Archive for July, 2009

July 31, 2009

til the end

Last night I skipped the gym, I skipped the healthy dinner, I skipped staying home and resting like I’d been dreaming of all day long.

I went over to my best friend’s house and drank wine, instead.

If you consider Arbor Mist to be wine, that is. I don’t. But I like it anyway.

We’ve known each other since the first day of high school, and we’ve been best friends for nearly as long. She was my best friend until graduation and through four years of college. I was her best friend through a marriage, a divorce, a child, and a new fiance. We are both grown-up people now, which means we don’t eat sheet cakes without slicing them, we rarely embark upon evenings that require clothing swaps and designated drivers, and we don’t just stop by to hang out. Instead, there are missed phone calls and work schedules and bedtimes.

But we are still best friends and I love her to death because…

A) Her child calls me Essica, and she picked me a bouquet of flowers before I stopped over.

B) No matter how far apart our social circles swing, I can still talk to her about pretty much everything. I don’t mean “I can confide in her” (although I can), I mean, there’s never any kind of story that I wouldn’t tell her because I didn’t think she would be interested, and there’s never a story she couldn’t tell me. We entertain each other mightily.

C) She won’t drink Skyy Berry because it’s “too fruity,” but she considers Arbor Mist to be wine.

D) She refuses to let friends pay her way, grumbles when someone else gets the check,  even though she might struggle to keep the creditors at bay,  pay her cell phone bill, or move into an apartment in a nicer neighborhood. But when I start to moan about how I’m running my finances into the ground, she says

“Don’t worry. John and I are buying the bar, and if we make as much money as Jeff says we will, you can borrow money from me if you need it

Oh, I will miss her so.

July 30, 2009

finding a job in boston

First Choice: Libraries

Being that 90% of my job experience has occured within the hallowed halls of various libraries (as well as that whole “I’m going to school to be a librarian” bit), this is the natural choice. Boston is a large metropolitan area! Their public library system has 25 branches, all of which require staff members to carry out day-to-day doings. Surely there must be a spot for a MLS student with 6+ years of library experience (1 yr page, 3.5 yr academic reference assistant, 2 yr public youth) and a great deal of enthusiasm?

Right?

Too bad they aren’t hiring. For a single g.d. position.

I did find 2 positions at the Cambridge Public Library. However, I was not contacted for either position.

Libraries: 0 for 2

Second Choice: Fellowships

The advantages of working for your school are many. Short commute. Built-in schedule flexibility for your classes. Some come with a little (or a lot) of paid tuition.

There are some hefty pay-for-your-entire-tuition fellowships at Simmons. However, none were open this semester, and I may have acquired too many credits to apply for them next semester. Harumph. However, I did drop my resume to the College of Arts and Sciences, and soon received an email about an open position with the honors program, doing office work, coordinating social events, and running the book club. Part time, paid hourly, and a 1,000 dollar scholarship. Drool drool drool.

However, the professor who approached me was about to spend some time out of the country taking oral histories for a non-fiction book aimed for young adults (cool??!??) and I think never came back.

But today, I got an email from another professor, for a position involving student grants. He would like an interview next week. This is obviously a recurring problem. Note to self: next time I’m in this sitch, move out EARLY and get ready to apply HARD.

Fellowships: 2 for 1

Third Choice: School Libraries

I spent a lot of time trolling the internet for teaching jobs for Lance. Call me overbearing if you want. I’ll call myself a worrywart with too much access to a computer. Browsing school employment web pages, I noticed a lot of Library Paraprofessional positions open – jobs working with school librarians that might require a college degree and experience with libraries and kids, but not an MLS.

I think I applied for 3. I heard back from a middle school position, but they sent me a form letter with a link to a page where I had to choose my interview date – Thursday, Friday, or Monday. This was back in June.

School Libraries: 1 for 3

Fourth Choice: Retail

I am halfway to 25 and have avoided working retail so far. My brief encounters with the library cash register have been unfortunate. I’ve never had to wear a uniform. I get off on the altruism of offering free information as opposed to asking for money.

