since the FLOODS OF '06 headlines started appearing. Was I greeted pleasantly by my greenhouse-inspired, 70's throwback of a library? No, indeed I was not. In fact, I was assaulted by some high-power mold action. It nearly brought me to my knees. My office smelled like someone's basement had flooded, drained, flooded again, corroded some paper and boxes and sweaty gym socks, and then was left with no air ventilation for a year in the heat of summer. That's the closest approximation to the smell I can manage for you. Now, this is a middle school. I am used to rank smells- B.O., farts, unshowered bodies, AXE body spray. But this was something deeper, more profoundly nauseating. When I expressed my concerns about this, the custodian jovially answered, "Ehh, just open some windows! Nothin' to it!" Sheer genius, my man.

"And the mold shall sense the open windows, and the mold shall see that it is good. It shall fly up and out, to be closer to the sun and the fresh, clean, spring air." So sayeth the librarian.

So the carpeting isn't wet, per se, but the slight dampness lets me know that there's a veritable bacteria fest going on under that pretty orange surface, just waiting to explode its nasty spores into my lungs. I just hope all that "contaminated water" they were talking about hasn't seeped into my clothing. I'd really hate to get e.coli for the summer.

But hey... I can see the sun!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Flood Update

A few of the warnings I've been seeing:

Parents please keep your children away from flooded areas as flood waters may be contaminated.
Do not wade or fish in the waters as it may contain bacteria and raw sewage.
Do not boat or swim in the water as there may be downed power lines and could lead to electrocution and/or drowning.
Stay away from fish and shellfish caught from the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
Throw away all clothing that has been submersed in flood waters as they may contain high levels of contaminants.

Does anyone else get the feeling that we're edging closer to some kind of Apocalypse?!

Flood Day 2: Back Again For The First Time

Whaddya know? Another flood day! At this rate, I could very well be going to school until July, which would be pretty unbearable in the heat and mugginess of a New England summer. But it's still pouring outside. I know because I just walked home from the gym in it, sans umbrella (I seemed to have conveniently lost my umbrella just before the clouds burst open with a vengeance over a week ago). All the rivers in lovely Massachusetts have become raging rapids, houses on lakes and ponds are submerged, and people are being evacuated from their homes.

So I guess my complaints of everything being perma-damp and dreary are a little trivial in comparison... but damn, I could do with some sunshine. Even laying in bed with a good book is getting tiresome- and you know when I'm tired of reading something is very, seriously wrong.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Flood Day

Friends, you know things are going to be ok when you wake up to this announcement:

Public Schools are closed today Monday, May 15, 2006 due to flooding making some roads impassible and creating hazardous driving conditions.

All weekend I waded through knee-deep rivers of water and dealt with rain-frizzed hair, endured temporary blindness induced by rain-splattered glasses and forced The Boy to carry my Mother's Day present inside his coat- but this, this makes it all worth it.

So you see? It's not all bad. I've even learned a thing or two about myself over the last 8 days of unending rain. For example, I don't enjoy 8 days of unending rain. Normally I wouldn't mind the rain at all, change of weather is one of the things I like most about New England. In fact, I love thunder and lightning storms- all that electricity in the air is super exciting. I wouldn't even think twice if it was 4 or 5 days of rain in a row; a pretty frequent occurence. 4 or 5 days I could write off as much needed plant drinkage. But heading into day 8 with no hope of reprieve is a bit much to ask of anyone.

At the time, some two years ago on a beautiful summer day, my purchase of a Honda Civic made sense. It seemed like a good deal; sturdy enough and cheap- a perfect offering, should the Accident Gods see fit to take this car as well. Ugly, yes. Uncomfortable, hell yes. But dependable. This was all before the floods. The floods made me recognize my folly. Now I see I made a mistake in not going with the WWII amphibious landing vehicle. I'm sorry I always made fun of you, Duck Boat Tours; now, you may be the only thing that could get me back to my library without floating off the highway.

