Well, This is Awkward

29 03 2017

*peeks out from behind curtain*

Hi. I’m back.

Life has changed.

I moved. Flat-out left Iowa. Left the Midwest. Left the Central Time Zone! If there is one thing I just can’t get used to, it’s the news being on at 11:00 instead of 10:00 every night. IT’S. NOT. NATURAL.

(The layout of WordPress has really changed. I do NOT think I like this new text box. WHERE ARE THE LINES?! THIS IS HORRIBLE, I DO NOT LIKE THIS AT ALL.)

Anyway, I live in Boston now. I am doing quite well living on the impressive salary I bring in as an unpaid intern.

Oh, right, I didn’t mention that I’m in grad school now. I’m getting a Masters in Library Science. For Archives Management. Though so far I haven’t managed any archives. I am, however, a mighty intern who spends her time moving folders around and stressing over the exact right way to organize a bunch of documents.

Last semester I “learned” HTML. If you think that means that now I can make do stuff to make this blog look better, or at least different, you are sorely mistaken, my friend. I can’t. I did make a website, though. It is a really, really terrible website. Like, you cannot believe how terrible. Like, think early-2000s era website. It’s like that. The teacher was all, “This website will be here until you graduate! Put it in your portfolio and send potential employers the link when you apply to jobs.”



It is awful. I somehow managed to create it, and I am not unproud of myself, but it will not be getting me any job offers. And I certainly do not know how to make it better. It’s been over 3 months since the last time I had to write any code, and I am sure that I couldn’t even replicate the horrible ugly fiasco I made. It’s probably safe to say that I don’t ACTUALLY know HTML.

Did that stop me from saying yes when the job application I filled out the other day asked if I knew how to code?


And that is what I have gotten out of one and a half semesters of graduate school, so far. I learned how to code long enough to create a website that is an assault on the eyes, then promptly forgot.

Well, that and I learned that assigning Dewey numbers to books is witchcraft and catalogers must all be witches and wizards. I love Library of Congress subject headings though.

Also, one and a half semesters in, and I am losing my brain a little. Yesterday I was answering a reference question and I couldn’t figure out what to call the person who is in charge of the courtroom. I thought and thought and the best I could come up with was “court boss.” So that’s what I wrote down.


The word I was looking for was judge.

Good grief.

This is not even what I wanted to write about. Like, not even a little.


I don’t even know what this was or why it happened, but happen it did. I guess I just needed a break from writing lit reviews and seminar papers. I actually had something else I wanted to write here, but then this happened.

Good grief, self, you come to a blog for the first time in 2 and a half years or something like that, and then you don’t even write the idea you had that brought you back in the first place?

Maybe another day.

I’m going to go eat a burrito now.


Dear August, Go Fuck Yourself

6 08 2015

August is the cruellest month, breeding
Dullness out of the muggy days, mixing
Boredom and stagnation, stirring
Nothing in the dead air.

– “T.S. Eliot” (though altered, because he was wrong, April is perfectly lovely)

Dear August,

Go fuck yourself. I am over you and your bullshit, and we’ve only just begun our annual grappling match from hell.

I know it’s not your fault that you come at the end of summer. As a kid I was always going stir-crazy by the time you rolled around. June was great – school was out and it was my birthday and summer was just beginning. July was awesome. The dog days of summer and the Fourth of July and homemade ice cream and pool parties and bonfires and chasing lightning bugs and staying up too late. But you. Often too muggy to go outside in the day. Sleeping in has lost its luster and day after day of doing nothing has gotten old. The heat never seems to end and summer has become interminably long.

August, you’ve always bummed me out. I hate heat, especially when it’s muggy. And muggy heat is what you to best. It’s not just boiling; the air is so thick it could drown you. There’s no breeze and nothing moves. All you can do is sit. And wait.

I should never make decisions this time of year. Stupid, stagnant August makes me feel like I’m stagnating. Nothing is moving, I’m not moving, nothing is changing, we aren’t making progress. There’s always been the promise that newness – new classes, new teachers, new friends, new TV shows, new jobs, new weather – is around the corner. But for 31 horrible days we’re trapped. Nothing is happening. Everything is the same. We’re stuck.

It’s easy, during August, to make snap decisions. You’re scared of staying still. Things seem awful, and rather than pushing through or waiting it out, you just want to do something to get out of there. If you’re not careful, you’ll make decisions you regret once September rolls around and you can think clearly again. Once the heavy air becomes crisp and breathable again, things don’t seem so bad. You realize you were making progress and you suddenly see ways to continue moving forward. But if you acted during August, it’s too late. You might have made a mistake.

So, my “dear” August, go fuck yourself. I’m through with you and your mind games. I’ll endure, because I have to. I’ll try to avoid making big decisions until September cools me off a bit. But I’ll leave you with this letter. Fuck you, August. I can’t wait until you’re over.

