Rules of Engagement

I know there’s been a lot in the blogging world about why we’re not more represented as IFers on television and in movies. Chief and I just started watching this show on Netflix instant on a whim and it has a couple dealing with IF on it (spoiler alert):

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We’re not all the way through so I have no idea how they’re going to handle it-they could really screw it up. But so far we’re on season 4 and they’re still not pregnant and now having to deal with fertility doctors. In the episode I’m on now they’re having a discussion about how this isn’t how they planned on making a baby and how the wife is tired of being prodded and how the husband is tired of producing sperm in a cup.

How many times have all of us expressed similar sentiments? It’s not a show I love or will ever add to my all time favorite list, but it is a show I’ll watch probably to the end just because I think they’re handling this issue so well. And it’s nice to be represented.

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Recaps

First of all, let me apologize for being an ICLW failure. Between Christmas, the massive amounts of snow dumped on my state, power outages, and lots of family events this month just got away from me. I got so many great comments and I appreciate all of them. I should have known better than to try to do ICLW during Christmas.

So yeah, Christmas.

It happened, and it was better this year. Chief and I had the house to ourselves which was so nice compared to last year. He gave me a beautiful ruby necklace that I refuse to take off, as well as some Detroit Lions swag and a few pie plates (he broke one of my favorite ones this year and I make a LOT of pie). So Christmas Eve we went to church and went to my mom’s. We got this beautiful new bedspread that I picked out. It’s like a quilted coverlet, but it has a velveteen side that feels so good against your skin. And it’s super warm :).

This came in handy the next day when we got the first accumulative snow on Christmas that we’ve had in 86 years. And we’re not just talking a few inches-no, we had at least a foot. We were at my grandparents opening presents on Christmas day when their power went out and the weather started turning. We got them set up with a generator and then all hurried home. At first (when I had power) the snow was amazing. It came down so quickly and Chief and I took a snow walk that ended with him playfully throwing me to the ground (I promise-it was playful) and rolling me in the snow. Then we went back in to watch a movie and half way through we lost power. At this point it was almost 10:00 so we decided to go to bed and hoped the power would be back on by morning.

Au Contrair. We woke up freezing. I got up and put our perishables in a rubbermaid container outside in the snow so as not to lose them, and then we “roughed it” for the day. We ventured out (which was terrifying) to Wal-Mart and when we came back we were so lucky to have power. A lot of people are still without (over 200,000 lost power in this storm) and many have been told it’ll take 8-10 days. It’s a big, big mess. I’ve had enough winter weather for this winter.

But Christmas was good. And I have a little cold but we’re seeing some friends for dinner tonight which I’m excited about. And maybe 2013 is the year that I’ll get pregnant.

Happy New Year kids. This is the most hopeful day of every year. Seems fitting that it’s the one to kick off the next year.

Decisions and Conversations

I want to thank everyone who was so supportive of my last post, which has now gone private for my own professional protection (if you want to read it and didn’t get a chance just let me know and I’ll sort out a way to make that happen). I felt very validated reading all of your comments and opinions. Here’s what I decided to do.

I withdrew myself from consideration for the position. She was calling all my references so I knew she was about to offer it to me. One commenter made the point that if the lack of interviews started before the unfortunate incident, then it means that I’m not being snubbed-and that’s true. It’s just been really competitive where I am, but I truly believe it’s where I need to be. And I can’t try to force change if I run away. So I genuinely hope that someday I’m an administrator of this system and that I treat employees as individuals and with respect.

Interestingly enough, my boss’s boss (let’s call her supreme boss) had a chat with me on Friday. She came up to my department while I was alone and gave me a big hug and said that she was really sorry I hadn’t gotten an interview for the Children’s Library. She said that she was really pushing for me to get one, but the only people who did were people who already had supervisory experience (which, how the crap am I supposed to get experience if no one will even give me an interview for supervisor positions that I’m overqualified for?). The girl who got the job has only worked in our system for a year and only has retail supervisor experience. It’s sort of infuriating, but it wasn’t my supreme boss’s decision to make and I can tell she’s really disappointed.

When we were chatting I asked her if my boss had told her about the job interview with the other system. She didn’t know anything about it and she was so glad that I didn’t take it. She said she was proud of me for taking serious consideration before just accepting the first job that’s offered to me because my feelings are hurt. She also said that she is going to do everything she can for me and that she genuinely believes that my future in my system is bright.

They were words that I really, really needed to hear. I don’t know how she knew that I needed that, but she must have-or maybe she just felt the need to say them, but she soothed all my fears that my career/future was ruined. I walked away from the conversation with tearful eyes and was glad that I had a moment alone. I really feel like she cares about me, and like she doesn’t think any less of me because of the terrible-awful that happened a few months ago.

And for the first time in two months I genuinely feel like things are going to be okay. My career is not tanked by one harmless mistake. I am not defined as a person or as a librarian by it and someone is going to recognize in me that I am a valuable worker and I deserve to be a manager. I really believe that.

