2/28/2009

Funeral Free Verse

Almost forgetting which way to get to the church, the one where my grandparents grew up and my parents were wed.
A careful parking job, and a flaming orange hang-tag, ensures I can follow to the cemetery.
Surprising my cousin's boss--he, there in his priestly capacity; I, there in my familial (non-singing) one.
Aunt D's spirit is gone, from that tiny body.
The teenage grandson with Down Syndrome, wondering where Gram is (most likely soon to understand she is with his father).
Her price is beyond pearls.
The creepy echo of the sound system.
"We are here because we have hope."
Incense, later mixed with my uncle's cigarettes, in my coat and hair.
One great-aunt, often upset when she saw my deceased great-aunt during her illness, strangely calm.
The cousin I idolized as a child, driving off after a quick hug.
Relatives not often seen (two years? six years?), not recognizing me.
The thrill of catching up.
"You look amazing." (Attributed to having quit my corporate job--graduating--a black knit dress that was my bargain birthday present to myself.)
Vegan talk with an older cousin, about the great chef at his restaurant.
Selfless aunt, venting about self-centered sister (other aunt).
Shouting affectionately to my hard-of-hearing grandfather.
Hurried, rueful, goodbyes because I have to go to work.
Hope that the next gathering comes out of joy.

2/27/2009

Friday Fare

I was eating my dinner of fake-cheese pizza (sounds bad but pretty much tasted like how I remember frozen pizza) and broccoli stir-fried with garlic tonight when I realized I didn't do the so-called "Obligatory Ash Wednesday post." Not that I did one last year--I checked.

I didn't make it to Mass (no obligation, anyway) thanks to my work schedule, but I did notice people with ashes in the library. I'm trying to give up negativity--stop myself before that's the first thing out of my mouth. Other than that, I'm being open to the small sacrifices that are asked of me, every day. It's Lent, and they do come along.

This was a really good, and really humorous, Ash Wednesday post, and not just for people who know what it's all about.

The Friday Five: Hopefully Not Too Obscure

My old cell (excuse me, wireless) phone was on its last legs, and I have a plan that gives me money towards a new one, so I picked out a new one this week. They can transfer over everything from the old phone to the new one, except your ringtones. And the ones that come with the phone are always super annoying.

I was up a little too late trying to figure out what my new one should be. Still miss my old one, which was the bridge from Modest Mouse's song "Dashboard," but it wasn't available and really I should try something new.

The hard part for me isn't picking out a song. It's finding an instrumental one, because a phone shouldn't sing at me. It has to sound somewhat serious/mature enough in case it rings in front of, I don't know, people I don't know very well. I mean, I remember to silence it at church or work and during interviews, but as much as I like the song I don't need "Roxanne" blasting out of my coat when I'm grocery shopping.

I like my ringtone to be a little alluring and mysterious. . . a little cool. So the five ringtone choices I'd considered were. . .

1. "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (Intro)" by Vampire Weekend.

2. "Blue Monday (bridge)" by New Order.

3. "Kids (instrumental)" by MGMT.

4. "Polynomial C" by Aphex Twin. Actually any of the choices, because they were ambient and had pretty much no vocals.

5. "London Rain" by Heather Nova. Not instrumental, but soft enough.

Any guesses as to what I picked? What's yours?

2/26/2009

Arrgh, Part II

My great-aunt, wife of my grandmother's younger brother (my great-uncle, obviously), passed away yesterday. It was a little unexpected but I heard she hadn't been doing too well the past couple of days. She was 86 but had had Alzheimer's for several years. She still lived at home with my great-uncle and my cousin, their daughter (other children often came to help as well). My mom occasionally would go sit with her if my cousin had to take my great-uncle somewhere, and when I still lived near them I would take my uncle to the polling place for elections.

She'd had the mind of a mischievous, speechless child, but she also had been energetic and strong. Just a few weeks ago, our cousins were telling us that when they installed the stairlift (she'd started having trouble climbing stairs), she would ride it with her legs hanging over the back! We had a laugh imagining she was waiting for the ferris wheel to arrive, too.

