Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Now, before you languish and die...

In case any of you have been wondering why I have been so woefully neglectful of you all, please know that I am now in the second-to-last week of the semester, the week when everything is due.

So, I'm busy, you see.

Really, truly.

And I'm not just saying that because I'm trying to avoid you.

It's just that I have to assign classification numbers to a whole buncha stuff. Also, prepare a booktalk set. And.

Huh. I think pretty much everything else is done. But I will refrain from celebrating until after next Tuesday, when my last assignment is due.

But OH, be prepared for a fab blog post after that. You won't be disappointed. Because I will make a bunch of stuff up to make my life sound really, really exciting. Hurrah for fiction!

And now I must retreat back into my hole.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tagorium: Or, What I've Been Reading Lately

Okay. So, as you may have noticed if you've ever tagged me, it takes me forever to get to said tags on my own blog.

For that, I apologize profusely.

So, in an effort to alter my ways, I'm responding to Becca's tag. (Thanks, Becca!)

1. Pick up the nearest book (at least 123 pages)
2. Turn to page 123
3. Find the 5th sentence
4. Post the 5th sentence on your blog
5. Tag 5 people

The nearest book is, I kid you not, Introduction to Cataloging and Classification (10th ed.), by Arlene G. Taylor. Which is a shame, because I've been reading all these juicy YA books lately.

The 5th sentence on the 123rd page reads: "Playing times are given, as in the rule for sound recordings." Uh. That's pretty boring. Basically, it's talking about what kind of information you need to include when you're creating a catalog record for different types of items, in this case a DVD (aka in the library world as 'videodisc'). So, you'd include information about playing time when you create your catalog record.


Now, I tag (if you have time, but ONLY if you have time): Kim, Nerd Goddess, Pat, Becky, and Mom.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Two things:

First, have you noticed how the way people write and the way people talk don't always coincide? I mean, I think of myself and see the way I put words together while speaking to someone face to face, and I so often stumble and backtrack and hesitate. While, for some reason, when I sit down to write something, I'm usually able to at least approximate how I feel. I wonder why it's so different. I wonder how I can have these two different voices that are both somehow mine; it makes me wonder which is my real voice.

The second thing is this: it doesn't matter how often you're reminded that wishing for something doesn't change reality; there's always something convincing about the power of longing when it comes over you, as though it should bend the world around you until it's shaped to the form you wish it. You become convinced that there's something to it, that all that power must change some corner of the world and surpise you with goodness.

Once, when I was very young, I drew a picture of a fantastical animal. I named it, and wrote the name beneath the drawing. I became convinced within myself that if I just remembered to put the picture into our mailbox on my birthday, that animal would become real, and would come to me and be my own forever and ever. Of course, when my birthday came, I forgot about the drawing amidst all the festivities of the day. And afterwards I always wondered what would have happened if I had left the drawing in the mailbox.

Longing is like that; it convinces you that reality must somehow conform itself to the shape of your hope. And then it doesn't. And you remember that you really are just one solitary human being, whose feelings, though powerful and real to you, are confined wholly within your own frame, that others cannot sense them, and that the world must function according to its own rules, and cannot change itself for one individual.

What a selfish thing it is to have these feelings. What a selfish and foolish and vain and wonderful thing.

And I still can't help hoping that I'll walk around the corner someday and see that strange and beautiful and completely make-believe animal waiting just for me. I know I never will, but it doesn't change the longing. Not even a little.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What guilt will drive you to:

Did you know that feeling guilty will drive you to do all sorts of things?

Like, for instance, typing something into a post when you have absolutely nothing to say?

Nothing except, perhaps, that I think I try to talk like I'm more wise than I really am. Because I get all philosophical (not real-philosophical; only Lizardbreath-style, which usually ends up being as philosophical as toast, which, while delicious, does not necessarily help you understand the world any better) and write things, thinking I'm saying something meaningful and insightful and really I'm just stuck here trying to figure things out and mostly changing my mind while still wanting to talk about whatever and wherever my opinion is at the moment.

I'm like a mixed-up bundle of me-ness, which often just doesn't feel like it's quite good enough.


Daffodils are wonderfully yellow.

And library school is awesome.

Especially when I'm only three weeks away from summer break.

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's all such a mix, isn't it?

So, I could use a swear-word to describe yesterday, but since the readership of my blog consists of people who would probably not want to read the word, I will refrain.

