Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Workin’ 9 to 5

I doubt I’ll endear anyone to me with this post, it’s not your sympathy I’m after, I’m sure.

I totally missed yesterday! I’m not surprised as I worked my first 8-hour day in…well, nine months. No, I didn’t just have a child. I’ve been slacking. No, I’ve been SLACKING. Yes, much better. What will make you hate me more, I only have to work an 8-hour day once a week. Let me duck, and then veer left, now a right…if people stop throwing things and quit with the stink eye, I’ll explain.

I live in a tiny little town. Thanks to the powers that be, any public FREE, for the community kind of place is locked up tightly most of the week. This includes the library. We’re open Tuesdays thru Saturdays, four hours at a time. Right, doing some math, that’s a WHOLE 20 hours a week! Woo hoo! Break out the big guns. It’s all based on circulation, or so I was told. The smaller your numbers, the smaller your staff, and likewise, the shorter your hours. Thing is, since we’re NEVER open, most people do their “business” with us via cyberspace. We have an on-line catalog where people can place holds and renew their books. I found out, by accident, that all those transactions are attributed to the MAIN library, not the individual branch. How’s a kid supposed to show higher circulation functions when most of their “hits” don’t get counted? I’m not just a soapbox prophet; I put in my two cents with Technical Services. (And yes, sometimes I do feel like I’m dealing with the people from “Brazil” as I make my way through the phone system, “Central Services…” but no one ever answers with quite that same tone of voice.)

So, when first hired I was all for 8-hour WEEKS. I was just filling in where the Branch Manager and other Library Page couldn’t. The point was to get me out of the house! I’d quit my teaching job in Hawai’i and run away to Kings Beach to drink too much and hide. And maybe go a little insane in the company of a couple good friends? Yes, definitely. If you read my profile at all, I say recently divorced. Try: filed in February, completed and cleared in March. That’s Hawai’i for you, I guess. Want a quickie wedding? Try Nevada. Need a quickie divorce? Go Hawai’i. Who knew?

I was in no state for anything pragmatic or adult or, well, sane, when I first arrived. Andy’s nice; he describes me as “trying too hard” at times. I describe me as bonkers. By and by I’ve come a long way (baby) and now I’m trying to see if I can really break away from teaching for a bit and work in the public service via the library. 8-hours a week wasn’t going to cut it. I was ready to look into other means of making money when a second branch in the area needed more personnel. I jumped at the chance. Yesterday was my first day “double-shifting.” I work one branch in the morning, the second after lunch. I hurt. This whole library thing isn’t like teaching. I stand a whole lot more. Or lean on my hip that hasn’t quite healed from my last bicycle accident (in Hawai’i, in February, on my way to SIGN the DIVORCE papers…ugh.) Add the 30-40 degree weather into the mix, and wow, I hurt. But that’s what Advil was invented for, eh? Sure.

So, am I in for 40-hour weeks now? I wish. Try 40-hour pay periods (every 2 weeks), so now I’m officially working “part-time.” I’m patient, and cheap, so if the stars are aligned correctly and all the right deities like me, I might be able to pull this off. I’m told I should advertise my computer skills and try to get work fixing Macs in the area. I own my own set of torque screwdrivers (is that what you call those funny star-shaped-tipped thingies?) And I actually know how to use them :).

And I know, I said I was going to do something with like the knitting aspect of my life, but that was supposed to be yesterday’s post anyway, right? R-I-I-I-G-H-T. As it is, I’ve been “tagged” to do some blog-chain-about-me-thing. Back in the stone age of emailing (using Unix terminals and Pine or Elm here people) I was happily exonerated from chain-mail letters via an anti-chain letter. Now in the blogosphere, these “meme” things are spreading like wild-fire/chains. Oh well, I’ll get to it eventually. Promise (to the fiery daemons in control of my fate, or whatever. I don’t actually know what befalls someone who blows these things off…but I’m not superstitious, oh noooo, not at aaaaallllll).

Have an awesome pain-free day.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Group W Bench

Today has an isolated feeling. Like I've done something "not right" and am off in the "special room" awaiting the final response to something I didn't even know I'd done. Ever have that feeling?

