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in the hoosegow

Friday, June 30, 2006

road trip

I've driven across a good chunk of the country before, but I've had a hankering for a good long road trip for a while now. One of my friends spent a year of his life riding his bicycle from the east to the west coast, stopping along the way to visit and work. So if I ever get enough money and a good bit of time, watch for my taillights as I hightail it to parts unknown.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

spoiling my children

I saw the Godfather for the first time last night. So many of the scenes have been repeated or spoofed in other films and tv shows that a great deal of it seemed familiar. I enjoyed seeing so many actors who are now getting old when they were fresh-faced: Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire (except that she spent most of the film with gigantic circles under her eyes...).

I used to imagine what it would be like to get involved with the mob and then try to "go straight" and it always seemed romantic and exciting. Now it seems like any other business but with some extra violence thrown in.

I like how creative people can be, even when their medium is threats and torture. There's a cartoon called Pepper Ann and in one episode PA has a lawn-cutting business. Another guys tries to compete with her, only to find a topiary giraffe's head in his bed. What is more terrifying than that? What is the equivalent in the li-berry world? A smashed computer, a shredded book? Perhaps I should be glad that my chosen workplace may occasionally be hit by stink bombs but is less prone to actual violence.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

heart's desire

This is what my inner voice has been telling me lately. Oddly enough, it appeared today in my horrorscope:

"You need to start giving yourself more credit. You have tremendous talents, many of them untapped. If you would just begin to harness the talent and power that is already within you, then you would begin to see a dramatic arc to your career path. Something is holding you back. Could it be fear of failure or, more likely, fear of success? You need to spend some time meditating about what you really want out of life. Once your heart's desire is clear, it will be that much easier to claim it."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I was just reading one of those relationship quizzes on msn. I used to like reading those in lady magazines but since my old best pal and I split up I don't see those mags anymore. Anyhoo, I thought I'd present one of my own making to you, dear readers.

QUIZ: How Annoying Is Your Boy/Girlfriend?

1. You are going out to dinner. You decide on the restaurant:
A. S/he decides. S/he has an opinion about everything! (score 5)
B. You decide. You have an opinion about everything! (score 5)
C. You dither until you're both so hungry that you start fighting. (score 5)
D. You each make suggestions until something sounds good. (score 1)

2. You buy your special someone a gift.
A. S/he immediately asks for the receipt in order to return it. (score 5)
B. S/he blushes and says how great it is, s/he doesn't deserve it, etc. etc. (score 1)
C. S/he puts it aside and picks up the remote. (score 5)
D. S/he accepts it nicely but you later overhear mocking comments made to the best friend. (score 5)

3. Your sweetie is upset about something you did.
A. S/he waits until you're falling asleep to talk about it (and talk, and talk). (score 5)
B. You find a note under your windshield detailing the offense and what you should do to make up for it. (score 5)
C. S/he never tells you until you're fighting about something else, then uses it as an example of how insensitive you are. (score 5)
D. S/he laughs it off, figuring s/he's done something equally annoying and you didn't make a big deal out of it. (score 1)

3-7: Your loved one is a gem. Keep him or her well-polished and s/he'll keep on shining.
8-15: Suck it up, your girlfriend or boyfriend is like 99 percent of us.
By the way, I've done almost all of these things at some point or another. Where do you think I got my inspiration?


I got my run on this morning at one of my two favorite neighborhood spots. Actually there are only two good places to run close by--everything else is closer to the center part of town. I was inspired partly by the fact that I signed up for marathon training, which starts later in July. I ran the H-town marathon several years ago and swore it was my one and only. So this year I will train and either run the half marathon or maybe I'll volunteer. I have many months to decide.

Monday, June 26, 2006


So, no child-wrangling or swimming for me this weekend. Boo! I did get some fun in though. Saturday night I saw the shorts festival at the Aurora Picture Show. It was perfect for someone like me, i.e. someone with a rather short attention span. One of my favorites was this bizarre and perverse animated flick about George Washington (sort of).

I also am in the midst of a really interesting book called The Ha Ha (a landscape architecture term, sort of like the architectural folly). The main character has a head injury and cannot speak or write. He has trouble reading but is, as his card says, "of normal intelligence."

Gotta run--my class is coming in!

Friday, June 23, 2006

sweet freedom

Most of my colleagues have traveled a state over for the Big Annual Li-berry Conference, leaving the few of us who don't attend here to run things. It's generally very quiet around here for these 4-5 days which can be quite blissful. I have lots of fun plans for the weekend which include trying to find some tiles to make a pretty top for my kitchen table, watching tv with new friends, child-wrangling & swimming.

