8/29/2009

And Because I Saw Many Presentations This Week

This presentation came to mind. Often when I was getting irritated by WordArt (ew). It ought to be mandatory viewing before anyone ever creates a single slide.

8/28/2009

What the Friday Five?

O.K., I'm a little bleary-eyed from this week: started one job where I had to get up early three days in a row, while working at night for the job I'm leaving. Left tonight, actually. Being bleary-eyed makes me a little slow on the uptake for sure, but I had five moments this week that stopped me in my tracks:

1. Philly has no money. Philly tries to get more money by raising parking rates. Philly fails. (On second thought, maybe I shouldn't be surprised by that.)

2. I admit it: my thoughts still turn on occasion to the librarian action figure. That looks like Janet Reno. And I keep cracking up because maybe that's why conversation stops and people look puzzled when I tell them what I do for a living nowadays.

3. One of my orientation presenters opened with this hilarious SNL clip. It was a good icebreaker for a presentation on thinking skills--although we did wind up answering "France?" every time he asked a question after that. Not to mention snickering.

4. Interestingly, the entire orientation ended with this parody (sort of) video created by another school district in the country. (reference--which I didn't know--track 1.) It was even funnier watching it while sitting next to a music teacher. Who decided she loved the teacher in the orange shirt the most. I think we all did!

5. The best one yet happened tonight: Occasionally, I treat myself to some nice dark chocolate. The Chocolove bars are neat because not only are the dark chocolate ones milk-free, they have love poetry printed inside the wrappers. Usually romantic poetry. I say usually because sometimes their efforts to find romantic poems in the public domain are a bit misguided. So imagine my surprise when I unwrap the Rich Dark Chocolate Bar for a few squares and start reading Shakespeare's Sonnet 151. Mid-chew of square #1, I pause.
Um, am I reading about cheating and innuendo?
(I'm probably the only person who consults a Shakespeare textbook while eating dessert.) Let's see. . . footnotes, footnotes. . . "rising" is a pun for- yup. These are the "dark lady" ones. Cheating and innuendo it is.

I'd call my mom to thank her for my college education, but she might be horrified to learn how I used it tonight.



Wishing you a weekend full of pleasant surprises. . .

8/26/2009

A Quick Post Between Jobs

I'm about to go load four cases of soda into my car, but before I do. . . Orientation was pretty good today. I realized how inexperienced I am next to practically everyone else there, but that's O.K. for now. All the other "new" teachers/nurses/guidance counselors were friendly.

There was a near-miss with my crazy ex-roommate at lunch (funny, I didn't think she ate lunch) but she and her lunch companion quickly cleared their table and left the restaurant. I don't care who hears about me from her because whatever she gleaned is probably all wrong, and I don't speak to anybody associated with her anymore, anyway. Whatever.

But just weird that it happened. Odds-defyingly weird.

Now for some fun at the library.

Did I mention I am tired???

8/25/2009

T-minus About 8 Hours

So let's see. . .

I have orientation for my new job at 7:30 a.m.,

I'm sitting at the computer with toe-separators jammed on my feet while I hope my polish (a) won't smudge and (b) isn't a questionable color,

Not exactly sure what I'm wearing tomorrow,

Or whether I need to bring a lunch (Luna bar in tote it is!),

Wondering what my hair's gonna feel like doing tomorrow morning--and it's ID picture day,

But really,


really,


REALLY,


hoping that I won't feel like a weirdo being the only librarian at orientation.



And that the other new teachers will be friendly.

8/21/2009

The Happiness-Focused Friday Five

I really did plan to get up early to post the Friday Five before I had to run errands and go to the library. Unfortunately, my mind was racing at bedtime, yet again, and I slept horribly. . . meaning I wasn't moving too quickly this morning.

But that's O.K., because it made me rethink what I'd planned for the Friday Five and this is better. Well, I'm not so sure about better for you, my blogfriends, but better for me. I just have to focus on the happy stuff because there's nothing else to do with all the petty, stupid and/or sad stuff thrown my way lately. And today was loaded with it. So here are five things that made me very happy this week.

1. OvationTV has been doing "The Good, the Bard, & the Ugly" all week long. I missed a few of the films between work and traveling, but Twelfth Night gives me fond memories of having seen it performed on stage down in Younger Sister's neck of the woods. It also makes me think of Shakespeare fans ("More than a fan--we're involved!"--Mandella) like Jen.

