rockinlibrarian: (eggman)
1. I feel kind of guilty about expressing my discomfort with the We Need Diverse Books campaign in the past. I want to make it clear that my discomfort is COMPLETELY PERSONAL, not ideological. I never want to give anyone the impression that I think it's "reverse racism" or unfair to me as a really-boringly-undiverse writer in any way people have industry control over. IT'S NOT. IT'S COMPLETELY FAIR, AND AS A LIBRARIAN I AM ALL FOR IT. It's only me as a struggling writer with low self-esteem, every time I see it The Lone Power whispers in my ear "NOBODY NEEDS YOUR WRITING, YOU'RE BORING, GIVE UP TRYING TO WRITE NOW." And obviously, considering I'm attributing the voice to The Lone Power, I know it's wrong, I know it's a lie, but the part of me that knows this can't think of a good comeback. "I SO TOTALLY DO HAVE A UNIQUE VOICE AND AN OUTLOOK THAT NEEDS TO BE SHARED! I'M GOING TO WRITE...uh...okay I have no idea what I'm going to write." And the Lone Power goes "SEE?!" and I go waste my time reading TV recaps instead. So what I'm saying is DIVERSE BOOKS=GOOD. SUPPORT THEM. I DON'T WANT ANY SPECIAL TREATMENT FROM PUBLISHERS. I'M NOT AFRAID OF HAVING MY CHANCES TAKEN FROM ME BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE LESS REPRESENTED VOICES. I'm only afraid of having my chances taken from me by my own internal doubts.

2. ABC, you can't CANCEL Agent Carter. I'm not saying this as a rabid fan who doesn't personally WANT you to cancel Agent Carter. Well, I AM, but that's beside the point. No, it's just, and I've said this before, Agent Carter is a MINISERIES and theoretically you can bring it back at any time, stick it in anywhere you have a break. The word "cancel" is too FINAL for something so flexible. Just say, "Not in this next year, but hey, maybe some other time!" I mean it'll WORK, we've got YEARS to explore, with the exception offinding out what happened to Thompson

there's no reason we can't pop back into the history of proto-SHIELD several years later. Don't be all "CANCELLED" about it! Be "on indefinite hiatus!" COME ON, KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN!

3. Speaking of Marvel TV, Jason has decided he doesn't care about Agents of SHIELD anymore. Part of me's like, okay, I'm fine with that, I don't need to worry about making it to the TV every Tuesday at 9, I can watch on my own time the next afternoon or whatnot (I work Wednesday mornings), but another part of me is like YOU DON'T REALIZE WHAT A HUGE BLOW THIS IS TO OUR MARRIAGE. It was our DATE NIGHT. That's one of the few things we really enjoy doing together, watching superhero shows! And I have a feeling I want to see Civil War more than he does. Which if we could only get babysitting he'd be okay with, but his parents are in the middle of moving and my parents live farther away. Part of me's like, gee, I could totally go by myself some weekday afternoon, but then I'm like, "NO, AMY, THAT'S THE EQUIVALENT OF ADULTERY. Not just because your Imaginary Husband has a small part in it. IT WOULD BE SUCH AN UNCARING MOVE TO GO SEE A SUPERHERO MOVIE WITHOUT JASON." Seriously. There's more at stake here than watching a movie.

4. I'm kind of mentally cluttered at the moment. I've got gardening to catch up on, on account of being down with the flu all last week. I have a lot of GeekMom articles I want to work on, but I feel guilty sitting down to write long enough to do so. The house is, of course, a wreck. And I still have to feed three picky eaters and myself, which is still the bane of my existence. Sometimes I just want to shout "ENOUGH! FROM NOW ON I AM ONLY MAKING SALADS AND YOU WILL EAT IT OR YOU WILL MAKE YOUR OWN FOOD WITHOUT WHINING!" But I have a hard time cooking for myself.

5. Now I am running late for work, so bye. Excuse the lack of editing and links that I would have done had I had more time.

rockinlibrarian: (hi maddie)
I got a composter for my birthday-- a big spinning bucket of a contraption you put all your compost in so you don't have to stir it, as you would a compost heap. This is a handy thing for me to have, because in the 11 years of its existence I have never once stirred the compost heap in our backyard. Freshly decomposed compost would be wonderful to put in my garden-- and there is very little that makes me as happy as gardening does-- but that heap beside the shed had become a resting place for huge branches, invasive weeds, scraps of whatever dead things I pulled out of the garden in the fall, leaves... which, at least the last bit, are all things that DO go in a compost heap, but stir it? I could hardly MOVE it. And certainly I hadn't been paying attention to "feeding" it properly.

As it's a beautiful afternoon and I have this new composter, I figured I'd go out, clear the larger branches aside, and put the soft stuff (the leaves and such) in the bin to turn into NICE USEABLE SOIL AT LAST. But guess what I found under all those leaves?

You're right! DIRT! But not just dirt-- there's dirt enough in the brown, hard mounds beside our yard right now because the neighbors are building an addition and have moved part of the hill. This was deep, black, rich, loamy SOIL. THE COMPOST HEAP HAD DONE ITS WORK ALL ALONG! WITHOUT my stirring it or regulating its composition!

IT WAS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I'VE EVER SEEN this month. I shoveled it into the wheelbarrow, dumped it in the garden, and felt SO HAPPY for the snap peas and carrots that will take root there in the next couple months.

And as I did I thought, maybe my soul is like a compost heap. It's just this pile of waste that I never properly tend to, but maybe, maybe SOMEDAY, when I find some more practical system for dealing with it, and I clear away the debris on top, I'll find the stuff underneath has been turning into rich, fertile soil ALL ALONG.

Which is the sort of daydream somebody very lazy who does not want to properly tend to her spiritual compost heap would harbor.

But there is one good thing about it. It's hopeful. It's saying that even if I AM crappy at tending to my life, all is not lost. There are worms and centipedes of the Holy Spirit working away down there even when I'm not doing my share. (WORMS AND CENTIPEDES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. I need to make a devotional painting on this theme now). So sure, if I never bother to clear that top layer away, it won't do anybody any good. But if I ever DO, well, I won't be working entirely from scratch.

Or, you know, compost heaps could have absolutely no bearing on the human soul and I'm being far too optimistic.

But hope's nice.
rockinlibrarian: (sherlock)
The other day as I was trying to teach my 5yo-on-Saturday the finer points of weeding (the garden. As opposed to the library. This gets confusing in certain circles), I remembered how, recently, someone (I forget who) had warned me, "You know when you weed dandelions, you have to get the WHOLE ROOT, or they'll come back," and I remembered feeling slightly bewildered and a little offended that they seemed to think this was news to me. Yeah. That's basics. I've known that since I was a kid. I'm teaching that to my five year old right now. I hadn't said anything at the time, just nodded politely in my usual way, but now I wondered, as I knelt digging contentedly as I've done every spring for decades, if that was part of the problem. I DON'T really say what I know, do I?

Which makes sense, really. Especially in that situation-- is there really any point to do anything other than nod politely? But there was now a voice in my head saying, "Hey, you actually DO know a bit about gardening, don't you? You're not a beginner anymore." Sure, I'm not an expert, either. I'm open to learning more-- excited, even. But I've so internalized how utterly ignorant I am-- in every aspect of life-- that even I have started to believe that I don't know ANYTHING ABOUT ANYTHING. And with the amount of stuff I hold inside in public, it's no wonder if other people have no clue how much I know about things, either.