In the meantime I have some planning & actual work to do before I can completely enjoy the weekend, so I'd best hop to it!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

longest evening of the year

I had one of those odd nights. Rather than sit at home and sulk/watch tv, I mowed the front yard, showered, and headed out to a local coffee place (which happens to serve really good food). There I met a guy. He's an older guy (okay, quite a bit older) but there was something about him that made me want to meet him in person. We had a good time and I was enjoying the fact that the guy working the counter kept breaking in on our conversation (we were sitting at the bar).

Of course, no one was around to share the funniest moment. This fellow came in and my first thought was, "Boy, Jeff Bagwell's really let himself go!" but the guy was in the bathroom and the counter guy was taking JB's order.

And now NO ONE is at work, so I can't share my date stories. As my sis would say, POTB!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I walked out of the building with one of the big bosses. As I left her I realized that I had visual distortion going on big time. Am I getting a migraine, I asked myself incredulously. I zipped home and spent the evening on the couch, listening to the tv turned down to barely audible, blocking out the light with pillows, trying not to wince or move.

If they didn't fortell impending doom and make driving tricky, I'd really like those visual distortions. Sometimes they make really cool shapes.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


One of my best friends in high school used to tell me that I was the queen of pointless stories. Long, involved, tangential and, yes, most often pointless stories. Over the years I've learned to be pithy, at times. I've gotten into the habit of thinking that everyone is at least vaguely interested in what I have to say, whether it's merely a listing of what I did over the weekend or a funny tale of friendly double entendre. If you're reading my blog, then you probably do fall into this category, but I guess I need to remember that not everyone wants to hear exactly what my cat threw up this morning or the most outrageous thing I saw on the way to work this morning.


I had an unanticipated day off yesterday. Due to mass street flooding the university closed and I got to stay home. I was a bit worried because the water came within about 2 inches of pouring in through my front door, but the rain slowed and the water receded. Not everyone was so lucky....

In other news, I saw The Proposition on Sunday. Someone else described it as brutal and I'd have to agree with that one-word review. There was violence from start to finish and not your normal clean movie violence. This violence drew flies. There was one track of the folio that consisted of flies buzzing. I swear they didn't stop throught he whole movie. Almost everyone was dirty, sweaty and gritty throughout the film.

The story itself is quite simple: the law offers one brother the chance to stop his brother from being hanged if he kills his other brother ("I think we have a title"). The motivation and loyalties of the characters make the film interesting, as well as the idea that people and a town can be "civilized". At times the "good" characters are hateful and the "bad" characters are sympathetic. Life is shown to be dirty and complex in the Australian outback.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

he swears i'm not crazy

I'm here in the li-berry while the sky tries to replay the jurassic age, or whenever this part of the world was underwater. I am happy to be dry and (relatively) warm at Ye Olde Info Deske.

One of my friends is also here, waiting out the storm before he goes to a barbeque. I hope duck is on the menu (da dum tshhh!). I had him look over my idea for my class on Monday, which is essentially to have the students choose a research topic related to a professor's research interests (which I will supply) and find a couple of resources based on that topic. Their goal is to be able to start a research proposal for an Honors thesis.

Sounds okay, right? Factor in, then, that these are not undergraduates in the honors college, nor regular undergrads, but high school students. I think they will rise to the challenge!

Friday, June 16, 2006


This day did not start off well. In fact, it was gearing up to be a hair-tearer yesterday. I have two groups of 50 high school kids coming in today and at the end I'm splitting them up to take short tours around. The tours require several adult-types who are not afraid of rowdy teens and familiar with the library so you can imagine it's a bit difficult to recruit. The fact that 2-3 li-berrians are out ill today does not help. I am slightly freaked.

Also, last night I noticed that my temporary crown was very loose. I thought for a few terrified moments that my entire tooth was loose (you should've heard my panicked call to my dentist) so I had to go have it recemented this morning at 7:30. Joy! Luckily everyone who works in my dentist's office is super nice and funny so they jollied me out of feeling retarded for thinking I was losing my teeth.

And now I realize that I have two outreach programs taking place on Monday, one of which was partly prepped but the person who I was prepping with is....out sick and the other I have not prepped for AT ALL.

Which leads me to the idea that I may need to medicate heavily this evening, especially since I had to cancel last night's debauchery (what, you think I wouldn't have accidentally swallowed the loose crown? then you don't know me very well).

UPDATE: everything was fine, of course, and I had plenty of tour guides, my classes are mostly prepped for and my tooth is back in place, and I didn't even resort to "medication".

