07 August 2011

Lightning, Lightning--Very, Very Frightening

Last night, the relatives and I were channel-surfing before we finally landed on a PBS documentary about Soviet Russia in World War II. Those of you who know me well know that I have an unhealthy fascination with all things Russian and anything remotely related to World War II, so I was pretty stoked. And this documentary was a nerd's dream come true. The re-enactment scenes were all in Russian, German, or Polish, and the actors actually looked like the historical figures they were playing. Stalin looked like Stalin! Little nerdy Zella was so happy that, instead of getting on the internet last night as she always does, she decided to stay up until the wee hours of the morning--or however long it would be on--watching the documentary.

The rest of the family slowly trickled off to bed, leaving just me, my trusty Chihuahua, and my grandmother to watch the documentary. Outside, a thunderstorm raged, but it was the first rain we've had since late June, so it could storm as much as it wanted. I know a reasonably safety-minded person would, you know, turn off the TV during a storm, but it wasn't a raging storm and--darn it--I wanted to watch my documentary about Soviet Russia. *glares at any naysayers*

At about 10:25 pm, right as I was riveted by the discussion of Stalin's uneasy alliance with the Polish government in exile, a dramatic clap of thunder and a brief flash of lightning accompanied a seconds-long power outage. I know a reasonably safety-minded person would have given up and gone to bed, but the power was only out a couple of seconds and--darn it!--I was watching my Soviet documentary.

Around 10:37 pm, just as the documentary began to delve into American aid to the U.S.S.R. during the war, a second clap of thunder accompanied a power outage. I didn't see the lightning bolt that was responsible. I waited for the power to inevitably turn back on--just as it had ten minutes earlier. I mean, it came on before. The TV did not explode in the process--obviously the power is just out. Why wasn't it coming back on?

Alas, as I sat in pitch-darkness, anxiously awaiting the TV to magically power back on, I realized that it wasn't coming back on, and I wasn't getting on the computer, either. As I had sat on the couch delusionally expecting that my documentary would reappear at any moment, my far more practical grandmother had already acquired a flashlight, which she handed to me. I shined the light around to locate my darling Chihuahua and saw him huddled up in a corner with an extraordinarily lugubrious look of self-pity on his face. His eyes were wide and pleading, his ears askew atop his dainty head. He hates storms; oh, how he hates them. He had been sitting with me, but I guess after the power went out, he jumped down on the floor in a temporary fit of lightning-induced fright. I balanced him alongside the flashlight in my arms, reassured him that he was okay, and headed off to bed.

By the time I picked my way to my room, I noticed that Mr. Chihuahua was no longer frightened but was extraordinarily pissed off. I could tell because now his eyes were sullen, his lips were pursed in a disdainful grimace, and his ears were pinned back. It does not pay to irk Mr. Chihuahua--as sweet as he is, I have learned in the past ten years of owning him that his feelings are not to be trifled with. And I had trifled with them big time.

Horrible Chihuahua owner that I am, I had forgotten his bone. He has developed a liking for peanut-flavored bones that borders on addiction, and there were none in my room. How thoughtless of me! Never mind that in the pitch-blackness he couldn't even see to eat the bone. It's our nightly tradition for me to tuck him in with a bone--or two--and he would not go to sleep until he got a bone.

I trekked back to the living room, was successful in my bone hunt, and returned to my room. By this point, Mr. Chihuahua was overwhelmed with joy. He had his bone, and that was all that mattered. He danced around on my bed and wagged his tail as a show of gratitude, then snatched said bone out of my hand and perched on the foot of the bed, his usual resting place.

I tried to fall asleep, but--as someone who routinely goes to bed at 1 am--I was not the slightest bit tired. I would have read, but the only source of light was my grandma's flashlight. I thought it would be slightly ungrateful of me to run out the battery reading. Instead, I tried to sleep as my mind wandered to topics that ranged from my upcoming college semester to true crime to Russian history to how I'm going to arrange stuff in my dorm room this semester to my Chihuahua's frantic mulling around as he tried to sleep. Apparently, the insomnia is contagious.