I've been turning this over in my head since then, feeling like I needed to blog it, but even now I can't quite sort it out enough to explain it. In a sense, I've always known way more than I let on. When I was a kid it was social stuff, gossip, pop culture that I absorbed silently, going unnoticed by those who whispered around me and assumed I was just naive to it all. There were a select few, in marching band, in high school, who suddenly realized EXACTLY HOW MUCH STUFF I might have written in my ever-present journals, and they viewed me in kind of amused awe/fear, and I smiled in amused wickedness, and I let the implication of my blackmail power simmer there happily. But normally, I felt a little conflicted about it. I'M NOT CLUELESS! I wanted the world to know, but at the same time, what was I going to DO? I didn't want to take PART in the gossip, or FANGIRL over the pop culture I wasn't particularly interested in (but I KNEW about it, sheez). ACADEMICS, on the other hand, I couldn't hide. I was good at taking tests. That was pretty obvious. Teachers handed out assignments, I aced them, repeat as necessary-- I KNEW stuff. And I didn't care if people knew I knew THOSE things, because they WANTED me to. That's why teachers GAVE tests. To see if we knew those things. And I did.

But adulthood-- people don't give you standardized tests anymore. Nobody's asking what I know. So I'm not offering it up. Anything. Which IS a problem, because people ARE still grading you. It's just the test is so open-ended you don't even realize you're taking it most of the time. My work evaluations, consistently, for the past seven years I've worked at this library, have been low in one area-- communication. I've gotten better about it over time-- I keep better notes, report my schedule better, the basics of what I do are on the record. But when the director sends me and the other children's/YA programming folks articles about STEM programs and even for gosh sake One Book (a program I WRITE for, for ye uninitiated), and asks if we could be doing anything like such, and my coworkers sigh and say "Oh no, I have enough stuff to do," I blink. And then I say, "Yes, I'm doing that next week/I did that last Thursday/I do that every Monday." And it occurs to me that maybe I ought to be talking my programs up more...?

The problem is, without anyone pulling what I know and can do out of me at the end of every unit, I've even started fooling MYSELF into believing that I don't know anything special. I didn't even notice it was happening-- well, I DID notice that I felt utterly incompetent, but I believed it unquestioningly. NOW I'm AWARE that, hey, my brain has been playing tricks on me, and I'm muddled trying to sort it all out. Where is the line, I ask myself, between Owning What You Know and Acknowledging That You Don't Know Everything? It isn't a line, myself replies, it's a freakin' plane, there's tons of variation on this spectrum that you can hang out in. Really? I ask myself again. I can't find the plane. When I think of what I know-- "Hey, I am highly knowledgeable about children's literature!"-- this other voice pops in and says, "But there are other people who know MORE about children's literature than you do!" and instead of accepting this as an inevitable truth and moving on with what I DO know, I use this to negate whatever I knew instead. Who am I to claim that I know ANYTHING?! So I end up paralyzed by self-doubt.* It's writer's block, but it goes beyond writing into the rest of my life. LIFE BLOCK.

But it's also cheating. Laziness. Dodging responsibility. Don't get me wrong, I don't do it CONSCIOUSLY. It's such a deeply embedded Type 9 psychological tic that I never would have found it if I hadn't been trying to sort this all out. The OBVIOUS problem is the lack of confidence in my own competence. But when I dig deeper, that lack of confidence comes from this part of me that says, "I DON'T WANT TO! I DON'T WANT TO ACCEPT THAT I HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE DECISIONS, TO ACT RESPONSIBLY, TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! I WANT SOMEONE ELSE TO TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING! I DON'T WANT TO BE A GROWNUP!"

But I'm NOT incompetent, and I know that very well. I have a working knowledge of many things-- WORKING knowledge. Meaning I should be able to work with it. But I won't ALLOW myself to work with it, claiming that I don't know ENOUGH because I don't know EVERYTHING. But I'm just dodging the work I'm perfectly capable of, the work I was put on this planet to accomplish, whatever that is. I know I'm dodging it even if I'm not entirely sure what I'm dodging. I'm pretending my gifts don't exist, or at least don't exist anymore (I was pretty smart back in the day...), or may exist but are meaningless and of no use to anyone. But it's an act. It's all an act because I'm afraid to face whatever Great Responsibilities might come if I acknowledge that I really DO have Great Power.

So what next? I'm not used to it. I'm not used to acknowledging that I've got Skillz. I haven't the slightest idea how to start. Heck, I still have to talk myself into WANTING to, into WANTING to be the person I'm capable of being. It's so comfortable being lazy, being invisible, letting the world just happen around me. How do you get OUT of that comfy little rut?

---

*this is an old private joke with myself. It's a line from an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy about how snakes are never PARALYZED BY SELF-DOUBT even though they don't have legs, so I always say it in my head in a Bill Nye voice, and will use it wherever it works. Like here.
rockinlibrarian: (eggman)
I’ve been nominated by [livejournal.com profile] vovat (but on his Wordpress blog) for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Here are the rules:

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
Why, thank you, Nathan!
Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. (I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.


Right. But lots of my favorite bloggers have huge followings and professional formats that make them hardly likely to care about such a meme. So this is more a chance for me to share with YOU some awesome-- and versatile-- blogs I follow that YOU should check out, or even possibly follow, if you don't already. It's advertising for great blogs, which I think is the point in the first place.

1. The Bloggess is my new favorite. I can't stop talking about her, and I thank [livejournal.com profile] iamdamanda profusely for pointing her out to me. I am THANKFUL for the Bloggess, for being simultaneously a great advocate for folks with depression and anxiety, AND unbelievably freakin' hilarious. Seriously, funniest blog you will ever follow.

2. A Fuse #8 Production is my classic favorite blog. Granted, as far as "Versatility" goes, the subject IS strictly children's literature, but within that general topic, my #1 blogger girl-crush Betsy covers everything with gusto and humor. And of course THERE ARE THE COUNTDOWNS.

3. E Louise Bates -- shout-out to a smaller more-likely-to-get-an-Award-Meme blog (and it's not only both versatile AND likely-to-get-the-award, I'm pretty sure it already DID relatively recently), run by my dear virtual friend [livejournal.com profile] elouise82. Louise not only has excellent taste in both literature and television and an occasional tendency to post recipes, she writes about everything in a compelling way, encouraging responses and conversations, and coming up with fun lists.

4. Bookshelves of Doom is definitely versatile, covering pretty much whatever catches her fancy (or raises her ire). There is of course (with a name like "Bookshelves of Doom") a tendency to be about books, with frequent reviews, links to book-and-library-related news, and librarian jokes. But they'll be bits about movies and TV (it's her fault I started watching Sherlock-- also, she agrees that Martin Freeman is the most awesome person on that show so that makes her worth following right there) and musicals and her cats and random geeky funny junk that really can be appreciated best by geeky bookish girls of our generation.

5. Nine Kinds of Pie --if Betsy Bird is my #1 Blogger Girl-Crush, my Blogger Straight-up Crush is definitely Phil Nel. He's a children's literature professor/scholar (ie, geek) who takes the name of his blog from my (and his) favorite picture book. Any time he's not discussing children's lit on his blog, he's posting playlists and talking about music (loved this recent post about musical taste). Seriously, MY USERNAME IS ROCKIN. LIBRARIAN. How is it we're not married already? (Kidding. You know I'd never abandon Martin. ...Jason, I meant. I'm married to JASON).

