Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Guy with the Dragon Necklace

The campus library is full of interesting charcters. And of few of those characters have crossed my path during my research time.

As the semester goes on, I find myself spending quality time with the microfilm machines. To get the mircofishe, you must go to the circulation desk. Apparently the library staff believes people want to steal hundreds of spools of microfishe because they keep it locked up in a separate room in the back section of the circulation area. Come on, people don't want to steal rolls of old newspapers.

So anyway, I am in the library, and there are two library workers behind the counter. The head guy and a little nice girl, who helps me out quite often. I have seen the guy before on many occasions. This guy is much different than the I'm-not-sure-if-he's-married guy at Starbucks. The library guy wears a sa-weet dragon pendant on a thick chain. I'm pretty sure he rocks a chunky ring and a braclet to match. Keep in mind this is NOT a blingy chain or dragon, and that the guy is white.

Now I'm not saying this is a bad thing. To each his own. I'm sure I wear stuff that make people think "what was she thinking?" But this guy takes the cake every time. Some days I don't notice the dragon as often as other days. Yesterday was another story.

Library guy, let's call him Tom, was in rare form. Usually Tom is pretty standoffish. You know the silent type. The girl who was working with him recognized me from Sunday...because I was the girl who broke all the microfilm readers on the same day...within a 2-hour time frame.

She strikes up some friendly conversation while I tell her what mircofishe I will need to look over. As she goes to the back room to get the microfishe, she makes a joke about how I broke all the readers on Sunday. 

Library Tom decided he would try his hand at small-talk. He looked up at me with his dragon pendant hanging proudly from his neck and said, "You're the one who broke all the printers?" I said, "Yes, I did. Sorry about that. I didn't mean to, but now I know how to fix it." I smiled, trying to lighten the mood. He wasn't having it.

He said, "Oh no, my poor babies!" I was like, "What?" He said, " I just mean they [the microfilm readers] are like my babies. I would be so upset if something happened to them."

And there I stood, dumbfounded, while he acted hurt that an archiac piece of machinery ALMOST broke. Really? Come on. I was amazed. And then he got up to make me fill out a form for my mircofishe, and the dragon pendant caught my eye.

It took all I had not to bust out laughing. I got so tickled, almost as tickled as I was the first time I realized the dragon on the chain. It's not something you don't notice. Dragon is wild and out with a curvy body covered in metallic scales and red rhinestone eyes. Sent me over the edge. I had to get away.

I know it was rude and conduct unbecoming of a lady, but I just couldn't help myself. I was overcome with laughter. Now take this with a grain of salt. I really could care less if Library Tom rocked the dragon pendant or not. I just had to share the story with you. It is hard to explain the sheer awkwardness of Library Tom and the dragon necklace. Stop by the library and catch a glimpse if you can. Totally worth it.

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Not a Dancing Nancy

You know I know I'm sick, aside from the fact I posted all my symptoms yesterday?

I have no urge to sing or dance in the car. On a normal day, you will catch me at a stoplight singing at the top of my lungs and dancing as much as humanly possible when behind the wheel. It's not necessary to dance, but the singing happens everyday. Except for the past 4 days.

I tried to sing on my way to Little Rock Sunday afternoon. I needed some kind of motivation to get me through the hours I was going to spend in the library. I made a new CD full of dance songs including Usher's DJ's Got Us Falling in Love and More, Waka Flocka Flame's No Hands, Lil Wayne's Right Above It and Katy Perry's Firework.

So let's just say it's the perfect mix of uber-dance music. Plus it's added fun to pretend to be a hardcore rapper.

I think my sickness has moved more into my chest. I feel less pressure on my sinuses and head, which is a huge plus. But my sore throat has come back with vengeance. I guess we will have to see how this goes.

I have class tonight. I'm sure that will be interesting. A total of 12 people will have to endure my nose-blowing and hacking for three hours. Pleasant. Sorry guys. If I could help it, I would.

I felt so bad yesterday that I didn't even want to go see the cute I'm-not-sure-if-he's-married guy at Starbucks. I ended up going to get some peppermint tea, which I would hate on a normal day, to soothe my raw throat. We didn't even have our usual friendly banter, second sign to tell me I'm sick - not wanting to flirt with the cutie who makes my coffee.

The tea was good and soothing like it should have been. I kept thinking the peppermint would open my nose passages, but that proved unfruitful.

