Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lady Walks into a Library......

Lady walks into my library looking like she'd just finished a teeth whitening commercial in which she'd done so many takes smiling at the camera that it must have felt weird for her to relax her cheek muscles.  I mean, she was uncomfortably close to that "so obnoxiously happy you'll have what she's having" kind of happy. Not that I'm complaining about that!  I'll take an overly happy patron over rude, grumpy, angry, and inconsiderate any day.  I think perhaps I'd just been drinking too much of that hater-ade and was trying to mask my jealously for annoyance.  So obnoxiously happy lady approaches me at the circulation desk  to return some books and in good customer service fashion I swallow my pride by striking up a completely trivial conversation (I really try hard NOT to do this simply because I feel that small talk most often occurs when you don't really wish to have a conversation with a person). Well, conversation initiated.  Tis the way in the world of customer service.  Le sigh.  She told me about the book she read, how much she enjoyed it, and how much better it could have been if only the main character did not take the lord's name in vain.   I attempted a quick explanation about characters and the mechanisms authors use in creating character attributes.....including their flaws.  You know, kind of like ALL human beings because these characters must come to life.  But she seemed to have totally spaced out at this point like I'm sure most of you are and so we moved on to other purposes for her visit.  She was looking for a book.  Now, I can't remember the exact title, but I cannot forget the joy that overcame me having a chance to tell a cheesy joke because of the title of the book: A Husband to Hold.  Literally, she asked, "Can you find me a husband to hold?"  I love the way my brain is wired!  I came back at her with "Well, this is a library so I'm not sure I can find that sort of thing for you here."  It took her a second to get what I was saying.  Then her smile gave way to laughter.  One of the things I love best about my personality is my love for making people laugh and my ability to typically do so. 

 I'm sure you can only imagine the types of people I deal with on a day to day basis.  Recently there was: lady who finds comfort in her cat curling up on her neck at night as she lay in bed.  She asked if we had any books with corporate logos pictured so she could have help with some sort of game she was playing.  I found a website and printed out the top 250 logos for her.  She and I talked pets and I acted like her request was nothing out of the ordinary.  She thanked me for the talk. 

Then there's the man who is convinced there are aliens among us.  He is in the library very often printing out UFO information, pictures of blurry alien looking figures, and he even had one with Hitler talking to an alien.  Totally not shopped! (lingo for photoshopped) It's common sense that someone as evil as Hitler had been plotting even more destruction and chaos with a being who came from lightyears away, right?  I wonder if they traded vegetarian recipes and talked about their cures for flatulance.  I spoke with the man like nothing was strange with his seemingly strong obsession that the government is in cahoots with spacemen.  Some people are convinced things are hidden from them including human interaction with beings from other galaxies.  In the grand scheme of things, his paranoia turned hobby isn't that wacky. 

There's the man who smells like kitty litter who likes to have someone print out the moon phases for the year.  Request = not strange.  Smell = do you assist your cats in fecal burial? 

Then there's Iva......the oragami obsessed woman.  She had me copy, at 10 cents a page, a 52 page book with instructions on creating various holiday oragami figures.  This wouldn't have been such a big deal had she not been so rude and demanding.  She's definitely entered into "crazy old lady who thinks because she's old that everyone owes her something" status. 

There's the dude in his 20s whose cell is never on silent so when it rings in the library, Papa Roach is blarring from his pocket like they are having a concert from the year 2000 in his cargo pocket.  The other day he was texting and had the volume turned WAY up.  Everytime he tapped a letter: CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK!  I was about to go insane!  So I went over to him and asked if he could turn it down.  His response:  Turn what down?  Um, your phone because the noise coming from you tapping the letters on your screen is obnoxiously loud which is making me scary close to ripping the thing out of your hand and screaming "PAPA ROACH FOR A RINGTONE DOES NOT MAKE YOU LOOK COOL!  IF ANYTHING IT MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE A GIANT SPAZ FOR THINKING ANYONE WANTS TO HEAR PAPA ROACH AS INDICATION THAT SOMEONE IS CALLING YOU LET ALONE THAT THERE'S A CHANCE YOU ARE HERE VIA TIME MACHINE WITHOUT YOUR BIG PUFFY VEST AND A COOL CRAZY OLD MAN BY YOUR SIDE (Back to the Future shout out!  what what!)!!!!   Plus, something you were obviously never taught as a child:  you are in a LIBRARY......a public place in which it's common knowledge, or at least one would assume, that you be quiet and polite because there are actually other people around you trying to concentrate on what they are doing.    The lack of consideration I've seen over the past several years working in a library is pathetic.