My heart breaks for my great-uncle--they were an inseparable couple, which I think is part of the reason she never had been placed in a home in spite of some safety concerns (which thankfully were managed well). I remember before she got sick how she used to tease my dad at family get-togethers, maybe jibing him because she's all Irish and he's well, not.

We're gonna miss her. We're saying our goodbyes on Saturday. It sucks anyway, but it extra sucks because I am scheduled to be at the library all afternoon, and some teens from the "teen board" are supposed to come in to meet me, so I'll be running.

We spend so much time running. (Makes me think of Emily Dickinson.) In a way, funerals--losses--make us pause for a moment. We hope our deceased loved ones are at peace, and we hope for some peace ourselves, in our daily lives. It's the best we can do at these times.

Arrgh, Part I

I walked into the library yesterday (Wednesday morning), about an hour before opening, and before I knew it, the words were out of my mouth:

"Oh my God, they did it all backwards!"

Turns out the children's librarian did go through with her intention to move the YA fiction (hardcovers) over to the new section while I wasn't there on Tuesday night. . . and in total disregard of everything I had wanted. Everything I had discussed with her. Everything she had seemed totally O.K. with.

I wish I had a scanner so I could just draw it, but basically, I had planned to start the "A" authors on the left side and keep going alphabetically to the right, because the right ends with four little shelves crammed right up against the public computer desks, and my desk, and I was hoping little if anything had to go there because it was incredibly inaccessible.

So where did the "A" authors start? All together, now: On the right, crammed against the computers.

I was so angry and frustrated that I cried. Not a big deal, because there were only two other staff members there for opening, but because I had said it out loud, they came over. So I told them. I showed them. First it was the chairs, then it was this B.S. with the fiction, moved against my wishes. My plans, opinions, and wishes count for nothing at all.

They said they were sorry, but at the same time I noticed they didn't seem surprised.

Later the children's librarian came to me--and I think she got wind that I was annoyed--and she had the nerve to admit that she knew that's what I wanted, but she didn't like it so she put it the other way. For someone who makes such a big deal about being able to reach me on my cell, she didn't seem to think it necessary in that case, or in the case of the chairs last weekend. Not even an e-mail.

What have I gotten myself into?

I'm trying to figure out how to talk to the (temporary) director about this, but I think he pretty much lets her do what she wants. She's got a lot of power, and I don't want to get on her bad side. . . but I don't like how I'm being treated. As if I'm not a librarian. As if I'm here to do grunt work.

I'm all for paying my dues (I know, bad librarian joke), but (1) I have studied hard; (2) I did well in my studies; (3) I did an internship of sorts, in two different libraries, under two different librarians--one of them being among the most renowned in the field. And (4) I am neither a child nor an idiot!

When I first got my bachelor's degree, I didn't know where to go or what I wanted to do. I wound up spending nearly two miserable years paying my dues in a law office under the thumbs of two of the biggest S.O.B.'s (you know, the lawyers who give lawyers their bad reputation). I still cringe every time I hear that 2-way phone "beep" because I think they're coming down the hall, and that was nearly ten years ago.

Why am I telling that story? Because it feels the same now. Except that I know where I want to go and what I want to do, very badly. I don't think I'm gonna go two years this time.

2/24/2009

Just Another Crazy Day at the Crazy Library

(1) My paycheck was in my office mailbox--I have to remember I have one of those--check was probably sitting there all weekend. One week there is twice as much as a week at the bookstore. Yay.

(2) Walked in to FOUR IDENTICAL chairs from IKEA that weren't the ones I picked out. Surprise! Children's librarian: "We [I think this means she and her husband and/or the reference librarian whose car they might've been using to transport them] decided the red and white floral print was too 'girly.'"

She hadn't put the slipcovers (denim blue--ugh) because she wanted to give me the option to change them. Wasn't that generous? There aren't any more attractive covers for that style, and I didn't want a bunch of white chairs sitting out for people to mess up, so we put the slipcovers on.

I decided it wasn't worth arguing about, and I'm just going to pretend I like them. Whatever.

But I am SO not surprised she changed everything on me.