As I lay in bed this morning after a leisurely sleep-in, I contemplated the days ahead. I know that varying degrees of coldness and wetness await me. But for now, I've got my bed, my computer, and a few good books. Bring it on, weather. Bring it on.

Friday, May 12, 2006


Just checked the weather and this is the picture I saw, stretching on through the 10-day forecast. Can it be true? Will it rain the entire month of May? Have we been condemned to dreariness for the next fortnight? The weathermen have spoken.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Library Find of the Day

One of the best parts of being a librarian is suddenly stumbling upon books in your collection that you didn't realize were even there- little treasures, if you will. Today's find: Almost White: A Provocative Study of America's Mixed-Blood Minorities, published c.1963. Ostensibly a look at Native Americans and the displacement of their lands, but also a veritable cornucopia of information on why Native Americans are not, in fact, white. Who knew?

I guess it's better than the copy of Some People Are Indians I found over the summer- an account as to why Indians are no longer the brutal savages they once were.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

There's a Time and a Place for Metaphors

Yes, yes, sorry about the non-post yesterday, but it was for your own good. I was simply trying to spare you a long-winded and painful diatribe on why this week has been craptacular. I could elaborate but it would only bore you to tears and you'd likely stop reading halfway through anyway because, as I've learned, there's no surer way to make people avoid you than to endlessly drone on about things like server crashes and catalog records.

Maybe a metaphor to help you comprehend my duress? I was like a miner trapped in an airless, lightless, caved-in tunnel, with only a nail file to dig my way out of the rubble; finally, when I had abandoned all hope of ever seeing another episode of Lost in my lifetime, one tiny little shaft of light filters in and I break down and weep with joy.


Or instead you could just content yourself with the knowledge that despite the torrential downpours this morning I am in a considerably more chipper mood. (Seriously, though, with this weather? I could have skipped the shower, slept in an extra half hour, and relied on the spring rain to cleanse me while getting in and out of my car.) With that said, I have posted a super-cute-gummi-bears-in-love picture in the hopes that you, too, can find some bright shaft of light in an otherwise gloomy day.

Moving on.

Things worthy of note today:
1. Teacher Appreciation Week=free breakfast and coffee, plus a bonus gift of a little parsley plant in my mailbox. Thanks, student council, now I will have some kickin' salads this summer.
2. Nintendo DS Lite will have the new Mario game out this week and XBox just released news of both a DDR Universe game and the fact that they bought Activision and so will likely have a version of Guitar Hero 2. So awesome.
3. April showers bring May flowers. Oh, damn, it's already May... well, maybe May showers bring June flowers? And speaking of June, can you say SUMMER?!
4. Gummi bears kissing.
5. DaVinci code: almost here! And Tom Hanks-what is up with your hair? You're lucky people will be looking at Audrey Tautou more than your attacked-by-a-beaver head.
6. New Lost tonight: will we find out why Michael is insane? I'm chewing my fingernails just thinking about it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

In Stock And Ready To Ship

Have you ever done an inventory of audio visual equipment in a school that has over 100 rooms on two floors? I doubt you have, so let me clue you in as to what it's like. Two words: pure hell. I am currently covered head to toe in dust, dirt, grime, and possibly something that they were dissecting in 8th grade science. I've been bruised, scraped, squashed, and got a cardboard papercut. Not a pretty sight.

I've been forced to trick some of the teachers into revealing hidden AV equipment that they don't want to give back for fear of it never returning. Conversations go a little something like this:

NPW: "Are you sure you don't have a CD player in here?"
Belligerent Teacher: "No. CD player? Never seen one before."
NPW: "You're sure? Because that looks like one over there under the stack of books and papers with a sheet thrown over it."
BT: "Uh uh. Nope. No... oh, that? That's just... some magazines under there."
NPW: "So all these CDs here are just for show?"
BT: "Yep. Just in case, you know."
NPW: "Whatever."

I'm tired. Weary, even. It's almost summer. Must... hang... on....