However, upon signing a 1,200/month lease, both Lance and I found ourselves in our hotel room, filling out any applications we were mildly qualified for. Despite his education degree, Lance has acquired 5 years of food service experience. I might not have a zest for retail, but I can do Customer Service (we prefer to call it Patron Service round here, or Child Wrangling, or Parent Management depending on the context). So Lance applied for a job at Whole Foods. I applied for two different spots at A Big Name Book  Store…. and when I got home, I filled out an app for a Big Name Department Type Store as well.

The next day, Big Name Department Type Store called. Hiring seasonal positions, told me to call when I get in.

On Tuesday, I set up an interview with Big Name Book Store.

I might be going to the Dark Side, but I guess it’s better than waiting tables, cleaning toilets, or getting evicted.

Retail: 2 for 2


Moral of the Story?

All ye job hunters? Get the heck outta Michigan.

July 28, 2009

Library Day In The Life

I read a Library Day In The Life post on Agnostic, Maybe, and instantly thought it was super fun. A few Google searches later, I’m writing my own. Apparently it’s a longstanding tradition (or longstanding in internet-terms) and today is the day to document your library life.

As some of you may recall, I really prefer not to Blog About Work, but I am feeling sentimental since these are my last days at my dearest library, so to heck with it! What are they gonna do? Fire me? Haha… just kidding.

Anyway, in case you too are finding me via Google Search of your own, I am a Youth Services Library Assistant at a popular rural library. That also means we’re on the decline of summer reading madness, so things aren’t too active ’round these parts, but still fun nonetheless. I am about to leave my job to start earning a MLS and an MA in Children’s Lit at Simmons College in Boston, which entails a cross-country move in less than 3 weeks.

8:00-11:30 a.m.

Gradually entered the land of the living. Watched an episode of In Treatment with breakfast, did the dishes, and gathered motivation to go for a run. Being that I rarely exercise outside of the gym (rarely = once every year or two) this was a momentous occasion. Then found myself with a very bad hair problem and no time to fix it. Gave myself this hairstyle I called “I’m getting my hair cut tomorrow and I just have to make it through one day, so y’all can suck it!” Took off for work.

11:30 -12:30 p.m.

Commute! Pomegranate Rockstar (shut up, I’m cutting waaaay back, believe me), Harvesting the Heart, and chatting with the BF.

12:30-3:00 p.m.

Actually on time for my desk shift! Yay! Immediately upon arrival an adorable little boy comes up and asks me how old he has to be to get a library card. I tell him he has to be 5-years-old, and he cracks THE hugest smile and runs up to the Circulation Desk sans his mother. Apparently he’d been waiting for this glorious moment. I made a mental note to suggest we get some “I got my first library card!” stickers to hand out to excited kids.

My boss came over to visit my desk, and told me I looked fancy and she loved my hairstyle. Librarian-chic.

Photo 114

(looked the same 12 hrs ago, I promise)

The rest of the afternoon is spent doing computer sign ups, procuring desk stats sheets for the coming months since ours are all gone, signing off on Summer Reading Sheets – everyone’s finishing up and getting grand prize tickets – did a little blogging (shhh… don’t tell), and quizzing everyone on staff about car insurance. There was also a fun moment when the Info Desk transfered me some irate patron who wanted a stock quote – like I’m more equipped to do that than the info desk? – but either she hung up on me before I could answer or I mis-transfered the call. Both are equally likely.

3:00-4:00 p.m.

Off desk now, which means a retreat to the back of the staff area. I took a fifteen minute break to call Borders, and set up an interview for August 17th! Which means I am really moving to Boston. Holy crap. I had to turn in my “two weeks notice” today, but I wanted to double check my dates with the BF before I did, so I tried to call him periodically. After too much computer-staring and moving related stress, I left the staff area to restock coloring pages, locate pencils, and straighten up the new books.