Suddenly, a faint noise intruded upon my restless mind. It sounded like--yes--I think the electricity came back. Thank you, God! Let there be light! I turned on the lamp beside my bed, expecting to see the faint, warm glow of the lamp's lowest setting. Instead, I saw darkness. Lots and lots of darkness. Fine. I suppose the power didn't come back on. My ninja senses were fooled. . . . The lamp has three light settings, so I turned the knob a couple of more times to turn the lamp off, in the event the power ever came back on.

I tried to sleep again, only to have my mind invaded by more thoughts: Chinese food, the documentary I had watched, stuff I need to remember for work on Monday, *cough* what to blog about this week *cough*, stuff I need to remember when I go back to work at my other job this weekend. Slowly, sleep started to overtake me. It snuck up on me just as I was formulating a blog post, and it gently lulled me into a pleasant slumber. Oh, sleep, how I love you! The rain continued to patter outside and lightning continued to flash occasionally outside my window, but I was just on the cusp of sleep, and I could not care less.

Just as I dozed off, a bright light flashed before my eyes. I jumped awake--staring around my room for the creepy person who was shining a flashlight in my face. Come out, come out wherever you are, bearer of the flashlight! Instead, I saw my Chihuahua staring at me from the foot of the bed. Wait! I could see my Chihuahua! I couldn't see unless there was light. There wouldn't be light unless the power was back on! At this point, I turned to my side and noticed my lamp, on its highest setting.

Hmm . . . I must not be smart enough to guess how many times I have to turn the knob before I turn the lamp off. I eventually drifted off to sleep . . . about 1 am, as usual.

30 July 2011

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of These

Do any of you put any stock in dreams? I'm not much of a dreamer. In fact, it's rather rare for me to dream. Well, according to some research I once read, we all dream constantly in our sleep--it's only the ones that are going on when we wake up that we remember. Regardless of the science behind it, I kind of like not having dreams invade my sleep. Most of my dreams fall into two types: strange dreams involving me running from various adversaries or strange dreams where I spend the whole time complaining about the logic of said dream. I kid not!

In the former type of dreams, my pursuers have included my mom, axe murderers, aliens, Robert Mitchum as The Preacher in The Night of the Hunter, angry pigs, and Nazis. The dream featuring the Nazis was set in WWII-era Holland. I know because I asked someone else who was running away from the Nazis with me. I shouted at him "Where are we?" which was a stupid question. I mean, come on, most normal people, when being chased by unknown assailants, want to know who is chasing them. Not me. I wanted to know where I was. The guy's exact answer was "World War II-era Holland." He may have lied to me, though. He soon disappeared, and I was trapped not long after. I think Mr. World War II-era Holland may have sold me out. In fact, I seriously doubt we were even in Holland. . . .

The latter type of dream usually has me seeing something impossible take place, such as people flying without wings, and me arguing, "But that can't happen! This has to be a dream!" while everybody ignores my protests. Apparently, I'm an obnoxious skeptic even in my sleep.

As much as I dislike dreaming, I have become comfortable with my routine dreams. If I start running in a dream or whining about logical fallacies, I feel safe because it's, well, normal. Thus, you can see why I was so startled by a dream that I had a couple of nights ago--a dream that I still haven't quite recovered from.

This summer I had my wisdom teeth removed. Overall, the experience wasn't too awful, though I wouldn't exactly jump up and volunteer to do it again. I had my teeth pulled in two different phases, about three to four weeks apart, and each time I spent a few days gumming pudding before I was back to normal. Though I physically got back to normal within a week each time and I've been wisdom tooth free for at least three weeks, I can't quite shake the fear that my remaining teeth are loose. I know, I know--My teeth are not loose. The dentist never mentioned anything about it when my teeth were examined afterwards. I can even think up a couple of psychologically-based theories that would make Freud proud concerning why I think my teeth are loose. Nevertheless, just because I can rationalize why my teeth are not loose does not mean they don't feel loose. Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean people are not following me!

This fear has just been a slight little paranoia for the past several weeks, but a couple of nights ago it became a very scary reality. On the day in question, I had stayed up until the wee hours of the morning reading about Jack the Ripper. (Long story.) I figured I'd have nightmares about ol' Jack, presumably involving my being chased by him and my shouting, "Hey! We're not running through the East End! This setting is all wrong! This must be a dream" in the process. Alas, if only I had dreamed that.