Thank you all for your support, your disbelief, your outrage and your advice. I don’t know if I’ll get to post much between now and the holidays, so if I miss it I hope you all have the most Merry of Christmases, Hanukkahs, Solstices, Kwanza’s, or any other holiday you can think of to celebrate. Or not. Just have happy peaceful times.

All my love.

So here’s the thing

Things are not okay.

The entire country is grieving over this horrible, mind-numbing tragedy. Our entire country is outraged because a mentally disturbed young man shot up an elementary school claiming the lives of 20 beautiful children and 6 teachers and administrators, who from everything I’ve read were wonderful and brave people. We are incensed. We are disturbed. We are in a state of collective sorrow that I haven’t felt since 9/11.

So why, WHY every day am I being inundated on Facebook with stupid pictures and posts indicating that we need MORE guns, MORE semi-automatic. And of course, the same people posting this are not the ones posting about the need for MORE mental health care. The one that has me most enraged is from a “friend” of my husband’s who put a picture of a hand gun up with the quote “Bearing arms is not simply my right, it is my responsibility”. Then there is a concealed carry logo at the bottom. The same “friend” has another picture of a man carrying an assault rifle with the quote “The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own.  Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.”

No.

At this point in the game HOW can anyone insist that we need more weapons, more ways to kill each other, more ways to kill our children. Obama is right, we have FAILED our children in letting this go on for so long. We have failed them, and we have failed ourselves.

That shooter should never have had access to a semi-automatic weapon. Never. His mother shouldn’t have been able to purchase one. That should NOT be legal. I try to get people to tell me why weapons like that need to be legal. And the “gun enthusiasts” in my life tell me “for collectors purposes” and “they’re fun to shoot”.

Was it fun for the parents of Sandy Hook to find out that they would never see their babies again? Was it fun for the survivors to hide in cabinets and hear this man kill their friends and teachers? Was any of that fun for anyone? Are we having fun yet? Because I’m not. You know what’s fun for me? Reading books-but I would NEVER read another book in my entire life if somehow books caused the mass murder of children or adults. Never. So how Goddamn selfish do these fucking “gun enthusiasts” have to be to continue to fight for the things that are hurting people, more and more every day.

I don’t understand it friends. I need someone to explain it to me. I am not by any means a “let’s take the guns away” kind of person. But goddamnit guys, shit has got to change. We need more control. We need extensive background checks. We need mental health exams (and better mental health care, which deserves to be much more than a side note of this post). We need people to be legally obligated to keep their guns LOCKED UP. And you know what we really need? We need semi-automatic weapons to be illegal for everyone but certain types of law enforcement-like swat teams. Is all of that going to cost more money? Yes. Do I give a goddamn about it? No.

Sandy Hook has given me a lot of perspective about my life and how lucky I am. I’m not pregnant, I may never be pregnant. But everyone I know is okay. I don’t know anyone who was gunned down by a mentally disturbed person. But if things don’t change I might someday. And that scares the shit out of me.

If I’ve offended you, I’m sorry-but I really can’t care anymore. Those children are dead and while I know that “people kill people”, I also know that people use guns to kill people. And it’s got to change guys, it just has got to change.

Unspeakable Sadness

That is what I have been filled with for nearly 24 hours now. I wanted to type something yesterday, but the tears have been close to the surface and I wanted to be able to think out what I wrote on this devastation-this tragedy. In the interest of full disclosure, please do not mistake me for someone who is trying to claim this tragedy as her own. I do not know anyone in Connecticut. I don’t know any of the victims. But yesterday every child who came into my department tugged at my heart. I felt grateful they were okay. I felt unspeakable sadness for the ones who are not.

20 families lost their babies yesterday. 20 families lost their hopes, their dreams, their miracles. And those are just the ones who lost children. 7 more families lost fathers, mothers, aunts and uncles. Brothers and sisters. Teachers. Now, they’re all described in just one horrible way-victims. At least one teacher died trying to shield her students from the gunman. What immeasurable bravery that must have taken-it’s hard for me to comprehend.

Yesterday as I worked in both the children’s department and the teen department, I felt this incredibly powerful urge to take all of the kids I hold dear to me and just clutch them to me and never ever let them go. I wanted to protect them from what’s out there. And I’m not even a parent, so I can’t imagine how their parents feel. Last night I lay in bed not sleeping and I said to Chief that I just couldn’t stop thinking about all those little buds. All those little feet that stopped moving. All those little hearts that stopped beating. And all the adults that died trying to get them to safety. And then I asked him how, if we’re ever given the honor of having a baby, how can we ever let it out into this world? How could we trust the world with something that is so important?

There’s a lot I can say about the need for increased gun control. I’ve been toting that barge for over ten years now-but my heart can’t go there right now. All my heart can feel is empathy and unspeakable sadness for what has happened. I don’t know what’s happening in my country. I don’t understand it, and it frightens me. And as easy as it is for me to think horrible thoughts about the shooter, my prayers and thoughts are with even him and his family, because it obviously took a very, very damaged mind to commit the atrocities that he did. I have a lot of anger in my heart for him, but I also have a lot of sadness. For him, and for everyone involved yesterday.