Finished the slipcovers just in time to cover the circ desk. A mom and her high school age daughter came in looking for research info, so I helped them find their info and then introduced myself--they were very nice, grateful for the help, and sounded interested in the changes to the YA section.

If the rest of the kids are that nice, that will make up for all the B.S. I have to put up with. I hope.

2/23/2009

Monday Catch-Up

Well, the weekend was a bit crazy and included conversations like this:

Mom: I caught [the youngest yet largest family cat] trying to climb the doorway of the powder room.*

Me: You can take the cat out of the alley, but you can't take the alley out of the cat.


I did get to see my sister (Saturday we shopped, then rented a movie. . . the description on the box lied--the extreme gore/violence canceled out the promised "hilarity") and to play with the younger three-quarters of my brother's family, including Youngest Nephew, who doesn't quite know who I am, but thinks I look enough like his dad to be cool, for Sunday brunch.

I'm still a bit stressed out over the new job, and I caught a bit of a sore throat from the family to boot. Tomorrow I get to see if "Operation Panicked Furniture Grab" happened on Saturday, and I have an hour to deal with that and whatever else is going on in the new YA area before I have to cover the circulation desk.

It's not that I'm not grateful to have the job and be getting library experience, lest there be any confusion about that. It's just the push to get the new section set up and the piecemeal instruction on their protocol--not to mention the serious "office politics" vibe I'm getting (bunch of women, surprise surprise)--that's making things unnecessarily rougher than they need to be right now.

I could use a little fun outside of work to distract me, you know?

UPDATE (forgot to add): (1) I picked up my degree from the frame shop today (yes, I got goosed by the office doggie again) and it is beautiful. Can't wait to hang it up in my "home office."
(2) Bought a new cell phone this afternoon--goodbye, flip phone of the last two years. Now I just have to figure out all the necessary functions on the new phone (take a number, iPod) and decide on the new ringtone. I guess that's sorta fun.


*When I used to live with my parents, my cat would bounce off the walls. . . she set the powder-room-doorway-climbing precedent, apparently. Although I'd argue that the location (back end of the house, so they get a running start) is just too irresistible for them!

2/20/2009

I.O.U. the Friday Five

It's coming, but maybe not until tomorrow. My bum shoulder, in spite of having been adjusted Wednesday, is making a slow recovery (and I'm wondering if I'll be making another trip over the bridge next week to see the dr. again), so I've been minimzing my time on the computer. I have to work both jobs back-to-back today--and in fact, I have to get myself ready to go pretty soon.

Library will be weeding the non-paperback fiction, maybe having by own computer to use (I hope), and more talk of new furniture--can not wait to get that settled.

Bookstore will be working till close in the children's department--I switched with one of the regulars so I didn't have to work yesterday.

Which gave me time to go get this. In spite of how scarily crowded the store was. Can't wait to try it out.

2/16/2009

Fun with Photos

Because (1) my shoulder hurts, (2) not much going on around here, other than massive paperback weeding and mass confusion as to when I'm working at the library, and (3) you guys have been kinda quiet lately, I thought I'd post some pictures for your amusement.




My attempt to make a cosmopolitan succeeded.





My attempt to make this "cheesecake" failed--outside overcooked, inside never set. Maybe I should've used a different pan; mine was bigger than what she used. Tasted O.K., though.
The caramel sauce was worse. It was salty and most likely did not need the cornstarch called for in the recipe. So I decorated with TJ's cat cookies (for humans!) and called it the "Crazy Cat Lady Dessert" in honor of being solo for St. Valentine's Day. (And hey, how did I chip that plate?)




In case that's not legible, it's a 199/200. Stupid chocolate bar sale word problem.
That teaching certification should come through without a problem.
(Have I mentioned I love Picnik?)


2/13/2009

The Friday Five: Lovey-Dovey Edition

A few hours on the cash register yesterday made me a bit cynical about the so-called holiday tomorrow, mostly because I rang up weird stuff like this and this. . . oh, and this (which I think may not be holiday-related). A blind dude bought that last one and I'm still scratching my head.