It's my day off, and I have to keep reminding myself that, it's perfectly okay for me to still be in my pjs emailing, blog-stalking, knitting, & watching the neighbor's dogs playing IN THE SNOW!

Yes Ladies & Gentlemen, and anyone else who doesn't fit either category, the white stuff is finally coming down. I'll have pictures later today, promise.

Oh, aside from stalking I've also been quiz-taking:
Elf - you are mystical, magical, and graceful
What mythical creature are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sure, we can pretend I'm six feet tall, skinny, graceful---y'all will laugh now, but someday...umm, except for the 6' tall bit, there will be no "GATTICA" alterations here :).

2:59PM PST
Where did the day go?
So, I'm officially on Andy's car insurance, which is a good thing, as I'm taking his car to work tomorrow. I don't usually drive to work, but I'm splitting my time between two branches of the Placer County Library System as of tomorrow. Yes, the day AFTER the first real snow. To the left here is the view out my bedroom window. There used to be dirt and rocks there, just yesterday. Over the summer the little girls from up the street used the place as a "house." Even adding "stairs" to the second story...notice the boards pouded on the tree? We thought, over here at "concerned adult central" (R-i-i-i-g-h-t) that they'd fall on their heads before they finished. Smart cookies that these girls are, nearing the end of the more stable boards, they sent up the smallest of the group to nail up the smaller, unstable pieces of whatever that they found. Ah childhood. Doesn't it just take you back?

Andy is amused by how amused I am with the snow. I honestly can't help it. It's such a novelty right now. I'm sure I'll get over it sooner than later, promise!

To the right here we have Andy (in the foreground de-snowing the Corolla) and Tim (kneeling by his Subaru) getting their cars ready for the white stuff. The Corolla, that I'm sure to name before the winter is up, buahaha, is sporting brand new studded snow tires. The Subaru, being AWD and all, will just be wearing it's snow tires, no studs.

So, I'm playing with the picture placement and I'm at a loss here, forgive if it all looks funny. This last pic is of us back after AAA and after Safeway. Looks like we have an xmas tree in the next lot! Maybe the little girls will come and decorate it for us? We're about as xmasy in this house as your average Muslim. Don't get me wrong, I love the holiday, I just hate the commercialism now associated with it.

Notice there the road and driveway are no longer visible. It DUMPED while we were food-shopping. Go snow! Except when I have to walk or drive in it...tee hee.

Alrighty then. Next on my list of things to do is figure out how to post some FO pics. (That's "Finished Objects" for the non-knitters reading.) They're all "pre-blog" but I'll work 'em into a post or something I'm sure.

'sall for now. Peace out.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

15 Degrees of Separation...

Wow, it is COLD outside. 15 degrees to be exact. Just returned from the Monterey Bay area and wow...70 to 15 in far too short a time span. AND THERE'S SNOW OUTSIDE! I get to learn how to drive in snow tomorrow! I'd better learn fast as I'm driving to work Tuesday morning. I can't get over how cold it is though. Sorry, dwelling here.

Harry Potter.
Or as the director interpreted Dumbledore, HARRY POTTER! I always picture Dumbledore as the pillar of cool. Nothing fazes the man. Well, not in Goblet of Fire at any rate. Aside from the over-dramatizing(?) of ole' Albus, I felt the movie was as good as you can do in turning 700+ pages into a movie less than six hours long. There are differing camps, I know, I acknowledge you all. Many people felt cheated because Doby wasn't there, or Winky, or S.P.E.W., or the unveiling of certain Animagi.

Fact is, I'm glad the movie was interpreted differently from the written page. Why? Well, how many of us decided that The Grapes of Wrath was a wee bit too long our sophomore year of high school, and let's just rent the movie? How about Of Mice and Men, yes, yet another Steinbeck classic that maybe watching was less painful than reading? Breaking out of Salinas, I will admit to the world tonight that I have NEVER finished Great Expectations. I was unlucky enough to have that particular Dickens novel assigned to me at least four times in my educational career (I stopped counting long ago), and as a teacher will opt NOT to teach it myself to save my students from the very same embarrassment/close calls as I experienced. As good and entertaining as the movies all were, they were just different enough to get you in loads of trouble if you didn't get your best friend to tell you exactly how Jo died, or what they cut out of the TV version, or if it was or wasn't all a flashback.