4:00-4:30

World’s Earliest Lunch. Tried a new sandwich at Schlotsky’s – it was good but holy SPICY MUSTARD. I read Audrey, Wait! which I’d been consciously avoiding for no apparent reason. Found myself struggling not to check it out. Can. Not. Check. Out. Books. Moving. In. Two. Weeks.

4:30-5:35 p.m.

Back to work! Still floundering about that two week’s notice letter. Made a little schedule of my next few weeks to see when things need to be done, when I physically HAVE to leave for Boston to make it to my interview in one piece. Finally got a hold of BF after 5:00 and have a series of misunderstandings, one of which involving what day he needs to be in Boston. Frustrating phone conversation that is unfortunately happening at work. Am late for desk shift, and am needing to move my last day up from Friday to Monday. Egads.

5:35-8:30 p.m.

Retype resignation letter with altered dates. Enter panic mode where I can barely keep my eyes in a straight line for more than a moment. I’M MOVING AND GOING TO GRAD SCHOOL AND HOLY CRAP WHY AM I DOING THIS HOW AM I DOING THIS?!??!? Take breaks to help patrons:

– Attempted to locate misplaced “Keeping Rabbits as Pets” books. Filled out In Stacks, Can’t Find form.

– Put holds on the entire Maximum Ride series for a mom and daughter pair, and found myself unable to gauge whether Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas has any content inappropriate for a 10-11 yr old, even though I’ve read it twice.

– Helped a dad locate a list of dinosaur picture books, emailed from his daughter who’s taking a teaching class at Western. Saw one book on a pile another family had picked out. Asked politely if they might want to choose another Curious George title today? Felt weird that I would feel comfortable doing that.

And then some noisy teenagers came in. They got on my computers without signing up, so I tried to establish A Sense of Rules In The Library right away by confronting them and asking them to visit the desk. Five minutes later, they are reading aloud from their Myspace pages, mentioning things that would be a high PG or PG-13. Mom who surrendered Curious George spoke up before I could decide what to do – asked them to keep their voices down, her children were nearby. They quieted down, but soon the punching and arm slapping began. I paid them another visit. Told them if they wanted to stay, they would have to be quiet, use discretion in their conversation, and keep their hands to themselves. They did a little teenaged boy arguing but I was having none of it. I’ll take it from the kids I see every day, but not some randos off the street. Five minutes later, Boy 1 was kicking Boy 2. I asked Boy 1 to leave, telling him he could come back tomorrow if he was better behaved. He said he probably wouldn’t, because the library is racist. Against loud, slightly disrespectful white boys. I walked him out of the building and his friends came with him.

It struck me that it was highly likely that he would be the last kid I kick out of the library.

Sad.

Anyway, I sat back down at the desk and wrote up my encounter in our departmental “Code of Conduct Wiki.” I threw in the racist line for kicks and giggles.

Things were quiet, so I went back to my stressing out, and brief attempts to brainstorm ideas for the scavenger hunt I needed to invent, create clues for, make clues for, and hide clues for before Thursday at 4:00. Was sadly unable to do so. Will have to throw something simple together Thursday morning before the End of Summer Reading Celebration.

Right before closing had a lengthy conversation with an EXTREMELY precocious 7-year-old. He only comes in once every few months, but is memorable enough to be considered a regular. He quizzed me on every flier and paper I had on my desk, asked why he couldn’t attend the Toddler Literacy program because even though he wasn’t a parent, his baby cousin didn’t know how to read yet so he should go and learn how to teach her, and I taught him how to say good night in Spanish.

Computers off. Toys away. Boss is still here, so tell her about change of dates. Coworker realizes he will be on vacation for much of the next week so this could be our last time together and makes the saddest face imaginable. I show him something funny on the internet – a friend of mine ran into one of our regular patrons at a showing of Ghostbusters in Ann Arbor… or so I’ve ascertained judging by her description of the strange, farting man standing in front of her in line – and then said sayonara for the evening.

