Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dorothy Zbornak: Vulnerable Bad Ass Fibromite

It’s strange how the Golden Girls helps me get through tough times with its humor and honesty. I especially appreciate Dorothy — her sarcasm, values, and height. What a great character! I felt like telling a certain doctor this today:

I don’t know where you doctors lose your humanity, but you lose it. You know, if all of you at the beginning of your careers could get very sick and very scared for a while, you’d probably learn more from that than from anything else. You better start listening to your patients. They need to be heard. They need caring. They need compassion. They need attending to. You know, someday, Doctor Budd, you’re going to be on the other side of the table — and, as angry as I am and as angry as I always will be, I still wish you a better doctor than you were to me.

-Dorothy Zbornak, Golden Girls Episode “Sick and Tired Part 2”

Amen, Zbornak!

Goodies: Books for Sale at the Public Library

If you’re fortunate enough to live in a town with a library (because some towns aren’t so lucky) and if you prefer printed books to ebooks (for whatever reason) and if you’re on a budget (eating fewer tacos), may I recommend checking to see if your library has a used book room or an annual book sale? You can find a lot of good books this way for 50 cents or less and the money goes back into the library. These books can be library discards or donations from patrons. Some you’ll find in pristine condition, others will be a bit worn and well-loved. Take two dollars with you and see what you can get.

Oh, and make sure that book smell you claim to love is really the book itself and not mold. Book mold spreads fast and that’s probably why you have a runny nose all the time, you perverted book sniffer.

Here’s what I recently found in our Friends of the Library Used Book Room:

I picked up this little gift book for a friend. The dust jacket is quite worn, but the hardcover is in great vintage condition. No torn pages, stains, or mold. 50 cents!

I picked up this little gift book for a friend. The dust jacket is quite worn, but the cover is in great vintage condition. No torn pages, stains, or mold. 50 cents!

I picked this up for my sister Antonia, who lives in Guam. (I laughed when I took this photo, which is why it's so blurry.) I'm not exactly sure this is fun beach reading, but I think it's some John Saul goodness. Plus, it's a paperback; so if she falls asleep reading it, it won't hurt as much when it hits her face. 50 cents!

I picked this up for my sister Antonia, who lives in Guam. (I laughed when I took the photo, which is why it’s so blurry.) I’m not exactly sure this is fun beach reading, but I think it’s some John Saul goodness. Plus, it’s a paperback — if she falls asleep reading it, it won’t hurt as much when it hits her face. 50 cents!

I love the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary (an Oregon author, by the way) but I still don't know why I bought this. I'll probably send it to one of my younger cousins. After I read it! Ha. 25 cents.

I love the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary (an Oregon author, by the way) but I still don’t know why I bought this. I’ll probably send it to one of my younger cousins. After I read it! Ha. 25 cents.

Holy crap. I can't believe I actually found this book. Loved this novel as a kid; it was one of those I reread every summer. But when I was in the 8th grade, my small-town library shifted its stacks and I was never able to locate it again. See, I hadn't bothered to remember the author's name! I only knew where it was, where it always had been, on a certain shelf in the youth section. Ah, small town life. Since then, I've been on the hunt for it. Do you know how difficult it is to track down a favorite childhood book when the only information you have is its title? Do you know how many books are titled "The Ghosts" or Ghosts?" So this was a magical, supernatural, paranormal find. Great book, a wonderful ghost story, and I can't wait to read it. I believe there's even a fairly decent tv movie based on the book. Anyway. Booyah! 25 cents!

Holy crap. I can’t believe I actually found this book. Loved this novel as a kid; it was one of those books I reread every summer. But when I was in the 8th grade, my small-town library shifted its stacks and I was never able to locate it again. See, I hadn’t bothered to remember the author’s name! I only knew where it was, where it had always been, on a certain shelf in the youth section. Ah, small town life. Since then, I’ve been on the hunt for it. Do you know how difficult it is to track down a favorite childhood book when the only information you have is its title? Do you know how many books are titled The Ghosts or Ghosts? So this was a magical, supernatural, paranormal find. Great book, a wonderful ghost story, and I can’t wait to read it. I believe there’s even a fairly decent tv movie based on it. Anyway. Booyah! 25 cents!

I own the paperback version of this John Varley's short story collection but I choked up a little when I found the hardback. There's so much humor and energy in his writing, and his science fiction deals with gender, sex, media, pop culture, & more. This particular collection includes "Overdrawn at the Memory Bank," which I've singled out in order to warn you about the made-for-tv movie adaptation. Do not watch it. Yes, Raul Julia plays the lead character, but the movie sucks. It's basically Raul Julia walking around steaming piles of crappy science fictional sets, talking to drab science fictional people; it's also videotaped instead of filmed, has that cheesy 80s computer font, and everything is beige or taupe. The story deserves so much more than this. Gawd, this movie is such a piece of shit! Okay, okay -- I give you permission to watch it, but only if you find the MST3K version. Anywho, I love John Varley, I love this collection, I love that this was only 25 cents.