6. Screwy Decimal is a snarky public librarian in Brooklyn. You may just need to follow her on Twitter for the full effect, but even if you only follow the blog, you'll encounter stories from the trenches that are simultaneously hilarious, heartbreaking, uplifting, and ridiculous.

7. Kiersten Writes... speaking of people who are hilarious on Twitter. But author Kiersten White is hilarious across the board. Her posts range from purely silly, to realistic with a lot of humor in the execution, to quite serious on occasion (but even those are leavened by her unique outlook).

8. [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales is someone whose hilarious Livejournal I discovered even before she'd published a book, but now that Sarah Rees Brennan has a whole popular trilogy under her belt, she STILL writes a hilarious Livejournal (though a little less frequently). Lately, in anticipation of the "new Gothic" novel she has coming out in the fall, she's been writing laugh-out-loud retellings of classic Gothic novels monthly. Check them out!

9. Writer's First Aid is a writing blog NOT for people who want tips on getting published or landing an agent or doing school visits, but for writers who are STUCK. Kristi Holl has written books on the topic (I have one-- occasionally I remember to use it), and here she keeps up a steady stream of encouragement, advice on boosting creativity or managing time or just getting your writing head on straight. What's sad is I've been so blocked in the past few years that even THIS advice feels beyond me-- but I'm getting there, and every so often I make progress.

10. Book Aunt for book reviews, and sometimes poetry, and sometimes ruminations on literature or authors or whatnot. [livejournal.com profile] katecoombs is a genuine author friend and I like her. Also I gave her new picture book of poetry, Water Sings Blue, to my mom. Anyway, her reviews give you a true flavor of the books in question (she's won me over to books I hadn't thought I wanted to read before that way), and she's open about the good, the bad, what things certain people might like about it, what things might bother others. And she has good taste.

11. Slow By Little --another small one that could use an audience. My college roommate keeps this picture-filled blog of homelife and travel. See and read about her adventures in Germany last December, and if you scroll down a few posts-- you see that swimming pool? I spent all last Saturday afternoon in that pool. Personal trivia!

12. Happy Opu, in the Whodathunkit category: Canadian actress Jewel Staite is best known for playing one of my favorite TV characters ever, Kaylee Frye. When I found her on Twitter, I was delighted to discover that she also keeps a blog-- one that is not only funny and well-written, but is also almost entirely ABOUT FOOD. Not just any food. Fancy unbelievable Foodie-type food. She describes it in luscious detail, and yes, there are lots of pictures. It's food porn, really.

13. A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy: what's great about Liz Burns' reviews/takes-on-things is that she can be critical but never judgmental. Her book reviews have a section called "The Good," but not a section called "The Bad": she tells you WHY someone MIGHT like something... although when SHE loves it, she does let you know! But she also covers current events in the publishing/library/blogging worlds, movies, TV shows, and ALA policies. Okay, so the ALA policies part may not be roping you non-librarian-types in. But MOVIES and TV SHOWS!

14.squeetusblog: Author Shannon Hale is a wise, well-spoken (okay, WRITTEN) woman. She ponders questions about the elements of story (in any format) and stereotypes and life... and occasionally is just plain silly. She also does this while raising 4 small children including toddler twins. Besides, you know, the whole writing career thing.

15.Memoranda, a blog which once hadan ode to my awesomeness on it (actually, there may have been more to the post than just that). Naturally, I had to keep following Michelle Cooper and the fascinating glimpses into her mind-- historical, geographic, and scientific facts she's discovered, books she's been reading, thoughts she's been having, important things like when the next FitzOsbornes book is coming out... you know.

Honorable Mention to GeekMom, which is one of my very favorite-- and incredibly Versatile-- blogs, but as it's a group blog with many different bloggers, it doesn't quite qualify.

Happy reading! Like you can keep up with any more blogs.

So then, seven things about myself... that I assume you don't already know?

1. Last weekend I had a reunion with college friends that ROCKED MY SOCKS. Even though not much actually HAPPENED, but that's NICE when you're a grownup. The most eventful thing that happened was a night out eating crab cakes and singing karaoke. I did a pretty good Carole King and a not-nearly-warmed-up-enough Ann Wilson. Also, in the "nothing happening in a good way" portion of the weekend, we had to rescue a frog that had jumped in the chlorinated pool. Almost immediately, guess what song started playing on the stereo*? "The Rainbow Connection." Go Kermit.

2. I have gotten involved, over the Internet, in an international project that is so WRITTEN FOR ME that I'm pretty sure it's fate. An actual spiritual Calling. Here's the Tumblr for it (I know, Tumblr. Insanity. I just pretend it's a regular blog). First she offered to write a real handwritten letter to anyone who asked for one. Of course, hundreds of people (including myself) asked for one, so she recruited helpers. We had to apply for the job... but I wasn't really surprised to get it, because, like I said, FATE.

3. I finally, after weeks of protesting that it was much too hot to attempt, weeded the garden today. We thinned the carrots and the kids had the baby carrots at lunch, which thrilled them. Discovered my sprinkler sucks and has been missing whole swatches of garden. All my basil dried up and died off. Tried to buy more, but the hardware store was out. No fresh basil this year. :(

4. My Windows Media Player has randomly downloaded a whole bunch of SONGS I DIDN'T PUT THERE. It's kind of cool, because so far all the ones I've heard have been kind of awesome. But is this a nifty new feature of Windows Media Player-- picking new artists for me it thinks I might like judging by the rest of my collection?-- or have I been HACKED? It's kind of like the coolest computer virus ever if it is.

5. It's Summer Reading Club time! After creating and data-filling a spreadsheet of all participants and what programs they're coming to, I am... not as involved as I used to be. I'm just there on Wednesdays, reading stories and doing booktalks. We've got an awesome set-up though-- one of the small meeting rooms has been turned into a campsite, with a light-up campfire and everything. Then I believe I'm chaperoning the field trip, but we're only doing one this year, at the end of the summer. So... less with the stress.

6. I'm wearing this skirt I made when I first got my sewing machine. It's an awesome blue batik print with bright yellow and pink highlights, which is so awesome I keep wearing it even though I made it lopsided.

7. Sometimes I like to wander down the office supplies aisle at the grocery store and JUST STARE.

*Technically, it wasn't a stereo. It was a playlist on an iPod hooked up to speakers. But that takes too long to say.

PS-- I also can't remember if I mentioned my determination to take drum lessons as soon as Jason's new schedule gets straightened out/paychecks start flowing in. I bought myself a set of 5-dollar drumsticks as a promise to myself. LOVELY RITA AND THE METER MAIDS COULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN. In theory. A vague, unsubstantial theory.
rockinlibrarian: (roar)
The day involved gardening, and grilling, and lots of time spent outside.

Do people spend time outside anymore? It seems to happen so rarely. We've lived here over 8 years and I still know only two families on the street by name-- or even well enough to recognize in another location. APPARENTLY there are other children on this street-- LOTS of children on this street-- because there are always school buses going by.