8:30-9:15 p.m.

Commute home. All 45 minutes of it spent freaking out on phone to BF. What a lucky, lucky boy.

Sigh. I will miss my job. No libraries are hiring in Boston right now, so I’m doomed to switch over to retail while I study diligently to get the chance to come back to the light!

P.S. If that sounded like The Best Day Ever, and you are in the MI area looking for a swank 32 hr/week position, my job’s done been posted and we are looking for top-notch candidates with library experience 🙂 Drop me a comment, I’ll point you in the right direction.

July 28, 2009

guilty television continued

Alright, so this little obsession started with a special on Discovery Health. I’m pretty sure one of my sisters just happened to see the title run by on the DVR and simply HAD to hit that little red button.

I mean, a show called I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant? How could you possibly resist.

And with our repeat viewings, I’m fairly sure our family single-handedly boosted ratings enough to warrant a TLC series.

There are some wonderful things about this show, but let me call particular attention to The Reenactments. Not only will you meet these ladies who were just oblivious/dumb/unlucky enough to make it through 9 months of pregnancy without knowing, and hear all about their suprise labors, you will SEE IT as if it was really happening. TLC has hired a set  actors and actresses to visually display various scenes during the Non-Pregnancies.

These actors are bad.

And they look nothing like the people they are portraying.

And there is one episode where there are no actors – just the Real “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” people reenacting themselves. Much younger. With wigs.

But yes, the show does get a little repetitive. That’s when you start playing the

I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant Drinking Game!

  • Take a drink every time you hear the phrase: “My periods have always been irregular.”
  • Take a drink every time you hear the phrase: “I didn’t feel a thing!”
  • Take a drink every time a Reenacting Mom is shown in the midst of risky behavior (drinking, smoking, snorting crack). Take two drinks if there’s ominous music in the background.
  • Take a drink every time the narrator ups the suspense by showing the Reenacting Mom lifting boxes or doing something normal and saying it was potentially hazardous to the baby.
  • Take a shot every time a Reenacting Dad has more hair than the Real Dad.
  • Take a shot every time a Reenacting Mom weighs 20 pounds less than the Real Mom.
  • Take a shot if, when asked to rate the pain of labor, the Real Mom chooses a number outside of the rating scale.
  • Take a shot if the baby is born in a bathroom.
  • Finish your drink if you actually believe the Real Mom could have known she wasn’t pregnant.

And then when you’re good and drunk, it’s time to switch over to MTV for the Feature Presentation….

16 and Pregnant

And if you’re looking at that logo for the first time and thinking “Huh. What a big fat Juno rip-off,” then you are officially a little bit smarter than I.

Anywho, this show is an awesome mix of True Life (my all-time favorite MTV series) and Super Sweet 16 (not my favorite, but I’d be lying if I said I’d never sat through a marathon willingly). Again with the Overly Literal TV Titles, I think you can guess what this show is about – underage pregnancies. There are 6 episodes and an “After The Labor” special, but I’ll just give you the highs and the lows real quick.

First, the lows.

Farrah.

Oh, Farrah Farrah Farrah.

This is an example of what kind of teenager should NOT be raising a child.

The kind of teenager who is kind of irresponsible – unprotected sex with a guy who wasn’t even worth mentioning once she found out she was knocked up.

The kind of teenager who is spoiled – used to having nice things and parents who bend to her every whim.

The kind of teenager who is caught up in high school drama – spending more screen time in her cheerleading uniform, complaining about who told who she was pregnant than talking critically about her impending child.

The kind of teenager who is immune to reason – completely shutting down her mom when she suggests options other than Keeping and Raising A Child On Her Own At 17.

The kind of teenager who is self-centered – who continues to date while she’s pregnant, who won’t consider breastfeeding for fear of saggy boobs, who’s primary concern for post-pregnancy is looking slim enough for her senior pictures.

The kind of teenager who has never held an infant before becoming a single mother.