Instead, that night I dreamed I was in a peaceful meadow. It was sunny and lovely and all that jazz. I was sitting there, admiring the meadowy view when I suddenly felt like something was in my mouth. Perplexed, I tried spitting whatever it was out--to no avail. After several more aborted attempts to get whatever it was out, I finally reached my hand in there to remove the offending item. I proceeded to then yank out an entire string of my teeth. Yes, my dream set of teeth are on a string. They're also large, mis-shapen, and unevenly spaced from each other. They look like hideous hillbilly teeth beads. I was so horrified that I could not resist reaching into my mouth and pulling out another string of teeth. If I had been in my normal dream state of mind, I would have got up and ran from the teeth or at least shouted, "Hey! There's no way that that many teeth fit in my head" or "Hey, my teeth look nothing like that!" Alas, no such return to normalcy awaited me. Instead, I pulled out more strings of teeth and stared dumbfoundeded at my teeth until my alarm clock blared. I awoke frantically clawing at my face. I couldn't calm down until I had ascertained that a) my teeth were in my head and b) my teeth were, for the moment, not loose.

Oh, for the days when I dreamed of running away and yelling at my dreams. It seems that they have risen up in revolt. And what brutal opponents they make. . . .

19 July 2011


So . . . I totally stole this post idea from Lola. Thank you, Lola! :D The basic idea, which you are free to steal from me, is to put your Ipod/MP3 player on shuffle and answer the following questions with the song titles that appear. With the aid of my trusty MP3 player, Percy, I did just that. I also included links to all of the songs, though I must warn you that #3 and #11 have profanity in the lyrics, if that sort of thing bothers you.

1. What do you like in a guy?
"Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 6-9" (Pink Floyd). Is it really a surprise to anyone who knows me that I like crazy people? I mean, really?

2. What is your life's purpose?
"Bela Legosi's Dead" (Bauhaus). None of you are supposed to know this, but I'm a nerd by day and a vampire hunter by night. I cannot rest until Dracula is dead.

3. What is your motto?
"Full Circle" (Drowning Pool). I suppose this one means I believe in karma? Or vengeance. ^^

4. What do your friends think of you?
"Soul Sucker" (Ozzy Osbourne). Ouch. Actually, if you listen to the song and ignore the title, maybe YOU guys are the soulsuckers. I don't want to contemplate that.

5. What do you think about very often?
"Burning Bright" (Shinedown). I'm an arsonist? Or I just feel a bit like a self-destructive outcast? The first, not so much. The latter? Yeah.

6. What does 2+2 equal?
"After The Storm" (Mumford and Sons). That answer is either the most profound or the most nonsensical solution to a math problem I've ever encountered.

7. What do you think of your best friends?
The Complete History of The Soviet Union, Arranged To The Melody Of Tetris (Pig With The Face Of A Boy). Because, you know, everyone needs friends that remind them of Soviet history set to the theme of a classic arcade game.

8. What do you think of the person you like?
"The Night Santa Went Crazy" (Weird Al Yankovic). Um, look, there's a difference between crazy and crazy. This one is pushing the limits of the crazy I'll tolerate.

9. What is your life story?
"I Shot The Sheriff" (Eric Clapton). For the record, I want it noted that I did not shoot the deputy.

10. What do you want to be when you grow up?
"Another Brick In The Wall, Part 3" (Pink Floyd). But I don't want to be another brick in the wall! I want to be free of the wall! And if I must be another brick, I don't want to be the third one. *stamps feet* Lies! All lies!

11. What do you think when you see the person you like?
"Jeremy" (Pearl Jam). A song about suicide? Come on! Even I am not that morbid. :(

12. What do your parents think of you?
"Hell's Bells" (AC/DC). Bahahaha

13. What will you dance to at your wedding?
"Another One Bites The Dust" (Queen). In some weird way, this one makes sense.

14. What will they play at your funeral?
"Engel" (Rammstein). This one sounds sweet at first, but, considering that the English translation of the chorus includes the refrain about not wanting to be an angel, I have decided that some mean people are picking the music for my funeral.

15. What is your hobby?
"Turn The Page" (Bob Seger). I couldn't have picked a more appropriate answer based on title. But not content. My hobby is not being on stage. I'm too cowardly.

16. What is your biggest secret?
"Daisy Dead Petals" (Tori Amos). Well, now that you know the alias I use as a vampire hunter, there goes that line of work. . . .

