31jul03: two views of the water truck
: when I went to Burning Man, the desert was pretty petulant at being torn apart and would throw up its akali sand all over the place. Water trucks would drive around the "roads" spraying out cool mist and tamping down the sands. They would trundle along at a snail's pace, always followed by a group of running and laughing half-naked people taking advantage of the free shower, the clean [ish] water and the opportunity to do something. They were a present, a gift.
: When I went to the library yesterday, I had to drive down about eight miles of road under construction. There's no way around it, there is only one road leading to town. The alternatives are dirt roads that go over mountains. This has been going on for weeks; if you leave the house, you drive the gauntlet. The road crew is working quickly, but not quickly enough. On my way back from the library, I got stuck behind the water truck. It drove down the under-construction windy road at six miles per hour, turning the freshly disturbed dirt into mud just in time enough for it to get plastered over my windshield. I had to roll up my windows to avoid getting covered in mud myself.
While I don't necessarily
see this as any sort of a metaphor, the contrast was worth relating.
We all know that old chestnut to beware of all enterprises requiring new clothes, right? Thoreau actually has a lot more than that
to say about clothes.
Our moulting season, like that of the fowls, must be a crisis in our lives. The loon retires to solitary ponds to spend it. Thus also the snake casts its slough, and the caterpillar its wormy coat, by an internal industry and expansion; for clothes are but our outmost cuticle and mortal coil. Otherwise we shall be found sailing under false colors, and be inevitably cashiered at last by our own opinion, as well as that of mankind."
I think he meant "crisis" in a good way, like turning point. Only wear new clothes if there is a new you. When I was at my second interview, one of the questions they asked was, loosely paraphrased "you say you can dress professionally, yet you came to your interview looking pretty casual, care to comment?" It wasn't asked in a bad way, more of a help-us-understand-you way. My answer was twofold: I think librarians are fairly casual folks, in most libraries and, I don't have a darned thing to wear. I have one dress to wear to weddings, and the rest is overalls, hand me downs, pajamas and freebox stuff. I consider myself dressed up if I am freshly bathed and my clothes are clear and free from holes.
All this is a long intro to the fact that I have to go shopping. I am, of course, dreading this. I don't like the bad light in dressing rooms, the sycophancy of clothing store employees, the high costs of clothing made in the prisons and sweatshops of other countries, and the realization that the shape I come in is not the same as the shapes the clothes come in. My first stop will be Ruth's Boutique
. My second stop will be my sister's house. My third stop will be the Goodwill in Seattle. If I haven't found a few solid library outfits by then, I may have to start shopping retail. Pray for me.
28jul03: zing go the strings of my brain
This weekend saw us buying plane tickets, train tickets and bus tickets. We now have an outline of a plan for the next month. I also decided, in some sort of fit of inspiration, that I would rather live with Greg and see him rarely, than not live with him and be able to walk to work. So we are switching tactics a bit which may involve more driving on my part but hopefully more togetherness. Cool
This weekend was the town auction which is always fun. We got some junk, not as much as usual. We did chip in together on a box of records from the 50's mostly, so we cranked up the old record player and spent a lot of the on-hold time with plane train and bus companies listening to The Sounds of Hawai'i or Nat King Cole or a collection of French Troubadour songs. I'm a bit used to the MP3 stream that doesn't stop, it's tough to remember to flip records ever 20 minutes or so.
On my way to the post office today [where I got a fun internet prize from this guy
] I noticed that someone had bought a chair at the auction which couldn't have gone for more than a dollar or two, and was trying to sell it in front of their house for $10. It's not like we don't all know where that chair came from. Funny.
Oh yeah, archives link is up and working [to the left there]. Sorry it took me so long to get on it.
24jul03: abbazabba job!
Short answer: Yes, I got the job and I am very pleased.
Longer answer: I am that certain kind of tired now where I have been very very tense without really quite knowing it for a long period of time. Now that that tension has been released, it is all I can do to keep my eyes open and no amount of coffee can help. This is not at all a bad thing. The very nice people -- soon to be my coworkers -- at the Rutland Free Library
graciously let me keep all my existing Summer plans which means, in short, that I start September first. Before then, here is what is happening, open-ended items are in red.
