Friday, February 29, 2008

Mice Eat Cheese

I had a minor crisis today.

We were discussing that she needs to get a clicker thing to park at the closer lot to her work building, so she sent me a map of her campus and the following conversation began: (italics denote actions or thoughts)

me: that's not so bad
Fran: No, it really isn't. But when I am in a hurry and don't want to go over on my lunch, it would be faster to park in C.
The walk from D is pretty, because it goes by a manmade stream.
And there are maple trees on either side of the sidewalk.
K goes past my old job.
me: Totally read that as marmalade stream.
Fran: lol!
Well, you know...
me: snort
Fran: ooo. Orange marmalade on a baguette sounds lovely right now.
me: meh (Don't like marmalade much. Ooh. But a toasted bagel with some melty cheese sounds . . .)
ACK! I forgot what my favorite cheese is! (I could picture it and taste it, but not name it.)
Fran: OH NO! (I frantically search for a cheese list on Wikipedia.)
Mine is gouda.
A nice sharp cheddar is lovely, though. (found it!)
me: Gruyere
Fran: So is muenster.
ooo. cheese...
me: PHEW
I want gruyere now
Heidi: yum.

Does anything sound better than gruyere right now? No. I didn't think so.

Yes. I have a favorite cheese and even a favorite dinosaur, but not a favorite color.

Oh, it's triceratops, in case you were wondering.

A-B-C, baby, you and me

Thanks Mr. Me. Again.

A–Attached or single: Single, mostly, or something.

B–Best Friend: Fran, fo sho

C–Cake or Pie: What kind of pie? Cherry pie? What kind of cake? Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting? I'll take the cake. But if the pie is strawberry rhubarb and the cake is raspberry? I'll go with the pie.

Mmm. Cheesecake.

D–Day of Choice: I'm rather partial to Saturdays, since I can sleep in and still be productive on my own time and do whatever I want.

E–Essential Item: Cell phone. It's my main source of contact for the most important people in my life.

F–Favorite Color: I don't have one.

G–Gummi Bears or Worms: Bears, if I must. Does anyone remember Amazing Fruit? So good. Ideally? Jelly Babies.

H–Hometown: Of all the places I've lived, Orem, UT feels the most like home.

I–Indulgence(s): Bubble baths and a book. The outside world does not exist. I need a better bathtub.

J–January or July: July. I prefer the summer.

K–Kids: Are great. I don't have any.

L–Life is incomplete without: Love.

M–Marriage Date: Well, it's been facetiously set for April 21, 2010.

N–Number of Siblings: 1 sister and 1 brother

O–Oranges or Apples: If they're both the best most delicious of their kind (not to be confused with Red Delicious, which are anything but), I'll take the orange.

P–Phobias or Fears: Being alone forever.

Q–Quote(s): “I'd pay my bills with blind kids' smiles, but their money is a lot easier” - Emerson Cod

R–Reason To Smile: My friends. I love you guys.

S–Season: Spring.

T–Tag Six: Meh. Do it if you want to.

U–Unknown Fact about Me: I have a recent fondness for Cherry Coke.

V–Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animal: What a politically charged question. I like meat. Thank you.

V–Venice or Florence: Venice first, I think.

W–Worst Habit: Procrastinating.

X–X-Rays or Ultrasounds: I've had lots of x-rays. I probably glow in the dark.

Y–Your Favorite Food: Strawberries

Z–Zodiac: Gemini. Sometimes it's amusing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

S-O-S please someone help me

Remember that time when there was a fire and no one told me and I almost died!? That was last October. It's now, by my calendar, February. If do my math right, it's four months later.

Look what was installed today!

That's right kids, our fire alarm is an air horn. Awesome. I feel so much safer now.

Love in the library

I've recently been pondering my identity as a blogger, and this blog's identity. I often talk about being a librarian and running a library and going to school to be a librarian. But I also talk about everything else under the sun. I realized that if I were to blog more about my job, and the random silly things that encounter, like many other librarian blogs, my postings would be few and far between. I've only had encounters with two patrons today, neither of them interesting.

Patron 1 - Voicemail message #1, left about an hour before I'm even scheduled to be in - Hi, I haven't received my materials yet, and I was wondering if you'd sent them.