But oh, was it ever that word.

I talked to my boss in the morning and realized that I had holy-hecka messed up at work the previous evening, (BAD), so of course I felt horrible about that, and then later that evening I spent from about 7 or 8pm until 3am this morning working on an assignment that was due at 8am. My neck ached, I nearly fell asleep at the computer, and I think I hallucinated something about spiders that turned into library patrons (not really).

Yesterday was also FABULOUS.

Before talking to my boss at work, I had a chance to participate in a national book drop for teens in hospitals (and medical clinics) sponsored by YALSA. One of my professors asked for volunteers, so the five of us (four students and the professor) went down to a local adolescent clinic to drop off several boxes, bags, and a cart full of books. It was, to be frank, quite awesome. (Even though I did have to be in some pictures. Urgh.) Also, the guy-who-was-once-bearded came and he was very nice, but then I was all sad because he's not LDS and thus It Can Never Be.

The best part of all this, though, was that as we walked back to campus (the clinic was only about a 15-minute walk away), I had the chance to talk with my professor, who has this vast amount of experience working directly in the field, teaching in the field, and just generally being this amazing advocate in the field of services to youth. She's pretty much my hero, now. Later that day, when I was at school listening to a faculty candidate give a lecture, that professor came and sat next to me. I felt so priviliged! (Haha! I feel like I have a teacher crush, except it's not really a crush, just a 'I really like this teacher' feeling.) Yeah. I'm kind of a nerd.

Um. And then there was another reason why the day was fabulous, which took place after I finished the assignment at 3am, but I won't go into that.

So, then, this morning, I walked to class, feeling at one with the world, with the pains of the day before safely buffered by 5 1/2 hours of sleep, loving the breeze, drinking in deep draughts of the blossom-laden world. Then I got to class.

And I remembered that I was supposed to bring snacks to class today.

And that the nearest grocery store was a good 10-minute brisk walk away. And that class was going to start in 15 minutes.

So, I briskly made my way to the store and briskly made my way back with a bag of Sun Chips mashed into my backpack, and made it to my seat just in time to catch most of The Dewey Rap.

And I realized that life is just all mixed up.

I don't mean to say that life is crazy confusing (although it can be); what I'm saying is that it's a hodgepodge, a jumble, a clothing rack at a discount store, where you'll find the designer jeans next to a mumu your grandmother would scorn.

So maybe being happy really does mean learning to pick the little pieces of life that are enjoyable, and choosing to learn from the bad parts, while still not letting them make us unhappy. Or maybe even just choosing to be happy, whether life throws you librarians rapping about classification systems, or yet another broken fingernail.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

So, do you sudoku?

Oh, the wiles of the internet. How it creates these things that suck us into its little black holey pit of wasted time. (Actually, my roommate and I talked about the internet and how time seems to go faster when one is on it, so we determined that the internet is really a black hole, and as you accelerate towards it, outside time (the rest of the world) seems to go faster and faster. (Apologies to Einstein for a really, really bad (and silly) interpretation of his ideas.))


My point is that I just discovered a new way to waste time: Sudoku online.

Don't follow that link! DON'T--

Ack. Too late.

I'm so sorry.

(But you do feel a little smarter when you get a puzzle all put together, so it's kind of a good thing, right?)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Don't you love having jokes with yourself?

I do it all the time. I'll be walking along, and then I'll think something, and then joke about it to myself, and then laugh, all internally.

I really am my own best friend!

Like today:

Ever since reading it at the elementary school library where I volunteer weekly, I've wanted to add The Shrinking of Treehorn to my Amazon wishlist, but kept forgetting. Like, every single blasted week. I'd come across it while shelving and think, "BLAST! There's The Shrinking of Treehorn. I still haven't added it to my wishlist." Then today, oh joy of joys, I remembered it, simply because I was looking up pictures by Edward Gorey (he was the illustrator for The Shrinking of Treehorn) to add to a presentation on the mystery genre.

So, I sent myself the following email:

Subject: Treehorn!

The Shrinking of Treehorn!


This is, of course, a reference to the classic Sesame Street segment, "A loaf of bread." Which you can watch here, because I'm generous like that.

Yeah. So, the jokeness of this doesn't seem so funny now that I've written it all down. But at least you'll understand me if I sometimes murmur to myself, "A loaf of bread, a container of milk, and a stick of butter." That thing will be in my head for always. (Also, I love that you can find almost anything on YouTube.)