The Music I Like.

28 02 2015

Keep your Justin Bieber and Kanye and Jay-Z and Beyonce. And even Taylor Swift, though I do like her new album and I think she treats her fans right.

Keep your hip hop and rap and EDM and Electronica.

Give me The Beatles.

Give me Paul McCartney.

Give me George Harrison.

Give me Elton John.

Give me Roy Orbison.

Give me Tom Petty.

Give me Bob Dylan.

Give me America and Jackson Browne and James Taylor and The Eagles and Creedence Clearwater Revival and John Fogerty and and The Traveling Wilburys.

Throw in a little bit of Blue Öyster Cult.

That’s where it’s at.

My Dog Died.

15 09 2014

We had to put our dog Sheba to sleep yesterday.

I’m having a lot of feelings about it. It’s stupid that you can’t really mourn dogs the way you mourn people. I’d love to have a nice cry about it and go out for a drink and talk about her and talk to all my friends about how great my dog was and how much I miss her, but of course, you feel ridiculous because “it’s just a dog,” even when it’s not.

So I’m gonna write a few posts about it to process. I’m probably gonna write two. I might publish both or one or none. But I just need to deal with this a bit. I’m starting with what happened instead of how great she was and how much I loved her, because it was awful and horrible and I don’t want to end this mourning time of thinking what happened. I’d rather finish (tomorrow or whenever) reminiscing about how amazing she was. She was honestly the greatest dog ever. She was special. There might be a select few dogs out there who are as good as her, but there will never, ever be a dog that was better.

So. Sheba. Look at how beautiful she is.


For the past year or so (really, since I’ve been back from Prague) we’ve all been dealing with the fact that this awesome dog who’s been part of our family for the last 12 years won’t be with us much longer. She was 14, but she was remarkably healthy for a 14-year-old dog. Really the only thing wrong with her was some arthritis and weakness in her back legs and a bit of an issue with her nasal passages that made her breathing labored occasionally.

It was hard to see a dog who used to love going for long walks suddenly have trouble standing. She started slipping on stairs and having trouble standing up. It never held her back though, up until the end she still wanted to go for those long walks, play with our other dog, or chase the lawn mower. She’d often slip and fall trying to bound around the house like she was 10 years younger.

Last week, my parents went on vacation. Sheba’s breathing issues had been worse, but were improving. We didn’t want to put her in the kennel because she seemed to be recovering and we wanted her to be somewhere calmer. She loved going to the kennel — we called it “camp” — but we figured it would be better if she and her “sister,” Sasha, stayed home and I watched them. Looking back this was a bad idea.

We spent the week together going for walks, cuddling, and sharing popcorn (she used to sit near me, I’d throw pieces to her and she’d catch them in her mouth). She ADORES my mom, so she was pretty bummed that she wasn’t around, like usual, but by Friday she’d adjusted to the fact that I was taking care of her and the world wasn’t coming to an end. I’d been sleeping in my parents’ room to keep her company and that last night, she slept on my side of the bed, right next to me where I could reach down and pet her. We went for a walk that morning, just the two of us, since Sasha wouldn’t let me put a leash on her. We walked to the end of the street, less than half the distance she usually walked but further than she’d managed in a long time.

We came back and I let her outside on our deck. Our deck has two stories. We used to let the dogs go downstairs and go to the bathroom underneath the deck, but Sheba had been falling on the stairs a lot, so we blocked them so she wouldn’t fall. I was sitting inside enjoying coffee when I heard a lot of thunks and a yelp. My heart sank because I knew she’d fallen.

Somehow she had pushed the barrier to the side, gotten down the stairs, killed a rabbit that had gotten trapped under our deck, and fallen trying to bring her prize – a rabbit head – up to show me. Sheba has fallen before and usually after we sat with her for awhile and helped her get her legs back under her, she’d be okay. I sat on the step with her, petting and reassuring her, for close to 15 minutes before I tried to help. She weighed 70 pounds, so I tried to urge her to stand. Her back legs completely gave out and she fell again. She didn’t seem like she was in pain – after that first yelp she wasn’t whimpering and she let me touch her and wasn’t growling or even agitated. If it hadn’t been for the fact that we were sitting awkwardly on the steps underneath my deck, it could have been like we were just sitting together and cuddling. It didn’t SEEM like she was hurt, other than the fact that she couldn’t stand up. But somehow, I knew it was over.

I panicked. My parents had been fishing in Canada with most of their friends. Everybody left in my town who could help me was out of contact. I called the vet, who informed me that she was busy and there were no techs or anybody who could come help me. Sheba and I were trapped. I sat with her for almost an hour waiting to hear from somebody who could help me – the vet said she’d call me back, my parents came back in cell phone range and were trying to track down someone who could help me. We just sat there, Sheba and I, keeping each other calm and breathing.