I own the paperback version of this John Varley short story collection but I choked up a little when I found the hardback. There’s so much humor and energy in his writing, and his science fiction deals with gender, sex, media, pop culture, and more. This particular collection includes “Overdrawn at the Memory Bank,” which I’ve singled out in order to warn you about the made-for-tv movie adaptation. Do not watch it. Yes, Raul Julia plays the lead character, but the movie sucks. It’s basically Raul Julia walking around steaming piles of crappy science fictional sets, talking to drab science fictional people; it’s also videotaped instead filmed, has that cheesy 80s computer font, and everything is beige or taupe. The story deserves so much more than this. Gawd, this movie is such a piece of shit! Okay, okay — I give you permission to watch it, but only if you find the MST3K version. Anywho, I love John Varley, I love this collection, I love that this was only 25 cents.

Here's the entire stack of books I picked up at the library's used book store. I'm excited to read The Coma by Alex Garland, who wrote the original screenplays for 28 Days Later and Sunshine, the adapted screenplays for Dredd and Never Let Me Go, as well as The Beach (novel). HE IS MY AUTHOR HERO. The other book in that stack is the Virgin Suicides: the movie was okay, beautiful, but a bit too dreamy. I think I like Jeffrey Eugenides' writing, so I thought I'd might as well give this one a try. But I might just give it away. Anyway, ALEX  GARLAND. And seven books for a grand total of $2.50.

Here’s the entire stack of books I picked up at the library’s used book store. I’m excited to read The Coma by Alex Garland, who wrote the original screenplays for 28 Days Later and Sunshine, the adapted screenplays for Dredd and Never Let Me Go, as well as The Beach (novel). He is my author hero. The other book in that stack is the Virgin Suicides: the movie was okay, beautiful, but a bit too dreamy. I think I like Jeffrey Eugenides’s writing, so I thought I’d might as well give this one a try. But I might just give it away. Please note: ALEX GARLAND. And seven books for a grand total of $2.50.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like…Me?

Day 5: I’d give today an Okay Plus. I don’t feel gooood, but I feel a little better than okay. Although, what I should be saying is I don’t feel well. I almost feel well. Sort of. But I don’t feel bad. Thus, Okay Plus. Anyway, I accomplished a lot today, like deleting over 300 items from an important library list without even knowing I was doing so. Yeah, I purged the system of several hundred requests for items to be pulled from the shelves and placed on hold. This caused quite a fluster, I heard, not only in the workroom but in the tech services department as well. A coworker came to the desk and asked if I might have any ideas about this problem, as everyone else had been asked.

“Holy moly!” I thought. “It’s me!”

They were worried there was a glitch in the system, deleting all the holds that were being placed. But, no. The problem was me and everyone sighed with relief when they found out. I guess I’m not as bad as a glitch because I make mistakes, feel really bad about it, and never do it again. (I hope.)

To celebrate nothing, I bring the following to you from the heart of Transylvania — Count Duckula!

Toilet Seats and Library Days

After losing my entire Saturday due to certain health issues, I’ve decided I will continue blogging about my health. Lucky readers! I think when I say things like, “I’ll be writing less about my health and focusing on [whatever]” it’s because I’m feeling fairly good that day. Then I get sick, miss a day of life, and then come here to complain.

In other news, my toilet seat snapped off both hinges around 2 am last night. Today, I’ve just been sort of balancing it. We did get a replacement but I’m not sure it will fit. As I’ve said to others, this is our first floor “guest” bathroom. So it doesn’t really matter…but it does. To me. Because sometimes it can be difficult to go upstairs. I only go to the second floor if I know I’m going to be there for a certain amount of time. Climbing the stairs for a quick pee is not worth the effort. Right now I need to take a shower, but I’m thinking of ways I can improve it. I can take up a small bag of laundry I have, a new pillow, some magazines, and… That kind of thought process isn’t just because of my fatigue, it’s also been impressed on me by the work I do.