I check my notes, see that I did, and make a note to email her as I hear

Voicemail message #2, left 20 minutes after the first - Never mind. It came just now. Thanks.

Cross that off my to-do list.

Patron 2 - Email contact - Hi. I need another copy of ________. Can you tell me who has the other copy checked out?

Nope. Privacy laws being what they are I can't, but I don't even think I have a second copy of that. I check my shelves. Nope.

Sorry, Patron 2, but I only have one copy of that and you have it.

See? Not interesting. You can wake up now. I spent the rest of my day checking materials in, emailing patrons who are missing materials from their returns, and shelving.

Incidents funny enough to be included in my blog only happen every few weeks, and you can follow my tags to read all about them.

In the meantime, I'll continue to write about anything and everything I feel like. It's my blog after all!

Should you need a library only blog fix, I just added a new blog roll, thanks to the Cool Librarian!

The Movie in My Mind

If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged.

A meme from Mister Me, who wondered how many of the Oscar best picture winners he'd seen.

I've put the ones I've seen in bold (though some I saw on TV and/or edited), the ones I own are in italics. Look for the one I own but haven't seen. :) Any that I saw in the theater are in red.

1928 - Wings, Sunrise (one for best production, other for unique and artistic)
1929 - The Broadway Melody of 1929
1930 - All Quiet on the Western Front
1931 - Cimmaron
1932 - Grand Hotel
1933 - Cavalcade
1934 - It Happened One Night
1935 - Mutiny on the Bounty
1936 - The Great Ziegfeld
1937 - The Life of Emile Zola
1938 - You Can’t Take It With You
1939 - Gone With the Wind
1940 - Rebecca
1941 - How Green Was My Valley
1942 - Mrs. Miniver
1943 - Casablanca
1944 - Going My Way
1945 - The Lost Weekend
1946 - The Best Years of Our Lives
1947 - Gentleman’s Agreement
1948 - Hamlet
1949 - All The King’s Men
1950 - All About Eve
1951 - An American in Paris
1952 - The Greatest Show on Earth
1953 - From Here to Eternity
1954 - On the Waterfront
1955 - Marty
1956 - Around the World in Eighty Days
1957 - The Bridge on the River Kwai
1958 - Gigi
1959 - Ben-Hur
1960 - The Apartment
1961 - West Side Story
1962 - Lawrence of Arabia
1963 - Tom Jones
1964 - My Fair Lady
1965 - The Sound of Music
1966 - A Man For All Seasons
1967 - In the Heat of the Night
1968 - Oliver!
1969 - Midnight Cowboy
1970 - Patton
1971 - The French Connection
1972 - The Godfather
1973 - The Sting
1974 - The Godfather Part II
1975 - One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
1976 - Rocky
1977 - Annie Hall
1978 - The Deer Hunter
1979 - Kramer vs. Kramer
1980 - Ordinary People
1981 - Chariots of Fire
1982 - Ghandi
1983 - Terms of Endearment
1984 - Amadeus
1985 - Out of Africa
1986 - Platoon
1987 - The Last Emperor
1988 - Rain Man
1989 - Driving Miss Daisy
1990 - Dances With Wolves
1991 - The Silence of the Lambs
1992 - Unforgiven
1993 - Schindler’s List
1994 - Forrest Gump
1995 - Braveheart
1996 - The English Patient
1997 - Titanic
1998 - Shakespeare in Love
1999 - American Beauty
2000 - Gladiator
2001 - A Beautiful Mind
2002 - Chicago
2003 - Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
2004 - Million Dollar Baby
2005 - Crash
2006 - The Departed
2007 - No Country for Old Men

So here are my totals:

Total number of films: 81
Total I’ve seen: 20 (25 %)
Total I saw in the theater: 2 (2%)
Total I own: 2 (2%))

And I call myself a film buff? This is just sad! I have some catching up to do. Of course, it could just be that my movie taste differs from the Academy's, and I'm actually kind of proud that I've never seen Titanic. Still, it's lists like this that make me glad for Netflix.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Uptown Girl

I love big cities. Here's why:

- No end of things to do:
I can see a play, a movie, a concert (a small one like at Ram's Head or 9:30 Club, not just big arena shows), a museum, a historical building, etc. I can go relax in a park or a see a sporting event. Tours (exhibits, bands, comedians, etc.) come through all the time. As much I love sitting at home and just watching a movie or something, I don't have to. I have options. Lots of them.