But today my kids made friends with the kids two doors down. They ran from yard to yard, most of them in bare feet, my daughter also wearing a frilly party dress because her sense of style can't be tamed by practicality (also I was wearing a Christmas sweatshirt for the first part of the day, at her insistence): climbing, running, jumping, hula hooping, digging in sand and dirt, playing school in the treehouse, and just... BEING ALIVE.

I was so GLAD. I was so GRATEFUL they were getting this experience, the experience every kid OUGHT to have, of just picking up with the neighbor kids and having backyard adventures. They were getting socialized in ways my anti-social self could never give them myself. Maybe not always STRICTLY POSITIVE ways. Maybe there was occasional sand-throwing, temper tantrums, and running back to play when it was time to stay home-- but there was also LEARNING from those experiences. Learning how to get along, resolve differences, apologize, and understand that one can say goodbye to a friend and still play with them again tomorrow.

It was Awesome.

And it's what being a kid is supposed to be, isn't it? Getting absolutely filthy, making up the rules as you go along, and seriously, seriously playing. Not being entertained. Not learning by rote. Full-body transcendental PLAYING.

Did I say "kid"? Maybe I meant this is what being HUMAN is supposed to be like. One of my best friends in college and I, we had a theory that buildings were supposed to be for shelter, only, and people were actually supposed to spend as much time as possible outdoors. We read, wrote, and did as much homework as possible out on the patio of the lovely Victorian building next to our dorm, whenever the weather cooperated enough that we weren't, you know, getting wet. I don't spend nearly enough time outdoors anymore. And I suspect I'm not quite living properly.

Edit: It turns out the one little boy, who lives two doors down from us, has been in Sam's preschool class this WHOLE TIME. Apparently they never noticed each other before.
rockinlibrarian: (eggman)
I haven't mentioned gardening this year. Probably because it's been an exceedingly dreary rainy cold spring, and I haven't had many opportunities to DO gardening. NONETHELESS, I managed to finish doubling the size of my vegetable patch today, while the kids climbed all over the wheelbarrow, at that point weighed-immobile by piles of dug-up sod, and threw sand at each other. It was all pretty awesome.

I have been growing tomato plants from seed with the aid of the grow-lamp I got from my SIL for Christmas, and they are ALSO doing Awesome. The impatiens, not so much. Only three impatiens even sprouted. But they're cheap enough to buy by the flat fully-grown, anyway. The basil I grew from seed is also not very impressive, but who knows if they will pick up. Anyway, the tomatoes are well worth it.

So, come probably sometime next week, I'll be off to purchase some more plants and they'll all go in the ground!

In the meantime, Jason's car is having Issues where it won't pass inspection and it was due for inspection last Saturday and the garage can't figure out just what's wrong with it, so I probably won't be driving to the garden center any time soon, until we have two cars again.

In other other news, after that entry about how someone stole my name on Twitter, I ended up getting a Twitter account under the name of @rocknlibrarian1. Curiously enough, rockNlibrarian was ALSO already taken. I haven't checked that one out yet to see if they're impersonating me or anything. I haven't really done anything on Twitter yet, just enough to make me look less uninvolved than @rockinlibrarian, so I'll ask you: who should I be following?
rockinlibrarian: (eggman)
I realized something mildly depressing the other day: I have no idea how to do something Completely For Fun anymore. Oh, I'm great at incorporating fun into whatever I DO do, but if something doesn't have some Practical Purpose BESIDES fun, it makes me antsy. I shouldn't be doing something without a Practical Purpose! What's the point? How can I justify that use of my time?!

It started when I was thinking about, as I mentioned to Liz in the comments of the last entry, how I used to write FOR FUN, and now apparently what's blocking me from writing is that I feel like I ought to be writing For Real, instead of For Fun. Something happened about the time Sammy was born-- I don't know if it's the feeling that I ought to be using my writing to pull in income, and so writing that is not likely to become something that will pull in income seems extraneous-- or, more likely, motherhood is just so draining on my time that I can't let myself do anything Not Practical.

The latter seems to be it, because it's more general. What do I do for fun? Read. I would choose reading over every possible use of my time. But even that carries with it, anymore, a tinge of Ought to. I'm not just reading because it's FUN. I'm reading to add to my Long List of Books I've Read So That I Will Have Read Massive Amounts of Books Bwahahaha! I'm reading because I'm a Book Nerd who wants to be that librarian who perpetuates the myth that we HAVE read every book in the library! I cannot let a halfway interesting book sit unread by me! And dude, that's already cutting out all the books I DON'T personally find halfway interesting, and most of the adult fiction (although I am reading an adult fiction book right now, but this is because it is by Terry Pratchett, and I also Have to read everything he writes because he is a Genius so there is no avoiding it), because I Need to reserve all my reading time for building my Massive Have-Read list!

What other hobbies do I have? Blogging? Professional reasons. That's why most of the blogs I read are related to books or libraries. Gardening? I garden to, in the backyard, stock up on homegrown yummies, in the front yard, keep the Ordinance people off our back. I enjoy it, yes, but only because it has a Practical Side. Remember how I used to sew? Yes, sewing was fun. But I haven't done much lately, mostly because we don't really Need anything sewn right now. As soon as a practical purpose comes up, I'll probably start sewing again.

I canceled my Games Magazine subscription, although it is my favorite magazine ever, because I have a Huge Pile of Incomplete Back Issues to complete. I keep them by the toilets now. Other people have bathroom reading; I have bathroom pencil puzzling-- because otherwise I would NEVER SIT DOWN AND DO IT anymore. Notice, I have pretty much also not joined in any of Jason's (usually online) attempts to start a role-playing campaign post-kids, either. This was the hobby that brought us together in the first place, and has no practical purpose. Seriously, who has time for gaming? Jason does-- even the more impractical Reading-Role-Playing-Books-and-Making-Extensive-Notes-on-Theoretical-Campaigns-That-Will-Probably-Never-Happen. He has NO problem having completely impractical fun with his spare time. Perhaps this is a gender thing.

I did find one thing I do absolutely, purely for fun, and that's play the piano. There's no point to me playing the piano. I'm not even any GOOD at it. But I love doing it, and do it whatever the kids think (Sam will occasionally say "No, don't play the panano,* Mommy!" But he will also occasionally say, "That's a good song!" Often about the same song). Now, if only I could harness that attitude into other hobbies of mine! Specifically, WRITING! But it's much easier to walk past the piano, reach over to the keyboard, and let it suck you down to the bench for the course of a whole song or so. It's harder not to fight the suction of more complicated fun.

Does anyone have any tips on fighting this mindset-- particularly as it applies to writing? Because maybe all other Fun things ARE just wasting time. But I can't let this inability to do anything for fun continue to hinder my one greatest lifelong dream.

*You think "panano" for piano is amusing. He also calls umbrellas "underbellies."
rockinlibrarian: (hi maddie)
Okay, I'm tired of getting phone calls from recordings of politicians telling me who to vote for. Particularly as I'm not allowed to vote in the primaries and the only other registered voter in the house just votes for whoever the NRA says to vote for.*

This is one of those posts that would make a better Facebook status. Too bad I'm not logged ON to Facebook right now, HAH HAH.

So to compensate, I might as well type a bunch of other stuff. Um... Jason bought me Ghosts I Have Been theoretically for Mother's Day. I am totally enjoying this and forgot exactly HOW much of an influence it was in small ways on my writing/tastes/various unknown other factors.