Anyway, Happy Villain did a great love- I mean, "wuv" post, and I felt a bit inspired to do one of five things I love this week:

1. I love that Jen is blogging again. She's a smartie and has a wicked sense of humor.

2. I love that I got to go here (strong language alert) to blow off some steam about something annoying me to death this week.

3. I love that a co-worker took me out to dinner tonight (yum) to celebrate my new job. And that she validated my overall impression of our workplace and its current culture.

4. I love this site for helping a friend of my aunt adopt a dog, a senior one who needed a lot of loving care. They are so happy together.

5. I love that I'm pretty much O.K. with my plans for working on my writing, chinese food, and cocktails tomorrow night.

Hope you have the kind of weekend you love.

2/12/2009

Please Excuse My Bullets

. . . but I am super-tired and it's the only way this post will have some semblance of organization.

  • Today was a bookstore workday (as opposed to a library workday). In at 10, had a brief power outage around noon--really high winds messing with everything. Lunch wasn't until 2, at which time the manager who does the scheduling gives me one of those slightly sad looks and opens with, "Um, we're really tight with hours right now, and in fact I was having a hard time giving everyone hours. . ." Quickly I wonder if I'm being let go but figure he would've had me sit down in the managers' office instead of both of us standing in the middle of the break room. He quickly added they were keeping me on, but it might be just for one day a week for the next few weeks. Guess it's a good thing I have another job.

  • Worried all afternoon that my patio chairs might be blown off the patio, but came home to find their in their usual spot, surprisingly, and not smashed into someone's car, thankfully.

  • Tomorrow the children's librarian and I are going on a shopping expedition for furniture for the new YA ("teen") section. Not sure if what I have in mind for four chairs and a table will be within budget, but we'll see. When we get back, I'll be trained on the front desk stuff and how to use the circulation system (yay!).

  • After work, one of my new co-workers, my mom's friend who basically tipped me off to the position, is taking me to dinner. Can't wait to hear some of the inside track, because right now it's really confusing--who can tell me to do what, the real protocol in the office, who doesn't get along with whom--you know, the really important stuff. Obviously I'm still going to watch what I say, but it would be nice to get a clearer idea of what goes on there.

  • Got a valentine today. . . from Mom & Dad. I don't know what the scratch-off lottery tix are like in your states, but here in PA the special holiday $2 ones are bound to be losers. Oh well, at least I got a cute kitten card out of the deal.

2/10/2009

Anybody see Heroes Monday night?

If so, did you feel that episode advanced the story more than just a little bit? (Or am I just impatient and this is how a comic book would read?) And what's up with the "boring subplot/storyline"?

2/09/2009

Getting (Re)Acquainted

Apparently the cat (or at least her fluffy bottom) is fooled by the "new" Mac. Thinks it's the same one I've always had.



But it's easy to tell the difference when I turn it on, and I don't mean just the newer operating system. Yesterday I got about 60% of the way through converting the backup files for the first novel (which I realized I saved in sections and not individual chapters, thankfully!), and while I am thrilled at what I am finding, I am still very sad (all right, P.O.'d) as I continue to compile the list of missing sections and edits. "Missing" meaning that they happened in the past year or so, and could be found only on the hard drive that may or may not be recovered.

It sucks that as of right now, they don't exist. The interesting thing is that just this morning one new scene sprang into my head, a new bridge between something I have (sort of, with a few new tweaks I remember fairly well) and something I lost (but for which I may have retained the notes and also of which I remember a few fragments).

Sometimes writing isn't about creating. Sometimes it's about forgetting your old plans, picking up the pieces, and rebuilding.


Um, I Started a Job Today?

After the verbal offer I got on the phone on Saturday from the Youth Services librarian, the plan was to meet Monday (today) afternoon to talk. They haven't gotten a formal offer letter and all the other paperwork from HR yet, and probably won't get them by Monday, so just come in to talk.

I said O.K., see you then. . . and then threw myself into the Mac crisis for the rest of the weekend. Didn't check my school e-mail account (which I keep forgetting to take off my resume'; it's not my most frequently checked account, mostly because it's a pain).

So this afternoon, I walk into the library and head right for the Youth Services librarian's desk. She greets me and then asks me if I got her e-mail. I said no, what did I miss? And she just says that's all right. . .