Thursday, June 15, 2006

good news for h-town drivers

p.s. yesterday I decided to stop flipping people off, no matter what, after a retarded middle-fingered exchange that could easily have escalated.

sharing in

I'm so lucky. I am surrounded by people who are cool and fun and do interesting things. Since I'm not the only one who thinks they're interesting, many of my friends and colleagues get attention in various circles. That's been happening to me for a long time, which has at various times caused me to wonder if I am some kind of sycophant, fawner, hanger-on, or if I just have really good taste. One of my old pals is a fairly famous blogger, several are artists, others are merely excellent in their chosen professions. While I am delighted that they're successful and attempt to support them no matter where they choose to focus their smart brains, I sometimes feel a tiny bit jealous. Let's be honest: sometimes I feel very jealous. It's weird, though, because I don't want to be famous unless it's for some amazing scientific discovery. I think that my pea brain is just wired to be jealous--it's how I get motivated. It doesn't make me feel sorry for myself, but it makes me want to get off my butt and do something cool myself. So, friends out there, keep on being excellent for your own sake and know that you're influencing excellence in others.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

there is hope

This is not a li-berry blog and I only comment on the li-berry world where it pertains to me directly. Usually that means referring to a class I taught or a trash can I stepped in. Today I did want to mention that I just added a li-berry blog to my rss feed that is an official li-berry ass-ociation blog. That in and of itself is not noteworthy. What is, however, is that one of the opening posts is from our incoming president, the not-a-luddite Leslie Burger. I for one cannot wait to say byebye to the outgoing president.

daze in a haze

There is something weird that happens to my brain after a night of almost no sleep. I can walk around and do things, but I find myself nodding off or staring into the distance. Because of the lack of sleep I took the day off and spent it trying to nap (with little success), reading and watching tv. Late in the afternoon I decided to tackle the long grass behind the garden. It was really long, like a foot long, so I put the mower on the highest setting and started plowing through it. After 45 minutes or so I had it slightly tamed. I put the mower away, took a shower and then a storm rolled though, pelting the ground with heavy rain. I don't know if it was the post-mowing exhaustion, the shower, the storm or some combination, but I pretty much slept from 6pm to 6am. Today I am bright and shiny again.

Monday, June 12, 2006

grand plans

or FunkBGone.

I've been thinking a lot about my backyard, which is fairly large and is mostly grass. Grass, boo! I don't mind mowing but it's getting harder to keep up with the massive amount of grass. I think perhaps I need to have the mower sharpened, but in the meantime I've been scheming about how to reduce the amount of grass I have and also how to make my backyard less of a swamp whenever it rains. I may have a solution: ferns! I also decided that I would try to make a series of beds on the other side of the yard so that I can grow a bunch of things and they won't crowd/shade each other out. I need to put pavers or some kind of pathway in between the rows obviously. Anyway, that's one of the things my brain has been agitating while I lie trying to go back to sleep.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


So far the world cup has not disappointed. The games in the first round often tend towards poor match-ups where one team is obviously dominating the other. Today, however, Trinidad & Tobaggo, which barely made it into the cup at all, tied with Sweden. Granted, the score was 0-0 but I was amazed that they held Sweden back from scoring. It's hard for me not to root for England but I also have a tendency to back the underdog. I only wish I could see more games!

Friday, June 09, 2006

school of redundancy school

Can someone tell me what the difference is between a relationship and an inter-relationship?


my dead celebrity match

Based on my physical preferences and personality characteristics, I got matched up with P.T. Barnum. No surprise there:

"P.T. Barnum (Phineas Taylor) responds...
"Get ready for the Greatest Night On Earth! Four full hours-- plus an extended run if things go well-- of sights and sounds unlike anything you've seen before. "

What your date might be like...
For Barnum, business and entertainment are the same thing, and hype is the spice of life. It's likely that any first date will include a visit to one of Barnum's famed "exhibitions," including a quick jaunt backstage, not so much to show you around as to take care of any business matters. Barnum and his performers get along smashingly, so they may want to meet you in person and get a feel for you before giving their approval. Afterwards, expect an aperitif/P.R. planning session, followed by a dinner/press conference. This can all be a refreshing change of pace if you're a free spirit, but it can be unsettling if you prefer a more ordered life, or if you feel honesty is the most important quality in a partner (Barnum is as honest as any man, but primarily to his bank account). When you feel the conversation lagging over dinner, here's a quick tip for salvaging the evening: describe any sort of physical quality you possess that is unique-- for example a third nipple, a vestigial tail, or gill slits-- in as much detail as you like; perhaps nothing would endear you more to the Greatest Showman on Earth."