My mission statement:  I am willing to relate to you and be considerate in assisting with any requests you may have for me in the library, but if you show a complete lack of awareness for those around you and how your actions might affect them....I WILL turn into Sweet Brown:  I AIN'T GOT TIME FOR THAT!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Build a fence, but don't forget where you placed the gate

Life is so strange. Life is fleeting. I turn 30 in less than a month. Where has all that time gone? Why is it that we seem to be programmed to harbor bad memories and it takes so much more to remember the happy ones? I'd give almost anything to find a way to train my brain to dig up sunsets, laughing with my mother, having a moment with my brother, sand in between my toes, hiking to waterfalls, acing a difficult test, baking with my grandmother or making waffles with my grandfather. I suppose it's a defense mechanism. We get hurt and walls are constructed. My fight or flight responses are so screwed up, I have to be on medication. I get anxiety over the simplest of things. I get the sensations of drowning when trying to escape these feelings, desperate to grasp solid ground.
The prompting for me to write this evening is that I got a text from my brother earlier letting me know that my dad went to the ER today. He has congestive heart failure. I haven't talked to my dad in over a year now. Everytime I let my guard down with him, he gives me reason to build it back up. I've never been able to trust him. I've never known what others know as a stable, caring father. He was always physically there, but never there emotionally; not always there financially. Yet, there is this unconditional love we are supposed to hold for our parents. They gave us life, right? Without them, we wouldnt be here. But to what degree do we NEED to place conditions on this love? And how do we do this? How are we able to have them in our life, accept them for who they are as they are a part of us, and preserve the self?
I hate the drama and fighting my mom, brother, and I went through almost 2 years ago. Yet, I wonder how much of an impact that made on the importance of family and our connections to each other. Poisonous people are all around us. You can be as guarded as you want, but if you want people in your life, you have to accept them for who they are or cut ties. Family members are under the subject line of unconditional love. We aren't always going to agree, but we will always have ties to each other. Why not make the very best of it while we are here?
I cannot begin to accuaretly express my admiration and level of pride I have for my brother. He is an amazing person. I wish I could be as strong as him. He has grown so much and is such a wonderful father, boyfriend to the awesome Kate, brother, and son. I was afraid he and I would never see eye to eye and become close. This fear has become null and void as of today. He text me about my father and I was unsure how to deal. Taylor has been working in nursing homes for years and is now an assistant funeral director. He has seen the depths of human emotion. Today he gave me the greatest advice I've ever received. I want to share it with you:

It's hard. And don't let your guard down. Building fences are fine. You just always need to keep in mind where u put the gate. Making an amends doesn't mean opening every facet of your life up to him. Take baby steps. Even if that first step is just a text saying I want you to know I'm thinking of you and I'm here if u need me. Sometimes we over analyze. We stay in the shoulda, coulda and the woulda. We pick up every piece and see how they fit together. We compromise within our selves "how am I going to fix this. How am I going to put it back together?" its natural. It's why we're human. We want to fix and mend and never forget... But lately i find it's a lot easier to look at the pieces on the floor and leave them right there. Step over them, and never turn around. Always remember where you left the pieces and why theyre there. But leave them in the moment they happen. Life is a blink of an eye in this universe. Who knows, this may be the only shot we have. You dont have to forgive him. Only understand who he is and just be there in what may be his last moments on this earth.

So I took the plunge. I text my dad. He said he was crying, loves me so, and is there for me too. I know I would regret not at least being back in contact with him as this condition will surely be the death of him.
Life goes by so damn fast. We can't overanalyze every little thing. That's no way to live. We can't live in fear, either. We have to do the best we can do treating people the ways in which we want to be treated. That's the number one thing my mother has taught me. Two wrongs don't make a right. None of us are perfect. It's okay to admit fault and it's okay to build fences. There's nothing wrong with being concious and protective of our hearts. However, we have to be concious of others' hearts too. My mother has always been there for my dad even when he treated her the lowest he could possibly treat anyone. She remained true to her character, her morals, her values. She always does.
I have to let go of resentment and anger; fear and assumptions. I have to trust and love. I have to do unto others as I would have them do unto me regardless of anything else. THAT is the main accomplishment of being a good person. If you stay true to this, you have accomplished the meaning of life.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Moving forward, forward moving

Well, hello there. Have you missed me? It's been quite a while. And so much has happened....I've been on cloud 9 to the pits of hell and now reside in the floating nothingness of pergatory. I so desperately want more out of life. Do I want to be a librarian? Really? Should I try to get the F out of the states? Probably.
It seems everything is crumbling like parched leaves inside the palm of a closing fist. The earth is pissed. People are getting dumber by the second; greedier by the millisecond; more disconnected from those around them as quickly as information is technologically transmitted, waves and wires, fingertips and blinking eyes. We are becoming exhaustingly paranoid and obnoxiously narcissitic. I am so grateful I was a child pre-facebook; that I played in the woods and built forts. I feel relieved that I didn't even have the option of getting lost in the figurative webs and that I walked through plenty of spider webs. The forest around my house growing up was my refuge. There were trails to hike, tadpoles to catch, interesting trees and flowers and bugs. I feel very cynical about the way things are going and my fluxcapacitor is broken. No changing of the past. No glimpses into the future. What's done is done and I'm not sure there's enough people who can look past their own egos, admit that their life here on earth has an impact on the atmosphere that is supposed to protect them, and quit being so damn lazy and hardheaded! Noone is trying to tell u how to live. Calm it down, junior brown. It's a matter of preserving that which preserves human existence. And unlike your grandma's blackberry jam, we cannot simply store the sweetness of life in an air tight mason jar.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I wrote a poem about not being able to write poems