Image Credi: Su Ai

Image Credit: Su Ai

At the library, we minimize the number of times an item or group of items is handled. For example, when I first started working, you would check in a book and place it on a shelf, a shelver or clerk would empty that shelf by placing all its items on a cart, then take that cart to the workroom, remove each book/item and shelve it on its appropriate cart, that last cart is put in order by a shelver who, finally, takes it out to shelve. Now we do the following if you check something in: check it in, place it in order & by group on a cart, whoever is available takes that cart to the workroom, puts each item on its appropriate cart, which — when it’s full — goes into the “corral” of carts. Later a shelver grabs the cart at the front of the line, puts the books in order, and then takes it out to shelve. See? We cut out one step but added two more. Wait. What. That’s not right. I must have messed something up. Ack. Don’t listen to me. Anyway, we want to make sure that we don’t just move items from one cart to another and another. That’s just inefficient and a waste of time; however, it’s also physically demanding on those of us who do this every day. No one wants to get what’s called “shelver shoulder,” although it happens to library specialists as well as shelvers.

Speaking of work, I’ve been keeping a sort of “daily highlights” journal based on my day at the library and posting it on Facebook. Here’s the expanded version:

Tuesday, Day One
The return! Once I got to the library and seated myself at the DVD circulation desk (located in a sort of A/V room but it’s still a full-service circulation desk), I felt like I’d never left. I had missed interacting with patrons and I got to do a lot of that today. There was one little cutie pie who wanted to know if the Tin Tin DVD had arrived yet. I had to tell him that he was #27 on the list and we only had four copies. :( But he was a nice kid! I hope people watch & return the DVD as quickly as possible because he’s leaving the country on 2/25. I guess it’s available on Netflix but a lot of families don’t even have the extra income for internet services. Anyway, day one down. HOORAY

Wednesday, Day Two [my favorite day so far]
Felt terrible today and was really dragging. But I survived! Just before I left the library for the day, I got to tell a group of seriously nerdy, but crude, teens to tone it down because now “everyone knows that he walked in on his friend masturbating and was apparently okay with it.” I pointed at one kid, randomly, because I didn’t know which one had the honor of see their friend jacking off. They all said, in unison, “It was him!” and pointed to this scrawny kid with big hair, who was sitting on the floor between two bigger guys and who looked a little embarrassed.

Then they laughed and agreed that what I said was an excellent reason for them to tone it down. And they did, except the one with the freewheeling masturbating friend. I don’t think he could help it though — the volume of his voice seemed to be permanently stuck in that loud, goofy teen boy tone. When I left for the day, they were having a heated argument about Game of Thrones the TV show vs Game of Thrones the books with something about “worgies” (war orgies?) mixed in. Ah, teens! You make me laugh.

Thursday, Day Three
The pain was pretty bad but it subsided with some help. Today, no one got hurt in the library. (That’s me being positive). I’m kind of out of practice with my ABCs but it’s all coming back to me. Like riding a bike: the ABCs. As I was shelving DVDs today, I realized that there are a lot of movie titles that begin with “Crazy” or “Last.” Boring but easy to shelve. That group of nerdy young adults were out and about today, in case you were wondering, yelling “Huzzah!” and discussing swords, Pokemon, and such.

Friday, Day Four
At 3 pm, I almost cried but I was too tired to cry. When I got back to the desk at 2:45 or so, someone had shooed away my teens. To make up for that disappointment, a little girl, maybe three or four years old, marched from the library entrance to the children’s room yelling, “YAY! We’re going to get free books! Free books! YAY! We’re going to get free books!” It was one of the cutest and funniest things I’ve seen and a good way to end my week. Later an older gentlemen said to me, “Well, that smile doesn’t make me feel so bad about paying my fines.” Aw, shucks.

Tomorrow I might post about libraries goodies: I’ve checked out a number of items, but I’ve also bought a number of 25 and 50 cent used books located in the Friends of Library Used Book room. Always check your local library and ask if they have a used book room/store or some sort of monthly/yearly/holiday sale. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find!

Updates on Writing, Updates on Life

I received some lovely news the other day: my flash fiction piece “Stain” has been selected by guest editor Gina Ochsner for inclusion in The Best of A cappella Zoo (Spring 2013). As they state on their webpage, this will be a print-only anthology, celebrating five years of A cappella Zoo, magical realism, slipstream, and flash fiction.

You can pre-order the issue for $9, which will be released early this spring. I’m extremely pleased, of course, to have been included in this special issue. And I found out right when I needed some good news. Even better, I learned that my coworker Robert Edward Sullivan will also have a story included in the anthology. Thank you, A cappella Zoo and Gina Ochsner!

Sorry — no cover to link to at the moment, but I’m sure the art for it will be amazing.

Life updates: Returning to work SOON. Nervous. Cautiously excited about going back, but also emotionally prepared (I hope) if my health gets in the way and everything crumbles around me. Ha.

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