Comment panic

So, I have this thing I do in class sometimes.

The professor is standing up there, talking about something important (like video games in libraries--it's a serious subject, people!) and then she asks a question of the class.

And the class just kind of sits there. Squirming.

And then I get this panicky feeling, like all the air is going out of the room and the only way to get air back into the room is to say something, so I do and...

I say something really dumb.

I, in fact, make a dumb comment. Or ask a stupid question (and no matter what your teachers tell you, they really do exist).

The worst part is that once you've started saying a dumb comment and you recognize it, you can't really stop; you just feel like you have to keep on going, as if you just keep talking somehow the words will twist themselves about and form the structure of a good comment, a smart comment, a wow, she's such a great library student comment.

And you end up in even more of a train wreck than where you started.

Ach, the agonies of studenthood.

(But really, I'm loving it.)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

It's funny...

You never really hear things at General Conference that you haven't heard before.

And yet, you still feel rather more enlightened than not when you come away from any given session, a little wiser, a little improved.

However this whole thing works, I think it's wonderful.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Is it okay to just give up?

Lately I've read a lot of excellent blog posts about the whole LDS singlehood dating situation. Along with attendant comments, these posts offer a lot of insight into the problems, pains, hopes and frustrations all tied up in LDS dating life.

And let me tell you: it ain't pretty.

The other night, my roommate and I had a member of our ward over and the three of us talked together for hours about the things that are wrong (like really, deeply wrong) with LDS dating culture. I realized during the discussion just how much pain young single adults feel about this. I mean, I know I've felt pain about this before, and I'm sure I'll feel pained again, but this talk made me realize that pretty much all of us are really dealing with some really wrenching feelings, here. There's a lot, a LOT, of deep-rooted unhappiness. Or rather... It's not really unhappiness, just... Just pain. That's the only word that really fits well.

And, I don't know; I keep reading these posts and comments about trying hard and pursuing happiness and working on life plans while still at the same time retaining hope that your someone is still out there, that somehow with all the things that are messed up about the whole dating culture, you'll find each other, get to know each other well enough to have a friendship and fall in love and you'll get married and at last move out of the single state (into the, in some ways, way more complicated and difficult (but also wonderful) marriage state). These people who are writing really haven't given up hope that it will still happen for them.

Sometimes, I feel so old. Not old like a senior citizen; not by any means. I'm turning 30 this year, but it doesn't mean I'm getting into retirement age. But honestly, the thought of starting a marriage and family at this time in my life, with me being who I am: shy and reluctant to talk to people and awkward and too too flawed and really not remarkably attractive, I just...

Guys, I just don't see it happening.

I just don't.

And the thing is, I don't feel too sad or bitter about it or anything, so I don't want you to think I'm typing this while at the same time sobbing into my keyboard.

The way I'm approaching it now is this: It's just easier now to not hope for a marriage in this life. It means that I don't have to deal with the pain of fiercely expecting something that hasn't happened yet and doesn't show a real strong likelihood of happening at all. I think that's where a lot of the pain comes in: when your expectations of how life should be and how life really is are really disparate.

I actually feel pretty calm about this, like I'm taking a step forward. And I want to feel that it's okay to feel this way, that I don't have to keep up the pretense of hoping just so I can feel like I'm being a righteous person.

I love what I'm doing; I love it with an unanticipated strength. I feel that I've found my calling in life, or at least a calling. And if I never do get to have children of my own, at least I can help encourage the ones I meet to feel a love for learning about the world around them, to help them want to explore unfamiliar worlds, to get behind the eyes of people who live in books, to reach out and become part of a community of individuals who are interested in making the world better for everyone in it.

And I want that to be okay. And I want that to be enough. And I want to be able to say, "If these blessings come, I will gladly accept them. But if not, I will still trust in the Lord."

I'm not saying that every young single adult should give up any hope of marriage--that they'll be happier that way. I still hope that the majority of them will go on to marry and have children and experience those unique joys.

But not everyone gets the chance to marry.

And for those of us who never do, I want to be able to say that our lives are still okay. And it's still okay for us to be perfectly happy with them.

P.S. Please, please, please don't be sad if you read this post. I'm not. Really and truly. And that's why I wanted to write it.