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

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Final Tally

Phew! It's over. All that work for that one little day. I sure hope Baby Jesus is happy with himself. Actually, though, I ended up having a great Christmas- lots of holiday cheer and festivities. C and I had a lovely day, starting with my darling mother making us Christmas breakfast, followed by a ridiculous room full of presents to be unwrapped and a dinner the likes of which you will probably never see in your life, unless you happen to get invited to one of my family functions.

I was very impressed with the thoughtfulness of gift-giving this year. Chris got me a new little Fuji camera! I like to think it's because he's such a love and not because he was tired of me stealing his, but either way I have a new obsession. He also got me some delicious smelling perfume (euphoria), some awesome skull wellie boots from Steve Madden, a coffee grinder (yay!), and a couple other little things. Best. Boyfriend. Ever.

In keeping with tradition, my parents went a little beserk with the gifts. Chris, me, my sister, and my sister's boyfriend all got a gift certificate to do this: rest assured, there will be lots of pictures! I also received some riding boots, clothes, a crock pot, and lots of gift certificates. No lie, I'll be drinking Dunkin' Donuts coffee for free well into the summer of '07. I'll also be shopping at Ikea, Pier 1, Netflix, and J. Crew right quick.

With that, I am signing off to do some more lazing about. True to my word, it is 2:30 in the afternoon and I haven't yet considered getting out of my pajamas. Hope you're all well-rested and had a wonderful holiday. And if you're at work today, well, I'm very sorry for you. Merry Day After Christmas!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Done and... Done

Ahh... the prospect of vacation in just a few short hours. Can you smell it? It smells real good. Man, I love Fridays- but the Fridays before vacations are way better.

I spent my morning playing Guitar Hero with the darling children (who love to yell WHAMMY!!! when playing Iron Man, which I find totally amusing), receiving gifts (mostly of chocolate, which I don't normally eat much of), and accepting coffee after coffee from different holiday well-wishers (how could I refuse free coffee, even if I've had about 13 cups this morning?). My plan for the rest of the day? More of the same. That's what holidays are for: complete self-indulgence.

Speaking of self-indulgence, I wanted to give you all a head's up that I may be taking a little blog vacation in addition to my school vacation. Or maybe not... we'll see if I'm feeling up to it. Keep an eye out for some random posts, but if I don't see you...

Happy holidays from NPW!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

NPW + Comcast = BFF

In lieu of having actual friends over every day, I've decided to just hang out with the technicians from Comcast. You know, since they're in my apartment daily at this point. They could have built a new Comcast headquarters in my driveway by now, but they've still not managed to get my cable to be anything but a mess of scrambled signals. It's lovely, really: it prevents me from having any meaningful relationship with my tv. But if Comcast thinks I'm going to miss another episode of the Office? They better prepare for a throwdown. And I don't mean like last Thursday, when the cable man stood awkwardly in my bedroom with me for 15 minutes watching the Office Christmas special. I mean watching tv in peace, with the knowledge that any time I need some cheesy 80's movies or an episode of Good Eats, I can access them with one little button click.

At least last night they didn't send the socially awkward, pimply technician. No, last night they sent the little street thug Eminem wannabe who made it big in the world of cable tv. His Comcast hat was all sideways, he had on more gold chains than I could count, and I'm pretty sure if he didn't have his belt cinched on the very last loop his jeans would have no way to stay on his body. I felt like mentioning to him that once the boxers start fraying and you can see the elastic waistband, it's time to buy new boxers. Or at least to pull up your pants enough so other people don't need to see them.

Still, not as bad as last week's doof, who blushed hot pink when I asked if he'd like a drink of water and mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like "I want to snort coke" but was probably more along the lines of, "I only drink Coke" judging by the four black teeth he had left in his face. I spent about three and a half hours with him mumbling things about cable lines and splitters and other crap I have no idea about. Once he declared things "fixed", he stood for another half hour watching tv- me, uncomfortable with him being in my bedroom for so long, him, chuckling maniacally under his breath at an ancient episode of The Simpsons. Finally Chris came home and I was spared any further explanations on cable signals.

But guess what? I get to do it again tonight! Excitement! Happy! Cable!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Quite Contrary

What's today? Wednesday? How is it not Friday yet? What's happening here? Time is simultaneously speeding up and stopping completely. Seriously, I just had this thought a few minutes ago: "How can Christmas only be 5 days away?!", immediately followed by "I can't believe how much this week is dragging!"