I also recently read an old book I started reading at the writer's retreat and decided to ILL instead of waste retreat time on reading instead of writing; it's If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. Very much the kick-in-the-pants-I-needed type book. The main premise is, JUST FRIGGIN' WRITE ALREADY BECAUSE WRITING IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL. There is actually a chapter titled "Why Women Who Do Too Much Housework Should Neglect It For Their Writing." I'm thinking I need to print that chapter out and hang it up before I send the book back. Anyway, one of the things the book started me doing again is FREEWRITING. Freewriting is something Angie and I did a lot of in high school as if it was some sort of MYSTICAL PORTAL TO THE SUBCONSCIOUS. I tended to try to take "write down whatever you think of as it comes to you" very literally and I'd end up with these very psychedelic unreadable messy pages. Now I just rejoice in the feel of pen crossing paper very fast for long periods of time without stopping. Um, rejoice until my wrist cramps up, of course. I'm out of practice writing longhand for long periods of time without stopping.

And anyway I forgot to freewrite the past two days because I was too busy rereading Ghosts I have Been.

Also, here's another Facebook-worthy statement I almost actually would have made on Facebook yesterday if I had been on the computer at ALL, let alone logged into Facebook-- PLANTS ARE PLANTED! I have annuals in the front and herbs and veggies in the back!!!!!! Sam planted pumpkins, because he wanted to buy pumpkin seeds when we were at the store and I thought Why not, that would be fun for him. We planted those on the compost heap, which is the only place we really have to plant pumpkins in. I have bought mostly roma tomatoes this year because they're best for salsa, but I also got some cherry tomatoes. Planted cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, radishes, parsley, cilantro, basil, oregano (in a pot), and thyme (also in a pot). think that's it. Oh, and some hot peppers I started from seed, but I'm not sure they're doing so, um, hot. Possibly because Maddie kept dumping them out. The other things I tried starting indoors from seed did even worse. I need a grow-lamp.

And see, now I've started typing and I can't stop, even though I could be using the rest of naptime for other things like reading more Ghosts I have Been. Oh well, it really wasn't that long, and anyway naptime's over, and I don't think Sam slept. Maddie is still sleeping. So technically naptime is not over for her, but Sam can probably be allowed out of his room now...

*This MAY not actually be true, but you could have fooled me.
rockinlibrarian: (hi maddie)
Guess what I got to do this afternoon! Plant my vegetables!

I don't know if I'm technically ALLOWED to do anything of that nature yet, but I feel fine-- quite refreshed actually, since I got to spend the afternoon digging in the dirt on a beautiful day-- and my dad had done all the heavy work for me already, working the ground and all (which I should have him do every year-- he did a much better job than I do even when NOT pregnantand/orpostpartum). I just had to plant them. My parents bought plants for me, and they got me 4 or 5 different kinds of tomatoes, which is kind of cool because I would just tend to get a pack of nine same ones-- this way I can compare and use them for different things and so forth. They got me two sweet peppers, but I have horrible trouble actually getting sweet peppers to, well, turn into actual sweet peppers; and I had started a WHOLE bunch of hot peppers from seed. For some reason, my hot peppers grow great, just not the sweet peppers.

Also my parents got me some herbs, but the herb garden still needs weeded, so they're not planted yet.

Another thing I got to do today-- go to the library! I went to our little library because I had Sam and Maddie with me and time, and a book that was due, and so everybody there could get to see the baby. Which means I got books! I was afraid I'd never be able to get out of the house and get new books again! I got, for fun for me, Jellicoe Road, that Printz Award winner that I managed to hear next to nothing about until it won the Printz; and the second Mysterious Benedict Society book. I also got a few books on potty training, both parent reference and picture book introductions. Sam is showing interest, but, you know, this is a pretty upheavalled (isn't that a nice word? we should all use it and make it respectable)time around here, so mostly I just want advice on how to ease into it.

So, my two favorite things to do that I haven't gotten to do in what seems like forever.

Now, I've been getting less computer time lately, go figure, so I have to prioritize, and things like obsessively following Fuse#8's Top 100 Picture Books Poll Countdown (with fair certainty that I can guess the last two books and they were both ones on my votes list, and that my #1 vote also made the top 10 and every other book I voted for, even the ones I was sure no one else even KNEW, made the list, either this means I have very good taste or no creativity when it comes to picture books) have to take precedence over filling out surveys and quizzes on lj and Facebook. BUT when [livejournal.com profile] vovat posted this particular Check-if-you've-seen-it Movie Survey the other day, I couldn't pass it up, because, you see, it is the Animated Movies list.

See, for those of you new to reading about me and my family, my brother is obsessed with cartoons. By "obsessed" I mean "can't understand why other people don't find the debut of obscure new series on the off-hours of Cartoon Network as vitally interesting as he does," and is now actually going to college for computer animation, even though otherwise he's not much interested in art at all. Just cartoons.

So not only have I seen a lot of these movies of my own volition, over the course of his life I've seen quite a lot of these movies through Danny. Sometimes, he gets a new movie and insists that you want to sit and watch the whole thing when you originally planned to get together with your family and, you know, TALK or something. So, in honor of my brother, I present to you--

The Animated Movie List:

Danny wants you to see ALL of these! )

'K then, that's that. Have a nice day.
rockinlibrarian: (Default)
I pulled a bunch of poison ivy up today, and I THINK none of it touched anything but the plastic bag, but if I do break out again in the next couple days I can't say I'd be surprised!

Also, and this will seem funny to people who know me, but one of the most ill-conceived environmental movements of all time is "plant a tree." People really ought to give that one more thought before they go spouting it out. They should say "Carefully choose a tree that is appropriate for the place you intend to plant it, keeping in mind its size when full-grown as well as its suitability to your climate zone, slope and soil composition of your land, and shedding habits; then plant it." I find it funny that while other people are blithely planting trees, I've been ripping out HUNDREDS UPON HUNDREDS of tiny maple trees from places where maple trees really ought not to be. It's amazing how thoroughly maple trees repopulate themselves when fully grown they will take up quite a lot of space. All those little trees would totally compete with each other if they weren't being ripped up by distraught gardeners. But anyway, I'm also thinking of, when I say this, the careless city planners who plant little stick trees in those strips of land between the sidewalk and road without bothering to realize that the tree will grow to be twice the width of that piece of land, along with an extensive and occasionally shallow root system, and will swallow all your lovely phone/electric lines in its height? At which point, you continue to be idiots about the nature of trees and commit that ultimate arboreal sin, Chopping Off the Whole Top, to compensate?

Really, though, and I get into the theoretical zone here now, my biggest gripe with much of the people in the Environmental Movement has always been how they get so emotionally into it that they forget to LEARN THE SCIENCE. Science will be on your side! Science will not only help you make GOOD environmental decisions, rather than faddish ones you read on the Internet, but will much better help you convince those who AREN'T all about environmentalism that conservation and whatnot are important! I get so annoyed with the "save the cute fuzzy animals" argument. Everyone who cares about the cute fuzzy animals is already doing their part. You are preaching to the choir. People who want to know "What's in it for me?" do not care about the cute fuzzy animals, and laying the cute fuzzy animals argument down over and over again just makes them laugh at you and not take the Movement seriously. In fact, the phrase "Save the Earth" itself is not helping the Movement and is not even accurate. The EARTH is in no danger. The Earth can take care of itself. The Earth has gone through mass extinctions and geological turmoil for longer than you can possibly comprehend with your itty human mind. The Earth will keep going on long after the idiotic human race has made it COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE FOR HUMANS TO SURVIVE ON IT. The environmental movement is not about Saving the Earth, it's about Saving Humanity From Itself! If people would acknowledge that more often, maybe more people would see the need to be environmentally conscious!

