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My phone rang a moment ago, and instead of dismissing the call immediately, I found myself laughing and dancing in my chair. You see, shortly after upgrading to the iPhone 5, I changed my ringtone to Gangnam Style. It’s little things like this that bring moments of joy to an otherwise quiet existence. No, Time Warner Cable, I don’t want to take a survey.

So, why Gangnam Style? Because I like goofy shit, that’s why. The absurdity of that video is enough to turn this grumpy cat’s frown upside down.

Speaking of goofy shit, I saw a poster on campus for a new student organization, the Korean Wave Club. It’s more than just Gangnam Style, the poster read, yet the only graphic on it was a cartoon Psy. Seems everyone is getting in on this Korean wave stuff. House of China, a local Chinese buffet, made their own version of Gangnam Style in the name of advertising. I’m not sure how I feel about House of China Style. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, considering their motto boasts the use of choresterol free oil.

cupcakesMy little girl turned 8 on Tuesday. I have an 8-year-old. When did that happen? Her awesomeness multiplies daily.

I don’t have much to say right now. I could go on about all the bullshit going on at work and how miserable and angry I am as I do my work, gauging time by the number of tracks delivered to my ears via my fantastic new headphones. I could write about the fire safety training session I just left, and how the university expects us to stay behind in a burning building with a handicapped individual rather than get the fuck out of there. I don’t even feel compelled to make commentary the many terrible stories I’ve read in the news lately.

Instead, I’ll share a picture of the cupcakes my sister made for the squid. They were delicious! Sidney got the one thing she wanted for her birthday, and a bunch of other stuff. Most importantly, she’s happy, and that makes me happy.

brain for dummiesMy friend and I have been playing the “for dummies” game for ages. Spanning topics such as religion, raising smart kids, and teaching skills, it is clear that the game will remain entertaining as long as the For Dummies franchise continues. I am not happy with my job lately, but there is at least entertainment value in some of the things that come across my desk.

for dummiesThe publishers are getting a bit lazy though. The title pictured (left) is a pretty much a rip of the Android App Store. I get that those books are aimed at a specific audience, but I suspect that even they are scratching their heads over this one. But redundancy makes money. If an academic library purchased such a title, I’m sure there are plenty individuals willing to do the same.

Maybe it’s my library background that that sways me from the For Dummies books. Or maybe it stems from the same reasoning that tells me not to use Google or Wikipedia to search for academic sources. I don’t know.

This post is for dummies.

nojobforyouFor the second time in three months, I got my hopes up over the prospect of a new job. Twice, I went through the application and interview process. Twice, I left the interview feeling quite positive, like maybe for once in my life something would just fucking happen for me. Yeah, yeah, I know. Life doesn’t work that way. Indulge me.

The first position was in my own department, one for which I am well qualified. When administration decided to reopen the position for applications, I knew I was out, but my boss insisted otherwise. My coworker then applied and was offered the position. I watch her struggle every day. And now that her previous position is filled, I watch her delegate some of her work to the new person, just as the previous woman did to me.

The second position is in our archives department. Archives is where library dreams are made. Anyone who enjoys thumbing through musty old books and documents and coming up with theories about the people who wrote them would agree. Archives is where the real research begins. I wanted this position not for the miniscule pay increase, but for the romance.

If archives is where dreams are made, I can safely say that acquisitions is where dreams die. Nearly every new book that comes to the library goes through my hands, but there’s a certain sadness about knowing that my hands may be the last to open these shiny new tomes for a long time. That, combined with the monotony of data entry and accounting makes for a dreary outlook.

I am convinced that my coworker was chosen for the first position because she has seniority. Do I have to work here another 10 years before I get a promotion? I don’t intend to stick around long enough to find out. The library did job audits last month to determine whether certain positions should be upgraded because the current duties do not match the job descriptions on file. My boss is optimistic about mine, but his optimism does not have a good track record. Maybe he’s just telling me what I need to hear so I won’t continue looking elsewhere. My coworker could barely hide her joy when I told her that someone else had been selected. She told me how she’d been talking to bossman about how important it was that they not lose me. Who else did she talk to? Did that make any difference?

“Honesty is the cruelest game of all, because not only can you hurt someone – and hurt them to the bone – you can feel self-righteous about it at the same time.” – Dave Van Ronk

Facebook, and other social media websites, have become little more than an unending source of reasons to be angry at the world spiked with small moments of amusement. Life is like a bowl of dicks, a real friend doesn’t dip into your bowl, that’s my opinion, etc. Not an hour goes by without someone posting an image not unlike the one above, dumb shit masquerading as something deep and meaningful.

“There’s one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he’s crooked.” ― Mark Twain

Honesty, along with blunt and opinion, is a word that is too often thrown around by people who feel the need to justify their shitty attitudes. They are the same people who proudly claim a negative label, but get offended when someone agrees. They question your honesty, but theirs is infallible and you are stupid and insulting to insinuate otherwise. They speak without regard to anyone’s feelings but their own, but you are the one being selfish.