- The city doesn't shut down after 9 PM.
IHOP isn't the only thing open after 11 PM. I don't often need that kind of nightlife, but it exists. It's available.

- Culture
There is diversity. I can get to know a lot of different people and culture. I almost like being in the minority sometimes, because I learn so much more. Also, the food is great! I loved that I had Indian, Japanese, and North African restaurants within walking distance of my flat in London. Here, I can order Chinese straight to my door!

- Arts
There is a wider variety in bigger cities. Sure, crappy community theatre is available close by, but I'm not stuck with it. (Disclaimer: Not all community theatre is crap. Just some of it.) I can so see the bigger and better shows, with real professionals involved. I can take dance classes from people who still work in the professional industry. Limited release movies are in theaters for longer than a week. Etc.

- Distance to other types of places
That's one reason I specifically like living in the Mid-Atlantic. 5 hours one I'm in the South, 5 hours another takes me to New York, 10 hours in just about any direction takes me to somewhere else completely different. This is ideal for those that like both the city and the smaller town. You can live in a suburb just outside the city (like I do now), and within an hour you're in a completely different place. If you're in the Midwest (no offense to any Midwesterners, I still love you), you usually have to drive at least two days to get anywhere that doesn't involve a corn field.

- Economy
The unemployment rate is lower in big cities, thanks to the law of averages. Job hunting is easier when there are more options. There is more money available, which balances out the higher cost of living.

I grew up in mid-size city USA. The first time I went to NYC kind of scared me, at least for part of the trip. I swore I'd never go back to Las Vegas. London was in a completely different country! I quickly changed my mind. (Well, not so quickly on the Vegas thing. I didn't go back for at least four years.) I learned that the big city etiquette requires a little more of a person, but once you follow the rules (which are easy - stay out of people's way, the city doesn't revolve you, etc.) people are great. It takes some getting used to, but there are just so many things to do and lifestyle options, it's so worth it.

Each city has a different flavor and attitude, so you have to find the one that fits you best. For example, I'd prefer not to live in Los Angeles or Chicago, but I get along swell with DC, London, and New York City. Because of how close everything is and how many options there are for just where to live in or around a big city, compromises can be made much easier than, say, North Dakota. I, at the very least, just think it's something that should be experienced before it's completely discounted.

Of course, for me, it's more important to live where I need to, for my job/school or a spouse's, or wherever the Lord asks me to go. I seem to move every 6-8 years anyway, so nothing is permanent.

As long as I can though, I want to stay within driving distance to a big city. They just fit me.

Friday, February 22, 2008

When you kiss her lips

Shelley says that responding to a tag is good manners, then she tagged me. So I guess you get to learn more random things about me. Though I feel like I just did this one, it's different. I'm still trying to decide how I feel about memes in general, but what the heck. Here we go.

Where were you 10 years ago:
Trying to survive my 8th grade year at Odom Academy in Beaumont, TX.

Five things on my to-do list today:
1. Shelve
2. Fill music orders
3. Eat
4. Choir rehearsal
5. Start a school assignment

Five snacks I enjoy:
1. Popcorn
2. Ice cream
3. Pretzels
4. Wheat Thins
5. Jelly Babies

What would I do if I were suddenly a billionaire:

Pay for my college education and that of my siblings. Build a house. Travel the world. Invest. Do something philanthropic. Run out of ideas before I run out of money.

4 Bad habits:
1. Procrastinating
2. As much as I love having a clean house, it's currently a low priority
3. Cooking box meals, a la Hamburger Helper, instead of something decent.
4. Starting a shower several minutes before I actually get in.

5 Jobs I have had:
1. Tele-researcher
2. Telemarketer (no cold calling though, thank goodness)
3. Waitress/server
4. Librarian
5. Cow mascot

5 Things people don't know about me:
1. I talk to myself
2. I'm addicted to checking blogs
3. I like watching Miami/LA Ink
4. If I got a tattoo, which I won't ever do, it would be a butterfly, probably on my shoulder.
5. I crave alone time almost much as I crave being with people. It's an interesting paradox, and luckily I can almost always find a balance.