Those types of thoughts seem to be pretty indicative of my life. For example, one day I'll think, "Thank goodness nobody's called me today, I hate talking on the telephone." Then the next day I'm disproportionately upset that I haven't heard from anyone in days because of course that must mean that no one loves me anymore.

Or I'll be telling people how much I love my job, then complain to Chris for a solid 45 minutes about waking up at the crack of dawn, how wretched the children are, and how ridiculous the education system is right now.

Basically, I'm a big Christmas sack of Contradictions the past few weeks. Anyway, what was I talking about earlier? Oh yeah, vacation. (Did I mention that in addition to being contradictory I also currently have the attention span of a 6th grader on a highball of Ritalin, Red Bull, and cocaine?) So- vacation. I just have to make it through Thursday and Friday and I'm all set. I've even told my two classes that I'll bring in Guitar Hero for them to play, or I can set up the DDR and let them go to town. Fun for one and all! (Especially me, when I school them in War Pigs!) Two more days of shelving books, doling out book recommendations, and explaining the differences between Venn diagrams and Boolean operators. Two more days of holiday luncheons/breakfasts/snacks from faculty/staff/parents/kids. In short, two more days of madness.

...Almost... There... Must... Hold... On...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

2006 Is So 2006

I started a different post and scrapped it, I just wasn't feeling it. Instead, I decided to rub it in everyone's face that I am closing in on a 10 day vacation and the prospect of so much freedom is making me giddy with anticipation. The problem lies in what to do with all my free time to maximize the fun factor- on the one hand, it is fun to lie about in bed reading and catching up on movies for three days straight. On the other hand, a world of opportunity is open to me. I could do a lot of things in 10 days. I could hike the Mayan ruins, build houses for Habitat for Humanity, camp on a beach in Belize, ski the Alps. Or I could finish unpacking, visit with relatives, do some volunteering, and try to keep warm. You know, either way.

I've had many New Year's invites in the past few weeks; it's nice to know I'm in demand. I just haven't comitted to anything until Chris figures out if he can get some vacation time for a few days in the 585- I hate to admit it, but I've missed the old Rocha-cha. (Well, maybe not the city so much as the people. Although, I could use some Dino BBQ. Or California Rollin'. Mmm.) Anyway, rest assured all you NY party people that we are trying our darnedest to figure out an itinerary. What's everyone else's plan to ring in 2007?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Just Another Monday Here in the Library That Time Forgot

I may not be the world's foremost expert on computer crime, but I'm fairly certain that most hackers and identity thieves don't sit at their computers wearing Zorro masks.

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I kind of wish they did. The world needs more masked men.

Friday, December 15, 2006

She's a Maniac... Maaaaniac On The Floor

Because I've been such a cry baby this week I didn't think it'd be fair to drop yet another whiny bomb on you, dear readers, but it's Friday and I have to get this off my chest. Pop quiz! Multiple choice: what will your beloved NPW be doing this weekend?

A. Finally unpacking all our crap, setting up our computer area, returning our couch for something undoubtedly uglier and less comfortable, and cleaning the place where we reside.
B. Drinking red wine and hot cocoa with peppermint schapps and eggnog with lighter fluid until we pass out on the living room floor with 80's Trivial Pursuit cards still in our hands.
C. Attending yet another wedding.

While I ardently wish that the answer was some combination of A and B, I sure hope you know me well enough by now to know that whatever the worst answer is, that's likely what I'll be doing on any given weekend. So if you guessed C, you're absolutely correct! Weddings = the bane of my existence. You'd think people would stop inviting me to them after all these years of bitter complaining, but no. I still get at least one frilly RSVP card every 6 months inviting me to once again dine on Chicken Divan or Chilean Sea Bass and watch as middle aged women drink 3 or 12 cocktails, gearing up to bust a move on the dance floor- probably to some major dance hit like "Baby Got Back". Alas, I'm too much of a schmuck to check that little "no" on the invite, so here I am. (Who gets married two weeks before Christmas anyway? It's like rolling everything up into one giant, tangled ball of misery and stress. Also, it seems a bit like they're trying to steal baby Jesus's thunder.) On the bright side, I was very close to being asked to be in the bridal party for this wedding so I successfully managed to dodge that bullet. Go, me.

Anyway, the weekend prognosis is not all bad. Tonight is C's work holiday party, which is being held here and will be open bar. Corporate America, you kill me. My work holiday party cost me $25 a person and I have to pay for my own drinks because our education system is too poor to buy construction paper and glue, let alone mojitos and crab-stuffed mushrooms. Anyway, tonight we'll be living large with a few rounds of pool, some bevvies, and an array of delicious hors d'oeuvres being sauntered around on trays, offered up by girls in fish nets. Yay!