This is a continuation of a draft written sometime last year. The draft included the image, first quote, and first sentence. It is a draft I’ve revisited many times, most recently in August. I sat here staring at it after hitting publish yesterday, trying to decide whether to scrap it or keep going. Looking at it released a flood of negativity over me, but the fact that I kept coming back made it impossible to abandon. It doesn’t even matter that after 200 words, all I’ve really said is that I’ve thought about stuff. That needed to be said.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ― Ernest Hemingway

I was once told that words are meaningless. Falser words were never spoken, but that is a story for another time.

Yeah, it’s over now
But I can breathe somehow

I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last few years, many of these lessons only sinking in very recently. I spent the better part of three years beating myself up, telling those closest to me that I’m a bad mom, bad friend, and a terrible girlfriend. I’m a fuck-up, I’d say. I’m broken. You’re alright, it’s me. But you know what? I am none of these things. I am not broken. I admit to my many faults and shortcomings in all respects, but I am not broken and I am done allowing myself to feel that way.

The previous post was a message to someone who would become an important part of my life. Two years later, my words read like a message to my future (current) self.

I have charged my homie with the task of kicking my ass when I start to neglect this blog again. My writing will become less disjointed as I get back into it. Probably.

My future is shrouded in dark wilderness
Sunshine is far away, clouds linger on

“How’d you sleep, Sidneypie?” I asked as the squid and I began the short walk from the elementary school parking lot to her kindergarten classroom.

She quit playing with her loose tooth, took my hand, and said, “I had bad dreams.”

You and me both, I thought, the words long distance friend resonating in my mind. I asked her to describe them to me, and she told me about monsters with whom she wanted to be friendly and ghostes, which she has been afraid of lately.

“Ghosts aren’t real. They can’t hurt you,” I replied in my best nurturing motherly tone.

She tightened her grip on my hand and said, “In my dreams they are.”

For years before Sidney came along, the child in my life was a blonde haired, brown eyed boy who only existed to be put through every imaginable torment and death in a series of recurring nightmares. This beautiful little boy was mine, I knew that much, but his origin was a mystery to me. At the time, it frightened me enough to have written off even the very idea of having children. Now I see it as a manifestation of thoughts and fears that have plagued me and shaped my very existence for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t the child or even his nightly losing battle against mortality that stuck with me. It wasn’t even about my own mortality. It was about a fear of being alone, despite my natural propensity toward solitude. It was about the fear that nothing is real, that everything good and beautiful will be torn away from me, and that nothing gold can stay.

I never really let go of that fear. I don’t think anyone really does, but if properly harnessed, that fear can be a powerful motivator. There are times like last night when I just lie awake until the sun rises, crying silently while lost in the thoughts that can only lead to a major bout of depression if I’m not careful. For the most part though, I am able to remain positive and not let myself be overwhelmed by the fear that I’ll never be more than what I am now. I do it for myself, for Sidney, and I do it for him. They give me both purpose and the motivation to keep my head above water and continue to move forward.

The fear is real, but can’t hurt you if you don’t let it.

I almost feel sorry for Tony Blair. Almost.
Anyway, there are nine parts. Watch them all.

We’ve had these suggestion forms floating around the library for as long as I can remember. Not many are completed and submitted, though all do get individual attention and are posted on a bulletin board near the lobby. Usually the forms are actually thank you notes calling attention to staff members who were exceptionally helpful or requests for materials, but every once in a while I see one that stands out.

Requesting a monitored napping area/room with a maximum time limit of forty-five minutes. w/full support to staff for rules and regulations.

Wow. Just…wow. A university student wants a napping room monitored by staff. I suppose Anon would like a comfy futon to nap on. Should we maybe provide juice boxes and cookies as well? Maybe someone to wipe the drool off your face and hand you clean undies when you have an accident?

This is not the mission of the university library. We can however provide you w/ the names of local hotel + motel if you wish. Thank you.

The director’s response made me laugh. I guess she has no interest in wiping any snotty noses either.

It takes guts to be gentle and kind
Over, over
Love is Natural and Real
But not for you, my love
Not tonight, my love
Love is Natural and Real
But not for such as you and I, my love

Sing me to sleep, I said. Then tap tap tap some more and I backed down.

Isn’t it strange how a few words exchanged between friends can suddenly set gears you didn’t even realize were there in motion, leaving you powerless to do anything but go with the flow? Well, that’s not entirely true. I knew what I felt, or rather, didn’t feel anymore. Falling out of love is just as bad as heartbreak, and you don’t realize it until it happens and you find yourself trying to figure out a way to cope with those feelings of loss without falling back into old habits. And isn’t it strange how the same words from your closest friend might go over your head, yet uttered by someone new offers a different perspective that finally gets through?

There’s a lot going on in my head that I can’t quite articulate at the moment, and some that I could but probably shouldn’t just yet. There will probably be many more awkward conversations, mixed signals, and general confusion to come, but it’s alright because despite the transitional blues, I’m actually starting to feel okay again.