(that one really bugs me, I don’t know why)

THE KIND OF TEENAGER WHO NAMES THEIR CHILD SOFIA LAURENT??!?!?

I’m sure there was a lot of creative editing – I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt, and her story did have it’s sad points, like when she couldn’t find a single soul to join her in the labor room. But it’s still impossible for me to watch Farrah without cringing, especially when I’ve known plenty of girls in her same situation who behaved the same way. And while having enthusiasm for every rough turn in your life is usually a good thing, there’s a line between “Okay, this what life’s handing to me, let’s consider my options and my responsibilities” and “I am totally capable of handling this, this is what I want, I don’t need your input, I’m gonna be a great mom, goddammit!” And MTV does a sorry job of portraying her post-baby hardships. Oh! She has to wake up in the night and her mom won’t help out? She does her homework on her bed, next to the crib, instead of going out with her friends.

The other girls, Whitney, Maci, Ebony, and Amber, are a little more likeable, and all have older boyfriends who struggle with stepping up to be fathers.

But then we have Catelynn and Tyler.

A lot of these 16 and Pregnant girls are actually 17 or 18 and Pregnant. However, Catelynn and her boyfriend Tyler are legitimately 16, and are probably the most mature of the whole lot.

Catelynn and Tyler are from not-so-great homes. Actually, their parents got married, so they’re from the same not-so-great home. But anyway, when they get pregnant, it becomes obvious to both parties that they are 16, they don’t have any money, their parents don’t have any money, and if they have a kid it will grow up in just as messed up a household as they did.

So they decide on adoption.

At the adoption agency (and in my house), they are heralded as saints, making a very, very hard decision to give the gift of a baby to a couple who cannot have one on their own. The adoptive parents are successful, smart, and are willing to send pictures and arrange visits. They are grateful and supportive and pay for her medical expenses.

But their parents are completely incredulous. The mother throws curses at the adoptive family, the father accuses Tyler of “Not Being a Man.” It’s ugly and sickening. The hospital (in Port Huron) doesn’t comprehend what’s going on during Caitlynn’s labor, and the nurses and doctors insist she look at her beautiful baby, hold the child, even though she’s begging them to take it away. She relents, which maybe was for the better, but makes the whole process more complicated, especially because Caitlynn’s mother goes AWOL and Caitlynn and Tyler have to go off hospital grounds to hand off the baby sans parental permission.

The whole mess is heartbreaking, and brings up some of my rage about teenaged sexuality in the USA. You can’t give teens condoms because that would encourage them to have sex. Nobody likes abortion, so they are difficult and expensive to procure, as well as incredibly stigmatized. And when you look at two pregnant 16 year olds, the girl who decides to buck the odds and have the baby is praised and supported, while the girl making the Absolutely Impossible Decision to abort or adopt is shunned for her lack of responsibility. Where the heck were these parents preaching “Responsibility!” when their kids were having unprotected sex!

GASdfelrjalsekrj0892rsdf!!!

Can’t wait for season 2!

July 27, 2009

guilty as charged

Picnics. Sprinklers. The delicious scent of coconut sunscreen. Grilling out. Diving into the community pool. Road trips. Tomatoes from the backyard. Freckles. Country Time Lemonade.

Fellow Latchkey Children of the 90’s, should not

Excessive Television Watching

also appear on this list?

Daytime television is such a forbidden pleasure, and so very addictive. My boyfriend watched The Price is Right every morning for an entire semester in 2004. I got up early to watch two Dawson’s Creek reruns every morning until they started to repeat, and made it to the gym by 1:00 for two episodes of Saved By The Bell. Afternoon dates with Stick Stickley? And who can forget The Real World marathons? Where the heck did those go?

Even though television has loosened its grip upon my daily schedule,  I still tend to associate the summer heat with a nice, extended couch date with a few choice reruns.

This summer, however, I’m watching shows that are actually on television, airing for the first time, and I’m following more than one!