Anyway, thoughts that one thinks about while gardening.
rockinlibrarian: (Default)
AAAHHH! I was totally looking forward to gardening during naptime because it's beautiful, and now the kid is down and with the perfect timing of fate, IT STARTS THUNDERING!

I might have had other things to post about but didn't because I've been busy doing other things, but I can't think of any now that I unexpectedly have this minute. Is there anything you'd like me to write about? Not that it matters much because once you respond, I probably will not have time to post again.

Edit five minutes later-- now it is clearly raining, so if you thought I COULD get away with gardening to the sound of distant thunder, I'm afraid not. :P
rockinlibrarian: (Default)
I guess I haven't posted in awhile and that's because IT'S BEEN NICE OUT, and when it hasn't I've had other things to do. It's actually about to rain now, but I've already had my fill of outside for today.

The good news is, the poison ivy finally has leaves on it. Why is that good news? BECAUSE NOW I KNOW WHERE IT IS. Although this is AT LEAST two weeks too late. I had a massive rash on my knees first-- shortly after I skinned my knees, because I had one of those huge skinned-knees-appropriate bandaids on the left knee and so got poison ivy AROUND THE EDGES OF THE BANDAID; and since then I keep managing to get random new breakouts here and there even though I've been doing my best to wash everything and stop wearing clothing with holes in the knees again while gardening-- I have a rather large strip of it on my ribs, and I have no idea HOW it got THERE. I apparently eradicated it from MOST of the patio garden, but today I've finally worked down to the end with the butterfly bush, and this is where the evil vine came from apparently, but NOW IT HAS LEAVES, so I could go in properly and carefully with a whole lot of plastic grocery bags. I got the rest of the offshoot vines out, but there's this huge massive woody stem/root RIGHT against the trunk of the butterfly bush. So eventually I gave up with the plastic bags and decided I'd just throw my gloves in the wash and give my clippers and arms a super-scrubbing directly after. BUT the stupid root is still there. I finally sprayed it with Round-up, but I don't know what good that will do.

Now the little guy's awake, so I'll go see about him.
rockinlibrarian: (Default)
Well, I shan't complain that I've read my friends page thoroughly and am out of things to read even though I haven't been on in awhile so why is no one posting, because anyone living near me has a very good reason not to post-- it is gorgeous outside! I of course am now INSIDE at the library, but I spent a good deal of today outside. Sam and I went for a walk with the stroller this morning, at which point I tripped on the stroller wheel going downhill and scraped up my knees and elbow. But since we had just started our walk, and it's enough trouble getting a toddler ready to go outside in the first place, I decided we would continue, and we went down to the park and went on the swings and slide for awhile even though I was bleeding through my clothes. Then we went back and I did clean up a bit.

Then we had leftover spaghetti for lunch. First time Sam had spaghetti sauce. He liked it. It surprisingly wasn't messy if you compare it to what he usually does with his oatmeal. (He also had strawberries for the first time last week-- he LOVES them and gets all hyper when he sees me getting them out).

Then we went out on the back patio and I did a bit of weeding and he ate some dirt. Then I took him in and put him down for a nap. THEN I went out and cleared the patio hill plot thingy of brush. Didn't actually WEED, ie get roots out, but it's amazing what a difference just clearing the stuff on top out makes. Unfortunately, why does it seem that however careful you are to disturb the seeds hanging out on top of the old dry weed stems, something always happens in the process to make them shake off EVERYWHERE? Those weeds, they're good at that natural selection stuff.

So apparently we're giving up on Cecil on Thursday nights. I'll just be here Mondays now, and that's only until, like, mid-May or so. The money I would have been paid for Thursday nights though will now enable me to keep working Sundays into the summer, because the Sunday experiment has been a much more successful one. But I like this little library. I feel sorry for it. I wish more people would use it.

And, for something else to do, here's a survey my aunt emailed the other day:
survey )

Actually I don't feel like writing anything else, so I guess I'll go web-surfing.


I want baked goods.
rockinlibrarian: (christmas)
(yes, it's the Christmas icon, but it's also me as a small child, and that's the main point).

Today is my big round birthday, as is [livejournal.com profile] lady1297's as well, which unfortunately I didn't remember this year until after she posted it herself.

Birthdays, as well as being a time to ignore the large pile of dirty dishes and sit reading Jane Austen* and eating yogurt during the baby's nap (which I suppose is like some kind of classier equivalent of reading trashy romances and eating ice cream instead of doing the dishes), are a good time for being retrospective. This is just an excuse for a lead-in to something I decided to write about yesterday and am still thinking about.

See I was reading this book on Sleep in the library and got to a fact that stated that "children don't have proper dreams until they are 7 to 9 years old," which I have seen similarly stated other places but not SO old-- I think I saw FIVE years before, and I gawked at even that. It went on to say that many younger children do have DREAMS before then, but these are usually static images and so forth, and proper NARRATIVES don't start up until seven. Still, this is wrong in my experience, because I moved when I was five, and I distinctly remember THREE dreams I had from the time period before that, one of which was most DEFINITELY of the narrative variety (the other two weren't EXACTLY static, either, and both involved soundtracks, which I don't think that book mentioned at all).

Now, I know I'm an unusually vivid dreamer in general-- I tend to have more fantastic dreams than the average person. Could my supposedly early dreams be another symptom of this? And does this somehow relate to my loving stories so much? Does my precocious dreaming ability stem from the same traits that gave me a natural inclination for writing? Or did it develop because my parents read me so many books? (But did they really read me so many more books than the average parents who read to their children at all do?)

Then it occurred to me to wonder if I also remember my childhood more vividly than the average person in general. I'm often amazed how many people don't seem to remember what it's like to be even, say, TEN years old, let alone five.

So today's writing prompt questions are-- How far back and how vividly do YOU remember? What is the earliest dream you remember? What is the earliest NARRATIVE dream you remember (a dream that has a plot, illogical and disjointed though it may be and probably is)? Do you have an earliest memory of being self-aware? How much does the You of your childhood relate to the You you are today, and vice versa? Inquiring minds want to know! Write about it!

my answers, or, I go off on this topic for awhile )

*so I don't forget after I go off on this tangent, my parents gave me an annotated edition of Pride and Prejudice for my birthday, and, as I probably mentioned at some point, I have never managed to secure even a NONannotated edition for my very self, so it is very fun to read, and very difficult to decide between reading the annotations as I go just for the interestingness of it, or just plowing along skipping the annotations just enjoying the story even though I have already read it as well as watched it many times. Also, I got from both sets of parents gift cards to both Home Depot AND Lowes so I can shop around for lots of GARDEN STUFF! My parents took us out to Don Pablos Saturday night which was very tasty, and they bought me for dessert, get this, a Boston Cream Pie with Strawberries instead of chocolate, and that HAS to be about the BEST possible dessert they could have picked for me, so they totally rock. Anyway, that's the NEWS news. Now I'll go back up and get on with my writing prompt for the day.