Sunday, being God's day and all, will be reserved for some R & R time, buying a new mattress, and the possibility of dinner at my parents. I'm sure God would approve of my mother's chicken and rice.

And then one more week to go before WINTER VACATION! I'm very, very ready. I cannot wait to lie around in my pajamas for 72 hours straight. There's also the possibility of a road trip westward: Rochester, prepare thyself for festivities. It's going down.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

NPW's Quality of Life Meter

So the fake cheer thing isn't working for me. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that it's making me feel worse. Next option to try: curling up under the covers watching TLC and crying into a balled up tissue periodically, in between eating handfuls of tortilla chips, microwave popcorn, and M&Ms. That might make things seem more bearable, at least.

For once I won't bore you all with every minute detail of the ludicrosity that is my life (did I just make ludicrosity up? I think I did... oh wait, it's in the urban dictionary - I am so gangsta I didn't even know it). Suffice it to say, I am A) an idiot of sorts, and B) very, very unlucky. That combination, paired with the holiday season and a few other familial factors makes me one unhappy camper. Since I've already told you about a few of the many, many problems that have arisen in the past few weeks I'll just supply you with a basic NPW Quality of Life meter check:

My couch is still leaning comfortable on it's side in my front hallway. I am grateful that I have had so many offers of help, for sure, but at this point I think my best option is to return the stupid thing to Ikea and search for an ugly sectional or fold-up, origami-style, fits-in-your-pocket type couch. (-10 NPWs QOL)

My stove does not work. Why? I do not know, nor does my landlord. Maybe the smell of gas pouring ineffectively out of the burners will numb my pain. (-5 NPWs QOL)

My landlord decided that rather than fix it he'll just buy us a new one. It's being delivered on Saturday. (+5 NPWs QOL)

My landlord also explained the heating system to Chris and I, making us feel like jerks for thinking he would steal our heat (and also making me feel bad for calling him a rat thief). I knew someone who married that smiley little roly-poly Greek lady couldn't be all bad! (+3 NPWs QOL)

My old landlord has still not sent my security deposit back to me, thus I have to drive there and actually confront them about it. I avoid confrontation like no one's business, but today will suck it up. (-7 NPWs QOL)

I have roughly $180 dollars in overdraft fees from one stupid check that I thought would be deposited in January that actually got deposited this week. I hate finances. A lot. (-20 NPWs QOL)

I have a family that loves me, a Christopher that loves me, and friends that love me. (+100 NPWs QOL)

Estimated Quality of Life: 66. A solid D. Not as bad as I suspected!

I know everything will turn out ok. I just wish it were sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas Fill In The Blanks

Well hello there! I am taking a page from a friend's book today and I'm posting something a little more... interactive. This serves a dual purpose: one, it allows me to be semi-lazy with the posting, and two, it is entertaining to me as well as you and I might even gain a little bit of insight into my reader's psyches. Which may or may not be a good thing; we'll see.

Does this even make any sense yet?

Basically what I'm telling you is that I created a Christmas Mad Libs for you to do! Simply fill in your answers and post it to the comments section and hilarity will ensue. I guarantee.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Happy Merry Happy Happy

As I was crawling under my couch today to get out the front door I had a realization: I am not in a good mood. I have not been in a good mood for over a week. Upon having this little epiphany I decided that being a Bad News Bear was no longer acceptable. So, I turned my frown upside down and have been a barrel of cheer all morning long. Errr, or something like that.

At least, I mean, I've been smiling at people all morning. Even when three different people barged into my office bellowing about problems with the copy machine (without the slightest hint of a "please" or "thank you for not being an idiot and being able to fix my idiotic problems"), I simply gave them my most serene smile and said, "Sure! No problem! I'll be right in to press the Clear button so that you can make your copies."

And when the woman in the next office over asked me what I thought of her Winter Wonderland bedazzled sweater that she got off the 75% clearance rack at Macy's? Well I was all grins. I was practically made of grins. I praised her bargain hunting skills to the hilt. Why? Because I am tired of being the Christmas Grinch. My heart is not two sizes too small!

I can prove it: last night I spent hours putting lights and decorations up, wrapping presents, and cleaning so that the place would at least look pretty, even without a place to sit and heat that's probably going to cost me the equivalent of entire Texas oil field. See?! I am so in the Christmas spirit right now it's practically giving me a seizure!