This wasn't part of the meme, but I found this little Kiss Personality quiz online.

I'm Glow Girl, compact and curvy:

- Passionate, private and intense, you are also secretive and edgy.
- You have strong opinions and like to be in control.
- You are not easily fooled and tend to be reserved and concise.
- You are slow to show your emotions and are loyal to a trusted few; you don’t like to be crowded in.
- Always on the go, you have a great zest for life and can easily find that there’s not enough time in the day.
- You pay attention to details and can have impeccable manners.
- You can be a master of small talk while observing everything that is going on.
- You are determined and decisive; others find you mysterious and sexy.
- Romantically, you relish being adored.

Not bad really. What's yours?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Three bucks, two bags, one me

Ah. New York City, how I love thee. The impeccable subway, empty sidewalks, and the fact that everyone randomly breaks into song and dance every hour.

Just kidding. The subway was still gross, but it goes everywhere and runs often. The sidewalks were much clearer than they'd be in June. And no one looks at you funny if you do break into song and dance. Which we only did a few times.

I spent the weekend in NYC with Smash, Reimsy, Princess (a guy, just so you know), and Dr. E. It was probably the best road trip I've had with a group of friends to date. Amazingly, with the exception of about two hours one day, we all agreed on what to do and we always got along swimmingly. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend.

A few highlights:

- The Farnsworth Invention - This was a brilliant play. Sure, they changed some historical facts, but it made for excellent theater. The actor playing Philo T. Farnsworth was amazing, Hank Azaria was great to see on stage, and everything on stage went so smooothly with all the set and character changes. Backstage must be a nightmare. I don't do standing ovations often, but this one deserved it.

- Xanadu - Seriously. A musical on roller skates, featuring the gorgeous Cheyenne Jackson. This was great fun, and we consequently spent the rest of the weekend quoting this show and practicing our cheesy Australian accents. Two standing ovations from me in one day!

- Empire State Building - Not the warmest place to be in February, but I'd somehow never done this before and I loved the view.

- Chinatown - This summer I'll be sporting a new "Kate Spade" purse and I already wore my new "Tiffany" necklace. Plus I got this new hat:

- Fashion District - Seeing Mood Fabrics and revisiting Bryant Park will make my watching of Project Runway that much more fun.

- Etc. - Great friends, wonderful food, and a city that I love.

I *heart* NY!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I'm so much cooler online

Most of us have heard of the virtual world Second Life by now. It occurred to me this that my First Life is already way too virtual. Think about it:

  • Most of my conversations are on some form of instant messenging service, and sometimes with back and forth emails.
  • I belong to a few different social networking sites and/or message boards. Most of my friends in these places I know IRL (in real life), but haven't seen in months or years.
  • When I finish my Masters, I will have never stepped foot on the campus of the school I'm attending. I have yet to even be in the same state as that school.
  • Even the guy I'm currently "seeing" lives in a different state and we rely on IM, email, phone, and webcams to "date". (Yay! I'm kinda sorta "seeing" someone!) Don't worry, I've known this person IRL for quite some time now, so it's not like I'm dating someone I only know online.
It's a little disconcerting. For someone who craves physical contact and actually being with friends, and is a hands on learner, this is a strange way of living.

For instance, in undergrad, had I done the same project I was doing this week for school, we would have talked about it in class. We might have had some sort of practice day in a computer lab. It would have definitely been more formal and structured.

Instead, to teach myself, I had to rely on an informational packet, three instructional DVDs (which I couldn't get to work), various listserv/Blackboard discussions, the website itself, and a recording of a chat help session with the professor where people typed in questions and she audio recorded the answers.

It's no wonder I was confused. For something I've been seeing information come in for about three weeks, I really shouldn't have procrastinated it until two nights ago. It is due today. I got so lost on how to do one of the problems that I called the customer service number on the website.

Other Girl: Good afternoon, how I can help you?

Me: (Afternoon? It's midnight. What?) Yeah, I'm a new user of this program, I'm a grad student, and I was wondering how to ________ .

Other Girl: (in an definite Australian accent) Well, usually, you __________ .