I wish I could say it was because they are all high-quality shows that are deserving of critical praise.

No sir.

Not a single one.

First we have, Make It Or Break It.


This ABC Family show doesn’t quite live up to it’s predecessor – Stick It, a modern classic of our time. There is a severe absence of gymnastic puns, trippy gymnastics montages, and Electric Six. However, it is still campy, cheesy fun. The one short-haired gymnast is the new girl at the gym. She is poor and has to hide it from everyone. But she’s really good at gymnastics and manages to bump off the bitchy-looking-blonde gymnast from her spot at Nationals. Despite being BFFs with nice-looking-blonde gymnast and tiny-brunette-who’s-having-a-secret-affair-with-a-boy-gymnast, she screws them over by having her rich daddy (who is inexplicably dating Candace Cameron) buy off their coach to another gym.

If that’s not convincing enough, let me point out the following two details.

1) In the first episode, Bitchy Blonde Gymnast basically tries to off the New Girl by messing her vault distances, clearly attempting to break her neck.

2) Watch this clip:

Then we move directly to NYC Prep

This is a documentary-style reality show on Bravo. It follows the lives of five prep school students living the high life in NYC, and one girl who goes to Stuyvesant, but hangs out with a lot of prep school types so I guess she made the cut.

Best things about NYC Prep:

1) Pondering exactly how spoiled, self-absorbed, and g.d. ENTITLED these children are.

2) Pondering the fact that based on their character and talents, they probably don’t deserve to become the next Titans of Industry, but they will anyway. Heck, some of them are already on their way!

3) Laughing at their lazy eyes.

4) Pondering how long, slightly dirty-looking hair with exactly ONE strande pulled completely out of place can be considered attractive.

5) Laughing at Sebastian, this 16-year-old Lothario who thinks he’s God’s gift to women, but proceeds to repell or annoy every girl on cast.

6) Laughing extra hard when he speaks French to woo the ladies.

But the hands-down best part of the show?

This little guy named PC.

He’s the star of the show, but not because he does anything particularly interesting. He’s just the most complex character on the screen – an 18-year-old who is obviously going through some sort of premature mid-life crisis. He wears eye-liner and occasionally admits to being bisexual, but sometimes denies it. He’s completely passive-aggressive towards his best friend, the Bitchy-Looking-Blonde. He wants to datethe younger girls on teh show, but changes his mind last minute and starts to verbally eviscerate them. His therapy sessions are part of the show, where he talks about how alone he feels in the Big City and how he’s had too much “Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll” for his 18 years. Then he goes to Cancun and gets wasted.

Oh, PC. When will you get over your angst? Will you grow up to be a CEO? A photographer? A trust-fund baby for the rest of your life?

Stay tuned! Later/tomorrow, we will move on to

Pregnancy Based Programming!

July 24, 2009

the a’s to all your burning q’s

Q: Jessica, what are you wearing today?

A: This dress I splurged on a while back. Throw a white polo on top, and I’m instantly both work friendly and an AE walking advertisement.

And yes, 35 bucks for a dress is a splurge.

Q:Jessica, what are your plans for the weekend?

A: P-A-C-K-I-N-G!

And cleaning.

And… um… feeling awkward because I will be home with my dad all weekend and weird things happen when we are the only ones home. Weird things like food decay and Mexican dinners and long chats about My Future.

Q: Jessica, what delicious blueberry treat did you end up making?

A:

Blueberry Boybait a la Smitten Kitchen

Q: Jessica, what are you obsessed with lately?

A: Funny you should ask, because I just updated my Obsessions tab.

Things that didn’t make the list:

* Farmville on Facebook

* Bubbly lemonade

* Alice and Kev

* Pacing the Panic Room

Q: Jessica, you seem so calm and collected lately. Is everything ready for Boston?

A: sd/lfjkalskdnrfeihrha97sdyfiauhsdhlfjabnwkejrhlawkjerhaljkdfnalksdf

Q: Jessica, if you could be any song in the world, what song would you be?