Trees

Mar. 21st, 2008 03:38 pm
rockinlibrarian: (Default)
It's amazing how dirty your hands get gardening WHEN YOU'RE WEARING GLOVES.

I've been expanding the vegetable patch. The other day I made a new perimeter, and today I cut all the new area in some. A little at a time.... It's about three times bigger than before now, but I think I only need to get, like, 150% more vegetables. I always underestimate the space the tomatoes will take up.

I found an acorn while I was digging and tried to figure out where on earth the nearest oak tree was. All the trees in our yard are either ornamental or the huge friggin' evergreens on the one border of the property. This made me realize that I have been spoiled by the trees of my childhood. I had big deciduous trees in my yard growing up (big evergreens, too, but except for the white pine in the middle of the forsythia bushes that gave them a nice roof AND a softly carpeted floor, the deciduous trees were far more interesting). I had this enormous sycamore. My grandpap the tree man hates sycamores. He says they're dirty trees. This is true-- they shed their bark nearly as often as they shed their leaves, and they shed PLENTY of leaves, all year round it seems like, and their seeds are these prickly balls that break up into soft floofiness that is probably highly allergenic. Grandpap would not suggest you plant a sycamore. But THAT sycamore is one unique tree. It had the most superior tire swing, that hung on one cable that came down and y-ed off to attach to either side of the swing just before it reached the swing, so you could twist the strands of the y together and build up a huge amount of kinetic torque, so when you swung you would also SPIN, turning it into some maniacal amusement park ride that I couldn't NOT do at the time but now in adulthood is making me motion sick just thinking about. We'd also rake up a huge pile of the sycamore's leafy plentitude strategically below the end of the swing's arc, so you could jump off the swing into it. Thinking that I, Madam Afraid Of Everything, used to jump off swings into large piles of leaves as a child, suddenly makes me feel extra-concerned about raising the son of my husband, for some reason...

...who is now awake and probably wondering why I haven't gone in to get him yet.

Yet another Mood they should have but don't: itchy. And this probably isn't the connotation of "dirty" they meant, but it's the only one I'm likely to use. (And that's a picture of Sam covered in amoxicillin. Which isn't quite the same dirty as I am right now, because mine actually involves dirt, but is closer at any rate).
rockinlibrarian: (portrait)
I have a bunch of random thoughts I could write about, or I could write to prompts, but I pulled two prompts and don't like either of them, which I know is not playing the game properly, but it's not like I pulled two prompts and decided not to write ANYTHING. I'm going to write other junk instead. Like:

* You know what I love? Parts of music that spontaneously change volume and/or instrumentation to cool effect. It happens pretty often in classical music but less frequently in popular music-- in POP music, maybe never-- but for some reason in rock music it ALWAYS GETS me, like the sudden entrances of loud electric guitar in the beginnings of both Zeppelin's "Over the Hills and Far Away" and Jethro Tull's "Locomotive Breath." Or, slightly different, the random snippet of piano that shines through the chaos at the end of "Tomorrow Never Knows." Or the duet between the guitar-on-the-radio and the lead guitar in "Wish You Were Here." Or, because it is on my computer right now and is probably how I got on this subject, pretty much the entirety of "Baba O'Riley": opening with the synthesizer loops that alone would be very boring and annoying unless you like techno, but just when you think it MIGHT be some boring synthesized track suddenly PIANO, huge booming REAL piano chords, slow and rich on top of the harried synthesizer, and THEN enter the DRUMS in a triumphant flourish that completely sums up everything that is great about rock music and single-handedly earns Keith Moon his standing as my third favorite rock drummer of all time. And then, at the end, IRISH FIDDLE! JUST BECAUSE!

* I wish more people would advertise on livejournal so that I wouldn't get the same stupid ads over and over on the side of the page. Speaking of stupid internet ads, I don't think I've seen any of these on lj, but other places, what is the point of the stupid dancing people in ads for your Free Credit Report or whatever other things they are? Are they supposed to represent your happiness if you click on their ad and send them your personal information? Or are they the work of some kind of Random Animation Generator? Because seriously, it's not selling ME their product.

* Sam needs a haircut. But specifically, he needs some TRIMMING here and there. But people always make such a big deal out of Baby's First Haircut, and I don't know if it's even POSSIBLE to save one of those Precious Little Locks, because they're more like stray strands and all. I thought I'd wait until just before his birthday, so that he'd look like a Big Boy and all, but it's getting pretty bad, so maybe for Easter instead.

* The almost-feral rose bush in the patio hill just shot a HUGE long tendril WAY down through the butterfly bush and nearly to the birdfeeder, OVERNIGHT, I'm certain. This inspires my typical mixed feelings of DARN I NEED to cut that thing back if not OUT and OOOOOO it's so very Secret Gardeny and it would be sacrilege to cut it! This is the time of year when I always feel the deep-rooted need to read The Secret Garden, though this year I can't imagine having the time to do so, when I have library books that need to be read by the 28th and I can barely see THAT happening. ... The Secret Garden is really an incredible book, it's no wonder it's 100 years old and still well-loved. It's because it's got such full emotional range. It's light and wonder and growing things and miracles, that only work BECAUSE it all comes out of such a TOTALLY DARK base. It has a lot to teach the books that seem to think you can only be one or the other.

* Incidentally, after last Thursday's gorgeous spring weather, I've been itching to get started with the gardening, but it seems like, since then, any time it's been warm it's been raining, and when it hasn't been raining it's been cold. I've gone out the cold dry times anyway, though.

Okay, that's all I have to write about today. Feel free to expound upon any of these topics as your own writing prompt, since I didn't pick any of the official ones to post.

* one more. Why are there so many words listed in the "mood" tags that I never feel like using, but there are a billion other words I want to use all the time that they don't have? "Distracted" I know is one I want. I know you can type them in, but the picture doesn't always match well enough. I'm not sure what my mood is at the moment, but I'm fairly sure none of the options captured it. "Mildly cheerful," perhaps.
rockinlibrarian: (Default)
Sammy's asleep so I can type with two hands, which is much more productive for an entry. I suppose it's equally productive for, you know, doing writing I can get paid for, but three of you have already yelled at me to write about yesterday, today. Or at least you responded to that entry.

Except I didn't actually mean to "write about YESTERDAY" (or yesterday's today), just that yesterday would be included in a general catch-up about Sammy, who is making this a week of Sort of Milestones.

Currently he is recovering from his Very First Ear Infection. That was our excitement of yesterday, going to the doctors' and having the doctor try to see in Sammy's ears which didn't work because Sam has apparently inherited his dad's bizarre trait of aquiring large quantities of rock-hard ear wax, so then it was a matter of trying to get the wax OUT in order to SEE into the ear, which let me tell you was NOT Sammy's favorite thing to happen this week. Actually it probably was the most traumatic experience of his life so far, considering it made him so angry he literally was turning purple. "Bad news is," said the doctor after looking in the first ear, "that's definitely infected. Good news is THIS ear is obviously infected, so we don't have to try to clean out the other one since the treatment's the same either way!"

