Monday, December 31, 2007

Temporarily Unemployed

I haven't been called in to work yet over the Christmas holidays. I was hoping I would, in order to gain more experience at the info desk while the library is a little quieter than usual.

The up side: I've been able to stay up late, sleep in late and lounge around the house in my jammies with the family.

The down side: I've ascertained the source of the loud sucking sound I've been hearing. It's coming from the bottom of my bank account.

More Blog Links

I've been entertaining myself of late with some excellent medical blogs. So much so, in fact, that I've added links (see left) which has required a revamp of my list of blogs here. What was formerly "Blogs I Enjoy" has been reorganized into three different sections: library, medical and other.

One I've found particularly amusing is ER Stories, by a relatively new blogger. Back in my university days, I worked part-time at a local hospital in the housekeeping department. One of my regular areas was the ER and I found it fascinating despite being on the periphery of the action. I might have to write a few posts about stories from those days.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Jesus vs. the God of Power Tools

My in-laws live in a small town. On the way to their house we have to drive along a street which has a church on one corner and a lumberyard/hardware store right across the street. As we passed along this road, one of the kids piped up from the back of the van. "Look, Mum: ladies' church, men's church!"

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I've been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 20th century. (And yes, I know it's now the 21st century!) My family got me a cell phone for Christmas - my first ever cell phone.

Up until now, I've not needed a cell phone. In fact, I'm still not sure I need one. My family, on the other hand, thinks I should have one. I can be found at one of a small number of places: home, work, my kids' school, or the grocery store. I should add the gym to that list, but I'm being realistic - I haven't made it to the gym all that often since I started working. Besides, cell phones aren't allowed at the gym in the locker room or on the weight room floor: something to do with privacy and people not using the camera function on the phones. Other than the grocery store or in my van (dubbed the "loser cruiser" by my pre-teen daughter), I can be reached by land line at all of these locations. Tell me again why I need a cell phone?

I'm sure it will come in handy and I know I'll have fun playing with the various features such as the camera, camcorder and text messaging. Still, I wonder how much influence my daughter had in this purchase. She has been bugging us since she started grade seven for a cell phone of her own. A few of her friends have them and she thinks she's being left behind. She has already begun her campaign on why I should lend her my cell phone when she goes out. Hah - not yet, chicky-pie. It's my new toy!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Chef in Training

My 10 year old son made breakfast this morning. Made the coffee, made pancake batter (with some assistance from me, but mostly on his own), and cooked them without burning either the pancakes or himself! I acted as consultant/overseer in the kitchen, but I'm very proud of him. School isn't a strong point with him and it's nice to see him feeling good about an accomplishment.

He wanted blueberry pancakes but we didn't have enough frozen blueberries. Solution: blueberries and chocolate chips. Yum! Not the healthiest, perhaps, but c'mon - it's Christmas Eve morning! Besides, my kids' favourite topping for pancakes is yogurt. Today's yogurt was strawberry, very nice with blueberries and chocolate chips, and healthier than syrup.

It's nice to see my kids learning their way around the kitchen. At least I know they won't starve when they move out!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Self Portrait II?

I just had to post this. It made me snicker.

What Infectious Disease Are You?
created with
You scored as Malaria

You are one persistent, annoying son-of-a-bitch and your motto is 'if at first you don't succeed; try, try again'. Once you get a foothold in someone's life, you're loathe to let go and honestly, after a few feeble attempts, most of those poor suckers just give up. You're easily distracted by a good beverage, although you prefer beer to mixed drinks. There's something about tonic water that just turns you off. You may not always be at the forefront of everyone's minds, but you never get completely ignored, either--you're too irritating.





Amoebic Dysentery


Common Cold


Necrotizing Fasciitis






Bubonic Plague






Yay - I'm Not a Complete Idiot

A successful shift at the library info desk in my new job.

I helped an older gentleman find books he needed and even got him signed up for a couple of (free) classes. He asked for computer books for absolute beginners - simpler than "Computers for Dummies" - and he was pleased to hear that not only did we have some, but also they are very popular books. It made him feel better to know there are others in the same boat as he. When I explained that we have computer classes for seniors who have never touched computers before, his eyes lit up. He told me how he wants to be able to email his grandchildren. That one gave me the warm fuzzies.

A little later, a nice man with an adorable toddler came in looking for travel books. They are leaving in two days and he was hoping to find books about their destination. I found a couple of books for him and then determined that a nearby branch had a different book that would be even better. I asked him if he was able to drive to the other branch (there wouldn't be enough time before his trip to put the book on hold and have it shipped to us) and he said yes. When I phoned the other branch, they informed me they had an another book (in addition to the one I requested) that looked perfect. I had them put both books aside for him and was gratified to see his grin when I told him about the books. I hope they have a wonderful vacation.

I don't have any shifts scheduled between Christmas and New Year's, but I told my supervisor I'm available. Hopefully I'll get some more experience then, while the library is a little quieter, and lose the "deer in the headlights" look which has been on my face the last few weeks!

Friday, December 14, 2007

School Concerts

Why must school concerts be so painful to endure? Who makes the song selections? Who, tell me, WHO thinks songs sung in rounds actually sound good? Why must short songs be sung completely through TWICE, sucking any semblance of fun or enjoyment out of it? And why is every concert 50% longer than the patience of its audience?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Take it to the Limit (One More Time)*

I finished my first full week on the check out desk at the library and next week I start the reference portion of my training in earnest. I've met a few of the library regulars, some of whom are real characters, including one whom I shall call the Limit Lady.

Limit Lady approached the checkout desk five minutes before closing with two big baskets of books. One basket of materials she was returning and wanted to check in, and one basket of items she wanted to check out. I told her that I wouldn't waste her time by checking in the materials while she stood there since it could be done after closing. I scanned her library card and tried to check out her first book to her. Oops, no can do, the computer beeped at me with the message "Item limit exceeded! Unable to check out book." What the #&$% ? The limit is 99 items! I tried again and got the same warning screen. Hmmm. I explained the situation and said I'd have to check her returned items into our system before I could check out her books to her. She smiled and nodded as if this was what she expected. I checked in all her returned materials, 23 items, and then went back to checking out the things she wanted. There were 22 items in that basket, putting her total items out back up to 98.

After we closed I mentioned this to a colleague who chuckled and gave me a little pat. "She does this at least twice a week," I was told. "She counts her items to return and takes out the same number pretty much every time. If we had a higher limit, she'd take out more."

You'll never catch me doing that. Even one day late on returning that number of items and the fines would put a serious dent in my pocketbook!

*: If you don't remember, it's a song by the Eagles.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I overheard a cell phone call made by a commuter beside me on the train heading into the downtown core of our city at 8:45 am, right after she boarded and sat down:

"Hi, I just wanted to call and let you know I'm going to be late for work this morning. I'm on the train; we keep having mechanical difficulties. We've been stopped for ages!"

I wanted to yell into the phone "Lies! All lies! She just got on this train!"

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Grammar and Grampar

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

This is why my high school English professor was disgusted when he found out I was majoring in science at university rather than English. I don't know why, but grammatical rules come easily to me, as does spelling. With spelling, though, I've noticed that if I write out one word repeatedly or look at it for a long time, it starts to look odd and I begin to question whether it truly is correct or not. Let me glance at the word and I can tell you if it's spelled correctly, but let me stare at it for a minute and I'm not sure anymore. I wonder if this happens to other people too, or if it's just a quirk of mine.

Matt over at Better and Better had a post a while back that made me smile. He said "An apostrophe's function is not to warn the reader of an impending S." Thank you, Matt. Well said.