A:

As sung by my 13-year-old sister.

Q: Jessica, what room in the house do you spend the most time?

A: Look at my packing list and make a guess




July 23, 2009

making myself cry in inappropriate settings

About a year ago, I must have been having a life-quandary. A What-Am-I-Doing-With-My-Life-Quandary.

Not surprising, eh? Lately I’ve felt relatively secure in my position on this planet, but this is unusual. Panic will succumb me again, and I will find myself Googling such phrases as “What To Do With My Life” and “Setting Life Goals,” and “Life Plan.”

But I do suggest you Google that last one.

A few entries down, you’ll stumble on a page entitled “Creating A Life Plan” posted by one of those inspirational, productive type guys named Michael Hyatt.

You are all busy people. I will link you to it then.

It’s nothing fancy, really.

First, you list the major people in your life – Family, Spouse, Friends, Colleagues, et cetera – and write a paragraph about how you hope they will remember you, either after your death or just when you’re older and maybe don’t see each other so much.

Next step is to list your “Life Accounts,” which is a fancy way of saying Priority List. Family, Friends, Career, Hobbies, Health, Money, Religion, et cetera. Put them in order of importance.

For each Account, you then make a Purpose Statement, an Envisioned Future, Current Reality, and Specific Committments to help you get from that current reality to your envisioned future.

Feel-goody nonsense, I know. But apparently I was feeling adrift at the time and tried to make one of my own.

I didn’t finish it, and forgot about it. But I unearthed it today while sifting through all of my various Word documents, and I can safely say that while reading through it,  I have never felt such pride in my own writing and capabilities.

I was shocked by how many of my Specific Committments that I’d actually stuck to. Not many, percentage-wise, but think about the last time you made one of those Lofty “I WILL DO THIS WITH MY LIFE” goals and think about how you’d stand up. If you achieved even one, you’d be proud, I think.

I will take a class at the gym this fall. I will work to eliminate high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fats from my diet. I will start immunotherapy for my allergies. I will make an appointment with an ENT for my sinuses. I will move out of my parent’s house by September 2009. I will do what I can to remain financially independent. I will keep my belongings in my room and clean up after myself. I will let him know of my envisioned future, and talk to him about if that is what he envisions as well. I will work toward a situation where we can live close together before September 2009. I will commit myself to becoming a librarian and stop waffling. I will enroll in graduate school by September 2009. I will choose a handful of grad programs, and choose based on what kind of financial aid they offer me. I will find ways to utilize my strengths and interests in my current job to make it more enjoyable.

And I was touched by my sensitivity in regards to my relationships, the way I had such  positive, acheivable visions for my future. I didn’t know it was possible to read something I’d written myself and not immediately find flaws think how silly it was, think how I could write something better now.

I want them to think of me as someone who never let her talents go to waste, and someone who was grateful and appreciative of their support in my life. I would like them to remember my love and appreciation of their existence in my life. I would like them to want to know more about me, even after I am gone. I would like him to remember me as the love of his life, the woman who helped him achieve his dreams and brought him happiness and companionship. I would like him to think of how we met and how lucky we were to have so much time to spend together.

So even if you never finish it, or quickly forget it ever happened, you might chance upon it, and find that the simple act of thinking critically about your life for a few hours might nudge your brain in the right direction, and a year later, you’ll be proud.

July 22, 2009

when will you get the GIANT box from Sam’s Club, Mom?

It’s that magical time of year again.

Michigan blueberries are finally in!

They just taste better, imho. Less mushy, more tart, and far more addictive than those preseason blueberries shipped in from God knows where.

I made blueberry-walnut oatmeal this morning, which was good, but didn’t quite hit the spot.

I want to do very unholy things with these blueberries.

Buckles.

Muffins.

Crumble Cakes.

Smoothies.

Or just funnel them all directly into my mouth.

July 21, 2009

ennui

I have officially become the most boring person on the planet.