I'm so bad about exercising. I will do it faithfully for a week or two or five and then become completely sedentary for an extended period. Right now I'm straddling the line. I've gone jogging a few times but I'm also living amongst a lot of filth in my house. My backyard is AGAIN overgrown. The bush in my front yard needs some severe trimming (7th graders among us can now giggle in unison). It's my weekend goal to literally get my house in order.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I requested a book, got it, started reading it and realized I had read it before. The thing is, it was widely acclaimed and enjoyed but I didn't remember having read it at all. I can't even remember if I liked it but I decided not to reread it since life is short and I had another book waiting for my attention.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

let's hope this one doesn't come true

Just when work feels good again, here comes my horrorscope:

"Today is the opening day in a two-month battle that you will have with someone in the workplace, or maybe even a battle that you will feel within yourself. Either way, you need to be prepared for a clash that will shake up your way of thinking."


astros rule!

The Astros have been in a bit of a slump lately (okay, that's a gross understatement). I went with a gaggle of librarians to a game last night and I was hoping against hope that they would Win Win Win. The game started off well--they scored a few runs early on--but I've seen a lot of good teams fall apart in the 6th inning, especially when the pitcher starts to tire. Old Wandy came through and pitched well until they took him out toward the end. Our closer came in and, despite an attempt at a rally by the Cubs, shut them down. On a sad note, my baseball boyfriend (Morgan Ensberg) is normally a power hitter with a great batting average, but he has been stinking a bit this year. I'm thinking it's maybe the buzz cut....

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Those of you who've been around me lately can attest that I have been a wee bit irrational this past month. Luckily for us all, this horrorscope is true.

"You should find that your emotions are calming down a bit to the point where you can deal with them on a more rational level. You are having an easier time detaching yourself so that you can make more objective decisions overall. This is a great time to sort out issues of love and romance. It could be that you have acted a bit too hastily in recent weeks. Now you have the opportunity to stand back and make an accurate assessment of these actions."

Heave big sigh of collective relief.

youthful vigor

I'm now in recovery mode after an hour-long training and tour for 50 high school students. One of the things that always amazes me about high school is how much kids grow over the course of four years. There were some students who were tiny. Tiny! Others are full-grown or on their way. The group was well-behaved, for the most part. After the tour ended, we were standing by the info desk watching one of the counselors direct the kids to their next activity. He's a tall man with a fairly deep voice and no one dared talk while he was talking, whereas with me they were comfortable enough to chat and giggle. I think I prefer it that way.

Monday, June 05, 2006

thank goodness I'm not baby s**t green

I knew I was going to be grass green. It was inevitable.

You Are Grass Green

Down to earth and a bit of a hippie, you are very into nature and the outdoors.
You accept the world and people as they are. You don't try to change things.
You are also very comfortable with yourself, flaws and all.
Optimistic about the future, you feel like life is always getting better.


Why is it so much more fun to do yardwork, housework, cooking, etc. at someone else's place than it is to do it at home? I spent a solid 3 hours shoveling mulch and pulling weeds (and unsuccessfully trying to catch 2 large carp). Now my hands, arms and back are sore but I feel good about my effort. I wish I could've stayed longer. The whole reason I went was to clean out the pond but it was taking so long for it to drain that it was probably well into the afternoon before they got to cleaning. I did grab a water sample and I dropped it off this morning.

Friday, June 02, 2006

fab friday

Walking from my car to work this morning, I noticed that a guy a bit ahead of me kept turning around. It was hard to know if he was looking for someone or looking at me, but I chose to think it was the latter and that it was because I looked so fabby.

more coffee!

I have to go to a parent/family orientation in a few minutes. I will have 5 minutes to tell these folks what the library's expectations are of their children. I have a list, of course, but what I really want to say is: drag their asses over to the library, pronto. Meet at least one librarian or student who works at the library and forge a relationship. That relationship will be more helpful than 5 workshops, 3 tours and an hour of surfing the library's website.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

gonna get me some herb

My weekend agenda includes a visit to my friend's house out in the sticks. His donkey Peaches had her baby (the aforementioned Herb) just over a month ago. I hear he's at the height of cuteness.

80s jam

Okay, my best friend from library school must be programming Pandora today because not only did Journey's Don't Stop Believin' just come on, but right now Sister Christian by Night Ranger is playing.

the way of the clam

Please god, if you are one of my friends who would normally call me in the course of a year, call me! Seriously, my phone has not rung for about 3 days. It's making me feel like a pariah.

Actually it's been nice. I've gotten a lot of book reading and tv watching done and since it's been yucky outside I haven't really wanted to do anything else. Today, however, I went for a walk. My neighbor's dogs followed me all the way around the corner from their house to my house, or one of them did anyway. I was like "dude, where do you think you live?"

Anyway, Journey just came on so I have to rock out right now.