Sheba has always been able to sense people’s emotions really well. She was calm until I started to panic once I finally got my mom on the phone, at which point she became agitated until I soothed her and got myself under some measure of control. She could always tell when I was upset, and she would just sit with her head on my leg and let me pet her. She’d look at me with quiet understanding in her eyes. Sometimes I’d talk to her about my problems and I swear she understood me. I would see sadness in her eyes when I cried to her, and she’d nuzzle my hand like she was trying to say, “Hey, I’m here. Don’t be sad.”

I sat on that step, fighting tears, and Sheba shifted, just slightly, until her head rested against my knee. She looked up at me. Her eyes didn’t look that afraid. They didn’t look like they were in pain. They looked like she wanted me to be calm and pet her. Just like always.

Eventually a neighbor – one of my sister’s friends from childhood who grew up loving Sheba too – came running. We got Sheba up and to the van. I took her to the vet.

The vet took one look at her leg. Her femur was broken. Her hips were possibly damaged. Fixing it would require surgery. Wires and plates and braces. Surgery on a 14-year-old dog with breathing problems. Months of rehab for a dog whose two back legs couldn’t hold her before she broke one of them and messed up hips. It was unlikely we’d find a surgeon who would even attempt it.

It was over.

They carried Sheba into the office and put her in a crate. I tried to pet her through the bars, to reassure her one last time, but I couldn’t reach her. I was trying to keep myself under control while the vet told promised that nobody would do anything until my parents had gotten home and we’d talked to them. When I called my mom on the way home, she said we’d look into what we could do. She said it wasn’t over.

I knew it was over.

My parents got home Saturday night. Sunday we put the best dog anybody will ever have to sleep.

I was not anticipating being this upset.

Work Is Weird

4 09 2014

This probably isn’t news to anyone who’s been in the “real world” work force for more than, like, a year, but I’ve figured out that no one EVER reads emails. Even if they open them and reply to them, I don’t think anybody ever actually reads them.

Almost every time I send an email update about my job, I’ll start with the sentence, “We are on X far and this is what I found.” Nine times out of ten, the only response I’ll get is, “How far are we?”

I really want to be passive aggressive and respond like, “As I said in the first sentence of my last email, X.”

I’ve also asked questions before like, “Should I do A or B with this?” And the response will be, “Yes, do that.”


Lately none of my bosses seem to even be READING my updates. I feel like I’m just throwing nonsense out into the void.

I want to do an experiment to see how far they actually read into my emails (or if they read them at all). I’m REALLY tempted to start signing off with:

“My mother is a fish,”

Instead of:

Juuuuust to see if they actually notice. I’m betting they won’t. I don’t think I trust that assumption enough to actually make that bet though.

Welcome To Night Vale is Perfect.

11 02 2014

“But here is the truth of nostalgia: We don’t feel it for who we were, but who we weren’t. We feel it for all the possibilities that were open to us but that we didn’t take. Time is like wax, dripping from a candle flame. In that moment it is molten and falling, with the capability to transform into any shape, then the moment passes and the wax hits the tabletop and solidifies into the shape it will always be. It becomes the past, a single record of what happened, still holding in its wild curves and countours the potential of every shape it could have held.

It is impossible, no matter how blessed you are by luck, or the government, or some remote, invisible deity, gently steering your life with hands made of moonlight and wind, it is impossible not to feel a little sad, looking at that bit of wax, that bit of the past. It is impossible not to think of all the wild forms that wax now will never take.

The village glimpsed from a train window, beautiful and impossible and impossibly beautiful on a mountaintop and you wondered what it would be if you stepped off the moving train and walked up the trail to its quiet streets and lived there for the rest of your life.”

– Welcome to Night Vale, episode 21, “A Memory of Europe”

And THAT, friends, is one of many reasons why Welcome to Night Vale is my favorite podcast EVER.

Where Should A Person Be?

16 07 2013

Yes. All of this.

Thought Catalog

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Lucy turned to me, looking at the space beyond my body, down past different groups of people that had aggregated on the grassy side of the hill, just like the groups of people that were also above and beside us. “I don’t want to live anywhere,” she said.

The grass was drier underneath us, compared to what we had been walking through (wading through, pulling our knees at high arcs through the mud to be able to place our feet inches from where they were before), as we sat listening to Yeasayer play from the direction of the festival stages. I looked back at Lucy, my eyes focusing on her dark hair sitting above her reddening shoulders, thinking of my own hair—frizzing, dry, and out of control—and thinking back to earlier in the day when Lucy had held her arm out against mine saying in mock disbelief, “I’m so pale.”…

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