2. As stated earlier, readers may yawn, but right before I left for work, I discovered water pouring onto the kitchen floor from the doors of the cabinet under the sink. Every time water went down the drain, it was leaking out of. . . something. . . I didn't know if it was the pipe or the disposal or what.
11:55 on a Friday, the apartment manager is at lunch, and what were the odds it was something that didn't have to wait until Monday to get fixed? So I stopped the dishwasher I'd just started (hey! good idea, kid! it drains into there!) and recorded a plaintive message on the leasing manager's voice mail. Then I screamed. And left for work.
Bless his heart, the maintenance guy fixed everything and possibly tried to call my work to let me know it was O.K. (I don't know if someone had him on hold too long or what but when I picked up the line nobody was there.) So when I got home and saw the maintenance tag on the door I was super happy that I didn't have to wash dishes in the bathtub.

3. My high school classmate did very well on Top Chef this week! Not the elimination challenge winner but great showing!

4. Cute baby alert! Blogger (and frequent commenter here) Lindsay is an aunt now! Yay! And here's one more cute baby while I'm on the subject!

5. Sheila's sister has a great cover songs project going. So far my favorites have been "Opposites Attract" and, um, Grover as Heart.

I'm off to rest so I can sell (used books!) this weekend. Happy weekend, everyone.

8/17/2009

So Far It's Going Over O.K.

The director, fresh from his vacation, was in. His reaction to the resignation letter?

Pretty supportive. He wasn't surprised, for two reasons: First, it's what I'd studied to do, truly. And. . . he said I was good.

That was so nice. I mean, I came in with little experience--but ready to work--and sometimes I felt as if my inexperience really showed.

Of course, he asked if I'd told the head of children's services. I said no, that I hadn't been sure of the protocol but I'd presumed I should notify him first. (I mean, seriously? It's not the sort of thing one can ask around about, exactly.) She was out for the afternoon but returning later for a meeting, so he said he'd tell her. (He must've been reading the "please, please don't make me" plea in my eyes.)

With the stipulation that I send her an e-mail to let her know I'd told him.

It was hard to write for too many reasons to enumerate, but I will say that having the reference librarian's desk right next to mine made it difficult. So did the fact that anyone looking for hardcover YA fiction by authors PAO through SAB could look over the low shelf and over my shoulder. (I also actually, you know, helped library patrons and stuff while I was trying to type. I had an adorable 9th grader who needed help with print resources for a current events paper. Man, in my day, it was enough to hit an incoming freshman with girl-centric summer reading assignments.) But I did get it done and hit "Send."

Ohhhh yeah. That news will have had a day and a half to spread by the time I'm back in there.

I'm wondering if I should bring in a peace offering. Like pie.

Warming up the Writing Muscles

O.K., so it's 1:49 on a Monday afternoon and I am about to work on what I hope is the last resignation letter I have to write for a long time.

It's pretty much the launching point for what seems like a crazy week:

* I'm meeting with the potential host of the big end-of-summer-reading thing for the teens tonight;

* last day of work at the bookstore tomorrow;

* a trip to North Jersey later in the week;

* oh, yeah--before that I have to knock out an article for the library's regular newspaper column;

* making do with however many teens show up to help with the book sale;

* and did I mention the apartment management is shutting off the water for the most the day Tuesday & Wednesday to do work? Fantastic!

All these events are pretty much the reason I camped out in my parents' backyard on Saturday (with sunscreen) and finished Along for the Ride. I have thoughts on it but no time now! (O.K., I can say at the very least how weird the cover looks to me.) I also have thoughts on the season premiere of Mad Men but out of fairness to Maggie I'll wait on that, too.

Gonna go finish off that letter now. I hope it goes over all right.

8/15/2009

The Early Saturday Five

Hmmm, maybe I couldn't sleep because my subconscious knew I'd forgotten the Friday Five. Dunno. Or maybe it's all this work transition stuff.

Yesterday was just busy. After dashing to the post office to make sure I returned the cat's drinking fountain in time to get a refund (with an apologetic "Sorry she didn't like it!" on the return slip), I spent the afternoon at the library, trying to coordinate help for the upcoming book sale and trying not to break into a sweat when the children's librarian pulls up a chair next to my desk and asks, "So, after the big event at the end of the month, what are your plans for the Fall?" What, do I have that "new job" smell? Oh, she means my plans for the YA stuff. . . I told her about the events I've been trying to line up-and truly I do want to set up as much as possible by the end of the month--but under my cool facade my heart was racing. Professionalism is hard but it really is the right thing to do, to wait until the director returns from vacation on Monday. It's not the best timing, because I know there's practically a line of people waiting to hit him with stuff, so I feel bad. But whaddya gonna do?

Not sleep, apparently. Yet I'm pretty sure I couldn't fall asleep last night because I was happy.