17. What do you think of your friends?
"The Song Remains The Same" (Led Zeppelin). Does this mean my friends never change? Or that they are all alike? Or that I'm like all of them? I don't understand!

18. What's the worst thing that could happen?
"Riders On The Storm" (The Doors). Did you not just hear the man?! Jim Morrison said that there's a killer on the road! What could be worse?

19. How will you die?
"Carnival of Rust" (Poets of the Fall). I should have gotten a tetanus shot after all.

20. What is the one thing you regret?
"Lithium" (Evanescence) Would someone at least tell me how I ended up on meds to begin with?

21. What makes you laugh?
"Seven Nation Army" (The White Stripes). I want to know what is so funny about facing off with such a numerous foe.

22. What makes you cry?
"Marvelous Things" (Eisley). I have actually never been much of one to cry for joy.

23. Will you ever get married?
"Song of Joy" (Nick Cave and The Bad Seed). Don't let the title fool you. According to the song, I will get married. I'll just end up murdered by my husband. Oh. Joy.

24. What scares you the most?
"Run Through The Jungle" (Creedance Clearwater Revival). One must be fleet of foot to outwit the frightening beasties of the forest. I fear I am not quite that fleet.

25. Does anyone like you?
"Gimme Shelter" (Rolling Stones). I'll take that as a negative.

26. If you could go back in time, what would you change?
"Werewolves of London" (Warren Zevon). If it were up to me, the little old lady would not be mutilated and Jim would keep his lungs.

27. What hurts right now?
"Pinball Wizard." (The Who). What? I suck at pinball, and the wizard is prone to gloating.

28. What will you post this as?
"Promontory" (Last of The Mohicans soundtrack). ???????

What have I learned from this exercise? I have a lot of old-school music. That and I need to get some less depressing tunes if I don't want to end up as a murdered vampire hunter killed with tetanus by a psychopathic husband.

10 July 2011

Quiz Me!

I am a complete sucker for online quizzes--the crazier, the better. I'm not sure what is the motivation for this compulsion--if there were a quiz to determine it, I would take it--but my quiz-taking has increased substantially this summer. Maybe it's my own innate sense of procrastination or just having some spare time on my hands, but this summer has found me staring idly at my computer, answering pointless quizzes.

At first, my quiz-taking was somewhat analytical and self-reflective. I've had several people ask me what Enneagram number I am. I wasn't sure, so I took a couple of Enneagram quizzes online. My score each time was 5--Investigator, Observer, or Thinker. I'm okay with this result, or so I thought I was. According to the personality blurbs, 5s are curious, independent, and introverted but also prone to, and I quote, "eccentricity, nihilism, and isolation." I'm not sure what the world has against eccentric nihilistic loners, but there you go. Scanning a list of famous 5s, I spotted Samuel Beckett, Tim Burton, Albert Einstein, T.S. Eliot, and Franz Kafka, which made me feel pretty good about myself, until I also noticed Howard Hughes, Tim McVeigh, and the Unabomber, as well. I've had several people tell me I'll meet a bad end. It must be because I'm a 5. . . .

Inspired by the Enneagram results, I also retook my Sparknotes personality quiz and got the same results I did last time: Submissive Introverted Abstract Feeler. I would argue that I'm not submissive, but my boss told me the same thing last semester, and my totally assertive response was "Yeah, I guess you're probably right." Oh, Zella, your assertiveness overwhelms us all. I felt somewhat enlightened by these results, though my inner nerd revolts against the idea of being pigeon-holed by a number or a label or both.

Nevertheless, I continued on my quest for enlightenment by taking some of the quizzes on The Oatmeal. (Just FYI: Some of the quizzes are a bit more vulgar than you may care to experience. Just trying to give you a head's up.) I learned that, if faced with a swarm of Justin Biebers, I could fight 22 of them single-handedly, and that my corpse would feed 48 starving weasels, and that I would survive 58 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor, and that I would last 1 hour and 10 minutes before becoming infected by a zombie bite. All important things to know about one's self that I gained on this quest for self-awareness.

I think the most important bit I picked up, though, was when I clicked on a link from The Oatmeal to another website that promised to tell me what I would taste like to a cannibal. I answered several routine, matter-of-fact questions, regarding things like weight, ethnicity, and eating habits. I waited with great anticipation as the little cursor promised me that my results were coming. When I read them, I recoiled with horror. According to this highly scientific quiz, I would taste like mesquite chicken to a cannibal.