Went home, ate dinner and was in bed by 8:30 P.M.: Third sign I know I'm sick - going to bedfore 9. Sidenote---I have to get up at 5:30 A.M. to go to work. So 9 is pretty late for someone who needs all of 10 hours of sleep to function like a normal human being.

So I sit here at my desk writing this with a heavy head and an achy body. I fear it could be a while before I get back to being a dancing nancy. I'm sure it will be safer for all those driving, and I can only imagine how thankful my vocal chords are for this much needed break.

Until next time...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Death on a Leaf

Oh the irony in posting about feeling sick last week because now I actually am. I'm pretty sure it is more or less a head cold, but who can be for sure.

Current symptoms: achy body, runny/stuffy nose,watery eyes, sore throat and headaches

Medications: Advil for head and aches, Zyrtec for nose and eyes.

I don't really sleep well since I can't breath. And I hate having to be productive when all I want to do is crawl under the covers and watch episodes of Will and Grace.

I think I am avoiding the doctor because I don't want him to tell me I can't go to school. So I have decided to keep taking my over-the-counter meds so I can continue to go to school and make much needed trips to the library to do "research".

If I don't' start feeling better by Friday, I will go to the doctor. I just hate that my immune system has been doing to good recently, and now I feel like death. If you need me, you can find me waist-high in Kleenex with the sniffles and crying eyes.

Until next time...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

School and Work Flu

This time last year, I got the flu. It was the sickest I have been in a long time. I have my fair share of colds and allergies. But the flu had me down for the count for a full some extra recovery days..

Ever since then, I have been deathly afraid of getting the flu. I was so nervous about it that I got a flu shot, which I never wanted. With grad school taking up all my time and work not allowing me any sick days, I knew getting sick would not be an option.

So I have turned into a vitamin freak. I take pre-natal vitamins and keep Emergen-C packets on hand. I can't afford to be out sick for a week. The thought of all the homework that would consume me is unbearable. What little sanity I have left would be totally gone. Character crushed. Hope deminished. Ok...Done being a drama queen.

But for real. Yesterday was a tough day. Work was crazy, and since we don't have a boss...even crazier. We decided to have weekly staff meetings to keep everyone informed. Best idea we could have ever had. It is nice knowing what everyone is doing. And it helps me do my job.

I spent most of my time at my desk writing stories for an upcoming assignment. I had to go on campus to a branding lecture...which turned out not to be a lecture, but a big waste of my time. My organization works differently than the rest of the university. Not to say we get special treatment, but we don't have to abide by the same rules and standards. We make our own ripples in the wave pool.

Then I went to Starbucks to get some caffine, and I had the opportunity to admire a super cute guy who works there that I'm pretty sure is married. But I can't tell for sure. He wears rings on both ring fingers, and I always look at the right hand and think it's the left. (Must be remnants from my blonde days).

I got my afternoon coffee fix, and then I decided to read some stuff before my class. So I sat there in what looked to be a comfy booth. Truth be told...not so comfy. I sat there for over an hour hunched over a book and numerous handouts, while the back of the booth remained ramrod straight. Not good for this girl's back.

I left there to go sit in a classroom with squeaky, rolly chairs to have the backaches from Starbucks' uber-straight booth turn into a numbness.

As I stood up, all my bones proceeded to creak and pop. My back woke up screaming for some kind of relief, which I had no idea how to provide. It felt like the flu all over again. I left achy and cranky and stressed to the max.

Moral: School and work can induce flu-like symptoms in people who are stressed and over-worked. Diagnosis equals success, and I didn't have to consult with Dr. House.

Until next time...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wherefore art thou, Valentine?

Well it has been a while. It snowed here in Arkansas, which makes roads not safe for motorists...due to motorists not knowing how to drive in the great white abyss. So needlesstosay, no posts since I wasn't at work.

I was blessed with two amazing snow days, which gave me a six day weekend. I spent most of it doing extreme amounts of homework and watching Season 6 of House. Let's just say I'm totally hooked. I think Jesus blessed me with two days out of school and a six day weekend so I could have a make-up birthday. It was an amazing and much needed break.

The only downfall to this awesome weekend was it ended with Valentine's Day. I am a true hater of all things Valentine. It makes me feel sick. I guess it's me just being jealous of my happy friends with significant others. There's a reality check.