As a sign of my extreme goodwill, I am wishing for you all to get your shopping done quickly and painlessly, that you all get what you most want and not something so bad you will need to immediately regift to your co-worker, and that you too experience the joys of Christmas cheer during this holiday season. Merry Xmas to all and to all a good day!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Complaints Registered On High This Season: Five

Dear Higher Powers:

I am writing this letter to register a complaint with whomever handles things Up There. Because, basically, whomever is in charge of my life in particular is effing things up pretty royally and I just thought you'd want to know so you can have a little chat with them. Over the course of the weekend I was pushed very close to the limit of what I can handle during the Christmas season and I'm thinking there must be some type of rules Up There that prevent this kind of thing from happening. I've put together a little laundry list of things I would like you to take care of for next weekend.

1. Please disappear my new Comcast cable boxes. Why? Because they don't work. When it takes 15 minutes to load each channel, I consider that defective. When it gives you a scrambled mess every time you try to watch an "On Demand" movie, I consider that broken. Also, please send me some sign as to why Comcast refuses to return our phone calls, yet we've already managed to receive our first bill less than a week after we started the service.

2. Send me a new mattress. "Oh," I hear you ask, "but didn't you just buy a new one at Ikea?" Eff you, I say. And eff Ikea, too. That mattress was like sleeping in a foam chasm that sucked everything on it directly into its saggy middle. But even after Chris and I decided to return it, did you at least try to make it easy for us? No, you did not. We had to stop 4 times on the 20 minute ride to Stoughton to make sure it would not fly off the roof of the Honda Element. Our hands are rope burned and calloused from tying and untying the nylon cables. Our souls are scarred forever from the neurotic fear of a mattress flying off the roof and killing 73 people in the Ted Williams Tunnel.

3. Explain to me why I spent another 4 hours of my life (that I will never get back, mind you) in Ikea, searching for a couch. It wasn't enough that I found one in the As Is section, went to find matching pillows, and returned to find it GONE? No. That was nothing compared to your next eff up, when we bought a new couch, tied it into the Element (another 45 minutes of my life, more rope burns, sprained wrist), and trekked it home, only to discover it does not fit up my staircase. Not to mention my jammed fingers, Chris's smashed ankle, and the fact that I had to crawl around my pretty new couch to get to work today because it is blocking my entire front hallway as a reminder that I will soon be returning the pretty new couch. I mean, c'mon. That's just cruel.

4. I was also kind of hoping you could do something about the fact that we now have no mattress. I mean, I have my old mattress, which works for now- but you see it doesn't actually fit the new bed frame we bought and assembled. In fact, if we were to fall off the side, we'd probably smash ourselves unconscious on the wooden frame before even falling to the floor. Is that supposed to be some kind of blessing? Because it's so not.

5. Could you maybe send me some kind of sign as to what I should get the following people for Christmas: my mother, father, sister, cousins, godson, friends, and boyfriend. Oh, and if you could tell me where the cheapest place to get it is, and also where to locate said gifts, that would be great.

Thanks in advance for your help with this, Sentient Being On High. I know I don't really believe in you, but if you could prove me wrong just this once I'd be ever so grateful.



Friday, December 08, 2006

The Weather Inside Is Frightening

Chris and I are pretty sure our landlord is stealing our heat- both for his basement apartment and his mother's first floor apartment. The way I see it, here's the situation: on the plus side, the entire heating system is only accessible through our apartment in the attic. On the minus side, our landlord is a rat thief.

Yesterday I saw that the heating bill for November with his name on it had been dropped in our mail slot by mistake. Being the good neighbor/tenant that I am, I kindly dropped in his box on my way out. When I got home from work today, there it was again! He must've just stuck it right back in my door! I muttered to myself all the way up the stairs, there's no way I'm paying for this man to heat his entire house when I live in an already toasty third floor apartment.

Then Chris took another look at the heating vent up in the attic and realized that one giant section of the venting system goes straight down the back wall of our apartment, down to the first floor. So basically, he thinks we're just going to be idiotic enough to not question a $300 gas bill every month?

Oh, hell no. My momma didn't raise no fool.

But I played it cool. I wrote him a cheery note on a purple post-it explaining that the mailman must have mistakenly dropped his bill in our box, but that I was kindly returning it, and that my name would appear on the December bill, thank you very much. Now it's up to Chris to threaten to disconnect the landlord's heating vents from the one and only source of heat in the house. What do I care if there are little Greek popsicles living below me? I will not be cheated.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Laundry and the Undead

Doing laundry in my new place is pretty scary. First of all, I have to use the back hallway, which really serves no purpose except to petrify me in the nighttime as it is claustrophobia-inducing narrow. Secondly, there isn't adequate lighting, which causes me to a) feel like I'm going to pitch forward head-first into the dark with my laundry basket and break my neck and b) consider the very real possibility that our basement is teeming with vampires and other creatures of the dark.