I was flabbergasted--a cannibal would find me tasty? My mind tried to rationalize what this would mean--I'm not sure if that's the 5 or the submissive introverted abstract feeler coming out in me--and I realized the most disturbing thing about this quiz was the fact that the questions in it were so matter-of-fact. If the quiz had asked me weird questions, the results would have seemed funny. As they were, they were just disturbing. Why did I taste like mesquite chicken? Is it because I'm a little overweight or because I don't exercize constantly? The results and their implications drove me to the brink of despair.

I told my brother about my pain. He thought it was hilarious. Then he wanted to take the quiz. I found it for him and let him answer all of the questions. We waited in rapt silence for his results to be generated. I assumed that since we were siblings, we would probably belong to the same food group. Heck, we might even both taste like chicken. Then I heard a little whimper at my side; Brother Dearest was staring at the screen, with a look of profound disturbance upon his brow. His results? Undercooked tofu. Ewww. . . .

I tried to console him the best I could as I also attempted to stifle my laughter.

"Hey, at least you're not something anyone would want to eat. *snicker*"

"But . . . but . . . you're at least tasty. I'm not."

"I don't think that's a good thing when confronted with a cannibal."

"Well, no, but . . . you're at least not undercooked tofu."

Brother Dearest doesn't eat tofu, regardless of how well it is cooked.

My one consolation is that, according to The Oatmeal, I only have a 58% chance of being eaten by my relatives. Good to know. Good to know, indeed.

02 July 2011

Zella Kate, Library Detective: The Case of The Missing Book

Hello, friends, Romans, countrymen, and enemies! I apologize for my entirely inexcusable absence from the world of Blogger. I have just been so darned busy this past year that I just haven't had time to update regularly. I hope to remedy that, even if only temporarily, with what I have left of the summer. That's the theory, anyway. Oh, lookie! A new blogpost awaits you! *hopes everyone is suitably distracted and does not notice my wallowing for forgiveness*

As most of you know, I have spent the past four summers--and the first two years of college--working part-time at my local public library. In my position as a library employee, my actual duties are technically limited to general office tasks, checking books in and out, and shelving. However, because I work in a small library, I often find myself doing tasks, such as reference, that usually would fall to a librarian who possesses, ahem, actual library credentials. However, that's not quite how things work. I'd be shelving books and some poor soul would come to me, asking for help finding a specific book or for help with a research project. Technically, I should have turned such a case over to my superiors, but they are often contending with other people asking them the exact same questions and they are firm believers in serving the public and not nitpicking over petty rules; thus, they have always been more than supportive of my taking on tasks that a larger library would deem me unfit to perform.

I suppose these privileges have sort of gone to my head in the past few years that I have worked there--I have become a bit smug in my belief that I can ruthlessly hunt down sources and books for our patrons even if I do not possess a black belt in the book ninja arts. I have become somewhat convinced of my abilities as a book ninja, capable of ferreting out AWOL books and procuring items based on vague clues that consist of "I think it has a dog on the cover? Maybe. I really don't know. It is red, though--the cover, not the animal that's on it." I have even begun to believe that, as a book ninja, I am invincible. Alas, this sort of belief has been the downfall of many an expert book ninja, including those far more skilled than I could ever wish to be. It was only a matter of time before I was most righly put in my place, which is exactly what happened this week.

The time was approximately 9:30 a.m. The day, a Friday. You can call me Joe Friday if you wish-- *cough* Wait, where was I? Oh, yes.

I had just taken a stack of books off of the handcart my library uses as a repository for books that have been checked-in but need to be reshelved and returned them to their rightful places in large type fiction when I overheard my boss and a patron looking for a book, James Patterson's 3rd Degree, to be precise. The book was nowhere to be seen, so my boss, who is quite a book ninja in her own right, asked me if I would check the shelf one more time, in case she missed the pesky volume. In our library, this is standard book ninja procedure. Any book ninja may overlook a text while scanning the shelves, so it always helps to bring in an extra set of eyes. We must be vigilant in tending our sheep to protect them from the wolves.