. . . then starts showing me around the library and introducing me to everyone on staff.

As the new young adult librarian.

Needless to say, the next two hours were surreal. And I am getting paid for those two surreal hours.

I got handed a schedule of events, a W-4 to fill out, and a list of office contacts. She asked if I had any questions, and I said not at the moment--I needed to take some time to sort all the information out.

Like, when exactly did we ever discuss my starting today?

I don't think I'll ask that question when I go in on Wednesday. Or the other question I keep asking myself: What the h*** am I doing?

Immediately after getting out of there, I took care of the errands I'd planned to do after what I thought was a 1/2 hour "talk," just to avoid thinking about what had just happened. When I got home, I had to see that e-mail she'd referenced. There it was, about an hour after we'd talked on the phone, an e-mail saying how excited she was that I was coming on board, and--get this--she assumed I wouldn't have a problem with accumulating hours before the paperwork was in. (Actually, I do--but what's done is done, I guess.)

I haven't even broached the subject with the bookstore yet, but now I guess I'm going to have to. We'll see what happens.

I really want to be happy about this. But right now I have to admit that I am stunned.

I've never been broadsided by an employer before.



2/08/2009

Not with a Ten Foot Pole

A spam e-mail with the subject title "stimulus package benefits."

Gee, wonder what they're offering?

2/07/2009

Which News Do You Want First?

The Good: The computer repair guy came to check the iMac to see what could be done with it after its abrupt shutdown a few weeks ago.

The Bad: The hard drive is dead. He said, "Hear that clicking noise?" I said yes, it was the same noise I kept hearing when I would try to power it up. "That's the 'reader' for the hard drive--kind of like the arm on a record player. It's not working." Dead means that it's going to be really hard to retrieve the data on it. Meaning my writing. I started to sniffle a little bit, but I just really didn't want to cry in front of somebody I didn't know. Especially somebody who'd spent the morning wrangling his three-year-old to help out his wife who is expecting baby #2 in about a month. So I pulled it together and asked about my options.

The Slightly Better: A "clean lab" could try to get to the data on the hard drive, but a really good clean lab recovery would cost at least $500 (which I don't have right now). He said he had a clean lab of his own, that isn't exactly of the highest caliber, but he'd give it a shot. If it worked, it would cost me the operating fees and however many disks used for burning the data.

The Slightly Better, Part II: I have a "new" iMac that is able to read the crappy backup floppies I made about a couple years back. I had enough sense to to buy a floppy drive and to save them as RichText (first things I did right in this whole fiasco). The only thing is, I have to convert the files' extensions manually. . . and I saved each chapter individually. By my estimation, there are at least 45-50 chapters in the first novel and maybe about five of the new one. And probably some other stuff I forgot.

The Really Weird: Computer guy comes in with the box containing the "new" iMac, and does a double-take. What he's got in the box is the identical twin of the "patient on the table" (literally). Although only physically, because the new one has OSX. Computer guy insists that mine can't be a '98, although I am 99% sure I got it as somewhat of a college graduation gift from my parents. He thought 2001--but I moved out of my parents' in March of that year, and I'd had it for a while then. (Other than that, the guy knows his stuff.)

It's really weird to look at the Mac right now, because I still think it's the old one. There's a definite difference, though. This one actually starts up. And it's compatible with my newer printer, which relieves me of trying to get the old (borderline obsolete) one to work.

The printer is especially important because I will be maintaining a hard copy binder in addition to the digital backup.

I may never recover what's on the hard drive, and that loss won't hit me until I start looking at the backups and realize what's missing.

All the changes I've made since then, the stories' maturation. My maturation, as a writer and as a person, really.

I'm trying to stay positive. I've kept a good deal of my writing notes--I even e-mailed myself some that I'd written at work and/or put them on a flash drive. That will go a long way, I hope. I'm hoping that I can remember some of the turns of phrases I've loved so much, and that the ideas that tumbled about in my brain for a while until I could get to the computer are embedded in my mind still, somewhere. . . and that maybe what I come up with, to compensate for the loss, will be even better than what previously occupied the page.