I used to be of the camp that felt that the movie should take a play-by-play (page-by-page) view of the book. I think I went into Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone movie (in Mexico and so it was the "philosopher's stone" instead of "sorcerer's stone" 'kay?) with the expectation that all I read and saw in my head would now be visualized. I was so disappointed I could have cried. It didn't at all help that the Lord of the Rings trilogy was out at the same time and I left thinking, "That's not where that book ended!!!"

Well, times and me have changed a great deal since then. Movies are made to entertain in a different way than books are. I know, I know, it took me how long to figure that out? Hi, I'm an ex-English Teacher, current Library Page who if not knitting is reading, just ask my housemates. There is no television in this house, that's what hobbies, conversation, and red wine were invented for. We all form opinions about what we read and see and hear...what better way to add some more spice into the mix than to, shock shock, add a different way of interpreting a book onto the big screen.

This is the fourth HP movie. Let's face it, how many of us entered the theatre with just a little more than your average bit of trepidation? I mean, well, how many 4th versions of anything don't go straight to video these days? (Home Alone 4? I didn't even know we'd had a 3!!!) And if not to video, let's just remember the classics here, Rocky IV? i.e. let's fight Russia? Superman IV? with "plutonium man" or some-such atrocity??? I hear there's to be a Rambo 4...Right, sign me up, wouldn't wanna miss it... So after my disappointed first movie, and the choppy second movie, I'd grown up some more and had spent a few years cultivating that whole "conversation/debate/opinion" dialog and I was thrilled the third HP was a little more cohesive with the whomping willow time change, but still, there was just something missing (like Sirius in the stands, I know, I know, I feel your pain, let's move on).

I wasn't expecting perfection wiht HP4, but to be ENTERTAINED. And I was. It is fast-paced, exciting, dark, and funny. It is also two and one half hours long. How painful was it to sit through the rewind and play forward ending of HP3? Only one line of humor to break the slow-paced sequence, "Is that what my hair looks like from the back!?" HP4 broke up the dark bits with well-timed good, as well as bad, humor. The "learn to dance" sequence could have been skipped, but it was a good way, as any, to convey plot-moving dialog. Or is it "moving plot"? Whatever, I'm not a professional movie critic, love me, hate me, I'm just giving out my opinion. Like anyone else, I could tell you how I would have done my own 12 hour version of the "perfect" Goblet of Fire interpretation, but as the producers aren't knocking at my door, I'll just move on here.

I feel that of the four Potter movies, this one stands as the best thus far. The actors have come a very long way. I do hope the boys all get haircuts for the next flick, I mean, hello? Is it the 70s in the magical world? The older kids in the first few movies didn't have such mops, and when we meet Bill (in the books, that is) Molly is oh so anxious to trim his hair! Details, details, but the twins look lovely in long red locks. I'm glad they had a few lines again. The special effects were so much better than the first movie. How technology has progressed! Frankly, I can't wait until HP5 just to see what they do to the Black house...well, if they keep it in. Quien sabe.

So go see it! Or save big money and wait until the DVD, either way, it's something fun to watch.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Weather & Blog Thoughts

The thing about a blog is that once you start, you gotta keep at it, the more often you post the better. It kinda reminds me of my friends in Sayulita, Nayarit (Mexico). One is a retired ESL teacher (my 8th grade equivalent at the middle school where we both taught), the other a retired Principal (notice how I subconsciously capitalized that title as I go back and, shock shock, proof-read my post). They built a beautiful three-story house to wile away the retirement years. To pass the time/keep busy, they opened a breakfast joint. (Rollie’s. Go. Eat! Yum!) Little did they realize that to make a business prosper you have to give it your 110%, but these were retired educators and to be good at “learning up the future” you have to give it more than your all, so they got right into it. You have to be open 7 days a week, every morning ready for the clientele. It’s make or break, since most people are creatures of habit; you hook them the first day and they will return every day of their vacation and maybe come back the next time they’re in town.