I checked our fiction section for the two shelves that hold Patterson's books. The volume in question was indeed missing. If there is one thing I have learned in my book ninja apprencticeship it is the fact that a book is not where it is supposed to be does not mean that the book is not in the library. Thus, I scanned the shelves below and above the Pattersons, hoping to spy my target there. No such luck. I turned next to the mystery section, which is often the resting place of misplaced fiction books. Alas, no Patterson was to be found among the section's ranks. I then advanced to large type, another place where one often finds runaway books. Again, no luck. I proceeded to our paperback section, which we have segregated from other books simply because we have very little space, and we're trying to put as many new books as we can on our fiction shelves. The paperback section often, but not always, does not include major authors, like Patterson, simply because they have so many paperback volumes there is no point in keeping those separated from their fellows. Nevertheless, occasionally, we just don't have any room for these books on the regular shelves, and they are banished to the paperback section. I scanned the fiction paperback racks, but again had no luck.

Until this point, I had been fairly professional and had remained calm. I mean, books get misplaced all the time. People grab them off the shelves, consider checking them out, opt not to, and then don't know where to put the book, so they shove back on some shelf where it doesn't belong. It infuriates us librarians--Honestly, can they not perform basic alphabetizing?!--but we have come to expect it. However, this little escapade frustrated me. I don't like to have books elude me. I am a book ninja! It is my mission to find books, even pesky runaways. I do not like being defeated! Although I knew my boss had already reserved another branch's copy of the book, I could not stand the thought of returning to our handcart and finding more books to sort. A book ninja does not surrender! We had a book casualty on our hands, and its position had to be ascertained pronto.

I marched back to the fiction section, determined to hunt 3rd Degree down. I rescanned the Patterson shelves, to no avail. I searched behind the Patterson books and on the bottom shelf underneath them, just in case my target had fallen behind its comrades and been trapped. I envisioned this poor tome calling out, "Help! Help! I've fallen and can't get up!" To which I would respond in a most heroic voice, "I'm coming, helpless trapped book! Do not fear. Zella is here!" I could just hear the Mission Impossible theme song blaring in my ears as my hands and eyes rappelled down the shelves to rescue the wounded, frightened book. Nevertheless, my search turned up fruitless. This book was not a poor helpless victim. It was a rogue element, pure and simple.

I retraced the steps of my first search: mysteries, large type, and paperbacks. In the midst of my path, I ran into my boss, who had also returned to the hunt. She wasn't about to surrender, either. She asked me if I had checked the mystery section of paperbacks. I had not, so I promptly remedied that oversight. Alas, the book was not there. I even braved the dangers of the romance section of paperback, venturing into the jungle known as Harlequin to search for the wayward Patterson. It was not there, either.

By now, I was thoroughly flummoxed. I had checked every corner of the library. There was a slight chance that the poor book had been kidnapped and hidden in nonfiction or the children's section, but this was unlikely, seeing as a fiction book sticks out rather prominently in both cases. There was also the horrifying possibility that the book had been kidnapped and taken out of the library, in which case we would not likely see it again. There was also the possibility that the book had simply outwitted me and was residing in one of the sections I had already checked, laughing maniacally and twirling its nefarious moustache.

Regardless of where the book was, I had to admit defeat. I walked up to my boss, my head down, my shoulders slumped. I felt like a failed general, returning to my emperor to report that my troops had been overrun by the enemy due to a strategic mistake on my part. I asked if I should go ahead and change the book's status in our database from "in" to "missing." She had already retraced her own search for the book and found nothing, leaving her no choice but to sadly agreed.

After changing the status, I decided that the best way to shake off the depression I was feeling was to return to work. You can't win every battle, no matter how skilled of a book ninja you may be. There would always be another skirmish that I could test my skills in. I walked over to the handcart, snatched another set of books to shelve, and glanced at the titles. A gardening book, some miscellaneous large types, and a Patterson. Lovely--one of the missing book's cousins, placed there to taunt me, but then I realized that we had probably just not had time to shelve the Patterson book the woman who was looking for 3rd Degree had just finished. Which part of the series was she on? I assumed it was #2 since she was looking for #3.