Anyway, let's get to the No-Longer-Friday Five: Five things that totally cracked me up this week:

1. There's a Silent G in "Trench." Who knew?

2. O.K., so let me preface this by saying it was sad that Les Paul died. You have to admit, he lived a full life. I had no idea how much stuff he invented until I happened to be driving around and put on the public radio station. Kathy O'Connell, the host of Kids' Corner, was talking about him in a way for kids to understand who he was and appreciate what he did. At one point, though, she got a little worked up, as she is wont, but she always is fully aware and just has this way of delivery: "He invented the EIGHT TRACK. [without missing a beat] Kids, that means absolutely nothing to you, but you gotta believe me, that's important. . ." I nearly drove off the road laughing.

3. It also cracked me up that one of the songs up for winner of the nightly music challenge was Weird Al Yankovic's "I Love Rocky Road." (It won--isn't it great that another generation loves his early stuff?) I'm not sure why he doesn't have this video on his own YouTube channel!

4. Not sure if I missed it when it aired during Season 3, but "Slapsgiving" was probably the funniest episode of "How I Met Your Mother" that season. I've been renting the discs from the video store thanks to a really cheap offer.

5. My mom sent me a link to this Librarian action figure. I told Mom it looks like Janet Reno. I've never seen my mom write back in caps hysterically like that before.

Well, would you look at that--time for breakfast! Hope you all enjoy what's left of the weekend.



8/14/2009

Yet Another Eagles Fan's Opinion

To quote the head of my former office pool, "Are they freakin' kidding me?"

I get that they're stressing the whole "second chance" thing, but cruelty to animals is pretty much a deal-breaker for me. (My one ex's dad was cruel to the family dog and it was a red flag I wish I'd acknowledged sooner.)

If they're going to continue with this ridiculous signing, then I demand 10,000 hours of service to the Philly SPCA, PhillyPAWS, the Phila Humane Society, et al. By the entire Eagles organization.

UPDATE 08/15/2009: While I was listening to the radio in the car this morning, one of the local (sort of) radio stations was advertising these t-shirts. Now that's the way to turn things into a positive. Er, sort of.






8/11/2009

Announcing the Winner(s)

Before any more time passes, I wanted to make good on my promise that I was giving something away for the little haiku contest from a previous Friday Five. Things got a bit frazzled last week so I spaced out on the choosing.

To be honest, I enjoyed everyone's responses (and I imagine Tracey's blogger-eaten ones were quite good). So in all fairness I'm going to take the first submitted--Cullen's--and declare him the winner. Congrats, Cullen! Please e-mail me your address so I can send you something I hope you'll enjoy.

Also, I wanted to declare Charli the runner-up. If I can send a little something to your part of the world, I'm gonna try. So do e-mail me your address, too, please.

That was a lot of fun. Giving away stuff is fun. (Uh, anybody want all the papers on my desk?)

8/07/2009

From the Desk of the Friday Five

1. To the Library:

Please stop having a "dark cloud" or whatever it is that is stifling your mojo. Swamped basement, delays on the promised equipment for the children's thing tomorrow, half my teen board didn't show up for today's meeting, my being locked out of the upstairs by my co-workers while I was in said meeting--please clear it up before we start getting weirdo calls like poor H.V. (Warning: NSFW!).

2. To This Week's Paycheck:

The 24 hours we've spent together have been really special. Please give my love to phone/tv/internet and the credit card when you see them.

3. To Mr. Microwave:

Please, please, please--make the turntable start working again. (Don't make me replace you.)

4. To the Overprotective Mom of One of the Teen Board's Members:

Stop making excuses for your kid, or stop accepting them or whatever. Claiming stomachaches all the time is what little kids do when they can't express feelings. Maybe sixth grade is a bit too young to get involved with the teens. That's O.K.--there are plenty of middle/high school years ahead. Blaming me for your child's not wanting to attend an event? Not O.K.

5. To the Weather:

Thanks for being so lovely today! Please consider staying for the rest of summer.



To the blogreaders: Have a great weekend!!!



Stay Tuned for the Friday Five

On a bit of a break from work--had to go in early to help with a story time/character appearance in the absence of both children's librarians. It went well but my gosh there is so much other crazy stuff going on in that place. I'm getting ready to head back for my regularly scheduled afternoon activities, but today's Friday Five is leaning towards being a hit list of sorts.

Sometimes life isn't all unicorns and rainbows, y'know? (But at least on a good note, it appears the paycheck I received today is correct. Yippee!)