- town auction and library booksale this weekend
- Greg's job ends next week
- Northeast Kingdom Music Festival
- Joe and Tricia visit
- I head to Seattle
- Greg drives to Buffalo
- Greg flies to Seattle
- we pack my stuff [move it where?]
- we drive to Idaho [stay where?]
- I speak at PNLA with Katia
- we visit friends in Idaho?
- Greg flies back to VT
- Greg starts law school
- I drive to North Carolina, drop off Daniel's car
- I make my way back to VT [how?]
- I start my job, phew!
Somewhere in there I need to find a place to stay, sort of apartment-y, in Rutland. If anyone has ideas, please let me know.
22jul03: zik zik zik zik
I'll know about the job tomorrow, for today I am just spinning my wheels and trying to distract myself, whch is a really onerous task. I did get these pictures from the 4th of July party
Greg and I met about two years ago when I tuned up my truck
, he linked to it
on his website and the rest is pretty much history. Yesterday found us both here, at the house where we now live together, fighting with automobiles in the hot sun. I have to bash my fender into shape so the truck will pass inspection. To do this, I had to take the battery out, which involved taking a metal wrench and fiddling around with the battery contacts. This resulted, of course, in moving the wrench too far one way, and nearly electrocuting myself and hitting my head on the hood. Electrocution
is not one of those words, like drowning, where you can say that you did it and not be dead. I was not electrocuted. Then, while getting out some anxiety on the front fender, swinging an engineers hammer [think mini sledgehammer] and thinking "Wow, I should really take out that headlamp..." and *smash*. I'm not sure if having a mechanic around the house has made me more of an automotive lightweight, but it was really not a shining moment for me in terms of the person who wears half the pants in this family.
So the backstory is I probably have a job but there's a small chance I might not. I will know for sure if I am the new Rutland Free Library's temporary Outreach/Reference Librarian on Wednesday. In the meantime, I am just agitated. Very agitated.
This is probably why I woke up bright and early this morning and said to Greg "Hey, let's go to Maine!" Greg has never been to Maine and I hadn't been in a long time, so we packed a cooler and camping stuff just in case, piled into the car with a road map and the GPS and headed to Portland. Basically the road that my driveway is on [Route 302
] goes from Montpelier
through the Green
and White Mountains
, and on to Portland. We have now driven on every inch of it. I went out of the driveway, turned right, and a few hours later we were in Portland. We stopped along the way to peek at the cog railway
that goes up Mount Washington in NH. When we saw the signs, Greg and I discussed how much we would be willing to pay for a cog railway
ride and we decided about $6-8. Well, the ride was $49, so we just took some pictures.
We got coffee in Portland and walked around a bit, got back in the car and drove home. Took the Kancamagus Highway on the way back and were rewarded with some really excellent views, and almost no traffic. We also found a killer pizza joint in Raymond Maine
[Main's Pizza?] that had some of the best home made pesto I've had, and killer chicken parmesan. Greg and I were so hungry we were starting to consider fast food solutions; I'm glad we held out.
We also swung through Freeport to stop by LL Bean's. When we were kids we would head up here with my Dad sometimes for one of those divorced-Dad weekends. I dressed like much more of a preppy kid than I would probably now admit. Bean's was open all night and had a lifetime guarantee on all its stuff which I always thought was somewhat cool. However Freeport Maine in the present tense is an icky little quaint New England traffic jam and Bean's is now just another store, alas.
So, we left at ten am and got back at ten pm and it's really hard for me to remember being agitated since all I can really hear is the road noise in my ears. Another successful trip.
I don't know if it was the little walking droplet of blood waving at me from the side of the street or what, but I tried to give blood yesterday and was refused again, since I lived in Eastern Europe for over six months approximately eight years ago. Being turned down always makes me feel like some sort of bad citizen.
I've been working out my frustrations by doing a little dorky web activism
around the Supreme Court's decision on the Children's Internet Protection Act. Librarians may have to legally comply, but they don't have to like it.