Friday, May 05, 2006

Happy 5th of May

Good God I'm tired. Anyway, TGIF and all that crap. Here are some random things to leave you with on this bright and sunny day:

1. I have not had a good nights sleep in two weeks. When I do fall asleep it's almost like I'm comatose, only less active.
2. I am not going to NY this weekend, as previously suggested, but instead will be here, shopping for wedding shower/baby shower/birthday/Mother's Day gifts. Joy.
3. My hip joint still hurts- arthritis? Pulled muscle? Who knows, who cares. I'm going to run on you anyway, hip, and you're going to LIKE it.

Bitching aside, things are not as stupidcrap as they seem:

1. It's gorgeous weather and I am wearing a skirt and sandals. (Too bad I couldn't have an outside library... oh, think of the fun!)
2. My mumsy and sister may come to visit this weekend to delve into some shopping of epic proportions.
3. I will have a Boston visitor next week/weekend and I will be a Union Oyster House virgin no more. Sugar snap.

And although I still think Cinco de Mayo is a ridiculous holiday, I've decided to nix my earlier statement and have a cerveza or 12 this evening. Corona and lime? Yes, please. (I even had a burrito last night. What can I say? I dig the Mexican.)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

J. Depp Would Be Ashamed

The breaking news last week that the school spirit day theme was PIRATES was a bit misleading, for me as well as you. I (wrongly) assumed that there would be one glorious day of brigands and sword-brandishing, gun powder and black flags. Instead, the entire week has been pirate-themed. Which sounds great, right? Until the announcement came down that the following items were not allowed in school: swords, hats, eye patches, and hooks. And although they didn't mention it, I'm assuming that list also includes rum, cannons, pistols, and peg legs. So basically the school spirit theme is not actually "pirate week", but "dress normally as yourself and pretend to be a pirate" week. Boooooring.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Fun Facts

My love of ninjas rivals my love of zombies. And my love of Microsoft Paint rivals my love of Photoshop. Word.

Note to Hipsters: You Can Stop Trying So Hard Now offered up a very interesting review this week entitled "Hipster rebel punk outsiders-- 99 cents a dozen", by Andrew O'Hehir. In it, O'Hehir discusses the new book Hello I'm Special, a look at how today's society lauds nonconformity to the point that nonconformity has become the norm. Individuality is conformity. I see it every day here in a school- whether the girls are wearing polo shirts and ribbons in their hair or Coheed and Cambria sweatshirts with 137 safety pins stuck through their jeans, every one is striving to be themselves. Which is just like everyone else. Paradoxical, no?

We grow up and go through school with everyone telling us we're special, unique, individual, that we can do anything we want if we just want it badly enough or we try hard enough. This isn't true, of course. If I wish hard enough to sprout wings and fly to the moon it still isn't going to happen. If I play 12 hours of tennis a day, every day, for the next 20 years, it doesn't mean you'll see me kicking Anna Kournikova's ass at Wimbledon (esp. since I can't play for crap on grass courts). There are limits to what we can and should do, despite what the media wants us to believe.

A few quotes from the article (in case you're too lazy to read it) that really struck a chord:

"Those of us who grew up in the post-industrial, pop-culture-saturated West (and a whole lot of people who didn't) have been raised to believe that we are unique individuals with special destinies. When it comes to imagining that destiny, however, all we have are the mass-produced images of fame and success that everyone shares: Donald Trump in his corner office with its vulgar but expensive furniture, Howard Stern partying joylessly amid pneumatic boobs, pop stars and movie actors trying vainly to imitate the more real-seeming pop stars and movie actors of the past."

"Stuffed with half-baked philosophies of self-actualization and self-fulfillment, we also believe that we are ourselves primarily or even solely responsible for reaching that destiny. We have all embraced that e-mail from the cosmos assuring us that we're VIPs ... even though that requires pretending not to notice that everybody else got the same message. "

"No individual can be so strange, no artist so confrontational, as to escape the New Conformity."