8/05/2009

Another '90s Fashion I Forgot

I forgot to note in my other post that many of the (fashionable '90s) girls in the previously mentioned video I had to watch for my new job were wearing choker necklaces. I had a couple of different styles that I wore my freshman year of college. Two that I remember were (1) black velvet with a silver heart pendant and (2) faux leather with a green and gold enamel pendant. The latter was bought at Kmart.

Yup, Kmart--the biggest thing going in that sleepy little town. (No longer true.)

For fun I did a little search, and this hilarious piece came up, asserting that last December "Velvet chokers [were] the height of a fashion craze capturing the hearts of women the world over."

I didn't get any in my Christmas stocking--did you? Was your crazed, captured heart broken?

Blog Advisory

Word verification in the comments is turned back on, but please let me know if there are any problems commenting, O.K.?

8/03/2009

They've Got My Signature

This morning, after I drove over some seriously storm-torn roads, I signed my paperwork for my new job. I had to bring so much stuff with me- Wait a sec, BRB. . .

[leaves to get Social Security card out of wallet and put back into safe place. That is not something one should carry around on one's person.]

. . . where was I? Right. I had to bring so much stuff with me that I got a bit shaky on the way there, worried that I had forgotten something, or that what I had brought wasn't sufficient. I already knew that my official transcripts wouldn't be there, because my undergrad was taking its sweet time and not responding to my inquiries--although thankfully Mom recalled that she'd put the copy I'd received right after graduation into the safe deposit box (yay!) so at least I had one they could view and copy. I paid to have an official transcript from my master's program expedited there, but the mail hadn't arrived yet at that time of the morning.

So they gave me the Barry Bonds treatment on my agreement. Yup, there was an asterisk next to my pay, pending proof that I actually do have my master's degree. (Well, heck, I could've brought the darn thing in but the frame is huge.)

Doesn't it naturally follow that a couple hours later, I got a phone call from the HR office letting me know that my graduate transcript had arrived? Sheesh.

While one of the nice HR people was photocopying the stack of papers I brought in (physical, TB test results, criminal clearances except of course the one that will show up in the mail tomorrow, driver's license, address change to license, etc., do you get that I'm not exaggerating when I say "stack"?), I watched a video about sexual harrassment.

Or should I say video that gave me flashbacks to my high school days. Not because of the content. (I avoided that whole route by going to an all-girls' school, silly.) No, it was the clothing and hairstyles (typified on this show). Dark lipstick, Fly Girl outfits (one girl was a teenage version of Ms. Lopez), square-neck floral-print tops, broomstick skirts, babydoll dresses--I swear the one student (the one who had rumors spread about her by this guy she refused to date even though he'd cornered the poor dear several times) had on an outfit almost exactly the same as one I wore my freshman year of college. That just tickled me so much I almost had a hard time paying attention to the message of the video. (Sexual harrassment is bad, m'kay?)

So I think they're excited to have me aboard. I'm excited, too. A living wage, benefits, a nice facility. . . doing what I've been studying and planning and working hard to do.

Pinch me, please.



Somebody Burn Some Sage in This Building

I hear that even some other parts of the country reported on how badly southeastern PA got hit with storms yesterday. It's true. (Nothing like storm damage to take our minds of the state budget mess and the Philly government's "give us money or we'll lay off police" threats.)

I spent the afternoon at the library contacting my teen reading buddies to tell them tonight's event was canceled, and rescuing the prizes for our big end-of-summer-reading bash so they didn't stink. I had to lay cardboard down to get across it or else splash around. The carpet in the basement is soaked and caked with mud, pretty much all the way across, from all the rainwater that came in. (Drainage probably will be the first thing modified when renovations start next year, I'm guessing). And the horrible stench traveled up the stairs so basically anyone walking across the juvenile department could smell it. Gross.

Because the library's maintenance is handled by the local government, we're on a waiting list to get things taken care of. The wait means that we had to cancel a number of events that were supposed to take place in the basement, at least for the first half of this week. The event I'm having for the teens this weekend might or might not happen, so being in this sort of limbo screwed up my list of things to get done when I was in. And actually, things were already screwed up because I went in an hour earlier to help contact all the people about cancellations.

So that was a bit of a bummer. Coming on the heels of the bummer that happened Friday morning when the IT person from the main branch of the library fell down those now-smelly steps while carrying a server. It happened before I came in, but I heard it was a hard tumble down the steps. So. . . injured IT person, no server work (and no memory upgrade on my computer, as had been planned also), squishy mud in the smelly basement, events canceled. This library has attracted some seriously bad mojo or something.
Or maybe the library knows I'm leaving and that I went to sign my papers this morning.

That's one ticked off library..