Saturday, January 29, 2011

Helpful Advice

Student Loan Customer Service Rep: What was your degree in?

Me: Library and Information Science.

SLCSR: You should really get a library job, like at a school, or something.

Me: Yeah.  Thanks.  That's a good idea.

He meant to be encouraging, I think, but I question his knowledge of current events, you know, like the whole recession thing?  

Besides not wanting to be a School Media Specialist (as they're called because school librarians need to be multi-useful to justify such a position and an education degree is also required) budget cuts have forced schools all over the country to eliminate these jobs, entirely.  After all, what does a librarian do, anyway?   They just check out books, right?  If I worked as a librarian for a nonprofit, or in a school or a public library, after 10 years of loan repayment, as long as I've been in good standing, the remainder of my loans would be forgiven.  While I was in school they added librarians to the list of Public/Community Service Jobs That Don't Pay A Lot So We'll Give You a Break On Your Loans professions.  Of course, you have to be working in the field, not just be working, to qualify.  

That's alright.  My standard response to the question When are You Going to Be a Librarian has been to assure enquiring minds that I'm alright not being one; it also now includes, Hey!  I have a masters, which is pretty cool, huh?  (Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.  Look over here at my diploma, not my current employment status.)

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Current Obsession

I know I am late to discover him, but better now than never.  
Josh Ritter.

(And it's not just because he's from my home state.)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Good Riddance, 2010!

Favorite Live Shows, in no particular order:

The Walkmen/Helio Sequence
The National/Okkervil River
Built to Spill
Black Mountain (they opened for Black Angels, and though I liked the Black Angels, have seen them before, Black Mountain blew them to smithereens, in my book.)
Bonnie "Prince" Billy and the Cairo Gang

Favorite Albums that I can think of at this moment; there were a lot of good ones...:

Teen Dream, Beach House
Odd Blood, Yeasayer
Gorilla Manor, Local Natives
Total Life Forever, Foals
Lisbon, The Walkmen
High Violet, The National (this one really grew on me the more and more I listened.  I mean, I liked it but now i love it.)
The Monitor, Titus Andronicus
The Archandroid, Janelle Monae (O MY GOSH!  Sooooooooooo good.)
Broken Bells, Broken Bells.
The Suburbs, Arcade Fire

Wow.  I'm pretty sure I could add some more to this list but I think I'll leave it at that, for now.

Proud Accomplishments:

I graduated from grad school!!!
I started dating.
I can pay all of my bills and still afford yoga every month.
Weekend Silent Yoga retreat.  (Mostly mediation and light yoga.  I loved not having to talk to people.  I didn't necessarily love having to deal with my own head, but it wasn't bad.)

What Kept Me Up at Night, Stressed Me Out, Ruined my Appetite and Gave Me the Blues or Sent Me into a General Malaise:

I graduated from grad school.
I started dating.

Weird Struggles

Reading an entire book--heck, even starting a book was hard.
     Kinda still is, but getting better.  The first book I finished after graduating was The Women, by T. C. Boyle.  It took me about two months to read.  Two.  Months.  Then I just stuck to my newspaper and tidbits from The New Yorker.  It wasn't even like I was surfing the web, or playing boggle online or even playing the XBox.  I don't know what I was doing.  Listening to music and staring off into the distance, I guess.

Watching a movie.
     Somehow, committing to a full length feature film was really, really hard.  I wonder(ed) if it had more to do with being reminded that after Shawn moved to La La Land I watched a lot of movies just for something to do.  Once school was done, and I didn't have papers and studying as a distraction, there it was.  The break up of Linnet and Shawn.  For real.  And the weather was so awful.  And I was just blue.  Watching a movie somehow magnified all of the grey and loneliness and my state of lost.  I should have cancelled my Netflix, but I found that I could digest television programs, because they were short, 45 minutes, tops.  I took advantage of the streaming and watched both seasons of Dead Like Me and the really horrible two hour movie special made a couple of years after the show ended.  Also, lots of 30 Rock.  Truly one of the most exceptional comedies.

The Weather
     This is the first year that I can honestly say the Seattle grey/wet got to me.  (See above for clues why this might have been.)  Spring was cold, damp, grey.  Summer, with the exception of a few weeks that were hot, sunny and even fun, was similar to spring.  Fall stank, too.  I have high hopes for winter.  High hopes.

Super Cool Stuff:

I went to Florida, last January, to visit with Holly and her family.  Got to spend time with two great nephews, my sister and her husband.  In Florida.  Where it was mostly sunny and definitely warmer than Seattle.

Blumenthal family reunion, 2010.  Lots and lots of nieces and nephews.  Siblings.  Food.  Dishes.  Love.  The Blumenthals of Delware were sorely missed.

I'm employed.  Work too much between two jobs, certainly, but better than not working enough.  (See "I can afford yoga every month" accomplishment.)

My mother came to visit me in October.  I was very happy to have her here.