So where does this leave us? I guess it leaves us piecing together what we can to make a life that means more to us than just individuality. Something that's bigger, broader. Perhaps even a view that doesn't require glossy photos, celebrity fashion opinions, and extremist vanity. With media being so ingrained in our lives, how can we even conceive of things differently?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rockin' My Argyle Socks

For the past week, everywhere I go I've been receiving compliments of one sort or another. Seriously, what gives? Did I somehow miss the memo that declared this NPW Appreciation Week? Not that I mind in the least, of course, it's just that the super concentrated amounts of compliments makes me suspicious that next week the fun will end and I'll just be a regular super librarian once again. In any case, I must have done something karmically pleasing to deserve this recent deluge of delightful comments. Could it have been that time last week when I put a quarter in someone's meter that had run out because I saw the Cambridge meter maid nazi doling out the tickets a few cars away? I may never know.

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Standing in line at Diesel the other day a (very handsome, very gay) man turned to me and said, "I just wanted to tell you, I love your frames." Why thank you, kind sir, Giorgio Armani loves them too!

A friend of mine was complaining about her hair being stick straight and thin, suddenly turning to me to say, "Why can't I have awesome hair like yours?" (Actually, this one was kind of a laugh since I've been struggling with these bangs since my last haircut.)

Waiting to get into the power mat pilates class last night a woman commented that I had beautiful eyes. I think I even blushed- partly because I was embarassed and partly because I think she was hitting on me. But you know what they say, eyes being windows to the soul and all.

I've also got mad props lately for my ultimate frisbee skillz, my sense of humor, and my library know-how. One fellow teacher went so far as to call me "the best in the business". Damn straight, no one changes an overhead bulb like I do. Rock, rock on.

Anyway, I'm thinking the whole "complimenting me with shameless abandon" thing needs to stop now- not because I don't like it, more because I do. I might actually start to believe them, and then where would we be? I'd have no self-deprecation left for this blog so I'd stop writing, then you'd stop reading, then we'd both cry because we missed each other, and really, who wants that?

Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day

A smattering of new things have been ushered in along with the month of May, not the least of which is an upswing in my general mood. Just being outside in the sun makes me feel a hundred times better, melanoma be damned. (It also makes me question whether I'm as much of a New England girl as I claim to be, since I can see myself being perfectly content out in the arid desert with year-round warmth.) I think you nerds need a rundown of my weekend, as it was quite clearly better than anything you were up to.

Friday night hailed the first annual Fashion Show here at the middle school of dreams. The giant glittery pink posters did not lie when they promised us a "club atmosphere" and a "killer after-party". If they had a cash bar serving up punchy cosmos or sugary mojitos, the scene would have been complete. They even had a live band (made up of middle school boys in their socks) playing Miles Davis before and after the show. Mood lighting, jazz, and twelve year old girls vamping it down the runway to Kelis in hand-made designs. What's not to love? We even got a chance to mingle with some of the models and designers at the after-party (where they were serving pizza and cookies. Spare no expense for these VIPs, please).

Saturday we ventured out to Harvard Square, where we were greeted by a group of zombies en masse. Hell no I'm not kidding! They shuffled Thriller-style from Davis to Harvard. They dripped blood all down the windows at Toscanini's, the inside of the T was smeared with gore. I know what you're thinking: but why, why were they marching? Dunno, maybe it had something to do with the new immigration laws or something. And why were they doing it in April? Who cares? You're missing the point- the point being, it was excellent. I narrowly avoided becoming one of them, opting instead to head to Grendel's for some drinks. How much do I love zombies? Answer: a lot.

Sunday I was coerced into trying my hand at ultimate frisbee. Although I had successfully managed not to play since high school gym class (I thought it a sport best left to the stoners, hippies, and hackey-sackers) , I figured I'd at least get some sunshine. Lo and behold, I was pretty damn good. I did get knocked flat on my ass once; the dude who did it was kind of embarassed and commented to his team, "I think I groped her! I didn't mean to!" Suuure, buddy. Only one person played barefoot, making it less bohemian and more athletic than I thought. I did get extremely dirty though, so I can see how it got it's hippy rep.

So the weekend in review earns a respectable A-. There are a few things that could have bumped it up to an A or possibly even an A+, but we'll leave that for another weekend. Happy Monday.

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