And for our children, who are growing up in this world today. In my church, we’re approaching the third Sunday of the Advent season. I have never gotten religious on you here, and I won’t start now, except to say that we light a candle every Sunday of Advent and on Christmas eve. The two candles that we’ve already lit are for hope and peace. Tomorrow’s is for joy. I am wishing for all of those things for the lost ones and their families, but I fear that any joy will be hard to come by for a long time. So what I can really, really pray for for them is hope and peace. Whether you are religious or not I think that is something we can all get behind.

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A break in the clouds

Guys, don’t be looking for gloomy gus Librarian today, because she’s taking a vacation for the moment.

After a full year of having my masters degree and applying for more jobs than I can remember:

I

Have

A

Job

Interview

I HAVE A JOB INTERVIEW! It’s to be a branch manager of a library about thirty minutes from my house. It’s a much smaller library system than I work for and they’re trying to grow and they need a new manager!!!!

I applied on Monday and didn’t hear anything so I thought they weren’t interested-because they wanted someone who could start as early as 12/21/12, which I told them I couldn’t do out of respect for my boss. I have to give two weeks notice. I thought that might be a deal breaker-but apparently not! Anyway, the director emailed me and asked if I could come in Monday or Tuesday, and I said Tuesday because that’s my off day.

I’m SO NERVOUS. This is the first chance I’ve gotten and I don’t want to blow it. I got an email last night saying I wasn’t selected to interview for a job in system that I was overqualified for. I was really shattered about it. It was for our new children’s library and I thought I would be a great fit considering all my children’s experience and my education. Apparently the powers at be didn’t think so. Do you remember a few months ago when I said I’d had a horrible day at work that I couldn’t discuss yet? If I get this job you guys should remind me to tell you about it. It’s a big reason why I wouldn’t mind leaving the system I’m in.

I’m so excited, so nervous, so excited, so nervous.

Wish me luck! I don’t even know what to wear!

 

Who needs kids when you have dogs…

…to suck all your money away?

So we have this dog, who we love, named Pepper. Pepper was Chief’s dad’s dog who got left with us when they moved away. Being the horrible human being that he is, when we asked him if he was coming to get her he said “No, take her to the pound if you don’t want her”.

Umm no. Librarian doesn’t roll that way.

The poor thing had been completely neglected. He would take her for shots, but he never treated her for fleas. He never paid attention to her. He never let her in the house. It was a horrible existance for her I’m certain.

Then when she got left with us we started training her to be in the house with us at night, to be around the cats, to get along with my dog, etc. etc. We wanted to assimilate her into our life. And this wasn’t always easy, but it wasn’t fair to her to treat her any other way.

For a while, Chief’s dad would begrudgingly pay her medical expenses. And then this year after we bought the house from them he stopped paying. It’s like he figured that we bought the dog when we bought the house. Here’s the thing, if it were just shots and flea treatment, I wouldn’t even worry about it. He’s a sad excuse for a man. I shouldn’t expect better. But Pepper can’t seem to stay healthy. In the past year she’s had to have her shots, has had an eye infection, has had an ulcerated rash on her tummy, has had to have her teeth cleaned, and yesterday I had to take her to the vet for a stomach bug. While we were there yesterday, she got excited about something and yanked on her leash so hard that she choked herself and almost pulled me over. She started coughing which is normal in that sort of situation, but it usually passes in a few minutes.

Nope.

She hacked all. day. long.  She didn’t stop until she went to sleep unless you were petting her. And it wasn’t even really a cough-it was a honking noise. Like a goose. So I called the vet this morning and they were all “maybe it’s kennel cough!” and I was all “no. that’s dumb. She’s injured her trachea, maybe collapsed it”. And they were all “No! It’s kennel cough!” At this point, I’m slamming my head into a wall from frustration and feeling sick about her being sick again. So she has to go to the vet again tomorrow for observation/treatment of whatever she’s done to herself.

Here’s my point: in the last year Pepper’s medical expenses alone have cost somewhere close to $1000. She is so expensive that I’m having to neglect things like vaccinations for my cats because they are indoor so Pepper’s maladies have taken precedence. And I wouldn’t have a problem with this if I had chosen to take on this expense. And I guess in a way I did by refusing to throw her to the wolves when EFIL (Evil Father-In-Law) told me to, but it didn’t stop me from crying last night because I was home alone, Chief was working late, and I couldn’t get the poor dog to stop coughing. I just felt so overwhelmed by the situation, including the cost. And I know it’s horrible to even think about that when she’s feeling bad, but I make $20,000 a year-it’s not  a lot. And I also kept thinking what would we do if we had children to take care of and these expenses kept popping up? In December-the most expensive month of the year.

So that was a low point this week for me. I am getting caught up on my sleep, and Chief let me cry and curse his father’s name last night while holding me in bed. I’m sure he’s ready for me to stop swinging around like a tilt-o-whirl with my moods-I’m sure we all are. On the positive front, my boss is happier now that her semester is done AND Chief’s parent’s ARE NOT coming to town for Christmas. Hallelujah, praise sweet baby Jesus.