13jul03: baby turkeys on the roof
It's menagerie month here at jessamyn.com apparently. Yesterday we were doing a bunch of house projects: fix new lawnmower, build firewood rack, clean kitchen, sort recycling, change oil in cars, etc. I went out to say hello to Greg in the yard and startled a family of turkeys who had been lurking in the tall grass about eight feet off of the back deck. There were two adults and what looked to be about eight babies
. Most of them resettled in the grass and we didn't see them again. [I survived a scary rooster attack when I was a tot and don't disturb potentially angry fowl if I can avoid it]. However, two babies wound up on the roof. My first thought, perhaps harkening back to the baby pigeon
fiasco of a few years back was "Oh, I hope they can get down
from there" Well, of course, they flew up there didnt' they? They were most likely waiting for Greg and I to stop gawking at them so they could fly all Woodstock
-style, back to their secret hideout in my backyard.
So I had a little post-party meltdown and fled to southern MA to hang out with my Dad and Cindy
and retrieve a free lawnmower. It was a surgical strike of a visit, 4 hours down, 3.5 back, total time there something like 20 hours but all well worthwhile. I find that my head clears best when I am driving and listening to some CD on repeat for hours and hours. This was true on my way back from ALA at least.
Incidentally, I'm not sure if I ever mentioned how I got home from ALA. On the way to Toronto, Greg dropped Dawn and I in Buffalo and we stayed with his Aunt Nora before getting a ride to the conference from Blake
. She was scheduled to get some foot surgery and had to be off her feet for eight weeks, starting four days from then. She also needed to move her car across the street weekly for street cleaning and whatever else they do in cities. This was going to be a total headache. As we got out of the car after having dinner she said "Wow, I really wish I had a place to stash this car for a month or two." My eyes lit up, this is really my life when it is working at its finest. So her and I made a deal. From there, finding a ride from Toronto to Buffalo was a piece of cake and I got to ride with the scintillating Elena Bianco who was a former coworker and colleague. I ran into her at the UW iSchool alumni event which was otherwise fun but unremarkable. Thanks to everyone who helped make my re-entry into professional life not suck.
Then I came home, Greg's folks arrived the next day, and I think you're up to speed now. On the ride down to my Dad's, I saw a cop car with the license plate number 666. For real.
Also, what sort of a dubious distinction is it to be the number one hit
for "the natural misfortune of our mortal and feeble condition is so wretched that when we consider it closely nothing can console us" in Google?
Okay so the first guest arrived on Thursday at around 3 and the last guest left Monday at around 4. Everything went really splendidly. There were 18 people, though not all at once. Me, Greg, Robin, Jude, Gus, Roger, Andrea, Corey, Chris, Janet, Brian, Coredwyn, Sammy, Jim, Florence, Jordan, Louisa and Clint. Also two ferrets and one dog. I think we had 12 people sleeping here the first night. Instead of destroying the couches, folks repaired the big hole in the deck
[the one left after the hot tub removal
] which was probably overall a better idea anyhow. We had four straight days of almost perfect weather, found a new swimming hole/river, and learned a bunch of new games. I think five of the people that showed up were folks I'd never even met before. I was sad that the usual suspects from Boston couldn't make it, but it was fun meeting new people, even if no one brought cheddarwurst.
I'm spending today playing catch-up with my email, gathering up recyclables, doing laundry and possibly making a run to my Dad's to fetch his old lawnmower. This house
rarely seems large, but today the empty spaces are looming.
01jul03: weeks of friends & family
and I were chitchatting in the wee hours of the night and realized we'd had one evening to ourselves, just the two of us, since mid-June. This is mostly the good news, since it's meant we have gotten to see friends, family, new friends, new dogs, and strangers. I have gone to a conference, Greg has gotten some writing done, and Vermont has rarely looked so lovely. On the other hand, we're looking ahead to him being in law school, me trying to get a library job [I have expanded my search to "anyplace in Vermont"] and then Winter seems just around the corner. I always get a bit nervous when the calendar page flips, and this time around it took me by surprise since I thought June had 31 days [not taking my own advice
on how to count these things, natch]
Fun news is that our book
is now sold out at Amazon, Powells and everyplace. We had a book signing at the conference and sold out in 15 minutes! This is very easy to do if your publisher brings only six copies because they are at the end of their budget year and don't want to have any on hand by June 30th. My Dad ordered one from the publisher and received a very nice phone call telling him they were out of stock for a few weeks. He went on about what good service they had. I said that was likely because he shares the same last name as three of the people on the cover.
In any case, my Mom is driving here as I type and I am still in my pajamas. Updates spare over the next few days, but feel free to come visit