2/06/2009

The Friday Five: Current Faves

I'm counteracting the annoyance I feel with myself for forgetting my cell phone at home this afternoon, thereby missing the call from the library (yes, I think they're going to offer me the job), by talking about things that make me happy--five of them:

1. This new CD arrived today (one of the rare times I took advantage of my employee discount). I've been listening to it at work for, oh, the past month (and that would be a couple times during my shift), and I still love it. I recognized the lead singer right away, because I listened to their debut CD constantly at my desk at my old job (mostly to block out interoffice yammering). The new CD has a more pop-y feel, not to mention an electric guitar this time--the debut CD had only bass (I called them "Coldplay without guitar"). Both are good listening.

2. Obviously, I'm not buying much in the way of "luxury items" lately, but I did have a coupon for this kind of lip color, and I loved the first one (Strawberry Fields!) I got on a recommendation in a magazine, so I got a new color (Mango Tango!). I don't really wear lipstick--I'm more a gloss person, and prefer at least semi-sheer--so these are great. They also taste good, which is important to me. There are certain brands I do not buy because the taste is just. . . well, in the words of my cousin's Irish wife, vomit.

3. Picnik.com--I love having easy to use photo editing that isn't sitting on my already overburdened laptop. As Ashley says in today's post, "I think the editing process of photos can make a meh photo look much, much better." I didn't know what I was missing until my mentor teacher at the high school directed me to this site.

4. My graduation announcements. They look pretty good (after I edited the photo using #3). Not the best picture I've ever taken (and it turns out I'd started having a bad reaction to ibuprofen the morning of the photo--but fortunately I didn't get all red until later), but pretty good. They were done through here. Not looking forward to all the addressing and postage-affixing, but I did want to acknowledge how hard I've been working these past couple years.

5. Coffee. Because the weather is cold, and coffee is warm. It is also hilarious when you're drinking it out of this mug. (This is my warped sense of humor showing, I'm sure.) The mug I have is actually the one with the "white trash background," but the link isn't working for me.

Have a nice, warm, happy weekend!

2/05/2009

Thankful for Muffins and Popsicles

My niece and middle nephew have been staying with my parents this week. . . kids were supposed to go back to their parents today, but this is my brother and SIL we're talking about, so that didn't happen. Mom had a previous engagement with friends tonight, and my dad had a work thing to attend, so she asked me to watch them.

Oh, and to pick up some popsicles on the way--must contain cherry and orange flavors.

The kids were napping when Mom left, so I had to wake them up about a half hour after she was out the door. Niece would not budge--but I was finally able to entice her with a muffin (also pronounced "mussin" when you are four and a half) from the batch of blueberry ones the kids had made with Mom-Mom earlier in the day.

We played and watched a video, then they scarfed down PB & J sandwiches for dinner. Apparently they'd been eating chicken pot pie a few nights in a row, and Niece insisted she must have some of that, too. She's going to be a foot taller by summer at this rate.

After dinner, we played some more, and then they started asking about watching a Thomas video (pronounced "bideo" when you are three). I said they knew Mom-Mom's rule: no video until they picked up their toys. "But we're still playing," they tried to argue.

Enter the leverage: popsicles. I told them I would give popsicles out when cleanup was done. Middle Nephew sprang into action and became a cleaning-up machine. Niece was still off in airy-fairy land, until I said, "Well, I can give Middle Nephew a popsicle, because I see him cleaning up. I'm not sure about Niece yet, though."

That got her going. She was even kinda authoritative about it--what went into which container. The rug finally was visible again.

Two orange popsicles later--one for each--they were happy as clams.

I can't thank you enough, popsicle maker people.

2/04/2009

Recipe Time

Well, I had hoped to get online to post last night after work, but honestly I was just too cold and tired when I got home to do more than drink tea and read with the cat on my lap. It was a little nerve-wracking, standing at the cash wrap at the front of the store and watching the snow come down. The manager was able to convince the regional manager to let us close a whole half-hour early (ooh! /sarcasm), using the argument, "There are four people in the store, and they're studying. We've made [under $200] in the last hour." I don't even think $200 covers our operating expenses for the hour.