Me: (Oh! Australia! Of course. At least she speaks English!) Yeah, I tried that.

Other Girl: We aren't really supposed to help grad students.

Me: (CRAP! I can't even call Katie, since she's in my time zone!) Oh, well, yeah. Haha. It's midnight here, so I was just trying to call someone.

Other Girl: Heh. Yeah, well, we've been told not to.

Me: No problem. Thanks anyway!

Luckily, I finally figured it out and the whole assignment was submitted just after 1 AM. With that email, the craziness of this week is officially over and I'm finally back on top of everything.

I love school, but the unstructured way I'm doing things sometimes makes me feel like this:

(Penny Walsh poses among books thrown from their shelves during an earthquake in Gisborne, New Zealand.)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Big black boots, long brown hair

Happy Birthday Fran!

If you don't know this woman, you should. She's the best friend I could ever ask for, and I'm so happy she's in my life.

I can still remember our first meeting, almost five years ago. It was only a matter of days before I realized how good a fit we are. Within weeks, we'd been called to be our ward's music committee and Visiting Teaching companions, among all the other connections we soon discovered. I was practically only knee high to a grasshopper, but she loved me anyway and we've both blossomed under each other's watch. This picture was taken about seven months after we first met. She made the dress I'm wearing, though we designed it together.

Fran is amazing. She's been through quite a lot, yet she always bounces back stronger and better than ever. We never run out of things to talk about and the current distance between us has never hindered us. I could go on for quite awhile about everything I love about Fran and all that she has done for me. The man who finally realizes just how awesome she is will be a lucky man indeed.

I love you Fran!

Scout THIS!

I mean this, I'm okay!

This week is a tough one. I have a lot of things I'm worried about accomplishing, some of which I can control and some I can't. I knew this week was coming and I tried to prepare for it, but living it is a completely different monster.

Still, I'm okay. Yes, I'm not so okay by the end of each day, but considering I don't dissolve until tears until the end of the day, if at all, that's a good thing. The tension is currently manifesting itself in my shoulders. A massage would be bliss right now. I'm trying very hard to not take this out on anyone and am mostly succeeding.

What's really hard is that I'm the only one who can do anything about what I'm facing. With the exception of the small things, like eating (or getting me food) or cleaning various things, there's little anyone can do. It's really frustrating when someone offers to do anything I need them to, and I hardly feel like I can ask them to put away my laundry or fix me dinner. I certainly can't delegate the major responsibilities, which have me the most worried.

I'm really looking forward to Friday, when all of this is done and I'm on my way out of the D.C. area, at least for a few days.

Does anyone have a Fast Forward button?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Gone, Gone, Gone

Today is the birthday of someone who used to be quite dear to me. I would love to be able to text or call them to say wish them a happy birthday, or go shopping and find them the perfect gift.

I can't.

This would be easier if this person had died, and was no longer part of my life that way. Unfortunately, this person quite suddenly took themselves out of my life.

We met the first day of my sophomore year of high school and were friends until they graduated two years later and we lost touch. We bumped into each other three years later and talked like we'd never been apart. We spent many hours and days together over the next two years. Not everyone else in my life liked this person, or approved of how they were currently living their life, but I defended them and continued to spend time with them. I thought I knew this person better than they ever could and thought that having them around was a blessing.

In many ways, they were. I needed a friend and this person provided that, at any time of the day or night.

Then I moved here. Slowly, but surely, this person stopped calling or texting me. If they did, more often than not, it was something stupid or inappropriate. Often in the middle of the night. I stopped responding to those, and when I confronted them, I was told "It's just a phase."

I didn't want a phase. I wanted my friend.

It was almost awkward to see them that first Christmas home. Eventually weeks would go between contacts. Finally, I called them in July to tell them I was coming home in a few weeks. They were excited for me and we talked for two hours. It was nice.

All my calls during my visit home went straight to voicemail. Any contact I've tried to make since then as gone unanswered.

I don't know why.

In hindsight, they weren't the best person to be around. I know that now. I probably knew it then. I don't regret the time I spent with them.

I just wish they were still around. I could always count on them for a laugh or to review the latest movie and all the other good things we shared. Maybe one day we'll share them again, but our relationship has been forever changed.