My eyes dully scanned the title, but what I saw made me do a doubletake. The title was 3rd Degree. What the hey? The book I had spent 15 minutes scouring the library for was sitting at the front desk the entire time? What sort of practical joke from library hell was this? Had we not understood the woman when she asked for this title? Did she not know which book she had just read? Did she not know that she could renew the book without returning it? Or was this book a mission to test my book ninja skills? If it were, I had failed miserably. I sheepishly walked into my boss's office.

"I found the Patterson book."


"On the handtruck. It was waiting to be shelved."

"Oh dear."

21 January 2011

The Fair Dinkum Award

Liz Davis over at Novel Moments was kind enough to tag me with the Fair Dinkum (aka Good Buddies award) with the instructions to tell five things about myself and then pass the award on to five other bloggers. Thanks so much, Liz! :)

So, without further adieu, here are five things you may not know about me:

1. My favorite punctuation mark is the apostrophe. I'm a punctuation nerd, so I think all punctuation marks are worthy souls deserving of our friendship, but there's something about the apostrophe that I especially appreciate. Maybe it's the fact that the poor darling is sometimes so maliciously abused. *hugs apostrophes*
2. I am currently obsessed with the English folk rock band Mumford and Sons. *looks at Scott, who started this whole obsession* My favorite song is a tie between "Thistles and Weed" and "Dustbowl Dance," which has Steinbeck references. How can I not love a band that features Steinbeck references in their lyrics?!
3. I am studying English and history at college and considering adding a minor in writing. (I already have to take three of the classes required for said minor to be an English major, so why not just take three more classes and get a nifty minor out of it?) The two historical periods I am most fascinated with are the Russian Revolution of 1917 and Nazi Germany. However, I can't make up my mind whether my favorite literary period is 19th century Gothic or 20th century modernism. I need to make up my mind before graduate school, though I am leaning a bit more toward modernism just because it fits my historical period of interest.

4. I am severely obsessive compulsive. I am one of those people who walks back to make sure her car or home door is locked several times before being satisfied, though I recognize that if it was locked the first time, it will not magically unlock itself. My mind can be a silly thing. :P

5. I don't have a favorite book or movie. I know that not having a favorite book sounds terrible for an English major, but I just can't pick one. Maybe if we went by author or genre, I could start a list of favorites. But picking an absolute favorite? That's nigh impossible. Oddly, I don't have that problem with music. Pink Floyd is favorite band, hands-down. *is a fickle child*

My nominees:

Congratulations! :)

03 January 2011


*peers around blog, looking for any visitors*

Greetings, dearest blog followers! My apologies for deserting you. *sniffle* I missed all of you, but the last couple of months were quite busy as I fought off ninjas, dragons, and flying monkeys. What? You don't believe my battle stories? Be that way. We'll see who comes to your rescue when a horde of ninjas, dragons, and flying monkeys beset you. I was also battling finals and essays. All in the day's work of a nerd ninja. *flexes nerd muscles*

Anywho, I intend to resume blogging regularly, at least the best that I can, and I decided the best return would be to update you guys on what's been going on lately.

Soooo . . . on the news front:
1. After this week, I will no longer be employed in the cafeteria. I am transferring to the college writing center in which I will read other students' essays and help them revise their work. This was the job I wanted and I was shocked when I ended up getting it after only one semester. Anyway, I will miss my friends in the cafeteria, but I am looking forward to working with fellow nerds in the writing center.

2. I have a new roommate. You know how movies about college always portray new roommates as being best friends forever or as mortal enemies? Well, they leave out a third category of roommate: the one in which both of you have nothing in common and ignore each other the whole semester. This happened with my last roommate. It was nothing personal--we never fought or anything--but we just did not click. My new roommate is my former next door neighbor, soon-to-be-former cafeteria coworker, and current nerdy friend. We're not nerd twins like dear Feathery and I are--my roommate's a computer science major--but we're both quirky, socially awkward introverts who have a lot in common plus our own individual interests, and I think that's why we get along so well. I have a feeling that Elizabeth, my new roomie, will be figuring into a lot of my subsequent blog posts because we have a tendency to have nerdy adventures together. I figured I'd go ahead and introduce her. :D

3. Next semester I am taking five English classes and one general ed class. I hope this courseload does not kill me. At least I will have lots of reading material . . . :D

4. I am now an official member of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honors society. *nerd dance* I also heard rumors that I might be the club secretary next semester, but I haven't heard anything official. ^^

So . . . What have you guys been up to lately? :D