So, Leah and Rita my pharmacy/biology experts, and especially Rita since you've probably tried to medicate a non-solid-eating-yet infant before, is it really bad when half of each dose of antibiotics gets dribbled-if-not-spit back out, or is a little bit of leeway accounted for in the dosing of infant medication so that my son isn't single-handedly breeding the resistant superbug that will wipe out humanity?

In further painful milestone news, on Friday he gave himself his Very First Paper Cut. But HOW he did so makes for a much cooler dubious milestone: he's started reading books! Okay, he's really become fascinated with print, which is cool, but anyway we were sitting on the floor listening to this CD from my aunt, Boynton and Ford, which my mom couldn't believe I've never heard of before but they write really awesome kids CDs (you know, kids CDs that adults actually like)-- anyway, the CD rocked, incidently, but it comes with a book with the words and notation in it, a picture book, and I had it opened up on the floor beside me, and Sammy was sprawled over my knees on his tummy. I noticed he was looking at the book. Then I stopped looking, I don't know what I was doing, dozing off or looking the other way or something, when I heard him yell, so I looked back, and Sammy was looking at the NEXT PAGE of the book! And then he turned ANOTHER page! He pawed the page over with his hand, not like the fine motor coordination an older person would use to turn pages, but he figured out that pages get turned (and in the right order too, though this is probably more to do with him being right-handed), and that's just dang cool. It was another minute though before I spotted a bit of blood on his knuckle and realized why he'd yelled... his first page-turning experience marred by a paper cut!

He's started creeping in earnest, belly-crawling. He doesn't hate Tummy Time QUITE as much as he used to, expressing his discomfort, annoyance, and frustration in a series of angry yelps as opposed to immediate full-blown crying. Mostly I just let him yelp until he sounds REALLY upset, and he's made some really decent progress forward and is holding himself up on his arms higher and higher, yelping all the way.

When he's on his back his latest game is swinging his legs up as high as they can go. This will probably result soon in either his catching his feet in his hands, which will be an exciting discovery for sure, or his flipping back to front, which I think is what he's actually trying for. So far he gets over onto his side, but not past, though he's taken to lying on his side quite happily lately, although now I'm not sure if this isn't because it's more comfortable on his ears that way.

On the whole I'm lucky to have such a generally good-tempered and fun kid... especially now that I know his fussiness of the past few days is because his EARS HURT, it puts in sharp relief all his happy fun times... and the fact that he still has happy fun times even when his ears have been hurting!

PS-- I also did something productive this morning. I harvested the second-year parsley that grew wild in what-I-had-once-hoped-to-be-a-proper-herb-garden-until-I-got-pregnant-last-summer and am going to dry it to refill my empty dried-parsley-flakes-cannister, so I can say, haha, I could have BOUGHT more parsley flakes but why buy when you can DO IT YOURSELF HAHA! Anyhoo that's pretty cool.
rockinlibrarian: (Default)
Does anyone want to go to a Strawberry Festival on Saturday? All of you that, uh, actually live near me and won't be out of town (or the country)? Neh, I'd just love to go, but it doesn't seem worth it to bundle up the baby and go without company that can actually share in the wonder of strawberries with me. Jason will be groundhog hunting that afternoon... not that he would appreciate the wonder of strawberries anyway.

Sam learns to play
rockinlibrarian: (Default)
Somehow I think I've developed a post-partum allergy to Tombstone pizza. The two times I've had it in the past four weeks, I've felt horribly ill right after (and Jason hasn't), and I've had other pizza (once), other things with mozzarella cheese, and other things with Italian-spiced tomato sauce, and not felt sick, and haven't felt sick this way any other time these four weeks either. Well, I'm rounding, I felt a bit nauseous EXACTLY four weeks ago, but that's because I was in early labor. Anyway, speaking of other people with digestion problems, Sammy got through his last round of gas bubbles on my knee and has fallen asleep again. wish I knew what the culprit was in his case. Don't think it's dairy, because I have had lots of dairy all the time since the beginning and he didn't have a problem then. Gyros? The cucumber sauce maybe? I got a gyros kit the other day and have had that for dinner twice this week. Mom W said she couldn't eat any leafy vegetables when feeding bethany (you think that would've been with JASON). I thought it might be the oatmeal I had for breakfast the other day, judging by when he was fussy, but I didn't have oatmeal today. Ugh, I hope whatever's causing MY current discomfort doesn't make it into the milk-- then there will be NOTHING anyone can do!

Possibly I overworked myself this morning. I finally dragged my butt (and Sammy's-- and a quilt for the ground) to the backyard to work on the vegetable bed. Weeding is probably one of those things you're not supposed to do before six weeks, but oh well, it's Mothers Day weekend and the tomatoes HAVE, just HAVE to go in. Says me. I mean to pick some up tomorrow! But perhaps a cross between physical exertion in improperly premature ways and Tombstone pizza is what is making me feel sick. I seem to recall wondering if I'd been doing too much when I felt sick the last time, too. I forget what I'd been doing that day though.

Sunday is Sammy's baptism. I have successfully gotten my siblings to be godparents. Don't know who I'll get for the next kid, because I'm out of siblings, and my two closest --only--practicing Catholic friends live in faraway states like Georgia and North Dakota. Perhaps one or the other will live closer by the time the next kid comes along. Dang Catholicism. The priest even said when we went in for the baptism prep meeting that the whole point of godparents was to officially ensure that the kid had someone else who would take care of them should the parents die in a plague or so forth, back in the middle ages, so you'd think they'd be more open about who can be godparents. Eh, we'll worry about that when the next kid comes along. At least three years.

He makes such funny faces when he sleeps. Well, he makes funny faces when he's awake too. He looks more like Jason all the time, which is funny because I always heard that babies look the most like their fathers at birth, as a kind of natural paternity test, and then gradually look more like their mothers (like my cousin Zoe, when she was born, it was like "WHOA, look, it's a Blankenship!" but since then she looks a lot more like her mom. Though she still looks like a Blankenship. Just not as shockingly). Actually, it's the top half of Sammy's face that looks like Jason, and the bottom half-- well, the mouth and chin-- is mine. This is a good combination, apparently. It makes him look far cuter than either of us did as babies.

Anyway, I'll go before he wakes up and I end up doing something else for a couple hours and forgetting to post this. Have a nice day.
rockinlibrarian: (Default)
Well, now that you all expect me to pop at any moment, I feel like I ought to check in a bit more frequently just so you know that I am still here, and actually at the moment don't feel in much danger of popping in the next few days-- I'm sure he will be waiting 'til april after all. It helps that I did decide to quit work a week early. The amount of stress this takes off me! Not having to worry about whether or not I will make it through my scheduled day, and even MORE not having to worry about THAT DRIVE-- that latter is probably the biggest relief. I'm just not up for long drives anymore, especially ones that require unpredictable traffic jams and bizarre lane change dances such as the ones that take place coming out of/going into (depending on your direction) the Fort Pitt Tunnels! So instead I am home where I am not in danger of car accidents and can rest every hour if I need to. ALTHOUGH it is beautiful and spring and now I wish he WOULD hurry up and get out here so I can START GARDENING. I weeded a bit of what I could reach of the raised portion around the patio, but am physically unable to do any more than that!

And here's a survey from [livejournal.com profile] vovat:
Read more... )

Now it has started to thunder, so I'd better get off this thing...

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