So it is with this whole blogging thing. I know, I blogstalk. If your blog doesn’t change from day-to-day, or at least every two-three days, I’m gone, poof, you lost me. There are, after all, 10-zillion blogs out there to explore. So now, day 2, feeling kinda out of it, here I am typing away, and not sure if it’s to keep my “clientele” or to get into the habit of posting so that I actually DO IT. Use it or lose it…Happily Thanksgiving is tomorrow so everyone will be out of town and I can take a day or three off.

Yeah, not feeling too well tonight. The day started with a headache, behind the eye kind. Pill popper that I am (better living through chemistry), neither aspirin, a Pepsi, nor non-drying Sudafed (my first shot at taking these) did the trick. I went for the name brand Advil a couple hours ago, as my head was about to EXPLODE. Fun on a stick. I feel like grampa…I’d say gramma, but it’s always “grampa” who says, “Oh, the lumbago, the weather’s changing….” Who needs a barometer when I have my head? Forecast is calling for snow on Friday. Pressure’s building, just ask my eyeballs.

This will be my first winter in Tahoe. Heck, let’s face it, this will be my first winter, EVER. I grew up in L.A., 10 minutes east of downtown (more like 30 now-a-days). It was the land of 70-degree winters, brrrr. I thought I’d finally found seasons when I moved up to Santa Cruz for school. There were really cold days and RAIN for like a month at a time! Right. Then I spent 4 years in the tropics, two in (mostly southern) Mexico on a 32’ sailboat (more on that another day) and 2 in Hawai’i. Winter? No hablo winter. I moved from Hilo, Hawai’i to Kings Beach, California back in February. There was all this “white sand” all over the place! Only it was cold and wet white sand. My friends said they call it SNOW. So even though I trudged through miles of it, shoveled more than my share of it, rode through it (god forbid I DRIVE through it), sunk all the way down to my thighs in it, snow from February THROUGH the first weeks of June does not a winter make. I don’t want to sound like that horrid email joke of the journal of the lady who moves to Alaska: Day one, it snowed, I love it! To Day 25: it snowed, I’m moving…but I really and truly am excited to experience winter for the first time in my…life. If my brain doesn’t leak out of my ears from the pressure, I may see some white stuff on the ground by the weekend! I’m tickled!

So…putting off my Harry Potter review until later. I’ll say this much, I liked it, a lot. And coming soon, I'm learning about uploading pictures...more hooks :).

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Why Men Leave

I started this a bit back in a journal entry but now have an excuse to finish it. Reading Crazy Aunt Purl’s Blog prompted me to get on with it. I was gonna spout profusely about Harry Potter 4, but I think this is more apropos tonight. I can talk Harry all day and all night later. Later, later. After all, a blog has to be semi-interesting, yes?

Back to the title...Men leave because they are cowards. Or they leave because they finally got the courage enough to go. Confused? I was, but please, read on. They leave because they don’t know what they want. Or because they finally do know what they want, and it ain’t you, baby. (That’s the “vato boy/latina violence girl in my head” voice BTW, s/he’s been in there for a good long time and we just live with it now. “We?” you ask, ”Who all else is finding residence in your head?” you wonder; as my cousin Maria would say, “Who said that? Sybil is that you?” Let’s just say that some days we get a little more than your average crazy going on; no worries. Heck, ‘member now, they trust me with CHILDREN (I hold a teaching credential in California AS WELL AS a Hawai’i Teaching License, not to mention I work at a LIBRARY) so I must be OKAY enough…right? Right…keep reading.

I come from a family of MEN WHO LEAVE. I realized this when I began gathering information for those stories Richard wants from me…BTW Richard, my mom has decided that she’s way willing to be interviewed and talk to me about anything I want to know regarding her past and help us on the road to being FAMOUS!!! Or, just famous…or whatever it is we achieve. Though tonight when I asked if she’d be willing to sit with you and blab her tale in Spanish to have me translate later she just laughed and laughed…I want to say I’m good for her heart, or something, isn’t that what 9 out of 10 quacks, I mean, doctors say about laughing? Right. Where was I?