So I got to clean 3" of snow off my car and make my way, carefully, home by 10 p.m. I'd say we probably got about 5" or so of snow total. I cleaned more off the car this afternoon. The sun's out, but it's cold.

I wanted to share this pancake recipe I made last Saturday to use up expiring orange juice and soymilk, and a leftover packet of dried cranberries from a bag o' salad, but I couldn't find a link for it. So here is my recipe, adapted from Prevention's Feb 2008 issue, for Cranberry-Orange Oat Pancakes:

1/2 c old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/8 c all-purpose flour
1-1/2 T packed brown sugar (I probably used less, because I don't like things too sweet)
2 t baking powder
1/2 t ground cinnamon (I used Cinnamon Plus)
dash of salt
1 large egg
1/2 c orange juice
1/4 c. milk or milk substitute (I used plain soymilk)
1/4 c canola oil (they said you also could use extra virgin olive oil but that seems weird to me)
about 1/4 c sweetened dried cranberries (I didn't have quite that much, so I threw in a pinch of chocolate chips! Nuts might also be a nice addition.)

Time: about 20-30 min.
Servings: 4 (eight 4" pancakes)

1. Preheat nonstick pan or griddle (if you're lucky enough to have an electric one, heat it to 325-350*F)

2. Whisk together oats, flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl.

3. In medium bowl, whisk together egg, O.J., milk and oil. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just enough to combine.

4. Fold in cranberries (chips, nuts, etc.).

5. Drop just under 1/4 cup of batter onto griddle and cook until edges look dry and bubbles come to the surface (about 3-4 min.). Flip and cook until bottom browns and pancake is cooked through (about 1-2 min.). Repeat until all batter is used up.

I had a little maple syrup with mine. They are very filling, so I'd say eat about two or three and then freeze the rest. They nuke well.

.

Shocking, and Very Sad.

Preeminent Catholic writer and blogger Amy Welborn's husband passed away suddenly. I had the opportunity to meet Amy a few years ago, and she is really nice and down-to-earth. I can't imagine what she's going through right now. Her husband wrote a lot of good books concerning the Catholic faith--one of my favorites is meditations for Eucharistic adoration revolving around Bishop Fulton Sheen's writing--so it is my hope and prayer that he is welcomed into Heaven for having served the Lord very well.

Please pray for Amy and the family (the two youngest kids are little guys still), and do check out Michael Dubruiel's work if you're inclined.

This kind of news just makes my heart hurt.

2/02/2009

Time for an Upbeat Post

After miserable weather the last time I was on campus at my now-alma-mater, it was a really nice day today. I had to hoof it from the parking garage to Career Services, but I didn't have to ask for directions once, yay!

Met with the Career Services guy. He was very personable--a NY transplant (I thought I'd heard an accent on the phone)--and full of information. He very nicely told me my resume' needed work, told me I was on the right track with what I was doing, and gave me a ton more information and things to do.

His opinion was to take the part-time public library job, to get some experience in, while doing "informational interviews" (talk to school librarians and administration to find out more about the field and possible positions). IOW, networking. I wouldn't have to do much to get the network growing.

Just gotta fix up that resume' first. I thought objectives were a thing of the past, but he felt strongly that I should have one on there. They always seemed so lame to me. Any thoughts?

So I left there feeling somewhat better for having spilled all my post-graduation experiences and concerns. Still processing all the advice, but that's O.K. I'll have time while I'm sitting at the bookstore tomorrow night with nothing to do because the snow kept everyone home, ha ha.

After the meeting, I finally got to the school bookstore and got myself some alumni swag: an official hoodie and a decal for my car! (Someday when I have money to throw around I am so getting that "alumni license plate" for my car.) A chivalrous student helped me reach the hook to put back the decal I decided against. The student working the checkout congratulated me on my graduation. Whaddya know, there are some decent students on campus!

So it turned out to be a pretty good day. I'm annoyed with the weather forecast, but at this point I probably should be used to the snow. Man, what an abrupt about-face from the weather today, though.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to get a Bachelorette Kitchenette post up. Stay tuned!

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