Happy Birthday, Smalls. Wherever you are.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Oh-oh, the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-COMin' down the street

Alright, so it was the UPS truck. Big deal. Still, yesterday was a very good day for me. In some ways. Being at work for 11.5 hours and staving off a sinus infection were not fun times. Getting three packages in one day was a wonderful surprise!

Last week, I used some of the gift cards I'd gotten over Christmas to do some online shopping. It was a gamble not trying things on first, but I decided to risk it.

I ordered a sweater (in an aqua color):

A paisley print top:

And a wave iron for my hair.

Monday night, my duet partner for an upcoming performance and I realized that none of our colleagues were getting us the music we needed, so I ordered it overnight from Amazon. (The book cost $17.95. Shipping was $17.98.)

When I got the shipping confirmation in my email yesterday morning, I checked the UPS tracking for all three packages. All three were noted as "OUT FOR DELIVERY". I was thrilled! The music came to my office, as my duet partner was coming here to pick it up. It arrived late morning. The other two were waiting for me at home!

It was like Christmas! I'm wearing my new top today, and it fits perfectly. Also, my duet partner is getting her choir booster club to cover my shipping cost for the music. Bonus! It will be Christmas at my house again in a week or two when I get 15 new CDS I paid the price of one for. (I had some free music vouchers.) $250 in new music, for only $60 (shipping and handling).

I love shopping online, especially when I really don't spend much money at all!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Falling, in and out, of love with you

Recently, I've heard the phrase "growing in love" (and variations thereof) a lot. After some thought about the choice of words, I really like it. "Falling in love" sounds romantic and wonderful, but it at the root of the phrase is the word "fall"

fall [fawl] verb, fell, fall·en, fall·ing, noun –verb (used without object) drop or descend under the force of gravity, as to a lower place through loss or lack of support.

This definition:

to pass into some physical, mental, or emotional condition: to fall asleep; to fall in love.

is definition #13!

While the phrase as a whole is extremely positive, it's rooted in something negative. We're all afraid of falling. It hurts. I'm still bruised from a fall I had Friday night, and I have problems from a fall I had six years ago. I really don't like to fall.

However, growing sounds much more positive.

grow [groh] verb, grew, grown, grow·ing. –verb (used without object) increase by natural development, as any living organism or part by assimilation of nutriment; increase in size or substance. arise or issue as a natural development from an original happening, circumstance, or source: Our friendship grew from common interests.

Sure, growing has its own pains, but, to me, it's much more promising than falling. President Spencer W. Kimball put it this way:

"The love of which the Lord speaks is not only physical attraction, but also faith, confidence, understanding, and partnership. It is devotion and companionship, parenthood, common ideals and standards. It is cleanliness of life and sacrifice and unselfishness. This kind of love never tires nor wanes. It lives on through sickness and sorrow, through prosperity and privation, through accomplishment and disappointment, through time and eternity." (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball (1982), 248.)

Elder Lynn G. Robbins wrote a wonderful Ensign article about eternal love, which I recommend. He also pointed out being in and cultivating love is a choice, and to fall in or out of love connotes a lack of choice, which I completely agree with.

I'm not saying that I'll never use the phrase "falling in love" or any of its derivatives, just that there's a better alternative. Either way, I certainly look forward to experiencing it again.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Your winter

I almost posted this morning about why I'm so affected by the January blahs. How this endless gray sky is sucking the life out of me and being sick isn't helping, not to mention the fact that I work in a place that has snow days and we haven't had one yet! I thought about listing all the things I'm not accomplishing, etc. It wasn't going to be the happiest post ever.

Then! I remembered that it's February! There are lots of things to be excited about in February!

Tonight - Dinner and dancing with friends!

13-14 - Broadway Night - My latest choreography project, and I'll be performing a duet as well.

13 - Fran's birthday!

14 - Valentine's Day! I even care this year, which is a lovely change.

15-18 - New York City!

19 - Brotherface's birthday!

20 - Gonzo's birthday! (A friend, not the Muppet.)

So, that only takes me through the next three weeks, but it already brightened my mood. Additionally, my coughing has abated, which deserves a "hooray!" of it's very own.