But really. I don't see all the hype in Valentine's Day. People go out and buy silly cards professing their love to another poor soul. Guys pay huge amounts of money for flowers. Girls stress over what to get their guy for the big day...since guys don't ususally get flowers or chocolates. Girls really get the short end of the Valentine stick. Corporate America needs to come up with a go-to guy Valentine gift because I can't figure it out.

Now don't get me wrong, I am a total hopeless romantic. I can't wait to have a real Valentine. I look forward to the days of flowers and mushy cards. I just hope my Valentine will be more creative. It would be better to make the gifts/cards more personal than what Hallmark can come up with that year.

Valentine's Day has really lost its true meaning. I think it is in there somewhere, but it is definitely buried under 98475245 pounds of conversation hearts and ugly stuffed animals. So let's get down to it.

St. Valentine was a priest who was arrested for performing marriage ceremonies for Christian couples. Apparently, during the 1400s it was a crime to help Christians do anything. But Valentine didn't care, and he kept marrying people.

 So Valentine was sentenced to death by way of clubs and stones. But after they beat him and threw stones, Valentine was still hanging in there. So the head hancho had him beheaded on February 14. And Valentine's Day was born...some many years later.

Sad story. Valentine's Day should be about doing something good for other people. That doesn't necessarily mean a significant other. While it is nice, it is not a requirement.

I am still trying to decide who I want my Valentine to be. I will find someone I can help out. Someone who deserves some pure undiluted love and affection.

It's like the Beatles said "All you need is love. Love is all you need."

It's like the Bible says "Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

Spread the love all over, not just to the one, or ones, you already love.

Until next time...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Good Old Fashion Birthday Celebration

My birthday has come and gone. And I am officially 23. Woo Whoo! I would love to tell you a beautiful success story for this birthday, but that would be too easy.

Friday, it snowed. ALL. DAY. So needlesstosay, we did not get to go downtown to play. I was so looking forward to dancing and Play-de-doughs at Cajun's Wraft. We tried to make the best of it by getting a group together and going to Gusano's for drinks. Epic fail.

People kept showing up that I didn't invite and didn't even know for that matter. It was drama filled...and not with my own drama. It seemed like everyone who came had their arch enemies tag along. It was so terrible. I would love to get into the details, but I honestly do not want to relive it.

Let's just say there was an ambush on a close friend of mine by an old boyfriend and his posse, a drama queen, another friend got berated by her boyfriend for not telling him that the first friend was going to be there, and I yelled at the old boyfriend for showing up unannounced, uninvited and for making my friend leave. And to top it off, about 20 minutes after all the drama, everyone left but four people. FOUR PEOPLE (including myself). Thank you to the three of you who stayed. First friend, I realize the circumstances were out of our control so you couldn't stay til the end.

By the time things calmed down, I had had so many shots I was hammered. HAMMERED! I definitely felt the pain on Saturday morning.

The horse races were cancelled. So no Saturday fun with the girls. I decided to just go on home to see the family on Saturday afternoon. Because the planning was not working out for the best.

My actual birthday was wonderful. I had a great day with my family. We celebrated, ate cake, had a Superbowl Party, and things like that. I got to see everyone I wanted to see...minus a few friends from my Friday party that couldn't come due to the snow.

Hopefully 23 will be better than it started out. I don't know how I will make it if all the days are like last Friday. Lesson learned: Don't try to plan things with big groups. Because people you don't want to come just show up. And then everyone leaves right after the "finale" is over. People if you care about a person, you should be able to not cause drama for 3 hours. Rant over.

Until next time...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Slowly Killing the Roommate

As most of you know, my birthday is coming up very in Sunday. I am getting pretty excited about it. I love an excuse to celebrate something, and this time it just happens to be my special day.

My roommate MT has been been begging me for the past couple of days...I should say at least a week now for me to open my gift from her. It started on the 28th to be exact. And I told myself I had to wait because it was more than a week until my actual birthday.

For those of you who don't know MT, she has a serious problem when it comes to waiting to give a gift. For the past three Christmases, we have exchanged gifts at least two weeks early. Because 1) she hates waiting, 2) the excitement of giving the gift literally is painful to her and 3) she is always concerned she won't actually see me on Christmas day, which is normally true. So we usually open Christmas around December 10-15.