So you can understand why I make sure Chris is with me at all times when I go down there after night fall. Although, upon further consideration I'm pretty sure he would react even worse than I would to a ghost sighting in the basement. In any case, I would need backup if/when the undead try to attack me and my dirty clothes. The real trouble is, I'm unsure what to bring with me when I go down there. Would a big knife do the job? Garlic? Wooden stakes? Silver bullets? (I don't actually own a gun, I thought I could maybe just bring down a Coors Light?) Do I put my weapon of choice right on top of the clothes for easy access, or semi-buried for an element of surprise?

Unfortunately I'm also pretty sure that if I did encounter Tim Curry in a clown suit or Jack Torrance with an axe down there I wouldn't have the wits about me to stab either of them with a stake. It's much more likely I'd have a heart attack and die on the spot before they could terrorize me further.

Because seriously? I don't need the last words I hear to be "We all float down here, NPW" or "Redrum! Redrum!" Especially when all I'm trying to do is wash my knickers in peace.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Sick day!

It would be lovely, if only I weren't actually sick.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

NH: Kind of a Fraud

Nope, I didn't win any prizes. Not even the turkey painting. Which is too bad, really, because I have the perfect place for it right over my bed. Whatevs, maybe I can score that one of Viggo the Carpathian- that would totally set the mood for romance in the bedroom.

Eww. I just grossed myself out a little.

Anyway, I was just looking at my last post and it got me thinking about good ol' New Hampshire and our state motto, "Live Free Or Die". Then I thought about how this afternoon I have to sneak back into my town under the cover of dark because as of last Sunday my car is officially not registered and not inspected. Of course, I'm going there specifically to register it, but try telling that to the cop that pulls you over. That'd probably be the most excitement they had all day, getting to impound my poor little Civic. But I digress. What I was thinking was, if NH's motto is true shouldn't I be able to live registration free? Inspection free? Shouldn't I be free of paying town and state fees every year? I mean, I don't want to die, so living free is really my only alternative, right? Why am I not living free?!

Phew. I got a little carried away right there. The thought of spending over $300 every year on vehicle registration fees at Christmastime really gets me going. I guess I shouldn't complain too much- I'm getting some snow tires out of the deal. And probably a Mom-cooked dinner. Seriously though, New Hampshire, you're not free at all. In fact, you're really kind of a liar. You better step your game up or Massachusetts is going to steal all your hicks and make them metro. Just sayin'.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Doin' It Up W.T. Styles

I am dubbing the past weekend the "White Trash Extravaganza" in honor of recent events:
  1. Our new neighbors- two women (friends? sisters? lovers?), each over 350 pounds, one of them the proud owner of a baby covered in a permanent layer of it's own puke. On Saturday night Chris and I were treated to a screaming fight between said women which also involved the breaking and slamming of many things. The smaller of the two bellowed phrases like: "You ruined my table and you ruined my life!" and "Who took care of you while you were pregnant and brought you Marlboro Lights?!". Oh, and did I mention this was at 1 a.m.? And it took place in their driveway? Which is directly below our bedroom window? Amusing, yes.
  2. Our NH shopping excursion to continue the quest for a couch. My mother informed me of a sale going on at Furniture World and mentioned I should stop by there. I am here to tell you that my mother owes both Chris and I a written apology for making us waste 15 minutes of our lives in that hell hole. Think I'm kidding? There was a couch covered in stone-washed denim with little denim bows, people. No joke.
  3. Chris's first trip to the Christmas Tree Shops*. He was appropriately amazed and disgusted in equal portions. He also made up a game where he'd exclaim over ridiculous items ("Is that a boot tray?!?!") and try to get people excited enough to pick one up and put it in their cart. It's amazing what the power of suggestion can do in a place like the CTS. All I can say is, I tried to warn him.
That's just how it goes in New Hampshire. We live free (and W.T. ) or we die. Represent.

*PS: For you New Yorkers I'd like to say- lucky you!

Friday, December 01, 2006

'Tis The Season... For T-Shirts

My only wish? That being too hot in December would exempt me from having to Christmas shop. Who knows around here though- maybe Monday will be a snow day and I can sleep in. One can dream.

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