L and I have been full-time long distance for over three years now, plus 2 summers prior, which means we talk on the phone. A lot. Different folks have different opinions of long distance relationships, and although I have also been a participant in one of those Not So Great LDRs, I am still on the side of Give It A Try.

But it’s really more like Give It A Try But Make Sure You Have Free Moblie-To-Mobile Minutes. And at least one car between the two of you. Mutual internet access a plus.

Anyway, I’m used to creating colorful phone conversation. Lance is used to regurgitating his daily activities every evening. Sometimes we gossip about our friends and family – the kind of deep, philosophical gossiping that doesn’t feel as bad – or debate about hard-hitting topics: religion, politics, whether or not I should go to the gym on any given evening.

But lately, the phone magic is gone.

Exchanges go a little like this:

Me: Did you get that check for the landlord in the mail yet?

L: Not yet. But I did find another job to apply for today.

Me: Cool! I got a call back from Target today but they don’t know if they’ll have any jobs open when we move so I’ll have to call back.

Lance: Maybe I should apply too.

Me: Yeah. You could. They got right back to me.

L: I think I’m going to put in my two weeks tomorrow.

Me: Why?

L: I’ll have time to work at this band camp gig and practice for my recital.

Me: That makes sense.  Oh, guess how much money is in my checking account!

And so on and so forth.

Money.

Apartments.

Jobs.

Money.

Apartments.

Jobs.

moneyapartmentsjobsmoneyapartmentsjobsmoneyapartmentsjobs!

No wonder my brain feels so mushy.

Highlights of my mushy-brained-boring-boring life?

  • Going to bed early.

I think I said it once before, but it’s worth repeating:

Don’t expect anything from me until at least October.

July 20, 2009

Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan

The time – 3:45, four hours after we arrived, but less than an hour until we must be on the bus.

The scene – ALA Annual Conference exhibits, a publisher’s booth that was formerly crowded and crammed.

The players – a girl and her mother, and a similarly exhausted Advanced Reader hawker

Mom: Do you have any of this book?

Hawker: No, we’re out.

Girl: Ooh! New Frank Portman! Do you have one of those.

Hawker: Nope…. sorry.

Mom: Well, what do you have back there that’s any good.

Girl: Mom, if you’ve heard of the author, they probably don’t have any left.

Hawker: What kind of book are you looking for?

Mom: Good for a girl, teen girl, I guess.

Hawker: How about this one?

Girl: NEW DAVID LEVITHAN!?!?!?? HOLY SMOKES!!!

This book is Very Levithan, utilizing multiple viewpoints (Are We There Yet?, Nick & Norah, Naomi & Ely, Realm of Possibility), a I’m-Gay-But-I’m-Not-JUST-Gay Main Character (Boy Meets Boy, Realm of Possibility, Naomi & Ely, Wide Awake), and of course, New York City as the prominent, and important, setting  (Nick & Norah, Naomi & Ely). But this book sets itself apart from the pack, mostly because it does what No Authors Should Do: write about something culturally relevant.

In this case, the bit of culture in question is September 11th.

The three narrators take turns telling their stories of the day, the stories that shortly turn into “Where Were You When You Found Out…” Claire was in school, and found a maternal urge to travel to the lower school and find her younger brother, assuming their mother would be flighty as always. Jaspar, home from college and staying in his parent’s Brooklyn apartment alone, sleeps straight through the whole mess. And Peter, flying high on the prospect of a CD release and maybe a new boyfriend, skipped school, but was punished with a front-row seat to the disaster at hand. The three characters change and adjust, finding each other through circumstance and growing together by neccessity.

I read it in one sitting, and it hit home. I’m getting old enough where there is a bit of a disconnect between YA characters and Me. A great story and a great author usually takes care of that, but being that I was in my Pre-Calculus class “When I Found Out,” this tiny rewind made me think about what it was like to have been in the thick of it, instead of safely in Michigan.

This is, obviously, a sad book. But sad in the best way possible, I promise.