I want to say that all my birthday gifts have been opened early due to the same three reasons listed above. But this year I had to be strong. So last Friday when she asked if I wanted to open my present (which she had just finished making/wrapping), I said no. "It's not my birthday MT. Not for another week."

We had a little friendly tiff, but she dropped it. Only for it to resurface on Sunday and again on Tuesday. Tuesday was the worst so far. Let me just tell you a little bit about her.

MT is one of the funniest people I know. Most people thinks she is quiet and sweet, which is true apart from the fact that she talks all the time. But you do have to get to know her for a while before you get the good funny stuff out of her.

Unlike me, MT does not cuss. Sometimes when we drink, I try to use peer pressuring tactics to make her say shit or damn. So far I have been unsuccessful.

But the other night while we were arguing over when was the best time to open my birthday present, she made me an offer I almost couldn't refuse.

After five or so minutes of persuasive raised voices of "Open Your present!!!" She looked at me and said, "If I cussed, would you open your present?"

I said, "Depends on what word or phrase you use."

She said, "What about 'Open your dang present', but without the know what I mean?"

I laughed a little and said no. I told her if she was going to cuss she better string together all the profane words she knows, otherwise it was not worth it.

You would have thought I had killed her. I mean she made me an offer I almost couldn't refuse. But I held strong. Tonight after class, I will put her misery to rest. I am going to open her gift, which I am sure I will love. And she will be happy. And all will be right with the world. Yay for birthdays and gifts and friends that offer a cuss word as an incentive to open a present.

Until next time...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Oh journalism...

Today I have a case of the Mondays. It is super rainy and dreary outside, and I fear the sun won't shine today. I had the hardest time dragging myself out of my warm bed, but somehow I managed at 6 A.M. (which is 30 minutes later than normal).

Why is it that when it rains we don't want to do anything but lay around and watch marathons of House or Criminal Minds? Because that sounds exactly like something I would love to do today. But unfortunately, I am at work.

I am trying to get my ducks in a row for school and figure out how best to divide my time between paper, paper, discussion board, paper, take-home test, reading, scholarly articles, paper, etc. I am finding it incredibly difficult to muster motivation this semester. But I am hoping it is just the case of the Mondays talking.

Last week I was interview by the school newspaper about what I do at my job and why I love working for a non-profit organization. I'll tell ya, it was interesting.

Being that I have a journalism degree and wrote for the UCA newspaper, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on how an interview should be conducted. Educate yourself on the subject as much as possible BEFORE the interview, prepare a list of baseline questions to ask the interviewee, show up on time with a pen and paper, listen, take notes, ask follow-up question, take notes. That is pretty much what I would do. I mean it's not rocket science, but it can get a little tricky.

So anyway, I was asked to be interviewed regarding service learning at UALR. So when the reporter and I set up at time. I told him I was out the the office Mondays and Fridays. Being that he contacted me on a Thursday morning for an interview, this should have been my first red flag.

He calls to schedule a meeting for Friday afternoon...after I already told him I am not in the office on Fridays or Mondays. Then he asks if we can meet sometime that day (which was a packed Thursday). I told him I had free time from 1:30 to 3, and that he could come anytime between the time I had given. So he settled for 1:30 since he didn't call to schedule something earlier in the week.

While I was on the phone with him, I kept having the feeling that he was an older man. And I was right.

He looked about 60-65 with gray hair and a Fu Manchu that had grown so long he was able to have two small braids hanging from his chin. He wore a old timey car hat, the flat ones that sit on top of the head, and a vest.

So we go into the conference room, and the so-called interview begins. And it was awkward because he doesn't really ask questions. He just tells me the purpose of the story he is writing and the angle his wants to take. So...

I start talking about my job and what our organization does. etc. etc. And he is NOT writing. He jots a few things down, which I didn't feel like were prime things to jot.When he asked why I loved working for a non-profit and volunteering, I gave a long answer, full of very quoteable material. But he didn't write any of that down either.

Once I am done with my spiel, he asks if we had a Web site or any hand-outs. Great.

So I gave him the hand-outs we had and told him how to get to our Web site. And now I am just waiting. Waiting to see what he says I said during our little talk.

It was just so very strange with the Fu Manchu and no note taking. I know there wasn't a recorder. As soon as I see the article, I will let you know if Grandpa got an A for effort or an F for epic fail. Until next time...