Men who leave. I had one. He left. End of story. Wow, that’s so enlightening that I can’t really leave it like that, can I? There’s this myth that runs rampant about relationships and their running their courses and ending with “closure.” What a funny thing, that word, closure. If you ever get a chance to have it at the end of a “long haul,” lemme know; we’ll give you a medal. Ken said, and said, and said again, “Time to move on, LET IT GO.” That’s all the closure you’re allowed when things fall apart at breakneck speed. Now that I’m a “leading expert” on the matter I also want to add that the longer and more involved the relationship, the faster and harder the break-up. I was queen of the month-long relationships, I should know! What? Still together after 10 weeks, cripes, are we engaged or something? EEK! RUN AWAY…then came the eight-year extravaganza! Where did the time go?

(I really should have called this blog “tangent queen.” I just spoke with my dad about my niece going to high school. )

Papi: “HIGH SCHOOL! She’s not even three years old!”
Me: “So what’s 11 years? They go by so very quickly; faster than you can even keep track of them.” I should know, and this is where I spoke in my head instead of aloud, that 8 years seemed like the blink of an eye, to use corny old-people sayings. One minute you’re finishing grad school, and the next you’re trying to figure out how to pack your life away in 18 boxes to be shipped off to East L. A. (Yeah, so what, people gotta be born somewhere, don’t make me come over there and give you attitude!)

Men in my family—and I should clarify, my paternal side, leave, constantly. One big difference from the fellow I used to be lawfully wedded to: THEY COME BACK. They go off to work in Castroville and Watsonville during the Brasero program in the 50s and 60s, saving up enough to return to the Rancho and get married. They go off to Chino to heard cattle and send all of their HARD earned cash home so their wives can build their houses or educate their children. They go to unknown lands, or their younger brother’s house (same difference) to see if they can make a better life for themselves and their families. They LEAVE the ranch, because they know there is no future for them there. They strike out on their own and meet their wives to be in a new world (in the “New World?”) OR, and this is where I break away from my thesis statement as we’re drifting from the paternal side... (it’s called a transition people) they realized they were way too young, or she was way too young and FLEE; a one-way ticket out of town. If the female in question is hardheaded enough, she follows, and as my maternal grandmother found out, ended up in a world of pain.

I’m as hardheaded as they come. My mom likes to say that I have too many of my dad’s characteristics. (This is where I’m grateful that my mom OWNS a computer, but you have to pay her BIG MONEY to turn the dang thing ON…don’t you go dare helping her any, Alfred, some things we gotta keep between you, me, and everyone we know, after all.) BUT, I think I got a heaping spoonful of her side of the family’s “characteristics” as well. It’s a FACT in my family that I had my very first temper tantrum when I was about 2 weeks old. My mom had to spank me out of it! Welcome to the world, baby girl! Where was I? Right, the point! As much as I fought against the lectures and stories and more lectures growing up...I give, UNCLE, honest, I actually did learn from my mom’s stories. I readily decipher what she says. “IT’S OVER, mija. DON’T YOU DARE GO BACK TO HIM.” And what I hear is, don’t you dare follow him. Don’t you dare turn into my mother! Closure, I realize now, over a year gone, is for love stories. Fiction. Not for the likes of me and mine. Men leave because that’s what they do. Make your own closure. Wine helps.

I tried to keep this under 1000 words. I failed. Long winded? Yes, I am, I sorry. But if this is supposed to be for me, and my waffling self-therapy, what’re 100 words more or less? My Lit. teachers at UCSC would have words, but I kept it under two pages, honest.

1st Post

No catchy title for the first post, later. I keep typing this over and over, I'm starting to feel like Gorge Lopez, "later, later?" Yeah that's it.

I'm guessing so very few people will actually read this that it may prompt me to write more than I have been in my journal lately. What a weird route to immortality, type your life away so it'll be somewhere on the NET. My 15 thousand minutes of fame...well, that is, if someone finds my blog.

Eeep, okay, so short and sweet, cuz as my friend Richard would say, "ho gotta eat!" Or something similar...the masses await at the library! Woo hoo!

And like a numbnut, HI ALFRED! HI MAYRA! HI RICHARD! HI ANDY! (Picture me in the newscamera background waving like an idiot. Yup, that's me...) Lookie me! I have a blog! Aren't I cool just like EVERYONE ELSE...okay, I'll stop now.