The Battle for Lucidity

Static consumes the clarity,
distorts my visions and
I can't remember where
I laid my glasses down.
I am lost in a maze of stars
yet am the arsonist who
struck the match
and fed the flame --
what remains of that which separates?

I have a thirst, a thirst
that needs to be quenched,
but I have no cup
and my fingers fight
the urge to touch, my hands
repel like polar opposites
of magnets refusing
to do that which nature
has already deemed impossible.

There is a war inside me.
Bullets richochet off my skull and
I can't recall when it all began
but there is a force against
the static, the confusion and chaos.
There is a cluster fuck and
I wish someone would adjust the rabbit ears
or give a swift kick to my temple
like a kid to a television
wanting the show to
come into focus,
the story to unfold.

Friday, March 19, 2010

This speaks volumes to me!

Was I truly depressed or just awakening to the First Noble Truth of Buddhism, the insight that samsaric life is misery? My melancholy seemed like simple realism: if you weren't depressed, you obviously didn't know what was going on. I was becoming concious of what Gurdjieff called "the horror of the situation." And so I took long walks and thought about death and the suffering of innocents. I wrote bad poetry. I did not go to Stanford.

~Tim Farrington

Let's get physical, physical! I wanna get physical!

I have now worked out 3 times at 10 fitness and I LOVE IT!!!! I signed up for activtrax and it's awesome! When you first sign up, you have to do a strength test, then put your results into the computer, and it sets you up with a workout. I can already feel a difference in my arms and abs. YES! I'm ready to be a size 6 and be all toned up. And another plus, exercising makes me feel so much happier. I'm about to be the healthiest I've been my whole life.....ok so when I first started working out I was pretty healthy too, but I wasn't doing as much of the working out as I am now. I plan to go this afternoon too, yes, on a Friday. I am committed! Oh, and having your significant other working out with you is definitely a major plus. I wanted to just go home and lay down yesterday after work, but he said "Just do it. You will be glad you did." I have to admit, he was right.

I've also caught the cooking bug as of late. It's so fun to cook something and for the person you're cooking for to say WOW! This is really good! I've had a couple injuries so far, but that's mostly because I am such a clutz anyways.

As far as the family drama in my life, I am just going to have to distance myself and accept things for what they are. There is nothing I can change about it. I've said what I needed to say and hopefully those things will still be bouncing around in their heads when they act on things. We'll see.

Mom and I are taking Zo bow to Wye Mtn. Tuesday for a photo shoot. We did this last year too. I was the prop girl and was supposed to keep her on the stool. She fell off twice. LOL Lets see how good I can do this year. Fingers crossed!

My anxiety seems to be slipping away. I have a new found confidence in myself and I love it! I'm still a bit introverted, and shy, but that's just my personality. The nervous, scared feelings I have about things aren't nearly as bad as they once were. I still get anxiety thinking about death, my own as well as my mother's, but I think that's normal. I am finally accepting that I am an adult and I am feeling confident that I can do all those things that adults do. I've struggled with this for a while now. All of the responsibilities made me nervous. All of the things that adults are supposed to do confused me. And I felt silly, or maybe not as good for not knowing all of these things. It's okay. I will figure it out and I have an amazing partner to figure these things out with. Everyone has problems, bad things that happen to them; that's life. I can do this, damn it!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Audrey Niffenegger, my new hero!

Why can’t I find e-book versions of your books?I am not opposed to the existence of e-books; I know lots of people are wildly enthusiastic about them. But I have spent my life working with books as an art form and I am devoted to physical books. E-books in their current incarnations are still imperfect and they threaten the arts of book design and typography. As a book conservator I am also nervous about the digitization of books: will they be readable one hundred years from now? Or will thousands of books simply vanish as platforms and programs change?

E-books have certain advantages (they are searchable) and disadvantages (they are not beautiful objects in themselves and don’t display images very well). I’m sure they will improve over time, though. I don’t know when or if my books will become e-books. Writing me hostile e-mail about this will not hasten my desire.

(author of The Time Traveler’s Wife)

These are the same questions I have been asking on the notion of e-books. They scare me.